Thanks to TheDarkLink for helping me spot errors.
TN: Apologies, I messed up last chapter. The gates are closed up due to the procession, not transporting stuff x.x Sorry xP
King Qin was arriving.
Receiving this news, Jiang Huaizhou’s expression changed slightly. What businesses feared most was government officials. Xi’an had suddenly gotten a king, and they didn’t even know what kind of person he was. If he was greedy, they would have no way to avoid having to send him more gifts.
Madam Jiang and Xie Lanqiao also thought of this. Many people exchanged glances, but no knew anything.
Xie Lanyin often heard her mother and sister talking about the store’s accounts, so she knew a bit about the business world, however: 1. She was still young, and 2. She had absolute confidence in her uncle’s family, so she didn’t feel like this was a big deal. In fact, she wanted to go see the bustling scene so she said to her mother, full of excitement, “Mother, I want to go see King Qin’s procession. Mother once got to see Marquis Ping Xi’s victory parade. I’m already this old yet I’ve never been to such a lively event.”
Marquis Ping Xi was Empress Shen’s blood-related elder brother. He was currently Shangxi’s border general whose headquarters happened to also be stationed in Xi’an.
Madam Jiang looked at her daughter, and recalled how she also used to enjoy watching those bustling scenes. She smiled and agreed. “Alright, let’s all go have a look. However, this was your idea, so don’t come complaining to mother later about it taking too long.”
Xie Lanyin quickly promised that she wouldn’t. Her lovable voice was carried by the wind towards the neighboring courtyard.
Under an old locust tree that had just started to bud, Xiao Yuan was wearing a light colored robe and resting on a rattan chair with his eye’s closed. The light from the setting sun spilled over the walls, but didn’t shine on him. Instead, it illuminated the birdcage that was suspended on the tree. Inside was a black-naped oriole bouncing around. Disliking the rays of light that were too dazzling for it, it chirped twice in protest before lying down and hiding its head under it’s wings.
Thus the young lady’s voice disappeared, and his bird stopped chirping.
Xiao Yuan opened his eyes.
Ge Jin stood stood by his side waiting upon him. Seeing his master awaken, he began to curry favor. “Why has young master awoken? Should I tease it into singing a bit more?”
His master enjoyed napping while listening to this bird.
Xiao Yuan shook his head. His eye’s came upon a small table beside him.
Ge Jin promptly poured him a cup of pu’er tea.
Xiao Yuan leaned lazily on the rattan chair and looked down at a tiny object.
Ge Jen looked towards the wall and knew that his master had heard it. He said in a quiet voice: “Such a coincidence. We meet them again. Young master, I noticed that the young lady’s cousin’s bearings were not ordinary. Do you want me to have someone investigate them? Even if not, they’ll still be on the watch list.”
The strong dragon couldn’t repress the snake, only because the dragon didn’t gather information. Now that his master was the lord of Shangxi, they had to find out what kind of snakes lived here. Once they have a clear picture, then they could use the ones that could be used. As for the one’s that couldn’t, just kill and cook them, then replace them with one that can be used. Even if that cousin was only a normal person, it would be good to learn more about that young lady. If their master ever becomes interested, they would know where to look for her.
Xiao Yuan put down his cup and nodded.
Ge Jin left with a smile. As he walked out the door, he ran into Lu Jun and thoughtlessly asked. “Has it been arranged?”
Lu Jun didn’t pay him any attention and walked straight to their master. He whispered: “Young master, I’ve confirmed it. Young Master’s residence is right behind the castle, separated only by a road. If anything urgent happens, young master will be able to hurry over.”
Being a king was not easy. One had to be able to skillfully handle the government officials, commerce, and even border defence as well as any dealings with the foreigners.
“The procession?” Xiao Yuan got up and asked while looking towards the birdcage.
Lu Jun replied: “There has been no problems from the capital all the way till here. Young master can just keep pretending to be sick to avoid meeting anyone. They wouldn’t dare to come to the castle to seek an audience anyways.”
By the time their master enters the city, the rumors about him would quickly spread throughout Shangxi. Anyone with any intelligence would be able to guess that the emperor wasn’t fond of their master. It seemed like conferring kingship was more of a banishment. Because of that, their master was in a rather bad mood and refused to meet any guests. No one would be able to guess that their master already had enough agents in place to achieve his goals.
Everything had been arranged. Xiao Yuan went to take down the birdcage, then turned to go inside. “We’ll head out tomorrow morning. Let’s go watch King Qin enter the city.”
Lu Jun was about to agree out of habit, but before he opened his mouth, he was stunned silly. His master wanted to go early and watch the procession?
