After Yu Xiaoxiao showered and changed, Wang momo brought the Princess into a side chamber beside the Princess and the Prince Consort’s bedroom. Wang momo had made up her mind; today, she would find out what her Princess had been doing these few days. At least she would then know who the Princess’ friends and foes at present were.
When Yu Xiaoxiao entered the chamber, the first thing she thought about was the pork bones, the pine nut candies and the cloud cakes.
Wang momo was sullen as she said, “The bones have been sent to the kitchen, while the pine nut candies were left in the room. And Your Highness, is that dollop of flour what you call cloud cakes?”
Yu Xiaoxiao replied, “The cloud cakes were drenched, hence they became like this. Momo, do you have a way to save them?”
Wang momo was already stumped by her Princess’ words, as she replied, “Your Highness, please don’t speak to your servant about food first. We need to talk about…”
“Ahh!” Yu Xiaoxiao interrupted Wang momo, “I also bought a pig’s head home. Where’s Xiao Zhuang?”
After Xiao Zhuang and Xiao Wei were dismissed by Gu Xinglang and returned to change, they were then ordered by Wang momo to stand at the corridor to reflect on their mistakes. When they heard Yu Xiaoxiao’s exclamation, Xiao Zhuang quickly answered, “Your Highness, what’s the matter?”
Yu Xiaoxiao’s shrill could be heard from the room, “Where’s my pig head?”
Wang momo’s ears hurt, and her heart was hurt as well. A pig’s head?! Her Princess had just been married for such a short time, and she’s even started eating pig’s head. She was a lady who had been brought up in a life of luxury, but now, she's even started eating pig’s head! “Come in and speak!” Wang momo shouted outside.
Outside, Xiao Zhuang felt tortured simply by listening to Wang momo’s shout. He asked Xiao Wei, “Can I not go in?”
Xiao Wei rolled his eyes. Now that they had entered this courtyard, he didn’t have the power to say anything.
“Xiao Zhuang!” Wang momo bellowed from the room again.
“Aye, I’m here!” Xiao Zhuang could only respond and run into the room.
Xiao Wei drew circles on the ground with his toes, as he stood at the corridor, watching the rainy weather outside.
“Xiao Wei!” Wang momo's voice thundered again.
This time, Xiao Wei felt tortured too. Why was it that Wang momo would always reprimand the both of them together?
Wang momo pulled a long face as she saw the two buddies before her, asking, “Who accompanied Her Highness to buy the pig's head?”
Xiao Zhuang and Xiao Wei shook their heads in unison.
Wang momo demanded, “Still not owning up? If the both of you didn’t tell her, how would Her Highness know about pig's heads?”
“I know,” Yu Xiaoxiao raised her hand at Wang momo, “Momo, Brother Niu's pig's heads are really scrumptious. Xiao Zhuang, where is my pig head?”
Xiao Zhuang answered, “In my room. Your Highness, are you craving it again?”
Yu Xiaoxiao said, “Send it over to Xiao Gu, let him and his little comrades try it.”
Wang momo glared at Xiao Zhuang. If Xiao Zhuang dared to go, she would break that fool’s leg on the spot.
Xiao Wei said, “Your Highness, it’s not mealtime yet. I’ll bring the pig's head to the kitchen and get the chef to warm it up. You can have it again during dinner.”
Yu Xiaoxiao nodded. That was good. If Gu Xinglang and his comrades ate now, when she wasn’t present, she would not be able to get a share of this pig's head anymore. If they ate it during dinner, she could at least have a few more slices.
Wang momo looked at Xiao Wei as she said, “You don’t have to send it. Xiao Sha!”
Xiao Sha, who was waiting outside, replied immediately, “Momo.”
Wang momo instructed, “Bring the pig's head in Xiao Zhuang’s room to the kitchen and tell the chefs that the Princess and the Prince Consort want to have that during dinner.”
“Alright,” Xiao Shan ran away after receiving her orders.
