“This Song just happened to see Madame on the street just now, so I came over to say hello.” Song Qingshu subconsciously omitted the word ‘Tian’ from her title ‘Madam Tian’, ”Why does Madame look sad?”
Nan Lan looked at him with complicated thoughts in her eyes, “In a way, it’s all because of Young Master.”
“Because of me?” Song Qingshu’s heart skipped a beat, and thought, ‘Have I become so attractive, that this woman fell in love with me just because of one meeting?’
“It’s inconvenient to talk here. If Young Master Song doesn’t mind, can you talk to this Concubine back to the mansion?” While Song Qingshu was thinking about some nonsense, Nan Lan cautiously looked around and offered.
“It’s convenient, of course it’s convenient!” Song Qingshu gave a small smile and added in his heart, ‘If it’s convenient for you as a woman, how could it be inconvenient for me?’
“Young Master, please follow this Concubine.” Nan Lan bowed slightly, then led Song Qingshu to the Tian Mansion.
Looking at her swaying backside, Song Qingshu raised his eyebrows, struggled for a moment, but followed.
“Young Master, please have tea.” After entering the Tian Mansion, Nan Lan brought out a cup of tea and placed it on the table in front of Song Qingshu. Song Qingshu nodded and accidentally saw the two delicate exposed collarbones leading to the mountain valley at her neckline when she bent over. His expression turned a little unnatural, and then he looked away.
Seeing the rather deserted Tian Mansion, Song Qingshu suspiciously asked, “I felt it was quite strange just now that your mansion seems to be quite desolate, and the fallen leaves in the courtyard seem to have not been cleaned for a while. Now the Madame is even serving tea in person. Could it be that there is no servant in the mansion?”
After putting down the tea tray, Nan Lan sat down on the opposite chair with a tired face, and smiled bitterly when she heard his words, “I have made the Young Master laugh, there is indeed no servant in the house.”
“Why is this?” Song Qingshu wondered how Tian Guinong had fallen to such a level. Then he turned his head and looked around, “By the way, why haven’t I seen Brother Tian, is he on duty?”
“Guinong…Guinong, he…” Hearing him mention Tian Guinong, all of a sudden Nan Lan’s eyes turned red, she couldn’t utter a single complete sentence, and started to sob.
“Madame, why are you acting like this?” Song Qingshu was startled, he quickly stood up from the chair and walked up to her, intending to comfort her. But unfortunately he didn’t know anything about the matter, so he couldn’t speak if he wanted to comfort her, so he reflexively wanted to pat her shoulder. Then, he suddenly realized that this was no longer the open era of his previous life, and stopped midway. However, it also seemed quite embarrassing to keep his hands in the air like that, so he took them back.
Nan Lan noticed his movements, her face flushed, and she subconsciously moved aside, took out a handkerchief from her sleeve, and gently wiped the corner of her eyes, “Guinong is in prison now.”
“Prison?” Song Qingshu was taken aback for a moment, “Isn’t Brother Tian Prince Bao’s trusted official?” Song Qingshu’s remark was quite accurate, Tian Guinong was indeed very popular in Shengjing. That’s why he was sent as Fukang’an’s guard in his last trip to Shanhaiguan.
“Guinong was imprisoned by Prince Bao himself. He must have been tortured in prison during this period of time.” Nan Lan started crying again as soon as she finished speaking.
“May I know what Brother Tian has done?” Song Qingshu found the situation quite suspicious. In the original novel, Tian Guinong used a similar scheme in order to deceive Nan Lan and get the treasure map in her hairpin. (G: A plotpoint from the original novel.)
He glanced at the crested hairpin on Nan Lan’s hair bun. Against the background of the blue silk, the pearl on the hairpin’s head seemed extraordinarily round and bright. Song Qingshu wondered, ‘How can I steal this hairpin without her knowing it and take out the treasure map inside?’
Before, he took it for granted that he knew the approximate location of Chuangwang’s treasure, and he could find it anytime he wanted. But during his journey to Tubo, he realized that if he wanted to find a hidden cave in the vast snow-capped mountains, it was easier said than done. So seeing this crested hairpin this time, Song Qingshu came up with a different idea.
“Speaking of which, it has something to do with the Young Master.” Nan Lan sighed quietly. “Last time Prince Bao’s heir Fukang’an was sent to Shanhaiguan for a marriage proposal, and Guinong was also sent to protect him as his guard. But, unfortunately it resulted in such a big incident! In that event, the Princess died, and the Imperial Envoy also died. The heir fled back in embarrassment and almost lost his life there. Not only did they fail to form an alliance with the King of Pingxi in Shanhaiguan but they turned him into an enemy. That made the Prince very angry and he began a thorough investigation. After investigating this matter, they finally found that it was a conspiracy of the Imperial Court to destroy the relationship between him and the King of Pingxi! Then he found out that before the accident, Guinong met with you privately. So he thought that Guinong had betrayed the Prince and he was locked up and tortured…” At the end, she burst into tears.
Song Qingshu was immediately dumbfounded, “But that time we met as old friends, so we didn’t talk about anything!”
“Guinong said the same thing, but unfortunately the lord doesn’t believe it,” Nan Lan said.
“I didn’t expect that I would harm Brother Tian.” Song Qingshu muttered to himself.
