The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 77

Chapter 77

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“Ah Nian, Ah Nian…”

“From the beginning, you obeyed me and became my blade, destined to never escape the cycle of karma. Now, we share the same fate, and in the future, we have a long way to go…”

“Ah Nian, I’m waiting for you…”

In his dream, a haunting melody filled his ears, and Fu Nian practically opened his eyes in an instant.

The excruciating pain in his body had not yet subsided, and his limbs felt as heavy as lead, unable to move.

Fu Nian smelled the bitter-sweet fragrance of herbs around him, and something was still boiling on a stove, emitting a bubbling sound.

His vision could focus, and he saw the familiar and exquisite carvings on the ceiling, with layers of cascading curtains around.

This was… the sleeping palace?

Fortunately, he didn’t wake up and see that old man.

Fu Nian’s last memory was being unconscious amidst the raging flames.

Since he could safely lie in the sleeping palace, it was safe to assume that Fu Zhen, that shrewd thousand-year-old demon, was still wandering outside.

Feeling quite tired, Fu Nian confirmed that he was still alive and decided to sleep a little longer.

However, as soon as he closed his eyes this time, in a daze, he felt something soft trying to pry open his lips.

Fu Nian obediently opened his mouth.


The bitter taste briefly touched his taste buds and quickly slid down his throat, causing him little discomfort.

Fu Nian swallowed the medicinal liquid obediently, but the bitter and burning sensation accumulated in his esophagus, making him slightly uneasy.

“Ugh, ugh…”

He felt the back of his head being gently lifted, and a tender hand smoothed his discomfort along his chest.

Fu Nian let out a comfortable groan and unconsciously turned his head, rubbing against the lingering scent on the pillow beside him, then turned over and sank back into a deep sleep.

After an unknown amount of time, he opened his eyes again, and the early morning light sparsely shone through the window grilles.

Enduring the intense pain, Fu Nian made a difficult movement, turning his neck slightly.

“Lord, you’re awake.”

As soon as he moved, Fu Nian heard a soft call from outside the canopy.

He reached out and pushed aside the layers of curtains. “Gao Gonggong…” Perhaps due to inhaling too much smoke earlier, Fu Nian’s voice was still quite hoarse.

After speaking, Fu Nian saw that not far from the bed, there was a low-legged desk covered with writing materials.

Behind the desk, there was a small black spherical object.

Upon closer inspection, the tiny “black ball” resembled a humanoid figure, but in a very strange posture, with its head buried tightly between its knees and chest.

“Lord, please be a bit quieter. His Majesty has been—” 

Gao Gonggong hadn’t finished speaking when suddenly the “black ball” unfolded, revealing slender limbs that didn’t match its size. It sat up straight at the table, alertly glancing in the direction of the dragon bed.

Chu Zhaoyi…

Fu Nian’s first reaction was how a person as big as Chu Zhaoyi could shrink into such a small ball.

If he could shrink into such a small ball, then he might also fit into the confinement room in Hengchang Palace after growing up.

“I shall take my leave, Your Majesty.” Seeing this, Gao Gonggong retreated discreetly.

In the blink of an eye, Chu Zhaoyi had transformed from the curled-up black ball into a tall and sturdy figure. If it weren’t for the slight creases on his sleeves, you wouldn’t be able to tell that he had just been as small as a ball.

“…” Fu Nian looked at Chu Zhaoyi standing by the bedside and hung his head.

Oh no, what should I say? Fu Nian quickly thought.

During the silence, he saw Chu Zhaoyi sitting on the edge of the bed, his gaze still fixed on him. 

“It’s my responsibility. The situation was urgent at the time, and I got separated from Chu Qianqi,” Fu Nian began to sit up to apologize, but as soon as he moved, the burned skin on his back started to hurt badly. He had to lie back down. “And also…” 

“What else?” Chu Zhaoyi’s tone remained calm. 

Fu Nian glanced at the fatigue on Chu Zhaoyi’s face. 

Seeing that Fu Nian wasn’t speaking, Chu Zhaoyi continued, “I understand. Fu Bie is lying in the Imperial Hospital, and he’s not seriously injured. Fu Nineteen is still alive, but it will take him a few more days to regain consciousness. As for that man… the Imperial Guards and the villagers from the mountains couldn’t find him. They only found a charred corpse, and it’s not confirmed whether it’s his or not. The coroner hasn’t released the results yet. But I suspect the real man has long since escaped. He’s too clever to be trapped in a place like that.” 


Fu Nian remembered the words spoken by the villagers who rescued him in a half-awake state.

Could it be true? Did Fu Zhen sacrifice himself in the raging flames to save him?

“Don’t worry. Your good senior brother and good junior brother are both fine. As for Fu Zhen, if he didn’t die, he will definitely return someday for revenge. What else would you like to ask?”

“No, it’s not that I want to ask you those things.” Fu Nian hesitated and then glanced at Chu Zhaoyi’s face.

It should have been a stunningly beautiful face, but now, worn down by fatigue, it bore some resemblance to a skeleton. The light in his eyes was also clouded and dim.

“What I want to say is… I’m sorry for making you worry.” After speaking, Fu Nian quickly averted his gaze. “I’m sorry. I made you anxious during this time. I’m really sorry.”

In his last moments, when he was on the brink of death in the flames, his first thought wasn’t the relief of avenge, but rather, would this man, who had entangled with him so deeply, be saddened by his death?

In the previous life, whenever Fu Nian said such words, he would receive responses like, “A pawn should knows its place. Don’t make the same mistake again,” delivered in a cold and sarcastic tone.

After saying this, Fu Nian didn’t expect to receive any pleasant response, so he turned his face away.

Endless silence.

