Chapter 36 – Accompanying him for breakfast late at night
After meeting up with Xi Ning, Chu Qing-Yan looked back at the exceedingly cold and cheerless room, and she couldn't help but recall the scene from earlier. One hand holding back the sleeve, the other grasping the brush, and that unbridled, self-satisfied look. If he was not wearing a mask, she would've thought that this was a celestial being that descended from the mountain of the Ninth Heaven, not stained by worldly matters. Sadly, reality was the opposite. His face experienced a terrible ravage, and rumors said that it was destroyed beyond recognition. It really was such a pity for a person with his kind of bearing. But what did appearing ugly or beautiful have to do with anything? Chu Qing-Yan had never cared about these things, only, there didn't seem to be any relationship between him and her, ah!
At this moment, Chu Qing-Yan was more concerned about him writing his name on that blank piece of paper. Was it because she was illiterate and even if he said it, she wouldn't understand? Or was it because he was interested for a moment and he wanted to write it? Chu Qing-Yan couldn't guess, after all, she and him were just strangers who had met twice. Perhaps later, they would become more familiar, but they wouldn't be able to grow too close!
Chu Qing-Yan shook her head. Right now, her main concern shouldn't be this, she ought to be thinking about starting her carefree and worry-free life earlier in the prince's manor and not be concerned about whether he was able to see through her actions from just now. It may be assumed that from now on, he'll probably not call for her again! Thinking up to here, Chu Qing-Yan couldn't help but expose a smile. Bringing Xi Ning along with cheerful steps, she was just about to walk back to her own courtyard.
At this moment, a warm and lovely voice rang beside Chu Qing-Yan's ear, "Ninth Miss Chu."
Chu Qing-Yan heard this and stopped in her tracks. She looked back and saw a beautiful, graceful person dressed in watery peach-colored clothing, having just bent at the waist, making her salute to her. If she didn't remember wrong, this girl was the senior maid at Prince Ying's side in charge of managing the back courtyards, Hong Yi. She really was a beauty. Chu Qing-Yan clicked her tongue, just the maid in charge of meals was as moving as ice and snow. Now came a beauty that was clear as ice and pure as jade, this prince manor really had such good fortune with women!
While Chu Qing-Yan was admiring the other party's beauty, Hong Yi had already walked to in front of her and said in a soft tone, "This servant is the one that attends to His Highness's needs, Hong Yi. From now on, if there is anything that Ninth Miss Chu needs, you can send a servant to the main courtyard to inform this servant."
"Many thanks to Older Sister Hong Yi. Older Sister Hong Yi, you're really as warm and kind as everyone said. And you're also really pretty too! Can I really trouble you in the future?" Chu Qing-Yan opened her eyes wide to ask, expression full of joy and afraid of being refused.
Hong Yi looked at the smiling face in front of her that was devoid of any shrewd intent, and her smile deepened, "Ninth Miss Chu is too polite. Being able to serve Ninth Miss Chu is this servant's honor."
Chu Qing-Yan pulled at her arm and joyously jumped 3 chi (1) high, "Wonderful, it's a deal!"
After being reluctant to part with Hong Yi, Chu Qing-Yan was just about to step over the doorstep when she heard bits and pieces of dialog behind her, the kind that would be easily overlooked if one didn't pay attention.
"Sister Hong Yi, who were you talking to just now?" A sharp female voice sounded.
"Chu family's Ninth Miss."
"Oh, that girl doll who was forced onto His Highness from the Chu family that have an exaggerated opinion of their own abilities?"
"Cheng Yi, you shouldn't say it like that——"
The words that were said after this were too indistinct to hear clearly.
Only after they had left the main courtyard did Xi Ning open her mouth to say happily, "Master, what Xi Ning said wasn't wrong right? Older Sister Hong Yi is really easy to get along with. Many people in the manor really like her!"
Chu Qing-Yan only smiled slightly and went along with it. She narrowed her eyes at that mysterious moon in the night sky. Perhaps, her life from now on wouldn't be so comfortable.
Everything was just as Chu Qing-Yan predicted it to be. Her life as a rice weevil in the prince's manor wasn't so comfortable.
