Xiao Zuo brought the painting back to the residence, and when putting away the painting, it got seen by Zi Wan.
Zi Wan looked at that pair of mandarin ducks for a while, then pursed her lips, and slightly worriedly said to Xiao Zuo, “Duke…… has his Highness the Crown Prince gifted it to Duke”
Xiao Zuo nodded his head, and was about to roll that painting up, but got blocked by Zi Wan, “This servant has long resided in the palace, and know much about the things in the palace much more than the duke.
Furthermore, Jin’s southern winds far exceed that in Nan Liang’s, this servant……”
“If there is something, just speak up.” Xiao Zuo seemed to predict what Zi Wan wanted to say, and he went silent for a moment, then spoke.
“Please excuse this servant for the offence.
His Highness comes running to this ducal residence everyday, I heard that his Highness typically cares not for meat nor vegetables, it is hard to not think that his Highness might have had some thoughts in that direction.” Zi Wan carefully thought of her wording, “How does the duke think”
“His Highness treats me very well, he……” Xiao Zuo opened his mouth.
The slightly obscured, drifting, indiscernible emotions that were like willows and wind flowers buried in his heart for a long time seemed about break out from the soil at this moment, “He……”
But what was this considered as One was a monarch of a fallen country who turned his back to his hometown and was detained in an enemy country with no foreseeable future, while one was a high-spirited and vigorous person above many who was the crown prince, furthermore, He Xuan treated him…… first forget talking about what kind of feelings he had first, just simply thinking about these, the impassable sky-reaching chasm that traverses between him and He Xuan, was not up to him to worry and hesitate over at all.
Xiao Zuo powerlessly closed his eyes, and slightly dejectedly smiled, “Taking care of me is originally his duty, the status between us has such great disparity, how could something happen Don’t think too much about it.”
Xiao Zuo did not know if he was persuading Zi Wan or if he was persuading himself with that final line.
“That is true, this servant got muddled briefly and thought astray.
Don’t think too much about it, Duke.” Hearing Xiao Zuo like this, Zi Wan seemed like she let out a breath of relief, and put that painting away, then went out to get water, “Let this servant tend to the duke’s washing.”
Xiao Zuo thought to how after He Xuan gave that painting to him, he did not be like usual and send him home.
He looked at the direction those wheels turned to, seeming like it was headed towards a place of debauchery.
“Don’t be so self-sentimental, Xiao Zuo.”
Xiao Zuo pulled up the corners of his mouth in self ridicule, and wearily rubbed between his eyebrows.
It had been a month since Liu Guang Yuan led Nan Liang cities’ garrison force over, and already, he made Nan Liang’s commoners complain everywhere about the bad administration, to the point that they couldn’t wait to eat flesh and drink blood to devour them.
In places stationed with Jin’s army, matters of bullying men and women were not anything new.
When soldiers drank wine in the winery, they would escape into civilian homes to wilfully rob their assets, and if they met with obstruction, they would cause havoc, even more wicked than bandits and robbers.
But that Liu Guang Yuan was accustomed with the principles of the government, while the envoys patrolling Nan Liang were all under the Liu family, and was considered to be a leopard of a hill.
Yet each time there was a report made to the courts, all that it spoke of was that when the Jin army enforced discipline, there would often be unruly people causing havoc, and they had to use their talents to suppress them.
That He Heng spoiled Née Liu so much that when hearing this kind of flattery, he deeply believed it without a doubt.
He Xuan knitted his eyebrows and looked at the memorial the people underneath sent.
The meaning between the words was all dissatisfaction towards Liu Guang Yuan.
Reading on the continuous memorials made him go into a rage inside, scorching so much it was like his mouth was about to have bubbles foam out from it.
He reached out to take the floral tea a maid steeped to suppress his anger, then heard a servant come in to report, “Your Highness, Lord Xu has asked for an audience.”
Xu Yu Hang probably came for this matter too, so He Xuan nodded his head, “Let him come in.”
Today the winds were strong, so Xu Yu Hang wore a furry hat, covered his face firmly, and even draped in a thick big cloak, with his hands holding a hand-warming pouch, and leisurely walked in.
