Chapter Seven,

Starvation

He Xuan sat to the side coldly looking at the two play a scene of a good father and filial son, felt he was very superfluous, and stiffly drank the tea the maid brought up in one whole gulp.

That tea was the sweet tea He Heng liked drinking- He Yang’s tastes followed his, and also liked sweet tea, but He Xuan instead liked the cool bitterness of tea, and seemed like he was going against the tides [of history].
After finishing the sweet tea in one gulp, He Xuan felt like his mouth was filled with a sweet, scent of debauchery.
He knitted his eyebrows and swallowed the tea whole, and came with the thought of wanting to immediately leave.

“Xuan’er, it is not Father making things big from small matters, but that Nan Liang’s literature-leaning airs fill to the brim, with talent coming out every generation.
Jin typically leans towards military, so civil officials appear with a bit more with difficult circumstances[1].
Father let you watch Xiao Zuo, for one, is to make it convenient to control [him], and secondly, is to also let those Nan Liang’s civil officials see, and pave the way in the future.
Do not let down myzhen great pains.”

He Xuan glanced at He Yang lowering his head to drink tea, then nodded his head, “This son will do his all.”

“I hear that two days ago, Brother went to the Ministry of Penalty?” He Yang fixed his sleeves, and caught up to He Xuan’s side with a few steps, “And even went to the alleyway in the east of the city?”

He Xuan pursed his lips, and sneered, “Fourth Brother is so remarkable, nothing can be hidden from Fourth Brother’s eyes.”

“Putting down the three big alleyways, just to go to that corner in the east, when has Brother’s tastes change so deplorably?”

“None of your business.”

“Aye, you and I are as close as relatives, if Big Brother likes it, Fourth Brother here will gather some here for Brother, wouldn’t that be great?”

With a blink of an eye, the two already walked to the entrance of the palace.
He Xuan stopped in his steps, and was still of that look of being unfazed, “No need for Fourth Brother to do this. Ig still have some matters, and will first take my leave.”

As he said this, he stepped into the carriage, and when he turned back, he saw He Yang folding his arms standing at the palace doors, smiling very smugly, unsure what kind of big present Father planned on giving this precious son of his.
He Xuan immediately broiled with fire, and kicked the door plank in an irritated manner, then called out, “To the Nan Hun ducal residence.”

Ever since Xiao Zuo returned to the residence, he rejected the appetizing porridge Qing Xing said that the kitchen had especially made for him, and held in the waves of grumbles of the stomach.
He laid on the embroidered couch in the bedchambers, and felt he was so hungry his head got dizzy and could see stars.
He licked his cracked lips, and could not help but think of the time Mother made a cured meat porridge that was so fragrant to the nose, it made people’s appetites grow.

Just hold it a bit more, a few more days, and then he can reunite with Mother.

“Your Highness the Crown Prince.” Just as he swallowed down his saliva, he heard Qing Xing at the door greeting.
Xiao Zuo hazily thought he had misheard, and once he carefully heard movement, and struggled when coming up from the couch.
Who knew that because of not eating for a long time, the legs would go soft, and just he propped up to sit, the hands lost strength, and he fell back down.
After struggling like this for a while, He Xuan already entered the bedchambers, and coldly stared at him, with the entire body covered with a dark feeling like rains coming down on the mountains.

“Xiao Zuo?” He Xuan walked to the front of the couch in a few steps, and grabbed at his emaciated face, with his eyes brewing with a boiling anger.

“Ow……” He Xuan’s grip was very strong.
Xiao Zuo thought his face must be bruised now- growing up from young, who did not prop him up with respect.
Normally, the maids who would wash his face for him would be all soft, afraid of hurting his thin skin and tender flesh, and at this time, when being seized by He Xuan this fiercely, Xiao Zuo slightly lifted his eyes up to look at him with some slight grievance, lowly calling out.

He.
Xuan stared at that that smear of red at the corner of his eyes, perhaps it really was painful, so He Xuan knitted his eyebrows and let go, and squeezed out a few words from the gaps of his teeth, “How long has [he] not eaten?”

“I……”

“I didn’t ask you.” He Xuan summoned the trembling Qing Xing who was standing at the door, “How long as the Nan Hun Duke not eaten?”

Qing Xing opened her mouth, and looked at Xiao Zuo while trembling.
He Xuan saw that hesitant look from her, got irritated, and took up a teacup from the table and smashed it at the floor.
Afterwards, as though he hadn’t dispersed his temper yet, used a leg to kick over the entire tea table, and the broken fragments of porcelain and tea spilled all over the floor.
He Xuan completely did not mind it and stepped on the pool of water, and asked again, “Are your ears deaf? Do you want megu to treat it for you?”

“Mercy, your Highness, mercy.” Qing Xing then was like she was startled awake from a dream, and knelt on the ground in a panic.
The few fragments of porcelain pierced into her knees, and they faintly seeped out with a bit of blood, but, like she did not feel it at all, she kowtowed her head while answering with a tremble, “About a few days, the duke would always say he did not have an appetite, this servant did not have any other way either……”

He Xuan sneered, “Get out, close the door.”

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