Chapter 51: Save it and Buy You Some Candy

Liu Zhen Hu thought his ears weren’t working right, but in his shock, he heard Chen Miao Ping repeating himself with a smile, 

“I am but a lowly man inhibited by my desires.
So I won’t beat around the bush.
If I lose, I will crawl around in a circle three times, barking like a dog.
If you lose, you give me 7000 guan.
What do you think about that?”

7000 guan was not a small amount.
If Liu Zhen Hu really lost that much money in a gamble, Wu An Hou would skin his own son alive.
But he was very confident that he would not lose to Chen Miao Ping, and so he gritted his teeth, ignored all his instincts telling him that this was a bad idea and took the bet.

“Fine! As you said then.”

Writing poetry, that requires time for preparation.
But a competition like this does happen occasionally, so the materials were quickly prepared.
Maids brought an incense burner and a table to place it on with a set of brushes and paper.
The time limit was set to about one burning stick of incense, and the moment the incense was lit, Liu Zhen Hu immediately started writing as he contemplated the theme.
But the majority of the gazes of everyone’s eyes were gathered on Chen Miao Ping, wanting to see what he could come up with.

Ignoring the numerous eyes on him, Chen Miao Ping only kept drinking and drinking, cup after cup of wine.
After he finished with one jug, he continued with another.
His eyes were full of the haziness of a drunkard, and his gaze drifted around the room until he suddenly spotted someone in a far off corner.
That body was silently sitting there, but Xie Yu Zhi’s delicate feminine face was easily recognizable, half illuminated by the light and the other half of his face covered in shadows.
And the most captivating of all were his dark inky eyes that seemed to be sparkling from the gleam reflected from the lanterns nearby.

Qian Tong and the rest of the group were panicking from the lack of movement from Chen Miao Ping, and one of them even went up to try and give him some support, 

“Da-Ren, please do something quickly.
When you get drunk, how are you going to write then? How embarrassing would it be to crawl like a dog and learn to bark? How much shame would this group of brothers be in then?”

Chen Miao Ping scowled, waving his sleeves at him, 

“Go go go.
You keep talking and today’s meals will be on you.”

Liu Zhen Hu had his draft ready and was now starting to write his official submission.
And in this time, the incense in the holder had already burned past half its length when Chen Miao Ping finally moved.
But he only put down the wine jug and then slowly unwrapped the gauze on his right hand.

The wound from some previous days ago had already started to heal, but it was fairly gruesome from what bystanders could spot from a glance.
Xue Yi who was nearby was no doubt shocked at this sight, and said, 

“Chen Gong-Zi, if you are discomforted by your injury, Xue Yi is willing to become your brush.”

“No, I won’t be needing your help.” 

Chen Miao Ping shook his head.

That incense was almost down to its last dregs, and the scholar dressed in a lightly coloured robe, who had quipped back at him before, took an inquisitive look at Chen Miao Ping’s side.
Upon seeing the sheet of paper still in its untouched state, he couldn’t keep himself from laughing out loud mockingly, 

“Why is Brother Chen not moving his brush? Others have praised you for your extraordinary skill in the literary arts, but how could you be so slow? Brother Liu has already finished.”


Everyone looked over when he said that, and they saw Liu Zhen Hu just finishing up his last character.
When Liu Zhen Hu put down his brush and turned to look at Chen Miao Ping, he also laughed out loud from seeing his blank paper.
He ordered a servant to present his poem to Lady Xie Yi for judgment and ridiculed Chen Miao Ping, 

“Chen Miao Ping, oh, Chen Miao Ping.
This Da-Ye1 is waiting for you to crawl on the floor, barking like a dog.
If you just directly admit to your loss now, perhaps I could even reconsider and consider letting you go.”

Chen Miao Ping took a sip from his cup of wine, 

“This is not a competition of speed.
Let’s first take a look at Brother Liu’s poem.”

Lady Xie graciously allowed this order and received Liu Zhen Hu’s poem from his servant to carefully look through it.
Her expression slightly cooled as she read and in the end, gave out an evaluation of acceptable, 

“The meaning is average, and the words are barely linked together.
Below Average.”

