Li Guanwen’s heart skipped a beat. He quickly lowered his eyes to hide his emotions and ran rapidly through the gamut of responses. A short breath later, he responded to the emperor.
“In response to Your Majesty, this servant feels that though the prince consort wasn’t as blunt as the imperial prince, they pretty much share the same sentiment. The prince consort’s personality is cool and indifferent, so spending even two words on this subject is evidence of his indignation.”
Li Qitian thought deeply for a moment before nodding.
“We see. Are their injuries alright?”
“In response to Your Majesty, Imperial Physician Ma had a look. There’s a sizable bump on Prince Consort Ji’s forehead. He probably won’t set foot outside his doors over the next few days out of consideration of face.
“The Faithful Prince of the First Rank is only slightly injured, with the wound on his arm being the most severe. As for the others, you saw just now as well that there’s a bruise at the corner of his mouth.”
“These two.” Li Qitian shook his head with resignation and a sigh. “They’re not kids anymore, but look at them fighting like this! Even We feel greatly embarrassed for them. Won’t the entire court howl with laughter if they knew of what’d happened?”
“Your Majesty is quite right.” Li Guanwen found the floor highly fascinating. He had a hunch that it wouldn’t be long until everyone at court learned of what had happened.
Li Qitian’s mouth twitched as he imagined what two princes brawling in the streets must’ve looked like. He wanted to laugh, but suppressed the urge to out of concern for imperial dignity.
The eunuch lowered his head even further when he saw this.
It was best for him to be invisible when his master was gleefully frolicking in schadenfreude. If things took a turn for the worse in the future, Li Guanwen might come in for a beating if the emperor remembered that the eunuch had been present.
Silent with his own thoughts for a while, it took a moment before Li Qitian realized that the eunuch had already dismissed himself off to the side. Highly satisfied, the emperor gave orders for Imperial Physician Ma to be summoned.
“Have those from the Imperial Academy visit the princes after three days for another round of diagnoses. Pay special attention to the Faithful Prince of the First Rank, it’s Our brother-in-law who hurt him, after all.” The emperor mused over a few other things. Deliver it to the eldest princess’s manor. Tell her that We gift it to her for her viewing pleasure.”
“Understood. This servant will do so immediately.”
Sitting in a carriage, Qin Yining frowned as she asked Xianyun, “So what exactly happened? Didn’t they only fight with their hands and feet? Why were there injuries?”
“This servant doesn’t know the particulars either. I only heard about it when I went out that Prince Consort pierced the prince in a fit of anger. Though there’s no danger to the prince’s life, blood was scattered horrifyingly all over the ground.”
“These men are really...” Qin Yining wore a ferocious frown as her fingers entwined nervously. She’d thought it was just one of Pang Xiao’s schemes when she heard about the fight, but who would’ve thought that someone would actually get hurt!
Xianyun smiled to herself at seeing her mistress so anxious. “Don’t worry, miss. We’ll know everything when we see the prince later.”
“Miss.” Xiaoxue called out lowly outside of the carriage. “I made inquiries and found out that the emperor’s head eunuch just paid a visit to the Pang Manor. The prince and Madame Pang got into an argument in the inner residence, causing the prince to storm into the palace for an imperial audience. He hasn’t come back yet.”
Qin Yining’s brow shot towards her hairline and she responded slowly, “I see. We’ll wait over there in that secluded spot for now and see how the situation develops.”
“Understood.” The group steered the carriage into a discreet alleyway across from the prince’s manor.
Qin Yining and Xianyun remained in the vehicle, while Jingzhe and the others alertly stood guard around the perimeter.
The girl was actually more at ease now. If her beloved still had the strength for an imperial audience, that meant his injury wasn’t bad at all.
Although, it was difficult to say when it came to Pang Xiao. That stubborn mule could very well forcefully bear up beneath the weight of his injury if he wanted to make a statement for something.
Why would the prince be in such a hurry to enter the palace after a spat with Madame Pang?
Her fingers tapped lightly on the small table in the carriage, sounding out a crisp, slow rhythm. As the clues in her mind assembled, her speculations took increasingly solid shape.
Before long, a disturbance sounded from the manor’s direction.
A figure shot quickly back to the manor on the back of a galloping horse. Jingzhe only had time for a single glance, but was able to confirm the rider as Pang Xiao.
Moments later, one of the manor’s side doors opened up. A resplendent carriage trundled out, followed by six blue-tent carriages. A group of servants brought up the rear. The vast convoy exited the side door with great fanfare and stopped in front of the manor proper.
Pang Xiao was standing on the steps with a cloak of gray squirrel-fur around his shoulders. A calm expression crossed his face as he looked down at the carriages.
Faint sounds of sobbing could be heard from the tent carriages. One of the window curtains parted to express a faint, tender call. “Your Highness, don’t have us leave! We’re imperially bestowed concubines. We won’t leave!”
Pang Xiao responded expressionlessly. “Madame Pang is this prince’s official mother. Now that she is moving to a new residence, how am I to be at ease if she goes alone? This prince has no wife and you are the only womenfolk around me that I trust. You will serve the madame well on this prince’s behalf. Keep her company often and be filial. This prince will not forgive easily if you show the slightest bit of neglect.”
“Your Highness! We don't want to!”
“You don't have to go with Madame Pang if you don’t want to.” The followup silenced the chattering female voices. Pang Xiao’s tone hardened. “You are this prince’s concubines. Even if you are imperially bestowed, don’t forget your identities. Madame Pang is this prince’s official mother, a highly respected individual that this prince can’t show enough filial piety towards. Yet you dare protest and drag your heels when sent to serve her on this prince’s behalf! What further use does this prince have for all of you! Those who do not wish to serve may leave the household and do as you wish.”
Emotions flickered across the womenfolk’s faces, while movement finally registered from the opulent carriage.
The window curtains were flicked outwards to reveal a furious-looking Madame Pang. Leaning halfway out the opening, she denounced angrily, “Kill or sell the people you don’t want! Why are you shoving them at me? I don’t want them. Have those bitches stay far away from me! They’re all so needy and useless beyond belief!”
The title of ‘bitches’ set off the women behind her and they screeched back in protest.
The ensuing delightful cacophony of shrieked insults and high-pitched outrage didn’t irritate Pang Xiao. He rather chuckled instead.
“Has Madame Pang gotten confused in your anger? As needy or useless these women may be, they’re not General Pang’s concubines. Or are you too used to being a jealous sort and lost control of your temper again?”
“You, you vile spawn!”
“Rest well in your new home, Madame Pang. My concubines will serve you well.” Pang Xiao ordered, “Be on your way and serve the madame well.”
A din of sorrowful wails rose from the carriages, but who would dare defy Pang Xiao’s instructions? No one was able to change his mind once it was set!
Standing in front of the door with his hands behind his back, Pang Xiao laughed softly when the convoy drove off into the distance. Even the wound on his arm didn’t throb as much anymore.
Using this incident to exaggerate his reactions, he’d been able to clean out most of the irritations at home. Now that they’d left, they’d have to expend quite a bit of effort to come back. They were all part of his household at the end of the day, so it’d be up to him whether or not he let them through the front door!
This way, his darling would have fewer troubles to deal with when she joined the family later.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Oh my goodness. I need some spicy extra content on how those women don't get along, lol!