Cute chapter. Enjoy!
The Jing Prince didn’t seem like he was paying attention to Barbarian Yan’s words at the time, but he had actually kept them in his mind.
After he returned from the front court in the afternoon, he wanted to go to the western pavilion initially but ended up stopping by the Hall of Splendor first.
The Jing Prince had his own private storage. This was his own storeroom that was separate from that of the estate.
When he first came to the Jing Province, his personal storage was so empty that not even mice were willing to visit it. Since he governed his vassal state effectively over the last few years, since his personal ventures were profitable, and since his subordinate officials would offer tributes, the situation of his personal storage had completely changed.
The personal storage was located to the rear of the Hall of Splendor, and was normally managed by Eunuch Chang.
After the Jing Prince returned, he summoned Eunuch Chang and had him go to the storage to pick out something that women would like.
Eunuch Chang was extremely surprised at receiving this order, and carried it out right away.
He returned with several low-ranked eunuchs in tow, each holding various sorts of embroidered boxes.
On his way back, Eunuch Chang had also figured out who these things would be bestowed to. Within the estate, only the western pavilion’s Madam Hua was able to change the Jing Prince’s personality to make him want to gift something to women.
Eunuch Chang sighed emotionally and repeatedly reminded the low-ranked eunuchs to hold the things steadily.
After getting back to the hall, they lined up in a row and opened the boxes, allowing the Jing Prince to choose.
The Jing Prince had never gifted anything to women before, and had never even bestowed anything. He didn’t have this experience, and although he had heard a thing or two about it, he wasn’t able to recall anything at the moment.
Since it was something for women, the things were naturally all types of gold or silver jewelry.
Within the boxes, there were exquisite pearl inlaid pure gold hairpins, flower and butterfly patterned ruby ornaments, laced jade phoenix hairpins, thousand leaf crab-apple flower patterned diamond tiaras….and all sorts of high quality jadeite, jade and gold armbands and bracelets, all sorts of earrings, necklaces, pendants and other hanging jewelry. Nothing was lacking.
The light of jewels dazzled the room.
Any woman who saw these would faint from excitement. But since the Jing Prince was a man, he didn’t understand such things. These things that were all treasures in the eyes of women were all trinkets in his eyes.
He looked to and fro, but wasn’t able to make up his mind. In the eyes of others, the indecisive Jing Prince was just standing there without moving, his face rigid.
Eunuch Chang had followed the Jing Prince for many years, and naturally understood his master’s personality. He said helpfully to the side: “Highness, what do you think of this crab-apple flower tiara? The embedded jewels came from the southern seas, and look extremely dazzling under the sunlight.”
The Jing Prince looked at the tiara Eunuch Chang was holding. It truly was beautiful.
He nodded his head and Eunuch Chang had the box placed to one side.
On the other side, the Jing Prince’s eye was caught by a pure gold butterfly hairpin. The appearance was extremely simple and elegant, but the craftsmanship was extremely good. Inside the box, the butterfly wings that were as thin as a cicada’s wings trembled slightly, seeming extremely lifelike. At its mouth was an extremely small ruby. Despite its size, the color was extremely vivid.
The Jing Prince imagined this butterfly hairpin in that little flower’s hair and felt it would definitely look extremely good. He pointed it out and the low-ranked eunuch closed the box and put it to the side.
Having decided that butterflies were good, he picked out a pair of matching jade butterfly earrings. After some more thought, he chose another pair of jasper bracelets, a string of thumb-sized pearl necklace and a bracelet of red coral beads.
He thought about it and said: “Send to the western pavilion.”
Eunuch Chang received the order and prepared to take his leave with the others. The Jing Prince gestured for him to wait and to leave behind the box containing the butterfly hairpin.
At the western pavilion.
After Eunuch Chang left, Ding Xiang piled the things onto the kiln for Xiao Hua to see.
Ding Lan and Chun Cao revealed faces of astonished admiration. Ding Xiang was a little better off, but she was also smiling.
“Congratulations madam. Madam is extremely favored by his highness. This servant has stayed in the estate for so long and has never heard of his highness bestowing anyone anything.”
Xiao Hua feigned a look of coquettish anger at Ding Xiang, and her face was also full of pleasant surprise.
Let’s first not mention how valuable all the things were. Although Xiao Hua didn’t have much knowledge, she had still seen some valuable things before. But all the things she had seen in her past life could not even be compared to what the Jing Prince sent over today.
