Chapter 10: Hugging a Golden Thigh
After spending quite a bit of effort to win over Steward Xu and the small eunuch in the Imperial Kitchen, Ling Xiao made a bowl of iced pickled plum soup and carried it to the Imperial Study.
The Emperor remained silent as he looked at the pickled plum juice on the table.
On top of the translucent soup floated many ice cubes. The walls of the bowl were moistened with drops of water, and traces of white mist were emitted by it.
Setting down the book in his hand, he looked at Ling Xiao who was kneeling before him, “So you slipped out for this?”
Ling Xiao was surprised, so the Emperor noticed he had slipped out…
He swallowed his saliva as he bowed his head, quickly explaining, “Your Majesty, your servant saw that you did not eat much this evening and was afraid that the hot weather affected your appetite. This pickled plum soup is your servant’s hometown’s specialty, it’s good for getting rid of the heat and whetting one’s appetite. Because your servant wanted to make you a bowl, your servant went to the Imperial Kitchen.”
The Emperor’s sight once again returned to the pickled plum soup. Upon seeing this, Ling Xiao got up and went to the table side, reaching for the pickled plum soup and drinking a mouthful. After that, he respectfully placed it in front of the Emperor.
“Your Majesty, your servant already tried it, so you can enjoy it peacefully.”
The Emperor raised an eyebrow. This little eunuch sure had some guts, having the cheek to leave by himself without his command. Nor had he ever seen one that directly used his own bowl to test for poison. It was actually pretty refreshing.
The Emperor stared at the little eunuch in front of him who was bowing. His attitude was extremely respectful, yet not humble. The peculiar expression that had floated up on Ling Xiao’s face could still be faintly seen from his slightly bent position.
Suddenly, the Emperor had an interest in the item Ling Xiao had brought. In the blink of an eye, he had moved his gaze to the pickled plum soup in front of him. The droplets on the walls of the bowl were already ruined, giving an outline of the little eunuch’s lip-mark. Controlling his gaze, he finally reached out a hand to pick up the pickled plum soup and drained it in one gulp.
As the pickled plum soup entered his stomach, the Emperor let out a sigh of comfort as he turned the empty bowl in his hand. He laughed, showing his good mood, “This thing really is pretty good.”
Ling Xiao bowed his head and smiled.
The Emperor placed the empty bowl on the table, his finger moving around in a circle on the wall of the bowl, “You are currying favor with Us in this way, what do you want?”
Ling Xiao was frightened as he heard this and hurriedly kneeled on the ground, “Your servant doesn’t dare.”
The Emperor narrowed his eyes and stopped the movement of his hands, his deep gaze falling onto Ling Xiao’s body, as if he had seen through Ling Xiao completely. For a long time, the Emperor did not speak as if he was waiting for Ling Xiao to take the initiative.
Ling Xiao bitterly smiled, this Emperor was too astute; his charade has long been seen through.
Thinking this, he did not dare to continue hiding and lowered his head as he said, “Your Majesty, your servant indeed have one matter asking for your help.”
“Let me hear it.” The Emperor held his hands and leaned back on his chair.
Ling Xiao licked his lip and said, “Your servant… your servant wants to be on duty by Your Majesty’s side.”
The Emperor raised his eyebrows and Ling Xiao said, “Young Master Lan Wei does not dare to get in touch with Palace Woman Mo Qi nowadays, but Palace Woman Mo Qi does not know the reason. She always wants this servant to send letters, but how does this servant dare!”
Saying this, Ling Xiao stealthily raised his eyes and saw that the Emperor’s face was not blank, happy, or angry. His heart couldn’t help but be apprehensive; even so, he could only thicken his skin and say, “However, Palace Woman Mo Qi was, after all, this servant’s former Master, so this servant doesn’t dare to disobey her. Your servant was distressed by this matter unceasingly and then thought that…”
Speaking up to this point, Ling Xiao paused and pursed his lips continuing, “Then thought that… if I could be on duty by Your Majesty’s side, Palace Woman Mo Qi probably wouldn’t make things difficult for this servant.”
“This servant is crude on everything and afraid that I cannot properly take care of Your Majesty, but your servant is utterly sincere.”
Ling Xiao’s head was pressed against the floor and his forehead felt very cool. With his whole body kneeling in front of the Emperor, he looked somewhat pitiful.
There are many ways to recommend oneself to the Emperor, but the Emperor would not believe them as he was very astute. He knows no one will do things that will not benefit themselves, as a result, Ling Xiao’s recommendation started from his benefits. This kind of credibility is much better than flattering the Emperor, furthermore, this also expressed his frankness. This was what the Emperor liked the most!
The Emperor looked at Ling Xiao, slightly astonished and loosened his grip a bit, before suddenly yelling, “Steward Xu.”
Steward Xu who was waiting outside the door entered and knelt in ahead of Ling Xiao and saluted, “Your Majesty.”
“Arrange this eunuch to Our side.”
“Yes.” Steward Xu paused and then accepted the order.
Ling Xiao heaved a sigh of relief, and secretly smiled. He did it.
“Take him with you.” Just as he was secretly delighted, the Emperor spoke again.
Ling Xiao’s face fell. Apparently, even though he had succeeded, his speech this time had decreased the impression of him within the Emperor’s heart.
However, that wasn’t important at all. With him following by the Emperor’s side, he still had many more opportunities. Ling Xiao pursed his lips in silence and bowed to the Emperor before following Steward Xu out the door.
The moment they went out, Steward Xu went back to sneering at Ling Xiao.
“Such a clever little eunuch!”
Ling Xiao bowed his head, he knew in his heart that in being by the Emperor’s side, the one that would likely be the most unhappy would be Steward Xu.
In this harem, all people did things for one word—favor.
