The sound of chess pieces shook away sleep.
Li Tingqiu played white. After placing down one piece, Gu Hong, who was sitting opposite, laughed: “Wrong.”
He took a closer look, and sure enough, he made a mistake. He accidentally lost the whole game, so he simply threw down his white chess piece: “Forget it, forget it, I’m originally not as good as you.”
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“You’re distracted.” Lin Xiaosheng leaned on the soft couch and smiled, “You’re thoughts are preoccupied, is it because His Majesty hasn’t looked for you for a few days and you miss him?”
“Do not mention that incapable ruler.” Li Tingqiu said coldly, pressing his hands down on the chessboard, “In the morning, the son of the Feng family entered the palace to plead for the people, but he was not punished by him. After noon, he was called into the imperial study again, and he has not come out yet.”
“Oh, the little son of the Feng family.” Lin Xiaosheng stroked his chin, “I heard that he is very good at tou hu. After entering the palace, I can ask him to relieve my boredom.” (TN: ancient banquet game of throwing arrows into a pot, the winner determined by the number of arrows thrown in, and the loser required to drink as punishment)
“Don’t be sarcastic.” Li Tingqiu gritted his teeth, “The Feng family has a clean, honorable name from generation to generation, they do not marry into the imperial family nor are they fawning officials. But now, the palace will have a Feng Gongzi!”
Lin Xiaosheng asked Gu Hong, “Where’s Bai Cang? Didn’t he go last night?”
“He was kicked out of bed.” Gu Hong raised his eyebrows, “Though he came out with a smug face.”
“This is strange. Didn’t he always look down on him? If it wasn’t for the emperor arranging for the palace maids to watch over us, I don’t know how many birds and butterflies would be flying around him.”
“En.” Gu Hong slowly packed up the pieces on the chessboard, “Ting Qiu, if you are worried, go and ask Ye Mao.”
Li Tingqiu’s gaze was heavy, and he got up and walked out: “I know.”
“It is thanks to Feng Qing today.” The night was upon them and Jing Ye stood smiling at the door of the imperial study.
Feng Ling bowed his head and cupped his hands: “Your Majesty’s diligence in government is the blessing of the common people. This official is just a scholar who is willing to serve His Majesty and the common people…..”
Ye Mao stood behind Jing Ye and looked at the two of them carefully: their hair was as meticulous as before, their clothes neat and orderly, there was no blush on the face, nor were there any hickeys on the neck.
Jing Ye smiled slightly, his long eyelashes covering his pupils: “Towards Feng Qing’ sincere heart, Zhen understands. Ye Mao.”
“Ai, ai.” Ye Mao hurriedly took two steps forward, “This servant is here.”
“Get someone to escort Lord Feng back to the manor.”
“This minister will retire first.”
Jing Ye watched Feng Ling salute and turn around, following the attendant and gradually walking away. Only then did he take a step: “Go back to the Ping An Palace.”
Ye Mao assisted the emperor up the imperial sedan. After much thought, he still asked carefully: “Your Majesty, tonight…..who should be called?”
Jing Ye: “Ah?”
“That is, uh, the gongzi who shall serve tonight is…..”
Jing Ye was stunned for a moment, then became furious. I already made it so obvious, what are you, blind?!
While maintaining the illusion of warmth and gentleness, he scolded Ye Gonggong and the stubborn stereotypes he represented. The young emperor then said softly, “No need.”
“Don’t ask again from now on. Zhen won’t call the male concubines of the harem again.”
“Your Majesty, this…..”
Jing Ye stopped talking and raised his hand to signal the imperial sedan to move forward. Leaving the shocked Ye Gonggong in the night wind alone.
…..Oh, please no.
At the fifth watch the next day, all the officials waited in Taihe Hall according to their orders, but the emperor did not come.
After waiting for a stick of incense, there was a lot of discussion in the hall.
“What is His Majesty planning to do now?”
“How do I know that?”
“Is it possible that there is something novel?”
“Who knows, do you still remember that Lord Zhao from three months ago?”
