Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
In the casino, it was very noisy. Qiao Jinniang could hear people were guessing who would be the crown princess:
“I think Princess Fulu has a chance. Although she and the Crown Prince are cousins, and she is a dandy, she is still the niece of His Majesty. Wouldn’t it be great to be extra related?”
“If you want to talk about being extra related, wouldn’t Li Lingling from Empress Dowager’s family, Earl Cheng’en Mansion, be a better choice? Plus, she’s famous for being talented.”
“Qin Miaomiao from Duke Qin’s Mansion…”
Princess Fulu squeezed her way up and said, “If you bet on Qin Miaomiao, you’ll definitely lose. I’ll bet on Xie Yun.”
“Princess Fulu? You came to bet too? Why not bet on yourself?”
Princess Fulu smiled and said, “If I can’t be chosen, I should still win some money. Jinniang, are you going to bet as well?”
Qiao Jinniang shifted her gaze to the name of Qin Miaomiao.
Princess Fulu was annoyed. “How can you bet on Qin Miaomiao? Don’t you know that she is my most hated person? Pick another one.”
At this point, Junior Duke Rong suddenly walked up to Fulu and Qiao Jinniang. “Fulu, Miss Qiao, what a coincidence. I have a private room on the second floor. Would you like to have a cup of tea there?”
Qiao Jinniang didn’t see Lu Chen coming downstairs, so she guessed that he should still be in the private room.
She didn’t want to see Lu Chen, but it would be rude to refuse Junior Duke Rong’s invitation.
On the other hand, Fulu happily responded. “Okay.”
At the door of the private room, Qiao Jinniang entered, and Junior Duke Rong said to Fulu, “There is a new game in the casino. Miss Qiao, please wait here for a while. Let me take Princess Fulu to try the new game.”
Fulu said, “Is it good? Jinniang, let’s go together?”
“Ms. Qiao has just returned to Chang’an, so don’t ruin her reputation. There is a Guqin player in the room. With her there, Miss Qiao won’t be bored.”
With that, Junior Duke Rong pulled Fulu’s sleeves and went downstairs.
Fulu and Junior Duke Rong were cousins, so with no qualm, Fulu broke free from him and said, “Don’t drag me. I’ll go with you.”
After Fulu and Junior Duke Rong left, the door of the private room closed.
In the room, Lu Chen was sitting at the table with a teacup in his hand as he said coldly, “It’s been three days. Can we talk now?”
Qiao Jinniang clenched her hands. “I’ve said what I want to say.
“I’ll just take that divorce letter as the truth, then you and I will have nothing to do in the future.
“Anyway, I still have the opportunity to see Tuan’er in Duke Rong’s mansion or the Princess’ Mansion.
“As for you, you make me sick whenever I see you. ”
They had been together for three years, so Qiao Jinniang wasn’t in awe of him at all, even though he was the Crown Prince.
Lu Chen’s face turned dark. “Do you want Tuan’er to cry himself hoarse every time he separates from you?”
Qiao Jinniang clenched her handkerchief and said, “If you really love Tuan’er, let him feign death. And I will take him to Lin’an and will never step into Chang’an again!”
When Lu Chen heard her words, he sneered. “Did you get some inspiration from some random novel you read?”
“Tuan’er is my eldest son. Do you think you can hide his identity?”
Qiao Jinniang knew how fierce the fight for the throne could be, but she could only say, “Tuan’er is still young, so he cries after separating from me, but it’ll be better as he grows up.”
Lu Chen stood up and approached Qiao Jinniang step by step. “Am I that disgusting to you? You don’t want to marry into the East Palace even for the sake of Tuan’er?”
“Yes, I can’t look at you without throwing up.”
Qiao Jinniang looked straight into Lu Chen’s eyes, without flinching. “Even a pig won’t mate with more than a dozen sows!”
