Lu Heng didn’t notice the prince at all. He flashed a grin. “How would I possibly darn spurn Your Imperial Majesty’s great patronage? Master Qin is His Majesty’s right hand man and is known far and wide as Wise Pan An. Miss Qin possesses surpassing talent and beauty, I confess myself quite enamored. If I am able to have her as my wife, I would thank Your Imperial Majesty for the rest of my life.”
Qin Yining’s heart skipped a bit. Petrified, she was one with rocks and boulders.
Née Sun and the others were equally surprised at Lu Heng’s candor.
The empress dowager smiled and was about to speak when Pang Xiao surged to his feet next to her. He upended the eight-sided table with a mighty flourish of a hand.
Clang! rang out in the room while crockery flew everywhere, shattering with a cacophony of crashes. The womenfolk shrieked and leapt away, the majority of the food splashing squarely onto Lu Heng and some onto the empress dowager.
Pang Xiao’s eyes were bloodshot in his rage, like those of a riled up lion. He pointed a finger at Lu Heng and yelled, “You motherf*cking piece of dogshit! Don’t you dare think of having anything to do with her!”
“Pang Zhixi, you freaking lunatic!” Born of noble circumstances, how had Lu Heng ever suffered such humiliation?! “The empress dowager is of a mind to bestow a marriage match today! I was responding to Her Imperial Majesty! What the hell are you to jump out and stick your nose into things?!”
“Choose whoever the hell you want, but a woman who I’ve had in my bed isn’t someone a limp chicken like you can pant after!”
“Crude, base, an absolute lack of decorum!” Lu Heng flushed scarlet in his fury. “A minor prince is nothing in the eyes of my clan! I don’t have to use even two fingers if I wanted to crush you. I can squash you with one!”
“Bull f*cking shit! Just try me! I’ll pound you into the ground and make you call me your father!”
“Ai, stop, stop!” The empress dowager’s skirts were drenched in the sauces of fish marinated in vinegar, but that was the furthest thing on her mind. She pulled on Pang Xiao with one hand while Chen-mama and other servants yanked on Pang Xiao’s robes.
At this time, imperials guards flooded into the palace, alarmed by the disturbance. They came to a blank halt when they saw the disorder in the room.
The empress dowager stomped her foot when she saw the palace guards ready to draw their blades. “Who let you in? Out! Get out!”
“Your Imperial Majesty, we’re here to protect you. You…”
“I said get out!”
The guards had no other choice than to retreat upon seeing the empress dowager so resolute. They cast worried looks at Pang Xiao and Lu Heng before they left, seeing the two men furiously stare each other down.
They couldn’t afford to offend either of these great personages. If those that even the emperor gave a wider berth to broke out in a fight, what could little nobodies like them do?
If the empress dowager wanted them to leave, then leave they shall.
Qin Yining and née Sun supported each other as they sought shelter far away from the scene; skirt hems dirtied with food. Absolutely livid, the older madame swallowed her words when she looked skeptically at her daughter.
Meanwhile, Qin Yining was still caught in the throes of shock. She firmly believed that if it hadn’t been for Pang Xiao’s actions, she would’ve been bestowed to Lu Heng just now.
However, she’d never fathomed that Pang Xiao would declare his ownership in such a wild way! Not only had he fully offended Lu Heng and the Lus, but he’d also denied face to the empress dowager.
Though he wrapped the cloak of brashness around him, his actions had been swift, decisive, and ruthless! That would spell the end of Lu Heng’s marriage request.
The Lu second master gnashed his teeth, unable to pacify his anger even with a few deep breaths. The hand behind his back clenched into a fist, he jabbed with a finger of the other. “Just you wait.”
Paying no attention to the empress dowager afterwards, he left with a proud flourish of a sleeve and robes full of food stains. His back was ramrod straight and his steps leisurely, as if he were the highest ranked within the palace and not the empress dowager.
In contrast, the imperial majesty didn’t react at all to his words, a sure sign of the Lu’s preeminence and the weightiness of his words.
“What are you all milling around for? Go send the Lu second master off!” She rebuked angrily and then looked at the womenfolk around her. Waving her hand impatiently, she ordered, “I grow weary. You are all dismissed!”
“Understood.” Yet to recover from their shock, the womenfolk woodenly offered their curtsies and left.
Pang Xiao supported the empress dowager in taking a few steps back and found a clean area to sit down in. Chen-mama led the servants in cleaning up the mess.
The empress dowager viciously pinched the prince and pummeled him a few times for good measure.
“You little bastard! Do you think you’re still in the countryside?! How dare you flip even my table and yell at a Lu! Is it worth doing that for a woman!? Don’t you know the power standing behind the Lus?? You’re going to be the absolute death of me!”
“Please quell your anger, Your Majesty. I was in panic too. That née Qin is mine—would I let anyone else touch her? That Lu can dream on!”
“You really are… sigh. The entire city is rife with gossip because you’re unwilling to wed her due to your father’s feud. I finally found a good match for her, but you won’t let anyone else wed her either. You really are too tyrannical!”
“Even if I don’t want her, I won’t let any other man touch her either!” responded Pang Xiao pompously.
“Then why don’t you have her go be a nun then!” roared the empress dowager.
Pang Xiao finally shut his mouth when he saw that the imperial majesty truly was incensed, allowing her to lecture him as she would.
By now, Qin Yining and née Sun had left the Palace of Benevolent Piety and could hear the murmured whispers from the other womenfolk.
When they left the palace proper and climbed into their carriage, Bingtang and Jiyun were afraid to follow them in when the girls saw née Sun’s ugly expression.
Seeing that no one was around, the Qin madame asked, “Daughter Yi, have you and Pang actually, actually known each other intimately?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Omg... this is... a riot.. O_O
And you know what, you guys are right. I'm too on board the Pang Xiao train, but there's nothing wrong with Lu Heng at all!
But this table flipping!! Gyakkkkk!!