Chapter 83: Covenantor (VI)
After the car race, Shang Ke’s contact list grew to contain an additional set of numbers from the various children of nobility, one of which belonged to Prince Yi Yun himself.
Yi Yun left the stadium surrounded by the crowd. As soon as he came out of the gate, he spied Lu Xiufan standing straight ahead. With his solemn temperament, it made the sunshine falling on him seem cold.
Two sharp eyes swept through the crowd, the people who had been talking and laughing quietened in an instant, fixing their expressions one after another, before they cautiously saluted him.
Lu Xiufan nodded to them and then looked at Shang Ke.
Shang Ke bowed slightly to Yi Yun, then turned and headed for Lu Xiufan.
As Shang Ke approached, people nearby were surprised to find that Lu Xiufan’s temperament underwent some subtle changes, the chill fading as though a blade was sheathed.
Lu Xiufan bowed his head and asked, “Did you have a good time?”
“Yes.” Shang Ke returned lightly, no emotion in his calm voice, but the slightly rosy complexion gave him a hint of liveliness.
“When did Imperial Uncle arrive?” Yi Yun came up and asked with a smile, “Did you see Shang Ze’s race?”
“Just then, and no.” But he has a copy recorded and waiting.
“His performance was very impressive. He’s the MVP of this race.” Yi Yun praised generously.
“Hn.” Lu Xiufan simply responded, his tone conveying that it was to be expected.
Yi Yun secretly criticized him—wearing such a frozen face for so long, it won’t warm up at all. Shang Ze, even with facial paralysis, looked warmer and more approachable than him.
“Go back to the palace. His Majesty arranged a family dinner tonight.” Lu Xiufan reminded him.
“I know.” Yi Yun turned and went to say goodbye to others.
Shang Ke pulled open the car door for Lu Xiufan. Yi Yun followed and sat down with him.
Lu Xiufan’s black wheel took the lead. Several escorts followed him as they drove imperiously towards the palace.
On the way there, a voice suddenly crackled in the car’s communicator: “Your Highness, Your Excellency, there is an accident ahead. Please slow down. We will clean up the passage.”
“Understood.” Shang Ke replied back and slowed down the car.
Not far from the crowd, hover cars were floating to the side, most of them bystanders who wanted to look at the excitement.
The guards responsible for public security had not yet arrived, meaning the car accident occurred within minutes of them arriving.
But a moment later, a guard sent a message: “Your Highness, Your Excellency, the man who had a car accident is the young master of Yue Family.”
The Young Master of Yue Family? It wouldn’t happen to be that kid named ‘Yue Xuan’ they met on the racetrack, right? Yi Yuan frowned and turned his head to look at Lu Xiufan.
Lu Xiufan asked: “What is his condition now?”
“It looks rather serious. He’s covered in blood and all..” The guard reported, trailing off in the description.
“Shang Ze, come with me to have a look.” Although the Yue family could never dream to hold a candle to their past fame, they were still a well known family. If they do nothing and let him die, bad rumours would likely spawn and paint them in a bad light.
Shang Ke took out the spare medical kit from the car and followed after Lu Xiufan. Due to his identity, Yi Yun could only stay in the car and watch the situation outside through the security cameras.
The guards cleared the way. Lu Xiufan and Shang Ke soon arrived at the scene of the accident. After approaching, they realized that it was more than an overturned vehicle or two. Four or five cars were smashed together in a replica of some modern art piece children stare at and are forced to ‘interpret’. The people in the car had been lifted out. Those with the lightest injuries were sitting aside, waiting for the security team to deal with them. Two of the more seriously injured people lay on the ground, one of them Yue Xuan.
He was bloodstained and could not move half of his body. A painful moan came from his mouth. He noticed that someone was near him. He turned his head. Seeing Shang Ke, he immediately cried out in horror, “What, what do you want?”
Lu Xiufan’s eyes were dark, and he said to Shang Ke, “Check his condition.”
Shang Ke kneeled down, placing the medical box on the ground.
“No, stay away, leave me alone!” Yue Xuan raised his hand and swung weakly at him.
Shang Ke seamlessly dodged the hand but a few drops of blood still landed on his face.
Lu Xiufan stared at the blood drops on Shang Ke’s face, and felt that it was very unpleasant. He harshly ordered, “Hold him down, don’t let him move.”
Two guards immediately stepped forward and restrained Yue Xuan’s hands and feet.
