Sima Rui fixed Bai Min with a stare with some hesitation in his heart. This Bai Min really made him curious. There was almost no one that would dare oppose him. he really wanted to see what tricks this Bai Min could pull. “What is the price that you want? Let’s hear it and I’ll consider it.”
Bai Min responded with a cheeky smile, “Take me out to eat.”
Sima Rui’s eyes opened wide, thinking in his heart, ‘If there wasn’t something wrong with Bai Min’s head then there was something wrong with his own ears!’
“Why this sort of expression?” Bai Min looked at Sima Rui with an innocent expression on his face, “Isn’t it just inviting me out to eat? The dignified Daxing Dynasty’s Fourth Prince. It can’t be that you don’t even have the money to take people out to eat? In fact, I heard people say that the most prestigious Yin Tea House’s head chef exclusively makes his best dish for the Fourth Prince. Usually if people want to eat it, they can only dream about it. I hope that the Fourth Prince can invite me to eat the meal that only the Fourth Prince can take me to sample.”
“As the saying goes, one must pay what one owes. After eating your food, naturally I’ll return the favor. If you want to know something then I’ll naturally say it quickly. It’s simple common sense, why has the Fourth Prince become so surprised?”
This “humorous” of a request, with Bai Min so solemnly saying it, Sima Rui would’ve felt ashamed if he laughed out loud. Even though his heart was happy to the point of blooming flowers, he still had an extremely serious expression on his face. This was because when Bai Min made this “humorous” request, the expression on his face was serious.
The best chef of the Yin Tea House that Bai Min spoke of really did only did make his signature dish solely for the Fourth Prince, and this chef really did make good food: Better than the the palace’s Royal Kitchen by a hundred times. Even though he was old and had already retired, he could stay at the Yin Tea House because of his contributions.
Sima Rui nodded, “Alright.”
Bai Min softly smiled, “Then we’ll meet again tomorrow at noon at the Yin Tea House.” Seeing that Sima Rui still had the intent to block him, Bai Min smiled again, speaking, “Why must you do this? Since Bai Min already promised, I’ll trouble the Fourth Prince to nicely wait until noon tomorrow to ask.”
Sima Rui suddenly asked, “You’re not afraid of an accident happening to Murong Xue?”
Having already walked to the turn, Bai Min didn’t turn, “Sima Rui, when all’s said and done, you’re not a despicable snitch. You don’t restrain your debauchery nor your extravagance, so you could be considered a power. How could you lust only after her body? If you did, then why would you go through all that pain to take her here only to gloom around all day? With you looking after her, why would I worry? You probably treat her better than Murong Qingliang himself hahaha——”
Through this laugh, Bai Min had left Sima Rui in a daze, speechless.
The second day, Sima Rui came to the Yin Tea House early, setting down orders.
Here he had his own space at the top floor of the Yin Tea House, with a view of the flowing river, along with a thousand sails and swans. To be honest, Sima Rui was extremely curious about that Bai Min, to the point where he had lost sleep over this appointment.
Bai Min came around lunchtime, the same plain clothing, the same person: clean and simple, not a single blemish on his face. It was impossible to guess that he had come today to debate with the Fourth Prince, to take Murong Xue from him. He even came after the Fourth Prince, yet was leisurely walking.
It seemed like he didn’t know that Sima Rui was not an agreeable person, especially when the topic in question was his precious Murong Xue
When Bai Min entered, the food came piling on the table; the head chef’s skill was impeccable, every dish was beautiful and delicious to the max, one didn’t need to taste to know that it was good. Bai Min didn’t hold back, sitting across from Sima Rui, the two had the same view of the window. When the wind blew, it felt comfortable and refreshing.
“Brother Bai came on time today.” Sima Rui said with a laugh, seemingly not very concerned with what he was going to face that day. It was rare that he would be in such good spirits to sit across from a stranger and drink. It seemed that he had forgotten that this stranger came before him to discuss Murong Xue who he had stolen from the people she loved.
Bai Min smiled, “Fourth Prince praises me, I only said today at noon, as long as I don’t come later than lunchtime then anytime can still be considered on time.”
“Just directly call me Sima Rui, I’ve already heard these words “Fourth Prince” so much that my ears are sore. They are most uninteresting. Since you already know that I’m the Fourth Prince, you naturally know of my identity. Since it’s like that, we don’t have to be polite.” Sima Rui wrinkled his brow, impatiently speaking as he took a look at Bai Min. Suddenly, he strangely smiled again and continued to speak, “I see that Brother Bai Min isn’t some lofty official. I’m afraid that you are actually cursing me on the inside, so why do you bother faking?”
Bai Min stopped laughing. Looking at Sima Rui, he said, “Alright, Sima Rui is three symbols, Fourth Prince is also three symbols. Since you feel that the former is more easy on the ear, I’ll just call you Sima Rui. it doesn’t matter to me, it’s just three symbols, just a change of pronunciations, and doesn’t have anything to do with respect. Fine, Sima Rui, have you considered my offer yesterday?”
“Regarding Murong Xue?” Sima Rui lazily ate a bite, glanced out at a passing swan, “Give me a reason as to why you want her. Could it be her beauty? I’ve heard that her fans are so numerous as to have packed the gates of the Murong estate, perhaps Brother Bai is one of those admirers?”
Bai Min gave an indifferent laugh, “Murong Xue is indeed a world-class beauty, but to me, she is merely uncommon. Sima Rui, you can rest easy on this matter. I have no ulterior motives toward your special lady. I just happen to be a person of the Murong estate——honestly you’ve seen me before, but you only had Murong Xue in your eyes, the whole Murong estate only has her as someone you’re interested in——so I want to bring her back, nothing else, I have no control over this matter.”
“Murong Qingliang actually has someone like you? I really didn’t know that. What a shame, seems like I’ll need to ask the prime minister to make you my follower.” Sima Rui chuckled, “Fine, why don’t you tell me your evidence that Murong Xue is here. If you prove it, then that will be that, if you don’t, I can charge you for treason!”
“Guess [T/N: wat, just tell him already, it will save me work T_T].” Bai Min casually said, drinking the tea, “I’ve said it already, I am part of the Murong estate. You may not have any recollection of me, but I have heard of your scandal.”
At this moment, Bai Min laughed, and his eyes took on a ridiculing light. Looking at Sima Rui, he gleefully said, “The morning of Murong Qingliang’s fiftieth birthday, you accompanied the Eldest Prince and his foremost concubine to congratulate him. You happened to be extremely bored that morning, or else it would’ve been hard to invite you to that kind of trivial matter. During the birthday feast you laid your eyes onto Murong Xue, and was immediately lovestruck. She was already touted as a beauty across the dynasty, in both poem and song, but in person she was an irresistible pleasure to the eyes. It also happened to be that the Empress had spoken of wedding the two of you, as among the princes, only you were missing a partner. Under these circumstances, you decided that since everyone was to become a family, then this Murong Xue was the best result, and the most fitting for you.
Sadly, despite your lofty position as the Fourth Prince of the dynasty, Murong Qingliang had not put you in his eyes, treasuring his youngest daughter and switching her out with the apathetic Murong Feng. How could you swallow this bitter fruit? Judging from your personality, kidnapping Murong Xue then forcing her to love you wouldn’t be strange.” [T/N: waaaa why do long explanations exist TT_TT]