Mei Gongqing 02-05

Chapter 2: The Knave

A cold and clear sky hung high beyond the silk screens. A few stars sparsely dotted its vastness, looking exceedingly lonely.

Chen Rong looked away from the bronze mirror and turned her gaze to the night sky. She watched it unblinkingly for a time before leaning back and closing her eyes as she quietly waited for time to pass.

For the past several days, she would sit until dawn each time she awakened from her nightmarish past. It wasn’t because she was reminiscing nor was it because her hatred was too strong. Rather, she simply liked to sit there in quietude to watch the sky and to relish in the wonder of being reborn again.

Slowly, a mist emerged across the landscape. And slowly, a voice or two rang out in the fresh morning air.

This voice began as one or two and eventually turned rowdy when more and more gradually joined in.

Footsteps sounded. The gentle and concerned voice of the middle-aged woman from last night came to her: “Ah Rong, are you awake?”

“I am,” Rong Chen replied, rising from bed.

The woman swiftly ordered: “Go in and help Ah Rong with her morning wash.”

The door made a squeak and in came a maid holding a basin. The older woman went behind Chen Rong to help her comb her hair.

This woman had a round face and a pair of small eyes. Her smiling features showed kindness. She carefully regarded Chen Rong before saying: “The servants have made preparations. We can set out at any time.”

Chen Rong throated a reply. Seeing her calm expression, the woman relaxed a little, continuing: “Ah Rong, this place isn’t good anymore, we must move south. Compared to other major clans, the House of Chen is still much better. At least, we have clansmen in the south.”

Chen Rong throated another reply.

Because she agreed so blithely, and her expression also did not seem to be absentminded as was two days ago, the woman rejoiced and added, “Do you understand now, Ah Rong? You won’t have nightmares tonight?”

Chen Rong nodded.

At this time, a man’s voice called to her from outside: “Ah Rong, our luggage has been prepared. When will we leave?”

Listening to this familiar voice, Chen Rong suddenly asked, “What day is today?”

Taken aback, the man then replied, “It’s the day of the ox (1).”

  1. They are using a 60-day cycle made up of stems and branches similar to the 60-year cycle. This day is called the 辛丑xin chou day, xin being the stem and chou (ox) being the branch.

The day of the ox? Chen Rong stood up. The day of the ox! That’s right, on midnight three days later, she would be confronting her first calamity.

While the older woman was caught in bewilderment, she slowly sat down. “Are you Uncle Wu?”

The middle-aged man standing outside grew more surprised. He gave a loud reply: “Yes, I’m Uncle Wu. Ah Rong, what’s wrong?” At his last word, he went straight toward the door and pushed it open. A thin and pale face with a few sparse whiskers on the chin appeared before Chen Rong’s eyes.

Chen Rong was washing her mouth at this time. It was rather ill-mannered for a man as old as he to open her door.

She looked up at the man. Living for the second time, she could only now see the wickedness hidden behind his seemingly gentle and benevolent face.

The man in front of her was a scholar her father had saved while he was traveling. All along, her father had treated him as a friend. He respectfully kept him at the estate and even asked her and all the servants to call him ‘uncle’.

But it was this very man who colluded with thieves. The night before they left for the south, the house was broken into and robbed of all its wealth.

If her father hadn’t secretly hid some gold in his study, she wouldn’t have been able to go to the south. She would long have begged on the street!

Chen Rong stared at Uncle Wu and unhurriedly stated, “We’ll depart this afternoon!”

“What? Departing this afternoon? Ah Rong, why not wait a few more days?”

Chen Rong quietly sneered before hardening her face. “I said we’re leaving this afternoon,” she repeated loudly.

She was nevertheless a young girl who had yet to establish her influence. The man looked to the older woman behind her and demanded: “Nurse Ping, have you said something to Ah Rong? Traveling south is a serious matter, how can we just leave on a whim?” At this, he remembered something and raised his voice to say: “Besides, Ah Rong has been having nightmares for many nights. Since she is feeling unwell, why not rest for two more days?”

The kind looking woman quickly stepped forward and faced Chen Rong while saying: “Miss, there is validity in Uncle Wu’s words…” Chen Rong interrupted her, shouting, “I said we’re leaving this afternoon!”

Uncle Wu wanted to oppose her order, but when he met her fathomless dark eyes, for some reason he shuddered and swallowed back the words he had wanted to blurt out.

“Close the door,” Chen Rong ordered after withdrawing her gaze.

For a second, Uncle Wu was slightly taken aback. At length, he realized she was talking to him. He closed the door in bewilderment, his heart feeling ill at ease: What happened to Ah Rong? How did she change so much?

