Chapter 9: Forcing the Blind Girl’s Heart
Ju Mu Er heaved a sigh in her heart, as expected they are definitely husband and wife, to have asked the same question.
But regardless of whether she was worthy or unwilling to be a concubine, the important points were that Ju Mu Er will not marry. Why do they not understand that?
“Madame 1, I guarantee you that I will absolutely not marry Sir Yun, is Madame not pleased with this?”
“No, that’s not it.” Ding Yan Xiang’s voice was soft and light, but she answered very firmly.
Ju Mu Er’s heart tensed up, then she asked bluntly: “Then, Madame what can I do to put your mind at ease?”
Ding Yan Xiang sighed, she said: “Lady Mu Er 2, my little sister was rude to you before, she found people to harass you, because she was too foolish. I already have scolded her, so this won’t happen again. You can rest assured, Lady.”
This talk about whether or not she would marry Yun Qing Xian came out of nowhere, Ju Mu Er didn’t understand what Ding Yan Xiang’s intention was, and so she kept her mouth shut not saying a word.
Ding Yan Xiang then said: “I am this kind of person, I am actually very easy to talk to. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be able to bear this, I also wouldn’t be here. My lord is really fond of you, this I am sure of. Originally I wouldn’t speak about his affair, let alone make a move. But I have personally seen his suffering and unhappiness, he is tremendously depress. So having thought over about the past and the future, I came to find the young miss.”
Ju Mu Er still haven’t said a word, Ding Yan Xiang wanted to ask her if she had any deep profound feeling for her husband, Yun Qing Xian. But she herself have already guaranteed she absolutely would not get in between their relationship as husband and wife, what else does she want?
Ju Mu Er was a scared a little, she subconsciously gripped her cane tightly.
Ding Yan Xiang stopped for a while, then she continued to talk: “Our house’s lord is warm and considerate, he takes extreme care of my basic needs, he also treats the servants well, and he never randomly beat or scold them. Lady Ju you tell me, isn’t he a very good partner, where would you find a better one?”
Ju Mu Er quietly said: “That is Madame’s good fortune.”
Ding Yan Xiang smiled, then she suddenly asked: “Lady Mu Er when did you began practicing the zither?”
“Three years old.” Ju Mu Er replied.
Ding Yan Xiang nodded her head:” I was also three when I started. But my zither skill is not as good as you.”
Ju Mu Er carefully replied: “Madame is too modest.”
Ding Yan Xiang then smiled: “This is the truth. Lord really likes the zither, so I accompany him to play the zither, and every time he praised your skill in the zither.”
Ju Mu Er’s heart ached deeply, not knowing what she should say.
Ding Yan Xiang smiled, she reached out and held Ju Mu Er’s hand. Her hands were ice cold, Ju Mu Er was frightened into a cold shiver. Ding Yan Xiang said: “Lady Ju, I really am not a clingy jealous woman. 3”
Ju Mu Er’s heart palpitated strongly, the gloom from Ding Yan Xiang’s ice cold fingers penetrated into her body, making Ju Mu Er feel extremely uncomfortable.
The next sentence Ding Yan Xiang said frighten Mu Er even more, “Lady Mu Er, I hope you could marry into the Yun household, accompanying me. Even if your title is a concubine, everything from your food and clothing expenses to courtesy treatment you receive will all be the same as me, you don’t have to feel bad about this. What do you think?”
Ju Mu Er was motionless; did she really come here to unexpectedly to persuade me to share her husband with her?
Ju Mu Er felt her spine starting to break out in cold sweat, she thought for a while, extremely nervous about making a mistake she didn’t dare speak, not until a long time did she replied: “Madame, Mu Er is truly unworthy.”
Ding Yan Xiang stared at her face for a long time, when she suddenly smiled: “It looks like Lady Mu Er is unwilling to be a concubine, it seems you sincerely are unwilling to marry my husband.”
Ju Mu Er heaved a sigh of relief, she felt like she was just interrogated, so she quickly earnestly replied: “It is indeed like this. Madame, Mu Er’s words are true, Madame can be at ease.”
But she definitely didn’t foresee this, Ding Yan Xiang unexpectedly said: “What I said was also sincere and true, Lady Mu Er, my husband is fully in love with you, if I cannot make his wish come true, then how can I be a good wife?”
