Chapter 243 – Royal family matter of favoring one over another
“Ever since I the emperor succeeded the throne, I had wanted to once again reorganize the entire Western Xuan. It’s only a pity that the will is there but not the strength. So I can only let them nibble away bit by bit at the foundation of Western Xuan.” Western Xuan emperor had one hand on the dragon head armrest, face full of disappointment and frustration.
Hearing this, Eunuch Cao quickly appeased. “Your Majesty, nowadays Prince Ying is in the midst of gathering the evidence of their crimes to punish these vermin. You should rest at ease.”
Hearing this, Western Xuan Emperor paused. He turned to look at the person in front of him that had followed him for more than dozens of years, from when he was a little eunuch to the current older Cao Zhi. He suddenly raised an eyebrow to say. “Do you also feel that I the emperor is too harsh towards Xu’er? Too cold blooded?”
Once this was said, Eunuch Cao lowered his head. “Your Majesty, this old slave doesn’t know how to answer.”
Hearing this, Western Xuan emperor laughed out loud, but the laugher quickly vanished. He had a complicated expression of recognizing a difficult problem. “Cao Zhi, in fact you also think the same right? Only that you are afraid I the emperor will punish you so you dare not say the truth.”
Eunuch Cao lowered his head even more, then gave a light sigh. “Your Majesty, your heart has already made a decision, no matter what this old slave says, I won’t be able to influence your decision.”
Western Xuan emperor shook his head. “You this wily old fox!”
“Many thanks for your Majesty’s praise.” Eunuch Cao said with a flattering expression.
Western Xuan emperor choked, then gave a cold humph.
What Cao Zhi said wasn’t wrong, whether his heart felt remorse or not towards Xu’er, once he decided on a matter, he wouldn’t allow it to be altered. Even if he regretted it and wanted to pull back, it was already too late. From the moment Xu’er stepped out of the capital, all the matters will reach their foregone conclusions.
“Your Majesty, Fourth Prince requests to see you.” At this moment, a young eunuch entered the palace hall to report.
Hearing this, Western Xuan emperor’s gloomy face became clear. “Quickly transmit to have Fourth Prince enter the palace hall.”
Not long after, Xiao Ran stepped into the imperial study.
“Paying respects to Father emperor.” The corner of Xiao Ran’s mouth had a smile, he made his salute to Western Xuan Emperor as if putting on a show to amuse him.
“No rules!” Western Xuan emperor said pretending to be displeased, but the laugh lines on his face had already betrayed the mood in his heart.
Xiao Ran smiled mischievously. “Father emperor, must we father and son talk about rules between us? Wouldn’t that greatly hurt our affections?”
“Making trouble. Where did you learn these strange words and sayings from?” Western Xuan emperor smilingly shook his head, any person with discerning eyes could see Western Xuan emperor’s mood right now was exceedingly good. He didn’t have the slightest desire to rebuke Xiao Ran for his impudence.
Hearing this, Xiao Ran suddenly became somewhat absent-minded as a lovable, beautiful face appeared in his mind. “Hey, you still calculate this stuff with me? Don’t you know talking about money will hurt people’s affections?”
“Ran’er, what are you thinking about?” Western Xuan emperor called out seeing his mind wandering.
Xiao Ran returned from his recollection, and then smilingly said. “Reply to Father Emperor, this son is thinking that it’s been almost half a year since First Royal brother left the capital. In my heart I really miss him, don’t know where he has traveled to right now, and if he is living well. After all, outside is not as good as the capital, the living conditions are not able to keep up with that of the capital.”
Western Xuan emperor lowered his head and swept a glance at all the cases in front of him, then sighed faintly. “Indeed almost half a year has passed, you are a good child. Your heart is still concerned about your royal brother.”
“Father emperor, this son wants to go see First royal brother.” Xiao Ran suddenly said this. This thought had always hovered in his mind. Ever since Qing-Yan left, he started to feel that every day had become tedious. He had never felt this way before and he had never imagined his life would become so wonderful because someone entered it. And that his life would be dim because a person had left.
