Concealed by Brocaded Clouds, Frost on the Roads: Volume 02 Chapter 01

7:12 PM Oyen 2 Comments

Now, we enter the second book of this novel, still 11 more chapters and 3 more extras. Good luck for me~
Chapter 1: Still Afraid Meeting Is A Dream
translator: Oyen

Autumn wind waved, with a cool breath. There was also a faint fragrance of flowers, entangled with the tip of the nose, gently blooming charming taste.

Liu Li pushed the door and saw that the curtain of the inner chamber was still drooping, and it was obvious that the young miss had not yet got up. Gently put the washing things on the outer table, and then moved to lift the curtain. As soon as she looked up, she saw that the young miss had already got up, leaned her hands against the windowsill, casually covered her long hair like clouds and mist. Seeing her come in, turning her head and smiling, her eyes were shallowly charming.

Liu Li hurriedly picked up a coat and draped it over her, begging for mercy and said, “My good young miss ah, please take good care of yourself. If you accidentally have a headache and fever, Madam will peel my skin ah.”

Three years ago, after Empress Ruan, Miss Ruan Wushuang left, Prime Minister Ruan resigned and retired, and Madam Ruan became ill for more than a year because of her longing for her daughter. The young master took her young miss from Xinzhou. Her similar appearance once made Madam think that she was young miss Wushuang’s reincarnation, which made her condition improve day by day.

Mu Ningyan smiled dumbly and said, “How can uncle and aunt be so fierce?” 

Liu Li said angrily, “If you are ill, they will be so fierce. And you have always been weak.”

Mu Ningyan hurriedly begged for mercy and smiled. “Okay, early in the morning, just nagging like this, I will see who can stand you in the future.” Liu Li did this also for her good, and accompanied her all the way from Xinzhou to the capital. Traveling thousands of miles, just to serve her well.

Hearing this, Liu Li’s face turned red. “I see ah, Young Miss promised to Young Master Meng’s proposal earlier, so there is no need for trouble to care about me.”

Meng Lengqian, the son of the Minister of Revenue, was the top scholar the year before last, and was the husband candidate in the hearts of many noble families in the capital. Since he met Young Miss in the mansion a year ago, he visited the mansion every three days, and the Master and Madam were also very impressed with him. Over the past six months, he had come to the door several times to propose marriage, and didn’t know why Young Miss hadn’t nodded, but her aunt and uncle seemed to have acquiesced. Therefore, when the servants of the mansion saw Young Master Meng coming, they greeted him more diligently and thoughtfully.

Mu Ningyan blushed slightly, and joked with her, “You can't wait for me to get married, so you can go back to Xinzhou and marry your brother Hu ah.” Brother Meng was very kind to her, but she didn't seem like Liu Li who missed her brother Hu. Liu Li's face became redder and redder, such as pomegranate red, delicate and charming, and she stamped her foot and said, “Young Miss…”

Mu Ningyan sat down in front of the dressing table with a smile and stopped talking to her. The woman in the mirror had picturesque eyebrows, a faint smile between her bright eyes and white teeth. Liu Li waited for her to comb her hair and said, “Sister Jinzhi on Madam’s side came to me early in the morning, saying that there are distinguished guests at the mansion today, so please don't walk around at will.”

Mu Ningyan nodded disapprovingly, she rarely walked around the front hall, because she had always liked quiet, and because she was so similar to the late Empress that she was afraid of causing unnecessary trouble. Once an uncle's colleague saw her in the garden and was so startled that he knelt and kowtowed to her. Had it not been for the rescue of her uncle later, she would not have known how to explain it to the adult.

She looked at her face in the mirror. Others said she looked like her cousin, but she didn't remember her cousin in the world. Because the two families were too far apart, they only communicated with her aunt once every year since her mother married in Xinzhou.

