Chapter 147: People She Used to Know
Chen Rong lifted her head to meet his eyes.
He was looking at her eyebrows, her eyes, and her stubborn lips. At length he smiled and quietly called, “Ah Rong.”
He leaned into her slightly, his handsome face brilliant in the golden light. When he saw the twinkle in her eyes, his lips curved to softly say: “I’m off.”
He smiled at Chen Rong and slowly straightened up. A long time passed before he turned around, flapped his sleeves, and walked out the door. Even after he was long gone, the door was still swinging and his breath and scent were still lingering in the room, yet to disperse.
Chen Rong had not moved.
A long time later, the door opened to let Nurse Ping in.
She glanced outside, then came to Chen Rong and whispered, “Miss, a large number of people has come to the temple. They’re all from the Wang House of Lang’ya.” She carefully observed Chen Rong before gently adding: “I’m afraid to even imagine the outcome if Qilang hadn’t come in time.”
Chen Rong was still looking at the floor, her reply was a quiet hum.
Nurse Ping sighed. “It would be so much better if you weren’t a nun. Based on how much Qilang loves you, the future lady of the house will have to treat you well.”
Chen Rong had not lifted her gaze from the floor. She merely shook her head.
A while later, she got up and went outside.
Nurse Ping hurried after her. “Miss, Prince Ying really crossed the line this time. He completely disregarded His Majesty’s words.”
“Miss, you should report this matter to His Majesty. He will most certainly punish the prince.”
Chen Rong did not look back amid Nurse Ping’s constant nagging, but instead walked on ahead.
After several steps, a nun appeared in her sight. Chen Rong stopped when she saw that this woman was wearing a Daoist outfit like hers.
This nun was young and pretty. Seeing Chen Rong, she quickly accorded her ceremony, “Greetings, head priestess.”
Chen Rong nodded, her eyes moving to the four approaching nuns behind them.
A little farther away was a group of servants busy at work. On the right, the same yellow Daoist robes fluttered among the trees.
Chen Rong blinked her eyes, unable to refrain from asking the girl in front of her: “How many of you are there?”
“Twenty-five in total, my lady,” the young girl respectfully replied. She seemed to understand what Chen Rong was thinking when she saw her widened eyes, and thus added, “Thirteen are originally nuns from Xishan Temple, while the remaining twelve, including me, are sent by his lordship to serve you. Please allow me to accord you the disciple ceremony later.” Seeing Chen Rong nod, she continued to explain, “Besides us, there are also fifty laborers, twenty servants, and three stewards. His Lordship says these men can also double as guards.”
At this juncture, she asked, “Would you like to meet the stewards?”
Chen Rong nodded.
“Aye, I’ll go to inform them.”
“What’s your name?” Chen Rong called after her.
“I was called Ying’gu at the Wang House,” answered the nun with a bow.
“Ying’gu? Alright, you may go.”
Ying’gu had just left by the time another nun came to Chen Rong. She bowed from the distance and said, “Head priestess, there are several guests surnamed Chen who ask to see you.”
Chen Rong nodded and followed the nun outside.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Upon arrival at the reception hall, she saw a familiar figure: Chen Sanlang.
The powdered-face Chen Sanlang was shouting at a servant at this time. As soon as he saw Chen Rong, his eyes lit up at the sight of her ample chest and lithe waist. He waved to her and called, “Ah Rong, Ah Rong.”
His cry alerted those in the room. Chen Yuan’s voice spoke up: “Is Ah Rong here? Come in come in.”
Chen Rong did not respond to Chen Yuan. She bowed to Chen Sanlang and then politely yet indifferently said, “You overstate, sirs. There is no more Ah Rong in this world, there is only a nun named Hong Yunzi.”
Chen Sanlang stopped at her words.
Chen Rong meanwhile unhurriedly went in.
In the hall, Chen Yuan and his wife Lady Ruan were sitting by the table to partake some drinks. They both glanced over upon Chen Rong’s entry.
Chen Rong noticed that Chen Yuan was visibly darker and thinner, his back was also hunched over. When he looked at her, his eyes were no longer condescending or posturing.
Chen Yuan stood up and affectionately called, “You’re here Ah Rong, I mean, Priestess Hong Yunzi. Come come, please sit down.”
He invited Chen Rong to her seat while glaring at his silent wife.
Chen Rong went in and sat down before Chen Yuan followed suit.
She glanced at Chen Yuan who had obviously become a nobody, and quietly asked, “What have you come to say?”
Without so much as an address, she had curtly asked them with a blunt tone and an indifferent expression.
A change came over Lady Ruan’s face while Chen Yuan’s smile also stiffened.
“Even though you’re already a nun, I still think of you as a daughter, Ah Rong.”
Chen Rong smiled to hear this remark but did not answer.
