Chapter 4: Er Ye purposely arranges a challenging banquet
Long Er, ever since the day tea was poured on his body, kept tabs on the blind woman’s life.
Of course, this was related to his continuous brooding over the matter. To put it plainly, he dwelt on his feeling of resentment towards her.
Sometimes, when he walked and saw pits in the streets he would think, encountering pits unseen in the streets one would trip, right? Hmm, that blind young lady stumbles, that’s good. Other times when he ate food, he would pause for a second and ask himself, when one doesn’t see where the food is, how does one eat? No wonder she is so thin. Ah, serves her right that she doesn’t put on weight.
He was so engrossed in thinking this way that after a few days, he couldn’t help but dispatch Li Ke to inquire about her: “Has Ding Yan Shan already taught that Ju Mu Er a lesson?”
Li Ke grudgingly accepted the order and went to ask around if a young lady was being bullied by another young lady. After having inquired, he went back to report: “Ju Mu Er, ever since that day, has stayed home, nothing has occurred yet.”
Long Er listened, rubbed his chin with his hand, and sighed: “This blind young lady, she’s really sly.” Li Ke’s heart also despaired, his house master really bears grudges, other people’s eyes are inconveniently blind, how is it that not going out meant being sly. He could not help but ask: “Er Ye, that matter of building the awnings, what are we going to do?”
Long Er quickly glanced at him: “Why, can it be that you come on behalf of that blind woman to egg on your master to honor his promise?”
Li Ke got angry, but he hurriedly lowered his head, and dared not to cry out.
Long Er stood up, crossed his hands behind his back, looked out the window, and snorted: “I have already agreed, I’ll not renege on my promise, these awnings will certainly be constructed, but I won’t spend my own money.”
Li Ke was astonished, not spend money, then how to build?
Long Er said: “I have already ordered the steward to release the news to all the big merchants, East Avenue will be renovated and awnings will be constructed, making it the most bustling commercial street, thus this street will become very popular, within a few days, someone will come holding money and beg me to let him spend his money to repair the street and fund the awnings.”
Li Ke realized and understood his plan, those strange rich people have money to burn, they are never short of money, what they lack is fame and power. If they could pay for the East Avenue to become the country’s liveliest business area downtown, making a name for themselves in the process, both for fame and to curry favor with Long Er Ye, what they have been looking for is exactly this cushy job that only requires them to spend a little money.
Not to expend money is really not a good method, not only not spending money, he’s afraid that in the next few days people will be dropping in to bring gifts in an attempt to flatter Long Er, there will be fighting over being given the opportunity to finance the project, right?
Li Ke lamenting at his lord master’s own ingenious idea, was surprised to hear Long Er suddenly ask: “You said the previous time the blind young lady said she has the means to let me build the awnings and also is able to make profit doing so, what’s her means?”
“Your servant has no idea.” Li Ke hurriedly replied.
Long Er watched the scenery outside the window, waving his hand he dismissed Li Ke, when he was about to step out of the room Long Er commanded: “You find that blind young lady and watch her well, see what lessons she has suffered, then this matter you report back to me, I will listen.”
Li Ke received his order and withdrew, Long Er returned to the table, opened his account book. Ah, account books still provide him the most pleasure, a woman is just trouble.
Less than two weeks later, Long Er had received altogether two reports about Ju Mu Er. One is that when she went out to teach the little daughter of the Li family to play the qin, on her way back home two ruffians harassed and shoved her on the road, she was slightly injured, a farmer rescued her and sent her home. The other one is that when she was out to help tune a qin, on her return trip she filthy water was poured on her, the lady owner of the nearby tofu shop helped her, gave her a change of clean clothes and accompanied her home.
Long Er listened and puckered his brows: “Ding Yan Shan’s lessons were these? A woman’s tricks are indeed not up for discussion, so boring.”
Li Ke bowed his head and did not speak, in his heart thinking an innocent young woman is being bullied, so how can this have a semblance of a boring discussion.
After a while, Long Er said: “Well, you go, find the blind young lady and pass on these words, tell her regarding the matter of the construction of the awnings I have already arranged it, I am inviting her to a meal, for her to come to Xian Wei Lou for a dinner, together we will sit at a table and discuss a matter.”
Li Ke stared blankly: “To discuss what matter?”
Long Er shot him a quick glance: “Of course, telling you to ask her is nothing but a pretext to make her come out, then you go, find me a young manservant who is familiar with the Ding residence, let him follow closely the maidservant of Ding Yan Shan and have a chance encounter with her, mentioning casually the matter of my invitation to the blind young lady to dine in Xian Wei Lou.”
