Chapter 25: To Part on Bad Terms
Translated by Gumihou
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The more Duan Tingxuan spoke, the more furious he became. Su Nuan Nuan who sat opposite him grew stiffer in place as she listened to him speak. Finally, she muttered, “So I was such an evil woman? The sheer number of crimes seems too numerous to even record…”
“That’s right, you think you’re some sort of saint?” Duan Tingxuan was almost puffing with anger as he interrupted Su Nuan Nuan. “Have some awareness of your own character and don’t act as though the whole world is against you just for the sake of it. These crimes of yours, which one of them is not serious? All I did is lock you up in this Mei Yue Lou to reflect on your own mistakes, this could be considered giving face to our relationship as husband and wife.”
“Since I’m such a terrible person, why don’t you just abandon me here? Why do you want me to make nice with elder madam and pretend to make nice with you?” Su Nuan Nuan was no pushover, whatever Duan Tingxuan was planning, it’s better to nip the matter in the bud.
“Isn’t it because… I saw signs of you changing for the better and wish to give you a chance to rebuild relationships?” Duan Tingxuan declared grandly, the matter relating to delicious food was something buried deep within his heart and not to be mentioned even at the pain of death.
“Imagination, it’s all in your imagination.” Su Nuan Nuan banged on the table sternly, saying, “Duan Tingxuan, I can tell you with utmost confidence that I am still that poisonous and scheming woman. The only thing that change is my kitchen skills. Due to various deals between us, I have allowed you to scrounge in my kitchen. Don’t think of this as changing for the better, further more don’t even bother to think about repairing relationships or whatever. Ever since I’ve returned from the dead, you’re a mere passing breeze to me. From now on, there’s no need for you to direct any feelings towards me, just sink your face back into the bosoms of your other wives and concubines.”
“What is this terrible reasoning?”
Negotiations with his illogical wife ended in this unsatisfactory way. There was just no reasoning with her and both parted in bad terms. The little marquis was left confused and disorientated. It was all he could do to adapt to her weird style of thinking, no need to even bother counter attacking. Naturally, despite all the confusion, he did not forget to remind Si Ping to collect the paper bag of Snow Soft Bean Paste snacks.
However, this quarrel came at a cost for Si Ping. Having eaten a loss under Su Nuan Nuan’s hands, the little marquis was in a bad temper. As for Si Ping, he did not dare to even hint at his own share of the snacks from the sullen faced little marquis, not even at the pain of death. He could only hand over both paper bags of snacks with tears in his eyes.
“Su Nuan Nuan said that she’s still that same poisonous woman from before, do you believe it?”
As he walked through the small garden path, Duan Tingxuan held a small lantern snatched from Mei Yue Lou. Su Nuan Nuan already threatened to put laxatives into his food if something bad happened to the lantern, therefore Duan Tingxuan could not trust Si Ping with this important item and held the lantern himself instead.
“Master, do you believe this yourself? Without mentioning anything else, first madam actually allowed us to take some Bean Paste snacks home, even Madam Lan would have some misgivings about letting us do that if we’ve really angered her.” Si Ping could not resist saying good words for Su Nuan Nuan, this shallow money pot had clearly been bought over by a few Snow Soft Bean Paste snacks. However, if Su Nuan Nuan had realized that her snacks have become successful bribes, she would rather fed them to the chickens without letting Si Ping have a single piece.
“As expected, even you saw through it.” Duan Tingxuan obviously approved of Si Ping’s words, he was so cheerful that his eyes disappeared into lines as he said, “Now that she had turned over a new leaf, why did she refuse to be properly reconciled? Unless she plans to play hard to get? Hoho! Sure enough, a life and death situation is one that tested a person’s mettle most, having lived through such danger, the quality of her brain have also increased.”
