Chapter 3: Beginning the Counterattack
After going through the past once, Ling Xiao only rejoiced for this rebirth. However, he was missing a lot of astonishment that he should have been experiencing.
When it came to astonishment, perhaps there was just much more sadness and anger.
Being betrayed by the girl he had protected for ten years, this kind of feeling wasn’t something that could be described clearly in a few words.
After returning back to the past, being used by Mo Qi again was impossible.
But the time he returned to wasn’t correct. As he had already entered the emperor’s palace, there was no leeway for him.
Moreover, he was not willing to just walk away. He had suffered so much damage and even lost his life! So how could he just leave?!
But Mo Qi already had a place in the palace; in addition, if he didn’t remember wrongly, there were also many hidden connections placed around her by Lan Wei. He was also just a man without an identity within the harem. A man who would be put to death at any moment if he were to be found out. Even if he wanted to take revenge, there wasn’t any good way to do it right He would need to establish himself and preserve his own life first, before he could consider his next steps.
It couldn’t be helped, but sometimes Ling Xiao was frightfully calm and rational. He was clearly filled with loathing for Mo Qi and itching to choke her to death immediately. However, he was able to judge the time and figure out the situation even faster, allowing him to take the most advantageous path.
He had always been extremely intelligent; it was just that back then, he had been in that woman’s hands.
Now, with him coming to his senses, he would never allow other to manipulate him so easily again!
The post arranged by Elder Lin was the same as that in his first life. It was close to Mo Qi’s vicinity, that of the most insignificant and lowest ranked court eunuch.
A nobody who could be pinched to death by anyone who felt like doing it.
At that time, his main purpose was to accompany Mo Qi, so this kind of arrangement had been quite satisfactory. Now, though, he was not doing it for Mo Qi.
On the contrary, he extremely hated Mo Qi and didn’t want to see her at all.
The place Elder Lin had arranged for him became the place he was the most dissatisfied with, but he also had no other choice but to accept it.
In the time it took to burn an incense stick, Mo Qi returned. Apparently, she was quite resentful about being cast away by Ling Xiao.
Ling Xiao sneered at her back. If it had been the old him, he would have already rushed up and did his best to appease her, but at this very moment, he only felt disdain. Mo Qi lost his love, how could she still manage to behave so unscrupulously in front of him?
Ling Xiao turned around.
He had actually just remembered a certain matter.
Lan Wei had arranged a lot of people to cover for Mo Qi, but the majority of these people were all people he knew!
Moreover, this time was when Mo Qi first entered the emperor’s palace, and Lan Wei had also just recently gathered power within the palace. The people available to him now weren’t much. Even in his former lifetime, he had helped Mo Qi do a lot of things, including helping her keep in touch with Lan Wei. The other small court eunuch that joined him, he remembered the appearance, name, post and place of him very clearly!
If he wanted to do something to Mo Qi, wouldn’t he only need to do it while she only had Lan Wei to protect her?
People should know that after entering the palace, Mo Qi seemed to have some kind of magic power, allowing her to attract almost everyone’s attention. It made everyone want to protect her, allowing her to climb to the peak of her life.
Of course, all these people protecting her included him.
This seemed to be characteristic of Mo Qi’s halo and golden touch.
Chu Xiu Palace wasn’t as rigorous as the other harem palaces, making it easier to place people inside than the other palaces. Ling Xiao carefully thought about where Lan Wei had placed the small eunuch as he walked, until he arrived at Chu Xiu Palace’s kitchen.
In this world, Chu Xiu Palace had an independent, small kitchen.
Lan Wei, Prime Minister Mu Chao’s son. His inherent quality was naive and frank. Before getting familiar with Mo Qi, most likely even he didn’t think that he would be placing an informer in the imperial palace’s harem. Therefore, the moment that Mo Qi entered the emperor’s palace, his first purpose was to make sure that his informers would take care of Mo Qi well. Taking care of Mo Qi meant providing her with food, livelihood, jobs and so on. Mo Qi loved to eat, so what Lan Wei would influence the most would be this small kitchen.
As Ling Xiao had thought, there really was such a small eunuch.
Ling Xiao remembered that this small eunuch had been called Li Yuan, an avaricious and greedy little person. In his former life, in order to help Mo Qi, he had given him a lot of gold and silver jewels, and he had received plenty of disdainful looks.
Lan Wei had barely managed to bring such a small eunuch under his control. As for Elder Lin, if Ling Xiao remembered correctly, she was the prime minister’s people, so she obeyed the orders of the prime minister, not Lan Wei.
