Feng Sheng had initially tried to associate the incident with a person. She even speculated it to be Gou Qing’s device, or a ploy from someone else whose attention she had stimulated. Never did she anticipate to be spirited away by Prince Wei.
As for why it had slipped her mind, perhaps because despite being imposing and somewhat dreadful, he had never explicitly expressed hostility towards her.
“Your Highness Prince Wei, can you tell me what this is all about?”
Standing under the gauze cover, Zong Yue shot her an indifferent glance and strode to a chair to settle himself.
“I think you must understand what this prince wants to do.”
These words seemed to insinuate some sort of implication. Feng Sheng released a hollow laugh and replied, “I don’t understand at all.”
A servant girl trod in to serve tea, and none spoke during this period. After waiting for the servant girl to leave, Zong Yue lifted the teacup and took a sip. All the while, Feng Sheng could sense his eyes boring through her.
This heated gaze made her nervous. She shifted her feet and pretended to survey the flower vase on the long table under the window.
Feng Sheng was dressed in a bright red muslin summer top with gold-knitted tree peonies and a lotus blue silk and gauze skirt. It was summer, so the fabric was light and thin. She was born extremely fair, and her figure appeared especially frail. Accustomed to wearing plain and dark clothing, suddenly sporting such delicate colors added to her a tinge of softness.
Slender, frail, and delicate. These words constituted the female characteristics Zong Yue most loathed, but it was precisely this slender silhouette that made him unable to turn his eyes away.
Feng Sheng took a deep breath and sat on the chair next to Zong Yue. Her hand moved out of reflex, but she found that there was no fan to shake.
“Your Highness Prince Wei should stop being so mysterious and get straight to the point.”
The air stagnated for a moment.
“I recall you once said that this prince attempted to seize a subject’s wife?”
“I thought the misunderstanding had been resolved.”
Zong Yue’s allusive eyes were dark and gloomy as he stroked the prayer beads on his wrist. “That’s what you thought, but not this prince.”
“I thought Your Highness was forgiving and magnanimous and had long forgotten the offense I had committed.”
“When did this prince say he was magnanimous?”
The direction of this conversation slightly wore out Feng Sheng. “Then, what will it take to cool Your Highness’s temper? Say it. As long as I can do it, I’ll do it.”
That instant, Zong Yue almost opened his mouth, but when he studied the other party’s face, there seemed to be an enigmatic and inexorable force that compelled him to suppress the impulse.
He stood up. “This prince hasn’t thought about it yet. While this prince is thinking about it, you’ll stay here for the time being.”
“Your Highness Prince Wei, are you saying that I have to live here the whole time until you’ve thought it through?”
“Don’t want to?”
If one lived under someone else’s roof, one had to lower one’s head.
Feng Sheng laughed dryly and answered, “Your Highness Prince Wei, I am Lord Fan’s advisor. If I were to disappear, he would definitely look for me.”
A strong and violent force overwhelmed her senses. Feng Sheng felt as though she had struck a wall, bouncing off one moment, being jerked back the next.
“Are you threatening this prince with Fan Zi Jin?”
Feng Sheng maintained her composure as she tugged out her hand, but her attempt was fruitless. “No, how dare I? It just isn’t appropriate to stay here too long.”
Zong Yue snorted, threw away her hand, and strode out.
Feng Sheng rubbed her wrist and touch her sore nose that had just been painfully slammed against. She circled back and forth for a while and then perched on a chair.
Dao Qi and Si Niang were captured along with her and were now at Prince Wei’s mercy. What did Prince Wei want to do?! Was he really charmed by her feminine allure?
Feng Sheng didn’t miss the way Prince Wei openly eyed her just now. As an imperial descendant, he could have any woman he wanted. Why did he just have to get entangled with her?
Seeing the Western-style glass mirror carved with red sandalwood on one side of the bed, Feng Sheng scurried over to scrutinize her features.
Her face was too thin and wan, and her eyebrows were too thick and lacked tenderness. Her lips weren’t red enough, and she was pale overall. Feng Sheng examined herself left and right, but found nothing worth a magnificent prince’s fancy.
Disheartened, she ambled back to the chair and slumped down once again. The two maids returned and inquired if she wanted some tea and snacks. Feng Sheng cheered up and conversed with the two maids in an attempt to weasel out some information about the place.
Feng Sheng had surmised that Prince Wei was irritated and wouldn’t visit for a while.
Who knew that he would suddenly appear just after the lanterns were lit?
Zong Yue had switch out his clothes. The him draped in a black brocade robe was honorable, reserved, imposing, and high above the world, but nonetheless ice-cold. The him who had changed into a blue casual robe was less noble, cold, and resolute, but somewhat more handsome and bright.
