Chapter 104 – Didn't see the emperor, a very disappointed expression
After journeying for another quarter of an hour, they arrived at the gate to the palace. Chu Qing-Yan got out of the carriage, looked at the palace wall that towered majestically and couldn't help but sigh towards the Big Block of Ice. Having grown to this age, this was the first time she had seen such a high wall!
Xiao Xu's face blackened having heard that sigh, he lifted her by the collar and directly walked in to the palace.
How could Chu Qing-Yan have known he would change face so suddenly? Just now, that tenderness inside the carriage must have been because her vision was blurred!
After entering the imperial palace, there was a wide road paved by greenish black bricks. The entire road stretched forward, very long and wide. Every five steps was a guard, every ten steps was a small group of military soldiers on patrol. There weren't any flowers, plants or trees, there were only ice-cold armored people. Chu Qing-Yan took a glance at the inside of the imperial palace that was heavily guarded, and she secretly sighed in her heart. Sure enough, it was the most pivotal point in the nation, not even a housefly could fly in.
But very quickly she withdrew her gaze and admonished herself. Beginning from that moment she entered the palace gate, she must be very careful with her speech. So right now, she shouldn't glance all around. Big Block of Ice's identity of coming from the royal family was already somewhat subtle. Now she could not bring him any trouble.
After crossing another similar public square area, they passed another corridor and there was an eunuch waiting there to lead the way.
"Pays respect to His Highness Prince Ying." An old bearless eunuch bowed to Xiao Xu. Looking at the way he was dressed, it seemed he ought to be a court eunuch that had a bit of status.
"Eunuch Cao, troubled you for waiting." Xiao Xu said indifferently.
"Do not dare, do not dare." Eunuch Cao was all smiles as he turned his head to look toward Chu Qing-Yan and then asked. "This must be Chu family's Ninth Miss right? Looks really clever and adorable." He originally wanted to say that she and His Highness Prince Jin was a perfect match made in Heaven. But just looking at her height and age, no matter how good he was at saying flattering words, he still didn't dare to say these words.
Xiao Xu said to Chu Qing-Yan. "This is a very popular person by Father the Emperor's side, Eunuch Cao."
Chu Qing-Yan, having heard these words cleverly greeted. "Greetings to Eunuch Cao."
"This slave does not dare accept such honor." Eunuch Cao promptly evaded this courtesy from Chu Qing-Yan. He originally thought that Chu Qing-Yan was merely a ten year old child, moreover one from the countryside. He was afraid her words and manners would be too inferior to be shown in public. However, seeing her following by Prince Ying's side with the correct attitude and a shallow cute smile hanging on her face, if a person did not know the inside story, then they would have assumed she was a treasured Miss that walked out of a wealthy, powerful family. He had no choice but to say this Chu Qing-Yan's appearance was a standout. At least among the influential families, it could be said her appearance was ranked among the best.
"Let's go." Xiao Xu did not like to exchange pleasantries as he cheerlessly said.
"It's this slave that is confused, Your Highness ought to already be anxious from waiting. The two of you, please follow along this slave's side to go." Eunuch Cao bowed and lifted a finger to point in a direction, then Xiao Xu brought along Chu Qing-Yan to take large strides forward.
The deep dark red pillar inside the palace seem to extend endlessly forward, as they passed through the walkway then turned around to walk up a white colored arch bridge. Their destination seemed to be the long hallway built on top of the water. The bluish green lake water circulated underneath with lotus leaves floating on top crowding into a large area, making the entire surface of the lake look green.
From far away, people could see the palace hidden among the green leaves. The corridor wrapped around it, the edges high up as each of its contours hugged the terrain. It snarled as it fought for every corner.
Chu Qing-Yan felt a kind of pressing and strict atmosphere coming directly towards her.
Until she stood in front of a great hall, before Eunuch Cao bowed to say. "The two masters please wait for a moment. This slave will go to report."
Xiao Xu nodded slightly.
Eunuch Cao left before Chu Qing-Yan dared to seize up the buildings around her. One after another dignified halls, that rose and fell in succession. They looked like fish scales that were inseparably close and interdependent. And the tall hall in front of her seemed to be in the heart of all the halls. It was being crowded around with bright and shiny glazed roof tiles, not revealing its own awe-inspiring respectfulness.
Three large words used the red board as a background. Using concentrated black ink to write the words with golden decorative designs on the side, it gave off a noble air without lessening it's extravagance.
And under every imperial pillar was an expressionless imperial guard with a sword standing in attendance, guarding against everything very strictly.
After a short period, Eunuch Cao came out. Only Chu Qing-Yan sensed the unnaturalness in his expression and couldn't help but be somewhat curious. Was it possible that Western Xuan emperor doesn't want to see them?
