Chapter 179: Face Change
Translated by Gumihou
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“Si Ping, this is quite an unexpected skill you have here.” Su Nuan Nuan gasped in amazement as the transformation took place. Si Ping laughed, “When master was a young man, he liked to disguise himself into all kinds of characters and mingle among the common folk. As his servant, I ended up being the one he dragged into all his adventures and eventually became good at it. If madam wants to learn, you should be able to master it in less than 10 days.”
“No need, no need, I don’t really have any interest in make-up.” Su Nuan Nuan was still waving her hand in protest when Duan Tingxuan stood up and bade her to sit on the stool. She looked at them in surprise, “Wait… is Si Ping going to put make-up on me too? Don’t you have a Human Skin Mask for me?
She had no problem having Si Ping put make-up on her, but this youth should be about 17 or 18 already, right? Surely this would violate the man-woman cannot be close thingy that ancients are so obsessed about?
“What Human Skin Mask?” asked Duan Tingxuan suspiciously. Then he snickered, “Didn’t I tell you those fantasy books of yours will poison your mind? You actually believed those things are real? Even if masks like that exist, would you dare stick them on your face? Don’t you think they’re creepy? Even if you’re not afraid, the feeling of having something sticking onto the whole face all day is just too awful, ah. Moreover, if you take them off at night, what if someone surprises you? Your secret would be out the moment they see your face, ah. Therefore, those things are just stories meant to trick people.”
Duan Tingxuan was right. Though a Human Mask might sound awe-aspiring and mysterious, it was actually quite impractical and creepy if you really think about it. Therefore, Su Nuan Nuan could only resign herself to sit on the stool. Her hackles raised when Duan Tingxuan picked up a small knife off the table and her voice pitched high as she asked, “What are you doing?”
“Help you with your make-up, ah.” Duan Tingxuan held up the little knife and looked at his wife in askance. “You really think I’d let Si Ping touch your face with those dirty paws of his? What were you thinking? Of course I’ll be the one to do your make-up.”
“Master, this lowly one’s dirty paws just applied make-up onto your face, what great sin we have committed.” Si Ping apologized ‘bitterly’ from the side, thinking: This master of his has a bad habit of ‘Tearing up bridges after crossing a river’.
“Shut up, enough. We don’t need you here anymore. Go to your room and sleep.” as expected, Duan Tingxuan was the type of master to ‘Kill the donkey when the grinding is done’. Si Ping knew from this ungrateful master’s glare that it was time for him to hustle away. Otherwise, he’d really end up as a dead donkey.
“Don’t go yet, Si Ping.” Su Nuan Nuan ordered, then she turned a suspicious eye at Duan Tingxuan. “Do you actually know how to use make-up? Why do I feel like there’s something fishy going on here? I’d rather have Si Ping do my make-up.”
“Do you have no faith in your husband?” Duan Tingxuan’s face fell as he stared pitifully at Su Nuan Nuan.
“It’s not that I don’t have faith in you. It’s just that I have absolutely no trust in you.” Su Nuan Nuan did not bother to mince words, causing her husband’s face to pull down further into misery. Suddenly, he laughed nastily, “It doesn’t matter if you trust me or not, just give in, ba. Either you let me do your make-up, or you walk around with your own face. A delicate looking lady walking with a plain face like mine, how eye-catching is that?”
“Are you planning to turn me into a demon?” Su Nuan Nuan shrieked. Images of those exaggeratedly ugly women with buck teeth, sticks for eyebrows and sausage mouths flashed through her mind. She shuddered.
“No need for that.” Duan Tingxuan said firmly. “The best is to achieve the ultimate plainness. A face as common as salt.”
“That’s really shocking too, you know? No way, I still want Si Ping to do it.” Su Nuan Nuan shot back. However, Duan Tingxuan decided to let his male chauvinism show itself today and forcefully did his wife’s make-up. As for Si Ping, this crafty servant had already guessed what would happen and have already rushed off before the main event.