As soon as Uncle Wu left, Chen Rong went to the study that housed thick bamboo slips and silk manuscripts. In the past, after Uncle Wu had conspired with thieves to rob their family wealth, she had recalled her father’s reminder in desperation: If anything unexpected were to happen, go to the study. After a good cry in the study, she accidentally discovered numerous gold leaves in these bamboo and silk books. She had survived thanks to these gold leaves.

Loud clanging clashed outside. It was the servants busy at packing. At the moment, the entire courtyard was almost ready; soon they would be moving to the study.

These noisy voices, these rough clamoring, they were all so pleasant to the ears. How did she not realize this before?

Chen Rong slowly sat down and opened a roll of silk manuscript, her ears raptly listening to the bustling sounds.

She wasn’t sure how much time had passed when a loud call came to her from outside the door: “Ah Rong, are you in the study? Elder Sun is here.”

It was Uncle Wu’s voice.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

Chen Rong’s face sank: He didn’t know when to give up. He even invited Elder Sun over!

“Nurse Ping, is Ah Rong in the study?” Uncle Wu’s shout sounded again. “He has come to visit because he heard she isn’t feeling well. Let Ah Rong know so she can come to receive her guest.”

Chen Rong rose. Before Nurse Ping could answer, she had replied with a crystal clear voice: “I’m coming.” Then she pushed open the study door.

At the gate stood an elderly man with gray beard and hair. He was Elder Sun. Before her father left, he had entrusted her welfare and education to this elderly man. In front of him, she did not have much right to speak.

Chen Rong cast a glance at Uncle Wu, who was looking quite smug before offering the other man a curtsy. “Good greetings, Elder Sun.”

Elder Sun nodded his head. He walked over to face Chen Rong and gave her an appraising look. “I heard you’re having nightmares at night. Have you seen the doctor?”

“Nay, sir.” Chen Rong shook her head.

Elder Sun frowned. Seeing this, Uncle Wu said on the side, “Sir, please persuade Ah Rong. She is saying that she wants to leave this afternoon in her condition. What distance are we talking about going south? If anything were to happen along the way, wouldn’t it be too late for regrets by then?”

Elder Sun nodded his head. He glanced over to Nurse Ping, who was standing behind Chen Rong and told her, “Nurse Ping, ask your lady to go back to her room. You’ll leave three days from now.”

“Aye, sir.”

Then he turned and told the servants in the vicinity: “This is not a trifling matter. Keep an eye on Ah Rong. If she is capricious and stubborn, lock her in!”

“Aye, sir!”

“Why haven’t you invited the doctor?”

“Aye!”

Elder Sun gave orders one after another. When he finished, he flapped his sleeve and turned to leave.

Uncle Wu gave a glance toward Chen Rong and smirked when no one was paying attention, then left to catch up to Elder Sun.

Chapter 3: Dispersing Wealth

At Elder Sun’s words, everyone in the busy courtyard stopped their work. They all looked up at Chen Rong and awaited her instructions.

She mulled for a moment before looking around, saying: “Gather all the servants in the estate. Tell them I have something to say.”

“Aye, miss.”

“Nurse Ping, have them move everything to the courtyard.”

Nurse Ping stared blankly at Chen Rong. It wasn’t until she repeated herself that the woman replied with: “Aye, miss.” She was more than confused: The lady has changed so much recently. I don’t understand her at all these days.

Although the Chen estate was currently helmed by a young lady, her father had served as the governor of the City of Ping throughout the years. He had accumulated abundant wealth despite being only an eighth-ranking official. At the time Chen Rong’s father and brother left, they had taken with them a large number of assets, yet what was left could still fill this entire courtyard.

In this era, gold and coins were both difficult to circulate. The real money that people worshiped were food and clothes. In precarious wartime such as this, the most popular kind of transaction was bartering.

In only half an hour, the courtyard stood full of servants and maids. Elder Sun had not gone. He and Uncle Wu were standing under a tall banyan tree, curiously looking in Chen Rong’s direction.

Chen Rong knelt on a cushion Nurse Ping had laid out for her. She casually glanced at the crowd and asked, “How many people do we have in the estate?”

“Seventy-three, miss.”

Chen Rong nodded and slowly sipped her wine – although she was only fifteen, her every move seemed refined and graceful at this moment due to the noble air she gained from the dozen years of experience in her previous life.

Elder Sun nodded on the side as he startlingly thought: The House of Chen is said to be of noble descent. It is indeed true. Not only is Ah Rong from a subsidiary branch, but she is also a concubine-born daughter whose father is also concubine-born. She is young still, yet she possesses an aristocratic bearing that can only be attributed to the noble bloodline of her clan.

