In fact, Wu Junling’s appearance was quite similar to Xiaocao’s, but there were also some obvious differences. Her skin was as white as snow but it wasn’t as flawless and exquisite as Xiaocao’s. They both had large doe-like eyes that seemed to be pure but Xiaocao’s eyes seemed to have more light within them and they always shone with liveliness. Occasionally, Xiaocao’s eyes would even flicker with some craftiness. They both had slim and delicate figures but his Xiaocao didn’t seem the least bit sickly or weak. In fact, she always seemed full of energy and exuberance…
Furthermore, the feelings he had towards the two people were completely different. When Xiaocao revealed a sad and hurt expression, he felt so bad that he wanted to bring the whole world in front of her to cheer her up. On the flip side, the young maiden in front of him, who was weeping pitifully in a way that made her seem beautiful, gave him, instead, a slight feeling of disgust and desire to stay away from her.
Other than Xiaocao, Zhu Junyang had never treated any other young maiden in a gentlemanly manner. Instead, he coldly stated, “All of those stories occurred when this prince was around six to seven years old, how could I remember any of this? However, Younger Cousin, your memory is quite good. You can recall things that happened to you when you were three to four as if they had just happened!”
Wu Junling’s face paled and her eyebrows slightly furrowed together. She revealed a weak and pitiful expression, “Older Cousin, when my father was dispatched to a distant territory, I became quite introverted and shy because of the language and cultural differences. Thus, my wet nurse often told me stories of what had happened when we were visiting the imperial prince’s residence. At that time, we had no worries or fears…”
“At that time, both of us were still young. Men and women should stay apart when they reach the age of seven. You are, after all, this prince’s maternal cousin. We still need to make sure to abide by these customs!” After Zhu Junyang finished this sentence, he continued to stick more verbal knives into her, “Aunt, Younger Cousin must be around seventeen, right? It’s time for her to settle down on her marriage. If you don’t have any good candidates in mind, then I have some good young generals under me who are possibilities as they are from good families. I can help you choose a suitable match!”
“Older Cousin…” Wu Junling’s face was deathly white as she tottered. In a manner that seemed to show that she was ready to let things loose, she deeply inhaled and said, “Older Cousin, why do you have to treat Ling’er in such a heartless manner? Is it because you believe my father’s official position is too low and that my status doesn’t match up to yours ah?”
Zhu Junyang frowned impatiently. He had already said it very clearly. Why was she still hanging on and insisting on ripping all pretenses between them?
“Younger Cousin, where do these words come from? Didn’t you just say earlier that you see me as your biological older brother ah? Between blood-related siblings, why do we need to talk about our statuses matching each other?” Although Zhu Junyang could not read her mind at all, he wasn’t a complete idiot. In the end, Wu Junling was still a nobly-born young maiden who had been raised in the inner courtyard her whole life. Although she may have a few tricks up her sleeve, she wasn’t an expert schemer by any means. The more he investigated, the more holes turned up in her story.
“Older Cousin!” Wu Junling had a mournful look on her face, “I don’t believe you can’t tell the way I feel about you. Why do you need to treat me this callously?”
Zhu Junyang coldly regarded her pretty face and there wasn’t even a hint of pleasure on his face as he quirked up the corner of his mouth, “There are many women in this world who have good feelings towards this prince. It’s not as if you’re the only one. If this prince decided to answer every single person, then I could spend my entire day going from beauty to beauty without doing anything else!”
Despite her desire to interrupt several times during their conversation, Jiang Meiyi had managed to keep herself silent throughout all of this as she remembered her daughter’s earlier warnings. However, she could no longer resist and rushed forward to scream at Zhu Junyang, “How could you treat your younger cousin in this way? My Ling’er has both the looks and talent, so what part of her doesn’t pair well with you? She has deep feelings towards you yet you insist on hurting her. Are you still a man ah?”
