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Chapter 19: Enjoy Good Fortune Together
“Long time no see; Virtuous Nephew looks more outstanding.” The leader of the Sun Family, also the elder brother of the Sima Family second mistress, Sun Hong sat deliberately next to Gu Cun Jing. He ignored that his juniors were all around him and directly talked to Gu Cun Jing.
“Uncle, you are too complimentary.” Gu Cun Jing put down his chopsticks and greeted Sun Hong with a small bow and a smile. “Uncle looks younger now.”
“Oh,” Sun Hong waved his hand, poured himself a cup of wine and drained it. “Do not mention it.”
Seeing his grimace, Gu Cun Jing took the wine pot and poured a full cup for Sun Hong. He listened dryly to Sun Hong speak of some seeming complaints that were not very important at all.
Supposedly, after the miss of Sima Family’s Second Branch died in an accident, the second mistress Sun shi had been in bad spirits. The Sun family members had gone to the Sima Family several times to comfort her, but the results had not been good.
These complaints then moved to mention the empress dowager and the Holy One in the palace. Gu Cun Jing knew what Sun Hong wanted and only smiled without speaking.
“In another two years, His Majesty will be holding his marriage. I wonder which family’s miss will have the fate.” Sun Hong said regretfully, “Pity about my niece. Beautiful, talented, but the heavens were jealous of her…”
Sun Hong’s tone immediately fell dispiritedly, as though the passing away of the Sima second miss had given him a great blow. But based on what he knew, the Sun Family had an astoundingly beautiful miss famed in Jing that not even the Sima misses could rival.
“Uncle, my condolences.” Gu Cun Jing tried to make his expression seem sad. “Today is the good day for Third Uncle Sima’s family—you should be happy.” After saying this, he saw that Sun Hong’s expression was slightly odd but it quickly calmed.
“You are correct, today is a good day.” Sun Hong looked up to glance at Third Master Sima who was welcoming his guests and forced a smile.
Sun Hong was silent for a while and then seemed to mention casually, “Virtuous Nephew is a dragon guard of the Holy One. You must understand the Holy One’s preferences well.”
Gu Cun Jing’s eyebrows rose slightly. His tone was slightly helpless. “Although His Majesty is young, he is a rare wise ruler. Other than working to study and governing, I did not see him have any special interests. Even the empress dowager worries that His Majesty works too hard and frequently urges him to rest.”
Sun Hong felt his teeth ache. The young emperor really had such a personality?
Then what flavour was there in the days?
After not being able to get anything out of Gu Cun Jing, Sun Hong settled down. But after the banquet ended, he found Gu Cun Jing and spoke of meeting to drink again.
Ever since he became part of the dragon guard, people frequently tried to learn about the emperor’s matter from him. Gu Cun Jing was used to this. He had not lied. There was really no flaw to pick out of the young emperor. Other people could not see him have any special preferences. Even if people wanted to find out, there was no place to start.
But this understanding was torn down by the young emperor himself when Second Brother Gu went into the palace the next day.
“Cun Jin, I heard there is a restaurant in Jing that is the best at the fish banquet?” After finishing his classes for the day, Jin Yang looked at Gu Cun Jing who stood by the door and beckoned for him to enter. “Have you heard of this restaurant?”
He had not just heard of it, he had dined there.
Gu Cun Jing saw that Jin Yang seemed interested in this restaurant and said hesitantly, “This subject has been to the restaurant. Their full fish banquet is interesting. Your Majesty, you are…”
“I do not have classes this afternoon. Accompany me out.” Every five days, Jin Yang had half a day of rest. Today was his rest day.
“There are many people outside the palace. This subject worries…” Thinking of how he had confidently said yesterday that the emperor had no preferences, Gu Cun Jing felt he was too naive.
“Do not worry. I have already reported this to Mother-Empress and she does not object.” Ever since Jin Yang took the throne, he had not left the palace. Now that he had an opportunity, even as composed as he was, he couldn’t help but show anticipation.
Since the empress dowager had no objections, Gu Cun Jing, as a dragon guard, naturally had nothing to say. After arranging for the personnel, Gu Cun Jing changed into normal clothing and accompanied Jin Yang out of the palace.
The compounds nearest to the imperial palace were mostly the residences of the imperial family or aristocratic families. Jin Yang saw them from afar. The common people that passed by were all careful, soft of hands and feet as though if they were noisy, they would offend the important people inside.
When they passed by the gates of the Li Family compound, Jin Yang glanced at the brave stone lions. The stone lions were unusually clean without a speck of dust.
“Where is your family?” Jin Yang couldn’t help but ask after walking a while and didn’t see the sign of the Gu Family mansion.
“Young Master, this place is the residences of the imperial family and the top tier aristocratic families. This one’s home is a bit further.” Gu Cun Jing pointed to the west, away from the Li Family. “Over there.”
“Hm.” Jin Yang nodded. A smile appeared on his pale face. He slowly walked in the direction Gu Cun Jing pointed in.
Gu Cun Jing grew suspicious. Did His Majesty really want to go and see what his family gates looked like?
