Chapter 132: Deep Love Confession (Part 1)
Translated by Gumihou
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
Though he had a belly full of complaints, a glance at Duan Tingxuan told Second Young Master Duan what his brother planned to do. The hero wanted to comfort his wife, and therefore passed off his responsibilities to Duan Tingye. Treacherous, too bloody treacherous! Abusing public position for private interest! Don’t know where priority lies! Crooked brother, crooked official…
Second Young Master Duan continued to curse privately in his heart, but dared not waste anymore time. He ordered his people to gather up the bandits to one spot. To be honest, it was not a really difficult job. The Slaughter Dog Gang were a fierce group, and were not likely to sit around and let themselves be bundled up just like that. However, even though their hearts protested, their limbs refused to obey them. Duan Tingxuan’s folding fan had mercilessly struck precise areas at joints and acupuncture points, causing no fatal wounds, but leaving them whimpering in such extreme pain that they were unable to get up.
It was quite surreal to see these fierce bandits rolled up into a row of whimpering dumplings right next to the wall. The Pushan Temple monks and An Ping household servants could finally breathe a sigh of relief at the sight of these bandits being so obviously subdued. The monks were taking it quite well, all things considered, especially for a group of people who devoted themselves to prayers and meditation. Though their hearts were not quite as tranquil after such an event, they still managed to maintain a serene expression as they dealt with the aftermath of the event. Floors had to be swept, broken things moved away and other daily duties attended to. Thus, aside from the temple abbot and a few other high level monks, the rest have gone away to busy themselves with work.
However, things were a bit different for the marquis household servants. From what the lord heir had said, everyone knew that once back at the mansion, they could expect to receive some silver taels for their pains. A low hum of chatter could be heard as they whispered excitedly to each other. It was just then that a few female servants began to emerge from various hidden corners. Their heads lowered and their general demeanour miserable as they slowly approached the excited group of ladies. Everyone went quiet as they watched this gloomy group: They knew immediately that this was the bunch of cowards who had hidden themselves away while the rest of them risk their lives beside first madam. They chose this time to appear while the lord heir was busy comforting and pampering the first madam, hoping to mix in with the group and go unnoticed by the master.
However, who in their right mind would let these cowards take credit for no good reason? As the ones who had bravely charged forward despite their own fear, how could they not despise these cowardly creatures trying to mix in with them? What if, for argument’s sake, they themselves were pulled into this coward’s group and was tarnished by the same brush? Who would compensate them?
Thus, as the group crept closer, the rest stood up and moved away on their own accord. One of the more vocal and aggressive female servants snapped, “All of you vanished when we were fighting for our livea. What were you doing at that time, huh? Trying to save your own skin by defecting over to the other side? Now that the lord heir is here, you’re scared of punishment?”
The faces of those people went white. They had always acted according to how the wind blew and did their best not to offend anyone. Therefore, even if they had accidentally offended someone, their presence were normally so insignificant that the offended side couldn’t be bothered to punish them. However, the current situation was different. The people here have basically earned this reward by risking their life. Who in the world would share this reward with a bunch of cowards who hid themselves away during a crisis?
Naturally, the loud voices soon draw Duan Tingxuan’s attention. He did not bother to ask questions but continued to listen as the servants argued and quarrelled among themselves. The little marquis soon understood what was going on. There was an ugly expression on his face as he came over, Su Nuan Nuan pulled along by the hand behind him. In a serious voice, he said, “You there, all of you. When even the first madam has thrown her life on the line, you have hidden yourselves. What were you thinking then?”
“Master, please spare this one’s lives, ah. This lowly one is… we were just… frightened…”
The cowardly female servants all fell on their knees. They were literally shaking with fear, tears fell freely, mixing with their snot to create a rather pathetic scene. This time, they dared not quibble with the facts. But they dared not admit anything, their sentences left hanging as they continued to cry and struck their foreheads on the ground. “This lowly one is wrong. This lowly one will never dare anymore. May the lord heir please have mercy, ah…”
“Tingye, you round up these slaves. Once we’re back at the mansion, just beat them to death.” Duan Tingxuan coldly threw down this command, causing Su Nuan Nuan to widen her eyes in shock. She stared at him half disbelievingly. For a moment, this familiar person beside her suddenly felt like a complete stranger. Her flesh grew cold at his lack of mercy.
