Yun Qingci had no experience of dealing with this kind of thing. During the twenty seven years of his previous life, he had his mother for eight years only. At that time, he was still very young and his whole life was centered around his mother, so he had never lied.
Later, he broke his relationship with Prime Minister Yun, and facing completely irrelevant relatives, there was no need to hide anything.
He subconsciously hid the note behind his back and then hesitantly took it out in front of Prime Minister Yun’s increasingly gloomy face.
Prime Minister Yun came over and took a look. His brows suddenly frowned, but instead of scolding Yun Qingci, he sighed, handed the note back and said, “Did he stay overnight last night?”
Yun Qingci lowered his head and gave a small en.
Prime Minister Yun said again: “Have you thought about it clearly, do you really not want to separate?”
Yun Qingci didn’t think clearly; he just felt that Li Ying was inseparable from him now, and every minute and every second of their separation was torture for Li Ying.
But in front of his father, he could only say: “He is sick…”
Prime Minister Yun’s expression changed: “What?!”
“Didn’t you notice that he lost a lot of weight? He has headaches, and that day when he was angry he even vomited blood. His body… is very bad now, and I can’t leave him like that.”
Prime Minister Yun was silent for a moment. Li Ying’s condition was very bad indeed, so naturally he could see it. Not only him, but other courtiers had also noticed. Today, some people were asking for the re-selection of concubines to enter the palace, so that the imperial family could grow spring branches and scatter leaves.
Prime Minister Yun retreated to the chair and sat down, his face solemn. “Do you know the details? Is it some kind of illness, or…”
“I don’t know what the disease is, but it’s serious.” Yun Qingci didn’t lie at all: “He is in pain all the time. Even when he is writing, the pain is unbearable.”
Prime Minister Yun recalled carefully, raised his hand and stroked his beard, saying, “No wonder… When you were unconscious, His Majesty ordered people to send all the memorials to the courtyard. I noticed that he always looked strained when reviewing a case.”
Li Ying always seemed to have an inexhaustible burden on his shoulders. His body was like that in his previous life, and he still insisted on raising Li Heng till adulthood. After the light turned red, knowing full well that he was running out of oil and was bound to die, he still held on to put Li Heng on the throne.
One could say that he cared about glory and wealth, but when he died, he was all alone and didn’t bring along anything but the funeral clothes that matched Yun Qingci’s.
What was he busy in his previous life for, and what was he holding strong in this life for?
Prime Minister Yun sighed slowly and said, “As your father, I am naturally more concerned about you. It’s not that father doesn’t know that he is a good boy and a good and diligent monarch. From the moment he ascended the throne to the present, father watched him become more and more capable of taking the lead, and father felt relieved… But as the emperor, he is destined not to be able to give you all his affection. If you are with him, I’m afraid you will be disappointed.”
His father could see it very well.
In his previous life, Li Ying did fulfill his responsibilities to everyone and everything, but he did not fulfill his obligations to Yun Qingci.
If he had listened to his father earlier, would he continue to be entangled with Li Ying? Yun Qingci had no answer, and there were no ‘ifs’ in this world.
“It’s just that.” Prime Minister Yun stood up and said, “Since he is not in good health, I have to prepare a memorial and ask him to appoint a successor as soon as possible. Whether he adopts or chooses a concubine to enter the palace, there must be a conclusion on this matter.”
He brushed past Yun Qingci, patted him on the shoulder and said, “This matter is up to you… If you want, stay with him more, dad doesn’t mind.”
Yun Qingci turned around in surprise, but Prime Minister Yun had already walked out quickly.
He opened his mouth, somehow feeling as if his father had misunderstood something…?
Did he think that Li Ying wouldn’t live long?
But taking into account Li Ying’s current appearance, he really didn’t look like he would have a long life.
Li Ying, will you die?
When this idea struck, Yun Qingci felt uncomfortable for a while.
Although his father did not continue to nag him, Yun Qingci still left the Prime Minister’s mansion and returned to the other courtyard. In the days while he was lethargic, the peach blossoms in the yard quietly bloomed all over the garden. At this time in previous lifetime, he would sit under the peach tree, paint and practice playing the qin, or improve his chess skills, and miss the time when his mother had still been there.
