Chapter 30 Qi Yue Wu Yi Part 2
“Why does my brother look at me like that?” In response to Yan Changqing’s cold gaze, Murong Xiu tilted his head. The shadow on his face disappeared the moment Yan Changqing opened his eyes. He smiled slightly, revealing his white teeth. His eyes curved into a smile, revealing the youthful face that glimmered like sunlight..
“I haven’t seen you for a long time and brother has lost weight.”
Yan Changqing withdrew his hand blankly.
With those words, Murong Xiu’s eyebrows trembled faintly. He said a little unpleasantly, “I have already said that when there is only you and me, there will be no monarchs and ministers, only brothers.”
These few words faintly concealed a bit of the emperor’s might.
Yan Changqing stared at Murong Xiu quietly. The emperor in front of him was already twenty years old, his face had almost grown out of his childhood childishness and timidity, and he unreservedly inherited the unique facial bones of the Murong royal family and a pair of auspicious phoenix eyes that resembled his mother, Concubine Xian. This diluted a bit of Murong Xiu’s roughness and kingliness, and merged it into a face with a bit of beauty and melancholy. Although his figure was still a little thin, he already had the solid and tall bones that belonged to a man.
However, it seemed that because of constant worry, the corners of Murong Xiu’s eyes and eyebrows prematurely brought a bit of deepness that did not belong to his age.
Yan Changqing couldn’t remember how long he hadn’t looked at Murong Xiu in this way. It seems that since the day Murong Xiu obtained the throne at the age of fourteen, he had never looked at his “little brother” with a level eye.
The day Murong Xiu came to the throne, it had snowed heavily. The boy who had just experienced the loss of his parents, with a heavy and lavish crown pressing down on his weak neck that seemed that it could crush it at any moment, step by step, walked alone to the tall eighty-one step white jade Jiulong Terrace. With the howling frigid wind and snow flying across the sky, he accepted the worship of hundreds of officials. Everyone was blinded by the wind and snow, and their eyelashes were covered with ice. No one could see that their supreme new emperor, the thin boy who was only fourteen years old, bore tears that Yan Changqing personally wiped away from the corner of his eyes.
After the death of the first emperor, he left a decree to have his most favored concubine, Imperial Concubine Xian, to be buried with him with a three chi silk. The white paper money in the sky and the heavy snowfall became the most vivid memories of the winter when Murong Xiu was sixteen years old. Just before he became king, Murong Xiu seemed to be still in a ridiculous and tragic dream that he could never awake from. The weak and helpless young man was simply a pale paper man tied up in a crimson robe with a golden embroidered dragon. Yan Changqing held his cold hand tightly, trying hard to pass his own heat to him.
Don’t be afraid, brother is here. Brother will protect you.
But Murong Xiu gripped Yan Changqing’s hand back: “Brother, I will protect you too.”
Yan Changqing smiled. In fact, this younger brother, who was only half a year younger than himself, has grown to be no shorter than him in the past two years, but he still patted Murong Xiu on the shoulder just like an elder brother. He knew that after the door opened, he would never have such a chance again.
“Are you ready?”
Murong Xiu exhaled, and a smile barely pulled out from the corner of his mouth. “Ready.”
When the door was opened, the cold winter wind mixed with large snowflakes blew in. The mountain whispered and the tsunami rushed in, and under the high white jade Jiulong stage, countless princes, ministers, generals, and guards kneeled neatly. From the high platform, each of them were nothing more than a black spot, but it is these people who have gathered together to become the core and most powerful force in Yan Kingdom.
This force can surrender to the majestic emperor, and can also overthrow a weak monarch at any time.
Yan Changqing looked back anxiously, only to see Murong Xiu straining his spine, standing extremely upright, not showing a trace of cowardice in front of the hundreds of officials. Snow flopped on his face, and for a moment he couldn’t tell whether his face or the snow was paler.
It wasn’t until the hundreds of officials worshiped and knelt down and chanted long live His Majesty that Yan Changqing noticed that a faint touch of blood finally appeared on Murong Xiu’s face.
