Chapter 676: Tang Li's wedding (1)Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
The story went like this.
After breaking through multiple obstacles to pick up his bride, Tang Li finally arrived at Ning Jing’s doors, but was blocked by a team of 10 servant girls all in a line. The one standing in the front was Ning Jing’s personal servant, Shuang Yue.[1. Shuang Yue (双月) - literally “double moon.”] She too, was part of Ning Jing’s dowry and was going to live with the wet nurse at the Tang Clan.
As with most traditional wedding games, Tang Li tried offering both silver and sweet words to pass her guard, but Shuang Yue refused to relent. Thus, he seized a chance while she was distracted to plant a kiss on her cheek. It was only a feint, because he didn’t really kiss her, but Shuang Yue immediately moved to slap him. Tang Li caught her hand and teased, “No rush. When we return to the Tang Clan, you can hit this young clan head however you’d like.”
He only held on for a few seconds before pushing her aside. Shuang Yue cursed him as lustful, lowbred wastrel who couldn’t compare to the likes of Miss Jing. Tang Li accepted the insult and acted out his “seduction skills” with great and vivid effect!
“If this young clan head isn’t worthy of Ning Jing, I could certainly be worthy of you?” Tang Li asked, examining Shuang Yue with interest before his eyes paused over her chest.
Furious and humiliated, Shuang Yue snapped, “You’re not!”
“Then who is? Tell us. This young clan head will definitely learn studiously from her,” Tang Li said, amused.
“Me? Didn’t you say I wasn’t worthy? What, regret it now?” Tang Li laughed out loud.
Shuang Yue was no match for his tongue. Angry and embarrassed, she only insisted again, “In any case, you’re no match for my young Miss.”
“Then what should we do? You’re so smart and so pretty, you should teach this young clan head a few pointers. This young clan head will definitely listen to you,” Tang Li grinned.
“You, you be quiet!” Shuang Yue fumed.
Tang Li immediately muffled his mouth like a docile child as he stood in place. Shuang Yue found it awkward. If this keeps on, how will the young Miss ever marry out of this house? But I can’t just let this loafer off like that.
Finally, she said, “You should apologize! And then…”
“I’m sorry,” Tang Li said meekly.
Scared to death, Shuang Yue nevertheless persisted bravely on. “You should kneel…”
Tang Li fell to his knees before she even finished, causing an uproar. Ning Jing was peeking out from the window, filled with both scorn and indignation. Every time she saw Tang Li, her opinion of him fell even more. If possible, she’d never see this scoundrel again, much less listen to his voice! Today he was supposed to marry her, but here he was teasing her servant girl right in front of her room. What was that for?! Is he going to let the servant girls sleep with him in the future? What other awful things will he do in the coming year?
“Drag Shuang Yue away from here and feed her to wolves out in the mountains!” Ning Jing ordered coldly.
“Young Miss, wouldn’t you be a laughingstock for Tang Li if you do that? Since it’s come to this, just follow their whims. Shuang Yue is a girl who still knows the limits of propriety,” it was a steady and composed middle aged woman who spoke--Ning Jing’s wet nurse, whom everyone called Aunt Shuang.[2. Aunt Shuang (霜姨) - Shuang means “frost.”]
Ning Jing was rather receptive to Aunt Shuang’s words. In the end, she only pounded a fist against the window and didn’t say a word. At this moment, Shuang Yue told Tang Li, “Young Clan Head Tang, my lady is right inside. You should make a vow at the door.”
Tang Li did as he was told and shifted to kneel in front of the door. Shuang Yue exhaled, then continued. “Make a vow that from this day on, you’ll only love Miss Jing and treat her well. You’ll love and dote and protect her and listen to all she says. Don’t let her starve or freeze or tire!”
Tang Li actually raised his hand to make the vow. Seeing this, Ning Jing felt more disdain. She would have been done with everything already, but she still held out to see what he would do.
“Alright!” Tang Li was about to repeat the vow, but suddenly withdrew his hand and asked tenderly, “If this young clan head only loves her, then what will you do?”
Shuang Yue wanted to cry. I really don’t know what I should do!
Ning Jing’s eyes narrowed into slits. “Has everyone else turned into a corpse? Can’t they control him?” If she wasn’t the bride, she would have rushed out to thrash Tang Li by now. Shuang Yue was already her bravest servant girl. The rest of them were standing by the sidelines and counting their blessings that they weren’t being targeted. How could they dare to help? Meanwhile, the men were helpless too because this was the bride’s room. According to custom, they weren’t supposed to get involved in this stage of the game.
Finally, Aunt Shuang opened the door and came out. Seeing this, Tang Li figured that he’d stalled for long enough. It was time to drop the act. At the very least, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi should have reached Ten Thousand Commerce Hall now, so he shouldn’t delay. Otherwise, the Tang Clan would grow suspicious if the Chu Clan elders were rescued so close to his visit. He quickly headed towards Aunt Shuang and left Shuang Yue in the dust.
“This son-in-law certainly likes to joke. Aren’t you afraid of missing the auspicious hour?” Aunt Shuang’s face was kindly.
“Can I see my Jing’er if I stop joking?” Tang Li asked.
Aunt Shuang felt helpless at the words and chose to ignore them. “That would depend on how much good faith Young Clan Head Tang shows us. Whether or not we open the door is up to Miss Jing herself.”