Chen Rong took a sip of wine and casually swept her eyes across the crowd in the courtyard, lightly saying: “War is approaching. The House of Chen will bring our family south. If you want to leave our house and seek your own path, then you will receive one bolt of fabric and five pecks of rice each. If you are willing to go with me, you’ll still receive one bolt of fabric and five pecks of rice.”

The moment these words left her mouth, an instantaneous silence came over the courtyard.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

Shocked, Uncle Wu couldn’t help taking a step forward. He nonetheless could not bring his foot down — what right did he have to stop her?

After a long time of receiving no reaction, Chen Rong turned around to Nurse Ping and knitted her brow. “Nurse?”

Nurse Ping was gaping stupidly at Chen Rong. When she saw her fathomless black eyes, she woke up, rushed forward and exclaimed: “We can’t, we can’t. Ah Rong, we don’t have that much rice and fabric in the estate to begin with. We can’t divide them up.”

Chen Rong said offhandedly: “If we don’t have enough then use silk and millet instead.”

“B-but, these are the only assets we have in the estate. If we divide them up among these many people, the estate’s wealth will dwindle into nothing!” With a little shortness of breath, Nurse Ping went on: “Our travel is long. It’s easy to run into problems on the road. Even if we successfully arrive in the south, how will you survive if you don’t have property? Ah Rong, there has been no news of your father and brother heretofore. You must not carelessly drain your family wealth!”

Nurse Ping’s caring words were indeed ones expected from a loyal servant. But she had not considered that her mistress was only a vulnerable woman, or that the estate did not have dozens of stalwart guards, so how would she secure this wealth? Even if she didn’t distribute her wealth today, the road going south was nearly a thousand miles long. If she and her few servants were to parade around with dozens of wagons, she wondered how many people and forces would be eyeing their possessions. By then, even her life wasn’t necessarily safe much less her wealth!

Previously, she had only carried a few gold leaves and had almost lost her life just because she was careless enough to expose them a few times.

Chen Rong moved her gaze to glance at her servants. Among the group, she saw seven or eight as worried as Nurse Ping. The others were suppressing their joy while nervously looking at her as though they were afraid she would take back her words.

Chen Rong withdrew her gaze from the crowd and slightly swept over to Uncle Wu and several young laborers standing among the servants.

With this sweep of her eyes, a chill flashed across her countenance.

Shaking her head, Chen Rong casually said, “Nurse, money and possessions are both useless. In this troubled time, it’s better to have clothes and rice.”

Not wanting to go on, she simply waved her right hand and loudly called: “Uncle Wu!”

All eyes swiftly gathered on Uncle Wu.

With this one look, many began to frown. Nurse Ping called out: “Uncle Wu, Ah Rong is asking for you.”

This translation belongs to hamster428.

At this point, Uncle Wu was looking especially odd. His face had turned purple and blue, appearing to be angry and slightly panicking. His left foot was still in the air; nobody knew if he was going to step forward or if he was going to retreat. Strange, didn’t he feel tired from standing on one foot like that?

Everybody’s gaze finally brought Uncle Wu back to earth.

He met Chen Rong’s eyes.

Chen Rong looked at him and slowly broke into a smile. With her eyes narrowing, she said to him in a crystalline voice: “Uncle Wu, you are a learned person. Since the entire City of Ping commends your fairness, please come out and give Ah Rong a hand.”

“Give you a hand?” Uncle Wu asked foggily.

Chen Rong’s eyes continued to narrow. The hearty laughter she produced was so different from anything else in the past that it made Elder Sun, who always boasted of being a virtuous scholar disdainful of money, continuously nod his head: Only in crucial events can one see a person’s true nature. I had thought Ah Rong was foolish in wanting to distribute her wealth. Seeing her so cheerful at this moment tells me she is indeed indifferent to her money! This child is truly deserving of the surname Chen!

Chen Rong’s crystalline voice carried an air of gallantry when she next spoke: “Yes, Ah Rong asks Uncle Wu to please record and divide these assets. Since you are fair, everyone will trust you.”

At this point, Chen Rong slightly raised her brow and called in surprised: “Uncle Wu, Uncle Wu? Why are you so startled? Or do you not want to do this?”

Uncle Wu quickly put on a smile. He swallowed as his face blanched, stammering: “Of course I want to, of course I want to.”

“Then why have you not come over? It’s getting late.”

“Yes, yes, I’m coming.”

While Uncle Wu stiffly walked forward, Elder Sun heaved a sigh behind him: “Wu Yang, Wu Yang, even a young girl sees money as dirt. You are a scholar, but why do you look so pale? Why are your behaviors so rigid, your eyes so muddled? Tsk, you are much inferior to her!”

