The First Dragon Scale (7)
What could Chu Zhi say? If Yong An Marquis really loved her with all his heart, then perhaps he could have a bit of courage, but he had clearly changed his heart, so how could he still pity her. Even if his wife wanted the stars in the sky, Marquis will find ways to pick them for her. What was Chu Zhi worth?
She knelt on the ground, she didn’t know whether the pain was sharper in her knees or sharper in her heart. The whole person was as lifeless as if she was dead.
In such a way, Ling Long betrothed Chu Zhi to a young steward in the mansion. This steward used to help Chu Zhi quite a lot when the original owner was still around. Ling Long deliberately kept him when she was purging the servants to set him as a match for Chu Zhi.
It was just a marriage between servants, they both had signed slave contracts, and couldn’t pull any tricks. With the change of a wedding dress, the lighting of a red candle, a couple of “joy” characters pasted, the bow to heaven and earth, and the marriage was completed.1Ancient Chinese marriage customs were incredibly convoluted, usually completed with a parade of dowry and banquets. Red is considered a festive colour, and all decorations and dressings would be in red, hence the red candle. 喜 is the character in the raws and means joy or happiness. It can also be used to refer to events worth celebrating such as pregnancy. The customary character to stick onto walls and used for well wishes for marriages is actually the 囍 character, which has the same pronunciation, and this is probably a typo on the author’s part. To complete the marriage ceremony, the couple would have to first bow to heaven and earth, then to their parents, and finally to each other. Ling Long certainly didn’t go to the ceremony, she just gave something to show her grace. Chu Zhi also moved from the servants’ room to the yard where the steward lived. That night, Ling Long didn’t know how the newlyweds were getting along. She just looked at Yong An Marquis, and asked with a faint smile, “Does Marquis feel a little sad?”
Yong An Marquis was changing clothes, and was taken aback when she asked. “What do you mean by this, Madam?”
“What else could it mean, Marquis clearly knows, why come and ask me.” Ling Long stepped forward and took the outer clothes from the man’s hand, her apricot eyes watery and affectionate. For a while, it was really hard to understand her thoughts. “Chu Zhi married someone, is Marquis not sad at all?”
“Whether she is married or not does not matter to me.” Yong An Marquis brought his wife, who had his outer clothes, into his embrace, “As long as my wife is happy, anything is fine.”
“Marquis’ mouth is so sweet.” Ling Long narrowed her eyes. “But before Chu Zhi got married, she told me that Marquis was interested in her. Is this true or false?”
“How can you listen to her words?” Yong An Marquis panicked inside, but his face remained unchanged, and he said coldly, “What interest could I have in her, would I actually touch your maid?”
Ling Long smiled lightly but kept silent. Yong An Marquis was flustered by her gaze, couldn’t help but hug her tightly, kissed her lips, and pleaded: “I only have you in my heart. No one else has anything to do with me. Madam mustn’t listen to the words of villains and misunderstand her husband.”
Ling Long didn’t say that she believed him, but nor did she say she didn’t believe him. She had long clearly seen through the nature of this man. Although the development of the times would limit people’s thoughts, a loyal and upright person would never change their will. It’s a pity that such a person was too difficult to meet. She lived so long but never saw that many. Back and forth, over and over again, it was people like Yong An Marquis, both men and women, it was because humans like this existed that Ling Long’s impression of humans was so bad.
She stood up on her tippy toes and hooked Yong An Marquis’ neck. The matter had now been revealed, but only Yong An Marquis had kept scores with Chu Zhi. In fact, how could Chu Zhi say such things to Ling Long? She now hated and feared Ling Long to death. If she didn’t disclose it, she might have been able to get help from Marquis in the future, if she actually disclosed it, the Madam who had a change of temperament would likely beat her to death.
