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Chapter 7

Qian Er was eagerly awaiting a word from Young Master. The large water tank seemed to have transformed into a magical bottle, and the water splashed towards Mr. Fan as if banishing an evil spirit.

Mr. Fan, choked by Jiang Xiurun’s words, couldn’t continue. He searched for words with his eyes bulging, unaware that this little boy from a weaker state could be so disrespectful, letting an ugly servant girl drench him.

He ended up with disheveled hair, resembling a water ghost. He stomped in place, pointing at Jiang Xiurun’s neck and cursing, claiming an insult to civilization.

Jiang Xiurun didn’t even raise an eyebrow. Though Mr. Fan had some fame now, it wasn’t as grand as in his previous life. While the son of a vassal prince like Jiang Xiurun might not be as prestigious as a prince from a strong state, he couldn’t allow a madman from Luo’an City to insult him so brazenly.

“Escort the guest out!” she exclaimed loudly.

Mr. Fan also had some pride. With things having come to this, staying longer would be useless. So, he led the book boy, wet and grumbling, out of the room, leaving an awkward atmosphere behind.

The hostess, Liu Pei, didn’t expect the silent Young Master Jiang to splash away the renowned scholar of the capital. As Mr. Fan happened to be a guest of the Crown Prince Feng Liwu, he kept silent, letting the Crown Prince speak.

As this was an informal gathering, Crown Prince Feng Liwu sat on the floor like everyone else. His long fingers tapped lightly on the table in front of him. Even after Mr. Fan left and everyone looked at him, those fingers continued their slow and steady tapping.

Jiang Xiurun had vented her anger, and now, in the quiet room, she felt a subtle regret. She shouldn’t have been so ruthless; even when dealing with a dog, one should consider its owner.

It seemed she still had much to improve in cultivating her character in this second life. However, she couldn’t predict how the eccentric Crown Prince would react.

Thinking of this, she didn’t look at Feng Liwu. Instead, feeling a bit defeated, she picked up her wine glass, intending to finish it in one gulp.

“The hospitality of the State of Bo is to let the host drink freely, regardless of the absence of dishes in front of the guests, isn’t it?”

The cold voice suddenly sounded, and it was Feng Liwu speaking.

Jiang Xiurun put down the wine glass, stood up, and bowed to Feng Liwu, saying, “I’ve been an inadequate host. Let’s serve the dishes to our guests.”

After that, she had the table moved to a side hall, arranged hot dishes, and everyone gathered to eat and drink.

Because the Crown Prince didn’t dwell on the previous incident, the others treated it as if nothing had happened. After enjoying the food and wine, Liu Pei naturally brought up a topic, and everyone engaged in lively conversation. Amidst clinking cups and lively discussions, they managed to have a good time.

However, due to the rearrangement, somehow, the Crown Prince ended up sitting next to Jiang Xiurun in the small side hall. The space was limited, and the two were very close. Jiang Xiurun could even smell the refreshing lotus fragrance emanating from Feng Liwu’s body.

Currently, although Emperor Qi is on the throne, he always appears weak and sickly, lacking vitality. He is a pitiable figure, constantly being threatened by his son, with no real imperial power in his hands. It is said that even the imperial seal is in the hands of the Crown Prince.

In her previous life, Jiang Xiurun had curiously asked Qin Zhao why Feng Liwu delayed ascending the throne. Qin Zhao remained silent for a while before saying, “The Crown Prince is exceptionally filial… Besides, seeing but not being able to enjoy is the most painful.”

After pondering for a long time, Jiang Xiurun suddenly understood: in recent years, Emperor Qi has had no successors. The concubines in the harem have all aged, and the young and beautiful ones are either deemed monstrous by the Crown Prince or rejected by the harem’s overseer for their perceived lack of virtue.

Imagine a lascivious person sitting in the most prestigious position in the world, surrounded by a group of elderly women with white hair, unable to indulge in his desires, resembling a puppet. What kind of torment is this for the body and mind?

In her previous life, she was humiliated in front of Emperor Qi because Feng Liwu intentionally wanted to make things difficult for his father. The old lecher could see but not touch, and that was the extent of it.

This was Feng Liwu, a person full of ambition and vindictiveness. He didn’t enjoy the pleasures of sex, music, and banquets but was deeply immersed in political maneuvering and recruiting talents.

