No Matter Time or Place, I Will Accompany You
Xuan Tian Ming understood his wife very well. When this girl felt guilty or met with a problem that could not be resolved, she liked to make some small movements. For example, Feng Yu Heng was presently twisting his hair. Again and again, her fingers moved. Just twisting it was not enough, as it ended up looking like a small mahua.*
He was defeated, “Just treat it as though I never asked, alright? Let go of this prince’s hair.”
A certain person shook her head, “You’ve already asked. How could I act as though you never asked? This imperial daughter is not deaf.”
Xuan Tian Ming had a sudden fear that he would end up with his hair completely braided.
Fortunately, after the girl finished a third braid, she stopped and hugged him around his neck, asking: “Xuan Tian Ming, if I said that I was a goddess, would you be happy?”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “I would. That’s all I could ever wish for. Having a goddess as a wife, that would mean that I could live the life of a deity. That would be extremely great.”
“Then what if I was a ghoul?” She craned her neck forward, tugging at Xuan Tian Ming’s mask to look at his eyes from the side, “Say, what if I was a ghoul? The very frightening kind.”
Xuan Tian Ming was quite carefree, “Even a ghoul is fine. At worst, you’ll accompany me through this life, and I’ll accompany you down the 18 floors of the underworld. Either way, I will accompany you no matter when or where.” While he spoke, he shifted her up a little. This girl was a little heavier.
Feng Yu Heng nodded with satisfaction. Resting on his shoulder, she secretly smiled with an extreme lack of care for image. If it was said that her transmigrating was for the sake of meeting Xuan Tian Ming, that would really be worth it! It was a great deal!
Xuan Tian Ming carried his wife and walked through the snow. The two spoke and laughed while walking forward. Following behind, Ban Zou did not think much of it, but Bai Ze’s mood gradually worsened. Bai Fu Rong’s survival was at the forefront and had been occupying his thoughts the entire time. No matter what, he could not calm down.
The group continued to walk through the streets. Slowly, they managed to walk through half of the streets in Guan Zhou City. At noon, Feng Yu Heng pointed to a noodle booth placed in the snow, insisting that she had to eat noodles. There was nothing that Xuan Tian Ming could do and had to place her on the booth’s small chair.
With this group, if Xuan Tian Ming was not present, they could pretend to be common citizens. After all, Guan Zhou was not small. It was impossible for all citizens to be familiar with each other. But Xuan Tian Ming’s birthmark and unique points were too noticeable. With the gold mask staying on his face, they had seen plenty of people on the walk, and anyone that was not an idiot could roughly guess his identity.
The young clerk at the booth seemed afraid, not daring to go forward to speak to them. He just desperately leaned close to his boss’ side, but Feng Yu Heng had to tease him: “Could it be that I’m really ugly and gave you a fright?”
The clerk trembled, nearly throwing away the bowl of noodle soup in his hands. He quickly placed it to the side then ran away without a single word.
Xuan Tian Ming also felt helpless, calling out to the boss: “Come here.”
The boss was a middle-aged man in his 30s. He was chubby and had a straightforward look on his face, but he was also not much braver. Hesitating, he did not dare step forward, but he could not run away like the clerk had. After all, this booth belonged to him. Even if he could escape, he could not escape completely.**
Xuan Tian Ming saw his cowardly yet tangled expression and became confused, “This booth isn’t one that you stole, right?”
The boss quickly waved his hand: “No, no, no, it is definitely mine, genuinely.”
“Then why do you not come over?”
“I… gu-guest, no, your Highness the ninth prince, what are you calling me over for?” As a result of the fear, he began to stutter. Taking another step back, it looked like he was willing to give up on the booth. If things looked bad, he would run away.
Xuan Tian Ming was a little angry, “I say, aren’t you people from the North really rather unreasonable and rather cold? What is it? With just this bit of courage, you dared to rebel with Duan Mu An Guo and submit to Qian Zhou?”
When the fat boss heard this, he thought to himself that trouble really did come. Gritting his teeth, he turned and ran. Unfortunately, how could he be faster than Ban Zou. Practically before he turned around completely, Ban Zou had already gone to block his path.
The fatty dropped to his knees and repeatedly kowtowed: “Your Highness, spare me. Your Highness, spare me!”
Xuan Tian Ming’s face had already sunk to a certain limit, coldly warning him: “If you still don’t give us our noodles, this prince will definitely not spare you.”
The fatty was stunned, “Hm?”
Only then did the fatty manage to react, “You want to eat noodles?” Fuck, you just came to eat noodles! You scared me to death. I thought I was going to be killed. Why put on such a strong front if you’re just eating noodles? While complaining in his mind, he began to boil the noodles. As the noodles boiled, he had to admit that it seemed that they did not put on much of a strong front. It was the clerk that had scared himself and run away. That was what had created that atmosphere.
This shop’s main staple was large intestine noodles. Four large bowls were brought up, and Feng Yu Heng was on the verge of drooling. Without caring for the temperature, she picked up a pair of chopsticks and began to shovel food into her mouth. While eating, she said: “No wonder this booth needs to be opened outside. The noodles are too hot and can’t be eaten immediately. By the time it can be eaten, the texture would be no good. Only by making use of the cold wind can it be enjoyed fully!”
What? Everyone looked at Feng Yu Heng, including the boss. At this moment, the thoughts in his mind were: “Dear imperial daughter, if it wasn’t for this lowly one not having enough money, I definitely would not open this booth in the snow.”
