His thoughts wandered off to Gong Yi Mo, only her. When he remembered her sincerity and how she sacrificed everything for his sake, Gong Che suddenly felt his heart fill with warmth. He wanted to hurry home to her side.
However, when the counsel concluded, he was called out by the emperor.
Zhaoyang Temple, Side Hall.
This was the place where the emperor read and kept memorials for safekeeping. The whole room was embellished with golden silk and ancient wood. When one enters, they will encounter the calming fragrance of wood.
Emperor Gong Shen looked down on his son. Just a few day ago, this prince was pale and desperate to leave his presence, but today, he actually regained the confidence to speak to the court.
There was a saying that one could not be built up without first facing destruction. At this time, the Crown Prince seemed aloof and calm, showing a unique and elegant demeanor that was his alone. Gong Sheng touched his chin thoughtfully. He believed that he as the emperor was responsible for ‘breaking down’ Gong Che, but as for who helped to ‘build up’ this youth, he could only guess.
Being faced by the emperor’s intense stare, Gong Che did feel a bit nervous, but he was still able to stand by his side with ease. He maintained the graceful and gentle appearance of a Crown Prince. Anyone who sees this side of him would surely believe that once he succeeds, he would become unmatched in his generation.
“Who gave you the idea?” Gong Sheng slowly asked after long a period of silence.
As soon as his father spoke, Gong Che was surprised. He replied, “It was a counselor that this Prince has met by chance and obtained advice. Unfortunately, I only had a short time to make his acquaintance before he left.”
“Counselor?” Gong Sheng smiled. He was one to beat around the bush. “It must be Yi Mo.”
Hearing his father speak confidently and with a declarative sentence, Gong Che could only sigh. His expression revealed his bittersweet feelings and helplessness.
“Ah…That little girl…”
Gong Che was afraid that Gong Yi Mo would touch the emperor’s sensitive nerves. He quickly added, “Yi Mo was just there to help me and the kingdom. Father, please don’t blame her.”
“I won’t blame her.” Gong Sheng laughed wickedly. “She told you to leave the capital and to build a canal; of course it’s a good idea. But once the canal is built, her motives from there aren’t very clear. So what did she say–what did you agree on with the Empress?”
Noticing Gong Che’s silence, Gong Sheng shook his head helplessly. One by one, each of his sons are being led by the nose by this little girl. Even he sometimes…he would fall into that girl’s calculations.
That little girl…she was too smart! Since she expected him to question Gong Che personally, she deliberately withheld the information from the prince so the emperor could not find out.
But anyhow, it was always a good thing to bring benefits to the country and the people.
Gong Sheng sighed and stood up, then walked to Gong Che’s side.
The sixteen-year-old Gong Che was already about the same height as him. The youth was handsome, although not as majestic as the emperor, but he was good boy who could take on responsibilities.
The father stared at his growing son, whose soft features have gradually sharpened in maturity. Gong Shen’s expression momentarily softened and he patted Gong Che’s shoulder.
“Since you are leaving, this father will definitely support you. I hope that you will return soon!”
When the emperor no longer questioned him, Gong Che finally breathed a sigh of relief and looked up at his father. The emperor still stood straight in front him, but as he observed closely, he suddenly noticed a trace of silver hair behind his father’s temples. A sour feeling welled up in the Prince’s heart. He didn’t know why he felt sad, however…this was probably why they say blood is thicker than water.**
(**T/N: blood represents their blood-connection to their parents, as well as their emotional attachment with each other.
This matter was settled without any hindrance, but other aspects of the project including the finalization of personnel, hiring of craftsmen, and the preparation of funds all took time. Gong Che was very busy during this time and his figure was almost never seen.
At this time, Gong Yi Mo sat in the courtyard drinking tea; she enjoyed some snacks and a relaxing time at the Teng Luo Pavilion.
A sudden clattering resounded through the air. Gong Yi Mo turned her gaze towards the upper wall where a hand was reaching out, and soon, the head of a newcomer appeared.
Seeing the familiar boy’s arrival, Gong Yi Mo smiled sweetly. “Ah! Isn’t this the Prince of Ping Wang? Why don’t you go through the main entrance instead of climbing up the wall!”
“Ssshhh… keep your voice down!”
Shen Shi Ye looked around nervously and found that no one came over. “You wouldn’t be so miserable like this if it weren’t for that brother of yours! He refused to let anyone meet you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of climbing up the wall.”