The drama shows in the capital were much more entertaining to watch than Tongxu’s booktellings. As Chen Zigong watched the male actor who was covered with dust, wearing thick boots and holding a pike as he slashed and stabbed along with the rhythm of the gongs and drums, Chen Zigong lightly rapped his palm as he mulled over these thoughts. In regard to booktelling, he could understand if a famous piece was told, but what he heard with Xiaoqi last time was clearly something that booktelling mister randomly made up. Yet that sort of storytelling was still able to captivate Xiaoqi to that point?
Chen Zigong stood watching for a while, then casually found an empty seat to sit down. Before he was even able to make himself comfortable, his arm was grabbed by a small hand that reached over.
I don’t have any puffed rice, alright? Chen Zigong thought as he knitted his brows. However, that hand didn’t wander all over the place so it clearly wasn’t looking for puffed rice. It just grabbed his arm and shook it for a moment before staying still.
Chen Zigong was puzzled. When did the youngsters in the capital also become this touchy-feely? Could it be that he’s gotten old and can no longer understand the current youngsters’ preferences?
Chen Zigong followed that slender white hand to look towards the youngster’s side profile. He was a handsome young man. Even though he had a little mustache, it didn’t affect his young and clean look. That youngster was leaning forward slightly. When the gong on the stage rang out loudly, the youngster covered his neck and trembled for a moment. Chen Zigong looked towards the stage and saw that the male actor had just gone through a series of flips and was landing to stand firmly on the stage.
The sound of the gongs and drums gradually grew rapid. From backstage, an actor came out with a series of backward somersaults, provoking a round of cheers from the audience. The youngster withdrew his hand and clapped heartily, so excited his cheeks were slightly red.
Chen Zigong thought: back then, Xiaoqi wasn’t this excited. She was too busy burying her head in his palm to hide her embarrassment. Just as he was reminiscing, the youngster grabbed his hand again and enthusiastically shook it. “Ciu Rou, why did you come only now? Look, look! He still hasn’t even fallen once after defeating four in a row.”
This sound mixed with the cheers and Chen Zigong heard ‘Ciu Rou’ as ‘Lu Liu’. He couldn’t stop himself from twisting around to look at this youngster and the youngster just happened to twist his head around to look at him too. Four eyes met. The gentleness in Chen Zigong’s eyes could not be concealed, yet the youngster’s brows knitted and he threw off Chen Zigong’s hand as if getting rid of a watermelon skin.
Chen Zigong had never been treated like trash before, but seeing as his attendant was also called Lu Liu, Chen Zigong decided to forgive him this once. However, unexpectedly, that youngster turned this way again and cleared his throat before saying, “Earlier, I mistook Brother for that manservant of mine, that’s why I grabbed Brother’s hand in a moment of carelessness. I hope Brother will excuse me for my offense.”
Chen Zigong’s line of sight fixed on that mustache of his and the corners of his mouth uncontrollably twitched. So it wasn’t a little boy but a little girl ah. Chen Zigong forcefully suppressed his urge to burst out laughing and pointed at a string of mustache hair that was hanging slanted down the corner of her mouth as he said, “It’s fallen.”
The fake youngster lifted her hand to feel for her mustache, then licked her finger and wiped her spit over the side of her mouth before steadily sticking the mustache back on. After this entire process was completed, she cupped her hands without a change in expression and said, “Many thanks, Brother.”
Chen Zigong’s face continuously twitched. This is probably a girl from a wealthy family, right? Her clothing looks quite carefully selected though her movements were quite underwhelming in elegance. Chen Zigong was just about to ask for her surname when the show on stage finished and the girl waved urgently in the direction behind him. When a servant girl dressed as a manservant got close, she just flattened her mouth as she shot that maid a look before pulling the maid, walking around Chen Zigong, and leaving.
The appearance that was originally just refined, with that slanted look of soft blame, rather entered one’s heart.
Chen Zigong lifted his brows as he thought: nowadays, these ladies are getting livelier and livelier.
Haa, how it just feels like he’s gotten old? A letter from Tongxu said that Xiaoqi gave birth to two sons with her first pregnancy. Where did Song Liangzhuo get his damned dog shit good luck, to not only have married a Xiaoqi but also gotten two kids in one go?! Chen Zigong couldn’t help but vow furiously that if he encountered someone suitable, he must definitely make an exceptionally bright crown prince. There was no way to surpass in numbers so he’ll just overwhelm in terms of quality.
The Emperor held a feast and sent notice over to invite him to the palace. Although he said it was a gathering, it was nothing but a disguised way of getting to look at women. That idle Emperor’s always picking at his domestic matters as soon as the nation is at peace, causing Chen Zigong to itch to go to some county and set it on fire so that this imperial older brother of his would continue paying attention to the matters of the country.
This time, he heard it was Prime Minister Zhao’s daughter. Even Imperial Sister-in-Law had continuously praised her, saying that she was such a quick-witted lady who was not only magnanimous but sensible, educated and well-balanced too. As Chen Zigong listened to all of this, he felt nothing but helpless.
He really didn’t know what the royal family married so many people for. Not only did it drain the food storage, they even took up housing. When they don’t have affection, they’d feel it was a loss, but when they do have affection, they’d still feel it was fake. A person’s heart was only so big, how could it fit in so many? He actually did understand that a couple for a lifetime was a rare and precious thing, and understood that sometimes, one surpassed many.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Proofread by Ocelot
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