Chapter 204 (Part 1): Big Discovery
Translated by Gumihou
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Duan Tingxuan swallowed. He sounded especially excited over this development. Su Nuan Nuan looked at him oddly and said in a low voice, “Why would I lie?? Is there something about this that I should know? Wu! Could it be that the Immortal’s Descent’s thing is actually manufactured by them? Are they trying to imitate Emperor Liu Bang’s  trick with the story about the White Snake? Use folklore to buy the common folk’s hearts?”
“This kind of large natural phenomenon can’t be manufactured by human hands, at least, not with their resources. However, there is something else you don’t know.” Duan Tingxuan paused, then lowered his voice even more, “You remember the white rock? The place where I picked it up, is directly opposite this Immortal’s Descent.”
“What white rock?” Su Nuan Nuan was puzzled for a moment, before remembering the rock that Duan Tingxuan was convinced that Long Pingzhang had left as a secret message for him. However, neither she, Duan Tingxuan or Su Dong Lou could make heads or tails of it. Could Duan Tingxuan be correct? After some thought, she began to grow excited too, “Well? Have you finally discovered the secret behind the white rock? Does it have anything to do with today’s Immortal’s Descent?”
“It was just a thought, who knows whether it’s correct or not.” Duan Tingxuan stroked his chin, and recited in a low voice.
A stone path winds up the mountain,
White clouds part to reveal a village
The carriage stops ‘neath a beloved maple tree,
Red leaves shone with frost on a February night
This time, Su Nuan Nuan also caught on. Her eyes shone as she muttered to herself, “That’s right, perhaps not the whole of the poem, but only the second part of the poem is significant. ‘White clouds part to reveal a village’? Could someone of great significance be hidden behind the mountains where Immortal’s Descent happened to occur?”
“You think so too?” The excitement on Duan Tingxuan’s face was even more pronounced. He slid the sliced scallions onto a small plate and watched as Su Nuan Nuan picked out a few eggs for him beat. As he beat the eggs, he took one step closer to his wife and said, “When I was in that area, I investigated the entire place. There was really nothing much to see so I spent some time staring past the cliff edge out into the open. Directly opposite the ‘accident’ site was a mountain ridge, green and rich with maple trees. Perhaps I was trying to be too clever and missed out this huge clue staring into my face.
To think that I have actually overlooked it, never giving the obvious any thought. I already knew that Pingzhang was bad at making up riddles. Whenever it was his turn to set them up, he’d invariably use the easiest method. I’d made the mistake of trying to make a simple thing complicated. Now that I think about it, that white rock must have meant that at a place where ‘The carriage stops ‘neath a beloved maple tree’, where ‘White clouds part to reveal a village’. Unless I’m mistaken, someone of great importance must be hiding in seclusion within that mountain. I suspect that Pingzhang’s death must be because he had discovered the identity of this person.”
“That makes perfect sense.” Su Nuan Nuan was getting excited too: when she first came to Jiang Nan, it felt like nothing had gone their way. Even when husband and wife put themselves in danger, the truth seemed too deeply hidden. Now that they have this clue at hand, how could they not be overjoyed? Just like a man who had been staring down a dead end, he turned a corner and a sudden light shone from around a bend. This was truly like ‘Parting thick willow branch and stumbling upon a village’.
With a positive frame of mind, Su Nuan Nuan’s cooking skills elevated to great heights. Even in such a tiny kitchen, she was able to transform regular ingredients into four cold plates and eight hot dishes.
The food was all done just in time for the noon meal. When Lu Qi came in to bring out the food, she was shocked by the full pantry. She muttered, “Didn’t master say five dishes is fine? Why have you made so much? Ms. Wang is really capable, doing all this in such an inadequate kitchen.”
Su Nuan Nuan quickly rebutted her praise with a few self-effacing remark. How could the minds of the couple stay on mere food now? They stood together on the deck as the lush green mountains were eventually left behind. Even when the mountains disappeared from sight, the flame in their hearts burned on.
However, there was no use being too excited or agitated. It’s not like they can just throw out an excuse at their ‘master’ and jump off the boat for no good reason. That would only incite suspicion from others. Therefore, husband and wife could only sit together and try to think of a way to get Su Dong Lou to send someone to investigate the mountains.
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With the wind and water in their favour, they arrived at Jin Ling in just two days.
King Xiangyang actually has a temporary imperial residence at Jin Ling, and his taste for luxury and extravagance left both Duan Tingxuan and Su Nuan Nuan gasping in amazement. Even the little marquis had to say: Without setting foot to Jiang Nan, one could not truly know King Xiangyang. Looks like his majesty most likely also did not know that this younger brother of his was living more comfortably than he was. If he knew anything about this, from what she understood about the emperor, Su Nuan Nuan guessed that King Xiangyang would probably be dragged, kicking and screaming, back to the Capital to become an idle prince.
Aside from serving Lu Feng Yu his food, drink and snacks, Duan Tingxuan and Su Nuan Nuan had nothing else to do. Therefore, both were more leisurely than other servants. They spent the two days in a very relaxed manner. Since today was a rare cloudy day with a gentle breeze, husband and wife discussed the prospect of going out for a little stroll. It should all be doable, as long as they made it back before noon, and made sure not to miss making the evening meal.
Jing Lin could be considered the third most prosperous city of the Dayin Dynasty. There were so many people on the streets that they could barely walk two steps without bumping shoulders with others. After a while, both lost their enthusiasm for going out. There were just too many people. They were about to head back when they heard a loud racket ahead.
Since Su Nuan Nuan was the nosy type, her gossip radar perked up at the noise and she began to pull her husband along to force her way into the crowd. After finally managing to break through, they found there was an old woman lying on the floor, beside her were two horse carriages, the occupants of the carriage were both busily accusing the other of running down the woman, each insisting they had nothing to do with the matter.
[Gumihou: Lol, Nuan Nuan is so nosy]
 Liu Bang (247-195BC) – First Han emperor, actually known as Emperor Gaozu
Here’s the story about this man and the White Snake
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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