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Chapter 17 – A Visit to the Military Camp

A Visit to the Military Camp

Cui Xingzhou thought that this was the end of the marketplace gossip, so he closed his eyes and said, “I won’t take concubines… It’s getting late. Let’s go to sleep quickly. I have to go to the government to clear things up tomorrow morning.”

 

He didn’t lie. He didn’t want to take a concubine in the future, but his wife wouldn’t be the woman next to him.

 

After listening to Cui Jiu’s words, Miantang felt lighthearted. Her husband is a calm and elegant person, but she is not a shallow greasy man like Official Zhang in the rice shop on North Street. She really shouldn’t think about it.

 

At this time, the moon was hanging on the window chord, and Miantang closed her eyes contentedly next to her husband.

 

He waited for the person next to him to have steady breathing, Cui Xingzhou slowly opened his eyes and turned to look at the woman who was sleeping soundly. Her face was as tender as the fresh bean milk…

 

The next day, Cui Xingzhou got up early, and Servant Li started cooking early.

 

Prince Huaiyang came here only wanted to stabilize the woman who had lost her memory for his trick to continue. But as he went back and forth so many times, he really felt that he had taken the North Street as his temporary dwelling place as a high official.

 

Although this place is not as respectable as the Royal residence, it is much more comfortable than the military camp he used to live in. In addition, he is accustomed to the use of Servant Li, his old servant, and the food is delicious to his taste. Cui Xingzhou is happy to have breakfast here before leaving.

 

Because she had to cook for Mr. Chen these days and was keeping his mind on the braised pork cooked by Servant Li, the Mansion in the North Street had bought a lot of pork. Servant Li had sorted out the fat part of the meat yesterday. There was a whole set of lard blocks. She simply boiled it with water and made a fresh new pot of delicious lard oil. The remaining crispy oil shuttle was mixed with salt and bring it on the dining table.

 

This kind of thing can’t be served at the master’s table in the royal residence. This is the first time that Cui Jiu had ate it. He liked it very much. It was crispy and fragrant. After a while, he has already eaten half a bowl.

 

After dinner, he looked at the time and could not delay further. So he told Miantang that he would go to the government to inquire about it, and then he won’t be coming back. He will go directly to the mountain to continue to hone his chess skills with his mentor.

 

When his carriage turned around the corner after leaving the house, a secret sentry hurried out of a courtyard, came to the carriage, and whispered: “His Royal Highness, I have something to report to you, the lecherous thief has been transferred to the prison in the military camp… Would you like to send them to the government for court again?”

 

Cui Xingzhou had recalled that the thief had provoked the Young Lady Liu to scold Prince Huaiyang for being an incompetent official, and he felt uncomfortable for a while. He said coldly, “No, you don’t have to. Just torture him with the preliminary flogging and banish him to the South of the Five Ridges. Let the bastard die there.”

 

As usual, he went out very early and would not meet any neighbors. But when the carriage came to the street, he saw a man standing behind a closed door with the smell of wine, pounding the door and shouting: “Bitch, you dare to shut me out. I can sell you off once, I can sell you off twice. Just wait and see if I will sell you to the alley! Let you do man-flattering activities every day! Madam, you actually listened to the bitch’s instigation and didn’t let your husband come home!!”

 

The woman in his mouth did not speak, however, there was the movement of a person that is inside the door, full of confidence, and replied: “I’m the servant girl that was sent to My Lady when you guys got married. Even if there are people who want to sell us away, it won’t be your turn! My lady didn’t care about your impoverished family and got married to you according to the marriage arranged since you guys were a child, regardless of her parent’s objection. Instead, you rely on My Lady’s dowry for businesses, and even raised a prostitute outside! My Lady is not going to suffer this insult, so she will get a divorce. You can marry whoever you like! But there’s one thing, the rice shop belongs to the dowry of My Lady when she got married to you, it will not be yours even a little. Hurry, get someone to move your supply away and get lost! ”

 

Hearing this, Cui Xingzhou in the carriage understood. This is about Zhang’s family who asked the “God of the Dog” to ward off evil spirits.

