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Di Wang Gong Lue - Chapter 31

Published at 30th of March 2019 10:25:56 AM

Chapter 31

[Chapter 31 - Duels] Have to be a little uglier




 

 

Since he wasn't asked to go, then he must stay .

 

Duan Bai Yue smiled, catching up to him happily .

 

It was very empty and vast in the hot springs, and Eunuch Si Xi had already dismissed the palace maids . When the two of them went in, there was only the quiet sound of water dripping . A milky white hot spring was currently emitting steam, and there was even a slight hint of a medicinal smell .

 

Eunuch Si Xi nimbly arranged two sets of bathing items . Seeing that Chu Yuan didn’t have any intention of being attended to by him, he bowed and retreated, gently closing the door along the way .

 

All this while, Duan Bai Yue stood still and stared at him .

 

Chu Yuan went behind the screen and changed his clothes, stepping into the water bare-footed . His entire body then relaxed and he leaned against the wall of the pool, sighing comfortably .

 

After a long while, it seemed someone had gently crouched down beside him .

 

"Let me accompany you?" Duan Bai Yue asked gently .

 

He admitted that he wasn’t a patient man, and rarely heeded other people's opinions, but there was one person who was an exception — never mind coercion; even when met with the slightest disagreement, he wouldn't be able to bear it .

 

Chu Yuan still didn't say anything, appearing to not have heard him, and also appearing . . . . to be silently agreeing .

 

Thus a moment later, the surface of the water rippled .

 

The two people bathed together in the warm spring water, looking at carvings at the wooden beams above them, but neither spoke .

 

Chu Yuan had his eyes closed, as if he was almost asleep .

 

Duan Bai Yue reached out and carefully brought him into his arms .

 

. . . . . .

 

Outside, Eunuch Si Xi was thinking, ever since Xi Nan King was present, most of his tasks were done by someone else; he was idle for at least half the time .

 

It was quite good, quite good .

 

Maybe because he was truly too tired, or maybe because the water of the pool was too warm, Chu Yuan didn't say anything, and instead found a comfortable place on Duan Bai Yue's chest of his own volition, continuing in his drowsiness .

 

After the wet robe was thoroughly soaked by the water, it stuck to his body closely; underneath the slightly open collar was a beautiful and youthful body . There was no usual imposing aura of that of the throne, leaving only a most vulnerable look .

 

Duan Bai Yue tightened his arms .

 

Damp air passed over his ear . Chu Yuan turned his head slightly and hid, looking like his entire body was shivering with cold .

 

"Don't think about anything . " Duan Bai Yue said . "Sleep well . "

 

Chu Yuan softly said "Yes . "

 

Duan Bai Yue massaged his shoulders for a while, feeling that the person in his arms had already gradually become limp, and so he said: "Let's bring you back to the sleeping quarters? It's not good to bathe for any longer . "

 

Chu Yuan was taciturn . One would not know if he was sleeping or didn’t want to talk .

 

"I will be with you tonight . At tomorrow's duel, I will also be with you . " Duan Bai Yue continued by his ear, "If you're tired, then I will bring you with me back to Xi Nan to stay for a while . If you don't want to return, then simply don't return . Those old fellows love to remonstrate so let them remonstrate; after kneeling for a few days and nights only to find that the emperor isn’t around, do you think they will kick the bucket in a fit of anger?"

 

"Hey!" Chu Yuan didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, turning around to give him a slap . "Don't talk about Lord Tai Fu like this . "

 

"But it's not just Tao Ren De . " Duan Bai Yue looked directly at him . "Of the officials in this court, there are many that I find objectionable . "

 

"Of the officials in this court, there are also many who find Xi Nan manor objectionable . " Chu Yuan picked some clothes prepared by the side . Duan Bai Yue felt that his arms had become empty, and saw that he had already reached the edge of the pool, a big gown wrapped around his body . His cheeks were scarlet red, better than the color previously . "Let's go, let us return . "

 

Duan Bai Yue stepped out from the water .

