Chapter 47 – Don't try to guess His Highness's thoughts
Coming back at night, she didn't even have the strength to bathe or change her clothing. Chu Qing-Yan blinked her two eyes which were swollen with tears. Why was it that this period of experience was completely different from the one she imagined?
Wasn't Xiao Xu a lonely, indifferent and cold-blooded prince? Wasn't he supposed to be high up, repelling people to a distance of a thousand miles away? Wasn't he supposed to disdain her with utter contempt, toss her to one side and not take notice of her?
Why was it that once she entered the manor, she was being ordered about and ill-treated in various ways by him?
Chu Qing-Yan faced the sky and gave a long hiss. Why was everything so weird, such that she was at a loss on what to do ah!
And at this moment, Xi Ning, who was wringing a towel while smiling, looked at her with a delighted expression, "Master, this servant finds that His Highness treats you really well. He's simply treating you in a special way. This servant has been in the manor for more than half a year and still hasn't seen His Highness taking care of anybody this way, you know?"
"Xi Ning, being uncultured is not scary, but randomly using idioms is not good. Which one of your eyes saw that Prince Ying treats me in a special way?" Chu Qing-Yan wanted to roll her eyes.
Xi Ning put on an innocent face, "Both of this servant's eyes saw it ah! Moreover, this servant doesn't even know how to read one word, of course I'd be uncultured! How could I be as fortunate as Master, with His Highness personally teaching master."
Chu Qing-Yan lifted her hand and poked the little girl's brow, the corners of her mouth hooking into a ridiculing smile to say, "Don't I give off any dignity in the role as your master? You actually dare to scold me?"
Xi Ning laughingly waving her hand, "How could this servant dare? Master, you're the biggest boss. Also, you are this servant's most, most, most admired person. If you point east, this servant will definitely not dare go west!"
Chu Qing-Yan helplessly shook her head. This girl following by her side was simply becoming increasingly livelier.
At this side, the Jade Courtyard.
"Your Highness, I heard this Chu family's Ninth Miss knocked down the inkstone today and broke your favorite jade brush. She's too undisciplined!"
Cheng Yi held the clothes and put it in the wardrobe. She turned around and walked to the side of the indifferent Xiao Xu and said it in an indignant tone. A burst of haze flashed through her eyes. These past several days, His Highness was actually so caring to Chu Qing-Yan, leaving a bad taste in Cheng Yi's heart. This was the very first time she saw His Highness willing to let a girl close to his body. Even though she was just a loathsome girl who was wet behind the ears, she was still His Highness's wife in name only. Relying on these several years, she has been by the prince's side, Cheng Yi didn't even think before directly giving him eye drops medication (1). She wanted to cause His Highness to loathe Qing-Yan.
Xiao Xu, who had his eyes closed and was recuperating, remained unmoved after hearing her words, "Has this prince's manor already gotten to the stage that it cannot even afford to buy a single brush?"
Cheng Yi didn't expect that His Highness would answer her in this way. Could it be that Chu Qing-Yan had already occupied a place in His Highness's heart?
"Cheng Yi had a slip of the tongue." She fearfully lowered her head. Although His Highness's tone was nothing unusual, his normally accumulated pressure still made her tremble in fear.
His Highness hated it the most when people spoke flippantly. Today, she inattentively blurted stuff out, so she immediately regretted it somewhat.
"Withdraw!" Xiao Xu continued to recuperate with his eyes closed.
Cheng Yi didn't know whether His Highness was unhappy because of her words, so she withdrew, trembling in fear. When she walked out of the inner room however, the color on her face turned into anger. Chu Qing-Yan, this loathsome girl, if she had the chance, she definitely wouldn't let her have an easy time!
After Cheng Yi left, Fire Spirit and Earth Spirit both walked in. Seeing their family Highness's complexion was the same as always, and not at all affected by the bustling case of corruption on the outside, their expressions also relaxed.
"What is it?" Xiao Xu opened his eyes slightly, his expression languid but also very cold.
"Your Highness, Wang Chong's family has already been raided, but His Majesty still hasn't set a decree to convict him." Fire Spirit retracted his smiling expression and put on a serious countenance.
"Hmph, His Majesty wants to use Wang Chong this time to search for proof that His Highness also participated in this criminal misconduct. However, this doesn't have anything to do with His Highness. I expect that he wouldn't be able to find anything even if he tries!" Earth Spirit's face was full of cold ridicule.
Xiao Xu lightly raised a brow, his hand propping up his chin, "Un."
