The eunuchs serving in Eastern Palace belonged to the Imperial Palace as they were governed by the Department of Management. Ever since Yuan Bao was delegated to Eastern Palace, he was assigned menial tasks such as cleaning and sweeping. As a result, he didn’t have much contact with those outside and so there wasn’t a lot of people who knew him.
As for Hua Zhu Yu, after that night at Lake Thanh, Huangfu Wu Shuang had appointed her as his personal eunuch, which was considered quite a high position. Though she still had to perform trivial tasks such as serving tea, she was able to listen in on court activities.
One day, Huangfu Wu Shuang left the Imperial Study in a bad mood, most probably due to the nagging of the Imperial Tutor, and led Hua Zhu Yu with a few other eunuchs to the Imperial garden to relieve his stress. Half way there, an entourage of eunuchs could be seen surrounding a large horse that was coming towards their direction.
Seeing this, Huangfu Wu Shuang quickly stepped to the side with his eunuchs and silently stood there with his head bowed. In less than an incense stick of time, the sound of the horse hooves became louder and as they approached, a clear gentle voice asked, “Crown Prince ge ge, how come you’re here!”
Hua Zhu Yu’s gaze swept over and saw amount the approaching snow white horse was a young boy around 15-16 years old. He wasn’t considered stunning, but lacking Huangfu Wu Shuang’s haughtiness, he appeared friendly and approachable.
“I was just wondering, Imperial Father usually just sits in a horse carriage and rarely rides a horse in the palace so why would he ride a horse today unless he intended on going hunting. But I haven’t heard of such news! Turns out it was you! Not quickly coming down!” Huangfu Wu Shuang walked up to the boy, one hand reached out to grab the horse’s bridle.
The young boy did not think Huangfu Wu Shuang would suddenly grab hold of his horse as his pale face became even paler as he looked at Huangfu Wu Shuang, asking “ Crown Prince ge ge, what are you doing?!”
“Wu Shang, when did your liver grow so big, you think anyone came just ride a horse in the palace? Beside this crown prince and imperial father, you think you have the right? Not quickly getting down!” Huangfu Wu Shuang said as his hands reached up like he was going to pull Huangfu Wu Shang down. Annoyed by the Imperial Tutor, Huangfu Wu Shuang originally did not have a place to vent his anger. One can see that Huangfu Wu Shang was surely unlucky.
The accompanying eunuchs began to panic and stepped forward to appease the situation as someone carefully said, “Your Highness Crown Prince, it’s inconvenient for Second Prince’s legs to walk so His Majesty the Emperor has allowed Second Prince to use a horse in the palace!”
“Not convenient to walk, is there not a sedan?….”He had yet to finish talking when he abruptly turned silently stiff.
Carefully analyzing the situation, he felt like his head was about to explode.
Horse riding in the palace was a privilege the previous emperors granted solely to the crown prince, other imperial princes did not have such a right. However, there were exceptions, and those exceptions all arose unexpectedly.
The previous emperor had granted this privilege to the Third Prince and not long afterwards, the Crown Prince was deposed. Therefore, it could be said that granting a prince the right to ride a horse in the palace represented the impending deposition of the crown prince, it could also be considered a show of the emperor’s intention.
Huangfu Wu Shuang was scared stiff. Though the sun was not shining intensely and even with the cover of a tree branch, cold sweat broke out on Huangfu Wu Shuang’s forehead.
“Good, great then, if Imperial Father especially said so, then go on ahead!” He waved his hands, his lips curved up in a cold smile as a chilly glint flashed across his eyes. Not waiting for Huangfu Wu Shang to leave, he had already left a step ahead.
Hu Zhu Yu and his eunuchs quickly followed behind. Before leaving, Hua Zhu Yu silently looked back at this Second Prince Huangfu Wu Shang who wasn’t favored. He was sitting straight amount his horse, gazing in the direction of the leaving Huangfu Wu Shang, his pair of black eyes disclosing his pure aura.
The windows crafted from pear wood were all open wide, though it was early summer, the night wind contained a slight chill when it blew pass, causing the various windows to creak.
Huangfu Wu Shuang sat beside a rear window facing towards the back of the garden. Without his jade crown, his black mane flowed down his back, gently stirring in the night wind.
Since returning, he hadn’t even eaten dinner and just silently sat there for almost two hours now. Sitting quietly for two hours without moving was not a difficult task but for Huangfu Wu Shuang it was a bit strange.
Usually when encountering an unpleasant incident, Huangfu Wu Shuang would go to the open field behind the garden and punch the sand bags, or treat the eunuchs as sand bags and beat them, causing a ruckus in the palace. However, he was currently doing none that, just silently sitting there, not exploding in anger or abusing his authority, causing the maidservants and eunuchs to be even more frightened. He was like a gloomy sky, unclear of when the lighting would finally strike.
Hua Zhu Yu was Huangfu Wu Shuang’s personal eunuch. If the master didn’t eat, then she also could not eat. The master was sitting there in a daze so she also had to accompany him in a daze.
But she could understand why Huangfu Wu Shuang was like this.
She too had witnessed everything that had transpired today and if it was her, she would also feel depressed.
If the emperor had already done so, then Huangfu Wu Shuang could also sense the imminent danger. It’s just that he had always thought that since his mother was Empress and his younger brother was disabled, the world would sooner or later be his.
The moon quietly ascended in the night sky, shining silver rays of light upon the window. The white roses edged up around the trees, emanating its brilliance underneath the moonlight, empathizing with Huangfu Wu Shuang’s gloomy jade-like snow face.
A little eunuch who was not aware of Huangfu Wu Shuang bad mood came rushing in with a head full of sweat and a bird perched on his arm. “Your Highness, you instructed this servant to tame this hawk a few days ago, it was truly stubborn ah, but Your Highnesss look, this hawk will definitely beat Gao gongzi.”
The noble gongzi of Southern Kingdom, in their spare time with nothing to do, would go find interesting activites, for example,: cuju ,training hawks.…
Training hawks required a special skill. After choosing a good hawk, one had to tame its wild nature from the beginning and let it starve. One had to let the hawk perch on his arm and starve it for many days and deprive it of sleep. Whenever it fell into a daze, one had to shake it awake. This method of ‘training’ required a couple days to obtain results, therefore a single person couldn’t do it as it required a few people taking turns.
After training the hawk like this, everyone would go the field and launch it. It was valiant and bold, be it a rabbit or raccoon, neither could escape from its sharp gaze.
In the beginning, Huangfu Wu Shuang felt it was interesting and even personally tried to train it. However, after starving it for 2 day days he could no longer take it and instead gave it to the eunuchs to tame.
This little eunuch had been starving it for a couple of days now. Feeling that there were finally results, he ran here to recount his accomplishments to Huangfu Wu Shuang.
Hearing the little eunuch, Huangfu Wu Shuang just let out a sigh and wearily turned around, his gloomy eyes abruptly turned sharp, like eyes of the hawk perched on the little eunuch’s arm.
“Release it!” Huangfu Wu Shuang commanded before jumping out of the window.
The little eunuch suddenly felt dizzy before rushing to release the hawk. Liberated, the hawk took off right away and flew into the far distant.
Hua Zhu Yu furrowed her brows. It seemed like Huangfu Wu Shuang no longer intended to pass the days partaking in hawk competitions.