Chapter 49: Returning to the Alliance Head Residence
After thinking about it, Tang Doudou scratched her head in vexation and said helplessly, “Forget it, you wouldn’t understand.”
Qing Yin gave an ‘en’ in reply, then said: “In any case, Li gongzi, you don’t have anyone by your side to serve you, so why don’t you just keep Qing Yin?”
Tang Doudou felt that Qing Yin wouldn’t be able to understand right now even if she were to explain human rights. After all, she had been imbued with the thinking of this era since she was little. Even though she didn’t seem like those extremely humble and submissive yes-man maids from other families, the idea of respecting the master was a very deep rooted ideology which couldn’t be changed with only a couple spoken sentences.
In any case, since Baili Yu has already allowed Qing Yin to follow her, wouldn’t it be better to just gradually influence and change her?
But before this, she must find a chance to clear up their relationship and clearly explain to her that they were impossible. Perhaps it was better to just directly tell her about her female identity. But this also required an opportunity.
This wasn’t the right time to do so anyhow, so let’s hold off for now.
Let’s first deal with the matter regarding Bai Feiyun before thinking further.
Tang Doudou had obtained the Alliance Head Command Tablet so she was now heading to the Alliance Head Residence to find out the specifics of the situation before returning to meet up with Bai Lianhua in four hours.
When Tang Doudou explained her plans to Qing Yin, she saw the latter wasn’t surprised that Bai Lianhua was coming along. After some consideration, Qing Yin suggested, “Gongzi can just ask Young Master Jun for help to save Bai gongzi.”
“Jun Xin?” Tang Doudou hastily shook her head, “No way, that guy would completely wreck things, we can’t bring him along.”
Qing Yin spoke with a helpless tone, “Young Master Jun is very capable, he’s not like gongzi’s impression of him at all. At the very least, gongzi wouldn’t have to worry about your own safety with him around.”
“Forget it, my Eight Characters (of birthtime, more info here) clash with his, just encountering him annoys me. Not to mention, what we’re doing is exchanging for a hostage and negotiating. Let’s just shelf things like using force for now. This Alliance Head is a civilized person!” Tang Doudou patted her chest. She then rubbed her nose, “Let’s go and take a look at the situation in the Alliance Head Residence before discussing more.”
As she said that, she had Qing Yin lead her out of this garden which she’d been staying in for this past week or so.
After walking out of the enormous front entrance, an indescribable feeling surfaced as she looked at the old-fashioned, calm, bluestone-paved street outside.
Turning back to look at the garden behind her, she only just realized that the seemingly exquisite and gentle garden she saw from the inside actually had such an unusual grandeur when viewed from outside. As she stood in front of the entrance, she felt extremely insignificant.
Tang Doudou smacked her lips as her gaze moved upwards. She still didn’t know what this garden was called after having been here for this long!
But she immediately discovered that she couldn’t understand the words on the rectangle sign above the garden doors at all. So she asked Qing Yin: “Qing Yin ah, what’s this garden called?”
“Aren’t there three words written? How could it be Plum Garden?” Not to mention she had already stayed there for a week and hadn’t seen even a petal of a plum blossom, so how did that name fit at all?
Qing Yin saw her surprised expression and of course knew what she was thinking. “Plum Garden is an alternate name, what’s written on the sign is ‘Serene Transient Life’*.”
The name of the garden is 清浮生, which I searched up and the closest saying I got to the title was 浮生清梦(roughly transient life, serene dream) which means that the fleeting hollow life felt like a serene dream. The term 浮生in baidu is elaborated as ‘such that life seemed like a meaningless transient existence, such that death seems to be its cessation.’ Very beautiful and profound, my vocab doesn’t do it justice.
“There is a sea of plums at the back mountain of the garden. Thus, it also became known as Plum Garden.”
“You’re saying that this garden still has a back mountain? There’s also a sea of plums there? My crap, then isn’t this garden really really big?”
Da fudge, how big was this garden?
Qing Yin proudly said: “That’s only natural. Who in this world doesn’t know that Master’s Plum Garden is number one in the country? Not only does the back mountain have an endlessly extending sea of plums, but there’s a peach garden, a sea of cherry-apples, a lotus flower pond…and even more marvels of the world gathered here. The two buildings that gongzi went to earlier were areas in between the four buildings of wind, flower, snow and moon(common poetry subjects). Perhaps it doesn’t look that special from gongzi’s point of view, but in reality, these things were all carefully selected for quality.”
