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Chapter 26: A Toad Lusting After A Swan’s Flesh

Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations

Qiao Jinniang looked at the man who saluted her. He was in his twenties. Although he was not as handsome as the damn Crown Prince, he did not look bad.

Seeing that Qiao Jinniang was silent, the man said, “I’m Yu An, the son of an official in the Defense Department. Today, I came to Yuanxi Temple with my sister to pray for the Buddha to bless me to pass the Imperial Examination.”

“My sister misses your sister too much, so she said those improper words. Please forgive her.

“As an apology, I’ll pay for the two bolts of silk you chose. ”

Qiao Jinniang said coldly, “No need, your sister looks about fifteen to sixteen years old, and she is obviously not dumb. If she really wants to apologize, why does she let you apologize to me in her place?”

Yu An was slightly stunned. Why was Qiao Jinniang different from what he guessed?

He originally thought that this woman from the countryside would grow interested in him when she heard that he was going to pass the Imperial Examination.

After all, a countryside girl hadn’t seen much of the world. He believed that he was good-looking and his temperament was good, so she would definitely fancy him.

However, to his surprise, Qiao Jinniang was so cold to him.

Yu An thought that it must be because she was annoyed by his sister’s words, so he tugged at Yu Tong’s arm. “Come on, apologize to Miss Qiao!”

Yu Tong snorted. “No way! When Ruoshui returns and becomes the crown princess, she will definitely punish this sparrow.”

Tuan’er asked with a cute voice in Jinniang’s arms, “Is she talking bad about you?”

Qiao Jinniang didn’t want Tuan’er to hear these lousy words, so she said, “Good boy, do you want to eat candied haws?”

Tuan’er kept nodding. Qiao Jinniang smiled and left with Tuan’er.

Yu An and Yu Tong were left where they were.

Yu Tong said disdainfully, “That village girl knows no manners. How could she just leave like that? Brother, why were you so polite to her?”

“What do you know?!” The gentle smile suddenly disappeared from Yu An’s face and he said angrily, “She’s a good choice for me, but you ruined everything!”

Hearing it, Yu Tong stomped her feet and shouted, “Brother, how can that countryside woman be worthy of becoming your wife?

“How could the future mistress of our Yu family be an ill-mannered woman from the countryside?

“People will laugh at us!”

Looking at his stupid sister, Yu An regretted coming out with her today. “Can’t you see how much the Duke and the Duchess love her? The clothes and jewelry she wears are all the most fashionable pieces in Chang’an.

“Her younger sister offended her and was sent away to a manor.

“However, after all, she grew up in the countryside, so it’s not easy for her to marry a high-ranking husband. She can only marry into a family that is not as powerful as the Duke Anyuan’s Mansion.

“Even if I pass the Imperial Examination, I’ll still have to climb up the ladder slowly.

“But if I can marry Qiao Jinniang, how could Duke Anyuan not help his son-in-law? Even if I fail to pass the Imperial Examination, he’ll help me get a place in court.

“And Father may also be promoted to be the Deputy Minister of Defense. Why were you so stupid as to offend her?!”

Yu Tong said with disdain, “Ruoshui is my friend. If she becomes the crown princess, she will definitely help Father and you for my sake.”

Qiao Jinniang held Tuan’er and bought him a bunch of candied haws.

Luhe paid and said to Qiao Jinniang, “Miss, that girl from the Yu family is really rude, but her brother is gentle and polite. If he passes the Imperial Examination, his future must be bright.”

Hongling scolded Luhe, “Don’t say these improper words to Miss.”

Qiao Jinniang stopped at a pavilion, put down Tuan’er, and said to Luhe with a chuckle. “You are so young that you probably think Mr. Yu is a good person.”

Luhe lowered her head and said, “Miss, isn’t he? It’s his sister who was rude to you, but he apologized to you and made his sister apologize to you as well.”

Qiao Jinniang took the fan from Hongling’s hand and gently fanned Tuan’er. “It’s the first time we met, so why did he bother to mention that he was going to pass the Imperial Examination? He thought he hid his real thoughts well, but a discerning person can see him through at a glance.”

Yu An mentioned that just to attract her attention.

There were many novels in which noble ladies fell in love with young scholars at first sight and were desperate to marry them.

And girls from wealthy or powerful families threw aside their family and eloped with young scholars.

Qiao Jinniang had read so many of such novels. How could she not tell what Yu An was thinking?

Luhe said in surprise, “Miss, do you mean that Mr. Yu was seducing you?”

Qiao Jinniang took her handkerchief and wiped off the sugar crumbs on Tuan’er’s lips. Her silence said it all.

Luhe said in annoyance, “How is he deserving of marrying you? It is like a toad lusting after a swan’s flesh.”

Qiao Jinniang looked at Tuan’er’s cute face and sighed. If she guessed right, there would be more and more young men like Yu An appearing around her in the future.

After all, she was a divorced woman. With this badge, she could only marry into a lower-class family.

But if a young man from a lower-class family had some dignity and ability, he wouldn’t choose to marry her, while those who were willing to marry her probably just wanted her father’s help…

After Tuan’er ate two candied haws, Jinniang forbade him from eating more.

Both Hongling and Luhe were surprised that the little imperial grandson was so obedient to Jinniang.

Qiao Jinniang had a lot of words to say to Tuan’er, but with the two maids here, she couldn’t say much to him.

So she just bought lots of trinkets from the street stalls for Tuan’er. Then she saw a dough figurine stall.

Jinniang decided to buy one for herself and one for Tuan’er.

The dough figurine master was very dexterous, and the dough figurines he made were very vivid.

Qiao Jinniang gave her dough figurine to Tuan’er and said, “I will keep your dough figurine, and Your Highness, please keep mine. If you miss me, you can play with my dough figurine, and when I miss you, I can look at yours.”

Tuan’er asked innocently, “Where is Daddy’s dough figurine? Why no Daddy’s?

Qiao Jinniang stroked Tuan’er’s head. “Your daddy is not here, so the Master can’t make one for him.”

Tuan’er nodded somewhat confusedly.

Half an hour was too short.

Before Qiao Jinniang could look at her Tuan’er more, a secret guard from the East Palace appeared in front of Qiao Jinniang. “Miss Qiao, the time is up.”

There was no telling what Lu Chen said to Tuan’er. When Tuan’er was taken away, he didn’t cry at all.

Qiao Jinniang, however, had tears in her eyes. She hid Tuan’er’s dough figurine in her handkerchief and went to the Duchess.

Tuan’er was carried back to the Crown Prince’s carriage, and he put the little dough figurine in front of his father like he presenting a treasure, “Mommy, beautiful.”

The Crown Prince took the dough figurine and looked at it carefully. It looked like Qiao Jinniang indeed. “I’ll keep it for you. You’ll break it if you keep holding it.”

Seeing that the dough figurine was taken away, Tuan’er climbed onto Lu Chen’s body and shouted anxiously, “Mommy gave it to me. It’s mine.”

Lu Chen took out the pastry wrapped in oiled paper from the side. “Look, I’ll keep the dough figurine and this pastry will be yours, okay?”

Tuan’er weighed the importance of the pastry and the dough figurine in his heart before stretching out his little hand to reach for the latter. “I want Mommy’s dough figurine.”

Lu Chen, “....”

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