Published at 7th of November 2020 06:38:47 PM
Seeing that Hua Liuli truly could not appreciate the plum blossoms, the crown prince didn’t insist at all . “It’s been especially cold these past few days . It’s a good idea for County Princess to remain inside . ”
In fact, he also didn’t want to admire those crappy plum blossoms in such cold weather .
As heavy the snow and wind was, if one took a step outside, one’s foot would sink deeply into the snow . If a person truly wanted to pose as a person of culture, reciting poetry and painting, then they were too content and desired a dose of suffering .
As a result, both parties let out a sigh of relief .
In a flash, Hua Liuli found this crown prince pleasant to eye . She had feared he would tell her to exercise more outside due to her poor health . She checked the sky . It was dark, as if it were about to snow again . “Your Highness, Her Majesty the empress dowager is still praying to Buddha . Your honored self should go sit inside for a while . ”
“Alright . ” The crown prince noticed the expectation in Hua Liuli’s eyes . It must really be boring for a young girl like herself to be stuck in Shoukang Palace, unable to run or jump or play .
Since the crown prince had agreed, Hua Liuli was overjoyed . So much so that her steps became more steady . A smile blooming on her lips, she said, “Yuanwei, have the palace maids prepare several kinds of delicious fruits and light refreshments . ”
At the sight of Hua Liuli’s sparkling smile, the crown prince, who had originally planned to sit for just fifteen minutes, felt his heart soften . “County Princess need not be this polite . ”
“It’s necessary, it’s necessary . ” Hua Liuli followed the crown prince into the palace . They took their seats in the drawing room . “A few days ago, Your Highness personally brought this official’s daughter here from Her Highness Consort Xian’s palace . This official’s daughter has yet to express my thanks . ”
“No need to be so ceremonious . I have revered Defender General as a great hero in my youth . In my childhood, Defender General crafted a wooden sword for me by his own hands . He even taught me the sword and bow and arrow . He can be considered half my teacher . ” The crown prince reclined in his seat in an indolent manner . He wasn’t someone who would make himself suffer just to put up appearances in front of others . “What a pity you hadn’t been born yet . Otherwise, I would have sent you a hundred-day gift . ”
Sixteen years ago, right after he had heard that Great General Hua’s wife was a few months pregnant, news of Jinpo Country crossing the borders spread . Three days later, Great General Hua and his wife rushed to the battlefield with their army .
He had held the hand of Great General Hua’s wife and asked the following: if she went to the battlefield, would the baby in her womb be afraid? Could she not go to the battlefield?
She did not respond to him perfunctorily due to his young age . Rather, she answered him seriously .
“Many thanks to Third Prince for the concern . But General and I have learned and practiced the art of war since our childhood . And it was all for the sake of guarding our home and defending the country . So that the common people wouldn’t suffer and be humiliated by our enemies . As such, I must go . As the son of General and me, he would definitely understand . There is nothing more important in this world than the common people . ”
For many generations, the members of the Hua clan did not take on concubines . However, they never lacked descendants . What was even more strange was that in three generations, the Hua clan had never produced a daughter . As such, when Mistress Hua followed her husband to the frontier, everyone thought she was pregnant with a son .
They had never expected that this time, they would give birth to a delicate daughter . Because their daughter was weak, when she was one year old, General Hua shamelessly asked the emperor to confer her a noble title .
If a child died young, they would not get a gravestone . Much less, be offered sacrifices . But that was a different story when it came to children with noble titles . Even if they died very young, they would still enjoy the privilege and special honor of sacrifices offered .
Hua Yingting seldom asked the emperor for a request that didn’t follow customs . This was the first and only time .
The crown prince remembered that after his imperial father had received General Hua’s letter, he sat in the imperial study for one night . The next day, he conferred General Hua’s daughter a feudal noble title .
Shortly after, the crown prince was conferred the position of crown prince .
