At a pace much slower than usual, Chen Wang pulled along the pony to stroll around the horse farm.

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“Your Highness.” The manager of the horse farm came over to fawn on him: “Please leave pulling the horse to this subordinate.
How can you do such crude and strenuous work?”

 

“Does Ben Wang need you to teach him how to do things?” Chen Wang waved his hand impatiently: “Stay here, don’t bother Ben Wang.”

 

“Your Highness.” JiuZhu gradually got used to sitting on the horse’s back: “It doesn’t matter if someone else pulls the horse.”

 

“Would you feel as reassured as you feel now when I am leading the horse?”

 

JiuZhu shook her head.

 

“Then it’s not alright.” Chen Wang stroked the pony’s neck: “How can these subordinates have my diligence in doing this task?”

 

He pulled a horse for someone for the first time in his life.
Does this little girl still dare to dislike it?

 

The insignificant manager: “……”

 

Hearing this person’s words, he didn’t dare to be reckless even if he was given a hundred times more courage.

 

He shrank aside tactfully; he knew that he had failed to flatter the prince.

 

His coworker whispered in a peculiar tone: “I told you not to butt in, but you wouldn’t listen to me.”

 

“If I go, I will be despised.
If I don’t go, I’m afraid I might incite this noble person’s dissatisfaction even more.” The manager was embarrassed to admit his error, so he quickly retorted: “If His Highness Chen Wang detests us for not serving him well, wouldn’t it also be us who suffer in the end ultimately?”

 

“Do you know who that noble lady on horseback is?” The coworker whispered in the manager’s ear: “That is the Ming family’s treasured Young Miss, the future Chen Wangfei.”

 

If you don’t have eyesight, then you deserve to stay in the stable for this many years and not get promoted.

 

After strolling slowly around the horse farm for a few laps, Chen Wang stopped and stretched out his hand to JiuZhu: “Come down.”

 

JiuZhu: “……”

 

Riding a horse is quite fun.

 

“You are riding a horse for the first time.
You shouldn’t ride for too long, or else your legs will feel sore.” Saying so, Chen Wang carried JiuZhu down exactly as he had lifted her onto the horse.

 

“Oh.” JiuZhu glanced at the pony and nodded obediently, standing on the ground.

 

“I’ll bring you to play again next time.” Noticing JiuZhu’s reluctant eyes, Chen Wang’s mouth acted faster than his brain: “I’ll accompany you to pick a little white horse now.”

 

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Tsk, the little girl can be really troublesome. He still had to coax her to dispel her unwillingness.

 

The little ponies in the stables were originally raised to make the imperial children happy.
Chen Wang was not interested in this kind of short and pudgy horse.
But today, after going to the pony stable with great difficulty, he picked out a pure white, snow-like fluffy and plump pony with just a glance.

 

“Your Highness has a good eye.
This kind of ponies was offered as a tribute by ChiZhou.
It looks naive and adorable, so it is very popular with women.” The manager who failed to butter him up before stepped forward and put the reins on the horse himself: “Please don’t worry, Your Highness.
This subordinate will shortly deliver this horse to your residence.”

 

“No need, just send it to Assistant Minister Ming’s residence.” Chen Wang lightly tugged at the short hairs by JiuZhu’s temple: “Your beloved little white horse.”

 

“En en en.” JiuZhu nodded again and again, her eyes fixed on the little white horse: “Thank you, Your Highness.”

 

She thanked him but her eyes were actually on the horse.

 

Heh, women.

 

He wanted to pull her hair hard.
However, he was afraid of bullying the little guniang into tears.
Chen Wang sighed in resignation: “Let’s go, I’ll take you home.”

 

Lest the Ming family thought that he had abducted their Ming family’s daughter.

 

“Your Highness.” Before getting into the carriage, JiuZhu took off the silk brocade bag hanging at her waist and put it in Chen Wang’s hand: “This amulet has been kept in front of deity for a long time and had been consecrated with the Golden Light Spirit Incantation1 every day.
May it bless His Highness bless and protect Your Highness from all kinds of evil and shower you with good luck.”

