Chapter 138 (Extra): May Dreams Descend Upon the World
Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
It rained heavily in the early morning, the entire world being pattered with raindrops, accompanied by the chaotic footsteps of pedestrians hurriedly dodging each other, mingling into a bustling world. Xiahou Lian had been halfway through riding his horse when he had been forced to return by the heavy rain, and he casually bought an oilpaper umbrella on the street, holding it as he went home. He handed the reins to a servant and used a dry cloth to wipe the rainwater on the front of his robes before going inside.
He had accidentally gotten water on the wound on his ear, and it began hurting faintly. It was an ear piercing he had asked Mingyue to do for him the day before yesterday, and when he returned to his room, he took off his glazed earring and carefully applied medicine. Footsteps sounded from outside the grill window. “Master Lian, the master is calling you to the antechamber.”
“Oh, I’m coming.” He changed his clothes and turned, going out the door.
He passed through a corridor, lifted a curtain, and entered the antechamber. Xie Jinglan was sitting upright on a rosewood armchair and holding tea, the steaming hot vapor covering his face, so he couldn’t tell if he was happy or angry. There was a colorfully dressed and plump woman sitting below, with a circle of fat on her waist, and the flower patterns on her curled coat were like a colorful snake intertwined on her body.
As soon as Xiahou Lian entered, the woman stared at him. Her gaze seemed to grow legs, slipping around his entire body. Xiahou Lian was quite uneasy and turned to sit in a round-backed armchair. A servant made some tea for him, pouring the tea into a white and blue porcelain cup, and the curled tea leaves rolled around in the hot water.
“Lian-ge’er, do you recognize me?” the woman said with a laugh. Seeing Xiahou Lian’s confused expression, she smiled again. “Everyone in the village calls me Mrs. Zhang, and today I’m being serious and came because I want to tell you about a marriage proposal. If you like and if Master Xie approves, let’s discuss it as early as possible.”
Xiahou Lian was stunned upon hearing this. “Marriage?”
“Certainly!” Mrs. Zhang pinched her handkerchief and pursed her lips in a smile. “Master Lian, you’re young and strong, and you’re also so valiant. You go horse riding every day, and you’ve captured the hearts of many young women. These past few days, the threshold of my door has been broken from being stepped on, they’re all begging me to secretly help them with matchmaking. I chose a good person for you, there’s a family surnamed Yang on Shuiximen Street, they sell gold and silver jewelry, and they want you to be their son-in-law. It doesn’t matter even if you don’t move in with them, they can use some of their savings to buy you a shop, and it’ll be enough for you two to make a living.”
Xiahou Lian subconsciously looked at Xie Jinglan. His eyes were lowered at his own cup of tea, his face impassive.
Seeing that he was angry, Xiahou Lian cried bitterly inwardly, hastily thinking of excuses. Mrs. Zhang also turned around and took the lead to say to Xie Jinglan, “Of course, Lian-ge’er is Master Xie’s servant after all, so this matter still needs to be approved by you. The Yang family said that it would be fine if they spent some money to buy Lian-ge’er’s deed, but they hope you’ll let them.”
“Many thanks to your kindness,” Xie Jinglan put the cup down and lifted his head up, saying, “but his marriage will naturally be taken care of by me, the master, so there’s no need for you to bother.”
Xiahou Lian nodded repeatedly. “My master is correct, please go home.”
“This…” Mrs. Zhang saw that Xie Jinglan’s expression was unpleasant, so she thought that he wasn’t willing to let him go. Thus, she smiled placatingly and said, “Master Xie, why talk this matter to death? They can pay more money, or they can pay you with a servant. How unpleasant it would sound if word got out that you restrain people like this.” She covered her lips and coughed a few times. “You don’t like to go out, so you don’t know what they talk about outside. I’m too lazy to say it, it’ll rot my mouth if I say it out loud.”
“What are they saying?” asked Xie Jinglan.
Mrs. Zhang smiled. “It’s all some nonsense, I don’t like listening. They say things like you, someone from the palace, likes to be improperly intimate with men, and that this Lian-ge’er is your favorite that you’re keeping by your side. Say, what kind of talk is this? These people are all going to have rotten mouths and tongues, let King Yama take them!”
Xie Jinglan smiled in anger. “According to what you said, if I don’t let him go, then I’d be confirming this rumor?”
Xiahou Lian chimed in from the side, “Yes, yes, you should be a little more careful with your words.”
Mrs. Zhang was stunned and said in embarrassment, “What are you turning this into? I was only talking with you, I don’t have any intentions of coercion.” She stood up and bade farewell. “It’s my fault for being too meddlesome, I saw that Lian-ge’er was young and still didn’t have a wife, and there happened to be a girl who was a good match, so I wanted to act as a matchmaker. Ah, forget it, forget it. However, there’s something I still need to say. Sooner or later, a man must marry a wife and have children. There are three ways to be unfilial, and bearing no children is the worst. Master Xie, you must consider for him.”
