Chapter 11 – This Lord‘s heart is becoming stressed from worrying over you
Disclaimer: This is edited MTL. Do forgive any grammar mistakes as they are my own and not the author’s. I may add some of my own words for clarity sake, but I will try not to change the meaning of the whole sentence. When the author uses 成语 / Cheng Yu, which is something like idiom-like phrases, I may just translate them in simple English if they are not very meaningful. Otherwise, I will add a translation note. An example would be ‘不三不四’, I would most likely translate it as ‘dubious’ depending on the context.
Yan Ke watched the departing army in despair and turned back to the maid who had followed him, feeling as if there was nothing else to live for, he asked: “Can I go with him?”
The maid felt that Yan Ke was missing the Crown Prince already and tried to comfort him: “Crown Princess, if you really miss the Lord, you can just write more letters to him.”
Yan Ke blurted out: “Then if I wrote a divorce letter to him, and assuming that he had signed and affixed his seal on it, would our divorce be recognised?”
The maid shut her mouth and shook her head: “This servant doesn’t know……”
Her words woke Yan Ke up from his stupor and he stopped remaining at the top of the city gate tower like an abandoned husband. When he reached the ground, he noticed that the commoners on the streets were looking at him peculiarly.
Yan Ke’s face inopportunely turned red.
This was the first time in his life that he was surrounded by onlookers, he felt sad just thinking about it.
The wounds on Yan Ke’s face had mostly recovered and for the past few days, he had also been eating well. Hence, his face that was originally sallow and bruised had slowly improved in its complexion.
He became much better looking.
“In my opinion, the Lord Crown Prince probably doesn’t want the Chu Kingdom’s Crown Prince to be his Crown Princess, which is why he set off for the battlefield so soon after their marriage.”
“You’re right, he had already been abandoned, yet he still dared to swagger his way out to run to the top of the city gate tower and call for the Lord Crown Prince to turn back?”
“There are really all kinds of people in this world.”
“I heard from a close friend within the Crown Prince Manor that the Crown Princess is always thinking of bedroom matters, which is the reason why the Lord Crown Prince doesn’t like him.”
Yan Ke heard their wagging tongues; with every step he took, he felt his steps become heavier, who gives a fuck about their Lord Crown Prince?
His head must be empty! Every time he wants to bring up the topic of divorce, he always thinks that he‘s asking about bedroom matters! Can he use his brain a little?!
‘Abandoned Husband’, as if these two words were stamped in large font on his head, Yan Ke returned to the Crown Prince Manor.
He headed for his own room, found a paper and brush and wrote a letter to Meng You. Then, to leave some face for Meng You, he sealed the letter into an envelope labelled “Family Letter”.
If he wrote “Divorce Letter” on the envelope and it was seen by the officers at Meng You’s side, that Lord Crown Prince will probably be embarrassed by it.
Yan Ke: “Steward, can you help me get someone to send this letter to the Lord Crown Prince?”
The steward forced a smile out and softly reminded: “Crown Princess……The Lord probably hasn’t even travelled ten kilometres away yet……”
Yan Ke: “Isn’t that good? It will be easier for them to turn back.”
The steward was left without any choice but to call for a messenger to send the letter.
At Meng You’s end, he was travelling with a huge army and hence their marching speed was slower. The messenger thus managed to send the letter to Meng You’s hands in less than the time it took to burn half an incense stick.
[T/N: People in the past used to judge the time by how long it takes to burn an incense stick. I googled but seems like the time taken to burn a 柱香 / incense stick varies from 5/15/60 minutes.]
Meng You stared at the ‘Family Letter’ in his hands with shock, he felt complicated: “He wrote this????”
The messenger nodded in embarrassment.
Meng You was livid: “This Lord had only just left! How far did we even travel to? Can he be more contented?!”
Everyone was speechless, the letter in the Lord Crown Prince’s hand could be said to be the fastest family letter ever written.
They had seen before people receiving family letters when they had just reached the battlefield, but they had never seen before people receiving family letters just as they left their house.
The Crown Princess was actually so hard to deal with?!
Meng You found a place to open the letter.
: Lord Crown Prince, I’m writing this letter to you because I have no other choice. I feel that there seems to be a misunderstanding between us, so I will try to explain myself. The first night we met, you were scared off by me and ran away. But what I had meant to say was: Since the sky is dark now, let us have a joyous divorce. It’s divorce! It’s not about going to bed, please read this sentence carefully and read it a few more times!
: Also, Lao Zi is fucking not sticking my butt out and asking for sex, I’m really fucking sincere in asking for a divorce! You don’t need to bribe me; you just need to let me bring my dowry along when I run away!
