Chapter 240 – Getting Married is Like Going to War
“Especially you, Your Majesty. The Third Princess is your biological sister. Wouldn’t it be nice for you, as a family member, to go and see her?” Yan Ran glanced at the others and decisively shifted his gaze to Xia Yuqing.
In his opinion, as long as Xia Yuqing left, Feng Tingye would inevitably follow her, and they could even take the little devil who was showing signs of inheriting his father’s style. It would be killing three birds with one stone!
Unfortunately, fantasies are beautiful, but reality is harsh.
Xia Yuqing glanced at him with excitement and smiled, “With Lady Leng and Lord Leng presiding over the Third Princess’s side, there’s no need for us to join in the fun, right? But as for you, the Gorgeous Grand Tutor… You don’t even have anyone capable of managing the overall situation. I and the Emperor couldn’t bear to see that. So here we are, rushing to help. How about it? Isn’t that what good friends do?”
“…” Are you sure you’re here to help and not to cause trouble?
Yan Ran silently lamented as he looked at Xia Yuqing’s smug face that seemed to say, “Look how nice we are to you. You better thank us quickly.” He felt a hidden injury.
“Or perhaps, Gorgeous Grand Tutor, you don’t actually welcome us?” Seeing that Yan Ran didn’t respond for a long time, Xia Yuqing’s smile suddenly disappeared, and she looked at him pitifully. Even the two little babies in Xia Yuqing’s arms suddenly perked up, their round, big eyes staring at today’s groom.
Yan Ran felt guilty under the gaze of the two pairs of nearly identical eyes. He also felt the warning gaze from the big supporter behind Xia Yuqing, as if thorns were pricking his back. Reluctantly, he said, “How could it be? Your presence, Your Majesty and His Majesty has brought great glory to my residence. I am delighted and couldn’t be more welcoming.”
Upon hearing this, Xia Yuqing immediately wiped away her fake tears and smiled happily at Yan Ran. “I knew Gorgeous Grand Tutor would be so understanding. By the way… where’s Xiao Yuan? Why haven’t I seen her?”
Yan Ran’s eyebrows twitched at the question, and the ominous premonition became stronger.
“Cough, cough…” Lu Rui followed Xia Yuqing out. At this moment, when Xia Yuqing asked about it, she saw Yan Ran looking embarrassed, so she kindly interjected, “Niang Niang, the Grand Tutor and Xiao Yuan have already completed the wedding ceremony. By now, the new bride should have been sent to the bridal chamber.”
“Oh!” Xia Yuqing suddenly realized, only then awakening to the fact that this was ancient times. It wasn’t like in modern times where the bride could still come out and greet the guests on the wedding night. Ahem, her Second Royal Brother’s wedding was an exception, yes, an exception!
“Xiao Yuan is already in the bridal chamber? Then I’ll go and see her now.” Xia Yuqing thought for a moment and was about to rush towards their new room.
The people beside her hurriedly reached out and pulled Xia Yuqing back. “Niang Niang, Niang Niang, the bride has already entered the bridal chamber. You can’t just casually go in.”
Xia Yuqing was startled and turned to the crowd with a puzzled expression. “Is that so?”
Everyone nodded in a hurry, and Xia Yuqing dispelled her thoughts, her face full of disappointment. “Oh, I see. Forget it then.”
After speaking, she held the two babies in her arms and muttered with a disappointed expression, “I wanted to teach Li Yuan how to torment the Gorgeous Grand Tutor tonight. But never mind, Xiao Yuan is so clever, she should know what to do.”
“Mother, what are you going to teach Auntie Yuan? Why do you want to torment Uncle Grand Tutor?”
“…It’s nothing, it’s nothing. Children shouldn’t worry too much about adult matters. Mother will take you to eat delicious food later.” Xia Yuqing felt embarrassed for a moment and quickly diverted the children’s attention with food.
“…Oh.” The two babies frowned, conflicted. Adults were always like this, always using words to dodge children’s questions! Hmph, when they grew up, they would definitely know more than them. But for now, eating delicious food was the most important thing.
Xia Yuqing’s whispered muttering, which she thought no one would hear, had actually been heard by everyone present.
Yan Ran involuntarily twitched the corner of his mouth, looking at Xia Yuqing with a speechless expression. Then he used his eyes to accuse Feng Tingye: Are you sure this girl of yours is here to help and not to make trouble?
Feng Tingye calmly glanced at him but remained silent.
