Ni Lie was originally temporarily settled in Yeyou Court, but he was sent to the Western Palace early this morning. Together with him, there were more than 20 Imperial Guards guarding the Western Palace, layer upon layer.
Everyone was well aware that Emperor Mingde acted like this to appease the people’s hearts. However, since Ni Lie was an outsider in addition to being a sinned official’s descendant, to avoid giving birth to any troubles, before King Guangan brought him along to leave for Lingnan vassal state, he had to be more guarded.
Outside was crowded with people, but inside Western Palace, it was deserted. Having met with Li Yuanmin’s incident, Qiu Chan and Dong Yue were also dragged to receive 10 strikes each. Now they were resting at the Western Palace’s backyard to recuperate. And the food was all brought in by the inner servants from the Palace Kitchen.
Originally, when he didn’t sustain any injuries, Li Yuanmin wasn’t a prince who couldn’t be apart from being served by others. But, the injuries on his buttocks had not healed yet, thus, these days had been quite difficult for him.
There were no servants serving inside the palace. Except for Li Yuanmin who was lying on the bed, there was only Ni Lie who came and went freely. He had long circled around this prince’s home, and discovered that it was not as magnificent as the palace beside it. It was broken down, the weeds inside the courtyard were no longer than a person’s knee and were soaked by the snow nearby, it was quite abundant. The paint on the beams was peeled off, and the brown color inside was mottled and exposed, looking rather desolated.
Even if Ni Lie didn’t enter Yeyou Court since he was young, he could still see that this was not the treatment of a favored prince.
Thinking of the situation on the Autumn Selection day, Ni Lie couldn’t help looking at the pale and thin person resting with his eyes closed on the bed.
Ever since he arrived at the Western Palace, that person had always been asleep, appearing to be quite tired. The time when he was awake wasn’t long, but it seems that his mood was rather relaxed. He spoke very little, occasionally looking at himself, and occasionally smiling.
Ni Lie had never learned the rules of the palace. Although he was given the title of “study companion”, he was actually just a wild, difficult to tame and unruly person.
Li Yuanmin originally wanted him to tidy up the side chamber himself and temporarily retire for the night at the side room. However, Ni Lie acted on his own initiative and went to the side chamber to move a long couch to the front of Li Yuanmin’s bed. He even found a cotton-padded mattress from who knows where to improvise.
Li Yuanmin sighed. His heart knew that this child wouldn’t be able to adapt to the rules in a short time, thus he could only comply with him.
Deep in the night, Li Yuanmin was awakened by the urge to pee. He supported his upper body with difficulty. Wanting to move as usual, he struggled over to the Jingfang* to relieve himself. Getting up too hurriedly, he fell over due to the pain.
(Jingfang: a toilet)
The curtain was lifted with a brush
It was Ni Lie.
He didn’t speak. Li Yuanmin glanced at him, and after a long while, he waved at him and motioned for him to support himself.
“…I want to pee.”
Ni Lie didn’t reach out his hand, he just turned his head to look around, then he took out a chamber pot he used to Li Yuanmin. Li Yuanmin was dumbfounded for a while, his face flushed, and continued to reach out his hand to him.
“Help me go to the Jingfang.”
Ni Lie frowned, he didn’t know why he left the chamber pot without using it and insisted on struggling to go to the Jingfang. But he didn’t say anything. He followed his instruction and helped him up. Seeing his pale complexion, with both legs trembling, he leaned over, avoided his injury, and easily princess carried him.
Although Li Yuanmin’s body was small, he was at least three years older. At this time, Ni Lie was only a ten-year-old youngster, but he was able to pick him up easily. This made him suddenly remember that his strength surpassed others. He had the ability to pull up mountains and raise cauldrons, a rare, difficult to come by heroic commander.
But right now he was just a quiet criminal son that had just been rescued.
Li Yuanmin’s heart had various feelings that were difficult to understand. He grabbed Ni Lie’s neck, and coughed lightly.
“You don’t have to do this.”
“This is more comfortable”
Haven’t spoken to people for a long time, the youngster’s voice was hoarse and awkward.
Ni Lie carried him to the Jingfang and settled him down. He was about to help him untie his underpants, when Li Yuanmin quickly blocked him, the tips of his ears were slightly red.
“You can just wait outside for me.”
Seeing Ni Lie still not leaving, he raised his eyes lightly, blushing, and said: “Go now.”
Ni Lie’s black eyes glanced at him. He put the curtain down, and retreated outside. After a long time, the pattering sound came out from inside.
Ni Lie didn’t know why he had to squat down to pee. He was puzzled for a while, thinking it was the rules of the nobles in the palace.
When there was a soft “I’m done now” sound coming from inside, Ni Lie opened the curtain and went in. The other party’s face seemed redder than before, and there was some sweat that didn’t know whether it was from being tired or being in pain.
“You don’t have to…”
Nie Li originally wanted to say that when his serious injuries made him incontinence at that time, he had helped him clean up those filthy things. What he did was nothing compared to him. But Ni Lie was originally quiet, and seeing the red tip of the other party’s ears, he stopped.
After a while, Li Yuanmin tapped on his shoulders, “Carry me back.”
Ni Lie carried him by his waist, and after walking a few steps, he suddenly heard a slight voice coming from Li Yuanmin,
Ni Lie looked down at him and saw that his eyes were moving. Under the moonlight, he was trembling and somewhat, a bit fragile. He pursed his bloodless lips and said softly, “I am an intersex person.”
Ni Lie was slightly sluggish. He suddenly remembered his flushed face just now and the pattering dripping noise. An inexplicable emotion filled his heart, not uncomfortable, but it was swelling, sour, and a bit at a loss.
