Chapter 181: Change of Script
Translated by Gumihou
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The next day, the boat began to set out again before light. As expected, before the day was over, they had reached the outskirts of Gusu. Duan Tingxuan, Su Nuan Nuan and Si Ping got off the boat. Once they left the dock and walked down an uninhabited area, Su Nuan Nuan suddenly thought of something. Suspicious, she asked, “Didn’t you say that Hangzhou is King Xiangyang headquarters? Why are we at Suzhou?”
Duan Tingxuan smiled enigmatically, “King Xiangyang also has a temporary estate at Suzhou. Both King Xiangyang and Dong Lou are in Suzhou right now. Any way, as long as you follow me, surely there’s no need for you to worry about being kidnapped?”
“Pei! It takes talent to be kidnapped. Also, between you and me, there’s no telling who the kidnapper would grab.” Su Nuan Nuan spat. Naturally, the little marquis was not happy with this argument and proceeded to quarrel with her. As the two of them bicker, Si Ping shook his head as he silently trailed behind them. Aih, my dear master and madam, ah. Do you still remember our mission? You’re supposed to be a pair of mutually respectful couple, not a quarrelsome but loving couple, ah. If you don’t follow the script, the pressure on this one would be too high, you know?
When he find himself staring at the floor, this servant finally could not take it anymore. With a cough, he looked up bitterly, “Master, madam, this slave must bring something up. Neither of you are acting like a loving couple at all. A loving couple should treat each other like a respectful guest. Just listen to your words, it’s all ‘Pei’ this or ‘Rubbish’ that. Also, there’s the kicking and punching and random hissing. This… this, this is… what kind of respectful guest would use these words in front of their hosts, ah?”
Su Nuan Nuan and Duan Tingxuan were shocked. They stayed silent for a long while, both lowering their head in shame. Duan Tingxuan muttered, “This is clearly all wrong, I thought we really are a pair of naturally loving couple, but had forgotten that though we got along, it looked nothing at all like a properly harmoniously loving couple. What should we do now?”
“Change the script.” Su Nuan Nuan was not at all phased. “Who says that loving couples has to be harmonious and treat each other like respectful guest? Isn’t quarrelsome but loving is also another kind of couple? En, now that I think about it, the henpecked husband and shrewish wife is the best version of a loving couple.”
The stink of evil intention was almost overpowering, Duan Tingxuan narrowed his eyes at this wife. “What are you talking about?”
“Just that, ah. My lord should just take up the role of a husband who ‘Fears the wife like a tiger’. Surely you’ve never had the opportunity play this role before? This is a great opportunity to challenge yourself, ah.” Su Nuan Nuan excitedly pushed the idea forward. Duan Tingxuan shook his head firmly, “No need, I don’t see why I need to challenge myself as an actor.”
“Don’t reject it so plainly, you should have some dedication to the art of acting…” Su Nuan Nuan refused to give up. Duan Tingxuan sneered, “Nuan Nuan, why would I need to dedicate myself into acting? I’m not an actor.”
“Aiya, why are you like that?” Su Nuan Nuan snapped. This Duan Tingxuan was just too crafty. She really wanted him to eat a loss and experience being a majestic queen for a while. To think that this guy absolutely refused to take the bait.
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As they chatted, the little group turned a corner into a small alley. The road was quiet and serene. Two turns later, the narrow lane suddenly opened up, revealing a large estate right before their eyes. The huge door itself was ink black, flanked by snow white walls. Blooming by the entrance was a large peach tree, a colourful punctuation to the serene dark green of the alley they had just passed through.
“As expected of Jiang Nan, even the twigs of a peach blossom could inspire artistic thoughts. If nothing else, Jiang Nan’s springs are gorgeous. What a wonderful estate. Surely this is not the Suzhou estate you’ve bought?”
“Do I look like an idiot?” Duan Tingxuan rolled his eyes at Su Nuan Nuan, “Let me tell you. This is the house where our ‘elder cousin’ works. Make sure to pay attention to your acting and don’t reveal anything.”
“Heavens, ah. So we’ll be working here?” Su Nuan Nuan’s little mouth made an ‘O’ shape as she stared up at the beautiful estate. At Duan Tingxuan’s eye rolling, she harrumphed, “Of course I won’t reveal myself. Humph! I, your madam, has plenty of acting experience. An undedicated chump like you better not drag me down.”
Duan Tingxuan haven’t said anything when Si Ping grinned toothily, “Sister-in-law is really funny, you’ve never stepped out of the large estate, what kind of acting experience could you have?”
Su Nuan Nuan hehe-ed coldly, “Can a person survive in the inner court without a little acting skills? Even if you hate someone to death, you still have to greet the with a cheerful smile and pretend a civility you don’t feel. Can anyone dare say that I don’t have excellent acting skills?”
“If you put it this way, then my acting skills cannot be low, ah. Surely you don’t think that the old foxes at the imperial courts are easier to deal with than the people from the inner court?” Duan Tingxuan laughed loftily. In this, he had absolute faith in his abilities.
Si Ping sighed weakly, “Brother and sister-in-law’s natural abilities are clearly excellent. However, please remember that we have arrived at the destination. It would be best to speak less about this kind of things.”
Duan Tingxuan said, “Be at ease, with my ears, how can I not know whether anyone is listening in or not? If I can’t pick them up, we can cut my ears off and pickle them.”
Su Nuan Nuan laughed, “What a wonderful idea. I’ve been craving for pig’s ears lately.”
As they chatted casually, they finally arrived at the west entrance. Their disguised self did not have the qualification to enter the front entrance. Duan Tingxuan muttered crossly to himself, “This is the awful thing about disguises. We can’t enter by the proper door and could only slink around like this. How stifling.”
“Enough, stop complaining. Let’s quickly get into character, ba.” Su Nuan Nuan laughed, shaking her head at Duan Tingxuan’s antics. In a flash, a genial smile appeared on Duan Tingxuan’s face. They knocked on the door, and presently a female servant came out, glanced over them and guardedly asked, “Who are you looking for?”
“Auntie, we are looking for a Chang San who works here. He’s our cousin. Please tell him that his cousins and cousin-in-law are here to see him.”
“Ah, so it’s Chang San’s relatives.” a smile spread across the servant’s face. Duan Tingxuan mirrored her smiled and managed to look even happier than her, he gushed, “Oh? How is he? Has he been promoted into a managerial position? He never said anything in his last letter to us.”
The servant smiled, “Just a few days ago, the master promoted him to Manager of Front Courtyard. I believe that it was not in his letter since it is so unexpected. Please wait a moment, I shall send someone to fetch him.” Then, she turned and yell for one of the children to come over. The child ran off, and soon, a man came jogging towards them. At the sight of Duan Tingxuan, he smiled, “Aiya, you really came. My wife and I have been waiting for you. Come, come, come over to my house.” This person was clearly their ‘cousin’ Chang San.
Chang San’s house was located at the back of the estate. It sat in the middle of its own small, neat yard. The moment they entered the house, a woman greeted them with a smile, “Brother and sister really know how to pick your time to come. Your elder brother just happened to receive this house after getting his manager’s position, otherwise, how would we be able to accommodate our dear cousins?”
[Gumihou: Ufufu, how exciting! I really want to visit Jiang Nan now… ah, maybe I can just look up a few pictures and write a couple of poems…]
 Lol, who has flashback to Untamed or Mo Dao Zhu Shi?  Fears the wife like a tiger – A henpecked husband who fears his wife
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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