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Yun Qingci really didn’t show mercy when he had a snowball fight. Li Ying could never beat him when the two of them played together.
He stepped back several steps, bent over and picked up a lot of snow.
Li Ying stood still without moving.
Yun Qingci was annoyed when he saw his stiff appearance, and a large snowball directly hit his face. Li Ying closed his eyes.
The cold snowball shattered on his face and dyed his eyelashes with snow. His lips looked pale and transparent.
“Pretending to be pitiful.” Yun Qingci’s words were scathing, and another snowball smashed at him fiercely.
Yinxi and Jin Huan both seemed a little nervous.
Liu Ziru came closer again. After just a glance at this scene, he hurriedly ran over and stood in front of Li Ying with a smile: “Lord Empress, Lord Empress, I will accompany you to play.”
What a caring master and servant duo.
Yun Qingci grabbed more snow and slammed it at Liu Ziru ruthlessly.
Liu Ziru tilted back and forth to block Li Ying from the snow and raised his voice to compliment Yun Qingci: “Lord Empress, Lord Empress plays so beautifully, oh, this servant is hit again.”
Li Ying stood behind Liu Ziru. He was much taller than Liu Ziru. He could clearly see Yun Qingci’s expression get angrier and angrier. He sighed, stretched out his hand and squeezed Liu Ziru’s shoulder, saying, “I’ll play with him, sir please stand down.”
His face looked really bad at the moment, and Liu Ziru, who was gently pushed aside by him, saw Yun Qingci hit him again in anger. He suddenly remembered something and clapped his hands. “No wonder Your Majesty can never beat Lord Empress in a snowball fight. Lord Empress is good at fighting! Unlike Prince An and Princess Ah Fu, that snowball fight between them was unbearable to watch!”
“Yes, there is also the eldest son of the Qiu family and Lin Xiao Hou. When you were young, you played together, but they couldn’t beat Your Majesty.”
Yun Qingci stopped.
He looked at the Son of Heaven dressed in black. Li Ying’s complexion was originally white. It used to be jade-like white, but now it was paper-like white.
Li Fu and Li Yan’s snowball fights were actually very fierce. They were young and agile. When Yun Qingci used to play with them, he often thought that these two guys were little demons.
As for Lin Huaijin and Qiu Xian, Yun Qingci had played with them a few times, but he and Li Ying were always teamed together, so the other two always lost quickly.
Li Ying had never won when being his opponent, and every time he was beaten, his whole body was covered with snow.
But when the two of them opposed others, they always won.
Yun Qingci knew why.
He smashed the last snow ball heavily on Li Ying’s face, turned his head and strode away.
In his new life, he denied everything he had ever been and labeled Li Ying with various labels such as despicable, shameless and scheming. He summed up all his young love as his own wishful thinking and decided not to get involved with him.
But as fate would have it, Li Ying was also reborn and he said that he still loved him.
Everything he showed made Yun Qingci tear off the labels he had put on him one by one.
He had to admit that Li Ying loved him. Maybe he didn’t know how to love, but everything that happened in their youth proved that this love once existed.
Yun Qingci hated him. Since he had played with his heart, why shouldn’t he play a little with him in return and then get rid of him. What love or not love? Li Ying had given him up for the sake of the country, is he even worthy to talk about love?
But he was not willing to do so. He tortured and humiliated Li Ying because Li Ying had trampled his heart on the ground back then, and since that was the case, he naturally wanted to trample it back.
He also realized that he was being unreasonable because Li Ying did have his own difficulties. It’s not that he didn’t understand. He understands that whether it was his previous life or this life, he was just arrogant, spoiled, and overbearing.
If Li Ying didn’t love him, he would have thrown him away a long time ago.
But his love was better than not loving.
As long as one pays, one will definitely expect a return.
In his previous life, he loved Li Ying to death, but in fact, what was the difference between him and Li Ying now? He kept lowering the bottom line and felt that he had been wronged and must get it back from Li Ying, thus he tormented him and himself more and more.
Because he paid for it.
Li Ying was also paying for it now. He was learning to put aside his self-esteem and coax him to turn back. His heart was always full of extravagant hopes.
But just like him in his previous life, he threw a little of himself in, and if he didn’t get anything, he would feel that he hadn’t thrown enough in, so he would continue to give. Until there was nothing left on him.
Yun Qingci suddenly understood why Li Ying would drive him out.
When would their torturing each other end? One of them had to cut through the mess quickly, and only in this way could they be relieved of each other.
Li Ying in his previous life was the clear-headed one. Now, he was clear-headed and understood he was the one who made the big mistake.
Now his revenge was fulfilled, the Empress Dowager would never trouble him again. In this life, when he returned to the palace, his intention was to cooperate with Li Ying to help each other, for Li Ying to stabilize his country and for him to protect his family. But now they were caught in an emotional entanglement.
Unable to cut, logic in chaos.
It was better to be separated from each other, clean and simple.