She paused for a moment and looked at Tang Doudou’s blank eyes, then said: “Maybe gongzi should just let this servant take you around for a look some other day.”
The moment Tang Doudou heard this, she hastily waved dismissively and said: “Forget it, let’s deal with the proper business first!”
Hell, there’s no way she wanted to come back to this lousy place, there was no need to even mention having the interest to take a look around.
Also, da fudge! The damned fox seriously had a level of boldness that can just rush to the skies, so much so that it splashed her whole face(like it was rubbed in her face).
In the past, she had already heard Qing Yin talk about how this Plum Garden was actually just one area amongst all his estates, but just based on this title of being the number one garden in the country was enough to guess how valuable it was. There was no need to even mention what Qing Yin said about those various seas of flowers and other marvels at all. Da fudge, this was the ancient era. These places were all being taken care of through manpower. Just the cost of keeping all these people was a great expense.
It was already beyond Tang Doudou’s power to fathom Baili Yu’s family property. The more she thought about it, the more she regret. Why didn’t she just bite him to death with that one chomp earlier?
Qing Yin said that the Alliance Head Residence was right next door to the Plum Garden, but Qing Yin found a carriage from somewhere and invited Tang Doudou to get on after they left the Plum Garden.
Tang Doudou was originally puzzled, but recalling what Qing Yin said earlier, she decisively climbed into the carriage. Hell, what Qing Yin called next door probably wasn’t the ‘next door’ she knew. This distance probably wasn’t small in any way.
As expected, the carriage leisurely moved for about an hour. Just as Tang Doudou was almost rocked to sleep, Qing Yin lightly shook her awake, “Gongzi, we’ve arrived at the Alliance Head Residence.”
Tang Doudou opened her hazy eyes and gazed at Qing Yin’s veiled face in a dazed manner. Only then did her head clear up, “We’ve arrived?”
“Does gongzi have an understanding of the Alliance Head Residence’s current situation?” Qing Yin hastily pulled her to a stop after seeing that Tang Doudou was about the head down the carriage the moment she climbed up.
“What situation?” Tang Doudou had just woken up and her head was still pretty muddled. Adding on the fact that she really wasn’t clear on what situation the Alliance Head Residence would have, she thought it could only be the matter regarding Elder Yu. She proceeded to say, “Are you talking about Elder Yu and the rest? Bai Feiyun mentioned a bit to me before. What about it?”Qing Yin cast a glance at her. She was silent for a bit before finally saying, “It’s a bit too late to give a detailed explanation now. How about this, you can just look at my expression as a guide after we enter.”
“Expression?” Tang Doudou swept a glance at Qing Yin’s hazy veiled face and thought dejectedly, how am I supposed to see like this?
Qing Yin also realized this problem. Her face turned slightly red, and she spoke in a small voice: “Gongzi, wait a moment.”
As she said so, she bowed her head and lowered her pupils. Her soft jade fingers reached behind and removed the veil.
Following that, a swan egg-shaped little face appeared. It was especially delicate and beautiful. A pair of gentle pupils faced downwards, too bashful to look towards Tang Doudou.
Qing Yin’s temperament was very good from the start. Now, this face was added on top of that. Tang Doudou was considerably stunned, and at the same time couldn’t help but start envying Baili Yu again. Hell, unless she wasn’t recalling properly, the group of maids from the other day were all akin to Qing Yin. Even though they were wearing veils based on Qing Yin’s appearance, they were probably all exceptional beauties.
She also couldn’t help but think that it was obvious why Baili Yu didn’t take a fancy to Bai Lianhua.
Da fudge, if one were to just randomly pull a servant girl out, not a single one would lose to Bai Lianhua in terms of appearance ah! It would truly be a strange matter if he really did take fancy to Bai Lianhua in this situation.
After seeing numerous beautiful girls, he probably got quite tired of them. That’s probably why he raised Jun Xin, this tsundere little uke to adjust his mood a little?
It was no wonder that he could just casually gift her a maid like Qing Yin. It turned out that he simply wasn’t lacking whatsoever!
