八宝妆 Eight Treasures Trousseau Chapter Nineteen “King Xiang Has A Wife”

This chapter has been brought to you by me, Adnana, and vivie.

 

Glossary

  • 夫人 furen: mistress or madam/lady, referring to the legitimate wife
  • fu: compound or estate; junwang fu: prince’s estate/compound
  • 郡王妃 junwang fei: the official wife of a junwang
  • shi: clan/maiden name
  • wang: short for qinwang (亲王) or first-rank prince
  • 世子 shizi: heir apparent to a qinwang (first-rank prince)
  • 世子妃 shizi fei: the official wife of a shizi
  • 郡主 junzhu: title given to a daughter of a qinwang (first-rank prince), or to a female of the Imperial Family by the Emperor’s decree
  • [1]翁主 wengzhu: title given to a daughter of a princess
  • [2]狀元 zhuangyuan, 榜眼 bangyan, 探花 tanhua: literally “top thesis author,” “eyes positioned alongside” and “flower snatcher”; they are respectively the graduate ranked first, second, and third overall in the triennial imperial examination
  • 郡王 junwang: second-rank prince
  • 太监 taijian: court or palace eunuch
  • [3]大人 daren: general term of respect used to refer to those of status
  • 本宫 ben gong: lit. “this palace”; illeism for females of the Imperial Family and imperial consorts
  • [4]biao: relatives with a different surname. 表嫂 biao sao: mother’s sibling’s (older) son’s wife (here); or father’s sister’s (older) son’s wife
  • [5]tang: relatives with the same surname. 堂嫂 tang sao: father’s brother’s (older) son’s wife
  • [6]堂伯 tang bo: elder male cousin on father’s side when referred to by a speaker who has married into the family (usually female). Here, Hua Xi Wan as Yan Jin Qiu’s wife is using tang bo to refer to Yan Jin Qiu’s elder male cousin on his paternal side, Yan Bo Yi.

Chapter Nineteen: King Xiang Has A Wife

Even though they were slightly far from the place that was surrounded by people from the Judicial Office, Hua Xi Wan could still hear the sobbing of Zhang Furen in the wind. Maybe it was that the loud sobs were so mournful that she couldn’t help but rub her arms. She said in a low voice, “Mu Tong, represent Xian Junwang Fu and go urge Zhang Furen. Tell her to not harm her body.”

“Yes.” Mu Tong knew very well that even if he went at this time to give comfort, it would be nothing in the face of grief at losing a child. Junwang Fei was a smart person and could not be ignorant of this. But since Junwang Fei had told him to do so, then she naturally had her own intentions.

“Xian Junwang Fei is very kind.” Sheng Junwang Fei put down the curtain and said ambiguously. “She had the servant go to pour tea and hold the medicine.”

“En.” Yan Bo Yi flipped through the book in his hand and spoke without raising his head. “The Hua Family’s Second Branch Furen comes from the famed family Zhang.”

“So that is how it is.” Hou shi smiled. Seeing Yan Bo Yi’s attention was on the book, she did not speak again. She only raised the curtain and looked outside. She saw the servants from Xian Junwang Fu comforting Zhang Furen, each of them having expressions of worry and sorrow on their faces as though Master Zhang had been a member of their family.

Seeing this, Hou shi tilted her face down. The smile in her eyes faded slightly. There were not many from Xian Junwang Fu who were simple.

After a long while, the road that had been blocked finally allowed access. Sheng Junwang Fu and Xian Junwang Fu’s carriages tried to give up the right of way for a while before Sheng Junwang Fu travelled ahead. After them were Ning Wang Shizi and Shizi Fei, and behind was Min Huai Junzhu.

Min Huai Junzhu usually followed Princess Rui He. It was extremely normal for her to come participate at this time.

>翁主 wengzhu: title given to a daughter of a princess

When Hua Xi Wan learned that Min Huai Junzhu’s carriage was behind them, she recalled what Princess Rui He had said on the wedding night. She said, “Min Huai Junzhu is the daughter of Princess Shun Yi. How did she receive the title of junzhu?” According to normal tradition, Min Huai Junzhu was the daughter of a princess and her title should be a wengzhu.[1]

“The empress likes Min Huai Junzhu very much, and last year, broke with tradition to decree her a junzhu and gave her the words Min Huai as the title. She said that she was going to raise Min Huai as her own daughter.” Yan Jin Qiu showed a complex smile. “This kind of high favor is not something the daughters of other princesses can have.”

