Oh lordy, I had forgotten how awesome this chapter of Yun Zhong Ge was. It’s all happy, so don’t worry, pure happiness and then some. At times I felt like I was translating a steamy chapter of a romance novel. Let’s just say….there be A LOT of kissing. Watching Yun Ge try to seduce Liu Fu Ling had me chortling at her mostly foiled attempts, plus Liu Fu Ling’s cluelessness has got to be a new standard. But the final scene of boating on a genuine boat is a thing of glorious beauty. Tong Hua goes for restraint and emotion, and the result is just lovely beyond belief. So utterly satisfying! There are so many set pieces in YZG that will be breathtaking to see onscreen in the drama adaptation, and this is definitely going to be one of them.
Chapter 38: Husband and Wife
Liu Fu Ling ordered Yu An to help him change his clothes, then he cleaned his face, making himself presentable again. When Yun Ge went inside his room, she saw him sitting on his pallet, his face paler than usual, but seemingly more energetic than the last few days.
Yun Ge’s heart was not joyous, but rather it “plopped” with a thud. She initially wanted to ask, but then decided not to. If this was what he wanted to present to her, then that is all she needed to know.
She quietly sat down beside him and embraced him, her face buried in his neck. Liu Fu Ling gently stroked her hair and said with a smile “Let me finish the matters on hand and then we can go to Lu Mountain and soak in the hot springs in the cold Winter air. It’s quite an experience. Last year you were recovering from your injury, plus you were in a pique towards me, so I never did take you to the hot spring when we lived on Lu Mountain last year.”
Yun Ge smiled “Rather than admitting you are a big liar, you want to blame me for being upset at you?”
Liu Fu Ling thought to himself – if he had told her the truth when they first met, about his real identity, his real name, how would things have turned out? Would they have avoided all their missed opportunities?
No, that wouldn’t be the case. Yun Ge would have heard that he married Shang Guan Xiao Mei a year after he returned to the Palace, in which case she would have never come to Chang An. She would never have met Meng Jue. She may have met a man like the eagle on the plains, the two of them setting flight together.
If that happened, it would have been better than right now.
Yun Ge saw Liu Fu Ling deep in thought so she asked “Ling gege, what are you thinking about?”
“I was thinking that a person really should never tell a lie.” Liu Fu Ling suddenly realized she was wearing only a thin robe so he said in frustration “Couldn’t you have put on warmer clothes before coming over?”
Yun Ge’s body shivered a little so Liu Fu Ling thought she was cold so he wrapped her tightly in the blanket and held her close, wanting to use his body heat to chase away her chill. Yun Ge nestled next to him for a bit, then she started squirming. Her body started rubbing against him, leaving Liu Fu Ling shaking his head “Yun Ge, what are you doing? If you keep twisting and turning, you’ll never fall asleep.”
Yun Ge didn’t respond and continued to twist left and right as she pressed up against Liu Fu Ling’s body. Liu Fu Ling suddenly got nervous and he raised himself to a half sitting position “Yun Ge, are you feeling sick? I’ll call for the royal physician.”
Yun Ge suddenly yelped and pushed Liu Fu Ling away, seemingly very frustrated, so much so that she stomped her foot on the pallet in a temper.
Liu Fu Ling was completely flummoxed, his mind going through all the scenarios but he couldn’t make heads or tails of why Yun Ge was behaving this way “Yun Ge, what happened?”
Yun Ge covered her face in her hands and let out a loud sigh! Liu Fu Ling said nothing and just watched her quietly. After Yun Ge’s embarrassed frustration went away, she turned around and said to Liu Fu Ling face-to-face “You are such a block of wood!”
Before Liu Fu Ling’s confusion was fully expressed, Yun Ge kissed him on the lips. His heart thundered and his body stiffened. Yun Ge’s lips were caressing his lips, using the littlest nibbles to entice him to respond.
He finally returned her desire, and in the beginning he was awkward and untried, but gradually natural instinct kicked in and he began to take the lead.
This was the tender passion he had been waiting for all these days. Once released, it started to burn wildly between them. Yun Ge didn’t know when it happened, but she long forgot her initial frustration with him, and her mind was blank as her body soared and she could only tightly embrace him.
Liu Fu Ling’s kiss traveled from Yun Ge’s lips down to her cheek, her chin, lingering on her neck, and he finally placed a long deep kiss on her clavicle. He suddenly stopped and tightly embraced Yun Ge in his arms.
Yun Ge was lost and softly asked “Ling gege?” Liu Fu Ling’s voice was hoarse “Don’t be naughty anymore, go to sleep.” Yun Ge refused and she continued to wiggle in his arms. He already knew her intention and right now it felt like he was holding a burning ember in his arms.
Her thin silken robe, instead of tempering the seduction, instead added an ephemeral quality that increased the allure. Yun Ge didn’t even know that her body had already lit the spark between them, so she dejectedly continued to persist. Her lips traveled to his ear and started to nibble on it.