Once the ordeal was over, Su Nuan Nuan anxiously made her way to the mirror. A beautiful maiden’s face looked back at her. Only, her face was rounded out a bit, her eyes smaller and, thank goodness, no sight of unibrow or large mole anywhere. Though her eyebrows were a little fuller, it was far from the sticks she had imagined. Her mouth was slightly fuller too, but not the sausages she had expected. In short, she was still a beautiful woman.
Su Nuan Nuan sighed with relief, no matter what, it looked like Duan Tingxuan had really stayed his hand when it came to her make-up. Well, she reckoned that he probably did not want to look at a frightfully ugly monster with stick eyebrows and sausage lips every day. That would be too nightmarish, ah.
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Early next morning, Su Nuan Nuan woke up feeling a little stifled. Ugh, no harm going out for a breath of fresh air, right?
The moment she opened the door, she spotted a sharp looking youth loitering about the corridor watching for guests to come out.
The moment he spotted her coming out, he quickly raised his head and smiled winsomely at her. Su Nuan Nuan was baffled by the sudden friendliness: Hey, don’t tell me this guy is planning to flirt with me so early in the morning? May the heaven protect this youth if he is, the moment Duan Tingxuan senses your intention, you might be hurled into the river to feed the turtles.
At that thought, Su Nuan Nuan quickly narrowed her eyes and glared at this little fellow. With a cold harrumph, she made her way downstairs. She congratulated herself on her kindhearted behaviour. As long as this kid backs away, his life would be preserved. Saving one life gains more merit than building a seven level pagoda after all.
Who would have thought that after strolling around the first floor, she would once again meet this youth on her way up: The youth’s intensity actually increased as he rushed forward with a smile, all but reaching out to clasp her hands. Su Nuan Nuan leapt back in shock: A person who fawns on you for no good reason must have evil intentions. Does this brat not want his life anymore? Hmm, maybe it’s a good thing to let Duan Tingxuan capture him? It would be a good idea to get rid of a pervert for the safety of all her female compatriots.
She was just considering it when Duan Tingxuan came out of the room. At Su Nuan Nuan’s guarded expression and the youth, he asked curiously, “Lan’er, what’s wrong?” Since the two of them had changed their appearance for the Jiang Nan trip, they naturally could not use their real names. Duan Tingxuan’s disguise name was Liang Shou, and Su Nuan Nuan’s was Wang Lan. Perfectly ordinary names that had no connection with their original names.[Gumihou: By the way, the ‘Lan’ used here is the ‘Orchid’ Lan, and dun dun dun, the same Lan for ‘Xue Zhi Lan’. You know, Duan Tingxuan’s other secondary wife?]
“This brat is trying to flirt with me.”
Su Nuan Nuan snapped angrily. Originally, Duan Tingxuan wanted her to act like a warm, gentle little wife, a weak little soul badly bullied by her mother-in-law. Unfortunately, at this suggestion, his wife punched him several times and even kicked him, making it clear what her opinion was. Thus, he could only let Su Nuan Nuan play a shrewish wife, while he played the henpecked husband.
“Him?” Duan Tingxuan looked at the youth disbelievingly.
The youth cried out desperately, “Madam, this one is wrongly accused, a…” he had not finished lamenting when Duan Tingxuan glared at him, and, upon remembering his current character, he switched tactic and wailed, “Sister-in-law, you’ve wrongly accused this little brother.”
“He’s…” Su Nuan Nuan opened her mouth, then closed it. Then, she wordlessly covered her face.
Duan Tingxuan nodded, “Luckily there’s no one here. In the future, you two should watch your words. Let’s go, we’ll have breakfast downstairs before leaving. Ah Cheng, did you find out anything?”
The little marquis was clearly a genius as he immediately got into character. Si Ping quickly followed suit and said in a low voice, “None, I’m afraid no one is really interested in elder brother or sister-in-law’s movements. However, if you don’t show up at Niu Tou Mountain at all, someone might suspect something.”
[Gumihou: A New Adventure is coming, who’s excited?]
 Tore up bridges after crossing a river – to abandon one’s benefactor after achieving one’s goal  Kill the donkey when the grinding is done – get rid of someone once they cease to be useful
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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