Mt. Yingzui1 was located in the west of the Jing Province. It was overgrown with trees and extremely desolate.
Within the depths of the great mountain was garrisoned a troop that was rarely seen by people.
There were no identifying marks or banners, and at a glance they looked like a bunch of mountain people gathered together. But another glance would reveal some irregularities. The Jing Prince had his own private troops. Some private troops can be left in the open, such as the prince estate’s honor guard. Some troops weren’t suited to be in the open, such as this one. There were many such places in the Jing Province.
“Commander Lin, we’ve caught another two spies.”
Lin Qin Ting’s face instantly turned dark at his subordinate’s report.
Recently, this had happened several times to this area under his jurisdiction. He was definitely under a lot of pressure, but in the end he ended up not knowing whether to laugh or to cry.
The entire situation was incomparably weird. The concealment skills of the spies who were caught were extremely awful. They were caught the moment they approached the mountain. That could still be attributed to temporary slipups, but what happened next was weird as well. These people were extremely scared of death. Before they were even interrogated, they had voluntarily given up who they got their orders from.
Lin Qin Ting had quite a few spies of his own, and they all underwent meticulous training. Let’s not mention how their concealment, tracking and disguise skills were all extremely good, even if they were caught they would kill themselves on the spot. They definitely wouldn’t even reach the interrogation step.
But to say these weren’t spies was also a little strange. If they weren’t spies, why were they wandering about in the wilderness?
Furthermore, the superior they ratted out also made sense, and this person truly did have such motives. But for such a person to send out such a level of spies, no one would believe it. Could they have been sent before they finished training?
Anyone would feel this was complete nonsense!
That was just the first time. After the second and third times, with the exact same things happening, it became even weirder.
As expected, not long after Lin Qin Ting ordered someone to question them, a subordinate came and reported.
Just from his expression, the answer was already clear.
“Commander, the two have already confessed. They said that they were from the Yun Province.”
Lin Qin Ting’s face sunk, and he muttered to himself for a moment. He summoned his vice-commander to send the prince’s estate a report.
The exact same thing had also happened in other places, giving the Jing Prince quite a headache.
It didn’t really seem like they had ill intent. If they were intending to target him, who would send such spies and throw away their face. The key was that after putting together the reports from all over, it gave one the feeling that the Yun Prince was teasing them for fun.
But was this something that could be joked about?
If this sort of secret base was revealed, the only outcome would be death. Raising private troops was a crime worthy of executing all nine generations, especially if it was done by a vassal prince. Even if not all nine generations were executed, the outcome still wouldn’t be a good one.
Although these spies failed to do anything, the fact that they could so accurately wander about in the area was enough for the Jing Prince to feel restless.
The Jing Province had never attracted much attention. This was the same for its vassal prince, the Jing Prince. Their advantage all this time was that they remained hidden. But if they were now revealed, they would be like rats who weren’t able to see in the light, making one inevitably feel fearful.
“What is this Yun Prince trying to do? Does he have some illness in this area?” Huang Qin’s finger pointed to the back of his head as he continued to pace around in the house.
Since the Yun Prince was also the emperor’s son, it made sense for him to be making some moves. What Huang Qin couldn’t understand was why he would target the Jing Prince, whose status was just as bad as his own.
The Yun Prince was the emperor’s fourth son, and was currently twenty-six years old. If the Jing Prince was hated for being mute, the Yun Prince was hated for his innate stupidity. It would have been fine if he was just stupid, but he was also born fat. This brought about the saying “dumb and fat, like a pig”. Furthermore, after he came of age, he married his consort Yan-Shi, and added the reputation of being whipped. He would often be beaten by the fourth prince consort into fleeing like a rat. The rumors ended up spreading, causing the imperial family to lose quite a bit of face.
This consort was picked by Emperor Xi and the marriage was also ordained by him. If he switched her out, it would be hitting his own face. He had already disliked old four to begin with, so once he became of age he was thrown far away. As of today, the Yun Prince had become like the Jing Prince, both characters who were not loved by their father.
Everyone had their own protective camouflage. The Jing Prince’s was innate. Perhaps he truly couldn’t speak at first, and perhaps he subconsciously knew that if he was able to speak his life would be in danger. Regardless, the Jing Prince had never been able to speak in his past life, and only after he reincarnated did he open his mouth to speak.
