After making things clear, Yu She told his subordinate to leave.
Zhong Wan fell deep into thought. He blanked out while staring at the foot of the bed.
Yu She knew the other had many things to ask. He didn’t rush him and merely waited quietly.
Yu She had taken care of Xuan Rui’s situation by himself. He actually wasn’t sure if Zhong Wan was in agreement or not with what he had done.
Zhong Wan had been sick for over a month straight. He had lost a lot of weight, becoming practically skin and bones. One could see the bones of his shoulders sticking out through his middle garments.
His thin shoulders were holding up the entirety of Prince Ning’s estate.
Yu She gazed at Zhong Wan. The resentment in his heart dissipated.
It was enough that he had woken up, healthy. Even if Zhong Wan begged him to fight for Xuan Rui’s princely title to be returned, Yu She wouldn’t be the slightest bit dissatisfied.
Yu She waited a moment more. Zhong Wan still didn’t speak a word. Yu She started feeling a bit uneasy. This person…What was he actually thinking about?
What request couldn’t he directly express? After such an incident, what things were there that he couldn’t directly ask?
“You…” Yu She couldn’t keep it in anymore. “What do you want to ask me?”
Zhong Wan paused for a moment. “Huh?”
Yu She furrowed his brows. “What have you been thinking about all this time?”
Zhong Wan guiltily looked in a different direction. He pursed his lips. “I was guessing… how you would lie to me if I really became stupid.”
Yu She: “…”
He had been overthinking again.
“I would lie and say that we were childhood sweethearts, that after your family encountered trouble, I was the one who brought you here. That we grew up together.” Yu She’s own teeth felt sour as he spoke. However, this was exactly what Zhong Wan wanted to hear. He could only speak faster, “I would deceive you, telling you that you were deeply in love with me and that you always gave in to my demands. Good enough?”
Zhong Wan lowered his head and laughed quietly. Then he laughed so hard he started coughing.
But Yu She couldn’t help the twinge in his heart.
How wonderful it would be if this were the truth.
In a low voice, Yu She said, “A few days ago, while you were sick, I told you about Xuan Rui’s situation. I don’t know if you actually heard me or not. Do you think this punishment is…”
Zhong Wan said, “Very good.”
Yu She relaxed. “Xuan Yu’s inheritance of the title can’t be rushed. I’m still coming up with a plan. You…”
“We’ll talk about that later.” Zhong Wan shook his head. “It isn’t an easy task. Don’t force it. The reason the emperor allowed you to arrange everything this time is because you happened to have the same idea as him regarding the removal of Xuan Rui’s title. If you were to give it back to Xuan Yu… The emperor wouldn’t be willing. Drag it out a bit first. If it’s not possible, then nevermind.”
Yu She didn’t take the credit for this. “Recently, Beijiang has been unstable. The emperor is fatigued. He originally didn’t have the energy to take care of Xuan Rui’s matter and was more than willing for me to take care of matters on his behalf.”
Zhong Wan paused. “I heard someone mention the situation with the Beidi tribes a few days ago. Don’t they just plunder the border occasionally? Have they caused more trouble?”
“No. Three months ago, the chief of the Beidi tribes passed away. His youngest son inherited the role of chief, but isn’t capable of fighting his older brothers. He can’t afford to keep his own people alive, which is why he harrasses the border,” Yu She said in a low voice. “There aren’t that many people in the Beidi tribes anyways. We just have to push them back… These are all trivial matters. After the civil unrest within the Beidi tribes passes, when those who need to die have died and the survivors are capable of being responsible rulers, things will get better.”
Back then, Prince Ning had died in Beijiang. After that battle, the Beidi tribes had suffered great losses. Seven years of rest later, their population and army still weren’t even at half of their original numbers. If they were having an internal feud now, it was true that it would be impossible for them to cause any significant trouble. Upon hearing this, Zhong Wan nodded. “Hopefully so…”
As they spoke, the imperial doctor outside heard that Zhong Wan had woken up so wanted to come in and check his pulse. Yu She ordered him inside.
