Chapter Three, Part One
Ti Xiao smiled and said: “This prince heard that Prime Minister Ye only has a son who’s remarkably talented since childhood. Prime Minister Ye is very strict, your precious daughter must also be outstanding in learning and virtue, not like common women.
When Prince Qin’s expression changed, Ye Fu’an knew his thoughts right away.
Haven’t arrived in the capital yet, two people have already come to calculate his daughter into their plans, haha.
Ye Fu’an said: “Prince Qin has absurdly praised. My humble daughter is just mediocre, neither her appearance nor talent, compared to the rest of the capital’s noble ladies, is a problem. My humble daughter has been weak since she was a child. Because she grew up with Master Wu Xin, her temperament is too simple. The truth is, I am also worried she won’t be able to adapt to life in the capital.”
In front of the emperor, Ye Fu’an could brazenly boast. After the boasting, he could say that his precious daughter is difficult to serve and cannot enter the royal family. The emperor was afraid of Ye Fu’an, so naturally, he would not force it. Moreover, the power and influence of the Second prince are still rather shaky while the influence of civil officials headed by Ye Fu’an is tremendous. Marrying the prime minister’s sickly daughter is no less than marrying an ancestor.
Prince Qin, Ti Xiao wasn’t someone who’s easily frightened. Even if the Ye family’s daughter was played to death by the Crown Prince after marrying, Ye Fu’an cannot retaliate.
Ti Xiao has an army in his hands, and his temper was cold, even the emperor was afraid of him. Between literary and military or one who has courage and strategy, intelligent and can fight a battle, this is like hitting a stone with an egg.
Therefore, the more Ye Fu’an belittles his daughter, the better. How can Ti Xiao not arrange a marriage that would be beneficial to the Crown Prince?
The Crown Prince was very good, but Ye Lizhu was in poor health. Ye Fu’an wants Ye Lizhu to marry into a family that’s inferior to his so that Ye Fu’an can handle the entire family if they ever dare to bully Ye Lizhu.
Ti Xiao saw that Ye Fu’an had no intention of befriending him.
But Ti Xiao… is not a good person. Ye Fu’an didn’t give him face, in that case, Ti Xiao has to oppose him.
He said: “Hehe, Prime Minister Ye is humble. There are two vacant rooms upstairs. Why not let your precious daughter out of the carriage and rest in the room first?”
Ye Fu’an touched his beard and ordered his subordinates.
Within a moment, a strong servant woman came over holding Ye Lizhu. Ye Lizhu was weak and still sleeping, no one dared to wake her up. When she got out of the carriage, her face was covered with a veil and the entire person tightly surrounded.
Ti Xiao’s has an extremely acute sense of smell, and right now, he can smell an indescribable fragrance.
It seems like the aroma of bluegrass mixed with the white sandalwood, quite ethereal, neither sweet nor unctuous, and not the least bit vulgar.
Ye Fu’an said: “My humble daughter is spoiled, her body is too weak to even walk a few steps and can only be carried by the servants. Prince Qin, please don’t laugh.”
Ti Xiao’s gaze followed the group of women walking away.
He didn’t know whose fragrance it was.
Ti Xiao was used to days of licking blood on the knife’s edge. It went without saying that he was cold-blooded and most disgusted with the greasy and powdery smell of women. Over the past few days, he has been exhausted and travel-worn, and suddenly smelling this light, neither greasy nor strong fragrance, he felt extremely comfortable.
Ye Fu’an was a little cunning, but he can tell between right and wrong. He did have a little ability otherwise, it would have been difficult for him to hold the position of Prime minister which is above the 10,000 people. His daughter, no matter how lacking she was, she’s unlikely to be that bad.
Thinking like this, Ti Xiao wanted Ye Lizhu to marry the Crown Prince even more.
Ye Lizhu was taken to the room, and the servant woman carefully removed her shoes, socks, and coat.
