TL’ed by snowflake_obsidian
Edited by Xia
 静室; sacred area for ritual petitions which seems to be Daoist.
Ch 19 – You Please Go to Sleep a Bit Early
Su Tang deeply looked at Ru Yi. This woman is indeed difficult to deal with, an expert at seizing opportunities in dealing with opponents. However, ah, she doesn’t yet understand “the most pressing priority right now.” When all is said and done, what’s the meaning of this!
Su Tang coldly smiled. “Everyone is extremely worried now and young lady Ru Yi is still in a leisurely mood to sow dissension!”
Don’t mistakenly think that these words of yours can be veiled from other people, milking things for all they’re worth. You want to camouflage criticism then I’ll stubbornly deal with you out in the open!
“You!” Ru Yi didn’t expect Su Tang would counterattack and accomplish a lot with little effort by clever maneuvering. The criticism was taken and turned around. Ru Yi received but couldn’t dodged. She glanced sideways at lao taitai and Song Shi An. The former merely slightly wrinkled her eyebrows while the latter already was extremely impatient. Ru Yi ‘s heart already knew she had failed and obliged to sound the retreat halting the battle. Her eyelids hung down, and neither cold nor warm said, “Ru Yi doesn’t dare. Furen is overly sensitive.”
Su Tang didn’t feel like getting entangled with her at this critical juncture. Xuan Zi whereabouts was extremely important now, all other things were not worth mentioning. She turned around to look at Song Shi An, but saw him directly looking at her, his eyes profound. She was unable to distinguish his mood. The two pairs of eyes were face to face for a split second, then he shifted his line of sight.
The people looking for the missing person came and went quite a few times. However, all of them were unable to locate Xuan Zi’s whereabouts. Song Shi An’s facial expression became more and more unsightly, his clasped fists tightened even more. Previously, the manor had no one to take charge so he stayed behind. This moment his worried heart was again difficult to restrain. He faced lao taitai saying, “Grandson wants to go out to look for him. I ask grandmother to take charge here!”
Saying this he turned around and left.
Right at this moment, a young male servant whose entire face wore a happy expression ran in and yelled, “Xiao shao ye has been found! Xiao shao ye has been found!”
Lao taitai heard what was said. Rejoicing, she stood up from the chair. Su Tang almost cried tears of happiness. The expressions of Xi Yuan’s four beauties were all different, except for the faint joy on Ru Hua’s face, all of the other three were more or less somewhat disappointed.
Xuan Zi was ushered in by an elderly maid servant. Perhaps he was told that the manor was frantically searching for him as his small face carried agitation. Entering the room, he saw the hall which was full of people assembled together. He caught sight of Fu Rong kneeling on the side along with every servant of Chang Xin house. His eyes were evasive and uneasy.
Timidly walking to the front of Song Shi An, Xuan Zi pulled and pulled at his clothes. Lifting his small face, his low voice said, “Daddy, I’ve returned.”
“Where did you go?” Song Shi An squatted down, his face again unable to hold a serious expression. He asked, merely deeply concerned, resembling an extremely loving father.
At lightning speed, Xuan Zi glanced at Su Tang, who was standing behind Song Shi An, and hung down his head without saying anything.
Lao taitai asked that old maid servant, “Where did you find him?”
The elderly female servant answered, “That entrance at the northwest corner which earlier was put aside as useless. Nubi searched over there and unexpectedly caught sight of the door opening. Startled, I looked once more to see xiao shao ye entering, squeezing in.
Lao taitai looked toward Xuan Zi, her eye expression immediately sharp-edged. “Where did you run off to?”
Xuan Zi threw a ‘come to my rescue’ glance toward Song Shi An. However, as lao taitai inquired, Song Shi An was obviously worried. And not only did he not protect the calf, but on the contrary asked in a stern voice, “Is this true?”
Xuan Zi straight away kneeled down.
Su Tang stood on the side with the jitters. That glance of Xuan Zi’s just now, discovered at the useless secondary door, along with noon time, and his odd eye expression ….did he follow her out?
Song Shi An continued to inquire, “Why did you run there? If you wanted to go out then why not bring someone along!”
Xuan Zi raised his head and again looked at Su Tang, clear sparkling black eyes, waves of unexplained feeling. Su Tang put a finger on the meaning of his gaze which nevertheless confirmed the doubt in her mind… Xuan Zi indeed followed her out!
