Novel Name : After Rebirth, the True Eldest Daughter Starts Brewing Green Tea


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It was already night, and the lights were lit in the imperial palace. The palace lanterns under the eaves extended one by one, casting a faint halo, not very bright. From a distance, they seemed to float in mid-air, and the dark night resembled the open mouth of a giant beast, causing unease at a glance.
Imperial study.
Emperor Jing Ming was in a meeting with several ministers. A palace servant entered quietly from outside, moving with light steps, making no sound, like some kind of stealthy creature. With respect and caution, the servant reported, “Your Majesty, the Crown Prince requests an audience.”
All eyes turned to the Emperor, but Emperor Jing Ming showed no reaction, continuing to discuss, “Regarding the recent dike breach in Lanchuan, the affected people need to be resettled. Tijiu and Yongyang should each send provisions. As for the quantity, let the Ministry of Revenue deliberate and decide…”
They continued the discussion for a considerable time until deep into the night. Finally, the officials took their leave. Upon leaving the imperial study, they saw a group of people standing not far away in the corridor. The one at the front had a tall and slender figure, dressed in dark robes, quite eye-catching.
An official remarked, “Prime Minister, that’s the Crown Prince.”
Another person expressed surprise, “Is the Crown Prince’s leg already healed?”
As they spoke, the group approached the Crown Prince. Prime Minister Zhao led the officials in bowing, “We pay our respects to the Crown Prince.”
Xiao Yan raised his hand, smiling slightly, “Gentlemen, you’ve worked hard.”
“Your Highness, your words carry great weight.”
After exchanging pleasantries, Prime Minister Zhao, seeing that the Crown Prince had been standing for quite some time, he couldn’t help but feel a little resentful. Emperor Jing Ming hadn’t even invited him to sit in the side hall. Zhao couldn’t help but express concern, saying, “The recovery of Your Highness’s leg is truly a blessing for the state. Please take good care of your health.”
“Thank you, Prime Minister, for your kind concern.”
As officials bid their farewells and began to leave, only after taking a dozen steps did the doors of the study finally open again. A eunuch hurriedly emerged and whispered something to Xiao Yan before respectfully leading him towards the direction of the imperial study.
“Now that the Crown Prince’s leg has healed, does the Emperor not intend to involve him in state affairs?” an official asked.
“The Emperor’s intentions are inscrutable.”
“Speaking of which, when I saw the Crown Prince earlier, I was genuinely surprised…”
Another official chuckled, “Not just Minister Su, even I was taken aback. It’s rare to see the Crown Prince in ordinary times. Today, at first glance, he looks so much like the Emperor. From a distance, I even thought I had mistaken the person.”
“I remember the Emperor mentioning before that the Crown Prince bears a resemblance to the Eldest Prince from years ago.”
“Speaking of which, it’s truly a pity about the Eldest Prince.”
Someone sighed, and the atmosphere suddenly quieted. No one spoke further, and the person who made the comment quickly apologized, “I spoke out of turn. Please forgive me, everyone.”
Someone helped him smooth things over with a few sentences, swiftly moving past the topic, and the discussion shifted back to the state affairs they were talking about earlier. The atmosphere became peaceful, and the official who had misspoken secretly breathed a sigh of relief. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and continued the conversation.
Xiao Yan followed the palace maid into the imperial study to meet the Emperor. Inside, several brass cranes held candlesticks, illuminating the entire hall. Emperor Jing Ming was sitting behind the imperial desk, flipping through documents.
“Your child pays respects to Father Emperor.”
Upon hearing this, Emperor Jing Ming raised his head, gestured for Xiao Yan to rise, and examined him up and down. He asked, “You entered the palace so late, what’s the matter?”
His tone was neither cold nor warm, no different from when he was discussing state affairs with his officials earlier. Xiao Yan respectfully lowered his head and replied, “Your child heard that Father Emperor bestowed a title upon Li Zhizhi.”
“It seems that as your leg injury improves, your information network has become more extensive,” Emperor Jing Ming said casually as he continued flipping through the documents. He asked, “So, do you have any objections to the title I bestowed?”
Xiao Yan’s heart tightened, and he explained, “Your child happened to be at the Grand Princess’s residence and heard from Aunt about it. Father Emperor’s decree is unquestionable.”
Upon hearing this, Emperor Jing Ming looked up at him, placed the documents on the imperial desk, and asked in a calm voice, “Then, why have you come on this trip? Just to pay your respects to me? It’s a bit late for that; remember to come earlier tomorrow.”
Xiao Yan’s gaze fell on the yellow rosewood bookshelf beside the imperial desk, where a painting of a cold sparrow peeking at plum blossoms hung. Suddenly, he asked, “What does Father Emperor think of Li Zhizhi?”
“You’re the second person to ask Me about this,” Emperor Jing Ming slightly furrowed his brows and continued, “The first was the Grand Princess. She asked for the title of a Princess. Are you also here to plead for something on her behalf?”
“I, your child, have no such intention.”
Xiao Yan replied with great respect, “Your child is just a bit worried… that Father Emperor does not like her.”
Emperor Jing Ming’s brows furrowed even tighter, “Whether I like her or not is my business. What does it have to do with you? Besides, how did you conclude that I don’t like her?”
“If Father Emperor likes her,” Xiao Yan raised his head and calmly said, “how could he bestow the title Zhao Hua? ”
Emperor Jing Ming tightened his grip on the memorial in his hand, staring at his son with sharp eyes, and said in a deep voice, “You just said you dare not dissent, now you dare to question me. You do have courage!”