“This look of yours seem like those bunch of old grandpas at the Han Lin College with nothing to do but stroll around the flower garden.” He Xuan placed his brush down, and looked at him with interest while making a joke.
The two people were familiar with each other since childhood, Xu Yu Hang knew that mouth of his was never not merciless, and did not lower himself to his level, and removed the big cloak and gave it to a maid to the side, then said.
“Then I cannot hope for more, fixing up history books all day, the days must be much more comfortable than now.
“Did you come today for the matter of Liu Guang Yuan”
“Precisely.” Xu Yu Hang nodded his head, and received the tea that He Xuan passed to him.
He rushed all the way over here and was extremely thirsty, so he lifted the lid and poured in a mouthful.
Who knew that tea was just steeped and did not cool down for long, Xu Yu Hang got scalded defencelessly and made a cry, then tossed the teacup and complained, “Good on you He Xuan, did you want me to scald to death”
“How could you say that.” He Xuan narrowed his eyes and unkindly sneered at him, then took a towel and extremely casually tossed it to his body, signalling that he wipe the tea that splattered on his clothes, then turned his head and had the maid steep a new cup again, and teasingly said, “Lord Xu is such a pillar of the country, how could this lowly one dare plot murder without reason”
“Hmph.” Xu Yu Hang’s nose made a hump, then seriously spoke, “That Liu Guang Yuan oppresses the civilians, creating a corner of evil, it is truthfully disgusting.
However, he is accustomed with fawning on superiors while insulting those beneath him, that person up top is perhaps still being kept in the dark about it.
This time, Liu Guang Yuan is a proper part of the main branch from Née Liu, if we let him fall through with these crimes, it won’t do without his Fourth Highness learning a lesson.”
He Xuan sneered.
He twisted one of the memorials on the table, and his tone had a seldom fatigue to it, “Flowing blood stains the wild grasses, while all the jackals and wolves dress in government clothing.”
He Xuan closed his eyes and paused for a while, then said, “In a few days, I will send a tablet into the palace, and can speak about it with Father.”
“It can only be like this.” Xu Yu Hang at this time passed through the scalding momentum, and his mouth got greedy again, then proceeded to pick up a cake placed on the table and ate one piece.
The look of him eating was truthfully not considered to be excellent- the front collar was full of crumbs, but he himself did not mind at all, and randomly brushed it, and was keenly seen by He Xuan and got ridiculed.
“How could the pillar of the country be this vulgar If you were to be seen by those bunch of ladies in the capital, careful that that beautiful name as the capital’s admirable lord cannot be kept.”
Xu Yu Hang shook his head and continued eating without a single care, and refuted with a big tongue, “You don’t understand, this is what’s called a genuine nature, to be delicate in the rough, it is currently the most welcoming.”
After finishing, he seemed to have thought of something, and propped his head, then asked with a face like he was asking for gossip, “I hear that you’ve been coming in and out of the Nan Hun ducal residence as of late Is that little emperor from the south quite handsome”
He Xuan froze, then lifted his head and raised his eyebrows, “Handsome, much more handsome than those lords in the capital.
After all, they are Nan Liang’s beauty, there is another kind of charm to them.”
“Oh~” Xu Yu Hang dragged his tone, and smiled with ill intent, “No wonder, no wonder, could it be that our Highness the Crown Prince has not yet had a taste of the sacred”
To avoid the taboo of the emperor in the civilian realm, people would call them the sacred.
At this time when Xu Yu Hang said it like this, it carried a bit of an improper hint of intimacy.
He Xuan originally was not some proper gentlemen either, and with Xu Yu Hang, there was furthermore no need to act like that, and generously admitted to it, “Certainly, the taste should be excellent.
However, after a few interactions, they are truly a blockhead, there is a round of tricks still needed.”
“Just with your Highness’ looks and position, even the celestials above the sky can be taken with the reach of the hand, a mere monarch of a fallen country, of course, goes without saying.” Xu Yu Hang sighed for a bit, then smiled, “This lowly one will be waiting respectfully for your Highness’ good news.”
“Beat it!” He Xuan was unable to laugh or cry thanks to him, and tossed the cushion on the seat over, and also started smiling.
