Liu Ziru almost didn’t dare to look at Li Ying’s face.
The Emperor accompanied the Lord Empress to pick a man. It would be okay if it were the other way round, but as it was now, it was incredible.
Since the Lord Empress had come back this time, although his temperament had not changed, his attitude towards His Majesty almost made him seem like a different person.
“Let’s go in a small sedan chair,” Li Ying said, still holding Yun Qingci, not letting him go until he was directly pushed.
His arms tightened slightly, but then he released Yun Qingci.
Yun Qingci didn’t mind sharing a ride with him. He leaned against the wall of the sedan chair and watched the snow-covered Forbidden City, turning his gaze to the northeast corner.
At this time, the Qifeng Tower had not been built yet. After Li Ying in his previous life took him back to the palace, he was worried that Yun Qingci’s self-harm would anger the Prime Minister’s Mansion, so he offered this gift as a reassurance.
Now, this place was still empty and there was nothing conspicuous about it.
Yun Qingci’s eyes moved slightly, and he said, “I miss my mother.”
Li Ying’s eyes narrowed. He watched Yun Qingci leaning against the wall with a nostalgic look: “If only I could see the courtyard on the outskirts of the city from the palace.”
Li Ying’s face darkened, and he tightened his jaw.
Not getting a response, Yun Qingci turned to look at him, but Li Ying avoided his gaze.
It was not going the way it had in the previous life. Could it be that Master Li felt that one trip of the emperor’s ceremonial cortege was enough to give face to the Yun family? Yun Qingci curved his lips and said, “The Cold Palace of the previous dynasty in the northeast corner; there were rumors that when the enemy broke into the city, dozens of concubines wrapped white silk around their necks and hung themselves on the roof beams. Later, it was rumored that a row of corpses could be seen swaying in the wind at night. So, the place was banned, and no one set foot into it for nearly a hundred years.”
Li Ying’s expression was gloomy. “Why mention it for no reason?”
“Such a large area is being wasted,” Yun Qingci said bluntly: “If you build a viewing tower, you can see the entire country without leaving the palace in the future.”
Li Ying closed his eyes in pain, turned away and said dumbly: “Not building it.”
“Why not build it?” Yun Qingci said, “I have already thought of a name, I will call it the Gilded Qifeng Tower.”
In an instant, Li Ying seemed to have returned to the moment of his nightmare.
There was a white hand holding his cuffs, and delicate silver boots stepped on the wide steps that went all the way up: “Ah Ying, hurry up!”
He couldn’t help laughing when he heard this voice: “What’s the hurry.”
“It’s the building that Ah Ying gave me, I can’t wait.”
When they came to the top floor, the wind was very strong. The young man let go his hand and rushed to the guardrail with his arms open, his long hair dancing wildly in the wind.
He stood quietly behind, still with a smile on his face, but there was another him who was whispering: “Yun Qingci, come here, don’t go near there, Yun Qingci…”
He was saying it to himself, “Hold him, Li Ying, you have to hold him, do you hear me! Li Ying, you have to catch him!”
He knew what was about to happen because he had witnessed this scene countless times, but the other him clearly didn’t know anything. He just looked at Yun Qingci calmly and tenderly.
Until Yun Qingci turned his head and smiled. “I’ll go down and wait for you.”
Li Ying, who was standing quietly, finally realized something. He rushed forward and stretched out his hand to grab him, but he could only watch his beloved smash into the cold snow.
Hot blood splattered on his face.
It seemed that a thousand fierce ghosts were screaming in unison around him. Li Ying pressed his forehead tightly, and a sharp stinging pain in his brain made his face pale. Cold sweat dripped from his temples.
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty?” The familiar voice sounded in his ears, and Li Ying suddenly recovered. His eyes were jet black, and after a few heartbeats, he stared at the person in front of him. Liu Ziru held his breath and whispered softly, “We’ve arrived.”
Li Ying immediately turned to look at his side, and Liu Ziru said: “Lord Empress called for you just now, and Your Majesty ignored him, so he went down by himself.”
Li Ying raised his eyes; Yun Qingci had really gotten out of the sedan chair and disappeared from sight entering the door.
He hurriedly got up, and Liu Ziru reminded him, “Your face…”
Li Ying slowed down and gave himself time to recover.
Liu Ziru’s expression was somewhat worried. He always felt that His Majesty hadn’t been in the right spirit since he’d woken up shouting for his hairpin that night.
After Yun Qingci sat down in the main seat, Li Ying walked in and said lightly: “Everyone, get up first.”
The supervisor of the musical department got up and ordered hot tea to be brought. Yun Qingci glanced at Li Ying. Why did Li Ying suddenly become stingy like that? He proposed to build a viewing tower, but the man just pretended not to hear it.