“Let me go, let me go!” Yue Xuan looked at Shang Ke’s bloodstained, blank face and emotionless eyes. He cried out in horror between coughs, “Help, he’s going to kill me! He’s going to kill me!”
Blood poured out of Yue Xuan’s mouth as he coughed, his whole body wracked with pain, and dizziness overtook him. But he didn’t dare to faint for fear of Shang Ke taking revenge and forced his eyes open and his mind awake.
Lu Xiufan looked on coldly from the sidelines as suspicion arose from their unknown relation.
Shang Ke looked at the twisted expression on Yue Xuan, his face calm: Yue Xuan, you can rest assured, not only will I not kill you, I’ll even try my best to save you. Yue Ze, who has become a covenantor, holds no nostalgia or resentment for the past. He can save his enemies without hesitation—but you can’t, Yue Xuan. You have ulterior motives in your heart and are narrow-minded. You will one day have to pay back all the harm you caused and suffer the consequences of what you’ve done.
Shang Ke skillfully assisted Yue Xuan with emergency treatment without any hesitation or mistakes. By the time the medical staff arrived, Shang Ke had his injuries properly handled.
After the medical staff checked, they praised him and said, “Thank you for your timely treatment, otherwise this patient would have died before we arrived.”
Only after hearing the doctor’s words did the people know how serious Yue Xuan’s injury was. Watching him scream and shout, they hadn’t thought he was so close to death.
Shang Ke did not respond to the doctor’s praise. He took off his gloves, lifted the medical box, and returned to Lu Xiufan.
“Just leave the rest to the public security and medical personnel. Let’s go.” Lu Xiufan left the chaotic scene with Shang Ke.
Shang Ke opened the door to the back seat. After Lu Xiufan got into the car, he beckoned to Shang Ke.
Shang Ke leaned close as a wet towel stretched out to help him wipe the blood stains on his face clean.
Shang Ke, whose face was wiped till it was radiant and moist: “……”
Yi Yun, who was as if struck by lightning: “……”
Did the hand that wiped Shang Ke’s face actually belong to his Imperial Uncle?! Don’t try to cheat his eyes, be honest, that was a monster disguised as an adult hand, right?!
After Lu Xiufan and the others left, Yue Xuan was also sent to the hospital. Because of the timely treatment, he was out of danger, but there were a few fractures that would need longer to heal. The cause of the accident was simple. Yue Xuan, having lost in the car race, was throwing an angry fit. As a result, on the way home, he met with another fast-track sports car cutting lanes. He was even thrown a string of mocking japanese-style emoticons.
Yue Xuan naturally couldn’t hold back his rage any longer and immediately had his driver overtake the other car. As such, the two cars began to race in the street. The result was a chain accident due to their driving skills being sub-par to professional racers and thus lacking in ability to turn quickly enough at the corner.
“Mother, I met him.” Yue Xuan lay weakly in bed, looking at his mother for help.
Madam Chang rubbed his head and said, “Don’t worry, who did you say you met?”
Madam Chang frowned and asked, “Just what, exactly, happened?”
Yue Xuan then told his mother everything in detail but his own transgressions and his treatment at the hands of Shang Ke.
Madam Chang thought for a moment and said, “Don’t worry, Yue Ze is a Covenantor. Even if he returns to the family, he can’t take the position of heir. What you need to do now is to build good relations with the nobles of the capital.”
Yue Xuan wore an ugly expression, “Yue Ze robbed me of the limelight in the car race and indirectly excluded me from other people. How can I have a good relationship with them?”
“Silly boy, didn’t you just say that you were saved by His Excellency.” Madam Chang pointed out, “Shouldn’t you go to thank him personally when you are healed?”
He seemed to understand what his mother was getting at as a vague figure formed in his mind. At the time, his consciousness was muddled so he didn’t pay much attention to Lu Xiufan. But as the Lord, that he would actually do something so below his station and come save him, perhaps he wasn’t as inhumane as rumors say…
After they returned to the mansion, Lu Xiufan spent his time relaxing in bed after a bath and watching the recording of the race from the afternoon.
Within a minute of the start of the race, he saw a racing car intentionally tailgating Shang Ke and trying several times to knock him off the track.
Lu Xiu’s eyes chilled and he quickly inquired about the driver’s information. His employer, was Yue Xuan. The one he met at the traffic accident today.
It’s him again? The suspicion from before once again arose. Just what was his relationship with Shang Ze?