“…” This D*mn fox, he was clearly just here to watch the show! He really made a mistake in making friends, ah!
Yan Ran suddenly remembered Xia Yuqing’s last words and recalled the extraordinary martial skills of his newlywed wife. Could it be that what Xia Yuqing said was true… that on their wedding night, she would tally the accounts and have fun tormenting him?!
Yan Ran suddenly felt a chill run down his spine, and even his smile on his face stiffened considerably.
“Oh, that’s right, Gorgeous Grand Tutor, we have prepared a special gift for you and Xiao Yuan.” Xia Yuqing, as if remembering something, enthusiastically said to Yan Ran.
The expression on Yan Ran’s face became even stiffer. He had a feeling that Xia Yuqing’s gift… must be very different from the usual. Could he… choose not to accept it?
“Lu Rui, where is our gift? Where is it? Bring it out quickly!” Xia Yuqing called out to Lu Rui beside her, eager to have her bring out the carefully prepared gift.
For a moment, Lu Rui’s expression twisted, and she hesitated for a moment before obediently handing the splendid brocade box, which she had been hiding behind her, to Yan Ran.
“Grand Tutor, quickly open it and see if you like it or not.” Xia Yuqing looked at Yan Ran with an expectant expression, her sparkling eyes staring directly at him, making Yan Ran feel a chill down his back instinctively, not wanting to open the seemingly exquisite brocade box.
“A gift from Niang Niang is naturally excellent, how could I not like it? Let’s not open it, shall we?” Yan Ran forced a dry laugh, taking two steps back, as if there was a flood or ferocious beast inside that brocade box, and opening it would lead him to an irreversible disaster.
“If you don’t open it, how will you know if you like it or not? Grand Tutor, what are you worried about? Am I going to harm you? Or is it that Grand Tutor, as expected, still doesn’t welcome us, and even despises the gift I carefully prepared? You don’t even want to take a look?” Xia Yuqing’s voice became lower as she spoke, and a desolate and lonely aura permeated her entire being.
As Xia Yuqing’s words fell, Yan Ran received condemning gazes from all sides.
“Oh, Old Yan, you, let me tell you, Niang Niang has put so much effort into personally preparing a gift for you, it shows how much she values you. Being so spoiled will only invite criticism from others.” Shao Zitang couldn’t help but interject, his eyes filled with delight and schadenfreude.
“…” If possible, this Grand Tutor would rather give this honor to you for free, D*mn it! Xiao Tang, don’t think that this Grand Tutor can’t see the schadenfreude in your eyes. Just wait and see, someday your misfortune will come, you’ll get what’s coming to you. We’ll see how you end up!
Feng Tingye couldn’t stand seeing Xia Yuqing’s aggrieved appearance, so his arrogance immediately surfaced. He raised an eyebrow and said, “Does the Grand Tutor have any dissatisfaction with the gift prepared by Ai Fei?”
“…” What the h*ll, are we still brothers or not? Is it really okay for you, the Emperor, to be so infatuated with your wife and forget your friends? This is not good!
With Feng Tingye’s words, Yan Ran found himself in a dilemma. If he doesn’t open it, it would imply some discontent towards the Niang Niang, which is a serious accusation. On the other hand, if he opens it, who knows what terrifying thing might be inside, jeopardizing his reputation…
Life or face? Yan Ran hesitated and struggled for a while, but in the end, he compromised and forced a dry smile. D*mn it, he has been waiting for this day for so long, he can’t let it go to waste. He’s going all-in!
“Ahahaha… How could that be? It’s just that I thought the gift from Niang Niang is too precious, so I wanted to open and appreciate it properly when I’m alone later. But since Niang Niang has said so, then I…”
Yan Ran swallowed hard, his hand trembling, as he lifted the lid of the brocade box handed to him by Lu Rui.
With a loud thud, the lid of the brocade box was quickly lifted, and everyone involuntarily focused their gaze inside the box.
The previously bustling and noisy wedding banquet suddenly fell into a suffocating silence. Many officials, to their surprise, had their wine glasses slip from their fingertips, rolling once on the table before falling to the ground, along with spilled wine dripping onto the floor, creating a patter of dripping sounds.
“…” So Grand Tutor Yan enjoys this kind of… stuff? In that case, why did Grand Tutor Yan get married today? Could it be just to deceive others? Ah, this is simply desecrating a girl! Such a tragedy! These were the officials who, upon seeing what was inside the box, clearly had misunderstood and were shaking their heads with sighs.
