☆ Chapter 56
One should not be fooled by Lu Piao Xiang’s indifferent expression that was always present and think he did not take anything to heart. He firmly believed there was one thing that would last forever, such as his obsession with music, and towards romantic love, his heart also felt the same.
As a matter of fact, Ruan Zhu thought she had treated him unfairly. Ever since they wed, their interactions had been very brief and it was also under the circumstances where her body was inconvenienced.
Like always, his clothes were eternally spotless and the impression he gave others was one that was fresh and clean like an ink and wash painting.
She snuggled into his embrace and glanced at Yun Shi Yi from the corner of her eyes and mentally released a sigh of relief. Fortunately, her first husband was not angry. She had transmigrated into Tian Chu for so long and still didn’t quite understand the psychology behind the men of this era sharing a common wife. Was it because one had to hear it and see it since childhood to be able to calmly accept it?
“Wife, may I stay behind tonight?” Lu Piao Xiang hugged the tender and soft body and was not willing to part. Thinking it would be best to be lay next to her where he could continue to hold her like this, enthusiasm suddenly poured into his mind like a wave.
Ruan Zhu did not respond and looked in Yun Shi Yi’s direction, as if looking for his opinion.
Yun Shi Yi was grateful to Lu Piao Xiang for saving his wife’s life. Since his fate was to share his wife with many men, he did not mind Lu Piao Xiang being one of them. He walked forward and placed a kiss on his wife’s cheek: “Wife can sleep between the two of us.”
Lu Piao Xiang’s face overflowed with happiness.
Ruan Zhu also happily smiled. If this household could remain harmonious, her having a few more husbands wouldn’t be bad as she could have even more love-struck fools.
Yun Shi Wei was currently tidying the desk and stopped his movements after hearing his elder brother’s words, his gentle eyes flashing.
Ruan Zhu pounced: “Second Cousin, is something the matter?”
“No.” Yun Shi Wei evasively responded. His wife had met with mishap because of his carelessness and had almost left them forever. Continuously self-condemning himself, he did not have the right to ask for even more and left the room with the food tray while thinking: If Spouse likes it, then just let her be happy!
Ruan Zhu innocently looked at the departing Yun Shi Wei. It’s not that I didn’t give you the opportunity, okay~ You didn’t fight for it, so the blame is not on me.
At night, she laid between the two men and was nestled inside the crook of Yun Shi Yi’s arm.
Lu Piao Xiang stuck close to her. A hand lightly caressed her smooth and soft skin and finally halted before her ample mounds on her chest. Two of his fingers pinched a red plum and pulled before then placing his entire hand on top……He murmured next to her ear: “Wife, this part is much fuller than before and also much softer.”
The corner of Ruan Zhu’s lips rose. After giving birth, who didn’t have a bigger chest? If only it were possible for her to regain her previous sweet and graceful figure but keep her current chest size. Her other breast felt warm and she slightly turned her head–Yun Shi Yi had covered it. Looking at his gentle eyes, warmth spread over her heart.
Ruan Zhu was embraced by the two most outstanding men and felt a bliss that she had never felt before.
The temperature in the room was a little low and Yun Shi Yi pulled a large quilt over all three of them.
The two husbands knew they could not do that thing and only held her. They did not ask for more, but it was actually already everything they could wish for.
Xuanyuan Min Zhi had been moved to Wo Xue Pavilion. His external injuries were not serious but it was the previous poison that was hard to deal with.
The physician invited from the medicine hall was a big letdown. He treated the external injuries but did not have the slightest idea what to do with the poison and against all reason, prescribed medicine to alleviate a fever. Even an amateur like Ruan Zi Xu, who knew nothing about the art of medicine, knew that a prescription to alleviate fevers treated excessive internal heat and using it to cure a poison was the same as the ravings of a lunatic.
In a fit of curses, he drove the physician out and had two attendants follow him towards Wo Xue Pavilion while carrying a bowl of tonic. Yet he saw Imperial Physician Zhang feeling Xuanyuan Min Zhi’s pulse while Lu Piao Xiang sat in the taishi chair in front of the window, currently pouring a cup of aromatic tea to drink.
