It has been one month since Danruo courtyard had revealed good news.
A big event has happened this month.
After the crown prince was put into the house arrest, his temper turned violent and his behavior in the inner yard was utterly preposterous.
He went so far as to take the lead prostitute from the brothel, fooling around with her every night.
The two stayed behind the closed door all day long doing those shameful things.
They even wantonly collected wicked and depraved items, using them on the women in the inner yard and causing the prince’s estate to turn into an extremely filthy place.
The crown prince’s cefei was the second di daughter of a duke with sweet-tempered and virtuous, dignified and noble character.
Not only was she subjected to the crown prince’s obscene items but also to the prostitute’s disrespect and taunts.
How could she tolerate such humiliation Unable to get over the disgrace, the cefei committed suicide by swallowing the gold.
When this happened, the eldest shu son born by cefei drew out the sword and directly chopped down the head of that prostitute.
However, Zhong Zheng Hui kicked him right in the middle of the chest, causing him to vomit blood on the spot.
Since his lungs have been injured, the imperial physician has diagnosed that in the future he will cough routinely and need to use medicine regularly.
The crown princess who was nursing her pregnancy in the estate got a scare which led to her going to premature labor and delivering a weak male infant two months before the term.
The infant suffered from congenital deficiency and was very weak.
After the imperial physicians looked up the baby, they all shook their heads and sighed, saying that the baby might not survive to adulthood.
When Yuancheng Emperor learnt of this incident, he became enraged.
For a moment, he was so angry that has, unexpectedly, fallen sick and had been in bed since.
Excerpt for the crown prince and the first prince who were still under the house arrest, the rest of princes from age twelve and above all took turns to attend his sickness.
Zhong Zheng Lin was already temporarily charged with the crown prince’s official matters.
Besides, he was also worried about Mu Xi Yao’s daily life and diet, and on top of that he currently also had to attend to Yuancheng Emperor.
Suddenly, he became so up to ears in work that he seemed to get a lot thinner.
The usual elegant looking sixth Highness was nowadays so busy he didn’t even have time to take care of his stubble.
It was actually Mu Xi Yao who noticed it in the evening and personally tidied it up for him.
After finishing cleaning his face, that man was already so tired he lied on Mu Xi Yao’s knees and fell asleep.
Mu Xi Yao looked at Zhong Zheng Lin’s handsome face under the dim yellow candlelight and sighed.
Inside, she was full of laments.
Being a party leader was indeed not easy.
Being a pampered consort was the best thing to choose.
Seeing the man going out early in the morning and returning late in the night every day, and had already missed the mealtime for several days in the row, Mu Xi Yao called for momo who would specially prepare a meal for Zhong Zheng Lin.
Oftentimes, the meal consisted of meat paired with vegetables.
The taste was light.
On top of that, she had Wei Zhen to send over a steaming hot nutritional soup.
Sending a meal twice per day like this, Zhong Zheng Lin felt very warm inside.
Mu shufei’s thoughtfulness, however, gave the inner yard a signal to vie for the favor.
It stirred all the woman to send soups to the study in the front yard every day.
Every time the soup had a different flavor.
Zhong Zheng Lin was always biased.
With the sentence “Misconducted” he dismissed the relentless women, shattering their hearts in the process.
Once Zhong Zheng Lin got busy, the time he spent in the inner yard got less and less, often resting in the study.
Even when he returned back to the estate, he would take the opportunity and go to Danruo courtyard to see Mu Xi Yao, sit for a while and then go back.
Danruo courtyard was already like this, not mentioning the other courtyards.
They weren’t able to see even a shadow of Zhong Zheng Lin.
His Highness has come back for a month and a half, yet apart from going to see lady Mu he hadn’t even once had people serve him.
Furthermore, nowadays, he often slept in the study.
This, however, made these women get ideas.
Maybe, they could be with child after attending in the study one time
Everybody was scheming.
Yet, they didn’t expect that the first one to act would be rules-abiding Tang shufei.
Tang Yi Ru took a personally sewed cloak and brought together with her maidservant Shu Tao to the study, requesting for the audience.
