Chapter 69: Being Filled With Love (IV)
“And here I was wondering, when would Your Majesty come to see Ling Xiao.” Ling Xiao looked towards the Emperor, who was standing at the entrance, then saluted from afar.
With an expressionless face, the Emperor walked in. He waved his hand to dismiss the people following him.
“Stand up.” His voice was cold and cheerless, holding neither delight nor anger.
Ling Xiao calmly rose, looking straight at him.
The Emperor raised an eyebrow. The courage of this man, who was formerly an eunuch, has really grown and not just by a tiny bit.
“Isn’t there anything you wish to tell Us?” The Emperor coldly started.
“I do.” Ling Xiao’s gaze was very fond as he looked at the man, as if his soft affection for the Emperor seemed to speak for itself through his eyes, which had a tone of their own, holding a trace of dependence.
The Emperor paused and moved his line of sight, but his expression became much more gentle.
He helplessly sighed, then lightly berated him, “You were too excessive.”
“What is Your Majesty referring to?” Ling Xiao pretended to not know what the other was talking about.
The Emperor narrowed his eyes dangerously, his dragon might leaking out, putting pressure on Ling Xiao. He was not pleased with how Ling Xiao was playing dumb.
“……” Ling Xiao was alarmed by that gaze, falling a step back. He cannot help but think that the man before him was the Emperor after all.
Ling Xiao pursed his lips, and said with a trace of reluctance, “Would Your Majesty come to see Ling Xiao so quickly, if I didn’t do that?”
“……” The Emperor made a face at him.
“As for the matter with Concubine Ran; Ling Xiao did do it on purpose. She tried her best to sow disharmony between our feelings. Ling Xiao can bear anything but that.”
The Emperor moved his lips, about to say something, but Ling Xiao fearlessly interrupted him, “Furthermore, Just how much longer were you going to give Ling Xiao the cold shoulder?”
While speaking, Ling Xiao took out the jade from a couple of days ago and laid it in front of the Emperor’s gaze. He pursed his lips and said, “You don’t want Ling Xiao to hold onto this, yet you try to put up with it. But then, you don’t come to Ling Xiao’s palace for several days. What do you think Ling Xiao would feel? What do you want Ling Xiao to do?”
After he finished speaking, Ling Xiao put on a motion of wanting to throw the jade away. The Emperor’s gaze instantly went cold, he berated him, “Impudent!”
Ling Xiao paused and the other moved in front of him, catching his raised hand to prevent his action.
Stunned, he felt a burst of pain from the Emperor’s tight hold. He clenched his teeth and bore with it while looking at the monarch in front of him.
Asides from the times they were affectionate, this was actually the first time Ling Xiao was so close to the Emperor, so close that he could see each eyelash clearly as well as the anger in his half-lidded eyes.
An angry Emperor was like an angry lion, a threatening aura covered him. The aura that was originally put away in front of Ling Xiao, now poured out, pressuring Ling Xiao until he could only tremble.
Ling Xiao stubbornly endured it, his gaze firmly facing the monarch before him.
After the deadlock lasted for a short while, the Emperor let go of him.
“There has never been anyone who dared to throw away the things We have bestowed. Especially in front of Us.”
Was this his explanation for why he got angry?
But Ling Xiao did not believe that things were so simple.
However, the Emperor wasn’t willing to talk more about it, so how was he supposed to find out?
“We have bestowed it to you, so take good care of it. Besides you, no one can touch this jade.”
The Emperor’s words were a bit strange. When he wanted to ask, the Emperor had already shifted the topic.
“As for the matter with Concubine Ran, no matter the reason, you were too excessive. Your punishment will be one year of salary, do you have any objections?”
Ling Xiao knelt in acceptance, “Ling Xiao has no objections.”
The matter has escalated this far, so being punished was natural. Besides, although the Emperor punished him, he had the key to the warehouse, so a year’s salary was simply insignificant.
How could he have any objections?
“Very good.” The Emperor bent down to support Ling Xiao up, hugging his waist and then sat down by the table. “Then you and ‘I’ can have a nice chat.”
The Emperor referring to himself as ‘I’ and not ‘We’, caused Ling Xiao to widen his eyes in shock.
