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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
“If Envoy Huangfu is interested, this consort is happy to take you to the imperial kitchen to look around sometime. It would also give this consort a chance to be a proper host,” said Huan Caier in a meaningful tone after she saw the letter.
“Then please do!” Huangfu Junxiu nodded slightly with a smile. One smiled touched the heart, the second smile stirred uncontrollable emotions. As of this moment, Huan Caier had already fully lost her heart. Although the man in front of her wasn’t beautiful nor extremely handsome, that unique elegance was something she couldn’t resist.
That night, Yao Mowan took off her jadeite earrings and looked towards Yin Xue through the mirror.
“What do you think of Huangfu Junxiu’s looks?”
“This subordinate’s previous master was Yan Nansheng,” replied Yin Xue.
“That’s right. This consort almost forgot. After seeing Yan Nansheng, no matter how many handsome and outstanding men appear, they’d only look mediocre in comparison. Actually, this consort can’t tell what part of Huangfu Junxiu is outstanding either, so how did Huan Caier end up falling for him?” Yao Mowan was confused. In all objectivity, Ye Hongyi’s looks didn’t lose to Huangfu Junxiu’s at all.
“Huan Caier likes Huangfu Junxiu? That’s not good,” said Yin Xue worriedly.
“Indeed.” Yao Mowan nodded in agreement.
“Oh right, Ben Lei has already spread the rumors. If things are going as they should be, they should’ve already reached Huan Heng’s ears,” reported Yin Xue. She had almost forgotten about the main matter.
“This quick? What’s the rumor?” Yao Mowan turned around with interest to looked towards Yin Xue.
“The battle between men never got far from power and women. Chu Moxin had lost his mother at a young age so he tended to have favorable impressions of women who were older than him and had fallen in love with a young girl of the lady’s chambers, Qing er. However, unexpectedly, it turned out that Chu Mobei had also set his heart on Qing er. The king of Shu has always only loved Chu Mobei which was a long term cause of hostility between the two, and now, due to Qing er, they’ve had a complete falling out. Both of them are now working on growing their own influences. Although Chu Moxin is young, he’s fortunate enough to have a skilled tactician, Huangfu Junxiu, by his side so he’s on near equal footing with Chu Mobei,” reported Yin Xue factually.
“So stereotypical and of poor taste. As expected, Ben Lei will never be a literati!” Yao Mowan looked towards the sky in exasperation. She regretted her ungrounded confidence in Ben Lei’s literary accomplishments.
“Your Highness thinks that Huan Heng won’t believe it?” Yin Xue felt that this rumor was pretty good. If she had to come up with something, she probably wouldn’t have been able to come up with a such a complete story.
“He doesn’t need to believe, it’s enough if it makes him suspicious. Huan Heng has always been very cautious. Even if it’s just a rumor, he wouldn’t take such a risk, especially when it was related to the Huan Residence’s future. He’d definitely check and double-check everything before making a move. However, just in case, have Ben Lei send an envoy to make contact with Huan Heng and test him,” instructed Yao Mowan.
The day after the dinner reception, Huan Heng rushed into the palace. This made Yao Mowan’s trepidatious heart finally settle down.
Inside Moon Crossing Pavilion, Huan Caier was mulling over what Huan Heng had just said with her brows furrowed. For some reason, she felt that something about it was off.
“Father, Caier saw Chu Moxin yesterday. He seemed quite like a fool and nowhere close to being as shrewd as the rumors made him out to be!” objected Huan Caier.
“A fool? That’s not possible. Although Chu Moxin isn’t as shrewd as Chu Mobei, he’s still definitely not a normal person.” Huan Heng looked towards Huan Caier gravely. Though he forced himself to be calm, he was very agitated.
Originally, he thought that Chu Moxin visiting great Chu would be his big chance and he could discuss with the austere prince when he should fully betray Chu, but unexpectedly he happened to hear about this news. It was truly a headache.
“He was capable of holding a conversation with Yao Mowan, how much intelligence could he have?” Huan Caier was doing all she could to convince her father against believing in rumors, but in reality, she was just trying to get more chances to meet with Huangfu Junxiu.
