Shang Wuxin stepped down the carriage before sizing up the Imperial palace that everyone seemed to admire. It certainly was a magnificent building, it looked as though it could rise above the clouds. The stone bricks gave it an ancient feel while a row of Imperial guards were stationed in the front. Court eunuchs and palace maids lined up with lowered heads. At first glance, Shang Wuxin disliked it, because there was no freedom in the palace. Unfortunately, that was where authority lay.
All the guards seemed unwilling to salute Shang Wuxin. When Wu Wei saw their half-hearted attitude, anger flashed through her eyes, but she knew that if the crown prince didn’t say anything, it meant he didn’t care about it. Furthermore, they were in the Imperial palace right now. Her conduct would reflect on the crown prince, so she didn’t dare be impulsive and cause him trouble.
Shang Wuxin didn’t think much of these people’s obvious disdain. She would probably kill them if they were at the Crown Prince’s residence, but they weren’t. Though she was overbearing, she didn’t need absolutely everyone to revere her. It would be enough if they just didn’t inconvenience her.
But just as Shang Wuxin was about to enter the royal study, the guards outside blocked Wu Wei.
“Random servants aren’t allowed in the royal study!” The guards took out their swords. Servants aside, even the ministers weren’t allowed to enter the royal study, let alone a low-born maid with an ugly appearance.
Wu Wei was rooted to her spot, since if she so much as moved an inch, those drawn swords would immediately stab into her. Moreover, she wasn’t sure whether these people would dare to hurt the crown prince. These days, she hadn’t witnessed him practicing, but she believed he knew martial arts. After all, he had so many rare manuals on techniques. But she wasn’t aware of just how skilled he was. Even if she had to die here today, as long as the crown prince didn’t give an order, she wouldn’t do anything.
“You dare block This Prince’s subordinate?” A freezing aura surged out of Shang Wuxin’s body, her expression colder than the arctic lands. The frosty fury within her black eyes made the guards surrounding them shiver all over. Even Wu Wei was a little shocked by the crown prince’s oppressive atmosphere. Such a crown prince naturally made people have the urge to submit and serve.
The Imperial guards looked at the Crown Prince with some fear. Compared to His Majesty, the Crown Prince’s imposing manner didn’t lose out, both were ice-cold. But they, the guards, still had to do their duty. How could they let an unimportant maid enter the royal study? Later, even if His Majesty didn’t reprimand the Crown Prince, he would still take their heads.
“Wu Wei!” Shang Wuxin turned to Wu Wei, who was only standing there motionless and looking at her. Shang Wuxin’s eyes flashed with satisfaction. The maid was stupidly loyal, but she really liked that.
Seeing the vague smile in the crown prince’s eyes, Wu Wei’s heart quivered. She abruptly attacked the guards who had their swords pointed at her. Her skill in martial arts wasn’t particularly good. In any case, she couldn’t be compared to those Imperial guards. However, she really deserved to be called Wu Wei (fearless). Even if she got injured, she wouldn’t let the enemies have it easy. In just a short while, many wounds and cuts appeared on Wu Wei’s body, but the guards didn’t fare much better. The more fearsome enemies weren’t the ones with high martial arts, but the ones who weren’t afraid to die. The guards took note of that seemingly delicate servant girl.
Wu Wei had sustained so many injuries, she looked close to dying, yet the crown prince’s face showed no expression. He was merely standing to the side, not even glancing at her. That kind of conduct really forced people to re-evaluate the so-called incompetent crown prince. Was such a heartless crown prince really so incompetent?
“Why is it so noisy outside?” A middle aged man, who was wearing the bright yellow emperor’s robe, suddenly walked out of the royal study. The guards sank to their knees, loudly shouting, “Your Majesty!”
Shang Wuxin’s eyes showed a hint of delight. It really was somewhat strenuous to draw him out. She openly looked at the emperor, who was also her father. He looked dazzling in the dragon robe* and with his long black hair let down. One couldn’t tell that he was in his forties, he appeared more like a man in his thirties. The sun had turned his skin into a glowing bronze color. Shang Wuxin was confident that Emperor Sheng knew martial arts, and that even after ascending the throne, he had never abandoned practicing. His thick brows were as if drawn with a brush, giving the impression of unswerving determination. Under the strict upturned eyebrows were a pair of sharp, tiger-like eyes which contained wildness, dominance, and a trace of carefully concealed gentleness.
At this moment, Shang Wuxin finally understood why her body was so gorgeous. She had heard that Empress Qiu used to be the number one beauty under heaven, and while Emperor Sheng was in his forties, his handsome looks hadn’t been diminished one bit. The two of them were so outstanding, it wasn’t strange that Shang Wuxin had grown up beautiful as well.
Emperor Shang looked at Shang Wuxin. His keen eyes observed her with his usual indifference, without showing the slightest reaction. His gaze wasn’t out of the ordinary, yet it got everyone within the vicinity scared stiff, because his eyes were just too piercing. Out of everyone outside the study, only the crown prince Shang Wuxin and her maid Wu Wei weren’t kneeling. Shang Wuxin didn’t believe anyone deserved her kneeling down for them. Wu Wei just didn’t think it necessary to kneel down to anyone besides the crown prince, even if that person was the crown prince’s father, the emperor.
Emperor Shang looked at Shang Wuxin for a long time. The legs of the kneeling guards had already gotten numb, the court eunuchs were already drenched in cold sweat, and Wu Wei was vigilantly eyeing everyone. Yet both the emperor and Shang Wuxin never wavered. Emperor Shang finally looked away and said to her, “Come in.” He didn’t reprimand Shang Wuxin for being rude and causing offence, but he also didn’t speak any loving words. No one could make any sense of it. Was the emperor fond of the crown prince, or was he disgusted with him as usual?
Shang Wuxin threw Wu Wei a glance, then entered the royal study. The door slowly closed, conveniently obstructing everyone’s view.
Notes: Edited by Lili ❤
*Dragon robe: anything dragon is synonymous to the emperor. So dragon robes means the emperor’s court dress.