Chapter 139: Wang Hong Gives Her a Daoist Name
Chen Rong knew there wasn’t any way to explain her ideas to people like Nurse Ping. She also didn’t want to explain.
She slowly pushed her nurse away and walked inside.
Her servants were standing in a line in the courtyard. She couldn’t tell whether they looked sad or whether they looked relieved.
Chen Rong’s nunship posed no disadvantage to those who depended on her. Moreover, a nun ordained by the emperor did not have to worry about food or shelter. That much was certain. Her servants finally didn’t have to suffer hunger and cold anymore.
She went to them and gently smiled. “Everyone, we’re finally settling down.”
She turned her smile to the cheerless Old Shang and Nurse Ping. “We’ll move to Xishan as soon as His Majesty’s decree arrives. If there’s any preparation to be done, you can start now.”
She gave some thought, then turned and said to her nurse, “Nurse, prepare a Daoist robe for me right away. I have to thank my former relatives as well as the friends who have helped me.”
Nurse Ping took a while to stop her tears and nod.
Early next morning, Chen Rong combed her hair and coiled it into a bun. She next put on the light yellow Daoist robe that Nurse Ping had found even through her sobs.
The loose robe did little to hide her beautiful figure. The nurse looked up at her and again burst into tears.
Chen Rong ignored her.
She turned around to take a look in the mirror, frowning as she murmured, “Still tawdry looking.”
She was indeed more suitable for vibrant colors. Even in a Daoist robe, she still looked rather beguiling, especially when the fluttering fabric outlined the contours of her figure.
But she wasn’t too concerned. There was no shortage of beautiful women in Jiankang. She didn’t count as anything.
Chen Rong retracted her gaze and then softly said to Nurse Ping, “What’s the use of crying at this point? Do not cry anymore.” She walked out as she spoke these words.
At the gate, Old Shang had prepared the carriage.
Chen Rong got onto the vehicle and bade, “Go to the clan.”
The carriage slowly drove off.
At the time her carriage left the gate, a dozen heads poked out from the neighboring side doors. They were the smaller clans’ servants who were now craning their necks and joining in curious gossips.
The carriage drove out of the alley and onto the larger street.
Now springtime, small green buds could be seen on the willow trees lining the roadsides. The people on the streets were also wearing thinner clothes.
Soon enough, Chen Rong’s carriage turned into the street where the Chen House of Yingchuan was located. They say that birds of a feather flock together. Everyone who lived on this street was without exception an aristocrat. Inside the walled homes that spanned several hundred acres, the rows of buildings looked exceptionally time-worn.
As she watched the wealthy and prosperous neighborhood, Chen Rong wondered how much blood and tears had been shed in these vast estates.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Old Shang brought the carriage to a stop when they arrived at the clan. Before he could make a sound, the side door opened where a guard nodded to him and said, “Is it Miss Rong? Come in, come in.”
Old Shang repeatedly thanked him and then drove into the courtyard.
Nevertheless, Chen Rong now discovered that they had come for naught. Chen Gongrang wasn’t here, nor was Chen Zifang. She asked and asked, but nobody was home for her to actually visit.
“Miss, where are we going next?” asked Old Shang after he drove back out.
After thinking for a while, Chen Rong quietly replied, “Go to the Wang House of Lang’ya. I’ve received their help from Ping to Nan’yang, and again from Nan’yang to Jiankang.”
“The Wang House of Lang’ya?!” Old Shang exclaimed. “Miss, how can we hope to visit such a family? I’m sure we won’t be let in.”
Chen Rong smiled and leisurely said, “We won’t go in if they won’t let us in. Our visit today is just a matter of etiquette.”
“Aye, you’re right.”
The carriage drove on.
This time, it was heading to the famous Wuyi Lane where dignitaries had frequented for centuries, where no peasants were ever sighted.
For this reason, the closer they got, the slower Old Shang drove. Chen Rong looked through the curtain to see that his neck was profusely sweating.
If seemed just a single visit was giving him great pressure.
Wuyi Lane had always been picturesque. Two streams ran parallel to the road, and a meandering mountain range stood in the background.
A mile before they reached Wuyi Lane, Old Shang was greeted by the sight of blue water and the mountainous reflections in it. He could already smell strong incense from the carriages by the riverbank and hear music wafting from afar.
Chen Rong took a glimpse through the curtain and then softly said, “Go, Wang Qilang is over there.”
