Chapter 427 - Bad Friend

General Fang and his wife were worried about their goddaughter's marriage, but they would've never expected that a big-tailed wolf had been watching their precious goddaughter. See, the next morning, the other party had gone to their house, saying that he had been ordered by the emperor to escort the agricultural officer, Miss Yu, to the Imperial Plantation. 

General Fang, who had personally welcomed him into the reception room, clicked his tongue and complained in his heart, 'My Royal Prince Yang, can you make a reasonable excuse? A little official of the sixth rank can be easily found in the capital, how could they trouble you to come? You are a perfect example of a drunk who isn't interested in the wine—having ulterior motives!' 

The two people each had a cup of tea and Yu Xiaocao, who was wearing a red riding outfit, came out of the backyard. Xichun, Linglong, and Wutong, who followed behind her, were also dressed in clothes that allowed more movement. Linglong was originally Lady Fang's most capable personal maidservant. She was worried about her goddaughter’s first day at work, so she had Linglong act as an assistant. 

In the future, some of the trivial matters of the Imperial Plantation must be handled by someone that could be trusted. Xichun was a young girl but she was capable and none of her work was sloppy. Xiaocao planned for her to be her assistant after training her. As for Wutong, she would serve and follow Xiaocao. 

Wutong and Pipa saw that Yingtao and Yangliu, who were loyal toward their master, had respectable jobs. Even the head senior servants in the estate had to be polite upon seeing the two. Those two were originally like them, just serving maids in the young miss’s courtyard. Now they were more powerful than those stewardesses in front of the madam. They were also able to have some standing in front of their masters. 

They, on the other hand, not only did not change in the slightest, but they also had lost favor with their master. Their identity and status didn't just differ a little. Wutong and Pipa felt extremely regretful. At first, when their mistress asked who would be willing to go to the countryside to serve the young miss, why hadn't they jumped out to express their loyalty?

Otherwise, one of them would be in charge of the most famous braised food shops in the capital. In the worst case, they could've become a female steward of a pharmaceutical workshop. If they had known, the pharmaceutical workshop Yingtao managed didn't produce ordinary drugs but was the Tongren Medicine Hall pills and syrup that were hard to find in the capital, and all the prescriptions were in the hands of their Sister Yingtao, they would've been so regretful that they would've found a block to tofu to knock themselves to death. 

When they came out of the General's Estate, a clever red horse and a green shed carriage were waiting outside. The red horse was the foal that the general had given his goddaughter years ago, and now it has grown into a plump and sturdy adult horse. 

The little red horse was a very common breed, but upon being raised by Xiaocao, its hay was mixed with diluted mystic stone water and its drinking water was also diluted mystic stone water. No matter how inferior the horse was, it would’ve been conditioned into a quality horse. Even General Fang's carefully selected beloved steed was not as good as Little Red. Only the fine steed under Royal Prince Yang could compete with it. 

The little red horse grew up with her master and the benefits of the mystic stone water for many years. This one might look like a little mare but she has a proud temperament. Especially in front of Royal Prince Yang’s Ferghana horse, she showed an air of defiance. 

When Yu Xiaocao and Royal Prince Yang were riding side by side, the little red horse would constantly make petty actions. She would either intentionally use her body to push Royal Prince Yang’s horse, which was called Fierce Wind, or frighten him by stretching out her mouth as if she was going to bite Fierce Wind when her master wasn't paying attention. 

Horses would resemble their masters. Royal Prince Yang’s Ferghana horse wasn't a docile one either. With the exception of Royal Prince Yang, no one else could ever have the slightest chance of riding him! If you thought you would be able to jump on his back and subdue him with your riding skills, then you were very wrong. This horse was very strong, and many skilled riders had been flung off by him. Not only were they flung to the ground, but they were also almost seriously injured from being stepped on by his hooves. 

Now, this fierce thoroughbred horse was as tame as a sheep. No matter how Little Red provoked him, even if he was kicked in the legs, he didn't get angry at all. His big wet eyes looked at Little Red with tolerance, as if he was a good-natured gentleman indulging his lady's temper.

Royal Prince Jun jokingly scolded Fierce Wind for being so useless and blinded by beauty that it allowed Little Red to play the domineering role. He even said that the beast was spoiled, and it would only be obedient after being disciplined... Before he finished speaking, he saw Xiaocao's raised eyebrows and her angry round eyes glaring at him. He hurriedly changed his words and said, "I'm talking about horses. Don't worry. How could I bear to hit you? Aren't you normally the one beating me?" 

He had changed his words quite quickly. Who was the useless didn’t one, my Lord? Steward Liu and Commander Zheng turned their faces in the opposite direction, for fear that their master would see their distorted expressions. 

Yu Xiaocao snorted coldly and said, "Fierce Wind's actions are called gentlemanly manners. There's a huge power gap between men and women. What kind of man would fight a woman?" 

"You're right! Women are supposed to be cared for and pampered. Look at my family's style. There has never been a precedent for hitting women. My father is reluctant to even say anything harsh to my mother. I'm their son, so this fine tradition has been deeply rooted in my bones since I watched it growing up. So my future princess consort will be blessed!" This shameless guy was speaking like ‘Grandma Wang selling melons and praising her own products’! 

