Chapter 19: Official Song, a Rogue
Xiaoqi returned to the room fuming. With one pull, she lifted up the leg of her trouser to expose her entire calf, then lifted her leg to stamp onto the high stool. However, the stool was too high. Xiaoqi’s foot reached empty air and she had to move her leg to raise it higher. She waited until she could stand steadily before giving a humph and slapping the table. “Humph, great! Official Song, to actually incite bad people to snatch my, Qian Xiaoqi’s hairpins!”
好你个宋知县- “great” this is a really hard phrase to translate. The closest to literal and straightforward way to translate it is when you tell someone “yeah, you’re really awesome” in a sarcastic way but there are other connotations like ‘alright, since you’ve done this watch how I’m going to get revenge’.
“Woof woof!” Ha Pi, who had been locked outside the door for an entire night, happily entered and echoed his agreement.
The corners of Xiaoqi’s lips pulled downwards as she continued to feel sorry for herself. With a bitter expression, she said, “Devoid of conscience, law breaker criminal, black-official-greedy-official-licentious-official, pervert-official-stinky-official-petty-official, rotten-official-lousy-official-dumb-official! As an official, to not stand up for the commoners, you should just go home and sell sweet potatoes instead! Humph! Infuriating to death!”
Lol, she starts with idioms like “devoid of conscience” which means heartless, “law breaker criminal” which is evildoer then starts cursing him with all the names that people call corrupt officials all in one breath. Chinese cursing requires advanced mastery of language.
Xiaoqi had not been able to find the words to appropriately convey her wrath at first. She stood with one hand pointed forward for half the day, copying the storytelling mister, before she suddenly felt that she understood the deficiencies. Then, she finally conveyed her unbounded aggravation one after another in one stroke.
Lu Liu, who was walking in carrying swallow nest soup, was startled by this chained outburst and slipped, almost dropping the tray. Lu Liu saw Xiaoqi facing the side gnashing her teeth with her entire face full of anger and asked after a giving brief smile, “Why did Miss wake up so early this time? Have you slept to satisfaction? You had better sleep a while longer, if you’re not completely awake your head will still feel dizzy!”
Exactly! Xiaoqi felt herself starting to get dizzy and weakly put down her leg before sitting down next to the table. She nudged Ha Pi who was crouched at the side with her foot and said with a pout, “Lu Liu, wuuuwuuu, my babies, my hairpins, my little darlings. Gone la, wuuwuuu, gone!”
“Ah? What’s gone?”
“Hairpins!” Xiaoqi pointed at her own messy, luxuriant hair.
Lu Liu sucked in a breath and hurriedly opened the corner of the chest and rummaged through it. Then she asked worriedly, “How is it gone? Was there a thief? Ah, we have to hurry and report it to the government! Every single one is extremely valuable!”
Xiaoqi gave a few fake bawls, then said angrily, “Wen Ruoshui, Wen Ruoshui she, she-she-she carried all of them away!”
“Huh?” Lu Liu froze shocked, then rapidly pressed Xiaoqi, “Why? Did she go through Miss’s chest?”
“Wuuwuuu, I let her choose a couple she liked to take as souvenirs and she just, like this,” – Xiaoqi gestured sweeping everything towards her with both hands – “and just like that carried it all off.”
Lu Liu sighed. “Don’t be angry anymore, Miss didn’t specify how many either. If she liked every single one, of course she would carry them all off!”
“But what’s even more hateful is, Official Song that guy…mMph!” Xiaoqi had only angrily spoken halfway when her mouth was covered by Lu Liu.
Ha Pi got up. Seeing that Lu Liu and Xiaoqi’s eyes were full of disagreement, he didn’t know whether to help Xiaoqi or to help Lu Liu.
“Miss cannot call guye this way, if guye heard he’ll be angry. When Lu Liu hears, Lu Liu will also be angry.”
Xiaoqi calls SLZ ‘that guy’ in a derogatory way. It’s like calling your mom ‘that woman’.
Xiaoqi rubbed her mouth which had been covered by Lu Liu with all her strength and gave a few coughs. “He let Wen Ruoshui take all of my treasures, and, and even drove me back!”