As the race continued, Shang Ke threw off Yue Xuan’s car and sped through the rest of the race. Using his exquisite driving skills and outstanding judgement, he quickly took victory. When he left the car, his graceful body and high-spirited appearance moved Lu Xiufan’s heart. He paused on the scene and stared quietly for a long time.
Just then, there was a knock outside the door.
Lu Xiufan shut down the video and answered, “Come in.”
Shang Ke pushed open the door while holding a tray of tea and desserts which he arranged on Lu Xiufan’s bedside and took the tray again. After that, he bowed and prepared to leave.
“Wait.” Lu Xiufan patted the bed and said, “Sit down and chat with me.”
Shang Ke put down the tray and sat by the bed.
Lu Xiufan’s eyes flashed a slight smile. If it were anyone else, they wouldn’t have dared to sit down. But Shang Ze sat down very naturally.
“Shang Ze, do you know Yue Xuan?” Lu Xiufan asked.
“Yes.” Shang Ke said frankly.
“What is your relationship?”
Lu Xiufan paused for a moment and said in confusion, “As far as I know, Yue Xuan has only one half-brother named Yue Ze.”
“‘Yue Ze’ is my former name. When I became a covenantor, I was renamed ‘Shang Ze’.”
Lu Xiufan asked quietly, “Who changed your name? How did you get sent to the distribution center?”
Yue Ze is a descendant of the Yue family. Even if he became a covenantor, it was impossible for him to be sent to the distribution center.
“Stepmother, I don’t know.”
Lu Xiufan looked at Shang Ze who expressed only indifference, and darkness gradually formed in his eyes. He didn’t even need to think about it to know what was going on—it was clearly an internal power struggle in the family. However, Shang Ze, who had become a covenantor, was no longer in the competition. So why did they send him to the distribution center? Don’t they know what kind of abuse a covenantor might suffer? If it hadn’t been for him, with Shang Ze’s beauty, he would have long since been turned into a play toy of some nobility.
When he thought of that, fear shot through him. At the same time, an irrepressible anger blossomed in his heart.
He finally knew why Yue Xuan targeted Shang Ze to such a degree. He was one of the people responsible for sending Shang Ze to the distribution center, and he was afraid of him retaliating for that. It was ridiculous. Shang Ze held no resentment at all. How could he take revenge? It was Yue Xuan himself making it such a big deal because he had a guilty conscience.
If he had known, he would never have let Shang Ze save him.
“Shang Ze.” Lu Xiufan took his hand and asked seriously, “Do you want to go back to Yue family?”
Shang Ke looked at him and asked back: “You don’t want me anymore?”
How could he not want him! Lu Xiufan felt that his heart was violently stabbed by this remark.
“In this life, you are mine.” He did not know if he was speaking of the life-long contract or something else. In any case, when he said those words, he felt a mysterious sense of satisfaction. “Since you are following me, you are one of my men. I will never let you be wronged again in the future.”
Very well, it’s up to you in the future! Shang Ke gave his man an upvote in his heart.
Then he heard him say, “Do you want to sleep together?”
Lu Xiufan invited him with such an upstanding face, Shang Ke forgot to downvote instead.
According to the professional conduct of the covenantor, there was no reason to refuse the invitation of the employer. Shang Ke still felt that he should lie down like a properly devoted servant and quietly fulfill his qualifications as a bed-warmer. Yes, let’s agree that they were just lying on the same bed, nothing alarming!
Although his soul had already automatically and spontaneously lain down in Li Xiufan’s bed, Shang Ke did his best to keep his face blank, calmly facing the man before him as he did his best to resist the enticement of the forbidden fruit.
Just when Lu Xiufan thought he would agree, Shang Ze suddenly turned on his personal laptop, drew up the work contract, carefully scanned the terms above, and finally said, “Sir, there is no sleeping companion clause on the contract.”
Lu Xiufan: “……”
He imported the work contract onto his own laptop and quickly added a line: 【With the consent of the other party, you can eat, sleep, and… 】 Here he paused, his heart beating uncontrollably as he pondered over it for a while. Then he added 【… make love to each other.】
After adding this, he sent the contract to him and said, “Have Butler Fei notarize it later.”
Shang Ke looked at the new clause in silence, especially the last bit. He had to pretend to be indifferent and not show any contempt for his love’s obviously evil intentions.
“Now, come here.” Lu Xiufan patted the bed beside him.
Shang Ke collected the contract and said, “Wait until the new contract comes into effect.”