"Reporting to His Highness Prince Jin. His Majesty is now teaching and testing Fourth Prince's homework. Ask you to wait here for a moment." Eunuch Cao said with a expression of being in a difficult situation.
"No matter, we'll wait." Xiao Xu doesn't seem to mind in the least.
Eunuch Cao bowed to them, then entered the palace.
This wait turned into an hour that passed.
The color of the sky became somewhat dark, the remaining sunlight from the setting sun was about to be covered by the mountain top.
At this time, Chu Qing-Yan felt somewhat strange. Based on Xiao Xu's identity as the Eldest Prince, moreover the eldest son of the emperor's queen, he ought to get generous treatment. Why is it that after listening to the order and rushing over from his manor, he must wait bitterly outside of the palace hall?
"Big Block of Ice, how much longer do we have to wait?" Chu Qing-Yan raised her head to ask.
Xiao Xu lowered his head and in a faint tone said. "Tired from waiting?"
"It's not that. Only don't know how long we have to continue waiting like this." Waiting sometimes was a kind of joy, but waiting for something that you don't know when it will end, moreover you still have to continue waiting, it's hard for the heart to avoid feeling somewhat hopeless.
Seeing her rub her hands, Xiao Xu in a rare moment asked caringly. "Cold?"
Chu Qing-Yan smiled embarrassedly as she nodded. In fact, she didn't want to admit it, but how was she to know her body would be so honest? Although it was the height of summer, the wind in the depth of the palace was much colder than the wind outside. Don't know if it was to validate it's existence, but every dynasty was established on top of yellow soil and the bones of the dead. Those unwilling souls would from time to time blow like deep cold wind at the corner of the palace.
Xiao Xu saw she was saying what she didn't mean and he couldn't help but break into laughter. He extended a hand to draw in her small hand.
Chu Qing-Yan didn't know what he wanted to do. He was clearly a person whose body temperature was lower than hers normally. Could it be he wanted to fight fire with fire, use ice to control ice? Chu Qing-Yan was provoked into laughter by the flights of fancy in her mind. And just at this moment, a warm current flowed into the center of her palm and entered her bloodstream. Afterwards, it circulated until it reached her entire body, and all of a sudden her veins warmed up. She felt comfortably warm from head to toe.
Chu Qing-Yan felt as if she was soaking in a warm spring. She felt like a kitty that has eaten her full, her eyes squinted with sleepiness as she sighed to say. "Is this the so called inner force? That could be used to attack enemies and keep one warm?"
"En." The mood could be infectious, especially with that small hand that clenched tightly to his finger as if he was her support, so Xiao Xu's tone also softened.
"Big Block of Ice, in the future also teach it to me!" Chu Qing-Yan felt if she knew martial arts, in the future when she encountered things, she could protect herself. Moreover, she could even warm herself up!
Xiao Xu seemed to have seen through her thoughts, splashing cold water on her to say. "If you can get up at three to five am and everyday practice at least six hours, persisting on in the extreme cold of winter and intense heat of the summer, then this king will consider teaching you."
Three to five am? If converted to modern time didn’t that mean she must get out of bed around four to five am? Everyday she must at least train for six hours? Just thinking of being scorched in the intense heat of the summer, her hand being frozen by the cold wintry wind, immediately her head shook back and forth like a rattle drum.
Xiao Xu had known earlier that she would have this reaction. She was accustomed to being a lazy cat, even asking her to read a book would make her complain as if the sky was falling, how could she suddenly become hardworking? "Rome wasn't built in a day. If you want to learn, then you must persevere, and for you, it seems to this king that it is very difficult to do so!"
Chu Qing-Yan puffed up her cheeks, she really wanted to firmly agree she could do it! But thinking of the result from her being impulsive, she immediately stopped that thought. To show off in a moment and speak too quickly, in the end the person that must endure a lot of hardship was her ah.
Xiao Xu saw that she had returned to her senses, and he couldn't help but feel it was somewhat of a pity. Originally, he just wanted to incite her a little. If she could really learn a bit of martial arts, it would be good for her.
"Big Block of Ice, you tell me why His Majesty still hasn't summoned us to see him?" The time for dinner was about to pass.
"Impatient?" He asked.
"En, how about you?" She asked.
"Used to it." He indifferently replied.
Used to it?
Chu Qing-Yan subconciously looked toward him.
Was it used to waiting or being given the cold shoulder treatment to wait outside?
Was it because this kind of thing had happened too many times before so he had become numb and used to it?
Chu Qing-Yan don't know why a corner of her heart was sour until it hurt.