Yan Changqing walked down the Jiulong Platform. Like the other courtiers, wearing a big cloak, he kneeled in the snow. He slowly raised his head after three kowtows and nine bows, and he met Murong Xiu’s gaze impartially.
The young emperor who was aloft, when he accepted the supreme power of thousands of people, the first person he looked at was Yan Changqing.
Murong Xiu lowered his eyes, and his thin lips moved slightly. Although they were far away, Yan Changqing immediately understood, and there was an imperceptible smile at the corner of his mouth.
Qi Yue Wu Yi, together as intimate friends.
You and I are king and minister and also brothers.
Under the tall vermilion palace wall, two young boys, under the moon, worshiped the crabapple trees outside the palace of Concubine Xian, and made a solemn oath.
But now, can they still go back to that moment? Can they still be brothers?
When did the little brother who chased him every day and called him “Big Brother Changqing” disappear?
Seeing Yan Changqing’s delay in answering and only using a pair of black jewel-like eyes to quietly look at himself with an unprecedented look, as if looking at a stranger he had never seen before, Murong Xiu had a flash of panic in his heart. He said: “Why isn’t my brother speaking? Didn’t you sleep well last night?”
Yan Changqing recovered from his memories.
After a while, he finally spoke.
“You, can you dream?”
Seeing that Yan Changqing used “you” instead of “the emperor”, his tone seemed to be caring for himself, and Murong’s eyebrows relaxed.
So Changqing isn’t angry with him? He still cares about himself, right?
Murong Xiu’s tone had a little bit of joy. “My brother has been away for a few months, Zhen-I was worried, I dreamt of my brother every night.”
Yan Changqing looked at him with a complicated expression: “Don’t you ever dream of others?”
Murong Xiu was taken aback, as if thinking of some warm past, he said softly: “I have also dreamt of my mother several times. We would circle around my mother to ask for toys like when we were young, and mother would always be partial to you. It made me so angry that I cried, but in the end, brother always gave me all the treasures just like he did in the past.”
There seemed to be a slight falter in Yan Changqing’s black eyes, but just for a moment, then it was replaced by even more piercing emotions.
In his chest, there was a ball of flame, which was burning quietly the entire time, and every inch of the fiery tongue burnt his heart. It was the helplessness that he had never had before, the guilt deep in his bones, the incomprehension, and the resentment.
“I’m different from the emperor. Whenever I dream, I always dream of many, many people.”
As if realizing the meaning of Yan Changqing’s words, Murong Xiu raised an eyebrow with a curious look. ” Who did brother dream about?”
Murong Xiu was curious and innocent at this moment, just like his youth when he was twelve or thirteen years old.
Yan Changqing looked at his expression, but only felt terrified.
“I dreamed that a seven or eight-year-old child was crying loudly and wanted to wake up his dead mother. I dreamed that a villager covered in blood would still protect his wife and children at the last moment of his life. I dreamed of a grieving old woman covering her son’s grave with yellow soil. I also dreamed that my most loyal and brave soldier in Great Yan, eyes wide open as he fell under his own people’s sword, unable to close his eyes peacefully.”
Yan Changqing looked at Murong Xiu’s face, his eyes were strange and cold. “Your Majesty, you never dreamed of them, never heard them crying in your ears in the middle of the night?”
Murong Xiu shuddered and his face fell: “Brother, you blame me, don’t you?”
Yan Changqing murmured.
Does he blame Murong Xiu?
In fact, Yan Changqing had been thinking about this issue amidst the chaos brought about by injuries in the past few days.
As a courtier, he could not blame the emperor, he could only grieve.
As an older brother, he can’t bear to complain about his younger brother who grew up with him.
“I’m sorry.” Murong Xiu lowered his eyes. “The Chancellor wouldn’t overlook this and I can only think of such a way to protect you.”
“So this is how the blood turned into a flowing river, by killing the common folk?” Yan Changqing’s voice was a little angry and puzzled. “This kind of protection is an insult to me.”