“Whether or not this prince is a man is not to be determined by the wife of only a fifth-ranked official!!” The frostiness in Zhu Junyang’s eyes became more apparent as he smiled coldly, “Official Wu’s abilities as an official can be considered alright. Do you know why he was only given a position at the Qingshui yamen ah? It’s because he has a wife who doesn’t understand how to be humble, is greedy, and believes she’s smarter than everyone else! If his inner courtyard isn’t well organized, how can he possibly govern the rest of the country?”
If it were anyone else with slightly more of a brain, they would have reflected and felt bad about their conduct. However, Jiang Meiyi wasn’t that type of person. When she heard Zhu Junyang’s criticism, her eyes turned red and her expression twisted as if she wanted to rip the person in front of her into shreds as she shrieked, “How did your mother bring you up? You even dare to say such slanderous things to your own aunt. How can one disrespect their elders?! If Imperial Prince Jing’s household stood out, then how could my husband’s career be this bad ah? You guys are the ones who are cold and aloof and don’t know how to treat one’s family properly…”
“Mother…” Wu Junling wanted to stop her mother from exploding but was thrown off by her. The despair within her heart increased as she saw the increasingly icy expression on her older cousin’s face.
“Shut your mouth! What kind of elder are you? You’re only the lowly seed of a prostitute from a brothel yet you dare to criticize this prince’s lady mother?” Zhu Junyang felt as if an evil devil inside of him was stirring awake. He did his best to tamper down on the thought of wringing Jiang Meiyi’s neck as he silently began to recite a heart sutra. Unfortunately, the heart sutra clearly had no more power over him.
It was too late! Zhu Junyang began to hyperventilate and beads of cold sweat rolled down his face. The green-blue veins on the sides of his face began to bulge with effort and both of his eyes turned a blood-red color. His face twisted into a malevolent expression and he no longer resembled an elegant and handsome young youth anymore. A ruthless and cruel air surrounded him like a cloak, as if an evil demon had just been resurrected. Wu Junling scuttled back a few steps in astonishment at his change and her legs weakened as she sat onto the ground.
Jiang Meiyi, who was the person nearest to Zhu Junyang, bore the brunt of the damage. The crazy evil aura that was bursting from the prince hit her directly and she tottered a bit before she fell over into a dead faint.
Since the Wu Family’s women were receiving the guest in the inner courtyard, Head Steward Liu and Bodyguard Dong, who were both highly skilled at martial arts, had been left in the outer courtyard and were being served refreshments. Head Steward Liu could acutely tell that something had changed in the atmosphere. He threw down the cup of tea in his hand and silently hollered that something wasn’t right. He speedily headed towards the inner courtyard. When Bodyguard Dong saw the change in Head Steward Liu’s expression, he also felt that something wasn’t right and didn’t hesitate to follow the eunuch. The head steward in charge of taking care of the guests in the outer courtyard was stunned for about three seconds when he saw them speed out. Just what had happened?
Fortunately, the Wu Family’s residence wasn’t large. Head Steward Liu only needed a few large jumps to go from the outer courtyard to the receiving room in the inner courtyard. When he saw that familiar stance of his master, Head Steward Liu rushed forward as he wanted to strike before his master completely fell into darkness. He wanted to take his master to a place where there were no people in order to avoid his master hurting others.
“Head...Head Steward Liu, what’s wrong with my older cousin?” Wu Junling saw that both Head Steward Liu and Bodyguard Dong had arrived. She timidly stood up and her colorless lips trembled for a bit before she finally inquired.
Dong Dali glared at her with an unhappy look on his face before he said, “It’s been so many years since the master last had this happen! You guys truly have skills to make the master lose control of himself…”
“Xiaodong, don’t waste your time flapping your lips at them. Quickly bring the master to Miss Yu!” Head Steward Liu had wanted to press the master’s acupuncture points to delay the time to madness but he had been pushed fiercely away by Zhu Junyang, whose eyes were completely red!
“This is bad!” Head Steward Liu could tell that his master’s reason had been completely eaten away by that heart devil. With his master’s current skills and abilities, he would only last about half an hour before he would get beaten, “Xiaodong, quickly go to the Yu Residence to bring Miss Yu over. I’m going to restrain the master for now!”
