Published at 29th of November 2020 04:13:58 PM
Shuzhong City, as its name implied, was located in the middle of Shu Province. After half a month's journey, with the horse galloping on without stopping, Murong Yunshu finally arrived at the capital city of Shu. But instead of going directly to the Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence, she stayed in an inn in Shuzhong City.[+]T/N : Zhong (中) means middle or center.
This inn was not an ordinary inn. It had a long history, or in common people's terms, it was an awfully worn out and old inn. Of course, its special feature lay not in its shabbiness, but in its guests, which were a mix of fishes and dragons together[+]Chinese idiom : crooks mixed in with the honest folk as its function was a dealing mediator with the people of jianghu[+]lit. rivers and lakes—people wandering from place to place and living by their wits, e.g. fortune-tellers, quack doctors, itinerant entertainers, etc. , considered as a social group.
It also had another name in the jianghu world——the Gossip House. As long as it was something that happened in the jianghu, no matter how big or small, one could find out about it here. But there was one prerequisite——the Lady Boss must find you pleasing to her eyes.
Everything about the inn was what Lu-er heard from the storyteller, who was actually old man Shenji. Murong Yunshu knew without thinking that this must have been deliberately revealed by old man Shenji. His purpose was to lead her to the Gossip House. As to why he wanted to lead her there, she could not guess, but she was sure that her answer could be found in the Gossip House. So she abandoned the comfort of the high-grade inn and lived in the Gossip House.
As soon as Murong Yunshu stepped through the door, the originally noisy inn immediately turned quiet. Everyone suddenly stood up and looked at her in awe.
"Madam, you've come at last!" East Guardian came out of the crowd, with the other three guardians from North to South followed closely behind him.[+]T/N : I think the leader of the four Great Guardians is East.
Murong Yunshu was startled for a moment, then gave them a wee smile and greeted them like an old friend, as she faintly said, "Long time no see." After Chu Changge left, she found the antidote for the Soul Snatcher in her boudoir, which was put together with the handkerchief with the word Chu written on it. When she was worried about how to use it, the four guardians from South, East, North and West brought other medicinal materials and told her the detoxification method. Ever since then, she had not seen them again.
"Madam may think that the past month is long, and yet we feel that this one month is not as long as the present hour." East Guardian also smiled, but his was a wry smile. He didn't understand why Madam still managed to smile when things had come to this.
East Guardian obviously didn't know that for Murong Yunshu, smiling was just one of her few expressions.
"These friends are..." Murong Yunshu lightly scanned the crowd in the inn, and then looked at East Guardian in confusion.
"They are followers and friends of the Mojiao Sect. They are all here to help Madam rescue the Leader." East Guardian explained.
So this was old man Shenji's intention. Unfortunately, she would have to let down that old man's earnest expectation. "If you want to save Chu Changge, please help him yourselves." After saying that, Murong Yunshu instructed Lu-er to check in.
"Oh, a little girl with a character. No wonder the arrogant Chu Changge will be fascinated by you." Before her voice died away, an attractive and charming middle aged widow swayed her hips as she walked towards Murong Yunshu.
"She is the Lady Boss of Gossip House, Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman." East Guardian introduced her.
Murong Yunshu smiled at the introduction as she said, "So it's the Lady Boss. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"Interesting. Really interesting." Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman slowly circled around Murong Yunshu, while looking at her up and down, and remarked, "Although the temperament is a bit cold, the person doesn't seem like a heartless and unrighteous person. But why, when the life or death Chu Changge is still uncertain, you still manage to smile?"
Murong Yunshu, who was originally smiling politely, suddenly laughed out loud as she answered, "If I really don't know whether Chu Changge is dead or alive, then why would I come here?"
"Do you know where he is?" Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman was extremely surprised.
Murong Yunshu shook her head slowly and replied, "I don't know."
