Chapter 48.2 Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip!
Could it be that Huo Caiyu was interested in Princess Tama?
Li Jinyu didn’t fully comprehend human aesthetics, but considering the discreet attention Princess Tama was receiving from others, her appearance was considered exceptional among human women.
Huo Caiyu was young and passionate, so it was natural for him to be attracted to her.
For some reason, Li Jinyu felt a twinge of discomfort all of a sudden.
Previously, when Li Jinyu speculated about Huo Caiyu’s potential interest in one of the imperial concubines, he felt a sense of curiosity and intrigue.
However, seeing Huo Caiyu’s apparent pursuit of Princess Tama now brought about a discomforting feeling, as if something that belonged to him was being coveted by another.
Li Jinyu couldn’t pinpoint the exact source of this feeling, so he attributed it to Princess Tama being a woman from the Jiao Kingdom.
Regardless, the Jiao Kingdom was an enemy nation.
How could Huo Caiyu, the future successor of Great Di, become involved with a woman from an enemy country?
Searching for a quick justification, Li Jinyu felt the need to reason, “Zhen understands.
Let’s wait and see what happens after Princess Tama enters the palace.
Huo Caiyu, you have good intentions.”
Huo Caiyu pursed his lips without saying another word.
He simply lowered his head and stated, “This official will take his leave for now.”
The Jiao Kingdom’s envoy, desperate to prevent further casualties, sought a way to spare their people from a meaningless death.
However, Great Di’s stance remained resolute.
If their Majesty suffered harm, there would be repercussions.
Despite the envoy’s repeated attempts at negotiation, they were met with unwavering resistance.
Even Princess Tama, their last hope, remained inaccessible.
Nevertheless, the envoy could not afford to give up.
Among the imprisoned Jiao Kingdom warriors, there was a Prince from their land.
This Prince held great favor with the monarch of Jiao Kingdom and had come to Great Di seeking experience and political leverage to compete for the succession against his brothers upon his return.
They had anticipated an easy victory over Great Di, relying on the beast-attracting flowers and their hunting prowess.
However, they were caught off guard by the mysterious weaponry of the Di Dynasty, and even their use of the beast-attracting flowers was exposed by the Emperor of Great Di.
While they could bear the loss of their other warriors, failure to retrieve the Prince would undoubtedly incur the wrath of their monarch.
Exhausting all diplomatic options to secure the Prince’s release, the envoy had no choice but to propose a new demand, “Since our people acted wrongly before, why don’t we settle this with a fair rematch? If we emerge victorious, I kindly request the Regent to release our warrior.”
Huo Caiyu remained by the Emperor’s side within the palace, declining to meet them.
Taking charge of the situation, the Number One Scholar Zhou from the Ministry of Rites wore a faint smile as he spoke, “What if your country suffers another defeat?”
The envoy gritted his teeth and replied, “If our Kingdom loses again… then the aid will be withdrawn!”
Zhou Wenyan appeared slightly puzzled, as if the envoy’s statement posed a challenge to his comprehension.
“The provision of aid was always subject to the discretion of Great Di.
How can it be regarded as your kingdom’s bargaining chip?”
Caught off guard by the unexpected resistance from this unfamiliar attendant, the envoy paused momentarily before clenching their teeth once more.
“Then we will add an additional batch of cattle, sheep, and horses!”
Zhou Wenyan raised an eyebrow in response.
“Considering your kingdom recently experiencing a plague, how can you offer healthy livestock?”
The envoy took a deep breath, speaking in a lowered voice.
“We can still manage to acquire a few.
I beseech you, Young Master Zhou, to speak on our behalf.”
Zhou Wenyan nodded thoughtfully.
“If you can manage to obtain a few more… why not push a little harder?”
The envoy: “…”
In the end, Zhou Wenyan successfully negotiated the acquisition of an additional 300 cattle, 300 sheep, and 500 horses from the envoy, in exchange for the opportunity to engage in another competition with Great Di.
Li Jinyu attentively listened to Zhou Wenyan’s report and couldn’t help but be impressed.
“I didn’t expect you to be so good at doing business.”
Zhou Wenyan smiled graciously in response.
“This subject is grateful for Your Majesty and the Regent’s kind words of appreciation.”
Following customary practices, newly appointed successful scholars were required to undergo two years of training in the Imperial Academy before being assigned to local areas for further development as officials.
However, both Huo Caiyu and Li Jinyu recognized the talents of this year’s Three Worthy Scholars and decided to temporarily assign them positions in the Six Ministries, allowing them to observe their future progress.
When the envoy made a second request for the release of Jiao Kingdom’s warrior, Huo Caiyu keenly sensed that they might have captured a significant figure.
