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Di Wang Gong Lue - Chapter 45

Published at 30th of May 2020 05:35:05 PM

Chapter 45

[Chapter 45 – Patrol] You have already kissed, why didn’t you stay?

“If I had known that you would come to see the lotus lights, then I would have stayed at the inn opposite instead . ” Duan Bai Yue said, “The view is better there . ” 

“It’s not like we are kids visiting the festival who must squeeze all the way in front to see it clearly . ” Chu Yuan looked at him with a smile, “You said it yourself, it’s too dull in the palace, I’m just out to take in a breath of fresh air . ” 

This was one of the capital’s busiest streets . Even with the window half closed they could still hear the sounds from downstairs . The moment when the fried sugar buns hit the oil in the wok, the aroma immediately drifted up to the second floor, filling it with fragrance .

“Want one?” Duan Bai Yue asked .  

Chu Yuan nodded: “Yes . ” 

“Wait for me . ” Duan Bai Yue got up and left .

Behind the wall, Duan Yao said impatiently: “I also want one . ” How can it smell so fragrant? 

“Listen to me, hold it in . ” Nan Mo Ye continued to lean against the wall, patting Dua Yao’s head, “This teacher will bring you downstairs to eat a piping hot one . ”

Standing by the window, Chu Yuan looked at Duan Bai Yue as he made his way through the streets, squeezing in with a bunch of kids to buy fried sugar buns . After buying that, he went into the pastry shop next to it . In the end, when he came back, he didn’t forget to bring a few packets of braised beef parts too .  

“Try it . ” Duan Bai Yue said, “There are queues everyday at this stall, it should be quite good . ” 

“The owner of this stall used to be a chef in the imperial kitchen . ” Chu Yuan didn’t use the chopsticks, pinching a piece of beef liver with his hand instead, “Unfortunately, in a moment of inattentiveness, he fell and broke his leg . Afterwards, he quit his job in the palace, and went to his old home in Jiang Nan to stay for three years . But he missed his son and daughter-in-law in the capital and returned a few years ago . He couldn’t stand doing nothing, and opened this restaurant . ” 

“You can remember it so clearly?” Duan Bai Yue was surprised .  

“Try it . ” Chu Yuan said, “You should like it . ” 

Duan Bai Yue picked a piece of beef tendon, threw it into his mouth, then nodded: “It’s certainly not bad . ”   

“Just ‘not bad’?” Chu Yuan looked at him .  

“Huh?’ Duan Bai Yue thought about it: “Why don’t I add a few more praises? Crispy, the fat and meat are suitably balanced, its color is vibrant and it melts at first bite . ” 

In the neighbouring room, Duan Yao and Nan Mo Ye swallowed their saliva and started planning how to satisfy their hunger .  

Shaking his head, Chu Yuan said: “When you came to the palace at the age of eight, you said you liked to eat it, and even said you will send a chef from Xi Nan manor to learn it . ” 

Duan Bai Yue:  “…… . ”

“Knew that you would have forgotten it . ” Chu Yuan said nonchalantly, “I’m not letting you eat it today . ” 

“A braised meat dish from a decade ago, forgetting about it shouldn’t be an unforgivable crime right?” Duan Bai Yue moved his chair beside Chu Yuan’s, “I didn’t forget any of the important things . ” 

“Like?” Chu Yuan asked .  

“Like you have said before, that you would return to Xi Nan with me one day . ” Duan Bai Yue said, “You promised me . ” 

“Hmm?” Chu Yuan cupped his cheeks like Duan Bai Yue did, “Can’t remember, I already forgot . ” 

“As long as I remember it . ” Duan Bai Yue helped him to cool the fried buns, “It’s a little hot, eat it slowly . ”

“What is that?” Chu Yuan saw a worn bag in the corner .

Duan Bai Yue said: “Items for disguise . ” 

The capital is not like other places after all, and the officials who recognise him are many . In order to avoid incidents, it’s better to be careful .  

Chu Yuan looked at his face closely .  

Duan Bai Yue laughed: “It’s no matter, my skin is rough, it’s not like you . ”

“Is it worth it?” Chu Yuan asked .  

