Thank you Anon (different Anon) for your donation! With that, the threshold for a sponsored chapter has been reached, to be released this weekend.
In the dead of night, the Jing Duke sat behind his desk unmoving. He had remained like this since he received Empress Xiao’s secret letter.
Only a single lamp was burning and the light was rather dim. The Jing Duke felt that it calmed his mood.
No one would be willing to have such thoughts, but once they arose, they would be impossible to suppress. No matter what they thought about, or what they encountered, they would involuntarily think—
If they did that, they wouldn’t have to be passive and they wouldn’t have to put in so much effort.
Especially that Jin Prince. He was watertight, not letting anyone find any clues. He was clearly suspicious, extremely suspicious, but due to his majesty’s protection, whether intentional or not, no one was able to do anything about him.
Actually the Jing Duke would have preferred to endure. After all, the other method was far too dangerous. But he also had to consider his grandson’s situation.
That child had always been impetuous, and it seemed he couldn’t endure any longer no matter how they tried to keep him calm. If his majesty truly stripped him of his position as he said, what would happen? Wouldn’t the Jin Prince be getting off cheaply?
Sometimes the Jing Duke wondered if that was the Jin Prince’s true intention, forcing the crown prince to the edge of collapse step by step. One the crown prince was impeached, he would be the one that benefitted.
There really wasn’t any need to ponder further. The Jing Duke always acted according to his best interests. In his early years as a soldier, he had fought countless battles and knew not to hesitate when a decision needed to be made. As long as there was over a fifty percent chance of success, he dared to go all in.
But since this matter was too big, he needed a quiet environment to slowly steady his emotions, before putting together an appropriate plan….
Ever since the crown prince opened his mouth and demanded Imperial Physician Zhou’s family, Chen Qi had a bad premonition.
Unfortunately his profile was too high, making it impossible to secretly contact Imperial Physician Zhou. He could only feign ignorance as he was excluded. Luckily Imperial Physician Zhou seemed to have other means on his side. Otherwise who knows what could have happened.
Having once again been taken by people into a dark room, Imperial Physician Zhou was no longer surprised this time. He first wondered if Chen Qi or Yang Hui was up to something, but seeing the neat yet oppressive old face, he knew things weren’t so simple.
As expected, Imperial Physician Zhou was completely stupefied after the Jing Duke finished speaking.
If he hadn’t gotten used to acting due to being watched by Emperor Xi recently, he might have let something slip.
“If you don’t have enough time to react properly, just act according to your nature. That way you won’t give anything away. Just make sure to watch your words….”
The words of that ordinary looking man1 suddenly rang out in Imperial Physician Zhou’s mind.
He quickly erected his brows and glared, reprimanding: “Jing Duke. You are his majesty’s personally conferred duke. You should know such thoughts are enough to have your entire clan exterminated!”
Because Imperial Physician Zhou was too shocked, he wasn’t able to steady his shaken mind and the skin on his face started trembling. His lips were also pale, and even his pointed finger couldn’t avoid it. Despite forcing himself to stand calmly, he was unable to conceal his panic any longer.
“Imperial Physician Zhou, this old man won’t speak any empty words with you. Your entire family is in this old man’s hands. Don’t think about trying anything, you have no choice but to comply!”
“Actually you could look at it from a different perspective. Once the crown prince inherits the throne, you would be his greatest contributor. No wealth or status would be out of reach.”
“I, I can’t….”
“Imperial Physician Zhou. Don’t be in such a hurry to reject this old man. Think it over carefully. Don’t end up harming your own family.”
Imperial Physician Zhou’s eyes suddenly widened and he spat out a mouthful of blood in anger before fainting from overstimulation.
The Jing Duke looked at him emotionally and shook his head, “Why so stubborn. Didn’t you already betray him once? What’s the harm in doing it a second time…..”
After waiting for a while, he raised his voice and said: “Men, take Imperial Physician Zhou back.”
That small covered carriage took the same route back. Before they reached his house, Imperial Physician Zhou awoke.
Once they got to the door, he got off the carriage himself. Those on the carriage revealed expressions of praise as they lowered the curtains and drove off.
Imperial Physician Zhou stumbled into his room and lay down in bed.
Soon, his half-deaf old servant came over. Imperial Physician Zhou was about to wave him away when a familiar voice suddenly sounded.
“Imperial Physician Zhou, you alright?”
Imperial Physician Zhou immediately sat up, “You? Yang Hui?”
That old servant nodded his head, “I was afraid something happened to you and came to take a look. Your real servant is sleeping in his room, don’t worry. There are too many people watching this place, so I used such a method.”
Imperial Physician Zhou let out a breath of relief before lying back down.
Yang Hui was extremely patient and remained standing on the side. After another while, Imperial Physician Zhou slowly described what happened.
After listening, Yang Hui’s brows furrowed.
“Hurry and send a message to his highness. This thing will be hard to handle.”
Yang Hui nodded. Before he left, he suddenly turned and tossed a bottle of medicine to Imperial Physician Zhou.
“This is to help steady your nerves. There aren’t any side effects.”
“I’m a doctor myself you know.”
Yang Hui laughed softly, “Doctors don’t treat themselves, right? If that side sees your current appearance, there’s no way you can explain it away. You also can’t prescribe yourself any medicine. Do your best to drag things out before I return. I will move as quickly as possible.”
Imperial Physician Zhou held the medicine, his expression complicated, “Alright.”
Yang Hui left quickly. After a while, someone with the exact same appearance walked in. Imperial Physician Zhou waved his hand and let him take his leave.
Two people were intertwined behind the bed curtains. The person on top seemed extremely robust, the person below was both slender and curvaceous.
Xiao Hua was enjoying herself when the person on top suddenly stopped.