Li Ying took a seat beside him, met his gaze and explained: “Just now, I was thinking about things.”
A lying demon. Yun Qingci didn’t ask anything else and said, “Then let’s get started.”
Li Ying raised his hand a little wearily, and Liu Ziru said, “Go and call up all the musicians.”
Soon, a group of musicians wearing white clothes and wooden hairpins knelt in front of Yun Qingci. He made everyone stand up, his gaze examining a few well-mannered people. “Everyone, raise your heads,” he said.
Li Ying looked at Yun Qingci expressionlessly, stroking the edge of his teacup.
The latter had already stood up from the main seat and kept looking at the group of handsome young men, his eyes shining. He pointed out a few eye-catching faces: “You, you, you, you, and… you two, come to the front.”
Everyone who was pointed at felt a little nervous, because they seemed to have received two stares at the same time, one of favor and one of death.
Several people came up to Yun Qingci tremblingly, and he ordered again: “Stand up straight.”
Yun Qingci carefully observed their waists, legs, shoulders and backs, then turned around and said to Li Ying with a happy expression: “Just these few, I’ll take them to the palace.”
Li Ying’s razor-sharp gaze passed across the faces of several people, and finally fell on the most handsome face in the middle. After a few moments, he said, “Do what Lord Empress says.”
Yun Qingci was very satisfied and said, “Okay, let’s go back to the palace.”
He stretched out his hand, and Yinxi was about to step forward but saw a shadow approaching and immediately took a step back in fright.
Li Ying held Yun Qingci’s hand and said, “It’s a bit late today, let them come to accompany you tomorrow.”
Yun Qingci looked at him.
Li Ying relented: “Today, then.”
The sedan chair drove back to the palace, followed by the six musicians.
In front of Chaoyang Palace, when Yun Qingci was led down again, he was very considerate and said, “If Your Majesty is tired, why don’t you go back and rest first.”
Anyway, his goal had been achieved, and it didn’t matter if Li Ying stayed or not. Looking at the man’s face didn’t make him happy in any case.
Li Ying glanced at him quietly, either because he had a brain disease or to show that he was not tired. He hugged Yun Qingci again and strode into the palace.
Yun Qingci felt inexplicable: “What are you doing?”
“Accompanying you to have fun.”
Yun Qingci narrowed his eyes. Li Ying was so obviously displeased, and yet he was still here, showing his magnanimity.
Never mind, if Li Ying is unhappy, let him be unhappy.
Sitting at the table again, with the handsome young men playing music and the dancers swaying gracefully, Yun Qingci finally felt truly content.
He frequently looked at the musicians, his face full of admiration and fascination, and from time to time he would receive shy or nervous glances from them.
Li Ying’s eyes were as cold as a blade.
A musician inadvertently met his gaze and suddenly felt a chill in his heart. He hurriedly lowered his head and played music diligently.
Yun Qingci had a great time. He applauded the dancers and was extremely happy: “Wonderful!”
A long arm suddenly tightened on his waist; he was lifted up and forced to sit on the lap of the person next to him. Yun Qingci looked up; there was the residue of a fruit cake on his lips.
The man wiped his mouth clean, brushed the loose hair away from his cheeks and whispered, “Why are you so happy?”
“Beautiful people are around, is there any reason to be unhappy?”
Li Ying pursed his lips and smiled. He took a copper pot of warm wine, poured the steaming fruit wine into the glass and brought it to him, saying, “Beautiful people should be accompanied with fine wine.”
This was very reasonable. Yun Qingci stretched out his hand to pick up the glass, but Li Ying deliberately avoided him. The emperor, clad in a magnificent outfit, brought the wine cup closer. Under his puzzled gaze, he said meaningfully: “I will serve Lord Empress.”
His eyes were like a river in the dark night, deep and unfathomable, and his expression was faintly seductive.
Yun Qingci’s eyes widened slightly.
Why was Li Ying so nice?
He was cautious at first, but then he thought, if Li Ying really wanted to kill him, why should he use such a nasty method as poisoning?
He immediately relaxed and drank directly from Li Ying’s hand.
The fruit wine was sweet. Yun Qingci narrowed his eyes and deliberately said, “I want more.”
Leaving alone the various events of the past life, His Majesty Emperor Li was a rare beauty. Even among the handsome musicians, he was still the top one. If he wanted to serve him, Yun Qingci didn’t mind.
Li Ying put his arm around him and poured another glass, patiently feeding him a drink.
After three glasses, Yun Qingci was a little overwhelmed by alcohol. His mind was still clear, but his body was already a little floating. He knew that he might be at the mercy of Li Ying if he kept drinking, so he waved his hand: “No more.”
Li Ying leaned close to his ear, breathing with restraint: “The last cup.”
