Chapter 175 Blind date feast? Hongmen feast*? (banquet set up with the aim of murdering a guest; refers to a historical event)
Xia Yuqing twitched and turned around. Facing Feng Tingye’s curious and joking expression, she smirked: “Picking soap is…that’s Jiang Feizao (feizao = soap). Yes, I meant we met Jiang Feizao today. Yes, yes, that’s it.”
“Really?” The smile on Feng Tingye’s face made Xia Yuqing instinctively feel danger coming. She couldn’t help but step back two steps, lacking confidence: “Of course, how could Chen Qie deceive the emperor?”
Feng Tingye flipped his palm, immediately pulling the little wooden figurine into his sleeves. He reached out, picked up Xia Yuqing’s back collar, turned and left: “Then Ai Fei will explain to me this evening why my little wooden man has a relationship with that girl Jiang Zhaorou.”
Everyone looked at the backs of the two gradually fading away, they could faintly hear the voice of someone bargaining.
“How could Your Majesty have anything to do with Jiang Feizao?! Chen Qie just said it casually, Your Majesty should not take it so serioudly, OK?”
“As long as Ai Fei tells me what ‘picking up soap’ is.”
“Can we change it to something else?” Ultra Seme Lord, believe me, you don’t want to know the true meaning of the term ‘picking up soap’! It will peel off a lot of layers.
“Not speaking? Then there is nothing to say.”
“…Woo, Chen Qie knows she is wrong, please forgive Chen Qie this time.”
“Huh? What did Ai Fei just say? I didn’t hear it.”
“…Don’t pretend that you didn’t hear what I just said!”
Everyone looked at the two people who were flirting and cursing even in other people’s homes. They silently looked up at the sky. They didn’t see anything, they didn’t see anything at all.
The summer nights were still lively as the sound of frogs and insects outside the window converged into one. The gentle moonlight sneaked into the house along the window, reflecting the young man who had not fallen asleep inside.
Feng Tingye gazed at the two figurines in his hands under the moonlight. For a long time, various emotions rolled in his deep eyes. With the dim lighting, it was difficult to see what he was thinking at the moment.
An hour ago, the red silk covering was warm. When the heat wave slowly faded, a certain animal took advantage of Xia Yuqing’s delirious state and asked, “Ai Fei, what’s picking up soap?”
“Um…” Xia Yuqing’s face was slightly red. There was still a layer of mist in her eyes, but she instinctively resisted the question, “Pick up soap, can’t say, I can’t say. Ultra Seme Lord would be angry.”
Feng Tingye was taken aback. Listening to Xia Yuqing talking to him with words that no one had heard before, his lips raised slightly, but he gave up the question and asked another.
“Then Ai Fei, when Wen Zhong and Yun Xi brought back wooden figures as a token of love, they were in pairs, but Ai Fei, you only made Zhen one small wooden figure. Is it possible that Ai Fei…”
Who said there is only one? I made one for myself, okay?” Xia Yuqing yawned sleepily, and whispered in protest from within the small quilt on the side.
Feng Tingye had a trace of clarity. He couldn’t help but smile when he looked at someone who was about to wrap themselves into a silkworm. He stretched out his hand to pull the little quilt that was wrapped around her, and continued to ask: “Where is the little wooden figure of Ai Fei?”
“Mm, don’t pull it.” Xia Yuqing grabbed the quilt, displeased. Finishing exercising, she was very sleepy, but she kept hearing a buzzing noise of a fly beside her. Moreover, it was fighting with her for the quilt, that was really annoying.
“Be good, if you speak, then I won’t pull it. Where did you put it?” Feng Tingye coaxed patiently and softly.
Xia Yuqing hugged the soft quilt, then seemed to feel too hot again. She kicked the quilt to the side, turned around and muttered: “In the sleeve.”
“In the sleeve?” Feng Tingye chuckled softly, and pulled a small blanket on the side to cover Xia Yuqing’s belly, then got up and walked out of the bed.
