Sandy's Read Receipts
Translations, Reviews and Other Written Worlds
A tremendous battle passed through the city like wind, not harming a hair of the Huaiyang troops.
The jubilant soldiers surrounded Wei An and hoisted him onto their shoulders. They carried him down the city walls, using their shoulders as a sedan chair. The joyful crowds below the city cheered, and Yang Ke took the lead to pump his arms and hail "the Young Master is mighty". Wei An, never good at laughing, blustered red at this spectacle.
"Furen ......" Ah Yuan ran over and grabbed my hand, crying and laughing simultaneously. "Seeing Furen up on the walls worried me to death."
I stroked her hand comfortingly and laughed, "Don't worry, I was safe. Your Father said that I'm blessed."
A clamor of noises rose near, and I spotted Pei Qian leading a few soldiers to us.
"General Pei," Yang Ke stepped forward and saluted. The soldiers followed his lead and restrained their noisy laughs, lowering Wei An to the ground.
After exchanging salutes with Yang Ke, Pei Qian smiled at Wei An. "Thanks to Young Master's single arrow in this battle, Huaiyang averted crisis."
Wei An replied, his usual stony face exposing a smile, "I shot that arrow with my Eldest Sister-in-law's permission. You should convey your thanks to her."
Pei Qian and I both froze for a moment.
He glanced at me, embarrassed but swiftly recovering his smile.
"Young Master is too modest," he spoke warmly. Turning to his subordinates, he continued, "Pass the order to bring out wine and meat. Today, we celebrate the merits of our comrades."
The crowd rejoiced and resumed their loud laughter.
Wei An looked a bit uneasy.
"I'll return to the Mansion to rest." He informed me and walked away, ignoring Pei Qian.
"Fourth Brother-in-law ......" I wanted him to wait so we could leave together, but his steps were fast and his figure disappeared around the street corner.
"This boy has a temper," Pei Qian's voice emerged beside me.
Perhaps because of the recent victory, a bright expression replaced his original pale face, his aura heroic.
"That's his personality, he's the same to everyone," I smiled.
Pei Qian returned a non-committal smile.
After the victory, he became busy with the celebrations and reporting the news to both Wei Jue and Wu Zhang.
Worried for his health, I changed my daily visits to twice a day. Sometimes, I stayed longer and spent the entire day with him.
Of course, whenever someone visited him, I took the initiative to hide in the back of the main hall. It was impossible to claim these actions weren't ambiguous. Sometimes, I imagined that if someone from the Wei Clan came to accuse us of adultery, no one would believe a word I spoke.
Yet, both Pei Qian and I interacted naturally. Since everything was unclear now, I continued to take care of him. The rehashing of everything could wait until he recouped his health. Meanwhile, Pei Qian behaved like his dreams had come true. He was in a positive mood, and his health recovered rapidly.
The fleeting arrival of war postponed Wei An's return to Yong Capital for many days. But when everything calmed down, the issue cropped up again.
Pei Qian asked me my thoughts.
Though I opened my mouth, I still couldn't answer.
"Ah Jin," Pei Qian sighed, "you and I can't continue in this ambiguity."
Silent for a while, I asked, "Do your parents know about me?"
Startled, he laughed: "Are you afraid they won't approve?"
"It's not ......"
"Ah Jin," Pei Qian gently embraced me. "You know that my parents have always liked you. They had no choice in that past incident. If you don't want to meet them, we won't go to Yangzhou. We can stay at Jianye city where it's just us from now."
Though his arms were stronger than before, his body's scent hadn't changed. I shut my eyes, not pushing him away but not saying anything either.
Would everything stay the same?
The story that Wei An's arrow had killed Liang Heng soon spread. Apparently, Liang Chong cried in pain and vowed to purge Huaiyang with blood. Further, he wanted to hang Wei An's head from the city walls.
These words spooked us, prompting Yang Ke to double the soldiers guarding our Mansion. Although we waited in fear of a powerful assassin emerging to claim Wei An's life, all was quiet. Our spies sent news that Liang Chong was busy with funeral plans and wanted to bury Liang Heng first.
"Old idiot," Ah Yuan cursed as she folded the clothes drying in the courtyard. She squinted at the sunny and blue sky overhead and said, "How great would it feel to stroll around the market while nibbling melon seeds. Instead, what poisonous oaths? What wars?"
I couldn't help but smile at her words as I observed the wooden piece that Wei An had placed in the yard two days ago. Yes, what wars? What good is it to complain after provoking the heaven's fury? But I didn't worry over these deep and complicated questions. It was more amusing to stare at Wei An's contraptions.
"Where is the Fourth Young Master?"
"I don't know. But as I was returning from outside, I learned that a squad of soldiers just arrived."
"Troops? Are they from Wu Zhang's army?"
"I'm uncertain about that."
As the sky dimmed, I realized it was dinnertime and wondered if I should visit Pei Qian.