Lu Liu looked at Xiaoqi, then shook her head. “Going out like this is seriously not proper. In the past, in the fu, our courtyard was filled with maids and old women so Miss could freely run around with bared legs. But here, guye has menservants and uncles, and you might even encounter guests so it’s truly not proper.”
Xiaoqi opened her eyes wide to glower at Lu Liu, then angrily scratched her neck. “Your elbow is turning outwards!”
Elbows are supposed to turn inwards, turning outwards is unnatural. The meaning is that Lu Liu is helping others rather than being on Xiao Qi’s side.
“Shush, Lu Liu is working for Miss’s best interests.” Lu Liu lifted up the swallow nest soup and carried it over. She said softly, “Miss should hurry and drink, I’ve added Miss’s favorite Chinese white olives.”
Xiaoqi shot a glance over. After giving a humph, she reached out and her ferociously clenched fists slowly released. She clenched her teeth as she shouted, “Official Song. You will pay a disastrous price for bullying this Qian Xiaoqi!”
Lu Liu rolled her eyes as she placed the porcelain bowl into Xiaoqi’s hands. Xiaoqi scooped up a spoonful and swallowed it before giving a humph. “I’ll eat you, Send Two Tables, out of house and home!”
“send two tables” probably means to send two tables of food. It’s a play on Song Liang Zhuo’s name because the words are homophones of SLZ’s name.
Lu Liu wrinkled her nose and agreed. “Indeed disastrous. Miss, work hard!”
Xiaoqi shot a glare at Lu Liu, then gulped down the swallow nest soup. Afterward, she ran back to the chest to closely examine it again as she repeatedly mumbled, ‘don’t think about it, don’t think about. Wen Ruoshui will eat until she’s fat and become an old single lady ah. An old single lady’. Xiaoqi waited until her heart didn’t ache with pain anymore before getting up and allowing Lu Liu to help her freshen up.
Xiaoqi wore a white gauze hat and sat next to the water tank to fish. She thought through the events that had occurred this morning and came to two conclusions. One, Xiaoqi was way too kindhearted, in the first place she shouldn’t have carried the things out. Two, Xiaoqi’s things were too good, causing people to become greedy with one look.
With a plop, the tank rippled with splashes. Xiaoqi leaned over the water think. As she looked at the little shrimp that was more energetic than the other koi, she wiggled her forefinger and said, “You can’t just bully the bigger ones just because you’re smaller, you understand? Little shrimp has to be good and live in harmony with your neighbors.”
Xiaoqi blew a bubble towards her own reflection, then frowned. “Little shrimp, say, why do I have to be scared of Official Song? Why do I have to be scared of his ‘uh-huh’? As soon as his tone rises, my back legs start to feel weak.”
Xiaoqi smacked her lips, then shook her head. “Simply, it’s simply no way to live anymore. It’s not like I owe him anything, it’s him that owes things!”
Xiaoqi blew bubbles towards the little shrimp for a while, then slapped her forehead in sudden realization. “Ah, the debtor is grandpa! No wonder!”
From the saying “The debtor is the grandpa, the creditor is the grandson”. It’s from a play and basically implying that even though he owes you stuff, you can’t really force him to pay up because of your relation to him.
Ha Pi saw that Xiaoqi would rather talk to a broken tank than hug him so he gave two whines before running to the kitchen. Ha Pi was gaining more and more potential in becoming a wild dog. He would bore into every nook and cranny available in the courtyard, and the place he slept also changed to a lot of different places. However, Ha Pi was still very happy; he had plenty of things to play with and even the kitchen staff like petting him and giving him meat to eat. Ha Pi suddenly felt that it was better not to wear pants and ran around naked than to wear pants. Thus, more and more people that liked him. At the start, when he was nice and clean, no one in the courtyard besides Xiaoqi and Lu Liu was willing to touch him.
Ha Pi found a way to integrate into the masses so he didn’t stick to Xiaoqi as much anymore. Xiaoqi worried about a lot of things and didn’t remember to give him a bath every day either. As long as she knew that he was eating well and sleeping well it was fine. Occasionally her motherly nature would flare up and she would give him a bubble bath, then stroke him for half a day.
Although Xiaoqi thought it through, she still aggressively waited for Song Liangzhuo to return in order to launch a crusade. This mighty, imposing manner of Xiaoqi’s was maintained continuously until the sun set. She supported her waist up straight until it even started aching, yet she still didn’t see Song Liangzhuo’s shadow.