Gu Ru Jiu was not in a good mood. This morning, she had gone with some of her friends to the suburbs to view the flowers. But they had encountered the misses from some unfamiliar families. Originally, everyone had gotten together to chat and waste time. But before leaving, the misses from the Wu and Sun families started to argue.
She didn’t know what was going on between the misses from the two families. They targeted each other with daggers of words and the conflict was ugly to see.
Last year, when the Li Family held a gathering, it had been the misses from these families that had been unhappy. Now, a short time later, they were fighting again.
The mood had been so awkward that no one was interested in playing together. They could only return home.
“Miss, we are home.” Outside the carriage, Qiu Luo whispered, “Second Young Master is leading some other young masters over here.”
Gu Ru Jiu lifted the curtain and saw Gu Cun Jing leading several people toward the home. Of course, that was not the point. The point was… the person walking in front of him was familiar to the eye.
My heavens, Second Brother took the young emperor out?
As she muttered inside, she did not stop in her steps. She slowly went forward and gave a shallow bow to Jin Yang. “Young Master Jin, Second Brother, Young Masters, greetings.”
Which of the guards that could accompany the emperor were not from the aristocracy?
The dragon guards, dressed in regular clothes, returned the greeting. No one who saw such an adorable girl could muster feelings of dislike, especially when she was the younger sister of one of their compatriots. They naturally gave her face.
“Junior Sister.” Jin Yang returned a greeting to Gu Ru Jiu like he was an ordinary young master. Then he smiled and said, “Such a coincidence. I am preparing to go with Cun Jing and the others to the full fish banquet restaurant we mentioned last time. Since we have encountered you, how about you come as well?” Then he turned to look at Gu Cun Jing behind him. “Cun Jing, how do you feel?”
Gu Cun Jing looked at his younger sister and said hesitantly, “Young Master, my sister is female…”
“So what? You cannot keep Junior Sister locked up at home all the time.” Jin Yang raised an eyebrow. “Also, you and your servants will be present. No one will think anything.”
Did you not see that my sister is just returning from an outing? Who was locking her up?
Gu Cun Jing gave a stiff smile. “Young Master is correct.”
“Junior Sister, let’s go.” Jin Yang looked at Gu Ru Jiu with large eyes sparkling with light. This was the light like two children who wanted a certain thing, and one of the children obtained it and was eager to share it.
Gu Ru Jiu looked at his eyes and nodded with a smile. “Yes.”
Even the reliable young emperor was just a half-grown youth.
“Jing is more prosperous than Jin City.” Jin Yang took over a sugar person from Bai Xian’s hand. He gave one to Gu Ru Jiu and then kept one for himself before giving the rest to Gu Cun Jing to divide among the dragon guards. “I rejoice that I believed Teacher’s words.”
Gu Ru Jiu looked down at the sugar person in her hand. This was an adorable young girl with a bun. The young emperor held a young boy with a bowl cut. She bit the hand of the sugar person with a snap. She could not respond with her mouth full.
Seeing her cheeks full and dots of sugar at the corner of her lips, Jin Yang couldn’t help but stop walking. He took out a handkerchief and wiped Gu Ru Jiu’s mouth for her. He gave an exceptionally warm smile, and said, “Junior Sister is looking adorable.”
The piece of sugar that Gu Ru Jiu had not yet swallowed almost choked in her throat. Young man, do you know your actions are called flirting with an underage girl?
She turned to glare at Jin Yang. Seeing her own round face reflected in his smiling gentle eyes, she immediately felt that her thoughts were too perverted. The other was clearly an immature youth with “brother power.”
So her angry glare turned into a pair of smiling eyes. “Thank you, Senior Brother.”
“You are welcome.” Jin Yang’s voice was as soft as silk. He did not object to the dirtiness of the handkerchief after wiping Gu Ru Jiu’s mouth and shoved it back into his sleeve.
Gu Cun Jing, following behind the pair as an observer, gripped his handful of sugar people and felt a faint danger that his status as older brother was being stolen away.
Delicious Fish Tower was also called Four Fish Tower as a joke. 1 Ever since it opened, it had good business. But its prices were high and the common people would not bear to spend money here if it was not a special occasion.
The dragon guards could be counted as familiar customers here. So when Jin Yang’s group appeared, the storekeeper personally ushered them into an upstairs private room and served good drinks and tea.
“Honoured Customers, the usual?” the storekeeper asked eagerly. “Today, we have fresh fish from the river, all of them tender, and will not disappoint.”
“Young Master, what kind of taste would you like?” Gu Cun Jing did not answer the storekeeper and respectfully asked Jin Yang.
“What kind of specialities does your restaurant have?” Jin Yang looked up and asked the storekeeper with a serious attitude. He seemed to be asking about a major matter of the country, and not about food.
The storekeeper was secretly shocked. These aristocratic young masters respectfully called this youth ‘young master.’ It could be seen that this person’s identity was extraordinary. So he clearly introduced all the specialty dishes and cleverly introduced the different styles of these dishes.
“What does Junior Sister like?” Jin Yang turned and asked Gu Ru Jiu’s opinion, nodding in satisfaction at the storekeeper’s introduction.
Translator Ramblings: How do you keep the emperor grounded if he wants to go out?
- The character for delicious in this name is written with three fish characters stacked in a triangle, hence four fish in total. ↩