“Hahahaha——” Sima Rui downed his cup of wine. He had eaten little, only drinking wine while listening to Bai Min talk. Naturally, his face was red, yet his eyes were sharp and cruel, “Brother Bai is so smart, I did indeed steal Murong Xue. Right now she is residing in the Soft Moon Court, and I plan on replacing Murong Feng with her. I can wrong people, but there better be no one who wrongs me. Hmph, it’s just a small Murong Qingliang. He dares to try and trick me?! I had already decided on marrying Murong Xue, but now I will marry her no matter what.”
Bai Min shook his head, “Actually, you don’t really love Murong Xue, you just can’t accept this humiliation. What you are doing right now is nothing more than a child throwing a tantrum. Even with all this, what about Murong Feng? You should’ve gritted your teeth and refused to marry. Look at Murong Feng, she even knelt in the rain and begged her father to take back the engagement. As for you? Do you still think that you were the wronged?”
Sima Rui laughed coldly, “then do you know why Murong Feng refused to marry me? Also who the hell is the person in Murong Xue’s heart?”
“Sima Zhe.” Bai Min said.
Sima Zhe was thunderstruck where he stood, then suddenly laughed, downed another glass, his eyes faintly shimmering with sorrow. Unable to turn away, he asked, “What do you know?”
Bai Min secretly sighed in relief; deep in Sima Rui’s eyes was an unwilling light. After contemplating for a moment, he slowly said: “Murong Feng has been raised by her grandmother since childhood, returning to the main estate at fourteen. Everything that I’ve heard about you is negative, yet she seems to have a perfect older brother-in-law [T/N: for those of you confused, Bai Min is talking here]. If it were you, would you bear to switch?”
“As for Murong Xue, you know that she has experienced Murong Qingliang’s pampering along with Murong Qian’s connections which allow her to come and go from the Eldest Prince’s estate as she please. Faced with the future ruler of the Daxing dynasty, one person above all others, as well as the favorite of her father, the state of her heart is absolutely normal. She can’t possibly love you who remain a cruel, horrible person in her eyes. I’m afraid that even if you were to walk in her shoes, you would also prefer Sima Zhe over Sima Rui, so why are you still angry?”
Sima Rui had no words, downing glass after glass with his head lowered. Although he was frustrated, he could not refute these words.
Bai Min fell silent, looking at Sima Rui as she wondered if she had overdone it. He continued, saying: “How you treat Murong Feng is up to you, since having no feelings makes it so that you both can mind your own business. You can take her or replace her; Murong Feng probably won’t care either way; all I’m concerned about is retrieving Murong Xue. If you truly want to marry her, you can make a request at the estate later – it’s up to you. However right now she must come back. If this incident were to come to light, let’s not talk whether Murong Qingliang would marry her to you, I’m afraid that the Empress and the Empress Dowager would reject you no matter how much they cherish you.”
Sima Rui looked at Bai Min, “Alright, I can let Murong Xue go, but I will say it right here: even if her heart already belongs to Sima Zhe, I can still make her willingly marry me. As for that girl Murong Feng, she can only count herself unlucky. I’m not a particularly kind person, there is no need to debate whether I will love her, taking her is only a matter of time. But——” Sima Rui laughed strangely, “Just letting you take her back would be too humiliating. I will pay you back right now, from this very moment, you have three days. If you can find Murong Xue, you can naturally take her back. What do you think?”
Bai Min also laughed without hesitation, “Fine, a promise between men, Sima is crafty.”
Sima Rui stared at Bai Min, blurting, “Brother Bai, meeting you has truly been a pleasure. It’s a pity that you’re a male, otherwise I would wholeheartedly chase after you.” [T/N:lol]
“Haha.” Bai Min shook his head, laughed, but said nothing.
After leaving the Yin Tea House, Bai Min seemed to disappear from the world. Sima Rui had sent people to the Murong Estate to question, but no one had ever heard of a person named Bai Min.
Sima Rui guessed that he was Murong Qingliang’s assassin. How else was he able to know the estate’s affairs while no one in said estate knew him? Bai Min had also disappeared from the Flower Tower.
