Palace Full of Delicacies

Chapter 87 - King Li

Chapter 87 - King Li

Su Yu watched the movements of the Emperor and couldn’t help but curl his lips. This fellow is indeed awkward. He raised his hand, gathering both father and son into his embrace, gently stroking the warm and sleeping Emperor.

According to the current rules of the royal family, all noble sons were titled as Prince, considered as the Emperor’s children, and were raised in the Palace. This was done to protect the young kittens and prevent secrets from being leaked.

Whether the concubines gave birth to a mortal son or a noble son, they were all sorted together in the Palace. However, the mortal sons born to the concubines still did not have inheritance rights. When they grew up, they could at most be granted the title of a Junwang, similar to Junwang Mu, who always plotted against him. Perhaps, in his lifetime, he will never understand why he can’t inherit the throne.

Su Yu snuggled down, giving a few kisses to the Emperor’s fluffy head. Compared to the several Imperial Uncles and King Li, the Emperor was still a little kitten. Thinking about having a little kitten raise another small kitten seemed unreliable no matter how one looked at it. The Cat Lord also needs human love, just thinking about it makes him feel distressed.

The next day, Su Yu got up early, warping the father and son who were still sleeping soundly in the blankets. He then went to the kitchen to make seafood soup dumplings.

Su Yu wasn’t adept at making pastries, and seafood soup dumplings were one of the few things he could manage. However, he left the kneading and rolling of the dough to the kitchen maids, his task was to prepare the filings.

He sliced the sea cucumber into thin strips and sautéed them until they were fragrant, blanched the fresh shrimp and peeled the flesh, and then mixed them with dried bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, and a broth he had simmered the previous night, he also mixed in ample seasonings.

Having prepared the filling and the dough, Su Yu personally made one bun, which didn’t turn out very appealing. So he then handed it over to a palace maid to wrap while he went to cook porridge.

For the rich and flavorful seafood soup dumplings, he decided to pair them with plain congee. Su Yu cooked a pot of plain congee and prepared two small cold dishes.

When the buns were steamed, Su Yu returned to Beiji Palace. He found that the Emperor was already up and being attended by Wang Gonggong, getting dressed silently. The black and yellow little furball on the dragon bed was still curled up in the quilt, sleeping soundly.

“The buns are ready. Have a couple before heading to court, ba.” Su Yu led the Cat Lord to the table and uncovered the seamer, revealing the steaming hot seafood soup-filled buns.

The buns were wrapped in thin, translucent rice skin, enveloping the brightly colored fillings. Through the thin skin, you could see the vibrant red shrimp and the seasoning-colored sea cucumbers and mushrooms.

The Emperor picked one, stuffed it into his mouth, and the rich and fragrant soup immediately overflowed.

“Mmm!” He frowned momentarily, but quickly finished the bun in two to three bites.

“What’s wrong?” Seeing that the Emperor’s expression was wrong, Su Yu hurriedly came over to take a look.

An Hongche opened his mouth, took a breath of cold air, and glared at Su Yu fiercely.

“Do you want to scald Zhen to death?”

The soup in the seafood dumplings was too hot for the Emperor’s cat-like tongue. Although he was not as sensitive to hot things as an ordinary cat, he was still more sensitive than the average person.

“Scald? Let me see.” Su Yu quickly cupped the Emperor’s chin and took a look, blowing on that pink tongue.

His Majesty the Emperor stretched his tongue and let him blow it, and the cool breeze, carrying a faint scent of mint, effectively eased the pain on the tip of his tongue. Gradually, a blush tinted his ears.

Hmph, seeing as the foolish slave is so attentive today, he will forget about his behavior of carrying his stupid son onto the bed last night.

After finishing one basket of buns, the Emperor hadn’t eaten his fill yet. However, it was time for court, so he reluctantly got up to attend, promising to continue eating upon his return.

Before leaving, the Emperor glanced back at the small furry bundle on the dragon bed, then looked at Su Yu, narrowing his eyes slightly.

“Remember to take him to Muhou to take a look.”

Su Yu slapped his forehead, he had almost forgotten about it. After all, this was the Eldest Prince, and he was going to issue an edict to announce it to the world today. But before that, the Empress Dowager must be allowed to see him.

“Son, it’s time to get up!” After seeing off the Emperor, Su Yu quickly returned to the bedchamber, throwing himself onto the bed and burying his nose into a bundle of fluff.

“Mew?” His Highness the Eldest Prince opened his eyes groggily, extending his tiny paw to press against Su Yu’s nose, then yawning widely.