It’s not that he didn’t know that he would face punishment with the ship robbery, but the person who does the job should bear the burden. If he had known that he would end up in such a situation, Yan Changqing would definitely draw his sword and kill himself, in exchange for all the people in Qixia Village.
Also, that person. He didn’t know if he was alive or not…
Yan Changqing didn’t dare to think about it anymore.
Murong Xiu gently stroked the icy shackles between Yan Changqing’s wrists, and a faint smile appeared at the corner of his mouth.
His Brother Changqing is still so naive.
He raised his head and asked, “Does Brother still remember that time father had tested us on a question about substituting water for soldiers?”
Yan Changqing frowned, wondering why Murong Xiu suddenly came up with such a topic.
Of course he remembered. About seven or eight years ago, he was Murong Xiu’s study companion. One day, the previous emperor Murong Tao suddenly had some interest and took the historical book story as the base and tested them with a question.
There is a small and weak country that encountered an invasion by a powerful enemy, and a large area of territory was about to be occupied. Just when this country was about to die, someone gave the monarch of this country a clever trick.
It turns out that there was a big river in this country during the flood season, and the river would surge like thousands of golden dragons. At this time, the enemy was trying to force a crossing of this big river. The minister’s clever plan was to forcibly open the river channel and let the turbulent river burst the embankment to replace thousands of horses and troops, which will surely defeat the enemy’s offensive circle.
“Then what do you guys think? Should the monarch of this country adopt this suggestion?” Murong Tao said.
Yan Changqing lowered his head for a moment and shook his head solemnly.
Murong Tao touched the top of his head. “Why don’t you agree?”
Yan Changqing was only twelve or thirteen years old, but he was not afraid or soft. His immature face was full of seriousness:
“If the river is opened, thousands of innocent people in the lower reaches of the river will be buried in it’s belly. Even if they escape by chance, fertile fields would be flooded, their homes would be destroyed, the people would be displaced, and the people would be hungry everywhere. Even if the enemy is defeated, this kind of h*ll on earth is not comparable to the enemy. The tragedy after the army has occupied the country would be even more terrifying.”
Yan Changqing saw Murong Tao’s face cold and did not answer. The still immature boy felt a little bit nervous in his heart, but he bit his lip and decided to stick to his opinion. He continued:
“If the country will fall, the responsibility lies with the king, the general, and not the people. The people should never be reduced to a physical shield against foreign enemies. As a courtier, we should unite all soldiers and fight for the country to the last drop of blood, so there is still a ray of life!”
The air suddenly fell silent. The sun shone into the hall, and fine dust flew around the sun. Murong Xiu looked at his silent father, who looked a little gloomy, and pulled Yan Changqing’s sleeves with some worry.
Yan Changqing held his hand, raised his head stubbornly, waiting for punishment, but he was greeted with a burst of laughter.
“Good! Good! Good!” Murong Tao smiled and clapped his hands, looking at Yan Changqing from head to toe for a long time, his eyes full of relief and approval.
“What a good ‘fight to the last drop of blood!’ When I look at the future of the Great Yan Kingdom, it seems like we will have another rare general!!”
Hearing these words, Murong Xiu felt his heart feel relieved. Thus, when Murong Tao asked him what he thought again, he didn’t even think and opened his mouth to answer:
“I agree with Brother Changqing.”
This was not because Murong Xiu saw that Yan Changqing was praised and wanted to follow him, but when he heard this question, he had the same answer as Yan Changqing.
The reason was the same. Although he was only twelve years old, he had also read many history books, and he often sympathized with the tragic situation of the refugees recorded in the books. When he read the pages full of pain, the little boy would occasionally tear up with sympathy.
However, Murong Tao heard his son’s answer and his face suddenly sank.
“You, withdraw first.” Murong Tao said to Yan Changqing.
Yan Changqing didn’t understand the sudden change and he could only obey his orders. While retiring, he looked back at Murong Xiu, who was also puzzled and scratching the back of his head.
He was at the age of playfulness, so Murong Xiu even secretly made a face at him, so that he would not worry.
However, at the moment when Yan Changqing gently closed the hall door, he suddenly heard a very loud and crisp slap in the hall.