Chapter 100 - Palace drama (Translated and edited by Xing)
As Li Yubing wore a mask, no one could see his expression. His head raised, he was still as he stared at the LED advertising board. His clear and dark pupils reflected the lights across the river and glittered like stars.
"Sir? Sir?" The shop a.s.sistant suddenly called him.
"Mm?" Li Yubing turned his head only after a while and looked at the shop a.s.sistant.
The shop a.s.sistant pa.s.sed the bag to him. "Your rabbit heads."
He was distracted as he took the rabbit head. He turned and walked towards the advertising board, as if pulled by an urge to be closer to it.
The shop a.s.sistant panicked. "Sir, you haven't paid yet!"
"Sorry." Li Yubing returned to make payment.
After paying, he carried the rabbit heads and sprinted to the riverside. He stood behind the railing and stared at those words. His chest was burning hot and he was so stirred that he was trembling slightly. He was about to melt from being too touched; it was as if the world snowed sugar and even the breaths he took were sweet. Li Yubing was certain that if he was to go for a blood test at this moment, his blood would be sweet as well.
He had the wild urge to see her immediately, to hug and kiss her.
However, at the same time, he was afraid that if he saw her right now, his tears might start falling…
The LED confession caused numerous pa.s.sers-by to halt their steps and linger by the riverside with entertained looks. Beside Li Yubing was a couple. The guy said to the girl, "Li Yubing must have saved the galaxy in his previous life." There was envy in his voice.
Li Yubing sighed in agreement. "That's right."
The couple tossed him odd glances. What a weirdo. This guy must have been single for too long that he was lonely enough to cut into strangers' conversation.
The couple held hands and left hurriedly. Li Yubing stood on the riverside and called Tang Xue.
"Li Yubing, where are you?"
"Where are you at?"
"I'm at where we arranged to meet. Hey, don't tell me that you're not here yet? If you dare to say 'yes', I'm going to break your stupid legs. I—"
As she rambled, she turned casually and suddenly entered someone's embrace.
Tang Xue did not see this person's face. However, she was familiar with his smell.
Tang Xue was a little embarra.s.sed to be hugging in public. "Li Yubing, let's spare a thought for all those who are single on this street. This is their day after all…"
"Tang Xue," Li Yubing interrupted her. He used his chin to nuzzle her neck. "I think that life has been good to me."
"It is. Your mom is a domineering CEO."
"I'm not referring to that."
Tang Xue's lips curved. One side of her face resting on his chest, she gazed at the advertising board across the river and said, "Li Yubing, do you know that this is the most expensive advertising board in Rain City? Because of the festival today, it's even more expensive than usual."
"I know, thank you."
"No, what I mean is…" Tang Xue was suddenly a teeny weeny bit guilty. She felt that she might be one of those legendary female wastrels. "I want to inform you that there are only six yuan and five cents left in your card."
"I love you."
"…." Caught off guard by the confession, Tang Xue forgot what she wanted to say. Her mind went blank and she was dazed for half a beat. Then, she buried her thoroughly red face into his chest quietly.
Afterwards, the two of them held hands and strolled down Baisha Street for a while. They bought trinkets, couple t-shirts, couple pinky rings and even couple spectacles. Li Yubing wore the couple pinky ring but refused to wear spectacles as he felt that it was too excessive. Tang Xue took off her mask and wore the spectacles, instantly feeling that it was easier to breathe.
After they were exhausted, they went to an eatery with three floors. The top floor was a small balcony with only two tables and the tables were separated by a screen.
As they ate, a group chat notification flashed across Tang Xue's phone screen. She opened it and saw that it came from 'Tang Xue's Fan Group 1'. This chat consisted of her roommates and Liao Zhenyu.
Xia Menghuan: *sends video*
When Tang Xue clicked in, she saw a pa.s.ser-by's video of the advertising screen tonight. Several girls could be heard gasping in the background of the video. Li Yubing was attracted by the sound and leaned over to look as well.
After watching the video, he swiftly kissed her cheek while she was not paying attention.
Then, he did not look at her. His eyes were lowered and there was a smile hanging on his lips.
When Tang Xue exited the video and returned to the chat, Li Yubing's smile froze.
Xia Menghuan: My king, abandon Consort Dog. Marry me, marry me! I'm the one who's your most favoured consort. I'm even bearing your child! Marry me!
Xia Menghuan: *sends red packet*
Xia Menghuan: These are my humble savings, Feel free to take it, my king! I want to see your edict to depose Consort Dog within 10 minutes!
Li Yubing held one hand to his head. That Xia Menghuan was such a drama queen. He complained, "This roommate of yours is kind of weird."
Tang Xue said, "Consort Meng is so adorable. You're not allowed to besmirch her."
No, Li Yubing was not willing to let things rest like this. He pointed to her phone screen. "Add me into the group."
Tang Xue was puzzled. "What?" Translated by Xing for only teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
"I'm your fan as well. I want to enter the group." Li Yubing fished out his phone and set it with a heavy thud on the table, 'persuading' her like how ministers forced the emperor to abdicate. "Hurry."
Tang Xue could only add him to the group. His WeChat name was his real name. The moment he entered the chat, everyone recognized him. Everyone came out to make their presence known and suck up to him.
Zhao Qin: h.e.l.lo, Ice G.o.d. *bows to the boss*
Ye Liuying: h.e.l.lo, Ice G.o.d. *bows to the boss*
Only Liao Zhenyu sounded like an old man talking to his nephew.
Liao Zhenyu: Little Bing, you're here.
