Like to Wear A Green Hat
Zhao Zun tightly leaned against the window. By his ear, there was the barely audible sound of tender laughter. His heart was restless and uneasy but gradually calmed down. His mind was pondering the words of what the person had just said before.
At this time, an imperial bodyguard arrived and bent over to murmur some words into the great prince’s ear.
The great prince directed his line of sight over, furrowed his brows and then stood up. He faced Zhao Zun and joined his hands into a salute.
“Lord Zhao is a newcomer and is a stranger in a new place. If there is anything you need, please come to the prince’s manor and look for me. This prince invites Lord Zhao to come by the manor for a chat some day.”
“If his highness is busy, then I will not delay his highness anymore. Many thanks for entertaining me today.”
Zhao Zun stood up and placed a hand at Mu Dan’s waist. His eyes were blurred, hiding his drunken state.
“Mu Dan, take my place in entertaining Lord Zhao. Do not neglect our honored guest.” The great prince gave Mu Dan a meaningful look.
Mu Dan laughed charmingly. “Your highness, be at ease. Mu Dan will definitely do her utmost to serve Lord Zhao.”
The great prince was satisfied and nodded. He turned and left.
She waited for the great prince to walk further away before bashfully placing both of her hands on Zhao Zun’s neck. She slightly parted her red lips. “Lord, Mu Dan did not pay attention to the strength of the wine. My head is a little dizzy. How about my Lord help bring Mu Dan inside to rest?”
Zhao Zun chuckled, “Sure.”
He ordered his subordinates to leave. Zhao Zun supported Mu Dan all the way into a partitioned-off area in the hold of the ship. Once the door was closed, wine cups were placed onto the table. Zhao Zun rose to pour himself a cup and placed it under his nose to smell. Mu Dan was already laid out on the bed and unconscious.
He opened the window and coincidentally was able to see into the ship across from him. A figure of a person standing on the deck of the boat was visible. The person was wearing a dark purple overcoat that looked very respectable and had on a jade crown*. His appearance was elegant, with both of his hands rested on his back. His expression was somewhat angry. Astonishingly, it was Lian Jiye.
(TN: Like a hair ornament, looks like this)
Lian Jiye had humiliated himself to go to the Minister’s manor but found it empty. The old madam’s gaze was like knives and made him especially annoyed. He asked where Xiao Yuan was and then rushed over.
He stood on the deck of the ship for a while. His feet were like stumps and he was filled with indecision. He contemplated what exactly to say.
From time to time, the sounds of lovely shouts could be heard. This sound could not have been more familiar. Lian Jiye frowned out of disgust. Where was even the tiniest bit of pride for being a daughter from a noble family? In broad daylight, she was this neglectful of social rules.
“Miss Xiao Ninth. The third prince has arrived.” A servant girl from inside the boat called out.
Xiao Yuan’s mood was quite good as she had drank a few consecutive cups of wine. A red flush appeared on the surface of her cheeks. At the sound of the Third Prince, she smirked and raised her voice.
“Which Third Prince? He can’t possibly be looking for me? Quickly, get him to leave. How can this person be so shameless?”
“Ha!” Princess Qing Le snorted. She had also drunk quite a bit. Her entire body was waving side to side. She grabbed onto Xiao Yuan’s arm. “You really truly don’t like the Third Prince anymore? It’s already not easy that he has definitely humiliating himself to come and beg for you. If you’re regretting anything now, there’s still time to change your mind or else afterwards you can only suffer.”
“That’s true, Little Ninth. You better think this through,” Qin Yi also pleadingly spoke.
Xiao Yuan waved her hand, sneering, “I, Xiao Yuan, am not so bad as to not have a courageous spirit. If I say I don’t like him then I truly don’t like him.”
Lian Jiye withdrew the step that his foot had just taken. His complexion darkening to a pitch black and his fists were tightly clenched. This woman was rejecting a face-saving offer. She wasn’t going to be satisfied with some small concessions. She wanted everything from him.
“Leave!” Lian Jiye turned his head and left. When she sobers up, there will be a time for her to cry.
“Third brother!” The great prince was not standing very far away with both hands resting on his back and his lips pursed.
Shivers ran down Lian Jiye’s back. He darkly sighed at his misfortune. How could he have run into the great prince? He embarrassedly smiled. “Big brother.”
The great prince cast a glance at the hold of the ship and saw that Xiao Yuan was furious. However, as he thought about it, her anger was not without cause. She was supposed to be the wife but had become the concubine. Who wouldn’t have been angry?