“Miss Yu?” Dong Dali hesitated. Judging by how much the master valued Miss Yu, if he accidentally harmed her while in his frenzy, the master would definitely be heartbroken when he finally woke up and probably gut him right there!
“Xiaodong, what are you waiting for? Do you want the Wu Family to perish in a river of blood ah? Quickly go!! I can’t handle him for too long!” Head Steward Liu picked up the fainted Jiang Meiyi and threw her towards Wu Junling’s direction as he hollered, “Quickly take your mother out of here. If you don’t want to die, then don’t come back!”
At this moment, Zhu Junyang felt like everything around him was full of darkness and evil. The people around him seem to flicker. Some of them were angrily raging at home, some of them wanted him to die, some of them wanted to destroy his lady mother...he had the desire to destroy everything around him. Thus, he used all of his energy to rush towards the area that he felt like held the most malicious aura…
Head Steward Liu felt his heart skip a beat and his body moved before he could think. In that moment, the area where he was before he moved now had a deep crevice in it. The nearby pillar had been completely severed in two and the roof above had started to sway alarmingly.
Wu Junling, who was currently struggling to drag her mother out of the room, had almost been scared silly when she saw what had just happened. She almost dropped her mother’s body to the ground to flee. Danger could always stimulate a person’s inner potential. The amount of strength she had to move her mother suddenly increased by a lot. Thus, by the time Zhu Junyang discovered her, she had just left the reception room.
The current room had long been destroyed beyond repair. Tables, chairs, shelves, and valuable items had been smashed until they were just rubble. Head Steward Liu was currently doing his best to dodge his master’s attacks but he had a few close encounters.
The amount of rubble inside the room increased by the second and the floor was strewn with trash, as if a horrible war had reached here. Head Steward Liu could only helplessly leave and run towards the outer room. There was more space outside and it’d be easier for him to avoid his master’s attacks. It had been a while since he was his master’s match in battle so he could only rely on running away to drag things out. He hoped desperately that Dong Dali would be able to find Miss Yu without much issue.
Fortunately, the heavens had heard his prayers. When Bodyguard Dong arrived at the Yu Residence, Yu Xiaocao had just gotten back from the frozen dessert store and hadn’t entered through the gate.
“Miss Yu, my master is waiting for you to save him!” Although Dong Dali didn't quite understand exactly why Head Steward Liu instructed him to get Miss Yu, his words weren’t an exaggeration. It truly was to save someone’s life as they were trying to save Head Steward Liu’s and the entire Wu Family’s life.
When Yu Xiaocao noticed that the normally taciturn and calm Bodyguard Dong was frazzled to the point of babbling, worry exploded in her heart. She didn’t even bother to ask him what was going on as she turned her horse around and sternly asked, “Where’s your master? Quickly take me there!!”
Dong Dali had run over like a madman earlier and had leapt across countless roofs to get here. He didn’t even bother to catch his breath as he snatched the reins from Yingchun’s hands and pulled the maid down. He flipped onto the horse and spurred the horse to a gallop in the direction of the Wu Family’s residence.
Yingchun, who was caught off guard by all of this, had almost fallen onto her bottom. If it wasn’t for Wutong supporting her, she absolutely would have fallen flat on her face! After she finally stood steady, she cursed a few times at Dong Dali’s disappearing figure. That wasn't enough to sate her anger, so she tore off her embroidered cloth shoes and hurled them forcefully at the man. Dong Dali and Xiaocao had long galloped off and they couldn’t even be seen anymore, so naturally, she wasn’t able to hit the object of her frustrations.
The young maidservant in charge of keeping an eye on the gate hurriedly rushed forward and brought her embroidered shoes back. She knelt down to put them back on the other maid. Wutong comforted Yingchun, “There must be something really important going on. Otherwise, Bodyguard Dong wouldn’t act in such a way.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sanguine’s thoughts: Uh ohhhhhh...