Wouldn’t they be waiting around for nothing?
The word ‘yes’ was caught in his throat. He thought hard but still didn’t understand so he decided to wait for Ge Jin to come back. Lu Jun pretended to be calm as he told Ge Jin their master’s instructions. Ge Jin exclaimed in surprise. He was smart, although he couldn’t claim to know everything that was in his master’s heart, he was confident he was correct 8 or 9 times out of 10.
This matter wouldn’t even need him to guess. Gejin thought back to what he had asked before and then gave a meaningful smile. He raised his foot, about to go back inside to serve.
“Wait, what are you smiling at?” Lu Jun held out his hand to stop him. Such an evil smile, he definitely guessed what was happening.
Not expecting to be stopped, Ge Jin turned around puzzled. He stared straight into Lu Jun’s eyes and asked, as if he heard something strange: “I smile every day. Why do you care?” As he finished speaking, he suddenly understood. He pointed at a window and asked with a whisper: “You want to know why master decided to leave in the morning?”
Lu Jun admitted it.
Ge Jin pulled his arm and dragged him to the side, finally stopping under the locust tree. He signalled Lu Jun to lower his head.
Lu Jun didn’t think much of it, so he lowered his head to listen.
“I know, but I won’t tell you.” Ge Jin said with a laugh, then scurried off like a rabbit.
Lu Jun reached out but failed to catch him. He could only watch and clench his teeth as Ge Jin ran past the door.
Inside, Xiao Yuan heard a commotion and guessed that the two were quarrelling again. The corners of his mouth rose as he continued to feed his bird.
The next morning, Xiao Yuan didn’t even need Ge Jin’s help. He picked up his birdcage and left to the backyard. He hung the birdcage onto the tree and stared at the neighboring house for a while before beginning to train. His movements were like floating clouds and running water, but a ferocious power hid under his relaxed motions. He gave off an aura as if he could kill at any time.
“Miss, miss, eldest young master is here!”
A little maid’s excited voice drifted over the wall. Xiao Yuan stopped his actions and listened for a while before walked towards the birdcage.
The black oriole bird began to call out to it’s master.
Xiao Yuan raised his hand, and put his finger to his lips.
The black oriole bird immediately became quiet.
From her chamber, Xie Lanyin had a frown due to having been awoken. Then suddenly sat up and pushed open the mosquito net. She asked Yingge who was in the room: “Really?”
The beauty had just awoken, so her fine black hair was messily scattered around her shoulders. Her pair of peach-blossom eyes were full of excitement like a little child.
Yingge, who was bringing in water, had a smile plastered across her face. “Really. Yesterday, 2nd young master had someone go send news. Eldest young master guessed that miss would want to join the crowd to watch King Qin enter the city, so he came early. Miss should hurry and get out of bed. Eldest young master hasn’t had breakfast and is waiting for everyone to eat together.”
Xie Lanyin had already gotten out of bed to wash and dress up. What would normally take two quarter hours was finished in only one.
Hearing the footsteps head towards to front, Xiao Yuan frowned. A hint of disappointment appeared in his long and thin eyes.
It didn’t matter how good his ears were if she wouldn’t speak much.
Xie Lanyin quickly ran through the hall to the doorway and saw all three of her cousins there. Her 3rd cousin Jiang Huaizhou and her older sister Xie Lanqiao were sitting to the right of her mother, who was at the head of the table. The 2nd cousin Jiang Hangzhou who she had met yesterday as well as a man with a 八 shaped mustache sat on the left. At this moment, they were all looking towards her.
Their sights intersected and Xie Lanyin became more sure that the 八 shaped mustached man was indeed her eldest cousin, Jiang Jizhou.
“Eldest cousin, why grow a mustache like that?”
Xie Lanyin was shocked and having trouble holding back her laughter. She used a condescending gaze to look at her eldest cousin. “Even my father doesn’t grow out a mustache, why is eldest cousin growing one? It doesn’t look as good as before. If I was eldest cousin’s wife, I would make you shave it off before marrying, otherwise, you could forget about it!”
Having grown a mustache, he looked a few years older.
The soon to be groom, Jiang Jizhou, was 23 this year. He had a handsome appearance which was similar to his two brothers except the two furry lines of hair in a 八 shape under his nose which made him look more mature, but only when he wasn’t smiling. Hearing his little cousin making fun of him, Jiang Jizhou rubbed his mustache, and raised an eyebrow. “It really looks bad?”
His tone was doubtful. Mostly, he doubted his cousin’s gaze which was locked onto his mustache. She was even more suspicious than his third brother, Jiang Huaizhou.
