Happy Ending with the Second Male Lead

Happy Ending with the Second Male Lead

Chapter 2 - Tsundere Emperor Dog × Salted Fish Queen 2

Liao Tingyan sat listlessly at her desk as two servants cleared away the barely touched dishes. Seeing her young mistress had eaten so little again, Maidservant Lu advised with concern, "Lady, you should try to eat a bit more. How can your body handle it if you don't eat?"

"I have no appetite," Liao Tingyan said, recalling the frightening scene from yesterday that had given her nightmares last night. How could she possibly eat, especially since most of the dishes served in the manor were meat with few vegetables. It would be strange if she could stomach it now.

In all her twenty-plus years in her previous life and eight years since transmigrating here, this was the first time she had witnessed such a cruel and bloody scene. She had been too busy fleeing for her life to fully react in the moment, but once she was safely back home, she had vomited.

Maidservant Lu knelt beside her. "Then shall I fetch some goat's milk for you, Lady?"

Just then, the manor's head steward entered the room and reported to Liao Tingyan, "Lady, that Villager Chen refused to accept the gifts we sent, including the gold you specifically instructed to give him."

Liao Tingyan felt a slight headache. Ah right, the male lead was like this, very righteous and principled in the early stages, refusing gifts of gratitude. It seemed this was also in the original text.

"Then never mind it," Liao Tingyan said, not wanting to dwell on the matter. After the steward left, she stood up. "Prepare the ox cart. I'm going to visit Lady Cui."

Lady Cui was Liao Tingyan's close friend. Entertainment was limited in this dynasty. Going anywhere was very troublesome. Besides visiting temples to pray and relatives, the only way to pass time was to socialize with young ladies in the area. Lady Cui was considered Liao Tingyan's best friend.

As the ox cart headed towards the Cui residence, Liao Tingyan happened to glimpse a figure with a stall on the street through a gap in the curtain.

Was that the male lead Chen Yun? In the early stages, he indeed made a living as a hunter. Later, as the situation grew more turbulent, he gathered many people to rebel and rise up.

Liao Tingyan thought for a moment, then called Maidservant Lu over and instructed, "That person is my savior after all. Since he refuses to accept our gifts, have the manor servants keep an eye out. In the future, whenever he comes to the city to sell his game, buy it all. Consider it repayment."

"Yes, Lady," Maidservant Lu replied.

Satisfied, Liao Tingyan lowered the curtain, not giving it further thought. Although she didn't want to have a romance with the male lead, since he had saved her once, she had to repay him a little at least.

Arriving at the Cui residence, Liao Tingyan sat with Lady Cui, who chattered on about yesterday's events. "You don't know, but your story has spread everywhere. I was so worried about you! I heard Lord Liao took a large troop of manor guards to wipe out the mountain bandits yesterday. Has he returned yet?"

"Father won't be back until afternoon," Liao Tingyan said helplessly. "Please don't talk about this anymore. My head hurts from hearing it. Let's discuss something more interesting."

Lady Cui sat beside her and took her hand. "Alright, we won't talk about that. Speaking of interesting things, hey, did you know that Dai Yu, the one who's been pursuing you, was ordered by his father to go train in the military camp? That's great, this annoying guy won't be able to pester you anymore. How about that, feeling a bit happier now?"

That was indeed quite cheering. This Dai Yu could basically be considered the male and female leads' catalyst for deepening feelings in the early stages of the original novel.

Whenever he appeared to stir up trouble, it would make the leads' relationship progress. He was a typical arrogant, brainless, and lustful second-generation rich boy. Liao Tingyan also didn't want to see him.

"Oh right, the other day, my eldest uncle and aunt from the main family came. I heard they're planning to move from Luoyang to our Hexia. My two female cousins will come along too. By then, we'll have two more playmates." Lady Cui laughed happily, but hearing this, Liao Tingyan's good mood gradually faded, her smile disappearing.