 

It seems that Lady Zhang, who was so soft-hearted and didn’t pay attention, took Liu Miantang’s advice and found her servant girl who was loyal to protecting her lady. He doesn’t know what other advice Liu Miantang gave the lady besides this.

 

Now it seems that if Liu Miantang had not been robbed by bandits, she would have created big troubles for the real merchant Cui family to suffer. She is so fond of gossiping and is not virtuous at all… The most important thing is that she is not afraid to bring trouble to herself.

 

Cui Xingzhou decides that before asking the secret sentry in the North Street to withdraw, he must give Liu Miantang good advice and let her learn what a virtuous woman should look like, so as the avoid her life in the future to be too difficult. Not only did she not get rid of the spirit of the bandits, but also she was infected with the spirit of the marketplace…

 

It turned out that he had expected correctly.

 

On the next day, when the North Street secret sentry came to report the daily affairs of the North Street to him, the secret sentry reported the follow-up of the Zhang’s family. He said that the husband and wife were still quarreling. Mrs. Zhang was so determined and called her brother to take her shop back.

 

Now that the Zhang husband has no shop to make a living. The prostitute that he was going to take in as a concubine, disdained him for being poor, so she broke up with him. Later, Official Zhang heard from some unknown place that the newly moved-in wife of the Cui family is the one who had given her soft-hearted wife the idea. He immediately flew into a rage and went to bang on the door of the Cui family’s North Mansion in the early morning of the next day.

 

When Cui Xingzhou heard this, he put down his brush and raised his head to ask the secret sentry standing at the table: “Did Liu Miantang have a verbal fight with him?”

 

The secret sentry shook his head and said, “She didn’t. The business of the shop is not well these days. Servant Li said that Lady Liu was so worried that she lost her voice and couldn’t scold. Instead, she asked the mute woman to climb the ladder and poured a bucket of ‘poops’ directly on Mr. Zhang’s head…”

 

The secret sentry was afraid that this story will dirty The Prince’s ears, so he only said half of it. At that time, Mr. Zhang cried and cursed loudly. He has a family and can’t go back. Most of his savings were cheated by the prostitute. There was no change of clothes thus, he can only cry out loud in his wet and smelly attire.

 

Finally, his wife was soft-hearted. Seeing him this pity, she opened the door and let him in to change clothes.

 

Cui Xingzhou was not surprised to hear this. Now he can see that the young lady is naturally fearless. She dares to poke at any kind of “hornet’s nest”. It all depends on whether she likes it or not.

 

On normal days, Cui Xingzhou would surely frown.

 

However, Cui Xingzhou is in a very unhappy mood these days. Several Ministers of the court have plotted against him these days. They said that most of the bandits in the State of Zhen have been eliminated. But Cui Xingzhou didn’t disband the local army. He has ulterior motives. They requested for The Emperor he must be summoned to the capital and be reprimanded in person.

 

Next, the Ministers greatly praised Shi Yikuan, the Military Commander of the State of Qing which is adjacent to the State of Zhen. They say that he wins people in virtue and it seems that he deliberately recruited the rebel, Lu Wen. Once the two sides have negotiated the terms, Lu Wen will return with Shi Yikuan’s command with his people.

 

Shi Yikuan did his best to calm the bandits without any effort.

 

If possible, Cui Xingzhou also wanted to be like Lady Liu. Recklessly carried a few barrels of poops and pour on the heads of those decrepit and muddleheaded courtiers and the shameless Shi Yikuan, letting out his anger in the bottom of his heart.

 

It’s a pity that as a courtier, he can’t live as freely as a young lady in North Street

 

Thinking of this, he waved his hand and let the secret sentry go.

 

Who would have thought that Prince Huaiyang, with his powerful army in his hands, could not live as comfortably as the young lady of a North Street merchant?

 

Just then, someone came to report that Miss Lian, accompanied by her brother, Lian Xuan, had come to the Military Camp to visit The Prince.

 

It turns out that Cui Xingzhou has not returned home since the Old Princess Consort’s birthday party. As for several letters from his future father-in-law to recommend his nephews for a position in the officialdom, there was no response too.

