I WANT THE THRONE. DOES THE OFFER STILL STAND?
Jin Rongqiu returned to his seat in the banquet hall and as soon as he did, he gestured for Bai Ruohan to come closer. Bai Ruohan who saw this was confused, but he still lowered his head for Jin Rongqiu who then whispered to him. “That offer you made about helping me to seize the throne, does it still stand?”
Bai Ruohan was just taking a sip when he heard what Jin Rongqiu said. His eyes widened and he had almost spluttered out his wine. Calming himself down, he carefully swallowed the wine down then turned to Jin Rongqiu with disbelief. “You… what did you just say? Did you just tell me that… you want the throne?”
“En. I want to be the emperor,” Jin Rongqiu replied.
“… Why?” Bai Ruohan asked. Earlier, when he jokingly suggested to Jin Rongqiu that he should fight for the throne, he was told that his joke was not funny. Now, this man suddenly said he wanted the throne, naturally, Bai Ruohan couldn’t believe it.
“Because I want to. Do I need any other reason?” Jin Rongqiu felt his eyebrow twitch in annoyance. He felt impatient and wants Bai Ruohan’s answer as soon as possible. Of course, even without the Bai family’s support, he was still confident to win the war for the throne.
“Well, of course, we will support you all the way. In our eyes, no one other than you is worthy for the throne,” Bai Ruohan replied. “In fact, I have a feeling that uncle might just force you down on that seat himself.”
Hearing Bai Ruohan mentioning his uncle, Jin Rongqiu can’t help the low chuckles that escaped his lips. “Knowing uncle, I can actually imagine that.”
Bai Ruohan nods his head and then filled up Jin Rongqiu’s cup. “Rongqiu, I won’t ask your reason anymore. As long as you are willing to fight for the throne, the future of our Great Ruanyu will become brighter,” Bai Ruohan said. “Come, let’s toast for your newfound flame of desire, ah!”
As he said this, Bai Ruohan lift up his cup for a toast. Jin Rongqiu also picked the newly filled cup and lift it up to return the toast before they both downed the whole wine. Not long after, the servant announced the arrival of the Crown Prince, followed by the second prince, the third prince and finally, the arrival of one of Dong Xing’s Twin Jade, Song Lijing.
The banquet hall burst into whispers as the guests’ eyes lands on the four-figure who had just arrived.
“Ah, but… where is the fourth prince? I came here just to see him,” one of the young ladies voiced out.
“Very true, ah! Where’s our beloved fourth prince?!”
“If I cannot see the fourth prince, then coming to this banquet is a waste of time…”
While some lamented how they couldn’t see Song Lijun, the others were whispering praises for Song Lijing. ‘Those praises are useless! Ah, look at those disappointed young ladies. I should’ve come as myself…’ Song Lijun sighed.
While the four of them walked to their seat, Jin Rongqiu’s eyes never left Song Lijun’s figure. Naturally, his friend beside him noticed his look and realization dawned on him. “Jin Rongqiu, you…” Bai Ruohan started. “You actually want the throne because of a young lady?! What about that girl you mentioned that you met in the pleasure house? Forgotten about her already? I never knew you were such a fickle!”
Jin Rongqiu just narrowed his eyes at Bai Ruohan dangerously. “They are the same person,” Jin Rongqiu informed him.
“They’re the same person. I suspect that she went to the pleasure house to find her brother. You did hear that the third prince always frequented the pleasure house, and recently, rumours have it that the fourth prince had also followed the third prince’s footsteps,” Jin Rongqiu said.
“Well… I guess that makes sense…” Bai Ruohan nodded his head. “Then, because she and the princess is the same person, you don’t want to hand her over to any of your brothers so you decided to fight for the throne?”
Jin Rongqiu nods his head. Then, remembering the scene he saw back in the pleasure house, he couldn’t help but add: “None of my brothers is worthy for someone like her.”
“And do you think you are?” Bai Ruohan asked.
“If I am not worthy, then no one in this world is worthy of her.”
“…” Bai Ruohan was rendered speechless. He did not expect that his friend has narcissistic tendencies. “Well, though your reason to fight for the throne is different from the rest of your brothers, I know you are a responsible man. You won’t shirk your duty as emperor but, Rongqiu, ah… I’m your closest brother. For you to find love before me, I feel betrayed!”
This time, it was Jin Rongqiu who was speechless. He stared at Bai Ruohan incredulously before speaking up. “Should I tell uncle to set you up for marriage?”
At the mention of marriage, Bai Ruohan failed to control his voice when he rejected the idea. Because of that, he became the centre of attention. Even the four princes stared at him with a questioning look.
“I-I mean, the princes and princess shouldn’t sit so far away from us, hahaha…” he said with nervous laughter. “Since our two countries will be connected by marriage soon, how about we sit closer and get to know each other better?” Bai Ruohan suggested. “Surely, His Highness, King Song Min can grant this General’s wish, right?” as he said this, Bai Ruohan stared straight to King Song Min who is sitting on his seat.
If there was nothing wrong, King Song Min naturally would let his children sit closer to the envoy in order to forge a deeper relationship with them. But knowing that the current ‘Song Lijing’ is his fourth son in disguise, he felt nervous. He was worried that their ploy might get found out.
“It is only sitting together. We do not mind at all,” the first to respond was Song Liren. “But we will have to ask Gongye to come up here instead as it will not be appropriate for all of us to go over there.”
“That isn’t a problem at all!” Bai Ruohan replied.
Jin Rongqiu who heard this heavily nudged Bai Ruohan on his side. “What the heck are you planning?!” he hissed out in a whisper but Bai Ruohan simply ignored him.
“Bengong also wished to bring along a friend. Is this possible? Only one person,” Bai Ruohan added before he shot Jin Rongqiu a mischievous smirk. On his face, one can almost read, ‘Look at me, aren’t I the best brother one can ask, ever?’
Written by: Lin Xiaolong
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