Chapter 339 - Ugly

Fine and lush vegetation, dazzling and precious flowers, pavilions and terraces, carved railings and beautiful buildings… Yu Xiaocao felt like she could barely take everything in with her eyes. Zhu Junyang coughed twice and said with a smile, “Pay attention and don’t make it seem like you’re a country bumpkin who came to the town for the first time.”  

Yu Xiaocao freed up some time to throw daggers at him with her eyes. She snorted twice and said, “So ignorant! I’m Granny Liu visiting the Grand View Gardens [1]! Besides, what’s wrong with country bumpkins? Country bumpkins don’t eat, drink, or use anything that belongs to you, so how are they in your way? On the other hand, you, the dignified Young Royal Prince, often bums off meals at a country bumpkin’s house empty-handed!” 

Meixiang secretly glanced at her young master and saw that he actually had a smile on his face. It seemed like he had been amused by Miss Xiaocao’s words. Her young master was really tolerant of Miss Yu. Had it been another person, that person would have already been frozen to death by the cold air that he emitted… 

“Older Brother Yang, you’re back ah!!” Zhu Junyang was just about to say something when a red cloud drifted out of the flowers and trees, and rushed directly at him, “Ahhh, save me! Brother Yang quickly catch me…” 

Based on the distance that Jiang Zixian calculated, if Older Brother Yang stood at the same place without moving, she would be able to fall right into the strong arms of Older Brother Yang. However, it was under the premise that Zhu Junyang didn’t move. Could he not move? Of course not! 

Zhu Junyang had long detected Jiang Zixian’s little plan. Before he got attacked by the fragrant wind, he gently grabbed onto Yu Xiaocao with his right hand and moved to the side… Yu Xiaocao felt a tight grasp on her left arm, and her feet didn’t even touch the ground as she drifted a few steps to the side. When she looked down at her feet, she saw a girl dressed in red lying face down beside her feet. She knocked her forehead on the small path paved with bluestones and emitted a loud ‘bang’ sound. 

‘Tsk tsk, it must hurt a lot!’ Yu Xiaocao grimaced and quickly moved several steps to the side, lest she got caught in the crossfire. 

Seeing stars before her eyes, Jiang Zixian felt stinging pain on her knees, arms, palms, and forehead. What happened? She was somewhat muddled due to the fall. She was about to fall into Older Brother Yang’s embrace and was just about two centimeters away, so how did she fail? That wasn’t right!! 

Zhu Junyang practiced martial arts, and thus he could jump onto the roof in a blink of the eye, let alone merely moving a few steps to the side.

Jiang Zixian’s maidservant was also stunned for a moment. She hastily went forward and hurriedly helped her young miss stand up. Jiang Zixian’s carefully matched clothing had become untidy, and her meticulously combed hair had become disheveled. Her makeup had also gotten dirtied by the soil on the ground. Most importantly, there was a scratch on her nose and a bruise on her forehead, which made it appear as if she had a horn on her head. 

Jiang Zixian couldn’t pay heed to the pain on her forehead and nose. Her almond-shaped eyes brimmed with tears as she looked pitifully Older Brother Yang, who was one step away from her. She choked with sobs, “Older Brother Yang, why didn’t you help me when you saw me falling? It really hurts ah!!” 

She said the last sentence with a whiny tone that had quite a dramatic effect when accompanied by her dirty face. Yu Xiaocao quickly hid behind her godmother with her head bowed and shoulders shaking uncontrollably. She knew that it wasn’t nice to laugh at others at this time, but she really couldn’t help it ah!! 

Zhu Junyang turned a blind eye to the pitiful-looking young girl in front of him. Instead, he looked at Jiang Zixian’s two maidservants with cold eyes and said with an icy tone, “Is this how you two serve your master? It’s such a flat bluestone path, yet you can still let your master trip? Such incompetent servants, shouldn't you two get flogged and sold already?” 