The Jiao Kingdom’s imprisoned warriors were stubborn, and Huo Caiyu couldn’t simply let go of the valuable catch they had secured.
In the rematch, the envoy wanted to shed blood and insisted on a one-on-one horseback battle.
When it came to equestrian skills, the people of the Jiao Kingdom, who had spent their lives on the grasslands with horses, were undoubtedly stronger than most of Great Di’s generals.
However, there were exceptions.
Inside the palace, there was a dedicated martial arts field where officials from Great Di and the envoy gathered together.
Upon hearing the request from the envoy, Huo Caiyu maintained a stoic expression as he nodded.
“Very well, who does your country plan to send?”
The envoy confidently laid out their strategy and lineup.
“We will compete in three rounds, with two victories required.
Our country will send three representatives.”
To the surprise of Great Di officials, the envoy included himself as one of the representatives, along with Princess Tama.
Sensing the astonishment among the Great Di officials, Princess Tama smiled subtly, retrieved a riding whip from her waist, and flicked it lightly.
“In Jiao Kingdom, everyone possesses excellent horsemanship skills, especially those in the palace.
It’s quite different from your Great Di nobles!”
This statement caused a visible change in the expressions of everyone present.
Huo Caiyu furrowed his brows, preparing to intervene, but before he could speak, he observed Princess Tama waving her hand towards Li Jinyu and adopting a coquettish tone.
“Your Majesty, as a gesture of apology for our previous mistake, why don’t you come and compete with me? If I lose to you, I will admit defeat.”
Princess Tama’s disdain for the Emperor was evident in her words, provoking anger among even the officials dispatched by the Prime Minister.
The envoy’s expression subtly changed, revealing a hint of surprise.
Huo Caiyu’s face also grew cold, sensing the intentional provocation in Princess Tama’s words.
Princess Tama’s words clearly indicated her deliberate attempt to provoke the Emperor, who lacked proficiency in martial arts.
Unfortunately, Great Di had no counterargument to offer.
During the previous Emperor’s reign, both the Emperor and the Crown Prince had their own martial arts instructors, but now such practices had been completely abandoned.
Huo Caiyu instinctively turned to look at the Emperor, seeking his opinion.
Li Jinyu naturally held complete trust in him.
Receiving the Emperor’s immediate and unwavering consent, Huo Caiyu turned back and calmly stated, “In that case, among the three representatives from Great Di, His Majesty and this Prince will participate.”
Princess Tama, taken aback by Huo Caiyu’s acceptance of the challenge, widened her eyes and then smiled in a coquettish manner.
“Then I will eagerly await a match with Your Majesty.
Huo Caiyu maintained an expressionless demeanor as he selected a military commander from the entourage and said, “What kind of status does His Majesty hold? He cannot easily participate.
This Prince will randomly select an opponent for the Princess.”
The military commander, Chi Zhongming, who was “randomly” chosen by Huo Caiyu, wore a slightly melancholic expression as he reluctantly glanced at her.
Clearing his throat, he introduced himself, “This Lietenant General is Chi Zhongming.
Your Highness, please.”
Princess Tama frowned slightly, unimpressed that neither the Regent nor the Emperor would be her opponent.
She scrutinized the unfamiliar young general dressed in lightweight armor, his lean figure catching her attention.
She sneered inwardly and replied, “Very well, let’s begin.”
As Chi Zhongming and Princess Tama rode their horses to opposite sides of the sparring field, Li Jinyu watched with curiosity.
He whispered in a low voice to Huo Caiyu, “Aren’t you worried that Brother Chi might lose?”
Huo Caiyu enjoyed the feeling of His Majesty secretly whispering to him in public.
He lowered his voice and responded, “Brother Chi and I have sparred before.”
Li Jinyu’s worries immediately subsided.
He took out some melon seeds, munching on one himself while offering a dumpling to Huo Caiyu.
They both enjoyed the horseback fight unfolding before them in the sparring field.
After a moment of silence, Huo Caiyu suddenly expressed his doubt, “Isn’t Your Majesty concerned about this official’s arrangement?”
Li Jinyu responded without hesitation, “No, Zhen isn’t worried.”
Huo Caiyu inquired, “May this official ask why?”
Li Jinyu scratched his ear lightly, peeled another melon seed, tilted his head, and pondered for a moment.
Then he replied, “You’ve earned Zhen’s trust before, and Zhen hasn’t found a reason to worry.”
Although he couldn’t reveal his greatest secret to Huo Caiyu, he had complete faith in him to handle everything else.
Huo Caiyu was momentarily taken aback, and a warm sensation quietly spread through his heart, filling his chest and throat.
It left him speechless, unable to find the right words to express himself.
Suddenly, a small but daring delusion took hold in his heart: perhaps there was a chance between him and His Majesty.
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