“What?” Rong Jin was stumped for a moment.
“Country Xing Luo has brought it up to your father before. They want to form a marriage alliance using you and Situ Xingchen. She’s of high status, and she’s favored there. If you can marry her, it’ll help you a lot.”
The Empress sipped on her tea and glanced at Rong Jin coldly. “If not for this, why did you think your father let you off the hook today?”
Rong Jin frowned. “But Situ Xingchen… Is this the only way?”
“You’re still unwilling?”
The Empress slammed the cup down, and she laughed coldly. “No matter how you look at it, Situ Xingchen is a good fit to be the Crown Princess. What’s there to be unhappy about?”
She didn’t like Situ Xingchen. Her years of experience in the palace told her that Situ Xingchen was no simpleton. However, she could not be bothered now.
Rong Jin quietened down at this moment. He understood that he was in a precarious position and that Situ Xingchen was the best candidate for helping him solidify his position.
“Try to get in touch with Situ Xingchen and win her affection. This will make things a lot easier in the future.”
Rong Jin frowned. “But I’m under house arrest, and I can’t get out. Besides, the Qing Jiao Competition has ended, and they’re leaving tomorrow.”
“Does that even count as a problem? As long as you want to, all of this can be solved.” The Empress was undeterred. “Unless… you really don’t want to be the Crown Prince.”
Rong Jin gritted his teeth. “I understand.”
Chu Ning and Chu Liuyue returned home together.
At the door, they saw a pageboy waiting.
Chu Liuyue squinted her eyes. She knew this pageboy—he was from the Chu family.
The pageboy eagerly ran over the instant he saw the father-daughter duo alight from the carriage. “Lord Chu Ning, Big Chu Missy, you’re finally back.”
Chu Liuyue and Chu Ning looked at each other. They never visit unless they need something. It is clear why the Chu family has sent someone over now.
“Mu Teng? What are you doing here?”
The pageboy bowed with an overzealous smile. He took an invite out and handed it over respectfully. “Hehe, I’m flattered that you remember me, Lord Chu Ning! First Elder said that he would like to invite you to take a trip back home. This is the invite.”
Chu Ning had a half-smile. “You made Yue’er fetch water on your behalf for three months back then; she had cold sores. How could I forget?”
Mu Teng’s smile suddenly froze on his face awkwardly. “Th-this… It was all my fault. Please have mercy and forgive me! I’m begging for your forgiveness!”
Seeing that the father-daughter duo didn’t budge, Mu Teng gritted his teeth and began slapping himself. “It was all my fault! I was wrong! I deserve to die; I deserve to die!”
His face quickly swelled up, leaving clear palm prints behind. He dared not stop if Chu Ning didn’t ask him to.
Chu Ning laughed coldly when Mu Teng’s mouth became bloody. He led Chu Liuyue toward the door.
Mu Teng panicked when he saw that the two of them were leaving. He hurriedly ran after them. “Lord Chu Ning, please accept the invite! Otherwise, I will get in trouble when I return!”
Chu Ning didn’t want to pay attention to the pageboy; he didn’t even look at Mu Teng.
Mu Teng knelt down and began kowtowing. “Lord Chu Ning, I’m begging you! Big Chu Missy, please help me convince Lord Chu Ning!”
Chu Liuyue curled her lips. She took the invite and opened it.
Chu Xiao had written it himself, and the wording was very cordial. He clearly wanted to make peace.
Chu Ning knitted his brows together, and disdain flashed across his eyes. “Yue’er, what’s there to look at? It’ll only dirty your eyes.”
Chu Liuyue winked at him and then looked toward Mu Teng. “You’re saying that you’ll be dead if you don’t send this invite out?”
Mu Teng looked at her gratefully. “Yeah! Big Missy…”
“That’s great; hang onto it.” Chu Liuyue stuffed the invite back into Mu Teng’s hand with a smile. “Bye.”
Mu Teng was stunned. However, he realized something, and his face paled. “Big Missy…”
“We have already severed our ties with the Chu family. I don’t deserve that title.” With that, Chu Liuyue turned and left with her father.
Mu Teng’s face was filled with despair. He cried out anxiously as he watched the two of them leave. “Lord Chu Ning! First Elder said to think about the family head even if you’re not willing to return to the Chu family!”
Chu Ning paused, and struggle flashed across his face.
Chu Liuyue glanced at him.
Mu Teng felt that he had a chance, so he continued shouting. “The family head really values you. He would be rather disappointed to see the Chu family’s current state when he comes back from seclusion!”
Chu Liuyue moved her lips. Here they go again. When they bullied the two of us back then, they didn’t seem worried about disappointing the family head.
Doubt flashed across Chu Ning’s eyes, but it was fleeting. “Come on.”
Chu Ning didn’t turn around; he tugged on Chu Liuyue and prepared to walk away.
Chu Liuyue sighed softly. “Father, why don’t you go back and take a look.”
Chu Ning looked up in surprise. “Yue’er?”
Chu Liuyue patted his arm gently.
She had no feelings toward the Chu family. How they and the family head were doing meant nothing to her. However, Chu Ning was different. After all, the head of the Chu family was his father.
It would be impossible to say that they had no ties.
Chu Liuyue knew that a large part of why Chu Ning broke away from the Chu family was because of her.
Mu Teng’s words had no effect on her, but they would move Chu Ning.
“No matter what, Yue’er doesn’t want to see father unhappy,” said Chu Liuyue softly.
Chu Ning instantly knew what she meant, and his heart felt warm.
He hesitated for a moment. “Don’t worry. Since we’ve broken away from the Chu family, then we’ll never go back, no matter what. I’ll just go and explain things to the family head; I’ll be quick.”
Chu Liuyue nodded. “I’ll wait for you at home.”
Mu Teng instantly felt rejuvenated when he heard that Chu Ning had agreed to go to the Chu family. “Thank you, Lady Chu! Thank you, Big… Thank you, Ms. Liuyue!”
Chu Ning left with Mu Teng after leaving some instructions to Chu Liuyue.
Chu Liuyue watched Chu Ning leave before she turned and passed through the door to the courtyard when he disappeared.
She then headed for her room.
When she reached the door, she placed her hand on it and was about to push it open.
She suddenly paused, and a cold glare flashed across her eyes!
The next moment, she abruptly backed away!
A black shadow broke out of the door!
In the blink of an eye, it was right in front of Chu Liuyue!
Before she could get a closer look at the other party, she was captured by a large net!