Chapter 21 – Splendid palace, lonely life
After determining that this Divine Doctor wasn’t a divine doctor, Chu Qing-Yan, with hand over her forehead, took her parents and left without looking back. In spite of that Divine Doctor Zhu’s urging for her to stay.
Chu Qing-Yan ‘hehe’ laughed, it’s no wonder that just now, when these servants knew she wanted to look for that Divine Doctor Zhu, their faces had strange smiles. So, it turned out that they had already known who this Divine Doctor Zhu was. It seemed that even though she and Chu family had laid their cards on the table, only Chu family was taking an indifferent ‘wait and see’ attitude towards her.
However, Chu Qing-Yan didn’t lost her sense of hope. She never placed any hope that Chu family would be able to help her on this matter.
At this time, Daddy Chu was pulling Mother Chu, happily taking large strides to walk ahead. Not taking any notice of the meaningful glances from the people in the surroundings. And Mother Chu was solely preoccupied with Daddy Chu, so she didn’t pay attention to the peculiar gazes from other people.
A dim feeling of pity bubbled up from Chu Qing-Yan’s heart. The affection between her parents from the previous life was like now, still very deep. If Daddy’s mind was able to be restored, then everything would be even more beautiful.
She also didn’t know when she had to honor the commitment to that imperial edict bestowing the marriage. Whatever the case, she must make most of the time she had to search for a doctor that had ways to treat Daddy’s illness. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be able to sleep in peace.
Everything that happened to Chu Qing-Yan on the road had all been passed to Xiao Xu’s ear. His face was expressionless, and he lightly tapped the wall inside the horse carriage and asked the subordinate outside, “Nowadays, where is Divine Doctor Luo?”
“Reporting back to Master, ever since three months ago, after Divine Doctor Luo had left the imperial palace, no trace of him could be found. Subordinate, in these days, will dispatch people to closely search for his whereabouts.” A deferential voice came from outside.
Xiao Xu gave a grunt of affirmation.
“Master, we’ll be entering the imperial palace after an incense’s length of time.”
Having heard what was said, Xiao Xu’s indifferent gaze landed on the swaying curtain of the carriage in front of him. The wind lifted it, and the familiar streets outside leapt into his eyes, while his thoughts slowly floated far away.
A year ah, a full year he hadn’t set foot in this place.
A pity that even if he was far away, these people would never think to take a break from pondering plots.
A trace of ridicule and mockery seemed to flash through that pair of black-as-ink, glass-like eyes. Fast as a burst of wind, it was concealed in the ink-colored depths. When one carefully looked again, that pair of good-looking eyes was like a peaceful pond without a ripple, unable to discern any mood in them at all.
“Your Highness Prince Ying, the Queen Empress has already waited for you for several days. Yesterday, she even threw a tea set of blue and white porcelain. With great difficulty, you have come after she had hoped for so long. Today, you shouldn’t act as tough as the times from before. If the Queen Empress is provoked once again into anger, then what’s thrown down won’t just be a tea set.
Xiao Xu had just stepped foot into Zhao Yang Palace, when an old imperial servant, looking joyous at the tip of her brows, approached to welcome him. However, her words clearly carried some disapproval.
Fire Spirit, seeing this imperial servant, his eyebrows jumped a bit. This imperial servant was called Luo Yun, a blessed one at the side of Empress Liang. She had been by her side since Empress Liang was born, and could be considered similar to Empress Liang’s wet nurse. In Empress Liang’s mind, her position wasn’t low. Therefore, this Luo Yun was always doted on and trusted by Empress Ling. She was often very rude to his family’s Highness, completely lacking the awareness of her status as a servant. If it was not for giving Empress Liang some face, according to his family’s Highness’s temper, don’t know how many times she would have died already.
Xiao Xu frowned, although he was disgusted with her preaching every time he saw her, after all, she was one of the people Mother Empress thought highly off. Xiao Xu took a glance at her and nodded slightly, afterwards, he took large strides to walk into Zhao Yang Palace.
Luo Yun was terrified and alarmed by that glance from His Highness Prince Ying just now, her legs couldn’t help but be somewhat soft. Hadn’t seen him for a year, and His Highness Prince Ying’s nature had become increasingly cold. Not having much time to ponder this, Luo Yun immediately caught up to His Highness Prince Ying’s pace.
Xiao Xu had just stepped into the palace hall, and an unknown object flew towards him from upfront. He frowned but didn’t move, the object swiped by the corner of his eyebrow. With a ‘bang’ sound, it crashed into the doorpost behind him and broke open. If it slanted just a bit, then it would have smashed into his head. Xiao Xu didn’t know if he should rejoice or feel that this was unfortunate.
