When Chu Qing-Yan's gaze landed on Xiao Hou's body, Xiao Hou, who wasn't far from her seemed to have sensed her gaze, and turned his head over to lightly smile at her. But very quickly, he covered his nose and mouth and started to cough lightly again. The eunuch at his side immediately bowed his body and started to pat his back, but he was lightly pushed away by Xiao Hou.
What a pale and sickly beautiful male.
Chu Qing-Yan softly exclaimed, sure enough, Heaven was fair, such a good family background, such good appearance, but will always deprive you of something.
As if he heard Chu Qing-Yan's sigh, Xiao Xu lightly patted her head. "Don't look about randomly, concentrate a bit on the present."
Only then did Chu Qing-Yan retrieve her gaze and seriously listen to Western Xuan emperor saying words of congratulations above.
Very quickly, the segment of presenting gifts arrived.
Xiao Xu as the First Prince was the one to start and lead everyone in this ritual.
One only saw Xiao Xu offer a very hard to find drawing of pine trees by the famous artist Hua Xian. Western Xuan emperor's favorite pastime was to amuse himself with famous paintings and this Hua Xian had died long ago. His paintings were even more difficult to find, it was said that this drawing of pine trees was the last one he drew before death. But traces of it had already been lost for a long time.
Never expected that on this Mid-autumn day festival, one could still glimpse the style of such a famous artist.
Western Xuan emperor took a glance at that drawing and said indifferently. "You had the heart.", then let people put it away.
This scene in all the minister's eyes gave them more thoughts to strategize. They originally thought this emperor loved painting as if it was his life and would greatly praise First Prince. They did not expect His Majesty would be so calm, was it because he wanted to stay neutral in the increasingly noisy matter of heir apparent to the throne in court? Was that why His Majesty would remain so calm?
What these ministers suspected was smashed when Fourth Prince Xiao Ran offered his gift.
Second Prince Xiao Yao offered the rare night pearl from Southern seas. He got Western Xuan emperor's praise.
Third Prince Xiao Hou offered a millennium old Lingzhi mushroom. Also obtained Western Xuan emperor's praise.
And when Fourth Princed offered priceless brush, paper, ink-stone set, the calm waveless expression on Western Xuan's face was broken. He stroked his beard and said three words of 'good' in a row. He even asked people to bring it up and played with it a bit before letting the palace people put it away.
Everyone was puzzled.
Although this brush, paper, ink-stone set was priceless, but in regards to thoughtfulness, it wasn't as good as First Prince’s. In terms of preciousness, it wasn't as good as Second Prince's gift. In terms of value, it wasn't as good as Third Prince's gift. Why would it receive such special treatment from Western Xuan Emperor?
But after second thoughts, everyone had already gotten an answer. Maybe it wasn't the gift that caught Western Xuan emperor's eyes, rather it was who gave the gift!
Rumor had it that Western Xuan Emperor favored Fourth Prince, facts proved that it was really so!
Everyone's gaze swept by Fourth Prince, each had different thoughts.
Chu Qing-Yan saw everything with her own eyes, and suddenly felt heartache for that tall, lofty unconquerable person's figure.
When people returned to their seats, Xiao Xu felt a small fist squeeze into his hand. Afterwards, just like a small flower bud, it blossomed. One petal after another drilled out of the crack between his fingers and afterwards, closely intertwined with his fingers.
Xiao Xu was astonished by her clingy action and thought it was because she wasn't used to this kind of occasion. He said in a low tone to placate her. "If you don't like it, after another two hours, we can go back."
Chu Qing-Yan heard his and lifted her head to smile at him. "It's not that. I suddenly wanted to be close to you. Maybe it's because tonight's wind is somewhat cold."
It's not that the night wind is too cold, rather I'm afraid your heart would be too cold. My temperature isn't that high but I still want to warm you, just ask you not to dislike it.
As if he sensed that shred of warmth from her starlight gaze, Xiao Xu felt that bit of chill in his heart being eroded and driven out.
His gaze landed on the main seat, that image of a harmonious and warm family of three, then looked to his own Mother Empress, like an outsider sitting there. His heart became an area that was ice-cold. From childhood to now, his Father the emperor's gaze never landed on his body, he was never given any expectation, let alone praises.
