"Wife, I want to eat meat” 《娘子，我要吃肉》Chapter 18
T/N: Surprise~~~ an extra chapter for you today. I know my translations can be quite...confusing(?), some bits are really hard to translate as there isn't an exact English translation especially if they're old Chinese words no longer in use.
There were spikes on the long whip, the small needles even more shiny on the sandalwood table, making the people looking feel intimidated.
Liu Ling Mo kept quiet as he sat behind the Zhao Princess, serving as a military adviser.
Wang Yun Feng calm as a wind raising his hem and arranging it to sit town, a pair of unfeeling eyes swept to Gu Lang with treacherous thoughts. He didn’t worry at all about losing, it must be known these years he had been amusing himself, his skill in playing mah-jong actually got better little by little, even better than his chess skills. Following this reasoning, even the usually grim faced Wang Yun Feng could not help look like he could cry, sighing as if he could write the history of the blood and tears of the long seven years.
Because, the old matriarch of the Xia family loved to play mah-jong. Subordinates following the example of their superiors, sons and daughters, daughter-in-law, son-in-law and so on, when they had a break would gather around the old matriarch to play a few rounds, using various kinds of reasons to `offer tribute` to the old matriarch. Even on a normal day, occasionally when free the younger generations also would accompany each of their mothers to play mah-jong with the old matriarch to maintain good relations. These years,
Wang Yun Feng in order to gain the Xia family’s favourable impression, squandered a lot of his available time at the mah-jong table. It has to be said, the Xia family were very cunning, must seek repercussions, loves getting someone else to do their own dirty work. Xia Ling
Mei grievance, the Xia family wouldn’t make it openly public, the majority of them would choose to defeat Wang Yun Feng on the mah-jong table, make him join in with an estimation of several thousand silver, losing and leaving several thousand silver on returning home.
In the first year, Wang Yun Feng would lose under the sugar-coated artillery shells of the younger generations of the Xia family with an ashen-face. Let alone money, even the hat on his head, jade ornaments on his body, jade beads on his shoes were torn out by the young wolves of the Xia family as money to gamble with. Anything went with the younger generations, making you lose your money as well as your self-respect, making you lose your self-respect and stil thought about your appearance. Sometimes, when they were tipsy and merry Wang Yun Feng, would even have his underwear swindled, if it wasn’t for the old housekeeper always loyal and devoted in protecting him, Lord Wang’s remaining chastity may not have been kept.
This made Wang Yun Feng experience extraordinary shame and humiliation, if you want your enemy to respect you, first you needed to understand how to protect yourself.
He had suffered in silence, suffering patiently, but firmly resolved on revenge, he’d kill a deity if he met one and kill a devil if he met one, winning from his underwear up, on the way he killed the younger generation leaving not even a toe nail, energetically killing until he reached the elders of the Xia family’s table. He felt guilty about Xia Ling Mei, so in the face of laughter and destruction from the people of his parents’ generation he practically did not in the least have the power to rebel. Those as clean as jade and loose yet firm, virtuous and prestigious, fair and reasonable, people for the safety of the country, wholeheartedly loyal parents’ generation, when they were smiling he felt he was being slapped in the face, when they were angry it felt like he was being lashed, when it was serene perhaps it was a little bit like a knife scraping at your bones, Wang Yun Feng had arrived smug, and left dying.
By the time he had he had trained himself to become invulnerable and hard-hearted with great difficulty, he had already been training at the Xia family’s mah-jong table for six years.
On the seventh year, he finally climbed up to the old matriarch’s mah-jong table.
The old matriarch was extremely old, ears a little deaf, throat a wide, squinting with a pair of muddy eyes, asking him loudly: “You say you are my Xia family’s son-in-law?” Turning her head to ask the head of the Xia family, “Our Ling An when did we find such a radish head to be a husband? So small, can he take care of our Ling An?”
Wang Yun Feng talked and laughed as though nothing had happened: “It’s not Ling An, it’s Ling Mei.”
