Medical Princess - Chapter 1039
For folks in the capital, what happened to Wang Shengxue’s mansion was as transient as fleeting clouds. No one would bother looking into the past.
Since Wang Shengxue was dead, this matter could be considered settled.
Of course, no one would pay attention to either banished Ning Caixian or homeless Ning Xueqing. As for the deal between Ning Xueqing and Shao Yanru, it was more secretive to the public.
Very few people knew that Ning Xueqing reported Wang Shengxue’s backer because she had reached an agreement with someone. On the sly, some people intentionally disguised this major incident as minor, which didn’t draw any public response. Only some prominent aristocratic families got vague information that Wang Shengxue seemed to have something to do with Prince Zhou.
The news that the Emperor smashed Prince Zhou’s head spread silently among the powerful officials and aristocratic families.
In this Palace Examination, Yan Xi was the Number Three Scholar, the title conferred on the third-place winner.
By convention, the top three scholars of the Palace Examination would march through the streets on tall and big horses. On that special day, a few servant girls woke Shao Wanru up early in the morning.
The Prince Chen’s Mansion booked a box of a tea shop along the way. Many people ordered private rooms today. Almost all the private rooms for restaurants and teahouses on the parading way were occupied.
The servant girls were also full of curiosity. They were in the Yuhui Nunnery three years ago, so they didn’t see the grand celebration of the top three scholars riding across the streets at that time. Three years had passed. Finally, they got a chance to see this occasion of great festivity. The maids were very concerned about it.
Like these maids, Zhang Qilan kept the event in mind and invited Shao Wanru to watch it together. She asked Shao Wanru to book a private room, and she would bring Luo Xiaowan over to join in the fun.
Shao Wanru was in a good mood. Chu Liuchen had told her that he was going to come back. Thinking about the time, he was on his way home now. If he traveled faster, he could attend the Empress Dowager’s birthday. Somehow, this news made Shao Wanru feel more relieved because some things had happened on Empress Dowager’s birthday in her previous life.
Although she had made some preparations, she was still a little uncertain. It would be best for Chu Liuchen to come back. After all, he was the only one whose words would make a difference at that time.
Also, Chu Liuchen mentioned a little about the marriage relating to Princess Yutao and Princess Yuyan, but not in detail. He just tried to reassure Shao Wanru that it had nothing to do with him, no matter which country’s princess wanted to arrange a marriage with the Kingdom of Dongcang. Since he was in poor health, he couldn’t marry any more consorts. Shao Wanru alone was too much for him to enjoy.
When Shao Wanru saw the letter, her face flushed bright red. Ever since they got married, Chu Liuchen became more and more shameless. How could he say such embarrassing words in such a righteous way? It sounded as if it was a great thing to be powerless to marry another woman.
He was full of tender affection each time he held her in his arms. When Shao Wanru recalled how forcibly he tried to suppress his overwhelming desire for her, she flushed crimson with embarrassment. He couldn’t be more shameless!
He possessed such a refined and handsome appearance, but he brazenly unlocked his innermost dirty thoughts to her. Just a glance at his letter made Shao Wanru feel ashamed.
Under the meaningful gazes of a few smiling servant girls, she folded the letter and placed it beside her pillow. She would take it out and read it through several times with a blushing face if she couldn’t fall asleep late at night.
She missed him, badly!
Before he wormed his way into her life, she had been used to carrying out everything alone. She forced herself to become stronger and never dreamed of getting married.
Under the protection of such a man, she felt her ice-cold heart slowly warm up. She couldn’t remember clearly when she lost her heart to him.
It was early when they arrived at the teahouse. Zhang Qilan and Luo Xiaowan had not come yet. Shao Wanru followed the waiter up the stairs. But at the corner, she caught a familiar figure and frowned slightly. “Did he also come to see the grand event every three years?”
After entering the private room, the waiter served the water and left. Yujie and Qu Le took out the tea leaves brought from their mansion to make tea with boiling water. After watching the private room’s interior, Shao Wanru sat down.
It was a very simple square table. She was sitting near the window, and there was a wide street below, which would be the main street for the parade. The windows would allow a clear view of the whole street.
The booked private room had a good view of the street. After a while, when Number One Scholar, Number Two Scholar, and Number Three Scholar came over, Shao Wanru and the others could see all of them clearly.
Standing by the window, she watched for a while and found plenty of people walking on the street. Some were even waiting downstairs. All of them could barely wait to see the three most promising young talents.
“You arrived earlier than us!” Zhang Qilan came in with Luo Xiaowan. When she saw Shao Wanru was already there, she couldn’t help exclaiming with a smile
She came over, bowed to Shao Wanru, and sat beside her.
Shao Wanru poured a cup of tea for each of them and pushed the teacups to them with a smile. “Didn’t you say you would arrive earlier than me?”
“We were supposed to be here early, but before I left, my mother found I would go out and nagged me for a long time. Later, Xiaowan came over, so my mother finally let me out.” Zhang Qilan felt wronged and said pitifully.
Seeing her aggrieved and pitiful look, Shao Wanru couldn’t help laughing, covering her mouth with her handkerchief, and said, “Then you really have to thank Sister Xiaowan!”
“That’s right. My mother wouldn’t let me go out if it weren’t for her. But if it were her…” Zhang Qilan said meaningfully.
