Chapter 235: The Prince in a Rage (I)
“Master…” Huzi looked anxiously at Pang Xiao. In all these years, it was the first time he’d seen his master like this. The guard couldn’t put his finger on it, but he could tell that Pang Xiao’s mood was very off.
“Master, it’s easy for me to contact the steward and get a message in to the fourth miss. But what about her safety in the palace? The new emperor refused to let her bring close servants, so Jiyun certainly didn’t make it in. What if the new emperor is just like his trash father and does something to the fourth miss?”
Pang Xiao’s forehead knit together tightly. He responded lowly, “Blockhead, you said that she’s heavily injured?”
Mu Jinghu nodded.
Pang Xiao sighed. “She’s a smart girl and will use her injuries to avoid any intimacy with the new emperor. The new emperor is a scholarly sort and genuinely likes her. He wants to spend the rest of his life with her and won’t do anything to a patient. With her playing sick, that’ll give me enough time to do what I need to do.”
He sat down rather dejectedly on the only unbroken round stool remaining in the tent and heaved another sigh. “Honestly, Blockhead’s right. I’m selfish.”
Mu Jinghu was still stooped on the ground. He raised his head to look at his friend, holding the two halves of the teapot this time.
Huzi started to say something, but stopped.
“I still want her for myself even if she wants to be empress, so I can’t let her become the empress no matter what. The Qins can’t defy an imperial decree, so I can only make the new emperor give it up himself.”
Huzi nodded. He knew that Pang Xiao was a deeply thoughtful man with an eye for the future. It wasn’t unusual for the prince to be able to swiftly analyze a situation and come up with a countermeasure even when in a towering rampage.
Mu Jinghu on the other hand, snorted. “What a fox indeed. Actually, you two match well. You didn’t see how she looked when she was plotting against those assassins — that was so scary! I thought she was possessed by a fox! You two foxes belong together. I’m waiting to see how you plot against each other after you get married, hmph!”
Pang Xiao knew how quick-witted and innovative Qin Yining was. When he heard Mu Jinghu’s words, he could almost see the mischievous light shining out of her wise eyes as she plotted. He inwardly relaxed whenever he thought of her.
Huzi heaved a long-awaited sigh of relief when he saw his master return to normal. “Master, are you planning on teaching the Prince of Ning a good lesson?”
“Yes, but we need to act like we’re very tired as well. When his troops are scared witless after tasting the might of our Valiant Tigers, that’ll be half of my plan complete.”
“And the other half?”
Pang Xiao called the guard to his side and murmured, “Stay in the city after you get an answer from my girl. When news of difficult times due to the fierce clashes between the Valiant Tigers and Great Yan army spread, this is what you should do…”
Pang Xiao dropped his voice even further.
The guard’s eyes grew brighter the more he heard of the plan. He nodded rapidly. “This is fantastic! Alright, I’ll be on my way!”
Mu Jinghu rose when he saw that everything had been discussed. Pang Xiao personally saw the two out of camp before summoning some generals to discuss some important issues.
The next day, Huzi disguised himself and hid in a hookah bar, choosing to nap on the couch in a single room.
Since Mu Jinghu was a new face, he wouldn’t attract any suspicion when delivering a message. He was given the task of bringing Steward Zhong to the hookah bar for a meeting.
When the steward heard that Pang Xiao’s men was waiting for him, he immediately set aside what he’d been working on to meet with the prince’s representative.
Worried that someone would eavesdrop on their conversation, Mu Jinghu kept watch outside and left the room for the two to talk.
Steward Zhong placed his hands behind his back and snorted when he saw that Huzi didn’t seem to be in a great hurry. “So now you think of us? Where were you earlier?”
Having just woken up, Huzi was still very groggy and nonplussed by the steward’s angry lecture in lieu of a greeting. However, his answer was still very loyal to Pang Xiao.
“Don’t be angry, noble steward. You know how hard it is for those of us outside to get any news. My master sent me into town the moment he learned of what’d happened.”
The steward snorted again and sat down with an expansive motion. “And what’re you doing here now? Anxious because our miss is going to be the empress? I didn’t see your master anywhere when her family suffered all those disasters. But now? Now you’re here huh?”
The steward glared at Huzi, counting off of his fingers. “The owner has beauty and brains, an excellent background, is quick-witted and good with strategy, and virtuous and filial! In this old man’s eyes, there’s no better girl in the world! With her status, she’s more than suited to be empress! Our new emperor is young and accomplished, and loves her wholeheartedly. I say it’s wonderful if she becomes the empress! Is your master jealous after hearing her new position and wants to mess things up? Let me tell you something, the miss is even-tempered, but I’m not!”
Huzi could tell by now that the steward was sulking.
When the Qins had suffered such a calamity, the prince had been miles away and stuck in the military camp. He hadn’t helped at all, and the person he’d sent had arrived late, resulting in the loss of so many lives.
An outsider such as the steward was incredibly indignant whenever he thought of this, to say nothing of Qin Yining, who was actually caught up in things. Huzi inwardly wiped away a forehead of sweat for his master.
Though his master was an arrogant, domineering sort in front of others, Pang Xiao morphed from a tiger to a cat whenever facing Qin Yining. None of his usual sharpness was to be found. With the prince’s personality, he was certainly already feeling guilty that he hadn’t been able to protect the Qins. Add to that his identity as an enemy general and all manner of awfulness from Great Zhou, it was understandable if Pang Xiao was feeling self-conscious.
Huzi didn’t dare add fuel to the flames. He plied apologetic smiles onto the steward. “Grand Steward, it’s one thing to be angry, but never act on it to separate a pair of lovers! You know how my master is wholeheartedly devoted to your miss. He treats no one else like how he treats her! If he wasn’t true to her, why would someone like my master try to be a flapjack, jumping into the Great Yan flames after being fried in Great Zhou? He’s crispy on the outside and tender inside, just like fried fish!”
The steward burst out laughing at the metaphor. “Flapjacks and fish, huh? You must be hungry, kid!”
Huzi smiled diffidently, relaxing. “My master told me to come, even at the risk of my life, to ask the steward for a favor. This has to do with both our masters’ happiness, so please do help me.”
Steward Zhong was soothed by the guard’s words. Though he was still indignant on Qin Yining’s behalf, he couldn’t throw a wrench into the greater picture because of that. “Go on.”
Huzi and the grand steward discussed for a long while in hushed tones. After the two were decided, Steward Zhong rushed off to put various things into play.
On the afternoon of that day, a group of palace maids changed out the decorations and plants of the Jade Hall according to imperial orders.
Qin Yining had just taken her medicine and was lounging on the reclining couch with Riceball. She looked up to see a merry Jiyun walk in with a bunch of lilies. The guard curtsied to Xingyu and Bixue.
“Elder sisters, where should I put these flowers?”
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