11 more to go… getting closer
Chapter 60: Goodbye, Lan Wei
“If he could be convinced and allow Shao Country to become Mu Country’s vassal, then I could spare him.” The Emperor had agreed to Ling Xiao without any hesitation.
Ling Xiao stared blankly at the Emperor, a bit stunned.
But the Emperor had already stood up, he did not want to discuss this matter again. He walked to his table and picked up his brush, starting to go through his documents, leaving Ling Xiao at the dining table.
Ling Xiao understood what the Emperor meant and did not dare to speak anymore. He merely ate a few more bites without tasting the food then called out for someone to clean up and walked to the Emperor’s side.
The Emperor refused to take notice of him and concentrated on the documents on the table.
Ling Xiao was a bit nervous at heart, although the Emperor did not show he was unhappy, the fact that he did not want to talk about it was already a sign that he was unhappy.
Ling Xiao did not dare to force it, so he would try to curry favor instead. He quietly walked behind the Emperor and lightly pressed his shoulders.
The Emperor paused then tacitly agreed to Ling Xiao’s actions. He play down his brush and leaned comfortably against the chair, allowing Ling Xiao easier access to work.
Ling Xiao carefully served him. He used the Emperor’s preferred massage technique and strength, and the other sighed in comfort, slowly closing his eyes.
“After you left, there really was no one who can serve Us as well as you.” The Emperor seem to sigh as he said so.
Ling Xiao felt a bit pleased, he steadied his mind and quietly said, “As long as Your Majesty likes it.”
“Like it, We like it a lot.” The Emperor spoke and reached out to pull him into his embrace, having him sit on his thigh as his gentle gaze stared at him, “We like you from top to bottom, the only one for Us.”
The Emperor’s tone suddenly became strong and he grasped Ling Xiao’s chin, unyieldingly making Ling Xiao lean closer to him, “You have to know who is your man, understood?”
With his narrowed eyes staring at Ling Xiao, a terrifying and dignified aura emitted from his eyes, pressuring Ling Xiao to the point he was unable to breath. In a panic, he nodded his head.
The Emperor slightly curbed his aura at the sight and let go of Ling Xiao.
Ling Xiao hurriedly got out of the Emperor’s embrace and knelt in front of him.
The Emperor stood up, “Stand up, We do not like you always kneeling. From hereafter, you don’t need to be like this in front of Us.”
With that spoken, the Emperor passed by Ling Xiao and headed out, but paused at the entrance. He seemed to have remembered something as he stopped and said to Ling Xiao with his back to him, “Ling Xiao, you are an intelligent man, don’t try to touch my bottom line again.”
As if he was afraid the threat of those words weren’t enough, the Emperor paused and continued, “As long as you’re obedient, We can make you the happiest man in the world.”
With those words, he left without even looking back.
Ling Xiao relaxed a breath and held his jumping heart, getting up from the ground. He watched the Emperor’s departing figure and lowered his head, pondering.
The Emperor’s last words were probably what his bottom lines were for him nowadays.
It really did lower a lot. Ling Xiao sighed ruefully.
“Young Master.” A call for him suddenly came from the entrance.
Ling Xiao raised his head to find a sturdily dressed maid waiting at the door, he raised an eyebrow.
A maid walked in and saluted to him, “Young Master, Your Majesty had me lead you to where the prisoner prison is to visit Shao Country’s Second Prince. Would you like to go?”
He was astounded. The Emperor allowed him to go visit Fu Yujun? And even have the maid take him there?
Ling Xiao looked at the maid suspiciously, asking in a disbelieving way, “The Emperor had you lead me to where Fu Yujun is?”
The maid smiled and nodded, but restrained herself from rolling her eyes when she saw that Ling Xiao still did not look convinced, “Was it not what you wished for Young Master?”
Ling Xiao went silent, he did not really want to go visit Fu Yujun either. He just wished Fu Yujun could live, after all, he had some friendship with him. Plus, that man was also talented, it would be a pity to die.
Since the Emperor had agreed to him visiting Fu Yujun, then he should go and speak a few words with him.
Thinking of those things, Ling Xiao pursed his lips and waved his hand, “Lead the way.”
The maid saluted, turned and walked ahead of Ling Xiao with him following.
Fu Yujun was held in Shao Country’s prison, and the place Ling Xiao was at was Shao Country’s Hopeful Spring Tavern. If he wanted to go to the prison, he had to take a carriage there.
And the maid had already prepared the carriage in front of the entrance, waiting for Ling Xiao to go out.
Ling Xiao walked out, and what he noticed wasn’t what the maid prepared for him, the Emperor’s oftenly used gorgeous carriage, but the person kneeling at the entrance. It was someone he couldn’t be more familiar with– Hong Ye.
Hong Ye lonelily knelt in front of Hopeful Spring Tavern, her face without a trace of color. Her looks of utter despair and loss, and her tottering body showed she clearly didn’t have the physical ability to continue to endure.
Ling Xiao frown at the sight, wearing confusion on his face. He was grabbed by Hong Ye and taken to the Emperor in the end, she should have done an outstanding service, yet not, she was kneeling like she had done wrong.
Ling Xiao really didn’t understand.
Ling Xiao wanted to walk closer and ask, but the maid by the side saw and got between them, respectfully saluting to him and saying, “Young Master, if you don’t go to the prison now, it will be dark soon. Please get on the carriage.”
