"How are the preparations?" A voice asked in a low tone, carrying a thread of charm.
"Please feel rest assured, master. Everything has already been prepared accordingly. As long as the First Prince and the Fourth Prince enter the scene, then everything will work according to plan." The person respectfully kneeling on the floor said complacently.
"Then that's good. Win or lose, it all ends here." That gorgeous tone sounded.
And inside the Morning Sun Palace, Empress Liang sat on the main seat, firmly looking at her son in front of her saying meaningful and sincere words.
"Xu'er, in recent days, a few older officials have already jointly signed a petition to ask His Majesty to establish the Crown Prince as soon as possible. The court is split into four factions but the one that is your biggest competition is Xiao Ran, if not for your face…" Empress Liang looked at the mask that never left Xiao Xu's face, and stopped short of those final words.
If your face wasn't destroyed by fire, this matter of establishing the Crown Prince, how could there be a place for Xiao Ran to stand?
"So the matter of establishing the Crown Prince demands immediate action. Your grandfather will help you get in contact with those old but powerful chancellors. These days, you should perform well and strive in front of your father emperor to share his burdens and show him the kind of ability a Crown Prince should have. Those officials' eyes aren't blind, who is good for Western Xuan, they're able to figure it out."
Xiao Xu looked at the smug Mother Empress in front of him, and waves of complicated feelings rushed up from his heart.
"Mother Empress, do you feel if this son does more, it'll have any meaning? If father had really valued this son, there wouldn't be a discussion on the matter of establishing a Crown Prince."
He was Western Xuan Emperor's most legitimate heir candidate. Before, he was regarded as the only candidate to cultivate, but once Fourth Prince was born and the fire that destroyed his face happened, nothing was the same again.
"You this person that lacks a backbone, as long as nothing has been set, as long as there isn't anybody sitting in that position, then you will have the chance. You shouldn't give up when you haven't even tried to strive for it, the Liang Family is still waiting for you to prop it up. If at that time the person in that position isn't you, you can just wait for a complete defeat and fall from grace, then the decline of Liang Family!" Empress Liang was so angry that her whole face turned green. She couldn't understand why this son was so unconcerned about everything and why his heart didn't covet that position the least bit.
"Mother Empress, you shouldn't worry and let nature take its course!" He didn't want to have a dispute with Mother Empress every time they met, so he could only use these words to fob her off.
Empress Liang heard this and was angered into laugher. "Let nature take its course? Don't you know many opportunities are lost just because of nature taking its course? Whatever the case, you will go and strive for it for me. If you don't obtain that position, this Empress will not acknowledge you as a son!"
Xiao Xu frowned slightly, an indescribable loneliness flashing through his eyes. "This son understands."
Seeing him agree, Empress Liang's heart finally calmed down a bit. "It's almost time, we ought to go participate in the palace banquet."
"Yes." Xiao Xu moved aside a step and let Mother Empress walk ahead before following her from behind. His heart was empty and lonely, don't know if the little guy could cope by herself. Just now, he had briefed an official under him to take care of her properly.
The palace lanterns surrounding the imperial garden shone bright as daytime, driving away the darkness, letting everyone soak under its colorful light.
Red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and purple, the colors intertwined and overlapped layer upon layer, bringing a rich color to the banquet.
When Xiao Xu walked into the imperial garden, he saw the beaming face of Chu Qing-Yan under the lanterns. His heart that had been worried about her only calmed down at this moment.
Seeing Big Block of Ice, Chu Qing-Yan immediately waved at him covertly.
Waiting until Big Block of Ice sat beside her, Chu Qing-Yan impatiently told him. "I met a really nice older sister, she saw me coming and brought me to my seat and accompanied me to chat. She told me many things, look, she is over there." Chu Qing-Yan pointed at the long table towards the back.
Xiao Xu followed the direction her finger pointed and looked, it was a womenfolk of the official under him. The official sitting by the woman's side hurriedly saluted him and Xiao Xu nodded his head at him.
Xiao Xu didn't reveal that the person was the wife of an official under him who had gotten his order to look after her. He said. "Not bad, you were able to make friends when you came."
Chu Qing-Yan cupped her face and giggled happily to say. "Who told me to have such a loveable face!"
Xiao Xu laughed in spite of himself and shook his head before asking. "Did anybody make things difficult for you on the way?"
"Nope, I also didn't stir up any trouble!" Chu Qing-Yan said without hesitation. She didn't plan to tell Big Block of Ice any of the things she encountered along the way. There was no need for Big Block of Ice to participate in the war between girls. Besides she didn't take them seriously, their fighting strength couldn't stir up her interest.
Xiao Xu heard this and nodded his head.
And at this moment, Western Xuan Emperor's group arrived, Consort Yue could be seen standing by Western Xuan Emperor's left side while his right side was occupied by the Fourth Prince who was supporting him, as if they were a joyous and harmonious family of three.
The people at the scene were all very sophisticated. Once they saw this scene, they looked at Empress Liang who sat on the main seat, their hearts thought of stratagems.
Chu Qing-Yan stared at the three people, then turned her head to look at Big Block of Ice. Her tone carried a sweet and sticky smile. "Big Block of Ice, will there be many chrysanthemums in today's Chrysanthemum Viewing Banquet?"
"There will be. This time, there will be chrysanthemums that the Internal Affairs Department had specially cultivated as well as chrysanthemums gathered from people in the country. Later on, you'll definitely be amazed." Xiao Xu had an indescribable feeling, the little guy in front of him was trying to divert his gaze by asking this question.
"If only I had a camera, I'd be able to capture it." Chu Qing-Yan, having heard what was said mumbled this to herself.
"Camera?" Xiao Xu was puzzled by this strange word.
Didn't expect she had blurted it out, Chu Qing-Yan immediately said. "I mean a painting, to draw the chrysanthemums so that you could keep it forever, that kind of meaning."
Xiao Xu heard this, he looked pensive.
And at this time, everyone at the banquet was seated.
Chu Qing-Yan swept a glance across and found many crucial points, for example those different yet extremely outstanding looking beautiful males.
Not tainted by dust and smoke of the secular world, the exceedingly senior Buddhist monk, Xu Xian.
Smiling while talking, the uninhibited, distinguished and carefree prince, Xiao Yao.
The lean, elegant, clear and bright as the moon prince, Xiao Ran.
With a scholarly air, the elegant and sickly prince, Xiao Hou.
As well as this beautiful male sitting by her side that emitted self restraint and a cold detached temperament.
No wonder the attendance tonight was unusually high, with the majority being womenfolk. Recalling the three girls she just encountered today, it seemed these people weren't only here to appreciate the chrysanthemums, their true purpose were these fresh beautiful male meat at tonight's banquet.
Chu Qing-Yan tsked with her tongue, if these people were in the modern era, she reckoned there would shriek like infatuated fan girls.
The only one she didn't recognize was the sickly Third Prince Xiao Hou. She heard that this person was sick since birth and was always accompanied by medicine as he grew up. Maybe it was because he lived alone in the palace reading books and raising flowers, his personality was lukewarm and gentle. She heard that he wasn't even willing to hurt an ant.
However, could people living inside the cruel royal family really be that good and kind?
Can't blame her for thinking too much, rather she had watched too many palace dramas.