Whenever the little prince laid eyes on Xue Yao, he promptly asked for milk. Several personal maids exchanged glances and turned their eyes toward Consort Xi.
They had previously reported this matter to Consort Xi. “We don’t know why the young master of the Xue family always offers milk to His Highness, and why His Highness frequently thinks of it. We hope Your Highness will investigate further.”
However, Consort Xi had great trust in Xue Yao and thought it was just some sweet goat’s milk used to comfort the child. People in her hometown used to drink it, so she didn’t delve into it.
At this moment, seeing the child persistently asking for milk, Consort Xi couldn’t help but ask, “Xue Yao, what kind of milk have you been feeding Old Seventh that makes him crave it every day? I’d like to keep some in the palace in case he gets hungry.”
“Ah, I had brought some sugared cow’s milk to the school a few times before. Originally, it was for myself, but His Highness loved it, so I started feeding it to him.”
“Cow’s milk?” Consort Xi was a bit surprised because there were very few commoners in the capital who drank cow’s milk, and the palace masters and mistresses didn’t either.
One reason was that cow’s milk had a stronger odor, and the other reason was that it wasn’t sterilized, occasionally causing digestive problems. The palace believed wetnurses’ milk was cleaner than cow’s milk.
The attendants in the palace all knew that this was not suitable for the masters to drink. At this moment, they all looked at Xue Yao with surprise.
Consort Xi, however, smiled. “What a coincidence. I used to love cow’s milk when I was a child. No wonder Old Seventh is so fixated on it. It seems his taste follows mine, judging by how desperate he looks.”
Xue Yao laughed. “Unfortunately, I didn’t bring cow’s milk today. His Highness might be disappointed.”
As these words left Xue Yao’s lips, the Seventh Prince hadn’t grasped the situation and continued holding onto Xue Yao’s arm. “One story, two milk! One story…”
Midway through, the chubby cub’s expression suddenly shifted, and he echoed Xue Yao’s words, “Your Highness might be disappointed?”
Xue Yao turned to look at the chubby cub, sighing softly in response, “Yes, I didn’t bring any milk today. Can Your Highness still tell a story?”
The Seventh Prince was utterly taken aback, his chubby hand gripping Xue Yao’s arm tightly. “Your Highness can’t be disappointed! Your Highness can’t be disappointed!”
This chubby fellow was probably trying to say, “You can’t let His Highness down.”
Indeed, the Long Aotian cub was truly someone who cared deeply about his own feelings.
Xue Yao shrugged helplessly. “But I really didn’t bring any milk.”
A bolt from the blue struck once again. The Seventh Prince had a meltdown right there, pouting and tilting his head back, teary eyes fixed on Silly Yaoyao who had let him down.
Xue Yao: “……”
What can I do when the mart won’t refresh?
Why, in the disappointment-filled gaze of the chubby cub, did he surprisingly start feeling guilty?
“No more fooling around,” Consort Xi, fearing her son’s relentless insistence, instructed a palace maid to carry the Seventh Prince away to have his milk.
However, His Highness, who painfully missed his beloved milk, remained true to his word and suddenly began narrating the tale of “Houyi Shooting the Suns”!
This was a story His Highness would casually recount whenever he wanted to brush things aside.
As soon as Xue Yao heard “Once upon a time, there were ten suns residing in the eastern seas,” he squinted his eyes and gave a questioning look.
Without milk, was he left with nothing but “Houyi Shooting the Suns” to listen to?
You heartless little rascal!
However, before the chubby cub could finish, a palace maid lifted him from behind and carried him away to feed him.
As the palace maid crossed the threshold, His Highness was still narrating, “Houyi drew his bow and shot at those nine suns…”
With the meal cleared, Consort Xi dismissed the palace maid and engaged in a detailed discussion with Xue Yao about their plan of action.
In the following days, Xue Yao temporarily resided in the side hall to facilitate the training of the chubby cub, ensuring he cooperated in accurately retelling the predictions of the blessing practitioner.
