Chapter 12: Second Young Master’s Jian Garden
江湖 | jianghu | community of martial artists
里 | li | unit of measurement that has varied over time but has now been standardized to 500 meters; Wikipedia
Yun Shi Wei’s self-perception was pretty good, contrary to what she had thought. But who told him she’d have his children? Letting her be like this world’s females, becoming a fertility machine and birthing a whole group of children, just like how a sow births tiny piglets?
Ruan Zhu’s face was gloomy. She might as well cross into a man.
But to be honest, the family planning policy was indeed a brilliant move. No matter the era or the space, every country ought to try to vigorously increase their population to ensure its future.
“Finding a job is good. As men, it is our responsibility to support our family. But escorting goods would take a long while and the work is also very dangerous. I’m just afraid that our parents will not agree. Moreover, are you willing to part with your new bride? Then Zhu Zhu will, of course, belong to just me alone. In that case, I’ll raise both my hands in approval of you joining the armed escorts.” Yun Shi Yi faintly glanced at his brother, the corner of his mouth raised in a teasing manner.
“Then what should I do?” Yun Shi Wei scratched his head. He wasn’t scared of opposing his parents nor was he afraid of danger. But even if he was beaten to death, he wasn’t willing to be separated from Zhu Zhu.
“Don’t they all say men aspire to travel far and make one’s mark? Since you have a goal, achieving it is good. And it just so happens that you can demonstrate the value of the many years you’ve spent practicing martial arts.” Ruan Zhu’s bright and large clear eyes were full of hope: “When you are an armed escort, take me along with you. Just think of me as goods an armed escort has to protect, ok! Of course, you protect your goods. I just wanna travel and play everywhere.”
In her previous world, she was too poor. The furthest place she had gone to was a visit to a park in her residential city. What Yellow Mountain, Yellow River; Yangtze River or Great Wall; the top ten tourist attractions; tourist areas; holidays spent in resorts......She’s heard of them but never visited before. Now that she’s crossed over into a wealthy person, wouldn’t not traveling around be letting down the fate that the Heavens arranged?
Yun Shi Yi used his finger to tap at Ruan Zhu’s nose, his bright as stars eyes exposing a funny look: “All of those large men belong to their wives. You being caught in the middle and being thought of as cheap is a small matter. But involving them and ruining their reputation would cause them to be punished by their wives.”
“What, it’s this troublesome?” Ruan Zhu tutted. The theory was actually reversed. Her being with men from other families didn’t cause her to suffer losses as actually, it was the men she was with who lost in reputation and integrity. What kind of situation was this?
“If Wife wants to go out and play, then wait for when this husband has time to take you and we’ll go traveling throughout. Don’t think about wanting to carelessly harm other people’s men anymore, all right?” Yun Shi Yi laughed.
“You’re the one that said these words. If you said it, then you must mean what you say. I think highly of you.” Ruan Zhu smiled softly, looping her arms around his neck.
The two of them embraced each other without regard for others. Yun Shi Wei looked at them enviously. Stepping forward two steps, hugged Ruan Zhu from the back: “Don’t always look for Eldest Brother to lean on, I’m also here, hmm? I am also your husband.”
Ruan Zhu was sandwiched between the two brothers, one in front and one behind with her in the middle. Sighing, she thought of the saying ‘the joy of having several partners is also not easy to enjoy’. “Second Cousin, this is a public area. If we’re seen by the servants, they’ll make a joke out of us. Hurry and release your hands.”
“There’s no problem when it’s Eldest Brother holding you yet it becomes a joke when I hold you.” Yun Shi Wei was gloomy. Exerting a little strength, he pulled Ruan Zhu entirely into his arms. An arm encircling her slim waist, his eyebrows seemed to fly as his eyes were filled with smiles: “I’ll take you to visit my Jian Garden[a], you haven’t been to where I live yet.”
Yun Shi Wei rearranged her position so that he was horizontally carrying her. With large strides, he walked towards Jian Garden.
“Put me down, going to your residence for a look doesn’t require carrying me.” Ruan Zhu used her fists to pound at his chest, but to no avail. This bastard was too sturdy and basically didn’t care that he was being beaten by her. After pounding for a while, she found that her hands started to hurt, so she might as well start using other means. She stretched a hand into his lapel and using all her strength, scratched his skin with her fingernails.
