302 Drawing Swords
State Duke Lu knew that the relationship between Jing Jiu and the Emperor was very close, beyond anything he could have imagined.
Back when Jing Jiu entered the royal palace and met the Emperor, it was the following day when the Emperor ordered that medication for Royal Concubine Hu be stopped, and Jing Xin was to lose the title of Prince.
That event shocked State Duke Lu.
Who would have known that the Green Mountain Sect had such strong influence on the Royal Palace, and had hidden its weight so well?!
However, the Center Sect was the largest sect in the world. Though their strength in the south was not as strong as that of Green Mountain, their resources in Zhaoge City were evidently superior to Green Mountain's.
Moreover, the One-Cottage House expressed a stout attitude…
The Emperor was the ruler of the world, and he sought a one-thousand-year peace; as such, he had to take the ideas of the majority into consideration. He couldn't just make decisions without consulting with others.
State Duke Lu had said it purposefully because he was worried that Jing Jiu would have a grudge against the Emperor on the matter.
But he hadn't expected that Jing Jiu wouldn't even respond to it and ask directly to see the little prince; what was the meaning of this meeting then?
It was late at night and very quiet in the Royal Palace. State Duke Lu led Jing Jiu to the front of the Royal Concubine Hu's palace. And he used a certain method to have informed the people in the palace.
The light was not on and the palace was as quiet as before. An old maidservant led them in through a side door secretly.
State Duke Lu halted his steps in front of the hall and lowered his head as he took a look at his own shadow.
He wasn't sure whether he should listen to their conversation or not; since Jing Jiu didn't ask him to listen in, it was better he heard as little as possible.
Royal Concubine Hu sat on the bed with one leg bent, her black hair dropping down on her shoulder like a waterfall. Her dress was full of creases, and her untied collar exposed a corner of her snow white breast.
She had been asleep and was awoken by her servant. Her plump body seemed to exude a hint of warm air from the quilt. Her bad mood was understandable
"Your Green Mountain Sect always likes to come at late night to talk about things; don't you fear gossip?"
She said this with a slightly annoyed tone while looking at Jing Jiu. And yet, she also looked charming, and her sleepy appearance and seductive demeanor made her even more attractive.
Jing Jiu looked at her silently, as if he was looking at a painting. He seemed to be enjoying said painting, yet also looked as if he wasn't paying much attention to it.
Royal Concubine Hu stopped talking and stared back at Jing Jiu, her eyes showing calmness in their depths
She had become a lot more mature over the years.
The danger and pressure from the outside, especially the potential harm her to her offspring, were the best way to make a mother mature fast.
The plum flowers would blossom only when being assaulted by the wind and frost.
Royal Concubine Mei, who had been favored by the Emperor, had already been driven out of the palace by her a long time ago.
It was Royal Concubine Hu who had broken the silence, because it was she who had the need for help.
"The Peak Master Zhao promised to help me."
She said to Jing Jiu seriously, "You can't help me by sending some preserved meats every year."
She was serious because she was anxious, and she was anxious because she was afraid.
The Emperor had treated her very well over the last few years, but the force behind Jing Xin was simply too powerful.
Even though she was a vixen who was good at alluring humans, she somehow still couldn't turn those powerful people in the Cultivation circle into her supporters.
She used her limited intelligence to think about this matter; and the more she thought about it, the more despair she felt.
Shenmo Peak was merely one of the nine peaks on the Green Mountain. Though they had the inheritance of the Immortal Jing Yang, the people on Shenmo Peak were all young, and their Cultivation states and qualifications were not so good.
How could they withstand the pressure from the Center Sect and the One-Cottage House?
If Jing Xin had become the Emperor a few decades from now, what would she and her son do then?
Jing Jiu didn't answer her question, saying, "I'd like to see the child."
Royal Concubine Hu hesitated at first, but she, after some thought, asked the old maidservant to bring her child out.
Not long after Jing Jiu had returned from the snowland, Royal Concubine Hu was pregnant for a few years before finally giving birth to a prince.
Though it sounded odd, these two events were indeed connected.
Seeing this child who had a connection with himself, Jing Jiu let out a faint smile.
"His name is Jing Yao."
Somehow, Royal Concubine Hu felt nervous, which was the same feeling as when she was selected for the Royal Palace.
Jing Jiu commented, "It's a pretty good name."
Yao meant "height".
The little prince Jing Yao had just woken up and still felt drowsy, rubbing his slightly red eyes. He sat by Royal Concubine Hu, trying his best to put up with the sleepiness. He looked quite lovely.
