Chapter 23: Come, come! The Wei Family’s Face (7)

Soft like fluffy balls of cotton, and rather springy to the touch.

Leaning her head against the warm surface, An Fei couldn’t help but appreciate the softness, and felt the urge to rub her face against the comfortable ‘pillow’.

“F…Fourth Young Miss…”

Feeling the girl nestled near her bosom move her head, Xiao Wen immediately placed the scroll in her hand onto the drawing table. Fearing that the young girl was about to fall off of the chair, the maidservant immediately extended her arms to support An Fei’s body.

However, her nimble hands suddenly froze, an agape expression on the maidservant’s attractive countenance as she could acutely feel a warm sensation rubbing on her chest.

“Uh…”

“Sister Wen, what’s wrong?” Noticing Xiao Wen’s strange action, a nearby maidservant directed an inquiring gaze.

“Did something happen to the Fourth Young Miss?”

“Nothing, nothing.” Xiao Wen hastily replied.

Looking down to see that An Fei had drifted off into sleep once more, the maidservant twitched her eyebrow before relaxing her arms. She quickly waved her right hand towards the inquisitive maidservant, shooing the curious gazes away.

“Nothing should be wrong.” She reassured.

“I think the Fourth Young Miss just moved about whilst sleeping.”

“Oh, then that’s really nothing!” came the reply without much delay.

“Since it’s just that, then don’t be so startled! You know how Master is nowadays, he’s jumping around and shaking in his boots every time he hears something unsettling regarding the Fourth Young Miss.”

Shaking her head and picking up the scroll to continue reading, Xiao Wen dismissed the fellow maidservant’s joke. However, her thoughts could not help but stray back to the odd sensation near her bosom, causing her attractive countenance to furrow into a deep frown.

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Did she just get molested by the Fourth Young Miss?

“Lord Minister, you’re back!”

A servant greeted Wei Xuan energetically, quickly taking the minister’s coat before rushing off into the courtyard of the manor’s primary residence. Wei Xuan fluttered his hands in response, signaling for the servants to retreat from the gateway.

“You seem rather popular and admired by you servants!” A playful and amused voice interjected from the side.

“Much more amiable than mine. They’re so stiff and solemn, almost as if they’re going to die tomorrow. How boring!”

Turning to his right, the minister found the emperor of Great Yong casually leaning against the wall of the Wei Manor. His left hand fluttered a paper fan emboldened with Confucian scripts, and his right secured a wooden stick spearing a line of candied fruits.

“Your Imperial Majesty,” Wei Xuan sighed, his head drooping to rest level with his shoulders.

“Can’t you spare this minister? Once the empress knows, this one’s head will most likely be on the chopping block!”

“Hmph! This emperor has yet to forgive the act of slandering this emperor!” the emperor smirked.

“Daring to claim that this emperor had frequented brothels and admiring the loose flowers by the riverbed, how atrocious! This emperor assumes that before little tiger comes to claw your head off, you would have already forfeited it to this emperor!”

“Alright, alright! I concede, you win as usual.” Wei Xuan shook his head and wiped his sleeve, before turning to face the doors. Closing the double doors of the gate shut and inserting a steel bar to lock the mechanism in place, the minister continued to forlornly sigh.

“Your Imperial Majesty, Great Yong has a regulatory law that protects civilians from punishment if they were speaking the truth!” he ruefully spoke.

“Your Imperial Majesty can’t simply chop off this minister’s head because of a single incident with a lowly brothel, right?”

The emperor suddenly narrowed his eyes, his vision tracking Wei Xuan’s eyebrows with the utmost scrutiny. He had a rather unsettling promotion that silencing the minister before him as soon as possible would be the best idea he had ever construed in his five hundred years of life.

“After all,” Wei Xuan momentarily paused, his index finger stroking his chin. As if not noticing the increasingly frosty death glare directed towards him, the minister decided to jump into the boiling pot without much thought.

“There’s still the Flowing Springs Hall and Golden Gate of Ming! And…if this minister recalls correctly, the Golden-Tailed Scholar’s Association and the Fragrant Feather Pavilion were the most tender of Your Imperial-“

“Enough!” the emperor shouted.

