Chapter 151: Seeing Chen Wei
Chen Rong went back to her room and sat on the divan for an hour.
As time passed, her heart grew quieter and quieter.
Noticing the rising moon and diminishing voices outside the door, Chen Rong thought to herself: Ran Min must have left.
She went outside, down the stone steps, along the tree-lined road and onto a small path on the right. This path was fairly far from where she met Ran Min.
Voices sounded from time to time. Chen Rong knew her stewards had been rejecting the throngs of visitors for the past few days… Since she wanted peace, Wang Hong had given her peace.
At this time, a series of light and nimble footsteps quickened its strides, as if to notify her that someone was coming.
Chen Rong knew it to be Wang Hong’s people.
She stopped and asked, “What is it?”
The footsteps halted. It was Yinggu’s voice: “Priestess, we just now heard a man’s laughter behind the mountain.” A pause. “Do you know who he is?”
From the sound of her voice, she was deliberately asking even though she had obviously seen Chen Rong with Ran Min.
“He’s an old acquaintance,” Chen Rong softly replied.
She looked back at Ying’gu with twinkles in her eyes and asked, “Who can go if I want to send a letter to your master?”
Ying’gu briefly paused, and in an instant smiled: “Priestess, you’re teasing me. Since his lordship has sent us here, then we are now yours to command. We won’t relay news to others.”
She misunderstood that Chen Rong was testing her.
Chen Rong didn’t want to say more. She turned her head and lightly said, “Is that so. Never mind, then.”
She stepped head.
Ying’gu started, and then hurried to catch up to her. “Did I anger you?” she stammered.
Chen Rong shook her head. “I want to be alone.”
Ying’gu took that as an order to leave and stopped following her.
After five or six hundred paces when voices became more and more distant, Chen Rong stopped walking and turned around.
She saw a woman walking down from the gazebo on the left side of the mountain .
Chen Rong went on without paying her further attention.
Three steps later, she halted and turned to look at the woman.
She was as delicate as a pear blossom. Her alabaster skin seemed cold under the moonlight… Was she Chen Wei?
Was it really Chen Wei?
Chen Rong narrowed her eyes and silently surveyed the perimeter as she walked.
It was quiet all around her. Nay, there was a man a hundred paces away in the woods. He looked to be Chen Wei’s escort.
Ran Min really loved Chen Wei, didn’t he? No matter where she was, he always sent guards to watch over her. In the past, she always had a guard and two loyal maids by her side. It was why Chen Rong could never find a chance to do anything. She didn’t think it would still be the same this time.
Chen Wei was absently looking at the ground. As if she felt Chen Rong’s eyes on her, she gazed up.
She gaped stupidly at Chen Rong for a while before she asked in surprise, “Why are you here? Where’s Ran lang? I thought he was looking for you.”
Chen Wei looked around as she asked, searching for Ran Min.
Chen Rong looked at her.
The night wind was chilling her and infiltrating her heart. She quietly studied Chen Wei, whose face appeared in front of her in the moonlight.
Chen Wei wasn’t looking very well. She was sallow, with a pointed chin and eyes that always seemed to be brimming with tears.
Yet the gauntness made her look even more delicate, more dainty and more pitiful, like a pear blossom that would fall at the first gust of wind.
While Chen Rong appraised Chen Wei, the other girl was also appraising her.
She looked Chen Rong up and down, covered her smile and softly said, “Ah Rong, it’s only been a few months but how come you have become a Daoist nun? Hehe, but you look even better and more seductive in a Daoist robe.”
She happily went to Chen Rong.
Before long, she was five steps away from her cousin.
She stopped to take another look at Chen Rong. With a smile that reached her eyes, she sighed, “I was very envious to hear that you left with Wang Qilang. Even Ah Qi and the girls were envious of you. We all thought once you got to Jiankang, you would live a fairy-tale life at the Wang House of Lang’ya. We never thought you would become a nun.”
She looked at Chen Rong with sympathy and lamented, “Poor Ah Rong.”
Chen Rong had been quietly watching her, waiting for her to finish.
Only after Chen Wei had stopped for some time did she begin. “Are you done?”
Chen Wei stilled, staring at Chen Rong.
Faintly smiling, Chen Rong looked at Chen Wei and slowly said, “Just now, your husband General Ran was here to see me and ask that I go with him.”
Chen Wei paled.
Chen Rong smiled. She clasped her hands behind her back, condescendingly looked down at Chen Wei, and then copied her look to lightly say: “Ah Wei, you should address me as the Lady of the House now.”
“The Lady of the House.”
“The Lady of the House.”
Her words were light, but their meaning was weighty. Chen Wei was as white as snow. She could no longer smile. She rushed forward, grabbed Chen Rong’s sleeves and shrieked, “You’re lying! My husband said you have slept with Wang Qi, he doesn’t want you anymore!”
Her anxious scream was loud enough to attract footsteps coming from the right side of the mountain.
When Chen Wei hastily clutched her sleeves, Chen Rong frowned and flapped them to fling Chen Wei away. She gladly looked askance at the hysterically screaming Chen Wei.
When Chen Wei saw Chen Rong’s smiling face, she couldn’t help but feel enraged. She clenched her teeth and clawed at Chen Rong’s face while screaming: “Shameless tramp! How dare you smile. I… I’m going to rip your face!”
She frantically charged at Chen Rong, but Chen Rong had after all learned martial arts and did not let her come close.
Just as Chen Wei flew at her, Chen Rong nimbly pulled back and dodged her attack.
Chen Wei almost stumbled to the ground. After a few staggering steps, she found her balance and fought for breath.
