Chapter 14 – The Lord Crown Prince isn’t around
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.
Sorry for the late chapter! I guess I’m unable to stick to a translating schedule but I’ll try to maintain at least a chapter a week.
In spite of Tang Qi’s strong uneasiness, they still arrived at the brothel.
Once they entered, it was just like what Yan Ke had described, a group of ladies standing at the entrance, swaying the silk handkerchief in their hands, stopping the customers outside, repeating the same script as Yan Ke did: Customer, please come in to have some fun~
Tang Qi looked at Yan Ke who became excited when he entered the brothel. As a result of his competitive nature, along the way, he had already prepared some countermeasures.
Tang Qi adjusted his throat and coughed. Standing in the middle of the brothel, he shouted. After gathering the attention of everyone there, he started to speak: “Serving ladies, please be advised that this is our Yue Kingdom’s Crown Princess. He’s only here to drink alcohol. Please stay at least two metres away from him!”
Yan Ke didn’t expect this foolish looking person to pull a stunt like that, he cursed a series of obscenities in his heart but he still carried a smile on his face and said: “The Lord Crown Prince isn’t around.”
Tang Qi: “…”
Crown Princess, do you really want to become a playboy?! Don’t you know that the guards the Crown Prince Manor’s Steward sent out to protect you, are the Crown Prince’s personal guards?!
Tang Qi: “The Lord Crown Prince isn’t around, but you should all know why he’s not around! He went away for the sake of our Yue Kingdom’s peace, for our Yue Kingdom’s honour! This was why he left his newly wedded wife to go onto the battlefield, think about your conscience, do you think that you should mess around with the Crown Prince’s man?!”
Yan Ke: “…”
Pardon my ignorance! It was this lowly one who has not learnt enough, and whose skin was not thick enough. I’m simply unable to preach about national justice in a brothel, this lowly one has lost to you!
Fuck, so retarded!
Just with his eloquence, if he was in the modern era, not being a diplomat would really be such a waste of his talent!
He had to admit, Tang Qi’s slightly retarded words were quite effective. The bros who had entered the brothel together with him, all had a lady in each of their arms. Yet Yan Ke, no matter where he went, not even a single lady dared to approach him.
He didn’t really want to fool around here while he was still a married man, he only wanted to come here to fulfil his curiosity!
Even if you killed him, he also wouldn’t be willing to admit that in his past life, he was a twenty-plus year-old virgin. He felt like he had missed out on life, he wanted to go to a brothel to see with his own eyes, how a place famous for the legendary gathering of beautiful women was like.
Once they sat down and the alcohol was served, the group of gentlemen who had been throwing the black pot away on the streets previously, were bolstered with courage from the drinks and started to talk to Yan Ke.
A skinny and tall gentleman stood up to toast Yan Ke. Tang Qi who was at his side, helped to introduce him.
Tang Qi: “This is the son of the capital’s richest man, Liu Kang.”
Yan Ke toasted back to Liu Kang and did a self-introduction at the same time: “I’m called Yan Ke, you can call me by my name. Calling me ‘Crown Princess’ is too formal.”
Another gentleman wearing green with a fan in his hands, gently stood up as well.
Tang Qi: “This is the prime minister’s son, Shangguan Yang. Beside Shangguan, is Meng You’s lieutenant general Chang’s son, Chang Heng.”
Yan Ke laughed and toasted everyone. This clear liquor wasn’t like beer, it was very strong. He was a chef in his past life, so for the sake of protecting his taste buds, he didn’t drink alcohol. In addition, his current body also can’t take too much alcohol, just by drinking a few cups, the alcohol would go to his head.
The few ladies sitting at Tang Qi’s side heard their introductions and knew that everyone present did not have a simple identity, so they became more enthusiastic and put in more effort to serve them well.
Maybe they were hoping to get close to these young men. Even if they couldn’t enter their households, if any of them took a fancy to themselves, they might even be redeemed from the brothel.
[T/N: I used ‘entering their households’ as there was an ambiguous meaning of marrying any of the young men or becoming a maid in their house.
Ladies who work in a brothel usually have debts forcing them to stay there. If any rich customer liked them enough, they could redeem them from the brothel by paying off their debts.]
Yan Ke threw a peanut into his mouth, watching the ladies’ enthusiasm overwhelm the young men and smiled: “You guys really never came here before?”
Everyone shook their head in unison.
Yan Ke: “Meng You also never came here before either?”
Tang Qi suddenly laughed: “The person most unlikely to come here is Shu Li.”
[T/N: Shu Li is Meng You’s other name.]
Yan Ke: “Oh?”
Liu Kang, the rich man’s son sitting on Yan Ke’s other side became excited to speak: “It wasn’t that no one had ever sent a woman to Shu Li’s side. In fact, every woman sent over to him was gorgeous, simply devastatingly beautiful. I remember that there was even one who was sent directly onto Shu Li’s bed right?”
Everyone nodded their head in unison.
