At night, the campfire gradually arose, and the red flames swayed, lapping underneath the firewood, and burning with a cracking noise.
Inside the tent, a man stood in front of the bookcase.
Cao Gang lifted his pen, but it was stuck there, half-shaking. Ink dripped from the tip of the brush and the yellowed paper on the case was immediately dyed with a thick circle of deep black.
His eyes moved, then he sighed and put down the brush. He looked at the fine writing paper, and immediately picked it up, kneaded it into a ball, and threw it aside. Anxiously, he clenched his hands into fists and slammed it heavily on the table. The things on the table jumped up in unison created a few thuds, and then fell silent.
After coming out of King Guang’an’s tent, he directly felt suffocated all the way until now, This suffocation was because he had underestimated the enemy. The depression of unpaid melancholy, and the great resentment that had been unavenged….His mood interweaved, layer upon layer, unable to let him sleep all night, so he distracted himself by writing something through the dim lamp candles.
But now, he can’t even write for half a minute.
He sighed, staggered back a few steps, and sat down in his chair.
Today’s situation was completely different from his previous life. The hidden dragon he assisted had changed.
His memory suddenly returned to his previous life.
He had seen him before he surrendered to the Red Tiger King.
At that time, he was still flushed with success as the top scorer in the palace examination from Jiangnan and received great recognition from His Majesty to be able to enter the Imperial Hanlin Academy. He was outstanding without restraint and heavy with ambition.
On that day, several colleagues talked about some things in each other’s ears. He was not the kind of person who liked to inquire, but his colleagues crowded over and said something to him.
Last night, an unclean palace prostitute of the Jiaofang division died.
Originally, this was not a big deal. In the capital, there were plenty of dirty things on the surface or in the dark. An insignificant’s palace prostitute’s death was not shocking. But this palace prostitute was different, she was the daughter of the rebel general Ni Yan, moreover her death was extremely disgraceful.
“I heard that this palace prostitute tried to get out of her predicament, angering a group of influential sons of officials; thus she was put in the elegant room and those young men took turns to…..do evil deeds to her! Twelve of them！”
Cao Gang was only shocked to hear it at that time, but did not say anything more.
However, when he went to the court that day, the court was shaken. Several military generals were dragged out to fight on the spot. He heard that they were all impeached. He knew that the group that committed the crime yesterday were all noble sons, and even the grandson of the first son of the Right minister, the Minister of Revenue’s son and a few other important ministers’ descendants were all involved.
That Ni Yan had great military achievements and had been put in high prestige by the generals. Although Ni Yan had been accused of collaborating with the enemy and betraying the country for many years, this case was still a controversy. Although many military generals were hindered by His Majesty’s lack of explicit statement, they were more or less indignant behind their backs. The daughter of a military commander who opened up new territories died tragically at the hands of the children of the aristocratic families. They naturally felt grief and indignation that was hard to endure, so they went all out and remonstrated.
Even so, this was a great matter. After reprimanding and banishing several military generals, this major matter was solved by turning a big problem into a small one and then to no problem at all.
What they heard from the outside was that the palace prostitute attacked the guests, and was injured to death by accident. The imperial court issued a ban to never mention this matter again from now on, otherwise, one would be punished severely.
How could the great imperial court as big as this be left alone without a few great secrets Cao Gang thought? After some time the people will gradually forget this matter, just like every public opinion in the past.
After descending the court, Cao Gang passed the long street as usual, but found that the road ahead had been surrounded by layers of people. Everyone whispered into one another’s ear without head or tail. It was the direction to the Jiaofang division.
Suddenly, the crowd rushed outside to give way just like avoiding the plague. Therefore, Cao Gang saw the lord that he would assist in the future.
However, the lord of this time was merely a sixteen, seventeen-year-old disfigured teenager. He carried a thin small person covered with a robe on his back, walking step by step out of the Jiaofang Division. A malevolent face with a blade scar with no expression at all. In order to prevent the sister on his back from slipping, he walked extremely slowly, his footsteps heavy.
A fierce wind blew through, rolling up the sand on the ground, blowing off the robe that covered the girl’s back, revealing the dead pale face and the blood-soaked but dried-up dress.
The place where the robe landed was instantly vacant again, and the crowd hid far away; there was a lot of discussion.
The young man paused for a moment and walked towards the robe, his limbs stiffening. He leaned down with great difficulty to pick up the robe and covered his sister with his backhand, but the cover slid down once again to the ground. He looked at the gray-stained robe with trepidation, like a trapped beast.