 

The Prince’s Aunt, Lian-Chu, inevitably complains that his nephew forgets things and doesn’t care about his family affairs.

 

But Lian Binglan realized that something was wrong. She just felt that her cousin had deliberately “forgotten” and wanted to warn the Lian family. So she stopped her mother and didn’t let her encourage her father to ask. Instead, she carefully cooked a few snacks and asked her brother to take her to the countryside for a spring outing and “stop by” to see Prince Huaiyang.

 

In this way, she can not only show no intention, but also appropriately express her concern and miss her cousin, and also see The Prince’s attitude towards the Lian family.

 

Lian Xuan, the elder brother of Lian Binglan, and Cui Xingzhou were classmates. They studied at the capital academy and were familiar with each other.

 

However, he was born weak. Although he took an official post as a County Magistrate, he failed to enroll in his post because of his illness, so he had to take a temporary leave and return home. It can also be regarded as a person not harnessed with duties in another sense.

 

It’s just that The Master of the Lian family is different from Zhao Quan, who is empathetic with landscape paintings and practices medicine.

 

This man has the ambition of a great hawk who spreads its wings, but he has been dragged down by the emaciated body. What he has derived is the sense of unfulfilled ambition of “When can he get an important position, and step on the battlefield in the autumn”.

 

Other than drinking medicine, Young Master Lian’s greatest hobby is talking with several friends, pointing out the past and present, and expressing his feelings.

 

So when he entered the Military Camp, he saw Cui Xingzhou, his former classmate, dressed in black and gold military uniform, with piles of official documents on his desk and table, and his subordinates kept coming in and out. He had a subtle feeling of inferiority and dissatisfaction in his heart.

 

When Prince Huaiyang greeted him, his future uncle and former classmate, Young Master Lian could not wait to speak about his views on the governance of the State of Zhen, which was quite instructive to Prince Huaiyang, and even left Lian Binglan unable to interrupt them.

 

Seeing Prince Huaiyang’s courtesy smile getting deeper and deeper, Lian Binglan really wanted to block her brother’s mouth with her handkerchief regardless of the etiquette that a young lady should have.

 

If it weren’t for the inconvenience of a woman going into and out of the camp alone, and her other brothers were not in the State of Zhen, she would not want to drag her brother, Lian Xuan here with her.

 

It makes her effort of pouring exhortations into her brother along the way goes in vain, she asked her brother to drink more tea and talk less. Lian Xuan had forgotten his sister’s words when he saw that the career of the person in front of him was better than his own.

 

But Lian Xiang, the servant girl behind Lian Binglan, was smart. As soon as she saw that the handkerchief in her lady’s hand was getting tighter and tighter, she immediately understood.

 

With the effort of delivering tea to the eldest young master, she accidentally poured half a bowl of tea on Young Master Lian’s gown, which made Young Master Lian frown and reprimand and finally stopped him from the potential of instructing thousands of miles of rivers and mountains.

 

Lian Binglan breathed a sigh of relief and took advantage of the time of her brother’s intermission, She smiled softly at her cousin and said, “The Old Princess Consort is worried about you these days. She is afraid that the food in the Military Camp is monotonous. She says that if I have time, I can send some food to you to adjust your appetite. In addition, the tenants of the royal residence have sent a basket of ‘June hairy crab’. Although the crabs are not as big as those in autumn, they are delicious and fat, which is beyond the reach of autumn crabs. I specially shaved the crab meat and wrapped crab roe buns for you to have a taste of it.”

 

With that, she ordered Lian Xiang to take out a plate of crab roe buns from the food box. The translucent skin showed that the crab roe was full.

 

Cui Xingzhou smiled and said, “Thank you for your kindness, cousin.” He took over the jade chopsticks and put one in his mouth.

 

This cousin of his is meticulous in her work. Although she only wrapped five steamed stuffed buns for delivery, the plate edge was decorated with crabs roe fried with egg whites, and fish and water plants carved from vegetables. At a glance, it was beautiful.

 

But for a hungry martial arts practitioner, it doesn’t feel satisfied eating.

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