This palanquin bed had two layers of curtains. When the outer layer was lowered, it seemed like it was its own room.
Luo Huai Yuan pulled himself off the floor and plopped his butt down on the bed.
This guy’s attitude was too steady and casual, and he chatted with Yan Yan the entire time. Therefore, Yan Yan didn’t notice the abnormality.
Luo Huai Yuan was naturally talking about how he was kicked out of the palace. He listed the reasons one by one, and it was pretty much as Yan Yan had guessed. However, he was very good at telling stories and his tale had continuous climaxes, drawing her in. Yan Yan was focused on listening and didn’t notice this guy slowly getting closer.
By the time she noticed something wasn’t right, he was already extremely close and her hand was grabbed.
“Little sis Ah Yan, do you like the flowers I sent you?”
“Which color is your favorite?”
“I feel those violet-colored roses suit you very well!”
“Did you miss me recently? Is it a little more than before?”
“I think about you every day. I really want to hurry and bring you back home!”
This barrage of words made Yan Yan not know how to respond.
The person in front of her was both very familiar and very foreign. He was familiar because he would always send a card over with those flowers, filled with wild phrases. He was foreign because she hadn’t seen him in a while.
He actually gained a little weight again!
“Why did you gain weight again!?” To cover up her awkwardness, Yan Yan said disdainfully.
The blooming smile immediately turned into a sour expression.
“Really? I really gained weight?”
He looked as though his father had passed, extremely pitiful. The dimple on his left cheek disappeared and his eyes no longer curved upwards. The corner of his lips turned down. His chubby hand covered his eyes as he pretended to cry: “You’re shunning me for being fat. I’ve been fat from a young age, it’s not like you didn’t know this. Why are you shunning me now!? I like you so much….”
Yan Yan didn’t expect him to react this way and was a little frozen.
Luo Huai Yuan seemed to be extremely heartbroken. He pounced forward and hugged Yan Yan, describing how upset he was.
“That, I wasn’t shunning you….”
“You were!” His tone was aggrieved.
“You really were!” His tone was firm as steel and also contained a hint of accusation.
“I really wasn’t.”
Luo Huai Yuan buried his face in Yan Yan’s neck while rubbing against it. His mouth continued to make sobbing sounds and whispered accusations. His hands had started misbehaving, but with the fuss he was making, Yan Yan actually didn’t notice he had secretly taken quite a lot of advantage.
Only when this guy’s breathing started getting weird did Yan Yan realize her little doves on her chest had been grabbed.
This fellow was too rampant. He was muttering “I’ve been shunned, I’m so sad” while his hands were fiercely rubbing and stroking.
“You, you, what are you doing!?”
“I’m not doing anything!” This guy nonchalantly loosened his grip and said shamelessly: “I noticed that this area was swollen and wanted to help you rub it a little.”
Yan Yan’s mind exploded.
No matter how ignorant she was of worldly affairs, she wouldn’t mistake such obscene actions for kindness!
Her hands reacted faster than her mind. She pulled Luo Huai Yuan’s collar and flipped him over, pressing him underneath her while her fists started raining down.
“You damn fatty, stinking hoodlum….”
Luo Huai Yuan cried out in pain, begging for forgiveness with all his might. He seemed very pitiful but upon closer examination, this guy was pretending again. His face was filled with enjoyment. During this beating, his chubby hands “accidentally panicked” and grabbed onto Yan Yan’s jade legs.
He rubbed once, and then again. How wonderful.
The movements had been too big and Yi Yun who was on night shift could hear something wasn’t right. Her voice sounded from outside.
“Miss, is something wrong?!”
Yan Yan froze. She cleared her throat and said: “Nothing, I had a nightmare. I’m awake now so you don’t have to come in.”
Yi Yun groggily responded, and seemed to have fallen back asleep.
The room was extremely quiet at this moment.
The large bed had been made into a mess. The pillow had fallen on the floor and the sheets and blankets were twisted up.