Ancient society was mostly patriarchal and women were always considered as the lower caste, especially those in the entertainment district.
But to speak truthfully, the knowledge these ladies have were not built on fake and empty lies.
To talk about leading the country, Xie Yi may not be up to that level, but on judging poetry and songs, she was a master of the arts.

Liu Zhen Hu was a regular at the entertainment district and naturally knew this rule, so when he heard her words, he did not mind the bluntness.
He was only waiting for Chen Miao Ping to write a “below below average” poem to mock him with.

With only a stick of incense as the time limit, even though Liu Zhen Hu’s poem was not good, it was considered average.
But for this poem to still not be under the eyes of Xue Yi, it did make a few people feel pain in their teeth.
She handed the poem to her personal maid and turned her eyes toward Chen Miao Ping, 

“Has Gong-Zi completed his poem?”

Chen Miao Ping subconsciously looked towards the corner that housed Xie Yu Zhi, but he only saw the other with his arms crossed and emotionlessly looking at him.
He couldn’t tell if Xie Yu Zhi was happy or angry, and Chen Miao Ping threw back his head to finish off the last cup of wine and to hide the burgeoning smile on his mouth.

Chen Miao Ping shook his sleeve and finally picked up the brush to start writing.
In that second, pairs and pairs of eyes snapped over and there were some that even stepped forward, reciting each phrase as he wrote.

“The eastern wind blows flowers at night, as if blossoming a thousand trees.
Showering like rain, stars drop down from the sky……”

There were some who couldn’t help but nod their heads, as the opening line was already far greater than Liu Zhen Hu’s.
The only negative was that the words looked a bit ugly, but seeing that Chen Miao Ping’s hand had an injury, they did not dwell on it and continued to stare and listen for the next line.

“Precious horses and ornate carriages spread fragrance as they move.
Heart-moving music from flutes they play, intertwining with the moonlight that shines.
A dance with the fish and dragon lanterns, amidst the exquisite robes adorned with ornaments and flowers in their hair, their smiles bring a fragrance as they pass……”

These words described the decadent atmosphere and environment with such imagery, exposing beauties amongst unforgettable images of flowery scents and indescribable shadows of beauty, it was too great to speak of.
Liu Zhen Hu’s face started to slump even before Chen Miao Ping penned the last phrase,


“In the crowd I search in vain.
But in sudden I turn my head, and that person is standing there, where dimming lanterns illuminate and fall……”2 

The brush lifted up from the paper and the entire building was brought to silence.

The first couple lines describing the boisterous and lively atmosphere, besides the specific and brilliant use of wording, there was not much else special to it.
Until that very last line, those females described with beauty was only to be the backdrop for one person.

Xue Yi could not tear her eyes away from that poem, and she muttered out, without any thought, 

“In the crowd I search in vain.
But in sudden I turn my head, and that person is standing there, where dimming lanterns illuminate and fall……”

She was lost in the pure imagery and she let out a long sigh.
With a very complicated expression, she looked at Chen Miao Ping, 

“What a brilliant line.
This is irrefutably the poem of the night.
Chen Gong-Zi, you have won.”

Liu Zhen Hu’s brain snapped at that, the words that Xue Yi’s mouth said so lightly were like a lightning bolt hitting his head on a sunny day, making stars appear in his eyes.
It also did not help that Chen Miao Ping sealed it off by signalling a “7” with his hands and laughing out, 

“7000 guan.
It’s 7000 guan.
Brother Liu, you must not forget.”

Liu Zhen Hu felt like he could see the blood choking up in his throat and his face twitched a few times, as if he wanted to say something but couldn’t.
His face was burning red and his eyes could kill Chen Miao Ping with how they looked at him.
In the end, he only reached out and grabbed his personal aide roughly.
Two words were spit out through his gritted teeth —


Everywhere around him was loud laughter, and Xue Yi was embarrassed and shamed by her actions that caused this spectacle.
She bent at her knees to complete a bow and said, 

“Gong-Zi is an extraordinary man.
This little girl falls under your brilliance.”