For instance, last night, with great difficulty, she had finally laid down on the bed ,wanting to properly take a lazy nap, but she was roused from her blankets by somebody late in the night.
"Xi Ning, the sky isn't even bright yet, what did you wake me up for?" Although she didn't have the anger from being waken up, it didn't mean that she could endure the terrible mood of being disturbed from a sweet dream!
"Master, you can't continue to sleep. Just now, a maid came and said His Highness wants you to go to the Jade Garden right now. "Xi Ning also didn't want to disturb her master ah, however, nothing could be done about this. The higher-ups had sent somebody, ah!
Chu Qing-Yan was still battling with the God of Dreams at this time and impatiently called out, "Which kind of ghost is His Highness? Jade Garden is what kind of ghost again? They can all just die and go to hell. Don't make noise to disturb my sleep!"
Xi Ning almost jumped from being scared by her master's brazen remarks and immediately freed up a hand from pulling at the blanket to cover her master's mouth. Then, she said with a horrified expression, "Master, His Highness is not some ghost. He's your future husband ah! Did you forget about the Jade Garden? You just went there yesterday!"
Being grabbed and covered by Xi Ning, even if Chu Qing-Yan wanted to continue sleeping, she couldn't. She flung her blanket off in one move and her messy hair hung over her face. With an expression of wanting to cry but lacking the tears, she said, "In the end, what kind of ghosts are you making? My life as a rice weevil, ah, hey!"
Even though her belly was full of complaints, it didn't affect Xi Ning from helping her change her clothes, arrange her braids and everything else involved in getting ready. However, Xi Ning herself was just a half-grown child, able to tidy her up to look like a person was already considered pretty good.
Chu Qing-Yan didn't even have time to see her reflection in the mirror before she was already pushed out of the courtyard by Xi Ning.
Chu Qing-Yan was grabbed by Xi Ning to run with her, stumbling along the way. She secretly swore in her heart, if she went there and Prince Ying couldn't give her an explanation, she would, she would cry for him to see!
To disturb a person's sweet dreams was just too wicked beyond redemption!
Once the two people reached Jade Garden, they headed straight into the room.
"Paying respect to Your Highness!" Xi Ning hurriedly kneeled down, and in passing, tugged her already confused and disoriented Master, hinting to her to pay her respects.
Living under someone else's roof, she had no choice but to lower her head!
Chu Qing-Yan lowered her head to make her salute.
Having just stood firm before she heard the sound of laughter. Chu Qing-Yan suspiciously lifted her head and saw that Huang Yi had her mouth covered as she looked at her. And at this moment, a strand of unruly hair fell down from her forehead. She subconsciously touched it and realized the difference. She immediately turned around to look at Xi Ning. Just as expected, Xi Ning's face was full of guilt.
Today, just what kind of hairstyle did she comb for her! Was it an exaggerated spiked poofy (2) hairstyle? She wanted to die!
And just at this time, a familiar emotionless voice came from above her head, "Don't dilly-dally."
Don't dilly-dally at what?
Chu Qing-Yan didn't quite understand, but when she looked up to see Xiao Xu sitting at the dining table with a cold, clear gaze looking at her, immediately after, she began to understand, was it possible that he was waiting for her to eat?
Just as expected, Huang Yi said with a face full of smiles, "Ninth Miss Chu. Quickly, you should take a seat, otherwise, the dishes will get cold. His Highness has to hurry to morning court in a short while! Delaying his time certainly isn't good!"
Just when Huang Yi finished talking, His Highness shot her a cold glance which immediately silenced Huang Yi. So, she dared not utter another word.
Only, Chu Qing-Yan didn't notice this scene, she subconsciously looked at the still raven black painted sky outside the window. For a period of time, she stamped her feet and beat her chest in her thoughts!
Oh my god. Calling her over in the dead of the night just to eat breakfast, hey, there's something wrong with him ah!
1) chi: Chinese unite of measure 1 chi = ⅓ meters.
2) spiked poofy hairstyle: For those of you curious what it looks like. Google the Chinese 杀马特 and examples will pop up.