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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 296 – Buying insurance (1)
Ji Man returned to Feiwan Courtyard and changed into a simple robe embroidered with plum flowers and a grayish silver sash. When it was about time for Pengyue to arrive, she went over to the entrance to wait.
A carriage stopped at the entrance. Pengyue was wearing a fiery red dress with a red cloak that was embroidered with golden birds today. And so, when she hurriedly disembarked from the carriage, it was like seeing a ball of fire coming down. With a bright and cheerful smile, she stopped in front of Nie Sangyu and greeted, "Long time no see, Marchioness Moyu."
Ji Man slightly smiled in response. She wasn't especially close with this princess that she happened to have met only a few times before. She saluted her and said, "It's very thoughtful of you to come here to my humble home to pay respects during the vigil."
There was a radiant smile on Pengyue's face. Unlike what others had predicted, this princess hadn't become broken-hearted and sad after marrying a prince that was crippled since birth. Looking at Pengyu's complexion, Ji Man thought she looked even better now than before she got married.
Original translation is from fuyuneko dot org. If you’re reading this elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
"There's not much to do in the prince's estate anyways, and you're the only person I’ve somewhat interacted with in the capital. Hearing that something like that happen in your household, it's only natural that I would want to pay a visit." Pengyue followed her inside.
Ji Man briefly turned her head to the side to glance at her. From top to bottom, Pengyue was wearing red clothing. If she was coming here for the express purpose of paying respect to Yun-er's mourning period, why was she dressed so jubilantly?
As expected, when they arrived at the hall, as soon as Wen Wan saw that Princess Pengyue was wearing all red, her face changed colors. Because of Pengyue's status, Wen Wan couldn't say any word of complaint. Instead, she only stayed kneeling on the ground instead of getting up and saluting.
Pengyue only perfunctorily added a few sticks of incense to the incense burner, then she pulled Nie Sangyu out of the hall and said, "I haven't come to this estate before. Sangyu, could you show me around?"
"Sure." Ji Man guided her towards Feiwan Courtyard's direction, and they slowly walked.
Pengyu asked, "Aren't you curious about how I'm doing after marrying Ah Li?"
Ji Man pursed her lips. It seemed that her master for today had a lot of words that she wanted to say. Still, she didn't know why Pengyue wanted to talk to her.
"I can tell that you're doing well just from looking at your expression."
Smiling, Pengyue looked at her in askance for a moment before shaking her head. "Ah Li's life has been full of torment. Even though he's also a prince, there's a enormous difference in how he's treated compared to the first prince and third prince. It's only after I married him that he was able to leave the palace and establish his own estate. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with him, but when his clothes were removed, I saw that his body was full of scars.
Ji Man paused. She was a bit surprised.
Pengyue continued to smile as she said, "On my wedding night, I counted all of the scars on his body from knife wounds to burns to bruises. In total, there were over eighty."
"I would have never thought a prince's life would be like this. When I asked him who did this, he said the scars were from a long time ago. I thought, it definitely has to be from those wicked servants that attend to him.”
Ji Man patiently listened.
"He asked me if I felt disdainful of him. I said that I didn't." Pengyue clenched her fist. "He's already given me everything that he has. He shapes my eyebrows with makeup and grows flowers for me. Whatever I want, as long as he can do it, he'll do it. He clearly doesn't even live the life a human should live himself, but he's always worried about letting me suffer."
"I've already written a letter to Yuzhen to ask my imperial father to demand a titled prince position for Ah Li."
(T/N: Even though Zhao Li is a prince, he won't have any title and associated land until the emperor bestows it.)
Slowing her steps, Ji Man turned her head to the side to look at Pengyue. She felt a bit stunned. Everyone knew that the emperor didn't favor the second prince. The second prince's mother had died young, so it was inevitable that people would secretly bully him. But, she was surprised that Pengyue wouldn't feel disdain towards that type of person and wanted to help him fight to significantly improve his situation.
Wait, why did she feel that this tale was somewhat familiar? After a cripple prince, who hadn't been able to fight for power for himself, marries a woman that's as beautiful as a flower, he starts competing to gain the country for his beautiful wife. In the end, he arrogantly laughs at the world that he's conquered. Wasn't this the most frequently seen plot in light novels?!
She didn't even know which prince had ended up successfully seized the throne in the original novel. She had originally thought the third prince already had victory within his grasp. But then, someone had suddenly framed him, and Nie Xiangyuan had been sacked for corruption. After these two events, the third prince's side had become much meeker. Although the first prince had the empress and the prime minister's supporting him, he hadn't attempted or accomplished anything recently that would allow him to re-seize the position of the crown prince.
(T/N: Just in case it was too long ago, the current prime minister is the first prince's maternal cousin.)
Then, what about the second prince that had previously been obscure and silent? Ji Man furrowed her brow.
"I came over here and told you about all this because I wanted you to help me with something." Pengyue finally got to the important point. "Even if my imperial father says something, it won't be guaranteed that Ah Li will be given a good fiefdom. If Marquis Moyu can say a few words on his behalf, the likelihood of a good outcome would be assured."
Oh my god, even if Pengyu was a princess, she was still only a teenager. Was it really good that she was this wise in the ways of the world? Ji Man glanced at her and asked with a smile, "Why does everyone think that Marquis Moyu omnipotent?"
Pengyu had come here to ask for Marquis Moyu's assistance regarding the matter of the emperor bestowing a title on the second prince. Someone had also wanted his help in getting Ning Mingjie the position of Zhenyuan General. He was only a leisurely marquis that managed the Six Ministries, so why did everyone think that a few words from him were enough to guarantee a certain outcome?
"No one is saying that the marquis is omnipotent. It's just that it would be good to get the marquis's assistance." Smilingly, Pengyu tugged on her hand and said, "Older sister Sangyu, I naturally won't forget this kindness either."
Ji Man was silent for a long time as she led her into Feiwan Courtyard.
Ji Man said, "Dengxin, bring tea for the princess consort." Then, she gestured towards a shelf and signaled with her eyes which of the tea set that she wanted Dengxin to use.
Dengxin understood her meaning and took the tea set down from the shelf and placed it on the table. She poured the tea into a teacup and presented it Princess Pengyu. "Your Highness, please."
Pengyue took the cup and was slightly stunned.
The cup was made with first-class white jade and decorated with a dancing red-crowned crane design. What made this a rare design was that the red-crowned crane's head was underneath its wings, and the crane was carved into the cup without breaking. The crane's habitat of water and grass also had textured gradation. It was a very fine teacup that would be difficult to purchase.
(T/N: Below is a picture of a simpler version of that teacup design.)