As soon as Yun Qingxiao walked out of the restaurant with Yun Qingci on his back, someone stopped them.
“Lord Empress.” Yun Qingci recognized him as someone from the Imperial Hospital. Before he had time to ask any questions, the man said: “His Majesty had sent this servant over. Knowing Your Majesty was following along his two brothers, he was worried that Lord Empress would be too happy during the Lantern Festival and would forget about his old injury. Thus, he told me to treat it in time if there is anything wrong.”
The two Yun brothers were taken aback, and Yun Qingxiao put Yun Qingci into the carriage that was parked aside, saying, “Thank you for your troubles.”
“Master Yun is welcome.”
Yun Qingci’s pulse was taken, and the old eunuch doctor said in a mild tone: “Fortunately, it’s nothing too serious. This old servant will write a prescription and Lord Empress can retrieve the ingredients and decoct it to consume.”
He went to write and did not forget to instruct: “The weather has not warmed up yet, and you can’t bear the cold with your injury. These days, you should take a good rest at home and recuperate. If you come out to play, you should be more careful.”
The recipe was handed to Yun Qingxiao; the old eunuch doctor glanced at the barbecue restaurant where they were about to eat and said, “This place is smoky and hot, and Lord Empress would be better off not eating something too greasy during the next few days.”
Yun Qingci could only nod dryly.
After Yun Qingxiao was sent away by the doctor, Yun Qingci realized that there was a faint pain in his wound. He raised his hand and pressed it, but when he saw his second brother come back, he covered up his action quickly.
“I’ll go say hello to them and then we’ll go home.”
“I can go back by myself.”
“Wait.” Yun Qingxiao turned around and saw the curtain raise. Lin Huaijin also walked out and said, “I just saw Doctor Sun from upstairs. How is it, is it serious?”
“It’s not a problem, it’s just that the fumes here are too heavy and he can’t eat here when he just had a relapse. I was just about to take him home.”
“How about let me go…”
Lin Huaijin met Yun Qingxiao’s inquiring gaze and swallowed his words.
Yun Qingci peeked out from the carriage; his white jade face was less sharp and more delicate and pleasing. Lin Huaijin gave him a crooked smile and said, “Why don’t you sit down there and we’ll get something cooked and bring it down to you?”
“If you have an injury, eating less for a little bit is not a big concern, you can make up for it when you get better,” Yun Qingxiao said while looking at Yun Qingci.
The latter can only nod to agree.
Yun Qingci said goodbye to everyone and went home. Prime Minister Yun ordered the kitchen to give him a bowl of bland wontons. He ate a little, drank the medicine and went to bed early.
He still dreamt of the underground palace, but he didn’t see Li Ying of his previous life. It could be estimated that he was indeed on the expedition for a long time.
Yun Qingci lay in a daze, vaguely feeling that Li Ying should come tonight. Since he had sent Doctor Sun to see him, he should know about the recurrence of his old injury and would not fail to come.
Thinking like this, Yun Qingci woke up several times in the middle of the night, but the room was quiet. There was no sound of an outsider coming, and there was no smell of agarwood pertinent to Li Ying.
Not only that night, but in the next few days, Li Ying never appeared.
When his old injury no longer hurt, Yun Qingci got up early. He walked out of his courtyard and unexpectedly saw his father practicing fist fighting. He calculated the days and asked, “Why didn’t father go to court today?”
Prime Minister Yun withdrew his fist, turned to look at him and said, “His Majesty has been in poor health recently, and the court has been closed for a month. Why? Haven’t you been with Qingxiao every day, didn’t he tell you?”
“No.” Yun Qingci asked instinctively: “Is Li Ying sick? What sickness did he get?”
“Listening to Mr. Liu, it seems to not be anything big.” Prime Minister Yun glanced at him and said, “If you are worried, go to the palace and have a look.”
“What do I have to worry about?” Yun Qingci frowned and said, “I’m just worried that if he dies of illness, won’t I be unable to separate?”
Prime Minister Yun took a sip of tea and nodded thoughtfully.
Yun Qingci suddenly felt wrong: “He is sick, why are you not worried at all?”
As an auxiliary advisor, his father always valued Li Ying’s health very much, and now he was so calm… Yun Qingci raised his eyebrows and said, “What the h*ll did he do?”
Prime Minister Yun laughed, waved his hand and motioned to him to sit down at the stone table. “His Majesty said that he was sick and closed the court for a month, but in fact he left Shangyang, saying that he was going to do an important thing personally. But he didn’t say what it was. He only told me and your third brother to pay more attention to the movements of the Zhang family.”
