Before the Second Prince could finish laughing, Xue Yao heard a loud shout from the Fifth Prince at the end of the arrow path!
Thinking that something had gone wrong, Xue Yao, in fear, bent down to tightly hug the chubby cub who was busy daydreaming in front of him. “What’s happening! What’s happening!”
The Seventh Prince, with an unchanging expression on his chubby face, was long accustomed to the commotion caused by the Fifth Prince.
“The Fifth Prince has drawn his bow!” The Sixth Prince ran excitedly to inform Xue Yao.
Xue Yao turned his head and only then did he notice that the nine-year-old Fifth Prince was holding a bow and arrow, struggling to draw the bowstring.
“The Fifth Prince is drawing a two-stone bow! That’s impressive!” The Sixth Prince was quick to praise the Fifth Prince.
A two-stone bow had a pulling force of approximately 120 catties, twice as heavy as the Fifth Prince himself. Being able to draw it was truly impressive.
However, upon closer inspection, it was obvious that the arc the Fifth Prince managed to draw was minimal, hardly qualifying as a proper draw. The Sixth Prince was shamelessly flattering the Fifth Prince!
Only then did Xue Yao release the chubby cub, who was almost strangled by him, and took him to watch the Fifth Prince’s archery.
After watching for a moment, Xue Yao quickly realized that ancient archery competitions were quite different from what he had seen in TV dramas.
Whether it was standing or horseback archery, the accuracy of the shots was just one of the standards for judging archery skills.
In reality, the princes placed great importance on archery distance.
To engage in long-range archery, it involved how many stone-weight the archer could draw with the bow.
It was said that Yue Fei could draw a 300-catty bow, which was equivalent to drawing a five-stone bow. The princes valued their pulling strength more than their accuracy.
At this moment, Xue Yao witnessed firsthand that these royal youngsters were secretly competing.
It was like being in a gym — one person was doing leg presses, and immediately, someone else was doing splits. The dueling scene was quite intense!
The Fifth Prince lightly drew a two-stone bow. The Third Prince, refusing to be outdone, immediately pulled a full draw with a two-stone bow.
While the Fifth Prince kept his gaze fixed on his own target, he still stole glances at the Third Prince, his eyes burning with jealousy.
Then, with another “Hah,” the Fifth Prince drew his bow an extra inch!
The usually peace-loving Fourth Prince, after seeing the Third Prince draw a full bow, surprisingly went to choose a three-stone bow in silence…
The Fourth Prince gritted his teeth and let out a deep grunt, drawing the three-stone bow.
He aimed at the bullseye but didn’t release the arrow until everyone noticed that he had drawn the three-stone bow.
“Haven’t seen you for a month, and here you are, making progress, Old Fourth,” the passing Eldest Prince patted the Fourth Prince’s shoulder approvingly.
Seeing the Eldest Prince praise the Fourth Prince and acknowledging the Third Prince, the overlooked Fifth Prince felt wronged and immediately had his reader-in-waiting replace his bow with a three-stone one.
Even though he couldn’t fully draw a two-stone bow, the Fifth Prince refused to admit defeat.
But, of course, he couldn’t draw a three-stone bow.
The Fifth Prince’s desperate cry of “Hah!” finally caught the attention of the Eldest Prince.
The Eldest Prince quickly walked over to reassure him, “Old Fifth, use a one-stone bow to shoot at the target. You’re still young, the emphasis is on participation, don’t get overly fixated on winning or losing.”
The Fifth Prince lowered his head in embarrassment. “I understand.”
Xue Yao was briefly taken aback, gazing at the seldom-seen gentle side of the Eldest Prince, finding this person more admirable than he had imagined.
Even though he was only sixteen, the Eldest Prince was so composed, so…
Before Xue Yao could finish praising, he saw the Eldest Prince silently pick up a five-stone bow and arrow, walk to his own archery lane, and with a muffled “Hah,” drew the bowstring with all his might!
After the Eldest Prince drew his bow, he didn’t release the arrow immediately. Veins stood out on his forehead. He waited until his younger brothers cheered and praised him before calmly shooting the arrow, hitting the bullseye dead center!
The group of princes felt a mix of admiration and jealousy but unanimously cheered for their eldest brother.
The Second Prince, who was watching from the sidelines, had a mischievous glint in his eyes and was nearly squinting from amusement.
The Eldest Prince, however, didn’t appear conceited. Instead, he nonchalantly complained to the nearby attendants, “Why wasn’t a six-stone bow prepared?”
A five-stone bow didn’t even register for the Eldest Prince!
