The Shadow Guard is also the White Moonlight [Rebirth] Chapter 97

Chapter 97

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Fu Nian hadn’t run out of Chengyuan Hall when he couldn’t help but slow down his pace.

After just a few steps, his breathing became increasingly heavy, and the protests from his abdomen started again.

“I told you to be quiet!” Fu Nian whispered, but the reprimand didn’t work. He had to stop chasing and send the Imperial Guards to track him down.

Back in the palace, Fu Nian’s gaze remained fixed on the soul bell and the box filled with ashes.

He tried to ignite the ashes with a candle flame again, but this time, there was no strange smell, and he didn’t see Fu Nineteen’s past through his vision.

In the evening, while Fu Nian was flipping through the martial arts manuals in his room, he suddenly heard some movement outside the door and quickly sat up straight.

After a few seconds, as expected, a slender figure moved stealthily outside the door.

Fu Nian pretended not to notice and leaned back, continuing to flip through the martial arts manuals as if he were doing nothing.

Until the person stealthily entered the room, carefully approached him from behind, and occasionally adjusted his collar, squatting down to deliberately stay out of Fu Nian’s sight.

After a while, when Fu Nian continued reading, the figure stood up again and playfully touched Fu Nian’s hair.

After enduring for a while, Fu Nian lazily stretched, deliberately swinging his prosthetic limb backward.

Feeling the solid touch, Fu Nian quickly turned around and paused for a few seconds before speaking, “Your Majesty, what are you doing here?”

“I called you for dinner,” Chu Zhaoyi furrowed his brow, rubbed the spot on his shoulder where he had been hit, without reproach, “Dinner is ready; let’s go.”

Before Fu Nian could respond, a pair of hands suddenly appeared at his knees, attempting to lift him from the blanket.

“I can walk by myself!” Being suddenly lifted, he felt a bit flustered but didn’t dare to move rashly. He could only protest softly, “Let go!”

His protests had no effect, and Chu Zhaoyi continued walking without acknowledging him, carrying him along.

Fu Nian didn’t know what nerve he had struck this time, so he tried to kick his legs lightly, indicating for Chu Zhaoyi to put him down.

As they approached the doorstep, Chu Zhaoyi stopped and said, “I heard that you dispatched the Imperial Guards to track down that Fu Nineteen’s whereabouts today and even attempted to leave the palace against the doctor’s orders. Is that true?”

Fu Nian:…

He was currently being carried in the air and could only honestly respond, “Yes, Your Majesty. But I was only…”

Before he could finish his sentence, Chu Zhaoyi took another step forward, striding out.

“I had no other intentions in tracking him; I was just concerned that he might cause trouble and create complications,” Fu Nian continued to explain as he saw palace maids coming and going in the distance. “I really had no other intentions.”

“I understand,” Chu Zhaoyi replied calmly. “If you had other intentions, you wouldn’t have let Fu Nineteen leave the prison alive.”

Even though he disliked hearing Fu Nian call him “Senior Brother” all the time, their relationship was limited to that of sect brothers. Chu Zhaoyi couldn’t say much even if he disliked it.

Even if Ah Nian were to develop an interest in someone, it would undoubtedly be someone who had captivated Ah Nian. 

“Can you let this subordinate go?”

“When you need to plead with someone, you should remember what I taught you during our nighttime lessons.” 

Fu Nian paused for a moment, then remembered the only effective way to beg for mercy through whispered words that had been taught to him not long ago. 

He remained silent. 

Chu Zhaoyi continued to walk briskly ahead, undeterred. 

As the palace maids and servants came closer, and with most of the palace lanterns already lit, Fu Nian grew increasingly worried about being recognized.

He grabbed Chu Zhaoyi’s collar.

After hesitating for a while, he mustered the courage to suppress his embarrassment and whispered, “Hu… Husband.”

After speaking, Fu Nian felt that the hand holding him not only didn’t loosen but actually tightened a bit. 

“Please, let me go, dear husband, I beg you,” he gritted his teeth and, in the chilly night air, his cheeks blushed almost to a boil as he tried to bury his face as much as possible. 

Completely unaware of the hostile gaze from above, which had suddenly become very intense, 

Fu Nian felt himself gradually being lowered after a long time. 

Once he stood firm, Fu Nian adjusted his wrinkled clothes and stood behind Chu Zhaoyi, ready to follow him as soon as Chu Zhaoyi resumed walking. However, he suddenly realized that Chu Zhaoyi remained motionless with his back turned to him. 

“You go ahead to the main hall. I’ll be there shortly,” Chu Zhaoyi said with a calm voice, taking a deep breath. “I just remembered an important document that needs my approval.” 

Fu Nian: “Alright.” 

He didn’t suspect anything and quickly took a detour to make his escape.

As they sat together at the dinner table, Fu Nian waited until Chu Zhaoyi had nearly finished eating before speaking, “I discussed it with Fu Bie, and we’ve decided to let him stay in the palace. Once he recovers, he will train with the Imperial Guards. Whether he stays or leaves in the future, it’s up to him. When I asked about his age, he only said he was probably around eleven or twelve years old, so he was most likely picked up by that old man at a young age…”

“All right, if Ah Nian says it’s okay,” Chu Zhaoyi replied.

Fu Nian continued to inquire, “May I ask, Your Majesty, have you heard of the ‘Death Spirit Incense’?”

“When I was young, I heard about it in various odd books. It’s said to be an incense created by a death row prisoner from the first family of perfumers, used to record one’s life experiences and grievances to seek justice after death. However, due to its complex production process and cruelty, it requires human blood as an offering. Even if it’s successfully made, people are prone to problems due to excessive blood loss, especially those with weak constitutions. They may die from excessive blood loss, which is why it’s called ‘Death Spirit Incense.’ Over time, it became a rumor that it exchanges a portion of one’s lifespan for innocence. It is said to have been lost before the Three Dynasties. However, it’s essentially a folk legend, and there’s no record of it in official history. Why do you ask?”