Yun Shi Wei was scratched until he grimaced in pain but he stubbornly endured it and refused to let her down. Instead, it was her that became sorry and ceased her movements.
They arrived at Jian Garden in less than a quarter of an hour. The interior of the courtyard was very spacious and there were a few servants sweeping the yard. Seeing their Master had returned, they all stopped their work and walked over to salute. Yun Shi Wei didn’t spare them a glance and carried Ruan Zhu directly into the main room.
Rather than saying Yun Shi Wei’s Jian Garden was a place for people to live, it was better to say it was a practical weapons storehouse. In the living room, various weapons were strewn across the tables, chairs, and shelves: Emei daggers, regular daggers, bows and arrows, large battle-axes crossed in an ‘X’, nunchakus......
峨眉刺 | Emei daggers (Wikipedia)
双节棍 | Nunchaku (Wikipedia)
“Second Cousin, do you want to open a weaponry business?” Ruan Zhu wandered around the room, touching that thing, touching this thing, feeling puzzled. Tian Chu permits the populace to stash weapons? Isn’t this scope a little too large? If they were found by the authorities, would they be considered traitors to the country?
“Weaponry business?” Yun Shi Wei stared blankly before his eyes lit up. Towards the Yun Shi Yi that had finally caught up to them, he said: “Eldest Brother, what do you think of me opening a weaponry business? With a focus on selling weapons?”
Yun Shi Yi nodded his head, earnestly said: “Good idea. But if you were to be charged with the crime of being a traitor and arrested by the authorities, just don’t confess to being my younger brother, and it’s fine.”
Yun Shi Wei liked weapons. Collecting and playing with them at home was one thing but publicly opening a weaponry store without having an imperial background was another. The imperial court did not allow the common people to openly involve themselves in businesses involving these ‘dangerous’ goods. The Yun family had an enormous amount of property so even though they had some connections with the authorities, it wasn’t enough to curry favor with the officials in the court.
“It’s like that, ah.” Yun Shi Wei revealed a look of disappointment.
“Second Cousin’s martial arts is very skilled, and there’s few people in the jianghu that can be your match. Being an armed escort or opening a weaponry store aren’t the only paths available. You can still go take the military exam and take the top spot!” Ruan Zhu exposed her dimples and smiled: “If your fortune is good and you pass the exam with scholarly honor, wouldn’t we also receive that honor?”
“I did think of that, ah. But the military exam is that not that easy.” Yun Shi Wei grabbed his hair with his hands, in a bad mood: “Arranging troops and knowing their dispositions, that sort of learning I can force myself to deal with. But they also test who each dynasty’s generals are, each general’s respective famous military campaigns, plus the number of casualties, geographical surroundings, even the weather changes of each campaign. Looking at it all, I feel agitated and upset. If I had the ability to study, I would have long ago gone to take the exam, become the top scorer and return to be a parasite at home.”
How did the setup of the ancient era’s military examination resemble a test for a military affairs class in college?
Ruan Zhu didn’t know what to say in response. Instead, she scrutinized a weapons rack on the wall where there was a dazzling line-up of various weapons such as different kinds of small arms, knifes, swords and the like. One by one, she carefully touched them and from a corner picked up something that resembled a fountain pen. It was very thin, not even one-third thickness of a fountain pen, and about ten centimeters long. In the center of the baton, there was a hoop.
Yun Shi Wei walked over and pressed hard on the center of the thin pole and the relatively large ring shrank in his hand. He slipped it onto the middle finger of her left hand and pressed on the front end of the pole. With a whoosh, pointed sections ejected outwards. The whole length was about thirty centimeters long and the two ends that had been ejected were both sharp and lethal, shining with a cold light.
“This is the ‘invisible Emei dagger’, typically used for assassinations. Ordinarily, it’s worn on the middle finger and you can fiddle with it in your palm. If by chance there’s danger, it can be used to save your life.” Yun Shi Wei pressed on the hidden mechanism again and the two piercing ends retracted into the sheath. “I found this in an almost bankrupt weaponry store and bought it in passing. To me, this is only a child’s toy so I just threw it in a corner when I got home. I think Zhu Zhu wearing it on her finger is quite fitting. Just keep it then, in the future, there might be some use for it.”
Ruan Zhu carefully looked at the Emei dagger. Unactivated, the thin rod fit perfectly in her hand and caused the mechanism to be at her fingertips, like a thimble. No wonder the length could be changed so easily.
