Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Seeing Lu Chen arrive, everyone saluted him.
Duke Anyuan stepped forward and said, “Greetings, Your Royal Highness. Jinniang, make tea for His Royal Highness.”
Qiao Jinniang nodded and said to Prince Mediocre and Lu Chen, “Please come to the tea room with me.”
“Sister Ruoyi, you’re really lucky,” Qiao Ruofeng said to Qiao Ruoyi.
Everyone in the Qiao family thought that the reason the Crown Prince came to the Duke Mansion today was for Qiao Ruoyi. Hearing this, Qiao Ruoyi sighed in her heart. The jerk obviously came for the second sister!
Today, Li Yun and his family came to the Duke Mansion too to attend Ruofeng’s coming-of-age ceremony.
God bless that the two don’t run into each other.
When the two entered the tea room, Jinniang ordered Nuomi to fetch Mingqian Longjing Tea.
Before the tea was taken, Lu Chen knocked over the spring water used to make tea, and the water all spilled over Prince Mediocre.
“Oops, Brother, I’m really sorry.”
Prince Mediocre was quite annoyed. Did Lu Chen know that he wanted to win over Duke Anyuan? But no matter what, as a prince, he shouldn’t wear wet clothes on this occasion.
“Miss Qiao, I’m sorry, Allow me to leave to change. I’ll come back to taste the tea you made!”
After Prince Mediocre left, Lu Chen waved all the maids away. “Tasting tea needs peace. Except for Miss Qiao and her maid, you all may leave.”
The mammies whom the Duchess sent over were worried Jinniang didn’t know the court etiquette, but since Lu Chen had said so, they could only leave.
In the quiet tea room, only Lu Chen and Jinniang remained, as well as Nuomi who had just brought the tea leaves.
Lu Chen asked Jinniang, “Why haven’t you been to the Duke Rong Mansion since the Dragon Boat Festival? Tuan’er has been missing you and waiting for your news.”
Jinniang lowered her eyes sadly when she thought of Tuan’er.
However, although she loved Tuan’er very much, she would never give up her dignity for the sake of Tuan’er.
Jinniang picked up some tea leaves with a tea clip and was about to put them into the teapot but was stopped by Lu Chen. “How many times have I taught you? Mingqian Longjing Leaves are very delicate and tender. They’ll be broken if you pick them up with a clip.”
Jinniang put down the tea clip and said coldly, “Make it yourself if you want to drink it!”
There was no one else here anyway, so she didn’t want to pretend anymore.
Not annoyed by her rudeness, Lu Chen took the tea leaves and made tea himself. “This is all the Mingqian Longjing you’ve got this year?”
Jinniang said, “I gifted most of them to Princess Rong’an.”
Lu Chen skillfully brewed the tea in the blue and white porcelain-made teacup and handed it to Jinniang. “That’s very generous of you. Those shops in the South should have someone to take care of. You and I are not in Lin’an, so we can’t keep an eye on those shopkeepers. Write a letter of appointment, and I’ll have my staff go to Lin’an to run the shops.”
Jinniang said indignantly, “Not only do you want to demote me from your wife to your concubine, but you are also coveting my properties?”
Lu Chen: “???”
Jinniang snapped, “Although the shops in the South were founded by you, they belong to me now. I would rather shut them down than submit them to you!”
B*stard, how dare he covet her money!
Jinniang thought angrily in her heart and couldn’t help blurting out.
Lu Chen’s face darkened when he heard her words, and he said angrily, “Qiao Jinniang! The entire country is mine! How is it possible for me to ‘covet’ that petty amount of money of yours?”
When he married into the Qiao Family, the Qiao Family owned nothing but the Myriad Taste and the other stores were all founded by him. He just didn’t want to waste his efforts, but Qiao Jinniang blamed him for coveting her money?
Qiao Jinniang said, “You are only a Crown Prince. How dare you say you own the entire country? Do you want to rebel?”
Lu Chen taunted, “Very good! Now you know to threaten me. Then what punishment should you receive for repeatedly insulting the Crown Prince?”
Qiao Jinniang took a sip of tea.
It took Lu Chen a while to calm down, and he said, “I’m not coveting your money, but if you can sell jewelry made with hard gold craftsmanship in Chang’an, you’ll definitely make much more money.
“I took pains to manage the shops in the South for the past three years. I just don’t want to see my effort wasted. If you manage them well, the money you earn from them can secure your life.
“If you have more suitable candidates, you can send them over to manage the shops. I just thought you have no men to use, so I said I could have my men take charge of them. Do you think they are willing to go to the remote South?”
Qiao Jinniang felt his words make sense. Whether she married another man or became a Taoist priest, money would be very important to her.
“No bother. I’ll discuss it with my parents.”
The Duke Mansion must have many shops. It shouldn’t be difficult for them to find her a good steward.
Lu Chen said helplessly, “Jin’er, don’t you trust me anymore?”
He didn’t think that the steward the Duke Mansion found for Jinniang could be any better than his men. 𝚒𝐧𝐧re𝚊𝙙. 𝙘o𝓶
“We’ve been married for three years, but would you rather believe in people you know for less than two months?”
Qiao Jinniang laughed sarcastically. “Yes, we had been married for three years, but you’ve never regarded me as your wife. Maybe Lu Chen in Lin’an was sincere to me, but the Crown Prince in Chang’an only treats me with contempt.”
“The ceremony is going to start. I’m going to watch the ceremony!” Qiao Jinniang got up and left.
The coming-of-age ceremony was very lively, which reminded Qiao Jinniang of hers.
She had her coming-of-age ceremony the day before she was getting married. At that time, her foster parents were already seriously ill, so her coming-of-age ceremony wasn’t held until the eve of her wedding.
At the ceremony, Lu Chen gifted her a silver hairpin. She didn’t know where Lu Chen got the money to buy it.
But she kept wearing that silver hairpin until she lost it in the crowded Lantern Festival this year.
Perhaps, the affection between her and Lu Chen was gone too, just like the lost silver hairpin.
Walking on a path in the garden, Jinniang suddenly heard a voice.
Qiao Jinniang raised her eyes and saw Li Yun. She saluted. “Cousin.”
Li Yun’s ears were reddish, and he quickly took out a small wooden box from his sleeve and put it in Qiao Jinniang’s hand. “This is a belated gift for your coming-of-age ceremony.”
With that, Li Yun left.
Qiao Jinniang opened the wooden box, and there was a golden phoenix hairpin lying in it, which looked quite precious.
“Cousin?” Lu Chen asked in Qiao Jinniang’s ear, “When did you have a cousin?”
Lu Chen knew all the men in Duke Dingbei Mansion. He was sure this man was not from Duke Dingbei Mansion. And in the Qiao Family, Qiao Jinniang didn’t have such a cousin either.
As a man, Lu Chen could see Li Yun’s affection for Qiao Jinniang at a glance. Moreover, Qiao Jinniang called him “Cousin” so sweetly.
She probably didn’t know how tempting she was when she called him that.
Qiao Jinniang closed the wooden box and suddenly thought that Li Yun might not be a good choice for her.
Li Yun had a promising future, and he would definitely take the Imperial Examination and become an official in the future. But judging from what she knew of Lu Chen, he would definitely give Lin Yun a hard time.
She shouldn’t marry an official or an official-to-be. She should find someone who had little to do with Lu Chen, preferably a man far away from Chang’an.
Seeing Qiao Jinniang’s gaze at the golden hairpin in the wooden box, Lu Chen said coldly, “Hmph, tacky.”
Qiao Jinniang snorted. “That’s exactly what I like!”
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