Chapter 105 – Having to see that face everyday makes one more despondent
Subconsciously, Chu Qing-Yan's hand gripped his even tighter.
Xiao Xu felt the power coming from the small hand in his hand. He couldn't help but lower his eyes, using his expression to ask.
He saw that her eyes were full of the remaining sunlight from the setting sun, gentle and warm.
"In the future I'll accompany you to wait. One person waiting is too lonely, two people can talk."
Xiao Xu stared blankly for a bit, soon after he lifted a hand and placed it on her head. The fine black hair under his hand was soft like satin, he merely caressed it lightly and did not speak.
It was rare that Chu Qing-Yan also didn't speak, she only looked quietly at the palace door in front of her. Suddenly, she heard the sound of the palace door being opened.
Afterwards, she saw a youth in white colored, silk crew neck embroidered robe walk out of the palace door, being sent out respectfully by the palace servants.
The Xiao Ran inside the imperial palace's embroidered clothes was exquisite and gorgeous, unlike the him outside of the palace dressed simply with a noble air.
Clearly, Xiao Ran saw the people outside the gates at one glance, and a smile immediately blossomed on his strict little face. As he walked over with quick steps, he saw those two hands held together with Elder Royal Brother's other hand intimately placed on Chu Qing-Yan's head. His heart suddenly felt somewhat upset, this kind of feeling he had never experienced before. The smiling expression on his face suddenly froze.
And Eunuch Cao also came out of the palace doors at this moment, bowed and smiled towards the people who had waited for a long time. "His Majesty asks you guys to go in."
Xiao Xu nodded to the Fourth Prince who was walking towards him from up ahead, whereas Chu Qing-Yan was nervous because of Emperor Xuan's summons, therefore the two of them did not sense that something was wrong with Xiao Ran.
Xiao Ran turned around to look at the two people enter the palace side-by-side, up until that door closed before he returned to his senses. He somewhat blamed himself, clenching his fists tightly. Just now, what was wrong with him?
Entering the palace, Chu Qing-Yan furtively sized up the surroundings. A gold plated incense burner with silver bamboo sticks was burning at the corner, giving off smoke and a sweet fragrance. The four-goat square Zun (1) was arranged on the table. The long string of palace lanterns hung up high. The carefully polished, horn shaped jade cup under the illumination of the palace lanterns gave off a warm, tranquil, sleek luster like a beautiful handcrafted scenery. No matter which corner you looked at, it manifested the powerful characteristics of grandeur.
"Pays respect to Father the emperor." Xiao Xu brought Chu Qing-Yan to kneel down with him.
"Pays respect to Your Majesty." She respectfully said at his side.
"Waited for long?" A voice came from up ahead.
Although it was said like this, Chu Qing-Yan didn't hear a bit of the expected apology in his tone.
She lifted her head and saw a male wearing a golden beaded crown on his head. His inner clothing was clearly yellow with wide sleeves. His outer jacket was a deep golden color with no sleeves and bent collar. The line from the collar to the sleeves was decorated with embroidery using golden thread. On both sides of the shoulders, dragons were embroidered. He just sat upright like that on the imperial throne, imposing and pressing, incomparably respectable.
Chu Qing-Yan's eyes fixed to look, Emperor Xuan's appearance was projected to her eyes. High nose bridge, plump pair of ears, appearance was tall and sturdy. Sword like eyebrows with tiger like eyes, giving off a monarch's aura through speech and mannerism.
While she was furtively sizing him up, Chu Qing-Yan heard the person beside her reply in an ordinary tone.
"This is the girl from Chu family?" Emperor Xuan's eyes turned to glance at Chu Qing-Yan who was slowly getting up. His brows rose slightly.
"Yes." Xiao Xu replied.
"Lift up your head and let I, the emperor have a look." Emperor Xuan said this command to Chu Qing-Yan.
Chu Qing-Yan obediently complied and said a crisp "Yes!", then lifted up her head.
Western Xuan's emperor had seen countless number of people, and at one glance saw that Chu Qing-Yan's features were delicate and pretty, with cherry-apple cheeks and ocean like tenderness that had marks of being a great beauty. When the time comes, her face would bloom like a flower in the shape of the moon. He couldn't help but winkle his brows. But when he recalled her low identity and background, his face once more opened into a smile. He said without meaning it. "Not bad, not bad, your grandfather the Retired Emperor's gaze is pretty good. Helped you pick a really good wife."
The corner of Chu Qing-Yan's mouth twitched. This person on the top seat could really talk, the Retired Emperor had never seen her so how was he fit to have a good gaze ah? Wasn't this lying through one's teeth?