: I promise you that I won’t return to the Chu Kingdom, and will never bother you again, and henceforth, we will both walk a separate path and live a happy life apart, what do you think?
: I don’t know how to write a divorce letter, so you can just write one and send it to me, remember to sign and affix your seal on it! Thank you!
After Meng You read finished the letter, he stuffed it into his pocked: Isn’t this forcing this Lord to return? Do you think this Lord will believe you?!
Meng You took up a brush and paper and squatted beside a rock to write a reply to Yan Ke. After he finished writing, he passed the letter to the messenger: “Before this Lord reaches the border, you don’t need to help him send anymore letters.”
The messenger nodded and travelled without rest as he made his way back to the Manor with the letter.
Yan Ke had been waiting at home anxiously for the letter to arrive, once it did, he happily opened the letter only to be filled with the impulse to destroy the house!
: Men with aspirations need to serve their country! This Lord is entering the battlefield! I can’t and won’t stay at home to spend time with you as a couple, you better watch yourself! This Lord has yet to step out from the boundary of the Imperial City and you have already sent a family letter over, how do you think outsiders will view you? Can you be more sensible? This Lord‘s heart is becoming stressed from worrying over you!
: Autumn is coming, take care of yourself. Wait for this Lord to reach the borders before writing to this Lord, this Lord will reply you at this Lord’s own discretion.
[T/N: So for context, a family letter is just a letter written between family members, since Yan Ke is married to Meng You, they are considered as the same family. Considering that people in the past didn’t have instant communication, it is usually expected that they wouldn’t talk so often or even at all when one of them was travelling far away. Hence, Meng You would feel that it is actually quite ‘needy’ of Yan Ke to send a letter so soon after he had just left.]
Spend time as a couple? Stressed from worrying? Reply at his own discretion?
Yan Ke felt so angry with Meng You that he didn’t know whether he should laugh at or scold him.
This was the first time that he saw someone so mentally handicapped! He really fucking enjoys living in his own self-directed show!
Yan Ke suppressed his anger, wrote a letter and passed it to the steward’s hands. Then he headed to the kitchen.
Who knew how long Meng You that fool would take to wake up from his delusions. It would be better for him to start working on his health first.
Yan Ke looked at the ingredients in the kitchen; chicken, fish and meat were all there.
Yan Ke skilfully slaughtered a chicken personally, washed it clean, chopped it, and then placed it into a pot together with some water. After taking the chicken out, he added some red dates, peanuts, wolfberry and fresh ginger to prepare a soup.
[T/N: Yan Ke seems to be making a type of herbal chicken soup. There are many variations when making herbal soup but the ingredients in it are usually those with nourishing properties. The most common ingredients used when making herbal chicken soup are red dates and wolfberry.
This is an image of one variation of herbal chicken soup that I googled. He seems to have taken out the chicken though, so he’s probably just drinking the soup only.
Source of image and recipe in link.]
When the chicken was stewing, he had already sliced a fish at the same time.
The fish was sliced proficiently in a flowery cut and thrown into a heated wok with oil in preparation for making a red braised fish.
[T/N: Author used打上了花刀, it roughly means slicing with a flowery style/knife but it’s a style of slicing that doesn’t fully cut through the fish. This style is usually used to open gaps in the fish so that it can absorb the oil/liquids better while ensuring that the fish can retain its shape. There are many ways to slice it in a ‘flowery style’ though.
Author used 红烧鱼 / (Red) braised fish, this is an image of one that I googled. If you can tell, the fish has been cut in a flowery style.
This is the link for this recipe but it’s in Chinese so you may need to use google translate.]
Outside the kitchen, the maids and steward whom were worried that he would blow up the kitchen and cause an accident were simply stunned at his actions and stared in awe at him! Everyone was watching Yan Ke cook with their mouths wide open, for a moment, they couldn’t even think about helping him.
Soon, the aroma spread out.
Everyone: I……I want to eat! It smells so good!
Yan Ke set up the table, washed his hands and was about to start eating when he saw the maids and steward whom were the ones usually looking after him, standing outside.
Yan Ke: “Do you want to eat together?”
The crowd nodded in unison.
The steward finally reacted, he glanced at a few of the drooling maids and stepped forward to bow to Yan Ke: “Crown Princess, the Crown Prince Manor has specialised imperial chefs, if you feel that their food is not to your taste, this Servant can replace them for you.”
Yan Ke: “There is no problem with their food, I just prefer to cook myself.”
Yan Ke scooped out a few more bowls of rice and set up more chopsticks. He spoke to the maids outside that wanted to eat but didn’t dare to due to their difference in status: “Come over, I don’t mind. The more people there are, the more enjoyable this meal would be.”
