Chapter 49 – The noble guest who visited is a cute young boy
"Master, Little Zhuo Zi has successfully persuaded the Fourth Prince. Within the next few days, he will go to Prince Ying's manor." A person dressed as a court eunuch kneeled on the floor, reporting to the person in front of him.
"You did well. Are the other preparations done?" The muffled voice of a woman echoed faintly through the vast and empty room, seeming especially sinister and frightening.
"Master, rest assured. Everything is going according to plan."
"Then this palace (1) will quietly wait for your good news."
"As you command."
The auspicious shape of the phoenix was outlined by golden threads, which gave off a faint glow under the light of the darkened palace.
The days passed one by one and Chu Qing-Yan gradually adjusted to Xiao Xu's indeterminate mood, but he still liked to tease her. This was her own thought.
Except for the day when Xiao Xu wrote the words 'stupid' and 'foolish' on the paper, Chu Qing-Yan's simple life passed by rather comfortably. This was all because she was perfectly happy to become literate.
But from Chu Qing-Yan's perspective, Xiao Xu barely qualified as a good teacher. Her dog scribble-like writing was already acceptable to look at.
If there was anything that she wasn't satisfied with, it was that Xiao Xu's supporters looked at her with more and more impatience and despise, especially Cheng Yi.
But Chu Qing-Yan, who always pretended to be cute, was still able to capture the maternal hearts of some of the senior servants in the Jade Courtyard, such as Huang Yi and Lu Yi.
On this particular day, Chu Qing-Yan was alone in the study, practicing her characters as per usual. Occasionally, when Xiao Xu saw her posture wasn't correct or her writing looked ugly, he would promptly teach her with his hand over hers, just like the first time. Chu Qing-Yan gradually got used to their close skin contact. Her view also broadened as Xiao Xu merely saw her as a half-grown child and nothing more. As long as her heart was firm, then she wouldn't feel awkward or embarrassed.
After Chu Qing-Yan had wrote two pages of characters, a servant entered the study, and soon afterwards, Xiao Xu stepped out, instructing her to continue to write properly. Chu Qing-Yan agreed.
If it was before, she would have already goofed off, but after having arrived in the ancient era, she deeply understood the importance of being able to master a skill. However, she wasn't like a heroine in a novel, whom after crossing over, possessed a golden hand, a woman of excellent medical knowledge, or maybe had excellent martial arts skills. Least of all, farming knowledge. She only had the heart to be a rice weevil, so now, she wanted to properly learn how to write, at least at one time in the past, her writing with a brush had won her second place award in her county, okay? It was only that Xiao Xu's requirement was too high, her words, from his point of view, were crooked like dog scribbled words. She would not let him take her lightly.
And so, Chu Qing-Yan untiringly wrote several more pages of characters before putting down her brush. When she stood up, she massaged her right wrist with the other hand, when suddenly, a pair of big, dark eyes appeared in front of her eyes. She hastily took several steps back from being scared until her body hit the window ledge before she stopped.
She looked up and saw that a youngster had suddenly, silently, popped up out of nowhere. He looked lovable like white jade. He had red lips and white teeth, with long and curly eyelashes. His face looked so tender that it seemed with just a pinch, water would flow out. He looked extremely delicate, remarkably similar to a young cute boy. Only his pair of phoenix eyes were narrowed slightly, revealing a proud arrogance that considered everyone to be beneath him.
"Who are you?"Chu Qing-Yan covered her heart and opened her mouth with a somewhat displeased tone. Although the youngster in front of her was as good-looking as a flower, she didn't miss the contempt and hostility he held in the depths of his eyes!
"You don't have the qualifications to know who this prince is!" With an irreverent tone, he raised his head slightly while he disdainfully looked down at her.
He's really a brat. Even though he was a head taller than her and looked older than her, his bearing and conduct were awfully childish. One sentence and he had already divulged his identity.
It seemed like he was Xiao Xu's younger brother, Western Xuan's country's prince. However, Chu Qing-Yan wasn't at all interested in the royal family. She only knew of the retired emperor from Western Xuan that couldn't wait for her to be married into Prince Ying's manor, a Western Xuan emperor who added fuel to the fire, an Empress Liang whom she heard didn't seem to like her. And then, there was Xiao Xu, the others, she didn't have the inclination to find out.