Duan Bai Yue said: “Yes . ”

Chu Yuan looked at him, not knowing what to say . At the very least he’s still a king of frontier lands, and yet, to even walk openly in streets was an unattainable task . Was it really worth it?

“Thinking about unnecessary things again?” Duan Bai Yue sighed, and grabbed his chin, “I said it before, don’t have regrets about the past . ”

Chu Yua’s voice was very soft: “Now when your name is mentioned, it’s always in infamy . ”

“Who says that? A while ago, wasn’t there a princess that still wanted to get married to me?” Duan Bai Yue was unconcerned, “What can they villfy about anyway, it’s always about excessive ambitions, having dubious schemes . If I were to be bothered about this, then it means something is wrong . ”

Chu Yuan didn’t reply, and instead continued to be in a daze . All these years, both of them had made use of each other and had trusted each other with their lives . The words they had said were too many, the things they had done were also too many . He hadn’t known his thoughts for a long time now . Even now, he would still get lost in thought, feeling that he couldn’t see the person in front of him clearly, and couldn’t see the road ahead of them clearly either .  

“Why is it so quiet next door?” Duan Yao became uncertain .  

Nan Mo Ye shushed him, gently opened the door, then tiptoed to the door of the room next to them, continuing to eavesdrop .  

Duan Bai Yue also frowned, looking at him with worry, “What’s the matter?” 

Caressing his cheek with one hand, Chu Yuan closed his eyes and kissed him .  

Outside the door, Duan Yao, face full of excitement, also tiptoed over, preparing to eavesdrop again, when he was dragged by his neck by Nan Mo Ye back to their room .  

Kids shouldn’t see this, it will set a bad example .

The touch on his lips felt too real . It was as if something had exploded in his mind . Duan Bai Yue stood still for a moment, before grabbing Chu Yuan’s waist and pressing him against the wall .

Chu Yuan looked at him, not speaking .  

Duan Bai Yue’s eyes were bloodshot, not knowing what to think . He didn’t think that there would come a day where Chu Yuan would initiate first, crossing over the fragile boundary that both of them had carefully concealed over all these years .

Even if there was only this moment, let them ignore the matters of the state and country . Even knowing that a moment of recklessness may lead to the point of no return, he was willing to not continue thinking about it . Duan Bai Yue kissed the person in his arms deeply once again . Chu Yuan’s eyelashes trembled, his tongue soft and scalding, seemingly eluding him, and yet more like it was inviting him .

It was after some time before Duan Bai Yue slightly loosened his arms . But he still couldn’t bear to release Chu Yuan, kissing him again .  

With red ears, Chu Yuan pushed him away .  

It was silent in the room .  

A moment later, Chu Yuan said: “I’m returning to the palace . ”

Duan Bai Yue said: “So now you don’t want me already?”

Chu Yuan: “………”

Duan Bai Yu laughed lowly, pulling him into his arms again: “Sit for a while more, I’ll send you back . ” 

“Go and meet Gu Yun Chuan tonight . ” Chu Yuan said, “Maybe he really does have matters to talk to you about . ” 

“Alright . ” Duan Bai Yue promised .  

Sounds of celebration came in from the window; hundreds of lotus lights floated on the river, weaving and meandering, forming a trail .  

Chu Yuan sat by the bed, looking at the lights in a daze .  

“Make a wish?” Duan Bai Yue hugged him from behind, “Maybe it will really come true . ”

Chu Yuan said: “I wish that you will be happy and healthy in this life . ” 

Duan Bai Yue shook his head: “Not ‘I’, it’s ‘we’ . ” 

Holding onto the hands around his waist, Chu Yuan slowly interlinked his fingers with them, leaning back into Duan Bai Yue’s embrace .  

By the river, Liu Da Jiong and Tao Ren De were having osmanthus tang yuan together, with Grand Tutor paying for it of course .  

