Chapter 39: Autumn’s Fragrance, A Frigid Heart of Snow (1)

“Over here, put it down over here. Be careful now!”

“Another box of brocade, this is the third already. What exactly does the Young Master do with so much brocade?”

A servant complained, daring not to abruptly shift his weight as he carried a large rectangular box with another servant. The box was of acacia wood, and was two meters long, half a meter wide and tall.

Though its weight wasn’t much, neither servant dared to handle it without the utmost care.

“What do you know? Inside the box is thirty taels of Silver Cloud Silk, you hear, Silver Cloud Silk! Even one tael is priceless enough, yet there’s thirty in each box, and there’s a total of four boxes in total!”

The servants passed from the side entrance of the Wei Manor, carefully stepping into an overbrush hallway. The walls and ceiling were constructed from naturally entwined vines, the blossoming flowers just within an arm’s reach.

Taking in a deep breath, the servants could smell the distinct fragrance of the tranquil flowers.

“Silver Cloud Silk… the tribute brocade from the northwestern territories? Wasn’t that supposed to be the exclusive property of the Imperial Family? Why does the Young Master possess so much of it then?”

“You didn’t hear? It was buzzing around the streets of Jiang’an since a few days ago!” the servant holding the rear of the box blurted in surprise.

Ignoring the bitter look on his partner’s face, the servant continued, his rough countenance beaming with admiration.

“Second Young Master received the brocade from the Ninth Princess Xinlan. Supposedly, it was conferred as a reward for the Young Master’s success in the imperial examination, but don’t you think…it was an act of love?”

“The Ninth Princess?” The leading servant inquired, his brows creased in thought.

“Ninth Princess…is she the conferred State Princess? Although our Young Master is naturally the best, would she truly…fall for him?”

“Fall for him? Of course she will fall for our Young Master!” the rear servant indignantly retorted, nearly dropping the brocade box due to his emotions.

“Don’t tell me you wanted the Ninth Princess would go for you? Pei! Only the Young Master would deserve to possess such a lofty treasure, even more so than those Dukes’ sons, ah!”

“S-shut up! Who said I wanted the Ninth Princess!?” the lead servant hollered in panic.

“Are you trying to get your brother killed, ah!?”

“But…you did say last night in the Night Fragrance – “


“Ah Dui, you seem to be harboring some strange thoughts recently…”

Accompanied by an elegant voice, a sky-blue paper fan knocked against the rear servant’s head, startling the young man as he released an involuntary shriek.

Catching the acacia box just a few centimeters before it knocked against the cobbled ground, the servant anxiously craned his head towards the guest.

The guest was a young handsome male, dressed in a light green scholar’s robe.

A pair of bracelets crafted of intertwined wooden beads resting on his wrists, the youth’s delicate features appeared to lack the brusque straightforwardness of men, but seemed more akin to a painting to solely be admired, not to be touched.

The youth’s aura was peaceful and diminished, without a single trace of the arrogance and pride within the common youth of high social birth.

“Y-Y-Young Master!” The servant shouted in a constricted voice, cold sweat dripping down the back of his neck.

“En.” The Second Young Master nonchalantly replied, examining the acacia brocade box with great care.

“The two of you seem to be possessing quite the leisure time, to be chatting so happily whilst carrying out your duties!”

“No, no, not at all,” the leading servant carefully placed the box onto the ground before dipping into a respectable bow.

“Second Young Master, my brother and I were simply throwing around a couple jests after seeing that the weather was nice, but we…do not have that much free time.”


The Second Young Master raised a thin eyebrow in mock interest. The pair of hazel eyes carefully scanned the servant scratching the back of his head from top to bottom, before the edges of the youth’s lips tugged skywards with amusement.

“Not that much leisure…” the Second Young Master drawled in a sly tone as his eyes narrowed, before lunging forward to whisper into the servant’s ear.

“Were they devoted at the Night Fragrance Hall? Did you enjoy the delectable services of Miss Qin, or take the supreme beauty Shang?”


