☆ Chapter 101
儿 | er |(lit. child) diminutive marker used as a form of endearment
里 | li |unit of measurement that has varied over time but has now been standardized to 500 meters (Wikipedia)
While Ruan Zhu’s conscience was fuzzy, she heard a wave of chaotic footsteps growing closer and closer. Her hands wildly roamed around the ground and upon coming in contact with clothing, she covered herself with it. As her mind became more and more frenzied, she couldn’t find the sleeves in her impatience and huddled in the corner with the clothes covering her chest. But the waves of pleasure inside her continued to strengthen, and she bent her waist in torment, indecipherable moans pouring from her mouth, as she vaguely saw a person’s silhouette approach.
“Niangniang, what happened to you?” That person crouched down, removing their outer wear and draping it over her.
Ruan Zhu pushed her head forward to see, but it was like her eyes had been covered with a layer of fog as she couldn’t see anything clearly. However, the strong manly smell and breath entered her nostrils and the desire within her body abruptly erupted, causing longing to occupy each of her cells.
She threw herself into the man’s arms and pressed a kiss against his mouth, one of her arms looping around his neck while the other reached inside his clothes. Ah! She lightly sighed. It was like she was looking for a cure that was somewhere on his body as she stretched her hand inside his trousers.
All of the shop assistants ran in just to see this scene. Full of embarrassment and shock, they successively retreated outside, closing the door behind them. As long as their mistress was sound, their hearts could remain in their chests. If something bad had occurred because of inadequate protection, all of their heads would fall.
Wang Jing Yan’s eyebrows were pulled all the way up as he stared in shock at the woman in his arms. Even though he had no experience regarding this, he immediately knew what had happened. His arms wrapped around her waist as he urgently pressed: “You were drugged by someone. Who is the bastard that did this?”
“Give me, quickly give it to me.” What answered him was yet another hurried kiss and also the tearing of his clothes.
He picked her up from the ground and entered the bedroom in a few steps, placing her down on the bed.
But she still held fast to him, refusing to let go. Completely flushed, she panted with difficulty as her chest heaved up and down, her very appearance one of torment. One of her hands recklessly tore at his clothes, and once his top was removed, she then moved on to his pants. After his trousers had been torn off, golden chains were exposed.
Yet another chastity belt! She was at a loss in her urgency and yanked at the chains, tears in her eyes.
“Don’t rush, let me do it.” Wang Jing Yan was afraid she would hurt her hand. He had extraordinary martial arts and the minor chains weren’t a challenge. Using some inner strength, he lightly tugged and the chains shattered, falling onto the bed.
He knew that he would very quickly lose the chastity he had safeguarded for twenty years but his heart was entirely filled with joy. Looking at her snow-white skin, he placed his hands atop her incessantly trembling breasts……The exquisite sensation caused his head to become blank and his blood to flare up in a flash.
As she continued to kiss him, both of her hands reached out to grab his huge member. She moved to straddle him, slowly sitting down and then continued to sway atop him.
“En!” Wang Jing Yan groaned in pleasure and increased his speed in accordance with her movements.
Desire and passion surged within her like rolling magma that became increasingly stronger. “Ah!……” Her throat had already become hoarse from all of her screams but she simply couldn’t resist calling out……She was going mad!
She finally welcomed the final eruption. “Ahhh!!” She shrieked as her entire body convulsed for a long time while her legs bent and her heels pushed against the bed sheets. Supported on top of Wang Jing Yan, she was entirely drenched with sweat with her long hair damp and moistened from her snowy skin.
After her climax, Ruan Zhu’s entire body went limp as her eyes turned dark and she collapsed on top of him, losing consciousness.
During this period, the woman’s corridor became even tighter and the man experienced what it meant for ecstasy to nibble at his bones; what it meant to wish for life or death.
Wang Jing Yan’s eyes were scarlet. Grabbing her butt, he abruptly flipped her over and then pressed her down, quickly pounding against her several dozen times. When the most glorious pinnacle suddenly arrived, the blaze within his body petered out as he deeply panted for air, his eyes dazzled, while his entire body felt like it was floating.