“Next time, when you’re looking for the emperor to approve an edict, use your own grandson . ” Liu Da Jiong grumbled, “Don’t bring the innocent into it . ” 

“Yours is new, just-born . The emperor hasn’t seen him yet so he keeps thinking about him . ” Tao Ren De said, “That grandson of son makes a ruckus in the palace everyday, the emperor gets a headache every time he goes . ”

“Your sins are serious . ” Liu Da Jiong said, “Our emperor was unwilling to select concubines in the first place . If he were to see a lady that he likes, maybe he could change his mind . Now it’s getting less and less likely . ” 

“You have the nerve to talk about me . ” Tao Ren De threw down his spoon, “You matchmake people every day, but I don’t see you proposing one for the emperor . ” 

“That’s our emperor, how can the average person be matched up with him . ” Liu Da Jiong said with conviction, “For the first imperial concubine, at the very least, she must be extraordinarily beautiful and of noble birth, and have a sense of consideration and propriety . Tell me then, are there any households that can achieve that?”

Tao Ren De shook his head: “There aren’t any in the capital, but you can go out to look for them . We will be going to the Summer Palace soon . Look closely along the way, my eyelid has been twitching recently, perhaps a marriage is really in the books . ”

“Listen to a word of advice from me, the reason why your eyelids are twitching is because you have done too many shameful deeds, why would you be able to twitch out a marriage . ” Liu Da Jiong had a face of disdain, “Moreover, look at the spots on your face, please don’t ever twitch out someone with a pockmarked face for the emperor . ” 

Tao Ren De felt that, sooner or later, he would be angered to death by this matchmaker .

At the same time, Duan Bai Yue was also asking: “The Summer Palace?”

“Yes . ” Chu Yuan nodded, “At this year every time, I will go there to stay for a while . ‘Take a look at the people along the trip and also have a change of scenery to widen the mind’, it was what the late emperor had set as a rule . ” He paused after saying that, and smiled, “Though I have always felt that it was because he felt that the capital was too hot, so he found an excuse to escape the summer . ” 

Duan Bai Yue said: “Yun De City is deep in the mountains, it’s certainly much cooler than here . ”

“What about you?’ Chu Yuan asked, “Returning to Xi Nan?” 

Duan Bai Yue said: “No . ”

“Having left Xi Nan for so long, you’re not afraid the borders will have unrest?” Chu Yuan turned his head, looking at him .  

Duan Bai Yue said: “You will know when you see it for yourself . The borders of Xi Nan are probably one of the quietest borders of great Chu, and doesn’t rely merely on military force to quell unrest . Previously, the seventy two factions of the Miao clan all acted individually, poisoning and scheming against one another, all just to fight over a little food and shelter . Now that they have united as one, everyone has houses to stay in, fields to sow, and Xi Nan Manor would even bestow them rewards, their lives are very good now . They are not like those ferocious bandits of the northern desert, ambitious and highly skilled . Even with an alliance, they wouldn’t be able to create big waves . They can’t even leave Xi Nan, much less reach the capital, why would they do something disadvantageous?” 

“To think that there would be a day where you would say that other people are ambitious . ” Chu Yuan bumped his head against his chest .  

“If I were to gather them under a flag, will that Grand Tutor Tao faint from shock when the news reaches the capital?” Duan Bai Yue asked .  

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Chu Yuan didn’t know whether to laugh or cry: “You can even bring Grand Tutor up in this?”

“He denounces me everyday and you don’t let me beat him up . ” Duan Bai Yue placed his chin on his shoulder, “I can only talk badly about him . ” He was truly aggrieved .  

A while later, the people at the lotus festival gradually dispersed, and Duan Bai Yue also sent Chu Yuan back to the palace .  

Nan Mo Ye and Duan Yao leaned on the window, earnestly sending them off with their eyes, almost stretching most of their body out of the window .

No matter what, you must stay in the palace tonight!

Eunuch Si Xi was dozing off at the entrance to the residential quarters, and opened his eyes upon hearing sounds . Seeing that the two of them had returned, he sighed in relief .  

“In this period of time, did anyone come to find us?” Chu Yuan asked .  

“No, it was very quiet . ” Eunuch Si Xi chuckled, Your Majesty can go out for a stroll whenever he wants .

