At this time, Gong Jue’s shirt was spread open. His ink black hair scattered over his shoulders, contrasting with his exquisitely white collar bone. The boy’s cold appearance was as sultry as a demon’s! Right now he was just a child, but when he matures, who knows how many people his beauty will harm.
Gong Yi grinned cheekily. “If you dare to tickle me, I’ll demolish the Hanchun Palace you live in, leaving you with no place to go!”
Gong Jue discerning eye narrowed and he smiled lightly, “It seems I’ll just have to sleep in Sister Gong’s bed! Then elder sister will have to take responsibility for me.”
Who knew that Gong Yi Mo wasn’t shy at all and leaned towards him, “Then why don’t you come a little closer darling! I was so busy hugging the quilt that I didn’t notice you were there!”
She was so straightforward that Gong Jue was left speechless. Maybe someday he will become a cunning evildoer, but for now he was still young; he wasn’t as thick skinned and shameless as Gong Yi Mo.
Unable to withstand Yi Mo’s slapstick, Gong Jue had no choice but to wait until noon for her to get out of bed. Even if he could resist, he still felt helpless when it comes to her.
Little Jue watched in a trance as Yi Mo went to wash her face. The water splashed and crystal water droplets slipped down her creamy skin. The little girl was already so cute with her baby face; it was obvious that she would grow into a beauty in the future.
Not waiting for Gong Jue to snap out of his daze, Gong Yi Mo exited towards the yard. She immediately noticed that one of her apple trees had many ripe fruits. With anticipation, she rubbed her hands and quickly started climbing the tree when suddenly, Xin’er spotted her a mile away and scolded her to eat breakfast first.
Upon seeing this scene, the corner’s of Gong Jue’s mouth tilted up to a slight smile. Sometimes he wondered, what if he never encountered Gong Yi in this cold palace? He may have survived, but wouldn’t he become a cold-blooded man?
Before meeting Gong Yi Mo, Gong Jue felt that everyone in the world owed him. He wanted to ensure that all of his enemies’ bloody debts were paid in full. But now, after she became a part of his life, it seems that those violent feelings of the past have long been buried in snow.
If Gong Yi like him a certain way, then he will become that kind of person; if she doesn’t like his hostile side, then he will give it up as well. It’s that simple.
Gong Jue felt inner peace as he resolved to live a new kind of life.
Unfortunately, their harmonious days won’t last long. The prince was unaware that because of his relative’s upcoming visit, danger is gradually approaching.
Sadly his life was destined for a road drenched with blood and killings. But if his road also has Gong Yi Mo, then all his worries can fade into the background.
“Queen empress, Xiang Ye sent a message saying that the West King** is sending his son, Li Changfeng to celebrate your birthday. They are on their way.”
(**translator’s note: the West King is Gong Jue’s grandfather…see ch.4)
A beautiful woman was reclining on a luxurious Phoenix couch; her hair was combed in an intricate fashion and a priceless robe was draped on her shoulders. After listening to the report of the old maid, the Empress slowly opened her eyes, her gaze flashing with malice. “These past years, were we not successful in preventing the West King from coming here to the capital? And yet you’re saying that his son Li Changfeng is visiting instead….So explain to me, if our forces could stop the Western King himself, why weren’t they able to block his son’s visit as well?”
The old maid nervously held her silence; she dared not answer the Queen. The Empress thought for a moment and asked, “What happened to the prince in the cold palace?”
After all these years there was still no report of the boy’s death. Even if his life and death was unknown, the child was definitely one of those pests that couldn’t die easily. Ironically, the fact that none of the factions were successful in killing him ended up being beneficial, now that the Prince’s relatives were visiting.
The old maid hesitated for a moment, then cautiously said, “There was a report a few years ago saying that the little princess of the cold palace had suddenly become arrogant and domineering. Rumors say that she forced the Ninth Prince, Gong Jue, to be her slave. Many people have seen the little princess scold and abuse the Ninth Prince, to the point that he was covered in scars and bruises. It seems that no one in the cold palace dared to interfere with her torture. They didn’t want to get dragged into the mess as well.”
Of course, the old maid was clueless that Gong Yi Mo was actually training Little Jue’s combat skills; but to mislead their enemies, Yi Mo and Jue did put up a play.