 

Chu Yuan's face turned blank, then he turned around and quickly walked out .

 

Xi Nan King thought, of course the clothes will stick to his body when it's wet, it's not like I made it stick either .

 

Moreover the person who was seen should be the one at a disadvantage .

 

Eunuch Si Xi was surprised . He had just instructed for a pot of tea to be brewed, and was preparing to keep watch here for four, six hours . He didn't think that they would have come out so early instead .

 

Chu Yuan covered his mouth and coughed .

 

"Ai yo Your Majesty . " Eunuch Si Xi quickly pulled him back into the hall . He just came out from the water, and hadn't dried his body before walking out wrapped in a gown, dripping wet . Couldn’t the Xi Nan King be more concerned?

 

"Leave!" Chu Yuan said .


 

Duan Bai Yue was very cooperative .

 

Eunuch Si XI helped Chu Yuan to dry his hair and change into a thicker set of clothing, then brought a cloak and hat, wrapping him up tightly before saying: "Your Majesty, let's return to the palace?"

 

Chu Yuan was only able to reveal a pair of eyes, saying: "This is mid-July . "

 

"You mustn't get cold even if it's mid July, you still have meet Gao Li King tomorrow . " Eunuch Si Xi was very insistent . "Just a step away, a step away before we return to the sleeping quarter . "

 

Chu Yuan could only pull at the cloak at his neck and leave the hall .

 

Duan Bai Yue was waiting outside . He got a shock after seeing Chu Yuan; won’t he get heatstroke?

 

As eunuch Si Xi walked, he looked at Xi Nan King . See this, the emperor should be attended to like this, don't let him out dripping wet next time .

 

After bathing in the hot spring, his entire body was relaxed . Chu Yuan laid on the bed, and yawned lazily .

 

Duan Bao Yue laid by his side .

 

Chu Yuan: "Go back . "

 

"I'm not going back . " Duan Bai Yue was unaffected . "The Xi Nan king has wild ambitions; since he can sleep on the royal bed, how could he reasonably let this opportunity pass?"

 

Chu Yuan closed his eyes, not speaking with him again .

 

In the latter half of the night, rain outside fell like snow . Duan Bai Yue turned sideways and helped to block off some cold winds for him, pulling him entirely into his embrace .

 

Naturally he knew that both of their feelings were mutual, but because their feelings were mutual, it became more and more clear how difficult of a situation he was in . He himself was in Xi Nan, with vast skies and lands; he himself was free and unfettered, and yet he was not the same . The two often ridiculed the officials of the imperial court, but if those old officials knew about the relationship between himself and him, they would probably kneel and knock against the stone steps of the great hall till blood came out . Never mind the sycophantic and crafty officials; the ones left in the imperial court now were all virtuous officials who would willingly sacrifice their lives for the great Chu . That this state and country can be so well-fortified now was not due to the absence of any one of them . If they were to advise, in spite of death, for the ruler's blood to be splashed in the golden hall, don't even mention the commoners gossiping; outside enemies could also make an issue out of it . At that time, they might end up with an unfortunate headache .

 

The two of them were avoiding the issue previously, but regarding matters of love, how could they keep avoiding it even if they wished to?

 

It was great like this now, but it also may be like this for the rest of their lives .

 

Duan Bai Yue laughed bitterly, reaching out and pinching his cheeks . If he had known earlier, then he would initially let that fat-headed, big-eared Chu Lan be emperor . Promiscuous and debauched, he would have angered a bunch of those old fellows to death in around three days; he was satisfied no matter how he thought about it .

 

"Yes?" Chu Yuan opened his eyes dazedly .

 

"Nothing much . " Duan Bai Yue said . "Just sleep . "

 

Chu Yuan asked: "What time is it?"

 

Duan Bai Yue answered: "Time for sleeping . "

 

Chu Yuan didn't ask further, slipping into deep sleep once again . He would cough occasionally in his sleep, making others ache even more for him .

 

The day brightened slowly . Eunuch Si Xi was pacing outside with his hands in his sleeves; it was almost time for morning court, should he go in and call them or not? Xi Nan King was still inside .

