Chapter 7: His Generosity, and his Brotherly Love
20 minutes ago:
Xiaoming, after sending Li Hua went to meet his mother as his mother sent a message to meet her.
Eunuch Lishi and the six maidservants stayed outside the chamber while Xiaoming walked in. He saw his mother looking at the jewelry pieces which were newly designed.
“Greetings to the Royal Mother.” Xiaoming brought his hands up and bowed his head. Zhu Liling put the jade hairpin on the case and turned to look at her son.
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“Crown Prince, please take a seat.” Zhu Liling went back to the cushioned seat of a mahogany wood broad chair which was decorated with motifs and painted in red. Xiaoming sat on the similar-looking broad chair at her left to the front.
“The Crown Prince is growing older day by day. When His Majesty was of your age, he already had two concubines,” Zhu Liling told Xiaoming, who understood what his mother wanted.
“I am only 24, Royal Mother,” Xiaoming answered, keeping a tiny smile on his lips. “I will have an official wife first, then keep the concubines,” he expressed his desire.
“Then, why dont you marry Miss Cha Yifei” Zhu Liling asked the Crown Princes opinion. Xiaoming stayed quiet, which bothered his mother.
“Is there someone my son likes” Zhu Liling modified her question this time.
Xiaoming shook his head. “Royal Mother, I want a woman who will be different from the noble young ladies. Maybe, I will encounter such a young lady soon.”
“What kind of woman does my son desire I will surely find one for him,” Zhu Liling stated. “The Crown Prince is very well aware of the peoples mouth. Usually, the princes marry early. His Majesty and I are still awaiting the day when the Crown Prince will say yes to the marriage. People gossip about many things. Hopefully, the Crown Prince will understand his mother,” Zhu Liling explained her son. Though, she did not directly tell him how people question his sexuality.
“What if I agree to have an official wife” Xiaoming asked her, which brought a smile to Zhu Lilings lips. “I can have a wife to shut peoples mouths. However, I want the Royal Mother to give me a month to find a suitable wife for myself,” Xiaoming put forward his condition.
“It seems the Crown Prince has already found someone,” Zhu Liling said with a tiny smile. Xiaoming refused it when he heard his mother say, “The Crown Prince must not forget that I am his mother. Is the lady from a noble family The Crown Prince can share it with his mother.”
“Royal Mother, there is no one in my mind. I want time because selecting concubines is a difficult task too. I have heard about the concubines of Father, who mostly are neglected. I feel bad for them, so I dont want women to suffer with me,” Xiaoming stated.
“However, keeping concubines is a must for the Crown Prince so that as many heirs can be produced. It will strengthen the Crown Princes power among the other Princes,” Zhu Liling explained to him. “Look at your father. His two brothers could not get the throne as your grandfather found him a capable heir,” she stated.
“Royal Mother, have you ever met with the concubines of my Father They live in misery and wait for him to come to them. They are excluded from anything that happens in the Palace. Some of them died childlessly. I dont want any woman to suffer with me that way,” Xiaoming expressed his concerns.
“His Majesty will be upset if he finds out what the Crown Prince thinks of having multiple concubines. His Majesty might scold me too for not teaching the Crown Prince well,” Zhu Liling asserted.
Xiaoming did not want to discuss it anymore, so he deviated from the topic.
“Royal Mother, I have a request to make,” Xiaoming said humbly. “The tea servant from the Royal Mothers manor, I want her in my manor as my attendant,” he made the request.
“Li Hua” Zhu Liling arched her brow up.
“Yes, Royal Mother.”
“May I know why” Zhu Liling wanted to know the reason for this sudden request.
“Royal Mother, my personal attendant, has left because of an illness. Eunuch Lishi has been checking for an attendant. However, today in the Greeting Hall, when I saw Li Hua, I thought she would be perfect to be my attendant,” Xiaoming answered.
“The Crown Prince can keep her. Indeed, Li Hua is good at work,” Zhu Liling agreed to Xiaomings request, who thanked his mother.
“I shall take my leave, Royal Mother. Thank you again for accepting my request.” He stood up and bowed before leaving.
As they left the Queens Manor, Eunuch Lishi informed the Crown Prince about selecting an attendant.
“Eunuch Lishi, I have already found one. You dont need to appoint any attendant for me,” Xiaoming stated.
“Yes, Your Royal Highness,” Eunuch Lishi agreed, who gestured to the servant to tightly hold the royal umbrella.
“Your Royal Highness, may I know who will be the new attendant for the Crown Prince” Eunuch Lishi asked.
Xiaoming halted at his place, and immediately the servants behind him stopped. “What is going on in the orchid pavilion” he murmured. Eunuch Lishi looked in that direction.
“Is the Sixth Prince getting punished” Eunuch Lishi mumbled.
Xiaomings eyes fell on Li Hua, who was standing behind Lóng Wei, and it bewildered him. He decided to check what was happening in the pavilion, so he turned left and descended the few stairs. The servants followed him, and soon he reached the orchid pavilion.
After the Crown Prince announced to everyone that Li Hua was his personal attendant, he got ready to leave. He told Li Hua to follow him when Lóng Wei intervened.
“I have claimed her already. I am afraid, but Li Hua belongs to me, Crown Prince,” Lóng Wei announced, shocking everyone.
Xiaoming turned to look at Lóng Wei, wondering what he meant with that.
Jingfei and Ai Fen were also perplexed to see Lóng Weis strange behavior. “It seems this palace maid has indeed seduced the Sixth Brother,” Jingfei remarked.
Li Hua gulped and tried to remove her wrist from Lóng Weis grip. Now, no one could prevent her from getting punished.
“Sixth Brother, Li Hua belongs to my manor. The Royal Mother and I had a conversation over this. It is not good for you to hold the hand of a palace maid and claim your right over her,” Xiaoming said politely, which made Lóng Wei chuckle.
“What made the Crown Prince apply ointment on Li Huas hand Isnt she a mere palace maid” Lóng Wei questioned him back. Xiaoming curled his right hands fingers which Lóng Wei noticed.
Li Hua widened her eyes. She had not expected Lóng Wei to be blunt. He did not even think, for a second, that his every action and word would bring more trouble to her. But what could she even say except stand mute
“What am I hearing The Crown Prince-”
“Dont intervene in our conversation, First Princess!” Lóng Wei snapped her while narrowly glancing at her.
“Sixth Brother, I do not want any commotion to happen in the morning. Let her go. We can have our conversation in private,” Xiaoming said calmly.
“Your favorite sister started this commotion.” Lóng Wei said in an informal tone. “I dont believe in private conversation. That sounds more like a cowardly act to me, Crown Prince,” he affirmed, with a stern tone.
“Sixth Prince, are you going against the order of the Queen and the Crown Prince” Eunuch Lishi scolded Lóng Wei this time. “You cannot speak this way with my Lord,” he added.
“Eunuch Lishi knows well how to cajole the Crown Prince,” Lóng Wei remarked while smirking, and Eunuch Lishi felt humiliated.
“The Crown Prince is late in getting permission from his dear mother. I already delivered the message of having one attendant for me to the Royal Father. The Crown Prince has thousands of servants in his grand manor. Let this youngest prince keep at least one servant for him. I know that the Crown Prince is known for his generosity, and his brotherly love is not hidden from anyone,” Lóng Wei stated and turned the tables in his favor.
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