Zhong Zheng Lin just had his eyes closed for resting, thinking that Di Wu Yi Zhao should be on the road.
When he comes back, he can let go of many duties.
Not to mention there was the assistance of Gong Shu Yang whom Di Wu Yi Zhao strongly recommended.
He can rest assured with official duties on this side.
Just as he was thinking about going to Danruo courtyard in the evening, fall asleep while holding the little woman’s soft body and even engage in small talk, he heard Wei Zhen report that Tang shufei was outside seeking his audience.
Zhong Zheng Lin didn’t open his eyes.
However, his brows raised up.
Tang shi Why did she, who was always rules-abiding, came Since she was shufei appointed by Yuancheng Emperor and also has always behaved well, he ought to give her some respect.
He nodded and gave assent.
Wei Zhen stopped Shu Tao, only allowing Tang shufei inside.
Lady Tang nodded and thanked him, leisurely going in.
As soon as Tang Yi Ru went indoor, a warm air assaulted her.
It was due to a ground heater heating the inside of the room.
Indeed, his Highness was descendant of imperial clan.
Unlike the inner yard, the rank under cefei had only brazier.
Tang Yi Ru removed her cloak and hung it on the flower stand by the door.
She moved lightly with lotus steps and went around the screen.
She saw his Highness lying on the side, one hand supporting his head, his legs slightly bent, eyes closed resting.
Behind him, his hair was draped over his shoulder.
An indigo robe loosely hung on his body, revealing a pure white inner garment inside.
This was the first time Zhong Zheng Lin has appeared in such relaxed manner before Tang Yi Ru.
There was none of his usual deliberate alienation and indifference nor his intimidating aura and coldness.
He was only leisurely lying there, yet it made the man even more handsome.
Tang Yi Ru’s heartbeat accelerated.
She took several deep breaths, stepped forward and then halted, “Qie pays respect to your Highness.” The woman’s voice was gentle and didn’t carry any flatter.
What it is” Zhong Zheng Lin told her to raise, but he didn’t open his eyes.
However, his tone was much better than when facing the concubines in the inner yard.
Tang Yi Ru hesitated for a moment.
In the end, she walked behind the man’s back, lifted her hands and lightly pressed them against the man’s shoulders.
Her strength was moderate but her technique was skillful.
“Seeing your Highness quite worn out in recent days, going out early in the morning and returning late in the evening, qie had knitted a cloak.
It can ward off the chill in the morning and evening.
Qie only wishes for your Highness’s good health.” She was very considerate and attentive.
Also, she grasped the shufei’s attitude perfectly.
Zhong Zheng Lin enjoyed the comfortable massage on the shoulders.
His voice relaxed,” You’re thoughtful.”
Seeing Zhong Zheng Lin saying no more, Tang Yi Ru guessed he was fond of quietness.
She silently attended him, her hands didn’t cease its movement.
As far as the eyes could see, the sixth Highness’s study was spacious.
The rows of bookshelves were full of book collections.
The table was piled up with official documents.
Though there were many objects inside the room they were all arranged orderly, very neat and tidy.
There was no warm colored decoration in the study, apart from the lively plum blossom which was stuck in the vase.
It turns out that the flower his Highness is fond of in private also carries a cold aura.
This time Tang Yi Ru guessed wrong.
This plum blossom was picked up by Mu Xi Yao in passing from the plum forest.
Thinking that Zhong Zheng Lin’s study had neither a little flower nor some grass and that it was too rigid, she told Mo Lan to send it over.
At the time when Zhong Zheng Lin received the plum branch, he specially opened the estate treasury to pick a blue-white porcelain vase to match it with the flower.
After quarter an hour, seeing Zhong Zheng Lin still quietly resting, Tang Yi Ru made up her mind and slowly yet boldly stretched her hand toward Zhong Zheng Lin’s chest.
She lightly stroked Zhong Zheng Lin’s chest.
Tang Yi Ru was beside herself with joy.
His Highness didn’t resist nor push her away!
Therefore, she went to the front of couch-bed.
She slowly kneeled down.
Her soft hand on Zhong Zheng Lin’s chest gradually slid down, when passing through abdomen she went back and forth, drawing several circles.
