The man in the painting had a quilt of hair scattered across his shoulders, and in his hand was an oil-paper umbrella. With a faint smile on his lips, an alluring aura seemed to emanate from the painting. Even though his facial features hadn’t been intentionally highlighted, the charm of the figure in the painting allowed people to distinguish their identity with a single glance ー Crown Prince Chu.


While the ministers were still in a daze, Grand Tutor Kong was the first to return to his senses, repeatedly clapping and loudly exclaiming, “It appears to be an ordinary painting, but it uses the technique of weakening the profile and strengthening the demeanour; it allows people to immediately discern the person’s identity. Princess Consort Hao, this is a great painting!”


Chu Linglong’s eyes darkened upon hearing the endless praise, his gaze fixed on Su Xi-er.


On the other hand, Hua Zirong suddenly smiled, lowering his voice. “Crown Prince Chu, you have always enjoyed such spectacles, but every time you encounter Princess Consort Hao, you undoubtedly suffer a loss.”


Chu Linglong’s expression worsened, and his gaze shifted to Hua Zirong. “This Crown Prince realised that the monarch of Xiliu is starting to become more loquacious today.” He then raised his wine cup and stood up. “The painting was done very well. Since you have drawn this Crown Prince, why don’t you gift this painting to me?”  

His voice was clear, and the corners of his mouth raised as a glint flickered past his eyes.


Su Xi-er had already walked to Pei Qianhao’s side, and she smiled as she replied, “Crown Prince Chu, this painting was originally a gift for you anyways. Xiao Yuanzi, give it to Crown Prince Chu’s personal guard right away.”


“This servant obeys the order.” Xiao Yuanzi bowed with his hands folded in front of him, then walked to the courtyard with the painting in hand.


Chu Linglong remained standing as he played with his winecup and said, “This Crown Prince is perplexed. How does Princess Consort Hao know how to paint when she was originally a maidservant? Your painting skills are good enough that even Grand Tutor Kong is full of praise, but your skills don’t match up with your identity."


All the ministers furrowed their brows. Tonight’s palace banquet is for celebrating Prince Hao’s wedding; the most taboo topic is Princess Consort Hao’s background. Yet, Crown Prince Chu directly spoke his mind, not showing any respect for Prince Hao at all.


While everyone was lost in their thoughts, Su Xi-er simply smiled, her eyes glancing at Pei Qianhao before her clear voice broke through everyone’s concentration.


“I didn’t think I had an aptitude for painting, but it appears that I was wrong. It goes without saying that I had a mentor; the smart people would have probably already guessed this.”


The deliberate stress on the words ‘smart people’ made Chu Linglong’s reputation plunge again.


Chu Linglong stowed away the deep gaze in his eyes, and questioned, “If I may be bold to ask, who has Princess Consort Hao chosen as her mentor?”


While everyone was still drowned in confusion, Su Xi-re replied, “The renowned teacher is here.” She glanced at Pei Qianhao, her voice gentle. “Prince Hao, you have taught me how to paint a long time ago. Did I do a good job just now?”


Everyone’s mouth was suddenly wide agape without any care for their reputations, the ministers from Beimin included. What have we heard?! Prince Hao can actually paint?! He has concealed this fact deeply that even we didn’t know!


Pei Qianhao gave a meaningful look at Su Xi-er, the corners of his mouth slightly curled up as he stood up. By the time he faced everyone, he had already regained his normally cold disposition. Despite not looking angry, his solemn expression demanded the attention of all. “This Prince was indeed the one who taught Princess Consort Hao how to paint. If you have any doubts, Crown Prince Chu, feel free to ask this Prince.”

With Pei Qianhao’s reply, Chu Linglong could no longer attempt to dig any deeper. Everyone had their own bottom lines, and besides, this was Beimin. Regardless of how haughty Chu Linglong was, he didn’t dare to make a scene on another’s home turf.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

LOL the best way to explain why SXE doesn't act like a maidservant from the Palace Side Quarters is that it's all because of Prince Hao XD