Once his reason had been restored, he discovered that the female underneath him had remained motionless all this time. It turned out it was because she had long fainted.
He pulled her against his chest, dragging over a blanket to cover the both of them. Gazing at the face that frequently appeared in his dreams, a line of tears slid down his cheeks. He didn’t actually know why he was crying; he only felt incredibly happy and moved at this moment.
Perhaps she didn’t remember the first time they met–it had been in Huang He Tower during the shifting of capitals.
He had stood behind his father, and she, in an outfit that had been simple and neat, had been led forward by Xuanyuan Zong Zhi.
The impression she had given others was like a budding daffodil. There had been no ornaments in her hair–no noble gold, silver, or jade, or the vulgar hairpins commonly used by the common folk. What she carried was a pure and immortal aura……He had instantly become attracted to her.
He had wondered at the time–How could there be a female at her age with such a quiet and calm personality? Her subsequent behavior then left a deep impression on him as he was baffled as how she understood so much.
After that, he continued to always pay attention to her. That time on the stone bridge when she was being bullied by others, he had just happened to have a day off and came out to relieve his boredom. By lucky coincidence, he had came across her and then took it upon himself to assist her. But then not long after, the Prince of Qi arrived.
When he heard she was recruiting farming experts, he didn’t even think and signed up. And then after that, the amount of times he could see her rapidly increased.
Staring at the woman in his embrace, he actually felt that none of this was real and it was all a dream. Moving his head over to shower some kisses down on her scarlet mouth, his hand moved to the soft plumpness on her chest, gently kneading. The fantastic sensation once again flowed into his body but he endured it, unwilling for her to be injured during this time.
Sounds of footsteps suddenly came from outside and it wasn’t only one person. He had been practicing martial arts since small and his hearing was exceptional. On alert, he threw clothes on but had yet to leave the bed when the door opened.
Two eminently handsome and extraordinary men entered the drawing room and directly headed for the bedroom.
“Your Highnesses, this subordinate sends his greetings.” After sleeping with the others’ wife, Wang Jing Yan wasn’t a bit remorseful and was completely calm.
Zong Zhi ignored him and stopped at the head of the bed, bending over to inspect his wife. Thankfully, she wasn’t injured……But she was haggard, and he frowned after feeling her pulse: “Min Zhi, take a look to see what kind of aphrodisiac Zhu’er was drugged with. Why is she still this weak?”
Min Zhi took in his wife’s pale complexion and anxiety filled his heart. His brows tightly wrinkled: “I also don’t know. I’m not that flower thief nor do I understand medicine. “
Zong Zhi shouted outside: “Ma Ping, quickly head to the imperial hospital and invite Imperial Physician Zhang over then relay my command and take some men to arrest Liu Fei Xu.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
The imperial bodyguard standing watch outside the door responded in agreement and immediately set off.
Zong Zhi found a brand new outfit in a trunk against the wall and personally dressed his wife. Min Zhi sat against the head of the bed and used a comb to straighten her bedraggled hair.
Once Zong Zhi had finished with his work, he glanced at the Wang Jing Yang standing to one side, asking: “Have you taken the contraceptive?”
Wang Jing Yan froze. This was the first time he had done this kind of thing so how would he have thought about it?
“You have not, correct?” Zong Zhi tilted his head and took his wife from his brother: “Min Zhi, go to the medicine hall to buy a contraceptive for women. It will not be too late if we give it to her as soon as possible.”
There were many types of contraceptives with different efficacies in Tian Chu that were provided by both the yamen and medicine halls.
“Take care of her properly; I’ll go now. I don’t care what kind of racket Zhu’er makes with that ‘safe day.’ I’ll feel more at ease once I see her eat it.” He had actually been the one who bought the contraceptive the first time Ruan Zhu had slept with Nuan Chun, but she had refused to eat it, saying something about how it was a ‘safe day’ and there was no need for it.
After having said that, Min Zhi left the room.
Zong Zhi carefully placed his wife in the bed, pulling the gold brocade quilt over her. He hadn’t thought Liu Fei Xu would be this outrageously bold in his lust to do this sort of thing. When he had received the message from a spy of the Tian Wang Embassy, he had burned with anxiety while rushing over from the barracks, but was still late by a step.
