Zhu Junyang obviously didn’t expect that the little girl would try to drive him away. Who gave her the courage to do so? However, it didn’t seem necessary for him to sit here anymore. His lady mother was still waiting for him to invite someone back.
Zhu Junyang put down the teacup and said, “Actually, my visit this time was an order by my lady mother! There seems to be a problem with the camellia you gave her, so she wants you to go take a look!”
The camellias that she gave Princess Consort Jing? They were all nourished by the mystic-stone water, so their vitality should be even stronger than weeds. Why would there be a problem?
“Let’s go then!” Yu Xiaocao put the teacup on the table, stood up, and walked out.
Zhu Junyang was slightly surprised to see her dressed so casually. He coughed a couple times and said, “You… you don’t need to change your clothes?”
Usually, when Yu Xiaocao went to the princess consort’s residence, she would either be helping to cook medicinal meals or tending the flowers and plants that were ‘ruined’ by Princess Consort Jing. Thus, she dressed very casually. Princess Consort Jing treated her like she was a junior member of her family, so she had never felt that there was anything wrong with visiting her in casual clothes.
Hearing Zhu Junyang’s words, she looked down at her clothes, which was fairly proper. She didn’t think that she needed to change, so she immediately replied, “Aren’t I going to help with the flowers and plants? At that time, there will be mud and soil, so even if I changed clothes, they will get dirty anyways. This is fine!”
Zhu Junyang took a closer look at her casual attire. She wore a pink pomegranate skirt, light yellow jacket embroidered with butterflies and flowers, and several strands of tea rose colored ribbons on her waist. Her glossy black hair was combed into cute twin buns and adorned with pink pearl hair ornaments. There was a faint smile on her tender face, and her eyes were as clear as a stream under ice, untainted by the worldly dust…
Although it was a very common casual attire, it appeared more charming worn on a young girl who hadn’t grown up. The little lass was born in a peasant’s family, but she was more elegant and graceful than those so-called noble young ladies in the capital. It seemed like she wasn’t just wearing a homely outfit, but instead she appeared calm and magnanimous as if she had carefully dressed up.
Zhu Junyang was born in the imperial family, so how could he avoid attending banquets? Those noble young ladies in the capital viewed all of the banquets as a stage to show themselves. They wished that they could wear that most gorgeous clothes and the most expensive accessories. The scent of their make-up could almost cause a person to faint. They didn’t care whether it was suitable for them, and as long as it was popular, they would paint it onto their faces. Their originally delicate and pretty faces became as stunning as a ghost’s. Weren’t they afraid of scaring people?!
In contrast, this young girl in front of him wore no make-up and appeared clean and refreshing. Such a real and pure appearance was more comfortable to look at!
“Young Royal Prince? Are we going? I need to rush back in the evening to make postnatal meals for my godmother!” Seeing that Zhu Junyang was still standing there and not moving, Yu Xiaocao urged him.
Moreover, the little girl wasn’t frightened by his cold and indifferent appearance. She was quite brave. When he visited people, no one had ever dared to tell him to leave after serving him tea. There also wasn’t anyone who dared to rush him with an impatient expression. Um… He was being treated like this by her, yet he didn’t feel annoyed at all. Was he the ‘masochist’ that the emperor mentioned?
Seeing Yu Xiaocao turning around and glaring at him with impatience, Zhu Junyang touched his nose and obediently followed her. To pick up the guest, he had come out with the prince household’s horse carriage. His lady mother had come out in a low-key manner this time, so their carriage was just slightly more lavish than other families’. But, in Xiaocao’s eyes, it was quite flashy!
Stepping on the small stool placed by the servants of Prince Jing’s Estate, Yu Xiaocao quickly climbed on the carriage. As soon as she was seated, the carriage slowly moved forward. To move so steadily, it really was worthy of being Prince Jing Estate’s horse carriage. Also, the cushioned seat inside the carriage was padded with a thick brocade quilt and soft pillows on the back. Yu Xiaocao couldn’t help sighing—it’s better to be rich ah!
The estate that Princess Consort Jing stayed in wasn’t very far from the Fang Estate. After a while, the carriage stopped in front of the estate. Yu Xiaocao didn’t wait for the servant to set the stool and jumped down, scaring the servants around her. Miss Yu was an esteemed guest of Princess Consort Jing, so if she got injured, they wouldn’t be able to take the responsibility ah!
Xiaocao jumped off the carriage like a nimble little monkey. Had it been one of those noble young ladies in the capital, Zhu Junyang would definitely think that she was boorish and lacked discipline. However, when it was this ten year old little girl, he felt that she was quite lively and cute!
Yu Xiaocao walked to the back garden with familiarity, and saw Princess Consort Jing squatting on the ground and poking at a camellia with a shovel, as if she was trying to loosen the soil around it. However, the shovel in her hands was too close to the camellia. It must have hurt many of its roots. Xiaocao sighed heavily in her heart. For these camellias to be able to survive until now, their vitality was really quite strong.
Without saying anything, Yu Xiaocao walked to Princess Consort Jing and squatted next to her. She took the shovel in her hands and said as she demonstrated, “Your Highness, when loosening the soil, be careful not to touch the roots of flowers and plants. In general, precious flowers and plants are more delicate. Once their roots are injured, they will likely wither and die.”
Princess Consort Jing raised her worried and distressed face, frowned, and asked weakly, “Xiaocao, can these camellias be saved?”
While Xiaocao loosened the soil for the camellias, she saw obvious tea stains on the roots of each camellia. She gently pushed away the soil. Sure enough, she found that obvious damage to the roots of the camellias.