People in this era loved to remark on anything and everything. The elders’ opinions often affected a person’s entire life. When Elder Sun uttered his words, a dark ire loomed on Wu Yang’s thin face.

Wu Yang shuffled to Chen Rong’s side.

Chen Rong stood up. She covered her mouth with her sleeve and casually yawned before saying: “Distribute them well. It’s up to each of you whether you stay or leave.”

Then she lazily walked back to her bedchamber.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

Seventy-odd people weren’t a large number, but it took four whole hours before Wu Yang finished giving everyone his portion.

Placing the brush down, Wu Yang stood up amid the servants’ laughter. He stared at the mountain of belongings that had shrunk into a small mound, feeling as though his footsteps had cemented onto the ground.

Heaven! Those people aren’t vegetarians! These things wouldn’t be enough to fill the space between their teeth. If they blame me, what am I supposed to do?

Dejected, he didn’t even pay attention to Elder Sun when the older man said goodbye to him.

In his panic, Wu Yang’s eyes lit up: It’s said that the Chen estate has a precious treasure. Perhaps this would satisfy them!

While Wu Yang was thinking of this, from the bedchamber came Chen Rong’s clear voice: “Uncle Wu, Nurse Ping, Old Shang.”

All three answered in surprise: “Aye.”

“How many have not left?”

“Fifteen, miss.”

“Very good. I’ve got something quite extraordinary. I would like to ask the three of you to lead those 15 people and bring it to the Wang estate. Just tell them that my guardians are not at home, and I am only a vulnerable female who cannot take charge. I would be pleased to gift the treasure my father left me if only the Chen house can join the Wang house’s troop and embark on this journey with them.”

At this point, the bedchamber door squeaked open. At the same time, a glassy and sparkling red treasure appeared in front of everyone’s eyes.

At the sight of this object, Wu Yang’s field of vision darkened and he almost fainted on the spot.

Chapter 4: Shattered Treasure

The whole body of the object shone in radiance. It was a coral three feet high and shaped like a tree. Born under the sea, it was extremely difficult to obtain. Moreover, the coral they were beholding was crystal clear and flawless.

A true treasure! Wu Yang could no longer bear it. He stepped forward and hastily exclaimed: “Ah Rong, you mustn’t!”

Seeing Chen Rong looking at him in surprise, he got hold of himself and explained to her: “You have just dispersed most of your wealth. This is presently the only thing that is worth something in the entire estate. Are you not keeping even the last treasure your father left? Should you gift it to someone else?” His tone was quite serious. He gave a long sigh and continued: “Miss, it’s difficult to build a home yet very easy to wreck one. If you do this, I’m afraid people will say you are a prodigal child.”

“Prodigal?”

Chen Rong blinked, mockery flashed in her dark eyes. She carelessly played with the coral in her hand – this action not only made Wu Yang but also Nurse Ping give a gasp.

Chen Rong’s mouth drew in disdain as she said, “It’s only a vulgar thing. Uncle Wu, you’re paying it too much attention.”

She then ignored him and directed her gaze to Nurse Ping and Old Shang. “Carry it away. There’s no need to use a veil. Send it to the Wang estate at once.”

Not veiling it? Then wasn’t she parading it on the streets?

“Absolutely not!” Uncle Wu exclaimed.

Chen Rong glanced askance at him and coldly asked, “Why not?”

Uncle Wu stammered for a long while before answering her: “Such a treasure as this would lure thieves to our house.”

Chen Rong smiled and narrowed her eyes, appraising Uncle Wu’s facial expression while shaking the coral in her hand again. She casually said, “Take it to the Wang estate. It now belongs to the House of Wang. If it lures thieves, it is luring thieves into the Wang House, what has it got to do with me? And what has it got to do with you?”

With her last few words, whether intentionally or not, she actually raised her tone of voice.

Instantly, Wu Yang felt everyone’s eyes on him. Cold sweat dripped down his forehead.

No, he must not let Ah Rong gift this object away. Blasted! Why was this girl so stubborn? How could he convince her?

While Wu Yang was struggling to think, Chen Rong turned to the crowd in the courtyard and ordered, “Bring me the agarwood tray. How can such an exquisite coral be placed on ordinary wood?”

“Eh? Aye, aye!”

Several servants quickly ran into the main hall and lifted a small circular tray – one that was made entirely out of pure agarwood. It was one of the few remaining valuables in the Chen estate. It had long been spotted by Wu Yang.

This time, Wu Yang’s eyes grew red. His face next turned purplish especially after seeing several familiar shadows outside the gate.