Although Feng Sheng disliked Prince Wei now, she had to admit that he was the second most handsome man she had ever laid eyes on, her father being the first. But so what? He might look handsome, but he exhibited a shifty and foul temper that only terrified and annoyed people.
“Has the miss eaten dinner?” After coming in, Zong Yue nonchalantly asked.
The maid’s courage seemed to have escaped her body, stammering as she negated in response.
“De Wang, pass the meal.”
De Wang, who didn’t come in and instead shirked outside the door, responded in ardent compliance and swiftly ordered other servants to fetch the meal.
Not long after, a few servants filed in with food boxes.
De Wang personally laid out the servings. Zong Yue sat across the table and noticed Feng Sheng standing still. He asked, “Why don’t you sit down?”
Feng Sheng faltered for a bit and plopped herself on the other side.
Zong Yue picked up his silver chopsticks. Noticing Feng Sheng motionless, he shot her a look. She could only concede by lifting up her own chopsticks.
How could there be no wine during a meal? Zong Yue hinted at De Wang. De Wang raised aloft the wine jug and poured him wine. After which, he glanced at Feng Sheng, hesitated, and poured her another cup.
De Wang was aware that Feng Sheng liked to drink, and that her liquor capacity wasn’t inferior to a man’s.
No, it was superior to any man’s, very much unlike a woman. De Wang was now in complete disarray, trying to decipher how His Highness had taken fancy to such a woman. There had long been signs; De Wang could only accept this reality the moment Zong Yue taxed his ingenuity to have Fang Feng Sheng abducted into this garden.
Other than fancying her, De Wang couldn’t think of any other reason.
His Highness had personally selected her clothes. He was obviously livid and stormed out in rage, but when time came to partake the evening meal, he ran over again. It was clearly himself who had ordered to have the meal prepared at a later time, but when he entered, he put on a show of affectation by inquiring if she’d eaten.
Such a Highness was unfamiliar to De Wang. He was standing there in solicitude, but his scalp was numb.
Feng Sheng was also a free-spirited person. Since she couldn’t elude, she might as well face it. She raised her wine cup, toasted to Zong Yue, and drank clean in one go.
Zong Yue gazed at her and downed the wine in his cup in a similar fashion.
With wine around, it was easier to break the ice. Feng Sheng ate and drank with gusto. Although she was dressed as a woman, she automatically assumed a man’s demeanor the moment her wine cup nestled in her hands. She did her utmost to be natural and unrestrained with her actions. If one didn’t mind her clothes, one would think she was some bright and handsome young man.
“Your Highness has taken great pains to bring me here. There must be another meaning. Is it related to that bamboo section teapot?” Feng Sheng suddenly asked.
Zong Yue paused. “You’re not foolish yet.”
Fang Feng Sheng naturally wasn’t a fool. Upon her arrival, she had been too overhwhelmed to think straight, but when she quited down in contemplation, her thoughts inevitably conjured that bamboo section teapot Prince Wei had gifted her days prior.
“Your Highness seems to know a lot of things but just doesn’t want to reveal them. In that case, why meddle in such affairs?”
“What?” Feng Sheng pinched her wine cup and raised her chin. “Am I wrong?”
“You don’t know what’s good for you!”
These few words were expelled one word at a time, seething from between Zong Yue’s teeth. Already accustomed to Prince Wei’s temper, De Wang quickly waved off all the people waiting in the room. He also stealthily retreated outside the door.
“What’s good and what’s bad? Your Highness isn’t me, so how would you know what’s good and bad for me?”
“This prince told you not to start a fire!”
Feng Sheng chuckled softly. “I’m starting a fire, but whether I’m burning myself or someone else is unknown for now.”
“Overconfidence is arrogance.”
“Your Highness can just consider me arrogant. I’ll do what I want anyway. Since Your Highness doesn’t want to divulge anything, why not remain silent? Why interfere?” Feng Sheng took a swig from her cup.
“If Fang Qi Zhi were still alive, he wouldn’t want to see you like this. Who do you think you are, attempting to shake several mountains with just your own power?”
“How will we know if we don’t try?”
Zong Yue seemed to want to say something, so Feng Sheng interrupted, “If Your Highness is here to eat, then eat well. People who walk different paths can’t plan together, so it’s better not to touch these unpleasant topics.”
Regardless of this statement, it was her who acted unsettled afterwards. She clutched the wine jug and gulped down one cup after another until she emptied out two jugs of wine. She signaled at De Wang to haul in more wine, but Zong Yue glared at him to shift away.
Zong Yue snatched her wine cup. “How come I didn’t know that Fang Qi Zhi’s daughter is a drunkard?”
