After the married Chu couple left, Xiao Xu finished handling the matters in the study and then, he headed towards the Jade Courtyard.
Before reaching the courtyard, he could hear the laughter coming from inside. His brows wrinkled before stepping into the room.
Xiao Ran who was made to laugh uncontrollably by Chu Qing-Yan's corny jokes saw his Royal Elder Brother enter from the corner of his eyes, and he greeted him without thinking. "Royal Elder Brother, even though Qing Yan is young, I didn't know her experience and knowledge is so vast!"
Xiao Xu walked towards the pear wood chair in the room and sat down.
Clearly, Xiao Ran was in high spirits, he repeated the corny joke that Chu Qing-Yan just told to his royal elder brother.
"Royal Elder Brother, a banana walked on a road, after walking and walking, it felt hot so it took off its clothes, take a guess at what's wrong with that? Hahahaha——"
Xiao Xu: ""……"
Xiao Ran: "HAHAHA——I can't anymore, my stomach hurts from laughing——"
Xiao Xu: "……"
Xiao Ran: "Haha, the result was it slipped and fell, hahahah——isn't it funny！"
Xiao Xu withheld his assessment from his spasming fourth younger brother.
Chu Qing-Yan: "……"
She never knew that Xiao Ran's joke standards were so low. Fortunately, she only told him one joke and didn't bring out the whole collection.
"Qing-Yan, tell another one. I never thought this kind of small stories could be so funny!" Xiao Run bluntly told her, laughing so much that two teardrops could be seen from the corner of his eyes.
Chu Qing-Yan clearly didn't want to pay attention to him anymore.
Xiao Xu indifferently looked at his fourth brother whose gaze never strayed away from Chu Qing-Yan and recalled the provocative words Daddy Chu had spoken earlier. He lifted the teacup at the side of his hand and, lightly knocking the lid over the cup, thoughtfully said. "I recently heard that father the emperor wants to examine your archery and riding class lessons?"
Hearing this, the smile on Xiao Ran's face vanished. He also didn't have the amused expression he had a while ago. "That's right, three days later, Father Emperor will be testing my archery and shooting skills, next month, it'll be chess skills!"
Xiao Xu lowered his head and drank a mouthful of tea. The aroma spread through his tongue, carrying a clear sweet fragrance, but when it entered his throat, it carried a slight bitterness. He unhurriedly said. "Your Mother Consort has always prioritized your classwork, so you should spend the next couple of days practicing properly in the palace. Otherwise if your results aren't ideal, I'm afraid you won't get more opportunities to get out of the palace again."
Xiao Ran originally wanted to argue that even if he didn't properly practice, his results wouldn't be bad. However, thinking of Consort Mother's most severe demands, he couldn't help but shut his mouth. He stealthily took a glance at Chu Qing-Yan, if she opened her mouth to tell him to come by often, he would definitely fight for the chance to come look for her, but why was her gaze always on that writing brush in her hand?!
And so Xiao Ran sulkily said. "Got it, this younger brother will go back now to practice properly."
Finished speaking, he walked away and didn't even look back!
When Chu Qing-Yan lifted her head, his person was already gone and she couldn't help but feel somewhat suspicious. Why did this person just go after saying so? Without even informing them too!
However, there was still a big Buddha in the room.
Chu Qing-Yan recalled that earlier when Daddy returned from outside carrying a plate, his hand also held a writing brush. If she didn't remember wrongly, this writing brush was the one Xiao Xu often used.
Not knowing if her daddy had made trouble again, she braced herself and handed over the writing brush. "I got this back from my daddy and I wanted to return it. I'm so sorry, I've inconvenienced you again."
"You take it, play with it." Xiao Xu drank another mouthful of tea before replying.
Chu Qing-Yan scratched her head. "I won't accept a reward I don't deserve, how about I tell you a joke."
Xiao Xu declined to comment.
Seeing he did not respond, Chu Qing-Yan treated it as if he tacitly agreed.
