Xiao Xu raised his head and saw a delicate little figure wobbling as she walked in. He was a little bit curious. Wasn't this little miss scared of him? How was it that she would dare to come in?
That's because he didn't know that Chu Qing-Yan came with the intent to curry favor with the great bankroller, and hence, surmounted the fear in her heart.
Chu Qing-Yan's attention was placed on the two bowls of soup and food in her hand. It was only when she walked to the center of the room, before she could split her attention to lift up her head to look for Xiao Xu's position. Unexpectedly, when she lifted her head, she met a pair of cold and belittling beautiful eyes. Suddenly, her hands trembled and almost overturned the soup bowl.
"Your Highness, Qing-Yan saw that you didn't eat anything just now, and so, I especially brought some food over." Qing-Yan summoned her courage and tried hard to put on a smiling expression.
"What about the maid?" Xiao Xu looked at the bowl in her hand and said evenly.
The corner of Chu Qing-Yan's mouth that had just lifted up, now turned down. This person was rebuking her for being meddlesome? However, right now, Chu Qing-Yan was playing the role of a ten-year-old little miss. How could she be smart enough to understand the meaning in other people's words? So, with a face full of naive innocence, she said, "Don't know ah, I secretly slipped in here."
Xiao Xu's gaze stared fixedly at her face for a moment until she lowered her eyes, before moving away, "Put it there."
When Chu Qing-Yan heard this, stunned as if given pardon, she immediately set the food on the table. Then, she covertly flung her wrists that were sore. From now on, she will never do this kind of stuff anymore, she secretly muttered to herself.
Chu Qing-Yan's little action didn't escape Xiao Xu's eyes. In his mind, he thought, "Such little arms and legs, the shoulders couldn't carry, the hands couldn't lift, what could they possibly accomplish in the future?" His fingers couldn't help but lightly tap on the table.
Chu Qing-Yan couldn't help but open her mouth to ask about Xiao Xu's intention of not eating, "Are you not eating?"
"Not hungry." Those two words promptly returned to block her words.
Chu Qing-Yan puffed up her cheeks. This person really treasured his words like gold, ah. Apart from the first time they met where he talked a bit longer, today's meeting, he would dispatch her with only two or three words. If he wasn't the lord of this prince's manor, her bankroller from now on, she really didn't want to stick her warm face to his cold tongue.
But taking advantage of this opportunity, Chu Qing-Yan could size up this legendary cold-blooded and ruthless Highness at close range. His entire face was concealed by a silver mask. In her eyes, it added a layer of mystery on top of his cold and aloof personality, for no reason at all, it made her feel that he was divine, pure and noble. His figure was tall and long, wearing loose clothing because he had just finished showering and was also in his own room, so his belt was carelessly fastened at his waist. The corner of his lips perked up, accidentally revealing a demonic, charming image.
Chu Qing-Yan's gaze landed on his mask. This way, every movement and gesture he made possessed a reserved and noble air that a normal person wouldn't have. She really wanted to see that face behind the mask and see whether it was just as breathtaking! But thinking up to here, she quickly cut that thought off, because she suddenly remembered a matter. The reason why he wore that mask was because a big fire destroyed his face when he was young.
A lingering fear emerged from Chu Qing-Yan's heart, it really was curiosity that killed the cat. But as a proud son of a heavenly emperor, having his appearance ruined was a very sorrowful and difficult matter. Before, in the modern world, she frequently saw people, because of disfigurement or being disabled by an accident, it would lead to their hearts being twisted. Don't know if His Highness, whose rumored reputation outside was terribly frightening, also got his ruthless nature from being disfigured. Thus, his recalcitrant behavior lead to his infamy?
If it was like this, then he could also be considered a pitiful person!
Although Xiao Xu only spared a bit of attention on the girl doll's body in front of him, he could feel her somewhat dissatisfied mood in the beginning. Soon after, he saw the pity in her eyes when looking at him. Xiao Xu couldn't help but shift his eyes. Seeing her unblinking gaze staring at the mask on his face, his eyes hardened. Just when he was about to open his mouth to shoo her away, the little girl doll before him suddenly spoke.
"Your Highness. I am called Chu Qing-Yan. As a newcomer who just arrived, please kindly advise me."