By the time the circular tray was carried out, Wu Yang had strode forward and reached out to snatch the coral from Chen Rong’s hands.

“Ahh…”

Watching what was happening, the surrounding crowd broke out in cries.

In a blink, Wu Yang’s hand had touched the coral.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

The result was not as he had expected. While he was forcibly snatching it away, he in fact could not feel Chen Rong’s resistance. Once the coral was in his hands, Wu Yang’s red face showed a hint of a smile.

As Wu Yang withdrew his hand, Chen Rong fell sideways in the direction of his pull. It did not matter that she fell, but her long sleeve was placed under the coral and was now pulling it along.

The red splendor flashed downward like a falling meteor.

Neither Chen Rong nor Wu Yang had time to exclaim. All they could see was the brilliant and flawless coral falling down and onto the ground.

“No!” Wu Yang screamed. Both his hands were outstretched, his entire body leaning forward to grasp onto the coral.

Perhaps when people are pushed into a corner, their potential would be catalyzed. In desperation, Wu Yang’s hands held onto the coral. He hastily pulled his hands back and shouted in awe: “I got it, I got it!”

While shouting, Wu Yang quickly stood up without paying attention to the skirt under his foot.

The moment Wu Yang’s foot stepped on the skirt, Chen Rong gave a grunt and leaned sideways. His center of gravity was already unstable, now that his foot was caught by Chen Rong’s skirt, his whole body tipped forward.

“Whump…”

At the moment this loud impact boomed, a crisp shatter also sounded.

And then deathly silence ensued.

Those in the courtyard dropped their mouths as they stared at Wu Yang’s face-in-the-ground posture. To the left of him, they could also see the coral branches that had been shattered to pieces.

Wu Yang remained motionless on the ground. He seemed to have fallen into unconsciousness, his whole body rigid.

Silence, great silence.

Suddenly, Chen Rong’s childish voice was heard, tinged with anger: “Uncle Wu, my father had sheltered you because you hadn’t had anywhere to go. Our forefathers said we mustn’t forget the grace we were given. Our kindness to you hadn’t been merely a meal, had it? Please tell me why you must take this coral from my home? Why do you rather break it than give it to the Wang clan?”

Due to the iciness present in her voice, she sounded quite commanding at this moment.

Uncle Wu gave no answer. He still did not move. It wasn’t clear whether he had really fainted or not.

Chen Rong’s face sank. “Guards!” she decidedly shouted.

“Aye.”

“While guardians are absent from the House of Chen, this Wu Yang fellow as a scholar had plotted to steal my assets and had broken my family’s priceless treasure. Presently, clans are moving south. No one will be present at court to see this knave to justice. Throw him out of the Chen estate and let the world know of his actions!”

Because Chen Rong displayed both might and reason this time, no one dared to speak up for Wu Yang. Several servants came forward and lifted Wu Yang up.

As soon as he was lifted, he suddenly opened his eyes and glared at Chen Rong, screaming: “You! You little wench! How dare you touch me? You’re actually going to touch me?”

His eyes were ripping. The redness on his face revealed a viciousness.

This time, those who sympathized with him suddenly felt disgusted. This man had broken the mistress’s family heirloom. Not only did he shamelessly feign a swoon, he even accused the mistress so callously. It seemed he was as wicked as Ah Rong said he was!

Chen Rong was rather calm facing a furious Wu Yang. She simply watched him with nary a trace of panic detected in her eyes. While Wu Yang was still stunned, a few strong servants had held him down and dragged him away.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

“What are you doing? Put me down, put me down at once!” Wu Yang cried in panic, his hands and feet struggling to break away.

But he was only a frail scholar. How could he move if on one wanted to let him go? Six men solidly pressed down on him and lifted him into the air before they carried him out of the estate.

By the time they got to the gate, Wu Yang was still shouting in dismay. But his loud cries, which started out deriding Chen Rong, turned into sobs and then eventually subsided into stillness.

Soon, six uniform voices made their way to Chen Rong’s ears: “This knave Wu Yang took advantage of his master’s absence to attempt thievery. We hereby expel him…”

“This knave Wu Yang took advantage of his master’s absence to attempt thievery. We hereby expel him…”

“This knave Wu Yang took advantage of his master’s absence to attempt thievery. We hereby expel him…”

The six uniform voices shouted thusly three times before the statement no longer echoed back.

Listening to the din growing louder and louder outside, Nurse Ping came to Chen Rong and whispered concernedly: “Ah Rong, don’t be sad… you were going to give it away in any case.”

Chen Rong looked up to Nurse Ping with a smile – a remarkably bright smile. Amid everyone’s surprise, she leisurely said, “I’m not sad.”