Aunt Shuang wasn’t here to make things difficult because she knew he didn’t really want to marry. This entire wedding was a complicated affair, so she couldn’t do much as Miss Jing’s servant. But a marriage was still a marriage! Tang Li would become Ning Jing’s man and her husband sooner or later. She hoped that the boy could be more sincere, even if he had to fake it. At least ask for the woman’s hand and beg her to open the door before taking Miss Jing away. This way she’d leave with pride and dignity. Even the most stubborn woman was still a girl in the end. Insistent girls had their soft sides, too.
Miss Jing had already prepared the dowry and her personal wedding clothes. She dressed herself up to marry herself off. Today, none of her family members had come. Ning Cheng, Ning Nuo, and Ning An were all absent, so no relatives would be sending her off.
“Good faith?” Tang Li mused before walking to the door with a shout. “Ouyang Ning Jing, are you coming out or not?”
What kind of tune was this? Aunt Shuang knit her brows and felt a sense of despair. She earnestly prayed that this fickle dandy wouldn’t hurt Miss Jing in the future. So much for begging her to open the door!
Ning Jing had left the window to lean against the door, a cold smile playing upon her lips. She didn’t care a whit about auspicious hours because she was determined to stay put. Tang Li could stand there for three days and three nights while she tormented him.
“Ouyang Ning Jing, you’re still not coming out? This young clan head’s warning you…” Tang Li’s tone was fierce, making him a completely different creature from the man who’d flirted with Shuang Yue just then. All of the spectators broke out into cold sweat for Ning Jing at the sight. It looks like he detests her!
“A warning?” Do you think that’ll work on me? Ning Jing smiled coldly before looking towards a servant girl. “He dares to threaten me on my territory? What can he do? Refuse to marry me?”
As soon as she finished speaking, Tang Li shouted, “This young clan head is warning you! If you don’t come out, I’ll just block up the door and refuse to leave. I, Tang Li, won’t marry anyone else except you, Ning Jing, in this lifetime!”
Ning Jing froze, her smile stiffening on her lips. The spectators were stunned as well. They hadn’t expected those words.
So...so domineering! And romantic!
As the servant girls watched, Tang Li fell on one knee with a stubborn expression. Their maidenly hearts beat fast. Thump! Thump! Thump!
Ning Jing had to press a hand over her heart as she stood there unmoving.
“Ning Jing, do you hear me? If you have the skills, stay inside! You can wait in that room for the rest of your life and this young clan head will guard you the entire time! I mean what I say! You can try it if you don’t believe me!” Tang Li shouted next.
This really was a warning! She hated it when people threatened her, but...for some reason, she wasn’t mad at him. Or rather, she couldn’t muster up her temper?
“Ning Jing, are you a scaredy cat? Do you dare to reply this young clan head?!” Tang Li began to prod. Ning Jing immediately turned to open the door, but the two servant girls on the side looked up in astonishment.
Feeling awkward, Ning Jing snapped at them. “What are you looking at? I’m just going out to teach him a lesson!”
But when had she ever explained her actions to her servants? Scared to speak, the girls kept quiet while Ning Jing flung open the doors. The first thing she saw was Tang Li dressed in red wedding robes, kneeling on one leg in front of her door. His back was straight and his bearing impressive, his movements handsome and unrestrained. His high-spirited, vigorous air was like a jade tree against the wind. Ning Jing never expected this man to look so good in red.
At the same time, Tang Li never expected Ning Jing to personally open the door, much less come out with her face bared. This was his first time seeing Ning Jing dressed in women’s clothes and wearing makeup. He discovered that she was really a beauty. The hair coiled up atop her head, those fine eyebrows and broad forehead, and those bright eyes over a pair of deep crimson lips made her as luminous as the spring, as beautiful as the harvest moon. She was a feast for the eyes!
Tang Li knelt stunned as he grew dazed by the sight. He only recovered after Aunt Shuang slammed the door shut. Actually, it wasn’t just him. The rest of the spectators were all shocked as well. They never knew President Jing was so gorgeous. Aunt Shuang was quiet scared by the whole thing. When had a bride ever ran out without her red wedding veil?
“Young Clan Head Tang, congratulations. Please hold for a minute.” She neglected the explanations to pull Ning Jing onto a seat indoors. “Young Miss, you can’t show your face like that. It’s not auspicious and it’ll become gossip instead!”
“He’ll really think I’m afraid of him if I didn’t show myself!” Ning Jing looked calm, but her hands were wringing knots. She had scared herself with her actions too. Why did I open that door?
Aunt Shuang carefully set the phoenix coronet on her head before draping her in the large wedding veil. Then she checked her accessories one last time before setting her heart at ease. “Miss Jing, we’ve fussed enough. Let him come in.”
“Mm,” Ning Jing replied calmly. But for some reason her heart rate sped up. After the door opened, Tang Li strode in with large strides. He’d long recovered his senses to see Ning Jing waiting for him on the couch. A peculiar feeling fluttered in his heart, but he didn’t pay it any attention.
Standing in front of her, he said with a lazy air, “Come on, I’ll piggyback you out.”
Ning Jing’s expression was hidden, but Aunt Shuang glared at him until he changed his tone. “Jing’er, I’m here to wed you. Come home with me.”
Ning Jing silently jumped onto Tang Li’s back and wrapped her arms around his neck. Her right hand rested over his heart as she warned coldly, “Walk steadily. If you drop this young Miss, I’ll take your life!”
It was obvious that she’d returned to her senses as well. Tang Li thus carried her out of Ten Thousand Commerce Hall and placed her into the sedan chair before mounting his horse and setting off.
Where were Long Feiye and Han Yunxi now?
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