T/N: Sorry, I probably won’t be able to make up the late chapter part until Sunday.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 317 - A creature that loves to sprout words about true love, has a lotus heart, and hidden arsenic (2)
During the following days, Kangyuan Junzhu and Ning Mingjie stayed at Marquis Jingwen's estate. From time to time, Kangyuan Junzhu would come by Errong’s courtyard to chat with her. Watching from the side, Ji Man though this junzhu, who was gentle without being too delicate and spoke sensibly, was a pretty good woman too.
The only problem was that Ji Man would encounter Ning Mingjie from time to time when she was walking in the garden or even when she was in her own courtyard. Whenever this happened, he didn't say anything and just quietly looked at her. But, there were too many lingering emotions in his gaze. Even thought he didn't say anything, the servant girls that passed by could see that there was something off.
Kangyuan Junzhu wasn't slow-witted either. She could also tell there was something strange between them.
And so, Ji Man decided to take stock of her assets in advance. Other than the money she had invested into her store, she had over five hundred silver taels saved up and could be considered to be enjoying moderate prosperity.
Finally, the expected day arrived. Kangyuan Junzhu called her over to talk.
Looking at her with a mild gaze, Kangyuan Junzhu said, "I'm not willing to tolerate something that's disagreeable to me, and I don't want the general to take a concubine so soon either. Miss Ji, you're a clever person. Do you understand my meaning?
Original translation is from fuyuneko dot org. If you’re reading this elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Understood. Of course, she understood. With a neatly sitting posture, Ji Man said with a smile, "Even without the junzhu saying something, Ji Man already had thoughts of leaving a while ago. I'm just not sure where I should go so that I won't be found."
Kangyuan Junzhu considered for while before suggesting, "What do you think of Yong'an County?”
Yong'an County could be considered Kangyuan Junzhu's territory. She was Marquis Yong'an's only daughter, thus he was extremely doting towards her and had even given more than half of his fiefdom to her.
Sounding as if she was being put into a difficult spot, Ji Man replied, "That's doable. But, Junzhu, could you help me settle down there? In order to support myself, I'll still need to continue doing business there."
Kangyuan Junzhu nodded. "That's not a problem. But... Are you really willing to immediately leave?"
She had heard that it was only recently that this woman's business in Jing Province had started flourishing. Until now, she had been relying on Marquis Jingwen's household reputation. Kangyuan Junzhu had originally thought it wouldn't be easy to convince Ji Man to leave and had prepared a speech in advance to try to persuade her.
Surprisingly, the outcome was that she had easily agreed.
"En." Ji Man nodded. She would be able to do her business anywhere. It wouldn't be a big deal to hand over her business here to Dengxin. It would also be beneficial for Marquis Jingwen's household if she left here. This way, it would remove the possibility of Ning Mingjie doing something inappropriate in a moment of impulsiveness.
The more important thing was that she had to continue being able to support herself. She wanted to remove herself from Ning Yuxuan's purview. In order to gain the advantage, the enemy had to be in the light while she hid herself in the shadows. Liu Rufeng had been too helpful with his assistance, and she couldn't help feeling doubtful. This person was probably sent over by Marquis Moyu. The feeling of always being kept under a close watch by Ning Yuxuan was really too uncomfortable.
Rather than saying it was Kangyuan Junzhu forcing her leave, it would be more accurate to say that she was using Kangyuan Junzhu so that her whereabouts could be completely concealed.
Since Ji Zhu and Dengxin now had their own ways of making a living in Jing Province, she could be at ease and focus on her own goal now.
"My lord, you’re the only person that I ever loved in this entire lifetime. Whereas you…"
"Her life is a life. Is my life worth nothing to you?"
(T/N: These are lines that Nie Sangyu says before she dies in the original novel. In this second attempt/cycle, Ning Yuxuan wouldn't have heard these words before.)
Ning Yuxuan was startled awake from his dream. Opening his eyes, he was greeted with pitch-black darkness as he sat up and gasped for breath.
The doors creaked as they were opened. Guibai quietly responded, "My lord?"
After wiping the cold sweat from his forehead, Ning Yuxuan furrowed his brow and asked, "How are things going in Jing Province?"
"General Ning went back home, and he brought Kangyuan Junzhu with him," Guibai answered, "Madam’s business is doing well. Sir Liu has been helping her from the beginning, so everything should be going smoothly."
"She's not willing to return to the capital?" Marquis Moyu asked.
Guibai pursed his lips, "Sir Liu says he's doing his best to persuade her."
She was still under his purview, and he could know what she was doing. This was good too. Ning Yuxuan let out a long sigh and placed his hand on the empty pillow next to his. "Once I have free time, I want to go over there and see her."
Guibai slightly furrowed his brow and said, "My lord, you probably won't be able to leave here anytime soon."
He draped an outer robe over himself and stood up. Somewhat irritably waving his hand, he said, "You can withdraw."
Guibai made a sound of assent, and Ning Yuxuan was left standing alone by the window to watch the moon.
He really missed her a lot. Now that the limelight had slowly stopped shinning on him, he could bring her back, right? It would be fine if she changed her name, and it wouldn't be a big deal if another person was added to his estate. There probably wouldn't be a problem as long as he hid her well.
Nostalgically recollecting their last night together before they were separated, Ning Yuxuan felt a slight heat in his solar plexus. He hadn't seen her in so long. He really wished that he could see her right now with his own eyes. He had only been able to hear and read about how she was doing from other people. He couldn't even send a short message to her. What an awful feeling.
Ning Mingjie was luckier than him. He had an excuse to go Jing Province. In contrast, he was under Zhao Li's control right now and couldn't even take one wrong step.
He hadn't been wrong. The second prince really was a more terrifying existence than the third prince. After Zhao Li had ascended the throne, he was tyrannical in the way he handled politics. Perhaps, it was because the second prince had grown up being bullied and humiliated. While working under Zhao Li, he almost didn't have the energy to think about then messy feelings between a man and woman.
How long would it be until he could see Sangyu again?
Taking advantage of the night, Ji Man packed up her stuff. She tucked the token and travel expenses that Kangyuan Junzhu had given to her into her clothes. After taking one last look at Marquis Jingwen's estate, she boarded the carriage.
During a moment when she was alone, she quietly slipped away and disappeared on the way to Yong'an County.
Translator Ramblings: I really like that Kangyuan Junzhu doesn’t act like a typical c-novel villainess that blame Ji Man for a man’s behavior. It was nice to see that they could have a calm discussion of how to resolve the problem that Ning Mingjie was causing.