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Chapter 25-Part 2

Indeed, after eating for a while, the Crown Prince spoke and asked about the relationship between Prince Liang and her father, the Bo emperor.

Because of Liu Pei’s assassination attempt and escape, the relationship between Liang and Great Qi plummeted rapidly.

Feng Liwu suddenly asked, and it must be that the state of Bo was involved in it.

Jiang Xiurun also didn’t answer directly, but instead looked up at Feng Liwu and said, “I have been away from my homeland for a long time, and my father did not treat me kindly. He did not even send me any letters. I truly do not know the current situation between the states of Bo and Liang. If Your Highness has any information, please inform me.”

Feng Liwu looked at the sincere expression of the youth, raised an eyebrow, and decided not to probe further. Instead, he said directly, “Your father lends a large sum of money to Liang to alleviate their urgent need for military preparations due to the strained relationship with Great Qi.”

Jiang Xiurun was left speechless, her mouth slightly agape.

Although she was not in the state of Bo, she could roughly guess the absurdity of her father’s national strategy.

The construction of the water canal in Liang was already draining the treasury, and now, with the relationship with Great Qi in jeopardy, they naturally needed to prepare military funds for emergencies.

There was only one fat sheep around, so they must have sent envoys to borrow money. She didn’t know how Liang threatened her father during this time, but in any case, he agreed to lend the money.

But after borrowing the money, they received information revealing that the reason Liang borrowed money was due to the strained relationship with Great Qi.

Now her father panicked again, thinking that he had unintentionally offended the Great Qi. So he hastily sought to please them again by offering another princess and tribute, to show that he had no intention of being enemies with Great Qi.

Understanding this, Jiang Xiurun couldn’t eat anymore. If she could, she wished she could personally slap her father!

Why did such a foolish and short-sighted person seize power in the first place, plunging the people into misery?

However, in Feng Liwu’s eyes, Jiang Xiurun must be worried about him making trouble for the state of Bo. So she asked lightly, “Are you worried that Bo will be affected by the conflict between Liang and Qi?”

Jiang Xiurun shook her head and honestly replied, “I’m just worried about the people of Bo. Taxes will likely increase in the coming years, and I don’t know how many people will suffer and end up selling their children.”

All the wool comes from the sheep, and the money her father earned by pleasing those overlords was actually the hard-earned money of the common people.

As she said this, Feng Liwu couldn’t help but look at her a few more times. He was genuinely curious about the circumstances that led to the birth of such a talented and virtuous son of the foolish and dull emperor of Bo.

And how foolish could he be to send away such a talented son instead of raising him as the heir in the palace, instead sending him far away, hoping that this son would use his charms to deceive others and sell himself in a foreign land!

Thinking about this,he casually asked, “If one day, Great Qi and the state of Bo were to meet in battle, how would you respond?”

He originally thought the youth would hesitate, but he didn’t expect the youth to smile bitterly without hesitation and say, “Your Highness may not have to wait for that day. The state of Bo is surrounded by enemies. Before Great Qi’s troops arrive, Bo will have perished. I only hope that Your Highness, after conquering my former homeland and defeating the enemy, will send a virtuous and benevolent officer to bring true peace to the local people.”

With these words, the suspicions of Feng Liwu dissipated, and she subtly praised the Crown Prince for his martial prowess and ambition, smoothly passing the test.

Upon hearing this, Feng Liwu’s brows completely relaxed. He no longer cared about the disobedience of the state of Bo in supporting Liang with a hefty sum of money. He even kindly placed some of her favorite snake soup into Jiang Xiurun’s bowl, intending for the young master to replenish his strength.

These days of preparing for the banquet had truly exhausted her.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, Jiang Xiurun mentioned the matter of visiting General Qin. She only said that General Qin was injured, and as colleagues, it was natural to visit him. However, all the affairs in the mansion were busy, and everyone had already contributed some money. It wouldn’t look good if she went alone. She wondered if the Crown Prince could spare some time to accompany her.

Although Jiang Xiurun’s words were indirect, Feng Liwu understood her meaning: the courtesy of visiting a colleague needed to be observed, but the young master Jiang was obviously concerned about Qin Zhao misunderstanding something and thinking that he had intentions towards him. So he wanted the Crown Prince to accompany him to dispel any doubts.

However, Qin Zhao’s injuries were severe, so it was indeed necessary to visit. Therefore, Feng Liwu agreed and said that the next day, he would accompany Jiang Xiurun to visit the Qin residence.

On the following day, the Crown Prince, who had not ventured out for a long time, finally moved within the city of Luo’an, accompanied by strict guards, and arrived at the Qin residence.

When Jiang Xiurun stepped down from the carriage and looked at the gate of the Qin residence, her heart was filled with mixed emotions.

Initially, because of her identity, Qin Zhao dared not include her in the residence. Qin Zhao’s father even made it clear that this enchanting woman would never be allowed to enter the red gate of the Qin residence for eternity.

But in this life, it was General Qin himself who personally welcomed them and ushered the Crown Prince and her into the residence.

For the Crown Prince to personally visit his injured son was a great honor for General Qin.

