During the spring of Gu QingQiao’s fifteenth year, her life’s first peach flower blossomed.
Pu pa! (sound of escaping laughter)
A big peach blossom fell from the sky. Caught off guard, she ended up with a mouthful of mud.
On a lovely, sunny, spring morning, this dynasty’s most eligible bachelor, Prince Duan Yu, sent people to her home to propose marriage.
How could this happen?
As soon as this news was known, it spread like wildfire in the capitol. This was the world-renown, known even in the surrounding countries, the greater than great Prince Duan Yu. The standing of Prince Duan Yu among the people was as unshakable as the gods’. The year he was crowned, the capitol’s ladies put together a special survey. The results showed that 80% of women don’t want the prince to have a lover. 90% want him to be alone for the rest of his life. The remaining 10% were his elderly relatives.
(T/N: Just to be clear, he’s the current emperor’s brother. He was once expected to be the next emperor, but something happened and it went to his brother instead. This is explained later in the story.)
After more inquiry, there was more even surprising news. The marriage proposal was the prince’s intention! (Instead of the expected, usual arranged marriage) Gossip said that the prince had accidentally happened to see Miss Gu and fell in love with her beauty. After going home, he thought of her every day. He vowed that he would marry her. If not her, then he will never marry. Alas, what an infatuated man!
After the prince confirmed this marriage proposal, countless girls woke up from their dreams and were heartbroken. More than half of the hens in the capitol stopped laying eggs from melancholy. For a time, the capitol suffers from a crushing defeat and was in a complete mess.
But the Miss Gu who was proposed to didn’t appreciate this. In front of the envious, jealous, and “how can you be so lucky?” crowd, she clung to Gu ShangShu’s clothes and anguishly wailed, “Father, I don’t want to marry. I really don’t want to marry.”
Gu ShangShu gasped, then touched her forehead to check his daughter for a fever. Then he held her hand and dryly coughed. “QingQiao, my daughter, why are you so childish?” Gu ShangShu began to say meaningful and heartfelt words. He spoke on and on. The main idea was that Prince Duan Yu was an outstanding man. For him to like you, it was a blessing. You must have spent your previous lifetime doing good deeds. You should be happy. Why do you want to hide?
During the past few days, Gu QingQiao had heard similar words. She had no more tears. She wanted to hit her head against a wall. She fell near Gu Shang Shu’s knee. Her eyes were dull.
Its okay if other people don’t understanding. Her father usually spoiled her. She thought he would be willing to stretch out a small world for her. Unfortunately, she forgot that no matter how enlightened her father usually was. He was still a man that existed in Ancient China. Then this wedding, she really can’t escape from it?
Gu ShangShu thought she was afraid. He touched her head warmly and persuaded her, “Don’t worry, that prince Duan Yu is an outstanding man. When you see him, you’ll fall in love.”
If he didn’t mention it, it was still okay. Hearing this, her heart sunk. She was only a passerby. Due to a certain disorder, she was temporarily here. One day, she will go back to the heavy traffic, steel and concrete world. At that time, she wants to go back without any worries. So, she must not fall in love with anyone.
Since she failed at negotiations, she went back to her room to secretly send a letter to the prince. She painstakingly wrote the letter. She euphemized that she was sickly and implied that she wasn’t a virtuous woman. She also wrote out a maiden’s fears. That letter was filled with words. Every word was a pearl. The page was filled with countless worries over the impending marriage. It was a masterpiece.
Soon, a messenger arrived at the door.
Without any expression like a machine, the messenger said, “The prince said, first, Miss Gu has seen him, so he is not a stranger.” Then he quickly brought out a wok. It shown brightly like a treasure.
“Ai!” Dong Xi’s sharp eyes saw Miss suddenly staggering.
“Secondly,” the messenger took a breath to clearly say, “The prince said he has never seen a girl with such a good appetite. Miss Gu must be healthy, so don’t use that old excuse to decline.”
“Yi!” Dong Xi was surprised to see that Miss had dropped her chin.
“Lastly,” the messenger knocked on the wok twice. He steadily said, “The prince said his determination to marry Miss Gu is like this wok. Does Miss Gu have the slightest feeling?”
Dong Xi watched Miss become paler, then Miss Gu fainted.
