Deception After Deception
The eunuch’s shrill voice caused everyone present to feel shocked by what they had heard.
What was this? Let go 28? Was this not a hunt? When had it become a rescue effort?
But there was someone that said: “Indeed, only His Highness the Seventh Prince could do something like this!”
This feeling very quickly received sympathetic responses, thus everyone looked at Xuan Tian Hua a bit more. Slowly, they began to feel that this sort of thing happening with Xuan Tian Hua could not be any more normal. Thus they all began to to say kind words, “Your Highness is a benevolent person! I admire it! Admire it!”
Xuan Tian Hua, however, only smiled and did not respond to this. When the voices stopped, he finally took a couple steps back and said to the Emperor: “Father Emperor, son has never hunted a small animal and will not compete with my elder brothers.”
The fourth prince, Xuan Tian Yi, glanced at him with a bitter expression and said: “If it wasn’t for old seventh messing around, I could have gotten a couple more.”
The Emperor snorted, “You were already first, so what are you still thinking about?” After speaking, he very unhappily received the jade ruyi that the Empress had prepared then handed it to Zhang Yuan: “This is the reward for the winner of today’s hunt. Go ahead and give it to him!”
Although the Emperor would allow the fourth prince out from time to time, starting from the Mid-Autumn Festival’s banquet, he still felt a thorn in his heart from when Xuan Tian Yi and Xuan Tian Ye had attacking the palace, thus his attitude was not too good. The ruyi symbolizing victory was also given unwillingly.
But Xuan Tian Yi did not think much of it, as he acted as if he did not see the Emperor’s cold silence. After receiving the ruyi, he solemnly kneeled and kowtowed to give thanks. He then stood up and headed toward the group of young misses.
His movements caused everyone to feel puzzled; however, Xuan Tian Ge tugged on Feng Yu Heng’s sleeve and said: “Quickly look, look, he’s definitely looking for Xiang Rong.”
Feng Yu Heng was naturally able to see through his intentions. The direction in which Xuan Tian Yi headed happened to be where Xiang Rong was seated. Very quickly, the two were standing face to face. Xuan Tian Yi lifted the ruyi and said: “Master Xiang Rong, take it. It was already agreed that if I won, the award would be given to you as a gift to thank master.”
These words caused the redness in Xiang Rong’s face to extend to her neck. For a moment, she did not know what she should do, as she angrily and awkwardly rolled her eyes at Xuan Tian Yi. She even gritted her teeth and quietly said: “Are you crazy? Who told you pick this time to give it to me? Could you not secretly give to me later?”
Yet Xuan Tian Yi did not mind the small details and immediately said in a loud voice: “Hah! You are my embroidery master. Why must I make a choice between giving it now or later? When obtaining it, it naturally needs to be given. Quickly take it. Something given by Father Emperor is very good.” While speaking, he carefully looked at the piece of jade and added: “It’s a good piece of jade. You’ve really won big this time, quickly take it.”
Xiang Rong was so angry that she really wanted to give him a kick, but in the end, she managed to hold back. Grabbing the ruyi, she quietly said: “Quickly, go and get lost.”
“Getting lost, going to get lost.” Xuan Tian Yi was in a good mood and happily walked back to the group of princes without explaining to anyone. Indeed, these actions could not be any more normal when he did them.
As for the Emperor, he did not say anything. It was the Empress that spoke up: “The jade ruyi has already been awarded to His Highness the fourth prince, so it is his. If he gives it to his master, that’s very good.”
Xuan Tian Yi very shamelessly nodded to express his agreement; however, who knew who it was that suddenly said: “The ruyi is something to be given to the person of your heart. Is Your Highness the fourth prince and the Feng family’s young miss…”
“Huh?” Xuan Tian Yi loudly asked: “Who is it that has such clear sight?”
Xiang Rong felt that she could no longer remain, but she also felt that she could not leave the stage at this time. She simply lifted her sleeve and covered her face while silently muttering to herself: “Xuan Tian Yi, just you wait. Xuan Tian Yi, seriously, just you wait!” But what exactly he would be waiting for, she had not yet figured out. Just kicking him a few times would not vent her anger well enough, but she could not just have him executed, right? Although she did find the idea of picking up a blade to chop him up quite entertaining.
In the end, Xuan Tian Yi was a ruined prince that no longer had his position as a prince. He was just looking for happiness and to have some fun. There really was not a single person that wanted to use this matter of his to continue this discussion. Even if he really had an interest in the Feng family’s third young miss, that was fine. A ruined prince marrying a daughter of a concubine from a disgraced family could not be more normal.
But even if the vast majority thought this way, it did not mean that everyone would think this way. For example, Noble Lady Yuan, who had been sitting to the side with anger bottled up, said with a bad tone: “This One… I, I recall that His Highness the fourth prince was imprisoned, but in just a few years, he has been let out. Has the imprisonment been canceled at this time?”
Once these words came out, everyone was stunned and thought to themselves, had Noble Lady Yuan lost her mind? The imprisonment was decided on by the Emperor, and letting him out was also decided on by the Emperor. Was she just tearing away at the Emperor? In the end, he was still the Emperor’s son. Could it be that he would really be locked up for eternity?
Who knew that before the Emperor could speak, Xuan Tian Yi took the initiative to speak up: “Canceled? Why would it be canceled? I’ve only been let out a total of two times. How can it be considered as canceled? Also, I did not want to come out. Just staying locked up in the Ping Palace is quite good. Without inquiring about matters outside the world, I can focus entirely on embroidery. Imperial Concubine Mother Yuan, if you have the heart to worry about whether or not I am let out, it would be better to send me some higher-quality thread. This will save my young master from always saying that the thread from her shop has been wasted on me.”