Old Shang looked up in surprise. “I can’t really tell. There are so many people here, how are you able to recognize him?”
She didn’t need to look. No matter how many people there were, no matter how far away, a glance was all she needed to know if he was there or not… Even if there were millions of people in this world, there was only one of him.
Her two lifetimes told her that this was a cursed fate – a cursed fate that would need all of her efforts to break free from.
Old Shang’s was simply a rhetorical question. He continued to drive near.
A moment later, they heard a loud and chilly voice: “Which house are you from?”
Before Old Shang could answer, the other man softened his voice with a smile: “Are you the young lady who requested to be a Daoist nun? Come through, come through.”
“Thank you, thank you.” The carriage went in as Old Shang said his thanks.
When the carriage next stopped, Chen Rong heard Old Shang say: “We’re here… Oh, Qilang’s really here, Miss. Not only is Qilang here, but Jiulang of the Huan House is also here.”
Chen Rong raised her curtain upon hearing this.
Since her arrival, the young aristocrats’ singing and drinking had quieted down.
Yu Zhi’s eyes lit up at an inadvertent glance. He poked the man quietly drinking next to him and whispered, “Look who’s here?”
The white-robed man looked up.
His eyes slowly narrowed.
He sat up to stare at the approaching vehicle.
Yu Zhi laughed out loud to see him like this. He looked skyward with a sigh and shook his head. “The bloom is not a bloom, the mist is not a mist. At midnight she comes, and at dawn she leaves. She appears like a short spring dream. She vanishes like the morning clouds (1)… No, no, she doesn’t come at midnight and leaves at dawn. I should say she is a fragrant plum blossom on a winter day. After a night of passion, her scent remains but she is gone… Oy, the lady is very heartless.”
(1) 花非花 “The Bloom is Not a Bloom” by Tang poet Bai Yuji
He was bobbing his head to his song in glee, but the longer it went the more his voice abated. That guy normally wouldn’t let him go on for so long. Why was he so quiet today?
Yu Zhi turned around.
He saw the white-robed man springing up and striding to the front as though he didn’t hear any of his sarcasm.
Wang Hong slowly walked towards Chen Rong’s carriage.
His movements were unhurried and graceful, and his expression was as still as water.
Chen Rong lifted the curtain and turned her gaze to the river. Wait a minute, where is he?
At this moment, she noticed from the corner of her eyes that he was less than ten paces from her.
She turned around.
The white-robed man was looking at her. His eyes were still clear and lofty, his face was still blinding.
But his gaze on her was too quiet.
Chen Rong smiled brightly as they looked at each other.
With a dimpled smile, she bowed to Wang Hong from her carriage, lowered her gaze and quietly said, “I hope you’re well, m’lord. As I will be leaving the secular world, I’ve specially come to thank you for all that has passed.”
Her smile was soft, her voice was gentle.
Wang Hong slowly went to her.
He was deliberate and graceful, like a hunting leopard, but with a taut tension in his seeming ease.
In the twinkling of an eye, he had gone to Chen Rong’s carriage.
He stopped when he was only another step from reaching her.
As he was quietly staring at her, his lips formed a smile.
His smile was so unusual that Chen Rong couldn’t help looking at him in bewilderment.
The white-robed man softly smiled at her. He outstretched a slender hand and place it next to hers on the carriage window.
His eyes traveled from her snowy white hand to her beautiful face and then to the Daoist robe that could not hide her full bosoms.
His mouth slowly upturned.
Almost suddenly, he raised his head and said to Chen Rong, “Ah Rong, now that you have left the secular world, do you have a Daoist name yet? How does Chen Yunzi (2) sound?”
(2) Chen is her surname and Yunzi means “the charming/graceful one.”
Chen Rong blinked. While she was still caught by surprise, several lads had already laughed. “Chen Yunzi? Why should she keep the surname Chen now that she’s a nun? I think the name Hong (3) is as good as any.”
(3) the same Hong in Wang Hong
Wang Hong beamed. His smile was exceptionally brilliant, his white teeth flashing in a way that made Chen Rong avert her eyes.
But soon enough, Wang Hong’s smile disappeared. The expression on his face also returned to its habitual nonchalance. “Hong Yunzi?” he unhurriedly mused. “This is not a bad Daoist name. Ah Qi, present it to His Majesty. His Majesty can be a little confused sometimes, so remember to repeat yourself.”
