The clouds of battle rose thickly in front of the village, and the soldiers that Wu Wangfei had brought along with her united with the burly guards of the manor to protect the village, with the petty criminals already infiltrating the land, bent to kill. But in the southern garden, there was still great happiness…
Some ten beautiful young girls had gotten up early to eagerly dress themselves, just waiting for Wu Wangfei to call them in. Up until noon there was still no news, and so they became a little more assertive and daring, and had secretly went to the gate of the southern cloister, searching their brains for a way to find an audience with Wu Wangfei.
Alas, the security around the southern cloister was stiff, and even after twisting their tongues in efforts to sweet talk the guards, the men still refused to let them leave. Having used all their charms, the girls were disappointed, but did not have the courage to force their way out.
Just as time was dragging on, the gate suddenly sprang open, and Zhang Ma came in with a solemn expression, bringing with her some of the guards of the manor.
Zhang Ma surveyed the scene, and guessed what the girls had all congregated here for, but because the situation was so serious, she could not slowly comfort them, or send them off.
“Girls, I need you all to gather in the HuaTing hall*; without my orders, none of you may leave even half a step!” As she said this, other maids went to the other courtyards to call on the people, and at the same time brought in more soldiers to secure the location.
(*in the raw : 花厅上 mean flower room like Cfensi translated. But to preserve the elegance of the art of chinese novel with historical genre, i choose to let it stay in chinese, but adding hall in the end, thought 厅 alone means hall, or room.)
The Nanyuan was generally the dwelling of women, with high walls and few doors, and so was the easist place to guard within the manor. At the moment there were only eighteen singers and dancers, and four women in charge of their affairs living here, without any other servants around – and so it was the perfect location for the Wu Wangfei to hide.
Before long, the HuaTing hall in the Nanyuan was secured, and all of the girls had arrived. Although they were uncertain, they had decorated themselves brilliantly; from afar, it was impossible not to be touched by the purples and reds!
Yun Ge had just been dug out of the crowd of people, and she looked down at herself to see her common apparel, secretly spitting on the ground. She yawned and hid behind the beautiful women, and then took out a paper bag from her sleeve; there were some sweets in there that Aunt Li kindly gave her.
And so Yun Ge secretly ate behind the crowd of people. She asked a singer who she was comparatively close to, “Yueyi, what is there such a huge battle going on for?”
“I, I don’t know either, just heard that there was a lot of noise outside, and then Aunt Li told us to come over here, and said that without orders, we are forbidden to leave.” This girl called Yueyi was two years older than Yun Ge, but she was shy and gentle, and anxious at the moment, probably frightened by Zhang Ma’s attitude.
Zhang Ma was usually fair and just, and had a lot of power within the manor, it could be said that she had the power to hurt or kill other people, but she was always very kind to the girls, and so this sort of attitude had never been seen before.
Perhaps Wangye felt that keeping all these women was a waste of money, and wanted to “fire” some workers? Yun Ge thought helplessly.
In the HuaTing hall, the girls were all stressed by the pressure of the anxious atmosphere, and the giggling so commonly seen had vanished.