Like Pearl and Jade
Author: Yue Xia Die Ying
Length: 98 chapters
Many people thought that the sweet-looking second miss of the Gu Family must be a gentle, kind and soft person.
Yet sometimes, the truth was in the hands of the few.
This is a story of a tyrant flower in the guise of a delicate flower and a seemingly sickly but extremely long-lived and infatuated emperor.
The infatuated emperor’s each day: spoil the tyrant flower, and take care of government affairs along the way.
In truth, this is a sweet story.
Translator summary: Sweet sweet story in the lines of To Be A Virtuous Wife and Eight Treasure Trousseau. Chronologically, Ascending, Do Not Disturb was written by the author after this novel so expect something that meld a bit of ADND and 8TT.
I hadn’t planned on posting this until after ADND was all done, but I think I (and most people) need a bit more happiness at this time in the world.
At this point in time, updates are likely once a week.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, and Adnana.
Chapter 1: Death of the Emperor
The cold moon was frosty and the entire city was silent.
It was the night curfew and no one was on the streets except the Imperial City patrols. Because the weather was not good, there was no moon or star light coming from the sky. The dark streets were only illuminated by the lanterns the patrol guards held and by the lanterns at the mansion gates of the noble and influential families.
The patrol captain exhaled a breath of cold air and looked at his fellows behind him who were pale due to the cold. He said in a low voice, “Brothers, be alert.”
Recently, the Holy One had been ill, and his emotions unstable. Many members in the palace had been punished. He did not want any trouble with the guards to occur at this time.
As he was thinking this, he saw a troop of guards in brocade robes on tall horses charging out from the direction of the imperial palace gates. This troop saw them but didn’t stop, throwing him a token before disappearing into the night.
He held the cold token, looked closer, and inhaled in shock.
Wasn’t this the token of the Holy One’s personal guard? Hurriedly leaving the palace in the middle of the night …
His expression changed. He did not dare to think about it, but his hand instinctively tightened around the blade at his waist.
“Clang!” Eleven o’clock. The bell broke the quiet of the night.
In the small eastern yard in the inner courtyard of the Ningping Count Residence, the servant girls on night duty were woken up by the bell. They had no time to put up their hair as they put on their outer robes and hurriedly walked into the inner chamber.
“Miss.” Bao Lu was the first to enter the room. Seeing movement inside the silk veil, she almost ran to the bed, and said gently, “Miss is awake?”
The servant girls coming in behind Bao Lu started to light up lamps and put away brightly-colored items in the room. Their movements were quick and no sense of panic came through.
“Bao Lu, what happened?” Under an embroidered brocade blanket, a young girl of ten years slowly sat up. She heard the echoes from the bell and some bewilderment appeared on her face.
Bao Lu saw this and knew that Miss had guessed something had happened. She turned to take the dress that Mu Xiang handed over to change Miss’ clothing. Out of worry the night was too cold, she also added a mantle.
Soon, servant girls came over with heated shoes and socks. Because she was so young, the servant girl Qiu Luo put her hair up in a simple knot with two silver hair decorations and nothing else.
Gu Ru Jiu sat on a stool covered with brocade and allowed the senior servant girls to take care of her attire. It was a pity for the complete set of hair decorations that Mother had ordered for her a few days ago. She would not be able to use them in the next year.
A knell at this time, and so many knells in a row. Other than the death of the emperor, who else qualified for such ceremony?
When she prepared to go to the main room with a hand stove in hand to see her mother, the brightly-colored items in her small courtyard had mostly been put away. She looked regretfully at the position where red lanterns had hung. While there was no time to put up lanterns of another color, the red lanterns had been taken down so it looked empty.
When she saw this, she thought of her elder sister that had gotten married a few days ago. She pursed her lips and showed two faint dimples.
The senior servant girls saw this, and knew that Miss hadn’t wanted Eldest Miss to marry. However, as servant girls, they could not persuade her.
Lady had two sons and two daughters, The two young masters and Eldest Miss were all much older than Miss, so they all favored their younger sister greatly. It was natural for Miss to not bear for Eldest Miss to get married.
The small eastern courtyard was not far from the main yard. Gu Ru Jiu did not have to walk for long before she reached the main yard.
Liu shi was telling servants how to pack up the residence. Seeing her daughter come in, she said, “Jiu Jiu, why are you here?” Then she had a servant make tea. She went to touch Gu Ru Jiu’s hand to see if she was too cold.
When she became pregnant with this daughter, she was in her early thirties. When her daughter was born, her features had been better-looking than the previous three children’s, but she had been thin and small. She had always worried that this child would not live, so she and the father had given her the name “Jiu Jiu” in the hopes she could live long and peacefully.
Ten years had passed, and the young infant had grown up adorable without any sign of her past fragility and thinness.
“Mother, Eldest Sister-in-law, Second Sister-in-law”. Gu Ru Jiu bowed to the three people in the room and said with a faint smile, “Mother, you do not have to worry. I came over wearing a lot so I did not get cold.”
Eldest Sister-in-law Chen shi and Second Sister-in-law Hu shi stood up and returned half a bow. Then they came forward and sat beside Gu Ru Jiu. They started to touch her clothing and confirmed she spoke the truth before they comforted their mother-in-law, saying that their younger sister-in-law was worried for everyone. Their words and actions revealed their affection.
Yang shi saw the sisters-in-law like this and said helplessly, “Never mind, let her stay here. In any case, no one can go to sleep right now.”
Then she continued to arrange the affairs of the residence, and occasionally asked for opinions from her daughters-in-law. She was busy but not panicked.
Gu Ru Jiu held her tea and watched the three women manage the entire count residence in an orderly and tidy manner. She couldn’t help but think, this was the ability of a woman from an aristocratic family. At any time, they would display their bearing and presence.