Xie Lanyin held back her laughter, and nodded seriously.
Seeing his little cousin act so cute, Jiang Jizhou pondered for a moment and said: “Since Lanyin think’s it’s no good, then let’s make a bet. If your soon to be cousin-in-law marries and likes my mustache, you have to give me 12 silver. If she doesn’t like it, I’ll give you 20 silver. How about it?”
Xie Lanyin examined him, then secretly glanced towards her third cousin. Such an unfair bet, she felt like it was a trap.
Zhang Huaizhou stopped drinking his tea. After placing his cup down, he nodded almost imperceptibly.
Xie Lanyin felt delighted. She was about to agree when her second cousin, Jiang Hangzhou, coughed softly. Now completely confused, she asked her eldest cousin: “I remember last year, eldest cousin bought a hairpin for cousin-in-law. Did you give it to her while you were visiting the Lin family?”
Just as her words were finished, Jiang Huaizhou quickly stood up. “Aunt, I’ll go check on the luggage.” He then turned on his heel and slipped away.
Madam Jiang was laughing so hard she couldn’t control herself.
Xie Lanyin was vexed. She scolded at his departing back: “You! You knew that cousin-in-law doesn’t dislike eldest cousin’s mustache yet you try to trick me! You want me to lose money!? Just you wait! See how I’ll use you when we get to Xi’an!” After scolding him, she then faced Jiang Jizhou and pouted, “We just met and eldest cousin is already deceiving me. When we arrive, I’ll have cousin-in-law enact justice.”
Jiang Jizhou merely smiled without saying anymore. Truth be told, his fiancee had tried to avoid him once, but after a kiss, she stopped.
After everyone finished catching up and eating a simple breakfast, they prepared to head out.
The three Jiang brothers rode their horses beside the carriage. Xie Lanqiao also joined in on the fun.
Xie Lanyin opened the curtains and looked at her brave and valiant sister enviously. She shouted loudly towards Jiang Huaizhou: “Third cousin, you promised you’d teach me how to ride a horse when we arrive. Don’t forget!”
Both her eldest and 2nd sister knew how to ride a horse, so she wanted to learn too.
“Sit properly, what are you shouting for.” Madam Jiang said, putting down the curtains. She frowned as she pulled her daughter back.
Having been scolded by her mother, Xie Lanyin immediately sat up straight.
This daughter of hers was the best at feigning obedience, but was also the most mischievous. Madam Jiang flicked her forehead.
Outside, Xie Lanqiao was riding and looking around. She saw many people with their families, dressed like peasants. There were also rich households riding in horse drawn carriages. Just looking at them was enough to know they were all heading towards the capital. She couldn’t help sighing towards her 3 cousins. “Looks like everyone wants to see King Qin’s graceful bearings. Even those from outside the country have come rushing over. It’s probably even busier inside the city.”
Jiang Jizhou replied: “Yeah, however, I heard that his highness King Qing’s body isn’t well. He hasn’t shown his face even once this whole journey. We might not be able to see him today.”
Xie Lanqiao looked around at all the young women who were looking towards them and smiled. She whispered: “Even if they can’t see the king, they get to see you three brothers. These young women wouldn’t have made the trip in vain.” Appearance wise, her cousins were all among the best.
Jiang Jizhou swept his eyes through the crowd and and smiled while shaking his head.
Xiao Yuan sat inside his carriage with his eyes closed.
Lu Jun was outside, driving. Ge Jin, who was sitting across from him, whispered: “Later when we arrive, stop beside the carriage in front.”
Their master liked to listen to the Xie Family’s 5th young lady’s voice. It wouldn’t do to be too far away from them.
Lu Jun turned back to look at the curtain, and thought that his master wanted to be closer to get a better understanding of the Jiang family, so he nodded. When they arrived outside Xi’an city, they stopped and waited for the King’s procession to arrive. Using his good eyesight and skill, Lu Jun steadily parked the carriage to the right of the Xie family’s carriage.
King Qin: My young wife is going to go see me. If I’m not there for her to see, wouldn’t it be wasting her time?
Xie Lanyin: A person of integrity should not keep showering affection onto someone who’s not interested.
King Qin: So you’re not there to see me?
Xie Lanyin: I’m there to watch the procession, and see all those long legs!
King Qin: …
The next day, the procession arrived. Xie Lanyin opened the curtain full of expectations, but didn’t see any long legs. There were only a bunch of midgets…
TN: As always, if anyone wishes to take over translation for this story, just shoot me an email. I won’t be able to put too much time into it, so it will release pretty slowly.