At the martial training grounds.
Today the Jing Prince arrived early. Barbarian Yan arrived early as well.
Barbarian Yan had restrained himself the entire day and tussled the entire night yesterday before running over bright and early this morning. His shrew back home had even commended him for changing his personality today, but little did she know it was for some shady business.
Seeing the Jing Prince already training two hours earlier than usual, Barbarian Yan was flabbergasted for a moment. But considering the Jing Prince’s normal diligence, he didn’t think too much about it. He only sighed at the Jing Prince’s ability to maintain his personality in face of the soft, gentle, warm fragrance.
“Highness, so early.”
Barbarian Yan looked around and was surprised to see that the bum-following beetle1 Eunuch Fu wasn’t around. There were only two low-ranked eunuchs standing in the corner of the training grounds. He laughed mischievously as he approached, and took out a few books from his robes.
“Highness, look what good stuff I’ve brought you.”
Seeing Barbarian Yan approach, the Jing Prince stopped his movements in case he accidentally injured him. Although Barbarian Yan’s skills were good and even ten Jing Princes weren’t his match, it was a force of habit.
“These are all good things. I’ve secretly collected them for a long time. I’m lending it to you, remember to return it to me in the future, ok?” As he handed it towards the Jing Prince, Barbarian Yan grimaced in pain. It was obvious how much he cared for these books.
The Jing Prince glanced at the covers and wasn’t able to tell what they were. However, he had a bad premonition in his heart.
His face was rigid and he didn’t receive it. However, he was a little curious in his heart.
Barbarian Yan’s eyes were shrewd, and just by looking at the Jing Prince’s “sanctimonious” appearance he understood the “desire” in his heart.
“Hehe, you don’t want it even though I’m willing to lend it? Old Bull had asked me several times before but I never lent it to him.”
Old Bull was one of the Jing Prince Estate’s attending generals, and had a very “deep” friendship with Barbarian Yan. Before Barbarian Yan got married, they were partners in crime and would often exchange benefits. After his marriage, even his shrew back home wasn’t able to get in the way of this relationship. However, they were no longer able to enjoy the beautiful spring scenery together.2
The Jing Prince had been depressed all night, and awoke very early this morning. At this moment, hearing Barbarian Yan chattering away, his speech filled with obscenities, he felt a little moody but also a little interested.
He glanced at the two eunuchs in the corner and waved his hand. The two of them silently took their leave.
Barbarian Yan immediately understood and smiled vulgarly at seeing this situation.
“Ha! Looks like enlightenment has dawned. Come, come, come, let’s go have a good discussion.”
After speaking, he pulled the Jing Prince over to a small table in the corner. He grabbed a small stool for himself and also had the Jing Prince take a seat.
Barbarian Yan thought the Jing Prince wouldn’t follow along, but unexpectedly he had walked over with him and sat down beside him. After getting over his surprise, his smile grew even more lewd. He even helped the Jing Prince smooth things over by saying coarsely: “Men are all fond of these things. Don’t be shy. Those with thin skin won’t get any meat.”
Those with thin skin won’t get any meat. This was something Barbarian Yan often said in the past before he got married.
He was big and sturdy, and his body was robust. His unkempt beard made him look like an uncivilized savage. Normally when he went with Attending General Bull to enjoy the beautiful spring scenery at the brothels, all those high-end prostitutes would be unwilling to entertain him, and would surround Attending General Bull instead. But his skin was thick and he would bother them endlessly. He was generous with his money, his tool was large and vigorous. Several of the high-end ladies were into it, and there were a few who became infatuated with him.
Logically speaking, these prostitutes usually preferred Attending General Bull’s scholarly and pale type. However, over time Barbarian Yan became more popular than General Bull.
General Bull was frustrated and scolded these women for not having eyes, but Barbarian Yan would always use his catchphrase to leave him choked up.
Compared to Barbarian Yan’s thick skin, General Bull’s skin was truly thin.
The Jing Prince didn’t really understand Barbarian Yan’s crude words. His brows were slightly furrowed as he pondered how to ask him about certain things.