Chapter 140: Becoming a Nun
“Aye.” A young man with the appearance of a scholar stood up and turned to leave.
Chen Rong quickly looked up and cried, “Wait a minute.”
She spoke with clarity, but the man named Ah Qi and everyone else automatically ignored her.
She couldn’t but turn to Wang Hong.
She was facing his smiling, gentle gaze. He reached out to stroke her chin, saying with a sigh: “Silly child, we’re in Jiankang.”
Without waiting for Chen Rong to speak, he waved his sleeve and turned to go.
Chen Rong suddenly smiled as she stared after his white figure.
She stepped down from her carriage, capturing everyone’s attention with her alluring appearance despite being dressed in a yellow Daoist robe.
Under the crowd’s watchful eyes, Chen Rong curtsied to Wang Hong’s back and cheerfully said, “Hong Yunzi? This is a very good Daoist name. Thank you, Qilang.”
She walked to Huan Jiulang and Yu Zhi.
As she passed Wang Hong, she stopped to look back at him and smilingly said, “I know my appearance may cause me trouble even as a nun who is leaving the secular world. Fortunately, you have given me a title today. I reckon under Lang’ya Wang Qi’s and His Majesty’s protection, I will be able to live in peace until the day I die.”
Having said this, she again accorded Wang Hong ceremony, smiled and turned to go.
Watching her graceful figure gradually distancing from him, Wang Hong stilled.
The smile on his face slowly faded away.
Not too far from there, Yu Zhi and Huan Jiulang both shook their heads. “Qilang, Qilang,” Yu Zhi sighed, “why are you doing this to yourself? The lady doesn’t even want you, she’s going to be a nun. Why can’t you just let it go?”
Huan Jiulang took a sip of wine and began to lament: “The poor son of the Lang’ya Wang House has fallen into the throes of love. Woe is he.”
Yu Zhi interjected, “Aye, the poor lad, let us drink to the pitiful Lang’ya Wang Qi.”
Huan Jiulang took a quick swig of his wine. He shook his empty cup at Yu Zhi and cackled: “The woeful man and his woeful affair are worth getting drunk for. Another round, another round.”
Chen Rong had gone to them by this time. She dropped to a curtsy and said, “Thank you for all that you have done for me, gentlemen.”
Yu Zhi waved his hands and smilingly replied, “No need for thanks, no need for thanks.”
He leaned into Chen Rong and surreptitiously glanced at Wang Hong in the distance, whispering: “On the contrary, we’re the ones grateful to you. Little Ah Rong, if you’re ever in need, don’t hesitate to tell us. Especially if shameless people try to approach you, you must ask for our help.” Whatever he might be thinking about, he slapped his thigh and laughed out loud.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
In fact, they weren’t the only mirthful ones. Seven to eight young men nearby were sitting with extraordinary grace. They glanced at Wang Hong, then turned to Chen Rong, then back at Wang Hong, and finally hid their faces behind their sleeves to shaking shoulders.
In the midst of their laughter and gazes, Chen Rong curtsied to each of her acquaintances before going back to her ride.
Her back was straight and her smile was pleasant all the way til she got onto the carriage.
The vehicle began to move, eventually leaving the laughter behind.
At length, Chen Rong moved her stiff back and withdrew her smile.
“Even now that you’re a nun, Qilang still cares for you,” Old Shang sighed.
Chen Rong closed her eyes. After some time, she quietly said, “Aye, that he does…”
Old Shang sighed again to hear her. After another while, he asked, “Miss, should we also go to see your brother?”
Saying goodbye to family and friends before one entered nunhood was a long-standing tradition. Generally speaking, her nunhood represented the absolving of all past love and hatred. Some people not only said goodbye to their friends and family, but also to their enemies. After all, what they needed to severe were but four words: gratefulness and resentment, love and hatred.
Furthermore, Chen Rong wasn’t on bad terms with her brother.
She considered the suggestion and then quietly replied, “No need.”
“Why not?” Old Shang was confused.
Chen Rong did not offer him an answer.
Her carriage was now driving into the alley.
There were people on both sides of the road who looked at her carriage in appraisal.
“That’s Ah Rong of the Chen House who asked the emperor to let her become a nun.”
“I heard she’s extraordinarily beautiful.”
“What a pity.”
“What is there to pity? Tsk tsk tsk, doesn’t Daoism have seventy-two bedroom practices that are passed down to mankind? It’s apparent she won’t escape from romance.”