Jing Jiu recalled the scene where he first met his "nephew", and asked, "Do you want a hug?"
The little prince looked at his face with wide eyes and then nodded, opening his arms.
Jing Jiu of course wouldn't hug him. He hadn't hugged anyone or anything except Liu Ada.
The little prince glanced at Royal Concubine Hu and found his mother didn't have any reaction, so he pulled back his arms and lowered his head unpleasantly.
Jing Jiu didn't pay attention to his reaction, asking, "What do you like?"
At this moment Royal Concubine Hu was certain that Jing Jiu was examining her son, so she became even more nervous; but she couldn't say anything.
The little prince thought about it carefully, and then said in a childish voice, "Yellow sugar pie."
Royal Concubine Hu felt a bit embarrassed, and she explained that the maidservants made some of those pies in the back kitchen during New Year's Day, and that somehow this little fellow found them, stole a few pieces, and ate them.
"That was the only occasion. Usually, I don't allow him to eat too much sugar. I heard that eating sugar is not good for Cultivation."
Jing Jiu thought that eating sugar had nothing to do with Cultivation and wouldn't affect it whatsoever. "Let him eat whatever he wants to; there is the honesty," Jing Jiu said. "He can steal something to eat at such a young age; this is the wisdom. He told me on his own to prevent me from getting upset after finding it out; this is thoughtfulness. His temperament is quite like his father's. You have done a good job of teaching him, so you are not bad."
Hearing the comments, Royal Concubine Hu couldn't help but feel ecstatic. She asked the old maidservant to bring the little prince back to his room and then waited for what Jing Jiu had to say next.
As expected, Jing Jiu asked straightforwardly, "Are you willing to let him be a disciple of our Green Mountain?"
Royal Concubine Hu had been guessing Jing Jiu's intention, and she had come up with many conjectures. There was no way for her to refuse the suggestion.
Jing Jiu was the youngest elder at the Green Mountain Sect, a celebrity in the Cultivation circle, and also the personal disciple of the Immortal Jing Yang.
He was perfect in terms of the generation, fame, and inheritance.
Who wouldn't want to have such a Master?
Seeing Royal Concubine Hu's expression, Jing Jiu knew that she had misunderstood his intention. "It's not me," he said.
It would be inappropriate for him to be the little prince's Master due to the consideration of generations..
Royal Concubine Hu was taken aback, and then commented sullenly, "Would the Peak Master Zhao's temperament be a bit too cold?"
She thought that it would naturally be Zhao Layue if it wasn't Jing Jiu, but she didn't know that Zhao Layue wasn't appropriate to be the Master either due to, again, the generation issue.
Jing Jiu said, "I have chosen Gu Qing as his Master. Gu Qing is reliable, thoughtful, and elegant, and I believe he will be able to communicate with Jing Yao well."
Royal Concubine Hu of course knew who Gu Qing was.
The Gu Family was a large clan in the south, and they had been supporting her secretly in her arrangements in the imperial court.
Most of all, she couldn't forget the young man who didn't even want to have a look at her in the hall back when they first met.
He also said something very unpleasant to her.
If the Master was that man…she would not be pleased.
As Royal Concubine Hu was about to decline the suggestion, she saw Jing Jiu's face and suddenly felt that she would miss many opportunities if she refused it.
After a moment of silence, she said, "Okay."
After returning to the Jing House, Jing Jiu wrote a letter to Green Mountain.
The letter was for Gu Qing, and in it, he briefly described what the issue was.
Teaching the prince might affect his Cultivation a bit, but it would take merely a few years, so it wasn't a serious delay.
Jing Jiu handed the letter to State Duke Lu, and said, "When Gu Qing arrives, you take him to the Royal Palace directly, and ask him to study the books with Jing Yao for two years."
State Duke Lu felt this letter was as heavy as a mountain.
The news that Gu Qing had become the Master of the little prince would spread all over the land in the shortest time.
Was this the "drawing of the sword" by the Green Mountain?
State Duke Lu recalled what Jing Jiu had said, wondering why Jing Jiu didn't make the arrangement himself since such important matter must have the obtained the consent from the Emperor.
Jing Jiu knew what was on his mind, saying, "I have some more important things to take care of."
"What do you need me to do?" asked State Duke Lu.
Jing Jiu said, "Actually, you are the only one who can help me with this matter…"
State Duke Lu suddenly had a foreboding feeling.
"I need to go to Taichang Temple," said Jing Jiu.