Chapter 12: Catching the Fragrance Bag
Translator: DavidT Editor: celllll
In front of Ling Tian was a long table with a myriad of items placed on it. On half of the table, there were sabers, spears, bows and more. They were more than enough to show the expectations the Ling family had of Ling Tian: To be a great general like his father.
As Ling Tian took a glance over all of those things, he understood plenty of things. Become a general in future? Ling Tian had honestly not thought about that before. Since the heavens are giving me another chance, how could I be satisfied at just being a general of a small nation?
On the other half of the table, the things there seemed extremely insignificant. There were the essential items for scholars like a calligraphy brush, ink and more. Furthermore, there was even a small stamp on the table. Ling Tian could not help but laugh bitterly. There just isn’t anything for me to put up a show.
His small body stood atop the large table as he glanced at all of the items. But he did not stop at any of the items as he glanced through them all. Everyone stared at this small little child with interest as their eyes widened in shock when they saw that he was not interested in any of the items present! Just what does he want?
Everyone present had witnessed this “one-year-old catch” many times already. No matter what, the child would definitely choose something for sure. Even if they did not like it, other children will still pick up some of the items and play with it like a toy before putting it down for sure. However, they had never witnessed a ceremony where the child was uninterested in anything. Everyone could not help but think to themselves, He is indeed befitting of being the successor of the Ling family. He is so composed and steady even at such a young age.
Consort Ling Ran let go of the emperor’s arm and with a fragrant wind, she went to the side of Chu Ting’er who was by the side of the table. With an amused smile, she looked at her nephew and asked, “Tian’er, are you not going to choose anything?”
Chu Ting’er stared at her son nervously as she thought to herself, Little brat, choose something at least. She was nervous to the point where she almost wanted to choose something on her son’s behalf.
Just at this moment, Ling Tian’s eyes lit up as he looked towards Ling Ran’s waist. On her waist, there was a fragrance bag which was hanging there! Ling Tian’s eyes then gleamed with joy as he ran towards his aunt.
Ling Ran was completely elated, “Little Tian Tian, you are indeed close to your dear aunt, hahaha! Ah?” Before she even finished laughing, her joy had already turned into shock! She stood there at a loss, looking at Ling Tian who had already grabbed onto the fragrance bag which was on her waist! His fair soft hands grabbed tightly onto the fragrance bag and he refused to let go! At the same time, he cried out in a barely audible voice, “I… want this!”
Ling Zhan’s face immediately darkened! He glared fiercely at Ling Ran and almost wanted to throw this daughter of his, who was a consort, out with a single fist.
Ling Zhan had seen many young masters from the different noble families grabbing fragrance bags or other things similar to it during the “one-year-old catch” ceremony. All of them who grabbed fragrance bags were all mercilessly mocked by his grandfather! A classic playboy in the making! Today, he was also afraid that this little brat here would also end up choosing something like this. Thus, he commanded all of these things to be thrown out for the ceremony today, lest he ends up becoming a laughingstock. Furthermore, he instructed that all the fragrance bags on the ladies must be removed for today. Duke Ling was extremely meticulous in his planning and did not allow anything to go wrong.
But no matter how meticulous he was, the only one he forgot was this daughter of his who was in the imperial palace. Today, it could be said that the fragrance bag on Ling Ran was the only one that could be found in the Ling family mansion! Things were just so coincidental!
As all of the officials who were present saw that, they were all dumbfounded and tried their best to control their laughter! Even the emperor, Long Xiang, who was extremely dissatisfied with the empress also couldn’t help but break out into laughter. Watching the colorful emotions on Ling Zhan’s face, everyone found it increasingly difficult to hold back their laughter. Perhaps, this was just like how a smart man would end up falling to his own ingenuity.
Ever since all of the officials entered the Ling family mansion, they had realized that there weren’t any fragrance bags on the ladies in the mansion. If there were only one or two who did not have fragrance bags on them, it might be a coincidence. But if all of them did not have any fragrance bags on, it was enough to show that something was wrong. Although everyone present was silently cursing this cunning old man for cheating as such, who would dare to say it out in the open?
If the Ling family placed the fragrance bag on the table openly and Ling Tian grabbed it, everyone would only tease him for a moment and forget about it. However, now that there wasn’t a single fragrance bag present in this gigantic Ling family mansion with a population of over a thousand, Ling Tian still unexpectedly ended up grabbing it! Furthermore, it was the fragrance bag that the consort herself was wearing! Seeing how Ling Tian’s little face turned red from grabbing on to the fragrance bag so tightly, everyone could not help but laugh out even louder.
