Yan Yan had truly grown up. She had her first period the year before. Since her body was well adjusted, she didn’t have to wait a while for her second time to come, unlike other girls.
It came once a month and was very regular. The only downside was the discomfort when it came, as well as the inconvenience. Every time, she wouldn’t even be able to practice martial arts, which she had never skipped before. She had to stay in her room for several days, which wore her patience down.
When Shen Yi Yao heard that her daughter wasn’t coming to eat, she also didn’t say anything. She ordered Cui Ping to have the kitchen to cook up a bowl of red date brown sugar jelly and have it sent to the Guiyan Chambers. Luo Huai Yuan had some guesses earlier and finally understood now.
His little consort had grown up.
After eating, Luo Huai Yuan chatted with Shen Yi Yao for a bit.
She had long since known his identity and understood his circumstances. She assumed he hadn’t appeared for several years because he was restricted by others, and felt very sorry for him. In her mind, she couldn’t understand the lack of familial affection within the palace. She could only do her best to give this child Yuan’er some affection.
Even if this child was already taller than her.
Luo Huai Yuan had brought a lot of novelties back from the coast this time around. They were mostly for Shen Yi Yao and her daughter as well as Yan Mo. There were all sorts of precious stones, spices, elephant tusks, fragrances and so on. There was a box of rubies that were especially eye-catching. They were large and looked extremely precious.
Shen Yi Yao politely declined, feeling they were too precious. Luo Huai Yuan however said these rocks were picked up from overseas, and weren’t as valuable compared to the Grand Xi’s quality. The price was several times lower and they weren’t that valuable. He told her not to worry about it.
This was truly the case. Of the merchants that came to the Fu Province Port, many of them were from Lusong, Xianluo, Liuqiu, Zhaowa, and there were even some people from Fo Lang Ji.1 Due to their geography, they had a lot of these things, but were lacking in items that only the Grand Xi had. For example, silk cloth, porcelain, tea leaves and so on. Even the most common cotton cloth was something precious in their eyes.
Shen Yi Yao wasn’t able to decline him in the end and could only accept it. She understood it was this child’s goodwill. She made up her mind to also make him a set of clothing.
Luo Huai Yuan didn’t remain in the manor for too long. He said he would come visit auntie some other day before leaving.
He hadn’t returned to the fourth prince estate in a long time and had relied on Eunuch Xi to cover things up. Luckily the people in the palace pretended he didn’t exist and never asked about him. They never bestowed anything upon him and he himself rarely showed his face in front of people in the estate. Many palace maids and eunuchs just assumed he was a recluse, so it wasn’t too hard to cover up.
When Luo Huai Yuan returned, he took a stroll around the place to make his presence known. When Eunuch Xi received a letter saying the prince was returning, he had almost shed his old tears when he went to welcome Luo Huai Yuan.
No one knew how much he had suffered in these past three years. He was on edge every day, deeply worried the palace would suddenly send a letter summoning the fourth prince for an audience. After he was done being scared of getting exposed, he then had to worry about the poison inside him acting up when the fourth prince didn’t return. Luckily the fourth prince kept his promise and sent someone over to give him the antidote. Otherwise, Eunuch Xi might have gone insane.
Despite this, after not seeing him for several years, the previously well maintained Eunuch Xi seemed to have aged quite a bit. The wrinkles on his face had increased.
Looking at the withered Eunuch Xi, Luo Huai Yuan rubbed his nose and felt a little eawkward. He patted Eunuch Xi’s shoulder and comforted: “Everything’s ok now. Don’t be scared.”
Eunuch Xi didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry as his expression twisted.
In the years Luo Huai Yuan had been gone, everything remained normal within the fourth prince estate.
The estate was rarely visited to begin with, and no one stopped by. His highness was also a recluse and didn’t show himself. The matters of the estate were all handled by Eunuch Xi, and the palace maids and eunuchs did their jobs without any mishaps occurring.
No one knew that their master had left for a trip and returned.
Luo Huai Yuan put on a show of concern about the estate’s circumstances before taking Xiao An Zi and returning to his own courtyard.
After sitting in his residence for a while, he seemed to have thought of something and had Xiao An Zi call over the nana watching over their courtyard.
He even sent Xiao An Zi out of the room, leaving just him and that nana behind.
After a while, that elderly nana came out with a slightly reddened face. Only then did Xiao An Zi go back inside.
Xiao An Zi had served Luo Huai Yuan for many years, and could be said to understand his master’s personality. In his master’s heart, there was no one apart from Miss Yan. Otherwise, Xiao An Zi might really have misunderstood what just happened.
