Yun Qian Yu stares at that familiar figure; one that resembles a celestial. Something flash in her eyes. No matter what that place is, as long as he is there, everything will becomes outstanding.
He is an eye candy on another level ah! He can brighten one's mood immediately.
"Sang Mo, have you eaten breakfast?"
"Not yet." Gong Sang Mo's voice is gentle like water as he smiles with his eyes; looking at Yun Qian Yu. That girl seem to have only one interest; delicacies. Only when she is eating delicacies can he see that expression on her face. A face full of satisfaction, as if nothing can makes her happier than food!
"Then join me. Hong Su's skill in the kitchen is really good!" After she said that, Yun Qian Yu instructs Chen Xiang to bring another set of utensils.
San Qiu who was behind Gong Sang Mo was just about to reject her offer on his behalf; his wangye wouldn't eat anything from outside. But Gong Sang Mo already speaks up before him, "Alright." He lifts his pale blue robe and casually sits in front of Yun Qian Yu.
San Qiu stares at his wangye in surprise; fearing that he had heard wrong. He close and open his eyes a couple of times; Gong Sang Mo has already started eating.
After eating a couple of mouthful of breakfast, Gong Sang Mo smilingly agrees with her, "Hong Su's skill is really good."
Hong Su who is standing on the sideline bows, "Thank you for the compliment, wangye!"
Yun Qian Yu nods. She has been eating her food for three years and she still hasn't gotten tired of them. Hong Su is truly on a whole another level when it comes to culinary skills!
San Qiu feels like he is hallucinating. He knows his wangye has been treated Yun Qian Yu really well for the past three years; he did a lot of things in secret for her. But he never thought his wangye would actually change his ten years long of habits and preferences for her.
San Qiu suddenly feels suspicious. Did his wangye purposely skipped breakfast in the manor and entered the palace at the correct timing so he can eat breakfast with the Hu Guo princess?
Yun Qian Yu glance at San Qiu, "San Qiu, why don't you join us?"
San Qiu hastily waves his hands away, "Thank you for the offer, princess. San Qiu has already had his breakfast."
"Oh, up to you." Yun Qian Yu is calm like usual before quietly resuming to eat.
The expression on Feng Ran's face is murky as he stares at Gong Sang Mo.
Gong Sang Mo is unswayed by everything as he continues eating elegantly.
Feng Ran's eyes harden; this Xian Wang is definitely up to no good. If he hadn't brought that Yi Xiu Pill for his mistress yesterday, Feng Ran would've kicked him out. Unwilling to see more, Feng Ran turns around and leaves. They have only reached the capital, there are still a lot of things he need to do.
Ever since their first meeting three years ago, this is Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo's first time eating together. Despite that, their tacit understanding made it look like they had been eating together for years. The meals are eaten in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
After breakfast, Yu Nuo brew a pot of jasmine tea. The scent floating from the teapot is the same as the incense in the hall; it feels clear and elegant.
"His Majesty already permitted Qian Yu to spend a couple of days in Xian Wang Manor."
"Why?" Yun Qian Yu looks up to look at Gong Sang Mo.
"My courtyard has a hot spring; it can help you recuperate." Gong Sang Mo's words are short and precise.
"Is it to shield me from Rui Qinwang's anger?" Yun Qian Yu is extremely alert, how could she not see the hidden meaning behind that arrangement.
The safest place in the capital is Xian Wang's manor. Even the imperial palace cannot compare. It is said that Rui Qinwang once sent people to spy on Xian Wang's manor but his people couldn't even get past the walls!
"Not entirely. The main purpose is to let you recover your inner energy even faster." Gong Sang Mo did not completely deny her guess.
"I have no misgiving, I do not fear him." Yun Qian Yu gets up and fiddles with the incense pellet inside the incense burner.
She came here on her own, leaving Yun Valley that is hundreds of miles away. The strength of Yun Valley is not something that a king like him can estimate. But Rui Qinwang is different. He cares for a lot of things; he will have to commit a lot of things too if he wants to get that coveted golden seat. To get what he wants, a clean and spotless reputation is a must lest he be scorned years later by the later generations. In order to maintain a good reputation, he can only use somebody else's hands and legs.
Rui Qinwang will definitely seize every opportunity he can get to attack her soft spot. Whether or not she acts against him does not matter. Since they will have a duel sooner or later, might as well test the waters for now.
"Rui Qinwang is not simple." Gong Sang Mo said.
"En. If he is simple, he would not be able to force grandfather to this step." A person who poisoned the emperor and can still live in peace is definitely not simple.
"Jiejie! Jiejie!" Murong Yu Jian's voice can be heard.
He enters the hall, followed by Murong Cang, the emperor. Murong Cang is wearing a simple black robe with patterns of golden threads.
Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo gets up to welcome them. "Grandfather, Yu Jian."
Murong Yu Jian appears ecstatic, "Jiejie, imperial grandfather and I received your gift today. You are so awesome!"