Without Lady Cui's naivete, Liao Tingyan was very clear on why these people were moving away from Luoyang. Most of them had lovely unmarried daughters in the family and feared they would catch the emperor's eye and be summoned into the palace, so they chose to avoid misfortune by distancing themselves from the capital.

The current emperor, Sima Jiao, loved beautiful women and had many beauties in his palace. If he were merely lustful, that would be one thing. But he wasn't.

His Majesty liked to admire beauties, but would often go mad. The beauty he had adored just yesterday might be dragged away and killed with a wave of his hand the next day. It was said he was a violent, cruel master prone to fits of rage. Not only palace beauties, but also court ministers who displeased him could be executed on a whim.

It was precisely because he killed without regard, using brutal and cruel methods, that led to the later uprisings everywhere and the dynasty's downfall.

This emperor who brought ruin to the country, Sima Jiao, was none other than the original novel's second male lead. This was the real reason Liao Tingyan felt a headache coming on.

From her previous perspective as a reader, the second male lead Sima Jiao was undoubtedly a lunatic. By "lunatic", it meant his mind was truly sick, having at least a manic disorder. He was deranged, short-tempered, and had unfathomable thoughts.

The scene that left the deepest impression on Liao Tingyan was in the original novel, during a grand banquet where he hosted ministers, he suddenly ordered for no reason that a beloved beauty of his be skinned alive. After the skinning was completed, he had the skin tanned and sent to the beauty's father. It was said this scared the official to death on the spot.

Since he was the second male lead, the female lead naturally had interactions with Sima Jiao. It happened when the female lead ran away after arguing with the male lead and encountered the emperor out on an inspection tour. Stunned by her beauty, he took her with him.

To be honest, even though Sima Jiao was terrifying, he indeed never harmed the female lead in the original novel and instead doted on her. But that was useless. In the end, the male lead came to rescue the female lead and killed Sima Jiao anyway.

This second male lead Sima Jiao gave Liao Tingyan an even bigger headache than the male lead Chen Yun. If she didn't want to get involved with Chen Yun, Liao Tingyan could directly avoid him. But she couldn't avoid Sima Jiao!

Because according to the original novel, about half a year after the leads met, Sima Jiao heard there was a beauty named Lady Liao in Hexia and issued an imperial decree summoning her to the palace to accompany him.

Of course, the female lead was unwilling to enter the palace, because the emperor had a horrifying reputation, and by then she was already in love with the male lead, so there was no way she would go. Therefore, she fled from home to find the male lead, and Sima Jiao directly threw her father into prison.

Given that Liao Tingyan had gotten along well with her adoptive father over the past eight years, she did not want to harm him like the original female protagonist. She could only choose the opposite path from the original heroine. When the time really came, she would simply enter the palace.

In any case, Sima Jiao would not kill her. As long as she could keep her life and not implicate others, it would be fine. In this way, she would completely deviate from the original story.

Entering the palace in the near future was basically certain, but when Liao Tingyan thought of the cruel male second lead, she couldn't help but tremble. She had accepted her fate, but fear was still fear. The plot had already begun, which meant she only had half a year of good days left at most. This kind of death countdown really made it hard to relax.

Going out for a walk not only failed to relax her mood, but made her even more nervous. Liao Tingyan returned home with worry, only to find that her father had already returned.

Seeing his daughter's appearance, Lord Liao thought she was still frightened by yesterday's close call. He patted his daughter's shoulder with a stern face, "Don't be afraid, the group of bandits who infiltrated have all been wiped out. Such a thing will not happen again in the future."

Liao Tingyan looked at him. This was already the gentlest expression her father could show. Although he would not express concern for his daughter affectionately, he actually doted on this only daughter very much in his heart.

So Liao Tingyan didn't quite understand, how could the original female protagonist run away without considering what would happen to her father?

"Father, I'm fine."

"Mm, you rest well. Your father be here for you."