 

“This… are you sending this as a return gift to Ben Wang?” Chen Wang looked at the small and exquisite pouch; it was still smelling faintly of incense.

 

JiuZhu smiled.
She shook her head and then nodded.
She had enshrined this amulet in front of the deity with her own hands when she was eight years old and chanted the Golden Light Spirit Incantation every day until she entered the capital.
She never took it off the altar before the time she left the Daoist temple.

 

The capital was too big; she didn’t know when she would be able to meet her benefactor, so she kept it in her room.
It was not until she recognized Chen Wang that day that she began to carry the amulet on her body.
She wanted to give it to him the next time they met.

 

Her master said that all living beings were diverse and varied and that the heavenly law let things take their own course; inaction was natural.
Life and death were not determined by God.
But a sincere heart was efficacious, it could fulfill everything one desired, nothing more.

 

“Then I’ll accept it.” Putting the pouch at his chest, Chen Wang turned around and mounted his horse: “Let’s go, Ben Wang will send you home.”

 

He was still a little worried about letting her go back in the carriage alone.
It was not that he liked to meddle in other people’s businesses; it was mainly because he was worried that this silly little guniang might be abducted by bad people.

 

The standard carriage for a qinwang2 was wide and luxurious.
JiuZhu leaned on the window and tilted her head to look at Chen Wang, who was on horseback.

 

When Chen Wang looked at her for the first time, she was looking at him.

 

The second time he looked at her, she was still looking at him.

 

At the third time, he couldn’t help but ask: “Why do you keep looking at me? Do you think Ben Wang’s appearance is better than Pan An’s3? Even better than a first-class jade?”

 

“En.” JiuZhu nodded: “Your Highness is good-looking.”

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Even if an immortal descended into the world, they couldn’t be more beautiful.

 

Chen Wang moved his eyes, no longer looking at JiuZhu.

 

Th-this little guniang is really not reserved at all.

 

In the MingYue Palace, Su Guifei looked at her son who had rushed over to freeload dinner and told Emperor LongFeng, “It seems that his future in-laws didn’t ask him to stay behind for a meal.”

 

Emperor LongFeng shook his head with a light smile.

 

“Erchen merely sent the little guniang home.
Why would there be any discussion about a meal?” Chen Wang waved away the maid who was serving him the dishes, and picked up the chopsticks to serve himself: “As a prince, if I ate at someone who is not family, an official’s residence, others will think I care about them after the matter spreads.”

 

“Oh?” Emperor LongFeng personally ladled out a bowl of soup and placed it in front of Su Guifei.
After she’d fed him a spoonful of soup, he looked up at Chen Wang: “I thought that you took the Ming family’s guniang to the horse farm, led the horse for her and even chose a horse because you had a favorable impression of her.”

 

“She’s just a 15 or 16 years old silly little girl.
There’s no such thing as a favorable or terrible impression.” Chen Wang continued to put food in the bowl: “I can’t throw her aside since she went with me.
If it made her cry by chance, it’d be a lot of trouble to coax her.
How bothersome!”

 

“But I’ve seen the Ming family’s guniang.
She doesn’t seem to be a crybaby.” Su Guifei glanced at her son’s bowl: “DuQing, didn’t you hate this dish before?”

 

Only then did Chen Wang notice what he had just caught.
He closed his eyes and shoved it into his mouth before forcing himself to respond calmly, “Before was before.
All men were fickle.”

 

After the meal, Chen Wang stood up to leave, “Father Emperor, Mother Consort, please excuse me for leaving first.”

 

Su Guifei sighed, “DuQing’s temperament really makes one worry.”

 

Emperor LongFeng did not answer; he silently bowed his head and continued to eat.
When a woman talks about her child’s shortcomings, a man only needs to listen quietly or preferably, find reasons to praise the child.
He must not echo her words under any circumstance or else, when the time came, he could only blame himself.

 

With DuQing’s usual character, when had he ever cared whether a girl would cry or not? Whenever he saw a crying woman, forget about coaxing her, he might very likely be extremely annoyed to even look at her one more time.

 

Sure enough, only a man could understand another man the best.

