Xiao Yuan shook her head and was so choked up it took her awhile to say anything.

Lian Jiye let out a sigh of relief. As he had thought, obviously once her head cleared, Xiao Yuan would still be someone without a sense of shame. Becoming a side concubine would be more than enough for her. .

In the next room over, Zhao Zun’s half opened eyes hid a hint of red. His lips were pursed into a thin line and his hand had unconsciously clenched itself, causing a crack to form on the wine cup he was holding. He lifted his hand somewhat and drank the remaining wine. His lips curled into a mocking smirk.

Of course. Had his heart softened?

Xiao Yuan shook her head and a burning sensation filled her stomach. She covered her mouth and could barely keep herself from vomiting. She laid down to one side, patted her head and threw up some alcohol. After that, her stomach finally felt better.

She tilted her head and cast a sideways glance at Lian Jiye before scornfully saying, “Third Prince, have you fallen ill to some imaginary disease? You should hurry and have the Imperial Physician take a look at you. In my opinion, it seems like your illness is quite serious.”

Lian Jiye’s complexion darkened. He scowled at Xiao Yuan, but she quickly spoke again.

“I, Xiao Ninth, am a dignified daughter of a minister. Why should I marry you and become your concubine? Let’s not even discuss the matter of concubine. Even if I were to become the princess consort, I would not care for it! Third prince, you overestimate yourself.”

Xiao Yuan put both of her hands on her hips and gave Lian Jiye a disdainful look. She gave a carefree and happy laugh.

“You!” At this moment Lian Jiye’s complexion was similar to the bottom of a pot. He was ready to explode at any second. Clenching his teeth, he paused between each word, “You better not fail to appreciate my kindness! This prince will ask you one last time. You truly are unwilling to be my concubine? You better think about this carefully. This will be your last opportunity. This prince is willing to disregard what happened in the past.”

Lian Jiye was so furious, his veins were popping out and he was tightly clenching his fists. If Xiao Yuan dared to speak rudely to him again, then the fists he had at the ready would be for her.

Xiao Yuan glared at Lian Jiye. She slightly raised her sharp chin. Her expression was both arrogant and indifferent. Her gaze was clearly a threat and showed off how immensely proud of herself she was.  

“Have your ears gone deaf? You dare to bully me? My dad will have you sent to guard the frontier and make you eat dirt!”

In the next room over, Zhao Zun was caught off guard by Xiao Yuan’s statement and almost choked. Everyone said the Right Minister was treacherous. She was using the Right Minister as a shield and was directly threatening the third prince. However, how effectual this would be was still to be seen.

At the mention of the Right Minister, a rush of hatred consumed Lian Jiye. His sense of humiliation doubled. How could a dignified prince like him be made to run in circles by the Right Minister? He even had to be cautious of the minister’s moods. The fact Xiao Yuan also dared to treat him like this was humiliation that Lian Jiye could not bring himself to bear.

Lian Jiye glared at Xiao Yuan’s beautiful face and his lips curled up into an evil smile. “A man and a woman alone together. Miss Xiao Ninth has the cheek to seduce this prince. This prince cannot help but accept the offer.”

Xiao Yuan matched his sinister gaze and her mind abruptly came to a realization. Of course. She had overestimated Lian Jiye’s moral standing!

Xiao Yuan became aware that something bad was going to happen so she turned her head and made ready to run. At this moment, the large boat had already traveled to the center of the water and earlier on, Lian Jiye had asked his subordinates to leave. Full of himself, he laughed, “Let’s see where you can run to!”

Lian Jiye took two steps then three and it looked like he was about to catch up to Xiao Yuan. Xiao Yuan’s face went white and faced Lian Jiye while punching and kicking.  

“Don’t come over! Or else I’ll make you regret it!”

Lian Jiye disagreed, “Who told you not to appreciate favors? Shout. Shout until your throat is sore. No one will come save you. Besides for marrying this prince, what other choice do you have? You shameless slut!”

Xiao Yuan bit down hard on her lip, both angry and annoyed. Lian Jiye outstretched his long arm and grabbed onto Xiao Yuan’s arm. Xiao Yuan cried out that it hurt but could not struggle free from his grasp. In a fit of anger, she turned her head and aimed for Lian Jiye’s arm. She bit him and did not let go.

“Ah!” Lian Jiye was overcome with pain. He flipped his hand and with no hesitation, slapped Xiao Yuan across the cheek. Xiao Yuan started seeing stars and was terribly dizzy. Her ears were filled with a ringing sound.