But he was secretly delighted in his heart. Did this mean the Emperor was now regarding him as his equal?
With this, it made Ling Xiao feel that he and the Emperor were much more intimate.
But at the same time, Ling Xiao noticed that when the Emperor said that line, he had added weight to those last five words. This kind of emphasis made it clear to him that the Emperor was still angry. However, since the Emperor had always been a rational man, his anger did not influence his decisions.
Ling Xiao understood at this moment; since the Emperor said they were going to have a chat, that meant the Emperor meant he was going to make him pay. He didn’t know why, but when he thought about it, Ling Xiao started to tremble, a feeling of unease rose in his heart.
The Emperor, who was looking at him from the side the entire time, could see his expression changing and clearly make out his unease.
He had just gone from threatening gestures, to a kitten that was probing him with its tiny claws in a moment. The raging anger he had been keeping in check in his heart now almost completely disappeared.
Only this man could invade his heart, growing and affecting it.
The Emperor heaved a sigh that carried his helplessness.
He didn’t even know how many times he had sighed today. Even in past years, he hadn’t sighed this many times combined as now.
“If We don’t come to find you, can’t you come find Us?” The Emperor softly spoke, a hint of depression in his words, “How could We refuse to see you?”
“……” Ling Xiao went silent, he really didn’t think about trying to go find the Emperor. These past few days, like he was peeved, he wanted to see just when was the Emperor going to come see him.
In the end, his act of being peeved not only caused the two to not see each other for several days, but also made such a simple affair so complicated. Ling Xiao felt annoyed.
Eyeing Ling Xiao’s remorseful face that caused his face to wrinkle, the Emperor smiled and leaned over to land a kiss on top of Ling Xiao’s head, who looked like an adorable small cat.
Ling Xiao trembled a bit. It was obviously that it was his head that had been kissed, yet it felt like all the skin on his body was rapidly burning, causing his whole temperature to rise.
As if trying to cover Ling Xiao’s reaction up, the Emperor raised his eyes to look at him and said, “All right then. Let’s consider this matter even. You didn’t come to find me and I didn’t go to look for you. Neither of us can blame the other.
“Hm.” Seeing how Ling Xiao’s face was like a peach, the Emperor’s eyes darkened a bit and he answered absent-mindedly.
His voice was husky, full of sex appeal.
Ling Xiao’s heart jumped like thunder and his mind couldn’t help but recall back to when they tangled together. He quickly shook his head, throwing out that untimely thought from his mind and replied like he was trying to change the subject, “Your Majesty, how are you planning to pacify Concubine Ran?”
The Emperor’s gaze was very light as he replied, “She has been too wild recently, she can cool off.”
“Cool off?” Ling Xiao was surprised, “You aren’t going to visit her?”
“What, you wish for Us to go?” The Emperor raised an eyebrow, displeased.
Ling Xiao quickly shook his head, “Of course not, but she is the daughter of the High Official of the Ministry of Appointments. And ever since the Prime Minister fell, the court’s power has been inclining towards him. Nowadays…”
“Looks like you’re not totally ignorant of what is going on in the assembly.” The Emperor somewhat pointedly said.
Ling Xiao got choked for a moment and did not dare to reply. Although the Emperor doted and trusted him to an extreme, Ling Xiao was very careful about getting involved with court matters.
His rabbit-like appearance naturally did not escape the Emperor’s eyes. He squinted his eyes and said in a low voice, “You don’t need to be scared. We are not blaming you. If you are really curious about him, then you can come with Us to the morning assembly tomorrow.”
“Morning assembly? Me?” Ling Xiao was in shock.
The Emperor raised an eyebrow at him, “Could it be that you have forgotten? We had given the post of High Official of the Ministry of Works to you.”
“……” Wasn’t that just a fake position? Although he was allowed to take part in politics, he has never heard the Emperor say when would he be allowed to go participate in the assembly, so he didn’t dare to do anything.
Seeing how Ling Xiao’s face was a bit strange, he thought he was feeling pressured and consoled him, “When you’re not present, the former High Official of the Ministry of Works takes your place. You don’t need to be too nervous. When We gave this post to you, we didn’t mean to make you work hard. We only thought of those strange formulas in your mind.”
“Formula?” Ling Xiao frowned.
