The seat was especially kept for him by He Xuan, probably a top-class seat that aristocratic families’ lords would solely enjoy, unlike the crowded observation platform the regular commoners in the capital fought for.
The side of each wooden chair would have some fruits and cakes, and not far off, there would be a servant boy waiting upon these young lords’ orders, comfortable indeed.
Xiao Zuo brought the page in and chose an inconspicuous seat to sit down, they came not too early, and not long after sitting down, they saw the imperial family’s guards, eunuchs, and palace maids up front, while a gold flag was at the back, probably the Emperor and Empress Liu.
Seeing He Heng come in, everyone all got up and bowed, and after He Heng spoke a few opening words, the competition formally started.
The ice-skating competition was split into two teams on the left and right, the left was dressed in red, while the right was dressed in yellow, with five people each team.
When the competition starts, the imperial guards would first kick a ball between the teams, and have the two teams’ members chase and catch it, then send it into a basket hung in the middle.
The competition’s rules were also very simple, those who sent more in would be victorious.
When those two groups entered the field, Xiao Zuo narrowed his eyes to look, and could only recognize He Xuan at the front of the red team on the left side- Lord Xu who was often seen at the crown prince residence was also there, but he could not recognize the rest.
The right side’s yellow team was led by He Yang, the others were probably mostly Liu family’s direct descendants, Xiao Zuo did not know.
The two teams nodded their heads at each other as a signal, and the competition started.
Just as the ball came into the field, He Xuan snatched it first.
His pace was quick, and pretty much sent the ball into the basket unimpeded, and got one point.
Once the first half of the competition passed, the two sides’ points were 4:1, He Yang pretty much had no chance of turning the tables around.
As He Xuan sent in another ball, as though predicting the grand spectacle of the emperor giving his graces after the victory this year, when He Xuan slid past He Yang on the side, he sent him a lifted eyebrow and smiled, bearing a slight intent of provoking him.
He Yang originally had an easily angry temperament too, getting lit like an explosive with a single light- in previous years, he would always be beat by He Xuan in ice-skating, but this year, he also practised hard, and originally thought to take them by surprise and have He Heng see him in another light, but did not think he had to see this bastard He Xuan get all pleased again.
He Yang hung his eyes down and retreated back.
He Xuan thought he was going to circle around from the back to steal the ball, and closely followed a few paces back, but who knew He Yang would suddenly halt, and while the others were surrounding them, he lowered his body and pulled He Xuan’s leg.
He Xuan couldn’t brake in time, and when pulled by him like this, he fiercely fell backwards- it was also thanks to the lesson he learned when teaching Xiao Zuo, this time, He Xuan especially wore clothes with soft armour, and cushioned himself on the ice layer.
He Xuan only felt the back heavily hit the ice, and was in so much pain he hissed and sucked in cold air.
A member to the side also came to at this moment and hurriedly turned to pull him up.
He Yang made a look like he had been shocked and stopped, then called towards the imperial guards, “His Highness the Crown Prince has been injured, report to Father to temporarily stop the competition!”
With this kind of situation, naturally, they could not continue the competition.
The guards maintaining order in the field quickly dispersed the spectating commoners, and the imperial doctor who rushed over also helped He Xuan to a seat on the side to rest.
His knees, elbows, and back had some scrapes, but thankfully, it did not injure the bone, and after applying some ointment and resting for half a month, it would be fine.
However, that wound hideously connected together in one big patch, even seeped with blood outside, and looked to be quite terrifying.
Empress Liu took one glance, and said with a gasp, “Aiya, how could Xuan’er be so careless, what bad luck to see blood for the new year……” After saying this, she asked the imperial doctor, “It hasn’t hurt the bone, has it”
The imperial doctor bowed and said, “His Highness has been fortunate, some skin just broke, after a few days of rest, it will be fine as long as he is careful to not soak it in water.”
“Then that’s good.” He Heng nodded his head, his wind chill had not recovered yet, so his face looked to be a bit ill and made him looked to be much more haggard.
At this time, He Heng was wearing a thick cloak, and his neck had a fur collar wrapped around it.
He gripped his hand into a fist and lightly coughed two times by the mouth, and knitted his eyebrows while scolding, “You too, you are best at ice-skating, how could you fall so severely today”
“Mercy, Father, this son has been negligent, the foot slipped, then made such a big mistake, please bestow punishment, Father.” Just before during that time, the people to the side were busy fighting for the ball, so pretty much nobody noticed He Yang’s actions, and even if they did see it, those who would help speak up for him would be the people from the red team- it was originally the crown prince faction, so even if they did speak, it would be hard to convince everyone.
He Xuan lowered his head and admitted fault, then struggled to stand again.
He Heng saw him like this, he could not endure it anymore, and sighed, “You are just as stubborn as Lan’er.”
Once these words came out, Empress Liu and He Xuan both froze.
“It is merely the son resembling the mother, it is fortune.” He Heng smiled, and lowered his body to carefully look at He Xuan’s injury, and said, “Be a bit more careful these days, listen to the imperial doctor.
You originally caught a chill on the leg when you were young, do not have another lingering illness befall again.”
“This son understands.
Thank you Father for the concern.” He Heng’s seldom kindness made He Xuan be a bit at a loss momentarily.
He blankly sat back on the chair, and recalled in his childhood when Mother was still here, He Heng would sleep at the Han Yuan Palace each day, and personally recite some beginner books for children to him, while he himself could not sit still and would always want to run out to play.
He had also never been impatient too, and would always gently have the maid bring some sweet cakes to coax [him], and walk around in the flower garden while carrying him on his back, and mutter when turning his head, “Good Xuan’er……”
At this time, he lifted his head to look up against the light.
He Heng’s broad back seemed as though it strangely overlapped with the figure who carried him and taught him words in his childhood, a kind of feeling that He Xuan did not have for a very long time suddenly rooted and sprouted in his heart- he seemed like an eastern person who saw a tomato for the first time, curious and very careful, and wanted to touch it, yet was very flustered.