She raised her head and saw the young master coming over. Realization immediately struck her——the princess consort must have another devious plan, for some reason, to torment the young royal prince.
“This son greets Lady Mother! What part of Lady Mother’s body is bothering you?” Zhu Junyang raised his eyes and immediately noticed that his mother looked ill and sickly, so he asked out of concern.
Princess Consort Jing hugged her chest and lightly shook her head, “Yang’er, don’t worry. Mother isn’t sick. However, I’m just not in a good mood!”
When Zhu Junyang previously stayed a few days in Tanggu Town, he had discovered that his lady mother’s condition had really gotten better. Every day he and his second brother accompanied her, so his lady mother was very happy and full of smiles. He was only gone for a few days; why did his lady mother look so ill and downtrodden again? Was it because she wanted to have him stay by her side and was pretending to be ill and sick again?
“Lady Mother, I’m here in Tanggu Town under imperial orders, so for the next few months I can stay in town with you. If you have become bored of staying here, then I, your son, can take you to the beach to watch the sunrise, go to Dongshan Village to look at the construction progress of our villa on the West Mountain, or, if your body is up for it, I can also take you hunting in the West Mountain to let you relieve your mood?” Zhu Junyang cared deeply for his mother, who had given him her entire heart and soul.
Princess Consort Jing’s eyes immediately lit up and she almost forgot to continue her act of being a worried mother. She happily asked, “Really? You can spend a long time in Tanggu Town now?”
When Zhu Junyang nodded in assent, Princess Consort Jing suddenly remembered her mission of the day. She retracted the smile on her face and then wailed and signed over a wilting camellia by her side.
Zhu Junyang now knew why his lady mother was unhappy. Apparently, his mother had, once again, almost destroyed another valuable camellia. His lady mother didn’t have any talent in raising flowers, yet she still insisted on having his lord father help her find valuable plants and flowers for her to look after. However, every single plant that she personally took care of had the exact same outcome——death. Even the most experienced gardeners couldn’t bring dead flora back to life. For the sake of her treasured flowers, his lady mother had shed many tears when they inevitably died. Apparently, his lady mother’s favorite camellias also didn’t escape her curse.
“Lady Mother, don’t feel sad. I will have people help you find some more valuable camellias…” Zhu Junyang stooped down to look at those camellia plants. One of them looked in quite bad condition as its leaves were mostly dried up and yellow. He wasn’t sure whether the others were still savable.
Princess Consort Jing let out another sigh, “These camellias were all given to me from Xiaocao, who found them in some ravine or valley of the dangerous West Mountains. I am truly a murderer of plants. I even managed to harm these wild and tenacious camellias...oh right, Xiaocao had once said that if these camellias fell ill, I could find her to help. Yang’er, these camellias are my treasures. Go to the Fang Estate and invite Xiaocao back to help me look at them. Perhaps they can be saved.”
‘Camellias are your treasure, so what does that make your son ah?’ The corners of Zhu Junyang’s mouth twitched as he recalled what his mother had said when she was trying to stop him from going out to sea. She repeatedly nagged and stated that he was her treasure, her darling baby, and he couldn’t have any accidents befall him. At the time, those words sounded a bit corny, but now, when did his status within his mother’s heart had become lower than some camellia plants?
The sight of his mother’s lowered head with tears spilling out made Zhu Junyang’s heart soften. He repeatedly reassured her, “Lady Mother, don’t feel sad. I will go invite Miss Xiaocao over now. Her family members are all experts are growing plants, so she might be able to save these plants. Just wait a moment, I will come back very quickly with her.”
Only after Zhu Junyang left the garden did Princess Consort Jing lift her head. There wasn’t a hint of worry or sadness on her face. ‘Stupid brat, I even harmed my most cherished camellia flowers for the sake of creating a chance for you. Look at me working earnestly for your future ah! You must live up to my expectations by spending plenty of time with the little girl and gaining her good impression.’