The heart that she just put back down suddenly rose again, she heard Ding Yan Xiang’s voice become increasingly gentle and soft: “Lady Mu Er, I ask you to be certain, absolutely certain, you don’t want to marry into our Yun household, right?”
Ju Mu Er held her cane tightly, for a quite a long time before she finally answered: “Receiving Madame’s great honor, but Mu Er is unworthy of it.”
Once she said these words, Ding Yan Xiang haven’t said a word back in reply, Mu Er became even more nervous. She couldn’t see Ding Yan Xiang’s expression, she couldn’t look her in the eye, and she could only hear her voice, so everything had to be determine by her voice.
Ding Yan Xiang’s voice was extremely gentle and soft, or a little bit too soft and gentle. But this soft and gentleness didn’t have any trace of feelings in it.
This made Ju Mu Er really terrified, she didn’t dare believed Madame Yun sincerely wanted to make her marry into the Yun family, nor did think she would be forced by Yun Qing Xian. She did not think that to go against her thoughts towards Yun Qing Xian would be in itself proof of a perfect wife.
In any case, Ju Mu Er did not believe that this woman would be willing to share her husband with another person.
Ding Yan Xiang said once more: “Please young miss, do not refuse. My husband truly loves the young miss, I will also consider and treat young miss as my own sister. Young miss please marry Yun Qing Xian, Father Ju can also alleviate the heavy burden off his shoulder, and smoothly and steadily marry a second wife and spends his later years in peace. Young Miss will also have several servant taking great care of her, you won’t have to worry about food or clothes. The lord is a considerate person, I am also a reasonable person, and so what else is the young miss not satisfied with?”
Ju Mu Er opened and closed her jaws, thinking over and over again, she carefully replied: “On that day I understood that my two eyes were already blind, never to be able to see anything in this life, so I have already come to terms with that fact. I have also come to terms with the fact I won’t marry in this life. Growing old alone is good enough for me.”
“Young miss this is talk of feeling wronged.” Ding Yan Xiang used her ice cold hand to hold the hand Ju Mu Er has tightly gripped around her cane. “Both of your eyes are inconvenient, even more reason to have people take care of you, if you marry into our Yun household, then young miss will have absolutely nothing to worry about.”
“Madame I appreciate your good intention, but I have already made my resolve…”
This time she didn’t finish speaking when Ding Yan Xiang interrupted: “One’s resolution can be change.” She said this sentence resolutely, with her gentle and soft façade seemingly breaking. Even though the change in tone was subtle, Mu Er was still able to sense it.
Ju Mu Er didn’t say another word, she tried her best thinking how she should respond. Except Ding Yan Xiang still had more to say: “Lady Mu Er, carefully think it over, your eyes are not convenient, with no one to take care of you normally let alone these days haven’t been so good, and if you leave to do an errand for fun and run into some night hoodlum, what are you going to do? Uncle Ju is also old, having to take care of you and also his shop, you have to think about him. If by any change he over exhaust himself into some kind of accident, you wouldn’t want that to happen, correct?”
Ju Mu Er listened to every word Ding Yan Xiang said, feeling her own fingers become cold.
“Is this Sir Yun’s intention?”
“He doesn’t know I came here today, he also doesn’t know I came to persuade you. You know how he is, he has his way of doing things, and how would he even think of making me come here to persuade you. That day when he talk to me about this matter, he told me, if I do not give my permission, he will simply not take in another wife. This is how he is like with me, yet I cannot bear to let him be heart broken. So, that is why I came here today. If you answered you would marry him, then he would definitely be incredibly happy, and if he is happy then I will be happy. Lady Mu Er, my husband is the Assistant Minister of Justice, and my father is the Government Minister of Justice, then there is my grandfather (maternal), uncle (maternal), uncle (paternal), and elder uncle (paternal). All of them are important minister in the court 4. There is also me to support you, there certainly won’t be anyone who dares try to do anything to you and your father. Your family’s wine shop can also smoothly and steadily do business. See, there can’t be any better situation, can there?”
Ju Mu Er closed her eyes, trying to calm herself. She needed to think this over carefully, what should she do?
One Yun Qing Xian is already hard to deal with, now there is a soft spoken yet fierce threatening first wife……
Ju Mu Er cannot see through this Ding Yan Xiang’s true intention, she truly loves her husband yet she needed to beg some other girl to marry her husband to share him together, which is why she came here to persuade Ju Mu Er. Having this type of woman is much more frightening than a man who was already rejected once come propose again.