How could she be sad? Her father and brother were not home. As a girl who needed help, she would do anything for anyone who would take her in.

However, she had been seeking a small return when she wanted to gift this treasure away. None of the corrupt officials in the city would dare to receive her gift, much less the great house of Wang. Anyone who took it would’ve stained his own name.

She brought the coral out because she wanted to break it, but she didn’t think Wu Yang would be so accommodating. He actually took the initiative to bear the responsibility for her.

“Why aren’t you sad?” Nurse Ping asked, completely astonished.

Chen Rong gave no answer. She only gazed in the direction of the gate with a faraway look in her eyes, a touch of ease emerging across her face. “People of the Wang House are coming, right? I heard they are leaving tomorrow. Get ready so we don’t slow others down.”

She caught everybody by surprise.

Chapter 5: The Famed Qilang from the House of Wang

03

(This is Qilang, you’re not allowed to disagree :P)

Everyone was still looking at each other until Chen Rong flapped her sleeve and turned to go back to her bedchamber. “Nurse Ping? Is Ah Rong serious?” someone finally asked at length.

Nurse Ping stared at the man and replied, “It doesn’t matter if she was serious or not. We can’t be wrong to be prepared.”

“Aye, aye.”

While the flock dispersed and began their busy work, a burst of rapid footsteps arrived. A sweaty guard was running toward Chen Rong’s bedchamber: “Miss, Qilang of the Wang House is here.”

Whoa –

Everyone halted and turned to look, staring at Chen Rong’s room in shock.

It was really Qilang of the Wang clan! Dear heavens, Qilang of the Wang clan (2) had personally come here!

  1. He is commonly referred to as Wang Qilang because he is the 7th male offspring of the Wang clan. Similarly, his cousin is called Wang Wulang because he is 5th. They are terms of endearment much like nicknames.

The house of Wang was no ordinary clan. In the entire City of Ping, the house of Wang was among the most powerful. Moreover, the person who came this time was Wang Qilang.

Needless to say, families who resided in a place such as the City of Ping were only branches of major clans. For example, Chen Rong’s father only belonged to a Jiangnan subsidiary branch of the Chen clan; the same was true of the Wang clan.

But this Wang Qilang was known to all his kinsmen! His drove a chariot with grace, he was well-dressed, he came and went as he pleased, and he mingled with other major clans. There was easily a dozen people in his clan who were high-ranking court officials! Such a clan was as good as royalties. They stood in the clouds high above and let the world look up to them!

People said gentlemen from this class of clans all possessed bearings of immortals. They weren’t sure whether their remarks were appropriate or not, but everyone in the City of Ping knew that Qilang of the Wang house who arrived three months prior was indeed a godly kind of person!

To the servants, Chen Rong was also a noblewoman, but her background compared to Wang Qilang’s was like a cloud in the sky and mud on the ground, as distant as two ends of the Milky Way!

At the rap on the door, Chen Rong hastened out. Because she had divvied up her family wealth and broken the coral, she reckoned the Wang clan would hold her in high regard. If she could go with them, the journey would be much more peaceful. And if she could befriend them, she would have much to her advantage after arriving in the south. With this said, she didn’t expect the result to be this good. She had drawn the famed Qilang of the Wang clan here!

This translation belongs to hamster428.

Presently, she was wearing a pair of wooden clogs and a spacious purple robe that highlighted her jadelike skin. On her exquisite face was a pair of sparkling eyes and an air of childlike innocence.

She did not ask which gate Wang Qilang was currently at. Just like that, she strode out of the courtyard. Sure enough, she had only left the gate when she heard a stream of melodious music ahead.

The sounds of zither floated like a mountain brook and drifting clouds, carrying in them indescribable freedom and ease.

Chen Rong followed the music to the square where a splendid horse carriage parked. The music was, sure enough, coming from the carriage.

Two dozens entranced people were gathered around the carriage, all gazing inside as they perked their ears to listen to the music.

Chen Rong did not do so. She walked briskly toward the carriage, her wooden clogs clomping on the ground from time to time with her steps. They were particularly abrupt and jarring while the notes were floating. The most annoying of all was that, whether intentional or not, each time the wooden clogs touched ground was right at the turning point of the music. She was really making the listeners stew in irritation.

Unconsciously, they all glared at Chen Rong, forgetting that she was their mistress.

The music in the carriage halted, replaced by a delightful laughter: “My lady, have you suddenly come because the music isn’t beautiful?”

Chen Rong did not stop walking. She went straight to the carriage, softly laughed and replied: “The zither playing is very beautiful. But since I am preoccupied, I cannot listen to such carefree music.”

The delightful laughter inside the carriage grew louder.