“…” So Grand Tutor Yan turns out to be… sigh, how saddened Old Grand Tutor would be if he knew about this. Perhaps today’s bride is not even a woman, but only claimed to be one to deceive others. Such a grievance! These were another group of officials who clearly had misunderstood the situation.
Yan Ran, with the gesture of lifting the lid, took a few steps back with a pale face, looking like he was about to cry.
At this moment, he truly wished he could die. If only he had known… if only he had chosen death instead of succumbing to tyranny. At least he could have died with dignity, without compromising his integrity like this!
D*mn it, who could have known that the girl would be so unconventional and would gift him a set… of erotic novels she used to fantasize about them together. That alone was bad enough, but why did she have to place a prominent copy of “Eighteen Techniques of Dragon Yang” right on top of the books? Girl, are you really trying to kill me?!
While everyone was thunderstruck and unsure how to react, Yan Ran quickly covered the box again, trying to shield it from prying eyes.
Unfortunately, once something happens, it happens. Even if he tried his best to salvage the situation, it would be futile. Especially when his actions were perceived by others, it looked suspicious, like a guilty person trying to hide something.
As a result, Yan Ran keenly felt the intense gaze of the people around him, even more intense than before. He felt like ten thousand grass mud horses were galloping over his head, threatening to crush him.
To make matters worse, the person who caused this tragic situation had an innocent and expectant expression as she asked, “So, how do you like the gift I prepared for you, Grand Tutor?”
Yan Ran’s face turned dark, and he was about to get angry. However, at a crucial moment, he received a warning look from Feng Tingye. The surging anger was immediately doused with a bucket of cold water. With a twitching face and gritted teeth, he said, “I like it, I like it. Thank you, Niang Niang!”
“But why do I feel like you’re not very happy?” Xia Yuqing looked at Yan Ran’s darkened face, puzzled.
“How could that be? Ahahaha…” Yan Ran felt the strange gazes coming from all directions and struggled to keep a smile on his face, even if his facial muscles were about to freeze.
Xia Yuqing was still a bit puzzled, but before she could say anything, she heard Feng Tingye chuckle and add, “My love, I think Prime Minister Yan feels that your gift is not valuable enough. How about you add another gift for him?”
“Another gift? What should I add?” Xia Yuqing pondered for a moment and realized that her gift was somewhat lacking. Although the limited edition she gave, which might not be found on the market anymore, was special, it still couldn’t compare to the dazzling gold, silver, and precious gems.
As soon as Yan Ran heard Feng Tingye’s words, he suddenly felt a chill, as if he had sensed the malevolence from the world in an instant. And indeed…
“Why not have Ai Fei spontaneously perform a piece of music for Official Yan to celebrate this joyous occasion?”
“No, please don’t!”
Two voices almost spoke simultaneously. Xia Yuqing looked at Yan Ran’s pale and conflicted face with confusion and asked, “Huh? Gorgeous Grand Tutor, why does your complexion suddenly look so bad? Are you feeling unwell?”
“…” Niang Niang, you had clearly frightened the Grand Tutor. The onlookers around them were dumbfounded, thinking to themselves.
“It’s… it’s alright,” Yan Ran’s face turned pale, but he tried to deepen the smile on his face. He chuckled lightly, “It’s alright, Niang Niang. I was just too surprised. Your congratulatory gift is truly unparalleled in the world, so precious that I… I never expected it would lead to a misunderstanding. I am truly deserving of death for causing you such trouble. Niang Niang, there’s really no need to add anything more. I can’t bear it.”
It’s not that it’s one of a kind. Only Xia Yuqing would think of gifting “Eighteen Techniques of Dragon Yang” at a wedding banquet. It seems that fate has played a cruel trick on him, burdening him with such a troublesome girl!
“Do you really not want me to perform a song for you? It’s free!” Xia Yuqing looked at Yan Ran with eager eyes, a radiant glow shimmering in them.
Yan Ran was already smiling numbly. “…Really, there’s no need. Thank you for your kind offer, Niang Niang.”
Although he maintained a smile on his face, his heart was already weeping. Please spare me, my lady. If you unleash your demonic voice, all the carefully arranged wedding festivities will be ruined.
“Oh, I see. In that case, forget it,” Xia Yuqing said, feeling a little disappointed as she nodded, no longer insisting.
Yan Ran and everyone who had witnessed Xia Yuqing’s melodious voice at the banquet couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief.