Xia Menghuan: My king, you've changed. QAQ
Li Yubing: Unless I die, all of you can only be mere consorts.
Tang Xue was utterly speechless. You accuse others of being weird when you're not that normal yourself!
With that one sentence, Li Yubing managed to cause dead silence in the group chat. This silence sustained for a minute before Ye Liuying suddenly started the ball rolling again.
Ye Liuying: Ice G.o.d, don't be mistaken. I'm merely a eunuch, not a consort. OTL
Zhao Qin: I, I, I'm a eunuch as well.
Liao Zhenyu: I'm also… no, no, no, I can't be a eunuch.
Xia Menghuan: Consort Dog, don't be so arrogant. I'm bearing the dragon's seed.
Li Yubing: I'm bearing her child as well.
Xia Menghuan: I'm pregnant with a boy.
Li Yubing: I'm pregnant with twins of opposite gender.
Xia Menghuan: My delivery date is earlier. I'll be giving birth to the eldest imperial son.
Li Yubing: I'll be giving birth to the eldest official son. I'll demote your eldest imperial son to a commoner.
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No, she could not let things continue like this. Tang Xue felt that if she allowed the conversation to continue, everyone might go insane and their whole group would up becoming ward mates in a psychiatric hospital instead. This was a lose-lose situation. Thus, she changed the topic forcefully.
"What?" This chapter is a labour of love that should not be found outside of teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
"This means that it's no longer a matchmaking event. It's now a talent selection."
Ye Liuying, Hahahahaha!
Tang Xue helped Ye Liuying to take a photo. After she was done, the four of them crowded together and photoshopped the photo for a good half of the day. Of course, they did not mean to deceive anyone intentionally. These days, for a girl to send a photo without any edits was like asking them to go out without any clothes. Both decisions made them felt rather insecure.
After she was done with the photo, Tang Xue sent it to Li Yubing.
Li Yubing's immediate reaction: You changed roommates?
Tang Xue: No, that's Ye Liuying. You've met her before.
Li Yubing: Isn't she actually 15 kg heavier than in the photo?
Tang Xue: Li Yubing, do you know the secret to longevity?
Li Yubing: Speak less, do more. #obedient#
Li Yubing deeply felt the might of the sorcery that was Photoshop. He was… in awe.
However, if he had to choose between his girlfriend and his brothers, he would, of course, choose his girlfriend. Therefore, he did not comment further and sent the photo to Jiang Shijia and the rest silently.
After the single dogs in the ice hockey team saw the photo, they were greatly excited and all came to flood him with questions.
Li Yubing was beyond pestered. He was only a messenger and knew very little to begin with. In addition, his desire to not be killed meant that he could reveal even lesser. Thus, in order to cut down on communications, he delegated Jiang Shijia to be his messenger and only conveyed the information to him in person. Jiang Shijia was then in charge of pa.s.sing on the details of the matchmaking event… wait, no… talent selection to the rest.
Jiang Shijia created a WeChat side account with the same display photo as Brother Bing. He then spun fake conversations with himself and screenshot those to share with his brothers. After doing this for several days, he started to feel a little mentally unsound.
However, his efforts did not go unrewarded. The payoff was clear—his brothers in the ice hockey team were all tricked to another place with him as the messenger. On the day of the talent selection, everyone thought that the meeting place was a bar and all set off for it after preening themselves. Only Jiang Shijia, after preening himself similarly, went to the café that was the real meeting place.
Mwa ha ha ha ha! Here I come, G.o.ddess!
After Jiang Shijia rushed to the café, he immediately spotted Tang Xue and Brother Bing. Sitting with them was a chubby girl.
"Hey, Jiang Shijia, over here." Tang Xue waved to him. When Jiang Shijia walked over, she pointed to the chubby girl and said, "This is my roommate, Ye Liuying… Why are you the only one here? Where are the rest?"
Jiang Shijia looked at the photo on his handphone screen and looked in front of him. The difference was astoundingly big.
No, this can't be real.
Why does life treat me like this.
Brother Bing, you big fat liar!
This is an original work of 酒小七 (Jiu Xiaoqi) translated by Tea Fragrance. If you are not reading this at teafragrance[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been reposted without the translator's consent. Head there for extra content or to leave feedback and comments on the novel translation. Translator's Notes:
 Chapter 100 doesn't have a t.i.tle so I picked something apt.
 本宫不死，尔等终究是妃 (běn gōng bù sǐ, ěr děng zhōng jiù shì fēi): "Unless I die, all of you can only be mere consorts." It's a line spoken by the empress in "Empresses in the Palace", a wildly popular palace harem drama.
 I translated 嫡 (dí) as "official" but readers of period novels should be more familiar with its pinyin. 嫡 (dí) offspring are children born of the first/official wife and thus naturally of a higher status than 庶 (shù) offspring, which are secondary children born of concubines.
 Rabbit heads are兔头 (tù tóu) while balding heads are秃头 (tū tóu).
 I translated选秀 (xuǎn xiù) as "talent selection" but it also means "Concubine Selection" in the context of the palace.
After completing Tang Xue and Li Yubing's story, I will translate the side story (8 chapters) on our favourite sidekicks. No points for guessing who they are!
There is also an unofficial side story on Zhao Qin, Tang Xue's roommate, and several extra scenes on Tang Xue and Li Yubing. The unofficial side story was first posted by Jiu Xiaoqi as a fake Chapter 77 for pirate sites to steal before she swapped it with the real chapter. As for the extra scenes, they come from the physical book that I bought a while back. I will be translating both but I haven't decided which to translate first.
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