“Ai…..aiya aiya, stop talking, if this goes on, it’s better to resign as soon as possible.”
“It’s also hard to resign…..”
At the same time, Jing Ye was rushing through the imperial garden, followed by a group of palace maids and eunuchs, headed by Ye Mao.
Ye Gonggong: “Your Majesty, please get on the imperial sedan, it would not be good to hurt your foot while walking there.”
Jing Ye glanced back, turned his head in disgust, and continued to walk forward.
My good ancestor master. Ye Mao’s heart was full of bitter tears, what new tricks are you going to play that you are so eager and impatient?
Jing Ye just hurried single mindedly on the road, but he didn’t notice that a green corner of a robe appeared from behind the branches and leaves of the shrubbery and trees around him.
Immediately, there was a dull collision sound on the ground, and an embroidered ball, the size of a palm, rolled to the center of the path.
It stopped in front of Jing Ye.
He paused, this embroidered ball looked too familiar.
The person who embroidered this embroidered ball was the eldest daughter of Lord Zhao of the Court of Imperial Entertainments. Three months ago, Lord Zhao was charged with “corruption and bribery”, and the whole family was imprisoned. The innocent eldest daughter could have been exonerated, but the emperor saw the embroidered ball with her own name embroidered on it that she had given to Li Tingqiu and ended up being tortured to death in the prison.
Jing Ye took two steps forward and picked up the little embroidered ball.
Immediately afterward, the branches and leaves beside him trembled slightly, and a beautiful man walked out of the shade of flowers.
Even though he had seen it many times in his memory, Jing Ye couldn’t help but be amazed at this moment.
Rumor had it that the young man placed third on the imperial palace examination was talented in obscure arts, learned in martial arts, and was beautiful in appearance. He was called “jade person” by the people of the world. In the palace exam, he once wrote a resplendent article, which won the respect of all the old officials.
So the little emperor who was dozing on the dragon chair woke up and after a glimpse…..snatched him back to the harem.
Jing Ye was lost in his thoughts, but then he saw the other standing in front of him, bowing over slightly and saying, “This subject Li Tingqiu, pays respects to Your Majesty.”
Jing Ye paused briefly, then bypassed Li Tingqiu and continued to Taihe Hall. When he passed in front of the man, he put the embroidered ball back into his hand.
Li Tingqiu raised his eyes, but only saw the group of palace servants trailing behind Jing Ye, all walking past him with their heads lowered.
Jing Ye sat on the dragon chair with a stern face, and all the officials knelt down together, shouting, “Long live my emperor!”
Jing Ye waited for the courtiers to stand up again. The Prime Minister of the Right, who was over sixty years old, also stood up precariously, and opened his mouth, carefully thinking of what to say.
“Zhen wishes to stop repairing Xiaoyin Pier from today, and allocate 300,000 taels to help the victims in the southwest.”
All the officials were in an uproar, and the Prime Minister of the Right’s body almost fell to the ground from the shock.
The officials were restless for a while, and then the Minister of Works stepped forward: “Your Majesty, most of the Xiaoyin Pier project is half finished, by stopping the construction now, that would be abandoning the former progress.”
Looking at that fat head and big ears of yours, you must be a sycophantic little villain. Jing Ye thought for a while and said, “Zhen has no interest in it anymore. If you want to construct it, you can continue to do so.”
“This…..” The Minister of Works was so frightened when he heard that tone that he fell down: “Your Majesty, please forgive me!”
Jing Ye ignored him, paused, and then continued, “Tang Hongwen, Yin Yuan.”
The officials whose names were called looked at each other, and came out tremblingly: “This official is here.”
“Zhen orders you both to immediately purchase food supplies and send them to the southwest, and you must leave within three days without error.”
The two of them were so frightened that their legs were weakened, and they hurriedly bowed down and said, “This official will not fail Your Majesty’s mission!”