Mother Empress who treated him very harshly, and a Father Emperor that was cold to him, just like this, they played the role of father and mother in his life.
On such a lovely festive day, his inner heart couldn't feel any warmth.
Until that pair of little hands directly gripped his own, bringing a slight weak light that illuminated the darkness in his heart bit by bit.
He originally thought he would be alone like this for the rest of his life, but suddenly a powdery pink jade like little girl appeared. Holding onto his hand, not willing to let go. He felt that just continuing to bring along this child was also not bad.
"If we leave in a short while, maybe we can still make it to the feast in the manor."
His tone had become a bit soft, no longer as cold as before.
Chu Qing-Yan recalled that her parents were still at the manor, immediately her face was full of smiles. "En, in a while when we return, I must properly taste that fruit wine. Big Block of Ice, you must not stop me again oh!"
His pair of eyes reflected her smiling face that lacked any worry, Xiao Xu subconsciously tightened his hand around hers. "Okay."
Chu Qing-Yan was slightly startled. Big Block of Ice all of a sudden becoming tender and gentle was really attractive.
The blow from this charm filled her head.
Whose family's young master was full of such romantic style?
Very quickly, the segment of the chrysanthemum viewing part of banquet arrived.
The Head of the Department of Internal Affairs brought many palace servants orderly into the imperial garden. Behind them followed a full hundred palace maids, everyone one of their hands cupped a flower pot. Various breeds of chrysanthemum was planted in those flower pots.
The first to enter everyone's eyes was ink tree peony, it was a bright red color and the queen among chrysanthemums.
After was the jade plume chrysanthemum, with thousands of long slender leaves, snow white in color. The heart of the chrysanthemum was touched up with a spot of yellow.
Very quickly all the flowers dazzled the eyes.
There was the graceful, luxurious jade stage with the jade phoenix. Snowflake like Snow Ocean. The bashful Delicate Female flower. The beautiful immortal lingzhi mushroom. Dancing like Swan Dance. The noble Ink chrysanthemum. The white fairy like White Tree peony…
Too many to count because everyone was enchanted by these hundreds of variety of chrysanthemum.
Chu Qing-Yan didn't even dare to blink, afraid she would miss these rare chrysanthemums. Some she had already seen in chrysanthemum exhibits, but a lot more were ones she had never seen.
Xiao Xu saw it was too much for her eyes to take in and let her go out to appreciate it.
All the chrysanthemum was displayed in the middle of the imperial garden, so everyone could appreciate it. Therefore, a lot of people left their positions to get a closer look at these extremely rare and precious flowers.
Chu Qing-Yan joined this arm of enthusiasts and Xiao Ran who was at the side kept an eye out for Chu Qing-Yan. Seeing her leave her seat, he also got up and walked over.
Having not seen her for a period of time, he found she had grown taller and become more radiant in a way that attracts people's eyes. The hidden feeling of longing for her had started to flood in when he saw her in the distance.
When Chu Qing-Yan heard someone call her, she turned her head to search for who, when she saw Xiao Ran standing among the crowd. He was dressed in snow white brocade robe, the lapel of his top was decorated with blue colored gems and decorative designs, blue colored gems at the sleeves, blue colored gem belt, the blue and white alternate making him look even taller standing there, jade like, pure and handsome.
Chu Qing-Yan shook her head, sure enough his good looks was a scourge to women.
And by the time Chu Qing-Yan turned her head, Xiao Ran's heart had already missed a beat.
Cloud like clothes, flower like face, spring wind brushing by the door sill revealed a strong magnificence, like a jade mountain that appeared among the crowd. Like meeting under the moon in front of a jade stage.
She was among an ocean of flowers, a beautiful woman with a delicate head. A lovable smile that was winsome. Dressed in a soft white gauzed lily dress in silver threads, making her womanly figure look even more slender, so elegant, gentle and beautiful.
Xiao Ran couldn't help but gape in awe.
And Linghu XiMo's group of people that was always watching Xiao Ran saw this scene and almost shredded the embroidered handkerchief in their hands.