“Bitch! Quickly, stop biting me!” Lian Jiye felt like his arm was close to having a chunk taken out of it as there was already a hint of blood leaking out.

Xiao Yuan suddenly loosened her mouth. She used her entire body’s strength to push Lian Jiye aside. Lian Jiye fell back a few steps while Xiao Yuan struggled to crawl to the deck of the boat, the corner of her mouth still dripping blood.

“You better not come over! Or else, I’ll jump overboard!”

Lian Jiye shook himself out of his stupor. He wasn’t scared at all. “If you jump over board this prince will save you. It doesn’t matter as it’ll just further my reputation of me being a hero who saves beautiful women. How wonderful!”

“You!” Xiao Yuan’s eyes widened and she was filled with regret. She should’ve never trusted this scum from the start.

Lian Jiye got closer step by step. Xiao Yuan’s head was terribly dizzy. One hand supported her body as she leaned closely against the pillar.

“Lian Jiye, I never thought you would be this shameless! I’m telling you. Even if I die, I still won’t marry you!”

Xiao Yuan was starting to panic as she saw that he was coming ever closer. She screwed her eyes shut. Was it possible that she’d have to repeat the tragedy of her past life again?

Suddenly, she heard a loud sound of something falling into the water.

Xiao Yuan immediately opened her eyes and saw Lian Jiye bobbing up and down on the water as he used all his strength to stay afloat. Xiao Yuan’s eyes widened in surprise.

In the next moment, her body was being lifted by a large hand and they stepped into the hold of the ship.

Zhao Zun was doing his best to bear it but, finally, could no longer hold himself back and decided to do something. This silly girl was certainly quite brave and did not know how to admit defeat. Her character was unyielding; she would rather break than bend herself to someone else’s will. If a few choice words had been said at the start, perhaps this slap wouldn’t have happened in the first place. She certainly had come close to making Lian Jiye explode from anger.

Xiao Yuan turned her eyes and coincidentally caught the faint smile in his pair of sly, half-opened eyes. His glittering smile and dark eyes were able to unconsciously attract people’s attention.

Xiao Yuan rubbed her eyes and placed both of her hands onto Zhao Zun’s handsome face. She even dared to pinch him a bit.

“Huh, doesn’t it hurt?”

She was going to make Zhao Zun laugh out of exasperation. The large hand at her waist pinched her slightly. Xiao Yuan’s small mouth grimaced and with tearful eyes, glared at him.

“Zhao Zun? How come it’s you again? What a coincidence. How come you’re also here?”

Xiao Yuan pulled in her neck as she was somewhat fearful of him. Every time she talked, it irritated the corner of her mouth, bringing her pain. She couldn’t bear it and gasped–a pitiful thing.

Zhao Zun loosened his grip and placed Xiao Yuan onto the ground. Xiao Yuan’s body swayed side to side. She was dazed and almost fell onto the ground when she tried to take a few steps.

Zhao Zun immediately reached out to support Xiao Yuan and held onto her arm. This girl was never at rest. Each time they met, she was being bullied to some degree.

Zhao Zun was angry and helpless. He wanted to have no part in her affairs but also couldn’t help but take action.

“What’s the matter? Am I not allowed to come?”

Xiao Yuan placed a hand on her head. Over the course of this mess, the full strength of the alcohol had become apparent. She smiled sheepishly, shaking her head. “You’re busy. I won’t bother you anymore.”

Zhao Zun discovered that this girl was resistant towards him. He contradicted himself and with squinted eyes, coldly asked, “Are you afraid of me?”

Xiao Yuan took a step back. This man was truly dangerous. Less trouble would be for the best. Xiao Yuan’s gaze darted around as she fake laughed. “You should go soon. The third prince fell into the water. If by any chance you become implicated, that won’t be good for you.”

Zhao Zun glanced at her and couldn’t keep himself from saying, “I’m asking you. You truly do not want to marry him? I predict that Lian Jiye will not give up on you. I just happen to have a solution which will prevent him from ever daring to bother you again.”

Xiao Yuan’s eyes lit up and she couldn’t keep herself from getting close to his ear. A delicate fragrant scent wafted into his nose. She had a wonderfully pleasant scent. It was not too strong and very faint but could permeate right into someone’s heart. Zhao Zun took in a deep breath and an elegant grin appeared on his face.

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