HaruOngy: I forgot to mention in the previous chapter that I never study Mencius’ teachings. I typed the translation based on what I understood. I will check back later when I found the Mencius’ version and compared them.
Chapter 7 – A Heartfelt Advice May Offend the Ear, Good Medicine Tastes Bitter
“Why are you carrying away other people’s apples?” Although Chu Xun disliked Mei Qian Deng provoking a dispute with him, he couldn’t stop his gossip curiosity.
Mei Qian Deng’s hand was still holding that apple. She calmly replied, “To let the Emperor eat.”
Chu Xun sneered. “Young Master Mei, it can’t be you really think the Emperor will eat this basket of apples that you brought? Do you know how many tributes of exotic fruits are delivered to the palace from various prefectures annually? If the Emperor had to eat them all, he would have eat himself to death sooner.”
“Crown Prince, is your throat not painful?” Mei Qian Deng glanced at him.
Chu Xun’s neck straightened like a big white goose. He instantly cleared his throat. Earlier, it was obviously better compared to when he had just woke up. Yet the moment this boorish fellow mentioned it, it started to get painful again as if cursed.
Xiao Jing Zi who was holding the umbrella at the back violently pulled the Crown Prince’s sleeve. “Crown Prince, Crown Prince, you had violated a taboo by cursing the Emperor!”
Fuck, did this Crown Prince earlier say wanting to let Imperial Father eat to death?! The way Mei Qian Deng looked at this Crown Prince earlier, it’s because of this reason?!
Chu Xun used the veil to cover his mouth as he looked all around. If Imperial Uncle’s informants heard what he said earlier, he surely would say that the Crown Prince was treacherous. Carrying the treasured imperial sword, he would raid into the palace and made him unable to see tomorrow’s sun. Thankfully, there was no one. Chu Xun sighed in relief. In a flash, his feeling towards Mei Qian Deng reached the point of abhor. The moment this boor arrived, his wild aura had passed over to this Crown Prince. Now as luck would have it, this Crown Prince would talk without any pondering. It was all this boor’s fault.
Mei Qian Deng, you have to be responsible for this Crown Prince.
“Man of virtue has benevolence, has courtesy. Benevolence person loves human. Courteous person respects human. Loving person has everlasting affection from others, respectful person has everlasting respect from others. These were said by Mencius.”
Chu Xun had just despised Mei Qian Deng from head to toe in his heart when he suddenly heard someone speaking. A pure voice which was quite nice to listen when it reached his ears. It just that the contents spoke by that voice…… Chu Xun turned around. First, he looked at Xiao Jing Zi. Xiao Jing Zi had an innocent look. Then, his line of sight released Xiao Jing Zi and turned to Mei Qian Deng.
“You, what did you say earlier?”
Mei Qian Deng never looked at Chu Xun. She was fixated at the apple as she concentrated while talking, “That old man earlier, his orchard was forcefully taken away by the land owner previously. Later the Emperor introduced new policies so that land owner had no other choice but to return that orchard. That old man said he wanted to let the Emperor have a taste of the freshly plucked apples. It just that he had walked a very long way and was afraid that these fruits were no longer fresh.” It was rare for her to speak so much. When she finished talking, she had not returned to her sense. Her heart was pondering: Is this apple still fresh?
Hence, she opened her mouth and took a bite.
The apple when was bitten produced a crispy sound. The fruit juice and fruit pulp entered her mouth. It was sweet.
Mei Qian Deng nodded her head. It was quite fresh. Later she would send these over to let the Emperor have a taste.
“No, I’m not asking you about that old man. Just now, did you mention to this Crown Prince about Mencius?”
Only then Mei Qian Deng looked directly at Chu Xun. Her eyes were eight parts reserved and two parts indescribable as she said, “Crown Prince, please speak of main point.”
What main point?!
Chu Xun was simmering with rage.
A jianghu wild grass actually mentioned Mencius with this Crown Prince! Mentioned! Mencius! This was an insult to this Crown Prince’s principle.
The Crown Prince swung his sleeves as he walked away.
In the meantime, Mei Qian Deng really went to meet the Emperor. It was truly unfortunate for the Crown Prince had assumed wrongly the Emperor’s reaction. When this Emperor who was fair and cherished his people heard Mei Qian Deng’s reason for appearing, he was extremely pleased as he quickly instructed the head eunuch to cut the apples to eat.
Mei Qian Deng said, “Your Majesty, there’s no need to trouble the eunuch. Let me do this.”
Saying so, the Seventh Young Master Mei picked a huge and red apple from those in the basket. Everyone inside the room was shocked. The Emperor and the head eunuch didn’t see how she moved. They could only see flashes of light and that apple fell back to Mei Qian Deng’s hand. Mei Qian Deng steadily brought that apple to put in the fruit tray on the table.
