Home Post 1850-chapter-9


“It’s just picking the soft persimmon1,” Wang Xi said disdainfully, dismissing the matter from her mind. She asked Anan, “What are we having for dinner today?”

Anan really didn’t know and looked to Baishu for help. Baishu suppressed a smile and pretended not to see, bowing his head and continuing to transcribe Buddhist scriptures.

Qingchou lifted the curtain and entered, untying Anan’s scarf. She said, “The shopkeeper sent a few crabs over. The kitchen maid asked if you wanted seafood congee.”

Crabs were not easy to raise, but Wang Xi loved fresh seafood. “Then we’ll have porridge for dinner tonight!” she declared excitedly, “Take out the preserved vegetables we brought from Shu, cut them into small pieces, and cook them with the crabs.”

She thought about the deliciousness of seafood congee combined with the crispness of preserved vegetables; her mouth watered at the idea.

Qingchou was slightly surprised. “Aren’t you having dinner with Madam Dowager tonight?”

When Wang Xi had just arrived at the Marquis’s residence, she had looked forward to having dinner with Madam Dowager every day. However, after several dinners, she found that Madam Dowager’s menu was limited and sometimes there were hardly any dishes she liked. That’s why she started occasionally having tea and snacks before going to dinner at Madam Dowager’s.

Previously, Qingchou had assumed that Wang Xi was just trying to fill her stomach in advance.

Wang Xi pointed in the direction of the Apricot Courtyard and said, “Isn’t there a commotion over there? Madam Dowager and the others surely won’t have time for us tonight and tomorrow morning.” Then, her eyes sparkled with excitement, “We won’t have to greet Madam Dowager tomorrow morning. Can’t we go to the Warm Pavilion to watch our neighbor practice swordsmanship? That sounds great.”

She sent Anan to call Hongchou and discuss how to proceed tomorrow morning.

Qingchou was unsure if Wang Xi’s speculation was accurate, and Baishu chuckled and said to her, “Listen to Miss; she’s never wrong about these matters.”

Wang Xi was in a good mood and took the opportunity to advise Qingchou, “The matter in the Apricot Courtyard is not as simple as just expanding a courtyard. Madam Dowager must be very troubled. She’ll have to discuss it tonight and calm things down tomorrow morning. I said Madam Dowager wouldn’t have time for us tonight and tomorrow morning. If Madam Dowager weren’t decisive like my grandmother, it might take longer to handle. Let alone tonight and tomorrow morning, we’ll be free for the next two or three days.”

Wang Xi’s prediction turned out to be accurate. In the evening, someone came from Madam Dowager’s residence, saying that Madam Dowager wasn’t feeling well and asked Wang Xi to have dinner in her own courtyard. She was also excused from greeting Madam Dowager tomorrow morning.

Naturally, Wang Xi expressed her surprise.

She had Baiguo bring two twenty-year-old wild ginseng roots to offer to Madam Dowager, while she sat with Hongchou under the grapevine in the main courtyard, discussing the person practicing swordsmanship next door.

“At dawn, two servants in green clothes came to sweep the courtyard,” Hongchou said. “After that, I didn’t see anyone.”

Wang Xi pondered, “Does he not live there? Is he practicing swordsmanship there every morning just because it’s quiet?”

She and Hongchou looked at the layout of the Eldest Princess’s residence in the study, pointing to a large green area. “Look, this is a five-courtyard residence. There are large green plants planted in each courtyard, and a stream from the North Sea runs beside them.

“The area is quite large, even more abundant in plants than the Eldest Princess’s main residence. However, it should be on the west side of the Elder Princess’s residence, right?

“’Purple Qi Comes from the East,’ indicating the higher status of the eastern side. The Eldest Princess’s main residence doesn’t seem to have large courtyards there.

“Could it be that the Eldest Princess and the Marquis have an average relationship?” Wang Xi pondered, stroking her chin.

Back in the day, after her mother gave birth to her second brother, everyone publicly claimed that her elder brother was undoubtedly the heir to the family. But privately, who knew how many people incited her mother and father to cause trouble, hoping to profit from the situation.

It was just that her fourth aunt’s methods were a bit unsightly, even she could see that.

Moreover, in families like Eldest Princess and the Marquis, both of them being remarried, no one could fathom what Eldest Princess was thinking and similarly, what the Marquis was thinking.

She sighed deeply and put down the pattern in her hands. Hongchou suggested weakly, “How about we go to the Willow Shade Garden tomorrow?”

Go to Willow Shade Garden? Wasn’t that blatantly revealing their whereabouts? But then again, it might not be a bad idea.

If they couldn’t resolve the matter in Apricot Courtyard by tomorrow, it would probably take another four or five days.

The people in the Marquis’s residence would certainly be too busy to bother with her. It would be a perfect opportunity for her to do her own thing.

“That’s settled then,” Wang Xi decided.

The next morning, Wang Xi got up without Baiguo having to drag her out of bed, even urging Baiguo, “Is breakfast ready? Let’s go early and come back early.”

Baiguo was both amused and exasperated. She whispered to Wang Mama, “I don’t know if it’s because she’s used to it or because she has something to do today.”

Wang Mama chuckled. “Have you forgotten how Miss used to accompany Old Madam An to the temple every time?”

Come rain or shine, she would get up without being called. The two of them exchanged smiles.

Wang Mama said, “Miss has been confined these days, but it’s not something serious. We can turn a blind eye.”

Baiguo nodded, smiling brightly.

After Wang Xi finished her breakfast, Baiguo and a few others accompanied her to Willow Shade Garden.

Willow Shade Garden was named after the many golden weeping willows planted there. The garden didn’t boast exceptional scenery, with only a pavilion in the northeast corner.

