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YNRHPCYC Chapter 6

Lantern Festival (2)

Editor: Quarter

Lantern Festival [2]

The crowd burst out laughing, starting to jeer rowdily. The young master next to Liang Yanbei laughed and said, “Stop spouting nonsense and bring out the questions.”
  
“Okay, okay. Here we go!” The female brothel keeper was grinning from ear to ear as she called out to her servants. They came out carrying a seven-foot-tall signboard with red paper hanging on it. The brothel keeper reached out and tore out the first sheet, only for it to read, “A knife floats in the water with eyes and no eyebrows. Name the animal.”

Once the puzzle was out, the people present at the scene began to ponder, trying to find the question’s answer, and started to discuss in whispers. Wen Chan looked at Liang Yanbei’s side profile, seeing his vague silhouette rubbed by a more and more clear red light. He could see that thick pair of eyebrows showing his calmness, and those slightly drooped down eyes as if he was contemplating the question. The figure of Liang Yanbei stood quietly in this mortal world.

Wen Chan felt that he was like an exiled immortal who had fallen into the mortal world. The more he looked at him, the more his heart violently pounded.
  
Within a few moments, Liang Yanbei answered, “It’s fish.”
  
The people who were previously struggling to figure out the answer suddenly saw the light1struck with realization after hearing him and echoed, “That’s right, that’s right. It’s a fish.”

The female brothel keeper said, “Congratulations to this young gentleman. The answer is correct.” With that, she tore off another piece of paper and revealed the next puzzle.

“The willow buds after the lantern festival, what is the idiom that says this?”
  
This time also, Liang Yanbei was quick with answering. He was even faster than the last time, and when everyone else was still reading the question, he answered the question instantly, “A new branch grows out of a knot2fig. side issues keep arising.”
  
“Congratulations, young gentleman, for getting the right answer again.” The brothel keeper smiled and clapped her hands twice, revealing the last question.
   
“Spend your days in peace. Say the word which denotes this.” A word puzzle.
  
If he answers this last question correctly, Liang Yanbei can choose any one girl from the Yufu brothel that. He can even choose the famous beauty3the queen of flowers (refers esp. to plum blossom) / (fig.) nickname for a famous beauty or courtesan of the brothel. This made many of the onlookers envious.
  
When the crowd was gleefully waiting for him to say the answer, he curved his eyes and spread out his hands with a smile, “This last question is a bit difficult. I actually think that I won’t be able to get it.”
  
It was then that Wen Chan returned to his senses and looked at the puzzle.
  
When the three circles of people surrounding him heard what he said, they all let out sudden cries. It was maybe in pity for the young man. or maybe it was to rejoice in his misfortune. The young master who was standing beside Liang Yanbei loudly said, “Yanbei Xiong 4elder brother. Are you sure? How come you can’t answer the last question?”
  
His reply to him was a question, “Can it be that you can answer it? Why don’t you try answering it?”
  
“It’s truly a shame ……”The young master’s voice trailed off.
  
The brothel keeper saw that there was a lot of chatter and chaos on the scene. She waved her handkerchief and raised her voice, “How about this. Since this young gentleman is already unable to answer the question, any of the gentlemen present here can pick any girl from my brothel if he answers the last question correctly.”
  
This is indeed a wonderful thing. Liang Yanbei has already answered the first four sets of questions, and there is only this last one left. If anyone answers it correctly, then it can be considered a huge profit.
  
But everyone could tell that Liang Yanbei’s clothes are not something an ordinary person could have and his temperament was very outstanding too. Besides, most of the people there have already understood that he was the young master of the Liang family. So who will come out brazenly to do something so inauspicious like taking advantage of him? Therefore, even if some people knew the answer, they didn’t dare to step forward.
  
At this time, Ah Fu suddenly turned his head and asked Wen Chan, “Young Master, do you know the answer to this question?”
  
Wen Chan slightly pursed up his lips and said, “Pass one’s days with a peace of mind means feast.5The feast character is 宴 while the 安+日 in 安心度日 makes up that 宴 character 安=peace 日= day
  
Ah Fu froze after hearing this and nodded as if he was enlightened. Soon after, he actually raised his arm to shout out, “Our young master said that the answer to the riddle is the word feast!”
  
Shu Hua was so startled that his face twitched. He hastily yanked his hand down and covered his mouth, but it was already too late. Ah Fu’s shout had already drawn everyone’s attention, including that of Liang Yanbei.
  