Now in that case, what will he say? Expose the truth and mention the matter of her sneaking out?
Su Tang knit her eyebrows, her mind turned over and over. Xuan Zi was silent for a long time and finally opened his mouth. “Answering great-grandmother and daddy, Xuan Zi slept a while and felt bored. Seeing Fu Rong doze off, I just ran out to play. I walked and walked and arrived there at that small door. Xuan Zi didn’t know what was outside the small door, wanted to only have some fun for a while, opened the door and went out. Xuan Zi knows his mistake, asks great-grandmother and daddy to punish me.”
The young and tender voice echoed inside the still room. Xuan Zi lowered his head, and didn’t pay attention to the people inside the room who were blankly looking at each other in dismay.
Seeing that Xuan Zi acknowledged his mistake, Song Shi An’s complexion revived. He just now wanted to say something but lao taitai interrupted.
Lao taitai eyes revealed dignity. She coldly said, “When all’s said and done, juvenile. Doesn’t understand matters! Do you know because of your “wanted to have some fun for a while” how many people were alarmed! If you had an unexpected accident, then how would your father and mother bear it!”
Xuan Zi was extremely afraid of lao taitai. Listening to her chide him, his mouth sank. He wanted to cry but was still choked with emotion. Hoarsely he said, “Xuan Zi knows his mistake and begs great-grandmother to not be angry.”
Lao taitai closed her eyes, took a deep breathe, and slowly spoke again, “You are young, but even so, my Song family is unable to tolerate your naivete. You must be responsible for your error today! Chang Xin court, from top to bottom forfeits one months’ salary. You must remember, you implicated them so they suffer! As well, you go to the sacred area  face the wall and think about your mistakes! This evening you will not eat!”
Xuan Zi glimpsed his servants who were kneeling on the side, restrained tears finally came out.
Watching, Song Shi An felt exceedingly sorry for Xuan Zi and pleaded for leniency. “Grandmother, Xuan Zi’s body is still growing, facing the wall and considering his mistakes is enough.”
Lao taitai paid no heed. “You,, when young in the same way also had brief punishments without a meal, and also grew up this big!”
Su Tang couldn’t help herself, kneeled down and said, “Deal with my carelessness in this matter as well. Granddaughter-in-law wishes to take the punishment in place of Xuan Zi.”
Lao taitai opened her eyes and said as she watched Su Tang go down, “You are a newly married wife who should not receive censure nor punishment within the 3-day period, and even more this matter is also not your fault. We’ll talk about it later, you still have to return home tomorrow.”
Su Tang immediately said, “Then punish me after I return home!”
Lao taitai didn’t reply to her, looked at Xuan Zi and asked “What do you say? Do you want your mother to take your punishment?”
Xuan Zi straightened his body. Hanging his head, he staunchly said, “Xuan Zi is ready and willing to receive punishment!”
After the batch of people disbursed, Lao taitai stopped Song Shi An and Su Tang.
Lao taitai delicately asked, “I heard that you slept in the study last night?”
Song Shi An’s scalp became taunt. He shot a glance at Su Tang and in a low voice replied, “Grandson has many matters to attend to and was fully occupied deep into the night. I was afraid to disturb her slumber, so the study became my bedroom.”
Su Tang blushed in shame. She never expected that cold noodles would when speaking a falsehood, not bat an eyelid nor that his heart wouldn’t palpitate.
Lao taitai smiled. “Really, then this evening will you unknowingly be even more busy deep into the night?”
“Hmm.” Song Shi An didn’t even dare raise his head. He merely felt the weight of a big mountain bearing down. Grandmother seemed kind and gentle but in reality, had a lot of power and influence. All his life he dreaded this lao taitai the most.
“Then when can grandma enter the palace to pay respects to the dowager empress. Although affairs of state are significant, my old Song family ancestral sacrifices are also important. I must still ask the emperor for a favor, to allow you several days leave of absence.” Lao taitai leisurely spoke.
Song Shi An heard the word “emperor” which made his head ache more. Fundamentally, the emperor uses official duty as a pretext, merely an excuse that’s all. In the event Lao taitai tells him, the young emperor may yet want to maneuver on some matter, expose a falsehood which shouldn’t be mentioned, and perhaps result in still forcing him to take leave. He was recalled from the border area when Yan country was engaged in peace talks. In order to not let him meddle in that, the young emperor wholeheartedly made him ask for leave, took advantage to reorganize military affairs, and continued to detain Song Shi An in the royal court….
