Chapter 57.2

Chu Xing’s horse was a great horse with strong bones and muscles, and its snow-white fur was as pure as snow. It was a gift from Prince Qi on his birthday last year, and he treasured it dearly, even giving it the name “Sai Xue,”1snow racer wishing to be with it all the time. He even brought it with him on this trip to the capital, much to the annoyance of Prince Qi, who eventually agreed to his request.

Of course, such a fine horse had to be ridden through the streets of the city to show off to everyone. As Chu Xing rode his beloved horse proudly, followed by several servants, he met his rival on the street.

The first thing that caught his eye was the horse, a jet-black beauty with a glossy, silky coat that shone like satin. Though he didn’t want to admit it, he had to concede that this horse was just as good as his Sai Xue.

Then he looked up at the owner of the horse, who was dressed in a red robe with a white embroidered border and a jade ribbon tied around his head. He habitually raised his head slightly when looking at people, his pride and arrogance showing clearly as if no one was worthy of his attention.

The street was only so wide, and when two parties met, one had to give way. But neither party was willing to back down, and they stood in the middle of the road, blocking most of the way. The onlookers, all dressed in ordinary clothes, were too afraid to intervene and quietly squeezed by.

The atmosphere was tense like two sharp knives pointed at each other. The two men with their horses stood silent, gripping the reins tightly and urging their mounts on.

The atmosphere was overwhelming for humans, but horses couldn’t stand it. Sai Xue snorted impatiently and stamped her front hooves on the ground.

So Chu Xing spoke first. He patted Sai Xue’s mane and leaned in close to her, speaking in a seemingly quiet voice that everyone could hear. “Sai Xue, be good. I’ll make those irrelevant people move away soon, just be patient.”

Then he looked up and spoke to the person in front of him. “Excuse me, sir, I have urgent business. Can you please move aside?”

The person in front of him was the Emperor’s grandson, who was spoiled and always had others move out of his way. So when he heard this, he immediately sneered, “Excuse me, why don’t you move aside first, young sir?”

This was going to be a confrontation.

Chu Xing’s eyebrows drooped, his smile vanished, and a hint of darkness flickered in his eyes as he glared at Emperor’s grandson, changing his demeanor quickly.

The Emperor’s Grandson’s attendant had followed him for many years and was adept at reading his master’s expressions. He knew it was his turn to speak up for his master now and said, “You ignorant brat, do you even know who our master is?”

The first move was to use status to suppress the other party, which was foolproof. Once the other party’s identity was revealed, most people would retreat and apologize. The attendant was already anticipating the other person’s reaction and felt very pleased.

The other side couldn’t show any weakness, so Chu Xing’s attendant retorted, “We don’t know who your master is. This is the capital, the emperor’s domain, where powerful and influential families are everywhere, and anyone can claim to be a noble’s son. How high can your master’s identity be?”

The Emperor’s grandson’s attendant revealed his master’s identity, saying, “My master is the eldest son of the current Crown Prince, the Emperor’s grandson himself. You should bow down and beg for forgiveness now.”

The Crown Prince’s son arrogantly lifted his chin, his aura soaring.

Chu Xing’s attendant sneered, “So what if he’s the Crown Prince’s son? He’s not the current emperor. My master is the son of Prince Qi and can be considered your cousin. What’s the difference in status?”

The atmosphere became even tenser, with the eldest son of Crown Prince and Chu Xing facing off against each other. One was in the capital and the other in a fiefdom, both having been domineering for many years and never encountering such a tough opponent. Since they couldn’t suppress each other’s identity, the next moment they would come to blows.

Both attendants were getting restless, and even the two horses were constantly stomping their feet and tossing their heads at each other, wanting to determine who was stronger.

The Crown Prince’s eldest son tightened the reins and gently urged his horse forward with his legs, and the horse took a step forward. This step seemed to be a signal, and Chu Xing also took a step forward.

In the next moment, both masters whipped their horses and lashed out at each other as a signal, and their attendants immediately rushed forward, beginning a fight between men.

The attendants fought with fists, kicks, and dirty words. Although the Crown Prince’s son and Chu Xing’s attendants were much friendlier, the clash between horses, whips, and the desire to slap each other’s faces showed that these two masters were only maintaining superficial humility.

Both sides were fiercely fighting when they didn’t notice a horse carriage on the street losing control and flying towards them, knocking over small stalls along the way.

By the time they noticed it, it was too late.

“Quick, move aside! The horse is out of control, out of control! Move aside, move aside, move aside!!!” The coachman drove the out-of-control carriage, screaming all the way, and asking pedestrians to move aside.

The Crown Prince’s son and Chu Xing were tangled in a brawl and couldn’t move even if they wanted to retreat, so they could only watch as the carriage rushed towards them.

“Protect the prince!”

“Protect the young master!”

“Help, help!”