"Oh! Who is this? How can you have such thick skin!! Looking to see if a young girl can be deceived and taken home with colorful words?! Is this something that you, Royal Prince Yang, would do?! Alas...It's said that Royal Prince Yang has a cold personality and is a man of few words. Surely I didn't meet a fake Royal Prince Yang today?" 

A fair-skinned and chubby man, who was around the age of twenty, walked towards them. There was a hint of smile in his squinty eyes that gave him the appearance of a smiling tiger. He was wearing a brocade robe and the jade pendant on his waist seemed to be of great value. He fanned himself with the fan in his hands. 

Yu Xiaocao had heard that Royal Prince Yang had very few friends in the capital but a lot of enemies. However, with his skills and temperament, not many would dare to outright provoke him. This guy had a tone of finding fault the minute he opened his mouth. He didn’t seem like a good person, but since he dared to come over to provoke Royal Prince Yang, he surely had a high status. She wondered if Royal Prince Yang would get in trouble for slapping him to death. 

The 'smiling tiger' detected Xiaocao's unfriendly gaze. He opened his squinty eyes with a surprised face and said, "Oh! I was thinking it was Royal Prince Yang who was flirting with women on the street! Turns out that one is willing to fight and the other is willing to suffer! Looks like I was too impulsive!" 

Yu Xiaocao frowned, and her face suddenly became cold. This person had a face that needed a beating. How could he be so annoying? Her hand was itching to beat him up, what to do? 

Seeing that the little lass looked like a cat that had been offended and eager to show off her claws, Royal Prince Yang hurriedly urged his horse over to the ‘smiling tiger’ and punched him in the shoulder and said, “This mouth of yours! You must have been beaten up a lot over the years! When did you come back?” 

“Hehe! All the beating that I’ve gotten in this life would never add up to the time I got beaten up by Royal Prince Yang. Back then, I couldn’t get out of bed for three months!” The chubby young man with fair skin retracted his crooked smile, looking less annoying. 

Zhu Junyang laughed and said, “This fellow, you are one to bear grudges. That happened when we were ten, yet you’re still talking about it! Didn’t I already send you a gift to apologize?” 

“You call that an apology gift? You dislocated my arm, broke three ribs and my tibia, and took half my life. Your father had to use force and cajolery to finally get you to reluctantly apologize, leaving the matter settled just like that. At that time, I was upset and didn’t forgive you. My bones hadn’t even recovered before they were broken again by you, this brat, with petty tricks! You even threaten me, saying that if I didn’t forgive you then you would beat me up every time you saw me. My mother felt heartache and cried for me to admit defeat. If I wasn’t worried that my mother would worry, only a ghost would forgive you!” If the chubby youth wasn’t riding a horse, he would have been jumping up and down. 

Zhu Junyang’s poker face hadn’t changed at all, but his words could choke someone to death, “Who let you learn so poorly? If you have the ability, just win it back openly! You used so many little tricks over the years, but not once have you succeeded. Aren’t you too shabby?” 

The little fatty was so angry his nostrils flared like a mule’s and said, “You think everyone is like you, practicing martial arts like they’re desperate. Even your talent for it is surprisingly high! Let’s not talk about me, just in the entire capital, can you find someone that can beat you? You’re just a monster!” 

“Alright! We wouldn’t have met each other if we hadn’t fought. The things of the past, why are we still fussing over it so much? Are you planning on leaving after coming back this time?” Listening to Zhu Junyang’s tone, he has a pretty good relationship with this guy. At least, it was not the attitude of killing with a cold glare. 

The little fatty was unhappy and snorted a few times before he said, “It’s also me who was the bigger person and was magnanimous. I pitied you for not even having a single person in the capital to speak to and just reluctantly became friends with you! Not leaving, not leaving! A few days ago, I just accepted the position of an imperial guard in the Yulin Division. I will take up the official post next month!” 

“Congratulations! This prince should get half the credit for you being able to get this job. If I hadn’t spurred you on, would you even be able to get a job within the Twelve Divisions of Imperial Guards with your measly martial arts skill? In the future, I will urge you more ‘with all my heart’ lest you let the emperor down!” The expression on Zhu Junyang’s face didn’t change but his eyes were full of bad intentions. 

“Oh, I should really thank you then! Your kindness will be remembered in my heart. This delicate  body of mine can’t handle being tossed about by you. If you… have that spare time, you better practice speaking honeyed words, or thickening your skin, in case the lady dislikes you!” 

The little fatty politely declined his ‘good intentions’. Although he never stopped practicing martial arts all these years, there was still quite a large gap compared to that monster Royal Prince Yang. Even Chief Steward Su Ran might not be able to beat Royal Prince Yang in a fight, let alone a small fry like him. If he fell into this guy’s hands, he'd be half dead.

“Scared now? You weren’t like this in the past. You would continue fighting despite setbacks and was full of valor and vigor! Now you’ve eaten so much that you have lost your nerve!” Royal Prince Yang’s sharp tongue was very powerful.

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Myst's Thoughts

Translator: Elaine