Chu Ting’er’s face turned red as she took a step forward, wanting to snatch the fragrance bag from Ling Tian. But she never expected Ling Tian to hold onto it so tightly that she wasn’t able to snatch it over! Seeing how his wife and son was fighting over a fragrance bag, Ling Xiao could not help but laugh despite his anger, “Forget it, if it wants it, then let him hold onto it.” As he said that, he took a deep breath, feeling extremely ashamed.
Although the “one-year-old catch” ceremony was not enough to determine one’s future, there were many people who believed in it. They all broke out into a hearty laughter with an extremely bright smile on their faces, particularly those officials who had been teased by Ling Zhan and his son.
Ling Zhan took a deep sigh of exasperation as he pointed at Ling Ran with his trembling hands. After he trembled for a moment, he did not say anything and walked out of the room. It seemed that this was no small blow to this old man and he would probably not attend the banquet being held later. Ling Xiao could not help but lament bitterly in his heart, If my father is not going to appear, then don’t tell me I will have to bear all of these on my own? His face darkened at that thought.
The emperor, Long Xiang, coughed once he managed to reign in his laughter with much difficulty and asked seriously, “It is getting late already and we are getting a little hungry.” As he said that, he was hinting that the banquet of the Ling family cannot be avoided. All of the officials then celebrated excitedly.
As Ling Ran saw the situation unfold, she knew that she had just gotten herself into a lot of trouble. Thinking about how black her father’s face was when he left, her heart began to beat rapidly. Originally, she wanted to escape from her father and run back into the palace. However, Ling Tian clung onto her body like he was a koala bear and grabbed on tightly to her fragrance bag without letting go. Not able to make him let go of her anytime soon, she could only helplessly hug Ling Tian in her arms. With a bitter laughter, she complained in her heart: Little fellow, little fellow. You have gotten your aunt into deep trouble.
On the banquet, Ling Ran sat beside the emperor, Long Xiang. Although she had a high status at the head of the table, she could not sit down properly as though there were pins and needles beneath her. She hated the fact that she could not turn into a gust of wind and disappear from the banquet.
All of the officials present felt that they did not make a wasted trip at all! Not only were they able to witness the war of words between the two heads of the Ling and Yang family, but also watch the exciting act by the empress. Finally, they were finally able to see Ling Zhan suffer from his own medicine after laughing at all the children who grabbed the fragrance bags. In the end, his own grandson grabbed the fragrance bag; the one and only fragrance bag!
With an excited mood, the officials had faces full of smiles. Their conversations were full of joy as their appetite and alcohol tolerance were particularly good. In the hall, all the officials exchanged toasts with each other as some of them began to drink heartily despite the fact that they were in the presence of the emperor and consort. As for Ling Tian who was the mastermind of all these, he was already caught back into the room to be taught a lesson by his mother, Chu Ting’er.
After a few glasses of wine, Ling Ran’s mood gradually became composed and she managed to force herself to eat something. Seeing that the emperor, Long Xiang, was about to be done with his meal, she began to whine and pester him to return back to the palace. Long Xiang had always doted on this consort of his a lot and naturally knew what she was worried about. Thus, he agreed without delay.
Before announcing that he was leaving, there was a young servant maid who exited from the bedroom. She then knelt on the ground and said, “Old madam said she has not seen consort for a long time already and misses her greatly. She hopes that the emperor will permit the consort to stay in the mansion for a few days.”
Ling Ran was startled as her face became dull, with tears almost streaming down. Long Xiang also laughed bitterly, looking at her helplessly, “Since old madam has such a request, Xiao Ran, stay here for a few days then. We will send someone to fetch you back to the palace a few days later.” He then instructed Ling Xiao who was already red from the alcohol, “Ling Xiao, I will allow the consort to stay in the mansion. We will be returning back to the palace first. Uncle Ling’s mood isn’t too good. Please help me to say goodbye to him.” Following which, he laughed and walked out.
Looking at the emperor leave, Ling Ran’s mood was completely ruined. She had no choice but to follow the servant maid, walking in like a zombie.
Not too long later, a thunderous roar sounded. Everyone in the hall then looked at each other, bursting out into an amused laughter.