“Do you truly think that Yao Mowan is a fool? Yao Zhenting and Luminescent Prince’s revolt is punishable with the extermination of the entire family. As of now, Yao Zhenting has been sent to the imperial prison and Yao Suluan had lost all imperial favor. Yao Mowan is the only one unscathed and still greatly treasured by His Majesty. If she didn’t have extremely good brains and strong schemes, how could she possibly make everything go her way so easily? Father can see this clearly without even living in the palace, so why hadn’t you noticed?”
Huan Heng was silently celebrating the fact that he had chosen to betray Ye Hongyi, otherwise there was no way his daughter was a match for that woman in fighting over power in this palace!
“Father, don’t you think you’re overthinking things?” Huan Caier was unconvinced.
“Forget it. This matter has nothing to do with us. Listen to Father, from now on, don’t interact with Chu Moxin again and make sure to avoid that Huangfu Junxiu who’s with him. No matter how he tries to get you to meet with him, you must not. If the rumors are true, we can’t afford to have any connection to Chu Moxin. The person Father wishes to support is Chu Mobei, not Chu Moxin!” exhorted Huan Heng solemnly.
“Daughter! We’ve already had dealings with Chu Mobei’s secret envoy. As of now, what we need to wait for is news from Chu Mobei. As soon as there’s word from him, Father will be leaving great Chu with you. If we end up losing Chu Mobei’s faith due to interacting with Chu Moxin, when our dealings are exposed, we’ll really have no roads of retreat left. It’s better to take ten steady steps than to take one risky step, understand?” said Huan Heng patiently.
“Caier understands.” Huan Caier took in the signs of age on her father’s face. Finally she pushed down her little desires and nodded firmly.
And so, after that dinner, Huangfu Junxiu waited for three entire days but he still didn’t get an invitation from Huan Caier.
“There’s still no news from Huan Caier?” Chu Moxin lifted his brows and looked towards Huangfu Junxiu in surprise.
“Replying Austere Prince, there’s no news.” Huangfu Junxiu’s expression was calm but inside, he was actually worried. Normally, since Huan Caier had already arranged for a dinner banquet, that meant that she had intentions to work with them. What she said at the dinner probably wasn’t him overthinking things either.
“Actually, what need is there for Big Brother to recruit Huan Heng? Based on great Shu’s current strength, there’s no need to go through this trouble at all,” said Chu Moxin haughtily.
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Huan Heng knows the habits of the Chu army well, so with his aid, the battle will be half-won from the start. That’s why it’s a must to recruit Huan Heng.” Huangfu Junxiu understood this little prince’s temper well. Even though he had similarities to the crown prince, he wasn’t as patient. Perhaps it was due to his youth. However, back then when the crown prince was only fifteen, for the sake of capturing a white tiger, he had lay in wait outside a cave for three days and three nights. That fortitude wasn’t something that an ordinary person possessed.
“Do as you wish. In any case, this prince’s only here to be a diversion. However… This prince can teach you a trick!” Chu Moxin’s eyes narrowed craftily as he looked towards Huangfu Junxiu with a smirk.
“Prince, please go ahead.” Huangfu Junxiu didn’t harbor any high hopes that Chu Moxin would be able to come up with any good ideas but there was no harm in hearing him out.
“If Minister Huangfu is willing to sacrifice a little and use some seduction, the outcome would definitely be much different.” The smirk on Chu Moxin’s face widened.
“Ahem… This subject doesn’t understand what Prince is saying.” Huangfu Junxiu blushed slightly even as he feigned ignorance.
“Then just pretend that this prince didn’t say anything. You can come up with your own idea, this prince is going to go look for Yao Mowan!” As Chu Moxin spoke, he got up to head outside.
“This subject advises Prince to be cautious while interacting with Yao Mowan, that person’s not to be underestimated.” Huangfu Junxiu sincerely felt that Yao Mowan had handed over that nine revivals pill too early. Why did his prince have such a short memory?
“That’s why it’s said that birds of a feather flock together. The ancients sure don’t lie!” After Chu Moxin said this, he swaggered out of the palace. Huangfu Junxiu couldn’t help but feel a chill as he watched Chu Moxin walk forward without any hesitation.
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