At some point, their positions had become extremely ambiguous. Yan Yan was on top and Luo Huai Yuan was on the bottom. Yan Yan was astride Luo Huai Yuan’s soft stomach. Only now did she snap out of it. She lightly moved and the soft cushion under her also shook a little.
Yan Yan’s jade face turned red. She wanted to get off but was tightly grabbed by him. Then, they flipped over and she was pressed underneath. She wanted to struggle free but her hands were grabbed and pulled to his mouth. He blew on her hands.
“Yan Yan, does it hurt? Are your hands sore from the beating?”
His tone almost sounded like repetitive moaning, and seemed to be filled with limitless sympathy and heartache.
It was already an awkward situation to begin with and the scene was also ambiguous. Along with his moaning, Yan Yan’s face turned even redder. Even the roots of her ears were turning red.
This guys continued to blow on her hands shamelessly. He wasn’t satisfied with blowing, and even smacked a couple of kisses on them. He fell just short of taking a bite.
“What are you doing, let go, hurry and get up….”
Without realizing it, her tone had become coquettish and yielding.
Luo Huai Yuan naturally noticed this change.
Hehe, even if you’re hard as steel, it’ll be fine once you start to realize things!
One started struggling and trying to get up while the other played dead and didn’t move. Their position was awkward to begin with, and the rubbing and struggling only made things even more wrong.
Yan Yan noticed his expression was extremely weird. He seemed to be in pain yet also enjoying himself. She involuntarily gave him a shove.
“What’s wrong? Hurry and get up. I’ll get angry if you keep playing dead!”
Luo Huai Yuan exerted himself and flipped over. He only sat up after lying there for a bit.
“If you dare do this again, I will definitely, definitely…..”
He smiled wickedly but said pitifully: “This was purely an accident. Yan Yan, are your hands sore from the beating? My skin is so thick and my body fleshy!”
He leaned over flatteringly, wanting to look at Yan Yan’s hand again.
Yan Yan waved him off and raised her eyebrows coldly: “Just why did you come here in the middle of the night?”
He laughed awkwardly and stammered, “Just to tell you how I left the palace.”
“You’re done telling, so you can leave now!”
He looked extremely reluctant to leave.
“Boys aren’t allowed inside a girl’s chamber. Especially since you snuck in at night!”
“Aren’t we getting married soon? I missed you, and was afraid you were worried about me. That’s why I took the time to come let you know.”
Yan Yan blushed a little, “I wasn’t worried about you at all!”
Luo Huai Yuan chuckled mischievously and muttered: “I know Yan Yan was definitely worried about her future husband, definitely….”
When Yan Yan raised her fist, he leapt off the bed like lightning, his movements extremely agile and completely different from his usual clumsy self.
“That, Yan Yan, we’ll see each other at the Lantern Festival. I’ll come take you lantern viewing at that time.”
After speaking, he opened his window and clumsily climbed out. After he was out, he even shut the window considerately.
Yan Yan was about to get out of bed when Yi Yun’s footsteps sounded out.
Yi Yun walked in with a thin jacket draped over herself and holding a candle.
“Miss, are you asleep?”
Yi Yun let out an “oh”. The sound of rustling clothes could be heard, and then her voice muttered doubtfully: “Why isn’t this window latched? This servant remembers having previously checked.”
Yan Yan froze for a moment before saying: “Yi Yun, help me tidy up the bed.”
After saying these words, she went to the bathroom.
After coming out, Yi Yun was already done.
She had been a little startled at how messy it was. But since Yan Yan knew martial arts, Yi Yun figured it was due to her strength. She had probably had nightmares about fighting someone, and ended up this way.
Yan Yan was a little nervous that Yi Yun had noticed something. Unexpectedly, Yi Yun had come up with an explanation for her.
After the fourth prince left, Xiao An Zi had been anxious and worried the entire time.