These women who mixed with the neighbors were used to having sharp teeth and mouths, and the words she had carelessly said were like sabers stabbing into Xie Jinglan’s heart. To be honest, at the time, it was only because Xia Houpei trusted him that she had made a ten-year agreement with him, and only then had she entrusted the house’s deed to him. However, he was holding her son hostage on his bed, and he even wanted him to die without descendants.
Mrs. Zhang turned to leave, but she saw Xie Jinglan stand up and clasp his hands. “You are right, I didn’t consider it enough. I won’t meddle in these matters anymore, Xiahou Lian is right here, you can discuss it with him directly. If he wants to leave, I certainly won’t stop him.” After saying this, he left, leaving Xiahou Lian alone and stunned in the hall.
He was definitely furious, so he’d have to appease him later. Xiahou Lian had a splitting headache.
Who would’ve thought that the situation would turn around, and that the iron-hearted Master Xie would relent. Mrs. Zhang smiled as she looked at Xiahou Lian. “Lian-ge’er, you should thank me properly.”
Fuck your thanks.
Xiahou Lian criticized her inwardly, but his expression was still polite, and he clasped his hands properly. “The rumors in the streets aren’t baseless, so it’s okay to say that I’m the young master of Master Xie. He and I are indeed different from others, although it’s me who asked to be his lover, and he only grudgingly puts up with it. And one more thing, you can see that I don’t have facial hair. I didn’t shave it; rather, I’m also a eunuch, so in the future don’t come to my home and propose a marriage again. Please go back.”
Xiahou Lian waved for a servant to escort Mrs. Zhang out and hastily went to chase after Xie Jinglan. Mrs. Zhang was dumbfounded and only after she confusedly left the manor did she finally react.
How can two eunuchs… be together? Mrs. Zhang was puzzled and left, turning to look back with every step.
Xie Jinglan was sitting in Wangqing Pavilion gazing at the rain, thousands of white threads hanging down from the tiles of the eaves. Yanbo Pond seemed to be boiling, ripples rising and falling one after another, spreading out in circles. People’s voices were muffled by the sounds of the rain, so one could only hear the rain that filled the world, the torrent that filled the world.
Xiahou Lian sat down next to him. Xie Jinglan didn’t look back and merely said, “If you say that, aren’t you afraid that people are going to make more things up about you?”
“They’re already making things up, adding some more is nothing,” said Xiahou Lian.
The corners of Xie Jinglan’s mouth pressed down. “Actually, what she said makes sense, men cannot not have descendants. I still have the identity of a eunuch so I can’t marry a wife, but you don’t have a reason to accompany me in dying without descendants.”
Xiahou Lian wrapped an arm around his neck. “Young Master, I forgot to tell you, when I was still asleep my mother appeared in my dream, guess what she said.”
“Stop keeping me in suspense.” Xie Jinglan elbowed his waist.
Xiahou Lian dodged and smiled. “My mother said, ‘Son, I don’t count on you having descendants. Marrying the young master is your good fortune, so you have to treat him well.’”
Upon hearing this he knew he was lying. Xie Jinglan humphed coldly and turned his head away, yet the corners of his mouth hooked up.
Xiahou Lian said, “She also said, ‘However, if your wife doesn’t listen, then you should hit him if he deserves it, you can’t be soft-hearted.’ Young Master, see, I’ve never hit you before, so aren’t I really good?”
“Get lost.” Xie Jinglan narrowed his eyes at him.
The water flowing on the eaves rustled, and there were patters where the bluestone bricks were struck. There was a moist and sweet taste in the air, and Xie Jinglan turned his head to look at him. “Have you really decided? Being with me in this life, never having children in this lifetime.”
Xiahou Lian gazed into his eyes. “My heart is the same as your heart, Young Master.” He opened Xie Jinglan’s palm and clenched his hand lightly into a fist, placing it into his palm. “Xiahou Lian is yours for a lifetime.”
Xie Jinglan held his fist, and it seemed like Xiahou Lian was really in his palm, heavy and full.
“Let’s cross the border and find your brother, A-Lian. No one knows us there, and the social customs are more civilized than here. The political situation is always changing, so we’ll also be safer if we get out. If you miss your homeland, we can wait for the situation to change, and then we’ll return.”
“Okay.” Xiahou Lian smiled.
Xie Jinglan slowly neared him and placed his hand against the column, locking Xiahou Lian into the curve of his arm.
There were thousands of curtains of rain, and the world effervesced amid the pattering sounds of the rain. They sat under the eaves and kissed. Gazing across the curtains of rain, the two men who were once covered in frost and snow seemed to freeze like that in the depths of time.
Translator’s Note: Sorry it took me so long to release the extras, but I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading ~Vivian