15

 

Prologue

On a hot summer night, the door and window of Plum Flower Pavilion – where a red word ‘happiness’ was pasted – were tightly closed.

Inside, the bright red wedding candles gave the whole room a warm red feeling. However, Shu Huan who was wearing a red wedding dress and leaning against a sandalwood mirror still had a pale face in this overwhelming redness.

The sweat that was dripping down like rain cleared the heavy make-up on her face. While breathing heavily, her heart still felt so oppressed that it almost exploded. However, it wasn’t because she felt warm. It was panic. It was fear. Her hands and feet were cold like they held snow in the winter. There wasn’t the slightest warmth on them.

That person on the bed…that person…

Although the temperature from his palm was higher than hers, his face was pale and he wasn’t breathing!

This was the person she married. The person who she wedded because of an arranged marriage with the hope that the ’event of great joy’ would drive away his bad luck and hasten his recovery; how could he die on the day of marriage inside the wedding room?!

Shu Huan once again bravely stepped forward and reached out to see if Gu Xiran was breathing. She really couldn’t feel even the slightest breath…

She bit her red lips very hard and left a mark until it bled. However, she still didn’t dare to cry and she was afraid to shout.

On the night of the marriage, the bridegroom died of illness. How could she still continue living on?

The repressed resentment rushed to her heart…

When her father and mother forced her to marry, they said it very beautifully, “The illness wasn’t so serious. It doesn’t matter. After you marry, carefully serve him for a few days. He would naturally be grateful. Besides, even if the man’s illness was dragged for a while, you are the official wife and had been married with eight carriers carrying your palanquin honorably into Gu family’s house. Would there be anyone in that Gu family who would dare to gossip and look down on you? They would just rush over to flatter you! Naturally, by then, the would be of use to you. Why would you bother to stay at this poor home and eat food that is hard to swallow?

She was so stupid to believe these words used to coax people.

She was so stupid to nod and agree to marry!

She didn’t wish for riches and glory. She only hoped to get a bit further and further away from that home that tormented her every day. As long as her ears could stay peaceful, she was willing to be a cow and horse inside Gu household!

However, she’d never thought that second young master Gu was so seriously ill; so ill that he couldn’t pass the wedding night and made her a widow?

It seemed that she really was a star of disaster. Her father and mother didn’t state this wrongly at all…

The resentment only stayed in her heart for a moment.

It couldn’t be helped. Ever since young, she had a weak personality like this. When she was in trouble, she could only cry. Perhaps that was why her father got fed up with her and arranged a marriage for her?

Shu Huan also wanted to cry now, but she didn’t know why her eyes were dry. Not even a drop of tear came out. Her heart was also like this dry tear; every hope turned to dust.

The first thing she caused after marriage was bringing bad luck, causing the death of her husband and making herself a widow. The rumors and criticism that were about to come were enough to annihilate all her hopes. Not to mention, the back-biting and disgraceful hard days and the inexhaustible suffering that was about to come…

Living was really hard. It was better to die!

Once that thought came to mind, it couldn’t go away and lingered in her mind.

A person like her had nothing which she cherished in this life anymore, so death would naturally also not be begrudging. Instead, she’d have had saved many people from troubling themselves and also saved herself from many things…

The spotless moon was clear and brilliant.

A scream smashed this quiet night and swayed far away.

The servant who kept watch at night who was snatching a moment of leisure and dozed off was awakened when someone shook him. The person urged him, “Quickly! Quickly go invite a doctor! Quickly!”

Footsteps sounded all the way…

The lanterns illuminated one after another. People rushing around were seen everywhere in Gu residence. But the most chaotic place was still Plum Flower Pavilion. There was an endless stream of people coming in and out. The red candles in the room burned for the whole night. The wax of the candles was everywhere on the candlesticks.


TLNote: This is the new book that I will be translating. I read this a few years ago and it stuck in my head which is very difficult considering all the books I read. It is one of my most favorite books. I liked it very much because this book was simple and much more realistic. This is more my kind of book now. Perhaps, because I am getting old for those childish plots about infatuation and fighting against each other for no apparent reason.

This book doesn’t have scheming (well, almost no scheming) and supernatural powers or talents. There is also no palace politics. It is about two ordinary people trying to make the situation where they live in better and if they could, also find happiness.

I did a review on it a few years ago. You can read it here.

As for the schedule, I plan/try to release three chapters a week (Saturday, Sunday, Monday). But all depends on how busy I am in real life. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

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