However, she had to admit that the camellias Xiaocao gave her were truly quite tenacious. She had ignored them for several days, not giving them any water, yet they still looked lush and bloomed beautifully. It gave her no choice but to grit her teeth and pour some boiling hot tea on top of them...she wasn’t sure if these valuable and lovely camellias were still able to be saved. She still wanted to arrange a flower fair when she got back to capital and show these flowers off in front of that Lady Feng!
When Zhu Junyang arrived at the Fang Estate, Yu Xiaocao was right in the middle of playing with the newborn lying on the bed! The little fellow was only a couple weeks old yet his body was quite sturdy. When he was awake, he would always incessantly kick his legs to amuse himself. Occasionally, he’d even let out a few cries of happiness.
“Second Sister, Little Linlin is so plump and pudgy, which makes him look super cute. He also has a good temperament, not at all like Fatty’s little sister, who cries all the time. She cries in the morning and cries at night. She cries if you hold her and cries if you don’t. Fatty is so annoyed he could die, so he tries to stay as far as possible from her.” Today was Little Shitou’s regular break from school. He didn’t go back to Dongshan Village and instead went to the Fang Residence to see his second sister and take a peek at the new baby.
The little baby’s skin was very soft and his hands were tiny ah. He even had two tiny little dimples. His bright dark eyes were wide open, roaming around everywhere to look around. The baby was too adorable. Little Shitou was no longer the youngest in the family, and he felt a wave of brotherly feeling for the little fellow as he held the baby in the arms, reluctant to put him down.
Yu Xiaocao watched as her younger brother held onto her tiny baby brother and felt that the scene was bursting with cuteness ah! If she had a camera at this moment, she truly wanted to record the scene in front of her.
“Eldest Young Miss, Prince Jing’s Estate’s Third Young Master has come to pay a visit and asked to see you.” The servant, Lingzhi, who came by to announce the visitor, was a maid that was arranged by Lady Fang to serve her adopted daughter. She was around twelve to thirteen years old in age. Although she wasn’t very beautiful, she was quite clever.
‘Prince Jing’s Estate’s Third Young Master? The young royal prince? Didn’t he go back to the capital to report on his mission? When did he come back? Why did this guy come to find me instead of spending more time with Her Highness, the princess consort, in town?’
Yu Xiaocao ordered the wet nurse to keep a good eye on her two younger brothers and then went to her godmother’s room to inform her. After passing through the alley next to the garden in full bloom, she arrived at the reception hall in the outer courtyard. When she entered, the first thing she saw was the young royal prince holding a cup of tea as he delicately sipped from it. It was as if he had a special liking for the tea at the Fang Estate. The tea prepared for the outer courtyard also used spring water that had some added mystic-stone water to it. Naturally, the flavor of the tea brewed from this type of water tasted better than those brewed with plain water. Could this guy be here to bum tea off of her?
“I was unaware that you were coming over, Young Royal Prince. Please excuse me for not going out to meet you, I ask for forgiveness…” Why did the polite words that came out of Yu Xiaocao’s mouth seemed to sound a bit off?
Zhu Junyang felt a bit upset at hearing these words. He placed down the tea cup and took a quick look at Yu Xiaocao. He noticed that she was wearing casual clothing, as if she didn’t take him to be an outsider. Immediately, his mood brightened. He faintly said, “I’m here for official business of the emperor. This prince will be inspecting and observing the growth of corn. In the future, we will have many opportunities to meet face-to-face, there’s no need to be so polite!”
‘He’s here on imperial orders? The emperor already knows that my family knows how to grow corn? Is it possible that the emperor now suspects me of being a transmigrator after getting some information from the young royal prince? I’m screwed. If I knew earlier that this would cause a problem, why would I even bother trying to grow corn or potatoes? I’ve walked into this trap myself!’
Yu Xiaocao cautiously asked, “The emperor? What did the emperor say? You didn’t just repeat all of my boasts, word for word, to him, right?”
“Your boasts? What boasts?” Zhu Junyang seemed perplexed by her questions.