But with Feng Yu Heng saying it like this, the others felt that it was quite reasonable. Even Xuan Tian Ming stuffed his mouth. While eating, he nodded, “That’s reasonable.”
Because of Xuan Tian Ming’s aura and the arrival of these four people, the once quiet booth became… even quieter! The fat boss wanted to cry but had no tears.
The group enjoyed the four bowls of noodles, especially Feng Yu Heng. After eating half, she had the boss add another portion of intestines. Slowly, the fat boss felt that this prince from Da Shun and imperial daughter did not seem too lofty. They seemed to be like normal people. They sat at a booth on the street to eat noodles, and the girl even asked for an extra serving of intestine. In fact, after she would even use her sleeve to wipe her mouth. Even a normal family’s young miss would carefully use a handkerchief to wipe their mouth, but imperial daughter Ji An did not adhere to such conventions!
After a bowl of noodles and an extra serving of intestines, Feng Yu Heng was finally full. The three grown men seemed to be a little hungry. After all, they had wandered around for an entire day, and a certain person had to work hard to carry his wife around. The fat boss took the initiative to offer them another half a bowl for free.
Feng Yu Heng was the first to finish eating. Feeling that there was nothing to do, she went to play with the young children looking on from the side. One of the children had just learned to walk and was not walking very steadily, as their mother held their hand and walked along in the snow. The young child did not know how to fear people. Seeing Feng Yu Heng and feeling that she was kind, it spread its small hands and ran over. The young mother was scared witless, wanting to bring the child back; however, she saw that Feng Yu Heng had already spread her arms to hug the child. While patting the child’s head, she asked: “What’s your name?”
The two-year-old child was not able to speak very well, vaguely saying: “Bao’er, Bao’er.” Feng Yu Heng carried the child and sat at Xuan Tian Ming’s side, pulling out a bottle of cow’s milk out from her sleeve.
How could the child of a commoner in the ancient era have ever had cow’s milk before. When the child’s mother saw the child pick it up and begin drinking, she was scared witless. In an instant, all kinds of thoughts surrounding “poison” appeared. But after observing for a little while longer, not only was the child fine, it seemed very happy. Only then did she slowly calm down.
Xuan Tian Ming saw that Feng Yu Heng was holding a child and happily playing with it, and he could not help but reach out to pat the child’s head. The child was truly adorable. When Xuan Tian Ming patted him, he turned to look at Xuan Tian Ming and began to smile, causing Xuan Tian Ming to feel reluctant to pull his hand back.
Perhaps it was because this scene was very heartwarming, but the fat owner of the booth, the citizens that were not too far away, as well as the guests from the surrounding shops all slowly gathered around. There was no longer that same fear that had been there at the start, as they quietly began to discuss.
“Is that the ninth prince with imperial daughter Ji An? The two look to be very amiable.”
“That’s right. They’re completely different from what the leader had said.”
“Don’t mention Duan Mu An Guo anymore. He is now a traitor to Da Shun. To call him leader any longer, we will be punished together.”
“Speaking of, Da Shun’s army has been in the city for such a long time, but they only set up camp in the streets. They did not create too much of a disturbance in our lives. They also did not trouble the citizens. Thinking about it, it’s pretty good.”
“Right, right!” The citizens all agreed. The look that they shot toward Xuan Tian Ming’s group became much kinder.
Feng Yu Heng held the child then looked at the group, happening to see a ragged old woman on the side of the street. Trembling from the cold, she stared at the steam emanating from the pot of noodles. Occasionally swallowing some saliva, she appeared to be a beggar.
She quietly asked Xuan Tian Ming: “Aren’t the policies enacted by the court really good for the North? How could there still be beggars?” While saying this, she looked at the old woman. After a while, she shook her head, “It does not look like she’s a beggar. When others look at her, their gazes are filled with sympathy.”
Xuan Tian Ming also glanced in that direction then waved to the fat boss, “Come.”
The fat boss quickly trotted over. While trotting, he said: “Your Highness only ate a few bowls of noodles. There’s no need to pay. No need to pay.”
Xuan Tian Ming rolled his eyes, “This prince did not say that I would be giving you money. I’m just asking you a few questions.”
The fat boss scratched his head and obediently stood before the two. Xuan Tian Ming pointed at the old woman and asked him: “Do you recognize that old granny? What’s the reason she looks like this? My Da Shun has been supporting the North for many years, sending an endless stream of money up here, never even collecting taxes from the three northern provinces. Why would someone that looks like a beggar appear here?”
The fat boss helplessly sighed then said: “Not to hide it from your Highness, but she is not a beggar. She’s just a poor person who has been chased from her home by her daughter-in-law. Last year, her son brought home a wife at the start of Autumn, thinking that the days would get better and better. Unfortunately, the conditions at home did improve, but the wife found her to be too old and did not want to take care of her. That son is also worthless, only knowing how to do everything to please his wife. Having been told to kick his mother out, he kicked his mother out. That old woman has begged for food for a few months. It’s already pretty good that she has not frozen to death.”
The fat boss also became quite angry while talking about the vile woman from that family, but it could not compare to the confusion that was caused by what he heard Xuan Tian Ming say. He was puzzled and asked: “Your Highness just said that the court never collected taxes from the three northern provinces?”
*TN: A mahua is a fried food piece of dough that’s been twisted.
**TN: The direct translation would have been: “Even if he could escape the monk, he could not escape the temple.”