Chapter 66: Demanding a Person, Strategically Asking Old Madame
The tip of her nose felt damp and hot as a sweet and gentle sensation touched it. Bai Xiangxiu felt that this kiss was even more ambiguous than one placed on her lips.
Her face immediately turned red as she stopped moving. She lifted her head to look at him, but her body started swaying slightly! Actually, you couldn’t blame her. This body was just like that, seemingly hypersensitive to such things. Who told her to be a beauty, and a supporting female at that!
Supporting females didn’t have high emotional IQ, so her reaction was considered normal. But Long Heng was ignorant of these facts and assumed that he’d scared her again. Still, she was so cute that he couldn’t resist lightly pinching her face. “I’ll stay over at your place tonight.”
Bai Xiangxiu felt like lightning had struck her. Although she’d already up her mind, how could any girl take it when that was brought up so bluntly? After all, she was still a young maiden who’d never experienced this before. No matter how calm or composed she was, she couldn’t stand still anymore. She covered her face with her hands, running off blushing crimson.
This wasn’t her fault. What kind of man wooed a woman while looking at her with such a direct gaze? It felt like he was giving orders as an army commander! Bai Xiangxiu had never encountered such an intense situation. This was harder to deal with than someone embracing her outright. Didn’t you go with the flow with such things? Wasn’t it extremely awkward to be so straightforward? Prince, just what are you doing? It was hard for her to face such things, all right?!
After she had run halfway to Winter Garden, Bai Xiangxiu felt like she’d done something wrong. Perhaps her running away had offended the male lead. She rubbed her palm along the dried leaves of the trees, wondering if she should go back and apologize. But her heart couldn’t help but feel abnormally speechless towards a man who courted her so seriously like that.
If she went back, she wouldn’t be able to bypass the obstacle in her heart. But if she didn’t go back, would she be beaten to death?
It shouldn’t be that serious, right?
Leaving aside her own troubles, the prince over there was currently entangled in troubles of his own, enough to turn the space between his eyebrows into vertical creases. Shouldn’t she be delighted and shyly nodding her head when he brought up something like this? Why did she run away?
Did she feel wronged?
But he hadn’t done anything outrageous, had he?
No, that wasn’t right. He’d kissed her twice just now. Did she think he was the frivolous, philandering type?
That’s true, she was still a girl after all. It’d be normal if she thought she was being taken advantage of. What kind of girl would act like that Miss Lin, who’d still had the face to stand in front of him after being played around with?
He’d take care of her tonight, so tomorrow they could be as intimate as they liked. As his thoughts reached that point, he started to give chase. He still had to eat lunch!
As it turned out, he hadn’t gone far before he came across a girl tugging off tree leaves. The corners of Long Heng’s lips rose up as he said, “Let’s go!”
So she hadn’t ran far after all. But she should really take more care, tearing leaves like that without precautions could hurt her hands.
Bai Xiangxiu was very sullen the entire way back. She simply followed that familiar form into Winter Garden.
Long Heng however, was in great spirits. He was going to eat meat tonight! In order to maintain his stamina, he even ate a lot at dinner. He devoured three whole bowls of rice before he went especially to clean out his mouth so he wouldn’t gross out his girl. He should leave a good impression since it was the first time. Otherwise, what if she found his embrace repugnant in the future?
After eating his meal, Long Heng went out to practice some boxing and warm up his body. When he came back, it was to see Bai Xiangxiu sitting by the window spacing out. She didn’t even react when Xiao Shi called her. When she withdrew her gaze and happened to see him coming in, her face instantly turned bright red.
She hastily ducked her head, looking very shy.
Long Heng felt heat rise up just looking at her. Sweat broke out on his forehead as he tugged off his shirt and said, “Prepare the water, this prince wants to take a bath.”
Everyone in the room gave a start at these words. It wasn’t even dark yet, but the prince wanted to… do that?
Long Heng hadn’t thought about that, but when he spotted everyone’s strange expressions in the room, he immediately understood. He came close to turning crimson himself. Thankfully, men were rather more thick-skinned. “Get going already!” he yelled. The scene cleared instantly.
Bai Xiangxiu wanted to leave as well, but Long Heng said, “You don’t need to busy yourself. Go rest in the room.” The meaning behind these words were clear: you go in the room and wait, I’ll find you after my bath.
Bai Xiangxiu nearly fled again, but suddenly discovered that the man was blocking the door. He was probably doing it on purpose, right? Bai Xiangxiu wrestled with her handkerchief and shot him a glare when he turned around.
But it just so happened that Long Heng caught her look when he turned back. He didn’t think she was glaring at him, but that she was trying to seduce him. It almost sent his soul flying straight out his body. He thought he’d get to eat his meat today, but right after his bath, Shu’er entered and said, “Prince, someone’s come from the Song estate.”
Someone from the Song estate?
Long Heng said, “Have him wait outside.”
Once again, he felt that Winter Garden was too small. There wasn’t even a place to receive guests. He was always over here, but what if another outsider male rushed in and ran into her? She was so timid; wouldn’t she be scared witless?
Long Heng had contemplated the idea of moving her to a different residence, but he was sure she’d disagree. She liked the quiet and didn’t compete with others, so she probably wouldn’t want to leave.
He ended up receiving the Song family’s young pageboy, a boy who often accompanied Song Jiaoyue. As soon as he entered, the boy gave a very ceremonious bow to Long Heng and said, “Greetings to Prince Li.”
“Rise” Long Heng waved his hand. He wasn’t in a rush to find out why this servant boy had come.
But that servant was quite blunt and said, “Prince, it was our eldest young master who told me to come. It is our Old Master’s 70th birthday tomorrow. He’s always wanted to convert to Buddhism and considered this to be the perfect chance. Thus, he has invited a few Great Masters 1 from the mountains to preside over the ceremony.”
“This is good news. Old Master has some predestined fate with Buddhism.” Long Heng mused. Were they planning to hold a vegetarian banquet?
“But although the family kitchens have some skill, they’re quite helpless in the face of vegetarian dishes. Now that we’ve invited these temple monks, our madame isn’t pleased with what we have to offer. Fortunately, she remembered that the prince’s Fourth Madame is adept at vegetarian dishes, so she’d like to invite her over to give some pointers.” The pageboy felt pressure crash down like a mountain on him after he finished speaking. He couldn’t keep kneeling anymore, what to do?
The cup in Long Heng’s hand suffered a terrible torment from his grip. Was this trying to “steal” his person away from him? This won’t do! “She’s not feeling well, so I’m afraid we’ll have to go against Madame Song’s wishes.”
Right as he finished, he heard Shu’er call from outside, “Miss Hua’er is here. Does Old Madame have any business?”
Hua’er was Old Madame’s personal head servant girl and very much favored. Shu’er went inside to ask Long Heng for his intentions. Long Heng waved his hand as his brows furrowed minutely.
It was very likely that Old Madame’s head servant girl had come for the vegetarian banquet. Hua’er entered and paid her respects to Long Heng with perfect etiquette. Her slight smile was perfectly polite on her face. Itt was obvious at a glance that she’d been personally trained by Old Madame.
A smiling Hua’er said, “Prince, the old madame has a message to pass on. Eldest Sir Song has already informed her about the Song family’s situation. This fasting business is a big affair, so their family can’t lose face.” They knew Madame Xiu’s body wasn’t well, so how could they cause her any difficulties? Even the eldest Sir Song said they only wanted a few pointers. They wouldn’t make her cook for them personally. “Thus, Old Madame wishes Mistress Xiu to prepare to leave later with Eldest Sir Song to familiarize herself with the situation.”
- Courtesy title used to address Buddhist monks ↩