Chen Yuan coughed and continued, “Because I previously let you suffer grievances, the clan elders made me stay in Nan’yang as punishment.”
Catching Chen Rong’s bottomless dark eyes, Chen Yuan swallowed back the words of apology he had wanted to say.
He gulped and sputtered, “I followed Ah Wei and her husband on this trip to Jiankang. When we arrived yesterday, I heard you have become a nun. So I hurried over to visit.”
Seeing Chen Rong’s expression turning chillier, he awkwardly smiled and closed his mouth.
Next to him, Lady Ruan fisted her hands under her sleeves. If she hadn’t known this wench was still Lang’ya Wang Qi’s sweetheart and that she had found a tall branch like His Majesty to perch on, she would not have bothered. Boo, why should a commoner like her have the esteem of so many powerful people, even after she had become a nun, while her husband and son were falling lower and lower down the social ladder?
While Lady Ruan was clenching her teeth, Chen Rong quietly asked, “Ah Wei… has come to Jiankang with her husband?”
Although her voice was light, Chen Yuan could hear that she cared. He paused at first before realization dawned on him. He laughingly nodded, “Aye aye, General Ran is also here in Jiankang. I reckon they will come to the monastery to visit you in a few days.”
“Is that so?” Chen Rong faintly smiled.
At this time, Chen Sanlang strode in and cried, “Father, why are you telling these useless things to Ah Rong?”
He turned to Chen Rong and gave a bow. On his overly powdered face was a fawning smile and traces of faint wrinkles. “Ah Rong, your uncle and I came firstly to visit you, but also to ask that you plead for us.”
Chen Rong looked up with a smile. “With whom?”
“Who else?” Chen Sanlang ignored his father’s glare and said, “Of course with Wang Qilang.”
Chen Rong dropped her gaze. “You jest, Sanlang. I’m now a nun…” Without waiting for her to finish, Chen Sanlang impatiently interrupted her: “You don’t have to use this excuse, Ah Rong. The entire city knows you’re his heart and soul. Besides, we aren’t asking you to do much. It is enough if you tell Wang Qilang not to begrudge us for offending him in Nan’yang. Ah Rong, isn’t this easy for you?”
Because Chen Sanlang was speaking bluntly without any regard for etiquette, Chen Rong watched him and inwardly thought: In the time we had not seen each other, this Third brother had already assimilated those thugs. He seems quite crossed.
Chen Yuan cast a glare but did not stop his son. Seeing that his son had brought everything to light, he cleared his throat and flashed an amiable smile at Chen Rong. “Don’t mind your cousin, Ah Rong. He is hot-tempered these days so he does not think when he speaks.”
After a pause, Chen Yuan sighed and feebly added, “Truthfully this is the head of clan’s idea. He thinks that I have offended Wang Qilang in Nan’yang when I wanted to give you to Ran Min.”
He coughed. “But I’m sure you know I had good intentions.”
He saw Chen Rong sneer. Chen Yuan’s face stiffened despite himself.
Through gritted teeth, Chen Yuan rose and turned towards Chen Rong. “Ah Rong, I accord you ceremony.”
At this time, Lady Ruan could not help from bristling: “Zishu! How can you bow to your junior for something so trivial?”
She resentfully stared at Chen Rong.
Chen Rong’s expression betrayed no emotion.
She remained calmly seated as though she didn’t notice that Chen Yuan was bowing to her.
As the air tensed and her guests’ expression turned unsightly, she slowly stood up.
She walked ahead and, without looking at Chen Yuan, lightly said, “Hong Yunzi is but a nun who no longer concerns herself with worldly affairs. You’ve come to the wrong place.”
After she finished, she shrugged her sleeves and left the hall.
Chen Sanlang rushed out to catch her, at which time a broom swept to his feet and a servant appeared between him and Chen Rong, rudely yelling: “Watch your feet.”
His booming voice was that of loyalty. His glare was so threatening that it couldn’t have belonged to an ordinary servant. Startled, Chen Sanlang retreated by reflex.
In the midst of the sweeping and dusting, Chen Rong gradually disappeared from his field of vision.
From afar, Nurse Ping quickly ran over as soon as she saw Chen Rong come out. She glimpsed inside at Chen Yuan’s family and asked, “Miss, I think Sanlang and your uncle look very anxious.” After a pause, she added, “Could they be angry?” She sounded faintly nervous and also frustrated at Chen Rong.
“Them?” coldly replied Chen Rong. “They’ve barely arrived in Jiankang yet they came to find a nun who holds a grudge against them. It appears that they’ve been abandoned by the Chen House and now have nowhere to go.”
She then inwardly thought: Chen Wei and Ran Min are coming? This soon?
She had only been in Jiankang for a couple of months, so why had Ran Min also come here? Wasn’t he always occupied with the army and rarely had any spare time?
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