This highness who loved messing around actually went to the miss’s chambers in the middle of the night. Even if she was his future consort, this wasn’t something he should do! Unfortunately, Xiao An Zi’s protest wasn’t loud enough and he was automatically ignored by Luo Huai Yuan.
Luo Huai Yuan walked in along with the cold wind and Xiao An Zi hurried to welcome him.
“Highness, you’ve finally returned….”
Before he finished speaking, he noticed Luo Huai Yuan’s face had some red marks. He became startled. “Highness, you were hit. Were you caught? My goodness, this is bad. No one saw your face, right? If this matter gets out, it would be…..”
Luo Huai Yuan’s face was filled with impatience, “Are you done yet!? Not sending you to perform an opera is really a waste of your talents! Is your master so useless as to get caught by others? Can you not try and jinx me?”
“But your face….”
“I accidentally bumped it.”
This won’t be mentioned for now.
The next day when Xiao An Zi was cleaning up Luo Huai Yuan’s bedding, he discovered some suspicious stains once again.
His heart was filed with worry. How could he let this go on?
But soon he didn’t have the time to worry about this. People had come from the palace and gave the fourth prince four palace maids.
These four palace maids were all around fifteen or sixteen. Their appearances were above average and their figures lithe. They were clearly not here for manual labor. The eunuch in charge also put it very clearly. They were arranged by the palace to instruct the fourth prince in worldly affairs.
The palace had such a rule. Once the princes hit puberty, a few palace maids would be arranged to teach them. This was partly so princes could learn the art of copulating with concubines. This way they would be calm after marriage and could get started to making children as soon as possible. Another reason was to prevent the princes from becoming obsessed with feminine charms due to the novelty.
In his previous life, Luo Huai Yuan had remained in the palace up until he moved to his vassal state. He had quite a few such palace maids by his side. All were “arranged by the palace”. In this life, Luo Huai Yuan had left the palace early and moved into this own estate. The fourth prince estate had never requested it so the palace never made a move. Unexpectedly, they sent some palace maids over at this time.
Was it because he was about to get married?
With his experiences from his past life, he naturally wouldn’t think that this arrangement was out of goodwill. He had seen far too many scams under the guise of “rules and goodwill” that were actually various mischiefs and filth. The problem was that these sorts of soft schemes were hard to notice. Once you realized what was going on, it was already too late.
Just like how he only realized afterwards in his past life that after marriage, princes would get a certain quota for their consort and their senior concubines. These were the princes’ true harem. However, if they already had a bunch of beautiful women with them, and these women were also sent over as seniors, how could the estate’s rear court be stable?
Unexpectedly, the same show was playing out in two different lifetimes!
Luo Huai Yuan didn’t reveal anything and had Eunuch Xi accept these palace maids. He then had them placed into the most removed courtyard of the entire fourth prince estate.
The next day, in the middle of the night, he once again snuck into Yan Yan’s chambers and worriedly told her about this matter.
“You say the place sent you a few beautiful palace maids? What for?”
In this short amount of time, Yan Yan wasn’t able to figure out the meaning of this move yet.
Luo Hui Yuan looked at her bashfully, and said quietly: “That, it’s to teach me the ways of the world.”
“Teach…ways…of the world….” Yan Yan muttered to herself.
He didn’t wait for her to figure it out and voluntarily gave up. “They’re commonly known as chambermaids to let me practice, in case when we get married….err….that…”
When she heard chambermaids, Yan Yan put the pieces together. However, she still didn’t quite understand what he meant by practice. However, she knew it wasn’t anything good, and didn’t ask further.
“Then, your purpose in telling me this is?”
Luo Huai Yuan patted his chest and proclaimed righteously: “Of course it’s to declare my sincerity. Little sis Ah Yan, don’t worry. I definitely won’t touch them. Who needs to be instructed in such a minor thing….”
Yan Yan squinted at him: “You mean to say, you are already very experienced, and don’t need any guidance?”
A loose tongue gets struck by lightning!
