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Yun Qingci glanced uncertainly at the dagger, then at Li Ying again, his mind blank for a moment.
“Did you deliberately come to anger me?”
At this time, of course, Li Ying would not deliberately make him angry. He was serious. With Yun Qingci’s temperament being extreme, if he was allowed to pick up the fragments, he would inevitably cut his hand. A dagger was the safest tool.
“You told me to calm down and think about our relationship. I have thought about it,” Li Ying said. “Ah Ci, I believe that no one in this world knows you better than me, and no one knows what you want better than me.”
Yun Qingci pushed him away and turned back to the couch.
Li Ying stood for a while, then slowly followed him. He put the dagger next to his hand and said, “I can give you time, you can relax, you don’t have to rush to settle this matter.”
Yun Qingci was resentful.
“If you think I’m not good, you can try someone else… I will wait for you.”
As soon as these words came out, Yun Qingci suddenly raised his eyes. He looked at Li Ying’s pale face for a while before saying, “Tell me, did you use some special means to be reborn?”
Li Ying was silent.
“Did you pay some price, and that’s why you must be with me?”
“Is there any difference?” Li Ying said: “The important thing is your attitude. If you don’t care about me at all, even if I really paid a price, you will feel that I am pestering you because of the cost.”
“You won’t believe that I love you, you won’t believe that I have you in my heart, you won’t believe me…” His breathing seemed to be rattled: “I will never make a mistake again.”
Yun Qingci’s thoughts were seen through at a glance and he became even more miserable: “Since you know everything, then I will drive you away now, which means that I don’t care about you.”
“But I still want to fight for you,” Li Ying said, “Give me a little more time, and give yourself a little more time. Let’s think about it, okay?”
“But I shouldn’t like you anymore, I don’t love you anymore.” Yun Qingci said to him: “The Yun Qingci who liked Li Ying is dead. Li Ying, don’t you know this very well? No matter how much you do, the Yun Qingci who would understand you has already been killed by you.”
Li Ying suddenly felt dizzy.
His body was gradually adapting to the pain, but Yun Qingci’s words could still easily make him feel agony. He supported himself on the side of the bed with one hand and sat down laboriously, his breathing heavy and restrained.
His forehead was pressed against the edge of the bed and his fingers contracted unconsciously, clenching the sheets into a crumpled mess.
Yun Qingci pursed his lips, stretched out his hand to help him and said, “If you are not feeling well, go back to the palace to see a doctor.”
“I didn’t… Ah Ci, don’t refuse me so hastily, okay?”
He raised his face, his eyes moist and deep, as he was begging quietly: “Don’t rush to leave me behind.”
Yun Qingci pulled away his hand.
He reached to take the night pearl at the head of the bed, touched it and said: “Tell me, did you, by any chance, use some kind of spell to come here?”
“…someone gave me a lamp.” Li Ying blinked his wet eyelashes and said, “He told me that as long as the candle turns red, I can go back to the past.”
“How can you make the candle turn red?”
“Use blood as wax.” Li Ying lowered his eyes and said, “He said that as long as one was sincere enough, the light would definitely turn red.”
What about cutting his own flesh and feeding it to the snake? Yun Qingci squeezed his fingers and didn’t ask, but said, “Did you see the light turn red?”
“I didn’t see it.”
Yun Qingci was taken aback and didn’t understand it. How did he get here?
He hesitated for a while and said, “Li Ying, did you know that I would be reborn?”
“I did not know.” Li Ying didn’t lie to him: “All I remember is that I wished to go back to the time so I could change the past. I don’t know why you would too…… your rebirth should have nothing to do with me, and you don’t need to have a psychological burden because of it.”
Yun Qingci’s expression was complicated; his gaze gradually turned fierce again, “Don’t worry, even if you really did something for me, I won’t be grateful to you. This is what you should have done. Without you, I would have lived a very good life. Very good, very good!”
He turned away and laid down angrily, closing his eyes resolutely.
“I’m sorry, Ah Ci.”
After taking a few more breaths and pressing his pale fingers to the edge of the bed, the man got up calmly and said, “Has the Qing Division sent any news recently?”
“You’ve been reborn, do you still need the Qing Division?”
“The Qing Division has always been very important.”
“I see…” Yun Qingci paused, and said, “If there is any news, I will send someone to pass it to you.”
There was no movement behind him. Yun Qingci turned around and said, “Why? Are you still afraid that I will hide… that I will not report something?”
