Published at 26th of December 2020 01:45:56 PM
“You dare to have improper thoughts towards my daughter? You shameless little brat…” Fang Zizhen immediately stood up and looked around before he picked up a paperweight . He was planning on throwing it at Zhu Junyang .
Zhu Junyang hurriedly exclaimed, “Uncle Fang, please wait! This paperweight was given to you by Xiaocao, who especially picked it out for you . Regardless of how valuable it is, do you really think you can bear to break something that she’s given to you ah?”
When he saw Fang Zizhen hesitate in his throwing motion, the prince continued on, “Uncle Fang, you’ve misunderstood me! Just think about it, I’ve watched that lass Cao’er grow up under my eyes, so how could I possibly treat her poorly ah? That being said, other than that maid Wutong, Chief Steward Su was also there keeping an eye on us . You don’t know this yet, but Chief Steward Su treats Cao’er as if she was his own daughter in every possible way and he’s extremely docile and gentle with her . From my perspective, it looks like he’s trying to steal your daughter away from you!”
This guy was truly too much . In order to obtain his future in-law’s trust, he was willing to crown himself as a ‘beast’ . As long as he was able to hug his little lass home, he was more than happy to have ‘beast’ as his name . ! (Author: Royal Prince Yang, where’s your integrity? Royal Prince Yang sends out a glare: What is integrity? Can that be eaten ah?)
Fang Zizhen’s attention had been successfully transferred over to Chief Steward Su now . What? Chief Steward Su wanted to steal his daughter away? How could that be okay? Fang Zizhen really couldn’t do much against his daughter’s biological father . However, why did an eunuch also need to come into the mix? Did the guy want to steal someone else’s daughter because he was unable to father his own?
Furthermore, that fellow wore all white every day of the year and had severe mysophobia . In addition, the other man’s tactics at handling people was enough to scare children and his moods changed all the time . In all aspects, this guy was definitely not a good father, so he needed to make sure the eunuch didn’t end up influencing his daughter in the wrong way! Not okay! In the future, he needed to prevent that fellow from getting too close to his daughter . However, Chief Steward Su was the head of the hidden guards and had a wide reach . Was he really going to be able to stop the other man?
“Uncle Fang, I truly have something that I need to see Xiaocao about . Can you be a bit flexible and let me see her? If you don’t feel comfortable, then you can be present in the same room as us . That way you can see if I am improper in any way!” Zhu Junyang was willing to concede some things in order to win the overall battle as he truly wished to see the little lass . Argh! Why was it so hard for him to even see his future wife in person?
Fang Zizhen stared at Zhu Junyang for a long time before he finally curled his lip and waved a hand . He stated in a voice that showed he was conveying a great favor, “Forget it, I may not trust you but how could I not trust my own daughter? Go ah? I’m only giving you two hours and it’s not negotiable . Don’t even think of trying to cadge a meal from us!!”
Zhu Junyang’s lips involuntarily twitched . He had originally wanted to spend time with the little lass at the noon meal . It looked like . . . he needed to work on Lady Fang on this point now!
“Master, are we going to Miss Yu’s courtyard now? I’m not sure if that lass, Wutong, is here or at the Yu Residence right now . ” The second sentence that Hou Xiaoliang uttered was mostly for himself .
“Oh what? You’re interested in that maidservant?” Zhu Junyang glanced at his own assistant . Ever since Dong Dali had been transferred over to the Xishan Barracks to take over leadership there, Hou Xiaoliang had been at his side . Perhaps the youth was of a tender age, but the fellow was not as steady as Dong Dali and had a livelier personality . However, he still managed to finish his tasks and assignments in a satisfactory manner .
Hou Xiaoliang chuckled and candidly admitted his thoughts, “That’s right ah! Wutong has a pleasant appearance, is loyal and reliable, and is quite capable and clever . I haven’t even worn the sweater and gloves she knitted for me because I don’t want them to get dirty or ruined! She’s also gentle without being a pushover so I think she's quite good!”
