Changqing-wang didn’t understand his niece. It wasn’t too late to cover the incident, why should he throw himself in front of His Majesty? Seeing his niece’s logic, for a moment there was an unspoken feeling.
Was the Emperor very partial towards Ban family because they were…… too foolish to be harmful?
“Your Highness, what Junzhu said is reasonable,” Rong Xia put his cup down, “It is better to let His Majesty know that you are being set up.”
Changqing-wang looked at Rong Xia in puzzlement. This one’s brain wasn’t functioning either, what was the logic?
The current Emperor’s tolerance level was smaller than the tip of a needle, one careless word could make him shun you for long time, let alone something like this. He stared at Rong Xia then glanced at Ban Hua, had someone been so intoxicated by beauty that all rationality thrown out of the window?
Rong Xia unexpectedly had the same hobby as himself1T/N – collecting beautiful things.
After hearing that Rong Xia was agreeing with herself, Ban Hua felt he had became more and more pleasant in her eyes. He wasn’t just good looking but also smart, and most importantly, he was perceptive.
This wasn’t the first time Ban Hua found one more good point of Rong Xia’s.
The more Changqing-wang looked at them, the more he felt those three were making him unsettled, he waved, “You all go back home, I am not entertaining today.”
The Ban siblings had always been broad-minded, Changqing-wang wasn’t interested in their suggestion so they just patted their backs and left. They didn’t feel the weight of being the direct witness of a royal family backstabbing, it wasn’t that exciting.
“I knew that buying those talking things could be troublesome,” Ban Heng put on a look of an ‘experienced person’, he was talking to Rong Xia who walked out with them. “When I was small, I bought a parrot once. Who knew that evil bird spoke like marketplace scoundrels, Mother was so angry that she gave me a good beating.”
Rong Xia laughed, “That is quite interesting.”
When he was small, he didn’t have time to play. He wasn’t allowed to play because playing was a hindrance, so he never experienced those mischiefs that other children had.
“Ban-shizi!” Several idle gongzi‘s in reds and purples waved their hands towards Ban Heng from across the street. When they saw Ban Hua was there, some of youngsters took out their fans so they could look romantic and elegant.
Ban Hua almost couldn’t hold back her laughter, she waved Ban Heng away, “Your friends are calling, go ahead.”
Ban Heng happily ran over, he was indeed familiar with them.
“Junzhu,” Rong Xia looked at Ban Hua’s arm, “A few days ago I heard a rumour, may I ask how is your injury?”
“Rumour?” Ban Hua blinked, the small action made her looking extraordinarily innocent, “Do you mean the one about the Second Prince breaking my arm?”
Rong Xia was worrying about it. During the Autumn Hunt he could see the Second Prince and Ban Hua didn’t see eye to eye, and neither of them were the type who would suffer losses. The rumour saying they were fighting in front of the Emperor was possibly true.
How could those slender arms and legs stand a man’s fist.
Ban Hua wanted to lift her sleeve to show Rong Xia but felt it inappropriate, she used her hand to round an approximate area, “Not a problem, just this small place.”
Her white and soft fingers were tender and cute like peeled and cleanly washed young scallion roots. The fingers were only about three-fingers away from him, her watery eyes looked like those of a furry young animal’s, partly cute and partly pitiful.
“In the future when you meet the Second Prince like that…. better stay away from him.” Rong Xia thought for a while, “A wise man knows not to fight a hopeless battle, able to bear a moment of anger, able to take things into account for a future revenge. The most important is to not let himself hurt.”
Ban Hua’s toes lightly tapped the ground, her eyes were elsewhere not daring to meet Rong Xia’s gaze. She really was too embarrassed to admit that she had deliberately set Jiang Luo up.
“It’s still fine if he only mocked me for my engagements being withdrawn three times, but he also ridiculed my father as mediocre and useless, naturally I couldn’t bear this anger.”
Rong Xia wanted to say that in life not every wish would come true, noone lived a carefree smooth-sailing life without worries. However when he saw the young lady’s sparkling big eyes, he swallowed it back.
“There are many ways to settle someone.”
“But I was too lazy to think of other ways,” Ban Hua was very frank, “It hurts my brain.”
Rong Xia laughed helplessly, these words were…. so typical of her.
“Then how if it is someone you couldn’t beat, someone who is out of your reach?”
“I haven’t met one,” Ban Hua thought about it seriously, “When I do, I’ll tell you.”
Rong Xia thought he really shouldn’t have this discussion with a pampered Junzhu.
“Sis.” Ban Heng ran back, “I am going with friends to a cockfight, you go back by yourself.”
“You be careful too.” Ban Hua pulled out two pieces of bank notes, one was for 200 liangs, and the other was 100 liangs. After looking at them for a while she gave the 200 liangs note to Ban Heng, “Take it.”
“Sis, you are so kind!” Ban Heng took the money, contentedly rode on his horse to follow the other gongzi’s.
Rong Xia looked at the joyful Ban Heng’s back, he had discovered one more thing about Ban family. This family could bury stacks of gold and gems in the ground, but just 200 liangs money for going out had made them giddy, he really couldn’t understand.
“Master Rong,” Ban Hua saluted Rong Xia, “I will also take my leave.”
“Junzhu, let me take you home.” Rong Xia mounted his horse and smiled at Ban Hua, “I hope Junzhu doesn’t mind.”
“I don’t mind, but this is close to my house and I have guards, most people don’t dare to touch me.” Ban Hua tilted her head and thought, “It must be boring for you to go home by yourself, how if I take you home?”
