Chapter 156: Declaration
Chapter 156: Declaration
Looking at Wang Hong’s vague shadow from across the curtain, Chen Rong wanted to laugh: I guess not…
At this time, a clamor of laughter and voices interrupted them from outside.
Chen Rong peered through her curtain.
Their carriages hadn’t yet left the imperial palace; these sounds of laughter were coming from inside the palace walls, and they were getting closer and closer to Wang Hong and Chen Rong.
Before they knew it, a young girl had cried in joy, “It’s Qilang’s carriage!”
“Qilang? Qilang of which house?” asked another.
“Is there any Qilang who deserves this name other than Qilang of the Lang’ya Wang House?”
While the second girl was still unclear, a young boy pleasantly said, “Ah Yi, there are seven famous men in Jiankang. Among them are the handsome Yu Jiazi, the amorous Xie Heting, and the fairylike Wang Qilang. Wang Qilang is the one sitting in the carriage ahead.”
As soon as he finished, several young girls simultaneously cheered.
At this moment, a girl unhappily raised her voice: “Why are you causing a ruckus inside the palace?” It was the Ninth Princess.
The clamor simultaneously stopped, replaced by the sound of turning wheels.
Shortly, Chen Rong heard the princess’s gentle voice: “Greetings from Ah Huang, Qilang… I have not seen you for days, I hope you are well.” Her voice was soft and measured.
Wang Hong’s silky voice leisurely rang out in reply: “Thank you for asking, Your Highness. I am well.”
She had called herself ‘Ah Huang’ but he had called her ‘Your Highness’. Though he was soft spoken, his words revealed an alienation.
The princess slightly parted her mouth, her small face betraying unhappiness.
She looked around and noticed Chen Rong’s carriage. “Who’s inside?” she asked the Wang House’s driver.
The young aristocrats had circled them by this time. Faced with their curious eyes, the driver respectfully answered, “Your Highness, it is Priestess Hong Yunzi.”
The commotion started again. “That peasant?” exclaimed one girl, “I heard her looks are incredibly seductive. Quick, raise the curtain so I can see her.”
Her companion pulled on her arm in the midst of her remarks. The girl paused to steal a glance at Wang Hong and quickly closed her mouth.
The princess seemed to have been stunned.
She stared at Chen Rong’s carriage for some time before haughtily smirking with a raised chin: “Priestess, are you so supreme that you do not see the need to greet me?”
Chen Rong made no movement.
She reclined to the side and again closed her eyes. I am Wang Hong’s in name. Wang Hong himself is here so let him take care of it. I don’t need to show myself and bear people’s disdain just because some like to make jabs…
… Having seen the murdered man from the Huan House, having seen the deplorable depravity in the palace, having talked to the emperor, Chen Rong now thought: Perhaps it’s time to change my strategy.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
The princess couldn’t help but turn red with anger when she saw no movement from the carriage, not even a fluttering curtain.
She suppressed her irritation and indignantly said to Wang Hong, “Qilang, do you see?”
Wang Hong’s voice still rang soft and light: “Princess, the priestess does not belong to our world. Hence our customs have nothing to do with her.”
“Go,” he beckoned to the driver.
The driver responded and drove the horse forth.
They had barely went by the time the young aristocrats spread out and deliberately blocked their way.
As Wang Hong’s carriage pulled to a halt, a girl smiled at him: “The heavenly Wang Qilang? Please do not leave yet and let me admire you for a moment.”
She unblinkingly stared at him, sending flirtatious looks his way.
Likewise, the rest of the female congregation surrounded him and shouted affectionate teasing.
Each of these young girls wore an extravagant dress and carried an arrogant air. Seeing that they could freely come and go at the palace, yet weren’t very familiar with the people and things in Jiankang, they were most likely princesses from far-flung prefectures.
Wang Hong played along. He let them surround and stare at him. After some time, he smiled and asked, “Have you seen enough?”
A girl coyly smiled in reply. “My lord’s grace and beauty is unparalleled, how can a few short moments be enough?”
An older girl behind her, who seemed to be more daring, laughed out loud as she interjected, “How I wish to take this man home and admire him from dawn to dusk.”
