Wei Chongrong waited and waited, so long that he was about to fall asleep, when Jun Hua finally came back with a bundle in his arms.
Wei Chongrong rolled over and sat up, laughing lightly, “Little Monkey, where did you go to find clothes for me, did you have them made by a tailor?” Don’t blame Wei Chongrong for teasing, Jun Hua’s trip had indeed taken a little too long.
Jun Hua turned around and closed the door behind him, walked to the bed with the bundle and shook out the clothes while explaining, “Who made you grow so tall? Who in our family has clothes that you can fit in? I searched for a long time to come up with these ones.”
It was true that Wei Chongrong didn’t look like a Central Plains native in terms of his height. Ji Xin and Jun Qing were of similar height and were considered tall in the Central Plains, and Jun Hua was almost as tall as his parents, but Wei Chongrong was half a head taller than them.
When Wei Chongrong saw that Jun Hua had brought a brand new set of brocade robes, he took off his night disguise and intended to change into them, saying at the same time, “Actually, I’m not going to go out, you could have just found me the clothes of a servant, why go to all this trouble?”
“Ah! Why didn’t you say so earlier?” Jun Hua was stunned. He had searched for a long time before he found his daddy’s clothes that were too big and therefore had never been worn. Then he asked, “Why aren’t you going out? Is something wrong?”
Wei Chongrong said while dressing, “Yesterday, as soon as I entered the city, His Majesty summoned me to the palace. He asked me why I delayed returning to the capital. I said my father was in charge of the marriage matters and I just waited for the wedding ceremony, and they said it wasn’t appropriate to meet your fiance before marriage…”
Jun Hua bent down to help Wei Chongrong fix his belt and couldn’t help sighing when he heard what Wei Chongrong said. Of course, he blocked Wei Lan’s questions about his overdue return to the capital, but on the other hand, he also blocked his own way.
Thinking of this, Jun Hua couldn’t help but sigh again, “I was originally thinking of where to go to have fun in the next few days, but now it seems that I don’t have to think about it, I can only stay at home. It’s really boring. What is His Majesty thinking? He just can’t leave us alone.”
At the mention of Wei Lan, alarm bells went off in Wei Chongrong’s mind. Jun Hua had not mentioned it much, but Wei Hao had said more than once in his letters that Wei Lan’s attitude towards Jun Hua seemed a bit odd. At the beginning of the year, Wei Lan even kept Jun Hua in Shanglin Park for several months under the banner of accompanying him, making it difficult even for Ji Xin and Jun Qing to see their son. If not for that, why would Wei Zhao have to send a memorial to grant the marriage and have Jun Qing take Jun Ya’s(1) handwritten letter to beg the Empress Dowager, forcing Wei Lan to release Jun Hua back home?
Wei Chongrong in no way doubted Jun Hua’s feelings for him, but he was worried that Wei Lan had a cruel heart and would use and harm Jun Hua in order to retaliate against him. His eyes narrowed and he asked in a deep voice, “Little Monkey, when you were in the palace, His Majesty didn’t do anything to you, did he?”
“Would he dare!” Jun Hua raised his sword-like eyebrows and spat out these words fiercely, then frowned and said in an incredulous tone, “Brother Rong, don’t you trust me?” Under the pretext of accompanying him, Wei Lan often made him stay overnight in the palace, and although he had never behaved rudely towards him, there were indeed quite a few whispers, both inside and outside the imperial city, especially since the emperor and empress were on bad terms but the emperor refused to take a concubine. But Jun Hua never cared about it, he had confidence in Wei Chongrong and knew he wouldn’t be thinking nonsense. He didn’t expect…
Seeing that Jun Hua’s face had changed, Wei Chongrong hurriedly explained: “Little Monkey, don’t think about it. It’s not that I don’t trust you. I, I’m afraid that… that His Majesty might hurt you… He, he is that kind of person, he always does things unscrupulously, and it’s very difficult to prevent…”
When Jun Hua heard Wei Chongrong’s earnest words, his expression eased and he slowly said, “His Majesty likes to ask me to accompany him, but he hasn’t done anything to me. I just play chess and talk with him or something, and occasionally ride a horse in Shanglin Park, but nothing else.”
If something else happened, with Jun Hua’s temperament, how could he have stayed in the palace? In fact, most of the time, he really accompanied Wei Hao and Wei Yang to study. There was very little time he spent alone with Wei Lan. It wasn’t until the trip to Shanglin Park at the beginning of the year that they could be said to stay side by side day and night.
Jun Hua thought that as long as he made it clear, Wei Chongrong wouldn’t pursue the matter any further, but unexpectedly Wei Chongrong’s eyes became even more serious than before, so Jun Hua hastily reached out to tug at his sleeve, wondering, “Brother Rong, what are you thinking about? Let’s go have breakfast.”
Wei Chongrong came back to his senses and nodded, “Good.” No matter what Wei Lan’s intentions were towards Jun Hua, after the wedding, he would take Jun Hua to Yizhou, and no matter what Wei Lan wanted to do, he would have to take into account the distance from Yujing to Yizhou and the troops under Wei Chongrong’s command.
The two of them were about to go out when a dazzling splash of red on the bed caught Jun Hua’s eye. He stopped in his tracks and turned to the bed, surprised, “Brother Rong, why did you take it out? If it gets crumpled, how can I wear it then?”