As if they were suffering in the bitter cold and surrounded ten thousand years of ice, the two maidservants felt piercingly cold from the outside to the inside. They kneeled down in front of everyone and shivered like frightened quails. They could hardly speak and could only repeatedly ask for forgiveness, “These lowly servants know our mistakes. Young Royal Prince, please spare these lowly servants this time…” 

Zhu Junyang snorted coldly, and with a toss of his sleeves, he walked past them, saying, “You two aren’t servants of the Prince Jing’s Estate, so there’s no point in begging me!! Lady Fang, Xiaocao, Lady Mother is admiring the flowers in the rear garden, so let’s go over.” 

“Young Miss, please spare us. Young Miss…” When the two maidservants heard this, they hastily kowtowed to Jiang Zixian. 

Jiang Zixian covered the bump on her forehead with her hand as she looked at Zhu Junyang’s back obsessively and muttered, “Older Brother Yang was angry at you guys because he was worried about my injury, right? Mhm, that must be it!! What are you two wretches still doing on your knees? Hurry up and help me freshen up again. I still need to go accompany my aunt to appreciate the flowers!” 

While Jiang Zixian returned to her room to wash up, Meixiang had led the group to the rear garden of Prince Jing’s Estate. In the garden, a clear stream, which appeared like a jade belt, zigzagged through the depth of the flora and under the various arched bridges. It moved towards the decorative stone mountains and flowed swiftly into the gaps. With holed cornices, carved ridges, and painted sills, the pavilion was faintly discernible among the rich flowers and trees in the garden. 

In the pavilion, a woman dressed in purple took fish feed from her maidservant’s hands, leaned against the white jade railing, and watched the various koi carps fight for food. With a somewhat leisurely expression, she appeared even more graceful and poised. 

“Your Highness, Lady Fang and Miss Yu are here!” Meixiang’s crisp voice sounded along with the melodious sound of birds. The bird in the cage stopped singing for a few seconds, and then started singing again. 

“Chuxue, you haven’t visited in a long time. I almost thought that you have forgotten about me, this friend of yours!” At Tanggu Town, Princess Consort Jing and Lady Fang interacted frequently and became close friends. Thus, they intimately called each other by their names. 

Lady Fang smiled and said, “Your Highness must be joking. No matter who I forget, there’s no way that I’ll forget you! You borrowed several pots of rare orchids from me, so how can I forget!” 

Princess Consort Jing laughed and said, “Well, Xia Chuxue, it seems like you only care about those several pots of flowers ah! Could it be that the affection between the two of us can’t even compare with several pots of orchid flowers?”

Lady Fang jested, “How could that be? With our deep friendship, Your Highness will definitely be willing to lend me your eighteen scholar camellia and camellia japonica to appreciate for a few days, right?” 

Princess Consort Jing regarded the eighteen scholar camellia and camellia japonica as treasures. After she returned from Tanggu Town, she had specially invited two florists, who were skilled in cultivating camellias, to tend the flora. Even Lady Feng had only seen them once or twice. Normally, Princess Consort Jing seldom showed them to others and treated them like precious treasures. 

Princess Consort Jing glanced at Lady Fang with her phoenix eyes, hmphed twice, and said, “You ah! You’re someone who won’t let yourself be taken advantage of at all! What’s the big deal with lending you the two pots of camellias for several days? Anyway, Xiaocao gifted them to us as a form of filial piety. By the way, Xiaocao, was that valley badly damaged? Can the flora be saved?” 

Yu Xiaocao was holding a cup of tea and watching the two dignified women quarrel when their conversation suddenly shifted to her, which resulted in a delayed response. After being stunned for a few seconds, she showed a bright smile and replied, “Rest assured, Your Highness. I purposely went to check at the beginning of spring. Most of the flowers and plants had grown new branches and buds. However, I don’t really know much about flowers. When Your Highness’s mountain manor in the West Mountain is completed, I’ll take Older Sister Meixiang and Older Sister Lanxiang to transplant more camellia flowers back.” 

