Ninth Imperial Glorious Phoenix Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Agarwood Fragrance

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Mingzhu hastily threw on her outer garment and took a few steps forward before remembering to ask Yuwen Chu for her shoes, “Please return my shoes, Your Highness.” 

Yuwen Chu glanced at her indifferently and casually threw the satin shoes off the railing. 

Mingzhu rushed over in one stride but failed to catch them. She only managed to see the pearls on the toe reflecting a cold and sharp light before they quickly disappeared into the misty morning fog below the cliff. A surge of anger rose in her chest, but she managed to suppress it reluctantly. Her tone couldn’t help but be unfriendly, “Why did Your Highness throw away my shoes?” It was several hundred steps from here to her residence. How could she walk back with one foot bare? It was evident that this person was even more malicious than she had thought.

Yuwen Chu remained calm and composed: “Your disrespect toward me deserves a minor punishment.” With that said, he ignored her and lightly clapped his hands. Soon, several guards emerged, carrying various items to extinguish the fire. They also advised Yuwen Chu: “Your Highness, with your precious royal body, you should not take risks. It’s better to leave first.”

Mingzhu didn’t have a habit of exposing her bare feet in front of unfamiliar men. She quickly hid her bare feet under her skirt. Fortunately, those people didn’t glance in her direction. They passed by Mingzhu and Su Lan as if they were invisible. Su Lan came over to support her and whispered, “Let’s go back first.”

Mingzhu looked down at her bare feet, and Su Lan shook the damaged cloak to cover them. She whispered, “If the young lady doesn’t mind, you can wear mine for now.”

Mingzhu was no longer the carefree young lady from the aristocratic family she used to be. She had learned to be considerate, so she asked, “If you give it to me, what will you do then?”

Su Lan smiled and said, “This servant wears socks. These socks are thick enough, unlike the young lady’s bare feet. Besides, with your noble status, you shouldn’t let these smelly men see them casually.”

“Then let’s find a safe place to wait for someone from home,” Mingzhu suggested. She put on Su Lan’s shoes. After taking a few steps, she remembered the arrogant Ying Wang behind her and couldn’t help but turn around to glare at him.

Coincidentally, Yuwen Chu happened to look up and saw her glare. He calmly said, “Miss Fu, please stay. The Lingkong winding walkway has been built for over a hundred years and is a good place for stargazing and moon viewing. Even the Imperial Observatory comes here to observe the stars. When people talk about the Jade Emperor Pavilion, they will think of the Lingkong winding walkway. Now, you’ve casually burned it down. Do you have anything to say about that?”

Seeing his unfriendly attitude toward Mingzhu, the guards who had previously treated Mingzhu and Su Lan as invisible suddenly turned their heads to look at Mingzhu, with disdain and coldness in their eyes.

Mingzhu was no stranger to such disdainful and cold looks. She had seen enough of them in her previous life, and she wasn’t afraid then, nor was she afraid now. She immediately grabbed Su Lan, who wanted to go out and explain, and said calmly, “It was not intentional. I will compensate for the damage.”

Yuwen Chu couldn’t help but show a hint of surprise. He had been hiding in the shadow at the end of the winding walkway, observing the whole incident from Mingzhu standing there absent-mindedly to her prank, then to her dancing and talking about breaking off the engagement, and finally to Su Lan inadvertently causing the fire. He had thought that if he pushed everything onto Mingzhu, this spoiled person would be even more angry, but he didn’t expect her to admit it like this.

“It was really unintentional. Please extinguish the fire first. As for the damaged parts, I will compensate accordingly.” Mingzhu saw everyone staring at her and reiterated firmly. Even though she had been ignorant in the past, she still understood the principle of compensation for damage. She had never taken advantage of anyone intentionally, but she did have some pride.

Yuwen Chu remained silent, just looking at Mingzhu thoughtfully.

Su Lan was afraid of causing further trouble, and quickly said, “It wasn’t our young lady’s fault. It was an accident caused by this servant…”

The one who Ying Wang was troubling was her, or perhaps it should be said that it was the Fu family behind her, not Su Lan. Mingzhu stopped Su Lan and raised her voice, “You talk too much! You are mine, and what you do is what I do.” Seeing Su Lan wanted to speak again, she impatiently glared at her and said harshly, “Do you want to sell yourself to compensate?”

Su Lan shrank her neck and didn’t say anything, but she was not ungrateful in her heart.

Yuwen Chu said lightly, “That’s fine. Are we supposed to put out this fire for you for free?”

How could there be such an unyielding person? Is he still a man? Mingzhu smiled sarcastically and squeezed out a harsh word from between her teeth, “Thank you, everyone. I’ll treat you to drinks to make up for it.”

Yuwen Chu continued, “Do you think my people in the Ying Wang Mansion have never seen alcohol? I wonder what kind of alcohol can make my personal guards do such trivial things?”

Mingzhu couldn’t help but break her composure and said viciously, “What do you want then?”

Yuwen Chu glanced at Zhu Changsheng, the Chief steward of Ying Wang’s mansion, who was standing beside him. Zhu Changsheng immediately bowed to Mingzhu and said with a cheerful smile, “Miss, don’t worry. Tomorrow, I will personally deliver today’s expenses to you.”

All this talk boils down to wanting to extort money. Mingzhu wanted to give Yuwen Chu a disdainful glance, but he didn’t even look at her. He strode arrogantly past her, leaving behind a faint scent of agarwood fragrance. His arrogance made her feel like she was nothing more than a worthless weed by the roadside.

Mingzhu patted her chest a few times to calm down her anger. It’s okay. She had seen worse people and things than this. She could endure it then, and she could endure it now. But then she heard Yuwen Chu say one more thing: “In addition to all the expenses, double the punishment will be imposed to appease the master of the Jade Emperor Pavilion.”

Mingzhu couldn’t control her anger anymore. At that time, she had to endure it, but why should she endure it now? Why? Her father’s reputation as a corrupt official was already established, and her unruly behavior was even more well-known. Why should she live such a cowardly life? Why? She bent down without thinking, picked up another satin shoe, and fiercely smashed it toward the back of Yuwen Chu’s head.

Yuwen Chu didn’t even turn his head. Someone had already snatched the shoe and flew it away. Then he stared angrily at Mingzhu. Mingzhu’s sneak attack failed, and she was unwilling. She pointed her slender finger at the simple and honest guard and provoked him, “You owe me a shoe! That shoe was touched by your Wangye, enough for an average family to live on for a year! It was ruined by you. What do you have to say? Hurry up and compensate me!”

The guard had never seen such an unreasonable person before. He was so angry that his face turned red and his neck thickened. “Are you still reasonable? It was clearly you who threw the shoe and attacked our lord. I…”

Mingzhu sneered and interrupted him, “I didn’t know. Will throwing my own shoe cause trouble? Still an attack? Have you ever heard of using an embroidered shoe to attack someone? What grudge do I have with him to attack him with an embroidered shoe?”

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