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Mei Gongqing
Chapter 12: Escape

Chapter 12: Escape

A middle-aged man frowned in reply. “But she is, after all, a concubine-born daughter of a subsidiary branch; her father is also concubine-born.”

Wang Zhuo shook his head. He did not speak, but he was quietly thinking to himself that: Though Chen Rong is lowly born, she will inevitably become known to the nobles in the wake of these two incidents. Furthermore, if she married into the Wang house, what happened would not be her feat to boast. The honor would belong to the exceptionally clever daughter-in-law of the Wang house. Then, our reputation would no longer be undermined, no?

Wang Zhuo began to feel a little anxious and could not help but carefully consider the matter.

“But if you make her a concubine, I’m afraid she won’t agree,” the middle-aged man offered after some thought.

Wang Zhuo nodded while thinking again to himself: Pity that her father is not here. This marriage will have to wait until we arrive in the south to be decided.

In the evening, the scouts sent by the House of Wang returned and reported that from what passers-by had told them, they would be able to find water if they went a hundred miles more.

This news lifted the Wang family’s spirit and the team hurried on.

Even so, both men and horses were parched. They had only gone fifty miles though they had traveled through the night.

The early morning dew was no longer for only horses. People also began to slurp up what they could. Of course, the Wangs had Chen Rong’s half-full barrel and were not reduced to lying on the grass to lick morning dew. Doing so were only the servants and guards.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

By the time the moon emerged on the third day, they finally came across a patch of green, and when they listened, they could hear the sound of rushing water.

The cavalcade abruptly burst into cheers. Ecstatic, they drove the carriages ahead without waiting to be told.

The cheers did not cease this evening. Many were reluctant to leave their soaking spots in the river all the way until dawn.

The sun once again climbed high.

As they marched on the green road and listened to the chirping of birds coming from the trees from time to time, each of them reveled in the miracle of being alive again.

By now, the Wang youngsters had also matured; they did not complain about the birds in the sky and instead laughed in delight.

“Ah Rong, come over here.” Wang Wulang waved to her from afar; a light glinted in his elongated eyes.

Since she met with Sir Wang yesterday, Chen Rong found that Wang Wulang’s attitude toward her had begun to contain more apparent enthusiasm. The gaze he directed at her would always be accompanied by a strange gleam she did not quite understand.

Chen Rong nodded in Wang Wulang’s direction, indicating for her carriage to head that way.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

Because Confucianism was fiercely rebuffed in this time period, what previously confined women had considerably eased. In certain states that were established by northern tribes, even women could enjoy political status. In the state of Jin, it was not uncommon to see widows remarrying. It was common for women to express their admiration and gladness to men. As occurred in history, each time the heartthrob Pan An went out, droves of women would encircle him and throw fruits into his carriage. Pan An would always come home with his basket full. Wei Jie, another heartthrob, even suffered a claustrophobic death from these women’s attack. He contributed to history the idiom “Wei Jie was watched to death” (看杀卫玠).

Wang Wulang’s inviting Chen Rong to accompany him was thus as ordinary as it could be.

Chen Rong had barely drawn near when she heard the irritable voice of the 7th lady: “Fifth brother, that Chen Rong is only a concubine-born daughter, how is she worthy of you? Your treating her like this is making the family lose our face!”

Chen Rong wrinkled her brow upon hearing these words. She lightly sneered and said to Old Shang: “Old Shang, slow down.”


When her carriage stopped, the griping voice ahead was still ringing out: “I don’t know what father is thinking. If you ask me, Chen Rong is only fit to be your concubine. Marry her as a wife? Hmph, she is not worthy!”

At those last few words, Chen Rong’s black, bottomless eyes flashed a cold chill.

But she instantly concealed her emotions and lightly commanded her retainer: “There’s no need to go anymore. Let’s turn around.”

As a servant, Old Shang understood the 7th lady’s words even better than Chen Rong. He nodded right away and drove the carriage off.

Wang Wulang was lowering his voice to answer. When he raised his head and saw Chen Rong’s carriage turning around, he hastened to call: “Ah Rong, Ah Rong, why are you turning back?”

Chen Rong did not answer him.

Wang Wulang frowned. As he was about to chase after her, another youngster protested: “Fifth brother, don’t chase her. You can’t indulge her like this.”

Wang Wulang gave some thought and then slowly raised his hand, motioning the carriage to stop.

Chen Rong had just returned to the middle of the cavalcade when she heard a burst of noisy commotion ahead.

She lifted her curtain and looked outside.

Before she could see what was happening, Old Shang, who was squinting to look ahead, gave a cry: “Miss, it’s Wang Qilang’s troop! I can’t believe we get to meet him here!”

Immense joy was heard in Old Shang’s voice.

Wang Qilang?

She unconsciously recalled his handsome figure in her mind. She drew her curtain and tilted her head to look.

This translation belongs to hamster428. 𝑖𝗻𝗻𝑟e𝒶𝗱. 𝒄𝑜𝑚

A very large troop came into sight. It was not any smaller than the group she had joined. From the waving flags, she could tell that in addition to Qilang of the Wang house – Wang Hong – the team also included people from the Yu house.

No wonder Old Shang was so happy. Now that both teams had met up, they would be much safer!

“Old Shang, let’s go up to them,” Chen Rong said, staring at the dusty smoke rising ahead.

“Aye, miss.”

No one noticed Chen Rong’s arrival. All Wang youngsters were rushing out. In an instant, there was a group of fifty to sixty persons between the two teams. And everyone in this group was handsomely dressed to match their fine-looking faces.

In addition to about two dozen members of the Wang house, Chen Rong had never met the rest before. She reckoned they must be members of the Yu house.

These people formed a circle as they talked and laughed, trapping the two men within. At a glance, Chen Rong could see the 7th son of the Wang house, Wang Hong, standing out like a heavenly existence in the crowd.

Next to Wang Hong was another man with extraordinary bearing, but at this distance her line of sight was blocked, and Chen Rong could not make his face out.

As Chen Rong was watching them, a sigh came floating next to her: “I heard that whenever members of the Wang house of Lang’ya (1) gather, people would sigh ‘like gems and pearls’. Now as I watch these youngsters, somehow I feel ashamed and foul.”

Qilang belongs to the larger Wang clan, but his branch hails from Lang’ya, hence he is also sometimes known as Lang’ya Wang Qi. I assume this is one of the more influential, if not the primary branch of the Wang clan.

The speaker was the middle-aged scholar who was often seen accompanying Wang Zhuo. Although he was of gentry background, his family name was on the lower rung of high society. After he had finished speaking, he turned to look at Chen Rong, who was sitting inside her carriage and lamented: “I fear only you can understand my lamentation.”

Even though Chen was an exceptionally distinguished house, Chen Rong’s father was a concubine-born son of a subsidiary branch. She, too, was concubine-born. They could be said to be of a lower class among the nobility. This was the reason why the middle-aged scholar had lamented thus.

Chen Rong made no answer, but when she gazed to the Yu and Wang youngsters, her eyes were remarkably clear and bright, betraying neither shame nor foulness. After the scholar carefully regarded her for a while, he suddenly offered: “Miss, your looks and knowledge are both superior compared to ordinary people. No wonder you don’t share my feelings.” He briefly paused and then could not help himself from adding: “Unfortunately, your background is still too humble.”

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Mei Gongqing Chapter 12: Escape