Under the moonlight, two small wooden figures were in front of Feng Tingye as if they had coated their bodies with a soft glow. The little figurine on his left had a familiar smile on it’s round face. Bowing to the ground, it wasn’t clear what it was looking at. The little figurine on his right had a silly face. The smile and the outline of the small face was actually different from a certain someone, but the eyes had a sense of familiarity that Feng Tingye could not deny.
There was a lively bird on the right hand of the figurine. The small face of the person was extremely cute with big eyes. It was the exact same replica of a certain someone and their cute expression when they did bad things.
Feng Tingye stared at the figurine representing Xia Yuqing for a long time, then turned his head and glanced at someone sleeping on the bed who was revealing her bare shoulders.
After a long while, he didn’t do anything. With a light sigh, he placed the two wooden figurines side-by-side into his sleeves, then turned and walked towards the bed.
A breeze blew across the window. Everything seemed like a big dream in which when they woke up, it would be as if nothing had happened.
Early the next morning, Xia Yuqing appeared at the dining table with two dark circles on her face and was full of resentment.
“Qing Jiejie, are you feeling well? Why is your face so ugly?”
Xia Yuqing turned her head abruptly to face Yunxi’s worried expression. The big black face covered with black clouds frightened Yun Xi. She sucked in a breath of cold air and almost dropped the bowl in her hand.
“Hey…” Xia Yuqing looked at Yun Xi for a long time, then finally let out a light sigh. D*mn it, attempting to pursue her interest, instead, she actually threw herself into the trap! Hey, I obviously wanted the Ultra Seme Lord to pick up the soap, but the person who picked up the soap in the end was herself. Ah, no, it’s not called picking up soap! (this is slang only used for boys love)
Xia Yuqing was shocked and paralyzed at the table. She replied bitterly: “The emperor has confiscated all my little wooden figurines.”
It was originally intended to be put away as a private collection, ohhhh, return my soap picking Ultra Seme Lord!
“…” The few people on the side all paused and then turned their gaze to Feng Tingye who was next to Xia Yuqing.
Feng Tingye’s lips twitched, and he replied politely: “Ai Fei has always been negligent. It is safer for me to keep an important thing like our token of love.”
“It’s all right, Qing Jiejie. Next time we go out, we can just have the old man engrave two more for you.”
Yun Xi couldn’t bear Xia Yuqing’s loss, and whispered comfortingly.
Before the words came out completely, they heard a sudden rush of footsteps from outside. Not long after, a small attendant rushed in the door and whispered: “Young Master, Master Lan came to see you.”
“Why so early?” Shao Zitang and the others looked at each other, then got up and walked outside.
When Xia Yuqing saw this, she hurriedly stuffed a bun into her mouth and followed them out, unwilling to be lonely.
“This is… an invitation?” Feng Tingye looked at the scarlet invitation specially brought by Lan Yingran. A trace of surprise flashed across his eyes.
“Well, this is an invitation from the Eldest Princess’s mansion. She is inviting the ministers to participate in the night banquet in two days held by her in her mansion.”
“A night banquet in the princess’s mansion?” Feng Tingye was silent. Before he could say anything, he was interrupted by Xia Yuqing’s exclamation.
“Ah, I see, it’s the blind date party organized by the princess for General Ji!”
Xia Yuqing was startled by everyone’s unanimous yell. The conversations she heard at the market were recounted briefly and concisely.
After Feng Tingye listened to this, he slowly raised a mocking smile: “It seems that the Eldest Princess is deliberately using the marriage of young master Ji to draw in several other important courtiers for her use.”
“Speaking of this, I remember that Master Lan also has a daughter who is about the same age as Xiao Xi?” Yun Zhongyue said, touching his chin for a moment, thinking.
Lan Yingran smiled and nodded: “This minister and his wife do have a daughter, one or two years younger than the royal crown heir.”
“Oh, it’s like this.” Xia Yuqing couldn’t help but nod, “In other words, Master Lan’s daughter is also among the candidates for the blind date this time?”
Xia Yuqing spoke as she moved her gaze to Shao Zitang.
Shao Zitang had goosebumps when Xia Yuqing looked at him. He coughed slightly, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
Xia Yuqing stepped forward and patted Shao Zitang on the shoulder with sympathy, “Xiao Shangshu, I know you are very sad, disappointed, and angry. It doesn’t matter. There are no outsiders here. You can vent as much as you want, we won’t laugh at you.”