The apple automatically divided itself into equal eight parts.
The Emperor, “……!”
The head eunuch, “……!”
If Old Master Mei knew of this, he would be very proud of this “youngest son” for using their family’s prided hidden sword art to cut apple for the true Son of Heaven. Presumably, Old Master Mei’s expression must be extremely complicated.
Inside the room, the first one to return to his sense was the hidden master inside the palace who were responsible of protecting the Emperor. That lad in a swift jumped down. With his weapon in his hands, he blocked in front of the Emperor as he said, “Your Majesty, this person has violated the rule of no bringing in weapon into the palace. Please be careful.”
“No matter, zhen had specially permitted Little Young Master Mei.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty.” Mei Qian Deng didn’t feel an ounce of surprise as she kept back the flexible sword into her sleeve. So it turned out that without a permit, one cannot enter the palace while bringing along weapon. Not even hidden sword in the sleeves~
The old Emperor’s mood was very good. He grinned widely as he used his imperial hand to pick that apple to eat.
The head eunuch interrupted, “Your Majesty, this apple has yet to be washed and its skin has yet to be peeled. Let laonu prepare another one for Your Majesty.”
The man who was high above the masses waved his hand in disapproval. “No matter, zhen is not like the Crown Prince who is too picky with his food. This is just an apple and it’s the nice intention of the commoners. Qian Deng.”
“Zhen really didn’t choose the wrong person. Bring back half of this basket of apple for the Crown Prince. Let the Crown Prince have a taste of this kindly feelings.”
Therefore, when Xiao Jing Zi met Mei Qian Deng, he saw this highly reserved and aloof little young master carried a basket half filled with apples on the back while walking inside the Ming Jue Palace. Chu Xun due to the pimple on his face had closed himself in his room, unwilling to come out. Xiao Jing Zi approached her and asked, “Does Young Master Mei return from where the Emperor is earlier?
Mei Qian Deng nodded as she quietly looked around the interior of the palace.
Xiao Jing Zi thought that his body language ability was very good as he immediately smiled while asked, “Is Young Master searching for Crown Prince? Currently, the Crown Prince is resting inside his room. Should nucai represent Young Master to notify him?”
“……” Xiao Jing Zi’s mouth turned stiff. It was a brief moment of awkwardness.
“I want to find the kitchen and medical furnace.”
In the end, Xiao Jing Zi led Mei Qian Deng to the small kitchen at the back of the Ming Jue Palace. Normally when the Crown Prince wanted to drink bird’s nest and such, all of them would be prepared in this small kitchen. It was even equipped with various rare and precious medicinal herbs as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The Emperor spoke truthfully. The Crown Prince was extremely picky with his food.
Xiao Jing Zi watched Mei Qian Deng put down the basket half filled with apples from her back. Then, she pulled out a package of medicine from the basket. Feeling curious, he asked, “Young Master Mei, are you sick too?”
Mei Qian Deng shook her head.
Xiao Jing Zi joined up all the pieces. Then he got shocked. “Then, it’s a medicine for the Crown Prince?”
Mei Qian Deng’s indifferent eyes transmitted an easy to understand message: Of course, what’s wrong with that?
Xiao Jing Zi nearly jumped up in shock as he agitatedly said, “Young Master Mei, wanting to make the Crown Prince drinks medicine is much harder than making him not looking at his mirror for two hours!”
“Furthermore, even if you insist on letting the Crown Prince drink it, it is a must to let specialists check whether it’s poisonous. The Emperor and Empress had only this one son in their lifetime. In the future, he will inherit the throne. From he was born, everyone was extremely careful with him. Absolutely will not allow any misstep.” While Xiao Jing Zi was speaking, he got moved at the same time as his eyes started to get watery. After a moment of choking with sobs, he continued, “Young Master Mei, what medicine is this? Why don’t we slip it in his snow pear soup and deceive him to drink it?”
(Author: Damn nucai, this action of yours is betraying your master behind his back. Does your master know about this?)
Even the usually indifferent Mei Qian Deng looked a few more times at Xiao Jing Zi.
An hour later.
Xiao Jing Zi carried a tray and entered Chu Xun’s room.
“Your Highness, please drink some throat soothing tea.”
Chu Xun put down the Mencius book in his hands. He languidly shoot a glance at Xiao Jing Zi. With one look, he could see Xiao Jing Zi was holding a small cup possibly filled with that throat soothing tea. There was a fruit bowl as well. Inside it were several apple cubes cut into even pieces.
