“Where did this lecher come from? How dare he behave atrociously in the imperial harem?” The sexy lady had already been in a bad mood when she was surprised by the sight of a stranger. Wasn’t this the perfect target to vent her frustrations since he had had the gall to shake his head and quirk his lips?
Jiang Chen frowned and turned his head to ask Xia Ting, “Who is this idiotic woman?”
It was as if someone had shoved a goose egg into Xia Ting’s mouth when he heard this. He wore a stunned expression and a wry smile, as no words came out of his open mouth, unable to respond for the moment.
“You lecher, alright, who are you calling an idiotic woman?”
“Who else but you?” Jiang Chen had also been enraged by two repeated labels of “lecher”. “If I recall correctly, I gave the order last time for Eastern Zhiruo to stop practicing!”
“And I’d like to ask who decided to appoint such an idiot by the princess’ side?”
“If I have to continuously answer such basic, idiotic questions, then I’ll ask you to find another expert for this diagnosis!
And, you idiot woman, don’t rest your sword on the princess’ neck whenever you feel like it. The mind wavers when the heart palpitates, and qi is lost when the mind wavers. The princess’ life qi was already weak to begin with, are you complaining that she’s not dying quickly enough?
And the most idiotic thing of all is that the wooden swords you’re using are made from enigmatic cloud wood. The wood possesses a yin character, and will trigger the yin humours in the princess’ body. Are you all idiots in this vast palace?”
The woman had been working herself up into a temper when she was halted in her tracks by Jiang Chen’s direct harangue. She was also slightly surprised that he had recognized the enigmatic cloud wood with one glance.
As for Eastern Zhiruo, she ran over laughing with an air of shyness from a young girl. She tugged at Jiang Chen’s sleeve, “Alright brother Jiang Chen, aunt Gouyu just returned today from an adventure outside. She doesn’t know anything about Zhiruo’s matters, so please forgive her.”
“Wait a second!” The woman called Gouyu had regained her senses. “Zhiruo you give me an explanation right this second. Who wants this… this darned brat’s forgiveness? How am I wrong? And who is this brat? How can he access the imperial harem?”
“And you don’t admit that you’re an idiot. You think I care about entering some imperial harem?”
“Brat, if you call me idiot one more time I’m going to beat you so hard that you can’t feed yourself or even relieve yourself!”
“Psht! A threat? From the likes of you? Save it.” Jiang Chen was contemptuous.
Off on the sidelines, the eunuch Xia Ting had wanted found a moment to surreptitiously slip away, because he’d discovered that things were not what he’d imagined. He did not wish to be awkwardly caught in the middle.
He’d brought the person here; it was out of his control if things devolved into a ruckus of chickens flying and dogs jumping.
Poor Eastern Zhiruo had to put out the fire on both sides.
Jiang Chen grabbed her, “Come, girl, show me your chambers.”
These words thoroughly enraged Gouyu. She shook her wooden sword and exhorted, “Lecher! You really think I won’t dare cleave you?”
“You crazy woman, you really took the wrong medicine this morning. I came to diagnose Princess Zhiruo out of the goodness of my heart, and you create trouble not once, but multiple times. Do you believe that…”
“Do I believe what?” Gouyu laughed coldly.
“Forget it. Good men do not fight with woman. Princess Zhiruo, is she your martial dao teacher? Fire her at the earliest opportunity. You won’t live past 16 with her at your side.”
The translucent skin on Gouyu’s face was covered by thunderclouds in an instant. She focused her voice and yelled, “Brat, I dare you to say that one more time!”
By the sight of her expression, Eastern Zhiruo knew that Gouyu was truly enraged. She hurriedly said, “Alright auntie. Both of you stop talking. Listen to Zhiruo’s explanation. This is Jiang Chen, father has employed him as my royal physician. Auntie, don’t underestimate Jiang Chen! He’s really amazing, he could tell that I wasn’t sick, but that I was born with a yin constitution and thus cannot cultivate. Cultivating will increase the burden on my meridians and deplete my life qi.”
“Royal physician? This brat?” Skepticism was written all over Gouyu’s proud face.
“Auntie, his name is Jiang Chen, not ‘this brat’.” Eastern Zhiruo responded merrily. “Brother Jiang Chen, this is my aunt, and the sister of my father. Call her Princess Gouyu and not idiot or crazy woman. That doesn’t sound nice!”
“Aunt?” Jiang Chen was taken aback. He hadn’t expected this at all. He had assumed that this violent woman was a female martial dao teacher of some sort.
But she still had to be lectured, and even more so, if she was Zhiruo’s aunt. “Aunt? Is there any aunt in the world who would treat her own niece in this way? Do you know that everything you’ve just done was pushing her down the road of death? Just because you’re a princess doesn’t mean you have the right to be a self righteous moron.”
Rage and killing intent boiled in Princess Gouyu’s eyes as her beautiful hands unconsciously groped for the handle of her sword.
Their eyes met. Jiang Chen’s look was open – calm and pure. His heart was selfless and encompassed the world, and did not fear killing looks like the one Princess Gouyu was sending his way.
“Brat, I don’t care who you are. You’ve called me idiot five times. and crazy woman once today. Remember this, women carry grudges.”
“Jiang Chen is it? Young duke is it?” A strange smile suddenly tugged at Gouyu’s lips, as if she had gotten hold of one of Jiang Chen’s secrets.
Jiang Chen shrugged, “I’m afraid of everything but a woman’s threats. Alright, I’m going to diagnose Princess Zhiruo now. You aren’t welcome here.”
“I’m not welcome? Says who?” Gouyu grew even more displeased. “This is my home, get it?”