Yun Qingci didn’t worry about this. Now he and the Yun family were united. As long as Li Ying didn’t attack the Yun family, they would be safe. If he wanted to make any movement, his father would not fail to notice.
It was nice and cool to take advantage of the shade of the trees. This time, Yun Qingci found out that he could live so comfortably with his father and brothers.
He said, “The weather is getting warmer, so I will go to the other courtyard tomorrow.”
“The peaches in the garden planted by your mother are about to bloom, right?”
“Yes, I go to live there every year. By the way, I will take care of the yard to see if there is anything that needs to be repaired. I want to keep it as it is.”
Next day after chatting with his father, Yun Qingci moved to the other courtyard. Because he did it every year, there were always servants guarding the courtyard.
He had to admit that in those twenty years, Li Ying had occupied almost every corner of his life, and even this courtyard had his shadow everywhere.
Yun Qingci often thought of the scene where Li Ying cut off his flesh and fed the snake. Even though he told himself that Li Ying only wanted to go back to the past because he himself regretted it, and the price he paid was what he deserved and had nothing to do with him…
But he still felt that Li Ying’s actions were too crazy.
That scene was engraved in his heart.
In addition to concealing the matter of cutting off his flesh and feeding the snake, what else did Li Ying conceal? His recent state was obviously wrong. Did it have anything to do with the conditions for coming back?
One night in mid-February, a group of people in black appeared outside the courtyard. Someone dismounted and knocked on the door. The gatekeeper opened the door and shivered at the sight in front of him
But he quickly recognized the man standing there, “Your Majesty…”
“Open the door and let the carriage in.”
While opening the door, the gatekeeper told a maid to call Yun Qingci, but Li Ying stopped him and said, “Let him rest first.”
The guards helped out a blood-stained man from the carriage, and it didn’t take long for someone to bring a doctor.
The movements outside disturbed Yun Qingci. He opened his eyes and vaguely heard the sound of the door in the next room creaking and being opened, as well as whispering.
He touched the night pearl he carried with him, stuffed it back, then got out of the bed and leaned close to the door to listen.
After a while, he heard Li Ying casually order something and felt relieved. He immediately opened the door and said angrily, “Why are you… so many people?”
Li Ying stood in front of the door to the side room looking at him, his figure slender, the candlelight dim behind him and his face hidden in the darkness.
Yun Qingci was taken aback for a moment, walked over a few steps and said unhappily: “Why are you here?”
“Your big brother, I brought him.”
Yun Qingci was startled. He quickly bypassed Li Ying, rushed into the side room impatiently and saw an unconscious man on the bed.
His figure was emaciated and there were scars everywhere on his body; he had obviously suffered some torture.
Yun Qingci didn’t know him, but since Li Ying said that he was his eldest brother, it must be so.
He stood at a loss for a while, then walked out again, stuttering: “He, he…”
“Don’t worry, he just needs to recuperate, he is out of danger.”
“You, you went to Beichen?”
“It was for an exchange.” Li Ying said: “I ordered someone to send a letter to him before, telling him not to act rashly, but I didn’t expect that Beichen had already targeted your eldest brother by then. Fortunately, I caught Ruan Lian and we could use him for an exchange.”
Ruan Lian had a special identity. Even if Beichen no longer wanted him, they would never allow Jing Country to kill him, because once the matter was exposed, it would appear that the royal family was too ruthless, and they had to appease the people.
“You, you went in person, if your identity was exposed…”
“I promised you that I would definitely bring your eldest brother home.” Li Ying looked at him and said, “I couldn’t sleep peacefully if I didn’t do it.”
Yun Qingci opened his mouth and said after a while: “Then the court…”
“Don’t worry, I will take care of these things.” Li Ying kept looking at him, then said in a soft voice, “I have brought your brother. Can we not separate?”
Yun Qingci didn’t expect him to mention this suddenly. He widened his eyes and reacted sharply: “Of course not, do you think I’m joking about it?”
“I have carefully considered it, and the answer is no.”
“You are so domineering.” Yun Qingci said, “Selfish ghost.”
He glanced back at his eldest brother, then walked to his room and ordered: “Move all these charcoals to the side room.”
Yun Qingci didn’t know that Li Ying would put his eldest brother here. It was cold in the side room. Now the weather seemed warmer, but the temperature dropped quickly at night. He was worried that Yun Qingji would freeze.
Before entering his room, he called Li Ying again: “Come here.”
