How did he explain this? He had a daring speculation: his master and Miss Yu came from the same mysterious place, and the people there knew the matters of the world like the back of their hands. They were like the gods in the sky, overlooking the Great Ming Dynasty from their point of view.
At this moment, Su Ran was glad that he decided to give up his wrong way of life and turn to follow his current master. His master had never disdained him for being disabled, and he never suspected him because of his previous identity. Instead, his master entrusted to him the grave responsibilities of managing the hidden guards and the firearms camp.
He could clearly sense the respect to him and appreciation of his features from Miss Yu, who possibly originated from the same place as his master. The people from his master’s and Miss Yu’s homeland were probably equally respected and extremely cultured. He really wanted to have a look at just what kind of a place it was, to be able to produce such talented people like his master and Miss Yu.
However, he was puzzled by the way his master treated Miss Yu. If the two of them were exceptionally talented and came from the same mysterious space, shouldn’t his master be afraid of Miss Yu? As the saying went, ‘one mountain cannot contain two tigers’. Was it because Miss Yu was not a threat to his master, so that was why he entrusted her with important responsibilities?
It had to be said, Chief Steward Su Ran had really unwittingly hit upon the truth. If Yu Xiaocao was a capable young man who had the means, Zhu Junfan might have considered getting rid of this threat as soon as possible. However, he saw through Yu Xiaocao completely. She was just a ‘girl without the three conditions’; she didn’t have the scheming, means nor the family background. She only excelled in agriculture and earned money for fun and didn’t have any great ambitions. Why should he be wary of her? He wasn’t so narrow-minded!
Moreover, as a transmigrator, he was also very lonely and needed someone who ‘spoke the same language’ as he did. When he was bored, he could have a chat with her, or even scare her for entertainment to relieve stress and relax (Yu Xiaocao: Wah, so angry!!).
At this moment, Zhu Junfan had started a new debate about chocolate with Yu Xiaocao. One said, chocolate had yet to be discovered. As a chocolate enthusiast, Zhu Junfan had spent time studying the history of chocolate before in his previous life. Chocolate first appeared in history at the start of the 16th century, but it was currently only the 14th century, so there was still a difference of nearly two centuries!
The other said, cocoa beans were among the treasures that Columbus had brought back when he had discovered the New World. That meant that before the 15th century, North America had already begun planting cocoa trees. It was currently the middle of the 14th century, who could confirm that North America didn’t have any cocoa trees now, considering that there was only less than a century’s difference in time? Once there was a cocoa plantation, then the precursor of chocolate, liquified cocoa drink would definitely already have been discovered.
The both of them argued their own points until their faces were flushed red and their voices grew increasingly louder. Su Ran had never seen the emperor so relaxed and acting so childish before. As expected, any sort of pretense was unnecessary in front of the person who understood you the most. That was why the emperor was able to banter with her and even sulk about it like a normal person.
Miss Yu also had quite the guts, to dare slam the table in front of the emperor and even shout until she got spit on the emperor’s face. The two of them argued over an insignificant topic until they were flushed red—it really was enough!
“Sir Su, come and reason! Isn’t your master being too arbitrary?!” Yu Xiaocao started to look for allies and dragged Su Ran, who had been watching their drama while leisurely enjoying his iced desserts at the side, into the fire.
Zhu Junfan also moved his gaze onto Su Ran, harrumphing, "Chief Steward Su, what about you? Isn’t this lass completely basing her assumptions on speculations that aren’t concrete?”
Su Ran raised his brow. ‘This lass is so audacious, she actually dares to ‘tch’ at the emperor. It’s really disrespectful ah!’
“Don’t think that you’re invincible just because you’ve studied a few more years and got into a third-rate university! You majored in shipbuilding, not history. Don’t always insist that you’re right, that’s just you being obdurate!” Vexed by all of this, Yu Xiaocao started throwing personal insults!
Zhu Junfan chuckled and said unabashedly, “That’s right, at least I’ve gotten into university. Someone hasn’t even graduated from junior high school and doesn’t even know how to write the word ‘history’, yet still dares to boast shamelessly that their guess is right!”
“So what if you’ve attended university? You can neither toil with your limbs nor tell the five types of grain apart. You can’t even discern between spring onion and garlic sprout, so how do you want to revitalize agriculture? In the end, don’t you still need to depend on me, a person who hadn’t even graduated from junior high school?” Yu Xiaocao placed her hands on her hips in an arrogant manner.
Zhu Junfan, who was born, grew up and studied in the city in his previous life, indeed did not know how to differentiate between spring onions, garlic sprouts and wheatgrass. He swallowed hard and slammed the table heavily, saying, “Those who toil with their minds lead those who toil with their limbs! Even if you’re really capable in agriculture, aren’t you still working for me, a person who can’t tell wheatgrass and garlic sprouts apart?”
"This is all caused by this horrible feudalist society!" Yu Xiaocao was not willing to back down one iota.
Zhu Junfan was gleeful over the fact that he gained the upper hand, "Regardless of whether it's a feudalist society or a socialist society, capable people have the advantage! For example, think of the gold-collar, silver-collar workers and those CEOs, aren't they all highly educated, have a high IQ and a high income? Don't the laborers still need to work under their lead?"