While he recalled the past, the crown prince’s gaze held some pity as he looked at Hua Liuli .
With how weak her body was, how timid she was, and how long she stayed at the border, a good fifteen years, shouldn’t she have first been frightened in her mother’s womb?
Extending a hand stealthily toward the light refreshments on the table, Hua Liuli noticed the crown prince’s expression . Her pale hand paused . In the end, she reached for a pastry, staunchly and without fear .
As long as her manner in drinking tea was graceful enough, as long as she ate the light refreshments slowly enough, others definitely would not realize that she wanted to eat .
She held the pastry by her fingertips . A light smile graced her lips . “Although this official’s daughter did not receive a hundred-days gift, this official’s daughter did receive Your Highness’ little wooden horse . ”
Never had he imagined she would remember this . At that time, he was still young and heard that Great General Hua’s daughter was in poor health . Thus, he had a eunuch, the one responsible for delivering the imperial edict granting her a noble title, send his favorite little wooden horse as well .
Among the large pile of bestowments from his imperial father, the little wooden horse was not at all an uncommon thing . But back then, the crown prince hadn’t known this . Later on, he did, though forgot as he grew up . So it shocked him that the girl still remembered the little wooden horse .
Distracted, he smiled lightly . Following that, he laughed . Just as he was about to say something, a palace maid entered the room .
“Your Highness the crown prince,” said the palace maid, curtsying toward him . “His Highness Prince Ying has brought gifts to apologize to County Princess . ”
“Apologize?” The crown prince arched a brow . “The matter with the young nobles riding a horse in the city center happened ten days ago . Someone tried to poison County Princess in Lincui Palace three days ago . But he rushed here today to apologize? His action is too swift . One glance, and it’s clear he’s very sincere . ”
Hua Liuli lifted the cup and drank some rose dew, pretending not to have heard the mockery hidden in his words .
He turned his head toward her . “Do you want to see him?”
“This is the resting palace of Her Majesty the empress dowager . Not to mention, Your Highness the crown prince is here . Perhaps His Highness Prince Ying came to clear up the misunderstanding?”
Picking up his teacup and touching his lips to it, the crown prince said, “Then let him in . ”
From the start, Prince Ying did not place Hua Liuli’s near-poisoning in his heart . In his opinion, his consort-mother was also a victim . Furthermore, Hua Liuli was still alive .
The whole world belonged to the emperor . He and his consort-mother were part of the imperial clan . Even if they didn’t want to offend the Hua clan, they wouldn’t go as far as bow toward a silly little girl as an apology .
But very soon, he realized something was amiss . When he attended morning court, not only did the martial officials eye him strangely, even some of the civil officials treated him in an odd manner .
It came to the point where even the civil officials who had good relationships with Lin Huizhi began to present petitions impeaching him and his consort-mother .
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He truly couldn’t understand why this was so . Weren’t those civil officials against Hua Yingting? Now, the Hua clan’s daughter almost suffered an accident . Yet these civil officials had jumped even faster than the martial officials in impeaching him . He couldn’t help but suspect that those civil officials weren’t actually the ones who had scolded Hua Yingting as militaristic with Lin Huizhi .
Could they have forgotten that their good friend Lin Huizhi had praised him?
They said that a woman’s thoughts were unfathomable . But these civil officials’ thoughts were even more unfathomable than that of a woman .
During these three days, the martial officials had watched him with a strange gaze . The civil officials spoke in a roundabout way to provoke him . He held back the flames of anger in his heart . In the early morning, his consort-mother had urged for an hour, until finally, Prince Ying condescendingly brought along some gifts, making for Shoukang Palace full of unwillingness .
The moment he entered the room, Prince Ying caught sight of the crown prince sitting in the seat of honor . And his expression, which he had forced to appear guilty, twisted at once .
Why was he here?
