Translated by Gumihou
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“Where am I suppose to hide? And why are you here? Do you want to die too?” Su Nuan Nuan kicked her feet at Duan Tingxuan’s direction. She squinted her eyes at the man and noted that he looked less like his tall and lofty self and more like a round dumpling. A huge dumpling. Ah, he was holding a sopping wet blanket over his head.
“With me around don’t think you can die so easily.” Duan Tingxuan snorted angrily. He refused to banter with a certain ‘crazy woman’ anymore and leaped onto the bed. Without so much as a by your leave, he enveloped Su Nuan Nuan in his arms, and heard an irate ‘miao!’ between them.
Duan Tingxuan rolled his eyes, whatever, he’ll deal with the cat later. He wrapped all three of them with the blanket, making sure that both he and Su Nuan Nuan were completely covered before facing the sea of fire. There was hardly a clear area to step on. Su Nuan Nuan’s eyes were wide with fear, she really had no idea how Duan Tingxuan planned to get them out of here.
“You should just leave me here.” weighed down with guilt and shame, Su Nuan Nuan blurted out, only to hear Duan Tingxuan sneer. “It’s not like you to say dumb things like this. Just hold on tight.” Suddenly, he scooped up her ceramic pillow, threw it hard into the flames and dashed after it. His entire body was almost level with the floor as he flew like an arrow into the sea of fire, following the pillow like a shooting star. They barrelled out of the building and into the courtyard, sparks flared and dispersed as they landed safely in the yard.
Everything happened so fast that it took Su Nuan Nuan’s brain some time to process the fact that she had cheated death once again. As she stepped away from Duan Tingxuan, the house made a loud crackling noise. She turned, and saw that one of the supporting beams had fallen, the entire house was starting to crumple in on itself under the roar of the hungry fire.
“Ah! My things, my jewellery, my silvers, my cloth…”
Su Nuan Nuan cried, and subconsciously rushed towards the fire. Perhaps she intended to throw herself into the flames to save her goods? Anyway, Duan Tingxuan snagged her by the waist and growled furiously. “Don’t you want to live anymore? Still want to throw your life away for material things? This is a lightning fire, count yourself lucky to have escaped with your life. Just forget about those things, I can give you a hundred more of it.”
“But, I haven’t even worn that plum blossom hairpin yet. And… it’s just gone. I can’t bear it.” Su Nuan Nuan really liked that plum blossom hairpin. That thing was a national treasure, ah. Not only would it be a museum piece in the future, but it could be the centre of attraction, ah. To think that it’s now gone even though I’ve never even worn it.
“It’s just a plum blossom hairpin. If you like it I can go see the fourth prince and get him to order the Imperial Household Department to make one again.”
Obviously, a little marquis has no power over the Imperial Household Department, but Duan Tingxuan had plenty of friends in high places. Just listen to this man, for the sake of pacifying his wife, the fourth prince’s name was dragged out.
“No need, as you’ve said, it’s good enough that one’s life is preserved.” Su Nuan Nuan, who had finally became clear headed, said glumly. “This place is too dangerous, let’s move away from the building. Why is this rain not stopping? It’s too annoying.”
“It had actually lessened quite a bit.” Duan Tingxuan said. Then he lead the three women down the stairs, the blanket tucked under one arm. It was a special blanket Su Nuan Nuan had prepared for winter use, and was fairly rain and wind proof. Today it had become an important rescue item. Otherwise, no matter how powerful the little marquis was, it was impossible for him to escape with Nuan Nuan unscathed.
Part of the reason why the fire was so out of control was because the rain had lessened quite a bit, otherwise, it’s possible that the fire would have been put out before it became an inferno it was now. They all looked towards the fire as it started to spread towards the other areas of the house. They couldn’t help but feel anxious, Mei Yue Lou was located in a remote area, even if the blaze was spotted by someone, it would be too late for them to come and help. They could only sit and watch as the fire spread towards the back of the house.
“Ah! The seafood are still in the kitchen!”
The little marquis who had just reprimanded Su Nuan Nuan for being rash suddenly howled like someone had stepped on his tail and bounded towards the kitchen. Su Nuan Nuan looked at Duan Tingxuan’s disappearing back and could not bring herself to laugh at him. Instead, she tossed Zhao Chai away and began to run towards the kitchen as well. Hong Lian and Xiang Yun exchanged a look. Well! Their two masters were already braving into danger, what else could they say or do? Aside from trailing after them to rescue those seafood.
Perhaps even the heavens took pity on these two extreme foodies and did not entirely crush their hopes. Masters and servants actually managed to move all the seafood out of the kitchen before the raging fire burned it down. The little marquis once more revealed his incredible qing gong in front of these three ladies when he moved several hundred kilo worth of water jars into the relative safety of the yard. Su Nuan Nuan and her two maids could barely move even one jar.
“Experience, this is truly experience, ah.” Su Nuan Nuan surveyed the jars of seafood with Hong Lian and Xiang Yun. “In the future, we must remember that the jars of seafood must not be placed inside the kitchen. If anything were to happen to the kitchen, at least it would not effect our seafood.”
“Well, you’re still concern over this, ah.” Duan Tingxuan was a little crossed as he wiped the sweat off his forehead and panted. Though his martial arts was exceptional, he did just moved over 10 water filled jars, ah. Who knew why his esteemed father had ordered the kitchen to put so much water into the tanks. Did he think that the added water would actually help the sea creatures live longer?