There was no one behind him, and Yun Qingci’s words became as thin as a mosquito squeak.
Gone so fast.
He couldn’t sleep for a while.
He believed that what Li Ying said was true. Although he concealed some terrible things, the things in the dreams were obviously the things he had experienced. Yun Qingci just felt very strange. If Li Ying had never wished that he would be reborn, how could he be reborn?
Could it be that the alchemist invited by Li Ying happened to be in a good mood and did a ‘buy one get one free’ promotion?
But was that possible? If Li Ying’s wish was to go back to the past to repair their relationship, didn’t sending him over here as well clearly mean that they would not get along?
Who made him reborn too?
Yun Qingci was puzzled.
He didn’t get too entangled in this matter. After thinking about it for a short time, he followed his brothers to visit friends every day.
In the past, Yun Qingci didn’t have any friends around him, and he always felt that everyone looked at him with disdain, but now that his mind was at peace, he suddenly found that there were many people in this world who were easy to get along with.
The weather was still very cold. The lake was frozen, and the officers and soldiers patrolled back and forth around it to prevent people from going to play with the ice and cause a tragedy.
Yun Qingci bit a candied hawthorn and followed his brothers. He wandered around the streets and alleys every day and was very satisfied with being fed snacks every day.
These were happy days he had never thought of when he was with Li Ying.
If he’d known it before, he wouldn’t have entered any palace. Being a dandy in the Prime Minister’s mansion was a much happier life.
“Eat less sour food.” Someone handed him a bamboo cup with red bean snow dumplings soaked in sweet soup. Lin Huaijin had been coming over to look for him, day after day, since he returned home. He was on good terms with his second brother and would take care of Yun Qingci along the way.
Yun Qingci threw the unfinished candied hawthorns to his fourth brother, took the cup and sipped the sweet soup, saying, “Thank you, Little Marquis.”
“Tomorrow will be the Lantern Festival. There will be many river lanterns. Would you like to come out together?”
Of course, Yun Qingci nodded without hesitation, and his second brother also said, “There is nothing to do at home during the Lantern Festival.”
“I should be busier when you are all free,” Yun Qingjue said: “The bigger the festival is, the more attention the military should pay to security. I will have to go to the barracks.”
“Third brother has worked hard,” Yun Qingci said. Yun Qingjue rubbed his head and added: “Let second brother and fourth brother accompany you.”
“Okay!” Yun Qingci curved his eyes.
Behind him, far away, there was a man wearing black ordinary clothes and a jade crown, his bearing straight as a pine. His black hair made his face look especially pale. He had a gray fox cloak on his shoulders and a short whip in his hand. His eyes stared at Yun Qingci solemnly.
Someone approached him quietly: “Lord, it’s time to set off.”
Li Ying turned around and disappeared into the crowd without looking back.
At this moment, Lin Huaijin asked Yun Qingci softly: “Tomorrow’s Lantern Festival, will His Majesty come to find you?”
“No way,” Yun Qingci said carelessly: “He should be very busy recently.”
Yun Qingci hadn’t seen him for many days, and he guessed that it was probably the conversation that night that made Li Ying retreat.
What a guy.
Yun Qingci thought, just this and he has retreated. Back at this time, he had been pursuing Li Ying for a long time and was just getting more and more frustrated.
However, it was also a good thing that Li Ying did not pester him. When the two of them calmed down, Yun Qingci would propose peaceful separation again. At that time, Li Ying would probably agree.
The next night.
It was not the first time that Yun Qingci had been to the Lantern Festival, but it was the first time that he was not accompanied by Li Ying. No matter how late it was, as long as it was the Lantern Festival, Li Ying would wear casual clothes to accompany Yun Qingci out for a walk. They floated river lanterns together every year and then went to guess riddles. Li Ying often followed him carrying several lanterns, watching him eat and drink and occasionally taking a bite of his snack. His dark eyes overflowed with gentle contentment.
Every year they would do this.
Even if they were still arguing the day before, as long as it was the Lantern Festival, Li Ying would take the initiative to come to him with a lantern and tell him, “You can be angry again after the festival.”
This was his promise to Yun Qingci.
In the early years, after his mother had passed away, Yun Qingci was alone in the courtyard for the New Year, and Li Ying had to be in the palace for the New Year. They could only look up at the fireworks in the same sky from different places.
