TLNote: Lunar New Year bonus chapter. Happy Chinese New Year!
Chapter 3 Encountering joy is the norm of happiness
In less than a moment, everything that Shu Huan wanted was brought over. Besides, Huiyun was cautious and feared that it was not to her (SH) liking, so she took four or five books for her. It was enough for her to choose from and read. She also brought a thin blanket for her to use at night. Afterwards, she locked the door and left.
At this moment, the realgar incense was lit at the corner. The straws were piled up comfortably and the thin blanket was placed on top of it. There were four or five books on hand. Shu Huan lit a candle and laid down, heaving a deep sigh.
Everything was fine except for one thing, there was no candle holder. It seemed that Huiyun was still afraid that she would commit suicide and didn’t dare to give her sharp objects. She could only lie on one side and put the book close to the candle so that there was enough light to read.
The words in the book were written in traditional Chinese. The characters were small and the handwriting was neat and tidy.
There were many strokes in traditional Chinese, so it was not easy to write the characters, but to understand them wasn’t difficult. Aside from some rarely used words, she could guess the other words. Only, she wasn’t accustomed to reading from the right to the left and from top to bottom. Besides, the sentences didn’t have any punctuation, so after reading two or three pages, she already felt dizzy.
However, the book in her hand was a chronological history on Chinese dynasties. It was very useful in understanding this world. She patiently continued to look at it by reading the main points. She discovered that she’d never heard the names of the countries and years recorded in the book. It seemed that she time-traveled to another unknown time and space.
Anyway, she didn’t study history well (when she was in the modern era). She only knew about some important things. What year or anything else was already blur in her memory. It was not enough to rely solely on those historical events to avoid the evil. Even if she time-traveled to the familiar Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming or Qing dynasties, she would still have been baffled. Therefore, she wasn’t disappointed. She could only start by memorizing the current country and year.
While she turned the page, a piece of paper suddenly fell from it. Even if she was sharp-sighted and quick to want to grab it, the paper was already burned by the candle’s flame. After she used the book to extinguish the fire, some words on it was already black and damaged.
She couldn’t help but look at it. There was written, “Because he lost his mother young and caught a grave disease, I sensed that he would not stay in this world for long…In the family, there’s a big brother and a few younger brothers. Originally, there was no intention to take a wife…Send the betrothal gift to Shu family’s daughter named…I still remembered the sentence left by the monk that I once visited: encountering joy is the norm of happiness. Could this marriage be destined by the heavens…I feel frightened and happy in my heart…”
- Encountering joy is the norm of happiness: Shu Huan; Huan meaning joy/happiness. The person who wrote the letter means that Shu Huan could bring Gu Xiran happiness according to the monk.
There was also no punctuation on the paper. The sentences were cut by how she interpreted it. She didn’t know whether she was right or not. Only, when she saw the three words ‘Shu family’s daughter’, her eyelids jumped and when she saw ‘encountering joy is the norm of happiness’ and the later sentences, she couldn’t help but curse, “Destined by Heaven, my ass!”
After cursing, she felt that she was a bit rude. She couldn’t help but cover her mouth.
The sentences on the paper wasn’t complete, but she got the general meaning. She clung onto the two words “Shu Huan”. Could it be that the original owner of this body had the same surname and name as her?
As for the marriage destined by the Heavens, she took it as nonsense. If it was really like that, the original owner wouldn’t have committed suicide by hanging on the wedding night. That second young master encountered “joy (huan)”, wouldn’t he run around the yard in happiness? How would he have fainted?!
Anyway, no matter who she wanted to steal, she wouldn’t steal someone who already took a concubine and was ill!
Shu Huan burned the paper on the flame in disdain and watched it turn into ashes.
After this, her mood was a bit down. She didn’t have the patience to go read the history book anymore. She just picked a random book. She didn’t expect that it was a book about strange stories!
She only read a few sentences when her head was already full of mysteries. Deserted temple, scholar, fox lady, phantom etc. All was in the plot. At this moment it was a quiet night. There was a cool breeze blowing in from under the door, making it so that the candlelight didn’t know whether to be lit or be extinguished. It made her scared. So, she quickly threw the book into a corner. She habitually reached out to touch the jade around her neck.
The jade was something her mother got from a temple when she (SH) was young. It was said that it could drive away evil and keep her safe. Whether she believed in it or not, it had been something she wore ever since she was young and could let her feel at ease. It was just that she had forgotten that she had time-traveled. She touched and didn’t feel anything. Her face turned a bit pale when she thought about the weird things she personally experienced.
It happened that at this time, footsteps could be heard outside, scaring her so much that she wrapped the entire thin blanket around her body and shrunk herself into a ball. She meditated, “He who never did anything wrong, does not fear the knock in the night…”
While she meditated, the footsteps stopped. Someone knocked on the door!
Shu Huan closed her eyes and didn’t respond no matter what!
After having knocked twice and no one responded, the person outside whispered, “I don’t know what concubine Yun is thinking and let us come take a look in the middle of the night. At this time, the person must’ve already slept.”
“Don’t blame her. She’s just being cautious. She is afraid that if something happened, she wouldn’t be able to explain. Ay, there is light between the cracks. Go take a look whether second young mistress is asleep.”
After a silence, there was chatter again.
“She’s asleep! She didn’t extinguish the candle. Big sister Xiangqian, I’m so sleepy. Do we really have to stay watch here?”
“Why don’t we take turns? You watch the first half of the night and I the second half.”
“No, it’s so dark outside here. I’m afraid to stay here alone. Big sister, accompany me for a while, alright?”
Hearing that it was only two maids who came to check, Shu Huan felt relieved. She wished that they wouldn’t go away. Like that, she would know that someone was nearby, and she wouldn’t let her imagination run wild.
The two maids didn’t know that she was awake. They were bored outside and couldn’t help but talk to each other in low voices.
“Big sister Xiangqian, you also still haven’t got your payment of this month?”
“It was said that the shops needed the money. After two days, we will be paid. It was just, aside from here and the third miss’, the other places have already got it.”
“Second young master was already not favored at home. Now, he took such a mistress, probably, he would be more isolated. Even we will suffer.”
“We can’t do anything about it. The disease of second young master is well-known in the city. Which one of those families who are well-matched would want to marry their daughters over in hope that the event of great joy would drive away bad luck and hasten his recovery? They could only look at poor and humble families.”
“Didn’t concubine Yun also come from a humble family? She was even bought by old master and madam and was much better than her (SH).”
“She had learned etiquettes and rules before marrying to here, how could they be compared? Don’t talk about this anymore lest to let her hear it inside.”
“What about it if she heard us? Now, you are working for concubine Yun and I am second young master’s people. Could she still punish us?”
The two maids still lowered their voices. After talking a bit more, they were silent. After listening, Shu Huan also identified them. The one who was extremely dissatisfied about her was Qiaoyun who brought others in the morning to lock her up. No need to blame her for complaining. The original owner committed suicide by hanging once. It made these people become scared birds and they weren’t able to sleep at night. They also had to guard outside her door at night. It would be strange if they didn’t have any complaints.
She smiled faintly and didn’t care. Her heart was more settled knowing that there were people outside. She closed her eyes and listened to the low cries of the worms in the yard and subconsciously fell asleep.