"Qing-Yan pays her respects to His Highness." A genius adapts to the circumstances. She could clearly see the impatience the other party had towards her, why bother smash into it?
Never slap a smiling person(2), Chu Qing-Yan had this idea in mind.
Xiao Ran didn't think that his identity would so quickly be uncovered. He didn't get angry, instead, he circled around this Chu Qing-Yan who bowed before him in salute. This foul girl looked ordinary, her height was very short, her behavior was coarse. How could this girl be worthy of being older brother's consort. Just thinking of this, Xiao Ran's belly was full of anger.
"Foul girl, what qualifications do you have to become Prince Ying's consort? You aren't even fit to carry this prince's brother's shoes!" In the imperial palace, he had heard a lot of assessments the palace maids had of Chu Qing-Yan. If it wasn't to say that she was extremely vulgar, then it was that she had a low status. At this moment, he also held the same view when looking at the girl in front of him.
The corner of Chu Qing-Yan's lips twitched. She didn't know when she had offended this prince. Once he came, his tone was rude as he tried to get justice for Xiao Xu, but this person was like the proverb 'The emperor is not worried, but the eunuchs are worried to death.' (3). Xiao Xu, the person himself, hadn't said anything. Wasn't his control of things too broad?
"Reporting to Your Highness, Qing-Yan isn't called foul girl. Becoming Prince Ying's consort is not something Qing-Yan can decide. As for holding his Highness Prince Ying's shoes, naturally, there are people responsible for it. Your Highness should feel assured. Moreover, Qing-Yan is very curious, does the prince live by the seaside?"
Xiao Ran was originally very furious at this time, but when he heard the last part of the question, he was slightly dazed, and with a face full of doubt, he asked, "What do you mean?"
"Your control is too broad." Qing-Yan evenly responded.
Xiao Yan was so infuriated that he was hopping mad, this was the first time he was ridiculed by someone, being choked back by someone. He somewhat flusteredly said, "You, this foul girl, your words are skillful with a tone of command, you actually dare to contradict this prince. Somebody come and slap this girl's mouth for this prince!"
When he finished, two soft-looking guys immediately appeared from behind him, just one glance was enough to know that their identities were court eunuchs. Chu Qing-Yan didn't expect that this guy would directly come to the stage of using force. In the time she stood dazed, she was cornered.
"Your Highness, even though your nobleness is the son of the dragon, you still can't set a private punishment. Moreover, I am still your sister-in-law in name!" Chu Qing-Yan stuck out her chest, ignored the fear in her heart and said it in an unruffled manner. Inside her heart, she was thinking, 'where did that big block of ice run off to?! Such a big Jade Courtyard, why wasn't there a single person!?'
It seemed as if Xiao Ran was struck by lightning. Accepting that this little doll of a girl who was two years younger than him as a sister-in-law. Moreover, as his most admired, respected, god-like elder brother's consort, was simply too hard for him to accept. How could this foul girl in front him be worthy of his wise, military god-like elder brother?
Xiao Ran's stomach burned with indignation. Even if Father Emperor and Grandfather the Retired Emperor were just fooling around, then forget it. He must properly teach the foul girl to know the immensity of heaven and earth. Otherwise, nothing would suffice to calm his anger.
"Heavily slap her mouth for this prince!"
Having created such a huge movement, yet nobody had come, Chu Qing-Yan's heart gradually understood. A hint of sorrow flashed through her heart. She didn't guess wrongly, but because of the person's status before her, so noble that no one dared to stand up to, the power of life and death was held in his grasp. Taking and seizing, that was the display of power in ancient times. The people in the upper layer were up high, whereas the common people were as low as ants. This kind of feeling made it really hard for people to take!
The corner of Chu Qing-Yan's lips hooked up slightly, revealing a self-mocking smile. She slowly closed her eyes and waited for the slap to land.
1) This palace; Royalty in China uses the third person when talking about himself. Males use this prince, this king while female use this palace etc. So this was either the empress or an imperial concubine.
2) Never slap a smiling person; when one has admitted to his or her mistakes, the other party would never bear to beat them.
3) The emperor is not worried, but the eunuchs are worried to death; the person involved is calm and collected, but observers/servants are very worried.