Published at 7th of November 2020 06:38:47 PM
Those idle young nobles were frightened by the scene before their eyes . They once again looked at the fierce-looking guards holding swords . And they grew even less confident, climbing down their horses in a well-behaved manner .
There were many influential clans in the capital . These clans liked leaving their symbol on their carriages . However, the young nobles did not see any clear symbols on those few horse-drawn carriages . As such, they could not guess which clan these carriages belonged to .
Nevertheless, the style and build of the carriages were only used by those of the upper-class . Furthermore, there were even guards protecting them . They definitely did not belong to someone from an ordinary influential family .
Worry filling their hearts to the brim, the young nobles waited . But other than the guards surrounding them, no one who seemed like a master came to discuss with them . The young nobles could only hunch their backs and pray that the county princess would be fine .
A good while later, they finally caught sight of an outstanding man with an elegant manner approaching them . The young nobles felt strangely elated, despite the fact that the man’s expression proved unsightly to the extreme .
Once the other party drew near, the young nobles tactfully apologized, and in passing, tried to uncover his identity .
“Gentlemen may be at ease . I am not an unreasonable person . May you gentlemen take your leave . ”
Once the idle young nobles had heard those words, they could not help but feel somewhat doubtful . Just a moment ago, there were people surrounding them in an aggressive manner . But now, he’d just casually let them go?
“Really?” One of the young nobles looked at Hua Changkong, distrust in his eyes . “Is…”
“Naturally, that is so . ” Hua Changkong sighed . “The young nobles are young and not sensible . How could I be so shameless as to settle accounts with you?”
A wave of relief washed over the idle young nobles . It seemed like this person truly did not have that intention .
“For this reason, once my younger sister recovers, I will personally pay a visit to each of your estates . ”
The young nobles were rendered speechless .
Did that mean if they couldn’t come to an agreement here, then he’d complain to the heads of their households?
Ruthless . He was truly too ruthless . How could there be such a sinister and vicious person in the world? The young nobles were neither afraid of compensating them with money nor medicinal ingredients . Rather, they were afraid that the situation would reach their clans’ ears . At that time, how could they have any good days left?
“Gentlemen, be at ease . In front of your clan heads, I will merely tell them the facts with nothing added . ” Looking at the idle young nobles who were pale from fear, Hua Changkong cupped his hands toward them . “Gentlemen, may you take your time leaving . ”
Things had already reached this point . How could anyone dare to leave?
As the idle young nobles were apologizing, a man wearing a black brocade robe slowly approached on horseback .
Hua Changkong looked at his fine horse, not a word escaping his lips .
“Greetings to Prince Ying . ” Once they had caught sight of His Highness Prince Ying, the idle young nobles seemed as though they regained their backbone, quickly saluting .
“Ruidong, what are you people doing here?” Ji Minghao had seen a crowd making a scene on the street and came over for a look . Then he noticed his younger cousin brother and a few young nobles looking dejected, a few soldiers surrounding them .
“Your Highness,” said Tian Ruidong, somewhat embarrassed . He felt even more embarrassed after seeing no one lead Prince Ying’s horse by the rein¹ .
The original case could either be a big deal or a small deal . However, now that Prince Ying was implicated with the crime of riding a horse in the city center, things had grown troublesome .
Seeing his younger cousin struggle on what to say from embarrassment, Prince Ying shifted his gaze to Hua Changkong . “Which family is this young noble from?”
“Your Highness has misunderstood . This subordinate does not have the intention to block these gentlemen . ” A smile graced Hua Changkong’s lips . “Rather, these young nobles insisted on apologizing to this subordinate, making things very difficult for this subordinate . ”
The idle young nobles said, “He is correct . We were the ones insisting on staying behind to apologize and make amends . ”
If we don’t, then you’d come to our estates and complain . Who could endure such a thing?
Prince Ying frowned . He was clear on how that cousin of his acted ordinarily . Would he really take the initiative to apologize to someone?
“Third Young Master, bad news! Princess threw up blood!”
“Your Highness, my younger sister is seriously ill . May this subordinate rudely take my leave . ” Hua Changkong turned around and rushed back to the carriage . “To the estate with haste . ”
As he was dropping the curtain of the carriage, Hua Changkong glanced back at Prince Ying, who was still on horseback . In not time at all, he averted his gaze, expressionless .
