Jing Le hugged his younger brother and carried the small wooden sword on his back, running all the way from the small side path back to the secluded courtyard.
There was an old plaque hanging in front of the courtyard, with the words “Xiaoyi Pavilion” inscribed.
Little Jing Yun was still slapping his elder brother’s tender face angrily: “Wah wah!”
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“Don’t fuss, Yun’er.” Jing Le grabbed his younger brother’s chubby paws with a stern face, “We have to meet Shifu.”
Jing Yun widened his eyes and was finally obedient.
Jing Le carefully stepped into the yard with his brother in his arms, stood in front of a paper window, and then lowered his head: “Shifu.”
After a long time.
“You are late.”
“Still late in the end…..” Jing Le pursed his lips and lowered his head again: “This disciple understands.”
“Go outside and slash a hundred times with your sword.” The man’s voice was as cold as ice and snow, “No whistling sound of the wind should be heard.”
Jing Le hesitated for a moment, but still raised his head and said, “Shifu, can you look after Yun’er for this disciple?”
“Fine.” The man responded, “Just bring him into the room.”
“This disciple thanks Shifu!” Jing Le smiled and carried his younger brother to the door, “This disciple is entering?”
Jing Le took his younger brother into the house. The man was sitting quietly by the window, the candle was flickering, and the dim yellow candlelight reflected on his long jet-black hair, shrouding it in a flowing halo.
Jing Yun was carried to the couch while still babbling. Jing Le stroked his soft hair, and instructed, “Be good Yun’er, listen to Shifu’s words.”
Little Jing Yun stared at his older brother with wide eyes, and then turned to look at the man at the table who was as cold as snow. He suddenly recalled the gentle smile and embrace of the young man earlier, and he couldn’t help feeling a surge of misery.
“Wah wah wah wah——”
The man’s brows moved slightly: “What’s wrong?”
Jing Le was a little embarrassed: “This…..”
The man was silent for a while, then finally got up, walked to little Jing Yun and leaned over to hug him: “Don’t cry.”
The angry little Jing Yun was like a newborn calf not knowing to be afraid of tigers. Although he was a little scared, he still resolutely slapped Shifu’s icy face with a wave of his little chubby paws.
“!!” Jing Le inhaled sharply and stepped forward: “Shifu, actually…..this disciple can still look after Yun’er…..”
“What happened outside?”
“Huh?” Jing Le was stunned, “Oh, it’s, it’s nothing, we just met one person…..”
He looked at the expressionless face of his shifu, and said carefully: “This disciple didn’t take good care of my younger brother, letting him run off accidentally, and when this disciple found him later, someone was holding him.”
“…..Yun’er liked his hug and refused to come back. That’s why we came back late.”
The man didn’t say a word, just gently let go of the little guy who kept babbling in his arms, lowered his head and looked at him: “Don’t fuss.”
Little Jing Yun was first shocked by the man’s icy eyes, but he immediately reacted: You actually acted mean to me! As a result, let go of his lungs and screeched, this time turning the volume to the highest level.
“Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah——”
Jing Le: “Shifu, what should be done?”
Man: “…..Children, hard to raise.”
Jing Ye saw the two brothers again the next day.
As soon as the little one saw him, he grinned and opened his arms to beg for a hug. Jing Ye walked over and stretched out his arms. The bigger one hesitated for a while, but still carried his brother and handed him over.
Jing Ye smiled and hugged the little guy, rubbing against his little petal-like face. If he could take him back with him just like this, his mood would be even more complete.
Little Jing Yun raised his head and opened his mouth, spitting out a bubble, with an adorable smile on his face.
Jing Ye smiled at Jing Le: “Are you lost again?”
Jing Le looked at his smiling eyes, and suddenly felt a little embarrassed for the lie he told yesterday, and rubbed the little wooden sword in his hands: “No, no.”
Jing Ye squeezed little Jing Yun, who was constantly moving in his arms, and asked him, “Do you have to practice martial arts outside until this hour every day?”
Jing Le nodded, thought about it for a moment, and said, “Shifu said that people must first work hard on their hearts and minds and then work hard on their muscles and bones.”
Jing Ye looked at the wooden sword in his hand again, and found that the back of the sword was hollow: “This is…..”
Jing Le followed his line of sight and replied, “Shifu wants me to practice slashing with it until there is no sound of breaking the air.”
Jing Ye: “…..”
A child who was only eight years old was treated so strictly. He remembered that group of little ancestors in his previous life who would burst into sobs if just their little finger was scraped, and he couldn’t help but gently hold the boy’s hand and found that there was already a thin layer of calluses on it: “You practice every day, are you happy?”
Jing Le was stunned for a moment, then shook his head: “I don’t know, but I need to practice.”
Jing Ye sighed in his heart.
Lu Baizang came to deliver snacks to His Majesty the Emperor as usual. Jing Ye looked at the porcelain plate on which the desserts were placed, and suddenly asked him, “Do you know what children like to eat?”
Lu Baizang was slightly surprised and said with a smile, “This subject has a little niece. Before entering the palace, she often pestered this subject for snacks to eat.”
“Really?” Jing Ye couldn’t help laughing, “Then Zhen must trouble qing to make some of the same from before.”
No need to fry melon seeds anymore?
“You don’t need to fry melon seeds anymore.” Jing Ye said, “If it is no trouble, please make some snacks that qing’s niece likes to eat.”
