Everyone stared in shock as they watched the tiger girl and the thirteenth prince leave, then shrieked in horror. They'd been ordering heaps of food like madmen- oh how broke they'd be after this meal!
Some considered themselves lucky as they hadn’t ordered anything, quickly getting up to leave the restaurant. A crowd started to rush towards the exit in a whole sudden, just like how they came in. As they said, easy come, easy go.
Meanwhile, those who had placed their orders stared at the leaving crowd. Fearing the aftermath of this meal, they devised a plan, which was to just leave the place immediately since their meal was not served yet.
It was a chain reaction. Laughter and chatter had filled the premise just a while ago, but now it was empty. Even the customers who were enjoying their meal escaped with the crowd without paying. Free lunch!
Though some dishes were not served, the kitchen was already bustling to prepare and serve them. The damage was unimaginable.
Looking at this mess, the restaurant owner blacked out. Regret filled his mind, if he wasn’t so greedy he wouldn’t have suffered such a loss!
Meanwhile, our main character, the thirteenth prince of the Ye family, was blissfully unaware of what had happened. He roamed the streets with the tiger girl in search of something to squander his money on, but not without satisfying his cravings for fishball noodles at a roadside stall before that.
He may be an aristocrat, but he didn't put on airs like one. He often enjoyed street food. He didn’t know how to act like one, not quite understanding the difference between him and regular civilians. Ye Lang had lived a sheltered life as people around him were very protective.
The tiger girl or in his words, Tigress, had been by his side ever since they were children. She protected him, ensuring he didn't fall prey to scams when they were out on the streets. For five years she was his servant but at the same time his bodyguard-- sometimes a parent figure. Her intelligence and martial art skills made up for some of the qualities that the thirteenth prince lacked. Ye Lang regarded her as his childhood friend most of the time rather than as his servant.
Looking at all the shops standing on both sides of the street, the thirteenth prince slowed down his footsteps to make a decision on which shop to enter. At this very moment, a shop’s signboard had gone loose and was about to fall right on his head.
Without wasting a second, Tigress leapt and “Smack!”, gave a roundhouse kick to deflect the signboard from its course. She then continued her conversation with the thirteenth prince as though nothing had happened. Ye Lang was once again blissfully unaware.
Such occurrences were plentiful, but they weren’t planned or done on purpose. They were just pure accidents and she had always warded them off without the thirteenth prince’s knowledge. Tigress had never once warned him about it because she didn't feel the need to do so.
“Master, you should return earlier today, you need to visit the palace tonight,” reminded Tigress.
“Yes, I’m aware. We’re gonna celebrate my wife’s birthday today,” he promptly replied. It seemed like his speech ability had improved a ton, he didn't take long to construct his sentences anymore.
“Good, just keep that in mind. We’ll head back after an hour,” she adds. An hour more was the most she could allow.
It felt weird. She had been around him for years and knew him the best. She was aware that he didn’t fully understand what a ‘wife’ really meant.
His betrothed, who was the empire’s youngest princess--oh wait-- no, she’s no longer the youngest, she has a few younger sisters now.
Now, she was widely referred to as the seventh princess. The thirteenth prince didn't seem to know the name of his betrothed, but he was aware of their engagement though only through the words of others.
The seventh princess shared the same birthday as him, hence the celebration was always jointly held. The two families would take turns organizing the occasion; if this year was at the Ye’s then next year it’ll be at the palace.
Since today was his birthday, he’d wanted to use the occasion as a reason to spend money. He hadn't been successful so far.
“That reminds me. Since it’s my wife’s birthday today, I should buy something for her. Let’s go to the auction place,” said the thirteenth prince, remembering that Tigress and his mother had once told him about the importance of getting gifts for girls on their birthday.
The thought was there, but he had no idea of what to get her as a gift or what item would a girl fancy. He was young and inexperienced. Instead of heading to the jewellery or boutique, he went straight to the auction house. He wanted to buy his betrothed the most expensive item available!
To him, the best gifts were the most expensive. Obtaining the right one wasn't important to him. Plus, the auction was a familiar place since he’d been there many times.
“Oh, the thirteenth prince, you’re here! Welcome!” the auction manager exclaimed passionately, “Quick, bring him to the VIP lounge,” he instructed another staff hastily.
“Who is this young aristocrat? Why is our manager greeting him so respectfully? It’s almost as if he’s the manager’s father,” a new staff blurted.
“I guess you could say that. That young master is our most important customer! He’s the Ye family’s thirteenth prince, and he has never once lost a single auction!” a more experienced staff answered.
“How is that possible? Is it because no one dared challenge him?” the new guy asked again.
“Not really. It's more like what the young master wants, the young master gets. He's just never given up and always offered the highest bid.”
“If we can find another person as stubborn as him, wouldn’t we be rich as hell?”
“You’re so naive. He’s still the thirteenth prince of the Ye family after all. If someone challenged him, they'd risk offending his family. The Ye family may not be able to control their son, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t do anything to someone else. Of course, anyone could challenge him as long as it's still within a reasonable price range.”
“Ah, that makes sense.”