This day, when He Xuan followed an eunuch into the palace, it was still Sun De Lu folding his arms waiting over there.
Seeing him come, he narrowed his eyes and bowed, then said in a low voice, “His Majesty and the Fourth Highness are inside.”
“Thank you.” He Xuan nodded his head in understanding, and secretly pondered that this trip this time will probably be fruitless, and tightened his collar before entering the palace.
Empress Liu and He Yang were both there, with each sitting on a couch on each side.
The mother and son similarly leaned on the back of the chair and picked up a sweet cake, while Empress Liu would occasionally split one piece and feed it in He Heng’s mouth- He Heng was sitting right in the middle, and narrowed his eyes in extreme indulgence.
He Xuan paused at the door, then said, “This son greets Father, Mother.”
He Heng nodded his head at him, “Come in and sit, this is the newly-made sweet cake the imperial kitchen has made, Xuan’er, come have some.”
“Thank you, Father.” He Xuan picked up a sweet cake as he wished.
He especially picked the one that looked the smallest, placed it in the mouth and chewed it for a while, got so disgusted by it he could not take it anymore, then hurriedly lifted up some green tea and washed the throat to get by it.
Empress Liu saw his actions, but did not say anything, instead, He Yang interrupted, “Brother, is there something today”
“No……” With Empress Liu here, no matter how He Xuan embellished it, even if he dragged those commoners up to the palace, it would probably be of no effect, and would probably make himself foul.
He Xuan originally planned on muddling things over, who knew just as he opened his mouth, he would be interrupted by Empress Liu, “Although this subject has long resided in the deeps of the palace, but a few days ago, Mother entered the palace, and has heard of the muddled things that Third Brother has done at Nan Liang.
The crown prince typically speaks from a sense of justice, could it be because of this matter”
He Xuan knitted his eyebrows.
Now that Empress Liu herself has mentioned it, it was hard for him to deny it, and followed up, “The reason is that there were some rumours in the courts lately.
General Liu has been renowned for a lifetime, how could he be sullied by the likes of rascals So this son thought, why not completely investigate this matter, and clear General Liu’s name.”
Empress Liu raised her eyebrows, and brought up her handkerchief and covered over her lips then giggled, “How is it this serious Third Brother is not some stale scholar, committing suicide due to some people’s words, what need is there to get into a big battle over this”
After finishing, she took down the long finger guard with gold pearls and gems on the right hand, then used the slender hand that was kept very well and lightly pushed He Heng like she was almost acting coquettish, “Your Majesty, wouldn’t you say so yourself”
“Zi Tong is so very right.” He Heng took much pleasure with this trick of hers, and narrowed his eyes and smiled while patting her hand, then said, “Even more so when it would be Yang’er’s birthday in a few days, no Making it so chaotic like chickens flying and dogs jumping is not appropriate, this matter does not need to be mentioned anymore.”
“This son understands.” He Xuan lowered his eyes, drank a mouth of tea, and heard He Heng speak up again, “Yang’er, do you have something you would like Just say it to mez, Iz will definitely seek it out for you.”
He Yang looked at Empress Liu, then shook his head, “Yang’er has nothing lacking, Yang’er only wishes that Father’s body is healthy, and that would be enough.”
“Hahahaha, look at this child!” He Heng was in great delight from hearing these words, “This time, the birthday celebration must be planned big, Iz will order the Ministry of Rites in a few days.”
“Thank you, Father.” Once He Yang got something good, he slightly elatedly looked at He Xuan.
He Xuan did not pay attention to him, and only put his head down and drank tea.
“Your Majesty, you mustn’t spoil Yang’er, this child is just sweet in the mouth~”
When this pot of tea was about to be emptied out, He Xuan already drank so much his mouth was full of that bitter taste of tea, He Heng was finished talking to his content just now, said he wanted to take a small nap, and had them all go back.
“Yang’er, don’t be in a rush to leave.” Empress Liu saw He Xuan go far off, then called He Yang, “Come sit in the Han Yuan Palace.”
“Yes, Mother.” He Yang nodded his head obediently, and followed behind Empress Liu.