In less than two hours, all that should be instructed was already arranged. Yang shi said to her daughter and daughters-in-law, “I wonder which prince residence the new emperor will come from.”
The previous emperor had no sons, so after his death, the new emperor could only be adopted from the children of his two brothers. Thinking of how the emperor, wanting to have his own child, had delayed adopting one of his nephews, grown obsessed with concocting immortality pills and cultivating, and believed the nonsense of those taoists, Yang shi felt the previous emperor was not reliable.
Chen shi and Hu shi were also from aristocratic families and heard things about matters of governance. So Yang shi was not the only one curious about this matter.
While the previous emperor had passed away, the empress Zhou shi was still alive. So the selection of the new emperor would most likely be up to the empress.
Speaking of this empress Zhou shi, she had some relation to the Ningping Count Residence. In terms of relationship, the old madam of the residence and the mother of the empress had been blood sisters. So if they were talking in private in this generation, they could call the empress Paternal Aunt.
While the old madam had passed away several years ago, the blood connection still existed. Otherwise, Father-in-law and their two husbands wouldn’t have hurriedly gone into the palace immediately. Weren’t they just worried that the empress would be bullied after the death of the emperor?
When one mentioned the empress Zhou shi, they couldn’t help but mention her ferocious mother. Before Zhou shi entered the palace, she had already married once. However, that husband had not been sincere, and privately had concubines and mistresses. This grandaunt of theirs, after learning the news, had taken people along to smash the gates of that family. She had made the other come to the home to apologize, managed to take back Zhou shi‘s dowry and had the two divorce.
Not long after Zhou shi‘s divorse, when she had been horse-riding and admiring flowers with other women in the capital, an able person said that she was “a phoenix flying through the nine heavens, and indescribably noble.”
So not even two months after this event, Zhou shi was summoned into the imperial palace by the emperor. At the start, she was titled a zhao yi. In less than two years, she gave birth to twins, a son and a daughter. The emperor titled her empress in his happiness. It was no wonder the emperor had been so rash. Because of all his women, other than Zhou shi, no other woman had ever had any news.
But the good did not last for long. The twins passed away prematurely one after another. At most, everyone would lament, the previous emperor was fated to have no children.
Everyone had complicated emotions about having had an emperor like this. Fortunately, while this emperor had been slightly muddle-headed on matters of governance, and dissolute in his private life, he hadn’t been a ruthless person. So the prestigious families of the capital did not make any waves or conspiracies. They maintained a peaceful and harmonious Feng Dynasty.
“But now… what if there is disorder?” Hu shi frowned. She showed no panic at discussing the imperial house.
Gu Ru Jiu, who was watching from the side, knew that while the aristocratic families were usually respectful of the imperial family, they were not reverent. They were ruthless in gossiping behind closed doors.
In reality, second- and third-tier aristocratic families like theirs were not bad. First-tier aristocratic families like the Sima and Li families could not make any mistakes in their elegant actions and speech. They had to be polite and friendly to others, but the pride engraved in their bones would be felt by people even if it wasn’t on display. Ordinary members of the imperial family would be polite in front of them, with no airs of the imperial family.
Gu Ru Jiu had interacted with the Sima and Li families. In conclusion, these families were the textbook of etiquette of the Feng Dynasty. People respected and feared them. Her relationship with the misses of the two families was only so-so, so she could not state any opinions except that the misses of the two families were not easy to be close to.
Seeing the three women in the room were slightly worried, Gu Ru Jiu couldn’t help but comfort, “The two brothers of the previous emperor… I think they cannot cause disorder even if they want to.”
The three women turned to look in unison at Gu Ru Jiu. They hadn’t expected Gu Ru Jiu to speak.
Being stared at by three bright gazes, Gu Ru Jiu coughed and said, “Prince Cheng’s personality is usually… soft. His health has not been good recently and his lands are not very wealthy. Even if he wants to, he has no power.”
“You are correct.” Yang shi nodded. Her daughter saying Prince Cheng was soft was a polite way of speaking. In reality, this Prince Cheng was weak and useless. After he had been titled a prince and went to his lands, he had done nothing. If this one had the daring to rebel and fight for the throne, this would be an odd event in the Feng Dynasty.
“Prince Rui is crippled, and even less likely.” Gu Ru Jiu blinked and smiled adorably. “Also, Father and my brothers are helping Aunt in the capital. How can disorder occur?”
Fortunately, while the emperor was muddle-headed, he was not so bad he was brainless. A few months ago, he had received the sons of the two princes in the capital. While the two princes did not have many sons, they still managed to get five between the two of them. They were much better than the emperor in this respect.
“You are right. We are panicking in concern.” Yang shi saw her daughter’s smile and the worry on her mind disappeared. “No matter which son becomes the new emperor, it will not have much to do with us.”
An hour later, someone came to report the new emperor had been welcomed into the imperial palace by the emperor’s personal guard.
The one who entered the palace was the eldest son of Prince Cheng
“Eldest son of Prince Cheng…” Yang shi sighed. This son had been born to the first wife of Prince Cheng but this princess-consort had passed away long ago. The other two sons and three daughters of Prince Cheng came from his second wife and his concubines.
She seemed to understand why the empress chose this child.
“The new emperor… is relatively young.” The aristocratic families knew the relationships between families like the back of their hands. So Chen shi and Hu shi quickly recalled the situation of Prince Cheng’s eldest son and spoke meaningfully.
Gu Ru Jiu heard this but still kept a sweet and innocent smile on her face, as though she did not hear the deeper meaning in the words.
Translator Ramblings: Excuse the typos.