Chapter 11: There’s a Plan in My Mind
“Change my clothes and clean up.” The Emperor sat on the bedside and spread out his hands.
Steward Xu accepted the order, signaling the maid and eunuch by his side with his eyes. Immediately, they stepped forward to attend to the Emperor.
Looking at this scene, Ling Xiao recalled something.
Since the Emperor did not like too many people attending to him, he always had only Steward Xu by his side. However, Steward Xu was getting older, his hands and feet no longer nimble. As a result, the ones that waited on the Emperor in the morning were the maids and eunuchs that served the night vigil.
Steward Xu was a deep minded person. Afraid that someone would rob him of his position, the maids and eunuchs he brought to the Emperor’s side were different every day.
Because of this, Steward Xu had a lot of subordinates, but no confidant…
“Ling Xiao.” While Ling Xiao was thinking of this, he was suddenly called for by the Emperor. He promptly went in front of the Emperor with his back bowed in answer.
By now, the Emperor had already cleaned up and the palace maids were all kneeling in front of him, bearing clothes.
“Help Us change clothes.”
Ling Xiao’s eyebrows raised slightly in surprise, then he smiled and bowed his head in salute, “Yes.”
The Emperor’s temperament was serious. This meant that he always liked to wear his clothes really tightly. Ling Xiao deliberately fastened his collar entirely and also tightened the belt some more.
The Emperor felt this and looked at Ling Xiao with soft eyes, a slight smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.
Steward Xu had long arranged the manpower in the Imperial Garden and had prepared everything the Emperor would need to use.
The Emperor was well versed in both letters and military arts. When he practiced martial arts, he would often use a sword. His skills were beautiful and amazing, free and heroic; his actions like moving clouds and flowing water. Watching his practice in person was extremely enjoyable, and as Ling Xiao fascinatedly watched, he thought to himself that if he had the chance too, one day he should also learn martial arts. It was just too cool!
As he stared, enchanted, the Emperor armed with the sword suddenly headed straight for Ling Xiao, the blade crying out. Startled, Ling Xiao retreated two steps in fear.
The tip of the Emperor’s sword was left pointing right at Ling Xiao’s neck. Ling Xiao looked down at the coldly shining sword and swallowed his saliva, using a trembling voice to ask, “Your Majesty?”
The Emperor squinted at him, that little eunuch was so scared that he didn’t dare to move a single step, but his eyes were still very bright.
Ling Xiao suddenly retreated two steps and kneeled in front of the Emperor as soon as he reached a safe distance. “Your servant was wrong.”
The Emperor raised an eyebrow. On the contrary, this little eunuch knew how to hide. He withdrew his sword and threw it to the chamberlain behind him, fetching the embroidered silk by the side to wipe his hands.
“Where did you go wrong?”
Ling Xiao bit his lip, “Your servant does not know.”
The Emperor stopped his hands, “You don’t know where you went wrong?”
Ling Xiao frowned and clenched his hands. What did this Emperor mean?
He pursed his lip, and replied, “Your Majesty, your unhappiness is your servant’s failure to carry out one’s duty.”
When the Emperor heard this, he lightly laughed and glanced at Ling Xiao, saying, “Rise.”
Ling Xiao got up, trembling. Seeing him stubbornly still trying to complete his task even though he was shaking to the point that his arms and legs were weak, the Emperor couldn’t help but find him interesting. He left behind a reminder, “We do not like servants looking at Us for too long, do you understand?”
Ling Xiao stared blankly before he recalled how he had been too fascinated with watching the Emperor’s sword-dance, and a burst of cold sweat materialized on his back, “Your servant… understands.”
The little eunuch had his head bowed extremely low and his whole body shrunk back. It looked very pitiful, yet also quite funny. The Emperor couldn’t help but have his heart moved and he stepped in front of the small eunuch, his eyes only able to see the top of his head.
He suddenly said, “Steward Xu, this little eunuch’s performance was pretty good this morning. Reward him with ten bolts of cloth and silk, and fifty silver.”
Ling Xiao was stupefied and hurriedly kneeled, “Thanks to Your Majesty for the reward.”
The Emperor returned to change his clothes, and Ling Xiao returned to his small room to rest for a bit.
His small room was a single. Because it was too dark last night, he wasn’t able to see it clearly, but now, he became aware that this small room was pretty good. There was a bed, a cupboard, a table and a chair. It was much better than his sleeping place in the Chu Xiu Palace.
Ling Xiao started to let his imagination go wild the moment he returned to his room.
The Emperor was really strange this morning. First, he had hit Ling Xiao with the whip, then he gave Ling Xiao a sweet date.
Ling Xiao felt that the Emperor’s reminder wasn’t so simple.
“We do not like servants looking at Us for too long.”
Ling Xiao carefully thought over this sentence and felt that the Emperor was warning him not to be so pleased that he would lose himself in joy, while also reminding him not to think over what the Emperor preferred so much. In this way, he wouldn’t understand him too thoroughly.
