"Cao'er, Royal Prince Yang is here…" As the master and servant talked about the grand carriage procession, a voice of greeting sounded in the front courtyard. Before Madam Liu had finished speaking, a tall figure had already walked into the backyard.
He was dressed in an ice-blue robe inlaid with gold embroidery at the border and looked like a person made of flawless jade. Even without excessive movement, he still gave off a sense of nobility, prominence, and aloofness. His pair of slightly slanted eyes were as clear as a black obsidian immersed in water. His pure pupils and the bewitching shape of his eyes were merged wonderfully into an extremely beautiful style…
"Wow!! Young Miss, it was him. He's the person who was riding on the tall, black horse in front of the procession!! Could it be that they were heading to our house?" Erya was first stunned by the gorgeous appearance of the man in front of her, and then her mind suddenly cleared up and she started screaming again.
Yu Xiaocao smacked away her finger that was pointing at Royal Prince Yang, and pretended to scold her, "No manners! Aren't you going to quickly ask the royal prince for forgiveness?"
"Pri… Prince?" In the plays, those who offended a prince would be killed. Erya immediately dropped down on her knees and kowtowed several times, banging her head on the ground. With the strength that she used, her forehead had bruised after kowtowing a few times, "Your Highness, please spare my life! Your Highness, please spare my life!!"
Yu Xiaocao didn't know whether she should laugh or cry. She put down the basket full of flower petals in her hands and stopped her from kowtowing. She whispered to Zhu Junyang, "Quickly say that you forgive her! This lass is slow-witted. If she continues to kowtow, she will faint."
Zhu Junyang glanced disdainfully at the ugly girl who was struggling to free herself from her young miss's grasp to continue kowtowing to him. He pursed his thin lips, which were as pale as water, and said, "Where did you find this dumb girl? If you need more people to serve you, this prince can gift you with a few maidservants! Any random maidservant in our prince's estate will be more clever than her."
When Erya heard this, she continued to kowtow with a crying voice, "Don't drive Erya away. I will take good care of Young Miss. If Young Miss tells me to go to the south, I would never go to the west. If Young Miss tells me to hit a dog, I definitely wouldn't chase a chicken…"
Yu Xiaocao burst out in laughter and said, "Yeah right! If I told you to hit Little White, would you dare? Even if it was Little Black, I doubt you even have the guts to touch him!"
Erya looked up at Yu Xiaocao and said with a distressed face, "Young Miss, that's because the two dogs in our family are too fierce, and they're even bigger than me. Can… Can we replace them with the dogs raised by your eldest granduncle's family?"
"So you think Eldest Granduncle's dogs are easy to bully? Why are you provoking Dahuang and the others for no reason at all?" Yu Xiaocao really didn't know what to do with her. She pondered if Erya could learn something if she handed her to Yingtao.
Zhu Junyang glared at the dumb maidservant and emitted 'cold air' at her. Erya couldn't endure the pressure that Royal Prince Yang gave her, so she dejectedly looked for an excuse and went to the West Courtyard. Older Sister Yingtao had medicine. She needed to treat the bruise on her forehead with ointment for promoting blood circulation and dissolving bruises.
When the eyesore finally left, Zhu Junyang slightly raised his phoenix eyes to look at the graceful young maiden in front of him. After not seeing her for an entire winter, the lass had grown a little taller, and she was appearing more like a teenage girl. Some of the immaturity on her small face, which was as tender as a silky white tofu, had also faded. She wore a pink dress and looked slightly more charming than the peach blossom flowers. The 'heart disease' that hadn't acted up for the whole winter seemed like it might recur.
"Young Royal Prince, did you have any romantic encounters while staying in the capital for several months? Did Princess Consort Jing force you to go on blind dates? Your nominal age is nineteen after the New Year. Many of the noble young masters in the capital, who are around your age, probably have sons who run all over the place, right?"
Yu Xiaocao looked at Zhu Junyang, who looked more and more devilishly handsome the older he was, and wondered what kind of girl was worthy of such a seductively charming face. She also silently mourned for his future wife, 'To have a husband who's even more beautiful than herself, that must be so much pressure ah!'
Upon hearing her questions, Zhu Junyang immediately pulled a long face and snorted, "Are you really that eager to see this prince go on blind dates and get married? This prince can't stand those commonplace women!! I'm warning you, don't provoke me on purpose. Otherwise, this prince will get someone to flog you."
In Yu Xiaocao's eyes, Zhu Junyang's threat was like Little White baring his teeth at others—they were just putting on a front. However, she could tell that Zhu Junyang didn't want others to mention this topic. She laughed and said, "It's a matter of course for people to get married, so what's there to be embarrassed about?"
"From which eye do you see that this prince is embarrassed?" With a dark expression, Zhu Junyang started emitting 'cold air' towards Yu Xiaocao, but, unfortunately, she was immune to it.
Yu Xiaocao shrugged her shoulders. In any case, the important matter of the royal prince's marriage wasn't something that a little peasant girl should be concerned about. She inwardly made a silent tribute for his mother, Princess Consort Jing—it must be so tiring for Her Highness to have such a troublesome son.
"Oh right! How's the red-clothed beauty who I met in the capital last time? Is she still staying at your house?" Yu Xiaocao's heart was burning with the desire to gossip, so she disregarded Royal Prince Yang's anger and fearlessly asked.
"Beauty? What red-clothed beauty? Can that ugly brat Jiang Zixian be considered a beauty? Are you blind!" Zhu Junyang scolded her, and then continued, "My lady mother had sent her back to the Jiang Family a long time ago! She doesn't have anything to do with this prince anymore, so don't put us together. Do you understand?"