The servant revealed a nonplussed look as he instinctively dug through his own memories, searching for any trace of this Miss Qin or a supreme beauty surnamed Shang. Unfortunately, the rough youth’s eyes radiated confusion after several moments, and the servant tilted his head before speaking.

“Second Young Master, this servant…” the servant mulled over his words for several breaths before continuing with a stalwart tone.

“This servant has never heard of anyone named Qin or Shang at the Night Fragrance Hall. Young Master, are you sure…you got their names down properly? This servant can ask-“


The Second Young Master doubled up in laughter, pointing the closed fan towards the ever-increasingly confused servant. Just the sight of the servant’s expression clearly screaming of possessing not a whit of understanding what was currently going on was more than sufficient to cause dimples to appear on the handsome youth’s face as he slapped his knee.

“Teacher was truly right! This trick really works without fail!”

Only allowed on


Both servants blurted in disbelief, staring at the Second Young Master with outstretched eyes. Their miserable countenances clearly displayed in his vision, the handsome youth began to take deep breaths, patting his chest repeatedly to calm himself down.

“Alright, alright,” he coaxed the bewildered and mildly terrified servants.

“This Young Master won’t tell the chief steward of your antics to the Night Fragrance Hall. Just make sure to be more sneaky about it in the future-oh, right, you do know where to move this container to, right?”

The two servants bobbed their heads up and down with renewed vigor, before returning to their respective positions to resume transporting the brocade box. Just the wooden casing was of greater monetary value than their lives could vouch for.

“Since you know, then that’s good! I should speak with Father; I haven’t seen him at all for several years!”

Bursting into another peal of laughter, the Second Young Master rushed into the distance, leaving the two servants alone in the naturally constructed hallway.


“I was right, wasn’t I?” The servant holding the rear end of the box snickered.

“The Second Young Master is indeed different from the rest, you’ll get used to it soon…”

“…I guess you’re right…”

“…she’s still mad at me…”

Looking at the forlorn figure curled underneath the blankets, a small head poking out to rest against a cotton pillow, Wei Xuan released a hearty sigh.

Directing a glance towards the thin fingers tucked underneath the cheek, he wished to give her hands a warm squeeze of comfort, yet knew that he couldn’t, nor could he dare to.

After all, hidden underneath the blankets was a grotesque pair of violet rings encircling that fair and delicate neck.

Even after a month, the bruises hadn’t disappeared. He had utilized Gao Yun Zhi’s skin restorative ointments and salves for the past few days, but all that had amounted to cause the bruises to fade a little.

The violet ring of injury still glared at him in great prominence, delivering a heavy mockery to the minister’s courage and self-esteem.

Under the emperor’s decree, or lack of, the Imperial Court had not convened for a month. Without having to wake early in the morning to depart for court only to return in the evening each day, the minister had planned to take matters lightly and relax.

And then had nearly choked his own daughter to death by his own hands.

Overwhelmed by guilt and sorrow after returning to his senses, he had temporarily dismissed Xiao Wen and the others to take care of An Fei by himself.

Although it wouldn’t change anything, perhaps he could find some recompense in his disturbed heart.

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Not even the Second Madam Luo Shuyan could enter the study anymore, the building completely isolated from the Flowing Wind Residence.

“it’s time for lunch,” the minister softly murmured towards An Fei’s direction. That unsteady quivering of her body and her slightly erratic breathing, Wei Xuan was clearly aware that the girl was feigning sleep.

“Are you still unwilling to eat? Father’s extremely sorry, can’t you at least strike him a little to vent your emotions?”

“Here, come bash my nose, or give me a black eye! Don’t just wallow by yourself, that’s not good for your body…”

“The lotus seed soup is starting to get cold… I’ll make you another batch, this time with some peppercorn, so can you not hurt yourself like that? You hadn’t had anything to eat since last night…”

Although he got silence as the only response, the minister continued to attempt to get the girl out of the bed, even offering rare delicacies and permission to strike various parts on his body as atonement.

However, the fish refused to even give the bait a disdainful glare, leaving Wei Xuan quite sorrowful and helpless…


The study doors were suddenly wrenched apart from the outside, a pair of footsteps rushing into the building’s depths with great haste.

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