Three days before the ceremony of conferring the title upon the Imperial Noble Consort Yun, Liuli Palace was very quiet.
Rumours spread from somewhere in the palace that Wang Zhao was so stupid that he was pitiful. He went to the embroidery room, watched who knows what there, and also took away an embroidery silver needle. After returning to the palace, he was in a daze. He didn’t go out for three days, saying that he wanted to embroider something for Consort Yun, so that she could use it at the ceremony.
The news received by the Crown Prince and Consort’s Xue Linyue Tower was similar to these rumours. Although it sounded a bit incredible, the spies did say so.
“What kind of stupidity does this look like?” Consort Xue hugged the hand stove and snorted, “I don’t think there’s much use in naming him the Wang. As for Yuan Wanyun, her son has become like this. Without him to rely on, I’ll see how long she can stay favoured.”
Fu Rongye was reading a book, and when he heard that, he gave her a look and said, “Say a few words less. If we’re talking seriously, Mother Concubine should thank Liuli Palace. If it weren’t for the fact that they asked Father Emperor for a favour, that matter wouldn’t have passed so easily.”
“I should thank her?” Cocubine Xue sat up at once, her tone changing, “Are you my son? Why do you speak for them all the time?”
“It’s just the truth,“ Fu Rongye didn’t raise his head. “Mother Consort has to admit that Father Emperor just likes it over there. I think even the Ninth Prince… oh no, Wang Zhao… no matter how stupid he is, Father Emperor is happy to look at him.”
Consort Xue looked at him in disbelief, her hands shaking with anger: “I think you are the one who has something wrong with you. Do you want to make Mother Consort angry?”
Seeing her like this, Fu Rongye had a helpless expression on his face. He raised his head and said, “Then let’s talk about something that will make you happy. Father Emperor asked me to be in charge of this year’s imperial examination together with Grandfather.”
The grandfather he mentioned was Prime Minister Xue.
Consort Xue’s mood was going up and down, but she still couldn’t suppress her excitement. The imperial examination had always been a major event in the country. It was not only an opportunity to be in the limelight but also a chance to attract the future talents. She covered her mouth in delight for a while before she asked softly to confirm: “Really?”
“Don’t make it public for the time being,” Fu Rongye’s face also became serious. “Don’t tell Rongli either, he can’t keep secrets. I’ll find a chance to get him involved when the time comes. Then he can at least learn something and show his face in front of Father Emperor, so that Father Emperor doesn’t only remember his mistakes.”
Consort Xue nodded again and again, only to hear Fu Rongye add coldly: “This matter also lies with Liuli Palace. It is said that Father Emperor originally wanted the Ninth Prince to do it.”
“Fu Zhiyu?! The emperor is crazy, he is only sixteen!”
“He is not only famous in the capital, Grand Master Xu also likes him and deliberately mentioned him to Father Emperor,” Fu Rongye said, “But that was before. Now he has this illness, and everything is different. Rumours are that Grand Master Xu has been sick for a while because of this matter. The old man was already in poor health and the doctor said that he was too worried and needed to rest. Only then was Grandfather finally given this task. Fu Zhiyu’s stupidity is very timely. It is not too much to say that it is just perfect.”
Consort Xue still had some doubts in her heart and said, “But Li’er suspects that he is not stupid at all.”
“Just listen to what Rongli says,” Fu Rongye waved his hand, “He has been targeting Fu Zhiyu for more than a day or two. If he’s really not stupid, then why is he pretending to be stupid? To hand over the benefits to others?”
Consort Xue stopped talking; this made sense.
“Liuli Palace still should be watched,” Fu Rongye said, “But now their side is no longer the focus. The reason why I told Mother Consort this is to let you and Rongli know that you shouldn’t be blinded by momentary jealousy. It’s useless to keep looking at others. Only strengthening yourself is the fundamental way.”
Fu Zhiyu didn’t know what others were saying about him. He was now nestling on a soft couch, nibbling on a piece of fragrant mung bean cake little by little, like a weak, pitiful and helpless but cute bunny.
The rumours outside were not purely nonsense. After he confirmed the mutation of his body, he started to do other things, such as… embroidery.