The old matriarch slapped the mah-jong table a few times: “Ling Mei is too young, she hasn’t reached the marriageable age, you are too old.” Shaking her head about, “It won’t do, it won’t do.”
The corner of Wang Yun Feng’s mouth twitched: “Old matriarch, Ling Mei has long ago
married into my Wang family, she is my Wang Yun Feng’s official wife.”
The old matriarch glanced at him, taking a `bei feng` and hitting her own son’s forehead:
“You scoundrel who sell your own daughter for glory, you actually gave my little Ling Mei to the Wang family to be defiled by those old sinners. My Ling Mei, why were you born under an ill star! Why aren’t you hurrying to bring back Ling Mei. Even though I may be old, but I still have some right social connections, I want to bring back my Ling Mei to marry…”
“Old matriarch, Ling Mei has married me, not my father…”
“Ai `seven tiao`, peng! What, you haven’t married Ling Mei? Fine, you are a good child. My Ling Mei won’t marry you.”
“Who’s old, I’m not old. I will not allow Ling Mei marry you dotard, my Ling Mei is Hua Mulan, afterwards she’s going to be a female general, how can she marry a destitute scholar without the strength to truss a chicken. Don’t move, hu! Quickly hand over your money, no one is allowed to renege on their debt, otherwise this old woman will make him come in immaculately dressed, leave without a strand of clothes. Money, money… Wang family’s old man, do you actually have any money? Oh, oh, you have money. Right, what did you just say?”
“…” Wang Yun Feng was itching to scratch the walls. He wasn’t afraid of a fox like adversary, he was afraid he would make a blunder and reincarnate as a loach.
This was an extremely suffering history filled with sadness and distress, in the short space of seven years from a small, weak, upright and plainspoken Brother Wang polished into a person people are scared of, ghosts are vexed by, a cold-blooded mah-jong small deity.
Wordlessly giving a Liu Ling Mo a meaningful glance, a mah-jong road like an undercurrent surging up violently, a foul wind and a rain of blood, colours of spring, filled the courtyard.
On the first round, Gu Lang who was still not clear of the situation was set up by Wang Yun Feng, with a `seven xiao dui`, wolf Gu Lang took off his outer garment.
Second round, the Zhao Princess as she gave directions on the little princess’ studies, she `peng, peng, hu`, wolf Gu Lang was a little dazzled, losing his thin inner layer of clothing.
Third round, Xia Ling Mei stroking the kitten in her arms, calm and collected reached a `da si xi`, Gu Lang in his very white middle layer, with a red face he took of his trousers, shaking his head and gesturing with his hand he left the table, letting Zhuang Sheng up.
Zhuang Sheng was crafty-looking, eyes whirling around on everyone’s faces and gesturing to rotate, demanding to split up the three people’s secret signals.
How did he know, the Zhao Princess has been in Beiding for many years, the people she often faced were the Imperial Consort and the Zhao Prince, and rarely actually saw the old matriarch, let alone Wang Yun Feng.
Wang Yun Feng became seasoned in this at the Xia family, he had the least confidence in the moral characters of the Xia family at the mah-jong table, naturally he also did not talk in riddles with Liu Ling Mo.
Xia Ling Mei method of playing was the same as her personality, she especially didn’t like rules, tyrannical, rude and unreasonable, unconventionally gambit, it was simply very hard for her to follow someone for mutual benefit.
After a few rounds Zhuang Sheng, had taken off his clothes and put them on again, taking them off and putting them on again, struggling to maintain his self-respect.
The drunkard…lost even his underwear, whimpering he sat in meditation, on his knees a blanket covered up his embarrassment. He still didn’t admit defeat, he must make a comeback, slapping the mah-jong onto the table like a plank, with his entire ears red getting into the zone.
Xia Ling Mei was calm, secretly cursing Wang Yun Feng’s gamble luck, while uttering to Liu Ling Mo who was not having a good time: “I heard the old matriarch wants to find you a good wife on behalf of you, do you have a woman you like?”
Right now Gu Lang who was fighting over clothes with Xiao Bai was stumped for words:
“Lord Liu is still a bachelor?”