“You need to make sure you think things through . In the future, Wutong will likely stay by Cao’er’s side and be the chief manager of her courtyard . As for you? You can just look at Older Brother Dong to see what your future is like . In the future, it’s quite likely that you’ll become a fifth or sixth ranked general . At that time, other people may mock you for marrying a maidservant and you may not be able to hold your head up high among your colleagues . Don’t blame this prince then when it happens!” Zhu Junyang reminded the other fellow a bit .
However, Hou Xiaoliang wasn’t the least bit grateful, “Master, this subordinate has no aspirations . Being able to stay by your side, running your errands, is already more than enough for me . I’ve really never thought of entering the military and becoming an official . This subordinate has already decided that it’s best for me to stay by your side for the rest of my life as your assistant . After all, wouldn’t I have more freedom doing this then going into the military?”
“Just look at you with your lack of ambitions! For the sake of your wife, are you willing to give up officialdom?! In the future, I’m sure you’ll become a hen-pecked man and be completely controlled by your wife!” Zhu Junyang jokingly scolded his assistant .
Hou Xiaoliang gathered his courage and grinned mischievously, “A certain type of master will have the same type of servant . This subordinate is only taking a page out of the master's book, that’s all . I still need to continue to study from you so I can bring the beauty home earlier!”
“Stinky brat, who gave you the guts to make fun of this prince? You’re looking for a beating, right?” Zhu Junyang turned around and swiftly sent a not-gentle kick at the youth’s butt . Even though Hou Xiaoliang had taken precautions, he still wasn’t able to avoid his master’s fast reprisal .
“Greetings to Royal Prince Yang!” The sound of Wutong’s voice could be heard from behind the plum blossom glade . Hou Xiaoliang’s eyes, which weren’t very large but were full of life, immediately lit up . He raised his head and saw a graceful, simply-dressed figure through the picturesque scene of the plum blossoms . The fiery red flowers contrasted beautifully with her pale, white face . Hou Xiaoliang immediately fell under her spell .
Zhu Junyang quietly rebuked, “Such an embarrassment!”
Then he looked at Wutong, who was wearing a cloak made of weasel fur, and asked, “Is your young miss up yet? How did she rest last night?”
Wutong appropriately replied in a decorous manner, “In reply to Your Highness, my young miss has been awake for quite a bit . She is currently with Lady Fang discussing her plans for tomorrow . The young miss slept very well last night and seems to be in good spirits today . ”
“Younger Sister Wutong, are you…” Hou Xiaoliang came over in a flattering manner and was trying to find some way to have a conversation with her .
Wutong glanced at him briefly and quietly replied, “The red plum blossoms in the courtyard are quite beautiful right now, so this servant was planning on cutting a few branches to place them in a vase to decorate the inner room . ”
“Younger Sister Wutong, which branches do you like? If you need any help in cutting them, please feel free to ask me . ” Hou Xiaoliang sidled over and stood next to her . He looked in the direction that she was facing and gazed at the plum blossoms .
Wutong increased the distance between them by a couple of steps and shook her head at him in a distant manner, “No need to trouble yourself, Bodyguard Hou . The plum blossom trees are not very tall, so this servant can easily reach the branches . Your master has already left, so why aren’t you following him?”
“The master has matters to discuss with your young miss and doesn’t need me by his side . Younger Sister Wutong, don’t be too courteous . If there’s anything you need help with, give me a holler!” Hou Xiaoliang warmly sidled over, which frightened Wutong into stepping back .
She couldn’t persuade him otherwise, so Wutong hurriedly offered the ceramic container in her hands towards him and said, “How about you help me gather the snow that is underneath the plum blossom petals? Remember, you can only gather the bit of snow that has touched any fallen petals…”
Hou Xiaoliang saw that he finally obtained his chance to spend more time with Wutong, so he eagerly took the container and idly chatted, “Younger Sister Wutong, is the snow that we’re gathering going to be used to brew flower blossom tea? Could I possibly have the honor of trying the tea that you’ve personally brewed?”
“You . . . just do your job, okay? If you do well, then next summer, I absolutely won’t forget to give you a share of the tea that is brewed from flower-scented snow . The plum trees are blooming quite nicely over there, so I’m going to take a look…” Wutong was a bit flustered by Hou Xiaoliang’s actions and was trying to think of ways to dodge this fellow who was acting oddly .