Ding Yan Xiang saw Ju Mu Er haven’t said a word for a long, long time that her face turned pale. She couldn’t help smiling feeling that she have already “convinced” her.
She couldn’t let Ju Mu Er think anymore, so she said: “Lady Mu Er must definitely be aware of the severity of this matter, marrying into our Yun household is young miss good fortune. I shall go back, I have matters I must start preparing for, “after this year spring starts” 5, pick a good day, after which I shall send some people to deal with the matter of gifts.”
Ju Mu Er’s heart “ka-thump”, this Madame Yun is just planning to force people as she please?
“Madame…” Ju Mu Er barely called out to be interrupted by Ding Yan Xiang. “This matter has been set this way. Lady Mu Er just comfortably stay at home like you have been doing.” When she finish speaking, she suddenly got up and called her maids, planning to leave just like this.
Ju Mu Er got up with a thump and loudly said: “Madame, I will not marry.”
“Is that so?” Ding Yan Xiang smiled, looking at the entourage of servants push the door open come in, in the back was also Ju Sheng. She didn’t bother with Ju Mu Er and directly spoke with Ju Sheng: “Uncle Ju, lately the weather has been cold, you need to wear more clothes, don’t get sick. Mu Er with a father like this, you have to take good care of him.”
Ju Sheng didn’t understand, he stood inside the courtyard, not hearing what those two talked about. So he didn’t think as soon he entered another person would softly pay her respect to him, he courteously replied back quickly. Then he turned his head to see his daughter, who have yet to come out.
Ding Yan Xiang also looked at Ju Mu Er, and felt satisfied by her facial expression and silence. She softly said her good bye and took her servants with her.
After she left, Ju Sheng asked his daughter what happened. Ju Mu Er claimed nothing happen, just the rumors outside were annoying to hear, so she came to visit that’s all. Ju Sheng was skeptical.
Three days later, Ju Mu Er shut herself in the zither room, playing non-stop. Ju Sheng started to be concerned. At that time when she came back from the zither master’s, Ba Yin, execution she was like this too, madly playing the zither. Afterward followed a series of disasters. Now that his daughter is like this, doesn’t this mean something did happened?
In afternoon of the fifth day, a shop assistant from Xian Yin Zither Shop hurriedly came to look for Ju Mu Er. He said the store received a big business order, there was request make one shipment of zither to sell outside of the city, but since the year was almost coming to an end ordering a transportation cart was not wise, since tomorrow was the earliest it can be sent out. But this order of zither this time was too much, there was not enough hands in the store to tune and examine the zither. The shopkeeper was nervous so he came to asked for Ju Mu Er’s help.
Ju Mu Er’s whole family got along and was quite familiar with that zither store, she also frequented their shop to help, as soon as she heard their trouble this time, she immediately agreed.
Father Ju was worried about his daughter so he went with her together in the zither store’s carriage. When they arrived she began to work as he kept watch on the side giving her water and what not.
This work took about half of the day, the zither store’s boss, Cheng Yin, invited all the helper to a meal on him. Father Ju helped his daughter eat during the meal.
After the meal was finished, Cheng Yin came to Father Ju to beg, hoping Ju Mu Er can continue to help at the shop at night, in order to make sure they quickly finish this shipment of zither. He’ll pay three time the labor fee and if she needed to stay in the city, he’ll cover the room charge.
Father Ju watched this old acquaintance be anxious, where could there be a reason to not agree. He called out to Ju Mu Er, to tell her he is going to the nearby Fu Yun Lai Inn to reserve two rooms, where he planned to stay with her after they were done with work.
But he never thought when he just came back to the store, his neighbor hurriedly came to notified him. He said two of the servers was eating dinner and ate something unhygienic causing them to vomit and have diarrhea. They’re barely half alive. They already requested for a doctor to pay a visit, but it looks like their illness is actually severe, and there is no one at the house. That’s why his neighbor came quickly to notified Father Ju.
As soon as Ju Sheng heard, he became worried, those two servers have been with him for many years, they have shared meals together and have already long ago been considered family. To get this severely sick, naturally he was scared for them.
As soon as Ju Mu Er heard, she urged Ju Sheng to quickly go back. Cheng Yin also reassured him he will take very good care of Ju Mu Er. When she is done with work he’ll assign people to go with her to the inn.