However, everyone else around her, Duan Tingye, the other servants and even Concubine Jing did not find this abnormal. In fact, it was as though they had expected this outcome. After all, they were not punished because of their cowardly nature. They were punished because of their possible betrayal. By abandoning their mistress and hiding themselves, they have displayed a desire to betray their masters and join the enemy camp. If any such disloyalty was discovered within the mansion of An Ping, death was the only punishment. This was to protect the prestige and reputation of the An Ping household. After all, one disloyal slave was worse than facing a hundred assassins from outside.
Therefore, the moment Duan Tingye answered his brother’s command, several loyal maids leapt up to grab the sleeves of these disloyal servants, excitement sparkling in their eyes. It was human nature after all. They had just displayed utmost loyalty to Su Nuan Nuan by hurling themselves after her into the jaws of death. It was only right that they swiftly dealt with their own disloyal fellow servants harshly. There was no mercy in their eyes as they glared fiercely at the cowardly maids.
“Hold it.” Su Nuan Nuan could not stand it anymore and just had to say something. However, Duan Tingxuan quickly cut her off, saying, “Nuan Nuan, you’ve just had a shock. There’s no need for you to bother yourself with this matter. Let’s go, we’ll speak inside.”
Su Nuan Nuan had no intention of going inside to speak, she wanted to say her piece now. However, when she caught sight of Duan Tingxuan’s gaze, which seemed as deep as the seas, containing infinite amount of affection… she knew somehow that this was not a warning tone. This scum really thought he was doing something in her favour.
The pale face servants were quickly bundled away, even as Su Nuan Nuan was purposefully escorted by Duan Tingxuan into one of the private rooms. Su Nuan Nuan decided to dismiss her initial questions of how Duan Tingxuan managed to arrive so quickly and pulled his sleeves to say something else instead, “It’s normal for people to be afraid of death. Even though those maids did not come out to fight, surely there’s no need to beat them to death. Duan Tingxuan, you can’t just sentence people to death like this.”
Duan Tingxuan looked at her earnestly. In a gentle voice, he said, “Nuan Nuan, you must understand, they are punished not because of their cowardice, they are punished because of their intention to betray their masters to the enemy.”
“Surely there’s no need to sentence someone to death over this?” Su Nuan Nuan persisted. “An eternity of hardship to end in death, how sad is Madam Xi? Madam Xi remarried to King Chu Wen, for the king to defend her. Those women are servants, you and everyone else always point out their humble origins, and yet expect them to act like nobles when their lives are in danger. Isn’t it quite unfair when not many true noble born ladies could look death in the eye and die nobly?
Duan Tingxuan went quiet for a long time, before saying in a soft voice, “Nuan Nuan, who are you exactly?”
The words were gently said, if others were to hear, they might not catch the full meaning of it. However, to Su Nuan Nuan’s ears, they might as well be a thunderclap. Her heart began to pound wildly and she stared up stubbornly, wordlessly at Duan Tingxuan, determined not to let out even a shred of weakness.
As they continued to stare at each other, Su Nuan Nuan’s stubbornness eventually reduced to helplessness: Heheh, looks like she did not have the abilities of senior transmigrators, ah. She was someone who could not live without good food, which was why she had carelessly created so many of those fancy dishes. However, even if she could refrain from delicious food, there was no way she could hide the fact that she was a transmigrator. Leaving aside the fact that she had transmigrated partway into someone else’s life, even if she had come to this world as a baby, she would not be able to change the fact that she had 10, 20 years of education, culture and knowledge seeped into her very bones and spirits.
