So, the story behind Tang Muxin and Ye Cheng went like this:
Ye Cheng was a clever, handsome young man with a sweet if chatty mouth and was also one of the relatively richer villagers who showed a lot of potential. Tang Muxin, the original, had a not so secret crush on him a few years ago.
Unfortunately despite being quite pretty and having the benefit of a good family to add to her appeal, she too was heavy handed and arrogant, believing it was Ye Cheng's privilege for someone like him to catch her eye. She aggressively pursued him and chased away many of his friends, both male and female alike, and therefore chased away a lot of his clientele.
Jia Hyson eating melon seeds as he listens to the internal monologue: 'Oh damn.' •_•
But it didn't end there.
Finally, she somehow managed to get him drunk, stripped their clothing and pretended he took her chastity the next day in attempt to get him to marry her.
When he still rejected her, she loudly accused him of r*pe.
Jia Hyson eating melon seeds as he listens to the internal monologue: 'Oh daMN.' ☉_☉
Ye Cheng had been severely and publicly punished with a hundred strokes with a heavy stick by a furious head of the Tang Family. It should be known, this sort of thing could actually kill a person or at the very least, guaranteed to severely cripple them.
Luckily, upon seeing the man she liked get beaten bruised and bloody, the original vicious but still young Tang Muxin grew frightened and guilty. By the thirty-seventh hit she finally ran ran out of the crowd to kneel in front of her father and confess she lied in order to try get Ye Cheng to marry her.
The head of the Tang family was of course so angry he vomited blood.
Did she have no guts as well as no brains?
If you're going to do something do it all the way! The fact she rescinded her accusation in front of such a large crowd was a huge slap in the face for the Tang family. People will think they had no concept and morals or etiquette for raising a daughter with such vulgar schemes, they will think the Tangs are full of bias toward their own and will harm innocents for selfish reasons and so on, so on.
At least half her father's love was lost that day.
Ye Cheng also was not grateful to her sudden change of heart. Which, like, fair enough ah. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Taking thirty-seven blows did not take a short amount of time after all. The punisher will give him a short period to take a breather after every ten beatings, letting the hot sun burn over his already heated wounds. The pain and humiliation he endured was excruciating. Not to mention death was common after heavy beatings like his punishment was meant to be- often due to infection setting in through the ruptured skin and internal damages.
Though he felt great relief there was no way he felt gratitude.
Who cares if she stopped it. She was the person responsible for the whole farce in the first place!
The original Tang Muxin of course wouldn't be able to pick up on it but the transmigrated super spy assassin doctor Tang Muxin of course could with these memories. It would be strange not to feel such bone deep hatred ah. Honestly it's a testament to Ye Cheng's good nature and restraint that he didn't do anything rash and merely went home to recuperate and avoid the Tang family.
Of course the patriarch has to make amends given the public faceslapping so Ye Cheng eventually albeit very reluctantly reconciled with the head of the Tangs and by extension, the Tang family. At the very least now the Tang family gave him some protection and benefits that helped him gain his own small status and riches, more than enough to let his parents live nicely when he wasn't around so most of the dissatisfaction toward the Tang family had faded. However his hatred for Tang Muxin was much harder to shake off.
Maybe over time the fierce, vicious, mind-numbing disgust and hatred he had for her had been tempered and slowly forgotten but it wasn't even close to say that he had completely gotten over it much less forgiven her for her repulsive actions.
Jia Hyson: 'Bruh, if I was Ye Cheng, you wouldn't have had a body to transmigrate to.'
Tang Muxin: '...'
Jia Hyson: 'Because the other Tang Muxin would be dead.'
Tang Muxin: '.....Yes. I got that.' (¬_¬)
To have a body who is irreconcilable enemies with the most suitable person to be friends with at this moment.. Tang Muxin could feel the malice of the universe.
"Eldest Miss Tang," Ye Cheng repeats impatiently, the heat of irritation searing underneath his glacial tone. "May I ask what you are doing here? And what I can do to make you leave?"
Jia Hyson was a little impressed. There was not a hint of etiquette or politeness that should have belonged to a person of a lower caste ah. In an era where even dirtying the sleeve of a noble can get a passerby flogged, this was really bold, hatred or no hatred. He didn't expect it from the easygoing, sociable and relatively intelligent Ye Cheng.
Tang Muxin, who was holding a big shiny stinking black pot in her hands, felt her eye twitch before her expression turns solemn and blank. Ye Cheng was suprised by the change, after all, this aloof coldness was very different to the temperamental and arrogant air Tang Muxin usually had.
