Chengan Town was a small town on the border of the Jing Province. It was extremely ordinary, similar to countless other small towns.
This small town had one slightly more flourishing main street in the center. There were several shops and bars on either side. The town’s market was also in this area.
On this day, the market was filled with hustle and bustle bright and early. The people coming and going were all townsfolk as well as people from the nearby villages.
Later in the morning, a few men walked into the town’s only restaurant. They wore regular clothes but were all large and sturdy with extraordinary bearing. The one in the lead was a tall and slender man with a jade-like face. His posture was straight like a jade tree against the wind, his appearance truly extraordinary.
It was around lunchtime but the restaurant was completely empty. There was only a middle-aged person who looked like the owner keeping watch behind the counter.
Seeing someone come in, the owner swiftly came to greet them with a smile and a bow, saying: “Are these customers looking for someone?”
The man in the lead didn’t respond. Someone next to him said: “Yes.”
The owner was also a smart person. Seeing the strange situation, he didn’t dare speak too much and returned behind the counter after pointing the way.
The wooden stairs led directly to the second floor. Lin Qin Ting, who was the one that responded just now, led the way.
Although this was within his own territory, since the Yun Prince had chosen this place it was best to be careful.
These people went up to the second floor and saw a tall man standing outside the door of a private room. Seeing the people arrive, that person’s expression changed and entered the room to report.
After a moment, a rotund ball of a person appeared outside the door, smiling at the Jing Prince so hard it was difficult to make out his features.
The Jing Prince froze, his expression unchanged.
“Fifth little brother, how’s it going?”
“Going well.” The Jing Prince replied, his gaze mild.
“Please come in.”
Everyone entered. The other side had around the same number of people: five, including the master.
Each could bring up to four others, this was what they had agreed upon. Although they were brothers, familial bonds had always meant little within the royal family. It was naturally best to be cautious.
There was a table in the center with two seats. Two cups of tea were already placed upon it.
The Jing Prince sat down. The Yun Prince did the same.
Regular chairs were completely unable to support his weight. However, the special chair under his buttocks was clearly twice the size of a normal chair. But it could be imagined that the Yun Prince would have nowhere to sit if he didn’t bring this special chair.
“Drink some tea.”
The Jing Prince nodded his head, but didn’t touch the teacup on the table at all.
The Yun Prince smiled faintly, lifting his own cup for a drink.
“Fifth brother is still as cautious as ever.”
The Jing Prince turned his gaze over, “Likewise.”
This was indeed the case. The palace had always been a dangerous place. Empress Xiao and Senior Concubine Xu had control over the entire harem, and the two princes were completely without backing. If they hadn’t been cautious, the grass on their graves would have already grown knee-high.
The Yun Prince continued to leisurely drink his tea. The Jing Prince started looking out the window once again.
The room was very quiet. Although there were quite a lot of people, it seemed like no one was present. Only the sound of the lid on the teacup rang out.
Only after another long while did the Yun Prince break out in laughter, “This prince’s stubbornness still can’t be compared to yours.”
The Jing Prince withdrew his gaze and gave him a glance.
“You may all take your leave.”
The Yun Prince’s people all withdrew. The Jing Prince moved his gaze and his people left as well.
The room fell silent once more.
“Aren’t you curious about my motivations?” The Yun Prince’s voice broke the silence.
“If you want to tell me, you will naturally do so.”
The Yun Prince tutted a couple times, “When I learned that you could speak, I didn’t believe it at first. But now I have no choice. What a divine doctor!”
The last part was spoken rather mockingly, but the Jing Prince ignored it.
“Get to the point.”
“What’s wrong with us two brothers sitting and chatting?”
The Jing Prince didn’t speak again, and his gaze turned away once more.
The Yun Prince ended up stamping his foot a little in anger, the flesh on his face bouncing around, “This guy, still that same damned appearance despite being able to speak now.”
“Can’t you change a little?”
“Fine, I guess I can’t convince you.”
The other party hadn’t responded at all, ok? You’re the one speaking in succession.
“Actually, this prince was just messing around with you.”
The Yun Prince opened his eyes wide. He looked at the Jing Prince’s face, hoping to see something that would make him feel satisfied.
The Jing Prince gave him a glance and nodded. “This prince knows.”
That’s it? No other reactions?
“Aren’t you scared?”
“Why should I be?”
“If I spread the word, you would be put to death without a proper burial.”
“If this humble one was scared, would it prevent you from spreading it?”
Furthermore, it wasn’t like he hadn’t made any preparations against it. The places the Yun Prince discovered had long since been moved.
The Jing Prince looked at the other’s sluggish expression and didn’t say anything else.
Seeing this person’s apathetic face that hadn’t changed in decades, the Yun Prince suddenly burst out laughing, “Alright, alright, alright. As expected, you still make one feel so speechless…..”
The two parties outside who were guarded against each other heard the laughter and were all a little at a loss.
Did they come to a happy agreement?
“Fine, fine. Let’s get to the main topic. I have some idea of what you’ve been doing in the Jing Province. You’ve made some big moves.”