“What are you worried about?” the same man asked her.

Chen Rong smiled. By now she had arrived at the horse carriage.

In the amazement of the crowd, she reached her hand out to lift the carriage curtain while very naturally replying: “I’ve long heard that Qilang of the Wang House is blessed with bearings of the gods. Unfortunately, I’ve not had a chance to meet you. I was very happy to hear that my lord has come today, but I became worried for fear that my lord would lose his interest and deny our meeting.”

After answering him, she drew the curtain.

Whoa –

A colorful rainbow blinded her eyes. At this moment, she couldn’t help but turn sideway to avoid it.

While she was turning away, the person in the carriage laughed and said, “My lady, you have come to see me. Now that you see me, why do you turn your gaze?”

Chen Rong rubbed her eyes and replied, “I am but a young girl. The godly looks that you possess make my heart tremble and prevent me from looking closely.”

The laughter in the carriage boomed louder. Like ice and jade clashing onto one another, it was very crisp and clear, and extremely pleasant to hear.

Chen Rong finally turned her head at this time and looked at the young man in the carriage.

He was an uncommonly handsome man of about seventeen or eighteen.

He was as beautiful as jade, his eyes as dark as paint. He was smiling at her. For some reason, Chen Rong’s heart really did tremble when confronted with his smiling face.

It should be said she had just been wounded in love and had also just come back to life. She had thought her heart would never beat for a man again. She could now, however, feel her heart thumping against her chest. It could thus be inferred how handsome the man before her eyes must be.

There was no need to describe the young man’s facial features. The most noteworthy was the mystery in his eyes – that which called to mind centuries of ice that sat on the mountains, the haze of a magnificently rising sun, the water in an ancient lake, and a willow swaying in springtime, all containing a striking sense of peace.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

Unknowingly, Chen Rong found herself genuinely staring at him in a stupor.

The handsome lad regarded her and noticed that, despite staring at him in stupefaction, her dark eyes were very clear. He could not help but smile, revealing a row of snow-white teeth. “Have you seen enough?” he asked.

Chen Rong smiled while keeping her gaze on his flawlessly handsome face and replied, “I finally know today what people mean when they say ‘godlike’.”

He laughed.

Amid his laughter, Chen Rong retreated and, without hesitation, pull downed the carriage curtain, cutting off the line of sight between him and her.

Wang Qilang’s pleasant laughter rang out again: “If you like me as you have confessed, why do you hasten to retreat?”

Chen Rong sighed in reply. “My lord’s looks are too majestic. I still would like to get married and have children. After meeting you today, how can any other man come into my eyes from now?”

Wang Qilang was delighted. He laughed a while before the melodious zither sounded again.

Amid the music that wound its way like spring water, Wang Qilang gave a low chuckle. “I’ve had no harvest since I arrived in the City of Ping several months ago. Until today, that is, when I heard that the lady of the Chen house had drained her family wealth, and I thus hurriedly came over. This has indeed been a worthwhile trip!”

At this, he softly ordered, “Let’s go.” The music ceased at these two words.

All the way until his carriage left the estate, he had not left his ride nor had he proposed to Chen Rong that her family would be traveling with the Wang clan.

An old servant looked after the departing carriage in puzzlement before asking Chen Rong in unease: “Ah Rong, what did the house of Wang mean by this?”

Chen Rong withdrew her gaze and smiled broadly. “What did they mean? They have agreed to let us join them on the road tomorrow!”

[Back] [Chapter Index] [Next]

You should know by now you had just read four chapters! This may change but I am trying out a new update format where I would update less frequently (2 weeks?) but instead have batch chapters for each update (3-5 chapters). I feel like this novel needs to be read in chunks for momentum sake since its pacing is more deliberate. You guys can let me know your preference after a few runs and I’ll see if things should be switched up.

49 thoughts on “Mei Gongqing 02-05

  1. Hello hamster! I’ve been a silent lurker on your blog and always love the work you translated, especially sansheng and moxi’s story! This story is looking great! Translating it batch by batch seems to flow much better for me! Thank you for your hardwork! ^o^ looking forward to the development and the journey of Chen Rong!

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  2. YAY! This book is lovely so far! Thank you Hamster 😀
    I really enjoy this mix of past and present, and look forward to learning her past and seeing how her future is.

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    • Hi Ivy, it was also interesting to me to see how her present was diverging from her past. Sometimes it doesn’t, and that feels scary, bcoz there’s such a helplessness about history repeating itself. But when it does, it’s pretty fascinating.

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  3. I think a batch of chapters is better ^^ That said, I see that she is learning from her naivety and mistakes of the past and protecting herself better this time! Go Chen Rong!