Hearing that the camellias in the valley weren't badly damaged, the concern Princess Consort Jing had eased and the smile on her face had become brighter. When Zhu Junyang saw that his lady mother’s mood had become better than usual, he said to Yu Xiaocao, “Xiaocao, my lady mother’s health has become a lot better after consuming the medicinal meals you prescribed. But, recently, it seems like the effects of medicinal meals aren’t as obvious as before. It is time to change the prescription?” 

When they were at Tanggu Town, it was Yu Xiaocao who cooked the medicinal meals for Princess Consort Jing, and thus mystic-stone water was added in it. Later, when Princess Consort Jing was taken back to the capital, she had prepared herbs needed for the medicinal meals, which were all saturated with the little divine stone’s spiritual power. Counting the days, it seemed like those medicinal herbs were almost used up, and thus it wasn’t surprising that there was a reduction in their effectiveness. 

Yu Xiaocao thought about it and asked, “Your Highness, can I take a look at your recent pulse records?” She still wasn’t very skilled at examining one’s pulse. However, there was an imperial physician who stayed exclusively at the Prince Jing’s Estate. The monthly pulse conditions should all be recorded. 

Princess Consort Jing told Lanxiang to retrieve the pulse records from Imperial Physician Zheng, and then she had Zhuxiang bring over some easy to digest pastries. After she warmly told Lady Fang and Yu Xiaocao to eat some snacks, she also ate some ejiao cakes. 

A joyous atmosphere was overflowing in the pavilion when Jiang Zixian came over with her maidservants. When she walked up the steps, her two maidservants held onto her arms gingerly for fear that their young miss would trip again or sprain her ankle. Even if the royal prince wouldn’t do anything to them, his grim gaze was enough to frighten them. 

When Princess Consort Jing saw the swelling on her niece’s forehead, she quickly put down the pastry in her hands. She worked hard to suppress her laughter and asked, “What happened? I didn’t see you for a moment, yet you turned out like this?” 

Jiang Zixian couldn’t help but look at Zhu Junyang. She timidly pretended to be pitiful and said, “Aunt, it’s Older Brother Yang’s fault. He clearly saw me falling, yet he didn’t even help me. He caused me to fall and end up like this… It really hurts ah!!” 

Zhu Junyang coldly glared at her and interjected before his lady mother could say anything, “You look so ugly after the fall, yet you’re not embarrassed and still come out to scare people? It’s not your fault that you’re ugly, but it’s wrong for you to come out to scare people! Do you think that other people won’t have nightmares at night?” 

Jiang Zixian, who originally looked like she was about to cry, immediately turned into a weeping beauty. She had such a bad fall, yet Brother Yang was still making cynical remarks. So… so annoying!! She remembered how she looked in the mirror earlier: bruised forehead and scraped nose… 

Ah, she was doomed! She had only wanted to appear in front of Older Brother Yang more frequently while he was home and enhance their relationship. However, she never thought that she would end up with this ugly appearance. Brother Yang had seen everything, and he disliked her now. What should she do? What should she do?’ 

Princess Consort Jing noticed her niece’s embarrassment and quickly said, “You’re already injured like this, have you let the imperial physician check on you? You mustn’t be careless about the wounds on your face! If you leave a scar, you’ll end up with it for the rest of your life!!” 

Jiang Zixian became even more anxious. In her own opinion, her biggest advantage against her female cousins was her good-looking appearance. With a scar on her face, even if Older Brother Yang didn’t mind, it would still be impossible for her to be his main wife. If he married a woman with a scar on her face as his wife, Older Brother Yang would be ridiculed by others!!

She hastily left the garden and told her maidservant to call for Imperial Physician Zheng…


[1] Granny Liu visits the Garden View Garden (刘姥姥进大观园) - a simple unsophisticated person, who is overwhelmed by new experiences and luxurious surroundings; reference to Dream of the Red Chambers 

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Myst's Thoughts

ejiao cakes

I'm dumbfounded by how delusional she is... he makes it so obvious that he doesn't like her... 

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Translator: Myst