Chapter 508 - Love Rival?

Zhu Junyang suddenly felt a chill in his heart. Could this be some sort of ‘bad premonition’? He glanced at his so-called ‘younger female cousin’ and met a pair of beautiful, watery eyes. Although she and Xiaocao both had a pair of watery, big eyes, Xiaocao’s eyes were always clear, bright, and full of life, which made others unable to resist smiling at her. She, on the other hand, had eyes that were like a deep pond in the morning. It was shrouded by a layer of fog and carried a sense of mysteriousness. 

He couldn’t help but concentrate all his energy to find out what his ‘younger cousin’ was thinking about at this time, but he was surprised to find that he couldn’t perceive anything. It felt like he got rebounded by something, making his forehead faintly swell with pain. 

‘So strange, I have never had this kind of feeling before.’ Although he couldn’t perceive Xiaocao’s thoughts, she was like a completely transparent person that his consciousness could freely shuttle through. However, there seemed to be something protecting his so-called ‘younger cousin’. It was resisting and guarding against his consciousness. Could it be…that she practiced some sort of martial arts? Zhu Junyang frowned and looked at Wu Junling with an inquiring gaze. 

Seeing that her older cousin was looking at her, Wu Junling revealed a pure smile and a shy expression on her face. With her head slightly bowed, she showed her long and tender neck. She knew that many men wouldn’t be able to resist her looks. Could it be that, on their first meeting after so many years, her older cousin was also deeply attracted to her? Wasn’t this want she wanted? With this thought, she slightly lifted her head and looked at the intoxicatingly handsome face. 

Seeing her younger daughter’s action, Jiang Meiyi looked at her nephew’s incomparably handsome face. Her eyes slightly flickered. Her older stepsister’s son had been granted the title of ‘royal prince’ at a young age. He was also given an important job and was a rather capable subject of the emperor. If her daughter could marry into such a family and marry her nephew with such a promising future, it would certainly be a great help to the Wu Family in the future. Thus, there was an extra hint of smile on her stern-looking face. 

“Hey! Miss Yu, your Royal Prince Yang is about to be snatched away. Aren’t you going to quickly do something?” Ning Donghuan revealed a rascally smile and looked as if he was waiting for a good show. 

Yu Xiaocao glanced at the tall man beside her, and scolded in her mind, ‘Attracting bees and butterflies.’ Then, she said in an indifferent tone, “If it’s something that can be easily taken away, then it must not belong to you. Do you think that it’s worth it to have a bloody fight over something that doesn’t belong to you?” 

In regard to their ‘flirting glances’, Yu Xiaocao felt somewhat sulky in her heart. No wonder people often said, ‘It was easy for something to happen between maternal cousins!’ Sure enough, there was truth in the famous saying ‘prevent fire, anti-theft, and guard against younger female cousins’! 

Ning Donghuan quickly nodded like he was pounding garlic, and as if he was trying to fan the fire, he said, “Miss Yu is open-minded! It’s hard to find a toad with two legs, but how can there be a shortage of talented youths with two legs in the capital? Don’t you have one…no…two right in front of you?” After he finished speaking, he looked at his second older brother, ‘Why did you poke me with your fan?’

This fool was a little too loud and attracted the attention of Wu Junling. As if a breeze had passed by a deep pond, ripples appeared in the depth of her eyes, ‘It’s true that the capital was full of handsome men and beautiful women. The two handsome men in front of her each had their own style. One was free and unrestrained, and there was a slight sense of fatal charm in his wicked smile. The other one was a graceful, fairy-like beauty, and his gentleness could warm the bottom of one’s heart. 

The noble maidens behind them were either passionate like fire, aloof like the moon, gentle like water, or playful like stars… Although she felt that she looked slightly better than them, the other parties each had their own unique charms. Could it be that…one of them had already claimed Older Cousin? No way! She must not allow something like that to happen. ‘No one can snatch something that I, Wu Junling, wants!’ 

Her gaze became distant, but her smile was still sweet and pure, “Older Cousin, aren’t you going to introduce them to us?” 

Zhu Junyang looked deeply into her eyes. It seemed like he could penetrate into her skin and see the depth of her soul. Wu Junling felt a sense of fear due to his gaze, so she became more cautious in her behavior. 

“It’s too late now. Aunt and Younger Cousin should hurry into the city. After you guys have settled down, I’ll introduce my friends to Younger Cousin. Official Yu and I need to report to the Ministry of Revenue. We still have work on hand, so I won’t send you off.” Looking away, Zhu Junyang had an indifferent expression on his face and a hint of coldness in his voice. 

Wu Junling didn’t hide her disappointment and softly said, “Work is more important. Older Cousin, please go do what you need to do.” 

Zhu Junyang watched as the Wu Family’s convoy entered the capital before he turned to look at Yu Xiaocao and said in a soft voice, “Are you going back to the Yu Residence or Fang Estate? I’ll follow you.” 

With a bit of anger, Yu Xiaocao snorted, “I’m not going anywhere! Older brothers and sisters, I’ll treat you guys to a feast at Zhenxiu Restaurant. Are you guys coming?” 

“Yes! Of course, I’m going!” Ning Donghuan cheered the most happily, “But, I know you’re just saying it casually. Without making a reservation half a month beforehand, you won’t be able to get a table in the main hall of Zhenxiu Restaurant, let alone a private room.” 

Royal Princess Minglan gave the fool a sidelong glance, and then said to Xiaocao with a smile, “We want to go, but just look at our clothes. It looks like we just crawled out of the soil. We should quickly go home to wash up. Let’s go to Zhenxiu Restaurant on another day. At that time, it will be my treat. So you guys just wait for my invitation.”