But he only froze for a brief moment. Ni Lie tightened both arms and gave a soft en, before taking large strides towards the sleeping chambers.
In the ordinary course of events, when Li Yuanmin was bestowed the title of King Guangan, all palaces had to prepare generous gifts, and personally come to the Western Palace to pay respect, congratulate and see him off.
But the Imperial Palaces all took the same action without prior consultation and remained silent.
The Western Palace was still the same as in the past, desolated and quiet.
Li Yuanmin naturally wished to be in this situation. In these past few quiet days, his injury gradually improved. After another two days, he would be able to get up from bed. It was just a bit difficult to walk. From the sleep chambers to the palace gate, it took him an incense time. But his mood was getting brighter day by day. The day to escape the capital was just around the corner, and there were no people disturbing him with ulterior motives. He was relaxed and satisfied. There were not many relaxing days in his two lifetimes. Thus, these quiet few days were already enough to make him be grateful to heaven.
But what he didn’t expect was that Empress Sima had come.
However, the purpose of the other party’s trip was obviously not him. She just majestically came in, asked him a few words, then hurriedly turned to the back of the palace, where the palace maids of the Western Palace stayed.
When Empress Sima came back from the back of the palace, the rich and heavy gifts from the head maid beside her disappeared.
Li Yuanmin stood at the palace gate respectfully and watched as Empress Sima left. When a group of palace people disappeared into the distance with the luxurious litter on their shoulders, he turned his head and looked thoughtfully at the direction of the back of the palace.
After dinner, Li Yuanmin called Qiu Chan and Dong Yue in front of him.
The injuries of the two people have recovered. Only lying still for a few days, their poor complexions diminished a lot.
Dongyue still had the same dull look. But, Qiu Chan had a precious bird-shaped jade hairpin never seen before inserted in her hair bun. Her face changed from the past feeling of worries and complaints. And wore a somewhat happy thought, standing there looking tender and soft, very beautiful. Li Yuanmin looked at her, and he had a good idea what happened.
He pressed his fist to his lips and coughed lightly.
“This time, I’ve really made you both suffer.”
The two had different thoughts, but they both had terrified expressions.
Li Yuanmin smiled faintly, “Presumably you also know of the news that His Majesty had made me King Guangan and appointed me the Lingnan vessel state. Now I am already in good shape, and am prepared to comply with the Imperial edict to set out on the day after tomorrow. Thus, tonight I called you guys here to listen to your thoughts.”
He looked at Dong Yue first, “For you, there’s naturally nothing to say. You will go back to where you came from, right?”
Dong Yue’s dull appearance finally had a slight movement. She naturally understood what Li Yuanmin meant. Since the other party knew that she was a spy inserted inside the palace by Marquis Zhenbei, if he was willing to pick up the high branch of Marquis Zhenbei, he would naturally bring her along. But at this moment, he obviously meant something different.
After thinking twice, she bowed her head, “This slave will follow your order.”
After speaking, without waiting for Li Yuanmin to ask her to withdraw, she withdrew outside by herself. It was time to think of a way to report back.
Listening to the conversation between the two, Qiu Chan’s heart had a spell of apprehensiveness. There were some things she didn’t understand, therefore, she didn’t know the meaning of the conversation between the two people. But, she didn’t care about that, all she cared about was another matter.
Since she tried several times and realized that Imperial Physician He had no intention of being with her, she was depressed all day long. She even suffered the stick from this unlucky person a few days ago, but fate finally showed some concern for her. Thinking of what Empress Sima said to her yesterday, there were waves of joy in her heart.
Li Yuanmin interrupted her reverie:
“Qiu Chan, are you willing to follow me to Lingnan?”
Qiu Chan raised her head suddenly, there was entanglement in her eyes. Her face drooped, then she finally made up her mind and knelt down with a thud.
“Your Highness, please forgive me!”
Li Yuanmin nodded, seeming to have foreseen her answer. He said lightly: “Lingnan is too far away, I understand if you don’t want to go. I only have one last thing to ask you, have you made your decision?”
Qiu Chan felt that there was something else in his words, but she didn’t think about it in detail. She just gritted her teeth and said: “This slave has made up her mind, and I hope to stay inside the palace to serve Her Majesty.”
She paused, fearing that Li Yuanmin might use this to raise difficult questions, she rushed to say: “It’s the Empress’s idea.”
Li Yuanmin smiled lightly, retracted his hand, and shook his hem.
“I understand, you can go now.”
Qiu Chan didn’t dare to delay. She bowed her head and hurriedly left, as if she was afraid that someone would cut her off.
Li Yuanmin took a deep breath.
So, it was like this.
Qiu Chan looked graceful and beautiful, presumably it was from the day when she was dragged to receive the strikes at the Imperial School that she entered Empress Sima’s eyes. Qiu Chan, in the end, was still the same Qiu Chan from his previous life. She hadn’t changed at all.
He had planned to leave the capital with Qiu Chan, after all, he could not leave her to scheme against He Yunyi. But now, she had chosen what she wanted to choose, and will become the female entertainer inside the Empress palace. Then, this lifetime, she had already lost the opportunity to be with He Yunyi.
He’ll let her be.
Leaning on the back of the chair and looking at the deserted courtyard, Li Yuanmin sighed again.
Zhihe, he hadn’t come here for a long time now.
He wanted to meet his only best friend from his previous life before he set off. The road was far, and he didn’t know the date of his return. He didn’t know when and where they could meet each other again.
His heart couldn’t avoid being a bit low-spirited.
Before he could think of a way to avoid the eyes and ears’ of others to send a jade pendant to the pharmacy, He Yunyi had already come.