Just as he arrived at the small kitchen, Li Yuan went past him, carrying a small lunch box. Ling Xiao blinked, then turned around and seamlessly followed him.
The small court eunuch took all sorts of turns, concealing himself more and more as he walked. Ling Xiao controlled his gaze and continued to follow him.
Finally, the small court eunuch stopped at a rock garden, his eyes darting around, and Ling Xiao hid himself at once.
Not seeing anyone, the court eunuch sneakily opened the lunch box. Inside was a large white pigeon, causing Ling Xiao widen his eyes.
Such good luck, being able to bump into the moment when the small court eunuch was sending a letter on his first try?
Wasn’t this straight up giving him some blackmail?!
Thinking this, Ling Xiao wanted walk out, but he thought of something and stopped himself again.
This wouldn’t do. If he just walked out like this, the white pigeon wouldn’t explain anything. The small court eunuch was one of the kitchen’s people, so when the moment came, and he only said that he was catching a white pigeon to make into soup, then it would make it look like he was trying to slander him, making all his planning go to waste.
Ling Xiao pursed his lips, continuing to hide on the other side of the rockery as his footsteps light as he quietly approached the small court eunuch.
The eunuch held the white pigeon in one hand, while his other hand went to his waist, taking out a letter in preparation of tying it to the white pigeon’s foot. Ling Xiao had been waiting precisely for this moment, and he suddenly jumped out, snatching the letter out of the small court eunuch’s hand and smugly looked at him.
The small court eunuch was frightened and shouted loudly, causing the pigeon to also responded by falling to the ground with a thud before it flew away.
“You… you you you… what are you doing?”
Ling Xiao evilly smiled, looking at the letter in his hand: “That is what I should be asking my fellow eunuch.”
He opened the letter, reading the content as he pleased before raising an eye at the court eunuch Li Yuan.
“Heeeh… my fellow eunuch, you’re helping a Xiu Girl secretly communicate with someone?”
“You you you… You’re talking nonsense!” the small court eunuch said to him and tried to snatch the letter out of Ling Xiao’s hands.
Ling Xiao dodged and coldly laughed: “Young Master Lan Wei, isn’t he the son of the Prime Minister? The son of the Prime Minister is secretly communicating with a Xiu Girl? This is a criminal charge… Zhe zhe zhe.”
“I tell you, this kind of talk can’t be randomly said!”
“All the evidence is right here! Would you like to see what would happen if I presented this to the Emperor?” This was, of course, merely a threat. If he were to actually present it to the Emperor, and the Emperor could help him take revenge, then he wouldn’t be here groundlessly blathering on to this small court eunuch. The issue was that his words were unimportant, so he basically couldn’t even meet the Emperor. Ling Xiao didn’t believe that the previous ‘good luck’ would happen to him again. Furthermore, presenting this to the Emperor also had a huge risk. Whether the Emperor chose to believe him was one problem, and the other problem would be if the Emperor took notice of Mo Qi and started to regard her as important. If that happened, then the gains would not make up for the losses.
Mo Qi’s golden finger and halo had been both witnessed and experienced by Ling Xiao. In his previous lifetime, this Emperor had even wanted her to be his Empress! Although Ling Xiao didn’t think that a regular man would have a good opinion of a woman who was supposed to be his, after seeing her maintain secret ties with another man. However, after Ling Xiao experienced Mo Qi’s halo, he really didn’t dare to brave this danger! If Mo Qi really did get taken under the Emperor’s wing, then it would be difficult for him to avenge himself in this lifetime!
Besides, the Emperor was also one of those he wanted to retaliate against!
“You… what do you want!” After trying to get the letter many times without success, Li Yuan clenched his teeth and looked at Ling Xiao.
“What do I want…” Ling Xiao evilly laughed once.
“What do you want?” Before he could even speak, a deep and resounding male voice suddenly sounded from behind him.
Ling Xiao was distracted as he was immediately treated to the sight of the small court eunuch trembling as he bent his waist and softly knelt on the ground.
“Emperor… Wan sui!”
Eunuchs are called gong gong (公公) which sounds more respectful, but too much pinyin messes with people so I try to put them in English as much as possible. Since it isn’t a perfect translation, there are some places that sound wrong with just “eunuch”, so I will use gong gong there.
Implied adultery, sexual relationship, or enemy
Wan sui = Long Live (the Emperor). As it doesn’t make too much sense in English with just Long Live, I left it as it is. It will be like my other pinyins. If they sound right in certain context, I will switch between English and pinyin.