Luo Huai Yuan was startled into choking, and hurriedly said: “Yan Yan, you definitely can’t misunderstand. What I meant was that there are many books that go over that sort of thing, and guidance isn’t required at all.” He raised three fingers to the sky and looked incomparably earnest, “You must believe my character. You’re so pure and perfect, I will definitely swear to keep myself pure and innocent. At that time, we can learn and improve together….”
As he spoke, this fellow started getting indecent. Not only were his words indecent, his hands were the same as well.
Yan Yan who was sitting on the couch was pulled over by this shameless person.
“What are you doing?!”
“Yan Yan, let me hug you a little, ok? You don’t know this, but my chest is aching from missing you. You can feel it if you don’t believe me.” His chubby claws grabbed the miss’s hand and pressed it to his chest. “I’ve missed you a lot a lot, and can’t even fall asleep at night.”
His words and tone were pleasant and gentle, and he had a smile on his face. No one would be able to flip out at this, especially since their relationship wouldn’t be ordinary in the future.
“Why are you so….”
“So what? So what? It’s normal for husband and wife to have such interactions! Look how I don’t let those palace maids teach me. It’s all so we can learn and progress together. Let’s practice the first step right now: a passionate embrace! This is the first step of emotional exchange between men and women, and the source of love….look how soft my embrace is, don’t you feel very warm, comfortable and at ease when you lie here….”
When Luo Huai Yuan starts shooting his mouth off, even ten Yan Yans probably wouldn’t be his match.
The situation was special to begin with. It was the middle of the night in her own chambers. There were maids on duty outside so they had to speak softly to avoid being discovered. This shameless fellow wouldn’t give it a rest after getting tangled up. You make a face at him and he pretends not to notice. You scold him and he’s all smiles. You push him and he scoots even closer.
His words didn’t stop and neither did his hands. Yan Yan’s brain was swelling up from his words, and before she could snap out of it she was pulled into his arms. Luo Huai Yuan’s bosom was extremely wide, and truly as soft as he had said. Yan Yan couldn’t even struggle before she was pulled into his embrace.
He didn’t do anything else, and merely held her. While she was in his arms, he quietly coaxed her, whispering sweet nothings to her. It was a bit of an exaggeration to call him shameless, but to call him passionate also wasn’t quite right. Regardless, Yan Yan wasn’t his match.
After Luo Huai Yuan left, Yan Yan sat frozen on the couch for a long while, her cheeks crimson.
The lantern festival arrived very quickly.
Last year Yan Yan had spent it with her brother, Shen Qi and Luo Huai Yuan. This year she planned on doing the same.
Shen Yi Yao and Xue-shi were also planning on going out for lantern viewing. Yan Yan hadn’t thought too much about it at first, but seeing the bashful Yan Ru, she understood it might not just be a simple lantern viewing.
It turns out that Xue-shi had chosen a household for Yan Ru, and was planning to find an opportunity for a meeting. Lantern viewing at the lantern festival was this opportunity. Shen Yi Yao was familiar with the other party so they arranged a time. Womenfolk were able to go out for the lantern festival to begin with, and both sides had their family with them. They could take a look at each other, meaning they didn’t have to go into this marriage blind.
Yan Ru appeared rather nervous bright and early. She was picking out clothes and jewelry in her room, trying them on and switching over and over. Yan Ling was also the same way. Xue-shi made quite a big move this time, and was planning on taking care of both the eldest branch’s misses at the same time. If things ended up looking good, they would settle the marriages.
Since Shen Yi Yao was going out, Yan Yan had to accompany her.
Therefore, she informed Luo Huai Yuan and changed their itinerary to the inner city. The lantern markets there were still extremely beautiful despite not being as lively as the outer city.
When the sky started turning dark, the large group of people departed together.
When madams went to stroll the lantern markets, the style was naturally different from the younger people. They mostly reserved an extremely good private room at a restaurant. Therefore, business in the inner city’s restaurants was extremely good. All the good places had long since been reserved.