Duan Yu was in a very good mood. While drinking tea, he parted the curtains and enjoyed looking at the beauty lying on the divan. With porcelain white skin, delicate pink cheeks, and long black eyelashes, she looked like a painting. Zeze (sound of mouth clicking) His beauty fainted so easily. Where did all the meat go?
A moment later, the beauty woke up. Frighten, she sat up. “Where is this? Why am I here?” With widen eyes, she muttered, “Did I wear clothes (time travel)? Which dynasty is this? Don’t let it be Qing Dynasty. I don’t like bald heads (queue hairstyle)…”
(T/N: She means time travel, but since wear clothes sound similar, he mishears.)
She looked around, but didn’t see the person in the corner, Duan Yu. This was the first time in his life that Duan Yu was overlooked. He could only deliberately clear his throat. As he wished, the beauty vacantly looked at him.
“Ah, it’s the wok prince!” Three seconds later, her confusion cleared up.
“… Miss Gu.” Duan Yu was annoyed, but could not burst out in anger. He could pretend to smile.
“Demon, why did you capture me?” The beauty viciously stared at him and made a threatening gesture.
She didn’t know why, but after she glared at him, he seemed very happy as if he had drunk a magical elixir. His body had an indescribable sensation of floating in the air at ease. He seemed so happy.
(T/N: Is he faking this? This seems like an overreaction.)
“I didn’t capture you. I sent someone to invite you over for dinner, but unfortunately you fainted before he finished his message.” He patiently explained, “Gu ShangShu had sent someone to bring you here.”
The beauty probably believed him. She curled up in a ball. Her eyes dimmed. How hateful, she was sold by her father. Paternal grandmother is bear. (swear word/phrase)
“Why… why do you not want to marry me?” Looking at this wild beast’s frail figure, Duan Yu felt unbounded tenderness. “Is there something bad about me?” Of course, with his looks and prestige, the last sentence was purely courteous.
“No… I can’t marry.” The beauty raised her up head with tear filled eyes, “I can’t like anyone or let anyone like me. Please take back your marriage proposal.”
Is she joking? Duan Yu felt like something in his mind broke. But, the earnest beauty sitting there kept sending him “I’m being sincere” signal. Forget it, she was a naïve child. He shook his head and had a new idea.
The handsome man at the corner said, “I don’t like you.”
So honest. QingQiao blankly stared. He doesn’t seem like he’s scheming.
“To be honest, after tasting Miss’s cooking that one time, this prince has been constantly thinking of Miss’s braised pork.” Duan Yu stared at the beauty, his eyes full of sincere emotion, “I think about it day and night even when I’m dreaming. This prince asked your father for your hand in marriage in order to eat your cooking at any time.”
“Ai” QingQiao was dumbfounded. This lady-killer’s who has the nation’s women yearning for him day and night. His ultimate purpose for marrying her is only for a bowl of pork.
“That meat wasn’t cooked by me,” She clarified the misunderstanding, “It was made by cook A’Da.”
“Oh, so it was like that.” He raised one eyebrow, pretending to be surprised. Then, he lightly said, “It doesn’t matter. You can bring him as part of your dowry.”
QingQiao was speechless. Her face had two lines of tears.
“Even if you refused this prince’s marriage proposal, other people will be at your door (for marriage) due to your father’s position. How long can you escape?” Duan Yu patiently and systematically guided, “Since you don’t want to like anyone or for anyone to like you, then you should marry this prince. This prince hasn’t lacked anything from childhood. I also promise to not plot against you. Be at ease.”
QingQiao hesitated for a long time, and then finally gently nodded her head.
Thus, Prince Duan Yu and Gu QingQiao’s marriage was settled.
Legend says they were bought together by a delicious bowl of pork. Miss Gu ordered people to put up a golden plaque at cook A’da room with the words “One generation meat prosperous”
Gossip says that Miss Gu and Prince Duan Yu’s love token was a wok. Miss Gu also personally wrote a poem on the wok to express her infinite gratitude for this matchmaker. The concise poem was as follows: “The greatness of meat, the glory of meat”
For a time, the capitol’s meat price increased and the profession of people dealing with pork had a change in fortune and became one of the most respected.
At that time, Gu QingQiao was cheerful over her practical prank. She didn’t know yet. A person who has not lacked anything from childhood would want more than others. Because he believed that everything born belonged to him.