The ranks of wengzhu and junzhu were the same, and their true status depended on whether or not their family held power. Otherwise, what was the use in an empty title? If the Empress really wanted to raise her as a daughter, she should have given the title of princess. There was no need to make her an awkward junzhu, as though the Empress was wary of her.

She looked at the sardonic smile on Yan Jin Qiu’s face and did not keep asking.

The carriage was silent for a while before Yan Jin Qiu suddenly asked, “You are not concerned about Zhang’s murder case?”

“The Judicial Office will investigate this matter. What is the use in meddling in this?” Hua Xi Wan looked at Yan Jin Qiu with a burning gaze. Her lips curled as she smiled faintly. “There will be a result sooner or later. Am I not right?”

“Of course. The Judicial Office has always been serious and methodical in carrying out its cases.” Yan Jin Qiu smiled and raised the curtain to look outside. “We’re almost there.”

Hua Xi Wan raised her eyelids but did not speak.

Princess Rui He’s estate had just been finished, and it was the first time she had invited people for a visit. Yan Jin Qiu was so familiar with this place, it probably was not the first time he had come here.


Princess Rui He who had reached the estate ahead of time was not very happy when she heard the guests had encountered a fatal case on the way here. It really was inauspicious to have something like this occur when she had invited guests to her new manor.

狀元 zhuangyuan, 榜眼 bangyan, 探花 tanhua: literally “top thesis author,” “eyes positioned alongside” and “flower snatcher”; they are respectively the graduate ranked first, second, and third overall in the triennial imperial examination

“Is it that Zhang Family with the five zhuangyuan, four banyan and seven tanhua[2]?” Princess Rui He was not pleased inside, but she did not show it on her face. She looked at the furen sitting and accompanying her, and showed an expression of slight regret. “I hear that this Master Zhang is a very good scholar. I hadn’t imagined that he would encounter such horribleness. They have to capture the culprit. Such a person is too daring!”

This master Zhang had been missing for more than a month, and the Zhang Family had spent a lot of time and effort to search for him. The others had felt a long time ago that there would not be any good news. Now that the news had come, most people would sigh and say that it was to be expected.

There were many prestigious families in Jing. It was a prosperous place, but it was full of scheming. This Master Zhang had been famed from a young age, but he was arrogant. Relying on his birth from the Zhang Family, he looked down on the students from common families. In the last two years, he had become closer to the Crown Prince, his personality even more arrogant. Now, his tongue had been cut and one of his eyes gouged out. It must have been someone with a grudge who had delivered him such an outcome.

Those who were proud of their talents in history mostly did not have good endings. Those who were skilled but loyal to their country would leave behind a mark on history.

The people present heard the princess say this, and followed in sighing as though they had seen how outstanding Master Zhang had been.

After a wave of sighs, Princess Rui He asked, “Which families were delayed on the road?”

“Your Highness, this one heard that Sheng Junwang, Xian Junwang, Ning Wang Shizi and Min Huai Junzhu were delayed. This one also heard that the officials from the Judicial Office have come to personally investigate. The Emperor… must be very angry.” The taijian who responded was someone close to Princess Rui He, so he was more daring in his reply than other people.

“Did the womenfolk receive a fright?” Princess Rui He said worriedly. “The womenfolk are at such a young and blossoming age. How can they stand such a shock?”

大人 daren: general term of respect used to refer to those of status

“Please, Princess, do not worry. The people from the Judicial Office will stop the carriages at a distance from the scene of the crime. The noble people did not see anything. Their emotions are steady. But Xian Junwang Fei is related by marriage to the Zhang Family and sent someone to inquire.” The taijian hesitated and then said, “And left some people to comfort Zhang Furen and Zhang Daren.”[3]

Princes Rui He nodded upon hearing this and indicated for the taijian to retreat. She said to the furen sitting on the seats, “Xian Junwang Fei is an attentive person. Beautiful, of good birth, and cares for people. With her beside my cousin, ben gong does not feel worry.” Finishing, she sighed. “A fu needs a woman in charge of the household.”