Seeing His Highness seemingly not putting this to heart, Fire Spirit and Earth Spirit looked at each other. Afterwards, Earth Spirit somewhat worriedly opened his mouth, "This time, the person in charge of the case is Lin Feng-Zheng. If he were to use some kind of trick, His Majesty's suspicions towards you would increase."
Lin Feng-Zheng was west government minister Fu Jian-Rong's disciple, and Fu Jian-Rong was Imperial Concubine Yue's father.
Xiao Xu carelessly said, "Don't act blindly without thinking. Perhaps he's waiting for us to be in chaos and put a foot in."
Fire Spirit and Earth Spirit felt that what His Highness said was very reasonable, but a trace of bitterness emerged at the corners of their mouths. His Highness was perfectly fine, but it was because somebody stepped forward to slander that His Highness had colluded with Wang Chong, so His Majesty had ordered His Highness to return to his manor to recuperate in peace. Using pretty words to maintain a good reputation, said His Highness's campaign in south of the northern border was laborious and painstaking work, so he was specifically given a holiday to let him rest. But everyone with discerning eyes could see that His Majesty was harboring suspicions against His Highness, so as to take his authority away and make him a figurehead.
Seeing his family Highness's interest for this matter was very low, Fire Spirit changed the topic, "Your Highness, I heard that Chu family's Little Miss is causing trouble in the courtyard?"
When the words were said, he got a faint glance from his master. Fire Spirit quivered, and couldn't help but compensate with a smiling face to say, "Your Highness, what are you looking at?"
"Haven't seen you for several days, your ears have grown longer?"
Thinking carefully, he realized that His Highness was making fun of him. Fire Spirit laughed mischievously, "As a subordinate, of course we have to pay close attention to Master's every move, you say, am I right or not, Ah Tu(2)?"
Faced with Fire Spirit's winking, Earth Spirit was very indifferent. He then turned to his master and hesitantly asked. "Master, you seem to treat Chu family's Ninth Miss a little different than usual, is it because you have a plan?"
Xiao Xu sank into deep contemplation. Suddenly, a lovable and tender little face floated in front of his face. He didn't seem to have any plans for her, just merely that it was what he found satisfying and nothing more.
Seeing his master didn't reply, Earth Spirit pursed his lips and couldn't help but call out, "Your Highness?"
Xiao Xu recollected his thoughts, "Now that I'm idle with no work, just looking for something to do."
Fire Spirit having heard this, couldn't help but smile. So His Highness was idle with nothing to do, so he just teased the little lady for fun ah! He couldn't help but have sympathy for Chu Qing-Yan!
Earth Spirit didn't say anything else, except his impression of Chu Qing-Yan became even worse. He subconsciously felt that anyone His Majesty had stuffed into his master's manor wouldn't be someone good. Therefore, he always harbored dissatisfaction towards her.
The next day, Chu Qing-Yan again came to report in.
Because she was going to practice writing, Chu Qing-Yan especially rolled up her sleeves, knotted it and firmly buttoned it to her wrist so that it was convenient for movement.
Xiao Xu took a glance at her out-of-place preparation, but didn't say a word. Then, he turned around to pick up a brush and slowly started to write on the paper that was spread out.
This was the first time she saw Xiao Xu writing characters. His black gown unrestrained, his lanky body stood straight like jade. His slender fingers passed through the sleeves to hold the brush. The mask covering his face making his expression unreadable, but through that pair of deep eyes, as well as the action of leaning over, it was sufficient to tell that his manner was relaxed as well as consciously languid. The sleeves that drooped down followed the movement of his wrists and seized the opportunity to sweep across the table, as if it was brushing pass her heart, making it tickle.
If you observed very carefully, it was not because he wrote slowly, rather, it was because in the quiet study room, the atmosphere seemed to be frozen. To the extent that every movement of his seemed to be played out in slow motion, making her feel a bit obsessed.
She never imagined that there would be someone who would make writing feel so picturesquely beautiful!
Only when Xiao Xu laid down the brush did Chu Qing-Yan finally come back to her senses. She pressed closer to look at what he wrote.
1) Give eye drops medication- talk badly about someone in jealousy or try to pull the wool over someone else's eyes.
2) Ah Tu – A nickname, to form a nickname just added 阿 (Ah) to a person's given name. In this case 土 is the Chinese character for Earth. So the nickname together 阿土 also could mean country bumpkin or redneck. Fire spirit and Earth spirit really don't get along.