After a rare warm moment passed, Lord Liao hurriedly went to attend to official duties again, while Liao Tingyan was still idle. She was the only master at home, and the residence was large. Her daily routine was just eating and sleeping.

After lounging at home for a while, Liao Tingyan decided to go offer incense and take a stroll in the temple. The temples outside the city were out of the question, for fear of another mishap. There was a temple in the city with a thriving incense business, but she was also afraid of trouble with too many people. In the end, she decided to go to the more tranquil Lotus Mountain Temple.

Originally, it was sunny when she left the house, but halfway to Lotus Mountain Temple, it suddenly started raining. Helpless, she could only take shelter from the rain with her Maidservant Lu and a few other servants in a wooden pavilion in the mountains.

Not long after they sat down, another figure hurriedly ran up the mountain path.

Seeing Chen Yun again, Liao Tingyan's first reaction was to recall the original story. Did the original story have this scene of the male and female leads meeting by chance while taking shelter from the rain? It seemed not!

Although she couldn't remember the details clearly after several years, there was indeed no such scene of meeting while avoiding rain. How did they add this scene?

Seeing that there were people in the pavilion, and noble ladies at that, Chen Yun did not want to enter. However, the incense, paper money, and two lotus lanterns he was holding were to be offered before his parents' memorial tablets.

If they got wet in the rain, they would be useless. Therefore, he hesitated and asked, "May I put these in the pavilion? I will stay outside the pavilion myself and will not disturb the ladies at all."

Liao Tingyan silently sighed, "Please come in to avoid the rain, it's no problem."

Chen Yun entered the pavilion and only then discovered that he had encountered the lady of the Liao family again. Maidservant Lu, whom he had seen before, nodded and smiled at him. He also returned a salute, consciously standing in the corner of the pavilion away from them, very properly.

Liao Tingyan tidied her veil, thinking that this male lead was indeed not bad. After all, to be the male lead, his character setting must be solid. It was just a pity that she did not want to accompany the male lead in a heart-wrenching and lung-wrenching story.

The male lead had ideals and ambitions, was kind and principled in the early stage, turned into a hero through battles and killing in the middle stage, and later had palace struggles, becoming a deep-thinking lonely man. The female lead had to accompany him through the changes, and keep giving birth to children for him one after another. It was really tiring and troublesome.

She was thinking this in her heart, not knowing that Chen Yun was also thinking about her. These days, whenever he hunted game and sold it in the city, it would be quickly bought up by someone. After many times, he sensed something was amiss.

Only after inquiring did he learn that the ones buying the game were all servants of the Liao family. And after further inquiry, that person quietly told him that it was personally instructed by the young lady Liao.

Chen Yun was silent. Because he had refused the gift of thanks, that Lady Liao repaid him in such a roundabout way? Although the two had not spoken, he felt a lot of goodwill towards that Lady Liao because of this.

With such thoughtfulness, she must also be a kind-hearted lady who knew how to repay kindness. He just didn't expect that the two of them would meet here again.

The rain stopped quickly, and Liao Tingyan's group was about to leave first. She wanted to leave early, but who knew that after the rain, the road was slippery. Liao Tingyan's foot twisted and her body leaned forward. Although she was narrowly supported, her veil fell into the mud.

Liao Tingyan: "..." Was there a setting in this story that the veil must fall once in front of the male lead?

Chen Yun, who was originally avoiding to the side to let them go first, happened to see this scene. The white gauze fell, revealing a face that could be called peerless.

When those limpid eyes looked towards him, Chen Yun was almost stunned. Like a lotus in clear water, like a white flower on a lily pad, gentle and charming, beyond words.

Glancing at the male lead's reaction, Liao Tingyan: "..."

What a vivid expression of writing the two characters for "stunned" in his eyes.

Author's Note:

Yes, Emperor Sima Jiao is the original second male lead and also the true male lead of this story. There is no reversal or whitewashing. He is indeed a perverted psychopath.


Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!

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