The imperial doctor took Zhong Wan’s pulse and asked him a few questions. Upon noticing that Zhong Wan was still slightly feverish, he didn’t wish to prescribe medicine; he still wanted to use acupuncture. He asked for Yu She’s opinion. Yu She saw that Zhong Wan had woken up healthy, so was slightly more trusting of the imperial doctor. He nodded.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
The imperial doctor grabbed the medicinal kit from the medicine child’s hands. Per Yu She’s rules, he told the medicine child to wait outside. The imperial doctor arranged the silver needles himself and stood next to the bed, waiting.
Kfc wlceafr ijafg, atf lwqfglji vbmabg tjvc’a yevufv. Lf kjr ralii kjlalcu.
Itbcu Qjc, ktb tjv jigfjvs qbrlalbcfv tlwrfio qgbqfgis, rajgfv ja atf lwqfglji vbmabg. Ktf lwqfglji vbmabg rajgfv yjmx ja tlw. Ktfc, tf uijcmfv ja Te Vtf, mbcoerfv.
Te Vtf oeggbkfv tlr ygbkr. “Qts jgf sbe ibbxlcu ja wf lcrafjv bo lcrfgalcu atf cffvifr?”
The imperial doctor said, “I-I’m waiting for Heir. Doesn’t Heir usually… avoid watching? Or turn around…”
The imperial doctor was quite innocent. “Aren’t these the rules that you yourself set, Heir?”
Yu She glanced at Zhong Wan, then offhandedly picked up a book to read. He did his best to make his words sound less deliberate. “A few days ago… the patient confessed his feelings to me. Thus, from now on, I no longer need to avoid watching.”
Zhong Wan who was sprawled out on the bed was speechless.
The imperial doctor froze in place. Yu She thought that the imperial doctor didn’t believe him, so furrowed his brows. “Would I lie to you? He really did tell me. It was… ‘Zi Jin’ from ‘The Book of Songs.’ You should’ve read it before, right? ‘O You with the blue…’”
“Enough, enough.” Zhong Wan had a breakdown. “Don’t recite the poem!”
Yu She did as he said and shut up. The imperial doctor once again grew shocked by the strictness of rules in the estates of high class families. He gulped. “Okay, then… Young Master Zhong can undress.”
Face aflame, Zhong Wan took off his middle garments and threw them off to the side before lying down.
Only now did Zhong Wan understand why Yu She hadn’t closed his eyes before taking off Zhong Wan’s clothes previously: so he had automatically assumed that their relationship was one step closer than before. He felt that he could see Zhong Wan’s upper body now.
Since Zhong Wan had woken up, Yu She had first dealt with Tang Ming. Shortly after, the imperial doctor had arrived. The two of them didn’t even get any time to exchange private conversation.
Thinking back now, Zhong Wan felt a bit embarrassed about what had happened before he had passed out.
Bringing up the overdramatic things he had done and cringey words he had said in his youth now… made him feel quite ashamed.
They weren’t young anymore. Things were fine as long as they understood everything in their hearts. They should merely kiss as they wished, do… those things as they wished. There was no need to bring up those overdramatic things anymore.
Naturally, this was solely wishful thinking on Zhong Wan’s part.
Obviously, Yu She really wanted to bring them up.
“Previously, I said that it was necessary to listen to his opinion about which treatment plan to start, the fast or the slow. That won’t be necessary anymore,” said Yu She suddenly, staring at the imperial doctor. “From now on, I’m capable of making the decisions regarding his illness.”
The imperial doctor hurriedly said, “Yes, yes.”
Yu She added, “As for why, I already explained earlier.”
Zhong Wan buried his face into his pillow.
Yu She wanted to say something more, but stopped himself. Instead, he said, “If Imperial Doctor hasn’t read ‘The Book of Songs’ before, that’s okay too. I’ll just give you a copy later.”
Nervously, the imperial doctor said, “That would be… great. Many thanks. Thank you, Heir, for the gift.”
Yu She nodded. “When you have nothing to do, read more books.”
Zhong Wan was close to death. He wished he could simply tell the imperial doctor to stab him to death with the needles.
Fortunately, another person from the palace suddenly arrived to summon Yu She away again.
The court was unstable. There was also trouble in Beijiang. Actually, none of these matters had anything to do with Yu She, but Emperor Chongan had previously received Yu She’s promise and now desired for him to start learning politics. He summoned Yu She regardless of how trivial the matter.