Li Ke heaved a sigh, this master really wanted to witness a showdown between the two women.
Sure enough, Long Er said: “To bully a person, one must do it in somebody else’s presence to make the person lose face, her strategy of secretly hiring mediocre guys to manhandle a weak woman, although an old, long-standing trick, is no fun at all.”
Li Ke, suppressing his face from twitching, withdrew and went out.
Er Ye Ah, what do you think then of guys who arrange a meeting to watch a girl bully another girl?
Li Ke is earnest and responsible, a very obedient guard, although he does not approve of the actions of his lord master, nevertheless he still hurried to execute his order, found a young manservant and told him of Long Er’s instructions.
The servant was a clever person, needless to say he understood his mission, nodded his head, immediately left and arranged the “encounter” with the maidservant. Li Ke, himself, went to the family wine shop, told Ju Mu Er of Long Er’s dinner invitation while she listened quietly, kept silent for a while, then nodded.
Li Ke thought of her delicate and gentle appearance, he wished he could warn her to be extra careful, but he thought that his wish for this woman, who’s a stranger to him, may go against his lord master’s wishes. So he courteously cupped his fist and took his leave, reported back to Long Er that his task was done.
Three days later, Long Er invited Ju Mu Er to dinner.
Unfortunately on the said day the weather did not cooperate, rain drizzled rhythmically to the ground. The raindrops beat the smooth stone pavement, emitting a muffled ticking sound, in the air there was a floating mist, both cold and moist.
The bad weather did not ruin Long Er’s good mood, he stood in a private dining room on the second floor of Xian Wei Lou, from the window he watched the Pingyang lake scenery amidst the misty rain, then he turned to another sliding window, and watched the street entrance of Xian Wei Lou.
He very much wants to see Ju Mu Er’s distressed figure and embarrassed appearance. The more rain, of course, the better.
Soon, a green-lacquered paper parasol fluttered from afar. Only as the paper parasol drew near can Long Er clearly see two young ladies are under this parasol. One of them is holding a bamboo cane, like Ju Mu Er would. She didn’t need to use her bamboo cane, her hand just held it, her other hand is coiled around the arm of the blue-clad young girl beside her, obviously the young girl is leading the way for her.
Two people sluggishly walked and at last reached the doorway of Xian Wei Lou, Long Er exerted his talent for listening carefully to tiny sounds, to eavesdrop on Ju Mu Er talking to the young girl: “Qing Er, I don’t know when I can come out, don’t stand on the street waiting too long, your body has just recovered, you may get sick again and catch another cold.”
Long Er thought in his mind: “This young girl must be the flower vendor Miss Su Qing.”
Long Er had not guessed wrongly, this young girl is exactly Su Qing. She giggled and agreed to Ju Mu Er’s words: “I know, I know, I’m going to the steamed bun shop across the street, big brother Ceng’s place, I’ll wait for you to come out, then I’ll come over.”
Ju Mu Er nodded, tapped her bamboo cane, and entered Xian Wei Lou unhurriedly.
From upstairs Long Er watched as she entered the restaurant and also saw Su Qing went to the steamed bun shop across the street, stopped by the doorway, talked for a while, and afterwards she went in. At this time, a carriage slowly pulled over, as Long Er saw it, his face broke into a smile, indeed this Ding Yan Shan didn’t fail his expectation.
Long Er happily turned his back to the window, a waiter readily led Ju Mu Er to the front of the private dining room, Long Er greeted with a smile: “Miss Ju, this way please.”
He said ‘this way please’ but he didn’t show the way to Ju Mu Er, moreover he waved his hand and sent the waiter away.
Ju Mu Er had to use her bamboo cane to poke around inch by inch, but she did not move forward yet.
Long Er smiled at her bashful smile, he turned around, went to a seat and sat down.
Waiting for Long Er to sit down, Ju Mu Er listened to the sound and only then did she slowly move forward step by step. Using the bamboo cane she carefully tapped her way, cautiously she managed to arrive at the side of Long Er.
Ju Mu Er’s bamboo stick touched the round seat next to Long Er, and then an expression of relief was shown on her face. Then feeling around with her hands, she felt the surface of the round chair and only then did Ju Mu Er sit down carefully.
Long Er who had been watching her the whole time, saw her calm countenance which is discordant with her helpless appearance, his heart is quite pleased. The expected anger of Ding Yan Shan compared to his, really is not the slightest bit worse.