“You better not let down your big brother and mother’s expectations. Make good use of this opportunity. Miss Xiao Fifth is still at mother’s place.”
After the great prince’s words fell, Lian Jiye’s expression changed slightly. He immediately turned around and, without the slightest hesitation, lifted open the curtains and barged right inside.
“Ah! Rapist! Someone come quickly….” Xiao Yuan shouted.
Lian Jiye’s complexion darkened another shade. He faced the other two people and said, “Lady Qing Le, Qin. This prince and Little Ninth have a misunderstanding. Would you two mind doing me a favor?”
Without waiting for the two people to answer, Xiao Yuan shook her head. “What misunderstanding? Just say it here. Men and women shouldn’t directly talk or come in contact.* Even if you don’t want face, I still want my reputation.”
(TN: This is an old Confucian rule of etiquette. It emphasizes the importance of separation between the sexes.)
“You!” Lian Jiye wanted to strangle this woman. She had gone too far and was speaking nonsense. She didn’t know the difference between good and bad. The other two people also had no intention of leaving.
Xiao Yuan unhappily glared at him. She was half drunk, half sober. Her gaze had a deep loathing, which immediately filled Lian Jiye with rage.
Lian Jiye took a deep breath before grabbing onto Xiao Yuan’s arm and softened his tone to some degree, “My big brother’s ship is next to us. Let’s go over there and have a chat. There are some things I need to say to you in private.”
Lian Jiye could not have humiliated himself anymore. He had actually made these kinds of remarks in front of this many people. He had completely lost all face.
Lian Jiye had a “if Xiao Yuan doesn’t come, then I’m not leaving” kind of attitude. Xiao Yuan glanced at the large boat outside. Under the watchful eyes of all these people, he wouldn’t dare act recklessly.
“My two sisters* wait here for me. Don’t let anybody ruin our good mood. I’ll go for a little bit and come right back.”
(TN: Not actually sisters, Chinese people just address everyone in familial terms.)
Xiao Yuan really did want to hear what he had to say.
Lian Jiye let out a sigh of relief. Xiao Yuan glared at him and at this, he finally let go of her arm. He took a big step outside.
On the shore, the great prince had already walked far away. When Xiao Yuan followed Lian Jiye outside, a pair of eyes under the window narrowed and carried a slight trace of anger. Their lips were tightly pursed.
Lian Jiye asked his subordinates to leave, with not even one remaining. Xiao Yuan stood very far away from him with her chin raised. “Out with it! This young lady doesn’t have that much time to wait around.”
Lian Jiye was rendered speechless with just one sentence. His expression changed slightly and he frowned. He was becoming increasingly aware that Xiao Yuan was extremely vulgar and her words were full of obscenities. Just listening to her made people annoyed.
Lian Jiye had a bold guess. Xiao Yuan’s change was too sudden and had caught him off guard, especially the way she looked at him. Her gaze carried a slight lack of patience and was definitely not being faked.
“Did you find a new sweetheart?” Lian Jiye could not think of any other explanation except for this one.
Xiao Yuan was able to see through his thinking and the corner of her lip raised.
“The two of us have already cancelled our marriage. In the future we will have nothing to do with one another. In what way do I have any responsibility to you?”
Her speaking like this just means she does! Lian Jiye’s anger immediately rushed to his heart and he coldly laughed a few times. “I was wondering. No wonder you’re this impudent! You rely on your beautiful face. Which noble family’s son have you seduced?”
No matter what Lian Jiye said, Xiao Yuan was not even the slightest bit angry. She only coldly smiled and didn’t feel like arguing. Lian Jiye’s character was that even if you said it, he wouldn’t believe it. There was no need to waste her breath.
“Why don’t the two of us make a deal? This prince will take you in as a side concubine and afterwards, this prince will turn a blind eye to whatever you do. How about it?”
Lian Jiye had thought about and was still not willing to wrong Xiao Ruo. He could agree to give Xiao Yuan the position of side concubine, but that was already his utmost limit.
Xiao Yuan had just drunk a cup of tea and without any grace, spat it all out. She clutched her stomach as she broke out into peals of laughter. She was laughing so much that tears had come out. It took a long time for her to stop.
“Third Prince likes to wear a green hat* this much? It’s still that phrase: even if you don’t want face, I still want my reputation. I said it yesterday, I would rather cut off my hair and become a nun rather than marry you!”
(TN: Green hat means a cuckold or in other words, the husband of an adulterous wife.)
Lian Jiye’s expression changed abruptly and he tightly gripped his fist. “You won’t tolerate Ruo this much? You’re not willing to be a concubine?”