One of the younger maids serving Yan Ke was enviously eyeing the exquisite dishes on the table. Upon hearing that Yan Ke didn’t mind, she was ready to step forward but then she timidly saw the steward glaring at her, and so she had to deny her stomach and stop her footsteps.
Steward: “Crown Princess, you are a Master, while we are servants. How can Masters and servants eat at the same table? Please eat, we will be here to serve.”
[T/N: 主子 / Master is a generic title for anyone with servants but it is usually used for Royalty and Nobles. ]
The steward turned back to the maids: “Do all of you not want to work in the Crown Prince Manor anymore? The rules must be upheld!”
Yan Ke knew that for these people, the rules were ingrained into the depths of their bones, and so he said: “Do as you please.”
The maids were intimidated by the steward and just stood at the side to serve Yan Ke.
In his past life, Yan Ke had never experienced this type of treatment, so even though his status now was of a Crown Prince, he still wasn’t used to being waited on hand and foot.
He took a small bowl and picked out the dishes that he wanted.
The rest of the dishes were then pushed to the side, once he finished eating, he left.
As soon as he walked away, the maids all looked eagerly towards the Steward.
The steward looked at the young maids who had just entered the Crown Prince Manor for a short period of time and guffawed: “Go ahead and eat, the Crown Princess specially left these dishes for all of you. For us servants, when our master treats us well, we must work even harder to serve them well. The rules must always be upheld, understand?”
The young maids nodded their heads and one of the more sensible maids proactively scooped out a bowl of rice for the steward.
The steward tasted the fish and his eyes started to sparkle.
He had been working in the Crown Prince Manor for a long time and the batches of imperial chefs had been changed multiple times as the Lord Crown Prince’s taste buds were pickier than most people. The chefs left in the Crown Prince Manor were all the cream of the crop.
But……he had never tasted such a delicious fish before!
The cooking style was so original! The Crown Prince would surely love this!
After eating, Yan Ke walked around the Crown Prince Manor for a while and then returned to his room to rest.
Looking at the time, it’s been quite a while, why did Meng You not give him a reply yet?
Did he not receive the letter?
Thinking about this point, Yan Ke wrote another letter to Meng You and asked the Steward who had just finished eating to find another messenger to send it to him.
When the messenger caught up to the army, he wanted to head to the front to find the Lord Crown Prince but he was intercepted by another messenger.
“Who is the letter for?”
“The Crown Princess wants to give this to the Lord Crown Prince.”
“Mine is the same, let’s just follow behind. The Lord Crown Prince said, before reaching the border, we can’t give him any letters.”
Yan Ke took a nap in the afternoon and woke up but he had yet to receive a letter from Meng You. Deeply sighing, what is this bro thinking?
The steward looked at the sulking Yan Ke, and laughed while pouring tea for him: “Is the Crown Princess missing the Crown Prince?”
Yan Ke nodded his head.
He really missed him!
The steward laughed again: “The Crown Prince will definitely understand the Crown Princess’s intentions. Let us pray for the Crown Prince’s safe return together from the Manor.”
Yan Ke continued to nod his head.
Steward: “Let’s imagine if something happened at home, this would definitely affect the emotions of the people fighting in the borders. Crown Princess, think about it, weapons have no eyes and can harm anyone, so if these people became distracted by the problems at home and became unable to focus on the battle, it would be dangerous, don’t you agree?”
Yan Ke nodded yet again.
Steward: “So when writing family letters, we should write only about good things and exclude bad things.”
Yan Ke finally brought his eyes up to meet the gaze of the steward and laughed. After going in circles, it turned out that the steward just wanted to tell him not to tell Meng You about the problems at home, so that he won’t bother him?
Yan Ke: “Steward, you can relax, the manor doesn’t have anything bad happening, even if there was, I wouldn’t report it to the Lord Crown Prince.”
The steward laughed: “Of course, of course, Crown Princess, you are much more sensible compared to the spoiled young ladies of the Capital.”
Steward: “Should this servant prepare some pastries for the Crown Princess to fill your stomach?”
Yan Ke originally wasn’t hungry but upon hearing the steward’s words, he really felt a little hungry. He drank a sip of tea and stood up: “I can prepare it myself.”
Author has something to say:
Yan Ke: Please let us divorce!
Meng You: I can’t ‘stand’!
This is a communication gap……HAHAHAHAHA
[T/N: 代沟means generation gap, which refers to the communication/cultural gap between people of different generations. So there is some wordplay here in that even though Meng You and Yan Ke are of similar ages, they belong to different generations since Yan Ke comes from the modern times.]