Outside the village, within a thick forest, there were hundreds of eyes that glinted like cruel wolves, harsh and greedy as they eyed the glamorous palace in front of them. Among them, one man – appearing to be the leader – gave a strange, gabbling laugh. “There are already some of our men by the side of Wu Wangfei. Gou-er* sent back news that security is relaxed during lunch; when they change shifts. Inside that manor there are women and money; I just need the Wu Wangfei to spare the life of my big brother, the other comrades can loot and share whatever they want…Hehe! Women of the Wangye ! You won’t have the chance again [vulgar language], even if you’re reincarnated eight or nine times!”
(* In Cfensi, this name was translated to doggy. It is true and right, but i choose not to translate the name because it sounds a bit unpleasing to the eyes and to the ears. Imagine that a real doggy that was mentioned in the story, and not human, sounds funny)
His underlings, hearing the news about Zhao Wangye’s wealth and luxury, thought of his manor as a golden mountain. And! There were concubines and singers of the first rank beauty in there. Even if it were true that those were the women that the prince didn’t want, they were sure to surpass the faded flowers and wilted willows of the brothels. Thinking of this the eyes of the petty criminals lit up with green light and they had to swallow the foam in their mouth, and could hardly wait to charge into the manor and loot its wealth!
The leader was quite pleased with the results [of his, um, inspiring speech], and pushed a sturdy man by his side forward. “Go! Follow the plan!”
In the manor of the eastern garden of the main building, the Wu Wangfei having eaten lunch, was energetically chatting with Zhang Ma*, the manager of internal affairs. She was in her early fifties, older than Wu Wangfei by a few years, an elder of Zhao Wangfu, her entire family devoted to the service of Zhao Wangfu. Her father was a private advisor to Zhao Wangye, her husband the chief butler of the estate, and her two sons were his honorable and competent subordinates, always fulfilling assignments for Wangye. She herself was quite close to the Wu Wangfei.
(*In Cfensi, she was translated as Mother Zhang. It is correct. But i choose to leave it in original style, because mother in chinese history holds different meaning than modern era. Zhang Ma is like the caretaker, or like the Momo of the empress’ side, or something similar like that, and not really a mother in the modern era. I hope this explains, else i also a bit confused from the explanation XD)
Wu Wangfei played with her tea cup. This high-quality white porcelain cup was tinted with a pale tea-green color, and she laughingly teased, “Zhang Ma, instead of running the affairs of Wangye’s courtyard, you’ve run off to this little out of the way place! What is the reason? Could it be that there are some immature daughter or mother in law or concubine who has upset you?”
Zhang Ma replied with a smile on her face: “It’s because this servant wanted some peace and quiet…” No sooner had she said “quiet,” than was there a very loud, disruptive noise outside.
Wu Wangfei was usually a woman who respected the rules, and always hated the improprieties of the servants more than anything else. Hearing the noise she wrinkled her brow, but seeing the embarrassed expression on Zhang Ma’s face, she could not help but start laughing.
Zhang Ma’s face reddened. “Forgive the sin of this old servant, Wangfei. I was incompetent in training the servants,” and saying this, backed out to see what had happened. As she walked she sighed darkly to herself, praying that none of the girls in the southern cloister had charged in, begging for an audience with the imperial consort.
But without having entered the door of the eastern courtyard, she saw one of the personal bodyguards of the consort gallop over, his face looked worried. As soon as he saw Zhang Ma, his first words were, “There’s a huge gang of bandits who have attacked, and have already broken through the front gate! Please tell Wangfei to prepare, and find a safe place to escape the danger!”