Gu Lian had not expected that her random trip to the washroom would lead her to her target, the princess.
This was all thanks to her player system, which was unique. The normal system would not alert her of issues like this, but her system includes many extra add-ons, such as “Red-list notifications”, “Focused target details”, and more.
A small rectangular square written with “Qiao MingYu” appeared above the princess’s red dot on the system map while a distance estimation popped right under the name, Ah, the princess’s name! She thought excitedly as she clicked it swiftly.
A long scarlet string appeared suddenly as it floated above the ground and she knew instincetively that it would lead her to the princess. From the look of it, it seems that the princess should be on other side of the bush… She thought curiously before carefully making her way there while pretending to lead by the young hand-maiden.
Knowing that the princess was there, Gu Lian turned her head towards her as they walked past the enormous bush, only to see the princess standing there unmovingly with a blank and curious look on her face.
“Your highness,” Gu Lian greeted her immediately as she curtsied politely.
Qiao MingYu stared at the two of them as her eyes lit up hopefully, as if she had met her savior, “Where are you two going?” She asked urgently.
“We are currently on our way back to the pond, would your highness like to join us?” Gu Lian answered gently as she smiled at her invitingly as she was sure that there was a high chance that the princess would accept her invitation, so it was of no surprise when the princess nodded hurriedly at them.
During her past life, in the Five Poisonous Guild, a daughter of the Miao Race was considered to be a demoness because they were extremely daring and quick-tempered. They’re usually broad-minded and they’re not afraid of speaking out their minds, and most importantly, if you angered any one of them, they would kill without thinking of the consequences.
But when Gu Lian started adventuring, she had met many different types of people from all over the world, and one of them was a lady from a major city. She taught Gu Lian the rules and social etiquette of the higher-up community and that was how Gu Lian was relieved of her “Demoness” title.
And right now, Gu Lian was glad that she had made an effort to learn the social etiquette, for she was extremely comfortable in her current skin as a daughter of a House.
Qiao MingYu had met many types of ladies from many different houses, they’re usually all deadpan ladies who are bounded to the social rules, which is why she would usually stay away from those boring women, but surprisingly, Gu Lian do not emit the kind of aura that she finds uninteresting.
Perhaps this is what they call affinity?
Gu Lian took tiny steps as they continued their way back, giggling gently as they chat about the current news from the famous magazine. To her surprise, this had caused Qiao MingYu to cry out in glee at the fact that she had finally found a friend to chat about the magazine for the ladies of other Houses would never touch a magazine in their life, instead, they would always walk around with the “Book of Ladies”, which was a boring book that preaches how a lady should act, and it bores her to no end.
Gu Lian sighed in relief as she watched her target walk towards the most exquisite pavilion when they reach the party. She would consider today a huge success!
But then again, leaving behind a favorable first impression wasn’t enough, if she wants to be able to control her own life, the only two options she had was to run away from home, or for the princess to be on her side.
Running away from home and living in hiding would be viable but it would be a lot more difficult as this was not a world of wushu, like her previous world, this was a world where humans are much more weaker and it was also a world where men look down on women, it would be difficult for her, a young girl, to build up her reputation in time to resist against any enemies or men that took a liking to her.
Hence the only other way would be the princess. Qiao MingYu was famous for assembling an army made up fully of women, half of the members were women from prestigious houses while the other half were skilled women, and all the women in her army would not have their lives controlled by their families, and Qiao MingYu was respective to all of the women regarding their marriage, hence their respective houses cannot control the women in any way.
Gu Lian knew that joining the army would be favorable to her and that she could sign up as a military doctor, and in order to gain control of her own life, she needed the princess to be on her side, but for that, she needed the princess to appreciate her, to see her value.
She glanced up vaguely at Yan Shi and her sisters, who were sitting nearby. This “mother” of hers had threatened her with a bad marriage, her sister had tried to harm her many times, she was reluctant to stay here any longer than she should.
Qiao MingYu, on the other hand, was famously known to be fair to her people, hence she would not need to worry about any sort of back-stabbings if she worked for her.
Gu Lian sighed softly as she wet her lips with the tea served, thinking deeply about her foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, in another pavilion, Qiao MingYu stared at the desserts and tea served to her with disinterest as she waved her hand lazily, officially starting the party.
Parties like these bore her, it’s usually created to give the young masters and young misses of the prestigious houses to interact and for the adults to scout for their children’s future fiancee.
She had initially rejected the idea of this party, but her sister-in-law’s legitimate sister had yet to acquire a fiancee, hence their family had paid her a visit, hinting that she should provide them with an opportunity, hence Qiao MingYu had no choice but to agree.
She sighed, pinching her forehead as her headache rose, “Who was that lady just now, the one who walked me here?” She turned around, asking one of the hand-maidens nearby.
“She is Gu Lian, the illegitimate eldest daughter of Lord Gu ZhiMo, your highness.” The hand-maiden replied respectfully.
“Which competition did she join?” She asked curiously, wondering if she should just announce Gu Lian as the winner for the competitions that she joined.
“Miss Gu did not join any of the competitions, your highness…”
“She didn’t?” She frowned slightly, confused, “Why not? She doesn’t seem like someone without skills.”
“Perhaps she wasn’t interested, your highness was never interested in these competitions too.” The hand-maiden answered patiently.
As expected of someone I found interesting! Qiao MingYu nodded her head in approval and her gloomy mood lightened up upon hearing the hand-maiden’s theory, “Invite her here to accompany me.”
“Yes, your highness.” The hand-maiden answered cheerfully as she ran off, intending to personally invite Gu Lian instead of passing the errand to a random servant.
Gu Lian nodded unsurprisingly at the sudden invitation, for she had expected the princess to take a liking to her. She had spent years adventuring in her past life and it was easy for her to speak other’s language, furthermore, the princess looked down upon political twists and turns as she was a straightforward person, hence she was a lot easier to handle than others. But then again, Gu Lian had befriended the princess sincerely, if she had approached the princess with ill intentions, she doubted it would’ve been successful.
She left with the hand-maiden swiftly, smiling gently as she ignored the jealous stares of Yan Shi and her sisters.
“Your highness.” She greeted Qiao MingYu with a curtsy as she approached her pavilion.
“Save the etiquette,” The princess grinned, waving her hand nonchalantly, “Do have a seat and talk to me.”
“What would you like to hear, your highness?” Gu Lian nodded with a grin.
“Let’s continue our talk about the magazines from before.” The princess blinked at her with excited and shining eyes, “Have you ever read 《Mu Liang Chuan》?”
But of course she had not read it, as her transmigration had only been mere days and the magazines they talked about previously were the ones she had read with the system to pass time.