Chu Yuan sat up from the bed .

 

Duan Bai Yue said behind him: "Why can you still wake up on your own?"

 

Chu Yuan asked: "You got Si Xi to go out?"

 

Duan Bai Yue replied: "He didn't even come in . "

 

"Nonsense . " Chu Yuan pulled on his clothes and got off the bed . "Si Xi!"

 

"Yes!" A burden slid from Si Xi's shoulders . He quickly jogged in to attend to him washing up and changing clothes .

 

Instead, Duan Bai Yue didn't get up, and kept looking at him while lying in bed .

 

"After morning court is finished, we will lead the officials to the arena for dueling . " Chu Yuan let Si Xi straighten out his attire .

 

Duan Bai Yue said: "I will disguise myself and follow . " Ever since that divine physician Ye and the first young master of Sun-Moon Hamlet married, they would often train a new batch of guards to send into the palace; it was not strange for new faces to appear .

  

Chu Yuan nodded and didn't say anything else, simply leaving for morning court . After a while, however, eunuch Si Xi returned, breakfast in his hands . He said that the emperor had specially instructed for Xi Nan King to slowly partake in them .

 

It was of course considerate, but looking at that full plate, Duan Bai Yue felt that maybe he should find a chance to state that his appetite wasn’t that . . . . shocking .

 

Although the state of Chu and Gao Li Kingdom had been consistently on good terms, the matter of duels concerned the image of a country . No one wished to lose . Chu Yuan returned after finishing morning court, and saw that Duan Bai Yue had already disguised himself with a completely new face, but he was still rather handsome .

 

Chu Yuan said: "This won't do . "

 

"Why not?" Duan Bai Yue was unconvinced . "I can be recognized?"

 

Chu Yuan said: "You can't be . "

 

Duan Bai Yue: " . . . . . . . . "

 


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Then why?

 

Chu Yuan glanced at him askance: "Are you really planning on taking a wife?"

 

Duan Bai Yue: " . . . . . . . . . "

 

Chu Yuan picked up a cup of tea from the table .

 

Duan Bai Yue: "I'm only a guard . " Would the princess even find him to her taste like this?

 

Chu Yuan frowned: "Quickly!"

 

Duan Bai Yue could only sit in front of the mirror again, looking left and right, and added a scar to his face .

 

Chu Yuan said: "It's still no good!"

 

Duan Bai Yue could only continue to mar his face, riddling it with scars .

 

Chu Yuan examined him closely .

 

"It's fine already, right?" Duan Bai Yue's expression was bitter . "If I'm found to her taste even like this, then that Gao Li princess has eye problems . "

 

Chu Yuan reluctantly allowed it and said: "Today, you should only care about standing; you're not allowed to do anything else . "

 

"Of course, otherwise would I even have to sing and perform?" Duan Bai Yue said nimbly .

 

Chu Yuan laughed .

 

"I still haven't asked you, has your body recovered today?" Duan Bai Yue placed his palm on his forehead, but was avoided .

 

"Stay further away from me . " Chu Yuan said .

 

Duan Bai Yue asked: "Why?"

 

Chu Yuan said: "Because you're ugly . "

 

Duan Bai Yue: " . . . . . . . "

 

But he truly was ugly .

 

When Emperor Chu led the guards and appeared at the arena, all the officials were shocked . The Gao Li King almost threw away the wine cup in his hands .

 

Xi Nan King was distressed inside, because Chu Yuan still thought that those previous knife scars weren't enough, so just before they had to leave, he brought out a piece of black cloth out of nowhere, and covered one of his eyes .

 

Chu Yuan, instead, was unperturbed; the ugly one wasn’t him, anyway .

 

Tao Ren De shook his head internally . What was with the prince and young master Shen, to have sent a person with such a look into the palace? Weren't they afraid of alarming the imperial horses?