Since in his previous life, Li Ying did not kill Prime Minister Yun’s family, he would likely not be dim-witted in this life. The three families of Yun, Qin and Xiao would still be favored, at least as long as Li Ying was in power.
After Yun Qingci left, Liu Ziru came up to Li Ying and hurriedly wiped the snow on his face. The snow on his eyelashes melted and turned into fine drops of water condensed on his eyes.
Liu Ziru wiped him clean and said, “Your Majesty, the Lord Empress still thinks of you, so you can talk to him more about the past, and think about the two years of your marriage, how nice… Your Majesty!”
Blue veins appeared on Li Ying’s pale forehead, and a trickle of blood flowed from his lips. Li Ying lowered his head; red, sticky blood dripped from his lips to the snow.
The red looked like a cinnabar.
In front of his eyes, the stormy clouds changed, and a tall building rose into the sky in the mist-filled palace.
The sword fell from his hand, and Li Ying sat on the ground next to it, staring ahead.
“Someone come, quickly summon the imperial doctor to Jiangshan Palace!!”
Today, at the beginning of the new year, Yun Qingci had punished his enemies. It was a happy event, and he decided to resolve the remaining issues with Li Ying once and for all. That would be another great achievement.
He returned to the palace, asked the imperial dining room to cook a large table of good dishes, and ate the imperial dishes in the palace for the last time.
Then he called Yinxi and Jin Huan and asked, “If I peacefully separate with His Majesty, would you like to follow me?”
The two of them were startled: “Lord Empress…”
“I will no longer be Lord Empress in the future,” Yun Qingci said in a calm tone, “I am used to you two. If you leave with me, the monthly routine will be the same as in the palace. If you don’t go with me, then Mr. Liu will make arrangements for you in the palace.”
Jin Huan and Yinxi glanced at each other and knelt down together: “These slaves are willing to follow Lord Empress.”
Yun Qingci was domineering, but not harsh on those around him. As long as there were no major mistakes, he would turn a blind eye to somethings and let it pass.
In fact, when he first entered the palace, his reputation used to be very good. He lived in harmony with the Son of Heaven and treated his subordinates with gentleness and leniency.
Because of the deep influence of his previous life, Yun Qingci almost forgot what he had been like when he first married Li Ying.
From the beginning, he was not extreme and arrogant, neither was he hated and feared by other people.
But it didn’t matter anymore.
Yun Qingci took off his phoenix robe, changed into white cotton-padded clothes, sat at the table and wrote a letter. After ordering someone to send it to Jiangshan Palace, he asked Jin Huan and Yinxi to clean Chaoyang Palace carefully, and then asked someone to prepare a carriage.
On New Year holidays, he was going home to spend time with his father and brothers.
The servant preparing the carriage asked him, “Aren’t you going home to visit your relatives, do you want to prepare your ceremonial driving?”
“No need.” Yun Qingci smiled, and the servant was taken aback for a moment. Seeing his gentle and clean face, he thought in a daze that he had returned to the time when the Lord Empress first got married.
After he discovered that Li Ying was reborn, the latter no longer restricted him from leaving the palace. It greatly simplified things for Yun Qingci because he didn’t need to wait until the other party agreed to his leaving.
The carriage rutted through the snow as it slowly made its way out of the East Gate of the Forbidden City.
Yun Qingci closed his eyes, took a deep breath and left all the trivial matters behind him.
Farewell to Li Ying and his country.
Li Ying was unconscious, and the doctor diagnosed him with emotional issues related to the heart. There also seemed to be a trend of getting more and more severe headaches. In the long run, he feared, there would be a mental disorder.
He prescribed medicine, applied the needles and recommended avoiding stimulations. Liu Ziru nodded again and again.
Secretly, he wanted to talk to the Lord Empress about this matter. If he knew His Majesty was unwell, he probably would soften himself towards His Majesty.
Then he remembered that the emperor had specifically instructed him not to trouble the Lord Empress before he fainted.
While he was struggling, someone arrived to present a box: “Lord Empress asked to send it and said it was for His Majesty.”
Could it be that the Lord Empress already knew about His Majesty being in a coma?!
Liu Ziru was overjoyed; he took the box and returned to the table, thinking that if it was a rare medicine, he would boil it as soon as possible, and His Majesty would surely recover once he drank it.
When the box was opened, Liu Ziru’s heart was punched.
A letter of separation.
Lord Empress sent a letter of separation.
Perhaps because he didn’t want to make a big fuss about it, he hid it in a box, leaving the last decency for each other.
Liu Ziru closed the lid.
When Yun Qingci returned home, the mansion was full of excitement. Yun Qingci caught a servant and asked what it was all about, only to learn that someone had come to the Prime Minister’s mansion during the New Year holidays with a bunch of picture scrolls for matchmaking for his brothers.
He couldn’t help laughing. He didn’t get involved in the excitement and went back to his small, isolated courtyard. He had been there just a short while ago. The courtyard only needed to be cleaned a little bit to live there. Yun Qingci didn’t bring any supplies; anyways, he had food, clothing and housing.