“What else should I be concern about?” Su Nuan Nuan looked at the man slut’s wolfish gaze. Surely all that effort he made to save the seafood was not fake, right? No, she could tell that his actions was sincere, and she, Su Nuan Nuan, was not someone who could not tell right from wrong. It’s rare for them to be in such a harmonious mood, so why this weird question?
Duan Tingxuan’s face settled into a satisfied smile, then he turned to look at the space where the house used to be. Without a scrap of pain or grief over the loss of an entire house, he cheerfully said. “What else indeed? Surely you don’t need me to spell it out? Then, tell me this, do you still plan to stay in Mei Yue Lou?”
The gratitude in Su Nuan Nuan’s heart vanished. Never would she have believed that this Duan Tingxuan would be so insensitive and calculative as to use the fire to force her back into the inner court, right in front of the burning pile of her home, and so say it all so cheerfully too. “Young master heir, this is a fire, ah. No matter what, Mei Yue Lou is still a mansion building, aren’t you even a little distressed to see a whole building burnt down?”
“Not at all, as long as I could get you to myself, day and night within the inner court. Losing an old building like Mei Yue Lou is nothing, you count yourself lucky I’m not gloating with laughter now, alright?”
“Alright? Alright? You… are you still a human? What’s this about gloating and laughing, you… just because you’re a rich man, you think it’s alright for you to behave this way? At the very least you should try and fake your remorse.”
At Su Nuan Nuan’s furious words Duan Tingxuan paused to consider her statement seriously, “Wu, so you’re saying that it’s only human to show remorse? Well, if you insist, I shall do my best to fake it. En, I’m so upset, ah. Though we have many houses in here, they’re all build on the blood and sweat of my esteemed father, now it’s all burned down… hahaha! No, no, I can’t even fake it. I’m too happy with this fire, it’s a sign that heaven is on my side. Just look, Nuan Nuan, even the heavens are willing you to come back to the inner court, hahaha…”
“You wretch.” Su Nuan Nuan was almost crazy with anger. She dashed forward and kicked Duan Tingxuan in the sheen. The agile little marquis did not even bother to avoid her, he was clearly so sunk in the clutches of happiness that his vigilance against the world had lowered to unprecedented level.
“Nuan Nuan, I’m too happy, ah. After all, you’re perfectly safe, so what’s the loss of a few broken down houses?” despite his words, Duan Tingxuan stopped laughing when Su Nuan Nuan kicked his shin. His happiness soured when he saw Su Nuan Nuan stare at the burnt remains of the house, tears brimming her eyes and sliding slowly down her cheeks.
The little marquis was truly stunned, to him, Mei Yue Lou was but one of the mansion’s building. Furthermore, it was situated in a bad corner that no one visits. Having this kind of miserable place go up in flames was nothing to him. He had thought that with Su Nuan Nuan’s attitude, she would quickly bounced back from this obstacle. Perhaps, she might even see that the only logical move was to going back to the inner court, back under his protection. Instead, Duan Tingxuan was flabbergasted to see that instead of thinking logically, she was just standing there, crying.
At the sound of her own name, Su Nuan Nuan finally could not take it anymore, with a loud ‘Waah!’ she sank to the floor and cried bitter tears. Her tears were so bitter and terrible that Hong Lian and Xiang Yun grew depressed, so hard were her sobs that the little marquis was at a lost. Something squeezed that cold, hard, dirty thing he called a heart.
“Don’t cry, Nuan Nuan.” Duan Tingxuan pulled her up, an unprecedented tenderness in his voice.
“My longed for free leisurely life, is gone, it’s all gone now. There’s nothing left, wuwuwu…”
Su Nuan Nuan was really upset, Mei Yue Lou may be a broken down nothing in the eyes of the other residents here, but to her, this was her only constant, her only escape in this strange and hostile ancient world. Here, she could live a carefree life unrestrained as a dream. Who would have know that the heaven would be so cruel and wrenched away the sole consolation in her life. She really did not want to return to the inner court to battle against those sour women for the affections of a man she did not even want. The only thing she wanted in life was to live a quietly as a foodie, ah.
“Nuan Nuan, if the old don’t leave, the new won’t come. Isn’t this your motto?” Duan Tingxuan tried to comfort his heartbroken wife. By now the rain had stopped, and somehow Su Nuan Nuan’s wet, tear-stained face was even more endearing.
“Are you saying, that you will rebuilt Mei Yue Lou for me?” Su Nuan Nuan’s eyes brightened, she looked up at Duan Tingxuan with hopeful eyes.
“Yes!” as though bewitched, Duan Tingxuan blurted out. However, his wits soon caught up and he realized how close he was to the goal of getting Su Nuan Nuan into the inner court. The heavens themselves had pushed her into his lap, was he going to sabotage himself just like that? Duan Tingxuan, ah, Duan Tingxuan, have your brain become waterlogged?
The word was out, but Duan Tingxuan bulldozed his way through to fix his error, he gamely said. “That’s impossible.”
“What do you mean?” Su Nuan Nuan, who was just starting to smile narrowed her eyes at Duan Tingxuan. “Are you messing with me?”
[Gumihou: Su Nuan Nuan, kick Duan Tingxuan for me!]
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Translated by Gumihou at kitchennovel dot com
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