The Emperor’s favor would allow anyone to have power and wealth. As a result, everyone was always eager to fawn over the Emperor.
But by the Emperor’s side, there had always been only one eunuch that received his favor: Steward Xu in front of him.
And now that the Emperor has opened his golden mouth, allowing him to stay by the Emperor’s side, the one that would be doted on and trusted by him would no longer be just Steward Xu…
How could Steward Xu not be angry?
Steward Xu was about to view this little eunuch in a new light, originally he had received some benefits from him and gave him some ice cubes, contented with the deferential way he was looked at. The result was that the little eunuch had used the ice cubes given by him to please the Emperor, having the Emperor allow him to stay by his side. Wasn’t this like slapping your own face!
The more Steward Xu thought, the angrier he got. Even just looking at Ling Xiao made him irritated.
Ling Xiao understood this in his heart; however, he was also clear that since he needed to become the big boss of the palace, this Steward Xu would have been offended sooner or later.
However, he could not go against him right now.
Thinking this and that, Ling Xiao seemingly became increasingly deferential to Steward Xu.
In his past life, in order to ask about the Emperor’s preferences, Ling Xiao had quite a bit of contact with Steward Xu. Besides being greedy and snobbish, this Steward Xu also liked being flattered and being set high up. If he were to be humble and deferential to him, he would reduce his vigilance and thus neglect some of the potential crisis.
Ling Xiao felt that if the Emperor wasn’t magnanimous and usually untrusting of others, this Steward Xu may have long been fired.
However, this could only be swirled around in Ling Xiao’s stomach, and he did not dare to say it out loud freely.
All he could do right now was to be deferential and humble to Steward Xu that looked unfavorably upon him. This way, Steward Xu would think that he is nothing threatening.
However, things sometimes turn out contrary to the way one wishes them to. When Ling Xiao had recommended himself in front of the Emperor, Steward Xu had already became unsettled.
His complexion was extremely ugly.
“Don’t think that you can relax once you’re on duty by His Majesty’s side.”
“You were not the only one that was once by His Majesty’s side. You need to serve him carefully and not make mistakes. If you were to make a mistake, then the head on that neck of yours may not be kept.”
Steward Xu threatened him, and Ling Xiao took on a frightened and honest appearance, respectfully replying, “This servant remembers.”
“Hmph.” Steward Xu coldly snorted once, bringing Ling Xiao to a small room.
“This is where you will live hereafter. His Majesty gets up at 6 AM and rests at 11 PM. You need to get up in the morning and arrive at His Majesty’s palace, It is only when His Majesty retires to bed in the evening that you may leave, do you understand?”
“This servant understands.” Ling Xiao respectfully replied back.
Steward Xu said, “Then you can start completing your duties tomorrow. For today, His Majesty will still have my services as he is used to them.”
Steward Xu slightly smugly said as he flung his horsetail whisk and left.
Ling Xiao gave his back the middle finger as he scolded Steward Xu in his heart.
He told him that he needed to be on duty tomorrow, that the Emperor woke up around 6 AM, and that he needed to be in the Emperor’s palace before then, but he hadn’t taken him around the Emperor’s palace even once!
Fortunately, he already knew the exact location of the Emperor’s bedroom. Otherwise, he really would need to be buried.
Moreover, he said when the Emperor woke up and slept so easily, but didn’t say a word of what he should take note of. Wasn’t this just waiting for him to hit a wall on his own?
Ling Xiao coldly smiled. In his previous lifetime, he had already learned everything about the Emperor, so how could he do as Steward Xu anticipated?
As for waking up around 6 AM, if he really woke up at that time and reached the Emperor’s palace then, he would be finished. The Emperor would always wake up half an hour before that and then go practice Martial Arts in the Imperial Garden. After that, he would return to the palace to wash up and dress for court. Around 8 AM, he would eat.
Next, he would take a bath and put on plain clothing to handle government affairs. At 12 PM, he would return to the room to rest and dine in the evening at 6PM. After that, he would choose a concubine to entertain himself.
In the daytime, he would often go on a stroll in the Imperial Garden. Furthermore, the Emperor liked to stroll around the Imperial Palace by himself, even though Ling Xiao had no idea what was so nice about strolling there.
However, in his past lifetime, he had seen the Emperor appearing all over the Imperial Palace many times. It’s just that he would avoid him all the time back then. In this lifetime, don’t even bother mentioning it. He had already ran into him three times.
The next day, Ling Xiao blearily opened his eyes, turned over, and got up taking his clothes and leaving.
During the night, he hadn’t gotten a good night’s sleep because he was so afraid he’d miss the time. Right now, the sky was bright and it was apparently already 6 AM. Ling Xiao did not dare to tarry and promptly went to the Emperor’s palace in a hurry.
The night duty eunuch was still standing outside the Emperor’s doorway and there wasn’t any sound of activity inside the room. Ling Xiao heaved a sigh of relief, seemed like he had arrived early.
Thinking that since he had already come, he might as well, Ling Xiao copied the night duty eunuch and stood by the doorway.
Not long after, Steward Xu arrived as well and was surprised when he saw Ling Xiao there. Then he stood in front of Ling Xiao.
“You came pretty early.” Steward Xu said strangely.
Ling Xiao bowed respectfully, saying, “This servant kept in mind Steward Xu’s instructions and feared making an irreparable mistake by mistaking the time. As a result, I woke up early.”
“Hmph, you sure are considerate.” Steward Xu cast him a glance.
“Servants.” The Emperor’s magnetic voice sounded throughout the room.
Steward Xu promptly pushed open the door and entered, kneeling by the Emperor’s bed, “Your Servant is here.”
Ling Xiao also followed him through the door, kneeling behind Steward Xu.
As in being the favorite, favored, loved etc.