As expected, a slight bulge has appeared under his Highness’s abdomen.
He was actually aroused.
Tang Yi Ru’s face was crimson red.
Thinking about how his Highness had no one to serve him these days, it was no wonder he had a reaction so fast.
Tang Yi Ru was even more nicely surprised.
As she wanted to push aside Zhong Zheng Lin’s robe, a big hand suddenly caught her wrist, rendering her unable to move.
Tang Yi Ru lifted up her gaze, stunned, just right in time to make a contact with Zhong Zheng Lin’s deep phoenix eyes.
For a moment, she was at a complete loss.
Zhong Zheng Lin looked at the woman who was close at hand in front of him.
Her face devoid of makeup was bland.
She had an ample body which was attired in elegant clothes.
The pair of almond-shaped eyes looked at him infatuatedly.
They brimmed with affection.
Being teased by this kind of woman, it was not that he wasn’t stirred.
He hasn’t made love with Mu Xi Yao for almost two months.
As a result, the lust has piled up in Zhong Zheng Lin.
Now, being massaged and seduced by Tang shi, that lust was even more unbearable.
Looking at this woman that belonged to him, Zhong Zheng Lin thought of the child inside the little woman’s belly.
He suppressed the desire.
He reached out and pulled on the clothes.
Afterward, he stood up, tidied himself a little and went outside.
Tang Yi Ru knelt on the ground, dazed.
Seeing Zhong Zheng Lin lift his foot about to go away, she called out with a trembling voice that was choked with emotion, “Your Highness~~”
Zhong Zheng Lin’s footsteps slightly halted.
He didn’t turn his head.
With a voice that regained calmness, he said, “Tang shi.”
Tang Yi Ru’s eyes brightened up when she heard Zhong Zheng Lin call her.
To her surprise, the man used a stern tone to tell her, “A study is an important place.
No one is allowed in without an order.
Just this once.” After the words were said, she saw Zhong Zheng Lin bypass the screen and go out.
Tang Yi Ru knelt blankly on the ground for a while.
Her mind was in great chaos.
Gradually, her eyes became wet.
She couldn’t understand.
His Highness was clearly aroused.
Why did he push her away Since he didn’t dislike her why didn’t he let her serve him A tear slid across the corner of Tang Yi Ru’s mouth.
She felt that a great humiliation was about to destroy her.
Cannot her wish be fulfilled even despite being this initiative
Or, was it that his Highness wanted to protect Mu Xi Yao’s child, thus he won’t tolerate a new branch to grow out of a knot1.
Tang Yi Ru was inwardly upset.
However, she stood up and wiped away her tears.
She resolutely breathed in and then fastened the cloak, took Shu Tao and went back to Shuhui courtyard with an upright and unafraid posture.
Even if she didn’t receive his Highness’s grace this time, getting some respect was also a good thing.
In the whole courtyard full of woman, she was the only one beside lady Mu who has entered his Highness’s study.
This was enough.
Regarding his Highness’s favor, she can scheme slowly.
After all, looking at today’s situation, it wasn’t like it had to be only that lady Mu.
After this experience, Tang Yi Ru’s heart was even more resolute.
Thinking that after the principal consort entered the estate, the circumstances would be different.
To whom the deer would fall was still unknown2.
Inside Danruo courtyard, Mu Xi Yao has already learnt about Tang shufei’s arrival to the sixth Highness’s study.
Browsing through the new book she just got, Mu Xi Yao’s eyes slightly narrowed.
Want to divide her favor while she was pregnant These women indeed knew how to scheme good plans.
However, Tang Yi Ru chose the wrong location.
No matter how lustful Zhong Zheng Lin was, he wouldn’t wantonly grab a woman in the study and sleep with her.
This man’s mentality was material for becoming an Emperor.
Once he sets up his mind, it was carved in stone.
Although she didn’t know how deep were Zhong Zheng Lin’s feelings for her, what Mu Xi Yao was sure of was that he currently hoped for the eldest son to come out from her womb.
So, at present, according to that man’s character, other women will hardly have their dreams come true.
 A new branch to grow out of a knot means side issues keep arising
 To whom the deer would fall means the one to emerge victor