Xuan Ji could still remember the first time she had met Yu Zhi. She had deceived her and said there was a flying pig in the sky but naturally there wasn’t. This time, she duped those two men and exclaimed that the Emperor had come, but how was it that he really came!
Even if Xuan Ji wanted to cry she didn’t have the time to. If he’s here, she’s certainly dead for sure! Now, it didn’t matter if it was the Emperor or the Emperor’s shadow, she must make a run for it first.
While everyone turned to face the Emperor to pay respects with a bow, she made a run for it but suddenly the back of her robes was pulled to a stretch and she was hoisted back like a chicken. She did not dare to breathe even the slightest of sound. She lowered her head and tried to cover her face with her sleeve as she glanced to the side and saw that it was Na-ming Tian Lang that had grabbed her.
Xuan Ji pushed his hand away and knelt on the ground. Clenching her jaw, she silently cursed, this barbarian is truly barbaric!
Nervously, Xuan Ji stared at the ground. It seems Long Fei Li hadn’t discovered her yet…. Steps away, Long Fei Li smilingly said, “Prince and Seventh Elder Brother, no need to be so courteous. Seeing the both of you chatting so merrily, I wonder what good news you have?”
A husky voice laughingly added, “Yes, Seventh Younger Brother and Prince, do tell us so that we can all have a great laugh together.”
He paused for a moment, then curiously asked, “The little maidservant in Prince’s hand is….”
Xuan Ji could recognize this voice, it was that Zining! As expected, this man was her enemy. Why would he make such a joke! She was growing more flustered as her eyes scanned across the ground. Standing close behind Long Fei Li’s were the typical trinity, Xu Xi, Xia Sang, and Qing Feng. Besides them, there were the addition of Long Zi Jin and Long Li Yu1.
(t/n Just a reminder, Long Li Yu is Prince Zining. Xuan Ji has been calling him by his title name instead of his given name)
Na-ming Tian Lang glanced at Long Xiu Wen. With a raised brow, he proceeded to reply, “Before I arrived, I often heard my subordinates say that Xi Liang is full of talented people. But it was only after my arrival did I realize that what they said was true. She’s just a palace maidservant yet she’s so smart and clever. I have grown fond of her and hope that Your Majesty will bestow her to me.”
Long Fei Li pondered for a moment and remarked, “Oh, is that so?”
“Prince is indeed a romantic as they say,” Long Zi Jin commented with a smile.
Long Li Yu wrinkled his brow but said with a smile, “Prince came to propose to Princess Yu Zhi along with the Feudal Lord. You are noble of status but matters of love are difficult to grasp. If in the end, you cannot take home the beauty, if you still have a beautiful maidservant, then your trip would not have been in vain.”
Na-ming nodded, “Indeed so.”
“Your Majesty, this subject is also fond of this palace maidservant and ask that you grant a marriage,” Long Xiu Wen said unhurriedly. He had let Na-ming finish talking before he stepped forward and raised his voice to speak.
Hearing this, Long Li Yu and Long Zi Jin were both taken by surprise. Though they were not close, they both exchanged glances with one another. It should be noted that the Seventh Prince Long Xiu Wen’s mother passed away early, however she was greatly loved by the Late Emperor. But for some unknown reason, the Late Emperor grew to despise this Seventh Prince later on. So at a young age, the Seventh Prince was granted the territory of Wangyou Prefecture and sent away. Though this piece of land was large, it was deserted and swamps overran the area.
However, no one expected that Long Xiu Wen, at such a young age, was able to cultivate the lands and build irrigation canals. Furthermore, he knew how to make use of talented people and over the past ten years was able to build Wangyou Prefecture into a prosperous area. It was comparable to Yanxia Prefecture, perhaps even more prestigious. His achievements rang through the Imperial Court and today, no one dares to underestimate this once disregarded prince.
He has yet to marry and the Empress Dowager and Emperor had brought up this matter several times. They had even shown him a long list of names of important official’s daughters and let him choose but he always simply smiled and replied that he wasn’t in a hurry. At this time for him to ask for a marriage himself, especially when it was with a palace maidservant, how could it not be surprising!
At first, Long Li Yu and Long Zi Jin simply assumed that Na-ming Tian Lang was infatuated by the maidservant’s beauty but now hearing Long Xiu Wen propose the same thing, they immediately had a thought, that this maidservant was definitely not simple.
Standing behind the Emperor, even Xu Xi, Xia Sang and Qing Feng were suspicious and looked at the maidservant who had been kneeling on the ground in silence. However, with her head lowered and her face covered by her sleeve, they could not get a clear look at her.
Long Fei Li was slightly stunned but his expression was still calm as ever as he said with a smile, “Since Prince and Seventh Elder Brother both wish to have this maidservant, she must be extremely beautiful. I didn’t realize there was such a beauty in my palace.”
Long Zi Jin asked with a smile, “Could it be that Ninth Elder Brother is now regretting that he didn’t take this beauty into his harem before and now he must do the honors for the Prince and Seventh Elder Brother?”
Smiling, Long Fei Li replied, “Tenth Younger Brother is indeed sharp.”
That darn emperor! Although Xuan Ji knew he was just going along with the joke, she couldn’t help but scold him. She was gripped with fear and anxiety and her wounds were putting her in so much pain. Moreover, remaining under the glaring sun, she began to feel somewhat lightheaded.
At this time, long Fei Li slowly walks forward to Xuan Ji’s horror. Only a step’s distance separated them.
His light voice issued. “Raise your head and let me take a look.”
Long Li Yu said with a smile, “This prince is also curious to see just how beautiful she is!”
The Imperial Garden fell into a momentary silence as all eyes fell on Xuan Ji.
Although sometimes she was careless, when she was cautious, she was very alert and clever. But at this moment, she truly did not know what to do for she had never encountered such a difficult predicament before.
She couldn’t lift her head, but she couldn’t not lift it either!
“Did you not hear what I said?” The Emperor asked in a slightly chilling tone.
Xuan Ji’s heart was nearly about to jump out of her chest cavity.
It’s you who made me look up……Dead pigs are not afraid of boiling water, how you deal with this turn of events is your business, Xuan Ji thought as she clenched her teeth, raised her head straight up and looked into the Emperor’s dark, bottomless eyes.
Long Fei Li’s expression took a great turn and Long Li Yu who was standing on the side instantly questioned in disbelief, “How is it you?”
From Long Zi Jin all the way to Xu Xi, their faces all took a great change.
Though Long Xiu Wen and Na-ming Tian Lang didn’t know why they were so shocked, they were still somewhat taken aback by the reaction when suddenly they heard the Emperor’s deep voice questioned furiously, “Nian Xuan Ji, why are you here?”