In fact, who he wanted to see wasn’t really First Royal brother, rather the young girl that had lit up his entire summer.
“Ran’er, you are already a grown up. Don’t say such childish words again!” Suddenly Western Xuan emperor looked at Xiao Ran strictly. Since he wholeheartedly wanted to groom this son, then this son couldn’t walk too closely with Xu’er. Otherwise in the future, everything will be hard to deal with.
Xiao Ran pursed his lips. He didn’t know why Father Emperor would occasionally express in words and action that he opposed him getting close to First Royal brother, and mother imperial concubine had expressly forbidden him too.
Before he didn’t understand, but during this half a year, he had a faint idea of the answer.
Xiao Ran smiled brilliantly. “Father emperor, this son is joking with you. Even if this son was to leave the city now, I still won’t be able to catch up to First Royal brother. If I really miss him, then I’ll wait until after First Royal brother arrives at Fu Li mountains and set up camp before going over to visit him. At that time, this son will also experience it through first hand knowledge the rumored mountain range that has rich natural resources!”
Only now did Western Xuan emperor feel reassured enough to nod his head. “Ran’er, now are troubled times, you only need to learn well those courses Father Emperor has instructed you to take. In the future when you are powerful enough, it will all come in handy.”
Cao Zhi stood in attendance inside the palace hall, hearing Western Xuan emperor’s words, he lowered his head even more. If a person understood the situation even a little bit, they would hear the hint in Western Xuan emperor’s words.
Sooner or later, His Majesty will hand over the entire Western Xuan to the fourth prince.
Xiao Ran seriously nodded, he knew Father Emperor had placed great hopes in him. Even mother imperial concubine had always urged him to study books and martial arts well.
“Rest assured Father Emperor, this son won’t let you be disappointed!”
“Good child!” Western Xuan emperor nodded his head in satisfaction, then beckoned with his hand to say. “Come over and let Father Emperor have a look to see how tall you are right now, okay?”
Hearing this, Xiao Ran immediately took large strides forward, beaming with a smile to say. “Mother imperial concubine said this son has grown quite a lot!”
Western Xuan emperor rubbed his head and nodded from being gratified. “Not bad, not bad, grown a lot taller again. I suppose by this time next year, you will be at the same height as Father Emperor.”
Next year Xiao Ran would be thirteen. At that time, he should have had Western Xuan empire mostly tidied up. Then Xiao Ran could start getting involved in politics.
Cao Zhi watched this pair of harmonious father and son in front of him, as if they were no different than fathers and sons among ordinary people.
This was His Majesty and Fourth Prince’s interaction on a daily basis.
His Majesty didn’t have a bit of his Emperor’s airs, didn’t put up his normally imposing airs.
It was sufficient to see how much His Majesty dotted on the Fourth Prince.
He suddenly recalled seven years ago, when Prince Ying came to the imperial study after fighting a victorious battle. At that time His Majesty was receiving other countries’ emissaries. He seemed to have heard His Highness Prince Ying talking to himself. “Don’t know if Father Emperor can still recognize me after seeing me? After all I have already grown so big!”
One that was often not in front of his eyes, striving hard to prove himself but never receiving the treatment he ought to get.
Another that didn’t need to take great pains to win favor and could get the Emperor’s love that other people could not enjoy.
This was the disparity.
Cao Zhi recalled a imperial concubine that had been locked in the cold palace once said this.
When we care about a person, no matter how many faults and deficiencies this person may have, in our eyes we will only see his good points.
But when we simply don’t care about a person, no matter how good this person is, how hard this person strives, our eyes won’t recognise his existence.
This was the difference between caring and not caring.
And she was the person he didn’t care about.
Cao Zhi moved his pair of eyes away and sighed in his heart.
Every time he saw his Majesty and Fourth Prince’s intimate relationship and closeness, the image of that lonely child with the expectations that couldn’t be concealed in his eyes would involuntarily appear in his mind.
Maybe that child nowadays won’t even have any expectations in his heart!