“Good.” Jing Ye nodded, showing a measured smile at the right time, and read out the decree he had prepared in his mind in advance, “Zhen decrees the reinstatement of old Prime Minister Gu, who has retired to the southwest under the late emperor, in the position of the Prime Minister of the Left. The old prime minister does not have to leave immediately, but may stay in the southwest to manage the disaster. Zhen promises the Prime Minister of the Left the authority to transfer resources, promote officials, appoint citizens to official positions, execute corrupt officials, with the imperial edict as the proof…..”
“…..Zhen has finished speaking, do any of you still have memorials to present?”
All the officials were terrified into a daze.
“Nothing? Then dismissed.”
After evening, night fell.
Ye Mao led a group of palace maids and eunuchs to stand guard far away from the imperial study. He saw the light of two palace lanterns coming closer and closer, and when they were fully in sight, he realized that it was Gu Hong.
“Gu Gongzi.” Ye Mao bowed and saluted.
“Ye Gonggong.” Gu Hong said with a slight smile, “Why is gonggong standing here?”
Ye Mao pointed his whisk behind him: “You see, His Majesty is inside.”
Gu Hong looked at the lights in the study: “How long has it been?”
“His Majesty entered the imperial study after taking a noon nap.” Ye Mao sighed, “and has stayed until now. Dinner was also skipped.”
“…..” Gu Hong was lost in his thoughts for a while before he turned around and smiled at Ye Mao: “His Majesty has changed so much, isn’t it strange, gonggong?”
“This, well. His Majesty is His Majesty.” Ye Mao squinted, “This servant has served the master for more than ten years, no matter how he changes, this servant must still follow at his side.”
These words were decisive, and Gu Hong chuckled: “I understand, if that’s the case…..Ruo Shui will take my leave now.”
“Gu Gongzi, please walk slowly.”
Ye Mao bowed slightly.
Jing Ye sat in the study until late into the night before returning to his palace residence, and was too lazy to bother with dinner.
“Just now, Gu Gongzi came here.”
Jing Ye ate two bites of cake before going to bed. Ye Mao came up to serve him in changing clothes, saying carefully while looking at his face.
“Gu Gongzi?” Jing Ye concentrated, “Is he the youngest son of Prime Minister Gu.”
Thinking of those beauties gave him a headache.
It was enough to have one person to accompany you in life. To find such a group of people, was it not the same as finding trouble for yourself?
Jing Ye suddenly remembered the blushing Lord Feng, who looked upright and delicious, now such a person was suitable to be a life partner…..
A little eunuch came in and reported: “Your Majesty, Lord Feng is asking for an audience.”
Jing Ye: “…..”
The clothes that had been half taken off had to be put back on again.
After tidying himself up, Jing Ye left the bedroom and came to the main hall. And saw that Feng Ling was standing alone in the hall, seeming to be lost in thoughts.
Jing Ye smiled, raised his hand to stop the little eunuch who was about to announce loudly, sneaked up to Feng Ling and said with a smile, “What is Feng Qing thinking?”
This startled Lord Feng, and he stumbled and almost fell to the ground: “When has Your Majesty arrived? This official is guilty of not welcoming you.”
“It is of no matter.” Jing Ye smiled and helped him up, “Zhen told them not to announce.” It was such a waste to not tease this cutie a bit.
“The night is chilly, why did qing come here?”
“This official…..” Lord Feng blushed again, “Today during morning assembly, Your Majesty made a decree to help the people in the southwest, and this official wants to thank Your Majesty for listening to this official’s advice. This official disturbed Your Majesty yesterday morning, and asks Your Majesty to please punish me.”
If you want to compliment me then compliment me, if you want to apologize then apologize, what are you so shy about?
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“It’s natural for a ruler to care about his people. As for punishment, it’s just a trivial matter, why is qing so serious?” Jing Ye thought with some effort before speaking all these ancient style words, “It’s late at night, Zhen will send someone to escort you back.”
“This official thanks Your Majesty.”
Jing Ye watched little Lord Feng salute him solemnly, and then retreat solemnly. Suddenly, he felt that being this emperor was not so tiring anymore.
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