But Yong An Marquis didn’t know, he certainly believed in his wife more than Chu Zhi. Chu Zhi was just a plaything he spurned, but his wife was the one that he would grow old with. Yong An Marquis wished life upon those he loved, and death upon those he hated. Once he believed Ling Long’s words, and learnt that Chu Zhi dared to violate his order and leak their past, he held a grudge.
Men had to do things boldly and resolutely, unlike the women in the back of the house. Only a few days later, the steward who had just got married fell off the carriage while working. The doctor said that he was seriously injured and even if his limbs could get better in the future, he was unlikely to leave any roots2children.
The steward had signed the slave contract, he originally was going to be on his lonesome for life, but still hoped to keep an incense stick burning3Have children who would burn incense sticks for him after he died.. Now that he was a disabled person, the Masters naturally didn’t want him, and sent him directly out of the house. In order to demonstrate his benevolence and righteousness, he also gave a hundred taels of silver and paid for the cost of soups and medicines as well as the money for the consultation. This could be said to have fulfilled his humanity and duty.
As the steward’s wife, Chu Zhi naturally had to go with him, but Ling Long didn’t mention the matter of the slave contracts. She only laughed when Chu Zhi and the steward were out of the house.
Woah, really underestimated Yong An Marquis’ cruelty.
Sure enough, most humans are more lenient in self-discipline and strict with others. Compared to Chu Zhi, who forgot her gratitude, what Yong An Marquis did was not much better, but it was a pity that he seemed to think that this matter could be glossed over, without any guilt, and he was even thinking of concealing it in every possible way. Sure enough, he only cared for himself, fickle and cold hearted. Fortunately, the original owner died early and her soul was eaten, otherwise, how sad would she be when she saw this.
Ling Long naturally was not sad. She completely regards Yong An Marquis as an actor, and occasionally watching his brainstorming cover-up performance is quite interesting, but she was getting more and more hungry, there was not much time to nurture him.
Yong An Marquis’ life was very good, accompanied by his sweet wife, and the gentle fragrance of nephrite, it really made him drown in this beauty’s den. Especially during this recent period, he felt that his wife seemed to be more clingy, making him not want to be separated from her for a moment, wishing to be entangled day and night, affections unchanged.
That day was Yong An Marquis’ birthday, and he just happened to take a break, so he exceptionally took Ling Long out to play. But once he went out, he realised just how beautiful his wife was. Ling Long was full of enthusiasm along the way, but Yong An Marquis had a long face. He wanted to kill everyone who had their eyes glued on Ling Long. He just stared people down, there was no time to appreciate the beautiful scenery and delicious food at all.
The husband and wife traveled lightly, so there were no other servants besides a small guard and a small maid. Yong An Marquis’ martial arts was strong, and it was more than enough to protect a weak woman like Ling Long. It’s a pity that he only wanted to wrap her up so that no one could see her, so as to not be coveted by others, he couldn’t wait to gouge those people’s eyeballs! His wife could also be seen by these street folks!
Even though the food from the human world could not make her full, there was still a sense of taste, so Ling Long kept eating all the way. She didn’t have much preference for food, and she’s not picky about food – it’s already a wonderful thing to be full, so how could she be picky about whether the food was delicious or not?
A group of people wandered to a medical hall, only to see that a young man walked out angrily, who was it if not the steward who had been expelled from the Marquis residence. He also saw Yong An Marquis and his wife, and knelt down immediately: “I have seen Marquis, I have seen Madam!”
“Your body is recovering well.” Ling Long spoke first. “What’s wrong, is there any discomfort? If there is, you must tell us and not hide it.”
She looked around again: “Where is Chu Zhi, why isn’t she with you?”
The steward was embarrassed and hesitant. How could he have the nerve to say that he was here to seek medical treatment and wanted to regain his glory4Cough cough, to treat his sexual dysfunction, and his wife would not let him touch her after marriage. At first, he still thought that feelings could be developed over time, that there would be good days sooner or later. Who knew that such a thing would happen, look at him now, his heart could desire, but his strength was lacking. He also knew about Chu Zhi and Marquis’ affairs. He picked up what Marquis discarded, and already felt unsettled. Now that he heard the Madam’s questions, he was even more nervous.
