Chapter 52 Hua Ping
Along the way to the capital, Yan Mu and Yu Yuan got along peacefully.
Everything seemed to have gone back to the way it was.
Yan Mu jumped off the carriage.
The oncoming wind was a little dry, not as humid as in Qingshui Village.
Chu Cong brought everyone back to the residence, while he himself entered the palace to pay respects.
Yan Mu had known Chu Cong’s identity from the very beginning, so she wasn’t surprised when she arrived at the Second Prince’s residence; Yu Yuan had already guessed that Chu Cong had a political background, so his face also looked indifferent, without any visible emotional fluctuations.
The person who was most surprised was Father Yan.
Until now, he still couldn’t believe that he had somehow become someone who worked for the imperial family.
Yan Mu and Yu Yuan were temporarily arranged in the guest room, while Father Yan went to look for Xiao Qing’s father to learn the trade of tending flowers and plants.
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“There’s a melon seed.” Yu Yuan casually removed the melon seed beside her lip.
Yan Mu was stunned, and her body subconsciously shrank back.
Yu Yuan watched her reaction and calmly said, “What A brother wiping his sister’s mouth, does this also count as too intimate”
“……It doesn’t,” Yan Mu sighed in relief.
She seemed to be too sensitive.
She couldn’t be so flustered, that would be too unfair to Yu Yuan.
Yan Mu hesitated for a moment, then took out a small handkerchief to wipe Yu Yuan’s sweat.
“You’ve worked hard.”
Just now, Yu Yuan had put a lot of effort into unpacking their luggage and cleaning up the house, and Yan Mu was grateful for his help.
“A sister wiping her brother’s sweat, this is also not overly intimate,” Yan Mu softly added.
The corner of Yu Yuan’s mouth twitched.
In a trance, the two of them seemed to have returned to their life in Qingshui Village.
Yu Yuan didn’t climb into her bed that night.
The bedding in the residence was very soft and comfortable, and the incense burner was still lit, with a curl of calming and soothing incense, but Yan Mu still couldn’t sleep.
Fortunately, she had just replenished her lifespan, so her dark under-eye circles weren’t that bad.
She wanted to ask Yu Yuan to join her for breakfast, but when she knocked on the door next to her room, no one answered.
“Is Lady Yan looking for Young Master Yu” Someone called out to her from behind.
Yan Mu turned her head, only to see a pretty maid dressed in pink.
“You are” She found her familiar, but she didn’t know the name of the maid in front of her.
“This maidservant is Hua Ping1,” The maid hurriedly said.
“On the day you moved in, this maidservant helped in Lady Yan’s room.”
“It’s you,” Yan Mu remembered and she smiled at Hua Ping.
“Thank you very much.”
Yan Mu’s facial features had now grown to look even more exquisite, and this smile made her look even more stunning.
Seeing her, Hua Ping was in a daze.
As expected of a woman who was brought back by His Highness.
Born so beautiful, I’m afraid it’s imminent for her to become a concubine.
Hua Ping was envious inside.
“I dare not to2,” Hua Ping replied.
“Young Master Yu went out with His Highness to run errands early this morning.”
“Is that so……” Yan Mu was dejected.
“Then, did Yu Yuan say when he would be back”
“Young Master Yu doesn’t like to talk, and this maidservant doesn’t dare to ask much about His Highness’s affairs,” Hua Ping said.
Seeing that Yan Mu was crestfallen, she hurriedly said, “This maidservant has just completed my tasks.
If Lady Yan is bored, this maidservant can join you for conversation.”
Hua Ping rubbed her hands together apprehensively.
“Alright.” Yan Mu thought for a while and suddenly laughed.
“Then why don’t I tell you a story”
“Huh” Hua Ping was dumbfounded.
She originally thought that Yan Mu was just joking, she didn’t expect her to really start earnestly storytelling.
Not only that, but the contents of the story were also quite novel, it was something that Hua Ping had never heard of in the capital.
For a moment, Hua Ping was fascinated, and when she saw that Yan Mu had stopped narrating, she hurriedly asked3, “What happened to that fake daughter4 afterwards”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow.” Yan Mu mouth and tongue were extremely dry from all the storytelling.
Yan Mu first assumed that, due to the influence of the time period, ancient women would prefer sentimental novels with sweet romance.
But in reality, she found that acceptance for strong female leads, face-slapping plots5, and shuangwen stories6 were also very high.
Sure enough, no matter which era, refreshing and sweet stories were king7.
Yan Mu sighed.
“Hua Ping, tomorrow, call a few more sisters over and I’ll recount stories for you,” Yan Mu giddily said.
“Lady Yan, this can’t be done.” Hua Ping was flattered, “How can we listen to your story-telling for free”
“Chu…… His Highness will be opening a bookstore in a few days, and some of the books are specially aimed at girls,” Yan Mu hurriedly said.
“I’ll be telling the stories of the books that I’m going to sell.
If you girls have anything that you particularly hate or don’t understand, you can speak freely.
This can also be regarded as a great help to His Highness.”
After all, web novels were something from another world.
Yan Mu was still worried about the generation gap.
“I’ll inform His Highness about this first, I won’t let the pozi8 scold you for being lazy,” Yan Mu added.
“Alright,” Hua Ping nodded.
She reluctantly prepared to go back, but after walking halfway, she turned back.
“Lady Yan, you’re Young Master Yu’s sister.” Hua Ping’s face was full of shyness.
“Then do you know if Young Master Yu…… Young Master Yu has someone he admires”
“Huh” Yan Mu was stunned.
Well, she was already curious about why Hua Ping was so enthusiastic, it turned out that she’d taken a fancy to Yu Yuan.
For a moment, her heart felt strange.