The furen present naturally agreed. They were members of the Imperial Clan, but compared to these people, they were not worth a mention. They naturally had to flatter and prop Princess Rui He up. They also pretended not to hear how Princes Rui He’s words were complimenting Xian Junwang Fei on the surface but were implying that Xian Junwang Fei’s appearance was too outstanding.


“We are at the estate?” Min Huai Junzhu stepped out holding the hand of her personal servant girl. Raising her head, she saw the carriage from Xian Junwang Fu in front of her. Yan Jin Qiu stepped on a stool and out of the carriage as she was momentarily dazed.

Min Huai Junzhu stopped in her steps. Just as she was going to speed up and go forward, a white hand came out of the carriage. And Xian Junwang who was unparalleled in her eyes smiled and clasped that hand.

biao: relatives with a different surname. 表嫂 biao sao: mother’s sibling’s (older) son’s wife (here); or father’s sister’s (older) son’s wife

Her steps slowed. In a trance, a perfectly appropriate smile came onto her face, and she curtsied slightly to this Xian Junwang Fei. Biao Sao,[4] greetings.”

“Min Huai Junzhu, greetings.” Hua Xi Wan took her hand out of Yan Jin Qiu’s palm, and returned a curtsey with a smile. Then she walked side by side with Min Huai. “I have heard long ago that Min Huai Junzhu has both appearance and talent. Today, I know that the rumors are an underestimation.”

Biao Sao is too complimentary. It is just everyone raising me up.” Min Huai Junzhu used this opportunity to examine Hua Xi Wan. “In front of you, how many females dare to call themselves beautiful?”

When Hua Xi Wan heard this, she smiled and shook her head. She said, half-sincerely and half-politely, “Even the most beautiful skin has a day when it will become old. Beauty is not everlasting.”

Min Huai Junzhu did not believe it, but she smiled and responded. She turned her head and found Yan Jin Qiu silently following behind them, looking like a young master of jade with great mannerisms.

“Min Huai Junzhu.” Hua Xi Wan suddenly put her hand on the other and said with a smile, “I heard before that Junzhu is skilled in poetry. I wonder if I will have the good fortune to hear Junzhu’s poetic work.”

“It is just some random writing—it cannot be called a work of poetry.” Min Huai Junzhu turned around in surprise. Maybe it was because she felt guilty inside that she felt the hand on the back of her hand was scorching hot.

“It is really rare to see two beauties on the same day.” The arrival of Sheng Junwang Fei caused the restlessness in Min Huai Junzhu’s heart to decrease greatly. She smiled and curtsied to the other but felt bitter inside. Even though their ranks appeared the same, she knew very well that she could not compare to these two females. Her mother was honored as a princess, but because her grandmother was of a low birth and their Yuan Family was a ducal fu in decline, if she was not favored by the Empress, she would have even less to bolster her than she did now.

tang: relatives with the same surname. 堂嫂 tang sao: father’s brother’s (older) son’s wife

Tang Sao[5]  is so beautiful and dares to laugh at us.” Hua Xi Wan and Sheng Junwang Fei curtsied at the same time to each other. It was unknown who first grasped the other’s hand, but in a flash, the two appeared to be close sisters. “I think you are purposefully saying this and waiting for us to praise you.”

“You have found me out—what to do?” Hou shi laughed, covering her mouth.

Hua Xi Wan blinked her eyes. “If Tang Sao gives me a thousand taels of gold, ten thousand taels of silver, I can consider sealing my mouth.”

“I do not have so much money. Why don’t I pay you with myself, and be your attendant.” Hou shi lowered her head and sighed. “I hope you will take pity on me then.”

tang bo: elder male cousin on father’s side when referred to by a speaker who has married into the family (usually female). Here, Hua Xi Wan as Yan Jin Qiu’s wife is using tang bo to refer to Yan Jin Qiu’s elder male cousin on his paternal side, Yan Bo Yi.

“Such a beauty—how can I not pity you,” Hua Xi Wan said with a smile. “But Tang Bo[6] would not bear it if the time comes, and I will become a criminal.”

Hou shi heard this. Her face flushed, and her smile became more sincere.