“Then you should rest well . ” Duan Bai Yue said, “I will go and see what Brother Gu is occupied with, then –”

“Then you will return to the inn to rest . ’ Chu Yuan patted his face, “You haven’t slept properly these few days and it will be midnight after your meeting tonight, don’t run around anymore . ”

“Alright . ” Duan Bai Yue smiled, “I will visit you tomorrow then . ”

Chu Yuan nodded, and looked at him leave by jumping over the courtyard wall, feeling that it was a little funny .

His movements are getting more and more practiced .  

“Your Majesty . ” Seeing his good mood, Si Xi was also happy, and said, “Should a bath be called for?” 

“Later, it’s still early . ” Chu Yuan said, “We will look at more edicts . ” 

Si Xi: “……”

Chu Yuan looked at him with a smile: “We know, we will come back earlier to sleep . ” 

Si Xi acknowledged it, accompanying him to the imperial study .  

The edicts were still the same as usual, and the matters were still as many as usual, but Chu Yuan’s mood was much better than yesterday, and he even had a smile on his face .

To the side, eunuch Si Xi clicked his tongue, looks like it still has to be Xi Nan King .  

An hour passed in the blink of an eye . Chu Yuan placed down the brush in his hand and eunuch Si Xi quickly asked: “Does Your Majesty want to return to the sleeping quarters?”

Chu Yuan pressed on his stomach, saying: “Send some food here . ” 

 Eunuch Si Xi couldn’t respond upon hearing it, but came back to his senses and quickly said: “What does Your Majesty want to have?”

“Whatever is fine, the faster the better . ” Chu Yuan placed his chin on the table, “I’m very hungry . ” Although there were quite a few braised meats and fried buns bought while he was at the inn, he simply didn’t eat much of it . He didn’t feel it when he just returned to the palace, but his stomach started gurgling after reading a few edicts . At this rate, his chest was going to stick to his back .  

Eunuch Si Xi left at a jog to inform the kitchen . A short while later, a servant sent over a case full of food . Inside was Chu Yuan’s usual fare of porridge and appetizers, as well as soup and desserts .  

“Please enjoy, Your Majesty . ” Si Xi arranged the cutlery for him .  

Chu Yuan asked: “Is there meat?”

Si Xi: “……… . ”


The imperial kitchen chef quickly started the fire again, chopping ribs noisily . Fragrance burst out of the boiling soup . The young eunuchs surrounding him all swallowed their saliva . The hot dishes were rushed to the imperial study, with the chef saying fearfully that they didn’t have much time and couldn’t cook elaborate dishes, so please pardon them, Your Majesty .

Chu Yuan ate a mouthful of fish maw wrapped in lotus leaf, and said: “Delicious, it’s quite good . ” 

The imperial chef instantly brightened, and left the imperial study with the servant after saying their thanks .    

Si Xi attended to him, watching Chu Yuan start on the meat after finishing the fish, not stopping his chopsticks even after seven, eight pork ribs, and saying he wanted to eat stewed deer trotters after that . Thus, he was puzzled, why did Xi Nan King bring him out but didn’t even let him eat, starving the emperor .  

… . .

On this night, it was one of Chu Yuan’s largest meals .  

In Ran Yue House, Gu Yun was leaning against the railing, playing the qin . Leaning by the pillar, Duan Bai Yue said: “Looking at Brother Gu’s natural and familiar moves, you could probably start receiving customers after a while more . ”

Gu Yun Chuan’s hand flinched, breaking a string on the qin .  

Duan Bai Yue sat opposite him .  

Looking at his waist, Gu Yun Chuan was puzzled: “Where’s your Lie Yun sword?”

“Gave it to Yao-er . ” Duan Bai Yue poured himself a cup of wine .  

So be it that you gave it to Yao-er, but why are you hanging an old sword at your waist instead? Gu Yun Chuan couldn’t stand it, asking: “Can I borrow this… . treasured sword for a look?”

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Duan Bai Yue, curtly: “No . ”

Gu Yun Chuan: “… . . ”

“Why are you looking for me?” Duan Bai Yue asked .  

