The Ice Festival was a folk festival, but sometimes the Emperor would also participate in it. Having fun with the people, chasing each other on the ice wearing skates, it was a winter event that the public was extremely fond of.
Originally, this year the Ministry of Rites was also asked to make arrangements and notify the military camp to make security preparations in advance, but when the papers were ready, the idea was suppressed by the Emperor who had just quarreled with the Lord Empress. Thus, everything was put on hold.
This matter spread to the people.
As Yun Qingci and Lin Huaijin walked together, they heard someone talking: “I think Canglan Lake is a private venue this time. Isn’t His Majesty coming this year?”
“Don’t you know yet? His Majesty has been annoyed to death recently, how can he still have the mind to have fun with us.”
“What do you mean?”
“Isn’t it because of Lord Empress Yun’s domineering jealousy that angered His Majesty? I heard this person was directly kicked out. My brother who works in the palace says that this time, it should be difficult for Lord Empress Yun to turn the situation around.”
“I have heard this, but doesn’t His Majesty like Lord Empress Yun?”
“It’s absolutely true. I don’t know what he’s thinking. He can’t give birth to a child, and he won’t let His Majesty touch others. Does he want to make the royal family extinct? Of course, His Majesty will hate him. Just think about it, how can such an ignorant person be the son of the prime minister?”
“He has only stayed in the prime minister’s mansion for a few years. It’s not like Prime Minister Yun taught him, he grew up with his mother…”
The sound gradually faded away.
The Emperor was generous and benevolent and advocated freedom of speech, but everyone was responsible for their words. If there were rumors that slandered and humiliated the royal family, those who spread them would be punished.
The matter between Yun Qingci and Li Ying could not be considered private, and no one deliberately blocked the news. Besides, it was useless to block it: Yun Qingci was the one who caused trouble in front of the Prime Minister’s mansion.
However, the matter of abolishment was sensitive, and no one dared to talk about it openly.
Yun Qingci had expected all this a long time ago. His reputation was completely ruined after he was driven out of the palace. Those who hated him vigorously promoted how disdainful he was, and those who loved him… There was no one who loved him, so no one deliberately tried to suppress the gossip.
Yun Qingsu was quietly observing his reaction. It was actually Prime Minister Yun’s intention not to prevent the spreading of the news, because he was going to use this matter to make Yun Qingci open his eyes and see clearly. Had Li Ying really loved him, he would not have let rumors spread.
As long as Yun Qingci could be convinced that Li Ying no longer cared for him, their plan to persuade him to divorce would be half successful.
Yun Qingci’s expression was calm, and he didn’t seem to be concerned.
Then something warm covered his ears, and he was taken aback for a moment. It was Lin Huaijin who took a pair of furry warm ear mufflers out of nowhere and put them on Yun Qinci’s ears from behind.
With his ears warm, Yun Qingci involuntarily glanced up at Lin Huaijin who smiled and said: “Look at your ears, all red with cold. My mother handed them to me before I went out. I thought they’re useless, so I just put them on for you.”
The thick warm ear mufflers did block most of the sound, and warmth flashed in Yun Qingci’s eyes.
Yun Qingsu’s heart jumped, and he said cautiously: “I’m afraid this is not appropriate?”
“What’s wrong with it?” Lin Huaijin looked at Yun Qingci and said with satisfaction: “Aren’t they very pretty.”
It did look very good. Yun Qingci was born with crystal clear beauty, and with a furry hat and warm ear mufflers, he looked like a little demon spirit coming out of the mountains, very bright and quick-witted.
It’s not that it was not appropriate to wear the mufflers, but Yun Qingci was the Lord Empress after all, and openly accepting things from another man was really a bit unorthodox. Yun Qingsu glanced around, making sure that no one was paying attention, before saying, “Quickly thank Brother Lin.”
Anyway, Yun Qingci grew up with them. It shouldn’t be a big deal for his elder brother to take care of his younger brother.
Yun Qingsu treated him like a child, but Yun Qingci enjoyed it very much. He curved his eyes and said obediently: “Thank you, Brother Lin.”
Behind him, Li Ying stepped forward expressionlessly, but Liu Ziru hurriedly grabbed the corner of his clothes: “Your Majesty, there are many people watching.”
He reminded him that if the Emperor and Lord Empress made trouble here, they would lose a lot of face.
Li Ying’s face was sullen, and he crushed the wooden stand of the small stall nearby, making the stall owner stare.