The building opposite was a medicine hall, and in less than a quarter of an hour, Min Zhi came back with the purchased contraceptive. It was a blend of several medicines made so that it would be very easy to swallow. Zong Zhi mixed it with some warm water and then took a big mouthful before transferring it into hie wife’s mouth.
After he finished feeding her, he wiped her lips with a towel. Turning his head to see Wang Jing Yan’s anxious expression, he thought his action needed to be explained clearly: “Mister Wang, please do not misunderstand. Zhu’er had been drugged with an extremely potent aphrodisiac. If she was to have a child under this situation, I fear the child’s health may be strongly affected.”
His meaning was–if by chance your child is born, it is very possible he would be a fool.
“I understand but will not give up.” Wang Jing Yan’s gaze had been fixed on the unconscious female since the very beginning. Thinking of the lingering emotions from earlier, his heart pounded.
“Then have your father come to the residence to propose marriage!”
Not long after, Imperial Physician Zhang was lead over by an imperial bodyguard. Seeing the person lying in bed, he shook his head: “What is it this time? It is not yet another pregnancy?” Pulling her wrist over to feel her pulse, his expression became grave and a bit of anger also seeped through.
“How is it?” All three men turned their inquiring eyes on him.
Imperial Physician Zhang put down Ruan Zhu’s wrist: “The drug on niangniang was too powerful and taxed her strength so she needs to recuperate for two days. Later, this lowly one will prescribe a medicine to supplement her qi and mend her health. She will become much better after she has taken the prescribed medicine a few times. And another thing……”
“What else is there? Feel free to speak.”
Imperial Physician Zhang did not respond and looked around the bedroom twice before heading inside the drawing room and returning with a teapot a short moment later. His expression was one of displeasure: “Your Highnesses, please forgive this lowly one for speaking bluntly. It is fine for us men to endure it, but we must not do anything that will injure our wives. It is not that aphrodisiacs must not be used, but one must pay particular attention to its dosage. Too much will put enormous strain on one’s health. Have a taste of this tea. It is such a large dose that even men will not be able to stand it, to say nothing of a weak woman. For it to not have caused you all to have died on the spot from all the play is already miraculous.”
Imperial Physician Zhang thought it was because the married couple had been too excessive in their entertainment, but in reality, it wasn’t like that at all.
Zong Zhi took the proffered teapot and dipped a finger into the tea before placing it in his mouth. He didn’t taste anything other than the tea water. It seemed that if one wasn’t already aware of and understood medicine, one wouldn’t be able to tell the difference at all. No wonder this tragedy had occurred! He respectfully replied: “What Imperial Physician Zhang said is correct. I will certainly keep this lesson in mind and there will absolutely not be a next time.”
“To have actually come across such a man who disregards his wife’s life or death all for the sake of his own pleasure–what kind of man is this?” The old man was still dissatisfied and continued to nag.
“Okay, okay, hurry up and write the prescription. Zhu’er‘s waiting for you, ah.” Finding him annoying, Min Zhi dragged him to the drawing room to write up the prescription.
Wang Jing Yan waited until the sky had turned completely dark before very reluctantly leaving as it would be inappropriate for him, who had no title or legitimate relationship, to stay any longer. But he had decided to immediately discuss the matter of proposing marriage with his father as soon as he arrived home. He didn’t care about becoming her fifth concubine as long as he could be with her.
When Ruan Zhu woke, it was already the morning of the second day. Kneading her eyes, her body felt sore and ached all over as if she had just had a serious illness. Shifting a bit, she realized her two husbands were lying on either side, with Zong Zhi on her left and Min Zhi on the right.
Zong Zhi had been in a light sleep and opened his eyes as soon as he felt movement. Looking with relief at his awake wife, he reproached: “I have already reminded you multiple times to take more bodyguards with you when you go out so why do you still not listen?”
Ruan Zhu thought about Liu Fei Xu and her thick eyelashes became wet with tears. Although women not being chaste wasn’t an issue in Tian Chu, doing that thing with that kind of person really wasn’t her cup of tea.