"The first day, a little white rabbit went to the river bank to fish and no matter what, couldn't catch one and returned home empty-handed. The second day, the little rabbit once again went to the river bank to fish but still, it didn't catch anything and returned home. The third day, the little white rabbit had just arrived at the river bank when a big fish jumped out of the river and yelled at the little white rabbit. "You this little brat, if you dare use another carrot as fish bait, I'll flatten you to death!"
After Chu Qing-Yan finished telling her joke, her mouth couldn't help but crack up and she started laughing. However, when she raised her head and saw Xiao Xu sitting as straight as ever, simply unamused by her joke, she couldn't help but doubt herself. Was it possible that her joke-telling skills deteriorated? Or was his standard for jokes too high?
"What about the fourth day?" Xiao Xu placed his cup down and asked.
She didn't expect that he would ask a question, also this question that was asked… even Chu Qing-Yan found it difficult. "This——"
"On the fourth day, the little rabbit still used a carrot to fish." Xiao Xu didn't wait for her to answer and continued on.
This time, it was Chu Qing-Yan's turn to widen her eyes, "Why?"
"Because there were only carrots in the little rabbit's house!" Xiao Xu said with a resolute expression.
Chu Qing-Yan was immediately befuzzled by this information.
The title of 'king of awkward silence' belonged to none other than this person.
The next day, Daddy and Mommy Chu were again fetched by people like before to come over, however, this time, they also brought a few unwelcome in-laws.
Chu Qing-Yan looked at Madam Xing and Madam Wang in front of her and faintly puckered her eyebrows unobtrusively, but she still smiled politely and greeted them. "Second Aunt, Third Aunt, I trust you have been well since we last met."
Originally, Madam Xing and Madam Wang weren't willing to come to this Prince Ying's manor because they had always felt that Xiao Xu's temper was hard to grasp and unstable. He was also cold-blooded and ruthless. The main reason was that the rumors spread outside were too scary, so they considered it for a long time before coming. However, Daddy Chu and Mommy Chu constantly went in and out of Prince Ying's manor and ate everyday in Prince Ying's manor. Recently, Mother Chu had been looking much more radiant and plump like a jade pearl, and Daddy Chu's complexion had been getting fuller. They couldn't help but be curious about what kind of benefits Prince Ying's manor gave them. Elder Madam Chu was also suspicious whether Prince Ying regarded Chu Family as future in-laws, maybe that was why he gave them special treatment. If that was the case, then shouldn't they seize the chance to fish up some benefits as well? And so with this thought, their greediness boiled and grew bigger. So today, no matter what, Madam Xing and Madam Wang were determined to follow Daddy Chu and Mother Chu to the prince's manor.
Since Chu Qing-Yan's status in the prince's manor has been rising according to the tide recently, as well as having the prince's protections, the servant that went to fetch them treated them politely. Seeing that they wanted to come, they did not try to block them and only needed to arrange an additional horse carriage.
So Madam Xing and Madam Wang, having tasted the sweetness of it, their eyes were beaming so much that a chrysanthemum flower could bloom on their face. They were thinking that this time as they were visiting Prince Ying's manor, they would definitely be able to investigate properly how Chu Qing-Yan had been living there so far.
Elder Madam Chu had instructed, if Chu Qing-Yan was living well in Prince Ying's manor, then Chu Family must fish some benefits. After all, Chu Qing-Yan was born a part of the Chu Family, and when she dies, she becomes Chu Family's ghost!
But if Chu Qing-Yan was not receiving Prince Ying's favor in the manor, instead living in dire straights, and ruined beyond recognition, then they would try to separate themselves from having any relationship with Chu Qing-Yan. Otherwise, if Chu Qing-Yan provoked Xiao Xu, then their Chu Family would also follow along to suffer a calamity.
So when Madam Xing and Madam Wang stepped into the room Chu Qing-Yan was recuperating in, their eyes strayed as they looked all around, turning their eyeballs. This really made Chu Qing-Yan feel uncomfortable all over and her expression became cold in the next moment. It was impossible for her not to know what they were planning.
After all, being flexible and taking advantage of the situation was their specialty.