“Young Master Mei came back from where the Emperor was earlier. He brought the Emperor’s verbal edict to let Crown Prince eat apples. They are the ones Young Master Mei carried earlier. The Emperor gave half of the basket for you.”
Originally Chu Xun’s throat felt much better but he never expected that the moment Xiao Jing Zi opened his mouth, it made his just recovered throat got stimulated until got painful again.
“Cough! Cough! Cough!”
Xiao Jing Zi took a quick glimpse deliberately at Crown Prince and put down the tray. It turned out there was still a small plate which contained greenish powder. Xiao Jing Zi explained, “This powder is the one Young Master Mei got from Little General Di’s place. It is to be applied externally on the pimple and can be taken orally as well. Afraid that Your Highness unwilling and therefore had yet to prepare boiled water.”
Chu Xun nodded. He indeed was not willing to take it orally.
A certain person glanced at the apple cubes and got irritated. Xiao Jing Zi still extend the jade toothpick to that person as he said, “All had already tested for poison. Imploring Crown Prince to feel at ease when eating them.”
Imperial Father’s verbal edict, of course Chu Xun had to comply with it. Later, he needed to send Xiao Jing Zi to report that the Crown Prince had ate the apple properly. In his mind, Chu Xun turned those apple cubes into Mei Qian Deng. He would stab one and swallow one. He crushed them into pieces but still couldn’t calm down.
“Your Highness, have some tea.”
The Crown Prince was too absorbed in venting off that he swallowed a mouthful of that tea immediately after receiving that cup of tea.
“This tea has a weird taste.” Chu Xun looked at the tea cup. The tea was rather black. He didn’t know how it was made. He frowned as he threw a sharp look at Xiao Jing Zi.
Xiao Zing Ji didn’t dare to hide it any longer as he confessed the truth, “It’s an herbal broth specially prepared by Young Master Mei for Your Highness.”
Chu Xun flung that cup onto the table, it barely turned over.
“Xiao Jing Zi, it has been awhile since I punished you. Your guts has got more and more large.” He was really furious now.
The little eunuch quickly knelt on the ground, he asked for mercy while sobbing, “Crown Prince, please pardon this offense. Young Master Mei said that he had six elder brothers in his family. All of them too had experienced the same issue. They just had to drink this to get well. He was scared that Crown Prince will feel unhappy and so nucai then bring it for Crown Prince to drink. Seeing that it is Young Master Mei and nucai’s sincerity, Crown Prince please don’t punish us.”
“It seems like you’re actually Mei Qian Deng’s underling.”
“Nucai is truly Your Highness’ lackey!” Xiao Jing Zi was planning to throw himself over when Chu Xun kicked him on his chest and he got threw out instead.
Without his master’s instruction, Xiao Jing Zi could only kneel not far away. He was a little regretful. Regretful for betting wrongly on that possibility. He shouldn’t have rolled with Young Master Mei to a trench.
After a short while, he heard above him the sounds of rumbling. Xiao Jing Zi braved himself before sneakily took a look. As expected, he saw the Crown Prince frowned while drinking that cup of herbal broth. Chu Xun drank all of it and slammed that cup onto the table with a pa! Then he said, “Go out and tell Mei Qian Deng that boor, if there is no effect, this Crown Prince will pour hot pepper water at him!”
After saying so, he smoothly took a piece of the apple cube and threw it inside his mouth.
[A Mini Theatre]
Inside the small kitchen.
Xiao Jing Zi was fanning the fire to boil the medicine while Mei Qian Deng supervised from the side.
Suddenly, her eyes fell on the basket half filled with apples. Hence, she walked over and bent her waist to pick one apple.
“Young Master?” Xiao Jing Zi was surprised.
He could only see Mei Qian Deng silently went to the water jar to scoop up some clean water and slowly cleaned that apple with it. She initially wanted to slip into her sleeve (to bring out that flexible sword) but a beat later she changed her hands’ direction to take a small knife hanging on the wall.
“Young Master?” Xiao Jing Zi got even more surprised.
Mei Qian Deng lowered her head as she focused on peeling that apple. A string of apple skin, it had not break even once. After peeling it completely, still as usual, she threw that now naked apple into the air. With several flashes of light, the apple in the air turned erect and became even sized apple cubes which obediently fell onto the bowl.
“When the medicine is done, quickly give hand it to the Crown Prince.” She stopped. Xiao Jing Zi thought she still had more instruction on the medicine but in the end she only said, “Later, the apple will oxidise.”
(Mei Qian Deng, when the skin doesn’t break when peeling apple, you can make a wish!)
 T/N: I forgot to mention this in the previous chapter, but I never study about Mencius’ teachings. These are based on my understanding. Forgive me if I wrote it wrongly
 The actual word is rusted but as a Science student, the proper term is actually oxidised