Liu Fu Ling suddenly sat up and wrapped Yun Ge in a blanket. He carried the “blanket” out of his room and towards her quarters. Yun Ge struggled and started cursing “You stupid block of wood! Let me down, let me down!”
Liu Fu Ling tossed Yun Ge on her pallet and then told the arriving Yu An and Mo Cha “Watch her! Don’t let her off the pallet until tomorrow morning!” He finished and rushed back towards his room.
Yun Ge screamed at his retreating back “Stupid block of wood! We’re not finished yet!” Liu Fu Ling ignored her and walked away.
“Ah————“ Yun Ge made a fist as she screamed with her face beet red, crying in frustration. Yu An and Mo Cha stared at each other, unclear what the heck just happened.
Yun Ge was someone who never gave up. When she said something wasn’t done, it wasn’t done. Liu Fu Ling’s headache increased daily.
Yun Ge was only somewhat aware of the things between a man and a woman. But there was no one to teach her, so she learned from reading the secret manuals in the Palace. Everyday she would try a new trick. She wasn’t going to stop until she accomplished her goal.
Yu An finally figured out what was going on and he laughed so hard he almost bust a gut. From then on, there was another person involved in the schemes. Yu An would sometimes help Yun Ge find a good opportunity to strike, and then he would sit back and wait for the good news.
Liu Fu Ling felt like he was in a farce. It was like everyone in Xuen Shi Pavilion saw him as a white rabbit, and everyone was hoping and praying that Yun Ge the tiger would devour him.
One night, Yun Ge sauntered into the bedroom and Liu Fu Ling immediately stood up “It’s such a brisk Autumn evening, let’s go boating on the lake.” But the truth was that he couldn’t endure being in the same room with Yun Ge anymore.
Yun Ge gave him a sidelong glance, considering his suggestion, and then nodding “Fine!”
Liu Fu Ling was hoping that the boating would tire Yun Ge out and she would fall asleep shortly thereafter and stop tormenting him. Yu An ordered a boat placed on the lake. Yun Ge and Liu Fu Ling each took an oar and set off.
Usually Yun Ge was a chatterbox. Especially when Liu Fu Ling found time to accompany her somewhere fun, she would get even more excited and talk even more. But this time, perhaps she had a lot on her mind, she instead said very little.
The two of them quietly sat side-by-side on the boat. The Autumn breeze wafted over them, and a few fireflies flitted around them, dipping low and then taking flight.
Under the faint glow of the fireflies, Yun Ge sat beside him with her head down. She was murky in the low light, without her normal cheerfulness, only showing a face full of worry. The two of them stopped rowing at the same time, allowing the waves to carry the boat.
Yun Ge laid down on the boat and looked at the stars in the sky, zoning out. Liu Fu Ling laid down next to her, also looking at the sky. The sky was low tonight, seemingly wrapping a person up in its embrace.
The lake surface was like a mirror, reflecting the stars in the sky, creating yet another starry tableau. The two sets of stars glittered at each other.
Looking up, there was a sky full of stars. Looking down, there was a lake full of stars. And in between, fireflies glowed like stars. The experience was so surreal, making one feel like standing in the Milky Way.
Yun Ge murmured “I thought I had seen every conceivable night sky before, who knew there was something as amazing as this.” She unconsciously shifted closer to Liu Fu Ling, who shifted away, so she shifted closer again, and he shifted away again until he was pressed against the side of the boat.
Yun Ge didn’t have any intention to do anything, so seeing him react this way, it made her hurt “Am I a ravenous beast? I just wanted to nestle on your shoulder.” She turned around with her back towards him, facing the other side of the boat.
Liu Fu Ling felt anguish and went to embrace her. She shuddered as he pulled her into his arms “Yun Ge, you’re not a ravenous beast. It’s me. I….I can’t…….” Liu Fu Ling could not say it out loud. It’s not that he didn’t want her, it’s that he didn’t want to ruin the rest of her life.
Yun Ge asked “You can’t what?” After some time, Liu Fu Ling softly said “I can’t do it with you. It’s something you need to wait until your wedding night to do with your husband. He will accompany you for the rest of your life, he will take care of you for the rest of your life.”
Yun Ge’s eyes were filled with tears “Aren’t you my husband?”
Liu Fu Ling had no response for her. Yun Ge dried her tears and turned around to stare at him “You don’t want to marry me?”
“Of course I want to marry you.”
Yun Ge grabbed the edge of his robe and tied it with the edge of her robe. She then tried to grab a lock of his hair to tie with a lock of her hair “With the sky as witness, the water as matchmaker, the stars as promise, the fireflies as our guests, tonight you and I become (hair-knotted) husband and wife.”
Liu Fu Ling forced a smile and grabbed her hand “Yun Ge, stop with this nonsense!”
“What nonsense is this? You said you would marry me, and I want to marry you. You’re willing, I want do, so what nonsense is this? We can have the most luxurious wedding suite but it can’t compare to tonight’s night sky. We can have the most glittering lamp light, but it can’t be more beautiful than the fireflies tonight.”