Xiaoqi ate supper unhappily, then Lu Liu helped her tidy up. Lu Liu waited for Xiaoqi to climb into bed before leaving the light and heading to the partitioned-off area.
Perhaps because she slept well last night and also woke up late, Xiaoqi couldn’t quite fall asleep as she sat at the head of the bed. The sound of the night watchman sounding the night watches came from the streets. Xiaoqi stretched her waist and got off the bed. She headed to the outer room and sat on the small couch that Song Liangzhuo slept on as she stared at the door.
“The first night watch period has already past. Song Liangzhuo, did you elope with Ruoshui jiejie?” Xiaoqi blinked her eyes and her heart feeling a bit stifled.
“first night watch period” is 19:00-21:00
“It’s just that you can’t afford to pay me back for my hairpins, you don’t need to leave. And there’s also no one to look for you, what if you get ‘kacha’ed?”
“Kacha” is the sound of the knife hitting the cutting board or something snapping.
“Aaaah pei, stinky mouth, stinky mouth!” Xiaoqi lightly slapped her own mouth, then muttered, “You better not die, I’m still waiting for you to stamp my divorce papers!”
“pei” is the sound of spitting. Chinese superstition says you shouldn’t speak of unlucky things out loud. If you wonder what if he dies, is the same as cursing him to die, even if the intention is not the same.
Xiaoqi took a cushion, then went to open the door. Sitting down next to the door frame, she mumbled to herself, “If you still don’t come back then I’m going home. If you really did elope with someone I’ll just go to the government myself to find a stamp.”
As Xiaoqi stared at the pitch-black courtyard, for some reason her heart felt a bit empty. Really not a good prospect, Xiaoqi wrinkled her nose. Does that mean that she has to be constantly suppressed by him to feel at ease? That’s really a Miss in body but a servant girl at heart!
There were quite a lot of mosquitoes at the door. Xiaoqi went inside to grab the palm fan. She knitted her brows as she leaned against the door and swayed the fan left and right to swat the mosquitoes.
When Song Liangzhuo’s two muddy legs entered, he immediately saw the figure of someone sitting and waving a fan.
两脚泥 “two muddy legs” because of the particular way the author words it, it seems to be subtly pointing to the saying of 出水才见两脚泥 “only after you exit the water do you see that the two legs are muddy” which means that only after certain circumstances can you see the previously hidden truth. QXQ and SLZ’s feelings, maybe? XD
Song Liangzhuo’s lips quirked up. He took the lantern from the manservant and gestured for him to leave. Xiaoqi saw the lantern at the courtyard entrance and her heart suddenly felt relieved. It was just that she was seriously too lazy to move so she just continued to sit askew like that at the door and work on swatting mosquitoes.
Song Liangzhuo’s face was full of weariness, but that trace of a smile at the corner of his mouth revealed his good mood. Song Liangzhuo walked to the door then extinguished the lantern and placed it near the entrance. He sat down next to Xiaoqi and raised his head to look at the night sky.
Xiaoqi shot a glance at his trouser leg which seems extremely black in the dim light of the night and frowned, “Why did your white clothes become black?”
“Went to Concave Village.”
Seems to be a real place in what is now Hong Kong.
What a strange name! Xiaoqi curled her lips.
Song Liangzhuo turned to glance at Xiaoqi, then he sighed. “The water level is rising. As expected it’s happening ahead of schedule.”
“You went to dam the water?”
“That’s not something I can dam on my own, but,” Song Liangzhuo looked at Xiaoqi as he said softly, “in the future, I’m afraid I won’t have time to bring you out to play. If you’re extremely bored than just go home to stay there for a while. Don’t go out on the streets by yourself again.”
Smiling tiger, big tailed wolf! I haven’t seen you take me out to play before either! Xiaoqi humphed in her heart. Feeling uncomfortable, she got up and jumped back into the house.
“Smiling tiger” refers to a man with a big smile and evil intentions. Not sure what “big tailed wolf” means because one of the characters the author writes is a homophone of the character in the actual saying. But the author has made mistakes before, so… according to baike, it’s a saying to mock someone that pretends to know what they’re talking about and acts generous when they are really clueless.