Ruan Zi Xu was alarmed. He had continuously prevented the imperial physician from being too close to Xuanyuan Min Zhi but in the end, they still met. If by chance the matter of the prince being abused in Ruan clan was transmitted into the Emperor’s ears, wouldn’t his Ruan clan be finished?
Lu Piao Xiang walked over to salute Ruan Zi Xu and invited him to sit, but Ruan Zi Xu did not have the courage to be too daring in the presence of a prince. Thus, not only that, he also bowed in greeting towards Xuanyuan Min Zhi. A commoner meeting a prince–no matter what the circumstances were, one could only formally call upon them in greeting, right!
Just as he was about to kneel, he was pulled up by Lu Piao Xiang who had suddenly strode forward. This son-in-law of his had great strength and most likely was one who knew martial arts; Ruan Zi Xu had been pulled up by him and unexpectedly couldn’t resist.
“My Lord does not need to be courteous; everyone present is our own people. Prince Xuanyuan was poisoned, met with harm in a foreign country, experienced a rough life, and was fortunate to be saved from difficulty with your great assistance. There was never a need for retaliation so how could he accept your kowtow? There is no such reasoning like this in the world.”
Hah? Speechless, Ruan Zi Xu’s eyes were wide, and he was stunned silly. He had assisted Prince Xuanyuan? From where did this sentence come from? He only knew that the other had suffered extreme humiliation at the hands of the Ruan family during the most painful stage of his life.
He had not assisted him; he had rubbed a layer of salt over his wounds.
Imperial Physician Zhang had finished feeling Xuanyuan Min Zhi’s pulse and commended Ruan Zi Xu: “Master Ruan is a generous and highly principled person to be so zealous in his aid towards Prince Xuanyuan when his identity was still unknown. It truly makes one admire him greatly. When this old one returns to the capital, this one will surely hand a memorial to His Imperial Majesty to award Master Ruan’s achievements and virtues.”
Lu Piao Xiang faintly smiled: “When you return to the capital, simply pretend as if nothing had happened, and furthermore, do not bring up anything regarding the Ruan clan’s matters. If news of Prince Xuanyuan being here is leaked, there will be dangers that you cannot afford to bear responsibility for.”
Imperial Physician Zhang didn’t expect to have patted a horse’s leg when he tried to pat its butt[a] and hurriedly said: “This small old one understands and will certainly not speak nonsense.”
The grand imperial physician called himself ‘this small one’ towards Lu Piao Xiang. Ruan Zi Xu looked in amazement at this son-in-law of his.
Ruan Zi Xu saw Xuanyuan Min Zhi was leaning against the bed’s headboard and his heart became nervous. His eyes turning, he inquired: “Asking Imperial Physician Zhang for guidance, this one is unaware of how His Highness’s condition is?”
There was some anxiety in Imperial Physician Zhang’s eyes and he worriedly responded: “Please forgive this small one’s learnings for being artificial. Towards His Highness’s poison, this one does not have the best understanding and wanting to eradicate this the same as all the other poisons is indeed impossible. But if His Highness were to follow the prescription written by this small one, this small one can at least guarantee the illness will not be worsened. Whether the poison can be slowly eradicated over time in the future cannot be known.”
“This future you speak of, how long does that require?” The Xuanyuan Min Zhi who had been frigid and icy from the start finally spoke.
“Let this small old think think for a moment, en, perhaps a year or perhaps within two years.”
“You might as well say this prince will never be well; that will make me more at ease.” A smiling Min Zhi grimly laughed.
“Although this small old one does not have great confidence towards His Highness’s poison, this small one will absolutely not permit His Highness’s poison to be at the state where it torments His Highness forever and is at an incurable state. May His Highness please remain at ease; it will help to alleviate your condition.”
How should it be said–As people aged, they became especially long-winded, and Imperial Physician Zhang was just like so.
“Leave the prescription; I will later have servants go and fill it. If Imperial Physician Zhang has no other matters, please return to your room and rest. When there is a situation, we will once again have to trouble you.” Lu Piao Xiang took the proffered prescription and looked it over before handing it to a servant on the side along with a silver banknote: “Go fill the prescription. Once that’s done, give it to the kitchen to simmer and then bring it over when they’re finished.”
