The eldest princess grinned, her lips forming an aesthetic curve, as if cursing the young man in secret. She changed the subject, asking, "When did Fei Jie began teaching you?"
Fan Xian knew she was probing him, his expression unchanged., "When I was little." It was a very vague answer, but due to the eldest princess’s status, she couldn’t pry any deeper. She gave a fake laugh and said, "If they didn’t know Fei Jie is your teacher, I think many in the palace would never have realized how close the Fan household was to the Overwatch Council."
Fan Xian’s grip began to relax, though he remained cautious with responses. "I’m not all clear on that either; maybe Father and Mister Fei knew each other in the past."
Eldest Princess said softly, "Of course they do. During the first northern campaign, your father and Fei Jie always followed Lord Brother into his military tent. It would be strange for them to not know each other. But I was still young back then, so you wouldn’t know such things."
"It is as you say." Fan Xian knew better, so he only smiled and didn’t say anything. But Eldest Princess seemed to have entered a chatty mood and asked, "How is your grandmother?"
"She is doing well."
"Oh, I haven’t seen her in a long time," the eldest princess continued softly. "Back when I was little, your grandmother was my favorite. Whenever Elder Brother tried to bully me, she protected me."
Fan Xian thought to himself with a smile, "If grandmother knew you’d be trying to kill me now, she’d probably beat you to death with that stick back then."
" I believe Sir Fan has already explained to you in detail what His Majesty has intended." The eldest princess spoke on such serious topic with her sweet tone. The contrast made Fan Xian shudder.
Fan Xian frowned slightly without having the princess notice; he knew she was referring to the matter regarding the inner treasury. Playing dumb wouldn’t help him now, so he said, smiling, "I await His Majesty’s and Your Highness’s arrangements."
"Oh? I heard you recently opened a bookstore and a tofu store in the capital." The eldest princess couldn’t help but gave a beautiful smile. "Rich sons like you, most of them are useless, only knowing how to talk. They would never get things done. You can go into business to prepare for your future running the inner treasury; I admire this about you very much. Although I must say, the tofu shop just sounds like you’re messing around."
Fan Xian could only chuckle; he didn’t know how to respond to this.
"Truthfully, I want to kill you." The atmosphere had just gotten somewhat peaceful, but with such words, it immediately turned cold like the northern front, freezing everything in the palace. Even the white silken screens which were gently blowing drooped down.
Fan Xian still kept his smile, although he shifted back his feet into a steady stance from which he could quickly react.
The Overwatch Council already found out the relationship between Wu Boan and this woman. Since she tried to kill Fan Xian two times already, a third time wasn’t impossible.
Of course, he came here on Imperial orders. No one should be crazy enough to do anything to him while in the palace. But ever since entering the palace of the eldest princess, her looks, along with her demeanor and her tone, gave Fan Xian chills.
The woman seemed insane!
At that moment, Fan Xian was still massaging the eldest princess’s head. While she had ordered this, while he was to marry her daughter, there was still the difference between both men, as well as women the status between them. What if this woman framed him for a misdemeanor and had him executed? What could those who had his back do? He couldn’t even save himself if that happened.
Fan Xian knew very well that in this world, the scariest ones were children, women, and the insane, because those three groups of people could not be dealt with using logic and could not be rationally analyzed. Furthermore, there was the danger of grave consequences. This extremely beautiful woman right now was all three combined.
While this vicious woman was highly aware, her actions were a bit childish, and her methods a bit crazy, making her more unique and terrifying than anyone else.
It was at that moment that a few palace girls walked in, all wearing tight-fitting, pomegranate-colored uniforms. Which their clothes accentuated their curves, the tightness also made it easy for them to move. There was something wrapped around their waists. To Fan Xian, who had been familiar with assassination techniques for over ten years while in Danzhou, he was able to recognize the flexible yet sharp belt-swords at the first glance!
However, his fingers still calmly massaged Eldest Princess just below her ears. He asked with a smile, "Why does Your Highness wish to kill me?"