The little girl doll stared with her huge pair of eyes and smiled wholeheartedly at him, her tone carrying the sweet stickiness that was unique to people from Jiang Nan. Her tone rose slightly, carrying a tiny bit of prudence and cautiousness, this couldn't help but remind him of a furry little kitten. The cold ice in the depth of his eyes immediately melted by quite a bit.
She smiled until her cheeks were stiff, yet the person in front of her still didn't react. Chu Qing-Yan confirmed once more, this person was really cold and aloof. No, he was extremely cold and aloof. He was so stingy that he wouldn't even say a short sentence.
"Can you read?" Xiao Xu asked.
Chu Qing-Yan once again couldn't follow the person in front of her's line of thought, however, in the next moment, she shook her head. What a joke, how could a ten-year-old child like her who had grown up in the countryside fields know how to read? Even if she told the truth, people would doubt her. So, she might as well deny it.
"Play the zither?" Xiao Xu continued to ask.
Chu Qing-Yan stared blankly for a moment then shook her head. This, she really couldn't do.
"Paint?" Xiao Xu still expressionlessly asked.
This time, Chu Qing-Yan slowly shook her head. Clearly, not knowing how to do it was normal, but when the question came from his mouth, why did she have a feeling of being too ashamed to see people?
After he finished asking his questions, Xiao Xu changed to another posture to lean against the chair, his tone faint, "Then it would be hard for me to advise you."
Chu Qing-Yan lifted her head to look at him. She thought for a while before coming to her senses. This person was really cunning. She merely said one sentence of please kindly advise her and this person took it seriously. In the end, he made her ashamed and unable to show her face.
Seeing the little miss being teased by him until she was at her wits' end, Xiao Xu's mood immediately became better. He stood up and said, "Then just grind some ink!"
What did that mean?
Chu Qing-Yan completely didn't understand what this eccentric tempered Highness wanted to do, until she saw him standing before the study table and holding a brush in his hand. She then reacted and quickly ran over with small steps and found an ink stick on the table. She added a bit of water on the inkstone and earnestly started to grind away.
Xiao Xu saw her expression of concentration and was somewhat satisfied in his heart.
Even though she didn't reach his chest, standing by the desk and conscientiously grinding the ink, just like a little scholar’s helper, clever and well-behaved.
However, this was the first time that Chu Qing-Yan had grinded ink, she grinded too slowly and also added too little water, for a long time, the ink didn't come out. Luckily, Xiao Xu was not in a hurry and sat in the chair, picking up a book to read. Chu Qing-Yan felt relieved seeing this and lightly wiped away the sweat on her face. Until she finally succeeded, then, she turned happily to say to him, "It's ready."
Xiao Xu cast her a glance, and finally lifted his brush to write on the white paper that was spread-out.
Don't know if it was an illusion, but Chu Qing-Yan always felt that when he gazed at her, it seemed to be a bit prolonged.
Just when she was unable to make sense of matters, a cold voice could be heard, "Xiao Xu."
Chu Qing-Yan turned to look at him. Why was this person calling out his own name? Until her gaze landed on the paper, those two words seemingly penetrated through the paper scroll, being so vividly portrayed. Then, she understood. So, he was actually telling her how his name was written.
"You can be illiterate, but you aren't allowed to not recognize this king's name."
Chu Qing-Yan's first thought after hearing his words were, this person was really overbearing!
Until she walked out of the door and saw Xi Ning, who waited there for a long time, did her heart finally relax.
"Master, why is your face full of ink?" Xi Ning saw her master who looked like a striped cat and couldn't help but laugh out loud.
Chu Qing-Yan touched her face, no wonder Prince Ying looked at her strangely just a while ago. But, looking back at the dimly-lit main courtyard, she smiled to herself secretly. Today, her performance should be enough to convince people that she was merely an unsophisticated ten-year-old little miss, ah!
How could she not understand Xiao Xu’s probing of her today. Only, she was too young, so he actually didn't put too much heart into it. Entering a noble house as deep as the sea, she needed to reduce her presence as much as possible, and not be on anyone's mind.
Pretending to drop her chopsticks from panic, splashing soup on him, frightened and anxiously apologizing, carefully grinding ink….
Chu Qing-Yan rubbed her chin. She never thought that there would come a day when she could be on par with actresses behind the screens. Like this, she should be able to continue to live her life as a rice weevil!
A pity, a mountain was taller than another mountain, her little thoughts didn't escape the eyes of a certain somebody.