The White-Haired Imperial Concubine - Chapter 24 - Entering the Palace[Updated at: 2021-01-11 22:05:27]
Chapter 24 Entering the Palace
Man Yao unhurried retrieved her hand while the Ninth Prince still tried to recall. Suddenly, a loud voice sounded out from the gate: “The imperial decree has arrived—Prince Li please receive it!”
Hearing this, the Ninth Prince immediately tossed aside his problem and turned back to laugh, “Seventh Brother, I told you…it came!”
Zongzheng Wuyou gave a cold glance, his face indifferent. Chen gonggong(1) thickened his face and entered to read out the decree, not waiting for Prince Li to kneel since he knew that there was no chance that would happen.
The imperial decree stated that Zongzheng Wuyou had credit in forcing the enemy to retreat this time, and since the general had returned in triumph, he was to be rewarded appropriately. Zongzheng Wuyou have a cold smile, “Relay my words when you go back, just tell them it was benwang who said it, the biggest reward I can receive is if I don’t have to enter the palace.”
Hearing this, Chen gonggong‘s knees landed on the ground with a “putong” sound as he rushed to lower his head, his voice carrying hints of weariness from old age, “This old servant doesn’t dare! His Majesty has commanded for this servant to escort wangye into the palace after reading the decree. I beseech wangye to take into consideration that this old servant once wholeheartedly served Noble Consort and wangye for many years to please take pity on this servant’s old pile of bones and stop holding a grudge against His Majesty and enter the palace!” Chen gonggong was once one of Noble Consort Yun’s most trusted people. It was only after she passed away was he transferred to serve the Emperor.
This act again! Last time was Old Ninth, this time was Chen gonggong, who would it be next time? Zongzheng Wuyou’s eyebrows scrunched together, his gaze icy as he tightened his grip on the teacup. With a “peng” sound, the cup shattered under the force and the celadon fragments embedded themselves into his palm. Even though the pain should have been quite great, he was so numb that he didn’t notice. With a wave of his hand, the broken fragments were cruelly flung out. The celadon pieces landed on the white bricks, breaking into even smaller pieces that carried fresh blood, the sight making one’s heart tremble.
“Seventh Brother, what are you doing?” The Ninth Prince was shocked and dashed over to inspect the wounds on his hand only to be pushed aside.
“Wangye, why would you do such a thing?” The rims of Chen gonggong‘s eyes turned red as he helplessly sighed.
Man Yao was stunned. This was the first time she had seen such a side of Zongzheng Wuyou. He clearly should have been furious but other than indifference and coldness showing in his eyes, there was nothing else that could be seen. What kind of pain was he hiding in his heart that would cause him to purposely injure himself to use that surface pain to mask the one in his heart? Her heart lurched as she felt strands of pain as well. It was natural for children to love their parents. They desire their parents’ warmth and hope that they can obtain their love and care. But why did Zongzheng Wuyou return the Emperor’s love and doting with hate and disgust instead?”
Zongzheng Wuyou didn’t even bat an eye at his hand as he coolly gazed at Cheng gonggong, “Was he the one who told you say those things?”
Cheng gonggong lowered his head, feeling an immense pressure beating down on top of him. Take a deep breath, he raised his eyes that were full of sadness and helplessness, “Wangye, His Majesty has his own difficulties but he truly loves you! No one can compare to the love he had towards Noble Consort. That year…”
“Enough!!” Zongzheng Wuyou suddenly yelled, cutting off Chen gonggong. His face was pale and both of his eyes were swimming in darkness, “Considering how you took care of my mother, I will not execute you to death this time. However if you dare to bring it up again, benwang…will not let you off! Leng Yan, escort Chen gonggong!”
Chen gonggong stood up to look at the face that was identical to the Noble Consort at the Seventh Prince who was once intelligent and kind. Chen gonggong‘s wearied face didn’t show any traces of fear, his eyes full of worry and helplessness. Sighing once again, he glanced at the dazed Man Yao before slowly speaking, “His Majesty also commanded that if wangye is worried about Li Yue gongzi being alone in the residence, then he can come as well. This old servant must also go to Princess Rong Le’s residence to pass the decree, so I will bid farewell.”