After one spends a long time with the Jing Prince, one would be able to notice the moment his normally blank face had a trace of change. Having sensed the Jing Prince’s air of “I have a question, I have something I don’t understand”, Barbarian Yan the expert interpreter smiled mischievously as he drew closer.
“Highness, could you have some questions regarding the affairs between man and woman? Speak up if you do. Old Yan over here will tell you all he knows without holding anything back!” After speaking, he even thumped his chest a couple of times.
The Jing Prince spoke with a rigid face and lowered voice: “Last night she cried.”
Barbarian Yan’s eyes glowed brightly as his beard trembled in excitement.
The Jing Prince glanced at Barbarian Yan. Seeing his solemn appearance, he was extremely relieved.
The martial training grounds was extremely silent for a bit before Barbarian Yan’s voice sounded out again, “Where was she crying?”
The Jing Prince’s face was still the same as always, but it seemed to be filled with an air of depression?
Barbarian smacked his lips in excitement and heavily patted the Jing Prince on his shoulder. Luckily the Jing Prince had several years of martial arts training under his belt. He would have fallen apart from this patting if it were several years ago. Even so, the Jing Prince couldn’t help but frown.
“Fu–, cough….” Before he finished swearing, Barbarian Yan remembered that the person sitting in front of him wasn’t Old Bull. It was the Jing Prince, his master. Turning things around extremely awkwardly, he gave a sinister smile, “Highness is really fierce, being able to make a girl cry in bed. This is talent.”
As he spoke, he looked at the Jing Prince with red eyes, his face full of envy hidden behind his facial hair.
Ever since he married his wife, he hadn’t been able to go visit those Xiao Jiao Jiaos, Xiao Tian Tians, Xiao Chun Chuns3 for a sweet and happy time. Forget about making a girl cry in bed. It was already good if the tigress back home didn’t make him cry in bed.
He was oppressed and suffering extremely. Otherwise he wouldn’t be so wickedly interested in other people’s intimate affairs. He wasn’t a pervert!
Actually, you definitely are a pervert!
The Jing Prince didn’t light up at Barbarian Yan’s words. His brows were still furrowed.
“That’s not it.”
“What’s not it?” Barbarian Yan was a little dazed and didn’t understand.
“That’s not it.” The Jing Prince said again.
This time Barbarian Yan understood. He used his rough fingers to stroke his chin. His highness meant that the little madam wasn’t crying because he was too vigorous?
Then how did he make her cry?
Barbarian Yan pondered for a while before understanding struck!
After snapping out of it, he saw that the Jing Prince’s apathetic expression contained a hint of anger from embarrassment.
“Hehehehehe.” Barbarian Yan laughed drily and spoke quietly: “Then how did she end up crying? Could it be that you ended up in the wrong place?”
This barbaric fellow’s thoughts were always different from those of normal people. His fellow enthusiast, the scholarly looking Old Bull would probably understand his train of thought. Unfortunately, the person in front of him was the Jing Prince.
Barbarian Yan coughed and didn’t dare expand the Jing Prince’s knowledge.
“Why did she cry? Did she say anything?”
Barbarian Yan was a simple man. There was no need to play guessing games during this exchange.
The Jing Prince thought for a while, “She said it hurts.” He paused, and decided not to say anything about it being swollen.
“Oh—–” Barbarian Yan nodded his head in understanding. “I understand. Highness, your skills were too lacking and ended up making her cry.”
“How do I not make her cry?”
Barbarian Yan smiled vulgarly, “Come, come, come. Let me tell you…..”
The original hour of training was dragged on for almost two hours before it ended.
As he left, the Jing Prince brought the books from Barbarian Yan’s private collection with him. Because he had come with the intent to ask for advice, the Jing Prince had sent Eunuch Fu away. Otherwise, these books would have been hard to take back.
How the Jing Prince will manage to avoid Eunuch Fu while he studied these books won’t be discussed in detail at this time.
Over on Xiao Hua’s side, she had finally finished making the clothing for Nana He.