Min Huai Junzhu watched as the two people who had not conversed greatly before casually joked in front of her as though they were good sisters of many years. She smirked coldly inside. Who were they acting for? If there wasn’t His Highness the Crown Prince, these two would probably be fighting like cats and dogs.

She raised her head to imperceptibly look at Xian Junwang and Sheng Junwang. Xian Junwang was silent with a smile, Sheng Junwang was silent with an indifferent expression. The two walked side-by-side, but there was a distance of a pace between them.

Min Huai Junzhu moved her gaze away. She jerked the corner of her lips and wanted to smile, but in the end, she wasn’t able to.

If she married Xian Junwang, not just taking care of his household, she would be willing to scheme on his behalf.

But it was a pity that Xiang Wang[i] had a wife, and she was just having a delusion.


[i] There is a famous poem called the “Shen Nv Fu.” It is a story describing how Xiang Wang encountered a goddess in his dreams, and how she looked. The goddess rejected Xiang Wang’s approach and then left at the end. But in this case, it is a reversal. Xiang Wang has a wife, and the “goddess” (Min Huai) is alone.


Translator Ramblings: I would almost call all of them by Cousin or Cousin-in-law except there is so much information lost.

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34 thoughts on “八宝妆 Eight Treasures Trousseau Chapter Nineteen “King Xiang Has A Wife”

  1. Oh I cannot even. The political intrigues in this story are layered so beautifully that I’m actually tempted to throw confetti into the air. At this point, I don’t know if YJQ and his cousin are actually kinda friends or kinda wanting to kill each other. Still, these scenes are delicious the the mind.
    ~
    If she married Xian Junwang, not just taking care of his household, she would be willing to scheme on his behalf.

    But it was a pity that Xiang Wang had a wife, and she was just having a delusion.
    ~
    I wonder if she knows that YJQ and HXW don’t openly plan out their ‘scheming’ escapades. I really want this couple to get closer. It’s so fresh that they don’t really know how to be open to talk to each other. I would go so far as to say they don’t really trust each other much do they?

    So, patience grasshopper. Their time will shine. Thank you Adnana, and Vivie! This chapter was wonderful as always.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it’s less about not trusting each other and more about feeling out boundaries with two people who mesh really well. One throws out a feeler question, the other answers between the lines, and they both apply that new knowledge to their actions going forward without having to hash out everything in an explicit, long conversation. Add in a healthy dose of our girl having a policy of Zen Felinism and unless something interrupts her sunbeam, she won’t go out of her way to intrude on his affairs.

      Maybe that seems like lack of trust since we’re used to modern relationships where spouses pretty much live in each other’s pockets. Unlike other historical hubbies, he hasn’t restricted her freedom at all, he’s given her face at all times, overlooks her weird behaviors, and he’s never once been jealous and overbearing when other men behave poorly because she’s beautiful.

      (Sorry, off my soapbox… I just finished my updates queue, and about half the Chinese historical love interests need to be arrested for general jackassery)

      Liked by 5 people

      • Yes! Exactly 🙂 They’re trying to feel each other out. One of such instances was that part where YJQ asks her if she’s worried about the Zhang case and she replies that the Judicial Court would take care of it. The fact that YJQ changes the subject so quickly was so suspicious and somewhat telling. Actually, I found HXW more scary (?) there coz she just lets him. I think she’s starting to understand more about her husband.

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      • I actually read the exact opposite into that… 😛

        “Hey, hon, we could swing some influence in that investigation for your family’s sake. ”

        “Nah, let them do their jobs.”

        “Oookay then… Nice weather we’re having. ”

        (It’s entirely possible my interpretation is warped by my soul deep yearning for a couple that doesn’t need to play games with each other .)

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      • Lol, your last paragraph … … I think Yan Jin Qiu has exceptional control and he is possessive, but he doesn’t show it openly. He’s more of the methodical and thoughtful type.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Exceptional control? Definitely. I’m not sure possessive is the right word though… If she gave one hint of not wanting to be his wife, I think he’d accept it and work it into his reality. (If they lived today, he would offer divorce, but Ancient China disagrees.) Since she wants to be where she is, and she’s AWESOME, he’s going to be just as awesome to her. Not possessive, perfect husbandly respect. I feel like he deserves some kind of medal from across fictional space and time, you know?