“No rush.” Ling Xiao looked up at the sky then shook his head, wanting to walk pass the maid toward Hong Ye.
The maid saw and blocked him again, saluting, “Young Master, please get on the carriage.”
The maid’s voice carried a trace of firmness, surprising Ling Xiao. Ling Xiao looked at her and noticed that this woman’s appearance had a lot of heroic spirit. Her face carried a coldness that he cannot refuse.
Ling Xiao rose an eyebrow and understood that this was an order by the Emperor, to not allow him near Hong Ye. He continued on as if nothing was happening and obediently climbed onto the carriage.
The maid stared blankly and relaxed a breath. She looked back at Hong Ye’s white complexion, shook her head and followed Ling Xiao onto the carriage.
The maid’s movement did not escape Ling Xiao’s eyes. Ling Xiao observed her and guessed that this maid was familiar with Hong Ye and he laid a plan in his mind.
He brought the maid with him to the carriage and wormed his way in front of her acting friendly, “Looking at your dress, you don’t look like a normal maid?”
The maid paused for a moment then answered with her head lowered, “Young Master, this subordinate is Master’s secret guard.”
“Secret guard?” Ling Xiao never heard about the Emperor having secret guards in his past lifetime so he was amazed.
He stared at the maid like he was staring at something rare. The maid felt uneasy all over from all the staring and shifted a bit, “Young Master, why are you looking at this subordinate like that?”
“No, I just never thought there would be female secret guards too.” Ling Xiao randomly pulled out an excuse.
The maid appeared a bit unhappy as she heard it and replied, “Master once said that men and women were the same, what a man can do, a woman can do as well.”
Ling Xiao was speechless, this maid misunderstood that he scorn women, he hurried explained, “I don’t mean that, I mean…”
“Alright, Young Master, you do not need to explain to this subordinate. You are Master’s man and therefore this subordinate’s Master as well. If you have questions please ask.”
As expected of one of the Emperor’s people, her insight was really keen and her individuality is refreshing enough.
Ling Xiao secretly approved in his heart and stopped beating around the bush, frankly asking, “Is Hong Ye a secret guard too?”
“Hong Ye?” The maid paused and answered, “She… is a secret guard, different from this subordinate.”
Ling Xiao was flabbergasted and continued to ask, “How is it different?”
The maid heard and said a bit awkwardly, “Young Master, isn’t it better to ask Master about that?”
“……” Ling Xiao was even more flabbergasted, staring at the maid questioningly, “You can’t say?”
The maid lowered her head at Ling Xiao and saluted, “Please forgive this one Young Master.”
Ling Xiao pursed his lips unhappily at the answer and asked using another angle, “What kind of relationship do you have with Hong Ye? Are you two familiar with each other?”
The maid shook her head, “We only met a few times when we went out on the same mission.”
“This subordinate is in charged of secret matters, Hong Ye was placed by Master in Shao Country to obtain information. We are not very familiar with each other.”
“So it’s like that.” Ling Xiao raised an eyebrow. Then why was this maid staring at Hong Ye with a face of regret just now?
Pondering on that, Ling Xiao asked another question, “Then why is Hong Ye kneeling this time?”
The maid was at loss and asked in surprised, “Young Master, you don’t know?”
“……” Ling Xiao went silent, was he supposed to know?
The maid couldn’t help but laugh in spite of herself. Noticing immediately she was forgetting her manners, she turned her head to the side and replied, “Hong Ye disobeyed Master’s order.”
“Disobeyed?” Ling Xiao was puzzled.
The maid explained, “Master had gave Hong Ye the order to bring back Young Master before the war.”
As if she was afraid of Ling Xiao misunderstanding her, she hastily added, “This is in order to protect Young Master. When war starts, you get attacked by accident and become injured. This was the reason why Master wanted Hong Ye to bring you back first, but…”
The maid paused and very seriously said, “Hong Ye did not obey Master’s order and instead, letting Young Master do as you pleased, causing Young Master to fall into crisis several times… But she probably didn’t know Young Master had such talent. Not only did letting Young Master do as you please not injure yourself, it also allowed Young Master to succeed…. In sa… saving Shao Country’s Prince. So Master’s first plan failed.”
“Wait…” Ling Xiao frowned, “You said ignored?”
The maid replied, “…Hong Ye had actually undone her acupoint a long time ago. And that rope does not threaten her, if she so wished, she could had long brought back Young Master.”
The maid stated in this way, causing Ling Xiao’s eyes to widen in shock.
“So she let me mix into the army on purpose? Just so I could get injured and even… die?” Ling Xiao asked, finally becoming aware.
The maid went silent, thinking for a while before answering, “Young Master, it’s best to keep some distance from Hong Ye. She is harboring unknown motives towards you, if you weren’t so intelligent, you would had probably been one of those dead bodies.”
Ling Xiao was hit by a strong chill.
He had some disbelief in his heart. This Hong Ye was actually pretty good to him when he was by Fu Yujun.
Often times, she would be very sincere about his worries.
Why would she want him to die? He had no grief or hate with her?
Ling Xiao had wanted some more when the carriage suddenly stopped. The maid seem to know his thoughts and escaped by getting off the carriage, she saluted to Ling Xiao, “Young Master, we’re at the prison.
Ling Xiao was helpless, he could only get off the carriage.
Waiting behind the carriage was not only a maid, but also a young man dressed in casual blue clothing in high spirits–Lan Wei.