He really didn’t expect that Li Ying would do all this.
Last night, he called Li Ying to Chaoyang Palace. Even if someone wanted to report Zhang Siyong’s grabbing of the porcelain, there would be no time for that.
Early this morning, he brought Li Ying here. From the time he proposed to shoot Zhang Siyong to the time Li Ying agreed, it took only a few breaths.
But Li Ying was able to react quickly.
After shooting an arrow, he cut off Zhang Siyong’s arm, and then forced Old Marquis to kill his son with his own hands, each action more ruthless and more extreme than the previous one.
For all this, Li Ying didn’t have much time to think carefully and investigate the pros and cons. It seemed spontaneous, but everything also seemed to be carefully arranged.
He was really the natural choice for the emperor.
Suddenly it was scary.
Yun Qingci felt ridiculous, but he was ridiculous indeed.
Because of his previous life, he wanted to control Li Ying. How could such a man be easily controlled by ordinary people?
He deserved ending up like that.
But at the same time a wave of hatred and unwillingness surged in his heart. Why should he be played by Li Ying?
“Do you really have a heart?” He inquired with hesitation, but his expression was full of ridicule and coldness.
Li Ying gave a tragic smile and slowly leaned against the wall of the carriage. He tilted his head, the line of his slender neck smooth and graceful.
His Adam’s apple rolled as he swallowed.
Li Ying said, “Is everything I do now wrong?”
Yun Qingci was a little surprised.
“How can it be,” he said, “You are the emperor, and naturally you are right in whatever you do.”
Li Ying seemed very tired. He opened his eyes. At first, he just looked at the carriage ceiling quietly, his thoughts unknown. After a while, he turned his head to look at Yun Qingci.
Yun Qingci was familiar with this expression.
In the years that followed, Li Ying often looked at him like this, with infinite tenderness and indescribable suffering mixed in his eyes.
He only needed to look this way at Yun Qingci quietly, and then he would get a warm hug and comfort, and he would sigh, holding Yun Qingci in his arms affectionately.
All those years, Yun Qingci had been waiting.
Waiting for Li Ying to confess his heart and share everything with him as he did when they were newly married.
The ridicule in Yun Qingci’s expression became even greater.
He finally understood why Li Ying looked at him like this. Because Yun Qingci loved him and as long as he made this appearance Yun Qingci would feel distressed and would obediently be understanding of him and comfort him.
He needed Yun Qingci to be a virtuous empress, a well-behaved person who didn’t tell him what to do and didn’t try to control him.
Yun Qingci didn’t want to just play the role of a tool. He was a greedy guy. He wanted to get something in return for his effort, wanted to be loved when he loved, and wanted to live and die together.
So Li Ying got rid of him.
Yun Qingci frowned coldly.
The Li Ying in front of him was not the Li Ying of the previous life. He didn’t want to bring the hatred of the previous life to this life. In this life, as long as Li Ying did not touch the Yun family, they could be at peace.
If he touched them, he would die.
But if possible, Yun Qingci still hoped that he could live in peace. In this life, he didn’t want them to torture each other.
If he can live in peace for a lifetime, why would he want to lick blood from a knife blade?
The carriage drove back to the Forbidden City and stopped at the gate of Chaoyang Palace.
Yun Qingci got up, but was suddenly caught.
Li Ying said, “If you have any questions, I can answer them for you.”
“This subject has no questions,” Yun Qingci pulled back his wrist and said lightly: “His Majesty has his own reasons for his actions.”
Along the way, he finally sorted out Li Ying’s thoughts about killing his uncle. He must have gotten reports before about Zhang Siyong bullying men and women. Maybe he wanted to punish the Zhang family a long time ago. Today, he had an excuse to vent his anger and went ahead according to his plans.
After all, Yun Qingci, who brought him over, was a ready-made shield.
Will the Zhang family retaliate against Li Ying?
No, they will hold Yun Qingci and the Yun family accountable.
At this moment, the Zhang family was extremely powerful. If they fought with the Yun family, they’d weaken each other, and he, the emperor, could take advantage of the profit.
Sure enough, he deserved to be the emperor. It was so easy for him to keep check and balance of the court.
Yun Qingci returned to the palace and sent someone to the Prime Minister’s mansion to deliver the porcelain set as well as inform about Li Ying’s murder of Zhang Siyong.