Xue Yao: “……” Your hands are already trembling, Your Highness! I can see that! What happened to “the emphasis is on participation, don’t get overly fixated on winning or losing”? You seem to be the one most concerned about saving face!
At this moment, the Eldest Prince’s icy and composed image in Xue Yao’s mind completely shattered!
Just then, Xue Yao suddenly heard the familiar sound of growling from beside him.
As he turned around, Xue Yao noticed that the Seventh Prince had an even more determined look on his face. His small mouth was pouting!
“What’s wrong?” Xue Yao quickly smoothed the chubby cuv’s hair. “Is Your Highness hungry?”
The Seventh Prince patted his little belly and ordered the attendant by the archery lane, “Bring a bow!”
The Sixth Prince, who was standing in front, turned around and approached the chubby cub. He bent down, cradling the Seventh Prince’s chubby face, and gently coaxed, “Old Seventh, don’t be impatient. We have to be eight years old to practice archery. For now, let’s watch big brothers practice, alright?”
The Seventh Prince responded with an angry little growl and a wrinkled nose.
This was how the chubby cub vehemently protested.
His Highness wanted to shoot a bow!
He wanted to look as cool as his eldest brother!
So, the attendants brought a one-stone bow for the Seventh Prince to play with.
The Sixth Prince was secretly itching to try it himself but had been too shy to attempt. However, when he saw Old Seventh get a small bow and arrow, he couldn’t resist reaching out to touch the bowstring.
The chubby cub immediately pouted and twisted his round body.
He didn’t want the Sixth Prince to touch his bow!
Then, with his chubby legs, he ran to an extremely distant archery lane, getting ready to shoot.
Xue Yao approached with an indifferent expression and advised, “Your Highness, let’s go shoot at a ten-step target. Even with a one-stone bow, it’s impossible to shoot that far when fully drawn.”
The Seventh Prince pouted and twisted his body, showing his displeasure.
His Highness wanted to shoot at a long distance!
The chubby cub, looking quite assertive, started drawing his bow toward the distant target, his tea-colored eyes sharp as an eagle’s.
Xue Yao then gently pulled apart his chubby hand holding the bow to help him adjust the bow’s direction.
But the Seventh Prince refused to let go.
Xue Yao calmly reminded, “Your Highness, it’s the wrong way. Holding it like that, you’ll only shoot yourself.”
The Seventh Prince obediently adjusted the bow’s direction and then, with force, drew the bowstring, aimed, and released—
The arrow fell to the ground, hitting His Highness’ toe.
The Seventh Prince looked down at the arrow on the ground, taking a surprised gasp!
Xue Yao remained calmly unsurprised.
“That’s already pretty good,” the Sixth Prince ran over to encourage his little brother, “First-time archery practice, none of us could hit the target.”
Xue Yao also approached, prepared to offer some comforting words.
However, the Seventh Prince promptly dropped his bow and turned to Silly Yaoyao. “Your Highness has worked hard. How about two pots of milk?”
Xue Yao: “……”
Worked hard, my arse!
The arrow hit your own foot!
Are you or are you not the future Long Aotian?
Xue Yao took a deep breath and reminded himself to get used to this Long Aotian cub who cared not for his dignity. He replied gently, “Your Highness’ big brothers are currently in a horseback archery competition. It’s not time for milk.”
The Seventh Prince’s chubby face suddenly darkened, his long eyelashes drooping, and the elegant curve of his eyes drew a slightly mournful expression. “Yaoyao.”
“Hmm?” Xue Yao was easily affected by the cub’s melancholic tone and approached with concern. “What’s wrong, Your Highness?”
The Seventh Prince kept his head down, kicked a small pebble on the ground, and mumbled, “Didn’t hit the bullseye. Your grandpa is not obedient.”
“No way!” Xue Yao’s heart immediately ached for the chubby cub’s sorrow. He hurriedly hugged him and comforted, “Your Highness is still very young. Even if you don’t hit the bullseye, Your Highness is the most obedient!”
The Seventh Prince raised an eyebrow, and his eyes pierced through long eyelashes, locking onto Xue Yao. His small mouth curved mischievously, revealing a triumphant smirk. “Most obedient Your Highness can have a pot of milk.”
Xue Yao: “? ? ?”
Suddenly, he remembered his previous promise to the little Long Aotian— “Only obedient Your Highness gets milk.”
This chubby cub actually set a trap for him!
He was one super bad little dumpling!
Fortunately, Xue Yao had come prepared. He had a small sheepskin water bag filled with a carton of Want Want milk back at home.
Originally, he had planned to feed the chubby cub during naptime, but now he was caught in his scheme. He couldn’t break his word to the prince, so he had no choice but to reluctantly feed him milk on the spot!