They all stared at Wen Chan and started commenting in a low voice, but occasionally, two or three sentences could be heard.
  
“Isn’t that a little girl?”
  
“Seems like a girl. ……”
  
When Wen Chan raised his eyes, his eyes came in contact with the line of sight of Liang Yanbei. That pair of good-looking eyes contained inquiry and curiosity.
  
With just that one glance at him, Wen Chan averted his gaze. A warm current rushed straight to his head. He suddenly felt like he was excessively dressed, allowing the heat to build up.
  
After sizing up Wen Chan thoroughly, the female brothel keeper kept her flawless smile and said, “This young gentleman got the answer right. According to the rules, you can pick up any girl from my brothel. Come up and see which one you want.”
  
Wen Chan gave a quick glance at Ah Fu and said in a small voice while perfectly hiding all his helplessness, “I didn’t intend to answer the question. It was my servant who answered it so quickly. So let him choose the reward he gained from the question he answered.”
  
Saying this, he sent a look to Shu Hua, who understandingly let go of Ah Fu and pushed him forward. Ah Fu, who was just liberated, threw himself in front of Wen Chan before he could even standstill. Feeling wronged, he said, “Young master, I did it for you. I saw that you were staring at that green-clothed girl all along. And it seemed like you liked her. So I wanted to give you this opportunity……”
  
There was a huge uproar of hearty laughter after the surrounding people heard this. Wen Chan felt like there was a hammer hitting on his head which was hurting him very much. He said to Ah Fu, a bit frustrated, “I will deal with you later.”
  
Ah Fu pursed his mouth and obediently retreated to the side.
  
“Then, in that case. Does this young gentleman not want to redeem the riddle’s prize?” The female brothel keeper obviously heard Wen Chan’s opinion. She then gave Liang Yanbei a somewhat awkward look. “Then this young gentleman……”
  
Liang Yanbei’s smile increased instead of going away. He received the silver taels from his servant and raised it slightly, “Since I did not answer the last question, I am supposed to give you these fifty taels.”

The female brothel keeper came forward to accept the silver taels in all smiles, “This young gentleman is truly an efficient person. The next time you come to my Yufu brothel, I will definitely keep you well entertained.”
  
Liang Yanbei looked back at the crowd after saying a few polite lines to the brothel keeper to dispatch her. But when he turned back, that person who looked like a little girl in his festive clothing was already gone.
  
After leaving that noisy place, Wen Chan opened his mouth, giving out Ah Fu’s punishment. It was to take away all the money Ah Fu earned this month. This was a fatal blow to money-loving Ah Fu, who then followed Wen Chan with his head hung low.
  
But in the end, he was only down for a while due to his teenage spirit. As if he had already forgotten everything, all his gloomy thoughts were instantly thrown away in the liveliness of the busy Yufu street.
  
The street was bustling with people, and sounds of laughter could be heard everywhere. The surges in Wen Chan’s heart softly smoothed down after walking for a while, his mind turning calm.
  
He always liked lively occasions like huge parties,6drinking parties or just laughing and joking around noisily. Wen Chan only needed to be a part of it to feel exceptionally comfortable. Even being a spectator would make him extremely happy. So after he became the emperor in his previous life, he personally organized a grand hunt. He called all the ranked officials from the capital and their sons for the gathering.
  
Although, they had to hastily end that event due to an assassination. And he received a lot of complaints.
  
“Little girl, come and have a look at these masks.” The sound of a hawker came from the roadside, pulling Wen Chan’s consciousness back to reality. He stopped walking and looked towards the stall. He saw a long table filled with all kinds of masks. The shelf to its side was also densely packed with different kinds of masks, hanging from the top part of the shelf. The hawker picked up a red patterned butterfly mask with a plain white background7 and said, “This looks good. It goes well with the girl’s complexion.”
  
Ah Fu pointed out, “Open your eyes properly and take a good look. From where does my young master look like a girl to you?”
  
His words startled the hawker. He took a closer look at Wen Chan and quickly changed his words, “Yo, I’m the clumsy one. I recognized such a handsome gentleman as a girl. I apologize.” But in his heart, he said, where does your young master doesn’t look like a girl?
  
Wen Chan raised his eyes to look at them. He stretched out his right hand from his hand warmer to take up the mask which felt a bit cold. The pattern on it was not exquisite. It more or less seemed like a good-looking mask, but that’s all. So, he set aside that mask, and his eyes turned to the fierce beast mask hanging at the side.
  