Ling Xiao closed his eyes. In the past, he had always acted very carefully in front of the Emperor, but everything was intimately thoughtful. This was why the Emperor would call him to grind ink two to three times, and also why the Emperor would have him change his clothes for him in the morning. It was because the Emperor knew that Ling Xiao understood him better than others.
But did the Emperor feel that he was too sharp because of this as well?
He was just a small eunuch, yet all his preferences and even his habits were all thoroughly discovered. Being a vigilant Emperor, he definitely wouldn’t like it much.
The more Ling Xiao thought, the more he felt that the Emperor was just this kind of psychological person and couldn’t help but feel in his heart that the Emperor was way too hard to sway.
However, the Emperor, in the end, had only reminded him before rewarding him. This should represent that although the Emperor was displeased, he still quite enjoyed his comfortable serving. As such, he wasn’t actually disliked?
Ling Xiao covered his head and grabbed his ears in confusion.
Mother of a chicken, why was the Emperor’s thinking so hard to figure out? Back when he was Mo Qi’s trusted adviser, the how-tos concerning the Emperor were not this troublesome. However, why was everything fishy when it was face-to-face?!
While he was in the midst of confusion, Steward Xu entered.
His face black, he was followed by four small eunuchs who were carrying the reward from the Emperor.
Quickly, Ling Xiao saluted Steward Xu.
Steward Xu didn’t look at him even when he was facing him directly, allowing the small eunuchs to place the items down and leave before he closed Ling Xiao’s door.
Ling Xiao’s eyes flashed and out of the corner of his eyes, he looked at the items on the table.
Steward Xu walked to the table, suddenly touching first the silver, then the cloth and silk.
“You aren’t a simple little eunuch. Only your first day, and you already obtained His Majesty’s reward.”
Ling Xiao bowed his head, saluting, “It was nothing, it was simply because Steward taught me well.”
“Hehe…” Steward Xu coldly laughed twice, “You still call me that? Weren’t you doing it so you could stand beside His Majesty?!”
Hearing this, Ling Xiao bowed his head and smilingly said, “Steward, didn’t you see and hear this servant that time? This servant’s request to stay by His Majesty’s side was a request for safety.”
Steward Xu sneered once, completely not believing him.
Ling Xiao closed his eyes once and made a decision in his heart. Walking by the table, he smiled, “Steward, this servant is only fortunate enough to be here because of you and the Emperor. These things, if you don’t mind, you can take it all.”
Steward Xu was surprised and slightly stunned as he looked at Ling Xiao. A flicker of joy flashed past in his eyes as he falsely said, “These are the things the Emperor rewarded you, how can I take them?”
Ling Xiao smiled to the point his eyes were slits, hinting at Steward Xu as he spoke, “Isn’t it that this servant’s things are also Steward’s things? What His Majesty rewarded is yours. As long as we don’t speak about it, how would anyone know it was rewarded by His Majesty.”
Steward Xu’s complexion eased and his mouth could not help but rise into a smile.
Ling Xiao stole a glance and seized this opportunity to bow as he said, “This servant only wants to quietly work and be indebted to both His Majesty and you, if you don’t mind.”
Hearing these words, Steward Xu finally regained a thread of reasoning, retracting his smiling expression as he coldly humphed, “Just these things and you think you can buy me?”
Ling Xiao cursed the greedy Steward Xu in his heart several times. Meanwhile, his mouth respectfully agreed, “This servant doesn’t dare.”
“Henceforth, as long as His Majesty awards this servant something, those things are all Steward’s.”
Steward Xu listened and raised an eyebrow, thinking in his mind that this affair wasn’t that simple. However, right now he was very greedy for property, so he ignored that feeling and narrowed his eyes in satisfaction. Picking up the money and embracing it, he said, “Looking at you, I feel that you are a careful one. I will take care of these for now and come back in the evening to carry the rest.”
“Yes.” Ling Xiao saluted and sent Steward Xu to the door.
He sneered while staring at Steward Xu’s back, narrowing his eyes.
He would let this Steward Xu be proud of himself for a few more days, but after that, he’d see how Ling Xiao would take care of him!
The following days, Ling Xiao worked his hardest to attend to the Emperor. Even if it was night, he would wait until the Emperor was asleep before leaving.
Three meals a day, he helped the Emperor refill his favorite dishes, everything done according to the Emperor’s preferences.
The Emperor even agreed tacitly to Ling Xiao’s behavior. Even though he was unhappy, Steward Xu also did not stop him when he thought of the rewards.
These days, because of his appropriate service, Ling Xiao was rewarded by the Emperor again, but, this time, it was two hundred silver.
However, it all went into Steward Xu’s pocket.
Ling Xiao silently gave Steward Xu the middle finger in his mind and worked even harder to serve the Emperor.
It got to the extent that while the Emperor was accompanying his concubine to look at the moon and stars, he would also follow.
He would even create small romantic atmospheres for them from time to time, giving the Emperor a small surprise.
When the Emperor encountered the first romantic scene, he didn’t express anything after. As a result, Ling Xiao continued to create the night atmosphere from time to time for the two people.
What was very strange was that these past few days, the Emperor did not go to any concubine’s palace to spend the night. Forget the concubine’s palace, Ling Xiao didn’t even see any called over.