Hello!!! Here is the long awaited new novel’s first chapter!!! As you all know, I’m new so comments and etc~ is fully welcome! Don’t be too shy to comment!
[ cr. Tony Tsao ]
The spring thunder rang, everything flourished.
After JingZhe, the weather became warmer day by day. The SiFang Town, which was quiet for a winter, became more and more lively. The hawker’s shouts for business on the Eastern big street resounded across the two streets and passed to Wen Tian’s ears, making him feel a little absent-mindly indistinctive.
*Jingzhe = it the 3rd of the 24 solar term which is typically our March 5 till March 20
He raised his hand to block the sun above his head. The sun was not intense on that Spring day, but the sunlight made his eyes sore. A crisp sounding young boy’s voice in the distance pulled him back amidst this absent-minded reality.
“Young master! Young master! Madame is looking for you!”
The teenager dressed in a festive red attire ran from a distance. The rushed white, plump and rounded teenager look exactly like a white dango wrapped in red cloth.
The white dango-looking boy wiped the sweat from his forehead and stood in front Wen Tian as he gasps for air. “Young master, Madame shouted for you to hurry there!”
Tomorrow is the auspicious day where the young miss will get married. Young master is the young miss’s biological younger brother therefore he has to escort young miss to her husband’s house personally. The process of bride escorting has been briefed several times earlier, but the Madame does not feel at ease thus instructed him to call the young master back and re-brief again.
Oh yes, tomorrow is the day big sister will get married.
Wen Tian absent-mindedly thought as his line of sight slowly swept through the red satin displayed ostentatiously at the entire courtyard, and his memory flood out violently like a river.
He still remembers that he personally buried his sister at the foot of Nanming Mountain.
He pawned off everything he had which could be pawned yet he could not even afford the cheapest coffin available. His only remaining money could only afford a straw mat and he used that straw mat to bundle his sister’s stiff, ashen corpse. Without any Taoist priest to chant sutras and perform ceremonies, no loved ones mourning, there was only him alone by his mother’s tomb. He spent half the day then only did he dug a pit and bury the mat with the body in.
Two simple and crude tombs were buried in one place, burying his two dearest and most loved ones, yet he could not even set up a stone monument.
Dai Fu, not knowing what he was daydreaming about again, grabbed his clothes and tugged it a little. “Young master? If you still don’t go, Madame would start feeling anxious.”
Wen Tian struggling to resurfaced from his intense memory. He blinked his eyes slowly and absent-mindedly asked: “DaiFu, what year is it now?”
“Ping Dynasty Third Year, the 18th of first month!” DaiFu did not hesitate to answer: “You have already asked thrice.”
“Is it?” Wen Tian followed him with an absent-minded expression and walked through the backyard. Every step was like stepping on the clouds, fluttering and fleeting aimlessly.
Ping Dynasty Third Year…
This year he was only sixteen years old, and tomorrow is the day when his biological sister, Wen Shuyue, get married.
“In my life, the thing which I regretted the most is that I married him!” The sorrowful cries echoing in his head screamed nonstop. Wen Tian’s steps staggered for a moment as DaiFu, who was by his side, immediately supported him and asked what happened nervously.
Wen Tian shook his head and looked around. The flamboyant red color made his eyes hurt. “It’s nothing, let’s go.”
Wen Shuyue’s husband’s family is the Jiao Family from the neighboring, Lehe Town. The Jiao Family’s poetry and literature had been passed down since generations. They are a well-known literary family of Nanming County. The husband, Jiao Changxian, is born with a handsome appearance and full of talent. At the age of eighteen, he passed the Imperial Exam and became a scholar.
You have to know, there are not many who became scholars at the age of eighteen in Lehe Town and even Nanming County.
If not because Wen Family’s elders had a history with Jiao Family’s elders, the two family would not have set up the marriage from earlier on. The Wen Family and Jiao Family, two family status was suitable, and they seem like an ideal couple. It was a good marriage which everyone had anticipated.
Wen Shuyue sat quietly in front of the dressing table, a noodle-making old woman twirled the slender white mee sua to make her a bowl noodle. Wen Tian stared at the familiar but still tender face, and my nose was almost sour as if could not stop tearing.