“It has to do with Tian Cha sect . ” Gu Yun Chuan answered .

Duan Bai Yue paused, looking up at him .  

“I returned to Meng Lan to visit an old friend, and passed by Xi Nan on the way back . ” Gu Yun Chuan said, “After Lan Ji’s violent death, Tian Cha sect scattered like loose sand . There’s no need to talk about the minor disciples who have long packed up and found other places . The four chiefs of the sect didn’t want to stay either, after splitting the assets, they burnt down the hall of Tian Cha sect . I thought this matter had since come to an end, but who would have known that those four protectors were instead killed . ”

“By who?” Duan Bai Yue asked .  

Gu Yun Chuan said: “Lan Ji . ” 

Duan Bai Yue frowned deeply .

“Or maybe it’s Lan Ji’s ghost, looking for vengeance . ” Gu Yun Chuan said, “Three of them were violently killed with a single move, their chests blackened, skin turning inside out . It looks like the work of White Bone Claw which Lan Ji usually uses . After the news spread, people in Jianghu knew that something was wrong, and wanted to protect the fourth protector beforehand . But they were a step late, and could only manage to hear her last words, that the person who took her life is Lan Ji . ” 

Duan Bai Yue said: “She was injured severely and left down the cliff, how can she be alive?” 

“That’s why I said, maybe it’s her ghost . ” Gu Yun Chuan raised an eyebrow, “All the sects in Xi Nan are all investigating . I heard that Sun-moon Hamlet is going to send someone over too, so I didn’t join in, and returned to tell you this first . ”

Duan Bai Yue nodded: “Thanks . ”

“If she hasn’t attacked Xi Nan Manor, then you shouldn’t intervene in this . ” Gu Yun Chuan said, “This time round I have also asked around, although Meng Lan is by the southern seas, few have heard of Tian Chen Sha, I’m not certain whether it can be found . The threads of the golden silkworm have many poisons, you should never be careless . ” 

Duan Bai Yue smiled: “It’s like I’m a sickly person now . Every time someone goes to a new place, they would remember to help me ask about the medicine . ”

“It’s rare to have such an interesting friend like you, it’s best to live as long as you can . ” Gu Yun Chuan filled up his cup of wine . “If you have nothing else tonight, then stay here and have a drink . It can’t be compared to the ones you personally brewed, but it also has been kept for several years . ”

Duan Bai Yue nodded: “… . . ”

Gu Yun Chuan touched his cup to his: “To you marrying . ”

Duan Bai Yue: “……”

“Keke . ” Gu Yun Chuan said, “To be frank, when I passed by Xi Nan manor this time, Aunt Jin held onto me and talked for half a day, saying that she’s looking forward to you marrying so much that she has turned blind in one eye from crying . ”

Duan Bai Yue: “……”

In the inn, Duan Yao was so sleepy that he felt woozy, but refused to sleep, wanting to listen to his teacher talk of stories of his brother being a devoted lover .  

On the street, the nightwatchman went past, hitting his drum . Nan Mo Ye clapped once loudly .  

He didn’t return, so he must have stayed behind .

At least he didn’t bring disgrace to his teacher .

The next morning, when Duan Bai Yue returned to the inn, he saw Nan Mo Ye and Duan Yao collapsed on the table, sleeping soundly .  

…… . .

“Brother . ” Hearing a noise, Duan Yao got up dazedly .

“Why are you sleeping here?” Duan Bai Yue frowned .

“We chatted for too long and slept here unknowingly . ” Duan Yao yawned widely .  

Duan Bai Yue stuffed a spoon into his little brother’s mouth .  

Duan Yao spitted: “This dropped on the floor last night!”

“Ridiculous . ” Duan Bai Yue stood up, “Go back to sleep . ”

Nan Mo Ye asked excitedly: Should we prepare red eggs?”

A red-faced Duan Yao was prepared to ask the waiter to prepare some right away .

Duan Bai Yue sat by the bed: “I was at Ran Yue House last night . ” 

“Ran Yue House is good, their items are comprehensive . ” Nan Mo Ye slapped his thigh .  