The small water bag was about the size of a palm, brown in color, something His Highness hadn’t seen before.
When he saw Yaoyao handing it over, His Highness felt a bit resistant and raised his chubby hand to push it away.
It was not this. His Highness wanted the milk from the red container!
Xue Yao had no choice but to lean close to the baby’s ear and coax, “This is also milk, Your Highness. Take a sip, and you’ll see.”
The Seventh Prince tilted his head away, turned back to Xue Yao, and made a silly open-mouthed expression while glancing to his right.
Xue Yao looked puzzled.
The Seventh Prince made the same expression a few more times.
After observing for quite some time, Xue Yao finally realized that the chubby cub was imitating the expression of the cartoon character on the Want Want milk packaging…
“Pfft…” Xue Yao burst into laughter unexpectedly and ended up laughing on his knees. This cub had quite a strong ability to mimic!
After finally calming down, Xue Yao helplessly offered the milk carton to the chubby cub’s mouth. “Your Highness, this is the…” Xue Yao mimicked the rightward glance like on the Want Want milk package. “I put it in the water bag. Try a sip.”
The Seventh Prince, still unsure, was about to take a sip when the sunlight beside him was suddenly blocked by a tall figure.
Before they could react, Xue Yao’s water bag was abruptly taken by a hand with well-defined joints.
The Seventh Prince and Xue Yao both looked up at the newcomer at the same time.
It turned out to be the Second Prince, the Hermit God.
The Second Prince squinted his cunning eyes, lowered his head to stare at the Seventh Prince, and shook the water bag he had taken, then unfolded his folding fan with his right hand, blocking the water bag.
As the folding fan closed, the water bag in the Second Prince’s hand had vanished without a trace.
“Hmm? Where did it go?” The Second Prince squinted his cunning eyes and playfully teased his little brother.
Xue Yao was utterly amazed by his magic trick and was eager to see him perform another.
The Seventh Prince, however, remained expressionless. He looked up at the Second Prince and then down at his left sleeve, not saying a word but wearing an impatient expression that said, “Give me back my milk.”
“Did you see it?” The Second Prince immediately retrieved the milk from his left sleeve and chuckled. “This one doesn’t count. Try again, and I bet you won’t find it…”
So, the folding fan twirled, and once again, the water bag disappeared from the Second Prince’s hand.
“Wow…” Xue Yao was ready to applaud. This time, he watched closely, but he couldn’t spot any flaws at all!
However, the Seventh Prince shifted his eyes and looked at the Second Prince’s right sleeve…
The Second Prince felt like he had picked the wrong audience. He should have gone to tease the Sixth Prince instead.
Every time he tried to impress Old Seventh, the Second Prince ended up in frustration. So, he retrieved the water bag from his sleeve and said seriously, “One last time. Guess where it is, and I’ll give it back to you.”
The folding fan turned once more, and the water bag once again vanished.
“Where did it go?” The Second Prince squinted his cunning eyes and stared down at the Seventh Prince.
The Seventh Prince took quick steps with his chubby legs, attempting to circle behind the Second Prince.
The Second Prince swiftly turned around, still facing the Seventh Prince head-on.
Xue Yao had already clearly seen it—the water bag was tucked into the Second Prince’s back waistband!
“Can’t find it, can you?” The Second Prince wore a self-satisfied expression.
The Seventh Prince began to increase the frequency of his little short legs, trying to get around.
The Second Prince, not showing any weakness, spun in place, always keeping himself directly in front of his younger brother to prevent him from seeing the water bag!
This sibling showdown came to a sudden halt as Eldest Prince passed by.
When the Seventh Prince caught sight of his eldest brother, he immediately stopped in his tracks and burst into tears with a loud “buhuhu!”
The Eldest Prince shot a sharp glare at the Second Prince as he passed, his eyes filled with a menacing look. “Give it back to him!”
The Second Prince instantly retrieved the water bag, crouched down, and handed it to the Seventh Prince, offering a humble apology, “I’m sorry…”
Regretted having offended big brother’s little darling!
Xue Yao: “……”
What happened to the dignified Second Prince known for his Daoist aura?
Why bother teasing the chubby cub?
Got scolded by the eldest brother, serves you right for being naughty!
After the Seventh Prince finished his milk and felt sleepy, Xue Yao bid farewell to the Eldest Prince, who allowed Old Seventh to return first.
When they left the training ground, Xue Yao found Yiqiu waiting outside.
The moment Yiqiu saw Xue Yao coming out, he hurriedly approached. “Young Master Xue, Her Highness requests your presence in the palace for an urgent matter.”
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