 

After everyone was seated, the Gao Li princess came forward to make her salutations . Although she wasn't considered beautiful, she came from nobility after all—her bearing was still present, her looks were proper, her conduct was natural and unrestrained . There should be quite a few who would want to marry her .

 

"Come come come . " Gao Li King reached out his hand, gesturing for his sister to come to his side .

 

After Jin Mei sat down, her eyes would fall on Duan Bai Yue from time to time . Chu Yuan coughed twice, raising his head and drinking a cup of wine . General Shen was clearly sitting at the table beside them, handsome and confident . Why didn’t she look at him?

 

Duan Bai Yue was troubled; if people didn't look at someone with such a face, that would be considered strange, right?

 

"Your Majesty, can the duels begin?" Shen Qian Fan asked quietly .

 

Chu Yuan nodded slightly .

 

Everyone perked up, waiting to see a good show . Gao Li King even whispered to Jin Mei: "Look closely, just tell your brother who you like . "

 

For the first round of the duels, the person that Chu sent out was Liu Da Jiong's second son, Liu Wei . Gao Li Kingdom also sent out a son of a noble family . The two of them battled it out for a few hundred moves, but in the end Liu Wei saw an opening and knocked down the other party, winning the match .

 

Everyone applauded . Gao Li King also clapped and cheered, only regretting in his heart, why is he already married?

 

But Jin Mei didn't like Liu Wei anyway, her heart already set on Duan Bai Yue; no matter who she saw now, she would feel that they were inferior .

 

For the second round of the duels, Gao Li kingdom sent out Prince Jin Min . Shen Qian Fan cupped his fists and said: "Excuse me!"

 

Jin Tai quickly said by his sister's ear: "You can't, I heard he's marrying soon, his sword tassel was given by his lover . "

 

Jin Mei: " . . . . . . "

 

Sun-Moon Hamlet's martial arts were second to none . Although Shen Qian Fan wasn’t as talented as his big brother Shen Qian Feng, he was still highly skilled; just by using little more than ten moves, he subdued Jin Min .

 

Chu Yuan gave a small smile . Although Gao Li King still clapped as usual, his face had already turned somewhat stiff instead .


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Afterwards, the state of Chu won the next match . Although the fourth duel was won by Gao Li Kingdom, those in the know could all see that it was Chu's fighter who conceded surreptitiously, in order to avoid making it too awkward for the guest .

 

Gao Li King felt a little embarrassed, and thus he rose up and said loudly: "I want to switch a fighter, I wonder if Emperor Chu agrees?"

 

"Yes?" Chu Yuan said, "Of course, who does Gao Li King wants to switch?"

 

Jin Tai indicated for the noble who's already on the stage to withdraw, and whispered into the ear of his servant . The servant left in a hurry, and returned with a person not long after . But the rest of the people were all shocked . They saw that this man was strong and tall, and if a normal man were to stand by his side, he could maybe reach his shoulders . His hair was like hard thorns, tied together haphazardly, however his face was cleanly washed, making the tattoo on top of his head even more sinister . When he walked, the grounds moved and mountains shook, as if he could create holes in the earth with just a step .

 

The officials of the state of Chu all looked at each other, not knowing what to anticipate .

 

"Your Majesty . " Gao Li King said, "This person is a slave I ransomed from the market . He is highly skilled in martial arts; I wonder if he can have a match with the warriors of Chu?"

 

Once he said his piece, apprehension rose in everyone's hearts . This duel was to liven things up, and so the person sent by both parties had to be of the same status . Now that Gao Li King had brought out a slave out of nowhere, if Chu still sent out sons of nobility, generals or officials, if they won, they would damage their social standing; if they lost, then it would be even more ugly .

    

"Tsk tsh . " Liu Da Jiong said quietly, "This Gao Li is also too narrow-minded . I'm afraid this time the emperor won't reward him anymore . "

 

"Look at the time, what are you still thinking of rewards for?" Tao Ren De used his elbow to poke him . "It's more important to quickly think of a solution to muddle through this . "

 

"What solutions would I have? When it comes to glossing things over, Minister Liu is the best at it . " Liu Da Jiong said .