Sima Rui was actually very disappointed; regretting the decision to hide Murong Xue most discreetly. As for Bai Min’s elusiveness, to be honest, he really wanted to see this mysterious young master again.
It neared evening, the autumn rain suddenly enveloped the sky. Today was the last day of the bet, and Bai Min seemed to have no intent on appearing. Sima Rui alone in a small room, dazedly staring at the fish. Alas, such a discreet spot, who could hope to find it?
The Fourth Prince’s secret house wasn’t a place normal people could enter!
Yan Yu softly walked over; Sima Rui looked scarily decadent – it had already been three days since he returned to the Fourth Prince’s estate without having the appearance of a smile. His most frequented study didn’t allow any outsiders to step inside, even to the point of sending away all of the cleaning servants. His three daily meals were all set outside of the door. Of course, he did stay in there frequently but always seemed heavy-hearted.
Fourth Prince’s Imperial Concubine Murong Feng already had six or seven days of time of leave. Because she had the Empress Dowager’s decree, he didn’t need to worry too much. He could see that the Empress was very fond of this Fourth Prince’s Imperial Concubine, even to the point where some could consider doting on her. It was just a pity that this Fourth Prince’s Imperial Concubine didn’t discuss the favor of the Fourth Prince.
In fact, from her opinion, Murong Feng wasn’t behind Murong Xue at all, especially in terms of her gentle and warm personality along with her indifferent yet elegant bearing. This wasn’t something that ordinary people could learn. While on the topic, she actually thought that this Murong Feng was the most likable concubine within the harem.
“Fourth Prince, the Crown Princess came apparently with a reason to see you.” Yan Yu approached Sima Rui as she softly spoke.
Sima Rui glanced at her, lazily looking at Yan Yu, “Understood. Just say that I’m not feeling well and don’t want to see guests. Right, what about her sister?”
“Fourth Prince’s Imperial Concubine left a few days ago to return to her Maternal Grandmother’s place to pay respects to her Maternal Grandmother. She has not returned yet.” Yan Yu said clearly, alas, taking until now to remember about Murong Feng.
“Oh, her ability can’t be considered small. Who permitted her to leave this place?” Sima Rui unhappily asked.
“The Empress Dowager.” Yan Yu said quietly. She was originally was the servant alongside the Empress Dowager and so was naturally aware of Sima Rui’s temper. If she didn’t have a need to provoke him then it was best to not.
Sima Rui raised an eyebrow, the matter being a bit beyond his predictions, with the Empress Dowager allowing Murong Feng to leave the Fourth Prince’s estate. How did grandmother know that Murong Feng wanted to take a leave? What had happened during the past few days that he was absent? “Hmph, who blabbered about her matters to Grandmother again?”
Yan Yu shook her head, “When Fourth Prince’s Imperial concubine to have tea with the Empress Dowager and the Empress on the second day of her being here, Empress Dowager took to your Imperial Concubine very well, even having Uncle De fetch your Imperial Concubine to keep her company during the next two mornings.”
“Empress Dowager also laid down an Imperial Decree,” Yan Yu spoke until to this matter, pausing for a moment as she looked at Sima Rui’s expression before hesitating and continuing, “The Imperial Decree is in the hands of Fourth Prince’s Imperial Concubine. The Empress Dowager’s Imperial Decree states that Fourth Prince cannot force Fourth Prince’s Imperial Concubine’s obedience.”
“This servant does not have much else to say though Yan Yu did see that Fourth Prince’s Imperial Concubine is really pleasant person to be able to make her the Empress Dowager’s favorite Imperial Concubine. I fear that your Imperial Concubine is the only one to be able to achieve this.”
Sima Rui knew of Yan Yu’s identity. Although she was serving as a servant at the Fourth Prince’s Estate, she was still the person assigned by his Grandmother, with her words still carrying a certain degree of weight.
Listening to Yan Yu applauding Murong Feng, Sima Rui’s heart really began to house a few doubts – this Murong Feng could actually obtain Grandmother’s favor alongside Yan Yu’s undisguised praises? This was really unexpected.