It was said that three years ago, due to her father's illness, her aunt felt sorry for her being left unattended. She wanted to send someone to pick her up, but she got the news that her cousin had left before she left. Later, because her aunt couldn’t bear the blow and became ill, it was delayed for more than a year. After coming here, her aunt took very good care of her. In Liuli's words, she was kept in the mouth afraid of being melted, and clasped in hands afraid of being dissolved.

She sighed slightly, knowing in her heart that her aunt regarded her as her late cousin. When her aunt was so old, it was unbearable for ordinary people to see their child die before themselves. The only thing she could do for her aunt was this, staying next to her every day. So Brother Meng asked her repeatedly, but she refused.

In front of the prime minister's mansion, however, it was as if they were facing a great enemy. Yesterday, a message came from the palace, saying that the Emperor was coming to the mansion today. For more than three years, the Emperor would come and stay for a day or two every six months. Every time the Emperor came, he must live in the original Empress’ chamber, mourning and missing. Although the Empress died for such a long time, the Emperor still favored the Ruan family, even more than when the Empress was there. People all over the world said that the Emperor was nostalgic man with deep feelings.

Shi Quanyi stood in the garden and waited at a distance, watching the Emperor gently push the door into the room. Looking at the lonely back of the Emperor, he couldn't help secretly sighing. He couldn’t believe that the Emperor's affection for the Empress was so deep. In those days, when Zhaoyang Hall was on fire, many people were implicated in the Emperor's anger, but they still failed to save the Empress. When the fire was put out, the whole Zhaoyang Hall was almost razed to the ground.

Baili Haozhe slowly walked into the room, which was spotless, as if she had just gone to the garden, and would come back immediately. There were a few lilies on the ground in the room, scattered high and low, with faint fragrance.

He had always been unwilling to believe that she just left him like this, with a hatred of him, so heaven and man were separated forever. But so many years had passed. Chengxuan had grown up day by day, could ride a pony, draw a bow and shoot arrows... He slowly believed that she was really gone. After Zhaoyang Hall burned, he couldn't get close to it for nearly a year. She was gone, and would never be seen again forever…

He gently pushed open the window, and looked around at the full of magnificent scenery, purples and green, blooming in turn. There was a swing frame tied under the banyan tree not far away, which occasionally blew by the wind and swayed gently, and had a leisurely style.

At that time, she spent her youth here. Did she ever think that because of him, she had ruined her whole life of happiness? If she hadn't met him, she would have been happy all her life. Find a husband who was a good match and live a life of ‘gamble to write to eliminate the tea fragrance’*....

    *Nalan Xingde, a talented scholar of the Qing Dynasty (1655-1685), commemorated his late wife Lu. He was impressed by the deep affection between Zhao Mingcheng (1081-1129) and Li Qingzhao (1084-1155) and wrote this book.

He smiled bitterly. But if he hadn't met her, what would he have to treasure in his life? When he was a child, he hid behind a tree and secretly watched the love between his Emperor Father and his brother. When he was older, he thought that studying hard could get his Emperor Father's attention, but no matter how well he did, his Emperor Father just nodded his head and smiled occasionally, which was also an unexpected luxury. Although his Emperor Father also didn’t care much about the Fourth Prince, he grew up in the palm of his mother's hand. But he had nothing…

By contrast, he was as pitiful as an orphan. It has always been so! For a long time, it almost became a habit. Until she existed in his life. He clearly remembered that the first time he saw her, it was not herself, but just a portrait.

Uncle Shen found out that on the Empress Ruan’s birthday, she would also be there, so he made a plan. In the portrait, she was attractive and graceful, with a pleasant temperament. For some reason, he had a faint expectation of that plan.

On the birthday, when the real her appeared in front of him, his heart seemed to be hit by something. The portrait could only depict a little shadow of her. In reality, her eyebrows were like distant mountains, her skin was white porcelain, and her lips were cherry blossoms. Standing among the imperial sisters, she looked very elegant. Occasionally, looking down and smiling, her fluid gesture seemed to carelessly attract others, as if to tempt others bit by bit.

All of the imperial brothers glanced at her position. He just stood in the corner and looked on leisurely, perhaps because he was sure that she would be his in the future.