His eyes sharply caught the faint tremble of her clasped hands as she softly says, "If I had any other choice I wouldn't want to bother you either." There was still pride in her voice but it contained exhaustion and apology.
Ye Cheng frowns, he likes gossip but he tends to avoid the topics related to Tang Muxin. Unfortunately, who told that stupid girl to be worthy of so many rumors and scandals with her terrible behavior and loud personality? He of course had heard that she had recently done another bad thing to the Tang head's main legal wife and daughter resulting in a harsh solitary confinement that had been going on for a while now.
Initially Ye Cheng felt a dark sense of twisted satisfaction from this. After all, if any woman deserved it, it was this vile narrow minded young lady who constantly digs her own pits to fall into. However, Ye Cheng had a soft heart. Now that he saw Tang Muxin who was clearly thinner and less well off than before, from her pallid pale skin to her simple slightly dirty garments, he felt a bit bad for scorning her.
Plus, whatever she had experienced in isolation seemed to change her attitude a little. Ye Cheng isn't sure what it was but it's clear to him that she's changed quite a bit, even the atmosphere around her seemed a bit more dense, domineering even, like a predatory animal, solitary and powerful. The arrogance in her was no longer loose and filled with unfounded confidence, instead it seemed like her large pride has been whittled into a sharp blade.
Ye Cheng had seen a few nobles in passing as well as their guards. Tang Muxin right now reminded him faintly of the strongest guards he had seen. However, this comparison seemed a little ridiculous, those guards learnt and trained in martial arts and strengthened their bodies into weapons. No matter how terrible the punishment Tang Muxin had to endure, as the only daughter of the Tang head's sweetheart, she wouldn't have been treated so viciously to cause such a qualitative change…
Tang Muxin then bows 90 degrees at him, "Please," She says softly, voice quiet but firm.
Ye Cheng still didn't want to but he felt a little sympathy toward her now. After hesitating for a second he figures it wouldn't hurt to let her in for now ah. Worse comes to worse, he can always kick her out if she acts unruly again and maybe even get a reward from the Tangs for reporting her escaping the confinement punishment.
Rubbing his forehead he steps aside to let her in, "Don't expect this granddaddy to serve you tea ah."
"Of course," Pleasant surprise flits through Tang Muxin's eyes and the corners of her lips turn slightly upward into a small, grateful smile momentarily dazzling Ye Cheng.
Ye Cheng had initially been a little attracted by Tang Muxin who was a bit plain but quite cute and pretty when she wasn't wearing garish makeup and flashily unflattering expensive dresses that didn't suit her. So in the beginning he had actually been flattered by such an aggressive and passionate pursuit.
Unfortunately Tang Muxin had been a crazy person who immediately took his tentative but interested attitude as agreement that he would be hers forever and that he would do everything she wanted and not talk to anyone she didn't like- which was pretty much everyone.
Obviously he didn't take it well and tried to break it off resulting in the most traumatising event of his life.
Recalling this he immediately returned back to reality with a renewed unfriendly and hostile attitude toward his guest. Even if she had suffered and changed a bit who knows if this was permanent? It's easy for a good person to go bad but it's almost impossible for a bad person to become good. Ye Cheng liked to be optimistic but he didn't believe that Tang Muxin wasn't still the selfish, delusional bitch she had always been. It's difficult for the core of a person to change.
Once she entered the room, Ye Cheng was left with an expectant Da Gong and Xiao Bang waiting at the doorway. Ye Cheng wanted to get angry at them but he couldn't muster up the irritation looking at his proud rooster and the tiny lizard clinging on his neck.
"Some good you are ah," Ye Cheng sighs before squatting down and lightly poking Da Gong's little head playfully, "How could you bring the enemy home. Aiyah, usually you're so good at telling good from bad, did you eat something strange today?"
Da Gong tilted his head confusedly, "Cluck?" Why was he poked?
Didn't he already say that this was a homewrecker? Doesn't Ye Cheng understand that by bringing this homewrecker here she can be distracted by your male pheromones and forget about his worm? Tch, his human is still so stupid and doesn't understand his deep thoughts.
Seeing the rooster's befuddled and unamused expression Ye Cheng just chuckles helplessly and lets the rooster inside after one last poke.
Da Gong, despite his domineering and wild nature, was only two years old. Roosters reach sexual maturity at around 4 to 5 months old and generally have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years.
When Ye Cheng picked him up, it was after the public beating so Da Gong wouldn't have recognized Tang Muxin. In a way, raising the tiny domineering fluff ball Da Gong helped him soothe his heart and recover most of his mental state as well as the support of his parents and fellow villagers.