“Jia – jia – ” Old Shang continuously flicked his whip and drove back to Chen Rong’s courtyard.
Chen Rong had only stepped down from the carriage by the time a shadow dashed in front of her.
Startled, Old Shang stepped up to block him from Chen Rong.
That person pushed Old Shang aside and yelled: “Ah Rong, Ah Rong, your brother is kidnapped. You have to hurry and save him.”
He had a long and thin face, and an equally thin body. His already pale face was also covered in powder. He was her sister-in-law’s younger brother, wasn’t he?
His face was filled with worry.
Chen Rong turned away in disgust.
She went into her courtyard without a care.
After the frail man recovered from the shock, he called after Chen Rong: “Ah Rong of the Chen House, have you any conscience left? I said your brother got kidnapped by the thugs. They even want to cut his hand off.”
Chen Rong and Old Shang had entered the courtyard by now. Hearing the man’s yelling, she stopped and coldly said, “I’m now a priestess ordained by His Majesty himself.” She turned around with a contemptuous glare. “Go tell those thugs that if they want to implicate their families, if they want to die without a corpse, then don’t stop at cutting his hand, go ahead and cut all of his limbs off, too.”
Upon her speech, the door slammed shut.
Her sister-in-law’s brother stared at the door in disbelief.
Once inside, Chen Rong asked Nurse Ping who had stayed home: “Did the men we sent to protect my brother come back and report anything?”
Nurse Ping shook her head. “Nay. You told us if everything is fine then we don’t need to come back to report.”
Chen Rong nodded and said to Old Shang, “Go look for our people after you park the carriage. Tell them to mask their faces and abduct my sister-in-law’s brothers when night comes. Give them a good beating. Beat them badly enough so they can’t get up for at least ten days if not a month.”
Old Shang didn’t hesitate this time. Not only did he not object, he very much agreed with Chen Rong’s order. He rushed off right away.
Two more days passed by in the blink of an eye.
In the evening, Nurse Ping went to Chen Rong and relayed, “Miss, your brother came by this morning.”
“What happened?” Chen Rong asked, turning around.
“He nagged for a while. He was saying things such as although his wife is vulgar, and even her brothers are incompetent, when he first arrived in Jiankang, not only was he seriously ill, but he was also destitute. If his father-in-law hadn’t taken him in and his wife hadn’t taken care of him, he wouldn’t be alive today. He said that he will discipline them from now on, but you’re under the spotlight so you should be cautious in everything you do. Don’t let other people get a handle on you.”
At this juncture, Nurse Ping hedged: “Your brother must have guessed what had happened. He also said that they cannot get out of bed. The doctor who came to see them said one got broken ribs while the other got a broken leg. He said they’ll have to stay down for a few months.”
Chen Rong lightly smiled to hear this. She undid her hair and unhurriedly said, “My brother has always been softhearted… But he doesn’t realize that if his brother-in-laws dared to use his safety to lure me out today, they will dare to cut his head off to ask for funeral expenses tomorrow. I’m not going to tolerate any of it.”
She shook her head. “Anyway, I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”
Nurse Ping was quick to concentrate on her hair upon seeing her unhumored expression.
The emperor’s decree took about four full days before it was issued. After receiving his edict and accepting the royally granted Daoist robe, Chen Rong again put her hair into a Daoist bun and mounted the carriage with her luggage. With great fanfare, the imperial guards began to escort her to the temple on Mount Xishan.
The streams of visitors parted to the sides to let the carriages by.
Before long, they had arrived at Xishan.
The monastery was located on the hillside. Its upturned eaves were visible at this distance through the sparse woods. Although newly spring, the season was already abounded in green foliage and music.
Chen Rong got off and unhurriedly walked to the monastery with the imperial escorts.
Moss covered the gravels on the meandering mountain road. Around a hillside, a dozen or so traveling aristocrats looked on in Chen Rong’s direction.
Seeing her ill-hidden beauty under the wide Daoist robe, a powder-faced lad bantered: “Isn’t she something, this pretty little girl called Hong Yunzi? The ‘Yun’ in her name is quite apt for her charm.”
Another young man in his twenties, tall and thin and comely, smilingly replied, “In my opinion, ‘Yun’ 韵 (charming/graceful) is too elegant and noble for her. It is better to use ‘Mei’ 媚 (charming/seductive). Nay, ‘Mei’ is too vulgar. This woman does have some elegance in her, tsk tsk, it’s difficult to describe her.”