 

The two of people looked at Liu Yi Shui at the table beside, and saw that he was unhurriedly drinking tea .

 

. . . . . . . .

 

"You see, your Liu family . " Tao De Ren said with dislike, "A potter in usual times, but a person made of clay in critical times . "

 

"If you are capable, then you speak out instead . " Liu Da Jiong said, "Look at our emperor, his face is already green . "

 

Duan Bai Yue said quietly by his ear: "I will go . "

 

Chu Yuan frowned .

  

"There's no harm . " Duan Bai Yue said, "Trust me . "

 

Chu Yuan thought about it, and nodded slightly .

 

Seeing Duan Bai Yue get on the stage, the people of Chu all sighed in relief; he was from Sun-Moon Hamlet, so he shouldn't be bad . Moreover the two of them had similarly sinister faces, so they looked to be quite suitable opponents .

 

Chu Yuan secretly clenched his right hand .

 

That Gao Li slave roared, his feet stomping with a 'dong . ' Immediately, dust flew up around him, and even the ground sunk in half a foot .

 

Liu Da Jiong jumped in fright .

 

Duan Bai Yue didn't have any weapons in his hands, and only looked at him coldly . The Gao Li slave sprang forward, throwing himself towards him like Mount Tai .

 

Shen Qian Fan took in the scene, his brows abruptly creasing . Before this, he thought that this person only had brute force, but with just this one leap, he could see that he seemed to have learned martial arts before; with his natural strength, he was afraid that even if this guard originated from Sun-Moon Hamlet, his victory wasn't certain .

 

Duan Bai Yue dodged away from him, making the other party retreat a few steps with a kick . There were many people here . In order to avoid people from seeing through him, he avoided using the martial arts of Xi Nan manor .

 

That slave was infuriated, and his moves became more brutal . Duan Bai Yue initially wanted to conclude this battle quickly, but felt that he would have lost Gao Li King’s face instead — thus he could only accompany him for over a hundred moves before defeating him .

 

Shen Qian Fan grew even more doubtful . Looking at his martial arts, he was definitely not from Sun-Moon Hamlet; where did the emperor find this person?

 

"You let me win . " Duan Bai Yue released him and stood up .

 

Gao Li King smiled awkwardly, leading the applause: "The warrior of great Chu are truly ferocious . "

 

Chu Yuan sighed in relief . Before this, he kept regretting, why did he cover an eye before leaving just now? He couldn’t even see clearly during the duel .

 

The officials also recovered their joy, but before they had finished the next dish, Gao Li said instead: "I wonder if Emperor Chu could bestow this warrior upon Gao Li?"

 

Chu Yuan spoke bluntly, without hesitation: "No . "

 

. . . . . . . .

 

Gao Li King could only mockingly sit back down . Before this, even if his requests for gifts were rejected, it would be indirectly, and said in a place with fewer people . This was the first time he was so direct .

 

With this match, the fighters from both parties all understood what should they do, and the mood also became more amicable . It was just that with over ten matches, Jin Mei still didn't see anyone she liked, only having an interest in Duan Bai Yue — but this time it was not because of the person, but because of his martial arts skills .

 

She learned martial arts from young, thus she had long already seen that Duan Bai Yue was giving way secretly the whole time; if they fought sincerely, that slave wouldn't withstand more than ten moves . Although the people of Chu were numerous, people with such superb skills were few: one of them was Shen Qian Fan, and the other was that guard with the heavily scarred face .

 

Obviously she couldn’t ask Emperor Chu for a general, but she didn't think that he was so petty to not even give away a guard .

 

"Be careful . " Jin Tai reminded his sister quietly, "This is great Chu, don't behave unscrupulously . "

 

Jin Mei bit her bottom lip, feeling entirely unsatisfied .


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When they returned to the palace later that day, it was already almost midnight . Duan Bai Yue took off his disguise . Chu Yuan got closer to took a look, finding that his face didn't have any peculiarities, and thus said: "Your skin is thick . "

 

Duan Bai Yue laughed: "Why is your appetite so good today?" At the dinner banquet in the great hall, he ate from the first dish to the last dish, and even drank a bowl of fish soup .