Modern people would love to meet those from ancient societies, and ancient society humans would kill to meet those from modern society.
This exchange that would span across history, of course was towards Xin Qiji, Mr Xin3.
But the heavens have not let the people of history to all be born in one time period.

“Young Miss, you praise me too much.
My smarts only pertain to the littlest things, so I cannot uphold the title you are complimenting me with.”

To be said plainly, Chen Miao Ping was using poetry to slap faces.
He turned slightly away to avoid Xue Yi’s bow and before everyone’s eyes, stuffed the newly written poem into one of his sleeves and waved as he smiled at them, 

“The excitement has been seen.
Alcohol has been drunk.
It’s pretty late, so I will take my leave now.”

And then let Qian Tong and the guys know before leaving his share of money and leaving by himself out of Chun Xiao House.
Not willing to talk to those who wanted him to stay behind to discuss his poetry.


Seeing this, Xie Yu Zhi also stood up and followed him out.
When he walked out, Chen Miao Ping was leaning against the door, waiting for him with a bag of hawthorn cake4.
He was eating it in little bites and when he saw Xie Yu Zhi come out, he smiled as he passed the bag to him, 

“Want some?”

Xie Yu Zhi rested his hands behind his back, rejecting the bag Chen Miao Ping was holding out.
He purposefully made his face look stern, 

“What a courageous thing to do, to dare come here behind my back.
Are you not afraid of what I will do to you with this knowledge?”

Chen Miao Ping was not flustered at all, as he hadn’t even slept with another woman, 

“I have just heard the name and reputation of Chun Xiao House, and so I was curious.
Today I came to take a quick glance, and there wasn’t much of interest to see.
Nothing worth coming back to.”

Chen Miao Ping polished off the cake in a few bites and patted his hands, as if ready to leave.
Xie Yu Zhi however dragged his collar, making him unable to move, as he pursed his lips in distaste, 

“You even wrote a poem for that woman.”

Chen Miao Ping played the role of an experienced player, 

“What if I did?”

Xie Yu Zhi’s dark eyes stared at him, somehow feeling a bit wronged in his eyes, 

“You wrote a poem for another woman, and you still asked me what if you did?”

“Who said I wrote that for her?”

The alcohol was getting into his head and he finally felt a bit drunk.
He took out that wrinkly piece of paper out of his sleeve and then smoothed it out.
He pointed at that last line, 

“See? In the crowd I search in vain.
But in sudden I turn my head, and that person is standing there, where dimming lanterns illuminate and fall……”

Chen Miao Ping pinched Xie Yu Zhi’s face, smiling quite thuggishly, and teased, 

“What a beauty.
You know how I wrote that line out?”

Xie Yu Zhi’s face was freezing over and didn’t speak, but his ears were slowly tainted red.

“My heart was pumping like crazy out of fear as I took a look in the entertainment district, looking left and right, and the moment I turned around, I saw you sitting in that corner, and that line immediately came to me.”

Chen Miao Ping yawned after and dropped his arm around Xie Yu Zhi’s shoulder, 

“Let’s go.
I’m tired.
Let’s go home to sleep.”

Xie Yu Zhi didn’t move.

Chen Miao Ping said, 

“Puh, what are you afraid of? We are legally married.”

Xie Yu Zhi was a bit speechless and reached a hand to hold him up, 

“You’re drunk.”

The horse carriage was getting closer and closer and the personal guards could be seen rushing over.
A whip sounded out in the air and after that, it was silent for a bit.
Xie Yu Zhi climbed up, reaching out with one hand to grab Chen Miao Ping’s shoulder to throw him up.

There was a soft cushioned area inside the carriage, and Chen Miao Ping evidently took that as a bed.
He lay on top, using Xie Yu Zhi’s legs as a cushion and was about to sleep soundly away.
The side of his face was too good looking to be real, and Xie Yu Zhi couldn’t help but smile.
His long fingers played with the crystal pendant by his waist and then reached out to pat his face.

“Chen Miao Ping.”

“Mhmm…… mhmm?”