Ping Dynasty Third Year, the 19th of the first month, Wen Shuyue got married, and the red attire which stretched ten-li shocked the entire SiFang Town. Everyone said that this is a couple of fairy-like companions, but the ending of this marriage is not as wonderful as the myth.
The parents and children died early, and the husband asked for a divorce and married another person. Wen Shuyue escaped back home in the difficult situation yet could only weep disconsolately towards mother and brother, who could not stand the situation.
Wen Tian’s mother, Fu Youqin, was a great merchant from the once resplendent ancestors. Later, he retired to SiFang Town and passed on the wealth of his descendants. However, Fu Family’s fortune passed till now, there was only a daughter remaining which is Fu Youqin.
The two elderly couple of Fu Family naturally loved this only daughter. Therefore, when Fu Youqin wanted to be married to Wen BoLi, whose family is very poor, naturally they agreed to the marriage without much difficulties.
Wen BoLi entered the Fu Family. However, it did not affect the feelings of the two people, the young couple had honey-filled and smooth like oil days. Later, they gave birth to a pair of dragon and pheonix, and gave the Fu Family’s two elderly a well impression. Before passing away, they entrusted the family fortune to their son-in-law and even allowed the two children to follow the father’s surname.
*a pair of dragon and pheonix = technically it means a pair of twins, boy and girl
This is the two elderly’s painstaking effort for their beloved daughter, but who would have thought that Wen BoLi, who seems like a modest gentleman, on the other hand, is a evil person with two-faced, three knives and the ambition of a pack of wild wolves.
*two-faced, three knives = backstabbing people who are two faced
*the ambition of a pack of wild wolves = overly ambitious people
Behind the promise of a lifetime with only one person, Wen BoLi’s illegitimate son was two months older than Wen Tian.
Clenching his hand into a fist firmly, Wen Tian sniffled and with a hoarse voice said: “Sister, you look really beautiful today.”
Wen Shuyue opened her eyes and looked at him, whose similar appearance were gentle and soft. “Mother was still looking for you just now, where did you went to hide again?”
Wen Tian struggled to put out an unsightly smile. “I was taking a breather at the courtyard.”
“Is You Ling back?” You Ling is Wen Tian’s pet name. Afraid that he would not grow up, Fu Youqin deliberately gave him a pet name which is good for raising.
*good for raising = technically the whole thing implies that in the ancient days, people believe that if you are scared that your child will be ill or not grow up well then you can give them a pet name that is easy to raise so that your child fate will be better
Holding a small wooden box, she walk in leisurely from outside. With a well-rounded figure and a fair pinkish delicate face due to living abundantly all year round. The jet-black and shiny bunned up hair with a clear watercress hairpin inserted obliquely, yet still displaying a graceful and poised presence.
The moment Wen Tian saw her, he could not help but to choke up with emotions between his throat. With a hoarse voice, he shouted, “Mother.”
Fu Youqin was shocked by him, hurriedly handed the wooden box to the maid behind him, and coddled him into her arms to coax and comfort him. “It was fine previously, what happened? Did your father admonished you again?”
Wen Tian shook his head forcefully, hugging her tightly with both his arms, like a youngster who was lost for a long time and finally founding the way back home, he buried himself in her embrace and heart-brokenly cried.
The noodle-making old woman was shocked by his earth-shattering cries and stop her actions. She looked at Wen Shuyue then looked at the loudly weeping Wen Tian and had a dumb-founded expression.
Wen Shuyue went to pat his back yet could not help but to feel a little humorous. This younger brother of hers has been a squeamish crybaby since young, but she has never seen him cry like this before. She couldn’t help but to tease him a little. “You are already so grown up yet still like to cry as when you were younger.”
Wen Tian also knows that he is excessively losing self-control, but when he looked at his loved ones, who have passed away for a long time in memory, standing in front of him, alive. No matter how, he could not control the joyous and sorrowful feeling in his heart.
After crying for a while, Wen Tian reluctantly quiet down. He used his sleeves to wipe his tears, lifting his head to look at his mother and sister, and searched a reason to justify himself so that his behavior did not look so abrupt. “I … recalled, that sister is going to get married, felt somewhat grievous.”