The Jing Prince wasn’t surprised by these words. Since the Yun Prince had sent people over, it meant that those places weren’t hidden from him. Of course, he hadn’t discovered anything concrete, or perhaps the Yun Prince never had the intention to do so. This was also why the Jing Prince hadn’t killed those spies.
“You should be keeping an eye on the crown prince and the Jin Prince instead of me.”
“I’m not curious about them. I’m curious about you.”
These words sounded rather roguish.
“Fine, fine. Anyone can tell what you’re up to. This time I’m here because I want to cooperate.”
“Cooperate?” The Jing Prince wasn’t surprised, but he was curious about what he meant by it, “How do we cooperate?”
“I will give you my utmost support. If you end up succeeding, the Yun Province will still be my vassal state. I will maintain it peacefully. Also, my mother will be sent to me.” Speaking to this point, the Yun Prince’s face finally turned serious.
The Yun Prince’s mother, Attendant Ma, was still within the palace to this day.
Speaking of this woman, she was also a pitiful one. She used to be a palace maid within the palace. Emperor Xi once got intimate with her after getting drunk. There were many girls in the palace who this happened to, but this palace maid surnamed Ma coincidentally managed to get pregnant.
In theory, to be pregnant with the emperor’s child was a blessing. However, Empress Xiao and Senior Concubine Xu were struggling fiercely at the time. Even Attendant Li, who was a proper concubine, had been on edge after getting pregnant. There was no need to mention how Palace Maid Ma felt.
She didn’t have the ability to keep it secret. After the emperor found out, he conferred her a status so she could give birth properly. The child was born a prince, but a prince whose mother had a lowly background wasn’t a threat. Furthermore, the struggle between the empress and the senior concubine had intensified, so they didn’t have the time to pay attention to a lowly attendant.
Once things had wrapped up, the fourth prince was already five years old. By the time Empress Xiao and Senior Concubine Xu spared him a glance, they realized he had grown into someone dislikable.
He was fat like a mountain of meat at such a young age, and he was extremely cowardly. He would be scared into hiding at the sound of a raised voice.
They felt that he was even less of a threat now, and they came to a mutual agreement. There had been rumors flying about in court that even the empress and the most favored senior concubine couldn’t suppress. Thus they allowed it, and this was also the reason news of Attendant Li giving birth to a fifth prince burst forth later.
Honestly speaking, the Yun Prince and the Jing Prince were both extremely fortunate to have managed to grow up. The Venerated Concubine had gone insane and passed away early. Concubine Ma was demoted to an attendant due to the emperor’s anger at the fourth prince’s increasingly stupid appearance. She lived secluded within the palace, and her days were spent only slightly better than a servant’s.
Princes could leave for their vassal state once they came of age, but they couldn’t take their own mother with them.
The Jing Prince didn’t speak for a long time after listening to these words. The Yun Prince seemed a little impatient, “You don’t have to be afraid of me lying to you. My reputation is bad, but you are different.” You’re only stigmatized due to your status as a mute, but it’s not an obstacle at all.
The Yun Prince didn’t say the last part out loud, but both of them understood.
A prince who was known as a stupid, fat coward from a young age, and then got the reputation of being scared of his wife, would never be the one to sit on that seat. The Luo family’s ancestors would be turning in their graves. Even if his royal father agreed to it, the civil and military court officials would not.
His reputation was too deeply rooted!
The Yun Prince would sometimes think back and wonder if he hadn’t done too good of a job in ruining his image. He was now trapped in an impossible situation. If that wasn’t the case, he wouldn’t have come to the Jing Prince, and instead would just do it himself despite the difficulties.
The Jing Prince looked faintly at the Yun Prince seated across from him, seemingly trying to see if his thoughts were true or false.
“Why would you bet on me? You might as well bet on the Jin Prince.”
These words were spoken from the Jing Prince’s heart. After all, didn’t the Jin Prince manage to succeed in his past life?
As for the Yun Prince, his outcome was similar to the Jing Prince’s. He remembered that when he was placed under house arrest, the Yun Prince had met a similar fate in his past life.
The Yun Prince smiled mockingly, “I haven’t forgotten having suffered quite a bit in his hands back at the palace. That grudge will never be forgotten. Furthermore, with his sort of character, he will definitely destroy the bridge after crossing the river.”
“Then why would you trust me?”
“You are different from him.”
You are different from him.
After leaving the town and getting on his horse, the Jing Prince was still thinking about this.
Just how was he different from the Jin Prince?
He really couldn’t figure it out. He had asked the Yun Prince again after, but that person had merely insisted on his words.
The Jing Prince didn’t have any reason to doubt the Yun Prince. The two of them grew up under similar circumstances, and understood each other’s thoughts. He knew that the Yun Prince was speaking the truth. To put it plainly, they were both trying to survive.
Furthermore, the Yun Prince had shown plenty of good faith…..
No matter what, the chips in his hands had increased a little once again. The Yun Prince was unexpectedly not simple.
The Jing Prince had analyzed his advantages before and felt his chance of success wasn’t high. But after adding what the Yun Prince had handed over, he felt several times more confident.
