Zhao Shi Cheng grasped that; he who has always cared about money, recently had another image in his heart. It also occupied not a cramped position, making him dazed from time to time, indeed sometimes forgetting to eat.
That was Tang Wan. Whether it’s their first meeting, she was like a lotus flower who just appeared about the water. Or she was a mischievous being, which clearly revealed her cute and charming side. Or she’s also overly sentimental arousing people’s pity. Even when she was starved and hungry like an unfortunate cat. Every side of her was turning once more and again in his mind. It made him confused and disoriented at why this was happening.
“De Pu! De Pu!” Madam Zhao sat at the center of the room, addressing her son who had been standing blankly for a while. She might as effectively throw the walnuts in her hands at him, seeing he still didn’t respond.
“Hey!” The left side of Zhao Shi Cheng’s head got hit and just recovered his senses. He looked at his mother complainingly.
“What’s the matter, mother?”
“Mother called you so many times. How come you’re merely staring blankly?” She shook her head and started to harp on again. “It seems like I absolutely need to support you secure a marriage quickly, so the kind wife could take care of you. Definitely, our Zhao family is a family of generals. People kept on saying that we purely display reckless courage. The wife we help you find definitely has to be from a family of scholars, exceptionally talented, and is gentle and graceful.”
“Mother, this matter can’t be rushed.” He said a little helpless.
“How can’t it be rushed? You already over twenty. The young men in the capital that are like you were already a father of several kids.” Madam Zhao glared at him discontent. Right afterwards, she asked expectantly. “Could it be you already had someone in your mind?”
Tang Wan’s image unexpectedly appeared in his mind at this moment; causing his heart to jump suddenly. However, on the surface, he maintained his composure as before. Shaking his head and casually said, “No, mother. I don’t consider anyone in mind.”
Her expression sank. “I exactly comprehended it. Your so blockheaded, serious and your temper is too upright. I was anxious you didn’t know how to pursue a woman. Didn’t I aid you identify a few girls from an illustrious family before? They’re all relatively capable girls. I don’t recognize why you’re so picky. Like that Miss Guo from last time, she has a delicate and pretty appearance and she equally knows how to play an instrument. Isn’t she great?”
“But mother, that Miss Guo was wearing silk and satin. The golden hairpin on top of her was heavier than her head. When she goes out, she must ride a sandalwood sedan with auspicious clouds and also bring eight sedan-chair bearers and four maids with her. This ostentation and extravagance were larger than consorts in the palace. This kind of girl can’t afford, can’t afford it, ah!” In this family, there’s already a general father who’s unaware of the hardships of life and a mother with princess syndrome that were big-money pits. There’s no need to bring another one back home.
“Is that so? Ostentation bigger than a consort? That would offend others. No good, no good.” Madam Zhao was dazed for a while. However, the thing she cared about was very different compared to Zhao Shi Cheng’s considerations. After that, she picked up her finger and thought carefully again and immediately her eyes brightened.
“Then the time before last time that, Miss Hua? Miss Hua is a high-ranking official’s daughter. She’s exceptionally clever and additionally enjoys a detailed study of the Buddhist philosophy. Her temperament is outstanding.”
“Miss Hua said, if I want to meet her outside, I must initially go to the Great Buddha temple to donate a golden pagoda. I believe Miss Hua is very devoted to Buddha. If I wed her, I’m afraid that I’ll ruin her wish to become a nun!” Though he said this, the main reason was Zhao Shi Cheng was naturally unwilling to donate a golden pagoda. Give me a break! If that golden pagoda reached Miss Hua’s ideal size, it’ll have to spend a year of the Zhao residence’s expenses?
“There’s such a matter? Then let’s forget about Miss Hua. What if you wed her, but she suddenly wanted to become a nun. That’s no good.” Madam Zhao’s brows suddenly raised again.“Ah! There’s also that Miss Shen? Miss Shen’s appearance and education is faultless. I remember her plain clothing, and the hairpin was very simple. She doesn’t specially consider any Buddhist teachings. How about her?”
“I inquired about her. If you want to marry Miss Shen, her family requires a betrothal money of fifty thousand.” He nonchalantly said.
“It’s just fifty thousand…”
“Fifty thousand are the Zhao residence’s expenses for two years. It can let mother buy five hundred jackets with buttons down the front and large sleeved ceremonial dress plus thirty pairs of pure gold carved jewelry.”
Madam Zhao was completely in the dark on her family’s expenses. She was incapable to speak after being stifled by her son in this way. Ultimately, she simply started being perverse. “Hmph! I don’t care. Regardless, I already arranged another blind date for you. Next month, there’s a flower festival, and you must attend. The daughter of Yang Wen Chang, Yang Xian He, is seventeen this year. She is very attractive. Yang daren have the intentions to matchmake. Among all the sons in the Zhao family, I think you’re the most suitable.”
“Yang Xian He? Mother, Yang daren and the father has disagreements towards each other. How could he let his daughter meet with me?” Zhao Shi Cheng said with doubt.
Yang Wen Chang was the right prime minister and the leader of the scholars in the imperial court. He and his father were sworn enemies for years. However, he thought he didn’t think that Yang Wen Chang would deliver his daughter to their doorsteps and allow the Zhao family to do whatever they want.
“Your father agreed. Since Yang Daren already expressed goodwill towards your father, why should we oppose it? The emperor is already unhappy those two are not getting along.” She replied pretentiously.
This time, he was even more confused. As far as he knew, Yang Wen Chang was famous for being a crafty, old fox. This was definitely a conspiracy within this. His father had always been sloppy in his work, and he wouldn’t think too carefully about whether or not people would plan a scheme. This didn’t mean he would accept without questioning.