All sorts of pros and cons passed through his mind. Song Shi An’s eyes stared in askance at the woman standing on the side. He finally replied, “The military matters are almost all handled. The few remaining were handed over to another person. Tonight, grandson will go to bed a bit earlier…”
The more the voice spoke the more it drifted owing to Song Shi An seeing the eyes of the woman on the side open larger, finally assuming the state of a wide open “stare”.
Lao taitai noticed Su Tang’s reaction and with a congenial smile on her face said, “What’s inappropriate about that?“
Su Tang hastily regained her line of sight and looked towards lao taitai. She pulled the corners of her mouth, tender and soft as water said, “Certainly it’s not improper. Of course, I’m just concerned about xianggong, the effects on his body with being busy with the affairs of the nation….”
The corners of Song Shi An’s mouth twitched. Concerned? Xianggong? His eyes swept like a brush towards Su Tang but merely saw her soft eyes now looking at him, emitting tenderness and love. That expression. That smile. Life gave birth to a hypocritical smile. Life gave birth to a smile with murderous intent behind it.
An indescribable shiver hit Song Shi An….
By dinner time, Song Shi An had received orders. It was an old adage to not speak so he earnestly ate his meal. In the afternoon, Su Tang had eaten a little and was not too hungry at the moment. She had a matter on her heart. Therefore, she merely pushed aside the rice and stared at that person’s face. She opened her eyes wide and glared, a fire ignited.
At the outset Song Shi An could behave with perfect composure, but was no match for Su Tang’s tossing and turning grilling flames of fury. Consequently, he put down the bowl and chopsticks. Gazing at her, he coldly said, “If you can’t eat then don’t eat.”
Su Tang grimly laughed, “Go to sleep early?”
Song Shi An’s facial expression changed. He waved back the maid. An expressionless face said, “Don’t worry, I won’t touch you.”
“You say you won’t touch, then you won’t touch? Last time you also said that you wouldn’t touch!” Each time Su Tang thought about the snout digging the earth, more oil was poured on the fire.
Song Shi An was in the wrong and fell silent.
Su Tang continued spewing fire. “Also, supposing that Xuan Zi had a mishap, what is called put me on the spot. I want to know what kind of humiliation you’d put me through!” Although Xuan Zi had his own reasons to go out by himself, she couldn’t stand that pan of disgusting cold noodles, Song Shi An’s attitude at the time!
She couldn’t figure out the reason for threatening her. What does he think she is? This is his attitude in treating his wife? Although close and distant relatives vary, nevertheless one must not wound people like this!
Su Tang’s face sunk as if water. She coldly said, “This is how you improvise in a bad situation? So, I ought to let you look after the family’s children. If you don’t do that well then pay the full consequences! Song Shi An, please remember that I am not your family servant. Furthermore, even relationships between employers and employees cannot be completely counted on!”
The expression in Song Shi An’s eye was cold as ice. This woman is too presumptuous!
Su Tang continued speaking. “You mistakenly believe that I cannot tolerate Xuan Zi, so therefore I don’t take very good care of him. When Ru Yi said those words, was your heart going thump thump? Ah, you lead troops to go to war. You ought to understand this phrase better than me, people assigned to a post cannot doubt, people who doubt are useless. You don’t completely believe me now, then I am incapable. l am not up to this heavy responsibility. Please sir find someone better qualified than me!”
Song Shi An’s eyes narrowed. Bottling up his fury, he meditated in silence for a long while. Eyes hanging down, he said, “Xuan Zi is a good kid. He’s very important to me. I was anxious for a while and rashly spoke. Please also excuse me.”
And another sentence, called a little impatience in small matters upsets great plans. To say nothing of his words are truly exaggerated. But then that day, those words of hers inflicted injuries on that plump maid servant who said that she likes her!
Su Tang had no way to know Song Shi An’s thoughts. Some responses are inferior, she merely heard his words. Although his expression was cold, he said these words which had the meaning of an apology. This was his second time showing flexibility for the sake of Xuan Zi.
Su Tang suddenly was somewhat dejected and felt uninterested now. A moment ago, that wording was so intense. She at first thought Song Shi An would flare up to a large extent, who would have expected that he turned out to have this attitude.
Doubt was churning in her heart, Su Tang pondered back and forth. Finally, she couldn’t restrain her curiosity. She put down the chopsticks and asked, “Are you very fond of Xuan Zi’s mother?”