“Wife, I want to eat meat” 《娘子，我要吃肉》Chapter 5
Wang Yun Feng never imagined it, if Xia family wasn’t present, would Xia Ling Mei immediately whip him to death. If it’s like that, maybe he could take advantage of being injured to obtain her forgiveness. Amongst the people he knew, Xia Ling Mei was a woman who doted on the weak. The prerequisite is, he must bear the suffering of his flesh being torn apart, that was truly painful.
He also thought, if they saw each other outside, she would be act exactly the same as she was in Xia family, pretending not to hear him. When he was too friendly, she would shoot `a cold killer expression`, striking down his frail manly heart.
He was certain, out of the thousands of thoughts he had, he never imagined he would be disfigured by her pet.
That fat body of Fei Dao charged into his cheeks, sharp claws clutched his hair, both wings hitting his face, eyes, sharp wing points extremely painfully scrapping his flesh.
Gu Lang was stunned frozen, maids and older female servants all shrieked, Fei Dao excitedly cried out, and after Xia Ling Mei was surprised she lightly laughed proud of herself, it still remained in his ear.
Wang Yun Feng endured the throbbing pain at the corner of his eye, waiting for a maid to wait on him and completely retie his hair, he got up, once again plucking at his clothes, before he then turned to leave the wing of the house, changing his direction towards the tea room.
Xia Ling Mei held Fei Dao in her arms, brushing along the feathers from the top of its head, smiling but not smiling as she sat upright on the main chair.
Early morning sunshine reflected in from the courtyard wall, passing through the fish pond, shattering into sprinkles on her entire body, there was a kind of natural grace.
In Gu Lang’s eyes, the her right now was somewhat unfamiliar, it was only for a short period of time, from a heroic woman of the Jianghu without misgivings suddenly penetrated deeply into a great residence, with a dignified elegant disdainful look out of the corner of her eyes at common people.
Gu Lang awkwardly coughed once: “That Lord Wang is an old friend of yours?”
Xia Ling Mei raised her eyebrow, smiling yet not smiling as she said: “He is a man, I am a woman; he serves the country, I am of the Jianghu; His surname is Wang, my surname is Xia. Old friends, where did that come from.”
“He recognised you, he had to see you.”
Xia Ling Mei raised her teacup, using the lid to brush the tea leaves, inadvertently saying in an accusing manner: “So, you just allow him to come to the inner residence. This is the first time I heard, this fifth ranked officer’s inner residence had become a red-light district street, allowing unknown men to enter and leave.”
Gu Lang forcibly laughed: “I had my own difficulties.”
Xia Ling Mei raised her eyebrow, showing an indifferent manner to the other’s difficulty.
This made Gu Lang fairly angry, he secretly muttered to himself with hate: ignorant wife.
With his back to the light Wang Yun Feng saw their expressions, in secret, no one could see his own expression.
Xia Ling Mei narrowed her eyes, saying to him who was standing outside the door: “How long do you intend to eavesdrop?”
Wang Yun Feng coldly humphed: “As always you like to slander me.”
“Slander you? You’re still not qualified.”
Wang Yun Feng took large strides walking in, sitting opposite her, his picky eyesight without misgivings landed on her: “You’ve been outside for so many years, how can you still have such a shrewish temper. These words don’t matter to me, but to others they cannot help but be at a disadvantage.”
Xia Ling Mei gripped onto Fei Dao’s feathers, both master and pet clenched their teeth: “You worry too much.”
Wang Yun Feng did not look at he, only knocking on the table: “Make tea.”
Xia Ling Mei’s eyes widened: “Isn’t there a cup of tea in front of you?”
Wang Yun Feng pushed the teacup aside twitching his eye.
The teacup was made of common porcelain, not a single flower decorated it, it lacked a lid on the teacup, the tea was muddy, the tea leaves were yellowed as if it had been used three times: “Kuding tea.” He moved the entire teacup with a `de` to the side: “this is the way Gu family treats guests? And is Kuding tea something that you can drink?”