“You ah…” Fu Youqin reached out to lightly pat his forehead, her eyes full of affection, “When are you going to be a little more grow up?”
Wen Tian lowered his eyes to cover the mood shown amidst his eyes as he appear to be pulling her sleeves with a spoiled attitude . “Mother, you accompany sister, I will go out for a while.”
Fu Youqin refused to let him go. “Where do you want to go again? Have remember the sequence for tomorrow clearly?”
Wen Tian exposed a smile with coquettishly reassured: “Remember, remember, I’m only going out for a while. I’ll come back immediately.”
Fu Youqin released him helplessly. “Let DaiFu follow you, remember to come back earlier.”
Wen Tian waved his hand and quickly ran out of the courtyard.
“This child…” Fu Youqin shook her head, somewhat helpless as she turned back and return to the house.
Out of the courtyard, the smile on Wen Tian’s face faded. He turned back to the gate of the courtyard which is sheltered by trees, and looked at the pair of mother and daughter by the window. Mother held the wooden box and placed in sister’s hands. The two laughed as they talk.
He took a deep breath as his temples suddenly throbbed in pain. He didn’t know why he suddenly returned to Ping Dynasty Third Year. In fact, previously, he was still warming up in the dilapidated wooden house where it was leaking everywhere. After mother and sister both passed away, he had no interest in life, yet he was not willing to die, allowing the enemy to be happy. Therefore, he lived like that, struggling on whilst at death door, until there was a loud rumbling outside the house. He opened his eyes again and returned to the first day of Wen Shuyue’s marriage, 14 years ago.
After another night, Wen Shuyue will have to wear the phoenix crown and red-cloud robes and marry Jiao Family.
The boastful scenery where Jiao Changxian embraced another lover in his arms flashed before his eyes. Wen Tian exerted all his strength and nibbled his lips, the acute pain making him tear up at the corner of his eyes. The sudden pain cleared his mind a little as he turned to glance at the courtyard then firmly advance out immediately.
This time, he will never let his sister plunge into the living hell of Jiao Family.
Wen Tian first went back to change into a set of ordinary coarse cotton clothes, dismantling the neat combed hair bun, and casually tied it behind him with a cloth belt. After, he searched for a wide cloth and rounded it around his neck twice to cover his face. Finally, he took along a dilapidated bamboo hat, then money and sneaked out through the back door.
This stump marriage will certainly not be successful. The wedding day is tomorrow. According to standards, it is impossible to withdraw the wedding. He can only think of some other ways from elsewhere.
After passing through two quiet streets, it is the lively Eastern Street. The Eastern Street is a place where the civilians gather. Near the Eastern Street, there are stalls lined up on both sides of the street as the vendors’ and hawkers’ shouts come and go.
Wen Tian shrunk his shoulders slightly, inserted his hand in his pockets, lowered his head and passed through the middle. The ordinary look does not draw any rising suspicions as he heads directly to the end of the Eastern Street. That place is a dead corner. Many ruffians and hoodlums in the small town like to gather there. When they ran out of money, they will drag their brothers to go on the street and cause ruckus. After a round, collecting some money for them to live for a period of time.
These ruffians, for Wen Tian who is lacking people, are truly good helpers.
The corner of the street was a little dirty and disordered. A sloppy man, sitting on the side of the road with a small crowd, saw that Wen Tian was coming over, had exposed a look of malicious intents.
In the previous lifetime, Wen Tian had associated with them, fully aware that these people have the conduct of those who open their eyes wide at the sight of profit. He very slowly took out five silver taels from within his sleeves and displayed it in his palms. “I need three people, twenty silver taels, these are advance payment.”
“What kind of work?” The tallest man came over. His eyes flashing with treacherous light, as he reached out to get the silver taels in Wen Tian’s hand.
Wen Tian took back his hand and looked at him coldly. “It’s still missing two people.”
The bulky person snorted once, then he waved and called two more people to the front. They were all as big and strong as him. “Tell us, what do you want us to do?”
“Come with me and you will know.” Wen Tian deliberately lowered his voice, making himself look more mysterious and profound, and quickly led the three people out of the town.