But then she remembered what she had said to Yu Yuan, and let out a long sigh.
She was the author, a bystander who would witness Yu Yuan’s brilliant life.
She could be his friend, or his sister.
Only, she couldn’t be his lover.
She still needed to go home.
So, Yan Mu pulled out an ugly smile and said to Hua Ping, “No, he doesn’t have anyone he likes.”
Hua Ping was overjoyed, and didn’t notice Yan Mu’s odd expression.
“Then Lady Yan, do you know what Young Master Yu likes to eat” Hua Ping continued to be persistent.
Yu Yuan likes to eat steamed eggs.
But when Yan Mu opened her mouth, in the end, she couldn’t get the words out.
So, she shook her head and said to Hua Ping, “……I don’t know either.”
“Nevermind, it’s alright, thank you so much Lady Yan.” Hua Ping happily left.
After Hua Ping left, Yan Mu sat alone on the swing under the tree in a daze.
Yu Yuan was clearly getting better and better, and there was even someone who admired him now.
But why was she unhappy instead
Yan Mu sighed and gloomily ate the rest of the chilled watermelon.
Yu Yuan came back very late, and there was still a faint fishy smell on his body.
The light in Yan Mu’s room was still on, and Yu Yuan was afraid that she would smell the scent on him, so he softly and quietly went to his room to take a shower before coming out.
Moisture still clung to his skin when he knocked on Yan Mu’s door.
Yan Mu rubbed her eyes and came over to open the door in a daze.
“……Were you already asleep” Yu Yuan’s expression paused slightly, and a dim light flashed in his eyes.
“No, I was waiting for you to come home.” Yan Mu struggled to keep her eyes open.
She had leaned on the table while waiting for Yu Yuan to come back and accidentally fallen asleep.
“I couldn’t sleep yesterday, and I’m a little listless today, so I got sleepy waiting.” Yan Mu let Yu Yuan into her room and poured him a cup of water.
Yu Yuan took the cup and slowly drank it.
“In the future, you don’t need to wait for me, I’m going to be busy for a while,” Yu Yuan said.
Yan Mu shook her head and looked at Yu Yuan seriously, “I must wait.”
She was the author, and she knew how dangerous what Yu Yuan was doing under Chu Cong was.
She couldn’t sleep without seeing Yu Yuan return alive.
Yu Yuan’s hand holding the cup paused, and a smile flashed past his eyes.
He quickly hid his smile and changed the subject, “I’ll go to the Imperial Academy of Medicine tomorrow and get you some incense to help you sleep, okay”
His eyes were downcast, and his facial features were hidden in the shadows, so Yan Mu couldn’t see his expression clearly.
“Okay.” Yan Mu didn’t think much about it and gladly accepted Yu Yuan’s suggestion.
Yu Yuan slightly turned his head away, and in a place that Yan Mu couldn’t see, he suddenly revealed an extremely strange smile.
Like a wild beast locking onto its prey, vowing to swallow it whole, without leaving a trace behind.
The next day, Yu Yuan still came back late.
His black hair was tied up in a high bun, and his clothes were changed into expensive brocade.
His red lips were slightly pursed, and though he was clearly born with a pair of affectionate eyes, they were cold without a trace of emotion.
Yu Yuan had a good figure, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, like a eucalyptus facing the wind.
At first glance, he didn’t look like Chu Cong’s subordinate, but more like a noble young master from the capital.
Yu Yuan didn’t have to do anything, just by standing there, he could attract every woman’s attention.
He arrived at the small courtyard, and revealed a trace of a smile when he looked at the dim candlelight in Yan Mu’s room.
The cold ice in his eyes instantly melted into warm spring water.
Yu Yuan was holding a box of aromatic spices, and was about to knock on Yan Mu’s door, when a person suddenly blocked the way in front of him.
The person in front of him was dressed in pink, and about the same height as Yan Mu.
Yu Yuan’s hand holding the box tightened, and his face instantly softened.
It’s so late, why did Ah Mu come and find me
Could it be that Ah Mu missed me
Yu Yuan’s heart slightly fluttered, and he was about to speak, but he acutely sensed that something was wrong.
“You’re not Yan Mu.” His tone instantly turned cold.
Yan Mu had night blindness, how could she come out and run around at night
Could it be that someone knew about his thoughts for Yan Mu and wanted to make use of this weakness to create trouble
Yu Yuan’s gaze instantly turned sharp.
The person in front of him was oblivious as she shyly and nervously raised her head, handing Yu Yuan a food box9.
Yu Yuan just looked at it coldly and didn’t take it.
“Young Master Yu, I’m Hua Ping.” Hua Ping didn’t dare to look at Yu Yuan and quickly lowered her head.
Her hand carrying the food box paused in mid-air, and seeing that he didn’t take it, her heart was suddenly a little disappointed.
However, she remembered that Yu Yuan didn’t have anyone he admired, so she immediately mustered up her courage again.
She opened the food box, and there were diced chicken with chili10 and boiled meat slices11 inside.
“Young Master Yu, these are spicy dishes I made with shabu shabu fruit.” Hua Ping had heard that Yu Yuan and Yan Mu were both from the south.
The south was very humid, so the people there should like spicy food right
After speaking, Hua Ping looked at Yu Yuan expectantly.
Who would’ve thought that Yu Yuan still wouldn’t take the food box, and instead he observed her carefully.
In the end, his eyes rested on Hua Ping’s pink clothes.
Disgust flashed past Yu Yuan’s eyes and he said, “Take it off.”
“Huh” Hua Ping’s face was scarlet, and looked at Yu Yuan incredulously, “Young Master Yu, what did you say”
Yu Yuan turned around and repeated word by word, “Take off your clothes.”