His eyes catch onto the faint golden coloring of his new small family member Xiao Bang, who was clutching at the Da Gong's feathers. Xiao Bang turned to glance up at Ye Cheng, meeting his gaze. The little lizard's eyes were large and oddly entrancing. In a split second those eyes seemed to curve into crescents and it almost looked like the creature was smiling reassuringly.
Ye Cheng felt his heart settle down a bit more at the sight. That's right, past is past ah. So many things have changed and his life is filled with lively animals and financial stability. Since that incident his life had only gone uphill, unlike Tang Muxin who's trajectory had slowly dropped to the pitiful state she's in now. Even if he can't completely push aside his dislike he can at least bear with it and listen to what she had to say.
Under Jia Hyson's helpful prompts, Tang Muxin who was already well versed in the art of talking thanks to her spy training, spoke circles around Ye Cheng who while smart was still an uncultured and essentially uneducated young man. She first gave him some sincere apologies for all the shit the other Tang Muxin had done before striking the iron while it's hot and started selling tragedy.
Talking about how the legal main wife and daughter were two-faced vicious people, reluctantly admitting that she wasn't as smart as them causing downfall after downfall, even subtly implying that it was their egging on that caused her to act the way she had around Ye Cheng back then.
It wasn't a lie per say anyway. The Tang legal wife and daughter were very good at hiding daggers behind their sweet smiles. And they did put more than a few ideas in the original Tang Muxin's head that caused more than a few pitfalls for herself. Tang Muxin was unlikeable and had no friends, so it wasn't hard to manipulate her thinking by getting servant girls to gossip about how romantic X dogblooded story is and how it was such a shame that Miss Y wasn't possessive enough and lost her husband to a brothel worker and so on.
Of course... if the original Tang Muxin wasn't so naive and had read or tried to learn anything from her tutors she wouldn't have so easily believed these sort of things after a few weeks of prompting but who told the Author God to create such a dumbass?
Anyway, after selling her small tragedy without overselling it and stimulating Ye Cheng, Tang Muxin cleverly moves on to her repentance during isolation. "I've now realized how stupid, selfish and moronic I have been," She seriously says before dissing on the original Tang Muxin's various flaws with an enthusiasm that made it clear to Jia Hyson that she had been holding back her feelings about being transmigrated into such an awfully annoying character.
"-I've been a stupid idiot with nothing in her mind but petty vengeance and fashion that was easily swayed just by eavesdropping on a few maids, like who is that gullible? How can she, I mean, I, somehow take some passing by servant's gossip to heart and yet I don't recall even a single important thing from my tutors? Can this brain only retain dirty water? It's ridiculous!"
Ye Cheng: '???' Don't know what's going on anymore but understands Tang Muxin has definitely somehow seen the light and is now disgusted with her previous way of life.
In fact, Tang Muxin seemed so disdainful and loathing toward herself that he didn't even get to say his part. He had even felt a small urge to placate her and tell her that she wasn't as bad as she said. Of course that wasn't true so he didn't say anything, just silently listened to vicious verbal self abuse with slowly growing numbness.
Finally though he really could take the negativity anymore and interrupts her. "What exactly do you want?" Ye Cheng asks but his voice is much less aggressive and more tired.
Tang Muxin stops her ranting, suddenly realizing she had gotten too absorbed in venting out the anger in her heart. Embarrassed, she quickly gives the man a 90 degree bow as she shouts, "Please teach me life skills!"
Ye Cheng: '...'
Tang Muxin, rightfully afraid the other will reject her quickly continues using hard to refute logic, "There is no one in the Tang family that will be willing to help me and those that are I'm afraid may be planted by mother* and sister TingTing. Father has also lost hope in me and I don't have a strong connection to anyone. If I try get an outsider's help wouldn't it be easy for them to spill the beans to my family and sell me out for money?"
*I asked someone and apparently concubine daughters refer to the legal wife as mother apparently. Their biological mother are called Aunt. It's different for the palace though.
"That's.. true," Ye Cheng sighs. Once again he felt it was good to be a poor little bachelor. The richer and bigger the families, the more schemes and deceptions and drama seem to arise. Even though he wasn't completely comfortable with his powerlessness, at least the most he had to worry about was paying respects to his parents and making enough money to feed his pets. "But still, I can also see you out you know ah. The only reason I originally disliked the Tangs is because of-" He coughs awkwardly.