 

“Your Majesty, Niangniang.” A eunuch walked in hastily, his face deathly pale.

 

“What’s the matter?” Emperor LongFeng put down the chopsticks in his hand.

 

The eunuch knelt on the ground, his whole body trembling with fear: “The Minister of Coachman4 made an urgent report that several of the tribute horses newly arrived at the horse farm unknowingly burst into an unexpected frenzy.
They are tearing at each other and trampling around.
Some died an hour ago…”

 

The smile on Emperor LongFeng’s face suddenly disappeared without a trace: “You mean, it happened at the Imperial horse farm, the exact place where my son went this afternoon?”

 

“Yes, Your Majesty.” The eunuch trembled even more but did not dare to conceal: “These horses were the wild ones His Highness Chen Wang intended to choose from.
His Highness was going to the horse farm today to tame those horses.
However, he happened to meet Miss Ming on the way and accompanied her to choose a horse for her.
So this matter was pushed back.”

 

Usually, when Chen Wang tamed a horse, he didn’t like other people’s assistance.
No one dared to imagine what would have happened if he didn’t get delayed by luck.

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“Investigate.” Emperor LongFeng’s expression was gloomy.
There was a chill in his eyes: “Pass on Zhen’s decree, the Dali Temple5 and the Ministry of Justice will jointly investigate the matter of the imperial horse farm thoroughly.
Any suspicious person must not be let off!”

 

“Did something big happen today?” Sun CaiYao couldn’t sleep well all night.
She remembered that in her dream, the news of Chen Wang’s death came out at this time.

 

“No.” Seeing Sun CaiYao’s haggard countenance, the maid asked worriedly, “Young Miss didn’t sleep well last night?”

 

“Really? Nothing happened?!” Sun CaiYao inquired, unwilling to give up.

 

“T-this slave has not heard anything yet.” The maid was intimidated by Sun CaiYao’s expression: “Young Miss, don’t worry, this slave will go and ask around at once.”

 

“No need.” Sun CaiYao shook her head in a daze, “There’s no need…”

 

Could that dream be fake?

 

Chen Wang won’t die, and Qi Wang won’t stand out among all the other princes?

 

No no no, if the dream was fake, why would Ming JiuZhu appear?

 

There must be something wrong.
Right, there must have been a mistake somewhere!

 

“Young Miss.” A maid ran into the room: “Something big has happened.”

 

“Say quickly!” Sun CaiYao accidentally knocked over a small box of rouge.
As soon as it hit the floor, the brilliant red rouge spattered on the floor, looking as red as blood.

 

“A group of tribute horses that just arrived died suddenly.
This incident outraged His Majesty so he decreed a thorough investigation.” The maid lowered her voice and added in a strange tone: “According to rumors, Chen Wang had taken fancy to one of the horses from this batch, but because he was delayed by another matter halfway, he couldn’t go to ride on it.
Presumably, His Majesty’s fury is related to this.”

 

Sun CaiYao’s mind buzzed.

 

So that’s how it was…

 

Except for Chen Wang, the other adult princes were awfully worried about being implicated in this mishap at the Imperial horse farm.
The timid ones did not even step out of their residences.

 

Even Ming CunFu, who did nothing but read books as if they were scriptures all day, knew of this matter.
He walked into his third Uncle’s courtyard through the main gate and noticed his cousin strolling around with a big white dog.

 

“When did meimei get a dog?” Ming CunFu voluntarily praised: “It has a bright fur and quite a vigorous nature.”

 

“Sixth brother, this is not a dog.
It’s a little white horse.” JiuZhu led the horse to Ming CunFu and let him see more clearly, “Look, it is so adorable.”

 

Ming CunFu looked at this fluffy and soft horse that looked similar to a puppy.
He didn’t know how to speak for a while.

 

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Which proper horse looks so weak ah?!

 

“I see… it’s a bit cute.
Where did meimei get it?” He still had to praise the little animal that his meimei liked.

 

“It was given to me by His Highness Chen Wang.” JiuZhu bent over and hugged the little white horse’s neck, rubbing its ear affectionately.