After marriage, she was quiet, like an orchid, blooming around him layer by layer. Little by little, it filled his whole heart. He never deliberately paid attention to it, or even deliberately ignored it. Until that day, she held his hand in Zhaoyang Hall, gave him encouragement and strength, and also gave him warmth that he had never had before.

For the first time in such a long life, he felt that someone cared about him, and someone would go with him to face the wind and rain...and it was only at that moment that he suddenly realized that he could not live without her... So later, He could no longer remove her after childbirth according to the original plan.

The breeze blew gently, as if it was her gentle touch. He closed his eyes slightly... There was a smell of flowers in the air, and there were some melodious guqin sounds... He suddenly opened his eyes!

Pacing slowly to the corner of the garden, there was a white wall in front of him. And the sound of the guqin was clearly coming from the other end of the wall, which was light and moving, as if it was jumping gently in people's hearts.

Looking around, there was no door to pass through the wall. This was the prime minister's residence. It was impossible for other residences to be so close, so close that he could hear the melodious guqin sound. As far as he knew, only the prime minister and his wife lived in the whole prime minister's residence. Wushuang's eldest brother and second brother both live in another mansion. And the prime minister had no concubine room...

After a long walk along the wall, he finally found the two doors. Yes, the sound of the guqin came from the other end of the door. It was a pity it was locked with a copper lock. He gave a pat on the palm of his hand. Two figures swooped down from not far away and bowed to him, “What’s the Emperor’s order?”

His eyes fell on the bronze lock. The two men understood, one man got up and went to the door, holding the copper lock in one hand. In an instant, the copper lock had been distorted, and the man pulled it off with a little effort.

Two people gently pushed open the door, respectfully invited him over. What came into view was another garden, as exquisite as the courtyard where she lived. The garden was full of flowers, red, white, blue, green, purple, yellow, bright and blooming. He meandered along the cobblestone path.

The sound of the guqin in the ear became clearer and clearer, as if it was not far away. But his footsteps became heavy, and every step was so slow that it seemed as if he had been filled with mercury and weighed so much that he could not get out.

After turning a corner, his eyes suddenly brightened up, and a delicate small lake suddenly appeared in front of him, with lush Wutong’s* leaves and green willows swaying slightly by the lakeside.

*Chinese Parasol Tree

For a moment, breathing almost stopped. In the middle of the nine-zigzag bridge in the lake, there was an octagonal pavilion. There was a woman in plain clothes with her back to him, playing the guqin.

The figure was slender and graceful, and his eyes were fixed on her, but his feet seemed to be fixed, and he had no strength to move, nor dare to move. He was afraid of moving, and the back figure was like countless dreams in the past, and it would disappear immediately ...

Mu Ningyan heard footsteps approaching, thinking that it was Liu Li. A charming laugh was coming out, “Good Liu Li, I don't eat tonic, please take them out.” Some time ago, after being ill, her aunt ordered the kitchen to bring her tonics twice a day, which gave her a headache. Begging Liu Li not to bring it to her every day, but Liu Li didn't have the courage, and it would be good if she didn’t stare at her to drink it up every day.

A pair of arms came over from behind her and hugged her. A gentle voice sounded in her ears with surprise and joy. “Wushuang, I finally found you... Wushuang, my Wushuang…” the warm and humid breath sprayed behind her ears and around her neck.

She turned pale with fright, trying to push him away. “You... Who are you? You... You let go! I am not cousin Wushuang…”

But the man held her tighter and tighter, as if afraid that she would disappear again. She was so anxious that she beat his arm hard, surprised and ashamed. “Let go. I'm really not cousin Wushuang... If you don't let go, I'll shout... Let go of me…”

The man still didn't let go, just turned her face over. A handsome peerless face appeared in front of her, but she clearly didn't know that face.

She was so anxious that she almost fainted. He was so close to her that the hot breath was on her face, and one hand firmly fixed her in his arms. No one had ever been so rude to her. Didn't he know the principle that men and women should not touch hands when they give or receive things?

