Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 134.1 out of 171
Wei Luo naturally didn't know that these madams thought this way.
She had heard that Duke Ying's household had also been invited as guests. First Master Wei Min and Fifth Master Wei Kun had been among the people in House Wei, who had come to celebrate. Wei Chang Yin and Wei Chang Hong had also come. She wondered if she would be able to see them in the future.
Although Wei Luo had only recently married, she grew up with close relatives at her side. If she couldn't see them today, she would miss them dearly.
Unfortunately, this Princess Consort Yong An was very warm in her hospitality. Not only did she order the servant girls to bring fruits and pastries, she also invited her and Gao Wan to play ma diao. Wei Luo wasn't interested in this game. The only two things that interested her right now were Zhao Jie and her family. Besides, she had never played ma diao before. She always felt that this was something only irresponsible madams would do. As they played ma diao, they would gossip about other families. And so, she shook her head and said, "You two play. I'll watch from the side."
(T/N: Majong evolved from ma diao during Qing Dynasty. Unlike majong, it’s a semi-cooperative game of three people against the fourth player that acts as the banker.
Gao Wan had already sat down at the flat-surfaced beech table inlayed in gold. When she heard Wei Luo's words, she looked at her and said, "It's not fun to just watch. Imperial sister-in-law, come play with us. I'm very good at this game."
Wei Luo smiled, "Is that right? Then, all the more reason I shouldn't play. If I lose to you, I'll lose face as your elder sister-in-law."
"Is that it? I'll go easy on you then."Gao Wan insistently pulled Wei Luo to the ma diao table. There were four players in this game. Besides Gao Wan and Wei Luo, the other two people were Princess Consort Yong An and Gao Qing Yang.
There were a total of forty tiles in ma diao. There were four suits of tiles: eleven coins, nine strings of coins, nine myriads of string, and eleven myriads. Each person was given eight tiles. In counter-clockwise rotation, they would each play a tile. The highest tile would win each round. The end goal was to defeat the banker.
(T/N: Below is a picture of ma diao tiles.)
Since Gao Wan was skilled in this game, she would be the banker in the first game. Because Princess Consort was deliberately trying to allow her to win, Wei Luo didn't understand the right strategy at the moment, and only Gao Qing Yang was blocking her; Gao Wan won the game as the banker.
As Gao Wan gathered together the gaming chips, she said with a smile, "Imperial sister-in-law, is this the first time you're playing this game? Your actions seem very inexperienced."
Wei Luo honestly nodded and said, "I haven't played this game before."
Gao Wan put forth high stakes and the other people could only follow. Wei Luo didn't mind, but Princess Consort Yong An was somewhat pained. These inner court madams all had set monthly allowances, even a princess consort. Besides, her husband was only an outer prince. Their declining household was actually hard-pressed for money. After only a few games, Princess Consort Yong An left the game and someone else took her place.
Wei Luo gradually understood the game better. She was clever to begin with and learned things quickly. The situation gradually reversed so that her side was winning. After Wei Luo won three rounds, Gao Wan's expression started to become slightly worried.
Before the last game, Gao Wan had a servant girl place all of the gaming chips onto the table. A small jade fish, a pair of jade bracelets, and two pearls from the south sea were also added. She said, "If imperial sister-in-law can win this game, I'll give you these items."
Wei Luo had originally decided to stop playing. She didn't care about the gaming chips she lost. But when she thought about the chips she had initially lost, she sat back down again and said, "Okay, let's play one more game."
Wei Luo would be the banker in the last game. Gao Qing Yang was sitting next to Wei Luo and she also played very well. There were two crucial rounds where she played small tiles on her turn, so Wei Luo easily won those two rounds .Wei Luo would be winning this game without a doubt.
In a slight complaining tone, Gao Wan asked, "Older sister Qin-er, why did you only play small tiles? Whose side are you actually on?"
(T/N: She’s calling her sister instead of cousin to show closeness.)
Gao Qing Yang gave Wei Luo the rest of her gaming chips and lightly said, "I only had small tiles left in my hand."
Wei Luo won a lot of money. She turned her head to look at Gao Qing Yang. Previously, because she was Gai Dang Yang's younger sister, she hadn't thought much about her. But right now, she could see that Gao Qing Yang's appearance didn't lose at all to Gan Dan Yang. Her skin looked white and soft and her face looked like a beautiful apricot. She was even more beautiful than Gao Dan Yang.
Wei Luo searched through her mind. She remembered that when she was seven years old, she went to Xin Yan with Liang Yu Rong on Zhao Liuli's birthday. There had been a young girl that was arranging peanuts into a picture of "Wild Gooses in Flight”. She had gotten angry with them when Liang Yu Rong took her peanuts. So they had already met then, but hadn’t seen each other since that day.
(T/N: This scene originally occurred in chapter 20. But, the text said it was Empress Chen's birthday and Wei Luo was the one that took her peanuts not Liang Yu Rong.)
After the group dispersed, some went to play tou hu (ancient party game of throwing arrows into a pot) and others went to admire flowers and chat. Gao Qing Yang wanted to play tou hu and Wei Luo wanted to go see Wei Kun and Chang Hong, so the two of them started walking downstairs.
In the stairwell, Wei Luo asked Gao Qing Yang, "Miss Gao, why did you let me win?"
Gao Qing Yang turned her head and froze for a moment in surprise.
Wei Luo smiled brightly. "I saw that you had a hundred myriad tile and a thousand myriad tile. If you had played these two tiles, I might not have won." She had said "might not have" instead of " couldn't". Wei Luo was very confident in herself.
Gao Ying Yang was silent for a moment. Her words didn't convey her meaning she said, "Your Highness, you secretly looked at this subject's tiles?"
Wei Luo shook her head. She wouldn't do a shady thing like that. "I paid attention when you put the tiles back in the pile and happened to see those two tiles."
Gao Qing Yang's expression eased, but then it subtly changed. With a controlled expression, she said, "This subject wanted to be slightly yielding since this was the first time Your Highness was playing ma diao."
Wei Luo really liked her answer. Gao Wan had said she would go easy on her at first, but she had forgotten everything once the game started and only cared about winning. Someone like Gao Qing Yang who could silently throw a game was rare. At minimum, it showed that this person was very careful, low-key, and wasn't hasty with taking credits for her achievements.