Amidst the chaos, people and horses were knocked over. Sai Xue and the black horse were frightened and started to run amok, lifting their hooves. The two boys had never seen such a scene before and were immediately pale and panicked.

Feeling dizzy and disoriented, Chu Xing was thrown off of Sai Xue and hit the carriage shaft of the runaway carriage. Sai Xue trampled on his thigh and ran away.

With Chu Xing unconscious, the Crown Prince’s son was left unprotected and faced the oncoming carriage. Though he tried to dodge, his clothes got caught on the carriage and he was dragged along the ground for several dozen meters.

The carriage driver had fallen to the ground and died during the chaos. The attendants were injured and dizzy, but when they realized what had happened, they hurriedly chased after the carriage. After rescuing the Crown Prince’s son, they checked for a breath, only to find that;

— he had passed away.

This incident shocked the court. The Crown Prince’s son had gone out alive and came back dead. When the Crown Prince saw his son’s body, his mind went blank for a moment.

He embraced his son and called out to him in grief. Although he was unhappy about Emperor Chu’s favoritism towards his son, he was still his son. How could he not feel heartbroken and love him?

The Crown Prince’s wife also couldn’t believe the terrible news. She stumbled over to the body and upon touching his cold corpse, she immediately fainted.

When Chu Xing was rescued, he was barely alive and had only broken his leg. He would need to rest for a hundred days to recover. While the wife of Prince Qi was wiping away her tears and feeling heartbroken, she saw her husband hurry out of the house after learning that their son was safe. She asked, “What are you going out for, my lord?”

Prince Qi replied, “To plead with the emperor in person. The Crown Prince’s son has passed away, but our son is still alive. The Crown Prince will not let this matter rest.”

Prince Qi’s concerns were valid. The Crown Prince did indeed ask Emperor Chu to severely punish Chu Xing.

Looking at Emperor Chu’s face that suddenly seemed to have aged several years, Prince Qi didn’t hesitate to kneel in front of him, knocking his head on the ground a few times with a loud thud. When he looked up, his forehead was covered in bruises.

“What are you doing?” His actions brought Emperor Chu back to his senses.

With tears in his eyes, Prince Qi apologized to his father, “Son has let down his elder brother and father. I failed to educate my child properly, so those few knocks just now were my apology.”

Emperor Chu let out a long sigh and turned his face away without looking at him.

“I know what you want to say.”

Prince Qi kneeled in front of him and hugged his thigh. “I know that this move has caused father trouble, and it has made my elder brother’s heart cold. The death of the Crown Prince’s son has also made me, as an elder, deeply grieved. My son, Xing, is mischievous, and I admit my fault in his upbringing. But he is still young and inexperienced. The blame for the Crown Prince’s son’s death cannot be entirely placed on him.”

Emperor Chu shook his head helplessly. “I need to give your elder brother an explanation.”

“Of course, I understand that I need to give my elder brother an explanation. This matter is related to that coachman, but someone is playing tricks behind the scenes, aren’t they?”

“I investigated thoroughly, and the coachman died on the spot. He was just rushing to deliver goods.” After speaking, Emperor Chu remained silent.

Prince Qi knew that if he didn’t take drastic measures and use their family relationship as a shield, his son would truly be unable to escape punishment. He immediately knelt under Emperor Chu in pain. “Father, I have never asked you for anything in all these years. This is the only time, just this once. Can you grant my request?”

“Back then, you intended to pass on the throne to me, but I, as your son, refused to accept it and willingly became an idle prince. I didn’t want to make things difficult for you and my elder brother. Please, just this once. I am now a father myself, how can I bear to let my child disappear before my eyes?”

From the beginning, he referred to himself as “son” and Emperor Chu as “father,” every word and action intended to evoke the Emperor’s loving heart and memories.

He was the most beloved son of Emperor Chu, almost raised single-handedly by him. Emperor Chu still remembered how he used to come crying to him when he was mistreated outside as a child. Now, seeing him in this state, naturally touched Emperor Chu’s heart.

He was already quite old, and Prince Qi was also a father himself. Seeing him crying like this with snot and tears, Emperor Chu eventually gave in, “Alright, get up now. You’re a grown man, what does it look like to cry like this?”

He helped Prince Qi up and wiped the tears from his face.

“Father, Father?”

Emperor Chu said, “Go on then, take your son back to your fiefdom and never come back in this lifetime.”

Prince Qi knew that Emperor Chu had agreed to his request, so he kowtowed to him and left.

The news of Prince Qi and his family’s banishment from the capital naturally reached the ears of the Crown Prince. He was extremely disappointed and touched his son’s coffin, accumulating more and more resentment in his heart.

Prince Qi and his family left overnight, afraid that Emperor Chu would come after them for revenge.

The Crown Prince had been a Crown Prince for decades, but as long as Emperor Chu was alive, he would never ascend to the throne.

He no longer wants to continue being a Crown Prince.

“Father has been sitting in this position for too long. It’s time for a change.”

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