“This is for the peace of the imperial court. You better not refuse.” Madam Zhao glared at her son harshly and warned again.
Since it was magnified to the peace of the imperial court; if he didn’t agree than he’ll probably be blamed when this country was fallen into precarious times. Zhao Shi Cheng could merely smile bitterly and perform it perfunctorily. He indicated he would go and look at the flower festival. As for whether or not he would meet with Yang Xian He, he would have to think about it.
When he thought about how he didn’t know what tricks Yang Wen Chang would do to frame his old man, his head would start to hurt again. It’s extremely troublesome having a boorish father. Not only did he have to stabilize the Zhao family’s economy, he also had to try every means for his father’s official position. At present, it’s so hard to be a son.
The flower festival was a big festival that happens annually. On this day, the palace would be open to the public, and the palace gardeners would use every effort to decorate the garden splendidly. Many officials and wealthy merchants would also take out the exotic flowers and rare plants from their household and lend it to the palace for display to everyone. On one hand, it would also increase their reputation.
At the flower festival, the men and women would come dressed up elaborately. Which one didn’t look better than usual? In view of this, the palace would also hold a particular poetry and literature activity. Simultaneously, to let the men and women formed a team and work together to compose a poem.
Presumably, the people who would come to admire the flowers were mostly cultured people. Forming a group and working together, it seems like there’ll be an increase in couples after the competition ends. Not to mention if they were capable to win first place. They would definitely be supported as the perfect match, help liven up the flower festival and remain a topic of conversation.
It’s because she took a fancy to this point that Madam Zhao would force her son to attend the festival. She hoped that he and Yang Xian He would form a group and even hit it off.
In the past, Tang Wan avoided these activities because at the time, she was still deeply in love with Lu You. Naturally, she wouldn’t come to these places to attract bees and butterflies. This year was different because she was independent from marriage.
Xiao Chun was afraid she was bored staying inside so she encouraged her to attend. Moreover, after time traveling, she was indeed the kind of person who was unable to sit still. On top of that, she guessed there was likely plenty of delicious meat in the palace, so she agreed to Xiao Chun and proceeded in a low-key manner.
After entering the venue, Tang Wan looked as far as her eyes could see. A superb collection of flowers and plants made her pretty face immediately break down.
“It doesn’t look fun at all!” She came to consume meat. This pile of plants simply made her feel nauseated.
“Young miss, you’re not here to have fun. Today, there’s many young talents gathering in the palace. Maybe someone might enter your eyes!” Xiao Chun can’t sit around watching the young miss hang herself on Lu You, this tree. There’s such a good opportunity today. With the young miss’s beauty and talent; who’s scared that there will be no one appreciating it?
Tang Wan smiled and looked sideways at Xiao Chun. Right now, her relationship with her lively maid was pretty good. She teased her very naturally. “Although I didn’t tell elder cousin I would be coming, but he’s sure to come at this occasion. I think it’s you who wanted to meet with elder cousin’s guard, Wang Qiang.”
“Young miss, don’t laugh at me!” Xiao Chun didn’t deny it and bashfully laughed with her young miss.
Xiao Chun seldom saw young miss this happy and naturally tried her best to please her. Who would have expected a single carelessness, and she bumped into someone? A shout came from behind her body,
Although Xiao Chun knew she didn’t bump to her badly, as she was the one who didn’t pay attention after all, she hurriedly turned around and apologized. “Excuse me, I beg your pardon. Xiao Chun didn’t notice that this young miss was behind her. Xiao Chun was rude. Xiao Chun asked for forgiveness towards this young miss.”
The person Xiao Chun bumped into was a young woman wearing luxurious clothing and gorgeous makeup. The guards near the women looked at Xiao Chun, the servant and master, in an extremely unkind way.
Even if Xiao Chun apologize with sincerity, the woman wasn’t satisfied. She pointed at her angrily and rebuked. “Wretched servant! How dare you bump into me?”
“Sorry, Xiao Chun didn’t do it intentionally.” Tang Wan saw Xiao Chun was scared silly and hurried pulled her into the handrail inside the winding corridor behind her. She equally held onto the handrail herself to prevent the probability of the opposing side from forcefully grabbing Xiao Chun.
The woman saw the beautiful Tang Wan with refined temperament in front of Xiao Chun only just now. Her gaze sharpened a few more. She always bragged she was endowed with both beauty and talent. Once she saw Tang Wan who was like a green lotus, she couldn’t help but feel a little inferior.
On such an important occasion, she couldn’t stand anyone taking away her graceful bearing. Therefore, she decided to punish Tang Wan here. It’s better to pursue this woman away first before the flower festival enters the climax.
“Do you know who I am? I am the right prime minister’s daughter! This wretched servant bumped into me; this isn’t reasonable. Someone, slap her face and then pull her out of the palace.” This woman was precisely Yang Xian He. She ordered the guards to start working in a domineering way.
“Wait!” Tang Wan couldn’t look helplessly as other people bully Xiao Chun. “I already said Xiao Chun wasn’t intentional. Plus, it’s only a light touching once. Weren’t you unhurt?”
[note] daren is a way to address government officials [/note]
[note] jackets with buttons down the front and large sleeves ceremonial dress- I’m not sure how to translate this. The clothes names are really complicated. The original was 对襟大袖衫礼服. If anyone knows a better way to translate this, please comment below. [/note]
T/n: Happy Veteran’s day, everyone. I hope you have a good day.
Update: Chapter 5 is edited