Author: Chai Jidan
Mu Xueshi sighed deeply and threw the elaborate shoe in his hand toward the big table with all his strength. The shoe ran down to the painted column next to it and bounced back. It was enough to show his anger.
In the end, that shoe was firmly held by the Third Prince.
Since Mu Xueshi did not see the shoe falling to the ground, he was surprised. When he turned around, he found that the shoe was in good condition in the Third Prince’s hand.
Mu Xueshi was a bit embarrassed. Facing the Third Prince, he asked, “You…why didn’t you make a sound when you came back?”
The Third Prince did not reply; instead, he directly placed the shoe back on the big table, then looked at Mu Xueshi with a grave expression.
Realizing that he had done something wrong, Mu Xueshi rashly looked for a reason to escape. In the end, his mind went completely blank. He squatted on the ground and used a clean cloth to clean the dust off the shoe. At first, he wanted to throw it away, but then he thought that this might be another important clue, so with great care, he wrapped it and placed it in the cupboard.
“The Emperor summoned you?” Mu Xueshi tried to gently cotton up to the Third Prince.
The Third Prince nodded.
Mu Xueshi squeezed out a big smile and asked the Third Prince, “If that’s the case, does the Emperor look mighty? Is the Imperial Concubine by his side beautiful? Does he really have a harem of three thousand beautiful women? Do you have to be cautious when you talk to him? For what reason did he look for you?”
In the end, the Third Prince only answered Mu Xueshi’s last question.
“The monarch of Lubei will be coming to propose a marriage alliance.”
Mu Xueshi only had a hazy notion about this, but he still nodded, then he picked up a fragrant pear on the table and chomped on it.
“Then, which princess was selected? Or do they still need some time to choose?”
The Third Prince added, “It’s them who’s coming over for the marriage alliance proposal of their princess.”
Mu Xueshi nodded and asked, “Then for what reason were you called?”
Shortly after he asked, the Third Prince had not explained yet when Mu Xueshi stopped chewing on the fragrant pear in his mouth. He was foolish, but he could still understand this matter. All of a sudden, the sweet fragrant pear in Mu Xueshi’s mouth became sour. No matter how he chewed it, he could not taste its sweetness at all.
Outside the room, Eunuch Tai’An reported that the evening meal had already been prepared; therefore, Mu Xueshi and the Third Prince could have their meal earlier.
Mu Xueshi waited for the Third Prince for a long time when he was summoned by the Emperor. If the Third Prince did not come back, he would not eat. This was because he felt that he could not eat by himself. However, even if he was so famished a moment ago, he did not even have a bit of appetite now.
Mu Xueshi, himself, could not pinpoint where his grief came from. After the Third Prince answered his question, his energetic little head drooped down. He could not conceal even a shred of his feelings.
“Then, did you agree?” Mu Xueshi nervously asked.
The Third Prince did not reply to Mu Xueshi. He only calmly said to the person outside the door, “Prepare for the evening feast.”
Seeing that the Third Prince did not respond to him, Mu Xueshi knew that this matter had already been decided on, so he shouted loudly at the door, “I don’t wanna eat, I don’t wanna eat, take my bowl away!”
After shouting, Mu Xueshi went to the side room with a dark face and vented about in that place. Since he was not brave enough to ruin the antique calligraphy and paintings, Mu Xueshi had no choice but to smash his fist on the hard stool. As soon as he smashed it, he cried for some time. He became more and more annoyed. In the end, Mu Xueshi sat by himself on the stool as he stared blankly.
“Why should I get angry?”
Mu Xueshi pondered over it and finally summed it up. The Third Prince gets angry when he saw Mu Xueshi talking to others. He also thought that the Third Prince valued him the most.
It was always him who showed consideration for the Third Prince’s feelings every time, while the Third Prince had never shown any consideration for his. After feeling a sense of disharmony in his heart, Mu Xueshi discovered that the Third Prince apparently did not wrong him at all. The Third Prince had an indifferent facade before others and he also did not have any close friends. Moreover, Eunuch Tai’An also said yesterday that the expression in the Third Prince’s eyes would only become gentle when he saw him.
After Mu Xueshi pondered over this, he was not so angry anymore. In addition to his problem about deceiving the Third Prince regarding his identity, Mu Xueshi had always felt concerned since he could not make it through outside. The people generally could figure out the other Mu Xueshi in just a few minutes.
Soon afterward, Mu Xueshi felt his tummy rumbling. He stroked his tummy, then he left the side room with an uneasy look on his face.
Sitting in front of the big table, the Third Prince looked very leisurely as he poured wine in a cup. He did not even notice the arriving Mu Xueshi’s unhappy mood.
Mu Xueshi’s mood had just eased up, but then it became clouded with gloom again. He awkwardly sat down beside the Third Prince and said with anger, “The reason why I said I won’t eat a moment ago was all because of you!”
The Third Prince was moved, but he did not show it on his face.
“I came to eat here, but that doesn’t mean my mood has changed for the better. I’m just hungry. I don’t want to treat myself badly,” Mu Xueshi said with a serious face.
The Third Prince’s eyes showed faint signs of drunkenness. He turned to look at Mu Xueshi and Mu Xueshi looked back at him hopelessly. He then looked at Mu Xueshi’s little hand which had a bruise.
The Third Prince took a few steps to the cupboard, then took out the medicated patch from it for incised wounds and returned to his seat. He gently pulled Mu Xueshi’s hand over his knee and carefully applied the medicated patch on three sides.
It was such a small gesture, but it almost moved Mu Xueshi to tears. All of his sadness a moment ago vanished, leaving without a trace. He felt from the Third Prince’s gesture that the Third Prince understood him. Although such mood was somewhat inexplicable, Mu Xueshi believed that he and Third Prince resonated.
As he watched helplessly at the patch being applied on his hand, Mu Xueshi suddenly shouted, “Ah! My back is sore. This morning, my master hit me several times with a whip…”