Qingchou had somehow found two long ladders, propping them against the flower wall, and whispered to Wang Xi, “Look, you are standing under those two large willow trees. If you stand on the ladders, the tree canopies will block them. People outside won’t be able to see there are two individuals on the wall.”

However, there were quite a few weeds on the ground, and in summer, there would likely be many mosquitoes too. Wang Xi wasn’t very satisfied with the environment here.

With Qingchou’s help, Wang Xi climbed the ladder while saying to her, “It would be better if they were locust trees. Willow tree branches break easily.”

It was a bit far from Clear Snow Courtyard as well. Wang Xi leaned on the wall, raising her telescope.

Ah! She actually saw the man’s face clearly in an instant. Sword-like eyebrows, high and straight nose, phoenix eyes, and thin lips. The basic features of a handsome man. Yet, placed on this man’s face, they were exceptionally stunning.

His eyebrow arch seemed sharper than others, the high nose bridge was straight and refined, the lines of his phoenix eyes were exquisite, and the thin lips only added to his aloofness, not sharpness. Moreover, he exuded a heroic and spirited aura.

Exceptionally handsome.

Wang Xi didn’t want to watch him practice swordsmanship anymore.

The telescope in her hand kept moving as he leaped and circled.

How could a man be this handsome?

No matter how she looked, he was just so dashing!

Every time he turned his face, it felt like a heavy hammer hitting her chest, making it hard for her to breathe for a while. When she finally caught her breath, her heart pounded wildly, and she couldn’t control it.

Wang Xi couldn’t help but lean over the wall.

Hongchou, who had climbed the wall with her, was shocked.

The Marquis’s residence and Eldest Princess’s residence shared a wall, with no passage in between. If she fell, she would land in someone else’s estate. If she was discovered, it would be disastrous!

She quickly called out softly, “Miss!” and grabbed Wang Xi’s waist.

In the round mirror of the telescope, the person practicing swordsmanship seemed to hear something. He suddenly turned his head, and his sharp gaze shot toward the person watching him.

Wang Xi was startled and instinctively leaned backward, but she forgot that she was standing on a ladder. She fell from mid-air.

Baiguo and the others exclaimed in shock.

Qingchou quickly took a step forward and embraced Wang Xi. Hongchou somehow managed to hang upside down on a willow tree, gripping Wang Xi’s arms tightly.

“Amitabha!” Baiguo patted his chest, feeling weak in the legs.

Only Wang Xi, unafraid, giggled and said, “It’s okay, it’s okay. I have Hongchou and Qingchou by my side!”

The Wang family was the largest tea and salt merchant in the southwest. To conduct tea and salt business with the caravan, they had to deal with the Wang family.

In earlier years, some local chieftains in Yungui even intermarried with the Wang family. It was only when Wang Xi’s great-grandfather became the family head that the Wang family began to marry into other prominent families in the southwest.

They restricted their male members, allowing them to take concubines only if they reached the age of forty.

The marriages between the local chieftains in Yungui and the Wang family gradually diminished, and they started sending women skilled in martial arts to serve as guards in the Wang family’s residence.

Hongchou and Qingchou, the two sisters, were slaves sent by the Shuixi chieftain to serve the Wang family, chosen by Wang Xi’s grandmother.

This was also why the Wang family hadn’t sent more guards with her to the capital.

Even so, Baiguo and the others were still quite frightened.

To reassure them, Wang Xi jumped a few times in place, stretching her arms out, allowing them to inspect, saying, “I’m fine. If you don’t believe me, let Wang Mama take a look later.”

Wang Mama knew some basic medical knowledge. “We should still ask a physician.”

Baiguo pinched Wang Xi’s arm, asking her cautiously, “Does it really not hurt?”

“It really doesn’t hurt!” Wang Xi rolled up her sleeve and said, “Look if you don’t believe me!”

There was a fresh red mark on her snowy-white arm. Everyone fell silent.

Wang Xi said awkwardly, “I must have accidentally done this just now.”

Now Baiguo couldn’t let her fool around anymore. Gently but firmly, she said to Wang Xi, “Let’s go back to the room first! The person practicing swordsmanship won’t disappear in a short while. If he really vanishes, I’ll tell Grand Master, and we’ll find someone better than the one next door for you.”

But could the person practicing swordsmanship be more handsome than the one next door?

Wang Xi looked at Hongchou, who was crying and blaming herself, and Qingchou, who was so pale she couldn’t even speak. Wang Xi didn’t want to ask further.

With a reluctant glance at the neighboring place, she was reluctantly escorted back to Clear Snow Courtyard by Baiguo and the others.

When Wang Mama heard about it, she almost fainted. She immediately sent for a physician before examining Wang Xi’s wound.

Wang Xi was absent-minded. She didn’t know if she could continue watching the man practice swordsmanship later. But when the physician arrived, it was probably already past the hour of the dog (7-9 PM).

She shouldn’t have followed Baiguo and the others back. She could have stayed there and continued watching the person practice swordsmanship while waiting for the physician.

Also, Willow Shade Garden was messy and not a suitable place for a long stay. If she wanted to keep watching that person practice swordsmanship, she would need to repair the pavilion.

It would be best to make a rockery, build a Warm Pavilion, introduce running water to create a small stream, and build a small bridge or something.

But most importantly, she needed to find out if that person would continue practicing swordsmanship there tomorrow.

When should she go? When should she leave? Who was the person from Eldest Princess’s residence? Was it possible to invite him to her place…

Wang Xi thought, realizing she knew nothing about the person practicing swordsmanship next door.

She had been focusing only on the trivial matters in the Marquis’s residence. It was completely a case of misplaced priorities!

  1. Picking on the weak