Fu Nian quickly shook his head and said, “It’s nothing.”

It turns out that the reason for the rumors of burning incense in exchange for life essence was simply due to excessive blood loss. 

Fu Nineteen had been practicing martial arts since childhood and was still able to ride a horse out of the capital, indicating that his health was not seriously compromised.

This year, the first snow in the capital had arrived a bit late, and just a few hours ago, there was still a strong north wind. As a result, a thin layer of frost covered the courtyard in front of the sleeping palace.

In recent days, Fu Nian had trouble sleeping. It was probably because he hadn’t paid much attention in the previous months, but as time passed, the baby inside him became more active. Especially in recent days, he couldn’t sleep for more than half an hour at a time.

Tonight was no different. He hadn’t slept a wink by the third watch of the night. Instead, he sat by the window, holding a stone and grinding the slightly dull blade of his Fuguang Blade. He pretended it was just like the old days, keeping a night vigil to ensure the safety of the emperor.


While he was sitting by the window sharpening his blade, Fu Nian heard rustling sounds coming from the bed curtain.

He put down the stone and dagger, thinking that Chu Zhaoyi might not be feeling well, and he hurried over.

He lifted the curtain, and in the dim light, he saw Chu Zhaoyi anxiously sitting up, groping in the dark and constantly feeling around the bed as if searching for something.

Fu Nian had adapted to night vision and could barely see. He approached cautiously and asked, “Your Majesty? Are you looking for something?”

Before Fu Nian could finish his sentence, he suddenly felt a hand grabbing his arm. He saw Chu Zhaoyi hesitate for a moment and then collapse back onto the bed while still clutching Fu Nian’s arm.

Fu Nian couldn’t move with his arm held firmly, but he seemed to understand something. It seemed that during his absence, he had truly frightened Chu Zhaoyi.

He didn’t get up to sharpen his blade again. Instead, he laid beside Chu Zhaoyi, quietly listening to the emperor’s breathing.

In the early morning, when the eunuch came to summon Chu Zhaoyi for court, the snow outside had already covered the ground up to the soles of their boots.

With a pregnancy of more than six months, even though his winter clothes were loose, they couldn’t hide the changes in his body.

After getting dressed, Fu Nian sat on a cushion, allowing Chu Zhaoyi to tie up his hair.

“Your Majesty, did you sleep well last night?” Fu Nian recalled how Chu Zhaoyi had searched everywhere for him when he wasn’t in bed the previous night, and he casually asked, “Did you dream about something?”

“Why do you ask?” Chu Zhaoyi was puzzled and asked in return.

After some thought, Chu Zhaoyi remembered that his sleep had improved somewhat since Ah Nian returned. At least last night, he had slept peacefully. “I didn’t dream at all. Did I talk in my sleep or something?”

“It’s nothing…” Fu Nian thought that Chu Zhaoyi’s search for him last night might have been an unconscious act during a nightmare, and he probably forgot about it when he woke up.

Fu Nian didn’t inquire further.

After tying his crown, Fu Nian stood quietly on the side, watching as the eunuch and palace maids helped Chu Zhaoyi with his attire, refraining from intervening.

It wasn’t that he couldn’t handle these small tasks, but during this period, Chu Zhaoyi seemed to deliberately avoid any physical contact with him.

During their nights together, Chu Zhaoyi didn’t hold him, claiming that he didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. Fu Nian even tried to initiate contact, pretending to be asleep, but Chu Zhaoyi would carefully push him away. Occasionally, he would even notice Chu Zhaoyi intentionally avoiding him and waiting until he was asleep before returning to their room.

Fu Nian was quite surprised and moved when Chu Zhaoyi suddenly grabbed his arm last night. 

However, upon waking up, Chu Zhaoyi had maintained a polite distance, apart from helping him get dressed and tie his hair.

With the baby’s recent restlessness and Chu Zhaoyi’s behavior, Fu Nian began to reflect on himself.

Had he not paid enough attention to Chu Zhaoyi due to his concerns about Fu Nineteen?

Since Fu Nineteen left, Fu Nian had only learned through the Imperial Guards that Fu Nineteen was alive. They hadn’t even exchanged letters.

He had only visited Fu Bie twice, and it was solely to correct Fu Bie’s swordsmanship, blade techniques, and the improper use of hidden weapons. He hadn’t even checked his martial arts foundation and had left in a hurry.

Fu Nian couldn’t quite understand Chu Zhaoyi’s thoughts, so he decided to take his Fuguang Blade and go to the training ground.

The snowy path was slippery, and almost no one was willing to train on such a harsh day.

Fu Nian patiently opened the blade manual and reviewed the daily routines he used to practice.

After so many years of training, he shouldn’t have really lost his touch.

It didn’t take long for the short blade to feel like a flowing dragon in his hands, moving smoothly.

While Fu Nian was practicing his knife techniques, he suddenly heard a clear voice not far away calling, “Senior Brother!”

Fu Nian put down his blade and turned around to see Fu Bie and Chu Qianqi carrying heavy sandbags, walking through the snowy day with their burdens.

“Senior Brother! It’s been so long since I’ve seen you!” Fu Bie said, rushing toward him with excitement.

“Long time no see,” Fu Nian replied, wrapping his fox fur tightly around himself, attempting to conceal his changed figure. He was about to ask some questions when he heard Fu Bie eagerly speak first.

“Senior Brother, Chu Qianqi and I were punished by Instructor Chu!” Fu Bie happily explained.

Chu Qianqi chimed in, “You’re so cheerful for someone who got punished.”

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