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  4. Thanks for the translation hamster.
    Really can’t wait for the next chapter…

    I prefer 3 to 5 chapter hehe.. But i really really can’t wait for 2 weeks update.. How about 2 chapter each week 😀

    Have a good day 😀
    ~(‾⌣‾~) (~‾⌣‾)~~(˘▽˘~)(~˘▽˘)~

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  5. So excited Hamster!!! I was so pleasantly surprised with chapter 1 and then couldn’t believe my eyes when there were 4 chapters a few days later!! I’m excited about this project and will cheer you on! jia you! Can’t wait to see how Chen Rong does it this time around (and also to see what went wrong last time!)

    I’m torn between loving having larger chunks to get a better feel for the whole story but then having too long in between I can’t remember what happened before (maybe it’s just my old age)… but that’s not too bad of a problem as I can always just reread a little. I’m good with whatever you decide.

    Thanks Hamster!

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    • Hi atz. It went wrong for her right from the beginning the last time bcoz she was too young to understand how the world works. Plus she had no direct relatives to protect her. She was at the mercy of her distantly related uncle who could care less. She’s still at his mercy this time around (omg is he scum!) but at least she mow knows what these ppl are capable of and can put her guard on.

      I’m trying my best to do weekly updates when I can and at least in the beginning to get the story going. But since work and life has that pesky way of stepping in that I hesitate to make that promise. Should I include a “last time on MGQ” paragraph at the beginning of each new update to help u refresh? Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you. I’m fine with any update format, just don’t abandon the translation 🙂
    My thought for these chapters : this QL really likes to laugh a lot :p

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  7. Thanks for the update – I’m really enjoying this story so far. I’m a fan of having a couple of chapters in each release. It flows really nicely and the segment concludes at the perfect point. It feels like an episode of a show – there’s enough of a story to form an arc with a sort of cliffhanger at the end.

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    • Hi Lauren,

      I thoughts so too when I decided to batch them up. One or two chapters just didn’t feel like it was enough for the plot to move. Thank for checking the story out. I’m glad everyone is enjoying it so far.

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  8. Thanks for the chapters Hamster! For me I like the chapters spread out than chunks. I feel like I enjoy the chapters better that way because I actually take the time to read and re-read them, just soaking them in, go I guess that’s why I don’t really have any memory problems when I read the following chapters. When it comes out as chunks, I read them in a rush, too excited you know. But that’s just me.

    Anyway this story is amazing, I’m hooked! You seriously know how to choose the good ones. It’s a bit sad that she ended her life, just goes to show how much it sucked before but so nice to see a “what if I did this differently” kind of story.

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    • Hi Fae, I admit I also tend to blow through my books and don’t savor when I have tons available to read >_< But maybe you can still reread the longer chunks for a second time?

      Hah thnx, I just happen to enjoy these books. But my taste has always been a little different from most other readers so I'm pleasantly surprised many of you like this one so far. What intrigued me was also how she was going to change fate the 2nd time around. What would she do differently. Sometimes I wonder what's the point since the era she lives in is still pretty crap, and she isn't having an easier time at all, but her tenacity makes me realize that life is worth living and you should make the best out of what you were given.

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  9. Thank you for introducing and translating this novel. I prefer a batch of chapters also. I like the main guy so far. In her previous life, did they ever meet?

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  10. I love you so much Hamster!! Thank you for introducing another fun novel to read your translations. I love this story so far, also love your many chapter updates for the story’s momentum. You are the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m loving Chen Rong’s way of tackling her first calamity, not only shaking off that pest of an unworthy uncle but also building up quite the image for herself 🙂 Also I really have to give it to her, for being able to speak such grand words of praises to Qilang hahaha but at least he enjoyed hearing them XD
    Thank you for translating! ^_^

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  12. If wang qilang is the lead, i wonder who was her ex Husband? Does she really like wang qilang/ she shower him with praises to gain favor?

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  13. After reading these 4 chapters I have to say that I can´t wait to read more. Chen Rong is quite different to other female leads that I have encountered so far in other novels. Thank you so much for these chapters.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks a lot—!
    -screams excitedly- oh my, that chzpter 3 was interesting! Yes, cast that horrible person out! Heh, it’s excellent that she got the attention of that person! Nice, nice—-!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh I see, so the MC was born from a concubine? The last chapter confused me because she seemed to be the wife of guy but it was stated that he also married her cousin. Afaik, in China only one wife can be the legal wife, the others are concubines. Possibly MC was the concubine in the first chapter? But I’m not sure, maybe she was a divorced wife. Either way, being born of a concubine is a handicap when it’s time to find a marriage match for MC.

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