The scorching sun’s flaming tongue roasted the earth. The festival in the market had passed, and there were less people on the street now. Finally in the afternoon, people seemed to disappear from the streets and alleys, having the lazy, tired characteristics of summertime.
Ni Lie looked at Guang’an mansion’s plaque, his eyes turned serene before he slowly walked inside.
He went straight to the backyard study.
At the threshold of the study, there was a shallow basin half a person’s width, that was filled up with ice. The water wheel on the side pressed to move the fan, slowly sending a cool breeze to the study.
Maybe it was the sound of the water wheel that covered his footsteps, but the man who was flipping through the official documents in the study did not notice that he had come in.
Ni Lie just leaned against the door and looked at him.
It could be seen that he had just returned from outside since he had not changed into his regular clothes yet. His whole body, a white python tucked inside his sleeves, his hair tied with a purple and gold crown, and his posture was stretched out. He seemed to notice some problem, frowned, slightly pursed his lips, and raised a slender cold white hand. He leaned it against his lips, slightly rubbing his fingers, as if he was entranced by something.
Year after year in Lingnan, he was always like this, methodically handling affairs, gently appeasing everyone to solve every complicated problem. It was a weak and frail body, but nevertheless, it was what the whole prince’s mansion depended on.
However, it was this kind of person who last night had held his neck, choked with sobs, because he couldn’t make things known. Because of the strange emotions he is feeling, he lost his head out of fear because of lust. He was just as pure as flawless as white silk.
He didn’t even understand his own happiness.
Ni Lie’s heart began to hurt again, he didn’t know whether he was hurt because of his purity or he was hurting himself because he easily and recklessly damaged his innocence.
Li Yuanmin roughly wrote a few words, before tossing the document to the side. He was about to pick up another one when his peripheral view caught sight of someone standing at the doorway. He lifted up his eyes to look, and the corner of his mouth immediately floated a gentle and soft smiling expression. It resembled how the hundreds of flowers bloomed when spring arrived.
“A Lie, you’re back. Why didn’t you make any sound when coming in?”
His face was a little childish. He was three years older than himself, yet he always acted a little childish in front of himself. Since he had already tainted his purity, this reliance with no obstructions at all had even increased.
Ni Lie walked slowly to stop in front of him and pressed his head into his own bosom.
The person in front of him was a little flustered: “There are people here.”
Ni Lie said softly, “Not anymore, I sent them all away already.”
Li Yuanmin felt relieved and allowed him to be hugged. Reading for more than an hour, in the end he was a little tired. His head slightly lowered. The afternoon heat wave was gusting, but they were all blocked outside the study, and the cool breeze slowly sent by the water wheel made the whole room calm down.
Ni Lie naturally lowered his head, sniffed his lips, used the tip of his nose to softly stroke the plump pink lips, rubbed it slightly, and then kissed it, enjoying his soft mass of sweetness.
After a long time, Li Yuanmei gasped for air and gently pushed him away. The back of his head powerlessly leaned on the back of the Li Hua Mu Taishi chair. His eyes contained some water, and once again showed that expression full of tender feelings. His lips was already stained with a dark red color, moist and glossy.
He touched Ni Lie’s hard and stiff chin and looked at him tenderly.
Ni Lie couldn’t help but bow his head down and kiss him again.
“Your Highness, ” Ni Lie kissed him. His cold expression melted with yearning, pampering, indulgence. A bit of wild, fierce desire controlled him that he didn’t even know himself. He gently pecked at his lips.
The nine warbler golden bells in front of the window were brushed by the warm breeze, sending out a sharp jingling and clanking sound. A green kingfisher flew to the corner of the wall, chirping a few times, and flew away towards the distance again.
Li Yuanmin’s face was thoroughly dyed red, and the water in his eyes seemed to increase. He gently raised his pitch black like crow feathers eyes, tremblingly looking at Ni Lie, and breathed heavily: “Was real?”
This look really made Ni Lie’s heart break and shatter into pieces.
“It’s real, I’m not lying.”
He pressed this innocent darling gently, pressing him into his bosom like a treasure.
“Your Highness, I am the one who made you happy. ”
In a blink of an eye, it was already July. The weather in Lingnan was getting hotter and hotter, especially this year.
Due to the continued rumors, the streets were deserted of any people even more than the previous day. In the afternoon, there was almost no signs of anyone on the bluestone slab road except for a few stray dogs spitting saliva out of their tongues.
