Li Ying’s announcement that he would make Li Heng his heir really caused a storm in Shangyang City. After all, he was now in his prime and it was natural to want his own children, but he had to adopt a child of another person. In the eyes of many people it seemed extremely hard to believe.
Which man doesn’t want to have his own child?
In response to this edict, some people felt that Li Ying was suffering from a brain disease, some people said that it was just a whim, and even more people felt that it was the Emperor’s way to keep the Lord Empress who was making trouble and wanting to separate.
Someone in Shangyang City sang: “They say that after the young emperor ascended to the throne, he punished corrupt officials, arrested their families and beheaded them, executing father and son for the same crime. It was more powerful than the tactics of the previous emperor who took money but didn’t take life. Those black-hearted officials were afraid to involve their children and grandchildren and didn’t dare to sin again. The entire officialdom was clean and a decisive monarch finally seemed to emerge in our Great Jing.”
“Who would think that he would actually disband the harem for a man, and now he is about to adopt the son of his elder brother as soon as he comes of age… He is breaking his own back!”
“Who says he isn’t good.” Since they were talking about the right and wrong of the imperial family, their voices were very low: “Back then when he bent over backwards to marry the Yun family son, I still thought this young emperor was really not simple, at a young age already knowing how to use powerful ministers to back him up. A tiger father can’t have a dog son and later he will leave his name in history …… Ha, didn’t expect him to, ah, fall so hard.”
“This matter isn’t new for him, chasing after Lord Empress Yun… Look at the Qifeng Tower, it started building when the Lord Empress left the palace, right? Nowadays it is half built but the Lord Empress is still yet to return.”
“That’s good.” The man chewed some peanuts and said eloquently: “I can tell you, Lord Empress Yun used to chase after him but now he really wants to get rid of him and is determined to separate. Even if he really made up his mind not to have his own children and grandchildren, I’m afraid it will be difficult to get the Lord Empress back. That Prime Minister Yun is not stupid… How many times can he send his child to the palace?”
“But, what do you think of the young emperor, maybe the Imperial Hospital can diagnose him with a brain disease…”
Yun Qingci tilted up his nose. Just when he was about to walk over to scare these two guys who didn’t know how high the sky was, his wrist was suddenly grasped.
Only then did Yun Qingci remember that he was called out by Lin Huaijin this time. The other party said that he had something to say, but they had walked the entire time and he hadn’t spoken yet.
“Master Xiao Hou.” Yun Qingci freed his wrist and said, “We have already walked halfway. If you have something to say, just say it.”
“Would you like to eat candied hawthorns?”
“I’m not a kid, I stopped eating them a long time ago.”
Lin Huaijin asked again, “Would you like to eat flower cakes?”
Yun Qingci couldn’t help but want to laugh: “I came out with a full stomach.”
Lin Huaijin continued to walk forward. Yun Qingci glanced at him sideways, faintly aware of something, and said, “What’s the matter, if you don’t say anything, I will go back.”
Lin Huaijin was silent for a moment before he said, “There is something I haven’t told you. Last winter, the pair of ear mufflers you made for me was stolen.”
“Yes.” Lin Huaijin recalled that after he received Yun Qingci’s ear mufflers and went home that day, he carefully placed them in a delicate wooden box. That night, a dark shadow came into his room and opened the wooden box. Lin Huaijin hurriedly raised his sword to attack but stopped after meeting the other party’s gaze.
Then he watched him jump out the window, leap onto the roof and disappear.
Yun Qingci: “…”
He didn’t know how to respond to this for a while.
Lin Huaijin looked at him and said, “I haven’t told you about this before, because you and His Majesty were having trouble at that time. I was worried that this incident would make your relationship worse.”
Lin Huaijin was right to worry.
At that time, if Yun Qingci knew that Li Ying had secretly gone to Lin’s house to steal the ear mufflers, he would definitely rush to scold him.
“…are you sure it was him who took them?”