Liu Kang added on: “Tsk Tsk Tsk, that night, not only did the volatile Lord Crown Prince drive out that gorgeous woman, the next day, he reciprocated in kind by sending a woman to the bed of that corrupt official who tried to bribe him with a beauty.”
Liu Kang was laughing as he spoke, this made Yan Ke anxious to know more.
Yan Ke urged him: “Can you finish the story before laughing?”
Tang Qi continued: “That corrupt official had a fierce tigress wife. It was said that on the night when his wife discovered the beautiful woman on his bed, the wife chased him around everywhere with a knife. In the end, the corrupt official ran out of places to hide. So he brought his own ledger as evidence of his crimes to the Ya Men and confessed in order to hide inside the prison cell.”
[T/N: 衙门 / Ya Men is like a combination of a courthouse and police station. It’s not stated but the official probably accepted bribes which is a crime.]
This plot twist successfully made Yan Ke burst into laughter.
Liu Kang was the most talkative among them. When speaking about the past, he could let out an unceasing torrent of words: “There was also that other time, do you guys still remember? Meng You had never touched a woman before, despite the number of ladies sent to him. So someone spread a rumour that the Yue Country’s Lord Crown Prince actually liked men. At that time, a lot of people kept thinking of how to create a ‘coincidental meeting’ with him. There was a person, who seemed to have waited at the Crown Prince Residence’s entrance for more than a month to memorise the time that Shu Li would leave and enter the residence.”
“Then one day, seeing Shu Li’s carriage approaching, his legs ran faster than the Crown Prince Manor’s steward’s to help Shu Li down the carriage. Yan Ke, guess what happened next?”
Yan Ke shook his head to express that he didn’t have a brain hole to guess the answer.
[T/N: 脑洞 / Brain Hole is slang that means there’s a hole in the brain and which has been filled with rich imagination / unrealistic thoughts.]
Liu Kang laughed yet again: “After Shu Li came down the carriage, he directly attacked that man. Within a few moves, that man was beaten to the ground and was unable to get up.”
Yan Ke: “Why would he suddenly attack that man?”
Liu Kang: “At that time, the Crown Prince Manor was hiring shadow guards. He thought that the man was applying for the job. After attacking him, he angrily said to the steward…”
Liu Kang wanted to express the unique expression that only Meng You would have but thinking about it, he decided to assign this task to Tang Qi instead.
Tang Qi got into action, he deepened his voice and began: “Let’s not hire this type of weakling. If we really met with danger, this Lord would even have to protect him.”
Yan Ke laughed.
Alright, he shall not blame the Crown Prince for his previous misunderstandings, after all, he had always been an idiot, it wasn’t a new mental state.
They talked about Meng You for a long time.
Eating while drinking, the others became drunk.
Yan Ke had better self-control and he didn’t like drinking in the first place, so after the first few cups he had stopped drinking.
Drinking will affect his taste buds, so in the past, he wouldn’t even touch beer, and this was even clear liquor. He still had to keep his sense of taste in order to eat his own good cooking.
After leaving the brothel, the others were already so drunk that they couldn’t even stand properly so Yan Ke got a few of his shadow guards who knew where they stayed to bring them home, leaving one guard for himself as he returned home.
The steward looked at Yan Ke’s red face and smelled the scent of cosmetics even though the ladies didn’t touch him previously. He didn’t need to guess and he already knew where the Crown Princess had went. He didn’t say anything out loud but in his heart he started grumbling about Tang Qi.
Because he was the Lord Crown Prince’s best friend, he allowed him to bring the Crown Princess out for some fresh air. Yet, he brought the Crown Princess to a brothel.
Yan Ke heard the steward ordering someone to get some sobering tea and turned around to stop him: “I didn’t drink much. It’s late, just go ahead and rest, I’ll take a bath and go to sleep.”
He woke up early in the morning, and he still drank some alcohol, Yan Ke didn’t even know how he managed to get himself home. His eyes were already closing and his head was dizzy.
Upon entering his room, the steward got someone to prepare water for Yan Ke to wash his face and rinse his mouth.
Gathering his remaining energy, he washed up and crawled into bed.
Hopefully he can receive the Crown Prince’s divorce letter the following day!
The next day, Meng You was still resting when he heard loud noises outside. He was a light sleeper so he was easily awoken by the conversation outside.
Vaguely, he heard the officers and soldiers in the barracks discussing about his family’s Crown Princess.
[T/N: Chinese people like to call people by ‘their family’s eldest son’, ‘their family’s eldest daughter’, ‘their family’s XXXX’ etc.]
Meng You opened his eyes, he guessed that there were messengers here today as well.
Meng You sighed, fine, he shall see what his family’s Crown Princess did this time.
Meng You adjusted his clothes, stepped out, saw three wooden boxes outside his tent and was stunned for a moment.