Yun Qingci went to take a nap.
Yesterday, Li Ying occupied his bed, so he could only sleep in the side room. The bed in that room was small and there was no earth dragon heater, and he didn’t sleep well with a charcoal fire.
At this moment, Yun Qingci suddenly had a dream.
He dreamed that he was trapped in a huge underground palace with mountains of gold and seas of silver, full of jewelry and jade, and exquisitely carved murals.
He wandered back and forth inside, and when he looked up, he could see that the pearls inlaid on the ceiling were grouped into star formations. He didn’t know what mechanism was used, but the constellations would change their trajectory from time to time.
He slowly made his way to a huge box in the center of the underground palace.
There were glass lamps lit around the box, and the candlelights inside them were dim. Yun Qingci leaned over there curiously, trying to see what was in the box, but was suddenly awakened by a soft call.
“Xiao Ci, Ci Er… Yun Qingci!”
“Father…” Yun Qingci opened his eyes and glanced at him, then closed them sleepily again and said sullenly, “What are you doing?”
“Why are you back again?” Prime Minister Yun was very worried: “Is something wrong between you and His Majesty?”
“No.” Yun Qingci rubbed his eyes vigorously and sat up, ran his fingers through his long, messy hair and said, “I’m leaving him.”
When he heard it said in unison, Yun Qingci realized that his third brother Yun Qingjue was also in the room. He pursed his mouth, sat straight and said seriously: “I wrote the letter of separation and sent it to Jiangshan Palace. He should already know about it by now.”
“Does His Majesty agree?”
“He should agree,” Yun Qingci said, “Didn’t he want to abolish me before?”
Prime Minister Yun’s expression was complicated, and he said after a while: “Are you serious that nothing happened in the palace?”
The whole family sighed in relief, and Yun Qingjue said, “Now that you have separated, the matchmaking lady will come here in the next few days and you can also talk about marriage.”
Yun Qingci didn’t expect his family to be so forward; he hesitated for a moment and said, “So, what kind of one should I look for?”
“You have been married to His Majesty, but I am afraid that those who have a career will not dare to look at you. So, find a businessman.”
Yun Qingci pursed his lips, took a breath, and as soon as he was about to agree, he heard Prime Minister Yun say solemnly: “We need to confirm this matter. He is still the Lord Empress, if His Majesty finds out about it and gets angry, I am afraid other people will be implicated.”
It was reasonable.
Yun Qingci swallowed his words.
“All right,” Yun Qingjue said. “If you have nothing to do, get up and make dumplings for dinner.”
“Making dumplings?” Yun Qingci looked surprised. Prime Minister Yun smiled and said, “You haven’t spent New Year at the mansion before. In our family, during New Years, we make dumplings by ourselves. The servants in the mansion have to go home for the New Year.”
In fact, in the first year after their marriage, Yun Qingci and Li Ying personally wrapped dumplings. The two played while wrapping and coated each other with flour.
But it was only once.
Li Ying occupied almost all of his life, and it was almost impossible to throw him out at once. Yun Qingci recalled it, got up calmly, and happily rushed to the kitchen with his father and brother.
Jiangshan Palace was bleak.
Li Ying had already regained consciousness, and the imperial dining room had prepared a meal. He was not extravagant in his daily life, and his meals were usually just enough. No matter how many years Liu Ziru had spent next to him, he was still not sure what Li Ying liked to eat. Since he ate whatever he was given, for this meal Liu Ziru picked out something more nourishing.
Holding a jade spoon with his pale fingers, Li Ying took a sip of the soup and said, “Did the Lord Empress eat?”
“Lord Empress will take care of himself.”
Li Ying froze a little, remembering Yun Qingci who was furious with him today, and said stiffly, “That’s right.”
He finished his meal, put on his clothes and walked out. Liu Ziru had to get an umbrella and said, “Your Majesty, it’s snowing tonight, so you’d better not go out.”
“It’s fine, I’ll take a walk and have a look.”
He was walking on foot, and when Liu Ziru saw the familiar route, he realized where he was going.
He said nervously, “Your Majesty, it’s late, it’s time for the Lord Empress to rest.”
Li Ying glanced at him and said lightly, “Mr. Liu, it seems that there is something you’re hiding from me?”
Liu Ziru didn’t say a word, and Li Ying didn’t insist. He continued to move forward, snow flying at his face, until he came all the way to Chaoyang Palace.
The light in front of the door was still on, but the palace gate was closed tightly, and no sound could be heard inside.
Li Ying stood in the distance and watched. Liu Ziru said, “Perhaps, Lord Empress has fallen asleep.”
As the wind and snow became heavier, Li Ying covered his lips and coughed, and Liu Ziru said again: “It’s too windy, Your Majesty, let’s go back. Tomorrow, there will be a court session.”
Li Ying stood for a while before saying, “Let’s go back.”
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