Xia Ling Mei laughed coldly: “I can drink it so why can’t you? Do you not understand do as the natives do, you still have such a huge arrogance when you’re outside.”
“But it doesn’t mean I have to treat myself unfairly.” Wang Yun Feng coldly spoke, “A small courtyard which is only suitable for three people, not even a wing to receive guests, no study room no music room, not even a single pavilion to view the flowers; you can even see the sand in the lime walls, the mixed wood furniture isn’t even painted, the porcelain teacup are chipped, a single wild flower in the shiny vase, don’t tell me the screen to your bedroom is those bamboo sticks tied together as a frame?” He turned away from it focusing on the hair ornaments of the person opposite him, “The style of that hairpin is from five years ago, raw edges on your sackcloth clothes, how long have you worn those embroidered shoes? Moreover look at your complexion, have you actually eaten well in Gu family, malnourished and sickly in appearance, both eyes without liveliness, speaking dejectedly…”
Gu Lang was flabbergasted as he listened to Lord Wang, from the courtyards of Gu family to the flowers and grass, having finished picking at Xia Ling Mei’s clothes, head ornaments, he once again could not help but look down on the Gu family’s crude maids. Tables, chairs, tea, desserts, the walls, fish pond, flowers, grass and birds, even the space above their heads were particularly covered in dust. Everyone around them apart from Gu Lang, everyone was discarded like a beggar by him, especially discarding the falcon in Lady Xia’s hands.
He criticised a Eurasian Hobby into a fat rat people hated.
“As expected of a sharp tongued cynical imperial censor senior officer.” Meeting them for a short time, he already reached such an expansive conclusion from everyone’s hearts.
“Shut your mouth.” At the end of her patience Xia Ling Mei already reached her limit, so angry she was shaking all over. For a long time, no one was concerned whether she was living well or not, whether she was well fed, dressed warmly, if she had been bullied by people maliciously. In everyone’s eyes, Xia Ling Mei could take care of herself, arrogant, courageous and strong. Not only does she treat well those who treat her well, even more she can punish those who are sinister to her. She took two maids with her on her travels, not worried about undergoing hardship or exposure to the elements. This was the path she had chosen herself, so she should be content, should be happy, should be grateful.
Returning to the Xia family, her understanding sisters would envy the freedom she had gained, escaping from her cage, soaring without a care.
Staying with her relatives, all of them feel she still preserved her arrogance, with an even more tolerant manner to confront the unjust in this world. She raised her prideful head, telling everyone, she was very well.
Only him, every year during that period of time, would relentlessly follow her, sorrowfully sighing, silently watching attentively, the first words he would say was always `if it’s too hard just come back`, she would viciously retort `I’m very well, I won’t ever go back`.
He would be silent, she would maintain her momentum, as if she didn’t need anyone to be concerned. But, that stubborn arrogance was seen through by him without hesitation, she was ashamed and unable to show her face. Her fierce recklessness was a cover up which made it more conspicuous, covering up all the pain she endured.
Gu Lang watched the usually crafty and unruly Xia Ling Mei defeated in an instant, no one did not know of this Lord Wang’s ferocity. Now it appears, he wasn’t the stranger Xia Ling Mei said, rather it was an old friend who knew a lot. His face burned hot, he slightly regretted the neglect the old lady had treated Xia Ling Mei. Although this small courtyard wasn’t as simple and crude as Lord Wang had said, it was indeed the most remote, more overgrown small courtyard of the Gu residence, it truly wasn’t a place to give the person you owe your life to live in.
Xia Ling Mei stubbornly raised her head: “You’re done with your lecture, so you can leave.”
Wang Yun Feng arranged his clothes to sit back down, picking up the cup of tea he had refused to put in his mouth and drank the Kuding tea. Quite a while later saying: “This place doesn’t suit you. Come back to the residence with me, I will take care of you.”
Xia Ling Mei scoffed, she sharply said with incredulity: “You will take care of me? This world, the one who has the least qualifications to say they will take care of me is you.”