Having finally passed the gift-giving hurdle, everyone settled down, but there was one person who could never bring peace no matter how much you desired it.
“Dun Dun, feel free to eat whatever you want. There’s no need to be polite at Uncle Yan’s place,” Xia Yuqing whispered to her second baby as she sat beside Feng Tingye, wiping the sweat off her forehead.
Yan Ran, who happened to hear this, suddenly looked up and saw the mother and daughter duo swiftly sweeping the table in front of them, devouring numerous fruits and pastries as if a thunderstorm had passed through.
“…” Niang Niang, you really don’t hold back, do you? Yan Ran thought to himself. Not only did the previous gift almost kill him, but now it seemed like she wanted to eat away at his mansion as well. What did he do to deserve such a fate?
“Oh? There’s also wine. It smells quite nice. I wonder how it tastes?” Xia Yuqing muttered absentmindedly.
“!” Xia Yuqing’s unintentional murmur caught the attention of the people who had shifted their focus and started conversing. In an instant, they raised the alert level to the highest degree.
Xia Yuqing herself might be oblivious because she never remembered what she did after a drunken night, but those who had witnessed the power of her off-pitch singing knew its terror.
After drinking wine, Xia Yuqing’s tuneless songs were weapons of mass destruction that rivaled her musical skills!
“Wait… wait a minute!” Xia Yuqing was about to bring the cup to her lips when Yan Ran snatched it away and drank from it himself.
“Um, Gorgeous Grand Tutor, what are you doing?”
“I suddenly felt a bit thirsty, and I saw you holding the cup, so I couldn’t resist…” Yan Ran replied.
“…Couldn’t you just drink from your own cup? There’s one right in front of you. Why did you have to snatch mine?” Xia Yuqing felt puzzled.
“Cough cough, Ai Fei, why don’t you drink tea instead? Alcohol is not good for your health. Besides, the children are here. Don’t set a bad example for the children,” Feng Tingye chimed in, feeling a little apprehensive about Xia Yuqing’s singing. He took the opportunity to persuade her.
Sure enough, when Xia Yuqing heard about the children, she trembled and suddenly woke up to the realization that she shouldn’t set a bad example for her child. She promptly followed Feng Tingye’s suggestion and pushed the alcoholic drink aside, opting for tea instead.
Yan Ran and his companions couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. They felt exhausted and had no desire to go through that ordeal again.
Just as Yan Ran was wallowing in self-pity and sorrow, little did he know that an even greater tragedy awaited him.
“Snatch…snatch…snatch the bride!”
In the midst of the lively banquet, everyone suddenly heard a trembling shout not far away. Instantly, the festive atmosphere once again turned cold.
All eyes turned towards the source of the sound and saw a somewhat simple-looking man gasping for breath. He tightly gripped a kitchen knife and shouted towards Yan Ran’s direction, “Snatch the bride!”
Click… Everyone could clearly hear the sound of the string of rationality in Yan Ran’s mind snapping along with the shattering of the wine glass in his hand.
“What the h*ll! Is it easy for me to get married? One after another, people keep interfering with my unlucky fate. Do they really think I’m easy to bully? How dare they come and snatch the bride? Didn’t they even bother to find out who I, Yan Ran, am? They dare to snatch my wife? Get him! If I don’t beat him until his face is covered in blossoming red, he won’t understand why flowers are so red! If I don’t torture him to death today, then I’m not surnamed Yan!” With that, Yan Ran lifted his robes and stepped onto the table in front of him. He intended to rush towards the man and give him a few slaps.
Shao Zitang realized the situation was getting out of hand and quickly got up, hugging Yan Ran’s waist and pulling him back. “Calm down, you monster!”
“Calm down? How can I stay calm when someone is trying to steal my bride? How can you expect me, Yan Ran, to stay calm?” Yan Ran snarled and struggled to move forward, wanting nothing more than to tear apart this peasant who coveted his wife.
Clearly frightened by Yan Ran’s ferocity, the man quickly took a few steps back, trembling as he said, “I… I’m not here to snatch your wife.”
Xia Yuqing picked up the cup of tea from the table and frowned. “If you’re not here to snatch the bride, then are you here to snatch the groom?”
The people around them looked at Xia Yuqing in speechless astonishment. After all this time, the empress still hadn’t given up! How could there be so many “cut-sleeve” relationships in the world? But little did they know…
“That… That’s right. I’m here to snatch the groom.”
