But when she saw him, she could not resist bickering and bantering with him——perhaps this was the ‘spoiled from pampering’ that people always talked about? Sigh! Acting cute with a young handsome man who was not even twenty years old . The more she lived, the more she regressed!
When she lifted her gaze, she was once again stunned by this young man’s outstanding features——how could a person be so beautiful? He was so beautiful that his gender could be disregarded, that no one could ever hold a single blasphemous thought towards him, so beautiful others could not help but . . . fall for him!
“Pfft——” Zhu Junyang saw that his little lass had gone into a daze while she stared at him . He had received quite a lot of infatuated stares like this in recent years, most of them from young girls in their teens . . . but some also came from disgusting old men! He disliked all of them, all of them except for this little lass’s gaze . Not only that, but he also even felt elated that she would look at him like that!
Did this mean that the little lass was . . . beginning to like him? After the New Years, she would be thirteen years old, and in certain tribes in the north, girls who reach the age of thirteen were already eligible for marriage! Although, he was aware that it would be bad for both the girl’s body and the future generation if the girl was to marry too early, if it were up to him, he still wished to marry her as early as possible . At most, they would only consummate the marriage after she turned eighteen!
Since the little lass looked at himself like this, did it mean that she was not completely indifferent towards him? This new understanding was a big thing for him . It made him happier than even when he was rewarded by the emperor after winning a war and making a huge contribution to the Great Ming Empire .
Zhu Junyang uncontrollably reached out his right hand and caressed the little maiden’s soft cheek . He was addicted to this feeling, unwilling to part with it . If he could, he would hold the little lass’s face as they stared at each other forever until the end of time .
“Ahem ahem!” Linglong had orders from the madam, so when she saw her young miss being taken advantage of by Royal Prince Yang, she hurriedly coughed loudly, reminding Royal Prince Yang to watch his actions . The madam had her ‘eyes and ears’ around!
Zhu Junyang’s brows furrowed in displeasure from being interrupted . His icy gaze slid over to Linglong, coldly barking, “If you’re sick, go see a physician . Don’t stay here, lest you spread the disease to your mistress!”
Both Royal Prince Yang’s expression and tone was saying: ‘If you dare infect my little lass, you’d better fear for your life!’
Linglong, who had been dutifully preventing her young miss from being snatched away by a large wolf, felt aggrieved after she was threatened, ‘I’m not sick, I’m just reminding you to be more respectful! Royal Prince Yang, is it really alright for you to dismiss us so ‘justifiably’ after you’ve taken advantage of our young miss?’
Yu Xiaocao scrutinized Linglong but saw that she looked normal, so she said, “Sister Linglong’s body should be fine . She’s probably feeling uncomfortable in her throat because of the difference in temperature indoors and outdoors . I have some Chinese liquorice root and malva nuts in my courtyard . In a bit, we’ll brew medicinal tea afterward . You’ll be fine after drinking it for two days!”
Linglong was even more aggrieved . ‘Young Miss, please don’t listen to Royal Prince Yang . He’s a sly, old fox . My throat is fine, really!’
Maybe it was the psychological effect that, at this moment, she felt an itch in her throat . But she was afraid that her mistress would make her take some weird medicine, or that Royal Prince Yang would now have a reason to send her out, so she could only resist the urge to cough . It was uncomfortable to have an itchy feeling in her throat yet not being able to cough it out . She wanted nothing more than to reach into her throat and scratch at the itch .
Once more, Zhu Junyang glared at the maidservant who ruined the atmosphere . As he turned back around, he could not recover the previous feeling, so he could only point to another piece of pristine, white, snow fox fur and said to Xiaocao, “This kind of fur is the thickest . You should let the sewing department make a few coats so you can wear them interchangeably when you’re out at the Imperial Plantation . It’s the middle of winter and there’s nothing really important at the farmsteads . You don’t need to be so dutiful and travel to and fro the farmsteads when it’s snowing!”
“Yes, there’s nothing that needs my attention at the winter wheat plantation, but it’s our first year testing out the greenhouse pavilions, I still need to make my rounds occasionally . Isn’t it snowing already? I’m afraid that the snow will ruin the greenhouse . It's only a minor problem if we don’t make a profit, but it’ll be terrible if we delay the supply of fruits and vegetables to the capital!” Yu Xiaocao would never admit it out loud that she was actually just afraid of affecting her profits .
Zhu Junyang was well aware of his little lass’s obsession with money, but he did not reveal her true thoughts . If she said she was worried about the meals of the prestigious in the capital, then it was what she meant! Was that not what his soldiers said? If he wanted to make a girl happy, he would first have to agree that everything that she said was right, even if it was really outrageous and even if he disagreed!
However, she wasn’t wrong! It was easy to transition from rags to riches, but hard to adapt from riches to rags . The esteemed and wealthy folks of the capital were already used to such luxuries . If their supply of fresh fruits and vegetables were suddenly cut off, they would no doubt be quick to voice their complaints .
“What happened to the horse carriage that I gave you? Why didn’t you ride in that? The carriage is wide enough for you to put some braziers and warming censers!” Zhu Junyang’s heart ached whenever he recalled the sight of that thin figure standing in the snow and wind .