Of course, the things on the bed cannot be used. The maidservants gently covered the bed with sheets and quilts they had brought, and put on new pillows, so that Ye Lizhu could sleep comfortably.
When Ye Lizhu was put on the bed, several maidservants retreated, leaving two older servant women guarding by the bed.
Meanwhile, Ye Fu’an was drinking with Ti Xiao downstairs. Although he was a civil official, Ye Fu’an was not so pedantic; he has finished three rounds of wine, even though he isn’t genuinely making friends with Ti Xiao. Ye Fu’an was already patting Tixiao on the shoulder and calling him brother.
At first, Ti Xiao thought that Ye Fu’an was a slippery smiling tiger, only after exchanging several words did he find that Ye Fu’an was, as expected, really a man with a big smile and evil intentions.
Not talking about serious business, but rather the many new good scholars and literary talents under him. Every time Ti Xiao wanted to probe Ye Fu’an’s opinion regarding the princes, Ye Fu’an would brush him off.
Within a short period of time, Ye Fu’an had told Ti Xiao that knew the signature wines of every inn in the capital. He also knew that the young poet who recently gained fame actually allowed someone else to ghostwrite for him. Moreover, he knew that the emperor raised a very noisy parrot. It’s just that what Ti Xiao wanted from Ye Fu’an wasn’t these boring trivialities.
Ti Xiao sneered and said: “This prince thought that Prime Minister Ye is quite busy, who would have thought you to have elegant interests.”
Ye Fu’an said with a smile: “This minister likes to steal moments of leisure from my busy life. One day, if His Majesty permits, this old minister will retire and take my daughter to live in the countryside.”
Ti Xiao sneered. Does this old man want to retire? Actually, Ti Xiao would be happy if Ye Fu’an does. Without him, the party of the emperor and the second prince is useless and at his mercy.
Only, if old man Ye Fu’an was greedy for power, he would be reluctant to let go, and an average person would not be able to touch him.
When the first emperor was still alive, Ye Fu’an was still young, less than twenty years old, Ye Fu’an relied on his family background and ability to finally be appointed an official position in the Censorate. In his later years, Emperor Xian highly valued the Ye family. Before his death, he even rewarded Ye Fu’an with two gold medals and a sword.
Ye Fu’an was made the prime minister in his early thirties; this status at this age, not to mention the current dynasty, even in the previous dynasty, was rare.
Ye Fu’an is now in his forties. If he lives a little bit longer and refuses to let go of his power by the time he’s 70, and he doesn’t make a mistake, it will be difficult for the Crown Prince to touch him.
Ti Xiao had taken a look at Ye Lizhu just now, although layers of women blocked him, through the gap, he was able to see that Ye Fu’an’s daughter was no longer a child, but a girl in the marriageable age. At this age, she will nevertheless have to marry.
Ye Fu’an has no intention towards the Crown Prince, is it possible that he wants to marry his daughter to the Second Prince?
Ye Fu’an and Ti Xiao toasted each other and drank. Both men with huge capacity for liquor appeared drunk, supporting each other upstairs.
Ye Fu’an came to the door and asked the maid: “Is the young lady still asleep?”
The maid nodded and said, “she is still asleep. Mama Li went to the kitchen to make some snacks. Mama Chen is watching from the side. If the young lady wakes up, the servants will give the young lady something to eat. Master, you go and rest first.”
Ye Fu’an nodded and returned to the room with his entourage.
1) 有勇有谋 (yǒu yǒng yǒu móu): To have both brain and brawn. ↑;
2) 兰草 (bluegrass): medicinal orchid (Cymbidium) used in traditional Chinese medicine to nourish yin and relieve cough. ↑
3) Days of licking blood on the edge of the knife = dangerous/risky days. ↑
4) 笑面虎 (xiào miàn hǔ): “Smiling tiger” is a man who hides evil intentions behind a big smile. ↑
5) 御史台 (yushitai)/Censorate: a government organization that acted as the “emperor’s eyes”; supervising state officials for misdeeds, corruption, etc. ↑