His remarks were free and easy. From the main seat, the Empress smiled and said: “Yi’er, Yuan shi has already been demoted to noble lady and has lost the title of Shu. You can no longer call her imperial concubine mother.”
“Oh! So quickly?” Xuan Tian Yi was startled then smiled to Noble Lady Yuan, “The times really do change quickly. In the time of a hunt, you fell from the position of imperial concubine to noble lady. Tsk tsk, human affairs really are volatile, really quite volatile! Oh right, then thinking about it like this, you should be the one in the palace with the lowest position to have given birth to a prince, right? Hah, if Old Eighth found out about this news, I wonder just how ashamed he would be.”
Noble Lady Yuan angrily trembled, as she pointed at Xuan Tian Yi and said: “Don’t be so arrogant! Don’t forget that your birth mother is still in the cold palace. What right do you have to mock me?”
The fourth prince’s birth mother was Concubine Rui. Back then, she had feigned insanity and managed to avoid the death penalty; however, she was sent into the cold palace by the Empress. Xuan Tian Yi always felt apologetic toward his birth mother. Now that Noble Lady Yuan brought it up, it was inevitable that he would feel a bit unhappy. But in the end, men were a bit more tolerant of unhappiness than women, as he just told Noble Lady Yuan: “How can that be the same. At the very least, I no longer have much hope for myself, but Eighth Brother is different. Noble Lady, what do you say?”
Noble Lady Yuan froze. That’s right, Old Fourth no longer had any hope. What sort of drug had she become intoxicated with that caused her to actually say such things? Even if Old Fourth was let out, Da Shun could not possibly place a prince on the throne that had once attempted a coup. What exactly had happened to her? If she continued like this, it would end up affecting her Mo’er!
Noble Lady Yuan no longer spoke and quietly lowered her head, no longer paying attention to anyone else.
Xuan Tian Yi smirked, as a cold looked appeared in his eyes; however, he did not speak.
Very quickly, Zhang Yuan represented the Emperor in announcing the end of the first day of hunting and had the palace servants take the animals away. There would be a banquet at night where they would be roasted.
Only then did the group stand up, kneel then watch the masters leave. Even Xuan Tian Ge left with Princess Wen Xuan. Feng Yu Heng did not join in, as she brought her maidservants to prepare to return to their tent; however, while they were leaving, they ran into Noble Lady Yuan and heard the servant Yue Xiu console her: “Master, let’s go back. It’s cold outside. You’re so cold that you’re trembling.”
But Noble Lady Yuan still did not move, as she just gnashed her teeth and asked Yue Xiu: “Say, the enmity of today, who should I seek to get revenge?”
Just as these words came out, she turned her head and found that Feng Yu Heng coming over. The things that she had just said were heard by her, and she could not help but freeze and subconsciously take a step back.
Feng Yu Heng did not cause her any trouble, only smiling to her and saying: “Noble Lady does not know who to get revenge against? This Imperial Daughter forgot to remind you earlier that the letter sent back by His Highness the Ninth Prince said that it was Noble Lady that personally sent a letter to His Highness the Eighth Prince, recommending the Lu family’s third young miss Lu Yan. Speaking of, His Highness the Eighth Prince really is a filial child. With just some words from his mother, he immediately went ahead. That level of devotion is not ambiguous in the slightest. Why is it that Noble Lady went against it yourself? It must be known that for news to travel from the capital to the South, it will take at least two months. You’ve changed your mind now, but His Highness the Eighth Prince won’t know about it immediately. The delay between the two sides will cause a great number of misunderstandings. Who knows what sort of incidents can occur. Noble Lady must think carefully!”
Noble Lady Yuan was muddled from what she had heard. The Emperor had said such things before, but why did she not know that the marriage between the eighth prince and the Lu family was something that she had chosen? Now that Feng Yu Heng said that she wrote a letter to the eighth prince, when had such a thing happened? Why did she not know about it?
While feeling shocked, she saw someone slowly walk over. Looking carefully, it was the Lu family’s third young miss, Lu Yan. Feng Yu Heng smiled and said, “The future daughter-in-law has come to greet her mother-in-law.”
After saying this, Lu Yan stepped forward. Sure enough, she performed a deep salute and very sweetly said: “Yan’er thanks Noble Lady for this grace. Would Noble Lady please feel at ease. Yan’er will definitely support His Highness the Eighth Prince fully from this day forward, and I will support Noble Lady. I definitely will not allow you to suffer any grievances in the palace.”
Just as Noble Lady Yuan wanted to go off, she heard Feng Yu Heng speak up and say to Lu Yan: “Lu family’s young miss, the son of a noble lady is marrying the young miss of the prime minister’s manor. There’s nothing there for you to venerate. Speaking of, it is the noble lady that has married up.”
Lu Yan was a bit dazed, and she felt more and more that Feng Yu Heng was helping her, but she still could not understand why Feng Yu Heng had suddenly changed her mind. It had to be known that her attitude during the morning was very resolute. But no matter how doubtful she was, she did not reveal it on her face. She just treated it as Feng Yu Heng having changed her mind to help the Lu family, thus she quickly gave her very sincere thanks to Feng Yu Heng.
The two spoke politely for a while before Lu Yan bid farewell to Noble Lady Yuan and left. Feng Yu heng also left, leaving Noble Lady Yuan to stand in place in a daze. From the side, Yue Xiu quietly said to her: “Imperial Concubine, it seems that the Lu family has received some help from Imperial Daughter Ji An. For the time being, it’s not too good for us to take another step. We must wait and see!”