Wei Chongrong smiled in embarrassment, “You were out for too long, so I looked around and happened to see it, and thought it would look great on you.” If it wasn’t too late, he would want Jun Hua to wear it for him to see now.
Jun Hua glanced at him and didn’t say a word as he silently packed up his wedding clothes, his movements very skilful.
Wei Chongrong originally wanted to help, but he saw that Jun Hua was very proficient while he would likely harm more than help. So he watched with his arms crossed on his chest and even chuckled, “Little Monkey, have you tried it on many times before, so you are so skilled?”
Jun Hua didn’t say anything, but the movements of his hands unconsciously accelerated, and his ears reddened.
Wei Chongrong couldn’t help laughing, but he didn’t dare to laugh out loud, for fear of upsetting Jun Hua, so he had to endure it very hard.
After folding the wedding clothes and putting them away, Jun Hua took Wei Chongrong’s hand and led him to the dining room. Ji Hui was already having breakfast there and when he saw them, he raised his head and said, “Greeting, Qin Wang’s Shizi, greetings, Brother, it’s almost time for my class, so I won’t wait for you.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine, you don’t need to mind us, just eat by yourself.” Wei Chongrong waved his hand without much concern, and then asked, “Little Tiger, why are you still calling me Qin Wang’s Shizi, shouldn’t you change the way you address me? It’s so estranged, ah.”
Ji Hu raised his head again and said in a serious manner, “You haven’t formally married my brother yet, it’s not too late to change the way of calling you when you do.” After saying that, he lowered his head and continued eating.
Wei Chongrong was taken aback for a moment. Even at this point, his brother-in-law didn’t officially recognise his identity, so he had to hurry up and do the things properly.
Wei Chongrong sat down at the table and was just about to offer some dishes to Ji Hui when he saw his future brother-in-law finish the last mouthful of porridge, stand up politely and say goodbye to them. Wei Chongrong was a bit startled, and the dried radish took a wrong turn in the air and plopped into Jun Hua’s bowl.
Jun Hua reciprocated and gave Wei Chongrong a slice of fried steamed bun, and the two of them ate an ordinary breakfast so sweetly that the young maids waiting on them couldn’t bear to look at them and turned away shyly.
After breakfast, since Wei Chongrong couldn’t go out, all of Jun Hua’s plans for outings were cancelled. The two of them stayed in the backyard by the fish pond, feeding the fish and talking about their childhood and the interesting experiences they had encountered in the last two years.
Unconsciously, Wei Chongrong spent a whole day in Wang Changning’s residence. Before he realised it, it was getting dark, but he felt that he didn’t seem to have been here for a long time. He and Jun Hua still had a lot to say, why did it get dark so soon?
Usually, Ji Hui didn’t have lunch at home when he went to the classes. Only his morning and evening meals were eaten at home. But today, because Wei Chongrong was there, Ji Hui asked for leave to accompany him and Jun Hua. However, he found himself completely redundant and his elder brother even glared at him twice, so when it was time for dinner, Ji Hui preferred to hide in his courtyard rather than accompany Jun Hua and Wei Chongrong.
His elder brother was going to get married. Which younger brother could be happy and give some face to the bridegroom? But he wasn’t angry, he even talked to Wei Chongrong nicely. And his elder brother, he was not married yet but already turned against him!
In a few days, when Daddy and Father came home, he would definitely complain about his brother. Don’t think he didn’t know that Wang Qin’s Shizi came to their house last night and spent the night in his brother’s room. If Daddy and Father knew, they would give them a hard time.
In his room, Ji Hui was going to eat on his own and refused to go out, while on the other side, Wei Chongrong was discussing with Jun Hua: “Little Monkey, I think you were too harsh at noon and offended Little Tiger, so he refuses to come out to eat. Why don’t you go and coax him?”
“Why should I go? He was obviously at fault…” Jun Hua muttered with displeasure written on his face.
All along, his younger brother had been well-behaved and obedient, and his daddy often said that it was outrageous that the elder brother was not as sensible as the younger brother. Jun Hua didn’t agree with that. How could he be inferior to his younger brother? Little Tiger had his moments of ignorance as well.
Wei Chongrong patted Jun Hua’s shoulder and said with amusement, “What did Little Tiger do wrong, tell me?”
Jun Hua said seriously, “Don’t you think his attitude was very rude when he was having lunch?” When Wei Chongrong spoke to him, Ji Hui ignored him, and when Wei Chongrong offered him a dish, he didn’t even say thank you, with an expression on his face as if Wei Chongrong owed him many taels of silver.
Wei Chongrong couldn’t help but laugh, “Little Monkey, so you really didn’t figure it out, I thought you were teasing Little Tiger, haha! Isn’t it normal for Little Tiger to dislike me? He thinks I’ve stolen his brother and is jealous.”
“Really?!” Jun Hua was stunned for a long time, struggling to find his voice. Wei Chongrong’s words seemed to make sense, but Ji Hui wasn’t a little child and his temperament was always steady. Would there be times when he would be foolish like this?
“Of course.” Wei Chongrong’s eyes were unusually sure, “That’s why I’m asking you to coax him, children are inevitably willful at times, even the most well-behaved and obedient ones are no exception. Go and say a few words to him, and he’ll be fine soon.”
Jun Hua thought about it and nodded suspiciously, “I’ll go and have a look, Brother Rong, wait for me.”
“Go ahead.” Wei Chongrong waved his hand at him, “I’ll wait for you to have dinner together.”
- Jun Lin and Jun Feili’s father