What’s the so-called bullying? Now this is what you can call bullying!
You let the other party be unable to say anything bad to you, while she makes a fool of herself in front of your face. The more she suffers, feels embarrassed and enraged inside, the more her face flares up at the injustice, yet still wearing a smiling expression in your company, now that is what you can call bullying well done!
With such a thought in mind, Long Er could not contain the smile on his lips. This smile, was caught by Ding Yan Shan’s eyes just in time as she entered the door. She heard on the grapevine that Long Er invited Ju Mu Er to dinner, this made both her heart and mind furious and increasingly very restless.
Probably because she knows how Ju Mu Er stealthily and discreetly simply went on to ensnare elder sister’s husband Yun Qing Xian’s soul, who knows whether she uses some kind of enchanting drink spell, will she also be able to seduce Long Er Ye? Ding Yan Shan in this frame of mind decided to crash and disrupt this dinner party.
Ding Yan Shan set a plan to humiliate this vixen Ju Mu Er, thereupon these past few days she tried on a new hairstyle, bought new hair ornaments, got a new outfit, today she adorned and dressed herself to the teeth and coincidentally came here to dine, the clammy misty rain shrouding the city will not hinder her from crushing Ju Mu Er’s lofty ambitions.
To her surprise, she had not yet launched her battle, as she barely entered the door of the private dining room, she saw Long Er smiling to Ju Mu Er, a kind of warm, contented smile, as if just watching her, already delights his heart.
Ding Yan Shan’s heart skipped a beat, in anger she tightly twisted her handkerchief. For fear of getting the bottom of her dress dirty by her shoe heels wet from the muddy rain she very slowly and carefully got down from the carriage, so she came in late. She should have moved quicker, arrived a step earlier to catch up and hear what exactly Ju Mu Er said to Long Er Ye that made him this befuddled.
Long Er raised his head, saw Ding Yan Shan and his face displayed a surprised expression.
On Ding Yan Shan’s entire face hung a perfect smile, she said: “Indeed what a coincidence, today to come to Xian Wei Lou to dine, surprisingly able to run into Er Ye.”
Long Er stood up and courteously bowed, smiled and said: “Yes indeed what a coincidence.”
Ding Yan Shan casually sauntered into the room: “Er Ye has a guest? This seated young lady, Ju Mu Er, Shan Er is also acquainted with, imposing on your hospitality, does Er Ye mind?”
“This . . .” Long Er’s face displayed a discomfited expression, glanced at Ju Mu Er, yet before he can speak, Ding Yan Shan already picked the seat on the other side of Long Er and sat down: “Miss Mu Er certainly does not mind I come to chat.”
Ju Mu Er moves her head to face towards the direction Ding Yan Shan talking from, but her expression was blank.
“Miss Mu Er does not know me yet?” Ding Yan Shan smiled, her tone is cold: “My sister is called Ding Yan Xiang, Yun Qing Xian my brother-in-law is assistant to the Minister Yun in the Ministry of Justice, Miss Mu Er must know, right?”
Ju Mu Er suddenly nodded and said: “Minister Yun is an upright man, a good court official.”
Ding Yan Shan laughed: “My brother-in-law is not just a good court official, he’s also handsome, gentle, and a good husband.”
Ju Mu Er slight bowed: “I congratulate your sister.”
“My sister is good tempered, I do not like, if someone does not play gooseberry, dare provoke my brother & my sister leaves me unhappy, I will make her look good.”
Ju Mu Er slightly bowed, calmly responded: “There, you make a good sister, really a blessing.”
Long Er pursed his lips, and did not think these girl bickering was mean, he call on the waiter cook. Polite on the surface he said: “Do not focus on talking, have something to eat.”
Ding Yan Shan ignoring Ju Mu Er away, this situation is her first time alone with Long Er together at the same table to eat, suddenly she felt feelings of pleasure. Her smile blossoming, thanked Long Er, then in the blink of an eye she saw Ju Mu Er Long Er sitting quietly beside him, and couldn’t help but stare at her.
Long Er chuckled, glaring to a blind person, it is not a waste of effort?
The dishes soon arrived, Ding Yan Shan controlled and manipulated the conversion to only revolve around mutual people and things she and Er Ye shared in common, causing Ju Mu Er to be completely lost and unable to speak. Even if the table was filled with different dishes, she could not see, thus couldn’t eat them and could only sit there quietly.
