Inner Residence arc ー Chapter 8 (Part 1): The Xie Brother and Sister and the Secret Chamber
After eating and taking a bath, Yun Xiang and I sat beside a furnace to warm ourselves while I told her stories to kill time.
Today, I happened to talk about Yang Xiao hooking up with Ji Xiaofu*. One was a pure beautiful swordswoman while one was a circumspect and astute partisan of heresy and one was a pretty young girl at the prime of her youth while one was a middle-aged uncle who had experienced many vicissitudes of life.
*T/n: Two characters from the novel “The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber”, a wuxia novel written by Jin Yong and is the third instalment in the Condor Trilogy.
Yun Xiang raised a question, “Why is the age difference so large?”
I said, “According to textual research by the later generations, Yang Xiao should be older than Ji Xiaofu by one generation, at least older by ten years plus.”
Yun Xiang said, “An old cow eating young grass*?”
*T/n: I think you should probably be able to infer the meaning but it’s basically a relationship where the male is significantly older than the female.
After this young lady mingled with me for a long time, she also picked up a few things.
I danced in joy as my spittle splattered all around, “Moreover, the textology school also obtained a reliable conclusion: Yang Xiao probably had too many love entanglements with afraid with the beautiful Abbess Miejue* back then.”
*T/n: One of her disciples is Ji Xiaofu
“Isn’t she an old grandmother with her face wreathed in wrinkles?” Yun Xiang cried out in surprise.
I quickly shook my head, “That’s because Gramps* Jin** didn’t like her. She’s actually not an old madam! She’s a mature looking young lady! A mature looking young lady!!!”
*T/n: A polite appellation for an elderly male
**T/n: Referring to the author, Jin Yong
Yun Xiang was shocked by me until she stared blankly. “But she has an irascible temperament and she doesn’t have a kind heart too.”
“That’s because she was angered by Left Commander Yang* that her menopause was brought forward!”
*T/n: Referring to Yang Xiao
We were having an intense discussion when all of a sudden when crashing and clanging sounds came from outside the courtyard. Then, a man cried out sorrowfully in pain, “Ow*——”
*T/n: Sound of wailing and whimpering
Yun Xiang and I strained our ears to listen. I asked her, “Did you carry the two netleaf berry* plants back after I carried them to the corner of the wall to bask in the sunlight this morning?”
*T/n: Berberis dictyophylla, native to Western China. It bears branching spines and has yellow flowers and red fruits.
Looks something like this with just the flowers:
Yun Xiang said, “I didn’t.”
I said, “Oh——”
The door was pushed open with a bang. Xie Zhaoying dashed in with dirt covering his whole face and unkempt clothes while his eyes were burning with rage.
Yun Xiang jumped up. “This servant is going to serve tea.” She retreated expeditiously as if the soles of her feet were smeared with oil.
I laughed mischievously. “Second Elder Brother, how have you been recently? Did you encounter any difficulties in your life? You’ll have to say if there are any difficulties, even if you have no difficulties but you created difficulties, you’ll have to tell me too……”
Xie Zhao Ying slammed his palm onto the table. I jumped with the plate of fruits at the same time.
Xie Zhaoying suddenly clutched his hand and cried out, “Quick, quick! Bring a needle here! Your Elder Brother is going to become a hedgehog soon!”
After making all the noise, I spent half an hour before I managed to help him pick out all the thorns completely.
I poured a cup of tea for Xie Zhaoying whose whole body emanating a medical scent and started to enumerate his shortcomings, “You can’t always be like this. Since you like Elder Sister Fei Hua, you should settle down properly to find a job and produce some results. Maybe the people from the Qin Family will find that you have some future prospects and agree to let their daughter marry you.”
Xie Zhao Ying drank his tea, “Don’t bother about my matters.”
I sneered, “Our parents didn’t even bother, why I should bother? Your decline can only serve as a foil to highlight my diligence and improvement.”
Xie Zhaoying finished drinking his tea and looked around, “Is there anything to eat?”
I dug around the brazier a few roasted sweet potatoes underneath the ashes was revealed. I was also a little hungry so I peeled and ate them together with him.
Xie Zhaoying gabbled, “The taste is not bad, the heat control is just nice. In the past, when I was in the army——” He choked for a second, “In the past, when I was still studying, I even had to stealthily prepare the sweet potatoes if I wanted to eat.”
I forced out a laughter. “Why are you talking as if the Xie Family ill-treated you and you even needed to be surreptitious when eating a sweet potato. How did you prepare them by yourself?”
Xie Zhaoying said, “In the academy, while the teacher wasn’t paying attention, I would secretly bury the sweet potatoes in the brazier. I dug them out again after classes ended.”
I was speechless. “Why didn’t it choke you to death?”
Xie Zhaoying ate until he was full, finished drinking my scented tea and simply left.
I shouted at him to stop, “Second Elder Brother, I have something I wish to consult you.”
“Where do you usually get that much money?”
Xie Zhaoying stared at me, “What are you planning to do?”
I flung my hands up, “Don’t be so nervous, anyone will have a time when they are tight on money. Teach me a few tricks.”
Xie Zhaoying’s pair of beautiful peach blossom eyes looked at me solemnly before he stretched out his hand and suddenly pinched my face. He smiled in a sinister and crafty manner, “A little young lady huh, full of enthusiasm huh, scheming huh and playful, lack in maturity huh~~~~”
He then released his hold and slammed me with his palm. “Come, let’s go rob the rich to help the poor!”
“Huh?” I was completely nonplussed.
Xie Zhaoying smiled sinisterly, “Aren’t you lacking silver? I’m bringing you to find silver.”
Hence, on a moonless night with strong winds, I vaulted over the walls and climbed over household doors to followed Xie Zhaoying in stealing from our own house. This was the worst criminal offence I have ever committed in the twenty-one years I have lived, yet I still felt an unprecedented thrill and fun.
Translated and Edited by: HaruOngy and LalaKurouds