After hearing the old maid’s speech, the Empress smiled coldly and her eyes slightly narrowed, “I nearly forgot that the Imperial Concubine Xue Rong had left a daughter. Unfortunately the princess has become arrogant and stupid, but that will make her useful for our plan.”
The Empress continued, “Since the West King’s son is coming, I’m afraid that the favored concubine, Liu Xian Fei won’t be able to sit still. Who knows if the prince will be able to escape her claws this time?”
After saying so, the Empress’ eyes flashed icy chill, without a hint of mercy. This was an opportunity. It seems like this time she can use the Prince’s death to implicate Liu Xian Fei! After the old maid saw the woman’s frightening appearance, she quickly lowered her head and dared not look up again.
Currently in the harem, the most favored was Liu Xian Fei. At this time this she also received the news. The concubine frowned as she listened to the servant relay the events, “The Ninth prince Gong Jue is currently in a miserable position. Rumor was that the cold palace’s princess has been abusing and torturing him. Also the West King wishes to meet his grandson Gong Jue, whom he’s never met in person.”
After the servant finished her report, Liu Xian Fei immediately ordered for the maid to be killed. That way she could prevent any leaks in the news.
One of the her henchmen went forth and swiftly ended the servant’s life; he didn’t think that Liu Xian Fei would be so cautious; however if she wasn’t this careful, she never would have been able to climb to this position.
It was nighttime and Gong Yi Mo was teaching Little Jue. Because she was used to waking up late, Gong Yi had become a full night owl; it often took her until midnight before she would go to bed. The later it was in the evening, the more awake she was, and Gong Jue had no choice but to accompany her.
In the past three years, Gong Jue seems to have come to a realization; he didn’t know why Gong sister knew so much, but he was sure that even the highest educated men in the dynasty would not know of the things she taught him.
He was too afraid to ask Gong Yi Mo about where she obtained her knowledge; perhaps she was not even a mortal.
Gong Jue noticed that it was getting late. He wanted to prepare to go to sleep, but Gong Yi was still awake and refreshed. At that time, Xin’er entered and brought a ‘double happiness’ cake** as a snack. “Where did this cake come from?” he asked absentmindedly.
(**translator’s note: double happiness cakes (喜饼)–wedding cake that is traditionally offered by a man to his fiancée’s family at the time of their engagement, expressing the joy shared by two parties)
Xin’er smiled and replied, “I heard that one of the Emperor’s wives, Li Shu, had just given birth to a healthy prince. She also happens to be the Emperor’s cousin; both of them have had special feelings since childhood. Since the baby’s birth was close to the Queen’s birthday, the Emperor expressed that his joy was two-fold so he rewarded double happiness cakes throughout the palace. Even our cold palace received a reward.”
Xin’er was quite popular in the cold palace. Many servants would beg her for news of Gong Yi Mo and Gong Jue. At the same time, both Gong Yi and Jue would ask her for news outside the palace.
After hearing about his father, Little Jue lowered his head in discouragement. Here he was, abandoned in the cold palace where his life and death was unknown, yet his father didn’t care. Why would the emperor think of him when he has so many other favored sons and daughters? Just like flowers, his children sprouted one by one.
As Little Jue sat gloomily in his corner, Gong Yi came up beside him. She patted his shoulder in comfort and laughed, “you should lighten up a little bit. Actually, the emperor having this child may be a good thing.”
Normally Gong Yi was not the type of person to curse others; Jue couldn’t help but look to her.
Gong Yi Mo sighed and explained, “Li Shu is the Emperor’s cousin, meaning they are close relatives. Usually married couples that are closely related by blood end up having children with congenital disorders.”
Gong Jue was shocked. Feeling uneasy, he quickly asked her, “Are you sure?”
At that time Xin’er also exclaimed, “So that’s what happens? Actually before I was accepted to the palace, my sister gave birth to a child with mental disabilities. She was cousins with her husband!”
Gong Jue frowned. “So that means that if a person marries someone who’s closely related, they can’t have children.” He was a hundred percent sure that Yi Mo said the truth, so he couldn’t help but ask, “What if I don’t want to have children?”
Gong Yi Mo laughed and patted him on the shoulder. “Why go through so much trouble? There are thousands of women in the world; you don’t have to choose a close relative.”
Her words left Gong Jue’s heart speechless. As he looked at the beautiful sister by his side, he couldn’t help but think……Why wouldn’t I choose someone close?