But even if she struggled, she couldn't go away. His face in front of her grew bigger and closer... Her heart was beating hurriedly, as if she knew what he was going to do... But before she could react, his hot and humid lips had covered her, tossing and sucking on the lips, recklessly…

She was so angry, anxious, annoyed, and ashamed, and wanted to push him away, but it was of no use at all, and she was forced to accept what he had given her. His breath was all over her nose and lips.

She didn’t know how long it took, but he was finally satisfied, and then he slowly left her lips. He stared at her, his eyes confused and muttered, “Wushuang... my Wushuang.” She was also panting, and her eyes were misty. But she was so angry at this leecher, and her innocence was destroyed in his hands...

She raised her hand and slapped him hard on the face. “You leecher, let me go. Otherwise, I will let you die without a burial site.” He seemed unprepared and didn't dodge, hearing the ‘pa’ sound, and there was a palm mark on his face.

He stared, motionlessly looked at her. He didn't let go of his hand and still held her tightly. For a long time, he smiled bitterly, and the sadness at the bottom of his eyes seemed to be lighter, then he murmured, “It’s hurt… It’s really true… It’s not a dream. Wushuang, you finally come back to me…”

This man is really shameless to the extreme! Even after being hit, he could still laugh. She stared at him with irritation, kicked him with her foot, and pushed him with her hand and said, “I’m not cousin Wushuang. Cousin Wushuang has passed away…”

The man suddenly quivered, and his face showed an uncontrollable pain, so he slowly let her go and slowly took two steps back.

After a while, he seemed to be calm again, and his voice rang in a low voice, “Then who are you?”

She retreated several steps in a row until she leaned back against the pillar of the pavilion, then she held her breath slightly, raised her head and asked, “Who are you?” A pair of eyes were clear like water, and her cheeks were red and dizzy, and they were beautiful and irresistible.

He stood at the edge of the pavilion, dressed in an azure blue cloud pattern brocade clothes, the hem fluttering slightly with the wind, although he was only standing indifferently, but vaguely had a noble charm. He looked at her motionlessly, as if to examine her, slowly said, “Baili Haozhe.”

She frowned slightly, his name was strangely familiar, and she seemed to have heard it, but she was definitely not the person she was close to in her daily life. Baili was the Imperial surname. She had instantly realized why she felt this name was so familiar. She knelt down and bowed in an elegant manner, and said in an uneasy voice. “This woman worships the Emperor, long live the Emperor.”

In the end, everyone came out and immediately made a sense of proprietary ritual as  they returned to normal. He was silent, as if suffocating in the air. And she could only kneel.

It turned out that this person was the current Emperor, cousin Wushuang’s husband. Hearing that cousin Wushuang passed away in the past few years, he would go to her cousin's chamber to commemorate her death every year. It could be seen that he was an infatuated person. He was really handsome, and really comparable with her cousin Wushuang. It was a pity that cousin Wushuang went so early... She couldn't help feeling sorrow.

He fixedly watched her reaction, from a little dazed at the beginning, to the surprised look after that, and then looked into his eyes with fear一一 her reaction was natural and real.

He suppressed the impulse that was constantly surging in his heart, took a deep breath, and said calmly, “You may rise.” She slowly stood up, and quietly stood by the side, only to hear her rough voice again. “Now you can tell me your name.”

She hurriedly replied, “This woman’s surname is Mu, and first name is Ningyan.” His lips moved slightly, as if thinking about it. “Mu Ningyan... Mu… Ning… Yan…” Unconsciously, it was very ambiguous to call a person's name like this. She felt a slight movement in her heart, and her slightly calm face reddened again.

The breeze was blowing, as if he had forgotten her existence, he turned around and looked out at the lake in a trance. Occasionally, when she looked up secretly, she could see his back. She wondered if his clothes were swaying slightly because of standing by the railing, which made him look lonely.