Yu Xiaocao was at a loss for words, yet she was not to be outdone, “Don’t drag the topic so far! We’ll just keep the topic on cocoa beans. You say there are none, but I say there are! The voyage fleet had already ventured towards the americas for half a year, we’ll know who’s right when they return! Let’s make a bet, if I lose, I’ll supply you with a year’s worth of chocolate for free. What about you, what if you lose?”
“Me, lose? Me, a person well-versed in history, will lose?” Zhu Junfan racked his brain for something that could be used for the wager.
Su Ran facepalmed at the side, ‘Oh, my master! You got sucked into the little lass’s trap! Just think, if Miss Yu lost, the voyage fleet wouldn’t even be able to bring back that bean, and if she doesn’t have that bean, how would she make chocolate? If she can’t make chocolate, then how would she be able to give you a year’s worth of supply?’ He did not expect that Miss Yu, who looked to be quite simple and naive, knew how to trick others to get something for nothing.
Zhu Junfan finally thought of a wager that he thought was quite good, “How about this? If I lose, I’ll raise your feudal princess rank from fifth-ranked to third-ranked, and then I’ll even decree your marriage! What do you think?”
‘Fifth-ranked feudal princess raised to third-ranked? This is good! As for the decreed marriage, it’s completely unnecessary! I’m well-liked and I even have a loyal dog guarding by my side, I don’t need you to decree my marriage!’
“What are you pouting for? Do you think that a certain someone is already in your grasp and won’t be able to escape? Let me tell you, you shouldn’t be so confident, especially not towards men, they’re the most fickle of animals!” Zhu Junfan had the expression of an expert in romance.
Su Ran ate sundae after sundae, glancing at his master when he heard this, thinking, ‘Your Imperial Majesty, you’ve just sold yourself out and became the public enemy of all men!’
“What’s the point even if I schemed to keep a fickle man who can’t resist temptation? In this male-dominated society, men who’ve had a change of heart can bring in countless concubines to his home, or he could even directly divorce his wife and remarry. Those who are more ruthless could even kill off their wife, so they wouldn’t even need to return the dowry. They could spend their ex-wife’s money to marry another…”
Zhu Junfan pouted his lips, “Little lass, you’ve read too many inner courtyard fight novels, haven’t you? How could the original wife be divorced so easily? Even going so far as to killing off the original wife, do you think our Great Ming Dynasty’s law is a joke?”
“Law? The law back there is quite well-rounded, right? But there are still loopholes that people exploit. To divorce the wife, she needs to fulfill at least one of the seven grounds for divorce. Wouldn’t he have an excuse to divorce his wife if he simply threw a man onto her bed? As for harming people...I have a thousand ways to kill you silently without a leaving behind a trace of evidence, would you believe me?” Yu Xiaocao had a dark expression on her face.
At the side, Su Ran had to interject, “Miss Yu, please be cautious of your words!”
“I’m just giving an example; it’s not directed at Your Imperial Majesty! Not to mention, we’re only discussing the problem of the original wife’s death, you’re not a female and there’s no conflict of interest between us. As such, you don’t need to be afraid!” Yu Xiaocao flashed a large grin at Zhu Junfan.
“Then...if ever we have a conflict of interest with you, then you'll be able to kill us off silently?” Zhu Junfan deliberately misinterpreted her words and took advantage of the loophole.
Yu Xiaocao shook her head like a rattle, “Your Imperial Majesty, you live deep within the imperial palace. I, as a normal citizen, would rarely get a chance to come into contact with you. My hands can’t reach so far even if I wanted to harm you! Not to mention, you have such an expert like Su Ran who is always ‘by your side’ protecting you. So much so that not even an insect could fly within a ten-step radius of you, moreover such a big target as me?”
As she said this, a fly flew out from a corner of the room. Su Ran’s hand skimmed the water on the outside of the glasses on the table and, with a flick of his hand, the droplet hit the fly and it dropped onto the table, dead.
“Chief Steward Su, who are you siding with? Can you not cooperate with her so tacitly?” Zhu Junfan wanted to laugh but he stifled it until his face was flushed red.
Yu Xiaocao’s sentence ended just as he was done flicking the fly. Even Su Ran himself wanted to laugh. He coughed, lowering his head and continued to dig into his sundae, thinking, ‘Please continue your argument and ignore me!’
Zhu Junfan suddenly said seriously, “Yu Xiaocao, let’s go back to our previous topic. What do you think of Zhu Junyang?”
“What? You really want to act as a matchmaker?” Yu Xiaocao watched the emperor with slight amusement. She didn’t think that he would have such a nosy side.
Zhu Junfan shook his head with an expression that said he was anticipating drama, “Don’t blame me for not warning you beforehand, you have a love rival now! When Junyang’s aunt entered the imperial palace, she expressly implied to the empress that she had taken a fancy to Royal Prince Yang, and even wanted the empress to decree a marriage for her youngest daughter!”
“He attracts so many women!” Yu Xiaocao grunted angrily. The sourness in her heart could not be ignored. She couldn’t help but curse Wu Junling, ‘Have you never seen a man? You pursue relentlessly, not even caring whether or not he likes you. Now you’ve even asked for the empress to decree your marriage? With Zhu Junyang’s personality, he would dare to refuse the marriage even if it was the emperor’s decree, not to mention the empress’s!’Previous Chapter Next Chapter