"Many people believed I have the reason to kill you, a good reason at that." Eldest Princess’s eyes remained closed, as if she didn’t at all fear that Fan Xian would suddenly retaliate and kill her under his hands.
Fan Xian only half lowered his head and didn’t respond, as if distracting himself by focusing on his fingers. Actually, up until now, his eyes too were shut.
Guangxin Palace was now silent enough that one could hear the ghost of a cat. The palace girls slowly walked up to the princess. Fan Xian still kept his eyes closed, only his head leaned just a tad to the right.
"Mister Fan, please clean your hands." From somewhere, the palace girls got him a wash basin of warm water and a towel.
Fan Xian opened his eyes and saluted the eldest princess, signaling his massage was over. He then thanked the palace girls with a smile and dipped his sore hands in the warm water. After drying them on the towel, he bowed. "Does Your Highness feel better?"
Eldest Princess Li Yunrui looked at Fan Xian with a forced smile, her weak gaze held a hint of cowardice. But Fan Xian knew, this woman was the most terrifying person in the world.
"Much better." Eldest Princess sat up straight and brushed her fingers through her hair. Half lowering her head, she said gently, "I never thought Wan’er’s future husband had such a talent. Honestly, you make me… unwilling."
Fan Xian respectfully stood in silence, daring not to utter a single word. He knew that, facing a woman like her, anything he say would result in serious complications, therefore it’s better to play the speechless role.
"You may leave, I’m getting bored." She then continued softly, "Tell Sister Liu I’m disappointed that she didn’t come to see me today."
After Fan Xian respectfully made his exit, one of the palace girls who was closest to the eldest princess came forward and asked, "Princess, should we end him?"
"It was merely to entertain him, or else this life in the palace would be way too boring." the eldest princess stretched with the charm of a cat. "This young man really surpassed my expectations. He was able to endure and conceal very well, like he’s thirty or forty years old."
The eldest princess didn’t really want to kill him today. But seeing Fan Xian being cautious about every step while not exposing a single weak point made her ache. After all, she’s the type of woman who viewed struggles as a game. From what Fan Xian could imagine, plus her status in the palace, had Fan Xian made a single misstep, she probably really would have ordered him killed.
The princess took a side glance at the palace door draped by white silk. She smiled strangely, thinking, "You tilted your head just as you were preparing to make a move. What did that mean? I am curious, Fan Xian… how did you grow up? Such a shame." No one knew what was a shame. Perhaps this woman felt bad for Fan Xian for postponing the inevitable?
Fan Xian grew up playing with poison, which was why he thought the eldest princess was a rare and virulent poison. She had proven to be with a most difficult opponent for him to deal with. Having come out of Guangxin Palace, he looked at the sleeping palace girl Xin’er and said coldly, "It’s time to go back." Then he made his way back to Guipin Yi’s palace. Amazingly, he didn’t get lost.
Only now did Xin’er discover this Mister Fan’s back was drenched in sweat, leaving a dark mark on his light azure shirt. He looked rather pathetic.
Having left the palace complex and gotten on the carriage, Fan Xian’s face was a bit pale. He placed his hand on the pills in his belt and laughed at himself, not knowing whether he was simply being careful or cowardly. If the eldest princess really wanted him dead, why do it in Guangxin Palace?
"How did it go?" Fan Ruoruo looked at her brother with concern. There was no way for her to know how taxing the interaction in Guangxin Palace had been for Fan Xian. She thought he was simply tired from visiting the various Ladies.
Fan Xian shook his head with a smile and quickly delivered the Ladies’ greetings to Lady Liu. He then hurriedly asked the carriage to return to the manor. Both Lady Liu and Ruoruo looked at him in curiosity, unable to understand why he was in such a hurry.
The carriage arrived at Fan Manor. Fan Xian apologized to Lady Liu first before taking a hold of Ruoruo’s slightly cold hand and taking off with her towards the backyard. A short while later, they had sprinted to the book chamber.
Struggling to catch her breath, Fan Ruoruo managed to ask, "Brother… what… are you doing?"