For a county princess to spit out blood due to a serious illness, even someone like Prince Ning couldn’t avoid moving his horse to the side of the road, making way for that crowd .
Once the crowd had traveled far away, only then did Prince Ying thought, at a loss, just who were those people?
Sitting on a blanket, Hua Changkong asked Hua Liuli, who was leaning against a cushion and enjoying the massage of a servant girl, “Did you have a good look at Prince Ying’s appearance?”
“Yes . ” Hua Liuli did not even flinch .
“What do you think?”
“His appearance completely pales in comparison to Third Brother’s . ” Hua Liuli placed a hand on her chest for support, her action exaggerated . “The natural environment of the capital is hard to get used to . I suddenly feel dizzy and my chest hurts . It’s so difficult to bear that I almost fainted . ”
“Recently, Father received a letter from His Majesty, which seemed to hint at an intention to matchmake you with Eldest Prince . ”
In a flash, Hua Liuli sat up straight . “Third Brother, Prince Ying has an average appearance and is impetuous . Furthermore, he can’t tell black from white . Marrying a person like this will easily bring one worry and make one age quicker . ”
Before he even understood a situation clearly, he’d want people to give him face . He would have no clue that he offended people . Not only was he not handsome, he wasn’t smart either .
Hua Changkong agreed with his sister in judging people by their looks . “It will definitely wrong you to have you be with a man that’s not handsome enough every day . Even if you’re not sick now, if you marry him, you would fall ill . Don’t worry . We won’t let you marry Prince Ying . ”
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After she had heard those words, Hua Liuli once again lay down lazily . “I suddenly don’t feel dizzy anymore, and my chest doesn’t hurt . I can eat some light refreshments now . ”
This time, Hua Changkong returned to the capital with his younger sister before the rest of their family due to two reasons . First, it was because he wanted to participate in the imperial examinations after the new year . Second, it was to have his sister get used to the capital early on .
Not long after, his father and mother would return to the capital . And he needed to scout out how things were here .
Looking at his younger sister, whom their family had raised delicately like a pearl, Hua Changkong did not inform her that from the start, they had never thought of having her marry anyone from the imperial clan . Which of those men would have just one main consort? Today, they’d take a concubine . The next day, they’d compete for the throne . And there would even be a bunch of rules dictating the princess consort’s conduct .
In his family, both the old and the young treated this girl like a pearl . Why should she enter the imperial clan and suffer grievances? She should just live a comfortable life as a county princess . If she met a suitable man, then they could marry . If one did not appear, then she could stay in her paternal estate, spending her days in pleasure and happiness .
The Hua clan had achieved outstanding military service, and the emperor had bestowed them an estate in the capital . Perhaps to avoid having the Hua clan misunderstand, he did not bestow them any servants² . Instead, he bestowed them a pile of money and jade artifacts, and even had the Ministry of Works³ completely revamp the estate .
The Hua clan had dispatched people in advance to decorate and furnish the estate . The brother-and-sister pair merely needed to step through the doors and live there .
On that day, the main doors of the Hua estate were wide open, red lanterns hanging by the sides . In less than four hours, many officials of the capital learned that Hua clan members were returning to the capital . However, they did not know who exactly would be coming .
Early the next morning, the officials living next door to the Hua estate saw this: the palace had sent a carriage to send the Hua clan members to the palace .
To show that he attached great importance to his subject who had achieved a great service, Emperor Changlong not only met with Hua Changkong but had the most noble woman in the palace, Her Majesty the empress dowager, meet the Hua clan’s only daughter .
The empress dowager was the emperor’s birth mother . She was magnanimous, and knew that the emperor had the intention of giving the Defender General face . As such, she had happily accepted his request at once, and even had some of the higher-ranked imperial concubines accompany her .
“The young girl is shy . Later, she will arrive . Be more amiable toward her . Don’t frighten her . ” The empress dowager worried that these imperial concubines, who fought and schemed against each other on a daily basis, would make trouble . So she deliberately instructed them, “For the sake of our country, the Defender General has shed his blood and sacrificed his life to oppose enemies . We cannot have his daughter suffer any grievances in the capital . ”
“May Your Majesty the empress dowager rest assured . This concubine does not have any daughters of my own, and has always been envious of those with daughters,” said Consort Xian promptly . “Once Princess Hua of the Fourth Rank arrives, this concubine will treat her like my own daughter . ”
The other imperial concubines rolled their eyes in their hearts . This was the cheap person who said they wanted a daughter, yet was always so proud of giving birth to the eldest prince .