Now that he had mentioned about the horse carriage that he sent her, the edge of Yu Xiaocao’s lips could not help but twitch . That horse carriage was awarded to Royal Prince Yang by the emperor . It was made to fit the status of a royal prince’s personal carriage, but she was only a small sixth-ranked official . If she openly rode that horse carriage out to run her errands, the emperor would definitely receive many complaints about her on his imperial desk the next day .
Yu Xiaocao told him about her thoughts . Zhu Junyang looked at her resignedly yet blamingly, inwardly grumbling, ‘Won’t you be rid of one more worry if you married me earlier? It seems that she won’t be using my horse carriage, but I can’t deny that I wasn’t thorough in my considerations . At the time, I only wanted the best for her, but I hadn’t considered the restrictions on her status . I’ll need to have them quickly craft another comfortable horse carriage suited for her rank!”
“Oh right, was that young maiden just now your new friend? It should be so . It’s been a while since you’ve arrived at the capital, yet you only go to the imperial plantation while staying cooped up at home for the rest of the time . You’re a young lady, you should interact more with your peers, lest you become a little ‘old lady’!” Although Zhu Junyang didn’t really like Li Mengru’s cowardly temperament, he agreed that friends who were simple-minded and harmless were still better suited for Xiaocao .
Remembering a possible future source of income, Yu Xiaocao grinned at him, “Do you know which group of people spend the most money? It’s children and women! Aren’t there a lot of people in the capital who are envious of Godmother, who has fair and smooth skin, a great figure and looks younger than she actually is? I’m preparing to open a beauty salon that specifically provides services to women . As long as they’re willing to spend the money, I’ll make sure that they go out fair-skinned, slim and beautiful even if they come in dark-skinned, plump and ugly!”
Seeing her confident expression, Zhu Junyang was a little worried that she would accidentally expose her intentions and affect her good name . At this time, he recalled the rumors that spread in the capital that time before the rebellion was put down, and he could no longer hold back his thirst for blood . ‘You brought up a good daughter and married a good wife, Right Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Appointments! Since you dare touch my person, you must be prepared to suffer the repercussions!’
The little lass was quite sensitive and seemed to have sensed the change in his emotions . Zhu Junyang met her questioning gaze and rubbed the top of her head, saying, “Promise me, no matter what happens, don’t face the dangers by yourself! If you have any difficult decisions to make, you must consult me first . Remember, even if the sky falls down, I’ll hold it up for you!”
“You’re so hateful! You messed up my hair!” She was touched, but Yu Xiaocao pried off the outrageous hand on her head and bared her teeth at him in an attempt to hide it . Sigh . . . being pampered felt so good!
In her previous life, her parents had passed away very early, so in order to bring up her young siblings, she forced herself to grow up——keeping all her sorrow and anger in her heart and bearing all the pressure and difficulties on her shoulders . At the very beginning, she was only a teenager, a freshman in high school! There was no one to share her despair with, so she could only withstand the pressure herself and drink her own tears!
Now, there was a person who stood in front of her and told her, “No matter what happens, I’ll protect you!” It would be a lie to say that she wasn’t touched . She hadn’t expected that ancient people would be so captivating!
“What’s wrong?” Though Zhu Junyang could not read Yu Xiaocao’s thoughts, his senses were still much more sensitive than ordinary people . He sensed that the little lass was feeling down all of a sudden and worriedly looked at her .
Yu Xiaocao sniffled and grinned at him, her voice louder and clearer than before, “Thank you, Zhu Junyang! Thank you for liking me, an ordinary person who couldn’t be more common . Thank you, for your unconditional support and trust in me . Thank you for being willing to wait for me! If your intentions are still the same when I reach the age of sixteen, let’s get engaged!”
Linglong panicked when she heard her young miss so ‘casually’ promise her hand in marriage . ‘My dear Young Miss, shouldn’t your marriage be decided by your parents? You’re only so young, yet you’ve already promised your hand in marriage to the royal prince? Have you considered Madam Liu’s feelings? Our madam’s feelings? Oh my goodness! I have to send someone to inform the madam, Eldest Young Miss is too young and too easily tricked!’
At first, Zhu Junyang was stunned at her words, then, he was elated . ‘The little lass finally gave her word and she also brought forward her age to sixteen! Mhmm! This age is very reasonable——proposal, engagement ceremony, and the exchanging of betrothal gifts and bride price between two families . . . all of these engagement and marriage ceremonies will take quite a while, and at that time, the little lass would be nearly eighteen years old!’
‘The little lass will be thirteen years old after the New Years, so there’s only three more years until she’s sixteen!’ Three years! It was a huge surprise for Zhu Junyang, who had prepared himself to wait for her for five years . Although the soldiers in the army were tactless, their logic was still right . Indeed, wives had to be coaxed and pampered!
In his exhilaration, Zhu Junyang could not contain his joy . He slid his arms around Yu Xiaocao’s slim waist and held her up in the air like a child . Taken by surprise, Yu Xiaocao screamed in fear, shouting to be put down while hitting him with her small fists .