Seeing her awkward situation, Ding Yan Shang felt all too happy inside. Long Er was laughing on the inside holding out his hand he went to pick up his chopsticks, using them to pick up some meat and place it on Ju Mu Er’s small plate. Then he said: “This simmer-fried carp tastes very delicious, Lady Ju please taste it.”
Ju Mu Er Didn’t make any motion, so Long Er asked: “What? Lady Ju dislikes the dishes that this lord Long picked out?” Is he upset, he once again went to pick up another piece of fish.
Ju Mu Er just smiled and picked up her chopsticks and recalled the sound of Long Er’s chopstick’s noise and where it had come from. Picking up her chopsticks, she could only probe around on the plate before picking up and piece of fish and placing it in her mouth.
Inside the fish meat, it contained mouthfuls of spiky fish bones, with one bite Ju Mu Er knew it was a bad choice. Not only couldn’t she chew it, she also couldn’t swallow it, furthermore if she were to spit it out, she couldn’t see where to spit it out. She could only keep the piercing piece of fish meat in her mouth, not moving an inch.
(TL: This is beyond bullying! Er Ye, this is far more immature than a primary school kid!)
Smiling, Long Er looked at her satisfied.
Originally when Ding Yan Shan’s rage showed, before she finally realised what was happening. She “pu chi” laughed out, speaking out: “Lady Mu Er, how does this fish taste?”
From within her sleeves, Ju Mu Er took out a handkerchief and placed it over her mouth and spat out the piece of boney meat. After she spat everything out, she let out a long sigh before speaking: “With the fish bones pricking, you cannot taste anything.”
“How did this happen?” Ding Yan Shan laughed out cutely: “You just need to pick out the bones. I have already eaten it twice and it tastes splendid.” As she said this, she waved her hand to the serving girl beside her to place another piece of meat on her plate. With the bones taken out, Ding Yan Shang gleefully went to eat it.
Ju Mu Er laughed: “When I was younger, my mother said that if you eat fish, it will increase your intellect, and aid in brain development. Though since my eyes are no longer useful, I can’t eat it anymore. Lady Ding and Er Ye, it must be because you have forgotten I am blind, so you must eat more fish to accommodate your brain’s lack of nutrients.”
(TL: Get rekt. :P)
Long Er raised an eyebrow, this blind girl really wasn’t someone who easily took bullying.
Ding Yan Shan’s smile became stiff, unclear whether or not she was just mocked by Ju Mu Er. Scowling, she asked a straightforward question: “Lady Mu-er, are you saying that since Er Ye and I forgot you were blind, you are saying that our brains are bad?”
“Of course not.” Ju Mu Er replied unhurriedly: “Not being able to remember is nature. But to those who clearly remember, but act like they haven’t, they are truly foolish.”
Ding Yan Shan smiled, her heart and mind were angered to the extreme and she nearly threw her chopsticks away. Just as she was about to burst out in rage, she remembered that Long Er was still present. Clenching her teeth, she took a deep breath and just as she was about to speak again, she heard a female voice from the outside. “Ai ya, what a coincidence. I didn’t think that Lord Long Er was also here.”
Lifting her head up, Ding Yan Shan saw it was the other potential candidate for becoming Long House’s Long Er’s wife, Jiang Hui of the Jiang House. Looking over to Long Er, Ding Yang Shan saw that his face was filled with astonishment, it was clearly something he hadn’t planned.
Originally, Long Er wanted the assistance of Ding Yan Shan to get his revenge on Ju Mu Er. He didn’t want to see a showdown on who would become the Long Er’s lady here in Xian Wei Pavilion.
One woman was already troublesome enough, two were even more troublesome, and three women were a storm. Usually, Long Er would would be bothered by all types of women under all different types of pretexts, so he naturally where this would lead to.
Scrunching up his eyebrows, he looked at Jiang Hui taking the initiative to sit down and then exchanged a glance of mutual choking. Then he turned his head to look at Ju Mu Er, and saw that she was concentrating on the two ladies sarcastic comments to each other. Although it was just a flash, Long Er swore that he saw Ju Mu Er proudly smiling.
This caused Long Er to no longer have any more interest in teasing her. Today, his real problem was to resolve himself from the two thousand gold wealthy Ladies. Just as he was pondering on how to escape, from the door of this private room, a female’s voice sounded out: “Ai ya, such a coincidence. What type of wind is blowing today to be able to meet up with you all? Lady Ding, Lady Jiang, it has been a long time since we last met and you are still so energetic. Lord Long Er, Qin-er wants to pay her respects. ”
Another had come?