Luo Xiaowan blushed and patted her hard on the shoulder. “What nonsense are you talking about?”
“I didn’t. It’s absolutely true.” Zhang Qilan said with certainty, smiling.
Luo Xiaowan’s face became increasingly redder. She held her handkerchief and was at a loss what to do.
Shao Wanru looked at Luo Xiaowan and Zhang Qilan and laughed. “Is there something that I don’t know? It seems to be a good thing!”
“Of course, it’s a good thing…” Zhang Qilan said.
“None of your nonsense. It’s up in the air!” Luo Xiaowan turned anxious and hurriedly said with a red face.
When Zhang Qilan saw her like this, she didn’t say anything more and just pouted at Shao Wanru, hinting for her to see Luo Xiaowan’s expression.
Shao Wanru pursed her lips and smiled, pushing the teacups closer to them with a smile. “The tea is good. Try it.”
Zhang Qilan took a sip, and her eyes immediately lit up. She looked at the teacup in her hand and praised, “Not bad. Nice tea, actually! I didn’t expect an ordinary teahouse to have such tasty tea. Why didn’t they serve me when I came here before? Are they too proud to treat guests equally?”
“You think it’s good?” Shao Wanru asked happily.
Hearing what they said, Luo Xiaowan also tried it and praised it repeatedly, “This tea is very drinkable, and it has a faint scent of flowers. It smells and tastes better than ordinary tea.”
“Anyone? Go and get the waiter for me. I want to ask him why he didn’t serve me this good tea before!” Zhang Qilan ordered.
The maid behind her was about to leave.
Shao Wanru remained silent with a smile, but Yujie couldn’t bear it anymore. “Miss Zhang, this tea is from our mansion, not this teahouse.”
“It’s not from here?” Zhang Qilan blinked. After taking another sip, she praised it once again and looked at Shao Wanru, saying, “Your tea is so nice. I don’t know where it comes from. I’ve never drunk such a tasty tea. Is it a new tribute to the Palace this year?”
The servant girl stepped back and stood behind her again, looking at Shao Wanru with a radiant smile.
“Do you think this tea is a tribute?” Shao Wanru asked, beaming with pleasure.
Zhang Qilan took another sip to taste it carefully and shook her head. “Not really!”
“What makes you say so?” Shao Wanru asked again.
Luo Xiaowan also took a sip. After thinking about it for a while, she said, “I don’t think men like this flavor!”
There shouldn’t be such a heavy fragrance of the flowers in the tea for the Emperor.
Luo Xiaowan and Zhang Qilan had drunk many kinds of tribute tea sent to them from the Palace but had never drunk anything like this.
“This is from the Xu State. It is said to be a kind of tea favored by local women, but not tribute tea. Only women like drinking it. In fact, the tea’s most outstanding feature is not its tea smell but the scent of flowers.” Shao Wanru threw them a faint smile and explained, her eyes brightening up a little.
Hearing her words, Zhang Qilan nodded repeatedly in approval. “Yes, that’s right. The mixed flavor of tea and flowers doesn’t taste like ordinary scented tea. There is no flower, but its flower fragrance seems to have permeated through the tea aroma, all like nature itself. I wonder how the two scents exist in perfect accord with each other!”
Shao Wanru said, “This should be a unique tea-making method of the Xu State!”
“Wait a minute. How did you get the tea from Xu State? Could it be that… a special present from Prince Chen?” Zhang Qilan teased.
Shao Wanru gave a slight, bashful cough and said, “I received some tea with a letter from the Empress Dowager.”
“Do you mean Prince Chen sent the tea to the Empress Dowager as a present but didn’t give any to you?” Zhang Qilan blinked and lowered her voice to ask with a smile.
Obviously, she was making fun of Shao Wanru.
Luo Xiaowan couldn’t help laughing.
“He presented it to the Empress Dowager, and Her Majesty then rewarded me with it.” Shao Wanru nodded and explained it seriously. The dazzling smile in her watery eyes served as a foil for her eyes full of feminine charm. Coupled with her delicate facial features, she radiated soul-stirring glamor and elegance.
Zhang Qilan’s heart skipped a beat. The smile still hung on her face, but the happiness in her eyes faded away. Something unpleasing arose in her heart, which she thought she wouldn’t care about. But when she thought of it now, she felt surprisingly sick.
“What’s wrong?” Capturing Zhang Qilan’s constrained smile, Shao Wanru asked with concern.
“I’m fine. I just remembered what my mother said before. Alas, people unfamiliar with my situation may mistakenly think we aren’t biologically related!” Zhang Qilan said helplessly with a bitter face, “She always tells me to be careful of this or that and forbids me to do this or that, as if I’m willing to get married. How can I live a happy life if it’s always like this?”
The marriage between her and Prince Yue was around the corner, so it became more difficult for her to go out recently. Except for this place, her mother had banned nearly all her other social activities. Every time she thought of this, Zhang Qilan felt depressed. All she wanted to do was stroll around freely, and she wouldn’t do anything out of bounds. But her mother didn’t allow her to do it.
It seemed that it was heinous for her to hang out.
In the past few days, one more thing was lying heavy in her heart. She thought she wouldn’t believe it, but when she looked at Shao Wanru now, she was displeased, which made her feel at a loss for a moment…