Prime Minister Yun was not stupid. Since the owner of the porcelain was Yun Qingci, he would know how this account would be settled from the Zhang family’s side, and he would be prepared.
Yun Qingci’s expectation was correct. Not long after he returned to the palace, someone reported to Empress Dowager to go to Zhang Mansion in a hurry. The first thing she did when she came back was to send Zhou Zhao to Chaoyang Palace, saying that Yun Qingci was invited to come over for a talk.
Yun Qingci leaned on the beauty couch, closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep, without even looking at Zhou Zhao.
He was going to play dead in this matter. Anyways, he didn’t kill the guy. If the Empress Dowager really had the ability, she was welcome to make trouble with Li Ying and squeeze him like a soft persimmon.
Although it was not his Yun family who had killed the Empress Dowager’s younger brother, he knew that since Li Ying had used this poisonous plan, he wouldn’t take the initiative to help Yun Qingci against Empress Dowager Zhang’s anger.
Knowing that the Empress Dowager was going to sort him out, Yun Qingci was not going to obediently rush to her, unless he had a brain disease.
When Zhou Zhao’s third invitation failed to make him move from the couch, his tone sank: “Lord Empress doesn’t want the Empress Dowager to come here in person, does he?”
Yun Qingci finally opened his eyes. He turned his head to look at Zhou Zhao and said slowly: “That’s more than I can ask for.”
Who knows what they will do to him as soon as he goes through the gate of Taici Palace. If she comes to Chaoyang Palace, at least he’ll be on his own territory.
This Yun Qingci, now he even looked down on the Empress Dowager.
Zhou Zhao was quite angry, but Yun Qingci was a lunatic, and he didn’t dare to act insolently, so he turned around and wanted to leave but heard Yun Qingci exclaim in surprise: “Zhou Gonggong.”
Zhou Zhao was on alert and had to treat him respectfully again: “Lord Empress, what other orders do you have?”
“Your ears,” Yun Qingci said suspiciously: “Why is half of them missing?”
Zhou Zhao: “…I was bitten by a cat when I went to bed at night.”
When he said this, his tone was gloomy and a little bit resentful.
Yun Qingci raised his eyebrows. Really, why was he looking at him like this? It was not his cat.
After Zhou Zhao left, Yun Qingci collapsed again.
The ears didn’t look like they were bitten off by a cat, but seemed to have been cut off by something, with only half of them left.
Who dared to touch the people around the Empress Dowager?
Yun Qingci thought that since Zhang Siyong had died so tragically, Empress Dowager Zhang must have felt suffocated. But for several consecutive days, the Zhang family stayed in peace with the Yun family, while arranging the funeral services.
Of course, Yun Qingci didn’t go to the funeral, and Li Ying didn’t go either.
After the funeral service was completed, it was New Year’s Eve. Except for the Zhang family that was in mourning, the whole Shangyang City was illuminated. Even on a snowy day, it was full of lively scenes that continued until late at night.
Yun Qingci was sitting in the lonely Chaoyang Palace, listening to the conversation between Jin Huan and Yinxi, who had been home visiting their mothers, and his heart suddenly felt hopeful.
Did he want to go home and find his brothers to accompany him?
But with the approach of the New Year, he was afraid they would be very busy. The criminal department had to clear up cases, and the city guards were responsible for patrolling back and forth. Third brother participated in the city defense. His father was even more occupied; in the past few days Li Ying often called him to the palace to discuss matters.
They were all very busy, but he was the most free.
It was boring.
He called Yinxi and said, “Go to the music department and call the musicians who came that day.”
Yinxi was puzzled: “Musicians?”
“Yes, I want to learn how to play qin.”
Of course, Yun Qingci has also studied to play qin. In his previous life, his qin skills almost surpassed those of the teachers from the music department. As for this life, by coincidence, before he was expelled from the palace, Li Ying had ordered him to learn qin, chess, calligraphy, painting, bow and horse riding. In fact, it didn’t matter what he learned, as long as he didn’t bother Li Ying.
The day before he broke into the Full Moon Pavilion and took Li Ying away, he was still getting lessons from an old gentleman in the music department.
But why learn from an old gentleman, if a handsome young man can teach him? You can learn while admiring the beauty, and also tease and flirt a little. Since he was alive again, he couldn’t continue to hang on to Li Ying. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to touch flowers without getting emotionally involved, just like Young Master Qiu.