“Pfft…” Xia Yuqing sprayed the tea she had just sipped all over, her face filled with disbelief as she looked at the man, excitedly asking, “What did you just say?”
“I’m not here to snatch your wife.”
“And the next line…”
“I’m here to snatch the groom.”
“Yes, that’s it!” Xia Yuqing, filled with excitement, rushed to the man’s side. Her eyes seemed to scan him up and down with X-ray vision, “Tsk tsk tsk, you look decent enough, with a rustic charm. Coming alone to snatch the groom shows commendable courage. And those muscular arms and wheat-colored skin… You look like a sturdy man. The whole rural charm thing can be quite cute sometimes, especially when paired with a delicate beauty like Gorgeous Grand Tutor. It’s just adorably bloody! Mmm… why are you covering my mouth?!”
Before Xia Yuqing could finish her sentence, Feng Tingye quickly covered her mouth and pulled her back. Yan Ran’s head was already emitting smoke. It was best to avoid provoking him any further to prevent any collateral damage.
The officials who attended the banquet were all dumbfounded and looked at each other with disbelief. Their eyes revealed a hint of astonishment. It turned out that the joke the Empress had just made was actually true. The Grand Tutor was indeed a “cut-sleeve”! Look, even men were coming to snatch the groom at the wedding!
Shao Zitang had been laughing uncontrollably since the man mentioned that he was here to snatch the groom instead of the bride. He completely forgot to hold onto Yan Ran.
Freed from Shao Zitang’s grasp, Yan Ran, like a wild beast released from its cage, strode aggressively toward the man.
Although the man looked taller and stronger than Yan Ran, he was frightened and kept stepping back, waving the kitchen knife in his hand and growling, “Don’t… don’t come closer, I have a knife, a knife!”
Yan Ran sneered, his face full of mockery. “You came to snatch me, the Grand Tutor, but how can you do that if I don’t come over?”
The man was taken aback and foolishly said, “Right, it seems to be the case.”
“…Are all the bandits these days so cute?” Xia Yuqing, who had long stopped struggling, thought to herself, speechless.
“Well, come over, but don’t make any sudden moves. I have a knife!” The man was obviously still nervous, emphasizing that he had a knife in his hand.
“Your Majesty, what about the Grand Tutor…” Xia Yuqing looked at Feng Tingye with some concern. After all, the man had a knife in his hand. Would anything happen if the Grand Tutor went over there?
Feng Tingye smiled faintly and shook his head, reassuringly patting her head. “Don’t worry, he’s just an ordinary person without any martial arts skills. Yan Ran can handle it.”
Feng Tingye was right. With a grim expression, Yan Ran walked over to the man, who was still dazed. With one clean kick, Yan Ran knocked the kitchen knife out of his hand and sent it flying to the ground.
“You dare to covet me, the Grand Tutor, with just your measly self? Even if I, the Grand Tutor, am exceptionally beautiful and outstanding, you are not worthy of coveting me! D*mn it, D*mn it! The Grand Tutor is not a ‘cut-sleeve’! I’m not a ‘cut-sleeve’!” Yan Ran stomped on the man’s body and mercilessly kicked him.
“…” The image of the Grand Tutor, the epitome of unattainable elegance and grace! Xia Yuqing, watching a certain someone nearby clearly losing control, silently covered her face, mourning the loss of Yan Ran’s once beautiful image.
“…” The onlooking officials were already dumbfounded. Was this young man, who had a fierce expression and was fiercely kicking someone, really the refined and humorous Grand Tutor they knew in the court? For a moment, they felt like their worldviews had been shattered. So this was the true face of the Grand Tutor. Tears almost welled up in their eyes as they discovered the truth!
Yan Ran had not noticed the significant change in his image in the eyes of the crowd. At this moment, he was fully immersed in the satisfaction of venting his frustrations. Ever since Xia Yuqing and the others appeared, he had been holding in his anger. But now, with this conveniently available punching bag, he didn’t need to hold back. If he couldn’t handle that girl, could he not handle this simpleton?
After kicking him a few times, the man groaned and begged with a trembling voice, “Please… please stop, I didn’t mean it, I really didn’t mean it.”
“…” Wasn’t attempting to steal someone’s fiancé intentional? Xia Yuqing couldn’t help but sarcastically comment in her heart. However, she still felt a twinge of pity and secretly tugged at the corner of Feng Tingye’s clothes. Feng Tingye understood and signaled Shao Zitang with a glance.