“Young Master Song, don’t say that, it’s just that we were unfortunate.” Sometimes in the dead of night, Nan Lan did complain about Song Qingshu in her heart, but she also understood that Song Qingshu couldn’t be blamed for this matter, so she could only sigh at their misfortune.
“Brother Tian has a lot of friends. If you can get some of his old friends to say a few good words in front of Prince Bao, maybe Prince Bao will let him go.” Although Song Qingshu thought that he was being wrongly blamed, he felt quite bad to watch this delicate woman keep crying and tried to give some advice.
“It’s better to not mention those people…” Nan Lan’s breath suddenly became rapid, and a red flush appeared on her pink cheeks, she was obviously extremely angry, “After the accident happened to Guinong, this Concubine also had the same thought, and went to visit his friends one by one. Guinong treated these friends like brothers, but who knew that these people talked well on the surface, but in fact they were just making false promises!”
“Madame is so clear about the ins and outs of this matter. It must have been revealed to Madam by Brother Tian’s official friends. Maybe they can’t help you for the time being. Madam, don’t be anxious. When the limelight passes, they may be able to rescue Brother Tian.” Song Qingshu comforted her.
Unexpectedly, Nan Lan shook her head, “Young Master, you are a modest gentleman…” However, suddenly remembering his frivolous act in the inn during the incident that day, she suspected whether it was proper to call him that, but after being slightly surprised, she continued, “Those people usually treated this Concubines with respect. But, I didn’t expect that after Guinong was imprisoned, their manners changed completely when they saw me, and a few people even tried to…” Nan Lan suddenly stopped. She didn’t say any words, but her face turned red, it was unknown if it was due to shame or anger.
It turns out that Nan Lan’s beauty was very famous in Shengjing’s official circles. Many men coveted this beautiful and delicate wife of Tian Guinong. Usually, there was Tian Guinong to protect her from any harm. But, after he was imprisoned, all of them suddenly revealed their true nature. The cowardly flirted with a few words, and the daring even directly hinted to Nan Lan that Tian Guinong would surely die this time, so she could remarry them. Only a few people spoke to comfort her.
Nan Lan was extremely disappointed with this group of people and decided to go to the palace in person to plead for her husband. After arriving at the palace early this morning, the gatekeeper shook his head when he heard her intentions. He would not dare to let her pass no matter how hard Nan Lan begged.
Finally, she happened to meet Fukang’an, who was returning to the palace, and saw a beautiful woman begging the gatekeeper. After asking, he found out that it was Nan Lan, the wife of Tian Guinong. Fukang’an had long heard the famous name of this subordinate’s wife, but unfortunately he never had the chance to see her. When he finally saw her, he was amazed, and hurriedly invited her to his mansion for a ‘detailed’ discussion.
Nan Lan had originally thought that things were about to turn around, but after entering the mansion, Fukang’an didn’t even mention the matter of Tian Guinong, but instead chatted about other topics to her. Gradually, Nan Lan understood what he meant, and her face became pale.
In the end, Fukang’an hinted— that if she was willing to spend the night with him, he could consider saving her husband. Nan Lan forced a smile and said that she would go back and think about it, then walked out of the palace in despair, just in time to be spotted by Song Qingshu.
“They are taking advantage of people’s misfortune, how shameless!” Song Qingshu cursed angrily when he heard the truth of the matter, “By the way, may I know why the Madame was coming out of the palace today?”
How could she tell another man about the deal proposed by Fukang’an? Nan Lan looked embarrassed, and she didn’t know how to even begin. So in the end, she had to close her lips and sit there with her head lowered in silence.
“Hmph, as soon as Daddy was locked in, you hooked up with other men and brought them to the mansion. You are really good!” At that moment, a female voice was heard at the door.
Song Qingshu looked up and saw a young girl standing at the door. Her skin was white and rosy, her eyelashes were very long, and she looked quite youthful. Unfortunately, her expression was quite mean when she spoke, which ruined her original beauty.
“Qingwen, you’re back!” Nan Lan stood up and quickly explained, “This is the Young Master who once saved your father and me, so don’t be rude.”
“Hmph, don’t try to act like a mother and teach me manners, who knows whether he is your benefactor or lover.” The girl snorted coldly.
“You…you…” Nan Lan pointed at her, and trembled with anger.
Song Qingshu finally understood that this girl should be Tian Qingwen, the daughter of Tian Guinong, ‘The daughter and the stepmother are indeed a natural pair of enemies…either the east wind overwhelms the west wind, or the west wind overwhelms the east wind. In this case, Nan Lan seems to be on the weaker side.’
“I’m too lazy to care about your matters. Didn’t you go to the palace today? How about it, did the Prince promise to let Daddy go?” Tian Qingwen waved her hand impatiently.
“No, I couldn’t meet the Prince today!” Nan Lan was angry, and she quickly answered.
“You have skin that is whiter than snow, and a figure like a ripe peach. Even I would feel pity if you begged me.” Tian Qingwen looked up at her stepmother up and down and said, “I told one of my friends to ask around, and it seems that the heir seems to be interested in you. I say, if you directly go to accompany him for a night, won’t they release my Daddy father in a few days?”
Goblin: Patrons, please visit the Patreon page for your advanced chapters.
The current chapters are all almost double the length of what is used to be at the beginning. So, it’s taking a longer time to translate them.