The Right Minister Knows
“Can it be that you’re not afraid of offending him? He’s a prince!”
Xiao Yuan felt some disbelief. Lian Jiye still had Lian Jiming above him, who was not only greatly favored by the emperor, but also was the most highly regarded crown prince. Offending Lian Jiye was the same as offending Lian Jiming and doing so would result in nothing good.
Zhao Zun smiled slightly. Now she knew to be scared, when just before, she had been so brave.
“Don’t be scared. I am rich and there is the Right Minister so he won’t dare to act recklessly. If he nags you again a few more times and manages to succeed one time, then you’ll be sent off to become his concubine. Are you willing to do that?”
Zhao Zun continued to coax her. Xiao Yuan nodded her head repeatedly, thinking what Zhao Zun was saying had some sense to it. The Pure Consort and Lian Jiming would not let Lian Jiye offend the Right Minister. The only solution would be to solve their marriage problem.
Become a concubine? Xiao Yuan would rather die.
“Then what kind of solution do you have?” Xiao Yuan said impatiently.
She was already sick of Lian Jiye. He was as clingy as dogskin plaster*. In her past life, her head must’ve been slammed in a door and that’s why she fell for him. He wasn’t the least bit worthy of her affections.
(TN: Gou Pi Gao was traditionally literally a dog skin plaster, with herbal medicines smeared onto a dog skin. Modern versions of it rub herbs on fabric/linen instead of dog skin.)
Zhao Zun raised his lips, revealing an especially charming smile. However, his smile hid his evil intentions. His breath tickled her ear as he quietly spoke, carrying with it a faint fragrant scent.
“Marry yourself to someone then Lian Jiye will definitely never bother you again. However, for every day you are unwed, he will have an opportunity.”
Xiao Yuan was shocked. Marry someone?
Zhao Zun chose not to press her and waited for her to come to her own understanding.
Xiao Yuan lifted her eyes. The two of them were standing very close to each other. She could see his black eyes had a faintly discernible smiling expression. She temporarily lost her train of thought and her mouth kept murmuring words.
“Who would be willing to marry me? Marrying me means offending Lian Jiye, the Pure Consort and the great prince.”
Xiao Yuan thought about it for awhile and could not come up with anyone who would be so brazen. Would she have to marry the son of the Commandant Cavalryman again? Xiao Wan bit her lip. She wouldn’t do it!
Zhao Zun smirked. So she wasn’t stupid. She knew how to differentiate the pros and cons.
“To answer this question, why don’t you go back and ask the Right Minister? This person has money and is also quite handsome. He’s certainly not afraid of offending anyone. The Right Minister is experienced and knowledgeable so he will definitely know this person.”
Xiao Yuan was doubtful. “Really?”. How come she didn’t know the capital had this kind of person?
Zhao Zun nodded.
“Ok! I will go back and ask my father. Thank you.”
At this moment, the boat had gradually come closer to shore. Lian Jiye had been rescued by his imperial bodyguards. Zhao Zun narrowed his eyes and murmured a few phrases into Xiao Yuan’s ear. After listening, Xiao Yuan furiously nodded.
Zhao Zun’s hand still felt some of her residual heat. Her hand was tender and soft. He watched Xiao Yuan turn and leave.
Xiao Yuan proudly raised her very swollen face despite the inquiring glances from passerbys. She was not hiding it, but rather lifted her chin even higher in case people could not see her face clearly.
“Little Ninth, are you alright?” Princess Qing Le had mostly sobered up. She was upset and blamed herself. From the start, she should have never let her go.
“What happened to your face?” Qin Yi walked over and looked over Xiao Yuan’s face. She heartbrokenly asked, “Who was heartless enough to hit you this severely?”
Xiao Yuan sniffed and tears flowed from her eyes. Like the thread of a pearl necklace snapping, she collapsed onto the ground.
Princess Qing Le was an anxious person and seeing Xiao Yuan cry also made her nervous. “Did my third cousin bully you? Please don’t cry, you’ll worry me to death.”
“Little Ninth, don’t cry. What’s the matter?”
Xiao Yuan was crying so much, she couldn’t catch her breath. She pointed to the unconscious Lian Jiye laying on the ground. Her face showed an angry, resentful expression.
