“Young Miss, did something happen to Fourth Miss?” Chun Liu softly asked.
Murong Feng’s face was expressionless, looking at the lonely shadows cast by autumn, she smelled chrysanthemum. There were a few pots of them in the courtyard.
Vaguely feeling as though there was someone watching her, Murong Feng turned slightly. Less than ten meters away stood Sima Zhe who looked to have just returned.
“Are you going, third sister?” His voice was very even and warm. He stopped and looked at Murong Feng who gave off the feel of a clear spring in autumn.
Murong Feng chuckled softly, as though her heart was warmed. “Yes.”
As the two passed each other, Sima Zhe’s gaze became fixed on Murong Feng’s departing figure for quite some time, thinking that his foresight was really flawed. He had dismissed this girl as unimportant from the moment that he first laid eyes on her, but somehow after Grandmother had talked with her, he felt an inextinguishable worry. However, not even he knew what that worry was for.
Nothing major happened that night.
Murong Feng groomed properly, following Little De to the Empress Dowager’s estate. The Empress Dowager wanted to see her so much that she invited Murong Feng over to the Yangfu Palace to eat breakfast.
As for the issue with Murong Xue, she did not worry about it too much. Chun Liu was worried enough as it was; when she was helping Murong Feng groom, she wouldn’t stop talking.
Murong Feng would just take it as it came, only she would not divulge the issue with Murong Xue. Chun Liu had said that her Fourth Miss’s maid was called Rui Xi who had a sister-like relationship with Chun Liu. She was probably afraid for Rui Xi who simultaneously disappeared with her mistress.
As to chatting with the Empress Dowager, when the two had reached a topic of interest, Murong Feng whispered: “Grandmother, Feng’er wants to ask for something.”
“What thing?” The Empress Dowager cheerily responded, she was liking this Murong Feng more and more. Skilled talker, even temper and knowledgeable to boot.
Murong Feng bowed, softly saying: “Feng’er wants to make a trip home. Feng’er has lived with grandmother (maternal) since childhood. Maternal grandmother always pampered Feng’er, so Feng’er wants to personally return and pay respects to grandmother to tell her that Feng’er is married now. Can Grandmother promise Feng’er and give Feng’er a couple of days?”
The Empress Dowager helped Murong Feng up, looking at Murong Feng’s downcast face and foggy eyes. She couldn’t help but pity her, saying: “Ay ((΄Д`)y~~~) Rui’er should be the one accompanying you, but that grandson just goes to the brothel every day, unrestrained with that Shattered Flower lady——How about this, Feng’er, I’ll give you a medallion. The Daxing dynasty has a medallion that was made personally by the First Emperor (the one that started the dynasty). Thanks to the highest concubine, this medallion is now in my hands. I give it to you; with it, you can be unhindered in the entire Daxing dynasty. Even Rui’er would find it hard to trouble you.”
“Many thanks to Grandmother.” Murong Feng received the medallion, this was an unexpected haul.
“Feng’er, you need to come back quick.” the Empress Dowager couldn’t help but say. Although they had only chatted for two days, the Empress Dowager had already considered her above the level of her own grandchildren. “How about I get that grandson of mine from the Shattered Flower Tower to accompany you? I really can’t rest easy with you going alone.”
Murong Feng giggled, “Grandmother need not worry, you can select a couple of outstanding martial artists to travel with Feng’er. As for the brothel, I cannot allow Grandmother to intervene. A family’s strife cannot be shown outside; if Grandmother’s intervention were to reach certain ears, it would just cause another pile of trouble. Although, Feng’er really wants to see just what kind of girl could mystify the Fourth Prince to this extent. Let’s see if Feng’er really can’t compare to her.” (T/N: whooo, hard paragraph.)
“En, alright.” The Empress Dowager promptly agreed. Lowering her head to think, she said, “Speaking of which, I just remembered, I also had a capable bodyguard once, his children aren’t bad, I will have them accompany you.”
Shattered Flower Tower, there was music and dance everywhere, the picture of prosperity. Their best girl, Yue Jiao [T/N: soft moon, as an object it is a dessert that is soft and sweet (go figure)], serves in the soft moon court. Everyone knew what it was, this Soft Moon Court was something the Fourth Prince personally built. Because of this, Soft Moon was the brothel’s main selling point, but it was also because of her talents that the Fourth Prince decided to construct the Soft Moon Court to keep her in.
The moment Yue Jiao would emerge, the entire place would be overcrowded. In the VIP section sat a plainly clothed youngster, who looked to be less than twenty, fresh-faced, calmly sitting there. Yet this was causing the other VIP’s to pale.
Yue Jiao noticed this with a single glance, praising in her heart: what a guy. She just didn’t know what family this young master was from. When the youngster saw that Yue Jiao was looking at him, his lips raised slightly, and a smile flashed across his face. Yue Jiao’s face flushed, even if she was a prostitute, her heart still couldn’t help but skip a beat. Rushing to calm down, she playfully wished everyone happiness. Hearing the music play, she was just about to start when she heard something snap. One of the strings had broken, and everybody was silent.
Suddenly, the sound of a flute could be heard, clear and pleasant. Yue Jiao raised her head, the flute was in the hands of that youngster, playing such a sweet song. Yue Jiao was a skilled performer, she knew that the guests tonight were very important individuals, so even though she had never heard this song before, she was able to start dancing to the beat. Anyone who was watching was not able to tear away their gazes, locked onto this girl.
When the music was no more than a lingering sound, Yue Jiao looked again, only to see the VIP section missing one person. She heard a faint laughter: “Miss Yue Jiao is fantastic at dancing. This one has pressing matters at hand, let’s perform together again next time.” Yet the person was nowhere to be seen.
Yue Jiao felt a slight sense of loss. What she had just experienced was merging with the music, exhilarating and satisfying. Yet when she opened her eyes, all she could see were Sima Rui’s cold eyes glaring at her. Yue Jiao came back to her senses, that girl he brought in yesterday was probably still fuming. [T/N: honestly, why wouldn’t she?]
Without addressing the crowd, Yue Jiao swiftly returned to the Soft Moon Court, Sima Rui had already arrived before her, and was seated at a table with wine, his expression lonely.
“Is that Murong girl still refusing to talk with you?” Yue Jiao sat across from Sima Rui, asking softly.
“Even when she is so young she dares to pout, whenever that mouth opens, it’s all about how since I’ve already married her third sister, I need to treat her well. Why the hell should I listen to her!” Sima Rui seethed. In his heart was a picture, that wedding night, the seated Murong Feng had used an irritated tone to order him to take off her veil. Since you have said that both of us lack feelings, then simply let the well water be separate from the river. He could not suppress a chuckle, thinking, that Murong Feng was actually quite cute. She was probably the only girl who would dare talk to him like that.
Yue Jiao did not know what he was thinking. Hearing him suddenly laugh, she lowered her head, not daring to say more.
That day when Sima Rui ‘invited’ Murong Xue, she saw the famed beauty for the first time, and was truly envious. That beauty that could ruin kingdoms, no wonder Sima Rui would be so daring, taking her from the Murong Estate. Yes he was the Fourth Prince, but he was already married to Murong Xue’s older sister. Stealing away the sister-in-law, what kind of place allowed this?