Cao Gang didn’t know why but his head was hot. He hurriedly stepped forward and helped him pick up the robe on the ground. When he realized his move, he was still a little frightened, but the robe was already in his hand, he could only grit his teeth secretly, covering the girl on Ni Lie’s back for him.
The disfigured teenager turned back, looked at him indifferently, quickly turned his head and walked away into the distance.
Later, he learned that at that time, Ni Lie had joined the Governor of Jiangjing. He went all out for countless military achievements, but he still could not achieve enough to exchange for his sister and get rid of his despicable status.
After that, the group of criminals were well-behaved for a while, because there was a rumor that the fierce beast would secretly retaliate. Thus, everyone was terrified. For the sake of ending this trouble, many assassins from the capital entered Jiangbei to assassinate him, but they never succeeded.
Later, many years passed and Ni Lie unified the Governor’s mansion, replacing the Governor Xue Zaixing in taking over the forces of the Two Rivers and Three Provinces. He did not have any means of retaliation.
Everyone thought this matter had already carelessly been passed over, up until the fall of the capital. The capital fell into that man’s hand. The lowly slave inside the palace had climbed to the supreme position, and his revenge had just begun.
After the sacrifice, the former courtiers who had surrendered were invited to the Temple of Heaven by the smiling new emperor.
On the high platform, there was a huge iron cage with all kinds of ferocious beasts, accompanied by a very painful scream. Some people recognized that it was the initiator of the incident involving the abuse and murder of that palace prostitute back then – the former right prime minister’s first son’s grandson Zhang Shi.
The crowd was in an uproar, covered in cold sweat, and the right prime minister had already fought two battles, fainting on the spot.
From that day on, the new emperor would take all his courtiers to the Temple of Heaven to watch a bloody battle between a man and a beast. But unlike the lowly slave in the palace at that time, the noble sons of this time were all weak thus none had the powdr to escape the fate of being torn apart
There were many people who committed suicide in fear of facing the punishment, but the corpses were dug up by the new emperor’s men, and were thrown into the iron cage for the beasts to rip apart them to devour. The bloody performance lasted for more than half a month, until the blood in the Temple of Heaven soaked the green bricks on the ground, then did it stop.
In those years, whenever the man on the supreme throne was mentioned, everyone showed a look of horror.
Cao Gang, on the other hand, did not.
Maybe it was because they went through the same tragedy of having their family destroyed. When he looked at the blood at the Temple of Heaven, he had a feeling that was similar to a perverse person seeking revenge, which reminded him of the captive fourth prince Li Yuanxu at that time. The Red Tiger King did not kill him on the spot, but sent him to Cao Gang’s camp.
He was no more merciful than the Red Tiger King.
Therefore, as a close courtier, he did not have the least bit of reason to advise against the new emperor’s ruthless behavior.
Because he deeply understood the hatred that had fermented in the heart.
Cao Gang held his seat in frustration and laughed miserably. In this life, the Red Tiger King was redeemed, only he was still trapped in the quagmire, thus there was no power to take revenge.
The Red Tiger King was no longer the Red Tiger King of his previous life. The anger in his heart was not enough to summon up his vigorous ambition to annex the world.
He lost his greatest backer.
Cao Gang laughed again, and in the middle of this autumn night, he looked particularly miserable.
The bright sun hung in the sky. Lingnan was situated in the south after all, so even in the late autumn, it was still full of green color, making the lonely autumn invisible.
Li Yuanmin stood on the grass with his hands behind his back, watching the bright girl in front of him pulling the reins and running wildly under the blue sky and green miles. She was lively, beautiful, full of life, no longer the girl who died tragically in his previous life.
A faint smile appeared on the corner of his mouth, he was almost in tears.
At night, the night wind was somewhat cool, but the place under the bush was steaming with heat.
It took a long time for the movements to stop.
Li Yuanmin held his chest and gasped weakly. The two did not rush to move, but stayed still in place like this.
A nightingale chirped, it was a little lonely in this quiet suburb.
Ni Lie feared that he would catch a cold, so he planned to get up and dress him, but as soon as he moved, the person under him put his arms around his neck and wouldn’t let him get up.
“Your Highness? ”
Li Yuanmin quietly looked at him for a long time before he suddenly said, “Our relationship… I want to tell A Ying. ”
The man above him let out a sluggish breath, he asked in a hoarse voice: “Really? ”
Li Yuanmin touched his face for a long time.
“A Ying is our dearest person… She should know. ”
Even if their love could not be tolerated, at least they want their loved ones to understand.
There was a fierce emotion in Ni Lie’s eyes. It had been a half a day before he restrained it back and gently hugged Li Yuanmin.