Especially with the implicit meaning behind the gifts. If his highness with his personality had thought to give her gifts, it should mean that she had a place in his heart, right?
Thinking of last night, and then looking at the things in front of her, she inexplicably felt some sweetness in her heart.
The sound of greetings came from outside. Hearing this, Xiao Hua had Ding Xiang close the boxes and put them away. She tidied up her hair and clothes a little before heading outside.
Her soft and flexible waist lowered, but before she was able to kneel the Jing Prince had raised her up. Xiao Hua’s hand trembled within the Jing Prince’s, and she suppressed the happiness that filled her heart.
The two of them went and sat in the western room. Ding Lan served up some tea.
Although he was sitting right next to her, Xiao Hua inexplicably felt too bashful to look at him. She snuck a glance at him and happened to meet his gaze.
“Highness, drink some tea.”
She hurriedly lifted the teacup to try and cover up her awkwardness, but ended up spilling quite a lot of tea and burnt her fingers.
She shrunk her fingers back and nursed them for a bit before pretending nothing happened and continued to offer the cup. However, the Jing Prince took it and placed it to the side.
Ding Xiang saw the movement from the door and went to fetch some ointment. Coming back, she prepared to apply it for Xiao Hua but was stopped by the Jing Prince’s outstretched hand.
“Highness, this servant concubine is fine. It’s just a little red and will be fine in a bit.” Xiao Hua said quietly.
As a servant, she would often burn her fingers or whatnot, and wasn’t that frail.
Although she said this, her fingers were still held by the Jing Prince as he applied the ointment.
Xiao Hua looked at his lowered head, his gaze seemingly very focused. His actions were a little clumsy but were extremely careful. Her eyes couldn’t help but mist up.
She sniffed a couple of times and said while smiling: “Thank you highness. This servant concubine isn’t in pain.”
The Jing Prince didn’t say anything. He put down the ointment, gave her a glance and stroked her hair.
Stroking her hair seemed to be a way for the Jing Prince to express himself, since under different circumstances the act would express different meanings. The Jing Prince’s meaning at the moment was probably to comfort her.
If this action were to be put into words, it would probably be telling her that things will be fine after applying the ointment.
Ding Xiang took the ointment and retreated. Xiao Hua carefully moved closer to the Jing Prince’s side.
“Highness, the things you had Eunuch Chang deliver, this servant concubine really likes them.”
The Jing Prince didn’t speak, and stroked Xiao Hua’s hair once again. Then he took out a slender embroidered box from his sleeves and handed it to Xiao Hua.
Xiao Hua glanced at the Jing Prince, received it and opened it.
Inside was a pure golden butterfly hairpin. Its appearance was extremely simple and couldn’t be said to be precious, but the craftsmanship was outstanding. The golden wings were extremely thin, and would slightly tremble even if it weren’t moved, as though it were alive. A rice-grain sized ruby was embedded in its mouth area. The ruby’s color was extremely vivid, making one’s heart shiver.
The jade-white slender hands entered her line of sight and lifted the hairpin. Xiao Hua spaced out and felt movement on her head. She raised her hands and felt around, directly making contact with the lightly trembling butterfly on her head.
She shivered in her heart, and her lowered eyes landed upon his waist where an unobtrusive coin purse was hanging. She couldn’t resist smiling. This was the first time that she truly revealed a smile towards this man who was her master, the Jing Prince.
At this moment, the Jing Prince seemed to have witnessed the scene of a flower blooming. His heart inexplicable tightened and he used his hands to brush aside her hair.
Xiao Hua closed her eyes bashfully before opening them again. She looked at the pair of apathetic eyes that seemed to contain something else.
“Like it.” Her voice was very small.
“This one I like the most.” After speaking, she raised her fingers and pointed at the butterfly hairpin. Her eyes were limpid and her smile grew even more splendid.
This moment, this scene and this person were all engraved in the Jing Prince’s heart. Thinking back upon it many years later, it was still vivid in his memories.
For the following few days, Eunuch Chang would deliver something to the western pavilion every day.
There were jewelry, head ornaments, carved jade decorations and all sorts of strange trinkets. The western pavilion’s palace maids were at first astonished, then became calm, and eventually got used to it.
That’s right. Being favored was supposed to be like this. Within the Jing Prince Estate, the most favored was the western pavilion’s Madam Hua!
This was something the entire estate knew about, and the palace maids in the western pavilion were all proud of it.