Cheng Yin seen Ju Mu Er grow up, so naturally Ju Sheng trusted him a lot. Thus Ju Sheng left Ju Mu Er in his good hand. Ju Sheng also reminded Cheng Yin not to let her exhaust herself, afterward he hastily returned home.
Ju Mu Er also knew her own body would not be able to handle working through the night, so when she heard him sending her back she complied. Thus one young shop assistant sent Ju Mu Er back to the inn.
Fu Yun Lai Inn was only one street away. At this time of night it was already dark, the inn’s lobby was empty. A yawning receptionist led the shop assistant and Ju Mu Er to the rear court’s second floor guest room. The shop assistant entered the room and looked around, then he told Ju Mu Er about all the arrangement of the room, then led her to touch everything, and finally confirming everything has been properly arranged he said his good bye and left.
Ju Mu Er closed the room’s door and touched every object in the room again to confirm them once more. Then she sat down and planned to pour herself a cup of water to drink.
The water pot’s water was ice cold, late night was very cold so Ju Mu Er wanted to drink some hot water. She opened the door to call the receptionist, but thought again making a sound in the dead of the night would disturb the other guest. Thus she took her cane and planned to go down the stairs to the lobby to ask for water to drink.
The second floor’s corridor’s lanterns were turned off making it extremely dark without any light. Although Ju Mu Er’s eyes were blind, she could still detect faint amount of light. However like she said there was no problem with darkness, except she still planned to talk to the receptionist about this. After all other guest might want to walk around, so having some light would be convenient.
She thought about this as she slowly moved forth, when suddenly a room on the side’s door opened and a man in a panic with a gag on muffled “save me”.
Ju Mu Er reflexively turned her head towards the direct of the sound, but of course she can’t see a thing. However she heard the sound of someone’s mouth being covered gasp for air, it was fast and also faded away.
Ju Mu Er’s heart went on alert, her reaction was fast, so she turn her head and ran while she yelled “save me”. But the only word she could shouted out was “save”, when someone pulled her hair. There was still time for her to painfully call out as the back of her body bumped into that person embrace, but at the same a large palm covered her mouth.
Ju Mu Er did her best to struggle, her hands turned and grabbed that person’s clothes, and then she used her cane with force to stab behind her. The person behind her was hit and a muffled groan came out, but that person endured the pain and quickly dragged Ju Mu Er into the room.
Ju Mu Er smelled the scent of blood, she was very afraid. She was in that person’s embrace being gagged by his palm. She heard the sound of the door being closed. Then suddenly her head was spinning, she felt pain in her body as she was thrown to the floor.
What can Ju Mu Er not manage? As long as she can talk she can manage, she hurriedly spoke: “I am blind, I cannot see anything. I do not know who you are, don’t kill me.”
She doesn’t know what the other person would do, she also doesn’t know that other person who wanted to yell “save me” was injured or dead. However she did know, that this murderer definitely considers her an eyewitness, and as an eyewitness their only fear is the difficulty of escaping death.
So the first thing she made clear was that she was blind, she hoped the murderer would have a little mercy.”
She felt breathing very close to her face, she thought it was definitely that person closely examining her to see if she was really blind or not. She shifted back touching the ground to prop herself up, in shaky voice she said: “Don’t kill me, I am really cannot see anything. I am grabbing my bamboo cane, I am blind.”
There was no sound of activity coming from that person, Ju Mu Er thought perhaps he was hesitating, but in the next moment she heard a “woosh” sound and her head felt tremendous pain.
She lost consciousness.I decided to change it from Lady to Madame, seems to sound better to say alone. I should clarify that the way I wrote it before seem to address both Mu Er and Yan Xiang the same. They’re not. I will use Lady to refer to Mu Er as that “lady” means a youngunmarried woman. While the lady or “madame” I am using for Yan Xiang refers to amarried woman. Just to clarify. So she said something along the line of”我并非不能容人的怨妇” and I think she is saying either she really cannot tolerate a person’s jealous possessive woman or clingy. Or saying she cannot look like a clingy person. It’s hard to explain since “怨妇” is a slang about a type of woman (not a good type of woman). Here is a google search about it: 怨妇 ). Fun fact, it said her uncles and grandfather were “朝中重臣” and “朝中” is North Korea-China. So basically “待年” means a girl have come to a marriageable age (she’s an adult now). And “开春” probably refers to her marrying. “After this year spring starts” is saying she is of marriageable age I think. The entire line after this is talking about marriage like setting a good auspicious day and sending people to handle the dowry.