The passing of his life was monotonous, with only his mother and Li Ying occupying the most important place in it for the longest time.
Yun Qingci couldn’t leave Li Ying now. No matter how calmly and rationally he reasoned, he couldn’t let him go.
Let his father misunderstand first. Yun Qingci walked back to the room, opened the drawer and put the note in.
There was a beautifully carved wooden pendant lying in the drawer. It was carved by Li Ying. Under the wooden pendant there was a completed drawing. It was painted by Yun Qingci before he fell asleep. He was going to replace the pendant engraved by Li Ying and make a new token for the Qing Division.
While he was in a coma, Li Ying was sitting at this desk to read a batch of memorials. He must have seen this drawing and recognized the words ‘Qing Division’ embedded in it.
Yun Qingci didn’t feel guilty. He could neither let go of Li Ying nor could he love him as before. He insisted on his previous idea; Li Ying couldn’t be the center of everything in his life, so he would change the token.
The drawer was pushed closed, and Yun Qingci walked into the small kitchen in the courtyard.
He recognized a lot of fruit and vegetables, and his craftsmanship was also very good. There was nothing to do,, so he decided to cook some food for Li Ying personally and deliver it to him.
Because of his old injury, he couldn’t inhale smoke, so he put on a facial towel that blocked the oil fumes. Despite this, the maidservant was taken aback: “Let these slaves do it.”
“Don’t get in the way, guys, you go start the fire and go cut the vegetables for me.”
It was not tiring to do these things, especially with so many people obeying his commands.
When the meal was half ready, someone came to report: “Master Lin Xiao Hou is here.”
Yun Qingci could only put down the pot and spoon, take off his face towel and walk out. Lin Huaijin was dressed in a white shirt and looked like a perfect gentleman, standing under the peach blossom tree and looking back at him. His smile disappeared when he saw Yun Qingci, “Maybe it’s not the right time for me to come?”
Yun Qingci shook his head, asked him to sit down at the stone table under the peach tree and said, “Master Xiao Hou came here to…”
“Hearing Second Brother Yun say you are awake, I decided to come and take a look.”
For some reason, Yun Qingci felt that his expression seemed somewhat excited. He poured tea and casually asked, “Is there some happy occasion?”
“Of course, I am happy that you woke up.”
Yun Qingci put down a jade jug and took a sip of water. He felt that not only was Lin Huaijin in a happy mood, but he also seemed less reserved in his talking than before.
He felt weird and then he saw Lin Huaijin starting to say something and stop.
Yun Qingci: “?”
“I think you’ve just come out of the kitchen, did you cook personally?”
“Yes, because considering… my father and brothers have worried a lot about me recently, so I wanted to make a table of dishes and invite everyone to eat them.”
Lin Huaijin looked around, but didn’t see Yun Qingci’s father and brothers. Yun Qingci spoke again: “I haven’t done it for too long, so I’ll practice first, so as not to make a joke out of myself when the time comes.”
Lin Huaijin suddenly laughed and said, “You are cautious.”
Yun Qingci smiled humbly, thinking that he would have to cook another soup later. Although he did it lightly, he still fried it with lard, and he worried that Li Ying would not be able to eat it.
“I don’t know if I could have the blessing to…” As soon as Lin Huaijin started, there was a sudden movement outside and Qiu Yang’s voice came: “Lin Huaijin, are you here? Lin Huaijin!”
When Lin Huaijin heard him coming, his face sank slightly. Qiu Yang walked in all the way. The servant of the courtyard chased after him. When he saw Yun Qingci, he looked a little aggrieved: “This little one couldn’t stop him.”
Yun Qingci waved to the servant to stand down. As soon as Qiu Yang saw him, he subconsciously straightened his clothes and said, “I’m here to find him.”
Yun Qingci heard that the two of them often came to visit when he was asleep. He said deliberately, “Then you have found him, can you go?”
Qiu Yang, who was about to sit next to Lin Huaijin, stiffened and then shoved him with his elbow. Lin Huaijin had no choice but to say, “He also heard that you woke up, so he’s come to have a look.”