Yuan Xueyan seemed to have noticed something, so she faintly said, “Younger Sister Xiaocao, everyone’s tired today, so let’s meet again on another day. Let Royal Prince Yang send you back. Rest earlier.” 

“No need, I know the way home!! Older sisters, when the grapes are ripe, let’s meet for another outing.” Yu Xiaocao waved her hand and bid farewell to the noble misses. She didn’t even bother giving Zhu Junyang a single glance. 

Zhu Junyang vaguely felt that the lass was angry. He asked with slight confusion, “What’s wrong? Why are you suddenly angry at me? What did this prince do to offend you?” 

Ning Donghuan laughed even more happily, “Royal Prince Yang, it’s not you who offended Miss Yu. It’s your delicately pretty younger cousin who made Miss Yu unhappy!!” 

“Who? Ling’er? How did she offend you?” Zhu Junyang frowned slightly as he tried to recall whether the lass from the Wu Family said or did anything provocative. Since the little lass was angry at her, she must have done something wrong. His little lass would never take the initiative to cause trouble. 

Ning Dinghuan laughed even more loudly, “A love rival has appeared, so how can Miss Yu be happy?” 

“No one will think that you’re a mute even if you don’t talk!!” Yu Xiaocao felt that this idiot was very annoying. She really wanted to pull out his annoying tongue and kick him aside. 

“Love rival?” Zhu Junyang looked down at Xiaocao and carefully observed her every expression. He noticed that there was a look of awkwardness on her face for a moment. A part of his heart softened and became joyful, “Lass, rest assured that this prince isn’t a fickle person. Since I have settled on you, I will never change.” 

“Humph! Who’s worried? Stop thinking so highly of yourself!!” Yu Xiaocao’s expression became even more awkward. She stubbornly said, “Are Ning Donghuan’s words even believable? What love rival? Don’t forget that you don’t have a formal status yet! You should know the consequence of not passing the observation period!!” 

Zhu Junyang looked at the Ning brothers, who were enjoying the show, and glared at them fiercely. Then he continued to assure her in a gentle voice, “Don’t worry, this prince will continue to work hard to strive to be formally recognized. No matter how good other girls are, they won’t be as good as Xiaocao is in my heart!!” 

Ning Donghuan had a very interesting expression on his face, ‘I didn’t expect that the cold-faced demon would meet his nemesis. He can actually say something so cheesy. Tsk tsk, you really can’t judge a book by its cover!’ 

Ning Donglan saw that a faint look of danger appeared within Royal Prince Yang’s eyes. He was afraid that his stupid younger brother would say something to trigger the other party, so he hastily pulled Ning Donghuan away. Under the dim moonlight, only a tall and small figure were left in front of the city gates.   

“Come on, this prince will take you home! Let’s go to the General’s Estate, lest you think about unnecessary things alone at home.” There was a hint of smile on the corner of Zhu Junyang’s mouth. He really enjoyed the bit of jealousy that the lass showed. His little lass was finally beginning to understand! 

The two were silent the entire way, and only the sound of the horses’ hooves echoing through the spacious street could be heard. Yu Xiaocao finally could resist and suddenly looked up at the devilishly handsome face. She snorted and said, “If you’re interested in that younger cousin of yours, then stay away from me. Based on my woman’s intuition, she definitely likes you. If you’re also interested in her, tell me earlier. Don’t even think about having one foot on two boats and enjoying the happiness of both sides. Otherwise…humph!!” 

The smile on Zhu Junyang’s face deepened, and he said in a doting manner, “Woman’s intuition? A mighty woman who’s thirteen years old? Alright, this prince will promise you that I definitely won’t give her any chance to be alone with me and have any hopes! This prince has said that you’re my only wife in this lifetime. No one else can enter my eyes.” 

“My mother said a man who talks eloquently is the least trustworthy!” Yu Xiaocao snorted coldly and remained unconvinced. A moment later, she said, “Men are all attracted to appearances. Your younger cousin is quite pretty. Weren’t you also looking at her in a daze earlier? It’s easier to succeed when a woman pursues a man. Who knows, maybe you will be lured away by that white lotus one day! Don’t be so sure!!” 

Zhu Junyang raised both of his hands and had an aggrieved expression on his face, “I’m being wrongly accused ah. When did this prince look at her in a daze? Defamation, it’s complete defamation!!” 

Yu Xiaocao cast a sidelong glance at her, curled up her lips, and said, “You dare say that you weren’t staring at her just now? I’m not the only who saw it. Everyone saw it!! Bodyguard Dong, didn’t your master look like he wanted to dig his eyes out and stick them onto that ‘younger cousin’?” 

The innocent bystander Dong Dali had a fearful expression on his face. His eyes were opened wide as he stammered, “Miss…Miss Yu, this subordinate was standing behind my master just now, so I couldn’t see his expression. So…” 

One was his master, who he had served for many years, while the other, if there weren’t any accidents, would be his future mistress. When sandwiched between the two of them, he would be in the wrong no matter who he sided with. He was in a dilemma and could only gloss over it by giving a vague answer.  

“Forget it, I’m not asking you anymore! You’re his subordinate, so it’s natural that you will speak for him!” Yu Xiaocao glared at him, and then continued, “Anyway, I’m not blind and can see everything very clearly! Zhu Junyang, answer honestly. Did you stare at your pretty younger cousin?” 

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Translator: Myst