Chapter 177 “Misery Competition? That’s Nothing”
So after a few days of this game of playing silence, Queen Liu finally caved. Unable to sit still, she pleads: “Ling Yue, you are sure we shouldn’t go see my son? Why don’t you send another one of your paper cranes to enlighten him, maybe that will open him up to speaking with us.” Undoubtedly, such a scenario would be a great improvement in the queen’s eye.
“The timing isn’t right yet. Your highness, you only need to do as I say for the next few days and continue to send water inside. Believe me, it won’t be long until the toxins inside the prince’s body clears up.” No urgency could be found in her tone, rather it’s quite lazy.
She’s mixed some of the phoenix tears in those waters, of course she’s not anxious. As one of the best healing waters in existence, there’s no doubt in Ling Yue’s mind that it can sober up the prince. Besides, through the constant feedback of the paper cranes, she can tell the boy’s sanity was near completion at this point. The only lingering question now was why the prince hasn’t requested to leave the barred room yet. It’s like he’s deliberately secluding himself, even from his mother.
Can it be, other than the wrong cultivation method, there’s also something else wrong in the boy’s heart?
Realizing this much, Ling Yue figured the only true way to help the boy was to pry open that heart of his and wrench out the bottom-line issue. Voluntarily or involuntarily, it matters not to her. She will have the answer soon enough.
Another night passes.
Like usual, Xia Hou Qi remains curled up in the corner.
Without the accompaniment of the paper cranes, the days became dreadfully slow for him. Then suddenly, the sound of light footsteps interrupts the eeriness of the hall. A maid appears at the doorway.
Opening the bars, the presence of the young girl causes the prince to twitch somewhat.
With nothing but a loose robe on him, Hou Qi was practically a ghost in appearance if one didn’t know better.
Through his long messy hair, the boy casts an alarmed glance at the maid.
He didn’t think much of anything when he saw the newcomer in the ordinary maid’s outfit, but when his eyes moved upwards and saw those irises…. They are like gems in the night sky, deep and endless.
Greeted by a beautiful face, the bold maid casually takes a seat and slides the food box next to him.
Shocked by the maneuver, Xia Hou Qi realized he’s never seen this maid beside her mother, the queen.
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“Your highness, do you still remember me?” Upon hearing that voice, his eyes dilate in astonishment for it’s too familiar.
It’s the same voice from the paper cranes.
“You!” Xia Hou Qi jolts up from the floor like a cat having its tail trampled.
“Don’t be so alarmed, I am the owner of the paper cranes. Under the request of the queen, I’ve come to see you.” At that, she casually opens the lid and placed the dishes out on the ground for him.
The boy initially wanted to reject her offer at the beginning, but after being deprived of food for so many days, his stomach got the better of him as the fragrant smell of the dishes repeatedly attacked his nose.
Picking up the ivory chopsticks nearby, he dived right in.
Since these ingredients, including the rainbow wine, are all from Ling Yue’s pocket dimension, the texture and flavor are exceptionally fine. One startling bite down, there’s no going back for him at that point. Devouring everything, not a piece was left at the end.
“Why don’t you tell me your story?” With the meal complete, Ling Yue went ahead to pour them both a cup of the rainbow wine.
“Your highness, don’t tell me you plan on keeping up with your hysterical act for the rest of your life do you? Or do you plan to have your mother the queen protect you for your entire lifetime?” She makes a hissing sound with her tongue to show how little she thought of him.
Hearing the word “act”, Xia Hou Qi impulsively jerks his head up. Underneath those long messy hair, a cold and uninhibition face appears.
Pricking her brow up, Ling Yue gets a better look at the boy.
Originally she thought the “mad” prince would have a sickly pale face, but it appear she’s wrong…. Though only somewhere around fifteen years of age, those features are worthy to be praised like the flower petals of the autumn season.
Among those she’s met in her life thus far, Ling Yue can only say there’s one other man superior.
Outstanding looks, fluent and well learned, and capable of using the spirit force, no wonder this sixth prince won the hearts of the old dowager and the king himself.
He should’ve been at the top of this world, so why pretend to be a crazy madman?
If Ling Yue didn’t pay closer attention, even she would’ve mistakenly thought the “craziness” was due to Consort Luo’s poisoning. Now it appears her initial assumption was wrong.
“What do you know! Is she really protecting me? If so, then I wouldn’t have been excluded by the other princes and almost died as a result.” Agitated by her words, the glass in front of him explodes as a result. For a moment, a haze of rainbow mist fills the air and wows the boy in wonderment.
Beneath that façade, a memory buried deep, deep within was forced out again.
That year, Xia Hou Qi was but five years old. As the first born of the queen, his status in the palace was beyond compare. Adding in the fact that he’s both intelligent and talented, it’s unavoidable that the dowager and the king would send him all their favors. Without a doubt, back then he was the best candidate to take over the throne.
There wasn’t a single soul who didn’t show respect for him, including all the princes and princesses. This included Consort Luo’s son, Xia Hou Hong.
Due to their similar age, both boys would often get together to play with the other kids in the palace.
At first everyone was friendly to him, but then one day something occurred and changed all that.
One of the consorts had a misconduct and was punished by the queen. Eventually that consort died in bed due to illness.
From then forward all of the children began to alienate him. Hou QI was still young back then so he didn’t understand why, he just wanted to blindly play with his sisters and brothers.
Then on a random day, his siblings got together and cornered him to a lotus pond. Unable to resist so many hands, he was eventually tossed into the water and nearly drowned as a result.
After being rescued by the maids, he never explained the real reasoning to his mother out of fear for retribution by the others. Sadly, his kindness not only didn’t warrant understanding, it only made the bullying even worse.
By then only his fourth brother, Xia Hou Hong would play with him and even secretly handed him a manual to train with the spirit force. Gradually, Hou Qi stopped trying to play with his siblings and engrossed himself in cultivation.
Never in his mind did Xia Hou Qi think the root of his pain would all be because of this.
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