“Yes, yes, yes.” Qiu Yang picked up Lin Huaijin’s teacup and said, “Congratulations for two simultaneous happy events in the family.”
Lin Huaijin stared at him with his face gloomy, and Yun Qingci also looked over suspiciously: “Two happy events? Where are the two happy events?”
“It’s a joy for you to wake up from a coma after more than half a month and His Majesty finally relented and agreed to separate. Isn’t that another joy?”
Yun Qingci: “… who told you that?”
“Before His Majesty dismissed the concubines, you went to separate with him. This matter made a lot of noise in the city, you should also know about it.”
Yun Qingci did know about this. In the month when Li Ying left Shangyang to pick up his eldest brother, rumors about them were indeed circulating in the city, but——
“I’m asking you, how do you know that His Majesty promised to separate with me?” Lin Huaijin looked at Qiu Yang blankly. Qiu Yang finally realized that the matter had not yet been made public. He said, “We came to see you before and unexpectedly heard the conversation between His Majesty and your father… Xiao Hou also knows.”
“…” Yun Qingci was speechless for a moment, and then said, “You won’t tell others, will you?”
“No, no, no.” Qiu Yang quickly waved his hand and said, “I dare not talk nonsense about this kind of thing. As a friend, I just came to congratulate you in advance on your freedom. In the future, the good men of Jing will be waiting for you to pick.”
Yun Qingci was speechless.
He could barely take back his words in front of his father, but in front of outsiders, he really didn’t know how to open his mouth.
“Little master, the food is all ready.” The cook came over to greet, and Lin Huaijin said, “Since Ah Ci is all right, the two of us will…”
“Stay, let’s eat together.” Yun Qingci gave up his idea about delivering his meal, so he ordered the servants to lay the table and said, “Go make another soup.”
As soon as the food was served, another person came to the courtyard. Lin Huaijin and Qiu Yang didn’t notice. Only Yun Qingci put down his bowl and chopsticks quickly and said, “There seems to be a dish left in the kitchen. Let me go and have a look.”
Before the two of them could say anything, Yun Qingci left the table. He walked out of the dining room and chased the smell of agarwood into the peach grove. With a gust of wind, peach petals scattered, completely hiding the smell.
“Li Ying?” Yun Qingci said, and the man walked out from behind the tree in front of him. The sunlight penetrated the peach grove, making his pale face look almost transparent; there were a few pink petals fallen on his black clothes.
Yun Qingci hurried over and said, “You’ve come, why don’t you show up? I made some food and just put it on the table.”
“I was busy with things this morning, so I thought I’d come and see you and go right back.”
“Eat before going back.”
Yun Qingci took his hand. Li Ying did not resist. After the two walked a few steps, Yun Qingci suddenly stopped. He glanced at Li Ying hesitantly and said, “They also know that you promised to separate with me…”
Li Ying’s tone was gentle: “You don’t want them to know that we are reconciled?”
“It, it’s not that.” Yun Qingci turned around and clung to him, pressing his forehead against Li Ying’s chest. He said sullenly: “I made such a noise some time ago asking for separation. Suddenly, when you agree to separate, I want to reconcile. It looks like I don’t have face…”
“I’ll just tell them that I don’t want to separate.”
“If you say you don’t want to, I still won’t have face.”
Yun Qingci’s head rolled back and forth against his chest like a ball, as he muttered, “Think of a way.”
Li Ying rubbed his head and said, “You cooked by yourself today?”
“Is there anything left in the kitchen?”
“Huh?” Yun Qingci raised his face and said, “There is still some soup.”
“Take me secretly to have some soup.”
Yun Qingci blinked. He first went to send away the cook, then returned to take Li Ying in, put him next to the pot, poured the rest of the soup in a bowl and asked, “Would you like some pastries?”
“Did you make them?”
“Of course not.” Yun Qingci turned to get them, then came back and handed them to him, saying, “Grandma Wu made them. Her cooking is really good. She put sesame oil and scallions in them, they are not greasy at all.”
Li Ying stretched out his hand to pick up a pastry, and Yun Qingci said, “You can drink the soup by yourself, and I will feed you the pastry.”
