C117 – The Willful Overbearing Unreasonable Rich Beauty!
Tang Yue glanced around. Zhao Sanlang had chosen this courtyard because of its cliffside location. If someone stuck their head out of the window, it would be quite a fright.
He took a step back, swallowing nervously. “Are we really going to live here?”
“Afraid?” Zhao Sanlang reclined on the bed, crossing his legs. “If you’re not comfortable, you can find another place to sleep. Many would love to cozy up to the Noble Heir.”
Ping Shun’s current appearance was a drastic change in his appearance. He had a high chance of reverting back on the path. Those who hadn’t seen him in months would hardly recognize him.
Tang Yue had recently discovered that Lord Xin Ling’s choice of courtyard friends was based on looks. Only the handsome ones had the privilege of staying with him.
Upon hearing this reason, Tang Yue was left speechless. He had lost all hope in a world that placed so much importance on appearances. No wonder he was destined to marry Crown Prince Zhao.
Ping Shun wasn’t unhappy, but he usually reserved his pride for outsiders. In the past, he had been scorned by others. Now, he could hold his head high, but in front of Tang Yue and Zhao Sanlang, he remained as meek and easy to tease as ever.
Tang Yue stood by the window, taking in the calming scenery. Below was a seemingly bottomless cliff adorned with lush vines. In the distance, a range of mountains stretched out, enveloped in wispy white clouds.
Such a scene, if captured, would earn endless praise in the modern world.
“We should stay here,” Tang Yue made the decision.
County Prince, who had silently followed them, stood beside the bed, arms crossed, silently gazing down at Zhao Sanlang.
Zhao Sanlang touched his cheek and asked, “Why is County Prince always so serious? Is he not happy?”
Their relationship was unique. Zhao Sanlang had been trying to win County Princess Huizhu’s favor by pleasing County Prince. They spent a lot of time together, and over time, this dynamic of being both friends and rivals had developed into deeper feelings.
“What does it matter if he’s happy or not?”
“When you’re happy, you should laugh. When you’re not, you should still laugh. You’ve only lived for a few decades. Why let yourself dwell in perpetual unhappiness?”
Tang Yue turned and commended Zhao Sanlang, “You’re wise. County Prince knows that the liver is one of the most vital organs in the body. It detoxifies harmful substances. If the liver is harmed, it can lead to illness.”
County Prince furrowed his brow, regarding Tang Yue with newfound interest. He asked thoughtfully, “If I learn medicine from you, can I become better at discreetly causing harm?”
Tang Yue was baffled, his forehead creased. Such a young child already thinking about ways to cause harm more efficiently? The education in the prefecture lord’s manor was certainly unconventional.
“In theory, it works that way. Once you understand a person’s vulnerabilities, you naturally know how to harm them more efficiently.”
“Then teach me!” County Prince commanded in a determined tone.
Tang Yue wore a sly grin. “Apologies, I’m tied up right now. I can’t spare the time.” After all, who would be willing to impart the art of saving lives? He had no intention of nurturing a human weapon.
County Prince remained composed upon hearing this and nodded in comprehension. He then turned to Zhao Sanlang and inquired, “I’ve heard that you wish to accompany the Crown Prince. Is that true?”
Zhao Sanlang nonchalantly shrugged. “That will depend on Your Highness’s favor.”
County Prince clenched his lips, refraining from further comments, and retreated to an adjacent room. Thereafter, he seldom ventured outside.
Tang Yue had always considered his own affable nature somewhat peculiar. Now, with a point of reference, he realized how typical and endearing he actually was.
“Has County Prince always been this enigmatic?” Tang Yue inquired.
Ping Shun shook his head, suggesting that he paid little attention to others. It was fair game to ask about one’s shape, but probing into character was a futile endeavor.
After contemplating for a moment, Zhao Sanlang remarked, “It appears that this change occurred gradually after the county horse’s demise. I recall he used to be quite jovial in his youth. Back then, I thought that having a brother like him, even if he were a concubine, would be a blessing.”
Tang Yue couldn’t fathom the circumstances that could lead to such a transformation. Nevertheless, he couldn’t help but attribute part of County Princess Huizhu’s blame.
