Chapter 491 - Romantic Night
Zhu Junyang looked at the two rows of teeth marks and the glistening layer of saliva that was left on the back of his hands and pretended to be slightly disgusted as he frowned, “You deserve to be hit! We’re celebrating the New Years, but what are you saying? So inauspicious!!”
Yu Xiaocao snorted a few times and didn’t say anything else . Under the flashing lights in the cold and cheerless street, they leisurely strolled forward . A gust of cold wind and snow blew past them and Xiaocao, who had just been inside a warm room, couldn't help but let out an involuntary shiver . She unconsciously shrunk back into Zhu Junyang’s chest, seeking warmth .
Zhu Junyang took off his large overcoat and wrapped the little lass, who seemed as sweet as a kitten, tightly until only her tiny adorable face was left out in the open . Xiaocao had a somewhat tipsy expression on her face as she leaned against the broad and sturdy chest behind her . She swayed slightly with the rocking motions of the horse going forward .
“Little lass, just how much did you drink earlier ah?” Earlier, when he saw the lonely and empty expression on Xiaocao’s face, as she lay on the windowsill, looking up towards the sky, he felt his heart tighten . Under the blossoming fireworks, which brightened and dimmed accordingly, he unexpectedly had a feeling that she could disappear at any time . This type of feeling felt like a giant vice around his heart, as if it could choke him at any time . Luckily, when he spoke, the ethereal air around the little lass momentarily dissipated .
The little lass had a secret and it was also a gargantuan secret . He had long known about this . After all, the little lass displayed astonishing talents at raising crops and using medicines at a very young age . Furthermore, all of these skills were self-taught, which made no logical sense . Sometimes, an absurd and ridiculous idea surfaced within his heart: was the little lass actually a little immortal who had descended to this mundane world? Was that the reason she had such a big change compared to her earlier self?
Zhu Junyang had previously investigated her background long ago in the past . Before she turned eight, Yu Xiaocao had always been sickly and timid . She had been an ordinary little village girl who almost never left the house . How could she possibly pick up the old remnants of a scroll that described recipes and medicinal prescriptions? The change had started after her head had been cracked open . He couldn't help but wonder if that sick and weak Yu Xiaocao had been swapped with a little immortal girl after she became injured and fell unconscious . He speculated that perhaps a soul swap had caused his little lass to become as eccentric and adorable as she was today (Author’s note: I have to say, Royal Prince Yang, you almost stumbled upon the truth) .
The more he went down this path, the more certain Zhu Junyang became, and the more terrified he felt . He was afraid that, on some day, his weird and odd little lass would suddenly leave and that timid and gutless soul would return to the body . He didn’t know what he would do if that happened . Would he have a breakdown then?
“Promise me that you won’t leave, alright?” The arm that Zhu Junyang had around Xiaocao tightened and he lowered his head to press a gentle kiss on the top of her head .
Yu Xiaocao was a bit uncomfortable in his grasp and wriggled for a second before she found a more comfortable position . She raised her head to look Royal Prince Yang in the eye for a second and discovered that his eyes looked quite lonely . She couldn’t help but frown, “What are you saying? Why would I leave? Where would I go ah?”
“Promise me to always stay by my side, okay?” Zhu Junyang helped her wipe off a pure white snowflake from her hair . His voice sounded gloomy and lonely .
Yu Xiaocao could tell that he was in a downcast mood, so she deliberately snorted arrogantly and said, “Don’t forget, you’re still under probation ah! Whether or not you can pass this trial depends on your behavior! You’re such a crafty fellow . Don’t think you can take advantage of this beautiful and bewitching night to bait a honey trap for me . I have a heart of steel and a steady will . I won’t be so easily conquered by your sweet ways . ”
The chest behind her moved a bit and a large hand suddenly appeared in front of her nose and gently pinched it . Zhu Junyang grinned, “Alright! Tonight, I will do my best to show you my good side!!”