Although Caiyan and the others said that this kind of thing was only done by women, Fu Zhiyu felt that embroidery was embroidery. There was no reason in the world why only women were supposed to do it. Besides, for his mother, what couldn’t he do?
What was wrong with trying something he hadn’t done before?
But he had overestimated his own talent; being able to draw was not the same as being able to embroider. These were two completely different skills. His original ambition was to embroider the “Portrait of the Nurturing Mother”, and then he gave up step by step. In the end, he embroidered the handkerchief with… the chicken at the feet of the nurturing mother.
“Portrait of the Nurturing Mother” was a famous painting. Even the chicken on the original painting was vivid and lifelike. The material used by Fu Zhiyu was the finest gold thread, but he ended up with a chicken that was obviously too fat and extremely deformed. It was so ugly that it couldn’t be recognised as a chicken at all. Associating it with the famous painting would be an insult to the painting.
He didn’t want to give this thing to his mother; it was better pretend that nothing happened.The auspicious clothes embroidered by the embroidery room had been delivered to Liuli Palace, incomparable in their gracefulness and luxury, and his ugly little chick was even more an eyesore in comparison.
But with rumours spread all over the palace, how could Consort Yun not know? She just took the handkerchief from his hand.
“What’s wrong with Mother Consort looking at it? Isn’t it embroidered for me?” Her eyes were full of laughter, “I heard from Caimei that it had been embroidered for a long time, isn’t it a pity to throw it away?”
Fu Zhiyu buried his face in his white fox fur and said in a muffled voice: “…Mother Consort makes fun of me.”
“How can I make fun of you?” Consort Yun put away the handkerchief carefully, “Mother Consort really likes it.”
Fu Zhiyu raised his head from the fox fur, glanced at her, and asked, “Everyone in the palace says that Wang Zhao doesn’t read books, doesn’t practise martial arts, and spends time embroidering. His brain is probably really hopeless.”
Consort Yun smiled and said, “What they ask for is different from what Mother Consort asks for, so naturally they talk a lot.”
“I know,” Fu Zhiyu looked at her and smiled, and then said, “I will accompany Mother Consort to the ceremony tomorrow, and then I want to go out of the palace.”
“To do what?”
Fu Zhiyu said, “To go to the Yuan residence.”
The Yuan residence was the house of Consort Yun’s parents.
“Go ahead,” Consort Yun smiled when she heard it. “Take some things to them. I didn’t plan to tell them about the situation with your illness for fear that word would get out. The family has sent several letters to the palace during this time, all of them concerned about you. Father and Mother are probably very worried.”
Fu Zhiyu nodded.
Now that he had the title of the Wang, it was much easier for him to enter and exit the palace than when he was a prince.
“By the way,“ Consort Yun seemed to remember something, “The one who saved you in the ice lake at that time, called Xie Ke. You said you would come to visit to thank him. Why don’t you go to the Xie residence this time? There should be some etiquette. After all, he saved your life.”
Suddenly hearing Xie Ke’s name from his mother, Fu Zhiyu couldn’t help but be taken aback and replied, “I will go. I will handle Xie Ke’s affairs, but Mother Consort should stay away from him. It’s best not to talk to him. This man is very dangerous.”
Consort Yun didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry, and said, “I live in the harem, how can I talk to men casually? Besides, Xie Ke is your saviour no matter what. Why do you guard against him like this?”
Fu Zhiyu explained patiently: “He just entered the palace yesterday and became an imperial guard. He is often by Father Emperor’s side. Mother Consort should see him often in the future. Mother Consort should listen to me and stay away from him.”
“Fine, Mother Consort understands,” Consort Yun touched his face, “You, it’s just a trivial matter, why are you so serious? Your face is all tense.”
It’s not a trivial matter, Fu Zhiyu thought to himself.
In his previous life, Mother Consort had hated Xie Ke very much, probably because she knew that Fu Zhiyu liked him extremely but couldn’t get anything from him. The way she looked at Xie Ke was about the same as looking at a wild fox spirit. She felt that every time this man appeared, he would bare his fangs to suck her son’s blood. To some extent, Consort Yun was indeed right.
In this life, there was no need to worry about it… right?