There is actually a sky towering mountain ridge between SiFang Town and Lehe Town. There are only two roads to go through it, one of the road is the official road, the road is flat and good to go through but it is a little further. The other road is a small trail, having to pass through the West Mountain which is rampant with bandits to reach the other side therefore very few people dare to go.
The road Wen Tian took them through today is in fact the third road.
There is a Sihu River in the middle of the sky towering mountain ridges. The Sihu River is connected to Lehe Town and SiFang Town. Except for the occasional fishermen passing by, almost no one will pass through.
Wen Tian knows precisely that there is an old fisherman living by the riverbank in SiFang Town.
Back in those years, when his mother was seriously ill, the old fisherman was the one who took the boat and sent him to Lehe Town for medical treatment. Wen Tian followed the route in his memory and as expected, he saw the fishing boat tied up by on the shore.
Not far from the shore, there is a shabby grass cottage.
Wen Tian let the three buff man remain behind, and personally went to knock on the door to negotiate with the old fisherman.
After the negotiation, the old fisherman sent their party of four to the town of Lehe using the boat. Even if they used the water route, it still took an hour to get there. Once the sky already darken down, he could see the red lanterns lit up along the river bank.
The fishing boat stopped at the rudimentary pier. Nanming County was located in the southeast, away from the capital city, Qingyang. There were fewer contacts with other places, and there was no decent docks.
After paying the money, he told the old fishermen to wait for them at the dock, Wen Tian took the three burly men and walked towards the direction of Jiao Family.
Jiao Family said to be a literary family, but the family is not prosperous, the mansion is close to the noisy square market, across the street is exactly the decoratively red brothel alley.
Tomorrow is the wedding day. The entrance of Jiao Family is filled with red lanterns. Even the lion monuments at the entrance are covered with red satin. Wen Tian smiled ironically and pointed towards Jiao Family then said to the three people behind him: “You guys help me to capture the young master of Jiao Family. The twenty silver taels is yours.”
Wen Tian took out five silver taels then handed to them. “This is the advance payment. After you complete the matter, I’ll pay another fifteen.”
The three burly men looked at each other and accepted the money then grinned, said: “Deal.”
Wen Tian put his two hands into his sleeves, stooped his body slightly, and shielded with the bamboo straw hat. He looked at Jiao Family’s entrance with a profound gaze.
The head of the burly men sent the two men, under his command, to go inquire about the situation first while he himself followed Wen Tian along to stand in the shadows near the awfully silent mansion.
“I heard that Jiao Family’s young master will be getting married tomorrow. You capture him for what?”
The hand in the sleeve tighten up, then Wen Tian, calm and collectedly, replied with a low voice: “Jiao Chengxian does not deserve Wen Family’s young miss.
The burly men laughed a little and clicked twice. Seeming to be very understanding of this situation. “It turns out to be rivaling for the affection of a beauty……”
“He has arrived.” Wen Tian interrupted him and pointed to Jiao Changxian, supported by a maid, who was stumbling and swaying.
Jiao Changxian returned from outside and seemed to have drank a lot of wine. He walked unsteadily from side to side and sang a unrecognizable folk tune from his mouth.
Getting closer, Wen Tian, hearing the content of the tune clearly, only felt a burst of wrath erupting from his chest.
This person was still loitering in the red-light district, one night before the wedding! They were really blinded in his past life, to think that this person is a good husband for his sister!
“Holding the damask quilt, tearing down the skirt, taking off the red garment, removing the green socks…” Jiao Changxian randomly groped the maid’s body, and sang a gaudy tune with lasciviously lyrics from his mouth, “…with a pretty appearance, aromatic fragrant stingy the nose, don’t, don’t move, let this old gentleman have a taste…”
Seeing those two people almost making out on the street, Wen Tian coldly said: “You still don’t make an action, do you not want silver?”
The strong man clicked twice and mutter a sentence, “he sure know how to play”, then glanced at the other two brothers and made a signal, and surrounded them in a triangle.
A small hand knife move stunned the little maid, then the burly man supported the drunken Jiao Changxian, and asked Wen Tian what to do.
Wen Tian coldly looked at the completely unaware and still rebelling Jiao Changxian, for the first time, he felt the urge to flay his meat out of the bone, arise within.
Ok, that the first chapter enjoy~~~~~~~ And I’ll see y’all next time!!!!