The sound of the midnight watchman clapper sounded. It was already deep into the night on the long empty street.
The candlelight filled the cotton curtain, leaving an ambiguous warm colour. A moth from nowhere danced on the candle fire, was suddenly swept into the tongue of fire, and instantly made a rippling sound. The light and shadow in the room shook for a while, and then quietly returned to silence.
Ni Lie stood up naked, he was expressionless while putting on his clothes. When he was about to put on his shoes and stride out, the person behind him softly stopped him.
Ni Lie wanted to ignore it, but perhaps because that “Ah Lie” sounded too fragile, he couldn’t help but frown and look back.
The man was sweat-stained and naked, mottled marks could be seen everywhere; the flush on his face had quickly receded and the extraordinarily beautiful face looked extremely pale under the lamp. Ni Lie couldn’t help frowning–it was not like this in the past, every time he withdrew from his body, his beauty would reach its peak. He turned flushed, lined with snow white, watery wet eyes, looking both resentful and gentle at him, so beautiful that it made him unable to avoid looking at him. But now he was just like a lotus plant beaten to pieces by the sudden rain, the petals taunted, and heavily rigid now.
Ni Lie was almost inconspicuously suffocated.
But seeing that the person in front of him panting softly, struggling to prop up his upper body, the black hair slipping down his shoulders, he was like a willow holding the wind when he raised his dark eyes that were rippling with water while looking at him longingly.
Ni Lie’s Adam’s apple moved. He thought, just stay here tonight, if he cries again, then he can softly say a few words to him, it’s nothing difficult. In bed, he should still give a little face to him. He only had to lose face a few times, it’s not even a problem, in the end, it depended on him.
He paced slowly, the fragrance on the bed lingered on the tip of his nose which was the result of his 2 hours of hard work. He thought, tonight he would be able to sleep peacefully again, he would sleep against his skin and flesh, he would not allow him to hide, he was not allowed to wear clothes, so he would be hot against him, and maybe he would let him wrap his arms around his neck. Two people in a futon and that delicate fragrant, snowy tender flesh were all his.
But the person in front of him weakly tore his illusions.
“Eight years… Don’t you remember? ”
As soon as the words came out, he seemed to suddenly have a little hope rise. With red eyes, he cautiously asked: “Don’t you remember at all?”
Ni Lie footsteps suddenly stopped, and his face turned blue.
He asked about “him”. The eighteen-year-old “him” that he could never compare to in his heart.
It was as if he had been ruthlessly punched in the face until he saw the stars. It made him become furious and embarrassed, making him want to step forward and break his neck—no one had ever given him such humiliation.
His teeth were twitching, the cold-blooded and cruel words were already on his lips.
He thought that he was going to destroy him, with the most vicious words, with the most desperate actions.
However, the person in front of him did not realize his crisis and only opened his lips slightly, looking at him like a young animal. There was a faint ray of light on his dead face, but only a little, as if everything was only tied to his answer.
Ni Lie’s eyes were terrifying, his eyes occasionally become as cold as ice, occasionally as hot as burning fire.
The malice in that mouth spun around a few times and was finally swallowed and he stomped off in a huff.
Cao Gang had recently gradually noticed a deliberate change.
He had become more sophisticated and ruthless, gradually breaking away from the style of the past that still had some leeway, as if trying to get rid of the shadow of the original eighteen-year-old young man.
After Xue Zaixing’s death, Li Yuanqian took the opportunity to weaken the authority of the Governor’s office. Lingnan, Dianxi, Liang Guang’s armies no longer served under the jurisdiction of the Governor’s Office. The power of the Governor’s Office was dispersed among the three armies, no longer dominated by one side, completely ridding the royal family’s unrestrained fear. However, Li Yuanqian’s actions just fit Ni Lie’s appetite. Since New Year’s Eve, he has recklessly reorganized military affairs and changed the military system. The advancement was not based on background, but all depended on military merit. Therefore, half of Lingnan’s deputy general and higher positions were all occupied by the Han people.
Cao Gang saw great ambition in the increasingly familiar eyes of their commander.
In the previous life, the reason why the million-strong army of the Red Tiger King was able to calm the world from the rebellion of the eight vassel state kings was by relying on this combat power developed in the middle of the great Han clan.