Eunuch Chang would send over gifts every day, and the Jing Prince would arrive a little later on schedule.
He was still apathetic and taciturn, his face without expression as though made of clay. He would always ask “like it?”
Xiao Hua was never a slow person, but many times her surging emotions would be hard to fathom by those who weren’t present. Only after being confused for many days did she snap out of it and realize the Jing Prince was trying to get her to like him.
The jewelry cabinet had already been completely stuffed, and all the decorations in her room had been replaced. The little storage was also just about filled up.
Xiao Hua had hesitated and wanted to speak up several times, wanting to tell him that this was sufficient and if it continued it would be too exaggerated.
But seeing Eunuch Chang come every day and the Jing Prince’s expression that looked apathetic but contained happiness when he asked if she liked it, she was unable to say these words out loud.
The two of them thus played this childish game. Every day the Jing Prince asked: “Like it?”
Xiao Hua would always smile exceptionally splendidly, her heart surging as she answered: “Like it.”
These days, Xiao Hua wasn’t the only one who felt the childishness in the Jing Prince’s actions. Even Eunuch Fu, Eunuch Chang, Ding Xiang and the other personal servants could sense it, but no one dared say anything.
Since the apathetic Jing Prince was willing to play this game, then let him play it. It was rare for his highness to be in such a mood.
Especially since bestowing things to one’s woman wasn’t a bad thing. It showed that the Jing Prince was wealthy, generous and impressive. People often times wanted to bestow things but didn’t have anything to bestow.
Barbarian Yan, the main culprit of this situation, was completely unaware. Every morning when the Jing Prince went to the martial training grounds he would be standing next to him asking all sorts of nonsense.
However, the Jing Prince was already someone who had been brought through the doors by a master, and had become a master in his own right. He had a bit of a headache from his personality and discarded him after using him. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, he had Eunuch Fu block him off by standing on the side, making Barbarian Yan thoroughly vexed with urgency as he tried countless of ways to get around him.
All this will temporarily not be mentioned further.
This day, while resting after doing the deed, Xiao Hua lay on the Jing Prince’s chest.
If things were harmonious in bed between a man and a woman, there would naturally be a tacit understanding between them that outsiders couldn’t grasp. Especially with the Jing Prince’s little gestures recently, there was some additional tenderness in their relationship.
Due to this, Xiao Hua’s words and behavior had naturally changed quite a bit from the past.
“Highness, has this servant concubine just about cleared out your storage?” Xiao Hua said in a joking manner.
The Jing Prince froze and spoke while stroking her hair, “This humble prince doesn’t know.”
“This servant concubine’s own storage is already almost full. How about not bestowing anymore things to this servant concubine.”
“You don’t like?” The Jing Prince furrowed his brow.
Xiao Hua gently caressed his brow and quietly said: “This servant concubine really likes it. However….”
The Jing Prince said in a depressed tone: “This humble prince’s storage is very big.”
He thought that Xiao Hua only spoke so considerately because she was afraid of emptying out his pockets. Women being considerate was a good thing, but this sort of consideration gave the Jing Prince the false impression that “Xiao Hua’er thought this humble prince is very poor”.
He was very poor in his last life, but in this one he wasn’t poor, ok?
The Jing Prince didn’t know how to tell Xiao Hua this, and could only bottle it up and no longer speak.
These days having spent so much time together, Xiao Hua was able to clearly tell the changes in the Jing Prince’s mood. Especially when the two of them were pressed so closely together, there was very little that could be kept hidden.
Therefore, she knew that his highness seemed a little depressed.
She rubbed the bridge of her nose and felt a little awkward. Fine. Since this master felt he was very wealthy, why would she as a little concubine have anything to say about it?
If the master bestows, she will receive.
But she couldn’t just say it like this to the Jing Prince. Therefore, she could only grab the Jing Prince’s hand and fiddle with his fingers to show her goodwill. This was a way to interact with the Jing Prince that Xiao Hua figured out over these few days.
He liked silence and didn’t like to talk. He would sometimes use a few small gestures to express himself. For example, the Jing Prince expressed comfort, pleasure and happiness by stroking Xiao Hua’s hair. Xiao Hua would express goodwill, intimacy and happiness by rubbing the Jing Prince’s finger.
This felt a little like guessing at riddles, but the two of them took pleasure in their interactions.
After his finger was rubbed by Xiao Hua, and seeing her smile with her eyes lowered, he stroked her hair, his mood extremely good.