Yu Xiaocao deliberately acted like she was a frightened little deer and hugged herself, “You . . . what do you want to do? This young maiden hasn’t reached her age of majority, so you absolutely cannot do anything too weird…”
The movement on his chest became more obvious and Zhu Junyang deliberately used a look full of disdain to inspect her ‘flat’ body from head to toe . He clicked his tongue, “Your chest is as flat as your back . Is there anything worth this prince messing around with?”
“Stinky fellow! You lose points for this, lose points! You’re making fun of my figure so I must take ten points from you!” Yu Xiaocao hollered loudly and there was a bit of anger and humiliation on her face, “Just watch, in two more years, this young maiden will become more elegant and beautiful, and I’ll have plenty to look at from head to toe . . . you’re such a cad to make fun of a young maiden who hasn’t reached maturity!”
“This prince was wrong! When have I ever not admitted that I was wrong ah? I’ll make it up to you . I heard that, in the south, they have a type of fruit called papaya and it has the ability to make one’s bosom grow . This prince will send some ships down to bring some back for you, how’s that?” Zhu Junyang stifled his urge to laugh and cleared his throat subtly .
Yu Xiaocao was interested at the prospect of eating southern fruits so she didn’t jib with him about his joke about her chest . She exclaimed, “I want to eat durian, jackfruit, passionfruit, dragon fruit, lychee, coconut, longan . . . bring some papaya too . We can use it to make papaya milk and it’s very delicious and refreshing!”
“I got it, little foodie!” Ever since they had a method to craft ice, Zhu Junyang was no longer afraid of transporting perishable goods from the south . He silently remembered the names of the fruits that the little lass mentioned . There were some he had never heard of before, yet she, who had never been to the south, rattled them off as if they were as familiar to her as her own backyard . He was once again even more sure that she wasn’t an ordinary person .
“Where are you taking me? If we keep going, we’ll leave the city!!” Tonight was a national celebration so there wasn’t the usual curfew . Other than a few people who stepped outside their gates to gaze at the fireworks, there weren’t a lot of people on the streets .
Zhu Junyang was silent for a moment before he said, “This prince especially reserved a few fireworks for you and I want to find a place empty of people to allow you to enjoy them!”
“The more people watch, the better the fireworks look . Right now the weather is getting colder . If we exit the capital now, then the officials and soldiers guarding the capital will think we’re a bunch of idiots!” Yu Xiaocao let out a large yawn . She was currently very warm and comfortable, which made her feel slightly sleepy .
Zhu Junyang tapped her nose when he saw the little lass’s drowsy expression . He looked around and was quiet before he said, “Then let’s set them off at the city walls . That way, we can enjoy them with the soldiers who are guarding the walls on New Year's Eve . ”
“Yes, yes! This is a good idea!” In her past life, there were some leaders who would give their greetings to their subordinates during the New Years . Royal Prince Yang was actually a general, so there shouldn’t be any problems with him celebrating with the guards and soldiers, right?
Under the flabbergasted looks of the soldiers, the two of them climbed up to the wall . Yu Xiaocao almost tripped over the long and large overcoat that was around her, but luckily Zhu Junyang swiftly grabbed onto her and pulled her back onto the wall before she could fall .
The fireworks at the wall exploded into existence one after another . The words ‘Happy New Year’, ‘Blissful Family’, and ‘The Country Celebrates’ blossomed in the air and the bright lights seem to dazzle a person’s eyes . The guards on the wall exclaimed in astonishment and pleasure at this display . Following that, the words ‘Happy New Year’, ‘I love you’, and “I will give you happiness” appeared in the air . These phrases were all written in English and had no meaning to most of the people on the wall .
“Haha! This absolutely must have been an idea that the emperor came up for you . Did I guess right?” Under the brilliant rose-shaped firework that blazed in the sky, Xiaocao had a bewitching expression on her face . Her sweet smile seemed incredibly beautiful at that moment .