Feng Sheng seemed to be quite inebriated, drowsy-eyed from the wine but her face wreathed in smiles.
“You don’t know much of anything. Who do you think you are ah, the all-knowing Buddha? And do you know you’re annoying?”
“Fang Feng Sheng!”
Feng Sheng rose to her feet, vacillating and staggering.
“What did you call me for?” She suddenly bent over and leaned in close to Zong Yue’s face. “Your Highness Prince Wei, can I ask you something?”
The faint fragrance of carnation interspersed with the aroma of wine came straight towards Zong Yue’s face. His cheeks tightened. “Speak.”
“Your Highness Prince Wei, do you admire me?” Not waiting for Zong Yue’s answer, she went on, “Otherwise, why are you so persevering with me? I offended you just a bit in Shaoxing, so why are you so aggressive?”
She was now incapable of standing firm. She lurched forward and waved backward, close one moment, distant the next.
“By the way, you and my father are considered old acquaintances, so can’t you be forgiving for once?” She spotted a chair to perch on but looked uncomfortable in her initial position, and so shifted to a squatting position. She maintained this stance as she spoke to Zong Yue, whose face was close at hand.
“You see, I’m not attractive and I pose as a man. You’re an honorable prince. Why bother with people like me?”
“Fang Feng Sheng, do you know what you’re saying?”
She held her cheek and stared straight at him. “Of course I know. Say, you’re a dignified prince. You would lose face taking fancy to a woman like me. For someone like your honored self, you should find yourself a gentle, magnanimous, and suitable young lady from a big and noble family……”
Zong Yue stood up and kicked the chair behind him with a loud bang.
De Wang’s shoulders jumped up in shock.
Zong Yue glared fiercely at Feng sheng, his eyes almost devouring. Feng Sheng also left him alone and returned his gaze, her face still beaming.
Zong Yue smashed the wine cup in his hand and sped away.
De Wang took a complicated look at the squatting Fang Feng Sheng and immediately followed suit, scared out of his wits.
Two maids crept in and assisted Feng Sheng. She didn’t resist and let the maids help her down from the chair.
“Miss, you’re drunk. You better rest early.”
Feng Sheng’s eyes flashed with a complex glint and made an interjecting sound to indicate approval.
Zong Yue was scathing in fury and brisked back.
De Wang’s legs were on the verge of breaking from running so fast, but he didn’t dare utter a word.
Returning to the courtyard where he lived, Zong Yue entered the quiescent room. It took almost an hour before he emerged out, and he had already regained his composure.
De Wang lowered his head and shuttled closer to report, “Your Highness, the Huang family sent two women.”
“Two women.” At this moment, De Wang hated that he couldn’t stick his head into a crack in the ground.
Zong Yue sneered, “Prepare water.”
Astonished, De Wang hastened away to give orders.
When Zong Yue exited the bath room, his long ink-colored hair was loosely draped behind his shoulders, and he was wearing only his middle-layer garments with the lapels half-open, exposing his strong chest. A maid had entered to clean up, and her cheeks flushed at the scene, but she didn’t dare raise her head.
“Bring them in.”
De Wang’s heart hammered in his chest, but he understood what Zong Yue meant.
These two were extraordinarily beautiful women.
Although Great Zhou valued the beauty of lean women more, one also couldn’t deny the allure of these two women’s full and tender figures. Their fluid glances overflowed with charm that even De Wang, who had no roots and was incapable of producing offspring, was stunned by their snow-white and bulging plump figures.
The door was closed from outside, and De Wang’s heart finally settled.
De Cai stepped out from the side, “Why does it seem as though your current state of mind is similar to those old pimps in the eight alleys?”
“What do you know!” De Wang grimaced at him, “There plenty of fragrant grasses around. All types of women exist, but how come His Highness just had to fancy that dog tail grass? Don’t you think his temper has worsened ever since he met that Fang Feng Sheng? Can we have a great time when the master is grumpy? Fulfilling his desires isn’t against common sense. Otherwise, you’d think I’m so unoccupied that I’m helping the Huang family.”
De Cai smiled in failure to comprehend the meaning.
“I must say, the Huang family didn’t miss a beat this time. Those women as thin as a sheet of paper, what’s there to look at? That’s how women are supposed to be!” There was a hint of disdain in De Wang’s countenance, which seemed to denote something.
De Cai was just about to utter a response, when suddenly, a loud noise erupted from inside. Just as De Wang was struggling whether to go in or not, the door unexpectedly flew open and a gust of wind rushed out.
De Wang ran in and saw two beauties sprawled on the floor, but there was no sign of Prince Wei.
Zong Yue: Woman, you’re playing with fire.
Feng Sheng: Someone cares for this big sister every day. The problem is that I only want to focus on my goal.