"Many thanks for grandfather the retired Emperor and Father the Emperor's deep love." Xiao Xu's tone didn't have a ripple as he replied.
"Qing-Yan is very young, so you must look after her more often. Don't be solely preoccupied with brandishing knives and playing with your swords all day. Don't know what you are running around busy doing." Western Xuan Emperor carelessly said.
Chu Qing-Yan wanted to sneer. This Western Xuan Emperor actually told Xiao Xu to look after her, but inside and outside the speech he was always mocking him. She doesn't know which of Western Xuan Emperor's eyes saw Xiao Xu running around being busy doing nothing? Wasn't he accompanying you old man, being ordered about here and there? She somewhat felt injustice on Xiao Xu's behalf, but his identity was displayed there. If what he said is correct, then it's correct, and if what he said is wrong, then it's still correct.
Xiao Xu's expression darkened a bit. "This son knows."
After he finished lecturing Xiao Xu, Western Xuan's target turned towards Chu Qing-Yan.
"I heard recently that Ran'er and you played well together?"
Chu Qing-Yan wasn't guarded against this kind of question from Western Xuan emperor, so she was somewhat stumped for words. But very quickly, her train of thought found the link and immediately replied. "Fourth Prince is amiable and approachable and interacted pretty well with all the people in Prince's Manor."
Only now did Western Xuan Emperor look directly at Chu Qing-Yan. She actually was able to hear the meaning in his words, don't know if she was really smart or the reply was accidental.
Western Xuan's Emperor did not reply to Chu Qing-Yan but rather looked towards Xiao Xu. "Recently, your fourth younger brother's homework schedule is very tight. If you have nothing to do, then lessen the times you ask him to go over to your place to play. If you hold up his studies, no amount of gains would make up for the losses."
Chu Qing-Yan really wanted to blow her top. Which of your old man's eyes saw Big Block of Ice asking your treasured fourth prince to come over to Prince's Manor? It was clearly he who always wanted to come over okay? Don't turn right from wrong, you that can't tell black from white okay? You this kind of person doesn't deserve being liked by the younger generation okay?
Chu Qing-Yan somewhat suspected that this old man basically didn't want to see her, rather he wanted to take the opportunity to lecture her and Big Block of Ice thoroughly. It didn't matter to her, only that she didn't know about Big Block of Ice's heart——
"This son will remember your words and follow it up with action." Xiao Xu replied, following a prescribed pattern scrupulously.
Western Xuan's Emperor choked and knew he had already lectured nearly enough tonight, so he restrained the anger and didn't continue.
Following this, the two people started to have one person ask and the other person answer dialogue.
Chu Qing-Yan stared blankly, this father and son pair's method of interaction wasn't even as good as people from a small family. Western Xuan's Emperor had an expression of not warm or cold and Xiao Xu just replied in a business like manner.
Could this be the affection in a royal family? But just now when she was outside the palace didn't she hear Xiao Ran and Western Xuan Emperor's laughter being transmitted out from time to time? Could it really be like the rumor said, that after Xiao Xu was disfigured he lost favor?
Very quickly, Western Xuan Emperor's thoughts turned to the matters in court. Just on the matter of the autumn exam, the two people launched into a discussion.
Chu Qing-Yan's gaze landed on the two people's bodies, if she didn't know the two of them were father and son, maybe she would have thought their relationship was only that of a boss and subordinate and nothing more.
Chu Qing-Yan quietly sat there unmoving for a hour, like a beautiful young lady.
In the end, Western Xuan Emperor's sharp and stern gaze landed on both of their bodies.
"It may be assumed your mother the empress also hasn't seen Qing-Yan before. You bring her over so she can have a look."
Once Western Xuan's word landed, Chu Qing-Yan saw the corner of Xiao Xu's mouth flatten slightly at hearing this. She suddenly had a not so good feeling about that Empress Liang she had only heard of but never seen.
Exiting the palace, Chu Qing-Yan lifted her head, and somewhat hesitantly looked at the person at her side.
"Big Block of Ice, is it possible your mother the empress won't like me?"
She knew Empress Liang was from the left minister's family. She must have had a lot of expectations for her only son's wife.
"Don't need to pay any heed to it." Xiao Xu coldly said.
Huh, then that means she doesn’t like her, moreover the meaning was that she really really doesn't like her?
Chu Qing-Yan suddenly had a very bad premonition about the treatment she would receive during this first meeting.
1) Four-goat square Zun – a ritual vessel unearthed from the Shang dynasty in China, about 3000 years old. Here is the wikipedia page for what it looks like.