“Eldest Imperial Brother, what a coincidence . ” The crown prince lifted a hand in a lazy manner . “Help yourself to a seat . ”
Prince Ying fumed with rage between gritted teeth . “Greetings to Your Highness the crown prince . ”
“We are brothers . No need to be so polite . ” His gaze fell upon the court eunuchs following Prince Ying, chests of gifts in their hands . “It’s good enough if you just come . Why have you brought so many gifts?”
Prince Ying thought, this is Shoukang Palace, not your Eastern Palace . What are you putting on airs for?
“This prince heard that three days ago, County Princess almost met with danger in Consort-Mother’s palace . Consort-Mother feels extremely guilty, and this prince also feels regret for not being present that day, unable to discover the evildoer’s scheme . May County Princess forgive us,” said Prince Ying . Ever since he had entered the room, he had not looked at Hua Liuli directly . Only now did he do so .
Originally, he thought she was a sickly, unpretty, and silly little girl . He didn’t expect her to be this attractive and loveable . For a moment, he stood there in a daze, more than half of his previous anger disappearing at once .
A general’s family could actually give rise to such a delicate and quick-witted young lady?
After the crown prince had heard Prince Ying’s words, his brows arched . You’re talking like the assassin wouldn’t have tried to poison her if you were around . Just where does this blind confidence come from?
When Prince Ying had just entered the room, Hua Liuli could tell that he had been unwilling to come here . But so what? All these imperial princes were staring at the emperor’s throne . Even if they held grudges against her, they wouldn’t show them directly .
Much less, she was the victim . And Prince Yi and his mother were the suspects .
Due to words of Prince Ying, she couldn’t help but look at the crown prince . Although on that day, she had planned to just touch the cup with her lips, since the wine cup had poison applied to it, she would have been poisoned even if she had merely touched the cup . If it weren’t for the crown prince sending gifts over all of sudden, she truly would have fainted then .
The crown prince noticed Hua Liuli watching him with bright and intelligent eyes . And he thought she didn’t know how to talk to Prince Ying . He, who had originally been too lazy to open his mouth, shifted his gaze to Prince Ying . “Eldest Brother, did the Dali Temple discover anything?”
The crown prince’s voice causing him annoyance, Prince Ying snapped back to his senses at once . “The Dali Temple is still investigating . May County Princess rest assured . This prince will definitely find the assassin and take revenge for you . ”
But your expression when you first came into this room didn’t give off this impression, thought Hua Liuli .
“If the investigation is still ongoing, then that means there hasn’t been any headway made . ” The crown prince tapped his index finger lightly on the table . His irregular rhythm agitated others . Prince Ying really wanted to say, “What does this have to do with you?!” But he didn’t dare to .
As long as Ji Yuansu was the crown prince, then everything in this world involved him .
“Many thanks for Crown Prince’s concern,” said Prince Ying, stiff and hard .
I’m begging you, can you shut up?
But when did the crown prince ever do what Prince Ying wanted? As such, he continued to speak . “There are too many people in the imperial harem . That’s why it’s difficult to get to the bottom of this case . ”
Prince Ying looked at the crown prince, suspicious . Since these words were so pleasant to hear, so understanding, there had to be something wrong .
“I know that this assassin is from another group . But before the case has been thoroughly investigated, Eldest Brother must not come into contact with County Princess Hua too often . ” The crown prince cocked his brow, still looking at Prince Ying . “The young girl is timid . After she suffered a fright, her body still hasn’t recovered . I’m afraid that if she sees you, she’d remember what happened on that day . Eldest Brother, you are older, so try to empathize with her . ”
Empathize your mom! He knew this bastard was unable to say anything nice!
However, all the servants in the main palace hall felt that the crown prince was very reasonable .
Because her body was unwell, the county princess did not have much of an appetite . Ever since Prince Ying appeared, her hands would shake every now and then . And she would place a pastry into her mouth to hide her fear . Even her little face grew a lot paler . Just how afraid was she?!