Despite this, he couldn’t help but send a few bewildered glances in Luo Huai Yuan’s direction.
“What are you looking at? Dirty thoughts!” Luo Huai Yuan gave Xiao An Zi a shove.
Having been soaked in ink for so many years, even if he used to be white, Xiao An Zi had also turned black. Especially since Xiao An Zi understood his master quite well. He himself had gotten a little corrupted so he didn’t feel it was disrespectful to speak his thoughts out loud.
“This, highness, if your thoughts are really stirring this servant can go tell Eunuch Xi. The palace arranges palace maids to teach the princes the ways of the world.”
Luo Huai Yuan immediately erupted. His round body leapt up extremely nimbly, his chubby finger pointing at Xiao An Zi who had his neck tucked in.
“What are you thinking? Xiao An Zi, you’ve been corrupted!”
Boys matured faster than girls by a bit, especially someone like Luo Huai Yuan who was a fake teenager that had lived two lifetimes already. Xiao An Zi was the one who cleaned his underwear and bedding, and naturally knew his master had such thoughts for a few years already.
Xiao An Zi had wanted to tell Eunuch Xi and have him report it to the palace. He wanted the palace to arrange someone to teach the prince. Unexpectedly, he was too inexperienced and wasn’t able to keep his thoughts from Luo Huai Yuan. He was forced to turn a blind eye. But Xiao An Zi felt very sorry for his master, so he couldn’t resist often bringing it up.
Xiao An Zi held his tongue and didn’t continue being indiscreet. Otherwise, his highness would force him to run ten laps around the courtyard on their first day back.
Luo Huai Yuan glared viciously at him: “You’re overthinking things. Really!” He was firm as steel. As he was speaking, that nana came back inside. She was holding needle and thread, cloth, cotton and other similar things. This time Luo Huai Yuan didn’t send Xiao An Zi out and let him stay inside the room.
First he picked the cloth, choosing mainly cotton.
Luo Huai Yuan picked up several pieces but wasn’t very satisfied with any. After choosing here and there, he picked a sturdy yet soft piece of cloth, and then picked a white piece of thin cotton.
He then gave the nana a description and had her start cutting the cloth. He occasionally pointed out some adjustments to be made. The result was two uneven pieces of cloth. He then had the nana stuff it with cotton layer by layer, until it was about half a finger thick before letting her stop.
Then it was sewn together on all sides, and several threads were added on either side.
Luo Huai Yuan then directed that nana to sew together two triangular pieces of cloth. After it was done, a piece of string was threaded through the top. This nana’s skills were extremely good. The stitches were neat, and although the appearance was a little basic, the overall shape was correct.
He rubbed the cotton padding and then picked up the triangular little panties and gave it a look. Thinking of the little consort’s perfectly round and perky little butt inside made him suddenly feel choked up.
Luckily the two people in front of him didn’t realize what these things were for. Therefore, Luo Huai Yuan didn’t feel too awkward, and only felt weirdly excited. He blamed it on his base male instincts.
He muttered to himself and said: “This part won’t do. The thread is too thick. Sew using a thinner thread. This here is pretty good, but the pattern is a little too simple…..” He pointed at the waistband of the triangular cloth, and then pointed at the center part of the back. “Embroider some patterns here for decoration, and then sew some thin leather onto this area. Like this should be fine.”
That nana thought about it and said: “Then this servant will split up the thread into sixteen strands and use just one strand to embroider. This way it will definitely not be too thick. Would you like to select the patterns to be used here?”
“Embroider some magic cloud patterns here. Make it simple and stylish.”
The nana didn’t understand what was going on but nodded. “Then this servant will take her leave.”
Luo Huai Yuan waved his hand. After that nana left, he drained a glass of cold tea to calm himself down.
By nightfall, the object was sent over.
After Luo Huai Yuan took a look, he was very satisfied and bestowed a silver ingot to the nana. Afterwards, he thought about it and called Xiao An Zi over, whispering some detailed instructions in his ears.
Xiao An Zi turned red after listening and repeatedly shook his head. Luo Huai Yuan bared his teeth in a grin, both threatening and enticing before Xiao An Zi reluctantly agreed.
Luo Huai Yuan squinted at Xiao An Zi and thought to himself: if it wasn’t because there was no one else available, and also because you’re a eunuch, this grandaddy wouldn’t let you go.
The next day, Luo Huai Yuan stopped by the hotspring manor once again.
Yan Yan remained in the Guiyan Chambers and didn’t come out. He could only go find Yan Mo and send Xiao An Zi to the Guiyan Chambers.
