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Willow and Astilbe also noticed that Chuyu was different from before. Not daring to get too close, they cautiously kept a distance of more than a foot and knelt down at one Chuyu’s two sides to wait upon her. What Willow didn’t expect was for Chuyu to immediately turn her head towards Astilbe and look at him incessantly, completely ignoring him.
Compared to Astilbe’s rejoicing, Willow cursed in his heart, but he couldn’t show it. Usually, at this type of gatherings, he and Astilbe would always wait upon the Princess on her two sides. Although Astilbe would always fight for the Princess’s attention with him, his better looks would not let him down; he would never have been neglected like this. But today……
As Willow dwelled in his anger, Chuyu continued to stare at Astilbe. Moments before she only thought their match of colors was amusing, so she didn’t pay notice to their countenances. Now, as she examined them closely, Chuyu couldn’t help but be amazed. Seducing features, the corners of his eyes curving upward, giving off sweet fragrance, with perfect skin, his pores invisible even at such a close distance. Such a beauty must be rare on earth. Except, uh…… doesn’t it seem a little too weak for a man? She now felt her gender ident.i.ty had been flipped. This man was even more coquettish than most women! Chuyu almost started thinking that she was the man, and this seducing youth before her was the one hundred percent female woman.
So the Princess of Shady Mountains was into this type? Chuyu pondered in her heart. She glanced around at the others at the banquet, but when her eyes fell on Rong Zhi, she vetoed such a thought. A male concubine as well, Rong Zhi’s elegant demeanor was so distinctly different from that of Astilbe and Willow. The others at the banquet also had all kinds of dispositions and appearances.
Their att.i.tude towards Chuyu were also different. Some, like Willow and Astilbe, were attentive in every possible way; some not so earnest; still others, with stiff complexions and resistant looks, were obviously forced into becoming male concubines, refusing to surrender.
Yet among all these, the most unique one was Rong Zhi. His expression was so leisurely, calm, and mild, as if all the commotion around had nothing to do with him; as if he were alone, strolling in the quiet woods.
“Princess.” The voice showing slight resentment reminded Chuyu of Willow. She turned her head, and saw Willow holding a gla.s.s cup with both hands, his enchanting facial features, his watering lips opening lightly, “Princess, when you shut yourself in your room a few days ago, Willow was so worried about you. Willow didn’t know what else to do, so Willow begged Rong Zhi to go see you. Please don’t punish Willow for that.”
As she examined him so closely, Chuyu realized that Willow’s looks were even better than Astilbe’s, like the most gaudy clump of a sea of spring willows. Charming, big eyes; long, dense eyelashes; seducing lips; collar slightly opened, exposing a small patch of his pale and smooth chest; and under the shadow of his collar, beautiful collar bones…… In two words, stunningly beautiful.
The good thing was she had just been staring at Astilbe, so she possessed some immunity. Or else she might have gaffed right then and there. Pulling herself together, Chuyu lifted her brows slightly, and casually replied, “Oh. So you asked Rong Zhi to come see me. Why didn’t you come yourself?”
Willow paused for a moment, but then smiled, “Princess, are you joking with Willow? How dare we trespa.s.s when you have forbade us to see you?” He then shifted to a complaintive tone, “Princess, you’re not being fair. Rong Zhi can see you whenever he wants, but Willow has wait when missing you.”
Glancing over Chuyu’s shoulder, Willow could see Astilbe sneering. Their sights meeting, Astilbe disdainfully lifted his head, and mouthed: “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re planning. Haven’t you always wanted to enjoy the same privileges as Rong Zhi?” Since the first time Astilbe and Willow met, they‘ve been competing against each other. They both completely understood the other’s thoughts, so the second Willow spit out these words full of implied meanings, Astilbe knew what he was scheming.
Ignoring him, Willow smiled sweetly at Chuyu, kind of to p.i.s.s Astilbe off.
After giving it a moment of thought, Chuyu said slowly, “You’re right……” As she paused between words, Willow felt his heart suddenly beat faster. Originally, he didn’t expect to receive the same treatment as Rong Zhi, just hoping to use this as an excuse to request some benefits. But now, listening to Chuyu’s tone, she seemed to approve his words. Willow couldn’t help but become nervous, guessing that maybe the Princess was going to give him the same privileges as Rong Zhi?
After the short pause, Chuyu smiled, then continued, “You’re right. I should treat everyone equally.” Just when Willow mentally prepared himself to movingly thank the Princess and express his utmost grat.i.tude, he heard the Princess speak lightly, “From now on, cancel every privilege Rong Zhi has in this palace. Then everyone would be equal.”
The instance these words left her mouth, nearly everyone at the banquet reacted.
Willow was caught on surprise, and extremely disturbed. He had not expected that not only he didn’t receive any benefits, but his words led to Rong Zhi losing all his privileges. This probably wouldn’t affect Rong Zhi’s position in the palace, but would it mean that Rong Zhi would bear a grudge on him from now on?
In addition, Rong Zhi was very well respected by many of the male concubines. If he was harmed by him, Willow would probably become the target of a joint alliance formed by a majority of the people.
Willow started panicking. What he just not only hurt others, didn’t benefit himself, and could even attract enemies for himself. Such an unwise move.
In contrast to Willow’s restlessness, Astilbe was rather chuckling to himself.
The reactions from the others at the banquet were different too. Some looked at Chuyu indignantly, some glared hatefully at Willow, still a few others gloated and looked satisfied by the arrangement……
Chuyu lowered her gaze, a smile flashing across her face. Just one sentence, yet it seemed like a boulder sinking into the water, evoking turbulent waves. Sudden and unexpected changes can often catch people off guard, resulting in unconcealed reactions. And these reactions were just what Chuyu needed to initially determine their att.i.tudes toward the Princess and Rong Zhi.