When she looked at Chen Rong and again saw the smile on her face, Chen Wei forced herself to calm down.
She bent over her knees, inhaled, and then yelled at Chen Rong: “You’re lying! My husband isn’t with you. If he wanted you, he would be here right now. You’re lying.”
Chen Rong clapped her hands and praised, “Oh, so Ah Wei is not stupid after all. You could tell that I was lying.”
Chen Wei froze to hear these words.
Astonished, she swallowed back her curses and glared at Chen Rong, hastily asking: “What did you say? You said you were lying, didn’t you? Didn’t you?!”
Joy was heard in her panicking voice.
Across from her, Chen Rong was equally startled. She absently looked at Chen Wei for a long time and then murmured, “How pitiful… why live your life this way?” Her voice was very light. Rather than ridiculing Chen Wei, it was more of a warning to herself.
Chen Wei did not hear, or care, whether Chen Rong was ridiculing her or not. She only hurried forward and asked, “What did you mean? You were lying, weren’t you? My husband never wanted you, did he?”
Each of her questions was adamant and pressing.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Chen Rong pityingly looked at Chen Wei during the interrogation. With a faint smile on her face, her hands were clasped behind her back in the same demeanor Wang Hong habitually carried. She nodded. “Aye, I was lying. Your husband won’t marry me.”
Staring at Chen Wei’s overjoyed expression, Chen Rong somberly called, “Ah Wei.”
Chen Wei quizzically looked at her.
“Aren’t you good at pretending, Ah Wei? Your tears can always fall at will.” As Chen Wei was getting indignant, Chen Rong smiled and slowly said, “Ah Wei, use your tears, use your abjection and docility to lure your husband away from Jiankang.”
Again Chen Wei was befuddled. Before she could retort, Chen Rong caressed her fingertips and softly added, “Your husband said he still wants me no matter my past.”
Chen Wei became as white as a sheet of parchment. She faltered backward.
Chen Rong did not look at her. She continued to say in an unhurried manner: “He also said he wants to marry me.”
This time, Chen Wei throated something that both sounded like a sob but also an outraged grunt. She was biting her lower lip, her wide tearful eyes stubbornly staring at Chen Rong, as she waited for her to go on.
Chen Rong smiled and nonchalantly continued, “But I am a nun ordained by His Majesty. Besides, your husband is forever on his military campaigns, how can army food and accommodation compare to Jiankang?” Looking up at Chen Wei, she said, “Ah Wei, your husband is the only man in the empire who does not mind whether I am a nun or I am unchaste. So you had better take him away from Jiankang as quickly as you can. Go before I change my mind.”
She slightly upturned her lips. Her bottomless eyes shone bright in the moonlight. Chen Wei could not see what she was thinking, or even know if she was speaking the truth or not.
Chen Wei vigilantly stared at Chen Rong. “W-why would you?” She bit her lips, caught up to her cousin and asked, “Ah Rong of the Chen House, what tricks do you have up your sleeves?”
Chen Rong turned around.
Her expression was both aloof and haughty. “If you don’t want to leave, then forget what I said.” She flapped her sleeves and walked ahead.
Chen Wei pursued Chen Rong and repeatedly asked, “Ah Rong, is that the truth? My husband still wants you?”
Chen Rong did not look back. She coldly replied, “Don’t you know your own husband? You can’t possibly tell me you are ignorant of his feelings for me.”
Chen Wei came to a halt at these words. After two steps, Chen Rong heard a sobbing behind her.
She turned around.
In the moonlight, Chen Wei was on the ground crying behind her palms. Her shoulders were shaking so distressingly that it was difficult to ignore her.
Chen Rong went to her.
She looked down at Chen Wei with pity and slowly said, “There’s no need to be so heartbroken. Ah Wei, you don’t love him as much as you think.”
She meant what she said. Chen Wei naturally ignored her. “You must be happy to see me suffer. Ah Rong, don’t be too pleased. No one wants you anymore! You’re a nun now!”
Chen Rong looked at Chen Wei, smiled and answered, “You’re right, I’m ecstatic. You’ve lost Ah Wei! From now on even if you try your best to please him, your husband’s heart is already stirred. Because of you he cannot have me. He will come to resent you for it. Ah Wei, it’s over!”
Her contempt pricked like the needles.
Chen Wei wanted very much to refute, to retort with the cruelest of derision, but for whatever reason, only sobs rose from her throat. A woman’s intuition told her that what Chen Rong said wasn’t false.
All of a sudden, her obstinacy, her bitter hatred, her sadness, loss and pain all turned into sobs.
Chen Rong motionlessly stood in the night wind and indifferently looked down at her weeping cousin.
At length, she sighed and turned to go.
In only a few steps, she suddenly heard a sigh from the woods behind them.
She turned to survey the surrounding.
A strapping man appeared in her sight, looking somewhat familiar. Chen Rong glanced at him for a moment and finally recognized that he was the captain who acted as Ran Min’s driver from time to time, a funny and interesting man.
So he was protecting Chen Wei; the girl was indeed favored. But this is even better – people only shatter when they fall from the clouds.
He strode to Chen Rong, raised his clasped hands and said, “How do you do?”
Chen Rong absently looked back at him.
He glanced at Chen Wei and then turned back to Chen Rong, sighing all the while.
“Please leave Jiankang with your general,” Chen Rong dropped her gaze and solemnly said. “This city may seem prosperous, but danger awaits at its every corner. General Ran is a man with ambitions; let’s not die a silly death.”
She flapped her sleeves and turned to go.
Her remarks had sounded like a warning. The man shuddered and pensively furrowed his thick brows.
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