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Chapter 26-Part 1

Qin Zhao originally had an injury on his leg. Coupled with standing for a long time, he couldn’t support himself any longer, and at that moment, he stumbled and knelt down with a thud.

Jiang Xiurun didn’t expect Qin Zhao to be so resistant, so she hurried over to grab his arm, smiling and gritting her teeth as she said, “Next time, General Qin, dare to behave disrespectfully like this again? It’s fortunate that the Crown Prince is benevolent. If it were someone else, they might not be as considerate, considering you’ve just narrowly escaped death.”

After helping Qin Zhao up and guiding him to a nearby chair, she casually pinched his sturdy arm as a sign for him not to act weak and to hold himself together, not to lose his composure.

However, in Feng Liwu’s eyes, it was surprising how close the young master Jiang had become to Qin Zhao, to the point where he personally went to help him.

Qin Zhao was tall, and as he lifted his arm, it pressed against Jiang Xiurun’s shoulder. Their contrasting sizes emphasized Qin Zhao’s masculine stature, while the younger one appeared even more slender and delicate, as if he could be easily deceived.

If one didn’t know they were both men, their silhouettes would indeed match those of a harmonious couple…

The Crown Prince frowned, clearly displeased, and his gaze towards them was particularly stern!

Jiang Xiurun tried to ease the tension with gentle words and a forced smile, but it didn’t dissolve the Crown Prince’s anger. So, after seating Qin Zhao, she stood awkwardly by his side, her hands hanging limply.

Feng Liwu’s eyes were cold, his slender fingers tapping incessantly on the table.

Jiang Xiurun knew that Qin Zhao’s comment about the Crown Prince being “like a woman” had touched a nerve with Feng Liwu. Today’s incident couldn’t be easily glossed over.

With this in mind, she adjusted her clothes and kneeled on the ground, awaiting punishment.

Qin Zhao, not daring to be reckless due to his injury, endured the pain and knelt down again, bowing his head, “It was inappropriate of me to speak out of turn. Please punish me, Your Highness.”

However, Feng Liwu remained silent, intending to handle the matter with subtlety.

Only when Qin Zhao’s knees were swollen and numb from the injury did he speak again, “Around me, there is no room for those who are unscrupulous. If the tutor intends to marry and settle down, I will oversee the matter, arranging everything for him. But if he dares to engage in illicit activities within my Crown Prince’s residence and I find out, don’t blame me for not appreciating talent…”

Jiang Xiurun inwardly sighed at the unwarranted trouble she had brought upon herself. With a respectful demeanor, she said, “Your Highness’s instructions will be followed diligently. I will avoid any actions that may lead to misunderstandings.”

Meanwhile, Qin Zhao’s lips twitched slightly, seemingly unsure if the Crown Prince would pardon Jiang Xiurun for her deception after he revealed the truth. In the end, he gave up trying to predict the outcome.

At this moment, Feng Liwu stood up and asked Jiang Xiurun, “Has the betrothal gift been delivered? If there are no further matters, don’t disturb General Qin’s rest.”

With that said, he left with a stern expression.

Jiang Xiurun quickly followed behind.

Leaving Qin Zhao kneeling in place, he lifted his sleeve to reveal the spot where Jiang Xiurun had pinched him.

That woman was ruthless; her grip was fierce. The indentation from her nails was a deep, semicircular red mark.

Qin Zhao stared blankly at it, his eyes filled with an unyielding determination…

As for the Crown Prince, he was not in a good mood after being infuriated by his two talkative subordinates. Upon returning to the Crown Prince’s residence, his expression remained stern.

Jiang Xiurun didn’t want to bear the brunt of his anger, so she found an excuse and hurried back to her own courtyard. As Feng Liwu was left alone in the study, he absentmindedly held a letter, pondering the actions of his tutor.

Young master Jiang was indeed young, but because of his handsome appearance, he might have been led astray by those with peculiar tastes. In the future, he should be vigilant about his friendships and warn him not to indulge too much in the realm of male companionship…

Furthermore, even if he resembled the empress in appearance and caught the eye of that young man, Jiang Herun wouldn’t dare to overstep boundaries, despite his audacity. However, privately, if he were to indulge in fantasies about himself, it would truly be infuriating.

(T/N: hope everyone remembers that this is Jiang Xiurun’s name when she disguises as a man.)

If it weren’t for this young man’s talent and loyalty, he would have to punish him severely to rid him of those bad habits!

Unconsciously, Feng Liwu found himself comparing himself to the tutor as an elder brother, feeling somewhat troubled by his younger brother’s lack of virtue.

However, this leisurely period of idleness was coming to an end. After all, using the excuse of an arrow injury to avoid duty was not sustainable. It was time to pay respects to his father, the Emperor.

Three days later, on a rare sunny winter day, the Crown Prince, who had been recuperating in the mansion for several days, finally attended court.

Before the Crown Prince appeared, there were various rumors circulating among the civil and military officials about his condition. When they finally saw him, they surrounded him in the hall, expressing their sympathies and well-wishes.

Soon after, Emperor Duanqing arrived at the hall and saw the ministers surrounding the Crown Prince, who appeared to be in better health than before. Where was the severe injury that the Crown Prince’s residence had reported to the palace?

In recent days, Emperor Duanqing, who had been in a good mood due to the absence of the Crown Prince at court and the feeling of holding all the power, once again showed a hint of gloom on his face, and his sense of loss seemed even stronger than before.

After asking the Crown Prince about his injuries, the Emperor angrily declared, “I have always treated the state of Liang with kindness, but they have shown malicious intent. If a tiger does not show its claws, it will be seen as a cat. The state of Liang harbors treachery and schemes against my Crown Prince. Such crimes cannot be tolerated, and I shall punish them. Marshal Wang Yuan, prepare the troops immediately and march against the state of Liang!”

Wang Yuan was highly esteemed in the military and had always supported the Crown Prince. He was considered the Crown Prince’s most capable ally in the army. This time, Emperor Duanqing clearly valued his abilities and wanted him to lead the charge against the state of Liang.




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