Yun Qingci was quite satisfied with Li Ying now. No matter what he demanded, Li Ying would try his best to satisfy him. Hugs and kisses that used to be his favorites before were almost commonplace things nowadays.
Because of Li Heng’s readiness to please, Yun Qingci gradually became more willing to care about this child. After all, no one disliked well-behaved and cute children.
He began to come to Jiangshan Palace every day, under the pretext of sharing the burden of childcare with Li Ying. Actually, he was admiring the beauty of his husband while watching the adorable little dumpling, and from time to time he would secretly eat some tofu.
Before he was reborn, he also thought about waiting for Li Ying to adopt someone’s child; even if he didn’t like it, he would help him raise the child well, but he never thought that a child could be so obedient and so comfortable to raise.
Yun Qingci felt very happy, and great satisfaction overflowed his heart.
But in this kind of life, sometimes there would be a little bit of unhappiness, and that was Li Ying’s nightmares.
Yun Qingci found out that Li Ying still had nightmares a month later after returning to the palace. He and Li Ying always liked to snuggle very close when they slept, so they could feel every movement of each other.
At first, he only felt a scratch on his arm, the pain was transmitted to his brain and he woke up in a daze. He noticed that Li Ying’s face did not look right but before he could say anything, Li Ying had already woken up sweating profusely.
No matter how long it took, he still couldn’t help being frightened by Li Ying’s black hole-like eyes when he woke up from his nightmare.
He reacted immediately and stretched out his hand to cover his eyes.
The softness of his palm relieved Li Ying’s discomfort almost instantly.
“Close your eyes.”
Li Ying breathed somewhat heavily. His eyelashes brushed across Yun Qingci’s palm, and he closed his eyes obediently.
Yun Qingci turned to him, moved his palm away and gently helped him press his thudding temples. Because he just woke up, his voice had a unique ambiguity, and it had a different kind of warmth in Li Ying’s ears.
“Still that dream?” He saw Li Ying’s eyelashes flicker and said, “Don’t open your eyes.”
Li Ying’s fingers clenched and he said hoarsely: “Yes.”
Yun Qingci pursed his mouth, kissed him on the lips and said, “I’m fine now, you can feel it, right?”
“En,” Li Ying replied, but the skin between his eyebrows was pulsing faintly. Yun Qingci’s fingers brushed over his eyebrows. The pads of his fingers were soft and powerful, and he pressed carefully on the center of Li Ying’s eyebrows, saying, “I have forgiven you, don’t think about it anymore.”
Yun Qingci would take care of him like this before, and when he was irritable because of state affairs, he would also help him relieve his discomfort.
Even if he had to do it all over again, Li Ying would still feel pain. No matter what, he had failed Yun Qingci. Even if he had to pay more, Yun Qingci had been killed by him once.
Yun Qingci watched his dark eyelashes moisten, and he rubbed the tip of his nose against Li Ying’s, his heart feeling soft and painful for a while: “Well, it’s all over, I don’t care anymore, why are you still tormenting yourself?”
Li Ying felt more pain in his heart, turned over and pressed him down, burying his face heavily on Yun Qingci’s chest.
He held Yun Qingci’s waist tightly, while Yun Qingci hugged his head, his palms sliding over Li Ying’s long hair, gently and carefully.
He rarely could see Li Ying’s vulnerable appearance, so he cherished Li Ying who was willing to show his weakness in front of him, which made him feel that he was needed.
Otherwise, he would have felt like nothing more than a tool for Li Ying to embellish his life, or just an appendage to be placed at his side.
“Otherwise, the tower won’t be built.”
“It will be built.“ Li Ying knew how to restrain emotions, and his tone had calmed down, although he was still coveting the warmth of Yun Qingci’s arms: “When the tower was built, it was really just so that you could see the peach blossoms in the courtyard from the palace.”
“I know, haven’t we made this matter clear?”
“En,” Li Ying said. “In this life, I can’t let you regret.”
“It’s not because of the tower.”
Yun Qingci believed him.
