Chapter 228 (Part 2): Encounter
Translated by Gumihou
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Su Nuan Nuan also felt distressed seeing her husband grieving over a good friend like this. She sighed, and thought: It’s too bad that good people don’t live long. For Long Pingzhang to die so young when he had such a promising future before him. A scholar of great talent who could have one day become a cabinet minister or some great official of the court. For a great political star like this to have his light put out so prematurely really made people sigh, ah.
After making the offerings to Long Pingzhang, the three began their journey towards Niu Tou Mountain. There was no need for them to travel under a disguise anymore. Even with their identities out in the open like this, they could still swagger up and down the Yangtze River and King Xiangyang would not dare to touch a single hair on their heads. After all, this King has no soldiers or war horses to rely on. Even if he somehow manages to have Su Nuan Nuan and Duan Tingxuan assassinated, the emperor would immediately cast his suspicious eye upon Jiang Nan. Just putting a team together with high enough martial power to kill Duan Tingxuan would cost him a lot of resources. He did not need Lu Feng Yu around to tell him that it was just not worth it.
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Three days later, the three of them finally left the boundaries of Suzhou and was just crossing into the territory of Song Jiang Prefecture.
To be honest, there was really no need for them to head over to Niu Tou Mountain in order to rescue Su Nuan Nuan’s parents. All they had to do was return to the Capital and hand over the book of accounts to the emperor. That would be enough to absolve the Duke of Ping’s wrongdoing. Even if the emperor could not publicly bring himself to admit that he had wronged this family, he could still pardon their crimes and recall them back to the Capital. With that, she would meet her ‘family’ sooner or later. However, since they were not really her family, but Su Meng Nuan’s, she had no real emotional ties with them, so there was really no need to rush to see them.
So, why were they hurrying over to the Niu Tou Mountain area again?
That’s because Duan Tingxuan knew of Su Nuan Nuan’s true identity as a wandering spirit not of this world. He knew that when she first arrived, his beloved Nuan Nuan had first been stuck at the desolated Mei Yue Lou, before moving into An Ping Estate’s inner court later. The only place she had visited since was the Imperial Palace, and later the Pushan Temple, but on both trips she was either too anxious, or ended up in mortal danger.
The Jiang Nan trip was supposed to be a treat for Su Nuan Nuan, but since they went under the disguise of poor servants, Duan Tingxuan was not able to give her the full travel experiences that rich, noble people enjoy. Because of this, Duan Tingxuan wished to indulge her love of beautiful sceneries and let her visit more gorgeous lakes and scenic mountains more before returning to the Capital.
According to the geographical history of China, Song Jiang Prefecture was exactly where modern Shanghai of the 21st Century is right now. However, for the moment, it was a far cry from the super city of modern China. Though it was certainly prosperous enough, the city of Suzhou, Hangzhou and Yangzhou still surpassed Song Jiang Prefecture by far.
After strolling about the streets for half a day, Su Nuan Nuan felt a little tired. Thus, the three of them found a rather grand inn that looked promising. Just as they were about to enter, they heard a voice from behind saying, “Brother A-Niu, I think we better just cancel our trip to the Fang House Cloth Shop. Their cotton cloth is very expensive. We can get the same length of red cloth for two or three bronze coins at the marketplace, surely there’s no need to shop here? We only have this bit of money, so it’s better not to overspend if we don’t have to.”
To hear the pleasant country lilt of the Wu dialect in such a bustling city cheered Su Nuan Nuan up a lot. Especially since it was rather similar to the Capital style of speaking. Immediately, Su Nuan Nuan felt nostalgic at the thought of home. She turned around to see who had been speaking, and saw a pair of young man and woman standing together at the front of a stall just by the inn’s door. They were apparently having a brief conversation while waiting for their mantou to be packed up. The person who spoke was a young and pretty woman.
However, no matter how pretty she was, the thing that lit up Su Nuan Nuan’s eyes was the sight of a handsome youth in his early twenties standing next to the girl.
Though he was dressed in an ill-fitting, coarse outfit, with black hair held up by a plain wooden pin, the man had a deep presence that was both alluring and profound. Even most well-read scholars and some imperial officials would not have exuded such air and grace, let alone a mere farmstead youth. From his looks alone, the fine sword-like eyebrows and intense eyes, one could tell that this man was destined to be a great protagonist of a thousand chapter novel.
Perhaps feeling the pressure of Su Nuan Nuan’s eyes, the girl suddenly poked her little tongue out, but then grinned awkwardly at Su Nuan Nuan before turning away. At this moment, Duan Tingxuan and Si Ping had already stepped into the inn. Su Nuan Nuan, who had lagged behind the men, had a rather favourable opinion of this couple, however since they were complete strangers, she was a little reluctant to come forward and speak to them. In the end, she merely gave the girl a little smile before entering the inn.
Just then, the young man said, “Well, this is a once in a lifetime experience after all. So, why should we buy second rank goods at markets? We can earn more money in the future, but for now we should spend when we ought to.”
At this, Su Nuan Nuan suddenly found herself bumping into her husband’s stiff back. She was just about to ask what was wrong when Duan Tingxuan suddenly turned around. He rushed out of the inn and stared at the shopping couple by the mantou stand. There was a disbelieving look on his face.
“What’s going on?” Su Nuan Nuan muttered to herself as Duan Tingxuan’s lips trembled at the sight of the couple. They were just leaving after having bought their mantou.
Suddenly, he yelled, “Pingzhang! Pingzhang… is it you? Is it really you?”
He was already running towards the couple, one hand reaching out to pull the young man by the shoulder. When he turned the man around, Duan Tingxuan fixed his gaze onto the young man’s face, saying excitedly, “It IS you! Long Pingzhang, I am sure of it. Has heaven pitied you and let you live? But… but why did you not answer when I call you? Why…”
At this, cold sweat popped up all over the little marquis’ forehead. He looked over the young man warily and began questioning him again, “Pingzhang, have you… forgotten me?”[Gumihou: Lol, just what genre of novel are we in now?]
The young man blinked as he stared bewilderedly at Duan Tingxuan. A long time later, he whispered, “Tingxuan… you are… Tingxuan?”
“Yes, yes it’s me. It’s me, ah.” Duan Tingxuan looked over this good friend of his, nearly crazy with joy as he grasped Long Pingzhang’s hand tightly. Questions began shooting from his lips, “Weren’t you dead? Why aren’t you dead now? What are you doing in Song Jiang?”
“Why have I never heard from you all these months?”
“Surely King Xiangyang’s influence is not so great that you can’t even send a secret message to me, ba?”
“Even if you can’t get word to the Capital, you can make contact with Shi Dan at Yangzhou. That guy’s a magistrate there, as long as you explain things properly, he’d help you return to the Capital”
“So why are you hiding out at Song Jiang?”
“Even if you plan to make a comeback against that King, this is not the way, ah.”
Author White Pear Flower: Wakakaka, those of you who like His Excellency Long should be happy now, right?
[Gumihou: Woah! Plot Twist! Hahaha, I really don’t know how to feel about this, lol!]
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$2 – Have a Dumpling
Chapter 229 – Memory Loss
$5 – Slurp Some Longevity Noodles
Chapter 230.1 – Something Wrong With This Picture
$10 – Chomp on a Duck Thigh!
Chapter 230.2 – Something Wrong With This Picture
Chapter 231 – The More One Speaks
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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