Pointing his finger at the wooden boxes, he could faintly smell a mouth-watering smell from it, Meng You asked: “These are……”
The messenger wiped his sweat, in order for the dishes to not lose their taste, they literally travelled without stopping at all to rush towards the frontier. Fortunately, they managed to reach the frontier before the sun had even rose fully.
Messenger: “These are what the Crown Princess told us to send to the Lord.”
Meng You opened a box and the scent of the dishes directly went to his nose. Meng You was astonished: “He’s so far away, yet he wanted you guys to bring so many dishes over here?”
The messenger nodded his head.
Meng You was so angry that he wanted to laugh: “I really don’t know what to say about him.”
He got some people to bring the boxes inside his Marshal’s tent. The soldiers were originally laughing in their hearts about how despite the Crown Princess being a man, yet he was still so needy. But after the delicious scent of the dishes entered their noses, their hearts actually started envying the Lord Crown Prince.
Even though none of them had received a family letter just as they reached the battlefield, but, none of them had ever received homecooked food from their families either.
Meng You looked at the table full of dishes which had been preserved quite well, just smelling them could rouse a person’s appetite.
He guessed that his first letter wasn’t successfully retrieved by the messenger, so when Yan Ke read it, he sent him a whole table worth of dishes.
Meng You didn’t hurry to eat the food, but instead he took up Yan Ke’s letter to start reading it first.
: Crown Prince, these dishes were obtained by me from a newly opened restaurant in the capital. If you like them, then you must remember my great favour and kindness, when we divorce, this debt can be used. If you are unable to bear the thought of owing a favour to me, after you finish eating, hurry up and take up a brush to send me a divorce letter!
: After we divorce, you can return to your status of being Yue Kingdom’s most ‘must-watch’ golden bachelor with over three thousand beauties in your hands! Is your heart wavering yet? If it is, hurry up and make a move!
[T/N: Think of “Yue Kingdom’s most ‘must-watch’ golden bachelor” as those typical celebrity articles headline, it’s a very modern way of speaking. “Is your heart wavering yet? If it is, hurry up and make a move/get it!” This is like a typical advertisement line.]
Meng You: “………”
Meng You felt that he could be considered as having read a lot of books, but it was challenging to read Yan Ke’s letter. He was able to read the words yet it was difficult to understand the meaning. He roughly read the letter and understood about eighty percent of it.
Meng You didn’t hurry to write a reply letter either, instead he decided to satisfy his hunger first.
He tried a braised pork rib. It was good that it wasn’t winter, even though eating it while it was cold wasn’t as good as eating it when it was just cooked but the taste wasn’t too bad.
He originally didn’t have any expectations of the food, no matter which restaurant in the capital, he had already eaten there, the taste was just so-so! However, the food could be considered as Yan Ke’s kind intentions.
But now that Meng You had tried it, he began to gorge himself.
The lieutenant generals at his side seeing that the Lord Crown Prince had received a whole table of food, took up a bowl each and waited outside. They were just waiting for the Lord Crown Prince’s order to help him finish anything he couldn’t.
They waited for a long time, yet the order never came.
The lieutenant generals quietly lifted the tent’s curtain to peek in, only to meet the eyes of Meng You who was eating blissfully.
The lieutenant generals’ hearts broke: “………”
Even though this time the food was sent by the Crown Princess, but Lord Crown Prince, you used to freely share food with us!
Meng You: “………”
Lieutenant general: “My Lord, can I ask you a question?”
Meng You ate his rice: “Go ahead.”
Lieutenant general: “My Lord, are you able to finish everything?”
Meng You: “……?”
The lieutenant general took out his bowl, then beside him, more people begin to stretch out their own hands, with their hands all carrying a bowl.
Multiple pairs of eyes stared longingly at Meng You.
Meng You: “………”
Meng You: “You guys may come in.”
The lieutenant general laughed impishly: “Awesome!”
Meng You ate three bowls of rice, for the past few days, he had not been eating well, this time he ate to his heart’s content. Such good cooking skills, this newly opened restaurant business must be great!
He should write a letter to the steward, to let him poach their chef to his Crown Prince Manor, Yan Ke probably liked the food himself, so he got the dishes from that restaurant.
After Meng You finished eating, he sat at his desk and began writing his reply.
: The newly opened restaurant in the capital seems to be quite good, this Lord like their food! How are you doing at home? Did Tang Qi and the others bring you out to walk around? Divorcing doesn’t only affect the two of us, this Lord also knows that you don’t really want to divorce. Don’t worry, this Lord also wouldn’t press on your head and force you to agree to this matter.
[T/N: “和离的事，不是咱们两个人的事，爷知道你不想和离，你也放心，这种事，爷也不可能摁着你的脑袋逼着你答应的。” / “Divorcing doesn’t only affect the two of us, this Lord also knows that you don’t really want to divorce. Don’t worry, this Lord also wouldn’t press on your head and force you to agree to this matter.”
I have no idea what “pressing on his head to force him to agree” means so I just literally translated it as it is.]
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Love you all!