Wang Yun Feng pursed his lips, the corners of his mouth adequately showed his strong resolution and could not tolerate resistance: “If you don’t come with me, I’ll make the Xia family take you away. I can’t let you treat yourself like this, Gu residence isn’t a place where you should stay.” He glanced at Gu Lang, exceedingly frank he said: “Lord Gu is also not your husband.”
Xia Ling Mei flew into a rage out of humiliation: “He isn’t, then don’t tell me you are?”
Gu Lang did not deserve her, then Wang Yun Feng was capable of marrying her? Many years before, the fact was clear he did not love her. She curbed her own violent temper, became reserved, standing by his side with dignity, striving hard to become a good mother to the family, be a gentle wife. But he never looked at her at all, ignoring the love she had for him, he held his back to her…
Xia Ling Mei took out the long whip from behind her back, raising her chin up high, again erecting a strong fort: “I don’t want to see you. Right now, immediately, at once leave my line of sight. Or else, I will make you experience my coral whip.” With her hand on her hip she smiled, “a long time ago, I already wanted to thrash you.”
In the end, Xia Ling Mei didn’t have the chance to use her long whip. Wang Yun Feng after she had held her pose for half an incense to burn, filled with regret had left.
As Gu Lang was seeing him to the door, he embarrassedly apologised: “I will take care of Lady Xia very well.”
No, Wang Yun Feng did not want outsiders to take care of Xia Ling Mei even a little bit. He looked at him with hatred, the narrow-minded Lord imperial censor was certain the next person he visited would be the newly appointed predecessor of the Minister of Revenue.
Right after Wang Yun Feng left, Gu Lang ordered people to prepare the eastern courtyard, and even personally invited Xia Ling Mei to visit her new courtyard. Yes, he ought to give his life saver a big courtyard, just over a wall was the Gu family’s main courtyard, where the very smart and clever Lord Gu lived.
Xia Ling Mei was simply not fussy about her living arrangements, she was ready to adapt.
Gu Lang’s out of character politeness, was truly so reverent and respectful that he pandered to win her favour by fawning over her but did not move her at all.
“Actually I really like the original small courtyard, its sufficiently peaceful, and remote, guarded against assassins and thieves, if there’s a fire I only need to turn a corner to escape.”
Gu Lang forced a laugh, determined he answered: “With me here, you don’t have to worry about a thing, I will protect you.”
This, Xia Ling Mei from the start did not take it to heart. Gu Lang this sort of scholar, couldn’t catch even a bird, let alone protect a girl. But this scholar without the strength to truss a chicken suddenly increased his feelings for Xia Ling Mei. The entire day he kept her company walking back and forth in the new courtyard, planting the newest flowers, hanging paintings of elegant beauty ladies, red cloisonné flower vase dazzled the eyes, from time to time koi would jump out of the water surface happily like people. Four more maids were also ordered, and two old female servants to manage things. After noon many silk fabrics and head ornaments store owners arrived, saying they had to buy several outfits for Xia Ling Mei from top to bottom, inside and out.
Old Lady Gu looked down from the highest floor, she could only see in the not too distant courtyard people coming and going bustling with noise and excitement, for this reason she called for Lord Gu so she could give him a proper scolding.
At night, that old lady for the first time called for Xia Ling Mei to eat dinner together, without a non-vegetarian dish, only vegetable dishes, dried tofu were lightly fried, boiled, deep fried to make several dishes.
Xia Ling Mei did not mind, she ate without an utter, vulgarity, not coldly or warmly, washing her hands, she turned and returned to her room to rest.
Lord Gu who originally was about to discuss with the beauty regarding the matter of repaying her kindness, he ordered someone to light some fragrance, holding onto his guqin he played it in the courtyard for the entire night <Phoenix searching for phoenix>, considered as giving Xia Ling Mei a lullaby, she dizzily fell asleep.
In the depth of night, this Lady Xia who was an early riser, rolled up her bedding, packed up her valuables, climbing out the window, taking her two personal maids with her, she ran away.
 The guqin is a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family.