Master Cheng and His Father
Ping An Palace.
This is one of the palaces inside the Forbidden City. It’s a gathering place for members of the royal family where they casually converse. Normally, the emperor acts as the host, while the princesses, princes, the emperor’s harem and other relatives of the royal family gather here.
While the emperor is busy, he makes time to enjoy family gatherings a few days every month.
Perhaps the prophecy made him miss out on chances to show his love for his sons, hence why he particularly treasured his children.
Aside from the six princes, the emperor also has three princesses.
It seemed as though the emperor transferred his love for his sons onto his three beloved daughters, He lets them have their way and bends to their every whim, giving them everything they ever wanted. And it wasn’t just giving them pearls.
Let me give an example. Martial arts are flourishing during this dynasty. There are princes and princesses who don’t practice martial arts. However, if a prince wanted to enter the pugilistic world and train, he wouldn’t reveal it before the emperor, but would wish for it silently deep down. But no matter how far-fetched things are, there aren’t any princesses who enter the pugilistic world.
But Emperor Yuansheng went and broke that tradition. The second princess had a strong interest in martial arts, and was particularly skilled with a sabre. She asked the emperor to find a reputable teacher in the martial world. The emperor wrestled with the request and then let her enrol in a school. Not even the princes had the chance to experience such a great honour.
You could reasonably say that the current reigning emperor, Emperor Yuansheng is the number one daughter-con-emperor in history.
It’s a pity that the eldest princess left the palace after getting married while there’s such a lively event going on here in the palace. I heard that the second princess had returned after finishing up her training, but I don’t see her. I presume she couldn’t make it today. The third princess never liked martial arts so she didn’t care if the emperor asked her to come.
It’s a nice imperial martial arts tournament, and yet daughter-con, Emperor Yuansheng doesn’t have a single one of his daughters accompanying him by his side. It truly is a sight to sigh at.
The emperor sat inside Ping An Palace on his own, waiting for his family members to arrive before heading out to watch the competition together. However, wait as he may, nobody came. After waiting for ages, somebody finally entered the palace.
A beautiful young individual stepped into Ping An Palace. They were dressed in an orange robe, possessed an eloquent appearance and looked graceful.
The orange prince stepped into Ping An palace and stopped five steps in front of the emperor. He saluted him and said: “Greetings, father.” His greeting was eloquent and perfect. The few maids in the palace blushed. If they weren’t before the emperor’s presence, I bet they would’ve screeched.
Each of the six princes has their strong skillsets, but in terms of looks, the orange prince was easily the most handsome.
The orange prince inherited the Li family’s big bones, wide shoulders and back, tall stature and upright posture. He had a heroic aura between his eyebrows and his eyes looked full of vigour. However, the emperor had a rectangular face with a majestic and solemn look. The orange prince on the other hand, had an oval-shaped face and resembled the empress more. While he didn’t look as majestic, he looked many times more handsome than the emperor.
Seeing the reactions of the maids, the emperor couldn’t help but smile. He proudly felt: “That’s my son. He’s got the makings of a great man!”
The orange prince has made countless mistakes, but the emperor still doted on him like this regardless, leaving outsiders astonished. However, it was easy to see that it wasn’t anything major. The emperor watched the six princes grow up so he was used to the reality that his sons were troublemakers long ago. When he sent the blue prince away seven years ago, the naughty kid went and gathered three thousand people to launch an assault on the imperial palace. However, his efforts were squandered it in less than an hour by Yan Shisan.
While he didn’t cause any damage, he still revolted. While his revolt ended in failure, it was still a major crime. The emperor spared him for that, so the emperor forgave the orange prince for taking bribes too.
The emperor warmly said: “You’re here, Cheng’er.”
The orange prince looked around the empty Ping An Palace, and replied in a pretend-surprised tone: “Has my mother, your consorts and concubines not arrived?” They couldn’t come because of the orange prince’s arrangements. He had his men notify the harem that the martial arts tournament would begin in another two hours, so they were all having their beauty sleep right now.
“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Let’s talk on the way.”
The emperor grabbed the orange prince and the two of them walked out the door side by side. The skilled Qilin Guards in front of them made way and a group of eunuchs followed behind as they flamboyantly made their way to the flying fish pavilion.
“Sigh. Mother and Chi’er haven’t come back from Purple Holy Mountain. Your mother is late again as usual, hahahaha.” The emperor laughed cheerfully: “Your uncle has never been reliable. It looks like he’s going to be late again. It looks like only the two of us will be walking together.
The orange prince nodded naturally: “Yes.”
The emperor’s family is actually quite large.
Other than the seven princes, three princesses, and his harem, his mother, the empress dowager was still alive. The empress’s younger brother is also very close to the royal family. He wouldn’t pass on an event like this.