The Emperor pointedly said, “Like the gunpowder.”
Ling Xiao immediately understood, his heart complicated, “So Your Majesty was thinking about that.”
Ling Xiao’s tone was a bit strange, causing the Emperor’s brows to pull together tightly. Like he was carelessly giving him a glance, he said, “You can also refuse. With Us leading Mu Country, even if we don’t have those strange things of yours, we can also become the strongest under the heaven. With your things, it is only extra decoration, there isn’t much meaning.”
The Emperor wasn’t clear about just how many things go on in Ling Xiao’s mind, but what he said was rather arrogant, as if Mu Country will forever be a tower that exists far above.
However, ever since the last time Mu Country inflicted serious damage onto Shao Country, Mu Country’s morale had greatly risen. In these hundred years, it really was hard to find an opponent for them.
This Emperor had the capability to be arrogant.
Ling Xiao rolled his eyes. Nowadays he was following the Emperor and confessed everything, what else does he have in reserve?
Thinking around, Ling Xiao pursed his lips and said, “Ling Xiao will serve Your Majesty well.”
The Emperor raised an eyebrow at his declaration, then gently held his hand, pulling him to sit onto his legs, embracing him.
“You’re not allowed to work hard.”
“Hm.” Ling Xiao’s heart warmed, as he softly replied. His eyes then turned and thoughts floated up in his mind. He wavered for a moment before saying, “Your Majesty, Ling Xiao hopes to handle matters for Your Majesty. But Ling Xiao has a question and wishes Your Majesty can answer.”
The Emperor used an inquiring gaze on him.
Ling Xiao said it straightforwardly, “Your Majesty, who is Hong Ye in your heart?”
“……” The Emperor slightly paused, frowned and asked, “Did Concubine Ran instigate it?”
“Although she did, it cannot be denied that it’s Ling Xiao’s sore point.” Ling Xiao frankly answered.
The Emperor laughed once, “This Concubine Ran really cannot be kept.”
Those words caused Ling Xiao’s heart to chill. Did the Emperor mean that the matter with Hong Ye wasn’t supposed to be known to him?
Could it be that the Emperor and Hong Ye really…
Ling Xiao’s complexion turned a bit down.
“How are you planning to deal with Xiao Lizi?” The Emperor passed by Ling Xiao’s question but brought up something he almost forgot about.
Ling Xiao stared blankly at him and immediately asked back, “Even Your Majesty knows?”
Ling Xiao felt it was rather natural that nothing can be hidden from the Emperor. Some things even he knows clearly while the Emperor was a hundred thousand times smarter than him. How could he not know?
But Xiao Lizi was someone by the Emperor’s side. Although he had neglected the matter with Xiao Lizi just now, it was something the Emperor would have dealt with eventually. Now, the Emperor had reversed it and asked how he wanted to handle it.
Ling Xiao was a bit confused, and expressed himself, “Xiao Lizi is someone by Your Majesty’s side, it should naturally be handled by you.”
The Emperor softly shook his head, “He was nurtured by you, so that is why We had made him the Steward. Now that he has made a mistake, you should handle it.”
“…Your Majesty.” Ling Xiao’s heart was a bit touched, although the Emperor always looked icy, he was much more attentive than anyone else.
So attentive as to take in account of his mood. He was obviously an unparalleled Sovereign King, yet carried such gentleness that could drown a person.
Being so touched, the love toward him naturally grew even more.
“Since We have promised to spend all of Our life with you, then there are some things you should know.” After he said that, he slightly pushed Ling Xiao and stood up.
“After you deal with Xiao Lizi, come to Concubine Xian’s place to find Us. We will wait there for you and honestly tell you about the matter with Hong Ye.”
With those words said, he left with his hands behind his back.
With his mind constantly on what the Emperor said, Ling Xiao had An Yong and An Xiang bring up Xiao Lizi who fainted from fear. He was also very indifferent toward Xiao Lizi’s punishment. He felt strange, why did the Emperor must have him deal with Xiao Lizi then go to Concubine Xian’s palace? Wouldn’t it be better to go together?
“Young Master, Master is afraid that you would punish him too excessively in your anger, then regret it.” An Xiang seemed to have seen through his worry and told him.