Song Liangzhuo directly threw his shoes to the door and walked in barefoot. Lu Liu came over just in time from the partitioned-off area and helped bring water for Song Liangzhuo to wash his face. Afterwards, she carried hot water in.
Song Liangzhuo had Lu Liu withdraw and sat on the small couch as he washed his legs before changing into clean clothes. Seeing the dramatic increase of bugs around the candle on the table, he thought for a while, then headed into the inner room.
Xiaoqi had already laid down facing the wall. Song Liangzhuo stood in front of the bed for a moment, then lifted the mosquito net and sat inside.
“What are you doing?” Xiaoqi hugged her chest and sat up.
Song Liangzhuo glanced over. Leaning against the outer side, he laid down and reached out to tuck the mosquito net in again.
“I’m asking you something!” Xiaoqi’s leg moved with flying speed and swept towards Song Liangzhuo.
Song Liangzhuo pressed his eyes, exhausted, and knitted his brows. “You’ve let in so many mosquitoes, how else can I sleep?”
“I don’t care!” Xiaoqi used her leg to push Song Liangzhuo towards the outside and said angrily, “Why do you insist on fighting with me? Insisting even on snatching a lousy bed!?”
Song Liangzhuo’s entire body ached. For the latter half of this day he had helped carry sandbags and was tired to the point that his shoulders, even now, were twitching. Seeing Xiaoqi that didn’t empathize at all, he moodily seized Xiaoqi into his arms and said in a deep voice, “Stop being noisy, what time do you think it is!?”
Xiaoqi gave a shriek. All Song Liangzhuo did was knitted his brows yet she became a bit dazed. Xiaoqi lifted her hand to push him but saw his knitted brows and the fatigue on his face. The hand that pushed his chest tried several times but didn’t dare to use strength.
Xiaoqi told herself, we don’t have the same type of view as he, we’re the gentle and respectable Qian Xiaoqi. Xiaoqi also told herself, it’s not that I don’t want to push, I’m just afraid that Official Song will hit me in a fit of anger again tomorrow morning. Xiaoqi even told herself, everyone said Official Song is Tongxu county’s good official, so just let him this time. If I pushed him down off the bed and he got injured, what will I do? Won’t I be stomped flat by the common citizens of Tongxu county!?
Xiaoqi thought and thought, and thought to to the point that her own eyelids had started fighting yet she still couldn’t find a reason to push Song Liangzhuo down in time. Xiaoqi gave a yawn, then just like that, half lying on her stomach, raised her hand to pat Song Liangzhuo’s face as she muttered incomprehensibly, “I’m not taking advantage of you, en, and…book ne!”
When a guy takes advantage of a girl… and a girl taking advantage of a guy… That’s what she’s referring to. Chinese divorce papers are directly translated to “parting book” so that probably what she’s trying to say.
The corners of Song Liangzhuo’s mouth hooked. Then he pulled up the bedsheet to cover both of them and also went to sleep.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Edited by Sonia
I feel bad for SLZ~ He only slapped her once. He didn’t mean to make her hit the table, he doesn’t even know she lost her memories because QXQ never seriously tried to tell him… They both have communication issues. He thinks she did something to WRS because Xiaoqi lost her memories and doesn’t know what happened, he thinks case is over since it’s never brought up, and Ruoshui probably doesn’t even remember it anymore. But Xiaoqi never tries to argue her innocence, she’s like ‘humph, if you don’t believe me, I don’t care. Who needs you to believe me!?’ while Song Liangzhuo’s personality is like, if it’s not mentioned, it’s probably not an issue… But he does do his best to be nice to Xiaoqi, but Xiaoqi keeps twisting all his actions to him being mean… I guess that’s the funny part of the story though. Oh! But he doesn’t try to stop Ruoshui from taking her hairpins… That settles it, he’s treacherous! A rogue! Unforgivable! If WRS didn’t feel guilty and bring them back, QXQ would have lost so much money, like the entire marriage was people from Song Liangzhuo’s side taking money from QXQ. Not that QXQ seems to mind giving out the money like that, but I mind! Aaaah, and they end up together… He better pay her back some way shape or form!
Anyways, that’s it for my rant. Happy Thanksgiving! XD