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TL’ed by snowflake_obsidian
Translator's Notes: I am translating from the JJWXC site which is the novel's official publisher. This chapter as well as several others have the same name which seems to be a placeholder rather than a chapter name.
 The original text has □□.
 By asking for a bath on one's wedding night, Su Tang is seen as undignified, preening herself. This is not in line with the idea of a modest chaste virtuous young bride.
 "春宵一刻值千金"; This phrase is originally from a Song dynasty poem and is often used as a metaphor for the first night of marriage.
Chapter 6: Untitled
A kind of twist, Su Tang was under the "protection" of the black riders, who converged together with the original bridal escort party. Su Tang got into the carriage and began to tidy up.
The phoenix coronet was stained with blood, so there was no choice but to not put it on again. Su Tang might as well just coil up her hair into a bun and cover that with a red piece of cloth. The auspicious clothing was wrinkled and furthermore, it was still somewhat dusty. However, this much already had to be disregarded. Xi Que looked at the sorry figure of her family’s young miss, her deflated mouth grumbling.
This trip consistently shook one to the core. Su Tang also had no free time to listen to Xi Que's long-windedness. Not forgetting that scene just a short while ago, Su Tang's face again burned somewhat hot—just a moment ago indeed that cold noodles carried her in his arms into the carriage, those arms, truly powerful!
Entering the city, they weren't not far from the generals' manor. The hubbub of voices during the entire journey were exceptionally lively. Su Tang (mistakenly) thought that it goes without saying that the capital is this lively, never thinking that all those people came to see the general get married.
Again, after a good while, gongs, drums, and horns started to ring out. Strings of firecrackers also began to pop and crackle. Xi Que eyes peeped out the window. She turned around and happily said "Miss, we've arrived at the general's manor! Wow, so many people!"
Su Tang naturally couldn't see the spectacle of the gathered crowd of visitors. She only saw both sides thick with the tops of feet and was also able to roughly guess (the types of people there). She thought to herself that in the end Song Shi An is a very important person, very likely all the guests have connections!
What Su Tang thought was quite right. Song Shi An was Song country's highest ranking general and furthermore just recently returned triumphantly from a victorious battle. He was grandly situated in the middle of the limelight. Moreover this marriage was also considered to be personally overseen by His Majesty. And as a result, regardless whether originating from sincerity or something else, the royal court’s cabinet ministers as well as the capital’s middle-sized and small functionaries all had to attend. Prime Minister Li, who was usually disagreeable towards other officials, went to the extent of ordering everyone to give congratulatory gifts.
Even though Su Tang had discussed the Confucian doctrine of marriage many times, but really doing the bride and groom ritual wedding ceremony, this step, this one time. So hearing that voice (say) "Husband and wife pay respect to each other", she somewhat actually didn't dare to believe.
When the master of ceremonies loudly shouted "The ceremony is completed, escort (them) into the bridal chamber", Su Tang actually exhaled a breathe—OK, she this bowl of old water that was put aside for 20 years, finally spilled out.
Supported into the bridal chamber, getting on the wedding bed, Su Tang tore off her head covering and exhaled a breath, "Ok, everything is finished." After speaking, she looked at Song Shi An's hand extended in midair, somewhat uncertain. "What is this that you're doing?"
Xi Que on the side felt like weeping but didn't have the tears. Her voice low,almost as if she was a mosquito or fly, said, "Miss, the general should take off the head covering instead of you."
In a flash, Su Tang understood. Owing to Song Shi An's blinking eyes, (she) smiling asked, "(We) perform in front of outsiders, that's all. Now there' no one else. Just save it."
Seeing Song Shi An's still chilly face, Su Tang again asked "You weren't really thinking of taking off (the covering)? Could it be that you really want to take it off? Ok, I'll go back and recover (my head)." Saying that, the covering in her hand again went on top of her head.
Humph. Song Shi An hatefully withdraw the hand, shook his sleeves in displeasure and left—why just now was he this ignorantly meddlesome, seeing that woman's mischievous expression in her eyes…. Snort, she did that on purpose!
The person left. Outside the bridal chamber the big feast began. Inside the bridal chamber however returned to calm and quiet.
Su Tang took a quick glance all around, "This room is really big." Speaking she began to undress herself.
Alarmed, Xi Que held (Su Tang) back saying, "Miss, what are you doing?"
"Taking a bath." Su Tang innocently said, "Ran around all day, am extremely filthy, and even more am exhausted (from all the activity). I need to wash up and go to sleep a little early."
"What? But this is your wedding night!"
"Don't tell me I can't bathe and can't sleep on my wedding night? Quick, go find someone to get a little water for me." Speaking Su Tang pushed Xi Que to go out.
Xi Que, overall, felt something wasn't right, but again didn't say anything. She only could muddle-headedly go out to look for somebody.
By the time the servant arranged the hot water, Su Tang was spread out on the bed fast asleep. She truly was dead-tired. At first light (she) had been called awake, later in the morning tormented, after that sat in the horse carriage and held as a hostage, madly rushing throughout the whole trip. Oh my, this entire body of hers will quickly fall apart from exhaustion.
Soaking in hot water, (feeling) comfortable for a spell, Su Tang perfectly content revealed a □□ .
Sprinkling water on Su Tang, Xi Que muttered to herself saying, "Really strange just now, had them get hot water and their faces were complete astonishment."
Su Tang was thinking to herself that it'd would be a wonder if it wasn't strange. What new bride would be this way, just sent into the bridal chamber and by her own initiative have people prepare hot water for bathing, not keeping within the bounds of propriety . However unnatural, this act didn't matter to her. She didn't set out to be the chaste outstanding virtuous female. So, uh-huh, whatever they love to do doesn't matter to me since they dare not comply. Anyhow isn't she now the legitimate general's wife?