Li Ying reminded: “You have been out for too long, and your two friends are waiting for you.”
Yun Qingci thought of Lin Huaijin and Qiu Yang.
Li Ying took the pastry by himself and said, “Go, I’ll wait for you here.”
Yun Qingci turned and walked out, and looked back at him at the door. Li Ying waved to him and watched his figure disappear in the doorway.
He was the only one left in the kitchen.
Li Ying hadn’t eaten in the kitchen in either of his two lives. He tore off a small piece of pastry, put the rest back, ate just a little of the soup cooked by Yun Qingci and then waited quietly.
He could understand Yun Qingci’s thoughts.
Previously, Yun Qingci always had his heart concerned about him alone and didn’t care about anyone else. Before he got married, he did have classmates he was friendly with and could go out to eat and play with them, but for Li Ying, he missed appointments many times and left others behind many times.
As a result, his circle of friends that was not big to begin with got smaller and smaller, until Li Ying was the only one left.
Yun Qingci was ready to be himself again and to be an independent person. This was what Li Ying had always wished for. In his previous life, he asked Yun Qingci not to stick to him and to learn more, hoping that he could regain his own circle of life.
Now, he finally got what he wanted.
He should have been happy.
But in this kitchen, it suddenly felt a little deserted.
He understood that because now he could easily solve the things that were very strenuous for him in his previous life, he had a lot of free time and could only wait for Yun Qingci.
Just like Yun Qingci in his previous life had waited for him.
Sometimes in torment, sometimes in anxiety, and sometimes in loneliness.
Even if Yun Qingci had already shown that he loved him very much, even if he was willing to let Yun Qingci achieve his own aims, he would still be at a loss and would worry about being abandoned at any time.
Li Ying got up, washed the soup pot, his bowl and chopsticks and put them back in place.
Of course he knew he was wrong. He just wanted to feel like Yun Qingci in his previous life, to experience his once unappreciated experience and pain.
It seemed that only in this way could he be worthy of Yun Qingci choosing him again.
He always told himself that he paid the price to come back just to love Yun Qingci.
He once forced Yun Qingci to retreat again and again, while he marched ahead to become the emperor who impressed his ministers and made everyone sing praises when they mentioned him. He went forward, and every time he turned his head, Yun Qingci obediently accompanied him by his side.
Until he turned his head again, and Yun Qingci gave his life to him as well.
This time, he would always stay guarding the place instead, waiting for Yun Qingci to turn around.
No matter how long he waited, as long as Yun Qingci was willing to look back, he would be there.
There was that heavenly voice. Li Ying turned from the small window to look at him. When Yun Qingci saw him, surprise flashed in his eyes. He didn’t seem to expect that Li Ying would really be waiting for him here.
Then his eyes lit up, he rushed over and threw himself into his arms, “I have eaten, have you waited for a long time?” ”
“No?” Yun Qingci frowned. “You like me so much, don’t you have the feeling that one day without seeing me is like three years apart?”
“Then waiting for me makes you feel very painful?”
Li Ying: “……”
Just talk if you want to talk, how come you are bullying people again for no reason.
Yun Qingci glanced at his expression, chuckled and said, “Seeing you so well-behaved, I couldn’t hold back.”
There was no other way, the current Li Ying looked too easy to bully. Yun Qingci stopped bullying him, rewarded him with a kiss and praised him: “Today, your clothes smell well. Don’t use so much incense in the future. It smells bad when it’s too heavy.”
The smell was coming and going. When he felt loved, the smell was gone and he seemed to be the Li Ying who used to be spirited back then. When he felt that Yun Qingci didn’t love him, the smell became particularly pungent. Then he felt like a mouse thrown into a damp cellar, rotting silently and humbly.
Li Ying knew that it had to be an illusion.
“Have you finished the soup?”
“Where are the pastries?” Yun Qingci walked towards the basket where the pastries were placed and Li Ying immediately stretched out his hand to hold him, saying, “I’ve eaten them.”
Yun Qingci stopped, glanced at him and said, “Let’s go out for a walk?”
Yun Qingci led him for a stroll in the peach grove and said full heartedly, “You have to eat well.”