That night, they hugged each other and slept. Yun Qingci had a bit of medical skills; although he had learned them because Li Ying wanted to make him less clingy, it was good to have some useful skills.
Otherwise he would not be able to make soothing incense for Li Ying himself. But to avoid making mistakes he went to the Imperial Hospital for some advice before he dared to actually put it into practice.
He made soothing incense and refreshing spice pouches to wear. When he gave them to Li Ying, he didn’t forget to send the same ones to his father and brothers and told them to carry them along.
Even the little dumpling Li Heng had a share .
Since there were no concubines in the palace, everything was peaceful and quiet. In the autumn, Li Ying finally collected enough evidence to bring down the Zhang family completely. The evidence was overwhelming and irrefutable, and the whole family was sentenced to death.
Yun Qingci hadn’t been to see Empress Dowager Zhang, but one night, he saw Li Ying coming back from Taici Palace. He was dressed in black and his expression was serene. It wasn’t until he saw Yun Qingci that his expression became a little more vivid.
Then the next day, the news of the violent death of the Empress Dowager came from Taici Palace. Li Ying was very calm about it and only quietly told him: “Everything will be back in order.”
He posthumously honoured his birth mother and buried Empress Dowager Zhang.
The disclosure of the origin of the Son of Heaven caused an uproar in Jing. Rumors appeared from who knows where that he had been abused by Empress Dowager Zhang since he was a child. The people empathized with the emperor. The Zhang family completely turned into a street rat, with no place to hide.
Yun Qingci tested Li Ying’s attitude about it and was asked in return, “Do I look like I’ve been bullied as a child to you?”
Yun Qingci didn’t think Li Ying looked like that, but maybe he did.
He was a very paranoid and sensitive person, but Li Ying had always been gentle in his previous life. Even if he occasionally was cold, as long as his bottom line was not involved, he was easy to coax.
Yun Qingci had always felt that it was impossible for a person with a good temper to have suffered grievances. Using him as an example, if someone dared to do something to him, he would fight to death to get back his own.
He realized that Li Ying didn’t want to share those unhappy things with him, so he didn’t ask much. Anyways, life was long, and when he wanted to say it, he will naturally say it.
Yun Qingci didn’t want to deliberately expose his scars; he knew that Li Ying had his own pride. It was not that he condoned Li Ying but since the two of them had reconciled, he didn’t feel that Li Ying owed him anything. Thus he would give his partner the utmost respect to not compromise their future.
He didn’t want Li Ying to become humble, accommodating and unlike himself because of him.
When the weather gradually turned cooler, the Qifeng Tower was completed, and Li Ying’s nightmares became frequent.
He would always dream of Yun Qingci from his previous life, remembering the other party falling from the top of the tower in the ice and snow, with his ill-fitting shoes and a thin shirt. The memory of the beautiful and tragic ending seamlessly turned abrupt and cruel, and even after experiencing it countless times, he would still tremble all over.
After Yun Qingci was woken up several times in a row, he found that Li Ying didn’t dare to sleep close to him anymore. He was stunned and then he took the initiative to move closer to Li Ying or simply touch his hand and interlock their ten fingers to comfort him.
But one day, he touched the bed at his side and the sheets still held the temperature of Li Ying’s body, but Li Ying himself was not around.
Yun Qingci rubbed his eyes, sat up and called, “Ah Ying?”
With no answer, Yun Qingci got out of bed, only to find that the door of the room was half-closed and Li Ying was standing in the yard.
Yun Qingci followed his line of sight to see the familiar Qifeng Tower with its flying curved eaves, rising into the sky gracefully and beautifully.
Li Ying stood motionless, looking very still.
In his previous life, when he woke up from a nightmare, he often looked at the Qifeng Tower like this. Sometimes after looking at it for a long time, he seemed to get into a trance.
Yun Qingci opened the door and looked at him for a while, then quietly returned to the room, took out his black cloth bag from the head of the bed and opened it carefully, revealing the bright night pearl inside.
The Qifeng Tower had six flying eaves. Only one specific eave could be seen from Chaoyang Palace. Yun Qingci didn’t know much about the perspective of other palaces, but he knew that the eaves that could be seen from Jiangshan Palace were not the same as those he saw in Chaoyang Palace.
