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Chapter 253- For The Emperor’s Harem (1)


It took him a long time to gather his thoughts, but until then he stared at the three-word reply in shock. He had never expected a reply from the girl, much less something like this. He sighed and then chuckled, why should he be astonished at something that was obvious? It was his fault that he had assumed things were smooth.


The most prominent, and perhaps the first thing that had attracted him to Ye Zhen after her beauty was her decisiveness. When they had first met, from the time they started hunting to when she had relieved him of his precious silver whip, she had never once flinched, cowered, or showed signs of nervousness. And given her age and background, such a characteristic was indeed commendable.


Furthermore, their spat over the late wang fei went on to show how headstrong the girl was, not to mention she knew to hold her grudges.


Why then did he think all was well between them and she would heed to his words?


Tang Zhen sighed and collected the reply, certain that Ye Zhen was angry at him. It didn’t take him long to put two and two together. He knew her anger must have stemmed from Teacher Shan’s abrupt dismissal, and she must think he facilitated it. Truth was, he had only honestly reported every detail to the emperor. As for what came after, it was wholly and solely the emperor’s discretion.


Go to hell!


What a grievance it is!


It was beginning to be more and more clear to Tang Zhen that the path to attain his heart’s truest desire– the beautiful Lu Yaoyao, had become more and more distant.


On second thought, why not find an excuse to see Lu Xiangzhi tomorrow, meet her and explain?


If Lu Xiangzhi wasn’t around, he could always look for Third Lord Lu. These days, he was quite familiar with the third lord of the Lu Family. So, if he were to propose marriage at an opportune time in the future, it was unlikely that Lu Yaoyao’s father would make things difficult for him.


Tsk, if only things were as easy as the young marquis thought.


When he went to find the beauty the next day, he discovered she had already returned to the School of Medicine for classes. And there was no way he could waltz into the academy and seek her out. He had a nagging feeling that this was not a coincidence, but what could he do about it? For now, he had to resign to the fact she was avoiding him like the plague, but he would keep his ear firmly to the ground lest he misses an opportunity.


If there was one thing Ye Zhen had mastered in this life, it was gauging people. Intelligence was finding a solution to a problem, and wisdom in averting it all together. That said, she had long anticipated Tang Zhen’s move, and took the very first moment to thwart all his attempts of meeting her. What was there to talk about? They weren’t friends, so there was no need for explanation and justification. Of course, she knew that the person behind Teacher Shan’s dismissal was not him, but she was equally certain he was instrumental in bringing it about. As such, she regarded him with contempt. And why not? He was prejudiced and did not make the effort to verify his assumptions before presenting the matter to the emperor.


As the year was drawing to a close, the students would soon be on vacation. After spring would be the screening examination for imperial physicians. Ye Zhen had already expressed to Qin Fuzi her desire to participate in this assessment. Other than her, there would be Gao Xueping and two other students in their first grade who would be going through this in advance. As such, she did not plan on returning to the Lu Mansion, intending to stay back in the academy for the rest of the month and study with Master Qin.


Unexpectedly, a few days later, the empress dowager sent Aunt Cheng over to the academy to bring her to the palace. It was a month since her last visit, but she knew that the little prince was doing well. Little Prince had been ordered by the empress dowager not to leave the palace and was tasked with taking good care of himself. No wonder the boy hadn’t come looking for her.


“Aunt Cheng, how is the empress dowager recently?” On the way to the Cining Palace, Ye Zhen asked Aunt Cheng in a low voice. Truth was, what she really wanted to know was if Lu Wushuang’s confinement had been lifted, but it would be inappropriate to ask.


“Empress Dowager is doing well. In fact, she always mentions you,” Aunt Cheng said with a smile.

Only

Had it been someone else … for that matter even me in Lu Yaoyao’s stead, winning the empress dowager’s open fondness, I would probably like to visit the palace and accompany the empress dowager every day! But this girl …


Aunt Cheng thought back to the last time she had seen Ye Zhen, it was when she had personally sent her to the Lu Mansion. Such a long time and not a shadow of the girl had been seen. If it were not for the empress dowager’s constant mentioning of the girl, one would conveniently forget her existence.


Sigh. Third Miss Lu how are you so different? Immersing yourself in studies, keeping a distance from the palace … neither do you take advantage of the empress dowager’s favor nor the initiative to visit especially when Her Highness has explicitly allowed you to enter the palace to accompany her at will.


All along Ye Zhen was oblivious to Aunt Cheng’s unspoken criticism. When she heard that things were smooth at the empress dowager’s side, she showed a happy smile. “That’s good. Her Highness must have been very busy recently. I heard that the women for the emperor’s harem have entered the palace.”


By now her curiosity was overwhelming her, but her sensibility reigned over and she sought a roundabout way to quell it.


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