Amid their chatter, a courtesan wondered aloud, “I still don’t understand why Lang’ya Wang Qi let her become a nun if she means that much to him. Or is this how the scholarly like their romance served?” With this, she hid behind her sleeve and laughed.
Chapter 141: Pie in the Sky
It took one whole day to have Chen Rong’s Daoist name entered into the records.
She had expected it to be a lively day but for some reason, even after all the dust had settled, Xishan Temple saw no spectators.
The sun was now setting to the west.
Chen Rong stood on the mountainside looking down at the vast mountain ranges while feeling an inexplicable fogginess.
She was unmistakably a priestess ordained by the emperor, yet not one person had been sent to the sprawling monastery. No matter how hard she tried to listen, the only sounds she could hear were still her servants’ voices.
It was as if her becoming a nun was merely a change of residency.
Chen Rong wondered for a while and then couldn’t help laughing: But isn’t this better? I just want peace anyway.
At this thought, she turned to go back.
The monastery was very big, with rows upon rows of buildings and at least a hundred and fifty rooms. In the end, Chen Rong chose the safest quarters in the east as her dwelling.
She only brought ten people with her to Jiankang. After leaving two to watch the house she had bought, only eight remained with her at this point. Eight servants and herself totaled nine people. As they listened to the birds and insects, and the growling of beasts behind the mountains where the sun had descended beyond the horizon, the nine of them indeed felt rather desolate in a temple complex that could house over a hundred people.
Chen Rong spent the night listening to the apes and wolves.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Half a month flew by.
Xishan Temple seemed to have been forgotten during this time. Still no one set foot on its grounds. Sometimes when they heard the rustling of leaves, the servants would turn to see a pair of green wolf eyes. At these times, they would scream and shut the door.
Furthermore, she wasn’t sure if His Majesty had forgotten or if there was another reason, but nobody had mentioned the thousand acres of farmland belonging to the temple, or had anybody come to hand her the deeds.
It was as if she and her servants were completely isolated from the outside world by an invisible force.
It was now well into spring. Young buds on the branches were beginning to open, dotting various shades of green across the landscape.
After breakfast, Chen Rong slowly stepped out.
She went to the bluestone steps in front of the temple, looked at the mountain ranges in the distance, took a deep breath and lazily stretched her waist.
“Miss.” Nurse Ping was too used to this address to change her habits. Chen Rong had reminded her several times, and the nurse promised she would change but she always soon forgot. When no one was around, Chen Rong just let her be.
Nurse Ping rushed over to Chen Rong and blurted when she saw her smiling: “Miss, the temple’s running low on firewood, rice, oil and salt.”
After a pause, she softly added, “We’ve rewarded all of our money on the day of the ceremony. Should we sneak some out again?”
Chen Rong turned around to look at Nurse Ping.
Nurse Ping frowned. “I didn’t expect the temple to be this empty. There is really nothing here! If you hadn’t brought some money with you, we would have nothing to eat and wear.”
Chen Rong also frowned to hear this.
At length, she softly asked, “Nurse, have you found the temple’s accounting records?”
“Aye, I have,” she replied, nodding her head all the while.
“Go, let’s take a look.”
Her look-through lasted all the way until noon. Seeing Chen Rong throwing the old tattered silk books aside, her nurse asked, “Miss, what’s wrong?”
Chen Rong smirked and replied, “Someone had tampered with things… and left me an empty shell.”
“But what is there to worry about? We can feed ourselves after all.”
Chen Rong turned around. She faced Nurse Ping and looked at her for a long time.
“Miss? W-why are you looking at me?” the nurse nervously asked.
Chen Rong recovered and softly answered, “I was wondering if we should haggle with them over this or not.” Her nurse apparently didn’t want to. But Xishan Temple was quite famous in Jiankang. Without mentioning other costs, the yearly costs of hosting of the royal family and buying incense supply were already exorbitant. Without the farmland’s earnings, she really couldn’t stomach all of these expenses… She had thought becoming a nun meant she could find a quiet place to live, and assumed there would be someone to take care of these worldly things. Now she realized nothing was ever that simple.
Chen Rong ruefully smiled. “I don’t think we can afford to squabble with them over this. Let’s ask His Majesty to let me be a nun in my own home.”
