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Chapter 46-Part 2

However, Marquis Jinghou did not know this and assumed that Young Master Jiang had flattered the Crown Prince to gain access to the tea gathering, feeling nothing but contempt.

The Crown Prince cherished talent, and even if he was temporarily bewitched by male beauty, he would surely wake up once he recognized Young Master Jiang’s incompetence!

With this in mind, Marquis Jinghou summoned two of his clan’s students who were studying at the academy and secretly instructed them.

Tian Ying, initially overjoyed to see the Crown Prince, lost her joy when she noticed Jiang Herun behind him. For some reason, she never considered someone like Cao Xi to be a threat.

Instead, it was this Young Master Jiang, a man, who made her feel deeply uncomfortable. She initially thought that dancing in the palace would achieve two goals.

Who knew the Crown Prince would favor him and even allow Young Master Jiang’s sister to marry into the Crown Prince’s residence.

Thinking about competing with a man for the Crown Prince’s favor, Tian Ying was infuriated! But seeing her uncle make arrangements, she felt secretly delighted, determined to embarrass Young Master Jiang.

Jiang Xiurun noticed the unfriendly glances from Marquis Jinghou and Tian Ying early on.

However, she was too preoccupied with composing her poem to bother glaring back. She felt as if her mind was a shallow puddle, devoid of any substantial content.

The poetry session was about to start, and everyone needed to present their work.

Although she had read the tea gathering’s itinerary on the invitation, she assumed the Crown Prince wouldn’t permit her to attend, so she hadn’t prepared anything.

But the damned Crown Prince had suddenly permitted her to go that morning.

This caught her off guard, to the point where she almost begged the Crown Prince not to take her.

Yet the Crown Prince seemed to relish her discomfort lately, practically dragging her onto the carriage, making her stumble and nearly lose her cloak.

The Crown Prince even pretended to be considerate by fastening her cloak. If he truly cared, he would have helped her prepare a poem!

During the long carriage ride, she desperately tried to piece together a poem.

Unfortunately, she had no quick talent for poetry, and by the end of the journey, she had not managed a single line. Her frustration nearly brought her to tears, only to amuse the Crown Prince.

As the poetry session approached, Jiang Xiurun became increasingly anxious, she silently prayed for a flash flood and a rain of knives from the sky. In short, it was enough to stir up the banquet so that there was no need to worry about the respectful Marquis Jinghou, Tian Ying, and the others staring at her!

Soon, the poetry session began. In the fragrant aroma of bamboo leaf green tea, everyone passed a drum around, and whoever it stopped in front of would recite their poem.

Jiang Xiurun had calmed down considerably by now.

Her philosophy was that problems solvable with money were not real problems.

Unable to come up with a poem, she secretly called over a student from the Tian branch, flattered him, and then offered a large sum of gold to buy an unused poem.

The student generously offered two, allowing her to choose. She picked the shorter one to memorize and hid in a corner to practice.

Now that the drum was being passed, she was much calmer, regaining her graceful demeanor as a hostage prince of Bo.

At that moment, the drum stopped in front of the Crown Prince.

Feng Liwu paused briefly, pointed to the peonies recently brought from the warm pavilion, and recited a poem criticizing the current state of affairs, implying that flowers from the warm pavilion couldn’t withstand wind and rain, just as talents untested by life couldn’t solve the people’s problems.

The flowers had been brought in by servants while everyone was seated.

It was evident that this was a freshly composed poem, yet it used elegant language and conveyed deep meaning. Only someone in the position of a crown prince would have such a long-term perspective on utilizing talent.

This impressive display of quick wit naturally garnered a wave of admiration. Nearby, two scholars were busy recording the poem, ensuring it would be recited in poetry societies across various mansions the next day.

Soon after, the drum was passed around again. Whether by coincidence or design, it stopped in front of Tian Ying this time.

Despite being a woman, Tian Ying was renowned for her talents and beauty. Thanks to her uncle’s influence, she managed to attend this tea gathering and intended to showcase her talents to impress the Crown Prince, Feng Liwu.

She rose gracefully, bowed to the crowd, and then stood elegantly, her voice clear and melodious as she recited her poem.

While the poem was well-crafted and respectable, it was not exceptionally brilliant. Nevertheless, for a woman in an era where female literacy was not highly valued, it was quite commendable.

This earned her approving nods and smiles from the audience, who thought that the future Crown Princess was indeed a fitting match for their Crown Prince.

But amidst the smiles, one person’s expression changed dramatically.

Jiang Xiurun slowly raised her eyes to glare at Tian Ying. The poem Tian Ying had recited was identical to the one she had purchased! What on earth was going on?

She then glanced at the student who had sold her the poem. He sat there, smiling at Tian Ying, occasionally casting ingratiating looks at Marquis Jinghou, clearly avoiding her gaze.

At that moment, Jiang Xiurun understood everything. This was a setup, a deliberate plan to humiliate her publicly!


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