Shao Zitang rolled his eyes helplessly and reined Yan Ran back. In the process, Yan Ran struggled vigorously, clearly not having satisfied his desire for a good fight.
“Let go of me! Let go of me!”
“Enough, if we continue, he might end up dead. Stop moving. Today is your joyous day. Do you still want to shed blood?” Shao Zitang’s words always hit the nail on the head. Yan Ran’s struggles indeed weakened a lot after he said that. Yan Ran snorted coldly and turned his head away.
Taking the opportunity, Xia Yuqing walked up to the man, reached out, and poked his shoulder. “Hey, did you really have your eye on the Grand Tutor?”
The man, at least protecting his face, which still had some resemblance to a face, blinked his eyes in confusion. “I… I didn’t have my eye on the Grand Tutor, ah.”
Xia Yuqing was stunned. “If you didn’t have your eye on him, why would you snatch him? Are you picking a fight?”
The man widened his eyes, feeling somewhat embarrassed. “I… I came for my sister.”
“Your sister?” Xia Yuqing looked at the man with confusion, then turned to look at Yan Ran, who also wore a puzzled expression. She asked, “What does your sister have to do with all this?”
“Well, my elder sister… she used to be a courtesan in the Yingchun Courtyard. She happened to encounter Lord Shangshu, who pitied her and redeemed her from the brothel. I wonder if Lord Shangshu still remembers my sister? Her name is Cuihua!”
“Ahaha…” Xia Yuqing couldn’t help but burst into laughter, covering her mouth as she chuckled. This kind of “Your Majesty, do you still remember Xia Yuhe by the Great Ming Lake?” No, it was more like this “Young Master, do you still remember Cuihua from the Yingchun Courtyard?” What kind of melodramatic romance was this? And the girl’s name was quite amusing, Cuihua! She couldn’t take it anymore; it was just too hilarious!
After hearing the man’s words, Yan Ran also furrowed his brows, pondering for a moment before vaguely recalling that there might be such a thing. Back then, when he was in a bad mood and went to the Yingchun Courtyard to drink flower wine, it happened to be this Cuihua girl who received him. At that time, he had heard about Cuihua’s deceased parents and felt a sense of empathy, so he kindly redeemed her and gave her some money to go home and live a good life. Who would have thought…
“I remember. But back then, I helped your sister escape a difficult situation. Are you and your sister repaying that favor like this?” If he had known he would cause such a big trouble, he shouldn’t have meddled in other people’s affairs in the first place! Yan Ran was regretting his impulsive actions.
“Oh… no, no, no! My sister and I are truly grateful for Lord Shangshu’s help. But you see, my sister said that whoever redeemed her from the Yingchun Courtyard, she would marry him. I heard that Lord Shangshu will get married these days, and my sister has been restless these days, so…”
“…” Just because of your sister’s uncertain love affair, you came with a kitchen knife to snatch the groom? These youngsters nowadays are full of youthful vigor!
“What is going on here? I redeemed her out of pity, but I had no idea about this!” The Grand Tutor was about to take action again, but Xia Yuqing quickly stepped forward and intervened, smiling faintly. “Grand Tutor, it’s all a misunderstanding. This young man looks quite strong but is still young and ignorant. Let’s not argue with him. It’s your joyous day today, and we can have him escorted away. Tomorrow, we can arrange for his sister to come and take him back.”
“Hmph.” Yan Ran snorted coldly, then turned his head, no longer bothering with the matter.
Xia Yuqing breathed a sigh of relief when she saw this and crouched down in front of the man, asking, “One more question, isn’t it customary to snatch the bride during the day? Why did you choose to do it in the middle of the night?”
The man was taken aback by her question, and then he seemed to realize something. His face turned slightly red, tinged with embarrassment, as he scratched his head and said, “I overslept, didn’t I?”
“…” Are all the rustic heroes nowadays this clueless?
In the end, the silly man was finally taken away by the servants in the Grand Tutor’s residence. However, the farce of snatching the bride did not end there.
Finally resolving the unexpected situation, Yan Ran turned around and saw Xia Yuqing staring at him with a smile that seemed both genuine and fake. He felt a tremor in his heart and chuckled, “What’s wrong?”
Xia Yuqing pretended to laugh lightly, “Nothing, I just didn’t expect that the esteemed Grand Tutor would have such a colorful past before marrying our little Yuan. So many romantic debts!”
