The downpour came abruptly and heavily. Yu Xiaoxiao, who was seated in the carriage, was drenched from head to toe. However, the Princess had a good constitution. Not only did she not shiver, she didn’t sneeze as well. All she cared about was her pig head.
No matter how much Xiao Zhuang cared about his image, he didn’t dare to throw away the pig’s head that his Princess had entrusted him with. When he heard Yu Xiaoxiao asking about it inside the carriage, he replied, “Don’t worry, Your Highness, I’ve used a raincoat to cover the pig’s head. It won’t get wet.”
Yu Xiaoxiao relaxed, then turned to Gu Xinglang and said, “I met two people on the streets just now. They asked me to pass a letter to Grandfather.”
Gu Xinglang asked, “What letter?” Why would anyone ask the Princess to deliver a letter to his grandfather?
Yu Xiaoxiao took the letter out, and was surprised. Having been drenched by the rain, the letter that the deputy boss had given her was already a wad of scrap paper.
Gu Xinglang looked at the ball of paper and chuckled, “Xiaoxiao, what were the two people like?”
Yu Xiaoxiao answered, “They were human men.”
Gu Xinglang: “.......”
Yu Xiaoxiao tried to spread the letter open, but unexpectedly, once her hand touched the paper, the entire ball disintegrated.
Gu Xinglang pulled his wife, who was dripping wet, into his embrace, and used his body temperature to warm Yu Xiaoxiao up. “Did they say what letter it was?”
“Oh,” Yu Xiaoxiao said, “It was a letter sending their greetings to Grandfather. The two of them had gone to buy Brother Niu’s pig’s head, but when they found out that I was from the Gu family, they handed the letter to me.”
Gu Xinglang didn’t even bother thinking about who this Brother Niu was. Yu Xiaoxiao’s “I was from the Gu family” soothed Third Young Master’s Gu’s heart. He hugged Yu Xiaoxiao, “Did they look like villains?”
“Villains?” Yu Xiaoxiao replied, “That’s not possible.” It was difficult to tell whether the deputy boss was good or bad. He didn’t even retaliate when beaten up, how could such a loser be a villain?
Gu Xinglang could finally relax. He tossed the crumpled ball out and said, “There are people who often write letters to send their greetings to Grandfather. This could be a letter from one of my grandfather’s henchmen. It’s fine if it’s gone.”
Yu Xiaoxiao asked again, “Are you sure it’s fine?”
“Yes, it's alright.” Gu Xinglang removed his robe and used it to dry Yu Xiaoxiao's hair. “We’re reaching home soon. Are you cold?”
Yu Xiaoxiao shook her head. She treated such downpours as taking showers. The Princess was still concerned about the letter. “What happens if the person asks Grandfather about the letter but he says that he didn’t receive it?”
Gu Xinglang chuckled, “There are so many things that military leaders like us have to do. Unless it’s about an urgent military situation, otherwise Grandfather and the others won’t remember these letters.”
“That’s great then.” Yu Xiaoxiao was finally at ease. It was just a greeting letter. In future, they could simply greet her grandfather in person.
“Don’t tell Grandfather about this.” Gu Xinglang said.
“Will Grandfather scold me?”
“He’ll reprimand me.” Gu Xinglang was certain of this. His grandfather wouldn't blame the Princess for losing the letter, but he would definitely berate him for causing the Princess to get drenched.
“Forget about it then,” Yu Xiaoxiao said, “What happened just now? Nothing happened, right?”
The old priest’s words rang in Gu Xinglang’s ears again. He tapped his forehead, then said to Yu Xiaoxiao, “Yes, nothing happened.”
Yu Xiaoxiao also unloaded her pine nut candy and cloud cakes. Her Highness the Princess’ heart ached at the sight before her - the pine nut candy looked fine, but the cloud cakes were steeped in water, becoming a pile of mush.
Gu Xinglang said, “This is a pastry? It’s fine, Xiaoxiao, we can buy it again in future.”