Xiao An Zi acted secretively and gave a package to Yan Yan before whispering something in her ear.
Yan Yan was both embarrassed and angry, her expression extremely weird. After a long while she finally asked: “Who told you to send this thing over?”
Xiao An Zi choked up and waved his hand, “This has nothing to do with our highness. One of the nanas from the palace brought it out and said it was extremely useful. When his highness heard this, he ordered her to make a set and wanted to let the miss use it.”
Oh child, do you not know what it means to confess without being pressed?
Yan Yan’s face immediately turned bright red. Like a bolt of lightning, she stopped listening and rushed past Xian An Zi out the door before disappearing from sight.
Mei Xue poked her head out from the curtains and waved her hand at Xiao An Zi, “Xiao An Zi, what did you say to the miss to make her so angry?”
Xiao An Zi laughed awkwardly, “Nothing much, nothing much.”
Highness, Xiao An Zi spoke as you instructed. I didn’t say anything else.
Luo Huai Yuan was nervous and afraid Xiao An Zi would anger Ah Yan due to not being good with his words. He was also afraid Ah Yan wouldn’t feel his kind intentions. Ultimately, his mood was very complicated.
Yan Mo looked at him curiously, “Big bro Luo, why aren’t you talking about sis today?”
Luo Huai Yuan laughed awkwardly: “Do I usually like to talk about your sis?”
Yan Mo merely smiled and didn’t speak.
At this moment, a figure swept into the room like the wind. Yan Yan’s jade face was crimson and she was panting for breath. Her large eyes were slightly squinted and her expression was very weird.
Luo Huai Yuan jumped up and smiled awkwardly. He waved his chubby hand, “Greetings little sis Ah Yan.”
Yan Yan narrowed her eyes at him and looked at Yan Mo. “Ah Mo, go outside for a bit and take the maids with you. I have a few things to say to your big bro Luo.”
Yan Mo obediently let out an “oh” and took the people out of the room.
The doors were tightly shut. Luo Huai Yuan saw things didn’t look right and shrunk trembling into the corner of the kiln.
“Little sis Ah Yan, what’s wrong? Don’t be angry, we can speak properly if you have something to say. Did that idiot Xiao An Zi anger you? I’ll go teach him a lesson for you later.”
Yan Yan flashed him a dignified smile before rolling up her sleeves and rushing forward. She pressed this big fatty Luo onto the kiln and gave him a ruthless beating. Luo Huai Yuan hugged his head and curled his fatty body up, wailing like ghosts and howling like wolves.
“Little sis Ah Yan, I was wrong!”
“I’ll never dare do it again!”
“Xiao An Zi, you little brat. Wait for this daddy to deal with you when we get back!”
“Ah, save me!”
Yan Mo leaned against the door listening with Yan’er and the rest, their expressions weird.
Yan’er looked worried. “The third miss wouldn’t be hitting young master Luo, right?”
Ying’er nodded. “It sounds like it!”
“What to do? The miss knows martial arts. Although young master Luo is really fat, he’s obviously useless. Who knows what’ll happen if he gets hit by the miss?”
“Last time I saw the miss break through a pole as thick as a bowl when she was training.”
“Young master, should we get someone to save young master Luo?”
Yan Mo waved his hand and said calmly: “Sis knows to control herself. You guys keep an eye out. Don’t let insensible people report it to the madam.”
After a healthy round of beatings, Luo Huai Yuan looked at Yan Yan submissively while sobbing.
“Little sis Ah Yan, just what did I do wrong for you to hit me like this?!”
“You’re still bringing it up!?”
Yan Yan clenched her little fist and hit him a couple more times.
She had been embarrassed and angry to begin with. With Luo Huai Yuan’s exaggerated cries, which were super despicable, Yan Yan grew even angrier.
His chubby hands covered his face. “I won’t say it. Don’t keep hitting me, ok?”
Yan Yan harrumphed, her little face rigid. “Why did you have Xiao An Zi gift such a thing? Is such a thing something you are allowed to gift?” After speaking, Yan Yan’s face reddened once again.
Luo Huai Yuan peeked at Yan Yan’s expression through the gap in his hands. He lowered a hand and blinked innocently, “Aren’t we friends?”
Yan Yan choked up, and then quietly roared: “Even friends cannot, cannot…do such a thing!”
“That, uh, I just saw you looked very uncomfortable and was very worried. I found a nana to ask about it, and she said girls are all like this when they grow up. She also said to pay more attention, and then took that thing out, saying it’s very useful. I was overjoyed and thought it would definitely help little sis Ah Yan. I even rewarded her. What is that thing used for? The nana said I’m not allowed to know about it, and only told Xiao An Zi.”