Liu Ziru hurriedly stepped forward to offer compensation.
“I haven’t eaten anything in the morning, are you hungry?” After a few more steps, Yun Qingsu’s stomach rumbled, so he asked his younger brother: “There is a shop selling snow dumplings with rock sugar over there, let’s go and sit down.”
Yun Qingci stopped, turned his head slightly, glanced behind obliquely, and then said, “Okay.”
The three of them sat down at the dumpling stall. Yun Qingci took a spoon handed by his fourth brother and scooped up a round and cute snow dumpling, blew on it gently and put it into his mouth. He scanned the surroundings carelessly.
“Xiao Ci, do you want to go to the ice rink later?” Lin Huaijin asked, and Yun Qingsu replied on his brother’s behalf: “He is still injured, so forget it.”
Lin Huaijin looked regretful: “I remember Xiao Ci can skate.”
The first time Yun Qingci wore skates, he was led by Li Ying. Many first times in his life were brought by Li Ying. In the year of his mother’s death, Yun Qingci, who was eight years old, locked himself in the suburban courtyard and saw no one. But Li Ying often visited him. He was the crown prince, and Yun Qingci couldn’t stop him, so he just ignored him.
He built an ice wall in his heart and blocked everyone from the outside, but no matter how cold the ice was, it couldn’t withstand someone’s many years of warmth. Yun Qingci finally opened his heart and accepted Li Ying into his territory, admitting him as the person who was as important to him as his mother was.
He thought he had found a new harbor for himself, but he didn’t know that he had let in a wicked scheming wolf.
Yun Qingci’s eyes overflowed with sarcasm, but when he raised his face, he looked gentle and harmless: “It’s okay, I can skate, let’s go together later.”
Yun Qingsu was taken aback: “Can you? Is your lung injury also okay? ”
“Well, I just won’t exercise strenuously.”
After the sword had pierced his lung, Yun Qingci had been unable to do very strenuous things. However, the injury was not too serious. As long as his behavior was appropriate, there would be basically no recurrence.
After eating the hot dumplings, Yun Qingci’s face turned rosy, and he followed his brother to the lake. The official game was scheduled for tomorrow. Today there were many people on the lake. As long as you had skates, you could join at will.
Before getting on the ice, Yun Qingsu instructed Lin Huaijin: “He has an injury to his left wrist. Pay attention, Xiao Ci. If you are uncomfortable, you must tell us in advance, otherwise father will slap me if you suffer.”
“Okay.” Yun Qingci threw the cloak to his servants, bounced twice on the skates, and his eyes lit up. He took the lead to jump on the ice. Amidst Yun Qingsu’s shout of “Don’t run around”, he disappeared into the crowd.
In his previous life, he had revolved his life around Li Ying. But now, as he was sliding on the ice carelessly, Yun Qingci realized that life could be so relaxed and joyful.
He was like a bird out of a cage, moving flexibly through the crowd, making others turn pale with his rampage on the ice. But every time when he was about to hit someone, he would avoid them very skillfully.
He heard someone curse: “What are you rushing for, showing off your good skills?”
Yun Qingci turned his head and glanced at the man, recognizing the Grand Commander Qiu’s fourth son, Qiu Yang.
This guy wandering around brothels all year round, entangling with flowers without getting emotionally involved, he couldn’t even skate.
Yun Qingci raised the corner of his mouth, turned around, and came at him again, deliberately teasing him.
Qiu Yang originally put all his attention on his feet, but found that the other’s white clothes were frequently swaying in front of him. He finally realized the provocation. His heart surged with anger. He raised his eyes: “Dare to provoke this young master, do you know who I am…”
Wait, who is this?
Qiu Yang was dumbfounded for a moment, and then he finally replaced the other party’s bright and enchanting face with the indifferent and sneering visage in his memory. His tongue trembled: “Yun, Yunyun…”
“Idiot.” Feeling refreshed, Yun Qingci raised his chin proudly with an open mockery, then he floated away like the wind.
Qiu Yang: “…you stop for me!”
Yun Qingsu finally caught up and chuckled when he saw it: “Master Qiu, are you okay? Do you want me to find someone to take care of you?”
“Does your brother have a brain disease?“ Qiu Yang didn’t dare to call Yun Qingci’s name directly, and pointed at Yun Qingsu’s nose and scolded, “Can’t he skate without provoking anyone?!”
Yun Qingsu was surprised: “Did he bully you?”