Of course it wasn’t just here. There were various canopies and tents set up over by the south gates where the royal family’s carnival was held. The important figures in the various estates were all there, though not everyone could participate. The people without sufficient status or those who didn’t like the liveliness were scattered throughout the restaurants.
Shen Yi Yao had made a reservation long ago. Since Luo Huai Yuan and Shen Qi had relocated at the last minute, there were no more private rooms available. The two planned on going with Shen Yi Yao. They were planning to go off and play anyway.
When they arrived at the restaurant, the lanterns had just been lit. The inside was bright and filled with noise.
Shen Yi Yao and Xue-shi took Yan Yan’s group upstairs. Luo Huai Yuan and Shen Qi were already waiting inside the private room.
Luo Huai Yuan’s status was the highest but he was also a junior. Therefore, everyone merely nodded in greeting. Only Yan Ru and Yan Ling walked up and saluted Luo Huai Yuan.
This was their first time meeting the so-called fourth prince. In the past they had heard a lot about him but had never seen him. At this moment, they were both a little startled.
They didn’t expect the fourth prince to look like this. He didn’t match the handsome and elegant appearance they had pictured. On second thoughts, the fourth prince wasn’t a scholar, so it made sense that he didn’t look like one. However, didn’t Yan Yan feel wronged at marrying someone like this?
Of course, these thoughts remained hidden. Yan Ling didn’t reveal anything on her face. Instead it was Yan Ru who seemed a little startled. The difference between the two could clearly be seen.
Xue-shi secretly glared at Yan Ru. She smiled and stepped up to speak some lively words, managing to cover things up.
Actually, no one had noticed anything. Shen Yi Yao was extremely familiar with Luo Huai Yuan and she asked him all sorts of questions about his recent circumstances. From her tone, it was clear the two were very close. It seemed that Shen Yi Yao had nothing against this appointed marriage.
This had many implications, and only someone with a nimble mind like Xue-shi noticed it.
No wonder she never saw her second sis-in-law appear worried about her daughter’s future marriage. It turns out she knew the other party very well. Perhaps this marriage was planned by them.
Xue-shi was naturally overthinking things. However, she was correct about one thing. This fourth prince definitely wasn’t as stupid as he appeared. He definitely had something exceptional about him that made Shen Yi Yao willing to marry her daughter to him. If not, with the Zhenguo Duke Estate’s power, it wasn’t impossible to refuse this marriage.
This won’t be mentioned for now.
The group of people sat down and the restaurant served up all sorts of snacks and fruits.
This spot was extremely good and was directly across the lantern market. Looking down, they could see a sea of colors. What a magnificent view.
After sitting for some time, someone knocked on the door.
It was Madam Liang in the room next door. She had noticed the people in this room were familiar and came to say hello.
Madam Liang looked to be around thirty. She wore a mauve silk jacket with a dark red skirt. She had an oblong face, fair skin and looked to be a sweet-tempered person. Next to her was a young girl around fourteen or fifteen. She had an oval face and a delicate physique. She looked rather bashful.
There was a teenager around sixteen or seventeen as well. His features were young and he was tall and slender. He looked very elegant and scholarly.
These two were the Liang household’s eldest principal son Liang Qi Fan and principal daughter Liang Xiu He. The Liang household was not complicated. Superior Liang was a major fifth-ranked minister in the Ministry of Works. He was upright, honest and also hard-working. Although they were pretty well off, they lived rather simply. They were all dressed with dignity and generosity, but were not at all extravagant like those other nobles.
Liang Qi Fan looked a little cautious. He and looked around the room before lowering his head.
Madam Liang sat down and chatted casually with Shen Yi Yao. They went around introducing everyone. The Liang household’s son and daughter stepped forward and greeted Shen Yi Yao and Xue-shi. Yan Yan, Yan Ru and the rest also greeted Madam Liang.
“This daughter of mine has always been timid. She normally never goes outside. If I didn’t drag her out today, she was going to hide in her chambers and wasn’t willing to come out.” Madam Liang pulled Liang Xiu He’s hand and laughed.