It was impossible to give such a hideous cake to others now, hence Yu Xiaoxiao decided to eat it herself. She then pulled out the wood token and map that the deputy gave her. The token was slightly wet, but the map met with the same fate as the letter - it became a black ball of paper, and the words couldn’t be read anymore.
“The person who gave me the letter invited me to Ruyun Mountain to play.” Yu Xiaoxiao continued, “Xiao Gu, let’s go to Ruyun Mountain tomorrow to catch some fat rabbits.”
Ruyun Mountain was an abandoned mountain. Why would one need to carry this token to enter the mountain? Doubts surfaced in Gu Xinglang’s mind.
Yu Xiaoxiao added, “They even called me a lass. Xiao Gu, do I look young?”
Lass? Third Young Master Gu’s expression turned sullen again.
Yu Xiaoxiao said, “I even shared half the pig’s head with them.”
Gu Xinglang placed the wood token into his pouch and said, “If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, we’ll go to Ruyun Mountain.”
Yu Xiaoxiao rubbed her forehead against Gu Xinglang’s chest. See you tomorrow, fat rabbits!
When the carriage reached the Gu residence, the group heard a commotion from within the estate.
“What’s wrong?” Gu Xinglang was still seated in the carriage, asking the butler who came forward.
The butler was full of smiles, “Third Young Master, His Majesty has sent an Imperial Decree. The Marshal, Eldest and Second Young Master’s ranks have been reinstated.”
Yu Xiaoxiao popped her head out of the carriage and remarked, “Reinstated? Wasn’t it agreed that Eldest and Second Brother would be promoted?”
The butler was stunned by Yu Xiaoxiao’s words. He replied, “Your Royal Highness, it was just a reinstatement. The decree didn’t mention anything about a promotion.”
“I’ll enter the palace.” Yu Xiaoxiao was about to hop off the carriage as she said this, intending to look for her father, the fatuous emperor.
Gu Xinglang quickly pulled Yu Xiaoxiao back, “Your Highness, the Gu family is already immensely grateful to His Majesty for this.”
Yu Xiaoxiao, who was dragged back into the carriage by Gu Xinglang, said, “How can an emperor not be true to his words?”
Gu Xinglang shuddered at the thought of His Majesty meeting with the Princess now. His father-in-law would probably be driven crazy.
“I’ll look for him now. How could he go back on his words?!” Yu Xiaoxiao thought about it. She should still return to the palace seek out her fatuous emperor father. They had agreed on a promotion, why didn’t it happen?
“Xiaoxiao, listen to me,” Gu Xinglang hugged Yu Xiaoxiao and said softly, “To receive a promotion without merit, that’s not something my eldest and second brother would want.”
“Why would it be without merit?” Yu Xiaoxiao refuted, “Didn’t they win the battle?”
Gu Xinglang leaned closer to Yu Xiaoxiao’s ear and whispered, “The one who defeated Zuo You was me.”
Yu Xiaoxiao was incredulous, “Are you going to snatch Eldest and Second Brother’s credits? Hey, that’s not good right? Where’s your brotherly love?”
Gu Xinglang: “.......”
“I’m going to demand justice for Eldest and Second Brother.” Yu Xiaoxiao was adamant about entering the palace.
Gu Xinglang refused to release Yu Xiaoxiao from his embrace, “Xiaoxiao, in the military, if rewards and punishments are not clearly meted out, how can the army stand together?”
His words made Yu Xiaoxiao freeze. Of course the military has to ensure that rewards and punishments were clearly meted out. However, the more she thought about it, the angrier she was. “What about your reward? Going to jail and getting beaten up in vain? Was your leg broken for no reason?”
Gu Xinglang burst out laughing, “Didn’t His Majesty bestow you, Xiaoxiao, to me?”
Damn! Yu Xiaoxiao was pissed. After all these hassle, she was just a prize!
“You’re the best reward that I’ve received in my entire life.” Gu Xinglang embraced Yu Xiaoxiao and whispered into her ear, “The best!” Breaking of emotions? Gu Xinglang kissed Yu Xiaoxiao’s petite earlobe. For the Princess, so what if he recklessly changed his fate?