“No.” Yun Qingci shrank his neck, and there were goose bumps where Li Ying’s breath touched him. He pushed Li Ying’s face away and said, “No more.”
The temptation failed, and Li Ying didn’t persuade him anymore. He continued to hold his arm around Yun Qingci, looked at the musicians and hooked his bamboo-like finger.
The musicians looked at each other with hesitant expressions. Li Ying spotted the one with a very handsome face and waved his hand sharply.
The musician had to leave his qin and walk over hesitantly. Li Ying pointed to the cushion beside him, and the man knelt down cautiously, “Your Majesty.”
“Hmm?” Yun Qingci heard the movement and sat up propped against Li Ying’s chest, his eyes blurring. “Why are you here?” ”
Li Ying hugged his waist firmly, not allowing him to break free, and said gently: “He wants to accompany Lord Empress for a couple of drinks. I wonder if Lord Empress would give him this favor?”
Cold sweat oozed from the musician’s forehead. Yun Qingci’s voice was vague as he said, “Drink, do you want to drink?”
The musician bit the bullet and nodded, pouring two cups quickly and handing one cup to Yun Qingci. “Please, Lord Empress,” he said.
Li Ying said quietly: “What’s your name?”
“This little one’s surname is Ruan, name Lian.”
“Ruan Lian.“ Li Ying asked Yun Qingci: “Do you like him?”
Yun Qingci squinted his eyes, looked at Ruan Lian for a while, and said, “Okay.”
Showing a light and sweet smile, he said softly: “But if Ah Lian wants me to drink, he has to feed me himself.”
Ruan Lian’s face turned pale.
Li Ying’s arms tightened. The hold was not painful, but the muscles of his arms were as hard as iron.
“Mm–” Yun Qingci asked Li Ying in confusion: “Can’t he?”
“Of course,” Li Ying’s breath grew heavier as he spoke, “As long as Lord Empress is happy, everything is fine.” ”
Ruan Lian shivered and brought the wine cup to Yun Qingci’s mouth. Yun Qingci drank the wine from his hand, looking at the slender white fingers in front of him. He licked his lips and suddenly realized that the wine was not intoxicating, everyone was drunk, so he said, “Ah Lian’s hands are so beautiful. Let’s have another drink.”
Li Ying’s eyes already seemed to be cannibalistic. Ruan Lian swallowed heavily under this terrifying gaze, then calmly fed Yun Qingci another cup.
The transparent liquor slid across Yun Qingci’s chin and rolled down his slender neck. Yun Qingci’s head felt even dizzier. He leaned back, his cheeks flushed. He drowsily grabbed Li Ying’s collar and said, “I want to have a good time tomorrow.”
Li Ying said, “Everything will be as Lord Empress wishes.”
He picked up Yun Qingci and looked condescendingly at Ruan Lian who lay flat on the floor, pressing his forehead to the backs of his hands, his clothes soaked in cold sweat.
“Did you hear that?” Li Ying looked darkly: “Lord Empress likes you very much.”
“Stay here tonight.”
There was a sound of whispering, and everyone in the hall knelt.
Li Ying walked past the bright begonia screen and took Yun Qingci to the inner room.
Outside the screen, everyone was kneeling stiffly, motionless. The music stopped, and there was silence in the hall.
Liu Ziru closed his eyes solemnly.
In the past, it was Yun Qingci who was jealous and intimidating people. Now it was the other way round…
But the unlucky ones were still the people below.
Yun Qingci’s body was gently placed on the bed. The drunken blush had spread from his cheeks to his neck. Li Ying took off the jade crown on his head and ran his fingers through the thick black hair. His hand trembled slightly.
He took a deep breath fighting the flame in his heart, but he still couldn’t hold back and stretched out his hand to unclasp the jade belt around Yun Qingci’s waist.
Yun Qingci was his Lord Empress. He wanted to be close to his Lord Empress. Why should he stop himself?
He was going to indulge himself but suddenly met the eyes moistened by alcohol.
Yun Qingci’s eyelashes trembled slightly, and he looked at Li Ying in confusion.
“Qingci…” He lost all confidence in an instant, slowly touched Yun Qingci’s forehead and said breathlessly, “Don’t you love Ah Ying anymore?”
Yun Qingci didn’t say a word.
Thick mist gathered in Li Ying’s eyes, and his voice was low and muffled: “You are angry with me, aren’t you?”
“Hmm.” Yun Qingci didn’t understand him.
Blue veins appeared on the backs of Li Ying’s hands. His wide palms held Yun Qingci’s delicate face. His long eyelashes were moist as he cautiously tried to kiss him.
Yun Qingci frowned suddenly and pushed his face away fiercely.
He said with disgust: “I don’t want you.”