Yun Qingci’s heart ebbed and flowed, dispelling the loneliness he’d felt just now, and he became sincerely happy.
Yinxi glanced at him hesitantly and hurried to obey.
Not long after, the musicians brought their instruments into Chaoyang Palace one after another.
Yun Qingci leaned lazily on the couch, his gaze flowing over their faces like water. Some of them carried qins, others brought zithers and flutes.
He waved his hand resolutely and said, “Sit down.”
The young men took their seats one after another and settled their instruments.
Soon the sounds of music filled Chaoyang Palace. Yun Qing listened with his eyes closed, and his heart gradually calmed down.
The music continued. Yun Qingci was fed a fruit cake by Yinxi and opened his eyes to look around carelessly. Suddenly, he found that one of the musicians was very handsome. His heart was moved and he stared with interest.
“The one playing the qin,” Yun Qingci said curiously: “What’s your name?”
“This little one’s surname is Ruan, and his first name is Lian.” The young man spoke in a soft voice: “Lord Empress asked before.”
Yun Qingci remembered, and he said, “Did I drink the wine you handed me?”
Ruan Lian smiled and said, “Exactly.”
“You seem to be thinner.”
Ruan Lian pursed his lips, his eyes flickering, and said, “This little one has been feeling a little unwell recently.”
“Unwell?” Yun Qingci beckoned to him and said, “Come here.”
Ruan Lian: “…”
“I know some medical skills.“ Yun Qingci didn’t lie to him; this was what Li Ying asked him to learn: “Come and show me.”
The eyes of the others were a little weird.
They all remembered that time they had knelt for the whole night, but Yun Qingci didn’t know about it. Li Ying warned everyone not to tell him.
Ruan Lian could only stand up.
He was very tall, polite but not too humble, and had excellent manners.
Yun Qingci’s eyes lit up. Motioning to squat down in front of him, he said, “Give me your hand.”
Ruan Lian lowered his eyelashes, pulled up his cuffs obediently and exposed his slim white wrist. Yun Qingci solemnly checked his pulse, glanced at him for a moment and said, “Haven’t slept well lately?”
Ruan Lian replied in a warm voice: “There will be a large-scale event in the palace for the New Year. Everyone is working hard.”
“Ah so that’s it.” The white fingers slid from Ruan Lian’s wrist to his palm. Ruan Lian’s hand trembled slightly. Yun Qingci tilted his head and said softly, “Do you have sleeping incense in the music department? I can give you some.”
Ruan Lian was taken aback for a moment and replied, “This little one thanks Lord Empress for his kindness.”
“In fact, not everyone has to participate in the activities in the palace.” Yun Qingci stared at his palm, slowly hooking his fingers. “His Majesty always thinks that I am unlearned. I think Ah Lian’s qin skills are superb. Tonight, will you stay and teach me how to play the qin?”
The other musicians looked at each other. Some of them wanted to say something, but remembered Yun Qingci’s usual cruel image and kept silent.
Ruan Lian paused for a while before saying, “I’m afraid, it’s not right.”
How could Yun Qingci care what he thought: “It’s settled, let the others go back first.”
Yinxi and Jin Huan glanced at each other, and the latter was very nervous: “Lord, Lord Empress.”
“What?” Yun Qingci said, “I’ve just found a teacher for myself to learn qin. You guys, why do you look like that?”
“Get out,” he said,
The musicians left Chaoyang Palace without daring to breathe, all of them sweating for Ruan Lian.
No one dared to guess what the Lord Empress was thinking.
The musicians walked along the wall, suddenly seeing a sedan chair turning in front of them. They recognized the crest on it and knelt down.
The sedan chair stopped in front of them.
A hand pushed the silk curtain away. “Lord Empress called the musicians to listen to the music. Doesn’t he want to listen to it anymore?”
“Lord Empress wanted to learn the qin and fancied Ruan Lian’s qin skills, so he sent the others to go back to the music department.”
The silk curtain was put down, and the sedan chair drove on to Chaoyang Palace.
The musicians didn’t get up until the other party was far away. Someone whispered, “Lord Empress and Ruan Lian, are they really going to play the qin?”
The others looked uncertain: “Probably…”