Liu Fu Ling went to untie their tied robes “It’s dark already. I have things to do tomorrow, I need to head back to rest.”
Yun Ge grabbed his arm to prevent him from untying their “knot”, but she couldn’t win against his strength. Seeing as he was about to untie it, she was so anxious she threw herself into his arms and grabbed him, their bodies pressed together.
One tried to push the other off, but the other held on tight. The boat started to sway violently and Liu Fu Ling said “Let go. If you keep up with this nonsense, the boat will flip over.”
“Then let it flip over. We can drown together.” Yun Ge didn’t ease off and instead grabbed him even tighter. Liu Fu Ling didn’t dare to push her anymore, only letting her embrace him until gradually the boat steadied itself.
The sky and the water was vast, but he had nowhere to escape. Liu Fu Ling finally realized that his suggestion to go boating was a terrible mistake. Yun Ge tenderly asked “Can you call me “my lady wife” or “my beloved wife”? Can you?”
Liu Fu Ling didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. Yun Ge was using every one of her ideas to get him to admit that they were now “married”. He decided to shut his eyes and ignore her. Once she tired herself out, they could go back.
Yun Ge laid down on top of him and kissed his eye, but he didn’t respond. She kissed his other eye, but he still didn’t respond. She kissed his every feature, and finally she kissed him on the lips. Her kiss was filled with passion and longing, love and desire.
His body started to betray his mind, so he tried to think about Huo Guang, Liu Xun, Liu He, but in the end, he realized that everything dimmed in his mind and all he could see was a girl in green. Her every smile, every pout, her every happiness, every anger, it was crystal clear in his mind.
Yun Ge did everything she knew how but he still wasn’t responding. She was so frustrated she bit him on the lips to release her grievance. He silently sighed and his arms reached out and embraced her, turning them around so that she was below him. He leaned down and kissed her deeply.
A deep long kiss, filled with tender longing, their desire for each other passed through their joined lips. He took her soaring in flight, but as they barely took off, it suddenly halted.
His lips stopped at her neck and didn’t continue further. Yun Ge had been reading some sensual books filled with drawings these past few days and she knew that her body was aroused. She reached out to disrobe him “Ling gege, I’m already your wife.”
Liu Fu Ling pushed her hand away “Yun Ge, no!”
Yun Ge’s eyes pooled with tears and she started disrobing herself “Liu Fu Ling, I want to be your wife. I want! I want! I want! No matter for one year, one month, or just one day! Why won’t you understand? I don’t want forever and always, I don’t need to grow old together. I want our remaining time together to be truly living, truly having each other. Are you worried that once you’ve had me, in the future no man will want me? Don’t worry! I promise I’ll find a man who’ll marry me. If he refuses because of this, then that is not a man I would want anyway!”
Yun Ge’s tears were falling down her face as she took off half her robe. Liu Fu Ling grabbed her hand, his eyes filled with pain, with worry, with desire. The topic they had been dancing around and too scared to discuss, Yun Ge dragged it out in the open.
Liu Fu Ling thought – Yun Ge, it’s not that I don’t understand, it’s you who doesn’t understand. The less memories I imprint on your life, the easier it will be for you to forget me un the future.
Liu Fu Ling pulled Yun Ge’s robe closed and casually said “A man doesn’t like a woman who is too forward with herself.”
Yun Ge stared at him “You liar! What are you afraid of? Are you afraid I won’t be able to forget you? Ling gege, the memories left on the body compared to the memories left on the soul, which is more important? If you want me to forget you, I will forget you.” Yun Ge tears landed on his hand “Some people live an entire life and never experience happiness. Some people live to be nineteen and have truly been happy before. I would rather be the latter.”
Yun Ge’s tears were as heavy as a thousand pound weight, striking him until he had no strength left to resist.
Yun Ge softly said “Ling gege, since I was a child my wish was to become your wife. Do you want my wish not to come true? You keep thinking about tomorrow, but you forget that what you are doing today is making me cry. Why can’t you give me happiness right now? You can still give me a lot of happiness right now? A lot, a lot. So why won’t you?”
Liu Fu Ling’s hand shook and he released her.
Yun Ge’s tears fell down her face like a pearl necklace that had shattered. Each round drop was thick and heavy. He reached out his hand to capture it. In Yun Ge’s devastated and pleading expression, his eyes teared up as well.
He lowered his head and picked up the edge of Yun Ge’s robe, tying a dead knot with his own robe, tightly binding them together. He also picked up a lock of Yun Ge’s hair and tied it in a knot with a lock of his hair.
When he raised his head, he smiled and reached for Yun Ge’s hand “With the Heavens as the witness, with the stars as the matchmaker, you are my one and only wife in this lifetime.”
Yun Ge broke into a beaming smile, and in that split second, her smile caused the entire star-filled sky to lose its glory.
The ties were loosened, the robes gently parted.
The dark night was like wine, the stars like a blessing.
The air was crisp and cool, but their embrace was warm and inviting.
His movements were tentative and untried, but tender and intoxicating.
This magical experience seemed to stand still at this very moment.