Yan Yan was half-convinced. Luo Huai Yuan did his best to look a little more innocent.
Seeing Yan Yan’s expression gradually soften, he then changed to an aggrieved look.
“I was truly falsely accused. It’s all Xiao An Zi screwing me over. Little sis Ah Yan, you mustn’t listen to his nonsense…..”
Yan Yan thought: maybe she really accused little fatty Luo wrongly?
She then recalled Xiao An Zi’s words, which truly didn’t mention little fatty Luo doing anything. Did she misunderstand?
Luo Huai Yuan sat up on the kiln and raised his head towards Yan Yan. His chubby hand pointed at his black eye, “I’m so tragic, little sis Ah Yan. Look how tragic I am!”
It was definitely black. Having been hit in so many places, this was the most painful spot.
“How can you treat me like this? I was being kindhearted….”
A torrent of snot and tears.
How could Yan Yan outplay Luo Huai Yuan’s cunning? She gradually started feeling a little helpless, “I, I also was embarrassed…what you did wasn’t good, err, let me apologize to you….”
She thought about it again and once more felt he was in the wrong. How could he do this?
Such an intimate thing and he actually dared…..
But he said he didn’t know what it was!
Yan Yan stomped her foot, putting on a tough front. “It’s clearly you who was in the wrong. You’re not allowed to cry anymore.”
Actually, this fellow wasn’t crying at all. He was clearly just wailing.
Luo Huai Yuan sobbed a little longer before quietening down like a little housewife.
“You, stay here or whatever. I’m going back first.” After a pause, “Also, no telling my mom you were beaten by me.”
After speaking, she left like a gust of wind.
Only then did Luo Huai Yuan sit up and rub his cheeks. He admired in his heart: the little consort is truly fierce!
He got off the kiln, limbered up his muscles and touched his eye socket. He bared his teeth in a foolish grin.
Although Yan Yan appeared to be giving a vicious beating, she didn’t actually use any strength. Otherwise, Luo Huai Yuan would have long since suffered from broken bones and internal injuries. How could he have gotten up?
Yan Mo’s group watched dumbstruck as Yan Yan swept out. Hearing no movement inside, they didn’t dare go in for the moment. As they hesitated, someone walked out.
He was still in one piece, and the deep blue robes with dark patterns made him seem not very fat, but still rather round. He looked fine everywhere exept his left eye, which was bruised. He had a pleased smile around his mouth, seeming very content.
Being content after getting a beating?
This young master Luo was really weird!
Yan Mo was a little worried. “Big bro Luo, are you ok?”
“Ok! Of course I’m ok! I’m great!”
The next day, Xiao An Zi who had lost the rice and failed to steal the chicken also got a bruise around his right eye. Along with his highness Luo Huai Yuan, they were perfectly symmetrical with a bruised eye on opposite sides.
Xiao An Zi decided never to go along with his highness’s plans in the future. His highness had said yesterday that this daddy was a master of planning!
Luo Huai Yuan naturally had things to do after coming back.
He hadn’t been back in several years so he had to make this trip. Furthermore, the situation in Fujian was on the right track, and with Xie Mao, Shen Xuan as well as those helpers he took with him watching over things, there shouldn’t be any issues. This business couldn’t be rushed, and since everything was set up, he would let things develop step by step. Finally, there was something pressing that required him to leave his business and return.
The second prince Luo Jin was already eighteen, and it was about time for him to get married.
The princes weren’t allowed to network with officials normally, so marriage was their best ooportunity. No one would be able to pick out any faults. In his past life, Senior Concubine Xu had chosen the Chengguo2 Duke’s principal younger daughter to become the second prince’s consort. This gave him quite a lot of backing.
The Chengguo Duke was also a veteran of the battlefield. He came from a distinguished military household, and despite not being as outstanding as the Zhenguo Duke, he also wasn’t a pushover. The Chengguo Duke’s title was also bestowed at the founding of the dynasty, and they were very influential. In Luo Huai Yuan’s past life, a major reason for the Jin Prince’s successful coup was due to the Chengguo Duke’s assistance.
Now that he had a do-over, Luo Huai Yuan naturally had to mess things up for him, and not let Luo Jin get what he wanted.
A dam of thousands of li would be ruined by anthills. He didn’t believe that after reincarnating with so many key opportunities he would still fail to overturn the future Jin Emperor.
This won’t be mentioned for now.
Yan Ting had a substantial past three years. Although he still hadn’t received a formal posting, he had networked with quite a few nobles and officials. He could be said to have chatted up and gotten to know everyone. These people were different from the people he used to be in contact with. The majority were cornerstones of the court.