The light purple red colored jacket embroidered with the five blessings surrounding the character for “age”4. It was accompanied by an eight treasures patterned silver grey traditional skirt. The colors weren’t too dark but also weren’t too garish. After all, Nana He was quite old. Xiao Hua didn’t know how to do the five blessings embroidery and had Ding Xiang help. The rest was all done by Xiao Hua herself.
The clothes were done, and Xiao Hua had Ding Xiang bring it to the Hall of Splendor when she stopped by during lunch for the jar of soup.
It wasn’t the first time Ding Xiang went to the Hall of Splendor for the soup. As she arrived at the door, someone naturally informed the small kitchen to bring out the soup.
Every time it was someone called Auntie Meng who brought the soup out. Ding Xiang gave her thanks, received the soup and handed over the packaged clothes to Auntie Meng.
“Auntie, these clothes were made by our madam for Nana He. Could I trouble you to hand it to her?”
Auntie Meng was a little surprised but she didn’t say anything. She nodded and handed the package over to one of the low-ranked eunuchs guarding the door.
The Hall of Splendor’s rules were very strict. Everything coming in and out needed to be inspected.
That low-ranked eunuch received the package in an experienced manner, heaped a bunch of smiles on his face and said “pardon my offense” before opening it and lightly examining the clothes.
Who in the Hall of Splendor didn’t know Nana He was an old hand. Even Grandpa Fu had to call her auntie. Who didn’t know that their Hall of Splendor produced a Madam Hua, who was his highness’s most favored.
Outsiders wouldn’t understand, but those who had served in the Hall of Splendor for some years naturally knew how favored Madam Hua was. She had hooked his highness, who only went to the rear court a couple times a year in the past, into going countless times in a month.
Both of them couldn’t be offended, but rules were rules. The low-ranked eunuch could only ask for forgiveness and swiftly conducted his inspection.
“What are you guys doing?”
Eunuch Fu saw the few people standing at the doors from far away. He walked over and asked.
The one walking in front of him was naturally the Jing Prince.
The Jing Prince wore a sapphire blue light jacket today, and underneath was a silver pattern embroidered white robe. He looked very tall and confident, his pupils slightly dark and his expression apathetic as usual.
Ding Xiang gave the Jing Prince and Eunuch Fu a salute before responding: “Answering General Manager Fu’s question: madam made the small kitchen’s Nana He a set of clothing and asked this servant to bring it over today.”
The Jing Prince glanced at the light purple red clothing that had been an eyesore over the last few days and walked away.
Eunuch Fu nodded his head and followed behind without saying anything else.
Ding Xiang fetched the food and returned. After laying out the dishes, she reported what had occurred. Xiao Hua listened and didn’t think too much about it.
In the Hall of Splendor’s small kitchen.
Nana He held the clothing Xiao Hua made, her face full of smiles.
“That lass still has this Nana in her heart.” She seemed hesitant to part with it as she stroked the clothes in her hand. She felt it was good no matter how she looked at it.
The strict Auntie Meng let out a rare smile, “Don’t you also keep her in your mind?”
“She’s pleasant to my eyes and I feel she’s a rare one. She clearly doesn’t have the intention but was continuously pushed by Eunuch Fu from behind. She was poisoned and then suffered grievances before finally getting a status. Now this situation ended up occurring….”
Saying this, Nana He sighed. She naturally was aware of what the Jing Consort had done.
Auntie Meng said comfortingly: “It was a blessing in disguise. She was lucky after all, unlike those two madams. She also has you here to help her adjust as well as Doctor Hu’s treatment. It won’t take much longer.”
“It’s best if that were the case.”
- Someone who follows someone else around.
- Euphemism for visiting brothels.
- I guess these are typical names for those girls. Loosely translated: Little Lovely, Little Sweetie, Little Spring.
- The five blessings are respectively longevity, wealth and status, health, good virtue and peaceful passing. The pattern looks like this, though there are simple and complicated versions. In the linked picture, the “age” character is surrounded by five bats due to “bat” being a homophone for fortune/blessings.