Duan Yao covered his ears knowingly, he didn’t know what the items were . He had never peaked at those books before, he was totally innocent .  

Duan Bai Yue said: “I was with Brother Gu . ”

Duan Yao said disappointedly: “Ah?”

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Nan Mo Ye’s smile froze on his face .

Couldn’t be bothered to explain, Duan Bai Yue unsheathed the blunt sword at his waist and chased them out .  

Duan Yao squatted in the corridor, cheeks in his hands, and sighed with his teacher .  


After a few more days, Chu Yuan left the palace with a convoy as expected, and went east, to the Summer Palace in Yun De city .  

Since the trip was to observe the lives of ordinary people, they did not rush, stopping here and there along the way, taking three days to reach the next city . The convoy stopped at a relay station . Chu Yuan opened the door to his own room and saw a big bouquet of flowers on the table from who knows where .  

Duan Bai Yue was leaning on the roof beams, smiling at him .  

“Come down . ” Chu Yuan waved his hand .  

Duan Bai Yue jumped down: “Why are you so late, I had already wandered in the city for a day . ” 

“It’s hot, so I let everyone take more breaks . ” Chu Yuan used his sleeve to help wipe off his sweat, “It’s hot here too . The ice will be arriving later, why didn’t you know to wait outside instead . ”

Duan Bai Yue laughed: “I was in the trees actually, but a bunch of kids started climbing them, I was trying to avoid getting found . ”

“The great Xi Nan King, hiding from a bunch of kids . ” Chu Yuan patted his chest, “Embarrassing . ” 

Holding his hand, Duan Bai Yue was about to kiss him, when someone outside the room said: “Your Majesty . ” 

Chu Yuan pushed him away immediately .

Duan Bai Yue asked: “Can I beat him up?”

Chu Yuan said: “No . ” 

Even if he doesn’t allow it, I still want to beat him up .  Crouching on the roof beam, Xi Nan King looked at Tao Ren De enter the room .  

He must have owed this old man something in his past life .  

“The trip here is taxing, why isn’t Grand Tutor resting . ” Chu Yuan said, “Do you have something to talk to us about?” 

“Your Majesty, there is . ” Tao Ren De said, “There is a Yue Lao Temple nearby –” 

“Grand tutor . ” Chu Yuan interrupted him unhappily .  

“Your Majesty, please allow me to finish . ” Tao Ren De started saying quicker, “This temple of relationships is very accurate, the next after tomorrow just happens to be Qi Qiao festival and there will be many embroidered handkerchiefs hanging on the tree of marriage, they are all embroidered by ladies awaiting betrothal –”    

“Si Xi!” Chu Yuan called loudly .

“Your Majesty . ” Eunuch Si Xi jogged in .  

“Send the Grand Tutor off . ” Chu Yuan instructed .

Tao Ren De wanted to say more but Chu Yuan had already gone into the inner chamber .

“Grand Tutor, let’s go . ” Eunuch Si Xi said quietly by his ear, “Don’t make the emperor unhappy, you can bring it up later . ” 

Tao Ren De sighed inwardly, and left after giving his thanks .  

Liu Da Jiong, arms in his sleeves, was enjoying the scene under the tree .  

I just knew that he would be chased out .  

To even say it’s auspicious that his eyelid is twitching .

Fat chance .

“Look at that, and you don’t let me beat him . ’ Duan Bai Yue crouched in front of him .

Chu Yuan sat by the bed, looking at him, not knowing whether to laugh or cry .  

Duan Bai Yue asked: “The temple of relationships, want to go? I will bring you there . ” 

“Not going . ” Chu Yuan took back his hand .  

Duan Bai Yue sat beside him: “It’s apparently accurate, we will go secretly, and come back once we see it . ” 

“You are quite interested in this?” Chu Yuan grabbed his ear .  

“Maybe we can really pray for the blessing of marriage . ” Duan Bai Yue pulled him into his arms, “At very least we can tie a red string together, hm?”

Chu Yuan put his chin on his shoulder, and said lazily: “En . ”

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