“That I knew the right method to grow corn ah! Young Royal Prince, just think a bit, this corn was brought back by you from overseas. Our country has never had such a plant before. This lowly commoner only thought that my family was a good hand at farming, so I bragged a bit. If you said all of that to the emperor, wouldn’t the emperor accuse me of the crime of deceiving him ah?” Yu Xiaocao was afraid that her fellow transmigrator would easily crush her like an ant for the sake of preserving his power. What should she do? What’s to be done?!!
Zhu Junyang noticed that her face had turned white from fright and that her pair of lively eyes were filled with fear and unease. He hurriedly comforted her, “Did you watch too many plays? Although you bragged quite a bit, you still managed to grow the corn, and even quite well. The emperor is very pleased! Don’t worry, the emperor won’t accuse you of the crime of deceiving him for such a small matter!”
“Young Royal Prince, what did you tell the emperor? Can you repeat it for me to hear?” Yu Xiaocao sat on a chair crafted of nanmu wood  and inquisitively looked at Zhu Junyang’s direction.
When he saw the hope and anticipation on that little face, Zhu Junyang somehow lost all of his resistance. He repeated back everything that was said between him and emperor when he was in the imperial study. Not a word from that conversation was dropped.
Yu Xiaocao attentively concentrated. This Young Royal Prince was quite steady and didn’t push her into the spotlight. She could tell from the emperor’s words that he had some suspicions but he didn’t know which family member to suspect. Apparently, in the future, she needed to be more subdued in order to avoid drawing disaster to her family!
“Many thanks, Young Royal Prince. After hearing everything, this commoner feels much better! Young Royal Prince, please don’t worry. The corn fields at home are being watched over by my father and my older paternal aunt’s family. Nothing will go wrong with them. When you have time, you can also go over and take a look. If you don’t have time, we also won’t slack off!” Yu Xiaocao believed that the young royal prince only came over to Tanggu Town for purely official matters, so she said a few words to comfort him.
The young royal prince suddenly remembered that Minister Liu was currently staying at the county magistrate’s place and stated, “The Minister of Revenue, Minister Liu, also received imperial orders to come here. He’s a very easy person to deal with. As long as you give the method of growing corn to him, in great detail, he will be satisfied!”
The Minister of Revenue? He personally came here to learn the method to grow corn? Apparently, the transmigrator’s example of being diligent has also trickled down to his officials; they were all so hard-working. Yu Xiaocao nodded and said, “Tomorrow, I will go back to Dongshan Village and help arrange everything with my father. We’ll write down the method to grow corn. That way, when we give it to Minister Liu, won’t it simply matters a lot?”
“This is even better!” Zhu Junyang drank another sip of the excellent tea and then asked, “This tea has the flavor of biluochun , but it somehow seems more mellow and rich than biluochun. Just what type of tea is this?”
Yu Xiaocao straightened herself in her seat and grinned, “Young Royal Prince, you guessed correctly. This is biluochun. However, the water used to brew this tea was gathered from a mountain spring located deep within a bamboo forest within the West Mountain. That’s the reason why you feel like it tastes different. If you like it, then you can bring a bucket of mountain spring water back…”
Uhhh...he was a lofty and magnificent young royal prince from Prince Jing’s Estate. If word came out that he snatched a bucket of spring water from a host’s home to bring back himself, wouldn’t he become the laughingstock of other people? Even his lady mother would tease him for ages about this, let alone other people. Zhu Junyang rapidly shook his head and stated that he didn’t need any!
When Yu Xiaocao noticed that he had finished his business, she thought that the young royal prince was going to leave. She sat with him for a little while longer and found out the prince didn’t seem to want to go yet. She picked up her cup full of tea and asked, “Young Royal Prince, you...do you still need something else?”
 nanmu wood (楠木) - precious wood that is unique to China and South Asia, and was historically used for boat building, architectural woodworking, furniture and sculptural carving
 biluochun (碧螺春) - a famous green tea originally grown in the Dongting mountain region near Lake Tai in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. It is also known as Pi Lo Chun. It is renowned for its delicate appearance, fruity taste, floral aroma, showy white hairs and early cropping.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sanguine’s Thoughts: Ahahahaha Princess Consort Jing is quite devious.