“Why should I be sad? Why should I be disappointed? Why should I be angry?” Shao Zitang was taken aback for a moment. After understanding something, the blue veins on his head bursted out, and he gritted his teeth.
Xia Yuqing responded with an “I understand, I know, you don’t need to explain. Explaining is just you trying to hide the fact, I know you!”.
In an instant, there were a few more red crosses on Shao Zitang’s head. Just when he was about to become violent, a certain beast who foresaw the mess coming, picked up his pet with his tiger’s mouth, and changed the subject: “So, as long as we have this invitation, we will be able to enter the Eldest Princess’s mansion without fail?”
Everyone was startled, and finally discovered the point of the matter.
“When we were in Ye Kingdom, the emperor had said that the memorial of Prime Minister Yan was probably not destroyed, so it is very likely that it will be placed in imperial aunt’s mansion.” Yun Xi thought for a moment, very excited.
“What you mean is we should go in and steal that item…?” As soon as Xia Yuqing said this, everyone’s eyes gathered on Yun Zhongyue’s body.
“Why are you looking at me like that? It’s… scary.” Yun Zhong Yue reacted and stepped back, he looked at several people with a guarded look.
“Second Senior Brother, it’s finally time for you, the King of Thieves, to appear on stage. Aren’t you happy?” Xia Yuqing patted Yun Zhongyue’s shoulders and smiled with bright white teeth.
“…Why would I be happy?” Yun Zhong Yue looked at Xia Yuqing who patted his shoulders. An alarm bell quickly rang in his heart, especially after seeing someone not far away watching them with murderous intentions. Very self-aware, he reached out and put away Xia Yuqing’s hand that was on his body.
“Finally, you will have the opportunity to show off your talents. Second Brother, aren’t you happy? It’s okay, I believe in you. I bet on your name as the King of Thieves and the delicious food made by Lu Rui for half a year, you can definitely do it!” Xia Yuqing slapped Yun Zhongyue’s shoulders, successfully wearing down both his body and mind, making him nearly collapse.
“…” Little Junior Sister, your move is really ruthless. Also, half a year of Miss Lu Rui’s hand made food, aren’t you just threatening me!?
“En, then it’s decided. Ultra Seme Lord and Xiao Shangshu will follow Master Lan in to delay the time. Second Brother, you will take this opportunity to loot the princess’s mansion…”
“…” Little Junior Sister, what about my thoughts? Just because I’m not speaking doesn’t mean you can do what you want and also who made you the person in charge?
“Why should I join in?” Shao Zitang criticized Xia Yuqing’s arrangements.
Xia Yuqing turned around when she heard his question: “Of course it is to snatch a wife. Without you, Xiao Shangshu, how can we snatch the young general back?”
“Snatch a wife?!” Shao Zitang yelled.
“Yes, the little general is having an affair behind Xiao Shangshu’s back, so you must bring him back and train him well. I will support you in spirit!”
“Xia Yuqing!” Shao Zitang’s anger finally soared to a critical value. He screamed directly at Xia Yuqing. He wanted to roll up his sleeves and make a move.
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty, Xiao Shangshu is angry!” Seeing that the situation was not good, Xia Yuqing rushed to Feng Tingye’s back with a swish. She stuck out her small head and tattletaled.
Feng Tingye glanced at Shao Zitang. Just when everyone thought he was going to reprimand his pet, he reached out and patted Xia Yuqing’s head, and smiled: “Ai Fei, Zitang has a thin face. Somethings, it’s good if we know the matter in our hearts, we don’t need to say it out loud.”
“Oh.” Xia Yuqing nodded obediently, and retracted behind Feng Tingye’s back.
“…” They obviously underestimated Feng Tingye’s degree of connivance with his pet.
Your Majesty, is it really okay for you to kick someone when they’re down like this? Don’t you see that the face of Xiao Shangshu, opposite you, is almost as black as the bottom of a pot? !
“Feng Tingye, don’t go too far!”
“Your Majesty, it doesn’t matter if Xiao Shangshu calls Chen Qie by her name, but he even calls you by your name. That’s insubordination!”