Making the chubby cub cooperate in a performance without milk was like tackling a task of hellish difficulty!
Xue Yao instructed a palace maid to fetch breast milk, sweetened it with sugarcane, and concealed it in a small sheepskin water bag, attempting to pass it off.
However, the chubby cub took just a sip and promptly puckered his lips, turning away with clear reluctance.
Following Xue Yao’s plan, whenever Consort Xi lifted her hand to adjust her butterfly-wing hairpin, the Seventh Prince had to immediately recite the blessing practitioner’s “prophecy.”
At the outset of each training session, His Highness was initially cooperative. However, after repeating it three or five times, he would start saying, “I’m very tired.”
The worry was that he might suddenly become uncooperative in front of the Emperor!
Xue Yao and Consort Xi were both at a loss.
“His Highness seems to enjoy saying that particular phrase,” Xue Yao helplessly chatted with Consort Xi about this peculiar phenomenon.
Consort Xi gave an awkward smile and explained the reason—
In truth, the Seventh Prince didn’t understand the meaning behind “I’m very tired.” It was just that every time he made a request to Mother Consort, upon hearing Consort Xi’s response of “I’m very tired,” he interpreted it as a denial of his request.
So, from the chubby cub’s perspective, this phrase was equivalent to refusing to cooperate.
Hearing this, Xue Yao wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. No wonder the chubby cub only used this phrase to assert himself. He was essentially mimicking the behavior of adults.
In the blink of an eye, three days had passed, and the imperial decree was about to be issued. However, His Highness was becoming increasingly disobedient with each passing day and stubbornly refused to recite the prophecy.
Xue Yao had to face the harsh reality. This cub was indeed not easy to handle, misbehaving when there was no milk.
Perhaps children with communication disorder were like this. Expectations couldn’t be too high.
But thinking that the affection he gained was worth less than a carton of Want Want milk was somewhat disappointing.
Gradually, the Seventh Prince, who had been waiting for his milk, no longer looked at Xue Yao with anticipation every day.
The palace maids also noticed that the little prince had reverted to his previous self-absorbed demeanor and was unwilling to listen to bedtime stories.
Perhaps it was because the stories couldn’t bring back the milk from Yaoyao.
Xue Yao was actually a bit hurt, feeling like he had raised an unfilial child.
Nevertheless, he gathered his spirits and tried to train the Seventh Prince before the Emperor’s visit to Qingqiong Hall.
After much effort, Xue Yao managed to swipe a crate of Guangming Pure Cow’s Milk from the Foodmart, and quickly exchanged it. He returned to the Xue residence, filled a water bag with two boxes of milk, and then hurriedly went back to the palace, saying that the household servants had just delivered fresh cow’s milk and he hadn’t had time to season it yet.
At Xue Yao’s instructions, a palace maid took the milk to the kitchen, added honey and sugarcane, gently warmed it over a low flame, and then returned it to the water bag, hurrying to the Seventh Prince’s chamber.
The Seventh Prince was holding a small tiger plush toy in one hand, directing a duel between jungle kings.
Nearby, the palace aunt sighed.
When the little prince was in a good mood, he liked to make the little white rabbit hop over a small stream. He only played with the two tigers when he was in a bad mood.
No one knew why the little prince had been in a bad mood recently.
A palace maid hurriedly entered with a water pouch. “This is fresh milk just sent by Second Master Xue. It’s been sweetened with honey and sugar and warmed up. Please let His Highness taste it!”
Aunt received the milk, opened the lid, and took a whiff, her eyes immediately lighting up.
This rich yet not overpowering milk fragrance must be the same as what the Young Master Xur used to feed him!
If she could get the little prince to drink this kind of milk, there was a good chance she might receive the same favor and reliance from the little lord, just like Xue Yao did.
With this in mind, Aunt immediately waved off the young palace maid to avoid the little prince remembering her contribution to delivering the milk. She happily held the water bag and sat beside the couch, bringing the spout to the little prince’s lips and said warmly, “Your Highness, take a sip and see, this is even better than the milk from Second Master Xue’s house!”