“Your child dare not.”
The hall fell silent, with only the quiet burning of candles. The atmosphere was tense, with a sense of imminent confrontation. The palace attendants all lowered their heads, not daring to make a sound, and the entire hall was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop.
“I heard that when he died, you were by his side,” Emperor Jing Ming suddenly spoke, saying, “You saw the poem he wrote with your own eyes.”
“Ten years of scholarship, this intention reaching the heavens, even on the brink of death, he still held the gratitude for the Emperor,” Emperor Jing Ming paused again after reciting this, closing his eyes slightly before continuing, “Your guess was not wrong. The title Zhao Hua indeed came from this poem.”
Xiao Yan looked at him, his hand in his sleeve gradually tightening, his thin lips slightly pursed. However, he heard Emperor Jingming say again, “But I don’t dislike Li Zhizhi. Giving her a courtesy name is only because she resembles Xuan’er a bit, talented and gentle. And looking at you, you rush here in haste just because you guessed a little, you are too suspicious.”
For a moment, Xiao Yan couldn’t retort and could only kneel down, saying, “The child knows his mistake, please forgive me, Father Emperor.”
Emperor Jing Ming looked at him indifferently, threw the documents in his hand aside, and said in a tone that was neither cold nor warm, “This is not the first time. What kind of poison did Li Zhizhi give you? Every time something related to her comes up, you act like your ass is on fire, abandoning your wheelchair and rushing to the palace overnight to pay respects. I have never seen you so diligent in giving salutations.”
Xiao Yan explained with his head lowered, “The child’s leg injury really just fully recovered today. I dare not deceive Father Emperor.”
“I don’t care,” Emperor Jing Ming took the hot tea handed over by a palace servant and said indifferently, “Even if your leg is broken for a lifetime, it’s your own business. If you can’t be the Crown Prince, someone else can. I’ve changed three Crown Princes before, and I won’t feel regretful for losing one more like you.”
His words were cold and indifferent, making Xiao Yan’s heart tighten. Suddenly, he raised his head, looking directly at the Emperor above and said, “There’s something unclear in the child’s heart that I want to consult with Father Emperor.”
Xiao Yan took a deep breath and said, “I don’t know how I can become the heir that Father Emperor desires. I’ve been the Crown Prince for nearly five years, but until now, I still can’t figure it out.”
He clenched his fist in his sleeve, his voice tense. “I have been doing this Crown Prince role for so long, yet I still cannot understand what Father Emperor truly wants.”
Emperor Jing Ming, sitting behind the imperial desk, looked down at him and spoke after a moment, “Can you do what I want?”
At that moment, Xiao Yan’s mind was filled with mixed thoughts, but ultimately, what he remembered was the image of a young girl beneath the wisteria pergola, flashing a cute and cunning smile at him, saying, “Big brother, I want that flower, can I have it?”
People standing in high places indeed attract attention. If someone likes him, wouldn’t they be able to notice him at a glance?
As someone like him, he most enjoyed standing among those who occupied high positions!
“Your child can do it.”
Emperor Jing Ming looked at him without changing his expression, seeming to scrutinize, seeming to assess. Finally, he nodded and said, “Alright, you just need to be talented and strategic like your Eldest brother, humble and diligent like your Second brother, and discard those lazy and slothful habits. Perhaps that might satisfy me.”
He paused for a moment and then asked, “Speaking of which, isn’t this a bit too difficult for you?”
Xiao Yan lowered his head and said, “Your child respectfully obeys the imperial decree.”
Emperor Jing Ming nodded slightly, “Good. Since that’s the case, starting from tomorrow, you will resume the duty of paying respects in the palace.”
Xiao Yan: …
Since he injured his leg, Emperor Jing Ming had long ago decreed to exempt him from paying respects, and Xiao Yan didn’t even need to enter the palace. After several months without an audience, now he was assigned this task again – to pay respects in the palace.
“What?” Emperor Jing Ming set down his teacup and asked, “Can’t you do it?”
Xiao Yan immediately responded, “Your son can.”
Emperor Jing Ming nodded and waved his hand, “If there’s nothing else, you may withdraw.”
Xiao Yan then stood up and was about to take his leave when Emperor Jing Ming suddenly mentioned, “That Li Zhizhi…”
Xiao Yan quickly raised his head, “Father Emperor?”
Emperor Jing Ming stared at him, his expression thoughtful, and said, “It’s nothing, you may go.”
As Xiao Yan took a few steps towards the door, he heard Emperor Jing Ming say again, “Li Zhizhi…”
Xiao Yan stopped in his tracks, “Father Emperor, is there anything you command?”
Emperor Jing Ming’s expression was somewhat subtle, his eyebrows and eyes moved slightly, with a hint of teasing, he casually said, “It’s nothing, but I clearly called Li Zhizhi’s name, why are you so nervous?”
Xiao Yan:…
Emperor Jing Ming picked up a document, nonchalantly remarking, “Concerned and thus confused?”
Without waiting for Xiao Yan to answer, he admonished again, “You’re young, don’t be confined by the sentiments of children. You’re too petty-minded. Go now.”
Only then did Xiao Yan finally leave the study. Looking at the vast night outside, with a gentle breeze, his mind cleared a bit. Reflecting on the recent situation, he couldn’t shake the feeling that Emperor Jing Ming had played with him.
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