The teacup didn’t hit its target, making the person exerting herself feel very pissed off. A gloomy female voice came from the center of the hall, “Still know to return to the palace? This queen thought your heart had gone wild from playing outside for a year. In your eyes simply doesn’t have the existence of this queen!”
In the center of the main Zhao Yang Palace, on an imperial consort chair of deep purple carved with birds of prey and fitted with finely cut gems, sat a woman dressed in a palace robe full of blooming flowers. A layer of golden gauze covered her face, phoenixes with wings extended soaring up were arranged on her dress. An exquisite appearance with pretty good facial features. Only, at this time, two eyebrows were pinched, and both eyes were filled with anger.
“Your son doesn’t dare.” Xiao Xu’s mood didn’t even fluctuate because of the censure from the person before him. He stood in place and slightly bowed his head, his face expressionless.
“Not dare? Hehe, what matter don’t you dare to do in this world?” The person sitting wasn’t anyone else, she was Xiao Xu’s biological mother, Empress of the Western Xuan nation. Now, her eyes betrayed a ridiculing expression, with an exaggerated tone, she said, “This queen had coaxed and pleaded, yet was still unable to summon you to return. No wonder that outside, there are always rumors that your mood is unstable, cold and ruthless. It seems that not a bit of this is fake! Even this queen, as your mother, can’t influence your decision. You really are this queen’s good child!”
Confronted with Mother Empress’s cutting remarks ladened with spear and sticks, only Xiao Xu’s pupils moved slightly, soon after, he indifferently asked, “Mother Empress, if you are looking for this son only to say these words, then your son will first ask to be excused.”
“Halt! What kind of attitude is this of yours?” She hadn’t finished speaking and her son was about to leave, Empress Liang, in a fit of anger, nearly couldn’t breathe. And Luo Yun immediately step forward to lightly pat Empress Liang’s back while telling her to relax, then rebuked Xiao Xu to say, “Your Highness Prince Ying, with great difficulty, you have returned once, then please, don’t provoke the Empress to be angry.”
Having heard what was said, Xiao Xu was even more unwilling to stay for another minute. Originally, he wanted to lift his foot and leave, but then, heard the person behind him angrily say, “Xiao Xu, this time, this queen doesn’t care what you think, no matter what, you must decline this marriage to Chu family! Otherwise, this queen will no longer recognize you, this son!”
Xiao Xu felt that this was somewhat laughable, hearing Mother Empress saying it like this, it was as if he was set on being connected by marriage to Chu family.
Hearing Mother Empress’s goal for him to return to the palace this time, Xiao Xu turned around to face her with a calm and even expression, “Mother Empress, this matter, I’m afraid your son doesn’t have the power to make the decision. This Chu family is the candidate designated by Grandfather, the Old Emperor. This marriage was bestowed by Father Emperor. If you have some objection, you can speak with Father Emperor. No matter what the result comes from you and Father Emperor’s discussion, this son will not object.”
Empress Liang had already argued with Western Xuan’s Emperor about this matter, if it weren’t for there being no way out, how could she become so enraged. And to see that this son didn’t care the least bit about this, the pit of fire in her heart become more intense. Seeing his attitude right now, Empress Liang’s fury came from within, “Xiao Xu, look at what kind of disgusting behavior you have right now ah? Don’t strive for, don’t grab and don’t resist right? You think, just like this, you can escape everything? This queen will tell you that this is completely impossible!”
“Depending on your son’s present honor and glorious figure to strive, grab and resist right?” Xiao Xu lifted a finger to point at the mask on his face with a tone of poking fun at himself.
Empress Liang’s gaze landed on that silver mask, immediately, her gaze flashed. She gave a cold humph, “Even if your beauty was disfigured, so what? You are my Liang Yuan’s only son, and also the eldest son from the official wife. Everything in itself should all belong to you, as long as you work hard, with Mother Empress’s support, what do you have to be afraid of?”
Xiao Xu looked at Mother Empress’s face that was warped from longing, pursed his lips but didn’t answer.
While Empress Liang thought he had tacitly agreed and continued to say, “You don’t need to be worried, if the marriage can’t be declined, then it’s also no big deal. A dead person cannot get married, Mother Empress has ways…”
Xiao Xu felt that Mother Empress’s way of thinking had already been warped by living the ‘dog eat dog’ life in the imperial harem. Before, the people in the world evaluated the Empress as a dignified, virtuous, charitable and magnanimous person. But they didn’t know the her behind this face. These few words tore and smashed that image. He didn’t listen to her finish speaking before walking out of Zhao Yang Palace, leaving all the shouting behind him.
He had just walked out of Zhao Yang Palace and saw Eunuch Cao, a capable person at Father Emperor’s side, waiting outside of Zhao Yang Palace. Xiao Xu lifted his eyes up to take a glance at the setting sun, his eyes were as dark and gloomy as the ends of the earth.