The Seventh Prince didn’t turn to look at her. He continued to play with the small tiger plush toy. He tilted his head slightly and took a sip of the milk.
Recognizing the familiar yet slightly different taste of milk, the little prince’s small hand paused. His eyes rounded, turned his head in surprise toward the water bag, and then lifted his head, gazing at Aunt with shining eyes.
Aunt was immediately ecstatic. “How is it? If Your Highness likes this taste, this servant will feed you this every day from now on, alright?”
Xue Yao waited in the side hall for news, but when the palace maid returned, she didn’t have the water bag with her. She said it had already been sent to His Highness’ chamber.
When he asked her if His Highness liked to drink it, the palace maid replied that she didn’t know because Aunt told her to leave.
Xue Yao turned to leave to check the situation, but before he reached the door, it swung open from the outside.
Without fully grasping the situation, Xue Yao saw the chubby cub like a cannonball rushing toward him.
Although the chubby cub slowed down as he collided into Xue Yao’s arms, it still pushed Xue Yao back several steps, with his back against the Eight Immortals table.
When he lowered his head, the Seventh Prince clutched the small water bag like a treasure, his chubby face turned up, his eyes gleaming as he stared at Xue Yao.
Xue Yao glanced at the water bag in his hands and asked, “Does Your Highness not like this milk?”
The Seventh Prince raised the water bag and handed it to Xue Yao, excitedly prompting, “Does Your Highness want milk? Does Your Highness want milk?”
It had been several days since Xue Yao had seen such an enthusiastic chubby cub. He slowly realized — His Highness wanted him to personally feed the milk.
Despite his confusion, Xue Yao took the water bag, opened the lid, and began to feed the milk on the spot.
Just at that moment, Aunt from the prince’s chamber finally caught up. With one glance, she saw Xue Yao in the room feeding the little prince. Her eye twitched in anger!
Earlier, she had given the little prince a sip of milk, and he immediately looked at her happily. However, he then suddenly snatched the water bag from her hands, leaped off the couch, and dashed out of the chamber like lightning!
He couldn’t be caught. His Highness’ chubby little legs had blurred from all the running!
Aunt chased into the side hall, only to see Xue Yao feeding the prince!
She wanted to be furious but knew it wasn’t justified. After all, this milk had been sent to the palace by Xue Yao. She just couldn’t fathom why the little prince insisted on having Xue Yao personally feed him.
Xue Yao was equally perplexed.
The chubby cub, who usually downed a whole carton of Want Want milk in one go, had surprisingly taken just two sips today and turned his chubby head with eagerness, eagerly extending his plump little arms and asking, “Does your son want a hug?”
In the bright, shining eyes of the cub, Xue Yao seemed to grasp some of the chubby cub’s thought process.
This somewhat unique baby, due to emotional reception difficulties, needed to feel love through specific actions of others.
His Highness perceived his eldest brother’s cheek-pinching as an expression of love.
Likewise, Consort Xi feeding him desserts before bedtime was also interpreted as a gesture of her love.
Feeding milk was the first way Xue Yao expressed his affection to him, and the Seventh Prince always remembered it.
It turned out, it was not just the milk with a similar taste that matters, but also the person who fed it.
When both came together, it helped this emotionally challenged Long Aotian cub regain a sense of security.
The palace aunt from the prince’s chamber didn’t understand the strange understanding between the two children. “Please let me feed him, it’s no trouble, really.”
Xue Yao’s craving to feed milk hadn’t waned, and he was about to decline when he saw Seventh Prince sipping his milk while making a soft purring sound, coaxing Auntie to retreat with a slight tilt of his head.
His Highness wanted Yaoyao to feed him!
Two days later, the imperial decree arrived, and on the list of those accompanying the Emperor on the tour, it unsurprisingly included Consort Xi and even Noble Lady Yi.
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