While the Crown Prince and General Qin were exchanging pleasantries, Qin Zhao’s servant invited Jiang Xiurun to visit the sickroom.

Jiang Xiurun knew that Qin Zhao must be aware of the Crown Prince’s presence in the residence, so she followed the servant to the inner chambers.

She thought Qin Zhao, being injured, would not be able to get out of bed, but to her surprise, as soon as she entered the room, Qin Zhao, who was behind the door, embraced her tightly.

“You cunning woman, why did you come to see me? Why did you bring the Crown Prince here?” Qin Zhao whispered angrily into Jiang Xiurun’s ear.

Jiang Xiurun fiercely pinched his hand with her fingernails, causing him to grunt in pain.

Jiang Xiurun then broke free from his embrace and frowned.

“The Crown Prince values you and is concerned about your injury, that’s why he came to visit. Why do you blame me? General Qin, you’re being unreasonable!”

Qin Zhao has suffered countless hardships these days. First, he fell off a cliff and broke his leg, then he almost had his other leg broken due to resisting his father’s arranged marriage. But what he found most unbearable was not seeing this woman for so long; he felt like he couldn’t bear it any longer.

Now that he finally saw her, he felt like he had a thousand words to say, but her lack of enthusiasm in response made him frustrated. He felt deeply troubled by his unrequited love.

His temper flared up, and he sternly said, “I defied my father’s orders because I wanted to protect your future. When I meet the Crown Prince later, I will confess and admit that I concealed your true identity. By then, when you have regained your female identity, I will marry you. After all, although it’s rare for foreign princesses to marry civil and military officials of Great Qi, there are precedents.”

He said this with certainty, believing that Jiang Xiurun would be moved. Surely, she had disguised herself as a man out of necessity, but being in such a situation for so long must have troubled her internally.

Before, she refused him because she was concerned about his existing marriage arrangements. She was a princess, and she wouldn’t settle for being a concubine.

But now that he has rejected the marriage and promised to marry her as his legal wife, she should have no reason to refuse.

Jiang Xiurun decided to shatter his unrealistic fantasy, stating word for word, “Please, General Qin, do not delay your future over me. Even if I die, I will never marry you!”

The smile on Qin Zhao’s face froze instantly, and he couldn’t help but furrow his brows, asking, “Why such a resolute decision?”

Jiang Xiurun raised her chin slightly and said, “I do not like men! I will never marry one in my lifetime!”

Qin Zhao found her words absurd and raised his voice slightly, “You don’t like men? Do you then like women?”

Jiang Xiurun replied bluntly, “Yes, I have always known that I like women. Do you expect me to like a burly man like you, General Qin? Even if forced to choose, I would pick someone who looks like a woman.”

Upon hearing this, Qin Zhao vaguely understood something. His gaze emitted a bitter and cold light as he asked, “Looks like a woman… So, you like the Crown Prince!”

Jiang Xiurun was about to retort when footsteps approached from outside the door, causing both of them to fall silent involuntarily.

Soon after, the door was pushed open, and the Crown Prince, with his celestial-like face devoid of expression, appeared before them.

Jiang Xiurun’s heart skipped a beat, wondering why the servant stationed at the door hadn’t announced their presence. She wasn’t sure how much of her conversation with General Qin had been overheard by the Crown Prince.

In fact, the Crown Prince had indeed heard part of their conversation. Upon hearing the dispute between Jiang Xiurun and Qin Zhao, he signaled to his guards to detain the messenger who was about to inform him.

Because the voices inside the room weren’t particularly loud, he hadn’t caught everything until Qin Zhao raised his voice, questioning Jiang Xiurun about her preferences.

He didn’t expect the astonishing reply from Jiang Xiurun, who, despite her refined appearance, revealed herself as someone who disregarded societal norms, even expressing a preference for effeminate and handsome men.

Qin Zhao then loudly accused Jiang Xiurun of possibly developing feelings for the Crown Prince…

Feeling unable to tolerate this any longer, Feng Liwu thought that these two subordinates were behaving too absurdly and lasciviously in private!

If allowed to continue, it would be difficult to maintain the bond between master and servant. Therefore, he quickened his pace and entered the room abruptly.

His sudden arrival startled both individuals inside, especially young master Jiang, whose face turned pale. Despite his delicate appearance, he seemed to possess both masculine and feminine traits? Truly, appearances can be deceiving!

Feng Liwu settled himself and raised an eyebrow, observing the two individuals inside the room who remained speechless for a moment.

Jiang Xiurun, seeing Qin Zhao about to speak, was worried that this brute might say something irreparable, so she spoke first, “General Qin’s injuries have yet to heal, and I am concerned about the security of the Crown Prince’s residence!”

Feng Liwu then spoke leisurely, “I appreciate your concern. The acting generals in the Crown Prince’s residence are diligent, and the security is tight. I believe that tonight, there will be no unscrupulous intruders trying to satisfy their deviant desires!”

Feng Liwu intended to discipline these two audacious individuals, making them understand the boundaries between superior and subordinate.

Thus, his words were a subtle admonishment, and indeed, the expressions of the two subordinates inside the room changed drastically, each showing a mixture of embarrassment and unease.






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