Chapter 24 — Han Xuan Hao’s Plans
Shang Wuxin stood amidst the flowers in Taiji Estate’s garden, appearing as though she was admiring the blossoms when in fact, her eyes were emotionless. The ample garden scenery seemed incapable of holding her attention for even half a minute.
“Crown Prince, these days the estate has been receiving a huge amount of invitations from numerous officials. Do you want to respond?” Wu Ju asked. Two days had passed since that eventful day in the palace. In those two days, the invitations that were sent to Taiji Estate came in piles at a time, and they all inquired after nothing but the crown prince’s attendance for a variety of banquets.
Shang Wuxin glanced at the invitations in Wu Ju’s hands and selected a few at random. After skimming their contents, she placed them back into Wu Ju’s hands.
Shang Wuxin spoke mildly, “There’s no need to pay attention to them, but we shouldn’t offend them either.” In her eyes, those people were like grass on top of a wall, swaying with every breeze1. Even if she was trying to gain power, she wouldn’t use any of those people.
Moreover, among those people, a few undoubtedly were spies sent by the other princes. Since her foundation was not yet stable, she could not risk taking chances.
“Crown Prince, Huan gongzi has been visiting the estate a lot recently, claiming that he wants to teach Crown Prince poetry and literature, but each time he was blocked by Wu Wei. Should we take precautions against him?”
Actually, Wu Ju didn’t think Huan gongzi harbored any ill intentions. Contrarily, he seemed to be helping the crown prince instead, but Wu Ju knew that she should be on guard against anyone.
Otherwise, how could she remain by the crown prince’s side? She knew, without him telling her, that he was not a fish in a pond2. He was bound to aspire after the imperial throne.
Shang Wuxin was also aware of the visits Huan Mo Che made in the past two days, but she was not interested in seeing him. At the moment, he might not mean any harm, but seeing those eyes made her murderous intent towards him rise. She couldn’t afford to let her emotions get out of control.
She didn’t answer Wu Ju’s inquiry. She wanted her and Wu Wei to form their own judgments—after all, they were the people she personally took fancy to.
“Since you’re here, why don’t you show yourself?” Shang Wuxin’s voice suddenly became sharp. Upon hearing her words, Wu Ju’s whole body straightened and her eyes darted around for a moment, afraid that there was someone who would strike out at the crown prince.
Han Xuan Hao didn’t expect that he’d be discovered. As an assassin, his concealment technique was undoubtedly profound. Yet, the crown prince had found him. The past few days in Han Xing Pavilion, Han Xuan Hao’s mind had continuously and unconsciously been filled with thoughts of the crown prince.
Right when agitation filled him, he’d heard news of the crown prince traveling to the south, and after mulling for a great while, he’d decided to visit Taiji Estate. Upon arrival, he’d realized that he didn’t know what to say to the crown prince, so he’d quietly perched himself on a tree and peered at the crown prince from above.
The crown prince wore a white robe, standing with his back as straight as a bamboo shoot, his ebony hair flitting carelessly with the wind, with a distant look in his eyes. His appearance was clearly a firm and tenacious one–yet, it made Han Xuan Hao’s heart ache.
He wanted to pull that figure into his embrace. Moreover, he liked to stare at the crown prince like this. The more he stared, the more fascinated he became. Like? Han Xuan Hao was taken back by his own thoughts. Did he actually like this young crown prince? Or… homosexuality? The idea terrified Han Xuan Hao a little.
What he didn’t know was that his dazed state was the reason Shang Wuxin was able to so quickly sense him.
“Heheh, Wuxin is indeed vigilant. I was discovered by you so quickly!” An ambiguous voice sounded, and Han Xuan Hao could be seen landing lightly from the branch of tall tree. A crimson robe was wrapped around his slender body. The robe’s collar dipped slightly and the sight was quite alluring. There was a smile on his exquisite face.
If there was an assassin from Han Xing Pavilion present, they would’ve been able to tell that the smile on Han Xuan Hao’s face was much more genuine than his usual ones.
Shang Wuxin glanced at Han Xuan Hao, unsure of why he was at Taiji Estate. Although he was her partner, be it bargaining or cooperative, she felt that he was a bit different this time, but Shang Wuxin did not dawdle on it and withdrew her gaze.
“I’ve heard that Crown Prince is heading for the south? Will I have an opportunity to see the world with you?” Han Xuan Hao asked laughingly, but inside, he felt nervous. He knew that the famine in the south mostly likely gave rise to countless rebels. The long road there would also be infested with bandits. He was at Taiji Estate because he was worried about the crown prince, whose body appeared thin and weak.
Shang Wuxin returned to the study without responding. In regards to Han Xuan Hao’s suspicous reason for visiting, she was skeptical, so ignoring him was the best way to go.
Seeing Shang Wuxin leave made Han Xuan Hao feel somewhat lost. Why did it seem like Shang Wuxin didn’t like him one bit, while he seemed to really like the young prince? Despite not knowing what this type of “like” was, he’d never felt the same way towards anyone else before.
In the past, he did not interact much with neither males nor females. Shang Wuxin was the first person he’d ever felt protective over, but it was a pity that Shang Wuxin was a male.
However, even though Shang Wuxin hadn’t consented, Han Xuan Hao laughed with wicked intent as he stood and happily left the estate.