Bei’an valued scholars and belittled the military. Zhenbei Marquis Sima Ji, who was in charge of half of the troops in Bei’an, also relied on the Marquis title inherited from his ancestors, rather than military merit to gain his position.
Serving as an official was naturally the best choice for the people of Bei’an, but compared to the commoners, the children of the aristocratic family had more than a little advantage on the journey of becoming officials. On this road, the children of the Han people absolutely could not stand out, that is, the relatively fair preliminary round of imperial examinations already had extremely strict restrictions on the candidates’ identity. The children of the Han clan, within the layers upon layers of screening, the number of people participating in the exam each year was less than 10% of the total number of that year, so even if commoners want to come out, most of them could only rely on the road of joining the military; but in any case, there were always more opportunities for the children of the aristocrat family in the army than for the young people from the Han clan.
In the previous life, this situation was alleviated after the enthronement of the Red Tiger King, who laid dormant for several years to stabilize everything. When the foundation was solid, he vigorously abolished the advantageous advancement due to one’s family situation. The Han people ushered in the dawn of the new era. This reform injected vitality into the new dynasty making talents come out in large numbers. The people’s livelihood gradually prospered, and the new dynasty restored the heyday of the previous dynasty in just ten years so much so that no one in the world remembered the previous dynasty anymore.
It can be said that the Red Tiger King is the tyrant amongst the Ming dynasty’s monarchs. Although he committed monstrous killings, he created merits of establishing a peaceful and prosperous world, and his accomplishment was his and Cao Gang’s.
Therefore, no matter what, Cao Gang would definitely obey his wishes, whether in his previous life or in this life.
The hot blood in Cao Gang’s heart burned once again.
In the brightly lit tent, after Ni Lie explained everything, everyone withdrew in unison.
Cao Gang was about to retreat, but was stopped by Ni Lie: “Is there any movement in the capital?”
Cao Gang shook his head and whispered, “Don’t worry, old General Li is on the lookout over there.”
Ni Lie nodded his head, then his eyes narrowed slightly: “Repeating my life for no reason, if there is still such strange power nearby, then it will be tricky. Be sure to send more manpower and keep an eye on it. Change the report from every ten days to every three days, we must not be negligent!”
Cao Gang accepted the order and withdrew.
The camp finally became quiet. Ni Lie let out a long breath, leaned back on the chair, and rubbed his brows. After a long time, he suddenly stood up and hurried to the stable.
He returned to the King Guang’an mansion in less than three incense sticks. It was already dark at this moment so the servants were holding candles and lamps everywhere.
As usual, Ni Lie threw the reins to the stable lad and went to the inner courtyard alone.
As soon as he entered, a simple-looking servant woman with a respectful face greeted him: “Daren, His Highness has already eaten, he’s currently in his room.”
Songzhu, who was originally serving in this main courtyard, was transferred to the courtyard next to it, and the subordinates of the main courtyard were all changed by Ni Lie, all of them were confidants who only followed the orders of Ni Lie. Ni Lie was originally the second master of the King Guang’an Mansion, therefore even with this big move, it did not arouse the suspicion of others.
As soon as he pushed open the door, he saw the man staring at the candlelight, unsure what he was thinking.
The candlelight illuminated his snow-coloured cheeks, it was truly beautiful.
Ni Lie took off his overcoat, casually threw it aside, stepped forward in large steps, and picked him up effortlessly before putting him in bed.
A piece of jade slipped out of Li Yuanmin’s chest. Ni Lie’s eyes were slightly stagnant, knowing that it was his mother’s relic. He was about to take a closer look but saw that the other party gently grasped it in the palm of his hand with a very cherished look. This look made Ni Lie’s cold heart become inexplicably soft. He leaned down and sniffed his cheek, sniffed his lips again, and finally gently covered it.
The dark red lips were closed, there was not the slightest response.
This reaction was originally expected by him, but for some reason, he couldn’t help it today, and the softness in his heart suddenly disappeared, replaced by monstrous anger.
He separated from him a bit, and pinched his chin, his eyes were as if he was about to devour him. He coldly spat out word by word: “Open your mouth.”
The person below him only looked at him with a little redness at the end of his eyes.
After a long time, he moved slightly, propped up his feet, and opened his legs towards him, but his red lips were still tightly closed.
Ni Lie’s face suddenly turned cold.
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