Lin Huaijin smiled faintly: “He was not afraid that I would recognize him, or he hoped that I would recognize him. Although he was wearing a mask that night, he didn’t change his dragon boots and dragon robe. He wanted me to back away.”
Yun Qingci held back for a while and said wearily: “Anyway, you can do without that pair of ear mufflers.”
Lin Huaijin’s eyes dimmed.
Actually, he spoke about this incident to test Yun Qingci’s attitude. Obviously, Yun Qingci no longer hated Li Ying.
“You and His Majesty, are you not going to separate?” He spoke again, his tone still very gentle.
Yun Qingci’s hands clenched unconsciously behind his back. He was still a little embarrassed but Lin Huaijin’s current attitude made him unable to deny it.
If you can’t deny it, you can only admit it.
He nodded embarrassedly and said, “We have actually reconciled.”
The late emperor worked hard to rule the country and he didn’t like disputes. His greatest hobby was to care about people’s livelihood. He reigned for thirty years and planted land for twenty five years.
He had always been a peaceful ruler, and he often said he wanted all the people of Great Jing to be fed and clothed and refugees in the entire country to have a home to go back to. Even if he had soldiers and horses, he had never thought of invading other countries.
Later, Li Ying inherited his will. Although his methods were a bit fiercer than his father’s, his basic goals did not change. He also believed that the late emperor’s thoughts were right. Whether he was a true ruler of the country or not depended not on how much territory he annexed or how many ambitions he achieved, but on whether his people were able to live and work in peace. He fought fiercely not to bully the weak, but to make the people of his country stronger and not to be bullied.
At this moment, Lin Huaijin and Yun Qingci were standing on a prosperous street of Shangyang City. The hawking on both sides was endless. Some people passing by were in a hurry, and some had a lazy attitude. They were all rushing to live their own lives.
This was Li Ying’s age of prosperity.
And the person in front of him was Li Ying’s only Lord Empress.
Lin Huaijin sighed slowly and said, “I’m always one step late.”
Yun Qingci’s gaze was confused, and Lin Huaijin said lightly, “Back then, if I had asked first, would you have been willing to marry me?”
Yun Qingci’s eyelids twitched: “Master Xiao Hou, this joke…”
“This is no joke.” Lin Huaijin added solemnly: “When His Majesty showed that he liked you, I also wanted to do it, but he beat me to it.”
“…” Yun Qingci could see his calmness and his heart relaxed, then tightened again. He wrinkled his eyebrows and said, “What, when did he show that he liked me? Obviously I liked him first.”
Lin Huaijin seemed to be taken aback for a moment: “When he ascended the throne, did you like him?”
“No, how old was I at that time… it was when I was an adult. It didn’t take me too long to tell him, and we got married.”
As they moved forward side by side, Lin Huaijin’s eyes flashed with surprise, and he said, “But as far as I know, His Majesty was in love with in you since he was fourteen years old.”
Yun Qingci: “???”
Before he could ask questions, Lin Huaijin had already stopped, withdrew his hand and said, “He is coming, ask him yourself.”
Yun Qingci raised his eyes, and there was a slender man standing in front of the carriage. The corners of his mouth couldn’t stop curling and he looked at Lin Huaijin again. The latter had already traveled a long way, and his figure quickly disappeared in the crowd.
Li Ying walked up and stopped beside him.
As soon as Yun Qingci turned his head, he was caught off guard by the look of Li Ying’s dark eyes. He immediately took a step back: “Why are you staring like that at me for?”
Li Ying didn’t look away and asked in a low voice, “Why are you staring at him for?”
“I was thinking about what he said.” Yun Qingci’s expression tensed again, as he said, “Say, do you still have something you hid from me?” ”
“Do you dare to repeat that?”
“…” Li Ying thought for a moment seriously, and since he couldn’t think of anything, he could only say, “Remind me?”
“Did you deliberately…” He raised his voice and noticed there were people around; he blushed suddenly. Li Ying looked at him with interest, stepped forward and thoughtfully leaned his ear closer to him: “Yes?”