In the past three days, she tortured herself into such a pining state, but Lu Chen was happily preparing to choose his wife and concubines…
Lu Chen’s face became darker and darker, and his deep dark eyes lost the usual elegance. He said with a dark look, “Qiao Jinniang, are you aware who you’re talking to?”
Qiao Jinniang said, “You can kill me to silence me so that no one can tarnish your reputation!”
Lu Chen suppressed his anger and said, “It seems that you still haven’t calmed down. I’ve already discussed it with my father. In two months, he will grant you to be my second concubine. You will enter the East Palace as soon as the imperial decree is issued…”
Qiao Jinniang spat on Lu Chen. “Bah, no way! His Majesty is kind and benevolent. He will definitely not force a meritorious minister’s daughter to be a concubine! Besides, my dad is the Defense Minister. His Majesty will not let a loyal minister down.”
Lu Chen simply said, “Then what if your father has agreed?”
Qiao Jinniang was stunned. She only said a few words with her so-called father, so she didn’t know if he would support her.
Maybe he wanted her to enter the East Palace?
At this point, Fulu’s voice suddenly came from outside. “The new game you said is just dice. It’s not fun at all.”
With a squeak, Fulu pushed the door open. “Imperial Cousin, why are you here?”
Lu Chen restored his elegant and gentle mask again. He said, “Well, you can enjoy yourself but don’t lead other girls astray. Although this casino is very popular, you’d better not come here too frequently.”
Princess Fulu said, “I don’t come often. Imperial Cousin, choose Xie Yun as your crown princess, okay? I bet a whole hundred taels of silver on her.
“I heard that Xie Yun is from Lin’an, and you stayed in Lin’an for three years, so you should have met Xie Yun, right?
“Is she better-looking than my friend, Jinniang? ”
Lu Chen glanced at Qiao Jinniang lightly and said, “Your friend looks better.”
Princess Fulu stared at Qiao Jinniang. “You lied to me?”
Qiao Jinniang shook her head and said, “No, he is blind.”
Princess Fulu hurriedly covered Qiao Jinniang’s mouth. “Imperial Cousin, Jinniang comes from the countryside and doesn’t know the rules. I will take her away and make her aware of how big a mistake she just made.”
Fulu quickly took Qiao Jinniang out of the room and scolded Qiao Jinniang in a low voice at the door, “Are you crazy? How dare you say the Crown Prince is blind?”
Qiao Jinniang said, “Xie Yun is prettier than me.”
Princess Fulu said, “Alas, you have to know that there are a lot of nobles in Chang’an. Not everyone is as beautiful and kind-hearted as me, so be careful in the future. Don’t say that about His Royal Highness again.”
Qiao Jinniang finally smiled. “Okay.”
When Qiao Jinniang returned to the Duke Mansion, she went to Qiao Ruoyun’s courtyard. Qiao Ruoyun was already in a much better state, but she was still weak after the miscarriage.
After checking up on her, she went back to the Jin Garden.
There, the Duchess was waiting for her in the room. Seeing Qiao Jinniang come back, she said, “I heard that you could get out of bed today, so I came to see you, but I was told that you were taken away by Princess Fulu.
“Fulu is a straightforward girl but is a bit capricious. If you can’t handle her, just tell me and I’ll refuse for you.
“Some noble girls can go to a place like a casino, but it’s not good for their reputation.
“Your father is already looking for a husband for your fourth younger sister, and your fifth younger sister and sixth younger sister will have their coming-of-age ceremony next month. Maybe they will be married into the royal family.
“I plan to find you a fiance first and let you marry in one or two years so that you can stay by my side longer.”
If it were not for Lu Chen’s words, Qiao Jinniang would definitely reject it. She had lost faith in men, so she didn’t want to meet another jerk.
But what she was more reluctant to do was to enter the harem of Lu Chen, that b*stard.
It would be better for her to engage with a man first, then cancel the engagement after Lu Chen chose his wife and concubines.
So Qiao Jinniang said, “Okay, Mother, when it comes to marriage, you can decide for me.”
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