        “Sure, you kidnap and torture folks in the pursuit of political games, but you’re good to your wife, and that’s good enough for me! “

        Like

    • The plot is getting better and better, isn’t it? 🙂
      I agree with you that the main couple don’t really trust each other yet. Considering their talk that last time when they were returning from the palace (re: going “sightseeing” at the highest place), I’d say they are still in the process of feeling each other out and trying to ascertain the other’s motives and intentions. Though I do think they’ve pretty much concluded what the other’s personality is all about.
      As for YJQ and his cousin: “The two walked side-by-side, but there was a distance of a pace between them.” I think it’s safe to say they’re NOT friends. They don’t even bother to pretend like their wives, lol.

      Like

  2. Thank you for the update! I wonder how this Shen Junwang see the beautiful Xian Junwang Fei, I mean, even the emperor was somehow shocked

    Like

  3. I personally like it when the original terms are kept because it just fits, and there isn’t really equal English translations for most of them. ^-^

    Thanks for the chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the best thing is for all of these words to remain because they tell you so much about the relationship between two characters at once. It’s like the terms you have in Korean.

        I’ve never thought about it much before but it’s kinda the same (only to a lesser degree) in Arabic. Brother of the mother is called differently from the brother of the father and so on. It always felt insufficient for me to describe someone as ‘cousin’, for instance, when in Arabic they’re ‘son-of-mother’s-sister’ or something like that. xD Interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hehh~ a goddess huh? How delusional. No wonder your ‘Xiang Wang’ already married, his wife is better and more beautiful than a mere goddess after all.
    Xian Junwang never even so much as look at her, and she’s already in delusion of being a better wife than Hua Xi Wan? Hmph. Such a laughingstock.

    Thanks so much for the update!

    Like

  5. To be honest, I love all your usage of pinyin terms. they’re very helpful to me, who’s trying to understand the social status of imperial family in ancient china as well as my currently learning of the chinese language. i’m very surprised that when i’m watching a drama, I actually understood the titles when they’re being use. a large percent of that is thanked to you. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you and the editors for the chapter !! ^.^ 💖

    I really love the interactions between YJQ and HXW, hope they get closer and closer hehe! It’s really nice to see two very smart yet quite different people be together – Xi Wan is so lazy while Jin Qui is so ambitious – it makes for a nice contrast and I’m excited to see how they affect and balance each other out!!

    Hmm, the interactions between the two junwangs and their wives was really interesting! Love how smart Hou shi also is, usually the opponents are pretty brainless and/or not very capable. It makes a nice change, which I guess is necessary since YJQ will have to get rid of many people to get the throne, especially this cousin junwang of his. Also I can see that the relationship btwn Hou shi and her husband is quite….emotionless and bland?

    I also quite pity Min Huai junzhu, poor girl. She’s just a teenage girl with a crush who has to do whatever she can to survive 😕 (sorry for the really long comment, this my fave novel right now!!)

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    • Hou Shi and her husband are quite normal I think. They’re the epitome of an arranged marriage. They may not be in love but I think they understand each other well and know how to play the room. I have mixed feelings with Hou Shi though. She MIGHT be good? A potential friend for YJQ?

      Like

  7. Am I the only who got lost in the sea of those titles? 😂 I don’t really understand who’s who for half the story hahahahaha… It is an intriguing story though so I will keep reading… Thank you for your hardwork 😘

    Like

  8. Thanks for translating this long chapter. I especially appreciate the reminder remarks in the sidebar. As for Yan Jin Qiu, I think he’s a bit intrigued by how “blasé” his new wife is to all the conniving. At first, I think he thought she might be slow but I believe he’s finally catching on that it will take a lot from him to really grab her heart. I’m not seeing her planning on sharing her sunbeam long-term yet!

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  9. Thank you so much for the chapter! The notification email was buried under my emails and I somehow missed it yesterday. Haha Was kinda worried about not getting my weekly fix of this story and then was happy when I’d noticed it was updated. xD I just really like this story.

    Let the fun begin next chapter. The hypocrisy of these people suffocates but is oh so delicious.

    Like

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