The empress dowager believes in daoism, so she goes to Purple Holy Mountain at this time every year to pray for the longevity of the nation and the well-being of the people. She took the red prince and national priest along with her. She should’ve arrived at her destination by now, and should be rushing to get back.
The empress’s younger brother likes to have fun, so he’s probably held up somewhere. With not much time left, the emperor had no choice but to go ahead with the orange prince.
The orange prince followed the emperor’s big strides. He tried to keep his excitement under wraps. The emperor looked at his son, laughed and asked: “Cheng’er, are you still thinking about the finance records?”
He never expected the emperor to bring it up like that. Could it be he had discovered something? The orange prince couldn’t help but turn alert.
“I am ashamed. I know my faults in regards to the records.”
“Hah, that’s nothing.” The emperor waved his hands. It seemed as if his spirit had returned to the time he was adventuring the pugilistic world because they were going to watch a martial arts tournament today. He generously and heroically laughed: “Hahaha, I did many more ridiculous things than you when I was young. You can’t be more ridiculous than I was.”
The orange prince frowned. He couldn’t help but feel somewhat guilty: “A-… Are you sure?”
“Of course. You call that minor incident a problem?” The emperor waved his hand. He revealed an arrogant smile and asked: “When I was your age right now, I hid a huge fortune from your mother. Which do you think is a bigger deal?”
The orange prince went into a silence for a long time. He then gestured with a thumbs up: “Father, you’re ama-… I definitely can’t compare to you.”
“Oh, right. I have something to tell you.” The emperor took a few steps forward and then quietly said: “I ordered Hu Po to go and do something today, and it has to do with you.”
Hu Po is ranked seventh on Liu Shan’s Elites Rankings, and is one of the most skilled fighters in the emperor’s security detail. He’s virtually skilled enough to be in the same league the Qilin Guards’ god of battle, Yi Ya. He’s also the strongest among the members of the emperor’s security detail in the capital. But that’s not all. He’s also the emperor’s personal bodyguard, who’s always at his side guarding him.
The emperor sent him on a job related to me? Could it be that he knows about my plans?
The orange prince’s heart almost stopped from fright. His face turned pale. He stopped in his tracks: “F-father… you… I……” His speech got muddled and he struggled to put together a complete sentence.
“What are you so nervous about?” The emperor chuckled softly and then softly continued: “I just told him to send some stuff to your manor.”
The orange prince almost called out to the Black Wind Thirteen Wings with their secret code to come and save him. I almost lost my throne before I could sit on it! But after hearing the whole story, he calmed down.”
“May I ask what you sent to my manor that Hu Po would have to personally make the trip, father?”
“It’s nothing really, just some spare change.” The emperor smiled and added: “I asked him to give you ten-thousand taels of silver. Would an average Joe be able to move that? Hahaha.”
“Cheng’er, you’re my son. Why don’t you ask me if you need spending money?” The emperor stopped in his tracks and looked at his son with the look of a doting father, “You resemble me most among all my sons. You’re impatient, unimaginably impatient. Whenever you want something, you want it immediately, ignoring what others say. But corruption is a crime. It’s bad for the people and the nation. Remember, if you need money in the future, just ask me, got it?”
The orange prince felt a warm feeling in his chest. He was lost for words in the moment. It took him a long time to put together a few words: “Father… I…..”
“Don’t look like that, it’s just ten thousand taels.” The emperor revealed a mischievous smile: “Don’t forget that your dad rules the world. Of course I can spare that much.” But then he anxiously added out of the blue, “But don’t tell your mother. She’ll definitely ask if I’m stashing money.”
The father and son pair exchanged glances. Their gaze hinted that they had countless things to say to each other, but they couldn’t say a single thing.
The orange prince looked like he didn’t dare to look directly into his father’s eyes. His gaze contained lots of things he didn’t think about in the past and never waited on. Maybe he stopped waiting too soon. It was a deep emotion. He suddenly felt that the man before him was indeed his father who truly loved him.
The emperor revealed a warm smile, pat the orange prince on his shoulder and said: “We’ve arrived. If there’s something you want to say, save it for after the imperial martial arts tournament.” He then stepped into the flying fish pavilion.
The orange prince watched his back that was steadfast yet beginning to sag slightly. As he watched it, he felt an emotion he couldn’t put into words. He stood where he was and took in a deep breath to calm himself down.
He hesitated for a split moment and then silently followed.
A thought repeatedly appeared in the orange prince’s mind: Fuck, this is great! Hu Po isn’t in the palace. My chance of success has increased again! Don’t blame the exalted Master Cheng if you get screwed over father! Wahahahaha.