Laughter rose around them in response to her words.
In the meanwhile, the ninth princess had been staring at Chen Rong’s carriage. She stepped forth and lifted her curtain.
Chen Rong in her Daoist robe instantly appeared to the crowd.
The young aristocrats had been sneaking glances her way from time to time, seemingly very curious about her. Now that her face appeared, they all surrounded Chen Rong.
Wang Hong also moved closer to Chen Rong when this happened.
Different from their gawking at Wang Hong, their gawking at Chen Rong was unrestrained. The daring girl gave Wang Hong a final glance and then suddenly called: “You’re beautiful, come home with me.”
She was talking to Chen Rong.
Chen Rong merely bowed her head and woodenly replied, “Hong Yunzi is a nun.”
“I know you’re a nun,” the girl interrupted her, “And? You don’t want to?”
Those were contentious words.
Chen Rong looked up at her.
When she did, the young aristocrats lit up at the sight of her. They could not peel their eyes away.
Chen Rong quietly met her stare, smiled and turned back at Wang Hong.
She looked at Wang Hong and said nothing, but waves undulated in her eyes and that was more than words could say.
Wang Hong had been leaning against the carriage wall, lazily watching the scene. His lips was always curved into a faint, detached smile.
However, he couldn’t help but be startled by the look she had now sent him.
Almost automatically, he lifted his eyes to meet her gaze.
Whether they had heard anything or not, the young audience had to understand by now when they saw them locking eyes like this.
The bold girl watched the two of them and said to Chen Rong, “Priestess, you think you are above us!”
Chen Rong ignored her.
The Ninth Princess was the next to speak. She stared at Chen Rong with fire in her eyes and gave a laugh. “It is said that Daoists are the most uninhibited. Seeing your figure and appearance, you must be proficient in couple cultivation, am I right?”
Her word were not only hostile, but they were also crude.
Chen Rong looked up.
She glanced at the princess’s pretty and haughty face, and then back at Wang Hong. Her eyes were again filled with grievances .
Then, with everyone watching, she reached for the curtain and pulled it down.
Disregarded yet again, the princess was black with ire.
As she was huffing and puffing, the youngsters laughed while Wang Hong spoke up. “Princess, please watch your words!”
When he did not smile, there was an arrogance that exuded from within him. It was the arrogance that had been linked to his bloodline over the centuries, one that even overshadowed the Sima House’s.
Moreover, Wang Hong was being uncommonly cold and alienating.
The princess shuddered despite herself, and so did the other youngsters. They traded glances and involuntarily retreated to give way.
The princess had admired Wang Hong for many years. She had seen him laugh, she had seen him smile, and the Wang Qilang in her impression had always been gentle, calm, and kind.
… She had said worse things in the past but he had never rebuked her.
She momentarily sat stock still.
By the time her eyes were brimming with tears, Wang Hong and Chen Rong’s carriages had driven past.
Only until they had gone far away did the princess raise her sleeves over her face and burst into tears. “Q-Qilang hates me,” she cried, fearful and in panic.
Chen Rong glanced back when she heard these cries. The Sima princess’s conduct is even poorer than that of maidservants from the Wang House.
She had thought that she did not possess the elegance and temperament of an aristocrat due to her lowly background. But now it seemed that a Sima princess was no better.
“Those were some pointed gazes you sent my way right in front of everyone, darling,” Wang Hong’s amused voice sounded.
He lifted the curtain. His glassy eyes were quietly watching her. “You’re getting bold.”
Chen Rong knew why he was looking at her that way… it could be said that she had made a declaration and forced him to speak up for her. She would not have done this in the past out of consideration for him.
She lifted her gaze and smiled charmingly, “Qilang, you’ve been nice for too long… That won’t do, you can’t protect me if this goes on.” It was more of a statement than an accusation.
Wang Hong again froze at her words.
He gradually smiled. “I guess you’re right.” Without turning his head, he said, “Let it be known that the Ninth Princess is vulgar in her speech, and has been scorned by Wang Qi.”
“Aye,” a man behind him answered.
When the man left, Wang Hong turned to Chen Rong again.