Xue-shi was all smiles: “The misses of major households are all this way. It’s better to be quiet and refined. Yan Ru, hurry and go chat with your little sis Xiu He. It’s more interesting for you girls to chat together than stay with us old women.”
Yan Ru knew that they were here to meet her potential partner. Now that they had arrived, she was too busy being shy and wasn’t able to react. Yan Ling saw this and hurriedly pulled Liang Xiu He over with a sweet smile to where the girls were sitting.
Yan Ru also went over with a red face. Xue-shi revealed a meaningful smile when she saw this. The three madams looked at each other and smiled.
Liang Qi Fan was pulled to the other side by Shen Qi. Luo Huai Yuan knew that if this matter wasn’t settled, Yan Yan wouldn’t have time to go lantern viewing with him. It wasn’t convenient for him to stand out, so he urged Shen Qi to go entertain Liang Qi Fan.
During this time, Liang Qi Fan surreptitiously looked over at the other side and Yan Ru also snuck a few glances.
After everyone chatted for around half an hour, Madam Liang took her son and daughter and said her farewells.
“From Madam Liang’s appearance, she seems rather satisfied. What do you think?” Shen Yi Yao asked after the Liang household left.
Xue-shi’s expression was excited. Her speech was a little incoherent and she clutched her chest: “Second sis-in-law, my heart was thumping from nervousness. Let me rest a bit.”
Before she could recover, there was another knock on the door. Shen Yi Yao smiled at Xue-shi and had the maid open the door.
This time it was the Qingan Count household’s people.
Xue-shi and Yan Zhi had discussed for a long time. In the end, they still settled on the two initial households.
Yan Ru was soft-natured and innocent. The Liang household’s situation was simple and suited Yan Ru well. As for the Qingan Count’s household, despite being on the decline, they were still a noble family. The third branch’s second principal son was also a talented person. Even if the Qingan Count lost their nobility, they would still be able to live well.
This marriage was suggested by Ma Quan Fang and Xue-shi was rather interested. After all, it was hard for someone of Yan Ling’s background to find a good marriage.
If she wanted to be the principal wife, she would have to choose from poor scholar families who had just passed the provincial level exam. This sort of marriage sounded good, but was filled with suffering.
Let’s not mention how long it might take before those scholars ended up making a name for themselves. For an impoverished household to marry a concubine born daughter of a marquis estate, they were merely relying on her to prop them up. She would end up using her dowry to help the household while raising children and serving everyone, hoping indefinitely for him to achieve success. It was better to find a well off family and spend her days peacefully by herself.
The Qingan Count’s third branch’s madam was clearly good with words. The moment she entered, she talked and laughed cheerfully, chatting in a familiar manner with Shen Yi Yao and Xue-shi. Previously with Madam Liang, Xue-shi was the one who livened up the atmosphere. This time it was reversed.
The third madam had brought her eldest daughter-in-law, her daughter and her younger son. That younger son was the main character of this meeting. He was neither fat nor thin, and was of average height. He had a rectangular face and was steady in nature.
The eldest daughter-in-law was clearly not a simple one. Although she went and chatted with Yan Yan’s group after giving her greetings, it was clear she was focused on Yan Ling.
Yan Ling wasn’t afraid or timid either, and responded very appropriately.
The third madam seemed rather satisfied. To live in their household required insightfulness and experience.
This won’t be mentioned for now. When the third madam left, her face was full of smiles….
Author: Little fatty you are too shameless, too vulgar, too obscene…
Little fatty: (looking all smug) As the saying goes, a loyal lady fears a persistent suitor. I will conquer your steel heart with softness….(passionate face) I’m very ugly, but I’m very gentle. I look cold on the outside but am warm on the inside. That’s how I would describe myself….awooo…
Author: You aren’t using softness to conquer anything. It’s all shamelessness….
Little fatty: Scram!