Chapter 583 - To Perform One's Duty

However, for the sake of her master, she suppressed the fear in her heart and quietly approached Chief Steward Su. She quickly stammered out her purpose for coming to him. Wutong originally believed that it would take more pleading for her to convince him, but Chief Steward Su agreed immediately to her request after she finished speaking.

There was actually a mini version of Su Ran in his heart. The mini version of him had his hands on his hips while smirking evilly, ‘Blocking Royal Prince Yang is something I’d love to do. It makes me happy and delighted to do so!’

“Rest assured, Miss Wutong.” The smile on Su Ran’s handsome face softened as he said, “I will take care of your master and prevent Royal Prince Yang from approaching her.”

Chief Steward Su smiled very gently at her, but Wutong could see through his facade. He was like a restless demon that was grinning evilly at her. Although his handsome face looked elegant and refined, his smile made people shiver on the spot...Wutong’s heart trembled in fear. She was more terrified of him right now than the time when Royal Prince Yang went crazy.

Along their journey, Su Ran guarded Xiaocao ‘responsibly and diligently’. He and Zhu Junyang stood on either side of the young girl to protect her, making sure that they were never more than five steps away from her. Su Ran had gone beyond the borders before on his missions, so he had a good understanding of the local conditions, customs, and folklore. Su Ran made many witty comments along the journey, so Yu Xiaocao’s attention was always on him. Whenever he saw Royal Prince Yang’s jealous gaze directed at him, Su Ran felt as if he had drunk a freezing cold beverage in the hottest periods of summer. It was an extremely refreshing feeling.

Zhu Junyang had long wanted to pull the obnoxious Chief Steward Su to the side and ‘learn from each other’. Even though he may not be as skilled as his opponent, he still wanted to spar with him and vent out his frustrations. Chief Steward Su was definitely doing this on purpose!! Every time he wanted to introduce the scenery, customs, or even an interesting story to his little lass, that guy would always intercept his conversation.

Zhu Junyang never realized that Chief Steward Su was such an eloquent speaker until now. Unlike other damned palace eunuchs who had ear-piercing voices, Su Ran had a gentle voice. His voice was as gentle and pleasant to the ear as a spring breeze. Zhu Junyang knew that, in addition to being attracted to a handsome appearance, the little lass also liked people who had a beautiful and pleasant voice. Normally, his little lass would fall into a trance due to his deep and graceful voice. He was quite happy about that.

However, it was a completely different matter when she fell into a trance from other people’s voices. Zhu Junyang’s heart was stinging painfully; it was like his heart had been scratched by the sharp claws of a dozen vicious cats. The most important point was that Su Ran’s storytelling ability far surpassed his. The back of the little lass’s head was facing him as she listened with interest to Chief Steward Su’s legend about “Jin A’Lin”.

“Cao’er, I also know this story. I can tell it to you…” Zhu Junyang continued to persist as he tried to draw the little lass’s attention back to himself. He had been given the cold shoulder the entire time.

Yu Xiaocao didn’t even turn her head around and said, “The stories you tell are dry and uninteresting! Sir Su’s story is fascinating and he’s a great storyteller. Only a fool would listen to your stories! When you return, you should properly read more books and study hard. Be obedient~”

Zhu Junyang deflated once again. By now, he was extremely depressed, but he had no other strategy left to try. Suddenly, an idea hit him, and he interrupted their ‘storytelling session’ and said, “Cao’er, didn’t you want to see my skills? I didn’t have an opponent that could match me before, so I couldn’t show you. But now, we have Chief Steward Su here. Why don’t I spar with him and show you who the real expert is?”

He originally thought that the little lass’s eyes would brighten and readily agree to his proposal, but she didn’t react as he expected. Xiaocao looked back and forth between Chief Steward Su and Su Ran. Then, with a frown on her face, she slowly shook her head and said, “I think it’s better if you don’t! I don’t want to see the two of you with a bloody nose and a swollen face walking around me after the fight. I like this pleasing and delightful view right now!”

Su Ran smothered the chuckle that almost escaped from him. He looked up at Zhu Junyang and gave him a provocative glance: ‘Luckily, you managed to escape a calamity. If you challenge my patience again, then I will make sure to beat up your face until it looks like an ugly pig and humiliate you in front of the little girl.’

Zhu Junyang’s temper almost exploded by the provocative glance that Su Ran gave him. However, his sanity was soon restored when his gaze met the little lass’s clean and pure gaze. Had his opponent been anyone else, then he was sure to beat them until they fell onto the ground without being injured himself. However, in front of Chief Steward Su, he only had 20% chance of winning in his violent state. If he fought Su Ran right now, he would only be abused and beaten. Alas! He couldn’t beat him in either material arts or literature. Did he really have nothing that could compete against Chief Steward Su?

On a certain evening, while they were spending the night in a grove, Zhu Junyang set up a tent and a thick sheepskin mattress for his little lass with the help from his imperial bodyguard, Hou Xiaoliang. After that, he tugged the little lass around the temporary ‘hotel’ he built for her. Then, he secretly asked her, “Do you have any powerful sleeping drugs? I need it urgently!”

Yu Xiaocao was quick-witted and immediately frowned at his request. She looked at him disapprovingly and said in a reproaching tone, “Don’t tell me you’re planning on using the drugs on Sir Su? I’ve always thought you were an upright and honorable man. I didn’t expect you to actually use such underhanded means! I’m thoroughly disappointed in you! Sir Su is a humorous, charming, and easy-going person. Why must you always cause trouble for him?”