“After the county horse’s passing, I heard he secluded himself in the manor for an extended period. The princess, dreading the heart-wrenching sight, didn’t pay him much attention. This is how he gradually transformed. Despite his temper, County Prince is still a decent person.”
Tang Yue couldn’t help but think, “Even someone subjected to daily abuse is advocating for the tormentor. Is he too gullible or just too forgiving?”
Nevertheless, these words solidified Tang Yue’s belief that Zhao Sanlang was not a suitable match for County Princess Huizhu. Advising him to relinquish his pursuit seemed the best course of action.
After resting in the courtyard for two hours, a servant arrived with their meal. Tang Yue, ogling at the delectable dishes, realized that the manor’s cuisine was truly exceptional.
Only upon entering the gathering’s main hall did they discover why Ping Shun had been salivating. The room was adorned with delicate decorations and swaying fabrics. Even Tang Yue, who wasn’t particularly effeminate, couldn’t help but steal a few glances.
The hall was sweltering, prompting Tang Yue to remove his fox fur and take a seat. He relished the music and dance while savoring the delectable dishes brought by the attendants.
Since the Crown Prince’s Palace chef had showcased his culinary expertise twice, all of Ye City’s aristocrats were aware of the palace’s exceptional cooks. Securing a recipe was a Herculean task.
When they managed to obtain one from the Crown Prince’s Palace, they found that no matter how they replicated the dishes, they couldn’t quite capture the same flavor. Nevertheless, the recipes still circulated throughout Ye City.
Thus, Tang Yue was unsurprised by the stir-fried dishes and pastries adorning the table.
“I heard that these dishes were the result of collaboration between the Crown Prince’s Palace chefs and young Master Tang. May I inquire where young Master acquired his culinary skills?” Lord Xin Ling posed the question, drawing the attention of the entire gathering.
“Not exactly. I merely contributed some ideas and concepts. The professional chefs were the ones responsible for crafting and refining the dishes.”
“Haha… That’s also thanks to the young master. Is it possible that His Highness is intrigued by your culinary skills?” Lord Xin Ling asked casually.
Tang Yue had the urge to burst into laughter. Could this man be any more nosy? Why did he keep bringing up this topic?
“I don’t know. Why don’t you ask His Highness yourself tomorrow, Lord Xin Ling?”
“Tsk…” An incongruous voice emanated from an undisclosed corner of the room. Those who heard it looked around, but there was no one to be found.
Tang Yue furrowed his brow. As a physician, he was attuned to discerning between male and female voices, and that voice unquestionably sounded feminine.
Despite the presence of numerous women, very few dared to contradict openly. In essence, no one had the courage to do so. This made Tang Yue all the more curious about the voice’s owner.
As the evening wore on, the atmosphere in the hall grew increasingly spirited. Young masters became increasingly intoxicated, engaging in guessing games, reveling in lewd conversations, and summoning groups to join their revelry.
This gathering was unlike any Tang Yue had ever witnessed. In comparison, his previous experiences with flirting felt trivial.
Tang Yue discreetly asked Zhao Sanlang, “Did you used to participate in gatherings like this?” Damn! Lord Xin Ling was unquestionably a morally dubious character, keeping so many beautiful dancers in the mountain. His motives were certainly impure.
Zhao Sanlang glanced briefly and responded with disinterest. “Those lecherous fiends came to the mountain for this purpose. Otherwise, why would they be so proactive every year?”
“And you?” Tang Yue glanced at Zhao Sanlang’s crotch, noticing his lack of excitement. He wasn’t sure if Zhao Sanlang had any interest.
Zhao Sanlang promptly closed his legs and shot a glare at Tang Yue. “Am I that lascivious? Besides, I have no interest in dancers whose only purpose is to serve carnal desires!”
Tang Yue nodded in comprehension. Compared to County Princess Huizhu, whose charm was like that of a country’s, these women paled in comparison, both in temperament and allure.
Zhao Sanlang cautioned Tang Yue in a hushed tone, “You’re about to marry into the Crown Prince Residence. Just observe these dancers and avoid any immoral thoughts!”