Yun Qian Yu smiles faintly, "Then does Yu Jian know what method Jiejie used this time?"
Murong Yu Jian's adorable face is layered with confusion; he looks down as he ponders for a while.
Murong Cang and Gong Sang Mo did not bother the two; they simply retreat to the inner hall and drinks tea while watching them. Yun Qian Yu pulls Murong Yu Jian to sit with her in the inner hall.
Murong Yu Jian's eyes suddenly sparkles, "Jiejie, I know! This is what you called 'Using Trick Against a Trick.'"
Yun Qian Yu sips on her tea as she nods. "Correct. You are progressing well."
Yu Jian smiles until his eyes turns into narrow slits.
"But Jiejie has another purpose behind my action. If Yu Jian can see through them, Jiejie will reward you." Yun Qian Yu continues to guide him. Murong Cang and Gong Sang Mo did not interfere; they know she is trying to teach Yu Jian through examples. This is the most effective method to help somebody grow.
Murong Yu Jian is clearly baffled; he lower his head, trying his best to think.
"What will you do if you don't understand a person?" Yun Qian Yu asked.
"Investigate everything about him before trying to understand him."
"But what if you still couldn't understand him after investigating him?"
"Then, do something to test the water. Didn't Jiejie told me that the person who understands you best is your enemy?"
"I understand it now! Test the water! Jiejie right now is casting the stone to find out what lies ahead." Murong Yu Jian happily clapped his hands.
(TN: casting the stone to find out what lies ahead (投石问路) = testing the waters.)
Yun Qian Yu nods. Actually, she has another reason for doing what she did and that was to stir the grass and frighten the snake.
(TN: Stir the grass and frighten the snake (打草惊蛇) - to warn an enemy.)
Lifting her hands first might make Yun Qian Yu a target for criticism but since Rui Qinwang acted first, she will naturally retaliate. After all, in the eyes of the people, the one who provoked the matter and the one who retaliated will be viewed in two different lights.
For Yu Jian to understand what he understood is already a great progress. He is only ten, she must not overwhelm him.
"Jiejie, what about my reward?"
Murong Yu Jian looks up to her with a hopeful expression.
"Jiejie is going to your Brother Sang Mo's manor for a few days. Why don't you follow me as your reward?"
"Yes!" Murong Yu Jian happily replied. He had long wished to visit Xian Wang's manor but his grandfather wouldn't let him; and Brother Sang Mo was elusive. His wish is finally granted.
After their conversation ends, Murong Cang takes out the tiger seal and place it on the table.
"Three of Rui Qinwang's helpers had been cut off; but this is only a temporary matter. Yu Jian is still small, once zhen left for the heavenly realm, it will be easy for him to reinstate them and place them in powerful positions."
Upon bringing up topic of his death, the atmosphere in the room turns glum. Tears brim Yu Jian's eyes but he force himself to hold it in.
Seeing him, Qian Yu's heart is filled with sympathy. "They have to be alive for that to be possible." Yun Qian Yu raise her eyebrows; she is not worried. With time, there comes changes. With changes, there comes opportunities. She already considered all that when she made that move.
Murong Cang's heart is comforted. Yun Qian Yu is such a wise girl; had Sang Mo that brat not in love with her, he would have disregard the age gap and marry her off to Yu Jian to be his queen.
"Zhen will let Qian Yu decide what to do with this tiger seal!" Now, Murong Cang truly believes in Gong Sang Mo's eyes. He believes Yun Qian Yu will be able to protect Yu Jian and Nan Luo Kingdom for him.
Yun Qian Yu look at the tiger seal, "How many seals are there altogether?"
Murong Cang answers her, "Three. The dragon seal is with Sang Mo; it controls 300,000 troops. The eagle seal is in the hands of King Ding Hai, Ji Shu Liu. It controls 100,000 troops. Hu Wei Camp is in charge of protecting the capital, this tiger seal controls 30,000 troops. But half of the 30,000 are either injured or killed. There were another 30,000 troops in the hand of the Great General Liu Jing Sheng, but we took them back today."
(TN: King Ding Hai is a Wang (King), just like Gong Sang Mo (Xian Wang))
Last night, Yun Qian Yu asked Feng Ran to target only Rui Qinwang's minions; she didn't want things to reach the point of no return. Besides, most of the time, the one who made all the decisions were the senior officers. Most of those soldiers were only following orders. No matter what, they are still the precious children of their parents, if possible, she didn't want to target the innocents.
"What about Ding Hai Wang?"
Yun Qian Yu is interested in this Ding Hai Wang. This Ding Hai Wang is very low-key; in fact he is so low-key he usually would slip out of other people's minds.
Gong Sang Mo that has been quiet suddenly speaks up, "Unfathomable."
Just by that, Yun Qian Yu knows that Ding Hai Wang isn't their people nor is he Rui Qin Wang's people. To be described like that by Gong Sang Mo, he must be hard to deal with; perhaps even harder than Rui Qinwang.
Translator’s Note: Chapter 21 is sponsored by Surakchha!