Yu Xiaocao raised her eyebrows and shrugged her shoulders. That girl Jiang Zixian indeed wasn't a very good person. She feigned an innocent appearance, but she wasn't really how she appeared. She also had a very bad temper, and she was very arrogant and willful. It would be so troublesome to have such a wife ah!
Seeing that the lass had obediently closed her mouth, Zhu Junyang shifted his gaze to the basket on the ground and asked, "Why do you need so many flower petals? How many peaches will be ruined because of this ah?"
"What do you know? These are all male flowers, which don't bear fruits! You just learned something, right? Quickly help me. Let's pick some more to make peach blossom cakes, peach blossom tea, and peach blossom wine!" Yu Xiaocao looked at Zhu Junyang's long limbs and felt that it must be very convenient to use them, so she used food as a bait to get him to help her.
It seemed like Yu Xiaocao was the only one who dared to tell the cold-faced god of death, Royal Prince Yang, to work for her! Zhu Junyang glared at the little lass, and then he stretched out his hands, accepting his fate. Under Yu Xiaocao's guidance, he plucked the peach blossom on the branch. Xiaocao had found this peach tree by chance in the valley and transplanted it over last year. After being irrigated with mystic-stone water every day, the flowers bloomed brilliantly this year. She wondered how the fruits would turn out!
When Meixiang, Princess Consort Jing's maidservant, came over, she saw two figures, one blue and the other pink, standing side by side amongst the flying peach blossom petals. The figure in blue was tall and upright, while the figure in pink appeared petite and delicate. With her clear and lively voice, the petite figure pointed in varying locations as she ordered the tall, blue figure to pick the flower petals on the branches. The blue figure let her have her way and did as she ordered…
Meixiang suddenly felt like she was watching a little pink fox ordering a lofty, loyal dog to work. No matter what request the little fox made, the loyal dog wouldn't get angry, and he also had to coax the cute little fox.
Meixiang couldn't bear to ruin this harmonious moment, so she just stood there in silence. In the end, it was Yu Xiaocao who had turned around and saw her out of the corner of her eyes. She asked strangely, "Older Sister Meixiang, when did you come? Did Princess Consort Jing need something?"
With a bright smile on her face, Meixiang looked at her family's young royal prince and the young daughter of the Yu Family and said, "Her Highness has already settled down on the mountain. She told this servant to ask if the royal prince will go back for lunch."
Yu Xiaocao looked at Zhu Junyang and figured that he intended to bum a meal at her house, so she quickly said, "Young Royal Prince, I'm letting you know beforehand that I didn't know you were coming over today so I didn't prepare anything special. If you want to stay, you can only eat vegetable dishes for lunch!"
Zhu Junyang looked at her obliquely with his charming phoenix eyes. When he saw her dazed look, he was in a good mood and said, "How stingy! You're reluctant to even let this prince eat one meal at your house! When you ordered this prince to pick the peach blossom petals earlier, didn't you say that you're going to make peach blossom cakes and peach blossom wine for me to try?"
Yu Xiaocao sighed and said, "It's not that I'm being stingy, but it's really 'even a clever woman can't cook without rice' ah! Making peach blossom tea and brewing peach blossom wine aren't things that can be done in a short period of time. If you really want to stay, I can make peach blossom cakes for you to eat. However, I know that you don't really like sweets. Peach blossom cakes have the effects of detoxification and beautifying. I'm afraid that your looks will be greatly enhanced after eating it. Can't you leave a way out for women?"
Meixiang was terrified in her heart. 'She actually dared to joke about the royal prince's appearance. Miss Yu, do you really think that you have nine lives?' The young prince loathed others complimenting his looks. The son of the imperial tutor had privately said that Royal Prince Yang looked pretty. When her young master found out about this, he beat him up until his own mother couldn't recognize him. With Miss Yu's small body, she didn't know if she could even take the strength of her young master's pinky finger. What should she do? Should she go back and ask Her Highness for backup?
In the midst of her hesitation and panic, she hadn't expected that her young master didn't react in his usual manner. Touching his own face, Zhu Junyang looked seriously at Yu Xiaocao and asked a question that made Meixiang's jaw drop, "Xiaocao, what do you think about this prince's looks? Be honest!!"
Yu Xiaocao also carefully looked at the young royal prince's facial features in a serious manner. She solemnly nodded and said, "Gorgeous, enchanting, exceedingly beautiful, and unrivaled! If I have to sum up your appearance in one word, I would use the term—devilish!!"
With every word Yu Xiaocao said, Zhu Junyang's face would darken even more. When he heard the word 'devilish', the young royal prince's face was as dark as black ink. Before he got angry, Yu Xiaocao spoke up again, "You're the one who told me to say it, so why are you getting angry? Besides, all the words that I used are praising terms, which aren't derogatory at all. From the bottom of my heart, I feel that you, Young Royal Prince, are very good-looking and fit my beauty standard. I'm complimenting you as a very good-looking man, yet you're still unhappy ah! So unreasonable!!"
Zhu Junyang sighed heavily and asked, "Tell me the truth! Don't you think that I look too feminine and don't have any masculinity?"
"Of course not!! Young Royal Prince, with your handsome appearance and cool and indifferent aura, you have a natural imposing force. You're bursting with testosterone. How is it possible for you to lack manliness?" Hearing Yu Xiaocao's series of flattering remarks, Zhu Junyang's face looked somewhat better.