Chapter 17: Good Luck Struck
Xiao Lizi walked in with the proper ceremony.
Ling Xiao looked at Xiao Lizi, saying, “Why did you come back instead of serving the Emperor?”
Xiao Lizi respectfully replied, “The Emperor said he did not need anyone to wait upon him and had this servant return.”
Saying this, Xiao Lizi sneakily glanced at Ling Xiao, then immediately looked away. He thought it over a bit before saying, “Steward, after the Emperor had you depart, he has stayed in the Imperial Study all day and only returned to rest very early in the evening.”
Ling Xiao was surprised, looking closely at Xiao Lizi, “Why are you telling me this?”
Xiao Lizi dipped his head and slightly smiled, “This servant is the Emperor’s servant, but I am also Steward’s servant.”
It was an extremely suggestive sentence, making Ling Xiao raise an eyebrow. He faced Xiao Lizi, who had kept his head bowed and body lowered the whole time, showing an extremely respectful behavior to him.
He understood clearly in his heart, this Xiao Lizi wanted to surrender and pay allegiance to him. Unable to help but be interested, he asked, “The Emperor is extremely doting and trusting of you. I, the Steward, am unable to obtain the Emperor’s favor currently. At this moment, isn’t it the perfect time for you to show off in front of the Emperor? If you perform well, you could even pressure I, the Steward. Why are you trying to be my servant?”
Xiao Lizi bent his waist once again, showing his loyalty, “Steward, do not undervalue yourself so much. You are forever the Steward in this palace, and no one can possibly stir your heart. Xiao Lizi… can see everything clearly.”
“Interesting.” Ling Xiao laughed, spread out his hands and placed them on the back of the chair.
Xiao Lizi bowed his head in salute, Ling Xiao glanced at his leg and stretched it out, “Since it’s like this, come over and help massage my leg.”
“Yes.” Xiao Lizi’s face did not change at all as he respectfully knelt in front of Ling Xiao and reached out his hands to massage with just enough strength.
Ling Xiao looked at him closely, sizing him up as he kept his head low with an earnest appearance. Ling Xiao couldn’t see anything wrong.
He closed his eyes in silence, this Xiao Lizi wasn’t simple.
However… in this palace, who among them was simple?
Ling Xiao had a few thoughts in his head and took back his leg, “Alright, you can go first. I, this Steward, am going to rest.”
Xiao Lizi saluted deferentially and retreated with small, quick steps.
Ling Xiao gazed at the sky. It was already nightfall and he hadn’t eaten anything that evening. However, he didn’t have an appetite right now. Thinking about it a bit, he then ordered the surrounding maids and eunuchs to leave as he wanted to take a bath and rest early.
However, just as he got up, a sword moved in quickly from the side and an ice cold sensation rose from his neck.
Startled, Ling Xiao’s eyes moved to look at the sword against his neck and frowned as he glanced around. Even so, he only saw the water blue sleeve and hand that held the sword. There was only one person he had met before that liked wearing blue and hated him. Ling Xiao pursed his lip and called out probingly, “Young Master Lan Wei.”
“You know it’s this young master?” A man flashed out from the shadows behind him. He wore a light blue robe and an external layer of muslin that was draped over his shoulders. Half of his long hair rested on his shoulders, slightly covering up his eyebrows, and his eyes were like torches as he closely watched Ling Xiao. This was the Prime Minister’s son, Young Master Lan Wei.
Ling Xiao looked away, recalling that this Young Master Lan Wei’s personality was frank, naive, and impulsive. Since he hadn’t shown up that afternoon and hadn’t sent anyone to rebuff him, not even a pigeon, the proud and arrogant Lan Wei couldn’t ignore it and had looked for a chance to drop by to question him. There was nothing unlikely about it.
Thinking like this, Ling Xiao calmed down and deftly moved away the sword placed on his neck as he smilingly said, “I guessed that you would come to find me when I didn’t go see you after you set up that appointment. Looks like I guessed right.”
Lan Wei frowned, his face angry as he placed the sword that Ling Xiao had moved away back against his neck, “Why did you not come see this Young Master?”
At the bottom of his heart, Ling Xiao rolled his eyes.
Although this Lan Wei did not hold an official position, he was still the Prime Minister’s son. If the matter with Mo Qi could be resolved without any other unexpected events, this person would eventually walk the path of an official. This kind of existence walking closely to Ling Xiao, a Steward of the palace. He’d have to be stupid to meet him when the Emperor was already not happy with him right now.