Ling Long was purely teasing him. These people thought that she knew nothing, but in fact she knew everything. But watching them perform was really interesting, so she was also willing to be a fool for a little while.
Before the steward left, Ling Long had asked Chu Shuang to give him some money. The steward left with great gratitude, but the memory that Ling Long gobbled up told her that it was this steward who admired Chu Zhi and didn’t want to obey her words. In the end, Yong An Marquis and Chu Zhi finally got married, but neither of them had blood on their hands. The reason why the original owner died was because of this manager that acted out of love. It’s a pity that he created this Achilles heel when he acted, and finally died by Chu Zhi’s design.
Now asking the two of them to entangle for a lifetime, it could be regarded as fulfilling this love.
Ling Long looked at the steward’s back thoughtfully, and Yong An Marquis asked softly: “What’s wrong, Madam?”
“Nothing.” She was just thinking about when she would hit the limit of her tolerance.
How poor and lowly couples face hundreds of obstacles daunting their married life, 5Last line from 遣悲懷之二 by 元稹 https://28utscprojects.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/206/ nothing could test people’s will more than poverty. Poverty brought hunger, panic, jealousy, and despair, especially for those who used to have nothing to worry about. The steward might have been able to bear it, but Chu Zhi absolutely couldn’t stand it. Before, Chu Zhi was not allowed to wait at her side. Although the conditions were a little worse than in the past, she was still fed and dressed warmly compared to ordinary people. If she were not greedy, she would never end up in such a state.
They must have had hard times now, right? After all, one hundred taels of silver might have been a large sum for ordinary people, but what was it to Chu Zhi? When she was in the Prime Minister’s residence, she ate well and dressed well, and she lived it up even more after arriving at the Marquis’ residence and hooking up with the Marquis. Although she had not fallen to the point of eating chaffy vegetables, she would never have delicacies from the mountains and seas anymore.
Ling Long just laughed at this.
Yong An Marquis took her by the hand, he was very caring towards her, and tried to please her. Otherwise, how could Yong An Marquis be said to be very charming. If he wanted to be nice to a woman, he would really be able to use all his heart. It’s just that there was always a time limit, this man naturally liked the new and despised the old.
It had always been Ling Long who got tired of others, and no one could be indifferent to her. “We’ve already come anyway, Marquis, shall we go and visit Chu Zhi?”
Yong An Marquis was really afraid of her intentionally or unintentionally mentioning Chu Zhi, and he didn’t know if she knew about the ridiculous affair he had with Chu Zhi. Anyway, he really regretted it now, and wished Chu Zhi would never appear again, so how could he take her to see her? Now he persuaded: “Although we used to be their Masters, but now that Chu Zhi is married and free, with what identity do we go and visit with? If we say we’re friends, we will inevitably bring down our status, but if we visit as Masters, it is much too overbearing.”
“Marquis is right.” Ling Long nodded. “Then, we’ll do as Marquis said, we won’t go, let’s continue walking, perhaps there’ll be yummy food up ahead.”
- 1Ancient Chinese marriage customs were incredibly convoluted, usually completed with a parade of dowry and banquets. Red is considered a festive colour, and all decorations and dressings would be in red, hence the red candle. 喜 is the character in the raws and means joy or happiness. It can also be used to refer to events worth celebrating such as pregnancy. The customary character to stick onto walls and used for well wishes for marriages is actually the 囍 character, which has the same pronunciation, and this is probably a typo on the author’s part. To complete the marriage ceremony, the couple would have to first bow to heaven and earth, then to their parents, and finally to each other.
- 3Have children who would burn incense sticks for him after he died.
- 4Cough cough, to treat his sexual dysfunction
- 5Last line from 遣悲懷之二 by 元稹 https://28utscprojects.wordpress.com/2010/12/25/206/