Lu Xiufan: “……” Where was the obedience he was promised?
Shang Ke got up and asked: “Is there anything else Sir needs?”
Shang Ke picked up the tray and bowed himself out of the room, leaving Lu Xiufan in bed, lonely and sleepless.
The next time Lu Xiufan went to the capital was to investigate a major leak. The incident involved several nobles and officials, seriously endangerment to national security, and issues with technological leadership. If the pests could not be cleaned up as soon as possible, state secrets would continue to leak out, eventually leading to irreparable governmental damage.
Lu Xiufan knew very well that the deeper the investigation went, the more dangerous it would be. But if he did not, no one else in the entire empire would dare to investigate.
After mingling with officials, who each harbored their own ulterior motive for a whole day, Lu Xiufan left the palace with a dead face. When he looked up, he saw Shang Ke standing by the car, quietly waiting to drive him back home.
Lu Xiufan’s eyes warmed, his pace quickening.
Shang Ke drove all the way to the mansion. Turning around the corner, he could see from a distance a strange car parked outside the door of the building.
Lu Xiufan narrowed his eyes and quickly recognized the visitor. It was Yue Xuan, who had not been seen for a while.
“Your Excellency!” Yue Xuan saw Lu Xiufan’s car and immediately rushed forward with a happy greeting.
Lu Xiufan didn’t even open the window. He said to Shang Ke, “You don’t need to mind him.”
When the gate of the mansion opened, Shang Ke drove the car straight in.
Yue Xuan wanted to follow them, but was stopped by the guards. He stomped his foot and his eyes flashed with resistance. He stayed at the door for half an hour, and saw that the owner had no intention of seeing him, so he had to leave.
In the next few days, Yue Xuan came to the mansion’s gate almost daily, but unfortunately, he never saw the Lord. Finally, he had no choice but to stop Shang Ke.
“Come with me.” Yue Xuan bluntly told him why he was here.
Shang Ke indifferently looked at him and did not reply.
“Father has fallen ill, he was relocated to the hospital in the capital the day before yesterday. Shouldn’t you at least go see him?”
Yue Cheng was ill? Shang Ke couldn’t not be suspicious about the authenticity of the news.
“This is the medical case and his room number.” Yue Xuan placed the information on the car roof, “You can not come with me today, but you better not forget, even if you are a covenantor now, the blood that flows in your body is still the Yue Family’s.”
After he finished his piece, he did not wait for Shang Ke’s reaction and hurried left, as if staying even a second longer had him in agony.
Shang Ke flipped open the information and skimmed it, then he placed it in the car paid it no further notice.
After dinner, Lu Xiufan spoke up, “Come with me to the capital hospital tomorrow.”
Shang Ke raised his head and looked at him blankly.
Lu Xiufan calmly explained, “I need to perform a health exam.”
Who are you trying to lie to? Like hell you don’t have a family doctor!
Lu Xiufan knew that covenantors didn’t have emotions, but even if there was only a one in a million chance, he did not wish for Shang Ze to have regrets in the future. This would be the just the chance needed to settle one thing out of many others.
Shang Ke was speechless. Lu Xiufan, where was your usual shrewdness? This was clearly a trap laid out for you!
According to the information the system provided, Yue Xuan had fallen for Lu Xiufan at first sight. Who knew if this trip would trigger a rotten peach flower and bring it home?
Furthermore, he remembered that he had already hidden that information, so how did Lu Xiufan know about the situation with Yue Cheng?
Shang Ke returned to his room and took out the information package he had hidden in the button of the cupboard, making sure it hadn’t been touched by anyone. From the looks of it, Lu Xiufan must have gotten his information from somewhere else.
Shang Ke poked himself between the eyebrows. How would he deal with tomorrow?
While in deep thought, Lu Xiufan’s summon came through the phone line.
Lately, he would be called over every night to have a ‘heart to heart chat’. But neither of them were men of many words, so sometimes they would just sit together and quietly drink tea, quietly watch a movie, quietly browse the interest, quietly play chess…
He didn’t know if Lu Xiufan was doing it on purpose, but he always felt that this guy was wearing less and less. In the past, he would always have his clothes tightly buttoned up. Later on, his top would be half buttoned. Then even later, he unabashedly wore only his underpants. Damn you, have you ever thought about the feelings of a facially paralyzed person? If this continues on, he’s gonna break his mask! When that happens, watch me do you! You better not regret it!