Lu Baizang raised his eyebrows and smiled: “Your Majesty’s words are too impersonal and distant.” Then he loomed closer over him, “As long as Your Majesty wants, this subject can give you anything…..”
“Aiqing.” Jing Ye stepped back expressionlessly, “Remember Lu Huihui?”
Lu Baizang: “…..”
Jing Ye was once again standing by the lake, this time with a bag of cakes. Sure enough, when it was almost evening, Jing Le walked out from the shade of the tree with little Jing Yun in his arms.
Jing Ye leaned over with a smile, took over Jing Yun who had already opened his arms, and said to the serious-looking elder brother with a smile, “Are you hungry?”
“…..” Jing Le lowered his eyes: “I’m not hungry.”
“Is that so.” Jing Ye freed one hand and slowly opened the paper bag in his hand, “Then do you want to eat cakes?”
Lu Baizang’s cooking skills were truly outstanding, as soon as the paper bag was opened, a sweet fragrance wafted into the air. Little Jing Yun’s eyes went cross eyed, and his drool was like a dam bursting.
Jing Le swallowed his saliva, and just as he was about to say no, his stomach growled and his face flushed.
Jing Ye couldn’t help laughing and picked up a piece and put it into the mouth of the little guy who was already desperately trying to grab at it. Jing Le blushed and wanted to turn his back, but Jing Ye grabbed another piece and stuffed it directly into his mouth.
After all, he was just a child, the yam cake with jujube filling in his mouth melted in his mouth, accompanied by the sweet aroma of red jujube filling, and he couldn’t help swallowing straight down into his stomach.
Since his father’s death, Jing Le had never eaten any meals or snacks that could be used other than to satisfy hunger. Because his shifu never ate these kinds of things.
Jing Ye smiled and rubbed his head.
Whether it was the palace guards who followed the emperor, or the uncle and his two nephews who were eating happily, none noticed the corners of white robes fluttering gently in the tall trees not far away,
After feeding the two little guys, Jing Ye returned to Ping An Palace in the imperial sedan. Ye Mao was waiting at the gate of the palace. When he saw the emperor getting off the sedan, he stepped forward and said: “Your Majesty, the two lords, Lord Yin and Lord Tang you sent to the southwest, have returned to the capital today.”
“Is that so?” Jing Ye leaned down and got out of the sedan, “All the officials on the imperial envoy have returned to the court…..then it’s time to settle the account.”
The next day.
Jing Ye sat on the dragon throne in his five-clawed dragon robe and said loudly, “Tang Aiqing, Yin Aiqing.”
The two glanced at each other, and said, “This official is here.”
“Zhen has been worried about the disaster in the southwest this whole time, and now that the two aiqings have come back…..” Jing Ye’s index finger lightly rubbed the dragon head on the armrest, “…..Can you tell Zhen how the disaster is now?”
Yin Yuan took a step forward, stroked his sleeves, and knelt down on the ground: “Reporting to Your Majesty, after the 300,000 taels arrived in the southwest, many people now live in peace and warmth, and the disaster situation has greatly improved.”
Jing Ye smiled: “Is that so? Then the two aiqings have worked hard.”
The two of them also smiled: “Your Majesty is wise, it is the blessing of the imperial court.”
“Zhen feels very relieved that aiqing has said this.” Jing Ye said with a smile, word by word, and only he could hear how he gritted his teeth, “That being the case, Zhen has here some seemingly untrue rumors, and would like you two to have a look.”
Lords Tang and Yin had strange expressions on their faces, raised their heads, and saw that the emperor took out a red sealed memorial from his sleeve, raised his hand and threw it down the steps.
The two couldn’t help the sinking in their hearts.
Tang Hongwen moved his fingers, stepped forward slowly, picked up the memorial, and opened it to look.
There was silence in the hall for a while. Tang Hongwen stood at the foot of the steps and looked at the memorial, and the more he read the more his body trembled, and finally his hands trembled so hard the memorial fell to the ground, and he himself also knelt down: “This official! This official…..Your Majesty please investigate…..”
Yin Yuan sensed something was wrong, so he hurriedly picked up the memorial and read through it. However, after two brief glances, he was already dripping with cold sweat, and immediately fell to the ground: “Your Majesty, please investigate! This subject has never concealed anything from Your Majesty!”
Jing Ye leaned forward and stared at them: “Then does aiqing mean to say that this Shahe County magistrate falsely reported news and intended to deceive Zhen?”
“Do you really think that this was the only memorial handed to Zhen!” Jing Ye raised his voice sharply, “The officials from several counties and towns next to Shahe County have sent them! Saying that you two! Allowed the relief funds to be robbed without reporting it! And even made a profit from it!”
“…..Speak, who should Zhen trust?”
“Your Majesty…..Your Majesty, this official…..”
Jing Ye looked at the two people coldly: “Tang Hongwen and Yin Yuan, who embezzled the state treasury, deceived the monarch and did not report the truth, should be sentenced to death on the basis of the law.”
“Your Majesty!” The two of them could no longer say anything, they just knelt on the ground and kowtowed, “Begging Your Majesty to forgive the sins of this official…..”
Jing Ye looked at these two people indifferently: “Where are the Imperial Guards?”
There was a sound of armor clanging behind the huge colonnade, and the soldiers who emitted the aura of blood and killing intent stood forward: “Your Majesty.”
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“Take the two of them out of the hall, remove their official uniforms, and throw them out of the palace.”
“Relay the order to the Imperial Army to leave immediately without delay, seize and confiscate the manors of Yin and Tang.”
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