Thinking of that person who was his “fourth older brother”, the Jing Prince felt a little at ease.
Actually he was a little envious of him. The Yun Prince still had his mother. Even if he couldn’t see her, he could still think about her. He himself didn’t have this.
The Jing Prince’s only impression of his mother was an unhinged woman who held him tightly while looking at everyone suspiciously….
Luckily he still had Xiao Hua. Thinking of that person back home, he suddenly felt in a rush to get back.
Chengan Town was quite a distance from the Yun Prince Estate. The Yun Prince’s group only got back after three days.
As soon as they entered the gates, they felt the jittery atmosphere. The entire front court seemed empty. The estate’s general manager Li An brought quite a few people to greet them, and they were shooting glances at him while they walked.
Seeing this, the Yun Prince silently cried out “oh crap” in his heart.
“Where’s the consort?” He forced a smile and bid them to rise with his hand.
Li An walked to his side and said respectfully: “The consort is waiting for you in the rear court.”
Hearing the word “waiting”, the Yun Prince’s legs trembled but he let out a booming laugh on the surface: “Since the consort missed this humble prince so much, this humble prince will go see her.”
Li An silently thought on the side: Oh yes, she missed you. She missed you to death!
They went all the way back to the Embroidered Cloud Hall. The moment they entered, an unknown object came flying at them. The Yun Prince covered his ear and dodged it at the speed of lightning. Not only did he cut a sorry figure, he even fell flat on his face.
There was a loud bang, and the ground seemed to tremble.
“I’m dying, I’m dying, I can’t hold on any longer….” The Yun Prince crawled on the floor hopelessly, acting extremely pitiful.
A girl in red rushed out from the hall. She appeared around twenty years old, her appearance incomparably beautiful. A pair of slanted phoenix eyes contained a hidden chill.
“Such a great Luo Huai Yuan. Have you eaten a leopard’s guts? You actually dared go to the Jing Province. Did you not take my words to heart?”
The Yun Prince played dead as he snuck a glance at the hall. He only saw Li An who had come in with him standing on the side with his head lowered, as though he wished he could find a hole to burrow into.
This damn eunuch, he must have sold this prince out.
Li An repeatedly sent glances at the Yun Prince: highness, this servant didn’t betray my master for glory. It’s just that the consort is also a mistress, and cannot be offended.
“Aiya, my leg, it hurts….”
The round Yun Prince tried his best to hug his leg to elicit some sympathy, but unfortunately he was too fat. His stomach was too large and his hands couldn’t reach his leg after trying for a long time.
The Yun Consort Yan Yan wouldn’t fall for his act. She pounced over and started pinching and squeezing.
Only after a while of beating and cursing did the Yun Consort let out a “wahh” and start crying.
Those within the hall immediately scattered like birds. Li An remained on the side with his neck shrunken.
“You scared me to death. Vassal princes aren’t allowed to leave their vassal states. Those that get caught will have to be escorted back to the capital. Aren’t you afraid of dying in the Jing Province?”
The Yun Prince flipped over with difficulty and sat up. He pulled her into his arms and smiled bitterly as he consoled: “It’s not as bad as you make it out to be.”
“I’m not afraid of the expected, but I’m afraid of the unexpected. Who knows what that Jing Prince is like? What if he was the sort of person to stab you in the back?”
“He isn’t as bad as you think.”
“How do you know that?!”
He couldn’t win against his wife in an argument, so the Yun Prince could only hug his leg and cry out in pain, “Aiyo, my leg is really hurting…”
“It’s really hurting?” Yan Yan said doubtfully, teardrops still hanging on her face.
Thinking of the large bang from earlier, she hurriedly got up and called for people to help the Yun Prince up.
“I really don’t understand why you have to bet everything on the Jing Prince. Why not the Jin Prince? I feel that he’s more capable. Of course, the crown prince is also an option.”
The Yun Prince didn’t want to explain it to her, and could only use the same old argument, “I have grudges against both of them.”
“I always hear you say that, but who knows what kind of grudge you have. Can’t you put it aside temporarily?”
The Yun Prince was still smiling but he said: “I can’t.”
The grudge of being humiliated and the grudge of one’s life being threatened would never be forgotten. They couldn’t coexist under the same sky!
Yan Yan said restlessly: “Whatever, whatever, I can’t convince you. Just do as you please.”
“Yan Yan, I knew you still worried about me.” The Yun Prince squeezed over and spoke while licking his lips, his fat face rubbing directly against the Yun Consort’s charming face.
This rubbing scene was too horrible to endure. Li An directly covered his face.
The Yun consort tried to push him away but wasn’t able to, and could only give him a pinch, “Who’s worried about you, huh? I’m worried about myself. I’m worried about Niu Niu and Jian’er.”
“And me as well.”
“Whatever, whatever. At most, us family of four will die together in the end.”
Hearing this, the Yun Prince’s face turned rigid before resuming his smile.
How could I bear to die now that I have you!?
Matching the fatty with a beauty, forgive this author’s maliciousness.
See you tomorrow. Xiao Hua gives birth tomorrow.