“I’m serious.” Yun Qingci stopped and said with a serious expression, “Let me tell you, I am not going to separate with you now. Other things aside, at least you can’t let me be widowed, right?”
“…no way.” Li Ying said helplessly: “I am in good health.”
“You don’t look good at all!” Yun Qingci said angrily: “I’m really worried about you. Li Ying, today I told my father that you can’t do without me. He thinks you don’t have much time left. Did you know that your face and body look terrible. The most important thing is your waist. It used to be so strong. Also right now I’m not exposing and tearing you down, I’m just being kind and considerate.”
Li Ying’s face turned an interesting shade of green. He stretched out his arm to pick up Yun Qingci, and said in a low voice, “What are you speaking nonsense about?”
Yun Qingci kicked his feet in the air and realized that his indirect method had worked. He deliberately said, “Although I’m not looking for anyone else, you don’t want me to lose you because of this, do you? You say you are fine everywhere, but you are not in good health. What should I do?”
Li Ying was so angry: “Wasn’t it you who was crying yesterday?”
“It’s me.” Yun Qingci said righteously: “I was cooperating with you.”
“…” Li Ying glanced at his little expression and suddenly realized his intention. Yun Qingci was worried about him. He knew that Li Ying couldn’t eat, and knew that Li Ying cared about the ugly appearance he had seen. He used this method because he knew that in this aspect Li Ying would not give in. He was actually saying: You see, you are so good everywhere. I must like you to death. Why are you dropping your head? Cheer up and toss me around!
What kind of person was Yun Qingci?
When he said hurtful things, every word was scalding, and when he was considerate, it was almost impossible to figure out his original intention.
If Li Ying hadn’t understood him, he would have been fooled.
He placed Yun Qingci on a low branch of a very old peach tree, held his face and kissed his lips fiercely.
He shouldn’t make Yun Qingci worry about him. Now the other party expressed his love for him, even if it was not as paranoid and extreme as before, it was also love.
The way he felt sorry for himself seemed to be accusing Yun Qingci of not loving deeply enough.
He should let Yun Qingci understand that Li Ying was still that Li Ying. He was His Majesty Emperor Li who could let Yun Qingci do whatever he wanted and ride lawless on his head; not a useless coward who needed Yun Qingci to be cautious, think carefully and always worry about his inferiority complex
His kiss was powerful and domineering, and Yun Qingci did not avoid it. He was kissed until he was short of breath, until his heart beat faster, almost until the old injury in his lungs was about to relapse.
Li Ying finally stopped.
He stretched out his hand and stroked the back of Yun Qingci’s head, calmed down his heavy breathing and said softly, “Ah Ci.”
“What are you doing.”
Li Ying picked a peach blossom, put it on his hair and said, “There is a peach blossom on your head.”
Yun Qingci rolled his eyes. He also grabbed a peach blossom and put it on his head: “You have a peach blossom, too.”
Li Ying laughed quietly.
In a daze, he remembered that a long, long time ago, when Yun Qingci was still closed up and refused to talk to anyone because of his mother’s death, he quietly squeeze next to little Yun Qingci, who was holding a book, and put a flower on his head: “Kid, there is a flower on your head.”
The boy stared at him coldly, then pulled off the flower and threw it aside.
He picked another flower and put it on the boy’s head, “Another one blossomed.”
The boy grabbed it again and threw it away, and said fiercely: “I’ll beat you up if you make trouble again.”
Li Ying was not scared even for a moment. He picked a third flower and put it on his head: “Your little head, why do you always bloom?”
“It’s you who bloomed!” The child blushed, grabbed the book and ran after him: “I’m going to smash your head to the ground until it blooms!”
The laughter of the children in his memory faded away, and Li Ying lowered his eyes to look at his lover who was resting on his lap.
“Oh, why are you so annoying?”
Li Ying squinted his eyes and raised his face, and the warm but not scorching spring sun fell on his skin.
There was a sea of peach blossoms blooming around.
Yun Qingci adjusted to a comfortable position on his lap and asked, “Why are you calling me, why don’t you say anything?”
“Well, I want to tell you that the weather is really nice today.”
Yun Qingci didn’t hold back and burst out laughing.