“That’s right! He’s humorous, charming, and easy-going! In contrast, I’m dumb, boring, weird, and wretched! Why don’t you ask yourself why I always cause trouble for him? If you treated me better and paid more attention to me than him, then why would I trouble myself to cause him trouble?!” Zhu Junyang's lowered voice was brimming with rage and grievances. 

Yu Xiaocao found the situation to be quite funny, but she still felt sorry for him. She cupped Zhu Junyang’s beautiful face that was brimming with anger with her hands. She sighed softly and said, “Why are you so insecure? Think about it, you are Royal Prince Yang, a proud son of heaven, with a royal background and high status. You are also highly valued by the emperor! You are tall in stature with an appearance that can even rival the celestials in heaven! In contrast, I am just a small girl from a farming village. I just know some money-making methods. My appearance is not extraordinarily beautiful, and I have an odd character and a weird temperament...in other people’s eyes, I’m the one who climbed up the social ladder. I should be the one clinging onto you! So, how did you become the one who started becoming worried about losing me?”

“That’s because...I care about you. I care more about you than you care about me! You’re a little lass with no conscience!” Zhu Junyang gnashed his teeth as he said, “I have been waiting for you for years, but have you ever promised me anything? Have you ever given me a precise answer to my feelings? You always act so ambiguous around me. Tell me, are you just treating me like a dog that you can play around with any time?”

“That’s because you’re stupid!” Since there was no one else nearby, Yu Xiaocao was unrestrained with her words, “Do I act like a loose girl in your eyes? If I didn’t acknowledge your feelings for me, would I have let you touch my hand from time to time? Would I have let you hug me and kiss me when other people aren’t looking? If you dare to say no, then this young lady here will clear your scores and give you all zeros during my observation period! I will set up a household headed by a female in the future and live alone for the rest of my life!!”

When he heard the anger in Xiaocao’s words, Zhu Junyang immediately softened his approach. He smiled and carefully said, “Fine! It’s all my fault for being too stupid. I failed to interpret your actions, so I should apologize to you. Please don’t be angry! You know that I’m relatively slow in this respect. If you had told me this earlier, then my mind would've been put to ease and I wouldn’t have carelessly become jealous. Furthermore, you were acting very friendly towards Chief Steward Su compared to me before. As a man, it’s natural for me to feel uneasy and it’s impossible for me to control it.”

“I called you stupid as a joke, but it turns out that you really are stupid! Don’t you know that the closer two people are, the more casual their interactions become? For example, I act cute and flatter the emperor emeritus, the emperor, and the empress from time to time. They are our superiors, so we need to coax and amuse them to appease them! Sir Su is a special correspondent sent by our superiors to accompany us on the mission. Should I follow your example and give him the cold shoulder too? When I first met Sir Su, I felt that we got along quite well. The way I treat him is no different from the way I treat my elders and nothing more!”

Zhu Junyang muttered softly, “Chief Steward Su is only a few years older than me. He’s at most in his early thirties, and he has a youthful appearance. How would I have known that you treat him like an elder?”

However, he recalled that Xiaocao was only eleven to twelve years old when she first met Chief Steward Su, who was twenty-seven to twenty-eight years old. In the past, wasn’t it common for people at the eunuch’s age in rural villages to have children around Xiaocao’s age? His face blushed with shame at those thoughts.

“Okay! Now that we’ve cleared things up, you won’t act uncourteous towards Sir Su again in the future, right?” Yu Xiaocao squeezed his flawless cheek. Oh, his cheeks felt nice to touch!

This bold little lass! Except for the time when he was still an infant, who would've ever dared to squeeze his face like this? Her soft and supple small hands cupped his cheeks, warming them up. The little girl’s almond-shaped eyes sparkled when she pinched his cheeks. In addition to their ambiguous position, the two people were alone in the tent——causing Zhu Junyang’s eyes to darken.

“If you kiss me, I will listen to everything you say in the future!” Zhu Junyang puckered his lips at Xiaocao. His puckered lips looked like a chicken’s butt.

“I don’t want to! I have just deducted ten points from your observation period record book. I have extended the observation period, so all intimate actions will be prohibited in the future! That includes holding hands!” Yu Xiaocao pushed away his handsome face that was inching towards her face.

“Don’t do that! I have already reflected on my actions and corrected it in time. The ancient ones said: If you realize your mistakes, then you can correct them. There is nothing better than acknowledging and changing after realizing your mistakes! Give me a chance to change!” There was a small hand that covered his face and pushed him back. But he continued to push forward, and as a result, his handsome facial features were squished together into a deformed appearance. It was ugly to the extreme!

“Young Lady Yun said: You should be punished if you make a mistake. You can’t haggle over your punishment! Step aside! Do you think you can do whatever you please because Wutong is not here?” Yu Xiaocao was strict.

Zhu Junyang blinked his charming phoenix eyes at her incessantly and even looked at her flirtatiously. He looked at her affectionately and said, “Let’s take advantage of her absence and kiss me. Just once would be enough for me!” 

Yu Xiaocao acted like she was not someone that could be seduced by beauty and said, “We absolutely cannot do that! Who are you to me? How can I allow you to kiss and do as you please with me?”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Myst.2's Thoughts

Translator: Vi