The Jing Prince always felt that the heavens had taken pity on him and gave him the ability to speak the second time around.
As for the Yun Prince, the Jing Prince’s impression of him was quite deep. In his past life, the Yun Prince wasn’t like this. Although he was still dumb and fat as a pig, he didn’t have the reputation of being afraid of his wife. Instead, he was extremely frivolous with women.
In his past life, the Yun Prince had the most concubines out of all the princes. Even the lecherous Qi Prince couldn’t compare to him.
After reincarnating, some things didn’t change yet others had changed. The Yun Prince was such an example.
The Jing Prince was currently calm, unlike Huang Qin. He sat on the side, his expression unperturbed as he held a teacup with his hand.
“Those spies of his hadn’t been able to get any information. He has to have a reason for doing this.”
What was the reason?
Huang Qin stroked his beard and pondered. The only possible reason was to tell them that “I’m watching you”, and then the Yun Prince’s large, fat face would pop into his mind.
Because of the Yun Prince’s weird actions, Huang Qin’s thoughts started turning weird as well. Although he felt his own thoughts were weird, he still felt that this was the most likely explanation.
The Jing Prince listened to Huang Qin’s theory and muttered: “If that’s really the case, there should be some movement soon.”
As expected, the movement came very quickly.
The Yun Prince’s side sent over a person just as suspicious, but also just as clumsy, to deliver a message: a request from the Yun Prince to meet with the Jing Prince. When his subordinates caught this sort of messenger, the Yun Prince’s reputation of making one not know whether to laugh or cry increased once again. The Jing Prince’s expression was weird, and permitted it.
Huang Qin did his best to stop him, feeling that it might be a trap.
The Jing Prince was aware of this, but still had to see the person.
This was true. They had to figure out the Yun Prince’s goal. Even if he hadn’t been able to discover anything, it was still annoying.
Once the messenger handed over his message, he received the reply very quickly.
The location had yet to be decided, but the meeting itself was set. All that remained was to arrange the meeting place.
Vassal princes couldn’t leave their vassal states without an imperial order. One was in the Yun Province and the other was in the Jing Province. What sort of place should be arranged for them to meet?!
Therefore, some further discussion was required.
In the recent days, Xiao Hua who had been getting bigger and bigger started giving people a hard time.
It wasn’t on purpose, but pregnant women would be like this. Unable to sleep soundly at night, she would get up frequently. In order to avoid disturbing the Jing Prince’s sleep, Xiao Hua would do her best to drink less water before bed. But how could someone pregnant hold it in? In the end she had to go anyway.
Since Xiao Hua wasn’t able to sleep soundly, she felt uncomfortable no matter how she slept, but it was also hard for her to toss and turn. The person beside her was busy all day and could only rest at night. Having been disturbed a few times, Xiao Hua started getting worried and suggested the Jing Prince sleep in a separate room.
The Jing Prince refused.
His method of refusal was different from others. He didn’t agree or disagree, and didn’t say anything at all. Xiao Hua thought things were settled, but she realized that he was there as usual the next night.
She was very sleepy, but had to get up due to her bodily functions.
The moment Xiao Hua moved, the Jing Prince spoke.
“Thirsty? Want to get up?”
The Jing Prince had been perceptive enough to tell Xiao Hua was awake on several occasions, but she had remained unmoving. Only when he once opened his eyes and saw her strange expression did her realize that she needed the bathroom but held it in because she was afraid of waking him.
Since then, the Jing Prince would sleep lightly. The moment Xiao Hua moved, he would wake up.
The Jing Prince slept on the outside, so he lifted the curtains and called for service. Then he helped her up and lifted her to the side of the bed. Ding Lan and Chun Cao who were on the night shift came in and helped Xiao Hua put on her shoes before supporting her over to the bathroom.
After Xiao Hua relieved herself, she cleaned her hands and rinsed her mouth. Her stomach rumbled with hunger but she couldn’t eat.
As she grew bigger every month, Nana He and Matron Xu grew stricter with her diet. She would get hungry very quickly, and despite eating frequently she still felt like she was in a constant state of hunger.