Everyone here had competed for the emperor’s favor, experts in scheming . Whom could she fool with such words?
However, none of them expected the Defender General’s daughter to not arrive at the imperial palace . The reason: she fell ill .
“She’s sick? Is it because the road back was too arduous, so she caught a cold?” The empress dowager couldn’t help but feel somewhat worried .
“Although County Princess has a frail constitution, she was fine on the way back . However, when she arrived at the capital yesterday, she suffered a fright from some young nobles riding horses in the city center . Moreover…” From the speaker’s face, it was clear they found it somewhat difficult to continue .
“Moreover what?” The empress dowager’s expression grew serious .
“The Hua clan’s Third Young Master went out to meet those young nobles, so as to advise them against violating Great Jin’s laws . Who would have imagined he’d run into Prince Ying?” The speaker rushed to kneel . “This matter had nothing to do with Prince Ying . However, County Princess is timid and thought they had offended Prince Ying . Due to worry, her heart couldn’t take it and she spat out blood . After returning to her estate, she had to lie down . ”
“Who were those young nobles?” Although this matter involved Prince Ying, the empress dowager still wanted to get to the heart of the matter . As if she had already decided to find justice for the Hua clan’s daughter .
“Apparently, it was the Second Young Master of the Tian clan and his friends . ”
Everyone present was extremely smart and quick-witted . In no time at all, they could picture the whole scene .
Members of Consort Xian’s paternal family rode horses in the city center, frightening the young girl who had just arrived at the capital . The Hua clan’s Third Young Master could not not bear to let his younger sister be wronged, and as such, went forward to reason things out with the young nobles . However, Prince Ying ran his horse over to help his maternal family . Which led to the young girl spitting out blood .
The other imperial concubines all turned their heads toward Consort Xian . Just a while ago, she had said she would treat this girl as her own daughter . Now her daughter had been wronged . So shouldn’t she quickly find justice for her?
Consort Xian was speechless .
Once Consort Xian, who had been utterly embarrassed, returned to her resting palace, she was so angry that she hurled a jade hairpin, shattering it to pieces .
“Your Highness, how could there be such a frail person in this world? Could that Hua clan daughter be feigning illness to frame His Highness?” asked the palace maid attending to her in a soft voice . “Otherwise, how could such a coincidental thing occur?”
“There’s no benefit in feigning illness as an unmarried woman like her, unless she does not want to marry . Once news of this kind of debility spreads, which of the good men in the capital would dare to marry her?” Although Consort Xian was furious, she could still reason . “Go to the Tian estate . Tell them to properly teach their younger generation . ”
They truly had such ability . The moment a daughter of a good family entered the capital, Consort Xian’s paternal family scared her . Since this had happened, how could she live well in the imperial palace from now on?
In the Hua estate, Hua Liuli sighed . Sitting on a chair, she leaned against the window sideways . Extended a hand outside the window, catching a few snowflakes . In an unhurried pace, she sighed again . “Yesterday, those idle and hedonistic young nobles frightened me . Now my heart is still sore . ”
Skillfully, Yuanwei followed up by saying, “Exactly . Those idle and hedonistic young nobles are lacking teaching . Young Miss is this precious . How could your honored self endure such unrestrained and rude people scaring you? And there are also those pitiful commoners . How afraid were they from those young nobles’ actions?”
Once again, Hua Liuli raised her head to look at the sky . Face full of melancholy, she let escape a sigh . “I remember back in Qinghan Province, Daddy would personally go out to hunt every time it snowed…”
“This slave understands . ” Yuanwei turned around and left the room . She said to another servant girl, “Third Young Master wants to eat hot pot . Tell the kitchen staff to prepare it quickly . ”
She was a frail and weak county princess, missing her loved ones and not in the mood to eat . The one who wanted hot pot was Third Young Master .
no one lead Prince Ying’s horse by the rein: There is supposed to be a servant that leads the horse by the rein in the main street of the capital while Prince Ning’s on the horse . any servants: In case the Hua clan thought he was sending spies into their household . Ministry of Works: 工部 . In charge of government construction projects, hiring of artisans and laborers for temporary service, manufacturing government equipment, the maintenance of roads and canals, standardization of weights and measures, and the gathering of resources from the countryside .