Since the end of spring, the barbarians movements have been changing constantly. The massacre of villages had occurred three times in a row now. Lingnan was a remote place and news lagged behind. If it were not for the officials going to present a petition to the emperor, the imperial court would also be unaware of it. The Xuntai government had no other response except to issue a curfew ban even though the county guards had not come out of the camp garrison. On the other side, from time to time there were rumors of the evil deeds of the barbarians burning, killing and looting. Everyone was anxious, as the night was not safe.
Zhou Dawu jumped off his horse, handed the reins to the little boy servant, and hurriedly stepped into the mansion gate. He didn’t have time to drink a sip of water and rushed directly towards the hall to discuss official businesses.
Li Yuanmin was already waiting there.
“How is it? ”
Zhou Dawu spitted out, “The barbarians have burned another village, and now the will of the people is unstable everywhere. And the villages with fewer people dare not stay. Whole families have relocated, leaving only the orphans, widows and the elderly, either waiting for the barbarians to come, or to starve to death…”
Remembering what he saw today, Zhou Dawu couldn’t help but express some resentment, “These d*mn barbarians! ”
Li Yuanmei frowned. Nowadays he was building water conservancy projects everywhere. The people’s livelihood was gradually rising, but unexpectedly, it became the fatty meat in the eyes of the barbarians, and they repeatedly suffered the invasion and harassment of the barbarians.
Lingnan was vast but sparsely populated, even if Ni Lie brought all the clan elders to set up a militia for self defense, in the end, the number of people was too small. Moreover, there were few young people, so they couldn’t take care of all corners of such a vast land. In the end, it was still necessary for the county guards to come forward to intimidate them.
Li Yuanmin pondered for a moment and said, “What did Yuan Xuntai say?”
“Hmm, how could the life or death of a few remote villages enter the eyes of Xuntai Daren. He’s currently busy over his money.”
Li Yuanmin rubbed his eyebrows and sighed, “I’m going to visit Xuntai mansion tonight.”
That night, Li Yuanmin paid an official visit to Xuntai mansion. When he hurried out of the mansion, his face was already a little angry.
Zhou Dawu knew in his heart that this master of his had never shown his feelings even when he’s happy or angry. If it was like this, then that meant he was really extremely angry.
Zhou Dawu guessed it right, Li Yuanmin originally wanted to persuade Yuan Chongsheng to send out the county guards. But that side refused and took off with a clean and neat escape. He simply turned the incident into a dispute between the people at the borders, and even more was not prepared to send any troops to defend.
Li Yuanmin also knew the reason why the garrison patrol needed a lot of silver. Now occupied with accumulating wealth, how could he throw away a great amount of silver money just for these insignificant villagers’ lives? Thinking of his manner of being as gentle as the wind and mild as the cloud just now, Li Yuanmei couldn’t help but clench his fists tightly.
As soon as he returned to the mansion, Li Yuanmin immediately sent someone to invite clan elder Qizu to come.
At night at Xuntai mansion.
Yuan Chongsheng closed the book in front of him, the corner of his mouth pulled up. He carelessly threw it on the table, and smiled: “You, help me draft a letter to send to the capital. Tell Niangniang everything but tell her to be at ease, not to mention 80,000 liang, even if it is 100.000 liang, it would be a cinch.
Cao Shiye replied with a sound, but his face seemed to be hesitant. He pondered for a moment, and said: “Daren, the people outside have a lot of opinions on the fact that the Xuntai government have not sent county guards to defend, you see…”
Yuan Chongsheng waved his hand and blocked his words, “They are only a few insignificant people and that’s all. If they make trouble, first arrest a few people and kill them to set an example, what is there to be afraid of?”
He changed his posture and nodded at the table: “As soon as the county guards move, how much silver money will flow out like that? And it hasn’t reached the point where it cannot be erased, it was just the work of a few small mischief thieves from Jiaozhi. There is no need to cause such a big battle for it.”
“ But…” Cao Shiye looked up. Seeing the carefree expression on Yuan Chongsheng’s face, he lowered his head again, “Subordinate understands.”
Yuan Chongsheng touched his beard, remembering the hypocritical appearance of loving the common people as his own children from King Guang’an just now and couldn’t help but sneer. Now that all the silver in this village farmsteads is in the palm of his Xuntai mansion, then all expenses of military use have to follow his side to move around. King Guang’an was not distressed, and he could gain a good reputation without spending half a cent of his effort to make a show. Of course, it is easy when it is only he who would lose a lot of shining silver.
He certainly wouldn’t do such unprofitable things.
What matters is this matter at hand, this is his first year as a Lingnan Xuntai. As long as he started well, he wouldn’t be afraid of Guifei Niangniang not giving him any good errands later.
He took up the tea cup, blew the floating foam on it, took a sip of fragrant tea, took a long breath of the impure air, looked at the boundless moonlight outside, and felt comfortable and happy.