I didn't stay far from Pei Qian's office, and the outside streets were teeming with soldiers. In the quiet evening, I listened to the soldiers chatting as I walked to the front door.
"...... brother's accent sounds like you're not from the Central Plains?"
"Oh, I'm from South Fujian."
"Fujian is far away. Is it a large province?"
"It's big! I'm from Jinjiang city in Fujian, about the size of a fingernail on a palm."
"Haven't heard of Jinjiang. Is it fun?"
"Both fun and yet, not. But a local product of ours is quite famous."
"Oh? What local product?"
"Dark soy sauce! People can't mention Jinjiang without dark soy sauce ......"
When the soldiers noticed me, they stopped chatting and saluted.
I nodded and walked past them.
These days, I feared running into Wei An because he threw dark scowls whenever I visited Pei Qian. With his increasing resemblance to Uncle Qi, I evaded him to avoid feeling guilty.
I didn't see anyone as I entered Pei Qian's office through the backdoor.
As I reached the main hall's rear, a few chatting voices sounded.
I recalled Ah Yuan mentioning a squadron's arrival and assumed Pei Qian was in a meeting. As I made to walk away, a muffled voice drifted to my ears, jolting my heart.
I approached the window and peeped into it.
Though the figure inside the room wasn't clear, I recognized the person sitting opposite Pei Qian's chief seat. The figure with ramrod straight posture was none other than Wei Tan.
I walked out of the government office in a trance.
Unfortunately, I ran head-on into Wei An.
"Eldest Sister-in-law!" His quick steps reached me and his face didn't conceal his joy. "Elder Brother is here. Did you meet him?"
Unsure what expression to show, I asked, "When did he arrive?"
"Just an hour ago. I wanted to bring my Elder Brother to see Eldest Sister-in-law, but he insisted on meeting General Pei first."
With a nod, I replied, "Is it so."
I didn't wait with him for Wei Tan to exit. Why did he come? To pick up Wei An? It was a legitimate reason, but it was important that I was also here. He was the one who had sent me to meet Pei Qian. Was it proper for us, a nominal couple, to meet in this case?
Annoyed in my heart, I wondered: What was he thinking?
Yet, perhaps our thought process was the same because he didn't appear in my courtyard until nightfall. I ate dinner with Ah Yuan, who had already learned of Wei Tan's arrival. She stared at me, itching to speak but refraining.
"Furen ......" Finally, she lowered her bowl.
"Don't ask," I sighed.
Ah Yuan mumbled and picked up her bowl again.
After our meal, news of another squad of Wu Zhang's soldiers entering the city reached us. I didn't know their leader as I didn't recognize anyone on Wu Zhang's side.
"Furen, did you hear the noises from the government office?" A discontented Ah Yuan entered my room and spoke, "A man sent by Wu Zhang is demanding courtesans, and insisting Ji Yuan Young Master to drink with him."
"Oh?" I frowned, recalling that the doctor had advised against Pei Qian drinking wine till he recovered his health. A little worried, I asked, "Then did he drink wine?"
Ah Yuan shook her head.
The moon hadn't reached half-sky, and few people roamed the streets. Unsure of Wei Tan's whereabouts, it was impossible for me to go out.
The night was growing late and Wei An never returned. When it was bedtime, I wore a cloak and walked to the front courtyard.
The earlier noises had faded. After the wars, most of the rich families had left Huaiyang, let alone courtesans. Without them, men seeking fun didn't last long here either.
Lanterns hung in front of the main gate. As I looked out, I noticed a soldier hugging a spear and leaning against the wall. His head bobbed a little as he dozed.
Why did I worry about Wei An when Wei Tan was here? I laughed self-deprecatingly.
As I was about to turn around, a sudden bellow sounded behind me.
"Hey! That woman!"
A few steps away, a tipsy man staggered, swinging a wine jug. He pointed his finger at me and muttered, "Who said Huaiyang has no courtesans? Isn't this a woman?"
"My Lord, my Lord!" The man supporting him hastily replied, "She isn't a courtesan, she is a Furen ......"
"What Furen!" The man brandished his hand, "Drag her here to drink with me!"
I frowned and turned around to leave. But the door behind me slammed open, and the stink of alcohol assaulted my nose.
Yanking my arm, the man smiled lewdly: "Did you want to leave? Accompany me first!"
"My Lord, no!" As bystanders hastened to persuade him, they called for the soldier to pull him away.
I struggled hard, but when I recognized the face illuminated by the lanterns, my heart pounded and body froze.
T/N: Sorry for the late update everyone! I got stuck binge-watching the K-drama Start-Up on Netflix! (‾◡◝ )
SANDY'S READ RECEIPTS
Beginning as an avid reader, I am translating novels with the help of machine translation and online dictionaries.
SUPPORT ME ON KO-FI
If you are enjoying my work and translations, consider donating to help run the website! Thank you for your support!
SUBSCRIBE FOR NEW CHAPTERS