On the third day of the New Year when he was nine years old, Li Ying came to him and told him, “Although I can’t accompany you for the New Year, I can accompany you for the Lantern Festival.”
“The common folk are very lively during the Lantern Festival. I promise you that I will accompany you for the Lantern Festival every year.”
Yun Qingci didn’t believe him very much: “Really?”
Li Ying looked at him for a long time and said softly, “Really.”
In the next twenty years, Li Ying never broke his promise on this matter. No matter how fierce they made trouble the night before, Li Ying would always accompany him with lanterns on this day. They would walk all over the streets and alleys of Shangyang and buy many cakes and fruit for him to snack on when they returned to the palace.
Yun Qingci remembered asking him one year, “Is the day of the Lantern Festival very important to you?”
It seemed to be on the same day in their previous life. After Yun Qingci had managed to return to the palace by any means necessary, they were standing by the river. Yun Qingci was looking at him, while Li Ying was looking at the lanterns in the river.
He was silent for a long time, then turned to tell Yun Qingci: “Believe me, I will try my best to do everything I can.”
Li Ying was full of thoughts. He looked like he wanted to say more, but stopped. However, Yun Qingci smiled and suddenly rushed towards him. He remembered kissing Li Ying’s face very hard: “I know that Ah Ying has a lot to do, so I am already very satisfied.”
Li Ying let go of the lantern in his hand and hugged him slowly and restrainedly.
Yun Qingci said to him, “Thank you, Ah Ying.”
Li Ying’s lips touched his ear, and he said very softly, “I’m sorry.”
Yun Qingci heard it but pretended not to hear anything.
The night view of Shangyang was very beautiful, and the Lantern Festival was even more spectacular. Yun Qingci didn’t like to float lanterns. He only floated them when he was very young because it was novel for him. Later, when he grew up, he knew that lanterns were useless. Those who should come will come; and those who can’t stay will always be unable to stay.
Fortunately, his brothers didn’t like it either, so Yun Qingci followed them through the streets and alleys, having a good time eating and watching.
After finding a barbecue restaurant to sit down, Yun Qingci began to gasp for breath. Lin Huaijin stretched out his hand to pat him and said, “You’ve been playing for a long time today, you should have said so earlier that you’re uncomfortable.”
“There’s nothing uncomfortable.” That being said, Yun Qingci’s breathing seemed like it was wheezy, sounding like a hoarse ‘ho ho’.
Yun Qingxiao quickly came up with a serious expression, pressed his chest and said, “Don’t eat, let’s go see a doctor.”
“No, I’ll just take a break.”
“Don’t make a fuss and hurry up.”
Yun Qingci’s nose was slightly sour, not only because of their sudden concern, but also with subtle embarrassment. He felt that he had disrupted everyone’s fun time and it was not his original intention. Being the one who ruined the atmosphere, it made him feel a little aggrieved.
Yun Qingxiao picked him up without saying a word and said, “You guys stay here for now, I’ll just take him.”
Everyone was happy today, and so was he. The crowd was packed, the noise throbbed in his ears, and whether it was his brothers or Lin Huaijin, they didn’t spend much time together, so it made sense that they failed to notice his condition.
Yun Qingci felt very regretful: “I’m sorry, second brother.”
“What are you talking about?” Yun Qingxiao scolded him.
Yun Qingci lowered his eyelashes.
He was not used to being treated like this by his relatives.
At this moment, he inevitably thought of Li Ying, who had been with him for so many years.
It seemed that by Li Ying’s side, he could be unscrupulous, could provoke his dignity without fear, could trouble him to do anything for himself and feel comfortable about it. And he could bully him and humiliate him as he deserved.
He clearly didn’t hesitate to reveal all his badness in front of Li Ying, but he was ashamed to reveal even a part of his vulnerability in front of his brothers.
When Li Ying treated him a little bit badly, he felt that the sky was about to collapse. If Li Ying hadn’t noticed the relapse of his injury today, Yun Qingci would have quarreled with him again.
But with his brothers, it seemed to be natural.
Li Ying was really bad, was really, really bad, and it was true that Yun Qingci hated him. But sometimes, he was indeed very good.
For example, he had never forgotten about Yun Qingci’s injury.
As long as Yun Qingci was with him, he would definitely ask every once in a while: “Do you want to take a rest?”
But now, he had to throw out everything about Li Ying, all his good and all his bad.
Throw it far away.
Throw it to a place where he couldn’t see it anymore and couldn’t find it anymore.