The pink little paw was only the size of a fingertip, carrying a hint of milky fragrance, warm and soft. Su Yu couldn’t resist planting a kiss on it before scooping up the little furball and cradling it in his arms.

When making the soup dumplings in the morning, he deliberately set aside a few shrimps for his son’s breakfast. He chopped up the blanched shrimp meat and simmered it in the broth used for the buns, creating a fragrant shrimp paste.

After the Eldest Prince had eaten his fill, Su Yu wrapped him up in a small blanket and carried him to Ci’an Palace.

Having someone inform the Empress Dowager in advance, the Empress Dowager quickly sent away several concubines who came to pay their respects.

“Aiyou, it’s unexpected for a little prince to arrive so soon.” The Empress Dowager exclaimed joyfully.

Picking through a large wicker basket and thinking about making some toys for her eldest grandson, she chatted away with Lin Gugu.

“There should be plenty leftover fur from the last snow-carved fur, ba. We can weave another small blanket.”

Meanwhile, the atmosphere in the court was tense.

King Li’s arrival in the Capital naturally involved attending court sessions. Before the annual Manxiang Festival, many Qinwangs came to the Capital, causing anxiety among officials, fearing that these Wangyes with significant military power might stir up trouble, especially His Highness King Li.

As the eldest noble son of his generation, His Highness King Li had always been steady and reliable. Even after being away from the Capital for a year, he remained well-informed about the Capital’s affairs like the back of his hand.

“Your Majesty’s decision to appoint the son of Li Qingwang as the Eldest Prince before having any heirs is contrary to the rites and laws.” After the Emperor announced the results of the State Teacher’s judgment on the third son of King Li, some ministers raised an objection.

While each Emperor typically appointed many Qinwangs’ noble sons as princes, the crown prince was usually chosen from the Emperor’s own offspring. It was indeed rare for the current Emperor to exclusively favor a male consort and establish the Eldest Prince without heirs. The officials were worried that if this continued, the choice of crown prince would fall on the head of the Qinwang’s son himself.

King Li glanced at the eloquent officials and calmly remarked.

“I’ve heard that Lord Li’s concubine has recently borne him a shu eldest son. I trust Lord Li is pleased with recent developments.”[shu eldest son -> born of a concubine instead of the main wife]

The Lord Li, who had opposed the decision, suddenly turned pale. Having a shu son precede a legitimate heir was not a significant fault, but it was certainly unseemly. With his own moral conduct in question, he had no face to criticize the royal family any further, so he had to keep his mouth shut.

His Highness King Zhao stood under the jade steps, silently observing King Li as he exposed the shortcomings of those officials. Whether it was Lord Wang establishing a new garden or Lord Zhao taking a concubine just days ago, all the officials who were so vocal about righteousness and morality were left speechless.

King Zhao had only started attending court a year ago and had never seen his second brother in court before, finding it quite intriguing.

After the court session, King Zhao struggled to speak with the Emperor, his words slightly muffled.

“With Second Royal Elder Brother being so capable, why don’t you just keep him in the Capital?”

His Majesty glanced at his younger brother, uninterested in entertaining the question. Coincidentally, Su Yu arrived with the Eldest Prince in his arms to assist the Emperor in reviewing the memorials.

Seizing the opportunity, the Emperor threw his son over to his younger brother, instructing him to talk with King Li, and, on the way, he also threw his stupid son to King Li to hold for a while.

“Mi?” The Eldest Prince squatted on a chubby hand and tilted his head to look at His Highness King Zhao. He discovered that the face in front of him had the same shape when viewed upright and when viewed sideways, which was suddenly a novelty.

As the foolish younger brother left holding his silly child, the Emperor reached out and pulled the stupid slave’s cushion closer.

“What did Muhou say?”

“She seemed very pleased. She even expressed a desire to keep the child in Ci’an Palace.” Su Yu replied honestly. Today, the Empress Dowager held the kitten and refused to let go, remarking that the child resembled King Li when he was young and was just as well-behaved.

“Why didn’t you leave him in Ci’an Palace?” The Emperor frowned.

“Don’t you want to show him to the two imperial uncles?” Su Yu blinked.

Yesterday, the Emperor had agreed to invite King Ling and King Su to Beiji Palace to see the child, and it was only with great difficulty that he managed to refuse Empress Dowager’s request to keep the child.

His Majesty the Emperor: “...”

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Junwang -> County King/Prince

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