Yun Qingci tilted up his face, put his lips to Li Ying’s ear, lowered his voice and said viciously, “Did you like me first?!”
Li Ying’s eyelashes trembled, and he said softly, “En.”
Yun Qingci stared at him fiercely: “Then you deliberately seduced me and made me state it first…”
“No.” Li Ying took his hand, his voice was gentle and soft, like a gust of wind that blew away the anger in Yun Qingci’s heart. Yun Qingci asked patiently, “Then why didn’t you tell me first?”
“Would you like to eat candied hawthorns?”
Li Ying went to buy candied hawthorns, handed them to him and then asked, “Would you like to eat a flower cake?”
Li Ying went to buy a flower cake and walked side by side with him, “Would you like to drink sweet soup?”
“Yes.” Yun Qingci watched him buy a cup of sweet soup, and before he could speak again, he said, “Don’t change the subject, hurry up.”
“Actually, it’s nothing.” Li Ying was holding a flower cake in one hand and a small bamboo cup in the other. From time to time, he took a wooden spoon to feed Yun Qingci a mouthful of sweet soup. He said, “Zhang Shixue knew that I liked you. She told me that you are a man. If I really liked you, I shouldn’t waste your time.”
“How could she be so kind?!”
“Yeah, how could she be so kind.” Li Ying fed him another mouthful of sweet soup and said, “I was going to give up, but you took the initiative to come to me and told me about your feelings… Now that I think about it, she was just playing with us, she intimidated me to keep me from loving you while she encouraged you to pester me, making me gradually feel that you were no longer the person I loved.”
“This poisonous woman!” Yun Qingci took a fierce bite of the hawthorn, and the outer icing crackled. Li Ying’s eyebrows twitched slightly. Just watching Yun Qingci eat, he felt that his teeth were sour. He quickly fed him another mouthful of sweet soup and said, “Blame me for being so stupid.”
“You’re not.” Yun Qingci said immediately: “Because we were too young… Yes, anyway, I was too naive then. Maybe, maybe even more stupid than you.”
He frowned, and Li Ying suddenly couldn’t help laughing.
He stretched out his hand and pulled Yun Qingci closer, saying, “Yes, I am stupid.”
Yun Qingci didn’t feel comfortable listening to it. After a moment of feeling stifled, he said: “Actually, you’re not stupid. Look at these people around us. They can only live a good life because of you.”
“It’s not me, it’s countless people like your eldest brother who allowed them to live a good life.”
Yun Qingci raised his face and said, “You too.”
“Didn’t you say that I was incompetent as a husband before?”
“…so what I say is regarded as the truth?”
“Then I’ll take it back now, you are the most, most, most awesome!”
“Okay.” Li Ying looked satisfied. Yun Qingci observed his expression and his heart was full of joy. “Are you happy?” he asked.
“Then carry me.” Yun Qingci stopped and looked at him sternly: “I’m tired of walking.”
Li Ying handed the contents of his hands to his subordinates, bent over and lifted him up.
Yun Qingci laid down contentedly on his back, closed his eyes and put his head on his shoulder, saying, “I’ve been thinking recently, if we publish posters and release the portraits of Master Qi, he will be easier to find.”
“As you wish.” Li Ying said, then at the next moment his eyes suddenly met the gaze of a tall alchemist with his black hair pulled up high. The man was dressed in a green robe, lightly waved his whisk resting on his elbow, bowed slightly and saluted him.
Li Ying passed him calmly, his hands silently clasping the legs of his lover on his back.
The alchemist behind him straightened up, turned around and rushed in the opposite direction.
At this moment, Li Ying said, “I suddenly remembered that there might be no Master Qi in this world.”
Yun Qingci: “?”
“Ah Ci, I want to suffer for you.” Li Ying walked forward slowly and said, “I want to be sure that I love you at all times.”
“I never understood why I still did so many things that hurt you when it was clear that I had always loved you in my previous life as well.”
“I hope I can keep the authenticity of loving you so that I never forget and never dare to make mistakes again.”
He said, “Ah Ci, let me have my wish, okay?”