Chapter 40 – What the Ghostly Prince was planning
No one could have anticipated that the normally well-behaved and obedient Chu Qing-Yan, in front of them, would be so unconcerned about how she looked when crying. It was only at this moment that everybody recalled a certain fact: This little miss was merely a half-grown child.
Everybody looked at each other, and ultimately, their gazes fell on the motionless Highness's body, as if they had agreed to this in advance.
Xiao Xu never thought that this girl would use this trick. Watching her rolling about on the ground and making an unreasonable scene, he felt that it was novel and also very funny. This wasn't the first time a person who didn't fear death dared to make such an unreasonable scene in front of him. Who didn't know that he usually liked quiet? Nobody dared to behave so atrociously in front of him.
This Chu Qing-Yan was not the first, but was definitely the first to not arouse any disgust from him!
Xiao Xu looked at her silently with nothing to say.
Everyone that was originally whispering gradually quieted down because of their family master's silence. Consequently, the entire room suddenly became deafeningly silent.
And Chu Qing-Yan, who was in a sad mood, gradually calmed down after crying loudly for a while. She never thought there would come a day when she would cry loudly like a child, not caring about her image. Could it be that she had sunk into the play too deeply? Or was it because the grief and sadness deep in her heart were aroused?
Regardless of the reason, that she had cried was a fact. In embarrassment, she slowly opened a crack between her fingers that covered her eyes and then very carefully observed Xiao Xu's reaction. She only saw him still sitting on that chair, with a teacup in hand, just the same appearance as a while ago. His face was covered by a mask and she was unable to make out his expression. But his pair of ink-like bottomless eyes was just looking at her as if unconcerned, his mood unreadable.
Since she had already torn face with him and forgot her manners, there was no need to pretend to be a respectful guest, might as well smash the jar that's already broken (1).
"Your Highness Prince Ying, did Qing-Yan offend you in some way? That you would punish Qing-Yan like this?" The hoarse tone had a misery that elicited pity.
In fact, Xiao Xu wasn't at all indifferent, it was just that the people he normally dealt with were big, tall, crude soldiers and maids who were much older than her. He had never interacted with kids her age, or it was better to say, that kids who saw him would make a detour around him or hide far, far away from him. As a result, he never had a chance to handle this kind of situation.
Originally, he was still hesitating, but seeing that she opened her mouth to say something first, he actually felt a sense of relief.
"There isn't any." He lightly answered.
Hearing his answer with the same level tone like still water without ripples, Chu Qing-Yan released a breath of relief. Fortunately, her actions didn't make him angry, otherwise, she'd be tossed out of the courtyard. Losing face was fine, but if everyone in this manor were snobs who liked to praise the powerful and step on the weak, then she wouldn't be able to live well in the prince's manor from now on.
"Then why do you make things difficult for Qing Yan time and time again?" Chu Qing-Yan fearlessly set her hands down, her pair of bright and intelligent eyes looking straight at the person before her.
Chu Qing-Yan also didn't know when she gained this courage to dare look straight in the face of the legendary cold-blooded, ruthless Ghostly Prince. However, at this time, she didn't seem to sense the coldness coming from his body. He was clearly an aloof and noble prince, why would people always spread rumors that made him seem so terrifying?!
"Do you think that this king has the idle time and the effort to spare to make things difficult for you?" The pair of large eyes in front of him was as clear and bright as if they had been washed in water, making him distracted for a minute. It was as if he was seeing the clear sky after the first snow. A breeze brushed past the tip of his heart, giving a slight tickling thought.
The idle and indifferent tone that had a rhetorical question intent made Chu Qing-Yan choke. She was immediately at a loss, the other party indeed didn't need to make things difficult for her. However, with those pair of eyes staring fixedly at her, she always felt that he was planning something against her, but she was unable to say so at the moment.
However, both of Chu Qing-Yan's hands were balled into a fist at each side of her leg. Since it was like this, then there was only one explanation left.
Chu Qing-Yan didn't know what she would incite by opening her mouth again, but she was already left with no other choice.
Let's say everything openly then!
She promptly lifted her head carrying a 'there's no going back' courage, then very quickly, it was hidden in the depths of her eyes.
Xiao Xu was also dumbfounded by this action of hers. He thought to himself, was it possible that his strategy had succeeded?
"Your Highness Prince Ying, Qing-Yan knows that you must be very dissatisfied with this marriage bestowed by His Majesty. After all, Qing-Yan is talentless and without virtue, lacking in looks and also very young. My family background is very poor, and I won't be able to help you with anything in the future. If you are dissatisfied because of this, Qing-Yan feels very apologetic, but these are not matters Qing-Yan can resolve. Qing-Yan also didn't want to enter a noble house at such a young age, things that do not belong to Qing-Yan, Qing-Yan also wouldn't dare to want it. If you don't want to see Qing-Yan, Qing-Yan will definitely not run in front of you to incur your dislike. I promise to listen obediently and not cause you any trouble. Do you think this way will be okay?"
A humble tone and a fawning expression made people forget that these words of 'knowing when to advance and retreat' had come from a ten-year-old little miss's mouth. All the servants present during this scene held a touch of contempt for this kind of fawning Chu Qing-Yan. As expected, a person who can't be brought out in public from an inferior and humble family background simply wasn't fit to be with their family's Highness.
Chu Qing-Yan had already felt the disdain and ridicule from around her. She smiled secretly in her heart, she had obtained her goal. However, met with the knowing gaze of the person in front of her, Chu Qing-Yan had the misconception that she was being stripped naked in front of him.
"The decree given by Father Emperor, as a prince, how could I have any objection? Ninth Miss, perhaps you're misunderstanding something? Or maybe it's you yourself who is not satisfied with this marriage?" Xiao Xu had a slightly cold gaze when looking at her.
Chu Qing-Yan didn't think that he'd return the move and checkmate her. Her mouth was opened slightly as she stood dazed on the spot. If he set this criminal charge on her, then she wouldn't dare assume the responsibility!
Fortunately, Xiao Xu didn’t pursue this matter. He suddenly stood up and walked to stand before her. He leaned forward slightly to look at her. A glimmer appeared in the depths of his ink-like mysterious eyes, carrying a hint of bewitchment.
"If there was an opportunity which would allow you to leave this prince's manor, would you dare to agree to it?" Even his tone was very alluring.
This opportunity was very tempting, but if she was to leave the prince's manor, didn't that mean the bride had run away from this marriage? Then wouldn't it represent that she had defied an imperial edict? Defying an imperial edict would involve guilt by association for nine generations of her family. Although she didn't have much relationship with the Chu family, she still couldn't implicate her father and mother. Recalling how he tormented her before, him putting forth this suggestion right now probably meant he did not have any good intentions!
She was almost bewitched by him, but Chu Qing-Yan immediately became clear-headed, and with an upright face, she righteously and sternly shook her head, "Your Highness Prince Ying, how could Qing-Yan not be satisfied with this marriage? With regards to the opportunity you just mentioned, Chu Qing-Yan has never thought about it and would absolutely not agree to it."
"Then it is really a pity!" Xiao Xu straightened up his body and said it faintly.
He originally wanted to set her free, but sadly, she didn't cherish the opportunity, so now, don't blame him for it.
If Chu Qing-Yan knew what kind of opportunity she had just lost now, maybe she'd be suffering from 'too-late-for-regrets' syndrome.
"You don't want to get up early to accompany this king for breakfast?"
A heavyweight just passed, now, another heavyweight question attacked again.
1) smash the jar that's already broken – write oneself off as hopeless and act recklessly. 'Since she already broke it, might as well go all in' kind of meaning.