Qiu Yang was aggrieved: “What else?!”
Yun Qingci always regarded Li Ying’s affairs as the biggest importance in the world. Now he hadn’t met Li Ying for two days, and he was still in the mood to bully people? Yun Qingsu clapped his hands happily: “That’s great!”
Qiu Yang: “???”
Your whole Yun family has brain diseases, right?
Lin Huaijin was paying attention to Yun Qingci’s movements, but perhaps there were too many people in the rink, or perhaps Yun Qingci was too excited. His figure disappeared and appeared from time to time as he was sliding back and forth. When Lin Huaijin met Yun Qingsu again, both of them discovered that Yun Qingci was gone.
Yun Qingci rushed forward quickly, catching up with the people who were as fast as him. The groups of young men slid on the ice like flying eagles.
Suddenly someone slid faster, cutting past him like lightning. Yun Qingci felt an arm tighten on his waist, and the wind whistled in his ears.
When he returned to his senses, he had already been kidnapped.
The person who kidnapped him came to the shore quickly where another person immediately stepped forward and knelt on the ground, taking off his skates and putting a pair of boots on him.
This was a pavilion in the southwest corner of Canglan Lake, with windproof draperies hung on all sides. There was also a charcoal basin and a soft couch inside. The noise was left behind on the opposite side of the lake, and this lakeside was guarded, with no one allowed to approach.
Li Ying put Yun Qingci on a stone bench with soft cushions in the pavilion, then squatted in front of him and took off his skates.
His long hair slipped off his shoulders brushing Yun Qingci’s calf. He put Yun Qingci’s feet into a padded foot bag, was silent for a moment, then raised his face.
It was still the most familiar appearance imprinted in Yun Qingci’s memory, as if molded precisely according to his aesthetics. The complexion white as porcelain and the eyes dark and deep. When Li Ying put on that dragon robe and his crown, he would become majestic, ancient and distant, awe-inspiring and desirable.
Like the wine hidden deep in the alley, while Yun Qingci was a drinker who followed the smell. The smell of the wine drove him forward, but he could never find a specific location.
He always felt that Li Ying had 10,000 layers of blackness around him. He stripped them layer by layer, but he might never be able to get to the bottom for the rest of his life, so he could only keep groping, keep chasing, never able to stop.
Thinking about it now, perhaps he was trying too hard; worked too much in exchange for a little response.
Li Ying raised his hand and took off the warm ear mufflers on his head.
They looked at each other.
Li Ying opened his mouth first: “Do you have nothing to say to me?”
Yun Qingci touched his ears and said: “It’s cold.”
Li Ying covered his ears. His palms were wide, and because he was chasing Yun Qingci on the ice just now, his skin was very hot.
Yun Qingci looked perplexed.
Liu Ziru quickly sent new ear mufflers, and Li Ying put them on Yun Qingci personally, saying: “Not anymore.”
Yun Qingci didn’t say a word, and Li Ying asked again, “Are these warmer than Lin Huaijin’s?”
He stared at Yun Qingci, eager to hear unreserved approval from him.
‘Everything Ah Ying gives is naturally better than others.’
These were the sweet words that Yun Qingci often used to say.
“It’s good,” Yun Qingci said.
Liu Ziru brought new boots; Li Ying took them and put them on Yun Qingci’s feet, saying: “The boots are also good, aren’t they?”
“En.” Yun Qingci agreed.
Yun Qingci didn’t praise him, but just let him show kindness, neither accepting or declining it.
Self-deprecation appeared in Li Ying’s eyes: “The things I give are only worth an ‘en’?”
What is he fishing for? Yun Qingci raised his eyebrows slightly and smiled quickly: “The things Your Majesty gives are naturally very good.” He stood up respectfully.
”This subject thanks His Majesty for his kindness…”
Li Ying pressed him down, holding Yun Qingci’s shoulder, and said in a deep voice: “You know what I want to hear.”
Yun Qingci showed a more confused expression: “What does Your Majesty want to hear?”
“…” If he wanted him to say it, naturally he couldn’t.
He was the dignified ruler of the country, and his pride wouldn’t allow him to beg for anything from anyone.
What’s more, those words used to be like cow dung in his eyes, which made it particularly hard to swallow.
Yun Qingci watched him, and Li Ying was also observing him. Neither of them understood why the other party would make all kinds of unreasonable actions.
Why is it that the two people who were most familiar with each other couldn’t predict each other’s behavior anymore?