“Okay, okay, it was my fault. I should not have said something that would upset you.”
She mumbled: “I took the coachman with me. Our family’s coachman’s martial arts isn’t weak and who would’ve thought something would have happened inside?”
He saw his wife was still quibbling and couldn’t help but to retort: “Wife, I am speaking of imperial bodyguards, not coachmen. Coachmen do not have the qualification to enter the inner rooms. Why on earth did you not take imperial bodyguards with you?”
“I’m not used to it, ah!” Although Ruan Zhu was an noble princess, she still unconsciously thought of herself as a small city commoner and was unaccustomed to being completely protected whenever she went out. But at this moment, she was hung up about another matter: “Who was the man that was with me yesterday?”
The feeling that that man had given her didn’t seem to resemble Zong Zhi or Min Zhi. Suddenly, her waist tightened as Min Zhi had hugged her from behind, smiling wryly: “My Zhu’er, you don’t even remember who you had slept with. Look at this brain. In the future, our children absolutely not be as silly as you.”
Ruan Zhu became absent-minded as she recalled the years she had spent with the Yun brothers. They had also frequently done this–Yun Shi Yi embracing her with his tender care while Yun Shi Wei hugged her waist from behind.
Eldest Cousin! She silently reminisced in her heart, longing crashing into her like a violent wave.
Zong Zhi knew his wife’s mind had floated far away again and pulled her to him, saying: “Wife, that man is called Wang Jing Yan; you know him. I and Min Zhi, along with Head Yun and the second Mister Yun, now with the addition of Mister Wang, perfectly makes it five. This amount is enough.”
“Eldest Cousin, Second Cousin, and there’s also Nuan Chun.” Ruan Zhu added in a small voice.
“Nuan Chun is a servant thus not valid to be counted.”
Ruan Zhu stayed in Mei Yan Ying Ying Chu to recuperate for two days and was then led by her husbands back to Guan Ju Villa. She really wanted to know what had happened to Liu Fei Xu but the news she received said he had hid inside the Crown Prince’s residence and had become a subject underneath the Crown Princess’s skirt.
At the beginning of the tenth lunar month, when the farm crops had ripened, the high-tech demonstration field by the side of the Lan River became heavily laden with the fruit of its labor. The rice fields achieved four dan per paddy, and the dazzling kernels were plumper than normal varieties with the straws also being much taller.
Ruan Zhu was full of happiness and a sense of accomplishment, but it was a pity that she could never achieve the output levels of the future because there was no fertilizer in this era. Actually, making a phosphate fertilizer wasn’t difficult and it was possible as long as one had sulfate. But, she should just write down the method and have someone else make it! She was a small and delicate girl without that much energy or such ambitious goals. As long as it was close enough, it was fine. She would feel content with just properly managing her family.
On this night, she was laying down on the bed with Min Zhi. He embraced her while pressing kisses all over her body: “Wife, our Fifth is soon to enter the household so you should first give me a son, all right!” He was truly jealous from seeing the three little ones circling her every day without any of them being of his blood.
He had thought his wife wouldn’t agree but who could have imagined she’d nod in agreement: “Wait until after the new year. The coming fifth or sixth lunar month just so happens to be when your contraceptive expires so don’t retake it then……”
Since Number Two currently wasn’t returning, let’s just let Number Four have his turn first!
“Zhu’er, you’re the best.” Min Zhi became ecstatic and hugged her, not willing to let her go for a long time.
On the day of the Emperor’s grand fiftieth birthday celebration, news arrived that a major victory had been won on Cang Huang Mountain. The rebels’ twenty thousand-strong army had been annihilated and their survivors didn’t number past one thousand. The imperial army had pursued the retreating enemy and had recaptured most of the land between Cang Huang Mountain and the southern border.
The five hundred men that Yun Shi Wei led fought fast like lightning and thunder and were given the nickname of ‘Zhu Ri army.’[a]
His troops were tenacious and fierce, carrying out assassinations, sabotage, surprise attacks, and all sorts of other methods. When they killed, they were merciless, and in the case of one of them falling in danger from protecting a comrade’s retreat, they usually took down the enemy with them.