“What? You mean to tell me that you haven’t gotten married off yet? Please, how old are you? Even your niece is about to marry someone, and you still have the nerve to call this your home? Do you hate marriage that much? Is it really that much fun to be a leftover woman1?”
If it wasn’t for Eastern Zhiruo’s illness, Gouyu would have definitely cut Jiang Chen down with one swing and dragged his corpse out to feed the dogs.
Her ferocious gaze completely illustrated her thoughts at that moment.
“Okay, brat. Congratulations. You have been successfully remembered by this princess. I’m going to go back and change. If I find out that diagnosing Zhiruo is a false pretense, you’ll find out that you’ll die a horrible death.”
Jiang Chen was derisive. “Hurry up and scram! Remember to close the blinds when you change to avoid scaring anyone. Even if you don’t manage to scare people, it’s still wrong to scare people of small importance.”
“Alright brother Jiang Chen, Auntie has left already! Stop being so sharp tongued. Auntie is actually a good person, there must have been a misunderstanding between you two today.”
A charming smile blossomed on Eastern Zhiruo’s face, projecting an air of naive innocence. This smile somewhat alleviated Jiang Chen’s mood. He had been truly maddened by that woman to the point of losing his wits.
He didn’t mind the idiotic gestures. What got to him was that the woman had immediately started off with “lecher” as soon as she’d opened her mouth.
“To think that I, Jiang Chen, have been insulted by a brainless bimbo! Sigh!”
Jiang Chen came to Eastern Zhiruo’s quarters under her guidance, and he spent some time wandering around them.
“Brother Jiang Chen, what do you think? My place is pretty nice, right?”
Jiang Chen smiled lightly. “It’s passable, but it’s extremely inappropriate for you to live here. Whether in terms of the greater environment, or in terms of the design of the details — they are all pushing you further towards death.”
Eastern Zhiruo’s composure was greatly ruffled. “Brother Jiang Chen, don’t scare me.”
“The imperial harem is a great compound within the palace, and is already a place of strong yin qi. The design of this imperial harem garden is overly quiet, with no concentrations of yang qi, making it easier to attract yin things. If you had not practiced martial dao when you were born and didn’t live here, your lifespan would be about the same as ordinary folk. It was a pity that you were born into the royal family.”
“Ah? Brother Jiang Chen, you’re scaring me. Will Zhiruo really not make it past sixteen?”
“If you hadn’t met me, you may not have even made it beyond this year.”
Jiang Chen wasn’t being an alarmist. This environment was a natural yin focal point. How could the ill humors within a yin constitution not have been worsened?
Ignoring Eastern Zhiruo’s look of worry, Jiang Chen took a quick walk. He lifted his head; at times climbing onto the wall, and at times walking upstairs.
He returned to Eastern Zhiruo’s side after a while and asked, “If I were to demolish this imperial harem compound and redesign it, would your father the king agree to it?”
“Brother Jiang Chen, you’re… you’re kidding right? There are three thousand in the imperial harem, not just an abode for Zhiruo alone.”
“So, this proposal wouldn’t work?”
“No, no.” Eastern Zhiruo spread out her delicate hands. “Zhiruo cannot impact the daily lives of the entire imperial harem just for herself.”
What a girl to be pitied and to be respected. She was facing her death, but still thought of the greater picture. The very definition of an expendable royal life!
“Then you must move out, the earlier the better. The longer you live here, means the closer you are to death.”
“That is also undoable. Zhiruo is a royal princess, and cannot leave the imperial harem for the outside world before her marriage.” Eastern Zhiruo’s voice was as low as a mosquito, like a child who had done wrong. Her head was so low because she didn’t dare look up at Jiang Chen.
As if this was all her fault.
“I say, are these damn rules important, or your life important?” Jiang Chen was a bit at a loss for words.
“Brother Jiang Chen, do you have any other ways? My life and the rules are both important. But Zhiruo is afraid that breaking the rules will cause others to be unhappy.”
“Who? Who dares to be unhappy? Tell your old man to execute him.” Jiang Chen’s majestic demeanor was evident.
“Pfft…” Eastern Zhiruo was amused by Jiang Chen’s seriousness. “Brother Jiang Chen, you like to joke! It’s so interesting being around you.”
The girl wove her arms lightly around his upper arm and said sweetly, “I know brother Jiang Chen will come up with a better idea.”
The mild fragrance of a maiden wafted leisurely into Jiang Chen’s nostrils, making him feel from the depths of his heart that it was good to be young.
He laughed, “I’ve got ideas already, but you really can’t practice anymore. Ai, that idiot woman, you say she’s your aunt?”
“Hehe, you’re insulting auntie again.” Eastern Zhiruo blinked a pair of lively, spirited eyes. “Brother Jiang Chen, Zhiruo will tell you a secret. You can’t insult my auntie anymore.”
“Why not? She’s such an idiot, and yet I can’t lecture her? I insult her to help her become smarter. My intentions are good and kind.”
“Hehe, but my auntie is a princess. She’s also the number one organizer of the Hidden Dragon Trials. Don’t you need to participate in them?”
“What?” Jiang Chen leapt up upon hearing these words. “Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?
“Because both of you didn’t give me a chance to earlier.” Eastern Zhiruo felt a bit aggrieved.
Jiang Chen was quite depressed. He’d just offended Du Ruhai, but the latter was just second in command. But now, that Princess Gouyu was the primary person in charge!
The Hidden Dragon Trials…
Jiang Chen could see many flaming and spiked obstacles flying his way. The main organizer and her right hand man both hate him. How was it not possible that life wouldn’t be easy for him in the Hidden Dragon Trials?
1. Leftover woman is modern Chinese slang indicating a spinster not by choice