Yu Xiaoxiao looked at Wang momo’s face, which had turned somewhat green, “Momo, are you unhappy again today?”
Wang momo’s face twitched. She was unhappy every single day!
“Women will age faster if they are always angry.” Yu Xiaoxiao told Wang momo in a concerned tone, “You can’t be like this. You have to think about happy things. After all, momo, you’re still quite young.”
Xiao Wei sighed. Wouldn’t Wang momo be even more unhappy after hearing this?
Wang momo said, “Your Highness, you better tell this servant first, who is Brother Niu?” The Princess had gone out with the Prince Consort, but another Brother Niu had appeared. Did this mean that the Prince Consort was entirely useless? He was a general who led soldiers to war, and he looked handsome, but why was he so useless?
Xiao Zhuang and Xiao Wei pretended that they were invisible. If the Prince Consort wasn’t anxious, why should they be?
Gu Xinglang, whom Wang momo was once again dissatisfied with, was currently with his buddies, seated around a banquet table. Third Young Master Gu couldn’t drink because he was still injured, but Li Yuanle and a few others chugged down a few cups of alcohol once they sat down.
“Why did all of you come back to the capital together this time?" Gu Xinglang asked his buddies.
One buddy said, "We arranged a date for everyone to return from their own camps. We didn't expect our return to coincide with the good news of the Old Master, Eldest Brother and Second Brother's reinstatement."
Li Yuanle asked, “How is His Majesty going to deal with Zhao Beicheng?”
Gu Xinglang shook his head and said, “Zhao Beicheng is still in prison. His Majesty hasn’t said anything about him yet.”
"Hasn’t said anything?” Another buddy snorted unhappily, “It’s already been a day, isn’t that enough time for His Majesty to think?”
Gu Xinglang’s expression turned awkward. His buddies clearly didn’t understand His Majesty’s pain.
Bo Yao twirled a chopstick around his fingers and said, “With Zhao Qiuming around, Zhao Beicheng would certainly not die. After all, he has such a good father!”
Gu Xinglang refilled Bo Yao’s wine and added, “Let’s not talk about the Zhao father and son already. How long will all of you be able to stay in the capital this time?”
Li Yuanle said, “Three to four days tops. Any longer, I’m afraid His Majesty will see us as an eyesore.”
“If you’re all free tomorrow, join me on a trip to Ruyun Mountain.” Gu Xinglang requested.
The buddies were all stunned. At this time of the year, they could go into Ruyun Mountain to hunt and enjoy the day, but Gu Xinglang was laden with his leg injury and couldn’t walk, so why would they go there?”
Gu Xinglang explained, “The Princess wants to go to Ruyun Mountain for an autumn hunt.”
One buddy said, “If the Princess wants to go, that’s not a problem. When we get there, you can accompany the Princess under some tree and enjoy the breeze. Us brothers will go hunt for some wild animals, and we can grill and eat them in the mountains.”
Gu Xinglang then took out the wooden token that the deputy boss gave Yu Xiaoxiao and placed it on the table. He asked his buddies, “Have you seen this before?”
Li Yuanle picked up the wooden token, and when he saw the emblem and words imprinted on the wooden token, his face immediately turned serious. He had followed his father and was stationed at East Ocean and had seen a similar wooden token before. Li Yuanle said, “This is an inscribed tablet of pirates originally from the East Ocean region. Xinglang, why would you have this?”
“Someone gave this to the Princess.” Gu Xinglang asked, “Are you certain that this belongs to that group of pirates from East Ocean?”
Li Yuanle passed the wooden tablet to the other buddies and said, “A gift to the Princess? Back then, after the pirate stronghold had been raided by my father, quite a number of them died. However, a few of their leaders survived and ran away with their lackeys. My father has been searching for them for some years now, but he hasn’t found them. Did all of them escape to the capital?”
“Are they seeking death?” Bo Yao said in disbelief, “This group of bandits would escape to the capital? Is their Head Leader’s brain spoiled?”