Xu Xiang Rong viewed him highly and trusted him deeply. He brought Yan Ting along whenever he met up with others, and gradually, Yan Ting got a pretty good understanding of Senior Concubine Xu’s influence. He had even met the second and third princes. Yan Ting had felt emotional after meeting the second prince. No matter how he saw it, the second prince couldn’t be underestimated in the future.
He had a majestic presence and a noble character. He was clearly a dargon amongst men.
In comparison, the crown prince was lacking quite a bit.
Yan Ting confirmed that his initial thoughts were not mistaken, and his decisions were not mistaken either.
After distancing himself from Shen Yi Yao and becoming indifferent to the Zhenguo Duke, there was a brand new world open to him that he never could have imagined before.
Of course, Xu Xiang Rong had also mentioned wanting to get connected with the Zhenguo Duke’s side, and even mentioned wanting to meet the Zhenguo Duke himself. He asked Yan Ting to help set things up.
Yan Ting avoided it by saying the old duke’s temper was weird. Along with his wife Shen Yi Yao’s health being poor these past years and staying at the hotspring manor to recover, it wasn’t convenient for him to talk to his father-in-law at the moment.
Xu Xiang Rong nodded and put on an “understanding” expression. He no longer brought it up. He naturally didn’t realize that his “understanding” expression had made Yan Ting resentful for several days.
As for why he didn’t have a posting assigned, Yan Ting had also blamed it on this. Xu Xiang Rong lamented several times about how pampered his wife was. This father-in-law shouldn’t spoil his daughter so.
Yan Ting could only laugh helplessly.
Of course Yan Ting had hinted that he wanted to become independent. He had hinted to Xu Xiang Rong that he didn’t wish to rely on his old father-in-law, and wanted to obtain a glorious achievement by himself.
Xu Xiang Rong’s expression didn’t reveal anything and he didn’t play along.
Afterwards, Yan Ting had brought it up a couple more times. Xu Xiang Rong had mocked Yan Ting in his heart for being laughably virtuous. Wasn’t it only because of his father-in-law that he got to where he was today? But for the sake of maintaining their friendship, he said he could understand Yan Ting’s feelings. He helped him arrange a prefecture commander’s position at the Jinwu Guard.
The Grand Xi’s emperor had an imperial guard regiment that was independent of the five armies command estate. They were commonly referred to as the twelve superior personal troops. The Jinwu Guard was one of them. The prefecture commander was a third-ranked official. Although the rank wasn’t high, it allowed access into the palace and made it possible to wander around in front of the emperor. It was a pretty good position.
After finding out her son had a posting that allowed him to work in front of the emperor, the old madam was pleased for several days. If it weren’t for Yan Ting advising against it, she would have arranged a three day celebratory banquet. During this time, it went without saying that she had cursed the Zhenguo Duke for being stingy and Shen Yi Yao for being ungrateful.
Yan Ting naturally knew about the matter of his highness the second prince choosing a wife.
He saw Xu Xiang Rong working up a namelist for Senior Concubine Xu and naturally his thoughts stirred. The Weiyuan Marquis Estate naturally wasn’t worthy of the second prince, but he knew someone suitable in the estate.
His eldest principal daughter, Yan Yan.
He went back and pondered carefully, feeling that this idea was possible. He knew that Xu Xiang Rong and Senior Concubine Xu were eyeing the Chengguo Duke’s principal younger daughter, but the Chengguo Duke wasn’t as trusted by the emperor as the Zhenguo Duke after all. His influence and status was both lacking by a level. Although Ah Yan wasn’t the Shen household’s daughter, she was still the Shen household’s granddaughter.
Everyone in the capital knew the Shen household had few women, and each one was treasured. Shen Yi Yao was the Zhenguo Duke’s only pearl, and Ah Yan was the only granddaughter. She was cherished by the Zhenguo Duke.
Who dared to say a granddaughter wasn’t worth anything? This depended on whose granddaughter she was!
Yan Ting slightly hinted that he had a pretty cute daughter back home, and that it was time for her to discuss marriage. Xu Xiang Rong expressed a lot of interest.
On a clear and refreshing autumn’s day, Yan Ting once again graced the manor with his presence.
This, it isn’t that this author is vulgar. It’s said that sanitary pads were invented by a man who really cherished his wife. That little fatty cherishes Ah Yan, and is also so indecent. It’s very natural for him to think of this. Men in ancient times didn’t like messy things, but those in modern times pretty much no longer have such thoughts. Men who help women buy sanitary products are no longer in the minority, right?