Chapter 4: Then let her keep waiting

Right as Nanny Wang lifted a corner of the door curtains, Han Yunxi stepped on her hand with her foot, asking in a dark tone, “You want to invite me out before the auspicious hour comes?”

“N-no! I…it was an accident, an accident!” Nanny Wang explained, not daring to cry out from the pain. Only then did Han Yunxi release her, gracefully withdrawing her foot to lean lazily against the sedan walls.

The Han family usually treated her cruelly, but they hadn’t shortchanged Han Yunxi for her wedding. The interior of the sedan chair was spacious and comfortable, perfect for sleeping. She wouldn’t be so stupid as to leave and come back tomorrow. If she really went back, there was no promise she wouldn’t be delayed and miss the auspicious hour again.

The Duke of Qin dared not obstruct the emperor’s orders, but they could try out all sorts of delaying tactics. 

In the end, it’d still be her who got the worst of it. Though Han Yunxi didn’t want to marry, she knew that she had to cross those doors into the Duke of Qin’s residence. Otherwise, when the palace came to place blame, she’d be pushed out as the scapegoat. The Duke of Qin’s marriage to an official wife was the talk of the town. News of her waiting at the gates would definitely make its way to the imperial palace. When they started paying attention, the duke’s residence would have no choice but to let her in tomorrow!

Thinking up to here, Han Yunxi shifted to a more comfortable position before feeling assured enough to fall asleep.

At this moment, the Grand Concubine Yi who lived in comfort and enjoyed her high position had lost her usual ease. She personally rushed to the side doors and saw the red of the bridal sedan through its cracks. The face she’d always taken good care of turned a little ghastly.

Mufei[1], this Han Yunxi woman is so strange. The rumors all say she’s timid, but how did she turn so daring today? The palace just sent people over to ask what was the matter.” Murong Wanru said in an anxious voice.

She was Grand Concubine Yi’s adopted daughter. Sweet-tempered, virtuous, and meek, she’d served the Grand Concubine Yi since her youth and was closer to her than any daughter of flesh and blood. A single ‘mufei’ from her lips was enough to outline her position within the Duke of Qin’s household.

“This ugly woman dares to tussle with me on my doorstep?” Grand Concubine Yi narrowed her eyes in an awful expression, swiping a finger across her neck to signal Murong Wanru to kill the interloper.

Murong Wanru’s face drew into a panic. “Mufei! If the person dies on our doorstep, it’d be so unlucky! What if the emperor blames it on big brother?”

There were guards on watch around the Duke of Qin’s house as well. It would be difficult to explain a death on their door, especially with the whole capital spectating on the events. Grand Concubine Yi wasn’t stupid and came to this conclusion after some careful thought. “Good, then! So she’s decided to shamelessly stay here! Tsk, how could this ugly woman scheme so thoroughly?”

Mufei, what do we do now? When the auspicious hour comes tomorrow, do or don’t we open the gates?” Murong Wanru asked helplessly.

“Hmph, since she wants to come in so much, then we’ll let her in! I’d like to see how long she can stay!” Grand Concubine Yi wouldn’t attract any attention. No matter what sorts of things happened inside the Duke of Qin’s residence, none of it would ever get out. Murong Wanru could only nod in acceptance, but a glint of self-satisfaction shone in her eyes.

She had long hoped for Han Yunxi to enter the gates. Grand Concubine Yi had a mind to pair her with the Duke of Qin. Unfortunately, her birth status was petty and low so she had no chances of being his wife, only a secondary concubine. The one thing she feared was someone powerful and influential stealing away the position of head wife.

This Han Yunxi with her ruined looks was just a tool used by the emperor to humiliate the Duke of Qin. Both he and mufei would only hate and spurn her, giving her no chance to turn her prospects around. If the proper wife selected by the empress dowager could die, then the position would be left open. This was her most ideal ending.

Murong Wanru was in a good mood as she held Grand  Concubine Yi’s hand and carefully accompanied her back.

“Aye, if the empress dowager could pair you with Feiye, then my life’s wish would be fulfilled,” Grand Concubine Yi lightly patted Murong Wanru’s hand, filled with regrets.

Mufei, Wanru only wants to serve at your side for the rest of my life,” Murong Wanru hastily declared.

“You can still serve me for the rest of my life if you’re my daughter-in-law. When you have nothing else to do, go visit the Duke of Qin in his study, understood?” Grand Concubine Yi smiled.

Murong Wanru’s face almost turned red as she lowered her head. It was a sight that anyone could love, and made Grand Concubine Yi like her all the better.

Mufei, the duke should return tonight, right? Otherwise, who’ll kick the sedan chair door[3] tomorrow?” Murong Wanru asked again.

“It’s better if there’s no one to kick it. She can keep on waiting inside.” Grand Concubine Yi’s tone sounded like she was discussing the weather.


[1] mufei (母妃) -literally “mother concubine,” a title/name for Grand Concubine Yi from her foster daughter.

[2] Murong Wanru (慕容宛如) -Murong is a two-character surname, Mu can mean “admire, yearn for”, Rong is “hold,” “tolerate/permit”, “facial expression.” Wan is “winding, tortous”, Ru is “like, as if”, “surpass/exceed”. Wanru together also means “just like.”

[3] kick the sedan chair door (踢轿门) -tijiaomen, in ancient China the groom traditionally kicked the bride’s sedan chair door before accepting her inside. This was meant to make sure that the husband wouldn’t be henpecked and the wife wouldn’t fight back in the future. Chinese weddings are ridiculously complicated things, I recommend you read up on them, it’s fun~ Han Yunxi’s progress so far has been highly irregular.