How could a position as Emperor of Qi satisfy such a person? His ambition was to conquer the world and become a king unparalleled in history.

Thinking of this, Jiang Xiurun sighed lightly. Although she harbored resentment towards Feng Liwu, she had no intention of provoking him. In this life, she only wanted a peaceful life with her brother. She wasn’t interested in who ruled the world.

Amidst the laughter and greetings filling the room, the two people who were sitting close to each other had little to say. However, the scolding she gave to Wei Ziyu for his excessive filial piety seemed to resonate with the Crown Prince, and now he was clearly trying to establish a more amicable relationship with her.

Yet, since they had never spoken before, some conversation was needed. So, while chewing on her food, Feng Liwu casually remarked, “Young Master Jiang’s household chef is quite skilled. This pork is very tender.”

Hearing Feng Liwu trying to make small talk by praising her, Jiang Xiurun decided to put an end to the Crown Prince’s attempts at camaraderie without giving much face, and she replied, “Prince Feng, this is lamb meat, naturally tender.”

Feng Liwu, who had never been fond of delicacies, spent his childhood in the cold palace and had never tasted minced meat. Moreover, during meals, he often had other things on his mind, making him indifferent to the distinction between different meats.

However, this cunning son of the state of Bo showed no courtesy and actually openly challenged Feng Liwu, causing the conversation to come to a halt. With the conversation starter tied up, Jiang Xiurun had no intention of initiating a new topic, so the conversation naturally dwindled.

As a result, the Crown Prince finally stopped trying to find words, but he also stopped eating. He held his wine glass, his gaze coldly contemplating.

Jiang Xiurun’s stubbornness not only made her older brother, Jiang Zhi, break out in a cold sweat but also drew frequent glances from Qin Zhao, who was by the Crown Prince’s side.

Qin Zhao couldn’t help thinking that every time he saw this kid, he appeared in a different guise: first as an ignorant child indulging in roast goose, then as a foolish and silly youngster in the great hall, and now as a free-spirited talent. Upon closer inspection, this child was far from ordinary!

Jiang Xiurun didn’t bother to look at the uncouth fellow, stealing glances at the courtyard’s sundial to see when the shadow finally reached the time for guests to disperse. She promptly bid farewell to the guests.

Liu Pei, who had been paying attention to the situation, understood the awkward atmosphere and tactfully offered Jiang Xiurun an out, suggesting that today had been troublesome and they could gather again on another day.

The Crown Prince, without a second thought, left without even turning back to get on his carriage.

Perhaps thinking that Young Master Jiang was an interesting person, Liu Pei seemed to want more, expressing a desire to meet again. However, Jiang Xiurun bluntly declined without hesitation.

Liu Pei took it in stride, still smiling, and said, “Let’s wait until Young Master settles down and arranges another meeting.”

After seeing off these adversaries from her past life, Jiang Xiurun felt her shoulders ache. She just wanted to lie down and rest on her bed.

Her brother gently criticized her for offending the Qi Crown Prince, and she just smiled without commenting.

After today’s encounter, the reputation of the brash son of the State of Bo, with his sharp tongue and eccentric temper, spread far and wide. While she might be labeled as eccentric, it was still better than having a reputation for being weak and easily bullied.

As for Feng Liwu, although he wasn’t a person with a large heart, he had too many important matters on his plate. She neither tried to seduce his father into giving him a little brother nor harbored any thoughts of plotting against his vast empire.

In the eyes of the Crown Prince, Jiang Xiurun was likely just an ignorant bumpkin.

At this time, Great Qi needed substantial financial support from the State of Bo, so maintaining a certain level of decorum was essential for everyone.

Jiang Xiurun abandoned the idea of dealing with these arrogant scions of the day and focused on how to increase her wealth. Even if she saved diligently, it would eventually be depleted if she didn’t find a way to increase her income.

However, as a hostage, she was not allowed to purchase land or property outside the residence provided for her. The avenues for wealth generation were thus quite limited due to her status as a hostage.

Just as she was contemplating this dilemma, an opportunity for financial gain presented itself.

Early one morning, before Jiang Xiurun had even risen, she heard a commotion outside the residence gate.



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