When those military officials, aides and advisors became dizzy, with blurry vision and loss of strength in their hands and feet, they supported each other and left. Afterwards, Xiao Xu looked at the stack of examination papers before him. His finger lightly knocked on the table, his eyebrows lowering in contemplation. His complexion was somewhat ugly, with his pair of eyes slightly narrowed.
One must adopt an amicable manner towards children, like the warmth of spring. ——Amicable manner? What kind of attitude was that? Too abstract, impossible!
Ask and you shall supply. ——This he could do, as long as it wasn't too excessive.
Constantly accompany the person. ——Could do with great difficulty.
Xiao Xu picked and chose, filtering out the ones that barely looked pleasing to the eyes, only then did his expression relax.
And Fire Spirit, who stood at the side, witnessed with his own eyes the usually formidable and mighty generals and great scholars, who brandished their swords calmly, smiling while conversing with ease, when they saw the examination paper with a topic they normally would never think of, every one of their eyeballs was about to pop out. After they racked their brains and finished writing, every one of them looked like eggplants that were hit by early frost, losing all their usual high-spirited attitude. He choked it back during this whole scene, he wanted to laugh but didn't dare to laugh, afraid he would be punished by Master.
Only when his gaze turned to His Highness sitting behind the desk, and he saw His Highness's serious expression as if treating this like a military campaign, did Fire Spirit recompose himself, having pensive thoughts in his heart. It was hard to imagine that this Chu Qing-Yan could actually make Master do this kind of thing with such resolve. Moreover, this resolve clearly exceeded the understanding he had of His Highness after being by his master's side for more than a dozen years. It really amazes people ah!
Just while Fire Spirit was daydreaming, he heard His Highness's voice ring out.
"Inform Huang Yi that when she delivers the medicinal congee from now on, she should take along a plate of fruit preserved in honey."
Fire Spirit was flabbergasted, once again, he couldn't keep up with Master's tempo.
After he finished giving the instructions, Xiao Xu looked at the examination papers in his hand with satisfaction.
The first rule from the classics of child-rearing: little children love sweets, occasionally one can give some dessert to coax them.
When Huang Yi received Fire Spirit's instructions, she was also very puzzled in every way. His Highness hated any kind of desserts or fruits, why would he suddenly change his temper today to have some prepared for Chu family's little miss ah? However, it's best not to guess at Master's thoughts, so Huang Yi still sincerely and honestly went to prepare it.
Dinner time arrived.
Seeing Xiao Xu walking towards her, Chu Qing-Yan looked at him like she saw a big enemy approaching and couldn't help but tug at her quilt. Her heart was full of limitless sorrow, yet another round of torture was about to start.
But outside of her expectations, on that tray, was a small dish of fruit preserved in honey. She blinked her eyes and cast a questioning look towards Xiao Xu.
Xiao Xu faintly said, "The medicinal food is slightly bitter, eating something sweet will help dilute the taste."
Chu Qing-Yan heard this and immediately, both eyes released bright light. The medicinal food was really too bitter. She didn't know what kind of grudge or complaint this person that gave the prescription had for her. This medicinal congee was bitter like eating a Chinese goldthread. She had wanted to eat something preserved in honey from earlier, but because Xiao Xu was here, she didn't dare open her mouth. Now that he took the initiative and thought considerately of this for her, it really hit close to her heart ah.
Seeing her unable to contain her joy, the corner of Xiao Xu's mouth curved up in satisfaction. In a while, he would reward the military officer who suggested this.
Picking up the bowl, Xiao Xu didn't carelessly stuff things in her mouth without regard like usual. He slowly blew on it before delivering it to the edge of her mouth.
Chu Qing-Yan originally thought that she would still be abused like before, and didn't expect that this time, he was much more gentle. Although she was suspicious of his sudden change, she couldn't endure the hunger, so she lowered her head and started to eat in small mouthfuls.
Seeing her eat adorably and not make a fuss about wanting to feed herself like usual, the corner of Xiao Xu's lips curved up once more. He planned to bestow the rarely-seen-in-ten-years precious sword that he had just obtained, to the military officer who suggested that a child must be treated softly and gently.