Liu Ling Mo bashfully scratched the back of his head: “I just turned twenty this year, getting married is something the old matriarch mentioned last year, assuming a candidate should be decide.”
Xia Ling Mei said: “You yourself, how could you have met peaceful and harmonious women while at the academy of classical learning? If you have, can you tell the old matriarch in advance, even though you have an outsider’s surname, in the end you are still a child of the Xia family, you cannot be wronged.”
Liu Ling Mo was as shy as before, wanting to nod and shake his head: “It will be fine for everything to be decided by the old matriarch.”
Xia Ling Mei looked at the Zhao Princess, coldly saying: “Has he always been like this? Without the slightest viewpoint, overcautious about everything, afraid of getting into trouble? No matter what he is still the master of the Liu family, marriage is a big thing and if you can’t make a decision, what would you accomplish?”
The Zhao Princess knew she was not happy, but did not bicker, only saying: “Those in our kind of influential family, it might not be smooth sailing for those who can make decisions, everything might as well follow fate. Some people when they’re young are affectionate and true, after marriage it isn’t definite; some people are timid and overcautious when young, after marriage on the contrary am capable to develop everlasting feelings. Some married couples are harmonious, two string instruments that play in perfect harmony that everyone envy; some married couple are close when young, but cannot last to old age. Going so far to say, even if it’s an influential family, at the forefront its packed with descendants, in an instant maybe the population will fade.” She turned her back slightly to the table, as if to point out: “Talking about something closer, some people might be the patriarch the year before, but after a year of complete harmony, they are without company, locked in stalemate, in a solitary marriage.”
Wang Yun Feng kneaded the mah-jong tightly with his fingers; Zhuang Sheng sharp eyes glided along the faces of all the Xia family, noiselessly switching the mah-jong tile in his hand; Gu Lang, he was still tussling with Xiao Bai, he didn’t understand anything, why can’t he put on his clothes even though he’s left the mah-jong table. Being slightly naked, would have a serious impact on his brilliant image in the eyes of so many beautiful women.
“All along Ling Mo is my younger brother, no matter what happens he always has a home to return to, at home there will be brothers and sisters with open arms welcoming all his weaknesses. He’s not like some people, having lost both their parents, and have no brothers from the same family to lean on, cousins are ruthless, there are clearly no one in the residence who cares for him. No one to enquire about his well-being, no one to worry about his hardships and distress at court, no one to care about whether or not he’s been betrayed by his close relatives, denounced by his family, framed by common people.”
“That’s right, even being childless, this personal matter, has been made as a reason to attack him. Everyone is saying he is overanxious about fame and profit, and has made many chancellors be dismissed from their offices, people curse him, the Heavens reproach him. Childless, the wrath of Heaven, it’s his suffering decreed by fate.”
Fei Dao’s flapping sound came closer from afar, the Zhao Princess cold sarcasm also gradually ended.
Xia Ling Mei blinked, finding it hard to wake herself from that baseless dispute in the daytime. She never thought after she left the Wang family, Wang Yun Feng would live such a life, she subconsciously suggested to herself, without her Wang Yun Feng would be even better.
Without her monopolising and intense desires, he could go and find his beloved Xia Ling Wo anytime, anywhere; without her shadowing him incessantly, he could boundlessly long for their past youth during the endless nights, long for the girl he secretly liked; without her persistent hope for her husband to be something he’s not, he could proudly face his colleagues, not submitted to humiliation with her scheming behind his back.
Fei Dao finally landed on the window ledge, pecking the back of her hand, lifting up its claw, getting Xia Ling Mei to untie the message.
Today the secret message was not the usual blue colour, rather it was a slightly grey green.
Opening up the paper, the tender but reserved calligraphic style jumped into her eyes.
Xia Ling Mei laughed bitterly, how can the great Senior imperial censor be childless because of people’s cursing!
Candle fire, the paper in the flame gradually turned into ash, that truth followed the owner’s mind, it would never be known by others.
Xia Ling Mei knew, in this world, someone who hated Wang Yun Feng even more than her.
Hate him, some people need a target in order to get strong.