How could Hou Xiaoliang let go of this good opportunity? He hurriedly followed after her with the container in hand, “Let’s go together! I’m pretty good at climbing trees and I might be able to help . . . Hey! Younger Sister Wutong, walk a bit slower as it’s slippery around here…”
As those two talked, Zhu Junyang walked familiarly along the paths that lead to Xiaocao’s courtyard . The young maidservants stationed there all knew who he was . The maid in charge of keeping an eye on the gate hastily jogged forward to announce his presence to her mistress but was only about a second or two faster than the long legged Royal Prince Yang from reaching the main room .
Lady Fang had come over early in the morning with her clingy son in tow . Right now, she was fondly watching as her son and daughter horsed around on the warm kang bed . Her daughter, who was usually quite mature, was teasing her son quite mercilessly . Her son, on the other hand, foolishly took it in stride and allowed his older sister to play around with him . His hair had been tied up with a red string and there was bright red blush on his cheeks, making his face resemble a monkey’s bottom . It truly was a sight for people to behold . Despite that, the little fellow giggled happily and had a brilliant smile on his face .
When she heard the young maidservant report that Royal Prince Yang had come by, Lady Fang smiled knowingly at her daughter and lightly chuckled, “It’s only been one night since he last saw you yet he still comes over like a little begging puppy! Do you think Royal Prince Yang plans on hanging himself from your waistband now?”
“Godmother! Are there mothers like you in this world who make fun of their daughters in this way?” Yu Xiaocao’s face immediately turned bright red and her large eyes had a bit of bashfulness in them .
The two of them weren’t able to say much more before they heard Yingchun on the outside greeting Royal Prince Yang . Lady Fang glanced at her daughter mirthfully again . Speaking of Royal Prince Yang, Lady Fang was quite pleased by his behavior in the past few years .
If one was evaluating Xiaocao by the standards of nobly born maidens in the capital, she didn’t hit the mark of being graceful or gentle enough in either speech or decorum . Although her personality was able to attract the attention of some youths, she still wasn’t an ideal daughter-in-law in the eyes of many matrons .
Sometimes she wanted to make the hard decision and invite an etiquette master over to instruct her daughter . However, she was also afraid that, by doing so, she would end up erasing her daughter’s unique personality and transform her into another living doll like the other noble young maidens, who lived as if they had masks over their faces . On the flip side, if Xiaocao didn’t learn these mannerisms, she was afraid that her daughter would have difficulty finding a good marriage in the future .
Fortunately, Royal Prince Yang was present and he had always done his best to protect and shield her daughter . Furthermore, he accepted all of her quirks, even her wily little temper, shocking verbal discourses, and her lively and mischievous expressions . . . the most valuable thing was that even Royal Prince Yang’s lady mother seemed to regard Xiaocao quite highly and was satisfied with her .
In her youth, Princess Consort Jing hadn’t been a maiden bound by the soulless shackles of decorum . Furthermore, Imperial Prince Jing spoiled her like a little princess . Because of this, she was much more tolerant of young maidens going outside of the norm in terms of speech or temperament . Xiaocao also helped her to heal her body and often helped her raise her rare and valuable flowers . This allowed Princess Consort Jing to have a lot of status in her circle of flower loving matrons .
During the little lass’s coming of age ceremony, Prince Jing’s Estate had added quite a bit of honor and grandeur to her . Not only did the whole family come out to celebrate, but they also gave a bunch of expensive and valuable gifts to her, acting as her future in-laws . For many in the capital, the fact that the two families were going to be united in marriage was an iron-set thing .
Zhu Junyang’s obvious regard and affection for the little lass made Lady Fang feel much more relieved about their relationship . The prince was about to turn twenty-three yet he had kept himself chaste and celibate this entire time . There had never been a whiff of scandal between him and another young maiden . He never took a second glance at another maiden except for Xiaocao . Even the young ladies who stared at him with adoration and tried to get closer to him were all rebuffed by him with his signature icy-cold glare . Thus, he froze all attempts by other women .