Royal Descendants

Royal Descendants

Chapter 10 - Chapter 10

Bairen didn't even know how he returned to the manor. He was in a daze the whole way until the attendant asked him to get off the sedan chair. Bairen stepped out, still clutching the dispatch document Qi Xiao had just given him.

The attendant also noticed Bairen's unusual expression and asked softly, "Young master... Young master? Are you unwell?"

"No..." Bairen shook his head and turned to look at the servant guarding the ceremonial gate. "Has Chaoge returned?"

The servant hurriedly replied, "He just got back and should be in the study now."

"Good..." Bairen nodded, his hands clenching unnaturally. He strode through the ceremonial gate without even changing his clothes and headed straight for the study.

Several young maids were doing needlework on the corridor outside the study. Seeing Bairen coming, they hurriedly bowed. Bairen's voice was hoarse, "All of you, get out... Watch the courtyard gate and don't let anyone in..."

The young maids saw Bairen's unfriendly expression and didn't dare to ask more. They answered in unison, bowed, and withdrew. Bairen took a deep breath and pushed open the door to the study.

In the inner room of the study, Cen Chaoge was tidying up Bairen's desk. Bairen had never liked others touching his things since he was young, especially his stationery. He only allowed Cen Chaoge to touch them, from childhood until now.

Seeing Bairen return, Cen Chaoge smiled, "So soon? What did the Crown Prince say?"

Bairen slowly walked over and handed the dispatch document to Cen Chaoge, saying slowly, "The Crown Prince... told me to give this to you..."

Cen Chaoge paused for a moment before taking it. At first he was delighted, but then he quickly restrained his expression and frowned anxiously, "What's going on? Why is my name in here?! Whose idea is this... No, I have to go find them. How can I leave..."

Cen Chaoge was about to walk out when Bairen looked at him acting woodenly, suddenly feeling incredibly disgusted. He had been furious earlier and just wanted to come back to confront Cen Chaoge and get a clear explanation.

But now he didn't want to hear anything and just said wearily, "There's also this... The 15,000 taels bank note that Xi Xiang collected..."

Cen Chaoge's heart sank. He hesitated before taking the bank note. Bairen laughed bitterly, "Chaoge... If you want to leave, just say it directly. Do you think I would stop you?"

"Bairen, no..." Cen Chaoge knew things had gone wrong as soon as he saw the bank note. He didn't know how much Bairen actually knew. His face turned purple but he didn't dare say much, afraid of making more mistakes. He stepped forward to take Bairen's hand, "Bairen, listen to me, I just..."

Bairen distastefully pulled his hand away and looked at Cen Chaoge coldly, "You just what? Say it."

"I..." Cen Chaoge paused and said dejectedly, "Bairen... You know, I'm my father's only son. I've been here for a month now and you know the situation here. If something happens to me, the Cen family line will end... Bairen, if it was just me, I would go through fire and water for you without hesitation. But I'm not alone, I have the entire Cen clan behind me..."

Bairen felt exhausted as soon as he heard the first sentence. He smiled faintly, "Why are you saying this? If you want to leave, would I not let you? What did I say before in Lingnan, and how did you respond? Have you forgotten?"

Cen Chaoge was stunned for a moment, his face becoming even more embarrassed. Bairen slowly recalled, "I said... Chaoge, I probably won't be able to come back for a while after I leave this time. Our past affection... just treat it as a joke from when we were young and ignorant. In the future, one in the south and one in the north, who knows when we'll meet again. Take care of yourself. You said..."

Bairen's voice became hoarse, "You said you would never forget for the rest of your life. No matter where I go... to the heavens or the underworld, you would follow. Even if fate is unkind and we die together, at least we would have fulfilled our feelings from all these years. If the heavens have mercy and there comes a day when we can return, I as the king and you as the minister, continuing to protect me... Chaoge, you couldn't have already forgotten the words from two months ago, right?"

Cen Chaoge was too ashamed to face Bairen and turned his head away. Somehow, after saying all this, Bairen's earlier rage completely dissipated. He didn't want to argue with Cen anymore.

Laughing bitterly, he waved his hand, "I don't blame you. I didn't want you to come originally. This past month... you've also suffered a lot with me. We don't owe each other anything anymore."

Bairen had no strength left. He turned and walked out. Cen Chaoge hesitated for a moment but still didn't follow.

In the Crown Prince's Manor, Qi Xiao was reading documents at his desk while listening to Jiang Deqing recount what he heard from the spy. When he got to Cen Chaoge's vows, Qi Xiao couldn't help but laugh, "He really said that?"

Jiang Deqing nodded, "Those were the young prince's exact words, not a single character off."

Qi Xiao sighed in admiration, "I underestimated Cen Chaoge before. His eloquence is even better than storytellers."

Jiang Deqing smiled, "It's just a pity it's all talk. A husband and wife are birds in the same forest that fly their separate ways when disaster strikes. Not to mention, he and the young prince are nothing. It was just a momentary passion from when they were young and didn't know any better."

Qi Xiao smiled mockingly and said nothing more. Jiang Deqing stepped forward to grind ink for Qi Xiao and asked softly, "Your Highness... when will you tell the young prince about that matter?"

Qi Xiao paused, his thin lips pursed slightly. Seeing Qi Xiao's hesitation, Jiang Deqing took the opportunity to say, "Otherwise, let's wait a few more days to give the young prince some time to recover. One thing after another, it's been tough enough for him. Sigh... in the end, he's just a pitiful 15-year-old child."

Qi Xiao originally felt a bit heartbroken for Bairen, but for some reason, after hearing Jiang Deqing's words, he hardened his resolve. Laughing coldly, "15 years old? When I was 15, I suffered much more than this. I'm not the type to pity the weak. No need to wait."