“Don’t make me fly into a rage in your manor, this emperor won’t cover the reconstruction costs!”

The minister immediately displayed a blank stare on his handsome countenance. His skin prickling as if microscopic, invisible holes were being bored into his skin, the emperor quickly capitulated after a few moments of struggle, raising both hands in surrender.

“Fine, fine,” he loudly sighed.

“Enough about this matter. I’ll ensure that little tiger doesn’t kill you if she finds out.”

Once he had obtained the verbal confirmation and assurance from the emperor, the minister’s blank countenance instantly morphed into that of a beaming Buddha, raining golden rays of sunlight and benevolence.

“Then this minister shall go and inform the First Madam to prepare some of her prized xiaolongbao paired with delicious bamboo and chicken broth. Your Imperial Majesty can enjoy a scrumptious feast tonight!”

Watching Wei Xuan’s fleeting back vanish into the depths of the primary residence as if liberated from a heavy burden, the emperor couldn’t help but display a helpless smile.

Shaking his head at their rather childlike interaction non-befitting that of an emperor and official, the emperor sighed before striding towards the primary residence at a steady pace.

“Hah…that little Wei…” the emperor lazily stretched in contentment.

“Giving little Sheng girl to him was truly worth the cost. Being able to enjoy food like this, how gratifying!”

Shaking his head in a mixture of mild exasperation and satiation, the emperor rubbed his filled stomach before aimlessly wandering throughout the courtyard.

Admiring the flowers planted on either side of the winding, cobbled pathways, or dipping his finger into to miniature pond, or simply admiring the dimmed sky of an evening in autumn, the emperor completely discarded his usual noble aura to explore his surroundings in comfort.

Every now and then, he would abruptly sweep his gaze in all directions, as if he was attempting to evade a fearsome predator.

He was in the Flowing Wind Residence.

The servants outside of the study had already departed from the courtyard to receive their punishment and beatings, hence Lu Jing Yi was the only inhabitant in the area.

If he was discovered by Wei Xuan, the emperor was uncertain whether he could talk his way out of the minister’s rage attempting to soar to the ninth heaven.

“Although, Sheng girl’s skill truly improved after a few years of not seeing her,” Lu Jing Yi wistfully sighed.

“That char siu and glass noodle soup, what a nostalgic taste! Almost reminds me of the past days when little Wei was just a mere brat.”

Mumbling and berating himself for salivating at the mere mention of the Wei Family’s First Madam’s cooking, the emperor wandered throughout the Flowing Wind Residence. However, he suddenly paused, his gaze turning towards the study.

His acute and elevated hearing detecting the rustling of cloth and muted voices, Lu Jing Yi stopped in place to ponder for a bit.

A mischievous expression decorating his stalwart and handsome countenance, the emperor sneaked towards the study, leaning against the doors of the study to eavesdrop.

“Sister Wen, you sure you don’t want to swap duties?” Xiao Ying’s worried voice could be heard from within the study.

“You’ve been sitting in the same position for several hours already, don’t push yourself to serve the Fourth Young Miss. The Master delegated the seven of us to take care of her solely due to that reason!”

“No need, no need.” Xiao Wen’s voice filtered through the sturdy walls.

“The Fourth Young Miss’s body is extremely soft and light! It’s almost as if I’m embracing a warm and soft jade, don’t take such a treasure off from me!”

“Haha! It seems that Sister Wen is addicted to the Fourth Young Miss! I wonder what the Master would do when he discovers such a secret?”

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“Sister Wen, you must take proper care to conceal your secret from the Master. Of course, we, your fellow sisters, will gladly assist you in that matter, but there must be a sufficient recompense!”

“You-you all!”

The bubbly laughter of the maidservants could be heard from outside of the study, making the listening Lu Jing Yi raise an eyebrow in curiosity. His gaze rapidly flickering, the emperor was just about to raise a hand to knock when a piercing voice could be heard just behind him.

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