“Highness what’s wrong?”
The Jing Prince didn’t speak. He leaned in with his lips while increasing the speed of his movements. A few minutes later, the movements behind the curtains stopped.
The Jing Prince lifted the curtains, put on his underwear and stepped outside. Xiao Hua heard a few movements, as though someone had come in. A few quiet words were exchanged and the Jing Prince returned.
“You sleep first. This humble prince has some things to take care of.”
Xiao Hua nodded. She wondered what business needed to be taken care of so late at night.
The Jing Prince’s brows immediately furrowed after reading the letter from the capital.
He sat there without moving, his hand tapping against the table. Eunuch Fu served some tea and took his leave. His highness’s current state was rarely seen, and it was clear he was pondering over a major issue.
The Jing Prince sat there the entire night. Only when dawn was breaking did he slowly move a little.
Having not slept the entire night, his eyes were a little bloodshot. He didn’t go discuss things with his advisor. No amount of discussion would help with this sort of thing. He could only ponder over it himself. He was also extremely clear that the slightest misstep at this point would lead to a completely different outcome.
Of course he could choose the safest path, and continue hiding his resources and strength. This would also mean abandoning Imperial Physician Zhou.
It wasn’t that the Jing Prince was unwilling to abandon that person. He just felt that there might be a middle ground between the two extremes. When the letter was first delivered, the emotion that flashed through his heart actually wasn’t fear or helplessness. It was a sort of excitement.
This sort of excitement wasn’t foreign to the Jing Prince. It meant that there was an opportunity to exploit.
The Jing Prince finally made up his mind around noon. Having thought things through, he no longer hesitated, and personally placed his written reply in the copper tube on the falcon’s leg.
Watching the falcon fly off into the clouds, the Jing Prince let out a breath. He turned around and headed towards the western pavilion.
The Jing Prince hadn’t returned all night. Although Xiao Hua didn’t express anything, she still wondered about it.
Right as she was playing with her daughter and son, the Jing Prince suddenly came in.
Yi Yi cried out. The current Yi YI was already able to say father. She learned slower than her brother, and as of now, she could only say a couple of words at a time. In comparison, Zhuo’er spoke much clearer.
The Jing Prince looked at Xiao Hua and their children before asking for water. Only after washing his hands did the Jing Prince walk over to pick up his daughter.
“Highness didn’t sleep all last night?” Xiao Hua saw the Jing Prince’s bloodshot eyes.
“Have you eaten? How can you not sleep? What business is so urgent?”
As she fussed over him as usual, she called Ding Xiang to have the small kitchen send some food over. Before long, four dishes and a soup was set on the table along with a bowl of rice.
The two children were now especially interested in food. Whenever they saw something on the table, they knew it was edible. Zhuo’er only looked silently while Yi Yi pointed and said “Father, father, mom, mom”, indicating that she wanted to eat. She was more excited than the Jing Prince who had skipped two meals.
“You little glutton, you’re drooling over your father’s little bit of food. Didn’t you just eat?” Xiao Hua spoke as she pulled her daughter over.
The Jing Prince gave her a glance before sitting at the table.
Yi Yi watched as her father put all sorts of tasty things into his mouth, and she started subconsciously drooling. She looked at her mom, wiped her mouth and her eyes narrowed as though she were about to cry. Zhuo’er was a little better than Yi Yi, but his little eyes were also staring.
“Are all children such gluttons? Look, our daughter is drooling.”
The Jing Prince looked as she teased their daughter and said: “Teething.”
Xiao Hua snorted and wiped her daughter’s mouth, “How is this teething? Look, her tears are about to overflow….”
Right as she spoke, Yi Yi started crying. She mumbled with her mouth “father, eat”.
“Fine, fine, mom won’t say anymore. Let father give us some tasty food, fill up our little Yi Yi’s mouth.”
Xiao Hua saw that there was a plate of bamboo slices, and had Ding Xiang grab some and bring it over on a small plate. She first wiped their hands before using chopsticks to feed them.
The two children were both impatient at this point. Xiao Hua had just stretched the chopsticks out when Yi Yi snatched the bamboo slice away. When she went to feed Zhuo’er, he did the same thing.
“I knew this would happen.” That’s why Xiao Hua wiped their hands first.
The two of them gripped the bamboo slices tightly and stuffed it into their mouths. Seeing them eating with great gusto, Xiao Hua didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“It’s that delicious?!”
Zhuo’er and Yi Yi had both grown quite a few teeth, so the bamboo slices were quickly eaten. Xiao Hua gave them each another slice.
After the Jing Prince finished his meal, the two little ones also finished their bamboo slices. Actually it couldn’t really be said to be finished. Once they got to the last half a slice, the two were no longer eating but were nibbling on it for fun. Xiao Hua then took it from their hands. Since the two of them no longer felt like eating, they cooperated.
After, Ding Xiang and the rest brought over some water. Xiao Hua washed the children’s hands and changed out their bibs. Little young master Zhuo’er and little young mistress Yi Yi became sparking clean white jade dolls.
Looking at her busying herself with the two children on the kiln, the Jing Prince’s gaze softened….
So what if he continued with his plans? Things had already gotten to the point where none of the parties could coexist. It was fine if he were to die, but there was no way he would be willing to let the three of them suffer the same fate…..
According to everyone’s wishes, the next book will be about fatty Yun vs the domineering consort.
Apologies to those who wanted to read about the wicked woman. However, that will be following book.
Thinking about fatty Yun’s novel from the beginning, I really want to write from a male’s perspective. All the other novels are from a female’s perspective. But I’m also afraid things won’t work out. Sob….
While pondering over the perspective, this author has typed up a synopsis for it in the meantime. Interested readers can go check it out.