Zhu Junyang slowly nodded his head and raised his head up to gaze at those magnificent firework roses that bloomed in the sky . He stated in a somewhat strange voice, “You understand these foreign words? I reckon you’ve come from the same place as the emperor and it must be a mysterious and strange nation . ”
“That’s right ah! It’s an ancient and flourishing country…” Perhaps the night sky was too beautiful or the fireworks too glorious, or the person in front of her was too gentle and handsome, Yu Xiaocao muttered her thoughts out without any regard to where she was . A sparkling tear slowly fell from the corner of her eye .
“Are . . . you still able to return ah?” Zhu Junyang hurriedly asked a follow up question when he heard her confess . This was the question that he had wanted to know the answer to the most .
“I can’t go back; it’s impossible to go back…” Yu Xiaocao stated in a distracted tone . In her previous life, she was only an ordinary worker and owner of a braised food store . In this life, she had encountered so many beautiful and strange events . Who would have thought that she, a little farmer’s girl, could actually become a female official and feudal princess? Furthermore, she even had such an incredible man next to her who was willing to be her partner . If she had the choice, then it would take a lot of courage for her to let all of this go and go back!
Zhu Junyang extended a large and lanky hand and gently grasped her soft little hand . He lowered his head to smile sweetly at her, “Don’t feel sad, this prince will stay by your side, accompany you, protect you, love you, and won’t allow you to be bullied one bit . You will discover that staying behind is the most wise decision you have ever made . ”
A scarlet-red firework in the shape of a heart exploded in the sky . Snowflakes danced merrily in the wind and circled the two people as if they were spotless white butterflies frisking in the air . Yu Xiaocao’s eyes reflected the flickering, brilliant light in the air and a happy smile graced her face . She wished for a second that she could stay in this moment forever!
“Bend down, I want to say something to you!” Yu Xiaocao had a gentle look glowing in her eyes and Zhu Junyang almost drowned in it . He didn’t want to wake up from this scene .
Like a big, loyal dog, Zhu Junyang obediently bent down and placed his ear close to Xiaocao, waiting for the little lass to tell him what she wanted to say . Suddenly, a soft and somewhat moist sensation touched his cheek . He could hear a barely audible voice that seemed to have merged with the wind say, “I’m so fortunate to be able to meet you!”
He clasped the cheek that had been kissed and a foolish smile crept onto Zhu Junyang’s handsome face . It looked quite funny . Another smile blossomed onto Yu Xiaocao’s face and it seemed more splendid and beautiful than the sky lit up by brilliant exploding fireworks .
Zhu Junyang couldn’t help but reveal a giant grin . The little lass kissed him! The little lass has finally grown up!! His patience and efforts were not in vain as the little lass finally had a place for him in her heart . ‘Did you all hear this? The little lass said, ‘I’m so fortunate to be able to meet you!’ ah!!’ In fact, him being able to meet her was one of the miracles of his life!
He pulled the little lass into his arms and, under the astonished looks of the guards, gleefully raised her up as he turned around, “This prince is too happy! Today is the best day of this prince’s life!!”
The soldiers all thought, ‘The rumors are true . Royal Prince Yang is pursuing Feudal Princess Jinan . Aren’t we only able to see these romantic fireworks today because of the feudal princess? Tsk tsk, what type of taste does Royal Prince Yang have? He actually likes an ordinary little farming girl . Truly a mismatched couple and they look so odd together!’
However, there were other guards who didn’t have the same thoughts . Feudal Princess Jinan was the goose that laid the golden eggs . Just the greenhouse-grown vegetables and fruits alone made her a fortune this winter, let alone her other business endeavors . How many noble maidens in the capital could claim they had that under their belts? Furthermore, the emperor clearly valued Feudal Princess Jinan . Whoever married her would acquire a great helper for his future .
If Zhu Junyang knew what these men were thinking, he would have been incensed, ‘With this prince’s abilities, do I truly need someone to help me? Do you think this prince is a good-for-nothing who relies on his wife to support him??’