 

"Someone wants you, we are naturally in a good mood . " Chu Yuan said . "Tomorrow, we will create a list, and bestow you along with the gold, porcelain, tea and jewels to Jin Tai . "

 

“Gao Li is a small place, I reckon Jin Tai won't be able to sustain my living . " Duan Bai Yue raised an eyebrow . "Chu has vast lands and abundant resources; it can try keeping me instead . "

 

"Your Majesty . " Eunuch Si Xi said from outside, "Gao Li King has come again, saying that he is asking for an audience for an issue . "

 

"It's the middle of the night . What issues does he have?" Duan Bai Yue frowned .

 

"Bet he's coming to request for you . " Chu Yuan said .

 

Duan Bai Yue: " . . . . . . "

 

"Let's go and see . " Chu Yuan turned and walked outside .

 

In his heart, Duan Bai Yue was dejected . With this kind of appearance, how could he even still be desired?

 

"Your Majesty . " Jin Tai was drinking tea in the side hall .

 

"Gao Li King has come in the deep of the night, we wonder what matters are there?" Chu Yuan asked .

 

Jin Tai sighed deeply, then expectedly said: "Although it was said once during the day, I really have no other way; I beseech Emperor Chu to bestow that guard unto Gao Li . "

 

Behind the screen, Duan Bai Yue massaged his forehead .

 

"Why does Gao Li King see him so highly?" Chu Yuan asked, without batting an eyelid .

 

"It's not me, it's that sister of mine . " Jin Tai spread out his arms .

 

Chu Yuan: " . . . . . . . . . "

 

Duan Bai Yue: " . . . . . . . . . "

 

"Don't be mistaken Emperor Chu . Ah-mei, she isn't marrying him . " Seeing Chu Yuan's stiff expression, Jin Tai said quickly, "It's just that she saw that the skills of that guard were out of the ordinary, and wants to bring him back to be her teacher . "

 

Chu Yuan shook his head: "This will absolutely never be allowed . "

 

Absolutely never be allowed? Jin Tai felt that he was under great pressure . On one side his sister was making noise about wanting a person, and on this side Emperor Chu wasn’t relenting .

 

Chu Yuan said: "He was sent by Sun-Moon Hamlet . He has to return to Sun-Moon Hamlet in a few years . "

 

"So he's from the Shen family . " Jin Tai suddenly had a moment of realization .

 

Chu Yuan nodded: "If Gao Li King really wants him, then the only way is to Jiang Nan, ask elder sect leader Shen personally, and then see if he's willing to let him go . " At least he will muddle through this situation in front of him first before thinking of his next move .

 

"Under these time constraints, I'm afraid we are unable to visit Jiang Nan . " Gao Li King shook his head continuously .

 

Duan Bai Yue thought in his heart, it's better for you to not go .

 

Chu Yuan said regretfully: "Then there's truly no other way . "

 

Gao Li King racked his brains for half a day, then had a moment of inspiration, and said: "From what Emperor Chu said, he is only returning to Sun-Moon Hamlet after a few years?"

 

Chu Yuan: " . . . . . . . "

 

"Then that's also good . " Jin Tai slapped his thigh, "Let's bestow him temporarily to Gao Li, then after one or two years, I will personally send him back to Emperor Chu . I wonder if this is alright?"

 

Chu Yuan continued: "No . "

 

Jin Tai: " . . . . . . "

 

Why?

 

Chu Yuan asked: "If he leaves, who will protect us?"

 

Duan Bai Yue smirked; this sentence was quite delightful .

 

Jin Tai was speechless .

 

"If the princess wants a warrior, there's many in this Chu . " Chu Yuan said, "There's only one of him . We will not let him out of the palace . "

 

Duan Bai Yue rubbed his chin .

 

If he's not let out then he doesn't have to leave the palace, so why doesn't he . . . . continue to stay behind tonight?

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