On the other side, Yu She tortured Tang Ming daily with bits and pieces of the old corpse. However, he hadn’t forgotten Tang Qin either.
Tang Qin was in the palace. He naturally knew that Tang Ming had deluded Xuan Rui and consequently had his lair annihilated. But from start to finish, he hadn’t heard any news about Tang Ming. Tang Qin believed that Tang Ming had definitely managed to escape capture.
Yu She similarly didn’t waste his words on Tang Qin. The day he had imprisoned Tang Ming, Yu She had removed all of Tang Ming’s belongings. He then told his subordinates to pour blood over the clothing and send a different article of clothing into the palace to Tang Qin each day.
Just like Tang Ming, Tang Qin had initially been unaffected. He seemed apathetic. Additionally, he was constantly on guard, prepared to respond to a variety of threats. However, nobody bothered him.
The bloodstained clothes got sent in one after the other.
Tang Qin finally couldn’t bear it anymore. He started taking the initiative to contact those outside the palace, but all his messages disappeared like stones in the ocean.
This time, Yu She had acted harshly and killed all of Tang Ming’s people. Tang Qin couldn’t find anyone.
Tang Qin understood that this was Yu She leaving him hanging. He bore it for a few more days before ultimately realizing that he had no other options. He took the initiative to ask someone to bring a message to Yu She.
That day, Zhong Wan had still been unconscious. Yu She didn’t have the energy to worry about anything else. He told Tang Qin to get away and mind his own business. The old eunuch had never encountered such a person before. As such, he momentarily didn’t know how to respond.
After being ignored for several more days, Tang Qin finally couldn’t bear it anymore. He once again asked someone to bring Yu She a message.
After morning court, Yu She got held back by Emperor Chongan again to discuss business. The spy bringing news for Yu She couldn’t find him and was also in a rush. Steward Feng thought about it and decided to simply bring him into the inner courtyard. He brought him to Zhong Wan.
Zhong Wan was bewildered. “What’s wrong?”
“Heir’s subordinate. He says he has urgent news to share with Heir that can’t be delayed in the slightest.” Steward Feng told the spy, “Telling Young Master Zhong is the same as telling Heir.”
After saying this, Steward Feng retreated. The spy bowed to Zhong Wan before whispering, “The old eunuch in the palace wants to know news about Tang Ming. He says he’s willing to offer Heir a favor.”
Zhong Wan asked, “What favor?”
The spy said, “The old eunuch stated that yesterday, someone from Beijiang contacted Fifth Highness.”
Zhong Wan was stunned. “The Beidi tribes?”
“Yes, a subordinate of the Beidi chief,” the spy responded. “I don’t understand the details. I only heard that this Beidi chief is extremely useless. After inheriting the title of chief, he’s been having a very rough time. His elder brothers have taken turns bullying him. In the past few months, he’s been wandering from place to place, bringing all his subordinates with him on his repeated migrations. He’s already been pushed to the border.”
Zhong Wan nodded. “Heir mentioned this to me once. Why was he contacting Xuan Qiong?”
The spy said, “He spoke very ambiguously. I didn’t understand, so can only quote him. The chief of the Beidi tribes asked Fifth Highness if he wanted the story set in Beijiang seven years ago to be repeated.”
Zhong Wan’s gaze darkened.
Zhong Wan did his best to appear unbothered. “Did he say anything else?”
The spy shook his head. “No. I suspect that this old thing knows other things. Right now, he’s already become Imperial Consort Yu’s trusted subordinate. Fifth Highness makes several visits to Imperial Consort Yu each day. He definitely knows about… their plans. The old thing is ingratiating himself to Heir. I want to ask if we should leave him hanging or come up with a plan to subdue him and get all the details regarding this matter?”
“Leave him hanging first. Ignore him,” Zhong Wan said. “Wait until Heir returns. Ask Heir… You may leave first.”
The spy couldn’t stay any longer. Upon hearing this, he left.
Zhong Wan was in poor health. He sat down and took a few sips of ginseng tea.
Yu She was keeping Tang Ming and Tang Qin hanging by a thread. Now, Tang Qin obviously wanted to turn the tables and become the more proactive one.
How trustworthy could his words be?
“Having the story set in Beijiang seven years ago repeated.” This was naturally referring to Prince Ning.
