Chapter 11.1 – Hidden Plots and Open Schemes (1)

Qi Yang had taken these test questions herself this morning from the Emperor’s desk.
Right now, she only got the first set, but the meaning was clear.
Once Lu Qipei had finished answering all three parts of the exam in a few days, she would try sending the answers to the Emperor!

There was no hope in getting Lu Qipei to the Examination Hall in person.
On one hand, the time was too short for Qi Yang to make the arrangements.
On the other hand, the Imperial Examination was something that required getting through multiple steps to be able to participate in.
She did not know how much work the students currently sitting in the Examination Hall had put in, and she did not want to so blatantly undermine the fairness.

And last but not least, Qi Yang didn’t want to leave a potential hidden danger for them, so she chose to do everything in the open.

But Qi Yang would not explain those to Lu Qipei, nor would she tell her what significance the Imperial Examination had for the two of them… Her Prince Consort was still very soft-hearted, so all she needed to do was look at her with expectant eyes, and Lu Qipei would soon compromise.

And compromise she did.
Although she had doubts in her heart, Lu Qipei could not reject Qi Yang’s pleading.

Holding her sleeves while grinding the ink, Lu Qipei seemed calm on the surface, but she had actually been thinking about this for a while – this was clearly the questions for the Spring Exam; why did Her Highness ask her to answer it? Did she want to ask her to be a test jockey? Was she still unable to avoid the fate of being a substitute for someone in the exam after all?

But she had never heard of her having such a close relationship with someone, to the point she would even take a risk for him on something as important as the Imperial Examination!

When she thought about that, Lu Qipei’s heart suddenly felt a little sour, and she carelessly made the ink too thick.
She sighed and added some water to continue grinding, and put her mind into it this time.

When she finished preparing the ink, Lu Qipei picked up the brush and looked at the blank answer paper.
For a moment, she thought about just doing it half-heartedly.

But her noble character made her unable to do things half-heartedly after she promised she would do it, even during a moment like this when she was unwilling.

After contemplating for a long time, she finally calmed down her mind.
She placed her brush on the paper, commanding the ink non-stop – redoing the old questions while adding new thoughts and ideas.
On top of doing them faster, they would also be better than the essay that amazed the examiners back then.

This was the “open scheme” that Lu Qipei decided on after careful consideration.
If Her Highness was really looking for an essay for someone else, then the one using her essay had to show talent that matched it.
Otherwise, they would only look timid and expose their own ignorance.
And if the other party really had such talent… why would she even ask her to write the essay!?

Standing in the courtyard outside the window, Qi Yang had no idea that Lu Qipei’s heart was full of dissatisfaction.
She only looked from afar at the youth sitting in front of the desk from afar as the latter kept waving her brush and putting ink on the paper.
When she thought of the former number one scholar’s amazing talent, she wasn’t worried that her essay wouldn’t enter the eyes of the Emperor.

Under the warm spring sun, her writing looked really dazzling…

Qi Yang was loss in thought and stood in the courtyard for a long time until Zhi Ting returned to her side and called, “Your Highness.”

This call snapped Qi Yang back to her senses.
She waved her hand towards Zhi Ting and gestured silently, then left with her.
When they got out of the courtyard, she asked Zhi Ting, “How was it?”

Zhi Ting tried to keep her face calm and replied, “Everything has been arranged as Your Highness ordered.” After saying that, she couldn’t resist turning her head to glance in the direction of the study as she continued, “But Your Highness, this… is this really okay?”

The aura around Qi Yang suddenly turned cold when she heard those words.
She was no longer the little princess that always smiled in front of Lu Qipei, and what she showed was not the soft and gentle appearance that Zhi Ting was familiar with.
She only glanced lightly at Zhi Ting, and the latter lowered her head, not daring to say anything more.

At that moment, all Zhi Ting could feel was her heart trembling – it was pure fear.

Translator notes:

As you might’ve noticed, the chapter looks shorter since I’m experimenting with splitting chapter updates into 2 parts.
I’ll still be posting both parts at once though, so don’t worry since the update speed won’t change ^^

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