In a daze moment, she only heard the sound of footsteps in the garden. She turned her head and saw her uncle, aunt and others coming quickly, followed by a large number of guards and attendants.

Ruan Chongji and his wife knelt down in fear and saluted. “Emperor... Long live the Emperor.”

Baili Haozhe replied faintly, “Father-in-Law and his wife may rise.”

Ruan Chongji got up and glanced at the Emperor secretly, only to see that his expression remained the same, and he could not see any happiness or anger. But he didn’t know why, but there was a strong anxiety in his heart. The Emperor had missed Wushuang a lot over the years, and it must be quite shocking to see Mu Ningyan who was like a mold carved from Wushuang today. But at the moment, there was no difference in his calm face.

In fact, he didn't know much about Wushuang's husband, the current Emperor. When Wushuang hadn’t married him in his early years, he was just a son received by his sister Ruan Yujin. This kind of thing was very common in the harem, the Empress would bring the son of the concubine to the door for adoption, and the person's status would be the same as the son of the first wife. But he didn't want to get involved in the imperial throne dispute, so he kept a distance from the princes at that time, and didn't want to get too close.

Later, after Wushuang got married, he got in touch with him more. He had always been courteous and respectful to him. And he showed a lot of amazing talents in national affairs. After thinking about it again and again, he decided to help him. Of course, the most important thing was his Wushuang’s husband status, which made him have to participate in the battle for the throne. After all, if he failed to compete for the position, then both Wushuang and the Ruan family might be doomed.

Later, he succeeded and ascended the throne as he wished. Wushuang became Empress. But it seemed that all the misfortune began there. The Empress Dowager died in less than half a year... Second to none, she was later grounded in the Zhaoyang Hall, but as a father, he was a prime minister, but he didn't even know the reason why his daughter was grounded... Then she was burned to death in Zhaoyang Hall...

Within the harem, there were attendants and guards. Even a small side hall was guarded by several people, let alone the magnificent Zhaoyang Hall? But Wushuang was burned alive in the magnificent Zhaoyang Hall... Without the least bit of the Emperor’s incitement, how could Wushuang not be saved…

Flying birds have limits, the good bows are hiding!* He had been in the imperial court for decades, how could he not understand this truth! The Emperors of every dynasty had always the taboo of monopoly of their relatives, and the momentum of their Ruan family could almost keep pace with the imperial family. No Emperor wanted to see such a scene, and Baili Haozhe was no exception.

*if a person loses the value of use, he is killed or has a worse end than others.

So after Wushuang left, his heart also turned into ashes and handed a memorial to show his determination to resign. As he expected, the Emperor allowed him to resign without hesitation. This also confirmed his inner speculation.

In recent years, he ordered Wu Tao and Wu Lang to resign many times. If he wanted to resign from the real power in an official position, he would also didn’t let the false reputation of the Emperor's son-in-law go, but Baili Haozhe didn’t allow them to resign again and again. He could not guess why, but he was even more afraid. He had to ask his two sons to be careful, for fear of being caught by the Emperor. But in recent years, the Emperor didn't seem to want to move the arrangement of their Ruan family. At least in the eyes of outsiders, the Emperor's favor to the Ruan family was still strong as when Empress Ruan was alive.

This also made it more and more difficult for him to guess what the Emperor thought. Every time the Emperor came to their residence, he was even more cautious and trembling, fearing that there was a chance. Sure enough, there was an accident today. In fact, ever since Mu Ningyan came to the mansion, he was worried that what would happen today would happen, so he ordered someone to expand such a small garden far outside the mansion, and there was only one door to the mansion. Once the Emperor arrived, he ordered the door to be locked. But thousands of precautions were still impossible to guard against.

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2 comments:

  1. "Did she ever think that because of him, she had ruined her whole life of happiness? If she hadn't met him, she would have been happy all her life"

    It's good that you know it 😠

    ReplyDelete
  2. a new fl? noooooo ugh, i was expecting her to be alive or something with amnesia even ughhhhhh

    ReplyDelete