Xiao Xu looked at the fluffy head that was lowered before him, and a sense of accomplishment was rising in his heart. This wasn't the same as winning a victorious battle in the past, this feeling was like filling an empty cup to the brim with warm tea, very comfortable.
"No need to rush, eat slowly." Xiao Xu said, in a rare good mood.
She finished her bowl of food, because aside from the fluffy feeling she got from Xiao Xu today, it was also the first time that Chu Qing-Yan was able to eat freely without worries after being poisoned.
Xi Ning collected the empty bowls and only the two of them were left in the room.
Because Xiao Xu didn't like having too many servants in the room, even in Chu Qing-Yan's room, the situation was the same. So right now, between two people, big eyes stared into small eyes.
"What are you thinking about?" Xiao Xu stared at the pair of rolling, black, grape-like eyes before him. He opened his mouth and broke the mutual staring situation between the two people.
Now, having gorged herself holding the honey preserved fruit, Chu Qing-Yan felt that the Xiao Xu tonight had done many things that were unexpected! First, he prepared these honey preserved fruit, then, when he fed her food, he was also soft and gentle. In the end, he even asked what she was thinking.
Tonight's Xiao Xu made a person feel he was too freakish. But the person before her was still waiting for an answer, so Chu Qing-Yan summoned up her courage and looked at him to say, "Your Highness, do you want to hear the truth or the lie?"
"What do you think?" Xiao Xu raised a brow up high.
Perhaps it was because she had eaten and drunk to her heart's content, it was rare to have such a delightful meal to the extent that Chu Qing-Yan's head was floating in the clouds and she didn't notice Xiao Xu's expression. After eating a mouthful of honey preserved fruit, she blurted out, "Your Highness, truth be told, today, you're really strange. Have you suffered some stimulant? Otherwise, why would you treat Qing-Yan so well?
Xiao Xu's face darkened.
Chu Qing-Ysn took another bite of the honey preserved fruit and continued to chatter on, "Your Highness, is there something on your mind? Perhaps there is something you can't figure out? Or do you have anything you want Qing-Yan to do? You just say it, if it's something that Qing-Yan can do, definitely would not decline!"
Did she think that he wanted to curry favor with her, that's why he treated her so well? She didn't even look at her little arms and legs, even if there was something, would she even be able to help? Xiao Xu's face was already as black as the bottom of a pot, only, it was covered by the mask on his face, so she couldn't see it. Otherwise, where would she get such big courage to pull the hair on the tiger's head?
He decided, he was going to send the advisor who suggested to be nice and listen to the child's thoughts, to the border.
Thinking back to earlier, when Xiao Xu didn't seem like the usual where he didn't control his strength while feeding her, Chu Qing-Yan was faintly worried, but she didn't forget to stuff another honey preserved fruit into her mouth, "Your Highness, are you sick, is that why you don't have any strength? Do you want me to find you a physician to take a look?"
Recalling the physician that showed up in front of her two days ago, although he was very cold towards her and the medicine he prescribed was very bitter, but she heard that it was him who saved her from the gates of hell. She assumed that his medical skills ought to be pretty good, and as a result, she good-heartedly suggested, "Your Highness, how about you let Air Spirit take Your Highness's pulse?"
Blue veins popped out on Xiao Xu's forehead as the corner of his eyes twitched.
After muttering for so long, Chu Qing-Yan realized that the other person, up till now, still hadn't answered her. Sucking on the honey preserved fruit, she lifted her head and looked at him in puzzlement, "Your Highness, why is it that you aren't saying anything?"
Xiao Xu suddenly got up, then threw his sleeves and left.
Leaving behind Chu Qing-Yan, who watched his back view and then patted her chest. That scared her. This was His Highness's true appearance, okay? Don't put on a 'I'm a good person' appearance, although it was still 'a good character' that gave off cold air, but she still felt that an overbearing expression suited this ice-cold Highness more.
The seventh rule of child-rearing: don't get angry at a child as one feels like.
So, in order to restrain his mood from exploding, Xiao Xu decided on what the 'eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over' methods to deal with her.