The hawker understood his thoughts through his actions. He immediately took down the masks from the shelf and started recommending them vigorously. Finally, Wen Chan generously bought three more fierce beast masks and gave them to Qinqi, Shu Hua, and Ah Fu to put on.
  
Qinqi and Shu Hua were born with good heights. When the people passing by the road saw them wearing those fierce beast masks, they were so scared that they didn’t dare to get close to them.

Surprisingly, Ah Fu was also fascinated by it. By baring his fangs, he frightened a child to the point of making them cry.
  
The four of them were so majestic that they were able to pass through the huge tide of people unhindered. Again, they reached another lively point. Just as before, Wen Chan squeezed into the crowd to join in the fun.
  
Four large shelves were set up in the center of the crowd. Each shelf was full of lanterns that glowed with a bright light. Also, there were four tables in front of the crowd with bows and arrows on top of them. Wen Chan squeezed into the crowd, hearing the stall owner who was standing beside the table tell the crowd, “….. If you can’t guess one lantern riddle, then you have to give me one tael. But if you can answer ten lantern riddles correctly, then I will give you the colored lantern over my head.”
  
A lotus lantern8 hung above the stall owner’s head. Each petal was of a different color, emitting a gorgeous glow under the stage light’s illumination. And at the end of the lantern hangs a long yellow tassel. People were stunned with just one glance, and many were attracted to this lantern.
  
The main rules are that a person has to take a bow and arrow to shoot the lantern. If they failed to shoot it, then they have to pay the stall owner two taels. But if they manage to shoot the lantern, then they have to answer the riddle on the lantern. If they get it right, then they will get a colored lantern. However, if they guess it wrong, they will have to pay the stall owner one tael.
  
After answering the first question correctly, you can even choose to continue shooting the lanterns instead of taking the colored lantern. And if you can shoot ten lanterns in a row and answer all the questions correctly, then you can obtain the lotus lantern hanging in midair. You will have to pay a few taels for shooting the arrows if you fail to answer the ten questions. The rules are quite similar to that of the Yufu brothel, but it is not as expensive because there are no beautiful girls here.
  
Many women wanted that lotus lantern. They encouraged their husbands or close relatives to step forward and shoot arrows. But even one tael of silver was not a small amount for ordinary families. Naturally, no one will rashly get ready to take a bow and arrow.

Wen Chan also felt that the lotus lantern was quite beautiful. So he said to Shu Hua, “You go shoot the arrows. Let’s take down that lotus lantern.”
  
Shu Hua accepted his order and left the crowd, picking up a bow. His archery skills have always been excellent, and the distance to the lantern was easy to reach. Without waiting for the stall owner’s greeting, Shu Hua bent the bow and shot the lantern.
  
There was a huge roar of approval. The crowd started to jeer rowdily, building up huge momentum.

The stall owner went over to take down the lamp that the arrow shot. He took a look at the words on it, and read aloud, “This young master should listen carefully. At the end of the year, there is no shortage of fish and rice. State a word which has this meaning.”
  
In truth, it was very simple. Wen Chan was able to find the answer fast, but just as he was about to open his mouth, he was cut off by a delicate voice, “The answer is scales, the scales of a fish.9 This is the character for scale [ 鳞 ]. It has the character for a fish [ 鱼 ] on the left side, the character for rice [ 米 ] on top and there is [ 夕 ] and part of the character for year [ 年 ]. The word for scale is like a puzzle made up of different words.

Once this voice rang out, numerous people turned to look at her. And Wen Chan did too.

Translator’s corner
Ah Fu is a really cute little bunny. But a bit disobedient too.

I thought of posting new chapters every Sunday. So stay tuned for the new chapters.

Thank you so much for reading the chapter. If you liked and wanna support me, you can comment down your thoughts or you can send me a Kofi.

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If you found any mistakes please feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

  • 1
    struck with realization
  • 2
    fig. side issues keep arising
  • 3
    the queen of flowers (refers esp. to plum blossom) / (fig.) nickname for a famous beauty or courtesan
  • 4
    elder brother
  • 5
    The feast character is 宴 while the 安+日 in 安心度日 makes up that 宴 character 安=peace 日= day
  • 6
    drinking parties
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
    This is the character for scale [ 鳞 ]. It has the character for a fish [ 鱼 ] on the left side, the character for rice [ 米 ] on top and there is [ 夕 ] and part of the character for year [ 年 ]. The word for scale is like a puzzle made up of different words.
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