He ran over. “Aye miss?”
“I’ll write a card, please go to the palace and ask to see His Majesty…” She paused to slowly upturn her lips into a smile. “I must be losing my mind. Why am I doing these useless things?”
After talking to herself, she turned to Old Shang and said in seriousness, “I’ll have to trouble you to go home with Nurse Ping and take out five boxes of jewelry, then exchange them for firewood, food, clothes and other daily necessities. Remember to get enough to last us at least six months if not a year.”
Her smile gradually grew brilliant. “Afterwards, put on a show and parade the streets. Take everyone with you tonight and choose some large trees leading to the temple. Peel the barks off and carve some words. Hmm, carve onto there: In meditation, closed to all visitors. Afterwards, go and close all the doors to the temple.”
She turned around, flapped her sleeves and left. “I’d like to see if those people can sit still or not.”
Nurse Ping and Old Shang traded glances. “What is she trying to do?” Old Shang at last asked.
Nurse Ping shook her head before they both hurried away.
The sky was dark by the time they returned. They had spent several days to carve words on the trees according to Chen Rong’s bidding.
On the fourth day.
The sun shone down from high above. The light patches of green on the mountainside had turned into a verdant band.
Chen Rong led her servants outside. She first pretended to pray to the Three Divine Founders, then turned and loudly said to her servants, “Remember to close all the doors when the hour comes. This time, you’ll also follow me into meditation.”
“Aye.” Their answer echoed across the mountains.
At this moment, they heard a series of footsteps followed by a very arrogant voice: “Hold on!”
Chen Rong and her people turned around to look.
They saw ten tall guards on the stone steps leading to the temple.
These guards lined up on both sides of the road to announce: “Her Royal Highness, the 9th princess –”
Her Royal Highness, the 9th princess?
Chen Rong frowned.
Her heart suddenly pounded as a sentence rushed out from her memory: “Even on the 9th princess’s last visit to the estate, Qilang did not receive her quite as well as he is now receiving you.”
Chen Rong smirked.
She led her servants down a few steps and clasped her hands in the direction of the guards, “Greetings, Your Royal Highness.”
Soon, a dozen palace maids and guards escorted a pretty girl in palace garments. Behind them were twenty musicians who were either playing drums or flutes.
Even from far away, the pretty girl had raised her head looking at Chen Rong.
Chen Rong kept a dutiful appearance and did not seem to notice her stare.
Before long, the pretty girl dressed in palace garments was within ten steps from Chen Rong.
After she stopped, she stared straight at Chen Rong for a good long while before according her ceremony. “How do you do, Priestess Hong Yunzi?”
The pretty and cultivated 9th princess next softly smiled and raised her sleeve over her mouth. “I’ve long heard of your name but only now do I see you are indeed a rare beauty. I reckon even my father’s favorite consorts weren’t as charming as you, priestess.”
Her voice was elegant and her smile was sincere, but her praises sounded rather suggestive.
Chen Rong merely played dumb. She smiled and, as she was about to return her ceremony, loud drum beats boomed ahead.
These drum beats were much louder compared to the 9th princess’s just now. The parade sounded as if hundreds of musicians were playing at the same time.
In the blink of an eye, a large procession appeared before their eyes.
Eight handsome boys were carrying another fair-skin boy. At a closer look, even though he had beautiful features, his fair face was clearly achieved with the use of powder.
Behind them was a large group of maidservants and bodyguards, and farther still were fifty to sixty performers.
The young boy had since looked up and immediately saw the 9th princess. He twirled the lock of hair falling in front of his chest and called, “You’re here, too, ninth sister? Hey! Is this little beauty dressed in Daoist robe, Priestess Hong Yunzi?”
He gave Chen Rong a once over, his gaze frivolous, as he tutted, “How beautiful. Any man would treasure such a pretty little thing. What a waste that you’re a nun.”
Chen Rong coldly smiled hearing his remarks. Under the 9th princess’s gaze, she kept her dutiful appearance and did not respond.
Nevertheless, another burst of drum beats rose from the eastern side of the mountains.
Someone else was coming.
Both the 9th princess and the handsome boy were startled this time. Like Chen Rong, they all turned to look in that direction.
Meanwhile, a servant behind Chen Rong muttered, “What’s going on today? The rich and famous are all flocking here. Playing loud music to boot. Really! Can’t they tell where we are to be making such a racket?”