The founding emperor of this dynasty had set an iron rule. During every battle, there needed to be an imperial prince sent to fight with the army so as to hearten the soldiers.
Zhong Wan thought of the worst possible scenario.
The chief of the Beidi tribes… Perhaps he hadn’t been pushed into the Beijiang area by his stronger and better-armed brothers at all. Perhaps he had done this on purpose.
Zhong Wan thought of the spy’s words once more. He had an inkling that trouble was brewing.
Zhong Wan hoped that he was overthinking things, but still stood up and called Steward Feng inside.
“I…” Zhong Wan laughed dryly. Even he himself felt like he was acting in a meaningless manner. But he still shamelessly said, “I’m feeling a bit unwell. I’ll have to trouble you… to go to the palace and ask Heir to come back.”
Steward Feng glanced at Zhong Wan, expression conflicted. “If there’s anything you need to say, can’t you wait until Heir returns this evening? Asking Heir to return early once again, using the same excuse… Heir isn’t an idiot. How could he believe you?”
Zhong Wan didn’t dare to waste any time. With no other option, he relayed a message to Steward Feng. “Go… go. He will definitely return after he hears this.”
Steward Feng left, speechless.
Two hours later.
In the assembly hall, the centermost position was empty. Emperor Chongan had long since returned to the rear palace. The assembly hall was split in half. Outside, the young Hanlins separated and organized literary texts. Inside, the senior cabinet members sat in the warmroom, taking care of government business. Yu She, who had been forced to stay, sat in the warmroom as well. He accepted the documents that had already been reviewed by the senior cabinet officials and looked them over one by one.
Imperial princes or trusted young princes of the first rank all learned this way when initially starting to listen in on political discussions. Now, Yu She had been sent here too. The senior cabinet officials reached an unspoken agreement and accepted this outsider, Yu She.
A little eunuch peeked his head in from outside the warmroom to look around. After waiting for half an hour, he still didn’t notice Yu She exiting. With no other choice, he could only bow and walk into the warmroom. As soon as he did so, he got swept out by the horsetail whisk of the eunuch waiting on the officials inside the room. The little eunuch clenched his teeth and scurried in again, saying, “I have important news from Prince Yu’s estate to share.”
Nobody else dared to stop him again. They allowed the little eunuch to enter.
The warmroom was silent. Only the footsteps of the young Hanlins and the sounds of pages flipping could be heard. Yu She set down the document in his hand and lowered his voice. “What now?”
The little eunuch softly stated with a conflicted expression, “Young… Young Master Zhong doesn’t feel well.”
The senior cabinet officials in the warmroom worked on their own tasks, but all of their ears were perked up. They almost wished they could scoot closer to hear more clearly.
That Young Master Zhong again!
Yu She scanned everyone else. Forcing down the inexplicable and indescribable happiness in his heart, he expressionlessly asked, “You didn’t tell him I was busy?”
The little eunuch said with a pained expression, “I did.”
“Since you did, leave.” Yu She picked up another document. “Tell him that I’ll naturally return to the estate to accompany him when I’m done with my business here.”
The little eunuch didn’t dare to leave.
Yu She did his best to keep the corners of his mouth from quirking up. “If he doesn’t feel well, tell him to find the imperial doctor. To have to see me every time he feels unwell, what kind of bad habit is that? Who spoiled him?”
The little eunuch stuttered, “We did… did send for the imperial doctor already.”
Yu She practically couldn’t hide the amusement in his eyes anymore. He tried to keep his expression cold. “He’s refusing to eat his medicine again? Wants me to feed him?”
The senior cabinet officials cringed, but their ears were still perked up.
The little eunuch’s face was twisted in a grimace. “Heir… Stop asking.”
Yu She simply wanted to hear Zhong Wan being shameless to him. How could he not ask? He picked up a cup of tea and calmly said, “If there’s nothing important, nevermind.”
“There is! There is…” With no other option, the little eunuch plopped onto his knees on the ground. While having a breakdown, he said, “Young Master Zhong said the imperial doctor found a happy pulse when examining him! He told Heir to return and check on him no matter what!”
Yu She choked on a mouthful of tea.
At the same time, half of the people in the warmroom started coughing in sync.