The little marquis have accidentally fallen into the trap of unrequited love, he was still in the process of being quietly proud of himself when he heard Si Ping said. “Um, that…Master, this small one just realized, first madam seemed to have loosen her hold quite a bit, did Master not notice? She did not seemed to have any issue in offending Master, today’s weapon is rat traps, does it seem like someone who wants to hold onto a relationship would do?”
“Hngh!” Duan Tingxuan’s smile grew stiff on his face, with just a single line, Si Ping had burst his daydream. Helpless shame and anger made him aimed his feet at Si Ping’s butt. “You nasty servant, if you had not reminded me I would have forgotten this matter. Though you saw her line those traps, you did not even bother to send a whisper of warning. You let your master, me, stroll in into the trap while you sit in the eye of the trouble waiting to see a good show, isn’t it?”
“Master, it’s a lie, your servant has been framed to death! The first madam threatened this small one, ah. If she had just threatened this one’s small life, this one would have died for Master most peacefully and never yield. However, she was threatened this small one with delicious food, if this one dares to even breath a word to Master, she would risk everything including her life to kick Master out of Mei Yue Lou’s door and vow to never reconcile even if the both of you were to die from old age. For the sake of Master’s continuous access to delicious food, this one was forced to endure great humiliations for this important mission. Master, surely you have noticed? As you endured the trials and your life hangs by the thread, this servant’s eyes were red from bitter, unshed tears.”
“You dog thing, are you telling this master to thank you? I would have died from starvation without you, is it?” Duan Tingxuan aimed another kick at Si Ping’s backside, and heard him said. “This small one does not dare, as long as Master is aware that this servant’s devotion is pure and true. It is good enough for this one. Actually, there’s no need for Master to be anxious, Master is a man of high birth with a lofty demeanour that stands head and shoulders above other people. Though first madam is in a temper now, as time passes she will eventually realise her feelings towards Master and become a docile and obedient wife.”
“Pei! What docile and obedient wife?” Duan Tingxuan had been woken from his daydream, in sad tone he said. “Have you not realize yet? She is no longer what she used to be, if I want her to be the official wife again, I’m afraid the road to that goal is still quite far away.”
“There is no need to fear this road, after all Master it is quite familiar with it.” Si Ping smacked his own chest as he said this. “Madam Lan, Madam Yun, Qing Yi Niang, which one of these are easy roads? In the end, did not Master managed to walk down these roads with sure footing and snatch victory back?”
“In what way are they roads? At best, they are mere little lanes. Nuan Nuan is an actual road, at first, I was not afraid of this road, however, the more I walk, the more afraid I become. I’m terrified that there’s no end to this particular road.” As he said this, Duan Tingxuan could not help but looked towards the heavens and heaved a sigh, he looked as though he might actually cry.
Seeing his master’s sad expression, Si Ping no longer dared to come up with any more funny remarks. He racked his brains trying to find a way to help his master regain his spirits when his master gave a shout, throwing both fists into the air. “I’ve decided! Even if this road has no end, I just walk it step by step, hmph, first, we must think of a way to get those three back into the Inner Court. It’s too worrying to let them continue staying at Mei Yue Lou. What if something drastic happened and those birds decided to fly off the coop? It would be too troublesome for me.”
After the grand speech the little marquis turned to look at Si Ping. “Si Ping, don’t you think so? Did what I say make sense?”
Si Ping have no words, his eyes were fixed on the lantern in Duan Tingxuan’s hands, after a long time he said in a trembling voice. “Master, broken…almost…broken…”
“What almost broke?”
“The lantern almost broke…ah! It really broke.”
“Oh, f***! Why do problems never end? Which shop made this lantern? This little marquis will go and smash their signboard. Ah, ah, ah, what should I do? I don’t want to eat laxatives. Si Ping, in your opinion, if I offer up that pair of eight corner painted lanterns that I had gotten from the palace as compensation, will that tigress be appeased…”
[Translator: Why do your problems never end? Because you are generating the problems yourself, you idgit.]
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Translated by Gumihou at kitchennovel dot com
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