“Be good, we have to be considerate of a man being cheated on, he has a damaged ego.”
“…oh.” Today’s Ultra Seme Lord is so frightening! Could it be that menopause arrived early… and he blackened? !
Shao Zitang was furious with the couples echoing one another. Just when he was about to erupt, he heard a slightly embarrassed cough, “Can you discuss this kind of thing in private later? Time is pressing, we should arrange this situation first. Let’s talk about the night banquet in two days.”
Yun Zhongyue pointed at Lan Yingran, who was still on the side, reminding a few people that it’s better to stop it.
“Well, then as Ai Fei said, Zitang and I will follow Master Lan to provide support. The Sixth Prince will take the opportunity to sneak into the Eldest Princess’s Mansion to find clues.”
“!” Your Majesty, are you serious? !
“What about the others?” Shao Zitang asked with a twitch of his mouth.
Feng Tingye glanced at Xia Yuqing’s eyes and grinned: “Of course, they will stay here.”
“…I want to go too.” Xia Yuqing protested faintly. Xiao Shangshu is going to snatch his wife, how can she let go of such a good show? !
“No, it’s too dangerous to go there. If you are accidentally discovered by the eldest princess… Ai Fei and Yun Xi will stay in the mansion and not go out. If you dare to go out without permission, the consequences will be…” Feng Tingye looked at Xia Yuqing’s eyes, giving her a clear warning.
Xia Yuqing’s face sank slightly. She stomached complaints, but had to swallow it down and nod in resignation.
Obviously none of the people who were busy discussing the night banquet two days later discovered that when they were talking in full swing, a figure flashed past the side door on the side. A pair of stubborn eyes stared at the tabletop at the red invitation card. The hands hanging on both her sides clenched into fists. Then after taking a deep breath, she pretended to be nonchalant and returned to her room.
Two days passed in a blink of an eye. On this day, when the sun was slowly sinking into the sky, Feng Tingye and several people dressed up in disguise followed Lan Yingran to depart from the Wei mansion and head to the residence of the princess.
Yun Shan, the eldest princess of the Kingdom of Shu, is the only woman of Yun Zhongli’s generation. The first emperor of Shu gave birth to six children. The eldest prince Yun Zhongli inherited the throne, the second prince died early, the third prince had been killed for plotting to rebel. The fifth prince was frail and sick. The Sixth Prince Yun Zhongyue was very different in age from the others. He was young and unruly, wandering around, and had no intention of being involved in political affairs at all. On the contrary, it is the fourth princess, a woman, who showed off her abilities and bravery. Although she was a woman, she has always made suggestions for Yun Zhongli. Her network in court was not below her brothers and her status was quite high.
This time, the eldest princess personally sent out invitations to invite the ministers of the court and their right-age daughters to go to the princess’s mansion for a banquet. Furthermore, it was heard that Master Ji was going to be there. How could the ministers who have been in the court for many years fail to see these tricks? It is precisely because of this that some officials who have not received invitations but have girls of the right age in their homes have sharpened their heads, wanting to squeeze into the threshold of the Princess Palace.
Who is Master Ji? That was the eldest princess’s most beloved nephew, the grandson of General Ji, the only direct blood of the Ji family. He was bound to take over all the glory of the Ji family in the future.
The most important thing is that this Ji Gongzi was not only important in status, but he was gifted in civil, military, and appearance. There were countless matchmakers who came to ask for a marriage early on, trying to cross the threshold of the Ji family’s doorstep. In the end, Young Master Ji impatiently drove out all the matchmakers. After that, Mr. Ji’s marriage story was silent for a long time. Now resurfacing again with the eldest princess personally asking to choose a beloved for him, why wouldn’t these old officials who have been staring at the position of Ji’s first wife be excited?
If one’s own daughter can marry Master Ji, not only can they climb the high branch of the eldest princess, but they can also marry the Ji family. Their future career in this dynasty would be bound to be smooth sailing.
Lan Yingran led Feng Tingye, the two of them, to find a secluded corner to sit down, pretending to drink while observing the officials coming and going.