“…” Girl, when that man was here, you were even pleading for him. Now that he’s been taken away, why is it suddenly my fault? Your change of attitude is too quick, isn’t it?!
“Well… I really have no idea about that thing he mentioned, about someone redeeming his sister and marrying her. You can’t blame me for that!”
“Oh, I see.” Xia Yuqing nodded, stroking her chin. “Indeed, it shouldn’t be blamed on you.”
“Yes, exactly.” Yan Ran was about to wipe off the cold sweat that had formed on his forehead when he suddenly heard Xia Yuqing’s playful remark.
“But randomly strolling into brothels, Grand Tutor, you can’t deny that, right?”
Yan Ran’s smile froze on his face. He pretended to be calm and said, “Those were foolish and reckless actions of my youth. I swear, after marrying Yuan Er, I will never do it again.”
“Words alone aren’t enough. You say it’s in the past, but Xiao Yuan might not see it that way.” Xia Yuqing turned to make a show of going into the bridal chamber to complain to the bride. This frightened Yan Ran, who quickly reached out and grabbed her, pleading, “Ancestor, my dear ancestor, today is my big day. Can you please give me face and not cause trouble?”
“Can this be considered causing trouble? This matter concerns the lifelong happiness of our Xiao Yuan. We can’t be careless. I should tell her about this and let her decide for herself.”
Xia Yuqing pretended to walk away again, but Yan Ran quickly pulled her back, wearing a pained expression. “Girl, I’m begging you, please don’t tell Yuan Er about this. I’ll agree to whatever you want.”
“Really?” Xia Yuqing immediately stopped and her eyes lit up as she asked.
“…” Why does he feel like he’s fallen into a pit?
“Well, I guess it’s not impossible to keep it a secret, unless…”
“Today is your big day, how can we not have a drink at a time like this?” Xia Yuqing grinned and waved her hand towards the group of men behind her. “Come on, let’s toast the groom properly.”
“…” Yan Ran looked at the men approaching him with wine flasks and suddenly felt a sense of impending doom. These people clearly wanted to get him drunk and unable to enter the bridal chamber! Please spare him!
In the deep night, with the full moon high in the sky, the wedding banquet ahead slowly came to an end. Fortunately, Feng Tingye and the others seemed to have a bit of conscience. They forcefully poured several flasks of wine for Yan Ran, making him dizzy but still able to stand. After that, they didn’t come to disturb the bridal chamber. However, this was just Yan Ran’s own assumption.
Stumbling, Yan Ran opened the door to the new room and walked in with the help of his servant. He entered the room alone.
As the door closed, Yan Ran let out a slow breath. Although his steps were unsteady, his eyes were much clearer.
“Hmph, I knew it. How could the esteemed Grand Tutor be so easily intoxicated by a few flasks of wine? It’s obvious that he’s pretending to be drunk. So cunning.” Xia Yuqing, who he believed had returned home by now, was currently in a position where she was being held by Feng Tingye, watching a certain someone below with self-satisfaction, and whispered to herself.
“Right, right, you’re the smartest.” Feng Tingye helplessly touched his messy hair. This was the first time he had ever spied on someone’s bridal chamber from the rafters. This girl always liked to do unexpected things that challenged people’s heart endurance, and unfortunately, he had become addicted to helping her.
“But seriously, why did you guys, Little Shangshu, Senior Brother, and Second Senior Brother, also come here?” Xia Yuqing frowned and looked at the few people who were also perched on the rafters not far away, feeling speechless.
Su Wuduan lightly coughed and glanced at Cui Er not far away. He awkwardly chuckled and said, “I just wanted to observe in advance and prepare for the future, you know?”
As he spoke, he quickly nudged Yun Zhongyue, urging him to say something too.
Yun Zhongyue jolted and hurriedly echoed, “Yes, yes, observe in advance and prepare for the future!”
“…” Observing a live erotic scene to prepare for the future? Senior Brother, Second Senior Brother, what happened to your principles? Did you use them all up like side dishes with rice?!
Xia Yuqing took a deep breath and felt extremely fortunate that she had foreseen this and sent Lu Rui back with the two children earlier. Otherwise, if they followed this group of people with no principles to watch this inappropriate scene, how could her two children maintain their innocence in the future?!
With an expression of speechlessness, Xia Yuqing turned her gaze to Shao Zitang. “Little Shangshu, you… are you the same as them?”
Shao Zitang coughed lightly, and a fleeting embarrassment appeared on his face. “Of course not. I just thought that being with you guys would lead to interesting things happening.”
