Chapter 21: Self Taught Genius

Bai Luochu didn’t like sweets but seeing the sincerity on the face of the Ninth Prince, she couldn’t find it in her to reject him. In the end, she replied softly, “Many thanks for Ninth Prince’s kind offer.”

Picking up a piece of dessert, she started nibbling on it. By doing so, she wouldn’t seem rude and she wouldn’t have to force herself to eat desserts she disliked.

Seeing as someone was willing to share his food, the Ninth Prince was delighted. He started narrating all the stories about the First Prince and pretty much told Bai Luochu everything he knew about his First Brother.

“My First Brother is the best older brother in the world! Not only is he great at settling daily political affairs, he is also extremely farsighted. My Master once said, “With proper planning, even in a small tent a thousand miles away, the victory of a battle is already certain.” Even though I have no idea what that means, First Brother is definitely the one with the most foresight out of all the princes.”

When the Ninth Prince spoke of the First Prince, he made it seem as though the First Prince was some sort of celestial being. With how the Ninth Prince described the First Prince, one would think that the First Prince was a perfect god-like character.

After stuffing a piece of dessert into his mouth, the Ninth Prince reached for another. Seemingly as though he recalled something, he continued, “My First Brother may be ruthless and decisive when it comes to politics. However, he is usually amiable and less stern to all of us. Even to the commoners…”

After hearing the Ninth Prince’s description, Bai Luochu developed an initial understanding of the First Prince. Thoughts started appearing in her mind.

The reason behind the Ninth Prince’s last statement… He probably doesn’t want me to develop a bad impression of the First Prince. He might be afraid that I have the impression of his First Brother killing wantonly. As for being amiable… It should be an act in order to uphold his reputation among the commoners. As for his pleasant behavior to the Ninth Prince… There is some brotherly love behind his actions. As for his actions towards those who are eyeing the throne… it should all be a facade.

Bai Luochu had a myriad of thoughts swirling in her mind but she still had to think about the Ninth Prince’s feelings. A smile appeared on her face as she responded, “The First Prince is truly a powerful and intelligent individual. This servant truly admires him. Many thanks to Ninth Prince for spending so much time to speak with me about the First Prince. I must have wasted much of your time.”

Patting his hands, the Ninth Prince continued, “It wasn’t a waste of time. There’s no need to be so polite with me… Actually, I’m really happy that someone will actually converse with me!”

Completing his statement, he swallowed the piece of dessert in his mouth.

Bai Luochu immediately felt that the kid was a rather interesting person. The Ninth Prince wasn’t like the other members of the imperial family. He didn’t possess the usual high and mighty attitude characteristic to those people in high positions. Instead, he seemed just like a young kid who was born into a regular family. It was probably due to the protection of one of his older brothers, allowing him to avoid all the filthy and scandalous happenings in the imperial court.

Reaching his hand out for another piece of dessert, the Ninth Prince realized that there was none left. He had no choice but to stop eating as he clapped his hands before sweeping the scraps off the table.

He suddenly recalled something and turned to ask Bai Luochu, “Grandmother… The Empress Dowager’s birthday will be in three days. Will you be attending the banquet?”

Bai Luochu never liked those palace banquets. These so-called palace banquets were simply opportunities for the influential officials and imperial clan to interact with each other, allowing them to build up their connections.

In order for the influential officials to gain favors from the imperial clan, they had to be aware of the bottom line of each member. They would then search the various lands for rare treasures in order to present them at the opportune time. Doing so will allow them to stand out from the rest of the influential families.

Out of all the influential families, females would be schooled in proper etiquette and they would also learn the four arts. During the palace banquets, they would take the chance to display their talent, hoping to marry into the imperial clan or betrothed to other influential clans.[1]

Everything was a game of chess that was carefully orchestrated by the seniors in their families.

These times of bright and splendid activities painted over the surging undercurrents were stuff that Bai Luochu was not adept at dealing with. With the absence of the First Prince, coupled with the fact that she was merely a personal slave, even if she wanted to attend, she would be kicked out before she could even take half a step into the palace.

Just as Bai Luochu was about to refuse, the Ninth Prince threw out a reason that gave Bai Luochu no choice but to attend. “I heard that this time, one of the Three Great Immortal Sects, the Phoenix King Valley, will be sending someone to congratulate Grandmother. If I were to say something...”

Bai Luochu was no longer listening to whatever the Ninth Prince was saying. All her attention had been drawn to the three words, “Phoenix King Valley”.

Phoenix King Valley… She had died miserably in her previous life all because of the Three Great Immortal Sects’ joint assault. This Phoenix King Valley was one of those factions that heavily invested their forces into wiping her temple out.

However, even after sending so many troops, they were unable to obtain the inheritance. Right now, Bai Luochu was extremely curious about the situation over at the Phoenix King Valley.

She didn’t know how well these ‘old friends’ were doing and she really wanted to go and take a look.

But the usually arrogant Phoenix King Valley never involved themselves in the mundane world. What’s going on? Why are they sending people to join the Cloud Water Nation’s palace banquet?

Was the Phoenix King Valley experiencing some trouble, or did the Valley Master of this Phoenix King Valley have a plan in mind? It was truly difficult to come up with a proper reason.

After Bai Luochu came back to life, apart from finding out about what happened to the inheritance and the state of her disciples, she didn’t bother about anything else. Her life only consisted of cultivation.

After listening to what the Ninth Prince said, she finally recalled that an enemy called the Phoenix King Valley existed.

The Ninth Prince saw that Bai Luochu had been staring blankly into space for a very long time and seemed to be pondering over some matters. Even her beautiful and refined brows were locked together.

The Ninth Prince waved his hand in front of Bai Luochu’s eyes and noticed that she was still in a daze. He couldn’t take it anymore as he patted her on the shoulder with an annoyed expression on his face.

Feeling someone pat her shoulder all of a sudden, Bai Luochu was shocked. She immediately raised her hand to send out an attack.

The instant she sent out her palm, she remembered that the person in front of her was the friendly Ninth Prince and not an enemy. She quickly withdrew her strength and stopped her palm just before it touched his face.

Looking at the stunned expression on the Ninth Prince’s face, Bai Luochu frowned and an apologetic expression appeared on her face. “My apologies… I was distracted earlier and have startled the Ninth Prince.”

The Ninth Prince didn’t say anything and simply stared at Bai Luochu quietly, causing her to feel chills creeping down her spine. Just as Bai Luochu thought that the Ninth Prince was offended by her actions, his surprised voice broke her train of thoughts. “You’re really strong! Where did you learn your martial arts from?”

“Ah?” This time, it was Bai Luochu’s turn to be startled.

How was she going to explain herself? After all, she was just a slave and she seemed extremely suspicious when she displayed such great skill. After thinking for some time, Bai Luochu was forced to respond. “I learnt it myself…”


1. The four arts are: zither, go, calligraphy, and painting 

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