Man Yao was startled. Ever since Zongzheng Wuyou carried her out of the prison, the outside world was rife with rumors saying that the reason why Prince Li didn’t touch women was because he preferred men instead, and he recently took fancy to Moonlight Tea Garden’s Li Yue gongzi who was even more beautiful than a man, taking the chance to carry the person back to the residence after rescuing him from prison. There were even people saying that Prince Li was actually the person who orchestrated the entire assassination attempt all so that he could take her back to his residence. Obviously the Crown Prince was the one who spread these rumors. But why did the Emperor of Lintian let Zongzheng Wuyou also bring her along to enter the palace? Also, did Chen gonggong just say that he was going to Princess Rong Le’s residence to pass the decree? Man Yao’s heart lurched, a bad premonition spreading throughout her body.
The Ninth Prince blocked Chen gonggong but still treated him with respect, “Gonggong please wait! Gonggong said that you are going to Princess Rong Le’s residence to pass the decree, could it be that Princess Rong Le will also enter the palace? You guys couldn’t be wanting to also hold a banquet for her to choose a husband after promoting the general are you? It shouldn’t be happening so soon, the six-month deadline isn’t up yet!”
Chen gonggong: “This old servant is just here to fulfill the commands of His Majesty. As for anything else, this old servant isn’t clear as well. However, even though His Majesty granted a six-month period, matters regarding marriage should not be delayed for too long. These past few days, His Majesty has not been able to sleep well because of this matter. He wants to use this opportunity to let the princess interact more with the names on the list and develop better feelings. Ninth Prince is also in the list, so you must try to share the burdens of His Majesty! This old servant bids farewell!”
After Chen gonggong left, Man Yao creased her eyebrows. Was the Emperor of Lintian really going to take back his promise of six months? Thankfully, before Ling’er and them returned back to the residence, she had told them what they should do should anyone from the palace come to find them. It’s just, the troublesome thing was Li Yue gongzi was to enter the palace and Princess Rong Le also had to enter the palace…hopefully nothing would go wrong!
The Ninth Prince grabbed Zongzheng Wuyou, “Seventh Brother, what do we do now? If Princess Rong Le chooses me, you have to help save me!” His face seemed to say that Princess Rong Le was a hideous beast. Man Yao couldn’t help but furrow her eyebrows, “Your Highness is this worried about being chosen by Princess Rong Le just because she is ugly?”
Ninth Prince: “It’s true that I don’t like ugly girls, but that’s not the only reason. Even though women outside look nice no matter what, the moment you bring them home is when the troubles start, so I don’t want to marry anyone right now…but, if it was a beauty like you, Li Yue, I’d make an exception!” As he spoke, his face broke out into a smile as he pounced over.
Man Yao wasn’t able to avoid him in time before a large hand pulled her away, causing her to stumble. Surprised, she raised her hand only to see a Zongzheng Wuyou’s eyes flash, and she immediately lowered her gaze again as he spoke indifferently, “Prepare to follow me into the palace.”
Man Yao spotted the traces of blood on her sleeve and she furrowed her eyebrows, leaving without a word.
Ninth Prince: “Seventh Brother, you dirtied her clothes and made her unhappy.”
Zongzheng Wuyou looked at his hand, his face indifferent as if those wounds had nothing to do with him. He continued to sit and drink his tea as if nothing happened. Eyeing his injured hand, the Ninth Prince spoke in a helpless voice, “I will go back home to prepare as well. Seventh Brother, don’t forget to bandage your wounds.”
The Ninth Prince left and after a while, Man Yao came back, still wearing the same clothes as before. In her hands was a cloth and a small basin filled with water. She sat down next to him and spoke gently, “Give me your hand.”
Zongzheng Wuyou was stunned. She wasn’t upset because his blood stained her clothes?! Looking into her water-clear eyes, he could tell that she was worried and was unusually sincere. He unconsciously opened up his hand, his palm already a bloodied mess. Man Yao’s heart tremored. He was actually so nonchalant even after being injured to this extent!
Zongzheng Wuyou silently watched as she carefully cleaned his wounds, picking out the shards that were embedded in his flesh, her expression serious as if she was handling a very important matter. Her movements were light and gentle, causing the little stabs of pain from his wound to turn into a feeling that he couldn’t identify. It was a little tender, a little warm. He couldn’t remember when the last time he felt such a heartwarming feeling was.
“Ah Man…” He couldn’t help but lightly call out her name.
“Hm?” Man Yao raised her head to look at him, catching the tenderness in his eyes that he wasn’t able to hide in time. It was the first time she had seen him let down his cold front and show such an expression.
Zongzheng Wuyou hurriedly turned his head away to avoid her searing gaze and tried to calm down, “Hurry up, it’s time for us to enter the palace.
(1) gonggong: Eunuch