Ling Xiao looked toward her in confusion, but An Xiang knew she had said too much and tightly kept her lips closed. Keeping her head low, she said no more.
Ling Xiao bitterly smiled, “I need to say, you’re too good, An Xiang. Every time you speak, you always say things in halves, aren’t you just making me worry more?”
An Xiang bit her lips, “But if this servant were to say it, then Master’s painstaking effort would go to waste.”
Ling Xiao’s eyebrow twitched, “Since you’ve already said part of it, then just keep talking. You only have two choices right now; the first one is I take Xiao Lizi with me to go see the Emperor and ask him myself. The other is for you to tell me.”
An Xiang made a bitter face, her annoyance was plain to see.
Ling Xiao was also not in a hurry and peacefully looked at her, waiting for her to speak. He knew that once he involved the Emperor, she would always speak.
As expected, An Xiang hesitated for a moment before slowly explaining, “Young Master, this Xiao Lizi isn’t a good one, although Concubine Ran did threaten him, he was also on guard against you.”
“He followed you to sneakily learn some of your skills, so he could serve Master. Back then, you and Master weren’t on such good terms. Xiao Lizi feared you would act petty and blame him for climbing up to his current position. He kept thinking how to limit your power. So he conspired with Concubine Ran.”
“……” Ling Xiao frowned, actually, he already had a faint idea that it was like that. Every single time he saw Xiao Lizi, he never had a pleasant expression. He did not blame Xiao Lizi for thinking he was petty and that he would retaliate against him.
In fact, Ling Xiao blamed Xiao Lizi for not being loyal enough. But he was just an eunuch that followed him before, he wouldn’t really do anything to him. Otherwise, Xiao Lizi would have died thousands of times long ago.
Unfortunately, Xiao Lizi was too stupid in the end and didn’t think about how, if Ling Xiao wanted to bring upon him any reprisals, he would had done so long ago. Why would he wait until now? Xiao Lizi did not work hard to change how he viewed him, rather, he decided to plot against him.
“Even so, what does this have to do with Concubine Ran and Hong Ye? Why must he be handled first?”
“……” An Xiang awkwardly frowned. She opened her mouth many times then closed it, having a very hard time speaking.
Ling Xiao was worried, “Hurry up and tell me.”
An Xiang clenched her teeth while being urged, “He didn’t just work with Concubine Ran, he also colluded with Hong Ye, trying to make her Master’s new lover. Hong Ye tried over and over again to see Master and it was all because Xiao Lizi informed her of his whereabouts. There were also several times in which it was Xiao Lizi secretly strategizing how to make Master and Hong Ye meet ‘by chance’. He said outwardly how this Hong Ye was a troublesome individual, saying how it was Concubine Xian who was playing matchmaker with Hong Ye and Master. But in fact, in secret, it was him who was playing the real matchmaker between Hong Ye and Master.”
“……” Ling Xiao glared at the unconscious Xiao Lizi on the ground, clenched his teeth and asked, “Does the Emperor know all of this?”
An Xiang kept her head down and did not speak, but the answer was also in Ling Xiao’s mind.
“He knew, then why did he let Xiao Lizi continue? Why did he not refuse Hong Ye looking for him?”
An Xiang looked down, “This servant…doesn’t know.”
“What a great Xiao Lizi!” Ling Xiao coldly smiled.
An Xiang quickly knelt on the ground, “Young Master, please calm down! This is what Master was worried about, that you would be so angered at being deceived. Although you don’t mention it, Xiao Lizi had followed you for some time, you have some friendship with him. He was afraid you would regret…”
“You don’t need to worry, I will not regret it.” Ling Xiao mockingly smiled, “For an unloyal person, I will regret nothing.”
After he spoke, Ling Xiao turned his head high as he ordered, “An Yong, send him out of the palace, and out of the capital. In this life, he is not allowed to ever show himself in front of me.”
An Yong faintly sighed, then softly answered, “Yes.”
After he finished speaking, Ling Xiao no longer looked at Xiao Lizi, He turned away, walking in the direction of Concubine Xian’s palace.
Just what kind of relationship does the Emperor have with Concubine Xian and Hong Ye for him to keep protecting them? Especially Hong Ye, as he knew she was doing stuff behind his back, but the Emperor still turned a blind eye to it all.