“He insisted I become his concubine. I didn’t agree so he attacked me. I had no choice so I pushed the third prince into the river. I didn’t mean to do it.”
Xiao Yuan calmly admitted that had been the one who pushed Lian Jiye into the river.
At this confession, she did not receive any scolding, but rather, unanimous praise.
“That was a great push! He went too far!”
“Isn’t Lady Xiao Ninth supposed to be future third imperial concubine? How could he want her to be a concubine? How awful.”
“Don’t you two know? The Third Prince fell in love with Lady Xiao Fifth and isn’t willing to disappoint Lady Xiao Fifth. Isn’t that like he wants to have his cake and eat it too? Serves him right!
“Exactly! He’s already withdrawn his betrothal tokens, but he’s still not letting her go. Lady Xiao Ninth, you did a good thing by pushing him!”
Everyone was speaking one after another and hearing everyone brightened Xiao Yuan’s mood. It turns out this slap wasn’t endured for no reason.
Lian Jiye wasn’t waking from his coma. If he learned of the situation, she guessed he’d throw a tantrum and be so angry, he’d want to strangle Xiao Yuan to death.
Xiao Yuan was young and beautiful. Her face was like a jade carving and with the addition of an injury plus her tears, the sight of her face made people unconsciously feel pity for her and made them want to criticize Lian Jiye more and more.
So Xiao Yuan cried all the way back to the Minister’s manor. As the old madam listened to her, her chest heaved up and down and she slapped the table violently.
“He went too far! How can this be? A stately imperial prince like him dared to hit Little Ninth in a crowded public place. Lord Minister! Quick, go get the Lord Minister!”
On one hand, the old madam felt bad for Xiao Yuan and on the other hand, she couldn’t restrain her anger. When Fan heard of the news, her brow twitched.
“Mother, I heard that the Third Prince was looking to apologize to Little Ninth. Perhaps this was just a misunderstanding?”
“A misunderstanding? How can this be a misunderstanding? Is the bruise on Little Ninth’s face fake?” The old madam coldly said back.
Fan had nothing to say. Her lips twitched but she said nothing and instead, stood fuming to the side.
Xiao Yuan heard this and stopped her sobbing. She grabbed onto the old madam’s arm and shook it. “Grandmother, Little Ninth will never be a concubine!”
The old madam hurriedly nodded. “Good, good, good! Don’t you worry. I will definitely not let you be wronged.”
Fan’s brows furrowed. Little Ninth was unwilling to be concubine and the position of princess consort was only available to one person. Is it possible that Xiao Ruo would have to be the concubine?
Because of this matter, Fan had already greatly angered the old madam. A few years ago, it wasn’t obvious. But at this critical moment, the difference in how she treated her stepchildren and her biological children was obvious.
Whatever Fan said, the old madam hated it and was even unpleasant towards Xiao Ruo.
Very soon, the Right Minister entered the door and startled at the sight of Xiao Yuan. He waved his hand and Xiao Yuan rushed over into the Right Minister’s arms. She placed a hand over her mouth as she cried.
“What happened? Who dared to hit you?”
Xiao Yuan’s tear stained eyes were clear and distinct and her expression delicate.The Right Minister had never allowed Xiao Yuan to suffer any injustice. Growing up, when did she ever get hit?
“It was the Third Prince! Today, me and Princess Qing Le as well as Sister Qin got together at Hua Fang. I don’t know how the Third Prince learned of that, but he threatened Little Ninth. If Little Ninth wasn’t willing to be his concubine, he was willing to go as far as to push your daughter off the boat. Little Ninth wasn’t willing so he hit me and then Little Ninth accidentally pushed the Third Prince into the river. I didn’t mean to…”
Xiao Yuan, scared, pulled in her neck and tightly grabbed on the Right Minister’s arm. “Did Little Ninth make trouble? Father, Little Ninth truly did not mean to.”
Fan’s brows tightly knitted. If Xiao Yuan had pushed all the blame onto Lian Jiye, the Right Minister would most likely not be as angry as he was now.
But Xiao Yuan had rather put all the responsibility onto herself, which made the Right Minister feel bad for his daughter and a torrent of rage rushed forth inside of him.
The Right Minister patted Xiao Yuan’s head, soothingly said, “You did well. This kind of person, if it had been this minister, even breaking his leg wouldn’t have been enough. How could have he done this?”