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    Chapter 70: Marry Me

    Hearing the tone in her voice and considering her age, Chang Nian could guess what was going on and couldn't help but feel more favorably towards her.

    Such a gentle, virtuous, and filial girl was truly a rare treasure.

    Opening her mouth to console her, she saw Mu Shufang turn her head and grit her teeth, whispering, "I'm living my life just fine; I don't need some man getting in the way. But the old man thinks I won't have anyone to rely on when I'm old if I don't marry, so he worries himself sick every day. If I don't get married soon, I'm afraid he'll wear himself out."

    Chang Nian: "..."

    Turning back, Mu Shufang smiled. "Among eligible men in the court, only Your Highness suits my daughter. I hope you will consider it."

    "I..." Chang Nian forced a laugh, unsure how to decline. With the other woman having put it so bluntly, it would be too humiliating to refuse. Yet, agreeing would be equally absurd.

    "Your Highness." Spotting them from afar, someone called out, and immediately, five or six people came forward to pay their respects.

    "My daughter Rong greets Your Highness."

    "Fang, this humble one pays her respects to Your Highness."

    "Seventh Prince, the banquet has already begun over there, and they've reserved a seat for you."

    Chang Nian forced a smile, thinking to herself that she had just arrived, and no one would know. How could a seat be prepared for her? These young ladies looked delicate, but when they spoke nonsense, they did so with the same composed expression as Ye Jiangbai – it wasn't endearing.

    Seeing her struggle, Mu Shufang stepped forward. "Ladies, His Highness has just finished his meal and won't be joining the banquet. Please make way."

    Upon recognizing her, the group of girls retreated a step or two. One of them whispered, slightly annoyed, "Miss Mu really is used to getting her way."

    Chang Nian heard this, and naturally, so did Mu Shufang. Chang Nian expected her to get angry, but instead, she turned her head and smiled charmingly at the girl, lifting her chin slightly. "If you had my abilities, you could also act with impunity. I'd make way for you."

    It was a display of majestic dominance!

    Chang Nian was so impressed that she wanted to jump up and applaud! A woman should live like this – vibrant, lively, and self-assured, like the refreshing breeze of early summer, invigorating the soul!

    The surrounding ladies fell silent. Mu Shufang curved her lips into a smile, took Chang Nian's hand, and led her away, exiting the courtyard through a side door. Turning back to say something, she met a pair of bright, clear eyes.

    Mu Shufang was taken aback.

    Zhao Chang Nian's eyes were exquisite, as innocent as a fawn's, revealing all her emotions at a glance, making it easy for others to trust her. At this moment, those deer-like eyes openly expressed admiration, reverence, and deep affection for Mu Shufang.

    I wish I could serve you as your loyal attendant! - that was the sentiment Mu Shufang interpreted from her gaze.

    Suddenly, she laughed and squeezed Long Nian's hand. "Does Your Highness like me?"

    "Uh..." Long Nian scratched her head. "Not that kind of like."

    "I understand. It's admiration," Mu Shufang nodded, then began counting on her fingers seriously. "If you admire me, you naturally want to spend time with me. After our marriage, you can be with me anytime. I can help solve your troubles and protect you from others who bully you."

    "When you think about it, isn't marriage a very beneficial deal?"

    Indeed... Long Nian found the logic sound and nodded in agreement.

    "Your Highness, consider this: given your status, you will have to marry sooner or later. Wouldn't it be more pleasant to wed someone like me, whom you know and respect, rather than a stranger chosen by the Empress?"

    Mm-hmm! Long Nian nodded again.

    "How obedient!" Mu Shufang happily caressed her face, twirling her fingers in admiration. "So smooth!"

    Long Nian felt flirted with, but oddly enough, she enjoyed it when this person did so. Her previous slight vexation vanished, and she found herself wanting to spend more time with this young lady.

    A sight she could never experience in her lifetime was now before her, and Chang Nian felt an inexplicable sense of emotion.

    "Your Highness actually didn't have your meal, right?" Mu Shufang winked at her. "Come, this humble lady will take you to taste the delicacies of the mortal world!"

    Chang Nian obediently followed her, expecting they would visit some restaurant. However, the carriage took several turns before stopping at a farmer's chicken coop. Mu Shufang hopped off, rolled up her sleeves, and personally caught five chickens. She paid for them and then led Chang Nian to another bustling courtyard.

    "Master," Liang Ce reported softly to someone inside the room, "they've gone to a farmer's house on the outskirts of the city."

    "What nonsense!" Ye Jiangbai threw his book down in annoyance. "Where's Feng Tingyun? He just watches while Mu Shufang acts recklessly?"

    Liang Ce chuckled dryly. "Lord Feng said Miss Mu noticed him but didn't expose him, only giving a warning glance. Thus, he didn't dare to act rashly."

    Ye Jiangbai choked slightly and harrumphed.

    At the farmer's house, Mu Shufang had taken in many homeless children. As a prince who had been pampered all his life, would Zhao Chang Nian be able to adapt to such surroundings? Her attempt to win his heart through kindness seemed like a misguided strategy.

    Moreover, did she truly believe that displaying her kindness would capture a man's heart? Women's thoughts were indeed straightforward! He had already warned her against Seventh Prince, yet she refused to listen. If she suffered any consequences, it would be her own fault.

    "Celestial Sage, let them be," Ye Jiangbai said, elegantly retrieving his book. "She won't last long. Once Seventh Prince can't endure it anymore, send Xianzhen to fetch her back."


    Half an hour later, Ye Jiangbai lifted his gaze to meet Liang Ce.

    Liang Ce reported, "They're still at the peasant's house. Miss Mu made Beggar Chicken, and it seems Seventh Prince enjoys it very much."

    Hmph, what kind of food for the poor. It's probably just novel to him. Could he really eat it all the time? He'd get sick of it sooner or later! Ye Jiangbai snorted coldly and picked up another book to read.

    An hour later, Liang Ce sensed someone's gaze on his head and quickly reported, "Miss Mu took the prince out for a stroll."

    Could an imperial prince really walk around on the streets like that? Ye Jiangbai narrowed his eyes. "What about the guards?"

    "Master, don't worry. There are over twenty guards following them discreetly."

    "Who ordered them to do so?" Ye Jiangbai tapped the table in anger. "Dismiss them all. When they encounter any trouble, bring Seventh Prince back to me and throw Miss Mu back to Duke Ding Guo's residence."


    Chang Nian followed behind Mu Shufang with curious eyes, observing everything around her. Finding her adorable, Mu Shufang bought her trinkets from the roadside stalls. Even a small item worth a few copper coins would captivate her.

    How could such a person be considered a man? Stroking her chin, Mu Shufang observed Zhao Changnian intently and muttered, "Your Highness's demeanor is very much like mine when I was twelve or thirteen."

    At that age, young girls loved to wear flowers in their hair and carry handkerchiefs. They adored anything delicate and pretty, wanting to hold it close.

    Changnian froze, blinked, and forced a smile. "N-No, I don't think so."

    "Are you feeling guilty?" Mu Shufang raised an eyebrow and wiped her forehead. "Why are you sweating on such a cold winter day?"


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