After drinking some water, Xiao Hua returned to the bedroom.
The Jing Prince still sat on the side of the bed. His eyes were half closed and he was leaning against the pillow. When she walked up, his eyes immediately opened. Xiao Hua’s nose felt a little sour.
“Highness, it’s all my fault.”
The Jing Prince didn’t respond and silently gave her a glance before lifting her back up in bed and placing a pillow under her head.
“Highness, you don’t have time to rest during the day, and now you have to do this during the night. This can’t go on….actually Ding Xiang and the rest are able to take good care of me.
The same old words were once again met with silence. The Jing Prince helped her shift her posture and held her from behind.
This posture was the most comfortable for someone several months pregnant. It wasn’t clear how the Jing Prince knew this, but it often made Xiao Hua feel astonished and touched.
“Hurry and sleep.”
Despite saying this, Xiao Hua didn’t feel sleepy. The person behind her was very close, as though she could hear his heartbeat.
Thump, thump, thump…..
She felt very at ease.
Although she clearly had many moods and emotions, her mind was completely blank and unable to say anything. But her heart was full of this sort of feeling that couldn’t be suppressed.
After another while, she fell deeply asleep.
The next day, the Jing Prince unexpectedly hadn’t left. He accompanied Xiao Hua in eating breakfast.
Only after eating did the Jing Prince say: “This humble prince needs to patrol the vassal state.”
Xiao Hua froze and asked: “How long?”
“Around ten days.” The Jing Prince chose to give an overestimate.
His meeting with the Yun Prince was set in a small town at the border of the Jing and Yun Provinces.
The process they went through to come to this agreement was incomparably complicated. At least, the Jing Prince felt this way, but also felt that the Yun Prince had been messing around. But in the end it turned out unusually smooth. The Yun Prince expressed a lot of good faith and chose to meet within the Jing Province.
“Then when does highness leave?”
“So soon. Then I’ll have Ding Xiang help you pack.”
“Don’t worry about it. Someone will take care of it.”
“Madam, this old servant will take care of things properly.” Eunuch Fu spoke on the side.
“Take care of yourself.”
Xiao Hua grabbed the Jing Prince’s hand as he brushed the hair by her temples, and nodded.
Yun Prince Estate.
“Highness, is it really ok to play around like this?” Li Wei spoke on the side.
The Yun Prince smiled and bantered, “Don’t you feel this is very interesting?”
Interesting? Li Wei was dripping with cold sweat.
This thing had been personally arranged by him, but the orders had all come from his master the Yun Prince. Why would someone send spies repeatedly to unspeakable places as a game? He even instructed them to act clumsily, and that it’d be best if they were revealed at a glance. They weren’t supposed to discover anything, but instead their objective was to get caught.
Therefore, Li Wei was dripping with cold sweat for his unfortunate subordinates. When the Yun Prince saw this, he had laughed at him at told him blindly not to worry and that everything would be fine.
Let’s not mention all this for now. They were actually able to get in touch with the other side, and they had also agreed to meet. But the Yun Prince had started playing around even more, continuing to play hide and seek. Who knew if the Jing Prince had gone crazy due to his antics?
“Hahaha, this humble prince’s little bro has had that wooden face ever since he was young. This humble prince always tried my best to make him show some different expressions. Unfortunately there were too many taboos when we were young, and we couldn’t fully enjoy ourselves. Who knows if his expression ended up changing this time around?”
Li Wei continued to drip with sweat.
After a while, he spoke again: “Highness, that Chengan Town is within the Jing Province’s borders after all. This subordinate feels it’s still better to be careful.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” The Yun Prince carelessly waved his hand.
“We can’t just say it’s fine. If the consort found out about it, this subordinate is done for.” Li Wei didn’t dare finish the rest of the thought, which was that the Yun Prince would be done for as well.
The Yun Prince’s face turned rigid, and he said: “Then you go arrange things.”
Don’t be impatient everyone, the birth is coming soon. Xiao Hua has only been pregnant for 7 or 8 chapters, and there was even the interlude with the Jing Consort in between. There needs to be some fillers, otherwise only having plot developments would be too monotonous. Only having the male and female leads would also be too lovey-dovey. She will give birth tomorrow.