Tang Yue thanked him for the advice and candidly replied, “I have no interest in women!”
Zhao Sanlang crossed his arms and eyed Tang Yue warily. “Then you mustn’t entertain any improper thoughts about me!” Otherwise, even if he had ten heads, it wouldn’t be enough to escape the Crown Prince’s wrath.
Tang Yue sneered. “Don’t flatter yourself. With Crown Prince Zhao around, I couldn’t possibly favor you.”
Tang Yue had intended to use Crown Prince Zhao as a foil for Zhao Sanlang, but he had misjudged the situation. Zhao Sanlang believed that the more Tang liked Crown Prince Zhao, the more he liked him.
“Of course, of course. Compared to His Highness, my young master is like a clump of dirt. Young Master Tang has truly impeccable taste!” Zhao Sanlang huffed and joined Ping Shun for a drink.
Tang Yue awkwardly rubbed his nose. Just as he was about to follow Zhao Sanlang, he noticed someone sitting beside him.
He turned his head to see an individual whose gender remained ambiguous, donning male attire while possessing feminine features. The initial impression was far from favorable.
“And you are…?” Tang Yue inquired directly. Numerous young masters had arrived, and it was impossible for Tang Yue to recognize them all. However, judging by their demeanor, they likely held significant status.
“You’re Tang Yue?” The other person raised their chin and surveyed Tang Yue with disdain. Their words struck like a heavy blow. “You’re truly unattractive!”
Tang Yue blinked and touched his face, then grinned.
“Indeed, my looks can’t quite compare to this…young master here. Your brows resemble mountains, your eyes mirror autumn waves, and a hint of crimson on your lips makes you quite charming!”
“Impudent!” Tang Yue turned away to evade a slap, the palm’s wind grazing his face, eliciting irritation.
“I merely offered a few compliments; why the anger?” Tang Yue raised a corner of his mouth and smiled nonchalantly. “Or perhaps, this young lady requires people to call you ugly to feel content?”
He was certain that the person beside him was a girl. Thanks to her speaking, her identity became apparent beneath the high-collared attire.
He pondered why, since arriving in this world, he hadn’t encountered any conflicts with women unrelated by blood. Why had he, for no apparent reason, drawn a woman’s attention?
Could it be that the Transmigration Physique was excessively electrifying, even arousing the ire of a female tiger?
“You certainly have a silver tongue. No wonder Crown Prince contended with Father for you!”
Tang Yue was perplexed by the girl’s statement. “Firstly, may I inquire about your father’s identity? Secondly, what do you mean by ‘contended’?”
Could it be that, over the course of two millennia, the meaning of this phrase had shifted? Otherwise, how could he fail to grasp this woman’s words?
“The spawn of a wretch! She appears so plain and unremarkable, yet she wormed her way into the royal family. I truly can’t fathom whether Crown Prince is blind!” The more the young girl spoke, the more her resentment surged. Her words grew more indignant, culminating in her pounding the table to vent her anger. If a knife were at hand, Tang Yue suspected she might stab him with it.
At this juncture, he could nearly discern the girl’s identity. However, upon closer inspection, from top to bottom, left to right, he couldn’t fathom how she merited Crown Prince Zhao, except for her face.
Scrutinizing her features, her face exuded a unique allure, a rare blend of southern charm with a hint of capriciousness. It seemed more unreasonable than Tang Ya from Yueyang Marquis’s Mansion. Put bluntly, she embodied a fair and luxurious beauty, simultaneously willful, domineering, and unreasonable.
“Haha, Princess, perhaps you should direct your inquiries to Crown Prince himself. I believe he’ll furnish you with a satisfactory response.” Tang Yue rose, flicking his sleeves, and looked down at her. “Additionally, I must correct the princess: beauty is not omnipotent. It can neither satiate hunger nor clothe you. If Her Highness weds someone as empty-headed and overbearing as yourself, she’d indeed be blind!”
Tang Yue opted not to prolong the encounter. He turned and departed, metaphorically pulling the knife from his heart and plunging it into the back of the instigator.
He mused, “Lee Zhao didn’t feign a leg injury just to dodge a kiss. This sacrifice is truly monumental, hehe!”