Suddenly, Fu Nian felt a hot, moist sensation on his collarbone and neck.

Fu Nian turned his head, his breath catching for a moment.

Chu Zhaoyi, who had always had an icy demeanor, suddenly had a lot of crimson bloodshot in his eyes, and tears kept rolling on his eyelids. Even though he was trying to maintain his previous dignified image, the twitching of his lips had long given away his inner emotions.

Chu Zhaoyi… was crying?

Seeing this scene, Fu Nian felt like he had been struck dumb and couldn’t move at all.

This emotionally reserved person, except for moments when the wind and sand irritated his eyes, had never shed a tear for anything.

“You…,” Fu Nian felt somewhat uneasy as he watched the increasingly reddened eyes. 

He didn’t know how to handle this situation. 

There were no guidelines in the books for this. What should a Shadow Guard do when the Emperor cried? Should he just stand by and watch the Emperor cry? Or should he offer a handkerchief to wipe away the tears? Or maybe quietly leave to let the Emperor cry alone? What should he do? 

He was feeling extremely anxious.

“Why are you crying?….Don’t cry.”

As soon as he asked, a weight suddenly pressed against his shoulder, and the part of his back that hadn’t been burned was tightly embraced, leaving no room for him to breathe.

This time, Fu Nian didn’t dodge and cautiously extended his hands, gently embracing Chu Zhaoyi’s broad back.

This was the first time he had dared to return a hug so boldly and without permission.

At the brink of death, Fu Nian had a deeper realization that this man, who had been intertwined with him throughout his youth, couldn’t simply become a stranger in this lifetime just because he wished to let go of their entanglement.

Feeling the head resting on his shoulder slightly moving, the area of wet clothing continued to expand.

But there wasn’t a sound of crying.

Fu Nian could feel that Chu Zhaoyi was intentionally suppressing his voice. Judging by his skill, it was evident that he had cried while suppressing his voice like this before.

Fu Nian gently stroked the muscles on Chu Zhaoyi’s back without any method, attempting to comfort him.

They didn’t know how long they had been hugging each other when Fu Nian cautiously spoke, “Zhaoyi? Please… stop crying, okay?”

After speaking, Fu Nian noticed that Chu Zhaoyi didn’t refute his behavior of addressing him by name directly, so he continued, “Zhaoyi, please stop crying, okay?”

But besides asking him to stop crying, Fu Nian couldn’t come up with anything else.

Fu Nian knew a bit generally about Chu Zhaoyi’s upbringing and environment when he was young.

Apart from the innate ability to cry like a baby, no one had ever taught Chu Zhaoyi how to express his emotions. Furthermore, nobody had taught him how to express pain and sorrow.

However, crying was considered the most immature and powerless behavior in the eyes of the public.

“…,” Fu Nian remained silent, and the arm behind Chu Zhaoyi became tighter.

“Ah Nian…” The voice against his shoulder sounded somewhat muffled, as if it carried a hint of sobbing.

In the previous life, Chu Zhaoyi had always been so self-assured, and Fu Nian had never felt that he was needed in any way.

This time… even though he felt somewhat helpless while watching Chu Zhaoyi cry because of him, a trace of abnormal satisfaction ignited within Fu Nian.

He was no longer the one-sided giver, unrewarded for his efforts.

At this point, Fu Nian’s fingers clenched even tighter, and he ignored his own physical pain to embrace the man in front of him more closely.

The feeling of movement on his shoulder seemed to last for a long time before Fu Nian felt that Chu Zhaoyi had calmed down a bit.

In silence, he felt Chu Zhaoyi guide his hand slowly towards his chest.

Fu Nian hadn’t expected that Chu Zhaoyi would directly guide his hand to pass through the barrier of clothing and touch his chest.

“You…” When his hand touched the chest muscles, Fu Nian instinctively retracted it.

But it was pushed back, and his palm was forcibly pressed against the skin on Chu Zhaoyi’s chest.

The long-lost sensation took a moment to get used to, and Fu Nian cautiously used his fingertip to gently caress the familiar touch of the chest muscles.

After a brief touch, Fu Nian noticed that there seemed to be a small scar near the heart, which wasn’t in his visual memory.

The scar wasn’t large, just a small mark, like a burn or a bite mark from an insect.

In the previous life, as they gradually grew apart, apart from occasionally touching Chu Zhaoyi’s body through a towel during baths, most of the time, even when they shared the same bed, Fu Nian was usually the only one disheveled.

There were no kisses, let alone such intimate contact. Most of the time, they only had a relationship of venting and being vented.

Fu Nian gently touched the scar, thinking about when Chu Zhaoyi had been injured.

As he was contemplating, Fu Nian felt that under the fingertip, the rhythm of Chu Zhaoyi’s heartbeat seemed somewhat different from that of an ordinary person. It was like a small worm imitating the rhythm of a heartbeat, constantly wriggling.

Only in moments of stillness, with careful attention, could one feel the presence of the worm.

Fu Nian’s hand paused for a while, and suddenly, it seemed like he realized something.

“Your Majesty, your heart—”

“It’s time for the morning court.” Without waiting for Fu Nian to finish, Chu Zhaoyi suddenly and without warning released his hands that had been holding Fu Nian behind his back.

When he rose from the hollow of his shoulder and neck, his sharp and slender eyes still had a hint of physiological blush.

“I’m almost late, and the courtiers are waiting. Ah Nian, you need to rest properly and listen to the imperial physician.”

“Your Majesty, wait—” This time, Fu Nian was the one in a hurry.

His arms were still in the position of hugging Chu Zhaoyi, frozen in mid-air. He watched helplessly as Chu Zhaoyi strode away without being able to hold him back.

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