The crisp sound of a slap echoed in the room, and it silenced the agitated Rong Zhen.
Rong Zhen’s head was tilted to the side, and she covered her face without moving.
The Empress was stunned too. She didn’t expect herself to hit Rong Zhen in the heat of the moment. Even though she wanted to teach Rong Zhen a lesson, she was still her daughter. This was also the first time she had ever hit Rong Zhen.
“Zhen Zhen…” The Empress was hesitant and stretched out her hand.
Rong Zhen backed away and avoided the Empress’s hand.
The Empress froze.
Rong Zhen looked up gradually, and her hairpin fell due to the strike’s force. Her hair unraveled messily, but it couldn’t conceal her cheek, which was swelling up rapidly.
The corners of Rong Zhen’s lips—which had been pale from anger—now had blood trickling down, and she looked a mess.
“What, did I hit a sore spot?” Rong Zhen curled her lips into a cold smile; her eyes were bloodshot and crazed.
The Empress’s heart sank.
“Brother is the Crown Prince and your pillar of support. Therefore, Mother, you’ve always put him first in all your considerations. And me… you’ve never really cared about me, right?”
Since Rong Zhen was young, her mother had taught her to put her brother first. Even though she would be jealous occasionally, she didn’t mind it since she had been pampered, and she had done as she was told.
Otherwise, she never would’ve made things difficult for Chu Liuyue when she heard that her brother’s hunting ground had been sold. At the time, she was trying to seek revenge for her brother.
But Rong Zhen now knew that there had never been room for her in her mother’s heart! Her mother would probably sell her out at any time for her brother!
The Empress was a little regretful after she saw Rong Zhen’s strong reaction, but her expression turned cold when she heard those words. “Zhen Zhen, you’re overthinking it. Your body hasn’t recovered yet, so we’ll end this conversation here today. You rest well and do some reflection.”
With that, the Empress turned and left.
However, Rong Zhen had a sarcastic smile on her face as she pointed to herself and pointedly said, “Yeah, my pearl of essence is destroyed, and I’m a good-for-nothing. I have no value to Mother and Brother now. You can obviously toss me aside as you will!”
The Empress’s face was grim. She took a deep breath and finally suppressed her anger as she turned and walked away. “Fourth Princess has had a relapse, and she needs bed rest. You all better keep a careful watch! You’ll have to answer me with your lives if anything happens to her!”
All the servants answered frantically.
The Empress made a face at the servant next to her.
Someone hurried forward and shut the door.
The Empress then left.
The servants stared at each other. Has the Fourth Princess been grounded? It seems like even the Empress has lost her patience.
Fourth Princess had always been spoiled and willful. She had loved to torture people with all sorts of means. Many would suffer as long as she was unhappy, but that was over now!
If even the Empress didn’t favor her, the Fourth Princess would no longer have any right to be so willful and arrogant!
Anger almost overflowed from Rong Zhen’s eyes as she stared at the tightly shut doors in her room.
She bit down on her lips so hard that they bled.
“Elder Zhu.” Rong Zhen called out a name raspily.
After a moment, there was a ripple in the space behind her, and a dark figure appeared slowly.
“Bring me to see Chu Liuyue.”
Zhu Lin looked at her hesitantly. “Fourth Princess, I’m afraid that now is not an appropriate time.”
Rong Zhen laughed coldly. “What’s so inappropriate about it? Survival of the fittest. The longer I’m a good-for-nothing, the longer I have to put up with the humiliation. If you refuse to bring me there, I’ll find a way myself!”
She knew now that she couldn’t count on anyone in this world!
There was no turning back now. She had to turn to Chu Liuyue!
Zhu Lin was silent for a moment. “Fourth Princess, Chu Liuyue has just been chosen by Lieutenant Mu today. She’s the talk of the town now. If we strike now, we’ll attract a lot of attention. How about… another day.”
Rong Zhen gritted her teeth. “Fine, I’ll wait!”
When Cheng Han returned to his quarters gloomily, he found Situ Xingchen waiting for him. “Xingchen, why are you here?”
Situ Xingchen’s eyes were evasive. “I was a little worried about you, so I decided to wait for you to return here.”
“You still care for your mentor.” Cheng Han shook his head with a bitter smile. Situ Xingchen was right next to me when Mu Qinghe warned me, so she definitely knows.
“Don’t worry, I’m fine.”
Situ Xingchen heaved a sigh of relief. “That’s good.”
She was a little worried when she saw that Cheng Han’s expression was strange.
“Master, what is that Lieutenant Mu doing here in Country Yao Chen?” asked Situ Xingchen testingly.
Cheng Han knew that she was curious, so he told her what happened.
Situ Xingchen was stunned when she heard this. “…You’re saying that he chose Chu Liuyue… to go to the Tianling Dynasty?”
Situ Xingchen’s voice was a little faint.
Cheng Han frowned with annoyance. “That’s what they said, but Mu Qinghe said that they wouldn’t depart immediately. It seems like there are still some things to get through. If Chu Liuyue doesn’t pass those obstacles, she can’t go. Chu Liuyue really might not be able to go.”
Situ Xingchen suppressed the overflowing jealousy in her heart. “Since they’re looking for a person with the Dijing Yuan meridian, why didn’t Lieutenant Mu go elsewhere? Why is he only looking in Country Yao Chen?”
Neither Country Xing Luo nor Country Huai Cang had received any news!
How could she not feel indignant?
“I’m afraid that everyone is curious about it.” Cheng Han shook his head. I wanted such an opportunity too. What a pity…
Situ Xingchen didn’t speak for a while. What if Chu Liuyue really is eligible? This is a one-in-million chance, and Chu Liuyue will definitely take full advantage of it. Even if I hate Chu Liuyue, I have to admit that she really is talented. Such talent might really allow Chu Liuyue to succeed.
Once she goes to Tianling Dynasty… the distance between the two of us will widen rapidly!
“Why was Lieutenant Mu only looking for prodigies with the Dijing Yuan meridian?” Situ Xingchen muttered.
If they were looking for heavenly doctors, she definitely would’ve made the cut!
Cheng Han shook his head. “Prodigies with the Dijing Yuan meridian are rare over here, but there should be a number of them over in the Tianling Dynasty. His trip here is rather strange… Oh well, these aren’t things in our control. You better go back and pack up; we’re leaving for home soon.”
Situ Xingchen was stunned. It was only then that she recalled that the Qing Jiao Competition had ended and that there was no need for them to remain here.
Rong Xiu… Situ Xingchen hadn’t given up entirely.