This Duan Tingxuan was just too treacherous and cunning. It’s possible he had suspected something right from the start, and had only held off questioning her for some reason. However, if you want to play ignorant, just go all the way, ah. Those are just some random servants, aren’t they? Surely you can just let them go without me touching your bottom line?
“If you’re not willing to say, I shall not press you.” Duan Tingxuan smiled suddenly. He raised a hand and smoothed down Su Nuan Nuan’s hair, which had gotten a bit wild from the fight earlier. Then, he tucked her back into his arms and whispered, “You only need to know, that I like you. I really, truly like you from the bottom of my hear. Nuan Nuan, I don’t care if you’re a ghost, a demon spirit or the devil. In my heart, you’re only my Nuan Nuan. I thank the Heavens that you’ve found your way to my side. In my 23 years of life, you are the greatest, most precious treasure in my life.”
Su Nuan Nuan stiffened, to be given such a big confession after knowing that her status as a transmigrator had been discovered was too much of a shock. Furthermore, it was such a spicy confession too. Finally, unable to think of a proper response, she could only mumble, “But, Duan Tingxuan, I can’t love you, I can’t.”
Duan Tingxuan sighed. Although he did not want to think too deeply about Su Nuan Nuan’s possible origin, he could at least glean some understanding of what her life might have been like. At the very least, there was a deep cultural divide between her world and this one. He knew that as long as he has three wives and four concubines, she would never fully give herself to him.
As for Duan Tingxuan, it was impossible for him to devote himself fully, no, it was not that it’s impossible, but he could not do so. His wives and concubines might have the odd quirks here and there, but he had married these pure and innocent ladies with the promise to love and provide for them for life. The selfish love brewing in his heart devoted to Nuan Nuan was already an unfair thing to his other wives and concubines. How could he just divorce them for no reason and kick them out, thereby ruining their reputation when he was the one in the wrong? It was not something he could ever do, even at his last breath.
“I see, this is good news for me.”
After breathing a soft sigh, the little marquis finally let go of Su Nuan Nuan. He smiled, he sounded incredibly happy for someone who had been given a rejection. Which made Su Nuan Nuan suspicious. Could my rejection had made this male slut lost his mind? Please, God, no. If I happen to make this talented man into an idiot, I would be labelled as a sinner forever.
“Be at ease, I have not gone crazy.” Duan Tingxuan could tell from his wife’s suspicious eyes just what she was thinking and really did not know whether to laugh or cry. He sighed again, and gave a bitter smile, “You’ve just said, you ‘can’t love me’. Not ‘you don’t love me’. So, I still have a chance, right? No matter how many years might pass, Nuan Nuan, I will wait for that chance.”
“So, it turns out that you’re the easy to please type, is it?” Su Nuan Nuan was impressed. In the past, she had really looked down on Duan Tingxuan’s moral compass, hadn’t she? To think that this lusty, fickle man-slut could actually make this kind of declaration. Was he actually a great sage?
This was too horrifying. Su Nuan Nuan really couldn’t believe what she was seeing and hearing now. Rather than her senses being wrong, it was most likely that this Duan Tingxuan actually has double personality disorder.
Author White Pear Flower: These past two days I’ve been feeling rather weak and fragile, and had no mood to write. I thought I must’ve worn myself out somehow, it was only after mother looked at me this morning and told me that, “You have caught a cold.”
Wu! Looks like mother is right. Although I don’t have a headache, but my nose is itchy all the time. So, that’s a cold? To think I’m actually so stupid?
[Gumihou: … my vote is for the double personality disorder. Alo, White Pear Flower is so cute.]
 The Madam Xi idiom – I can only find Chinese sources, and there’s a very dog blood drama behind it. Very long and involved, there was betrayal, bride snatching (of sort) ML falling in love with FL first (only to find out her story after two kids and a year of silence). ML decides to wage war against the country that caused her to lose her first husband, and yeah, basically another small novel at least.
If you guys are really interested, I’ll try to track down the most complete story (there are several versions) and translate it for you.
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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