The smile on Rong Xia’s face stiffened, he then bowed to Ban Hua, “I am grateful for Junzhu’s assistance.”
Ban family guards and Cheng’an residence guards looked at Rong Xia in unison, the atmosphere instantly turned difficult to describe.
Ban Hua didn’t notice the odd expression on the faces of the guards, she jumped onto her horse, “You are so good looking, I am really worried a female bandit will grab you to be her husband and take advantage of you.”
Rong Xia laughed as he heard this, “Junzhu is joking with this Rong person?”
Ban Hua stroked the horse’s head, it began to slowly moved forward, “I am paying you a compliment. A gentleman as fine as jade, a feast for the eyes.”
Rong Xia felt today’s talk was hard to carry, he was actually losing his speech when facing Ban Hua.
“Junzhu’s appearance overturns the state,” Rong Xia maintained his horse at half a horse distance from Ban Hua’s, “Wherever you are present, everything else pales in comparison.”
“Someone praised me with these words before,” Ban Hua drily laughed, “But not long after, he eloped with a woman from red-light district.”
Rong Xia fell in deep silent, he looked at Ban Hua but her face didn’t change much. Either she really didn’t care about the past, or the bland expression was to conceal her emotions.
“Are you talking about ….. Xie Second Son?” Rong Xia finally asked.
“Watch out!” Ban Hua pulled Rong Xia’s sleeve, Rong Xia bent his body. A window rod brushed his face and fell on his horse’s body, the horse neighed in pain.
Ban Hua looked up at the first floor of the building, she only saw the side figure of a young woman hurriedly closing the window, but this figure looked familiar.
Rong Xia was busy calming his horse down, “Many thanks Junzhu.”
“Welcome.” Ban Hua stared at Rong Xia’s jade-like face, if this face was ruined, how many ladies in the Capital would be heartbroken?
Cheng’an residence guards wanted to go upstairs to investigate but Rong Xia stopped them, “No need, I think it was just someone being careless. It’s good that Junzhu is here, so this Rong person was saved from disaster.”
“It’s just a small matter, not worth mentioning.” Ban Hua waved her hand heroically, “Master Rong is too polite.”
Rong Xia laughed and he really didn’t mention this matter again on their later part of the trip, he instead told Ban Hua some simple folklores. Ban Hua listened in fascination and kept asking him what happened next.
“Junzhu, I have arrived home.” There was no female in Rong Xia’s place, so he couldn’t invite Ban Hua to sit inside, “Hope Junzhu and Shizi can often come to my humble abode. Not many people here so it is lonely and cheerless, if Shizi and Junzhu have spare time to visit, this Rong person will make good preparation to welcome you.”
“Will definitely come to trouble Master in the future.” Ban Hua pulled out a piece of gold-embossed invitation, “This is for our grandmother’s birthday in two days, please Master visit the Grand Princess’ residence for a little drink.”
“Many thanks for Junzhu’s invitation, then this Rong person will trouble Junzhu again that time.” Rong Xia got off his horse and bowed to Ban Hua, “Thank you Junzhu for taking me home.”
Ban Hua thought for a moment, she bent her waist down from the horseback, “Then tell me, what happened to that scholar next?”
“Then the Princess found the scholar’s betrayal, the Princess was very angry that not only they separated, she also request the Emperor to take away his merits and never to employ him again.”
“Good ending!” Ban Hua clapped and laughed, “I like it.”
Rong Xia looked at her radiant face, he couldn’t help but to smile as well, “It’s good that Junzhu likes it.”
“I am going then.” Ban Hua had got the ending she wanted to hear. She said goodbye to Rong Xia in a good mood, gave her horse a pat and trotted away.
Rong Xia stood still watching Ban Hua and her guards leaving further and further away, he only turned and walked in when there was nothing to see.
The smile on his face disappeared after he was inside, he said to Du Jiu, “Investigate that house now, and also Changqing-wang…… never mind, leave him for now.”
“Yes!” Du Jiu clasped his fist, turned and headed out.
When he was alone in the study, Rong Xia finally couldn’t hold it, he started to laugh in a loud voice.
This was the first time a woman sent him home, it was really….. interesting
“You really sent Master Rong home?” Ban Heng was dumbstruck when he heard it, “Sis, were you being kind, or were you looking down on him?”
“What do you mean?” Ban Hua was baffled, “How did I look down on him by sending him home?”
“You, a woman, praised a seven-foot man as good looking, then you sent him home. He didn’t give you a sour look, it’s just because his temperament is good.” Ban Heng shook his head and sighed, “Sis, you don’t understand men, men value face very much.”
“A great beauty like me sending him home, why would he lose face?”
“No matter how beautiful you are, you are still a woman,” Ban Heng waved his hand, “Do you understand?”
Which man was willing to be protected by a woman?
“Whenever you came to me for help, why you never said this?” Ban Hua rolled her eyes, “You men are so troublesome, aren’t you being unreasonable?”
Ban Heng, “Your family’s men and outside men are different, right?”
T/N – Seven-foot man isn’t 2.13m tall like in modern time, not every ML in novels is as tall as Yao Ming (2.29m). In ancient times, it ranged from 1.7m to 3.2m depending on the dynasty (that’s how 丈夫 is man/husband, a man was around 1 丈 = 1.7m tall in Dynasty Shang). I think in novels, it’s safe to say it’s 170-180 cms tall… or however tall you imagine the ML to be!
- 1T/N – collecting beautiful things