“The Emperor originally sent your Highness to the mountain, besides for recuperating, was also to avoid Yang family. Unexpectedly, not too long after, a message came, bringing the news that the temple you were residing was washed away by a mysterious flash flood. It was thunder on a sunny day. His Majesty was devastated. He quickly sent the royal guard to search the mountain. But after three full months, they found nothing.”
“After searching the temple area for so long, not even one survivor was found. This incident greatly shocked the country, and the Emperor halted the morning court for half a month, waiting for the news about Your Highness. Seeing His Majesty’s attitude, no one dared to suggest the worst possibility and kept looking for Your Highness, treating you as missing.” Old Master Cheng couldn’t help but shook his head and smiled, “At that time, after hearing the news, this old subject pitied Your Highness’ misfortune, and our family also send manpower to support the court search effort. But unexpectedly, this world is full of strange fate: Xuelan accidentally picked up your Highness.”
When the topic changed into his deceased foster mother, Cheng Yuanjing’s expression also eased a lot. In his life, many people let him down, but little Xue-shi gave him a peaceful home, taught him to read and write, and helped him to start anew. For Cheng Yuanjing, the importance of Old Master Cheng was far less than little Xue-shi. His respect for the Old Master now was based mainly on his relationship with little Xue-shi.
After being implicated by her family’s unjust crime, little Xue-shi was exiled for more than ten years. Although her clan no longer existed, she always abided by her family’s education and never mingled with outside man. But she was getting older and older. She knew that she had no hope for biological children in this life, so she was especially eager to adopt a child. She accidentally picked up the injured Cheng Yuanjing, who aroused her pity. She brought him home, and took care of the boy until he woke up.
When she asked for his name, the five-year-old boy was silent for a long time. He said that his parents had died, and he encountered a flash flood on the mountain. Little Xue-shi asked his name again, but he only said that his name was Jing.
Jing(璟). It was the brightness of jade, a virtue of a gentleman, and the vividity of the scenery.
Xiao Xue did not ask further. She took care of the boy and raised him as her own son. Xue family was a scholarly clan, and little Xue-shi also proficient in classical educations. Before her clan’s downfall, she was famous for her literary talents. Seeing that the boy looked smart, she tried to teach him to read and write, but didn’t expect that Cheng Yuanjing’s talent was even better than her anticipation. Little Xue-shi was a criminal in exile, and she usually didn’t have much contact with others, so no one noticed the boy’s sudden presence.
Not long after she took the child in, the court came to search the mountain, and their movement even affected the exile place she resided. Little Xue-shi’s home became increasingly unsafe, and she gradually realized that this child was not an ordinary family’s child.
He was probably the crown prince.
Little Xue-shi didn’t dare to confide to anyone. She came from a prestigious clan and understood the in and out of the court matters. She knew that if the court army found this boy, she and he might not survive. Just as little Xue-shi was at a loss, Old Master Cheng took the opportunity to join the search party and came to visit little Xue-shi secretly. They were indeed formerly engaged, but that was in the past. For so many years, the two had no contact with each other. Previously, Old Master Cheng tried to send her money, but she refused. However, this time little Xue-shi gritted her teeth and met with Old Master Cheng to ask him to take her and ‘her son’ back to the capital.
The most dangerous place was often the safest. Neither the Emperor nor Senior Grand Secretary Yang would ever have an idea to search for the crown prince there. Staying in the capital would also give the boy a better growth environment.
Old Master Cheng originally didn’t know that Cheng Yuanjing wasn’t little Xue-shi’s son. He thought some bastard insulted her, letting her give birth to a son and then abandoned the mother and son. Old Master Cheng couldn’t bear seeing his white moonlight1 being humiliated. After returning to the capital, he recognized the boy as his son, and took him back to recognize his ancestors.
Before the Emperor noticed, Cheng Yuanjing has been listed on the family tree of a stranger. Cheng Yuanjing didn’t care. Now that he had to plan for his own life, no matter how deep was his filial feeling towards his father, it wasn’t as important as survival.
Seeing that Cheng Yuanjing didn’t object, little Xue-shi also tacitly agreed. What happened later was the version that everyone in the Cheng family knew. Old Madam Cheng strongly opposed it. Old Master Cheng kept little Xue-shi and Cheng Yuanjing in an outside residence and ran to visit them every month.
The Emperor sent two agents to search for the whereabouts of the crown prince. On the surface, they searched the mountain, but secretly, they conducted an investigation among the people in the surrounding area. They managed to grasp a clue that led them to the capital. The Emperor was shocked. Only then did he discover that his son had changed his surname and became an outside child of the Cheng family.
Alright. It’s easier to do things with the Cheng family’s cover.
When Cheng Yuanjing returned to the house he lived in, he saw an agent secretly sent by the Emperor. The Emperor secretly observed Old Master Cheng for almost a year before revealing the crown prince identity.
Old Master Cheng felt as if he was struck by thunder on a sunny day. But for little Xue-shi, it merely confirmed her guess. Now that the heavy boulder has been put down, she only had to follow her heart. The Emperor and Old Master Cheng originally planned to raise Cheng Yuanjing safely outside the palace, and then let him return when the time was right. Of course, Cheng Yuanjing believed that the Emperor was sincere at that time. Still, he also knew that if he really lived as Cheng family’s son peacefully, he might never be able to recover his identity.
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