“The one over there is Shuntian FuYin, the one next to him is a member of the Hanlin Academy, that one a little bit over is the Director of Rites and the Director of War, and…”
Lan Yingran and Feng Tingye were using the excuse of clinking glasses to introduce the senior officials who came to the banquet.
Feng Tingye’s gaze swept over the people whom Lan Yingran pointed to without a trace, and chuckled: “There are so many people here, it seems that the princess’s appeal is quite big. ”
“This minister remembers that many people here don’t have daughters.”
Lan Yingran explained in a timely manner, causing the two of them to look at those people, instantly with some inquiries.
Feng Tingye narrowed his eyes slightly. He raised the wine glass in front of him and chuckled: “Nieces can be considered half a daughter. It seems that the eldest princess and the Ji family are really not looking for ordinary recruits.”
“The eldest princess having such charisma to rally such supporters to flock to her side to have a relationship with her, it’s no wonder such a big country of Shu has been tossed around by a woman like her.” Shao Zitang swept a glance at the various hypocritical faces of the officials on all sides, a touch of sarcasm was evoked at the corners of his lips.
“Isn’t it the most common thing in the imperial court to play up those in power? If you want to keep climbing up, you have to find a strong pole that you can rely on. A few days ago, the Third Prince conspired to rebel and many officials were involved. The eldest princess walked very close to the Third Prince usually, but in the end she was able to take care of herself without being affected. She also saved the confidants of the Third Prince. This shows her ability and status in the royal family.”
Lan Ying Ran’s words made Feng Tingye’s eyes turn a bit surprised and clear: “Listening to you, the King of Shu’s sister is very conniving.”
“Well, the eldest princess is the only sister of the King of Shu. Furthermore, it is said that before the death of the first emperor, he specially told the King of Shu to treat his sister well. The King of Shu respected the emperor very much. So since the first emperor stated so, he naturally did not dare to violate it in the slightest. Thus, the King of Shu has treated the princess well, opening one eye and closing one eye.” (to turn a blind eye)
“Open one eye and close one eye?” Shao Zi Tang sneered as if he heard some big joke, “I want to see when the King of Shu is ousted from the throne and the dove occupies the magpie’s nest. Would that woman turn a blind eye to her brother and the Shu subjects?”
Feng Tingye didn’t interrupt. He just stared at the person in front of him. His face was unprecedentedly dignified and his deep eyes because of his contemplation made it hard to see what he was thinking at the moment.
Several people were chatting when they heard a loud yell from outside: “Your Royal Highness, the Princess is here, Master Ji is here.”
The two protagonists of the night banquet appeared at the same time, attracting everyone’s attention.
The noise of the original noisy courtyard fell silent for a moment. Light footsteps could be heard gradually approaching the silent courtyard. Not long after, under the eager gaze of everyone, a graceful figure broke into everyone’s view.
The woman walking in the forefront surrounded by a group of people seems to be in her early thirties. She wore a luxurious light-colored palace dress with golden thread that embroidered a golden lotus. It gently swayed as the woman walked making her look gorgeous. The white-skinned woman was not at all like an ordinary woman with an aging and decayed appearance. She had only light makeup on top of her beautiful face, but she looked more gorgeous than the young girls sitting next to her.
This woman had a fatal maturity and sexiness compared to those unworldly young girls. With just one move, she could take everyone’s attention for granted and make everything be about her. Everything around her was made into accessories, dispensable.
“She is the eldest princess of Shu?” Shao Zitang asked in a low voice looking at the woman who had blinded a group of people as soon as she appeared.
Lan Yingran nodded solemnly. Although Feng Tingye didn’t speak, the flash of surprise in his eyes still explained his mood at the moment.
“Wow, it turns out that the princess looks like this, so beautiful. She doesn’t look like a woman in her early forties at all. It’s a lot different from what I imagined. I thought she was going to be an odious old Black Mountain demon.”
“…… ” What kind of girl would say such a thing in such an unrestricted manner? No, this voice…
Feng Tingye, who was still stunned by the appearance of the eldest princess and her age, had his eyes tighten. They followed the sound with a surprised look, facing a certain someone not far away. Someone who shouldn’t be here.