Jiang Deqing regretted saying the wrong thing. He laughed and said, "What Your Highness said... If everyone had a resolute nature like Your Highness, how could we distinguish between the nine ranks? Forget it, as long as Your Highness is happy. Then... shall this servant go to the Lingnan Prince's manor tomorrow to tell the young prince?"

Qi Xiao smiled faintly, "No need, I'll tell him myself."

"This..." Jiang Deqing was dumbfounded. "Then what do you need us servants to do? The young prince has a proud nature. As soon as he hears this, I'm afraid he won't have any good words. Your Highness, it's better to let this servant go and properly explain the reasoning to the young prince. When the young prince understands, he will naturally come. Why must Your Highness personally play the villain?"

Qi Xiao folded the document and smiled mockingly, "If you say it, am I no longer the villain? What's the point of being hypocritical like Cen Chaoge."

Jiang Deqing had no choice but to agree. The next day, after the morning court session, Qi Xiao sent someone to invite Bairen from the Lingnan Prince's Manor.

The messenger's words were vague, only mentioning that there was progress on the "good news" the prince had mentioned yesterday. Upon hearing this, Bairen could no longer sit still. Although his heart was still aching over Cen Chaoge's matter, he immediately changed his clothes and hurried over.

This time, Qi Xiao invited Bairen to the study again. Bairen entered the study, performed the customary greetings, and Qi Xiao stepped forward to help him up, taking the opportunity to grasp Bairen's wrist and smile gently, "The prince need not stand on ceremony, please sit."

Bairen, unsuspecting, tidied his clothes and sat down. Qi Xiao carefully observed Bairen's complexion and smiled, "Did the prince not sleep well last night? There are dark circles under your eyes."

"No... I was studying late last night." Bairen forced a smile, "I heard that the Crown Prince already knows the details of the matter?"

Qi Xiao nodded, "Yes, after hearing your words yesterday, I sent someone to the palace to inquire with the Princess Dunsu. It turns out there is indeed such a matter. To think... haha, Bairen, we will soon become in-laws."

Bairen didn't expect Qi Xiao to speak so straightforwardly. The prepared speech he had in mind became useless. He paused for a moment before asking, "But I don't know... which princess from our Lingnan is so fortunate?"

Qi Xiao smiled without answering, turned to glance at Jiang Deqing. Jiang Deqing understood and led the attendants out. Qi Xiao picked up a teacup, took a sip, and slowly said, "I was previously puzzled as to why the prince was so concerned about this matter. After inquiring clearly yesterday, I understood a little. Prince... you probably don't want your own sister to marry me, right?"

Bairen's heart skipped a beat. He smiled apologetically, "The Crown Prince is joking. It would be a great blessing to marry the Crown Prince, but..." Bairen previously felt that Qi Xiao was an extremely difficult person to talk to, always beating around the bush. Asking a straightforward question was harder than ascending to the heavens.

Who knew that today Qi Xiao would be so direct, as straightforward as possible. For a moment, he didn't know how to respond. Seeing Bairen's embarrassment, Qi Xiao smiled knowingly and said gently, "The prince need not flatter me with pleasant words. To be honest, if I also had a sister, I probably wouldn't want her to marry far away either."

Bairen was stunned for a moment. Qi Xiao continued smiling, "There's nothing that can't be said about this. It's human nature. Women face many hardships after marriage. If they marry someone of equal status and live close to their parents' home, they can have some support in the future. If they are like Princess Roujia... traveling thousands of miles to be my concubine, it's probably the most unsatisfactory kind of marriage for a woman."

Bairen never thought Qi Xiao could be so understanding. He paused for a moment, lowered his eyes and said, "The Crown Prince is compassionate and has said everything Bairen wanted to say. I won't hide from the Crown Prince. Bairen only has this one sister born from the same mother. The bond between us is unlike any other. Moreover, Roujia's temperament is too gentle, and her health is not very good. She really can't enjoy the great fortune of the royal family. Bairen only hopes that Roujia will find a husband from an ordinary family in the future and live a life with ample food and clothing. Anything else... Bairen dare not presume."

Qi Xiao sighed inwardly. He's still too young. Just by saying a few caring words, he has already opened up his heart and revealed all his weaknesses. If he were to let him go again, then he would truly be useless.

Qi Xiao smiled, "Then what does the prince want to do?"

Bairen stood up, knelt down respectfully, lowered his eyes and said softly, "The marriage alliance doesn't have to be with Roujia. Bairen has another younger sister who was just granted the title of Princess Kangtai last year. I dare not deceive the Crown Prince. Kangtai is of concubine birth, but apart from being inferior in the status of bring principal wife or concubine-born, there is nothing else to criticize. Crown Prince... if the Crown Prince can fulfill Bairen's wish, I will go through fire and water without hesitation in the future."

Qi Xiao looked at Bairen with an amused smile. He neither agreed nor let him get up. After a while, he smiled and slowly said, "Bairen... you understand that the Emperor, Empress, and Princess already know about this matter. At the last moment, wanting to change to another princess is not easy..."

A thin layer of sweat appeared on Bairen's forehead. His tone became even more respectful, "Bairen has been presumptuous, but... I hope the Crown Prince will fulfill my wish."

"Bairen, it's not about me fulfilling your wish..." Qi Xiao leaned down to help Bairen up, using force to directly embrace him. He lowered his head, chuckled softly and said, "Whether this matter succeeds or not depends on whether you can fulfill my wish..."


Hi, I'm Nightowl. I thrive in the quiet hours of the night, where my translations come to life. You’ll often find me with a cup of tea, surrounded by my collection of vinyl records, sharing stories that keep us all up a little too late.

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