Tang Muxin also felt very awkward. However, even though she didn't know Ye Cheng and the man wasn't a character in the story, she could sense he was a good person. After all, despite their history, the man still invited her in and let her speak for the most part interrupted. Even after hearing her demands, he didn't immediately kick her out and sneer at her but still held a relatively patient albeit tired attitude.
Not only that, his home was small but warm. An old dog, a small cat with half a tail, and signs of other animals present in the house… Tang Muxin can deduce he has been keeping an assortment of animals and taking good care of them. Jin Bao had also attested to his good nature.
From what she's seen, Ye Cheng is trustworthy and kind. So even though she probably would be ultimately fine going off alone, Tang Muxin felt that if Ye Cheng could find it in his heart to help her she will receive only benefits.
So she truthfully replies, "Because you're a good guy."
Ye Cheng who got a good guy card: '…'
He looks at Tang Muxin whose eyes were wide and sincere. Not a trace of that disgusting obsessive love, just some hopeful tentative optimism.
Ye Cheng struggles with himself for a few seconds before finally acquiescing, "In two days I'll be going to visit the nearby town. It will be a relatively long two week trip. If you think you can go unnoticed that long you can come. If you don't then wait a week and-"
"No, I should be able to." Tang Muxin immediately agrees. She has no intention of living in the cold and complicated Tang house only to be sold as a maid later on. It's better to grasp this opportunity to leave as fast as possible. Two weeks learning the basics and getting an idea of the economy and trending products should be enough for her to muddle through life afterwards. After that she can bid Ye Cheng farewell, grab Jin Bao and leave.
Ye Cheng, oblivious to become an accomplice to a future runaway, merely thought the girl was being naive and stupid again.
After all, there were quite a few romantic little girls in the village that like to sneak out for the night to play or meet with a boy, thinking that they will never get caught. Sure maybe the first few nights they are successful, but there is always a day when they're not.
Though Tang Muxin is clearly neglected during her confinement period, there are still servants that will occasionally give her food and drink. If they find the meals are untouched after a while they will check on her properly to confirm her health and the truth will then come out.
However he is also familiar with this girl's temperament and if he denies her outright she'll explode and do something crazy. Even if he admits she has changed a bit, a person's temper is hard to tame.
"If you don't find a servant or maid willing to cover for you, you'll probably be found out by the second day you leave," He kindly tells her.
Hearing the advice, Tang Muxin felt even more assured he won't sell her out. "Don't worry," She assures, "I'll deal with it."
Ye Cheng gives her a faint look of disbelief before shrugging it off, ignoring the anxiety in his heart. He did try and warn her, it wouldn't be his fault that she will get punished later. And if she tries to throw the pot on him…. well it was common knowledge that he loathes her and will not associate with Tang Muxin if he could. Who would believe her if she said something like he offered to take her on a trip and elope?
"I also expect monetary compensation," Ye Cheng firmly adds on. If he's going to help his enemy, he might as well do it in return for something useful. The Tangs were filled with money anyway, even just taking a few trinkets from their jewellery boxes might be enough for Ye Cheng to provide his hungry household a few months worth of rice alone.
"Of course ah," Tang Muxin quickly agrees, embarrassed that she didn't offer it first.
They don't shake their hands or anything to seal the deal. The pair of humans just stood awkwardly for a bit before Ye Cheng finally sent her out. Tang Muxin for her part hurried back to the Tang residence. She had a lot to prepare for.
Jia Hyson: '...I feel forgotten.'
Seeing his protagonist leaving, Jia Hyson tries to scurry off toward her. Unfortunately, Da Gong, this rooster filled with vinegar was very upset with his action. Before Jia Hyson could drop to the ground and crawl, Da Gong managed to catch him with his beak, holding him in place.
"Mreep!" Jia Hyson shrieks in protest. What was Da Gong doing? That was their literal meal ticket running away ah! They didn't have too many spiritual energy syringes left okay! Tang Muxin you air-headed assassin, come back!
However, Jia Hyson's protest only served to make the rooster even more indignant and wronged.
Which worm was it that cuddled him so tightly while the humans were talking? Who played with his chest feathers and playfully nibbled his comb and tickled his wattles like a rogue? Da Gong had been awfully embarrassed and flustered by his worm's bold moves in front of the humans that he had stayed as still and silent as possible which only made his worm even more arrogant and unrestrained.
And now, now that his worm was satisfied he immediately tried to run off with that human wench!
Is this… the infamous dine and dash?
Unacceptable! ⋋(ಠ ⊝ ಠ)⋌
Plot is hard. But it's finally happening. I think. ORZ
Cheers to all the ko-fi and gift donations, and those powerstones are soo great. Really helps my self esteem hehe.
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