When the Red Eyebrow Army heard the news, all became terrified. Even if there were thirty li between them, as soon as they heard the Zhu Ri army had appeared, they would scramble to set up defensive measures.
During the last battle, Yun Shi Wei led his Zhu Ri army in transforming into soldiers of the Red Army and infiltrated the enemy’s camp. After the fighting started, he charged into the center of their camp and cut down their commander-in-chief’s head.
Thus, it just so happened that on the day of the emperor’s grand celebration, the army’s advance troops sent over news of the grand victory.
After fighting for several years, the day where the Eyebrows had been thrown off was finally ushered in, and the emperor and his retainers gathered in the main hall that was filled with laughter.
The country of Tian Chu’s Department of Agriculture was formally established and Wang Jing Yan was appointed as its supervisor. Within a few days of the Emperor’s birthday bash, he officially moved inside Guan Ju Villa, becoming Ruan Zhu’s fifth concubine.
A year and a half later, Ruan Zhu gave birth to male twins for Min Zhi. The older one was called Bo Zhao and the younger one was Ruan Yu Ze.
Min Zhi held his just-born sons, so happy his mouth didn’t close.
Bitterly alone since young, he did not have any close full-blood relatives, and now, his wife and children were his entire life.
“Your Majesty, a letter from the Department of Shipping in Wan Zhou has arrived saying Ruan Zi Xu had returned by ship.” Xiao Zhou Zi entered the imperial study with a memorial between his hands.
The Emperor was currently writing and stared blankly at him before placing the brush back into the holder: “Ruan Zi Xu. It seems Zhu’er‘s father is called this name?”
“He is indeed the Princess of Qi’s father. Several years prior, he had visited Mongolia to purchase horses and then had men bring a herd of them back a year later. But he himself had not returned and instead had continued west on camels with some servants while taking along silk and porcelain. Later when he arrived in Persia, he became exceptionally wealthy and bought ten thousand good horses and loaded them onto ships before finally reaching Tian Chu after the greater part of a year. Your Majesty, this is the memorial the Department of Shipping in Wan Zhou has presented.”
“Bring it over for me to see!” The Emperor took the memorial from Xiao Zhou Zi and became extremely excited after reading it: “Persian horses are even better than the best. Ten thousand good horses–Ruan Zi Xu, you have done a great service for us.”
“Your Majesty is a sign of good fortune that floods the Heavens. With good horses, Tian Chu will be even more invincible against our enemies. This slave will immediately send a letter to the Princess of Qi to put her in a happy mood.”
“Go! I was wondering how that little girl could be so wondrous and it turns out her bloodline is good. Simply by looking at the father’s achievements, it is easy to tell the child will also be one with talent.”
Xiao Zhou Zi was just about to retreat when the Emperor suddenly seemed to have recalled something: “Return, how long will it take for Ruan Zi Xu to return to Lan Zhou?”
“Responding to Your Majesty, the courier said the Department of Shipping had immediately sent out the message over five hundred li on the day Ruan Zi Xu arrived on the docks of Wan Zhou once they realized the ships were full of horses that had been bought for the imperial court. He had also mentioned that Ruan Zi Xu wished to rest and reorganize himself for a few days in Wan Zhou before journeying back to Lan Zhou as he had been journeying by sea for a very long period.”
The Emperor snorted: “This Ruan Zi Xu dared to snatch a grandson from us. Xiao Zhou Zi, go do this for me……”
Xiao Zhou Zi retreated from the imperial study, shaking his head while forcing a laugh. The Emperor had truly become old to even vie for face on such a small thing! Ai, you said the Princess of Qi had given the Prince of Yong’s second son up for adoption to the Ruan clan? I really can’t take it anymore!
[a] 逐日军, meaning they are so fast they can catch up to the enemy in one day
TN: My apologies for taking so long with this chapter. I’m still working full time because my work somehow qualified as essential and my boss wants to stay in operation. I hope you can continue be patient with me and know that I’m fully committed to finishing this translation.