“…” Little Shangshu, is it really okay for you to watch the esteemed Grand Tutor’s miserable situation with such an attitude of enjoying the show? What happened to the vow of brotherhood? Why do I always see you occasionally stabbing your brothers in the back?
While Xia Yuqing was complaining, she suddenly heard Feng Tingye whisper, “Shh, someone is coming.”
Xia Yuqing immediately put the others out of her mind and focused her attention on the commotion below.
Yan Ran stood in place, swaying his dazed head. Although he had a decent alcohol tolerance, a few glasses of strong liquor had started to take a toll on him.
After calming his overheated head a little, Yan Ran couldn’t help but curl his lips.
With a touch of bitterness, is there a groom in this world more miserable than him? Getting married was like going to war, exhausting him to the point of nearly losing half his life.
“Umm… Yuan Er…” Yan Ran stumbled towards the side of the bed, tripping over the bed’s footboard and almost falling to the ground. Fortunately, Li Yuan heard the movement and gave him a helping hand.
The red veil on Li Yuan’s head slipped off when Yan Ran tugged, and as she supported him, she caught a whiff of a strong alcoholic scent. She furrowed her brows and asked, “Why did you drink so much?”
“It’s those b*stards who forced me to drink. Hmph, they’re just jealous. Jealous that the Grand Tutor can marry such a beauty. The Grand Tutor knows!” Yan Ran tilted his head back with an arrogant expression and looked up at his wife.
Li Yuan was wearing a bright red wedding gown today, and the beads on her phoenix crown cascaded down her temples. The translucent beads accentuated her already fair side profile, making her even more radiant.
Yan Ran, seeing his wife looking more beautiful than ever, felt a surge of satisfaction and intoxication. Driven by his slight drunkenness, he kissed her without a second thought.
Although Li Yuan was startled, she realized that after tonight, they would be truly husband and wife, so she didn’t resist.
“They kissed! They kissed! They kissed!” Xia Yuqing shouted excitedly as if she had taken chicken blood.
“Shh…” Feng Tingye timely covered her mouth.
After the kiss, Li Yuan’s face was as red as her wedding gown. Seeing this, Yan Ran found it even harder to control his emotions. He cautiously asked, “Yuan Er, is it alright?”
If Yan Ran hadn’t asked, Li Yuan’s face would have remained just slightly red. But as soon as he asked, her face turned even redder, her eyes lowered, and she shyly nodded.
Yan Ran was overjoyed. He hurriedly pressed her down onto the bed, eagerly reaching for the sash of Li Yuan’s red wedding gown.
“What the h*ll, where is the esteemed Grand Tutor’s hand going? Mmm…” Xia Yuqing couldn’t help but burst out with a curse. Fortunately, she was quickly silenced by Feng Tingye, who covered her mouth. She could only use her fingernails to scratch the rafters incessantly to vent her current state of madness.
“Hmm? What was that sound?” Li Yuan heard the commotion and paused, asking with confusion.
“!” Xia Yuqing was startled and quickly withdrew her mischievous hands.
“Hmm?” Yan Ran listened for a moment but didn’t hear anything. He furrowed his brow and said, “It’s probably just a rat gnawing.”
“…” You’re the one gnawing! Your whole family is gnawing! The little white rabbit, mistaken for a gnawing rat, became furious!
“A rat? You have rats in your house?” Li Yuan was taken aback and asked in surprise.
“Who doesn’t have a few rats in their house? Forget about that, let’s continue,” Yan Ran impatiently replied, immediately pouncing on her to continue their endeavors.
After a while, Li Yuan couldn’t help but push the person who was causing a commotion on top of her. She whispered, “There really is a strange sound. Listen again.”
“…” Everyone on the rafters turned their gaze to Xia Yuqing.
This time, Xia Yuqing was truly innocent. She raised her empty paws, indicating that she hadn’t done anything mischievous.
Wait, there really seems to be a sound, and it’s coming from…
The group exchanged glances and then all shifted their gaze to the beam beneath their feet. “…”
Yan Ran listened carefully and indeed heard some strange sounds. He looked up at the ceiling and then watched helplessly as a huge beam fell with a loud crash.
With a thunderous noise that shook the silent night sky, the newlywed chamber in the Grand Tutor’s residence was filled with smoke and flying debris.
After a while, when the smoke cleared a bit, the few people who had climbed up from the beams and the two people on the bed, who were still frozen in their original positions, stared at each other.