At the same time, this Lan Wei failed to understand this point. He was already unfavored by the Emperor because of the matter with Mo Qi. However, he just didn’t understand how to reflect on himself and even went so far as to burst into the palace to see him. Ling Xiao ruthlessly disdained Lan Wei’s stupidness in his heart, but his expression was normal as he said, “You are the Prime Minister’s son, and I am the Eunuch Steward of the palace. This palace has a rule about not approaching people of the assembly in the first place. The two of us meeting violates this rule. If the Emperor knew, not to mention me, even you would find it difficult to escape punishment.”
Lan Wei’s brows relaxed a little and pursed his lips as he asked, “The place this Young Master chose was very hidden, who would know?”
“There are numerous informers in the palace. I am not afraid of many things, but I am afraid of the chance.” Ling Xiao carefully pushed away the sword point as he replied.
Lan Wei went silent, finally accepting Ling Xiao’s excuse as he set down his sword. Immediately, Ling Xiao retreated two steps, Lan Wei seeming to mock him for his cowardice as he watched. Ling Xiao curled his lips, and not even bothering to start something over Lan Wei’s expression. After all, he feared death in the first place.
Lan Wei looked at Ling Xiao for a moment, feeling as if the other was insulting his eyes. Flinging his head to the side, he somewhat jeeringly said, “Aren’t you the one that wants to eliminate the informers of the palace?”
Ling Xiao collected himself, looked like Lan Wei already knew that his five informers were broken off by him. He thought it over, and a plan formed in his mind that made him unable to help curving his lips a little, “I am the Emperor’s servant right now. What the Emperor wants me to do, I will do it. He had me investigate the informers in this palace, so I will investigate. That is all.”
Lan Wei heard what he said and his complexion darkened, “Ling Xiao, stop using the Emperor to pressure this Young Master. Don’t forget why you entered the palace!”
As Ling Xiao listened to his words, irony-filled his heart. His face was cold as he sneered, asking, “Why don’t you tell me why I entered the palace?”
Lan Wei sneered back, “Because you were Qi Qi’s servant, she let you enter the Emperor’s palace with her. Walking to this point, she even gave you a post when you entered. Her favor to you has always been as heavy as a mountain since before. Now that you have become the Eunuch Steward, you should remember her and help her more.”
This Lan Wei had been thoroughly brainwashed by Mo Qi, even everything he had done before became something Mo Qi had given him?
Could this Lan Wei be any stupider?! Could Mo Qi be any more shameless?!
Ling Xiao was angered, but he inwardly restrained his own feelings, bearing with it without giving a response. With Lan Wei brainwashed like this, there would inevitably be a day where Mo Qi would thoroughly exploit him. These two people were both his foes, and he only needed to watch them slowly court disaster. He really didn’t need to do anything at all.
If he made Lan Wei clear-headed, it was the same as saving Lan Wei, but Ling Xiao was not that kind-hearted.
As a result, Ling Xiao chose silence.
Even so, Lan Wei did not let him off, “Did you listen to what this Young Master said?”
Ling Xiao rolled his eyes. The first time he saw her, he had rushed to be exploited. He had even gone so far as to push his beloved woman in front of the Emperor. It was simply…
Thinking to here, Ling Xiao couldn’t think about it anymore. When he thought about how he was also like this in his past lifetime… he couldn’t help but fall silent.
After quite a while, he finally answered, “I cannot help you.”
Lan Wei raised his sword, and Ling Xiao glanced at the point of the sword that was almost within reach as he said, “The Emperor ordered me to not approach him for a while, so how could I help you?”
“What…” Lan Wei frowned, then his expression became one of joy, “Then it means you have lost favor?”
Ling Xiao raised an eyebrow, then profoundly smiled, “You could say it like that.”
“I heard that you were in charge of thoroughly investigating the informers within the palace? Is that the reason you can’t approach him?” Lan Wei did not listen to Ling Xiao’s innocuous words and guessed it himself.
Ling Xiao was surprised and reacted a few seconds too late, allowing Lan Wei to dig out a few more clues. Lan Wei took back his sword and thought about it for a good while before saying through clenched teeth, “Tomorrow, this Young Master will deliver a list of names to you. After this matter is settled, you will have done a meritorious service for the Emperor and he will trust you even more. At that time, you will help Qi Qi do the right approach and obtain better results.”
“However, you better remember this! If not, this young master’s blade will not be so lenient again!” Lan Wei coldly snorted once after he finished speaking, and he climbed out through the window.
Great number of things: yi wan; the chance: wan yi. They use the same exact characters, but just flipped. So pun-ish? 不怕一万就怕万一