When facing Princess Consort Jing, who loved flowers but didn’t know how to raise them and stubbornly wanted to tend them herself, Yu Xiaocao was really reluctant to make harsh comments. After all, Princess Consort Jing was also a fervent lover of flowers. She sighed and politely said, “Your Highness, it’s best that you don’t use tea to water the flowers in the future. Even if you really need to water the flowers with tea, please don’t use hot tea, alright?”
After being seen through, Princess Consort Jing’s face, which looked much younger than her actual age, blushed. She looked at her youngest son, who looked at her in surprise, and mumbled an explanation, “I forgot to water the flowers that day, so I took the teapot on the table and watered them with it. I… I really didn’t notice that the tea was hot…”
Princess Consort Jing was apparently a noblewoman, who had been spoiled rotten by her husband and three sons. She was nearly forty, yet she still appeared like a young maiden from time to time. Yu Xiaocao sighed again, ‘Princess Consort Jing must have accumulated great virtue in her previous life for her to be so fortunate and happy in this life.’
Seeing his lady mother’s flushed face and helpless expression, Zhu Junyang instinctively helped her out, “Lady Mother, we know that you didn’t do it on purpose. Just be more careful in the future! Miss Yu, do you think that these camellias can be saved?”
As he spoke, he signaled Yu Xiaocao with his eyes, telling her to lie to his lady mother that the camellias could be saved. If they couldn’t be saved, weren’t the camellias found in the mountains by Xiaocao? He could find some time tomorrow and go to the mountains with her to see if he could find them. Since she could find them, there wasn’t any reason that he wouldn’t be able to.
Looking at the usually expressionless royal prince lifting his eyebrows and winking at her with his devilishly gorgeous face, if she didn’t know better, she would have thought that he was trying to seduce her. Ay! When a good-looking person made an ugly face, there would also be people who admired it.
Yu Xiaocao said to Princess Consort Jing with a serious expression, “Your Highness, rest assured! Fortunately, you didn’t water them with hot tea. Otherwise, even the Flower Deity wouldn’t be able to save them. A portion of the roots of these camellias have been damaged, but with meticulous care, there shouldn’t be any major problems.”
When Princess Consort Jing heard this, her heart finally felt relieved. Although Yu Xiaocao’s words were unpleasant to the ears, she had intentionally caused these damages, after all. She was feeling guilty, ashamed, and regretful in her heart, so she naturally didn’t notice the disrespect in her words.
Zhu Junyang, on the other hand, inwardly raised his eyebrows. It seemed like the little lass was born bold ah. She even dared to secretly mock Princess Consort Jing. Was she really an ignorant peasant girl born from a poor, humble family? Who gave her the courage?
Yu Xiaocao didn’t notice the inquisitive eyes behind her. After loosening the soil, she took the water bucket from the maidservant who was waiting beside them. While no one was looking, she dripped two drops of mystic-stone water inside. She scooped half a ladle of water and poured it moderately on the damaged roots of the camellias.
Zhu Junyang didn’t know whether it was his illusion, or he had seen wrongly, but he suddenly felt that the camellias had become more spirited. The curled leaves of the most seriously damaged one seemed to have stretched out a little. Zhu Junyang touched his chin with a curious expression, ‘This isn’t logical ah. How come these flowers and plants are so obviously different as soon as Yu Xiaocao deals with them? Is this little girl the Flower Deity?’
Pffft—Zhu Junyang was amused by his strange idea! Shouldn’t the Flower Deity be gorgeous and covered with fragrance? How could it be such a thin and short little girl?
Yu Xiaocao also conveniently watered the flowers nearby. After that, she took the handkerchief that Meixiang handed her and gently wiped the water on her hands. She hesitated to speak as she looked at Princess Consort Jing.
Zhu Junyang saw that his lady mother was focused on the camellias and didn’t notice Xiaocao’s action and expression, so he quickly said on behalf of his lady mother, “Miss Yu, please feel free to speak.”
Princess Consort Jing also looked at Yu Xiaocao and asked, “For these camellias, is there anything that I need to pay attention to in the future?”
“Your Highness, please forgive this commoner for being blunt. You should just leave the work of tending the flowers and plants to the gardeners!” Yu Xiaocao decided to speak honestly for those pitiful flowers. The entire Prince Jing’s Estate was too lenient on the princess consort, so she would have to be the person to tell her the sincere advice that may be grating to the ear.
Princess Consort Jing’s eyes, like Lin Daiyu’s , were filled with a hazy mist, which made people feel pity upon looking at them. Yu Xiaocao was inwardly relieved that the princess consort was really a delicate person and not one of those annoying white lotus flowers .
“Xiaocao, you also think that I’m not suitable for raising flowers?” Princess Consort Jing frowned slightly, and her face was shrouded by light sorrow, which made people reluctant to tell her the truth.
Yu Xiaocao sighed heavily and said, “Love isn’t just giving, but to give what is most suitable. Your Highness, as long as you stand in the flower room beautifully every day and appreciate the flowers, that will be the most sincere appreciation for flowers.”
Princess Consort Jing didn’t expect an ordinary young girl from the countryside to be able to speak better and more sentimentally than those refined young ladies. Unconsciously, she was actually attracted to the beauty of her description.
 Lin Daiyu (林黛玉) - character in Dream of the Red Chamber who is known to be weak and delicate
 white lotus flower (白莲花) - slang describing people (usually women) who appear kind and innocent but is really vile and schemingPrevious Chapter Next Chapter