The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort

千山茶客

Chapter 41

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Many readers are not gonna like the “Shen family” here. We have grown to absolutely love the other Shen family that we know of, but sadly this one is nothing like them. Just spoiling their name. Boo! p(●`□´●)q

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Chapter 41: Young Lady Ruan of the Jiang Family

On the second day, at the first flush of the morning, Lian Qiao had awoken Jiang Ruan to

get out of bed. Jiang Ruan had instructed Bai Zhi to tend to Zhou momo, therefore, Lu Zhu and Lian Qiao would accompany her on today's journey. Lu Zhu waited upon Jiang Ruan as she had her breakfast while Lian Qiao was already impatiently waiting to a.s.sist Jiang Ruan with changing into her clothes. Lu Zhu giggled, "Lian Qiao Jiejie has such an anxious appearance, that those who aren't in the know would think that the guest today was going to be Lian Qiao Jiejie."

"d.a.m.ned wench. Keep spouting nonsense, and see if I won't tear your mouth into pieces." Lian Qiao added, "Our Miss has not adorned herself well in a long time. I had already mentioned long ago that our Miss is a bourgeoning beauty[1] and when I think about how these people's eyes will drop out of their sockets after our Miss appears in front of them, I can't help but be quite cheerful."

[1] Měi rén pēi zi ( 美人胚子 ) – This adjective often refers to women or girls that are equipped with the potential to become beauties. Often, this phrase refers to the aesthetic appeal and harmony/symmetry with all of a woman's body parts such as her figure, physiognomy (face shape) and their five facial features (nose, eyes, lips, tongue and ears).

Jiang Ruan smiled, "The beauty in the Jiang fu isn't me."

"Miss is talking about the Second Miss?" Lian Qiao was a straightforward person, thus heedless and unconcerned, she continued, "The Second Miss' natural appearance is good, however, it is excessively light. At her youthful age now, it is still alright. However, once she has grown, to then continue to have such a plain and fresh look will appear rather dull. She is nowhere near our Miss who has a stunning countenance."

Jiang Ruan broke into laughter, "You are aware that nowadays, here in the capital, the prevalent style is this sort of elegant, attractive and refined beauty. Meanwhile appearances such as mine are gradually becoming gaudy."

Originally, Lu Zhu had been tidying up the things on the table. However, once she heard this, she could not help but chime in, "Miss is definitely wrong here. The scholars and the poets all a.s.sert that they themselves are fond of principled, unsullied and incorruptible lotuses (beauties). However, the people of this world will often fritter away thousands to seek one pot of the tree peony from Luoyang[2]. Yet, would anyone spend thousands of gold to look for a pot of lotus flowers that can be generally found in the pond?"

[2] T/N note: Peony flowers and particularly, tree peony flowers are held up as the ideal that is unsurpa.s.sed by any other flowering plant in China and to a lesser extent, j.a.pan. The tree peony is known as the king of flowers and was once appointed as the national flower during the Qing Dynasty. The flower was highly revered by Chinese literati, poets and painters for hundreds of years and therefore, the flower has become part of the cultural lore. In our current times, whole gardens in China are devoted to tree peonies, in places, especially like Beijing, Shanghai and Luoyang.

Moreover, the reason why tree peonies from Luoyang are considered desirable and ornamentally valuable since ancient times till now is due to the difficulty in cultivating it. It is also the city's flower with a Peony Culture Festival that is held annually with millions of visitors every year.

Luoyang Peony Festival

Lian Qiao too nodded, "This is exactly the truth."

Jiang Ruan shook her head and did not speak further. Once Lu Zhu cleaned her hands, she then had Jiang Ruan sit before the dressing table, "What kind of hairstyle does Miss want?"

"Anything is fine." Jiang Ruan stated, "As long as it isn't improper, then it will be fine."

With the bustle of the transformation, in the span of the smoulder of an incense stick, time pa.s.sed swiftly. The carriages outside the gates of the Jiang fu had long since been prepared. There were a total of two carriages: Jiang Su Su with Jiang Ruan and Xia Yan in one carriage and Jiang Dan and Jiang Li in another. Ultimately, the two carriages were supposed to depart together for the Shen fu.

a.s.sistant Minister Shen and Jiang Quan shared a considerably good relationship, as the bureaucracy between them required mutual areas of a.s.sistance.

With Lian Qiao and Lu Zhu accompanying her, Jiang Ruan stepped out of the gate. From a distance, she saw that Jiang Li and Jiang Dan had already arrived. The two of them stood by Xia Yan's side and were talking to Jiang Su Su. Taking the lead in noticing Jiang Ruan, Jiang Li smiled, "Da Jiejie has such great pride, to actually have Mother and your sisters wait for such a long time."

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"This is Jiang Ruan's fault," Jiang Ruan chuckled, "After all, this is the first time that I am going to the Shen fu after I have returned. I looked for the momo in the courtyard to ask for some pointers so as to not act inappropriately later on because others would only say that our Jiang fu's people do not understand the customs and rules."

A trace of resentment could be seen in Jiang Li's eyes and reluctantly, she shot a sweet smile towards Shen furen, "h.e.l.lo, furen."

However, Shen furen had a very cold response toward Jiang Li and merely made a sound of acknowledgement before she turned to look at Jiang Su Su with a smile, "Su niang, these days, you are actually becoming more charming, just like a young fairy; it truly makes me feel green with envy."

"Mother, what envy are you talking about." Just as the Shen furen's voice had fallen upon everyone's ears, one could suddenly hear a lovable and delicate voice coming from outside. From there, a young girl clothed in a pink jacket walked in. As she saw Jiang Su Su, she excitedly shot forward, "Su'er Jiejie!"

Smiling, Jiang Su Su held onto her hand, "Ming Zhu Meimei."

Shen Ming Zhu was the pearl in the palm of a.s.sistant Minister Shen's family. His family had three sons but as for daughters, he only had one. In her past life, Jiang Ruan's impression of Shen Ming Zhu was merely that she was a close friend of Jiang Su Su. Yet, for some unknown reason, Ming Zhu was always filled with enmity towards her. At every instance of contention between Shen Ming Zhu and herself, it had always been resolved with the help of Jiang Su Su. At that time, largely due to Shen Ming Zhu's painstaking efforts, she had written herself off as an idiot beauty with her own words: only vulgar female entertainers would have skills in dancing and the qin.

In her past life, Jiang Ruan did not understand this animosity. She had never provoked Shen Ming Zhu, yet why was Shen Ming Zhu always at odds with her. However, now that she had recalled everything that once happened, it was crystal clear. In the path of her past lifetime, foes were abundant. And now, after the blurring divide between life and death had ceased, where the wheels of time had turned back once more, where all of the past events had rewound back to a state where nothing had happened yet, seeing this old foe once more, Jiang Ruan was unsure what kind of ending Shen Ming Zhu would have in this lifetime instead.

As if she had sensed Jiang Ruan's gaze upon her, Shen Ming Zhu turned her head around and upon taking a first glance at Jiang Ruan's appearance, she was startled. Her next reaction was an immediate and baffling question filled with ire, "Who is she?"

The people around them had yet to speak in response when they saw Jiang Ruan smile slightly, and with an indistinct trace of ambiguous emotions in the corner of her eyes, she softly spoke, "Jiang family's Ruan niang."

Translated by : Iris

Edited by : Anks & Ely

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