After Becoming the Hero’s Ex-fiancée - Chapter 26
The Transient Realm (1.2)
If half a zhang2 was the normal distance to be kept between strangers, she had just made a big breakthrough. For now, she would wait for him to get used to her contact; she could figure out the rest later.
Zheng Wan had thought it through well. However, Cui Wang was different from the starstruck youths who had obeyed her every word. He shook out a piece of white silk from his sleeve and connected his wrist with hers.
“Stay one zhang away from me.”
Cui Wang’s expression told Zheng Wan that she mustn’t be impatient. Otherwise, she would definitely end up like that daughter of the Taiji Sect Master in the immortal realm, and never be able to get any closer.
She obediently stayed a little further away.
“Has the State Preceptor found a way out?”
Zheng Wan pushed the door, then pushed the window; it remained the same. Nothing budged.
“If you use the sword, maybe we can break out?”
Cui Wang pursed his lips, his lips flattened into a straight line:
“This room suppresses the use of all powers; I am the same as you.”
……In other words, he was now an ordinary mortal like her?
Zheng Wan seriously considered the possibility of stabbing Cui Wang right then, and inheriting his relics to embark on her own cultivation. But she realised reluctantly that the path was blocked from the very beginning.
First, she had no weapons; second, she had no skills. The amateur moves that she had learned in the academy wouldn’t even be able to let her get close enough, and once her killing intent was exposed, she would be immediately cut down by Cui Wang, who had superior five senses…
Not to mention that because of his cultivation, his body has long since been hard to hurt by mortal means.
Cui Wang didn’t find anything unusual in the incense ash; he got up and went to the bogu3 shelf on the other side.
Zheng Wan also shut her mouth and looked at the objects in the room one by one.
Since no powers could be used, there was no choice but to think of other methods. Unless it was extremely dangerous, there was always a way to break through a transient realm, and after breaking through, there would usually be rare and exotic treasures——
This was one of the conclusions she got from reading the book.
Along the window, there was a long table with a few screens, a brush washer, a brush holder, and an inkstone. The owner seemed to have been in the middle of writing, then gone out. Following that was a fireplace, a standing incense burner, a dressing table, a vanity box, a comb, makeup powders. On the wall facing the door, there was a painting of a blissful marriage; in the painting, the couple in wedding robes were performing their ceremonial bows.
On the other side, was the rosewood babu bed4 and the bogu shelf. On the bogu shelf was a green jade thin-necked vase—the peach blossoms in it have already withered. Pasted on the south wall was the sign of ‘double happiness’5. An Eight Immortals table6 was placed against the wall, on which the pair of dragon and phoenix candles…
Zheng Wan frowned.
“Something doesn’t feel quite right…”
Cui Wang’s dark eyes looked into hers; she actually felt that there was a glimmer of expectation hidden in them.
“Ah, I got it!”
Zheng Wan tapped her knuckles on her brow and pointed to the dressing table. “There’s no mirror!”
This was obviously a room for a newlywed couple, prepared for both the master and the mistress. There was a table for reading and writing, a dressing table with grooming items and makeup—the only thing missing was a mirror!
Looking at the furnishings, it couldn’t be because it wasn’t affordable—it could only be intentional!
Which woman would have missed out on something as important as a mirror on her dressing table!
Cui Wang’s brows were tightly knit, “Why do you need a mirror?”
“How can one put on makeup without a mirror?” Zheng Wan opened the drawers of the vanity box one by one—there was not even a small copper mirror. “Gold zans and jade accessories, powder and rouge, lacquered pearl inlay makeup brushes—everything is here. But why is there no mirror? ——Something’s not right!”
Cui Wang said nothing.
He walked over to the dressing table. He tapped and knocked on the vanity box, listening closely. Finally, he did something to the box, and with a “clack”, a compartment popped out from the last wooden drawer. When he reached in, he found a mirror, the size of his palm. There was a circle of reeds around the handle, and its body was carved with fine workmanship; exceptionally gorgeous.
“Wow, it’s beautiful!”
Zheng Wan leaned forward; a lock of hair floated from her forehead from the movement and fell on Cui Wang’s wrist, bringing with it the fragrance of magnolia.
2 zhang: 丈; A customary Chinese unit of length equal to 10 chi (Chinese feet). Its value varied over time and place with different values of the chi, although it was occasionally standardised. Since the 1930s, this value has been revised and fixed to an exact value of 3⅓ metres. However, as the measurement fluctuated greatly in different dynasties, and the exact time period of the novel is not entirely clear, I’ve chosen to leave it as the ancient unit instead of giving it a modern value. Fun fact: in the very first instance of this measurement, 1 丈 was 1.695m, and was referred to 丈夫 (husband) as it was about the average height of a person.
3 bogu shelf: 博古架; A shelf that serves as a kind of indoor partition, and is also a quaint setting for indoor antiques, jade articles, etc. They come in a variety of sizes, from smaller ones to be placed on tables to floor-length ones. In order to display various antiques and other small items, but also to produce a rich sense of hierarchy , the grids on the shelves are mostly put together into a variety of patterns to form spaces of different shapes and sizes.
4 babu bed: 拔步床; This is the largest bed in traditional Chinese furniture. These beds too didn’t place much importance on the mattress but was known for their intricate woodwork of the bed frames that always had the word “寿” (Longevity) and “福” (Happiness) carved on it. It’s very large and the structure is complicated. Babu bed can be divided into two parts as a whole, one is the canopy bed, and the other is the corridor in front of the canopy bed. The function of the bed frame is to hang drapes, and in order to achieve a spacious and bright feeling, a shorter bed circumference is installed on the left, right and back. Therefore, the Babu bed is like a small house in the room.
5 double happiness: Double Happiness is a ligature, “囍” composed of 喜喜 — two copies of the Chinese characters 喜, literally meaning joy, compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character, and is pronounced as a polysyllabic Chinese character, being read as 双喜 (shuangxi). It is a Chinese traditional ornament design, commonly used as a decoration symbol of marriage. The color of the character is usually red.
6 eight immortal table: 八仙桌; A traditional piece of Chinese furniture. It refers to a square table with four sides of the same length and a wide tabletop. Two people can sit on each of the four sides, so a total of eight can sit around all four sides, like the Eight Immortals, so the Chinese folks call it the Eight Immortals table. (The Eight Immortals are a group of legendary immortals in Chinese mythology.)
Want to read more chapters and support us? Please consider becoming a patron to read up to 24 chapters in advance!