It was normal for people like Murong Yunshu not to know. This news, even her Gossip House didn't know about, so it was less likely for anyone outside would know. Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman asked again, "Then how do you know if he is still alive or dead?"[+]This noob translation was translated by a noob translator, きつね. Please read this chapter at xin-shou.blogspot.com.
Murong Yunshu suddenly turned solemn as she responded, "Because I know that King Liang Jr. does not dare to offend me to that extent yet."
Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman didn't expect that the woman in front of her, who had thought that the clouds were pale and a light breeze was blowing[+]Chinese idiom : nothing does matter from the moment she stepped into the inn could suddenly change her facial expression. Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman was startled for a few seconds before she started to sway again and smiled while saying, "Good, good, good!"
Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman said the word 'good' three times in a row, but Murong Yunshu didn't know what was good and she really didn't want to know. Hence she just asked, "Am I still looking pleasant to Lady Boss' eyes?"
Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman was stunned again, and then she smiled, "If I don't find you pleasing to my eyes, you wouldn't be 'standing' in the inn and talking to me right now." The implication was that people she didn't like will never step into her inn.
"Thank you." Although Murong Yunshu didn't want to act along with other people, it would always be much more convenient for her to live in the Gossip House. At least she could hear more details about Chu Changge's entry into the Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence.
"Why did you refuse their help?" Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman asked her once more.
"Habit." There was a kind of person who used to act alone, and she happened to be that kind of person. So far, apart from Chu Changge, there was no one whom she was willing to advance and retreat with. Of course, under normal circumstances, she would be the one who retreated first.
"Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence is not as simple as you think," reminded Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman.
"There is strength in numbers, and one more person can make a difference."
Murong Yunshu, however, didn't think so and indifferently said, "The only benefit of having more people is just like having another one more mouth to feed."
If this sentence was uttered by someone else, the arrogant Mojiao Sect would have long been angry, but since Murong Yunshu was the one who spoke them, no one dared to express their dissatisfaction.
East Guardian said, "Since Madam insists on doing so, I will let them all wait at the inn while waiting for further instructions. But the four of us have swore an oath in front of the Leader that whenever and wherever we encounter Madam, we will fight to the death to protect Madam. So, Madam, please make it easy for us by letting us follow Madam around."
"Tsk, tsk, tsk..." Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman smiled frivolously, "The dignified Mojiao Guardians will actually go as far as begging to work for a woman."
"If the Leader has taken fancy on Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman, we will also beg to work for you." These words had been said by South Guardian who had an extremely cold expression. It could be seen that he was quite upset with Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman's frivolous tone.
Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman smilingly said, "It's a pity that I don't have a fortune that I'm unable to be favoured by Leader Chu."
Murong Yunshu frowned slightly at the words she heard coming from Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman. Although she could tell that Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman's words were just a joke, she didn't know if it was an illusion or not, but she always felt that Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman's words had a thorn in them.
Not only Murong Yunshu, but everyone present could hear the unkind meaning behind Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman's words, and in an instant, those with swords drew out their swords, and those holding their spears drew out their spears, as the atmosphere became tense. A bearded man slammed the table and said, "Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman, please pay attention to your wordings!" The bearded man used the word 'please', obviously because he had some scruples about Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman, thus he did not dare act too rashly.
Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman smiled again, as she spoke, "I, Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman, am an unrefined person. I am not a girl from a good family. How can I know how to use proper wordings..." Before she could finish speaking, a cold looking spear was aimed towards her face. Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman nimbly turned around, avoiding the spear. The smile on her face immediately faded, as she angrily yelled, "Gu Beichuan, what do you mean by this?!"[+]This noob translation was translated by a noob translator, きつね. Please read this chapter at xin-shou.blogspot.com.
North Guardian changed his usual sluggish and adorable manner to a cold demeanour as he warned, "If you disrespect Madam, you, deserve, to die."
When Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman heard this warning, she released the tension from her smile and said, "Your Master is not even angry. So why are you the one who got angry instead?"