Damned inhumane nouveau riche!
“Qing Yin, you’re so pretty, so why must you hide it with a veil?”
“This servant doesn’t know either, but it was Master’s order.” Qing Yin paused for a while and her emotions gradually calmed down. She slowly lifted her head and replied as such.
Hearing this, Tang Doudou disdained Baili Yu again, then said: “Alright, let’s get off first!”
The two of them got off the horse carriage one after another.
Tang Doudou had already come up with many ideas of what she envisioned the Alliance Head Residence to be like before she headed over. After all, an official residence that dared establish itself next to that damned fox’s place probably can’t be too lacking, right?
Otherwise, wouldn’t it just be slapping your own face?
But the moment she got off the carriage and saw that simple and crude official residence next to that high wall, her heart crumbled apart.
This was the rumored Alliance Head Residence?
Da fudge, wasn’t this a little too unpresentable!?
“Gongzi?” Seeing that Tang Doudou was blanking out, Qing Yin softly called her, “There are people coming.”
Tang Doudou immediately returned to her senses and looked towards her. Afterwards, she saw two young men dressed in gray garments had arrived.
“May I ask if you are Li Xueyi? Alliance Head Li?”
The man walking in front cupped his fist towards Tang Doudou and used a very polite tone to ask this question.
“It’s me, may I ask who the two of you are?” Tang Doudou also cupped a fist in salute. Out of the corners of her eyes, she saw Qing Yin slightly wink towards her and immediately understood.
“It really is the Alliance Head ah!”
The man in the back approached with large happy steps, “Alliance Head, you’ve finally returned!”
“Ah, sincere apologies, I’ve made you wait long.”
“Don’t be like this, Alliance Head’s health is more important. If it weren’t for that fact that Bai gongzi’s situation was far too severe this time around, no one would’ve rashly gone to find Alliance Head. However, since Alliance Head has returned, then that’s great!” The man in front spoke while being slightly emotional.
“Ay, Li Hong, talk a little less. Hurry and invite the Alliance Head inside!” The other man standing next to Li Hong pulled him out of the way. “Alliance Head, this subordinate is Xu Tao, and this one is Li Hong. We’re in charge of the Alliance Head Residence’s defense.”
Oh, so it was the security guard captain!
Tang Doudou nodded her head to express her understanding. While walking, she asked: “Earlier, when Syndicate Leader Xu came over, he didn’t explain things very clearly. What exactly happened with Bai gongzi?”
Xu Tao looked much more calm and collected than Li Hong. Hearing Tang Doudou ask about this, he muttered irresolutely to himself for a while before saying: “Could it be that Syndicate Leader Xu didn’t tell Alliance Head everything? Though this incident with Bai gongzi is said to be due to the situation between the Alliance Head and the Murong family, in reality, it wasn’t that simple. However, this subordinate also doesn’t know many details regarding this situation.
“If you guys also aren’t clear on this matter, then who is?” Tang Doudou saw the faint uneasiness in his eyes and couldn’t help but think longer about it. She thought that this matter wasn’t that simple from the very start. Unexpectedly, there really was an inside story.
Hearing her ask this, Xu Tao and Li Hong shared a glance, then said simultaneously: “Elder Yu.”
Xu Tao continued to explain, “This information was sent back by Elder Yu, so if you want to know the exacts of the situation, you can only go ask Elder Yu.”
Hell I give a pei! Sure enough, that old bastard was involved.
“Then I’ll just go ask him. Where’s Elder Yu right now?” Tang Doudou asked again.
Li Hong said: “Elder Yu hasn’t returned since the martial arts convention. He’s been in the Alliance Head Residence the entire time, but…”
He suddenly stopped. After glancing left and right, he suddenly moved to Tang Doudou’s ear and whispered a few sentences. Afterwards, he even exposed a slightly evil smile.
Hearing it, Tang Doudou froze for a moment, but she started smiling soon after as well. She hooked her arm around Li Hong’s shoulder and said roguishly: “Is that all true?”
Li Hong hastily nodded, “Everyone knows about this, it’s just that everyone’s too embarrassed to make it known in public.”
This disjointed conversation between the two caused the other two to be completely befuddled. What ‘xactly were they talking about?
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Edited by Prady
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