“This thing is such a clever tool for self-protection.” Ruan Zhu was secretly delighted: “The invisible Emei dagger is pretty good, I’ll take it.”
The wisdom and knowledge of the ancient people really could not be concealed. She wanted to send some words to her past world: If I may offer a bit of advice–to all the women that cross over to an ancient era, you must not think of the ancients as idiots any longer! We always think we’re the best but all we do is sing lousy and average songs that somehow causes a large population to become crazy fans. Such an embarrassment, makes one really want to go 囧囧[b]!
But it is true, the ancient era was full of people that came up with breathtaking inventions, so we, the modern people, cannot look down on them.
“Then how does Zhu Zhu want to repay me, hmm?” Yun Shi Wei’s face exposed a smile: “How about today, you don’t go to Eldest Brother’s Wutong Building and instead accompany me for a day in Jian Garden?”
After being proper for a little while, he once again returned to being indecent. Ruan Zhu hadn’t yet uttered a word when there came sounds of quarreling from the courtyard.
“Who permitted you to block my path? Are you dog slaves all blind? Since you know who this great-aunt is, why haven’t you prostrated yourself to let this great-aunt enter?!”
“Miss Qian, without the Second Young Master’s permission, no one may enter Jian Garden. If Miss insists on going inside, of course there won’t be a problem, but this servant is bound to be punished by the young master. Please excuse this one, but this one does not want the blame.”
The Second Young Master of the Yun family’s courtyard permitted only Master, Madam and Eldest Young Master–these three people–to enter without prior approval. If other people dared enter, Yun Shi Wei’s temper would explode, and it was a given that a huge ruckus would be created.
“A dog slave with such big courage, do you think I won’t beat the crap out of you?”
The servant also became angry. He clearly had a patient disposition but it seemed his Master’s temper had rubbed off on him. Laughing coldly, he said: “Miss Qian is mighty, but has clearly forgotten whose residence she is currently in. As the proverb says, ‘wanting to hit a dog must depend on its master’. If you hit me, it will be the same as you hitting Second Young Master. I am just a lowly servant and naturally will not retaliate, but I fear Second Young Master will not think the same way.”
“Such big courage for a dog slave!” The woman became even more enraged and pa! ruthlessly gave the servant a resounding slap on the face.
What a publicly bossy woman!
Ruan Zhu whispered to Yun Shi Wei: “Second Cousin, who is she?”
Yun Shi Wei didn’t answer her. His face radiated anger, his eyes glaring in the direction of the courtyard. Yun Shi Yi smiled and answered her: “In regards to this, she’s not an outsider. Her name is Qian Feng Jiao and she is the child of our paternal aunt. She lives in the Qian manor, which is about five li from our Yun manor. Paternal aunt gave birth to eight sons and just this one daughter, so it was hard to avoid spoiling her a bit.”
“That is to say she is your younger cousin. Furthermore, she is your paternal cousin.” The two brothers of the Yun family’s younger female cousin. So she was either Master Yun’s elder sister’s child or his younger sister’s child. Hmm, this relationship is quite close.
In most cases, puppy love existed between cousins that grew up together. Was this also the case with them? For example, in 《Dream of the Red Chamber》, because of the influence of the jade stone, the cousins Jia Bao Yu and Lin Dai Yu were childhood sweethearts and innocent playmates with such deep feelings. How could her feelings that had inserted themselves into their lives halfway through compare to this type of deep feeling?
Her calm heart felt as if a light breeze had caused some branches to move, creating a slight disturbance.
As if he had guessed what she was thinking, Yun Shi Yi smiled and reached out to pull her close to his chest: “It is not what you are thinking of. Shi Wei and I had long been engaged to you, so how could we have thoughtlessly not paid attention to our conduct and find trouble for ourselves?”
Ruan Zhu also smiled. Her thoughts were still following the laws of her previous world. This current world’s men were like the females of ancient China in her past life. If an engagement had been set, then it would signify that they had become that woman’s man. If at that time they did not properly exercise restraint in their conduct, then there would be large consequences.
[a] The author previously used 园 (garden) but now she’s using 院 (courtyard). The two are homophones and I’m assuming ‘garden’ was a typo, but I’m going to keep it. I like how ‘garden’ sounds & it also matches better with the author’s description of YSW giving his courtyard an ‘elegantly unruly’ name.
[b] 囧 is a popular slang used to describe embarrassment/etc, because it resembles a face
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