This time Murong Yunshu understood Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman's intention——she was testing her. Thus Murong Yunshu motioned for North Guardian to put away his cold looking spear, and then spoke to Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman, "If Lady Boss has something to say, just say it out loud."
"You are really smart. Very good. I like smart people." Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman swayed her hips and walked behind the counter. Her slender fingers clicked on the abacus a few times, then she looked up sharply and stated, "For five thousand taels[+]a unit of weight for silver of silver, I will give you a big gift."
"What big gift?"
"The way to sneak into the Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence." Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman looked smug. There was no one else in this world who knew about the secret passage but her. She originally did not want to meddle in other people's affairs, but this Murong Yunshu's temperament was really to her liking. She thought that anyone would want to befriend such a good-tempered and well-educated person, who was also rich and powerful, and yet she could be neither arrogant nor humiliated. However, even blood brothers had to settle their accounts clearly[+]Chinese phrase : short reckonings make long friends, and the silver that should be collected still had to be collected...
Murong Yunshu thought it would be such a big gift, but it was just the way into the Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence. Despite her disappointment, she did not show it on her face. Instead, she smiled and said, "It's a pity that although I have a lot of money, I don't want to spend five thousand taels of silver for it."
"You think it's too expensive?" Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman frowned. She sold information and never haggled over the price.
Murong Yunshu neither said it was expensive or inexpensive. She just said, "It is not expensive to buy a piece of news with five thousand taels of silver, but it is not my style to buy a piece of information that is useless to me."
"If you don't buy my information, how do you plan to enter the Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence?"
Bai tie (visiting/calling card) a.k.a Ming chi (name card)
It was originally written on a piece of bamboo before paper was made.
Image Credit 原平故事 (回顾 清代名人“拜帖”, July 5th, 2019)
"Hand over my bai tie[+]visiting / calling card and walk through the front door." Murong Yunshu said it carelessly, as if entering the Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence was as easy as going through her own vegetable garden.
"Walk through the front door?" Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman cried out in disbelief. This girl either took too much medicine or didn't take any medicine yet. King Liang Jr. knew that she was here to save someone, so how could he just let her in?
"If King Liang was more virtuous, he would even host a banquet to receive me." Murong Yunshu's eyes were unusually cold as she said this. Since King Liang Jr. tried every possible mean to force her to come, naturally he would not turn her away.
Yun Si Niang[+]form of address for an elderly married woman was horrified by Murong Yunshu's strength that she was unable to speak for a long time. She found that this seemingly weak woman in front of her had a womanly spirit that would not concede to men[+]Chinese idiom : to compare favourably with men in terms of ability, bravery etc which caused her to feel ashamed of being inferior[+]Chinese idiom : feel inferior to others.
On the following day, Murong Yunshu indeed presented a bai tie to King Liang. As she had expected, he really hosted a banquet to receive her and he invited her into his residence with an eight-bearer sedan.
"If I had known that Miss Murong had come to Shuzhong, this Wang[+]King / Prince would have gone to the city gates to personally welcome Miss." King Liang Sr. chuckled.
"His Highness is being too polite." Murong Yunshu responded with a modest smile. The corner of her eyes glanced intentionally or unintentionally at the King Liang Jr. behind the King Liang Sr.. "As I was passing through here, I heard that the bejewelled jade palace[+]Chinese idiom : sumptuous dwelling interior of Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence residence was even more majestic than the Imperial Palace. As a result, I became so curious that I took the liberty of coming to disturb His Highness, so I hope His Highness will pardon me."
"There is nothing to pardon." King Liang Sr. squinted and laughed with an unusually sly smile, "Since Miss Murong wished to visit this royal palace, Miss may as well stay here for a few more days."
Since Murong Yunshu had this intention, she just pushed the boat along with the current[+]Chinese idiom : take advantage of the situation for one's own benefit. "If His Highness insists then this younger generation has to obey." Once she stayed in Liang Wang[+]King / Prince Residence, the next step would be much easier.