Within two days, Li Ying was awakened by the nightmare again. He did not alarm Yun Qingci but wiped cold sweat from his forehead and looked at his Lord Empress in a daze for a while.
The soothing fragrance made by Yun Qingci’s own hands was burning in the room and it was a reassuring smell, but Li Ying always felt dazed, as if none of this was true and he was just hallucinating.
He habitually opened the quilt and got out of bed to look at the eaves of Qifeng Tower.
When Yun Qingci said he would stop the construction, Li Ying thought he would be okay with it, but when it was built he realized that the roof was too familiar, so familiar that he couldn’t help but feel scared, as if he was once again back in the world where he had lost Yun Qingci and couldn’t change the ending.
If possible, he would never want to see the Qifeng Tower again in his life.
But he didn’t know how to tell Yun Qingci about it.
He also knew that it took a lot of manpower and material resources to build the tower, and even if he was the Son of Heaven, he shouldn’t do such things on a whim.
He opened the familiar palace gate and suddenly heard a palace servant whisper outside: “Look what’s hanging there?”
“The moon? It’s so bright.”
“It’s really bright, is it a night pearl?”
When Li Ying walked out, everyone was silent, not daring to make a noise.
The Son of Heaven, dressed in a dark-colored shirt, came all the way to the yard, stood in a familiar place and raised his head to look.
His whole body froze.
Obviously it was still the eaves, the eaves that would make him feel panicked as long as he couldn’t see Yun Qingci, but they suddenly changed their appearance.
A round glazed lamp was hung there. On such a cold winter day, on such high eaves, it was obviously impossible for a candle to be inside it.
There was a night pearl in it and it shone brightly in the middle of the night, like a small moon, swinging slightly with the wind.
There probably were bells dangling under the glazed lamp, and when the wind blew, there was a tinkling sound that reached his ears, like the sound of a fairy above the ninth heaven, which instantly brought him to his senses.
It was not an illusion, he had indeed been reborn; and even if the tower was exactly the same as in his previous life, it was no longer the world of his previous life.
Someone used this glazed lamp that glowed in the dark to completely distinguish his previous life from the present.
It was a little moon that was hung specially for him and belonged to him alone.
Li Ying’s heart trembled. He turned around suddenly, then strode back into the palace. Yun Qingci on the bed was turning over habitually and his white hand was touching the sheets.
In confusion, he realized that Li Ying must have gone out again. As soon as he half opened his eyes, his fingers were held by another hand, and a person with a faint chill on him burrowed in and took him in his arms in the process.
Yun Qingci hummed, then his half-opened eyes closed again, and he said softly, “Were you out again?”
“En.” Li Ying hugged him tightly and whispered, “I saw a glazed lamp hanging on the eaves of the tower.”
“Did you hang it up?”
Li Ying kissed him heavily on the lips.
Yun Qingci, who hadn’t woken up, had soft lips and a soft temper. Even his humming was soft. Li Ying restrained himself and let him go, saying in a hoarse voice: “Ah Ci.”
“Will you always treat me so well?”
Yun Qingci’s eyes curved up, he couldn’t stop laughing and said slowly: “It depends on your performance.”
“Then, will you always like me?”
“Oh.” Yun Qingci noticed his uneasiness, immediately opened his eyes and kissed him sweetly: “Of course I will.”
Yun Qingci had always been a very affectionate person who would never get tired of eating what he liked; and the people he liked, he would like them even after a lifetime.
Li Ying lowered his head, his eyes moist against Yun Qingci’s forehead, and he begged in a voice full of longing: “Say that you love me.”
“I love you.”
“I want to hear more.”
Yun Qingci’s face became even sweeter. He kissed Li Ying again and said softly and sticky: “I, love, Ah, Ying.”
Li Ying used all his strength to hug him tightly. He buried his face in Yun Qingci’s neck, breathing deeply and eagerly.
I love Ah Ci the most.
My little bodhisattva.
Thank you for your willingness to save me, to forgive me and to love me.