Xi Que was still talking about how this general's manor is so big but discovered that she had talked for a long time without getting any response. Looking, she saw that her familys' young miss had eventually fallen asleep though was unaware when. This mouth still contained a faint smile.
"Ai ya, you'll catch cold this way!" Xi Que hastily pulled (Su Tang) up.
Su Tang was already so tired that she was unaware, and let Xi Que order her about. In a blur she felt herself assisted to the bath barrel; in a daze she felt herself wiped dry. She honestly felt bothered by Xi Que's endless talking. Soon afterward clothes were pulled over her and she climbed by herself into bed. She wrapped up the bedding around her like a roll, then soon afterwards fell quickly and deeply asleep.
Xi Que was stunned. Young miss clothes weren't neat and tidy! What's to be done, in a little while the general will return! Once seen, she'll be finished! What's to be done!
Thinking again, groan, it looks like the bridal festivities are at the point of removing clothing. Young miss is destined to be seen naked by the general. In that case, uhm, that's how it is.
Xi Que felt tangled and twisted up, eventually her confusion was no longer tangled.
On the other hand Su Tang slept that peacefully, that carefree, owing to —didn't that pan of cold noodles say they wouldn't have genuine wedding festivities. Naturally (they) would not be sleeping (together) in one bed. And what's more, isn't Xi Que staying by (her), so that she's still unafraid of anything. Undaunted (she) went to sleep, her mind free from anxiety, no apprehensions!
Thereupon Song Shi An finished drinking at the feast. Entering, he pushed the door, and went around the screen. After that he caught sight of the scene—one clothed woman situated in the middle, sprawled on her back, half covered, half hidden from view, asleep hugging a blanket.
"Oh! General!" Just now Xi Que was in the inner room tidying up and was startled coming out seeing Song Shi An. "M, m, miss she…." Xi Que again thought to wake up the young lady. Believed (she) needed to some explaining, but in the end Xi Que merely stood there stammering incoherently in a flurried manner, at a loss as to what to do.
Song Shi An shot a glance at her, knit his brows, frowning. This servant girl is troublesome just like her young miss.
Song Shi An had exceptionally keen eyesight when on the battlefield fighting people at close quarters, moreover to say nothing of him again looking displeased with his usual cold manner. So his whole body had an imposing manner, a hint that warned the living to stay away at the risk of braving danger. Of course because he had the status of a general, Xi Que's heart had an innate fear. Again, that expression in his eyes made a sweep, which immediately scared her to keep silent.
She apparently realized that it was she herself who stirred up the general, making him unhappy. Except, in the end she didn't understand what she did wrong. Suddenly she recalled that "one spring night is worth a thousand pieces gold " and swiftly snapped out of it—the general no doubt resents her being in the way. Boo hoo, she truly is slow-witted.
Considering this, without delay she said "Nubi will first leave." The phrase wasn't finished when the person already left the room and went far away.
Song Shi An felt his scalding hot body was difficult to endure and assumed that he really drank too much. Today moreover he was travel-worn, weary, extremely drained, and sleepy. Soon afterwards he ordered people to prepare water for washing up.
His body comfortably soaked in hot water for quite a while, but why did the image of that lithe and graceful woman on the bed keep appearing inside his head? He unexpectedly gave a start and recollected imperial physician Zheng coming to pay his respects, offered that cup of wine, along with that pair of shining cunning smiling eyes of his. Song Shi An understood that he had been schemed against.
Song Shi An absent-mindedly finished washing up, put on clothing and left the inner room. At first he thought about going to the study for the night, (but) who knew that walking to the side of the couch, from the bed came the low sound of a moan—"Xi Que, thirsty."
Hearing this soft gentle and demure sound made Song Shi An's bones melt all away. He considered leaving but was unable to bear Su Tang's tender mumbling call. Again hearing the sound outside of footsteps coming through, with great difficulty he braced himself to resist pouring the water that was being carried with two hands to the bedside.
"Drink water." His somewhat shaky hoarse dry throat was set on fire.
Su Tang obediently inclined her body and stretched out her head. However as before, she had a befuddled appearance with her eyes closed.
Song Shi An looked at her sluggish appearance and knew she was waiting to be fed the water. His reason was somewhat out of sorts, but at this moment his judgement was already almost all nibbled away. As a result, he also didn't care too much. Holding the water with both hands, he delivered it to her mouth, but why was he an important general waiting on someone else, feeding them water? Why didn't it all go in? Yet Su Tang again was not content on account of her thirst not having been quenched for a long time. Song Shi An's headache was unbearable. Light-headed, he thought the position certainly was wrong and therefore supported Su Tang. Letting her raise her head, he again poured water in her mouth.
Su Tang was exceedingly thirsty, glug, glug, again and again drinking. But Song Shi An poured too quickly and there wasn't enough time to drink down the water. Soon afterwards there was overflow from the side of the lips. Song Shi Ani put down the teacup and extended (his) hand to wipe the trickled down water. Only when his finger touched that soft and tender lip, his heart went back to the beginning and hesitated. After that the thump, thump, intense palpitations seemed like war drums incessantly beating. As well as here at this moment, her face in the flickering of the red candle also appeared especially bright and beautiful, arousing one's passions.
Su Tang drank to her hearts content, the head askew, again went back to sleep. As if detecting that the pillow was not very comfortable, she repeatedly rubbed and shuffled. Seeing the woman nested in one's own embrace and sniffing the faint fragrance of her body, Song Shi An swallowed down saliva down. He felt one's self also seemed to be thirsty. And so at this moment he additionally was somewhat mentally confused, complexion flushed red, and the two eyes slightly narrowed. Believing that he was thirsty, he soon afterwards unconsciously looked for a water source.
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