He pulled open the cupboard and said to Li Ying, “There are few people in the other courtyard, so please, Your Majesty, help me bring the bedding over.”
Li Ying took the quilt he handed over. Yun Qingci picked up his incense burner and took it to the side room, too.
When the imperial doctor saw this, he gave a smile and said, “The incense is not needed, he doesn’t require it now.”
“I can see he has many injuries on his body, it must be very painful, won’t he not sleep well?”
Li Ying put down the quilt, raised his eyes to see his worried expression, straightened his back quietly and said, “No, his wounds have lapped up blood for so many years, this injury is nothing.”
“It’s not you who is in pain. You dress in brocade and eat lasciviously all day long, how could you know what it means to not be able to sleep because of pain?”
Li Ying did not answer.
But the doctor had already said no, so Yun Qingci took the incense back. Li Ying followed him, watched him put the things back in place and said, “Why don’t you burn the earth dragon?”
“I thought it was already early spring and I shouldn’t need it. Charcoal is enough.”
With Yun Qingji arriving suddenly and the charcoal moved to his room, it quickly became cold.
Li Ying called Yinxi and said, “Go to the side room, pick up a few pieces of charcoal and start it up again.”
Then he took off his cloak and put it on Yun Qingci. Yun Qingci pushed him away and said, “I don’t want it.”
He walked back behind the screen. There was a small charcoal stove next to his bed. Yun Qingci stretched out his hands to warm up. When he noticed that Li Ying was approaching again, he said in dissatisfaction: “My brother has been delivered, so get going. It’s been a month since you’ve been to court, it’d be strange if no one suspected you.”
Li Ying stopped in front of the small stove, put his hands on his knees and slowly squatted down, reaching out to the fire next to him.
For some unknown reason, Yun Qingci felt that Li Ying’s every movement seemed to be restrained, indescribably weird and slow, far less calm than before.
He glanced at Li Ying’s left arm and said stiffly, “What? Is the injury on your forearm not healed yet?”
“It’s much better.”
Li Ying was squatting on the ground and seemed not to want to move. There were green shadows under his eyes and an indescribable tiredness on his pale face. He said, “I just ran for too long and I am a little tired.”
“Don’t pretend to be pitiful with me.” Yun Qingci said, “My elder brother was suffering for the sake of your Li family’s country. He is still unconscious and almost lost his life, you just made a trip, what face do you have to come and claim the credit?”
He was unceremonious in his sarcasm, but Li Ying didn’t argue with him. “Since the person has been handed over to you, I have to ensure that he is safe. When he wakes up, I will leave.”
There was silence in the room.
Yinxi quickly relit the charcoal and put it in the stove. The burning charcoal was smokeless and only occasionally made a slight crackling sound.
It was Li Ying who took the lead in breaking the silence: “Go to sleep, I’ll wait, and I’ll call you when he wakes up.”
“That’s my brother, how can I sleep?” Yun Qingci glanced at the shadows under Li Ying’s eyes, looked away and glanced again, eventually unable to hold back. “Why don’t you just go back to the palace, with your eyebacks like that, Mr. Liu will be distressed again when he sees it.”
Li Ying’s eyelashes trembled slightly, and he raised her eyes to look at him.
Yun Qingci’s expression was vague, his eyes cold and indifferent. What was there to see, he was worried about the court, not about his health.
Li Ying propped his hands on his knees again, straightened up his body, then walked over and sat down beside him.
His breathing was shallow and a little unsteady: “Can I sleep with you for one night?”
Yun Qingci froze for a moment, gave him a disgusted look and said magnanimously, “All right, lie down.”
After finally getting permission, Li Ying’s expression relaxed a little. He took off his boots, socks and robe and laid quietly on Yun Qingci’s bed.
Then he stretched out his hand and carefully touched the corner of Yun Qingci’s clothes, pressing it lightly with his index finger, not daring to hold it in his hand.
Perhaps it was too cold to sit by the bed. Yun Qingci pulled up his feet and put the quilt to cover his legs.
Li Ying had to withdraw his fingers and force himself to close his eyes.
He fell asleep, but Yun Qingci couldn’t sleep. He breathed into his palms and told Jin Huan to call him as soon as something happened next door, and also asked him to bring another quilt over. Just when he was about to cover Li Ying, he found that there were fine beads of sweat on his temples.
…… To be able to sweat at night like this, his body must be good.
Yun Qingci put his foot on him enviously, and the latter, as if aware of it, unconsciously stretched out his hand to hold his foot.
His palm was not as hot as Yun Qingci thought, and even a little cold.
Who knew what kind of physique it was.