Xie Yu Zhi looked at him seriously from above, and his body carried the slightly bitter fragrance of chinese herbal medicine.
His body leaned down a bit, moving closer to ask him, 

“Were the words spoken in Chun Xiao House the truth?”

Chen Miao Ping did not even hear what he said clearly and only nodded his head randomly, 

It was the truth.”

Xie Yu Zhi asked again with a half smile, 

“Then do you remember what you said?”

Chen Miao Ping could hear a bit clearer this time and patted his chest with a promise, 

“I have a loyal heart to Second Master, which the heavens and the earth can be the witnesses, and the suns and moons can be my evidence.
In my eyes, other people are like passing dust, even if they are born with beauty, my heart only has Second Master.”


Xie Yu Zhi nodded his head, very satisfied with his answer.

“Then can you tell me, what are you going to do with that 7000 guan you won from Liu Zhen Hu?”

Chen Miao Ping immediately fell silent.
Xie Yu Zhi would not be thinking of making him give up some of his private savings? That can’t be, how could there be so many idiots in the world for him to scam?

He flipped his body around silently and reached out to hold Xie Yu Zhi’s waist.
He brushed his face against Xie Yu Zhi’s embrace, a body full of innocence as he said with a low voice, 

“Saving it up.
When we are old, I will buy you candy to eat~”

Xie Yu Zhi seemed to want to laugh, but held it in.
He continued to emotionlessly stare at him, 


“When I’m old, can I even eat candy?”

“No worries.
We don’t have to buy that.
Osmanthus cake, rice crisps5 are also pretty good.”

Xie Yu Zhi wanted to say something else but Chen Miao Ping did not want to listen.
He reached out to hold him by the back of his head and gave a kiss filled with drunken flavours.
Ignoring the other’s light struggles, he pried open Xie Yu Zhi’s mouth to explore and claim his territory.





*1 Da-Ye: Da as in Da-ren, Ye as in Gu-Ye, put these together and it’s used to reference an older man, usually within the family, as kind of like with respect.
But there’s another connotation with this, which is what Liu Zhen Hu is doing here, using it to reference that he is the better man, the one with the higher position to give such graciousness.
I guess a better expression may be holier-than-thou.

*2 My rendition of a really exquisite poem, but as there were no “official” english translations, you get my skills at poems like all other ones… There are quite a few differences from the other translations, which was one other reason why I didn’t use them, is because the author is interpreting some things that don’t make sense if I did it another way, or maybe it will, because poems.
If you want to see some other translations lol, you can search 青玉案·元夕 by 辛棄疾 (Green Jade Table/Plate/Case.
Lantern Festival Night by Xin Qiji).
Besides the poem itself having many different translations, the first part of the name does too … 


Also another note for this is that pronouns (he/she/it/him/her), all have the same sound but is written differently.
So if you read other novels, there might be that misunderstanding of thinking it’s a girl vs a guy scene, but in this case, the actual poem is supposed to be taken to reference to a girl, but of course here, it’s changed as you will see later  )


*3 Xin Qiji: A man from the Song dynasty that was a military man with great achievements but is more known for his exceptional literary arts from his teachings/understandings to poems like the lantern festival one that came from his desire to unite the country as one (and being part of the people connecting all the separate countries into one like being a general to lead the armies to accomplish such a task which unfortunately he was never able to do so).

*4 hawthorn cake (山楂糕): it’s apparently like overripe apples according to wikipedia, but on a personal note, it’s more sweet and sour and tangy, which is almost like what pickled radish does and kind of refreshes your palette but also is pretty filling, and there’s many variations of it and some are a pretty good snack where it’s more dried.


*5 Osmanthus cake (桂花糕): a cake that has a subtle delicate sweet taste and looks pretty pretty, made from osmanthus flowers

Rice crisps (米酥): kind of like rice krispies but harder and firmer? crunchier? chewier/chompier? and savory.
Food is hard to describe haha

FYI, while they are called osmanthus cake and hawthorn cake, it’s more like jelly.
(Plum  )

Have a great weekend, Galactic Judges 

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