The servant saluted and then left.
Imperial Physician Zhang had received Lu Piao Xiang’s order and also departed from Wo Xue Pavilion.
Xuanyuan Min Zhi sat at the bedhead with an icy expression. It was like he had not seen Lu Piao Xiang’s actions and he turned his head to the side. But upon seeing Ruan Zi Xu, his eyes flared with hatred: “You are Ruan Ju’s father?”
Ruan Zi Xu cupped his hands and bowed: “This lowly one did not teach daughter correctly and has caused His Highness to suffer tremendously. Yesterday, that evil creature has been punished and her father has already been sold into the lowest-grade whorehouse.”
“This prince really wants to know; how did you punish that evil creature of yours?”
Ruan Zi Xu was stumped for words. His so-called ‘punishment’ was actually not considered a genuine punishment.
A sneer came from Lu Piao Xiang: “His Highness Xuanyuan is so concerned about Ruan Ju. Could it be love has truly taken form in your heart and you want to be her bedwarmer?”
Hearing that, Ruan Zi Xu almost jumped from shock. Fearing his son-in-law had offended this noble relative of the imperial family, he hastily gave a meaningful glance to the other. Who could have imagined the latter’s expression would remain calm and composed as he lifted up the cup on the table for a mouthful and savored the tea: “Good tea.”
Xuanyuan Min Zhi ferociously glared at him but remained silent. Against the thing he had previously done towards Lu Piao Xiang, the humiliation he had received in the Ruan clan truly paled in insignificance. It was very hard to come by that Xuanyuan Min Zhi had not reacted violently.
Ruan Zi Xu and Lu Piao Xiang walked out from Wo Xue Pavilion and the former once again sized up his son-in-law. He was amazed beyond what words could describe. Although he couldn’t figure out the secret behind him, he knew that the Ruan clan basically had nothing to worry about any longer. And perhaps, there may be many times in the future when the Ruan clan would need to rely on Lu Piao Xiang.
Madam Ruan had not been able to find Wei Rong since yesterday morning after she had woken and even her favorite third daughter was missing. No matter who she asked, all were unclear; when in fact, all were clear but just did not have the courage to say it out loud. Don’t look at how the Madam manages the household; the authority of the Ruan family was still in Ruan Zi Xu’s hands.
It was correct that in Tian Chu, a man’s properties and assets were handed to the wife to control, but if the clan of the groom’s family was too powerful, then how could the entirety of the clan’s undertakings be given out? The Emperor could not give the country to his Empress, right?
The Ruan family’s line of businesses and other assets could only be inherited by a member of the Ruan family and the heir must have an outstanding mind and a powerful drive. This was also the reason why the Ruan clan had been able to tower above the others for several hundred years.
The assets of the Ruan family were colossal. Their lands accounted for one third of Yu Zhou’s arable land, and they had over thirty stores specializing in all sorts of fields. Among them was a silk house that monopolized the market. All others who wanted to enter the silk market had to receive their goods from the Ruan family.
When Ruan Zi Xu was heading towards Jin Se Hall, he came across his wife. The latter fiercely glared at him and starting loudly cursing him before he had even walked close: “You have gone against the Heavens; your disgusting lard-filled heart has been blinded by unreasonable jealousy! Today if you do not hand over Wei Rong and Ruan Ju, I will divorce you–a lowly ignorant man who doesn’t know how to differentiate good from evil–and have you become a monk!”
Ruan Zi Xu had long prepared mentally for this moment. Perfectly composed, he walked around her to enter Jin Se Hall, exiting the reception pavilion, into the central building, advanced into the drawing room, removed his coat, and sat down by the fireplace, warming himself.
Madam Ruan followed him inside and seeing his relaxed bearing, became increasingly furious and picked up the half-filled cup of tea water from the table, pouring it over his head.
Ruan Zi Xu did not know martial arts and could not dodge and his head was immediately soaked through……
The author has something to say: Today, we’ll just go with this word count. It’s a little lacking so I’ll add more tomorrow.
[a] 马匹拍到马脚上, slang meaning trying to flatter someone but failing and also causing resentment