 

He could tell that JiuZhu liked this horse very much.
So Ming CunFu spoke tongue in cheek6: “His Highness Chen Wang is really attentive to others.”

 

Bah! He rides a blood sweating horse7 himself, but gives their family’s ZhuZhu a mere pony.
How stingy!

 

“His Highness Chen Wang is very good!”

 

Ming CunFu turned silent again.
After a long time, he calmed himself and asked: “Why did Chen Wang send you a horse?”

 

Meimei obviously couldn’t ride a horse.

 

“His Highness invited me to have fun at the Imperial horse farm.
I said I liked little white horses, so he chose the most adorable one for me.” JiuZhu stroked the pony’s head while the pony let her pet it meekly.

 

“The Imperial horse farm?” Ming CunFu’s expression changed: “When did you and His Highness go to the Imperial horse farm?”

 

“Yesterday afternoon.” JiuZhu noticed Ming CunFu’s expression: “What’s wrong?”

 

“No wonder His Majesty was so angry…” Ming CunFu was about to explain to JiuZhu when he heard an announcement from the gatekeeper that Liu ZhongBao had arrived with a decree and gifts from the Emperor.

 

His Majesty’s chief eunuch, Liu ZhongBao? This respectable person managed everything in the Palace; he hadn’t run errands in a long time.

 

Ming CunFu’s heart tightened: “We will welcome him at the main door.
Quickly go and inform third Aunt to take care of the overall situation.”

 

JiuZhu and Ming CunFu looked at each other, handed over the pony to the servants, and tidied up their clothes before going out to welcome the guest at the main door.

 

Ming CunFu followed behind JiuZhu in endless worry.
Would such a major accident at the Imperial horse farm implicate his meimei?

T/N: His Majesty is indeed wise haha. Look who’s being shyyyy *smirk smirk* But I agree, men are fickle xD (women didn’t claim the patent for it, guys!)

1

Golden Light Spirit Incantation [金光神咒] – This is the shorter version of the two versions of the incantation in Taoism (longer one being ‘大金光神咒’).
It is said to cleanse your soul with the golden light.
More detailed info with the spell is here: Facebook.

2

T/N: Please refer to chapter 1 if you don’t remember which position qinwang is, I had explained it when i was explaining what and who a wang is.

3

T/N: Pan An (潘安), also known as Pan Yue (潘岳), was a writer during China’s Western Jin Dynasty and had outstanding looks and an elegant disposition.
Although historical records contain no detailed description of Pan An’s facial features or height, his beauty is undoubted because he already had numerous “fans” at that time.
Whenever Pan An went out sightseeing, he was always followed by several young girls, just like a current superstar or idol is chased by fans.
His fans, who were both young and old women, bought him flowers and fruits.

4

T/N: The Minister of Coachman (太仆寺卿) refers to one of the nine ministers of the Three Lords and Nine Ministers (三公九卿) system that existed before the Three Departments and Six Ministries (三省六部) system.
More info here: en-academic.com.

5

T/N: You all might have read about the Dali Temple in other novels and wondered why it is mentioned whenever someone has to be convicted or someone demands justice although it’s a “temple” (I used to wonder too haha).
Well, in short, it has nothing to do with the religious places we call temples.
Dali Temple was a judicial organ in charge of reviewing major cases and rehabilitating the injustices of the people and officials.
Also called the “Imperial Court of Judicial Review“, the court was, however, mainly in charge of the prison and reviewed serious suspected crimes in various places.

6

Spoke tongue in cheek [言不由衷] – It means to say something casually without meaning it.

7

Blood sweating horse [汗血宝马] – Refers to Ferghana or the akhal-teke horses that are believed to descend from the original Ferghana horse.
They were said to have been imported during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han from Turkmenistan and ‘sweated blood’, hence their name.
There are, however, three different probabilities of why they apparently did so: (1) It was a genetic defect.
(2) It was blood-sucking parasites that caused sweat to mix with blood when the horses were made to work.
(3) They had very thin skin so when the horses ran, the blood pressure rose and gave the illusion of sweating blood.

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