After a round of secret talks, the mother and son bid farewells unwillingly.
When Yong Qi came out did he realize that there had been a big heavy snowfall outside the hall, with pieces of snowflakes covering the ground and flowers, like wrapping in a brand new dress for the palace, turning every inch of the place snow-white and glassy.
Seeing Yong Qi turning out of the gate of the neglected palace, Chang Defu, who was waiting anxiously under the eaves covered by snow with his neck shrank, hurried over. He met him with a smiling face that was freezing cold and stiff. “Your Highness has come out? This servant said before that there will be snow falling and look at this now, tsk. Your Highness, please hurry up on the sedan chair waiting over there.”
Thinking of Yong Shan who was still waiting for him, Yong Qi’s heart sank.
He had always avoided this ruthless and mean brother whom he had no good impressions of in the past.
Unexpectedly, in this huge palace where things could be very different now, only Yong Shan showed him sincerity which could make him moved. It was like the saying goes, you can’t judge a person by his appearance.
His mother ordered him to steal something, but wasn’t it like telling him to take advantage of Yong Shan’s good feeling toward him?
This palace was really like a place full of schemes. No matter how capable someone was, anyone who had a little kindness will inevitably get a stab in the back.
Yong Qi watched the heavy snow falling from the sky, and the more he thought about it, the heavier his mind became.
But if he didn’t follow his mother’s instructions, once Shu Fei made another move, he might not be able to save the lives of his mother and himself. It didn’t matter if he didn’t survive. But if something happened to his mother in the cold palace, even if he cried out to the heavens, it would be too late. Could it be that he had to watch her be killed?
While he couldn’t decide on what to do, he didn’t want to go back to the Prince’s Palace at all, and stood in a daze with a foggy mind.
Chang Dufu, who thought that because he had seen the desolated appearance of Li Fei being detained in the cold palace and couldn’t accept it for a while, looked up at the endless snowflakes floating down from the sky, stomped his feet in an anxious manner, and said: “Your Highness, if you don’t feel happy in your heart, please wait until you go back. If you get sick from the cold, let Li Fei Niangniang know, won’t she have heartache? After all, Niangniang only has a son like you. Please, get on the sedan chair. It’s nothing enjoyable standing under the wind and in the snow. His Highness Crown Prince has said that if you get even a little bit cold, don’t expect this servant’s legs to be intact. You should understand and sympathize with this servant…”
After getting along with him for many days, Chang Defu also tried to figure out the temperament of this Prince and found out that he was more than ten times softer than Yong Shan. Therefore, he got big courage, and while babbling and winking at the left and right, a few people came up, pushed Yong Qi into the sedan chair half-coaxed and half-persuaded before hurriedly lifted it up and left.
Chang Defu put his hands in his thick coat’s pocket, squeaking along the thickening snow and followed by the side of the sedan chair.
On this long journey back, many amounts of snow had fallen on the heads and shoulders of the servants lifting the sedan chair, covering them in white.
With great difficulty walking on the road, they finally saw the gate of the Prince’s Palace from a distance.
Another group of people carrying two warm sedan chairs suddenly came out of the palace. Seeing the gorgeous regulation sedan chair of the one in front, Chang Defu knew that the person sitting inside was Shu Fei.
When one group of people came in and another group came out, they happened to run into each other on the road full of snow.
Chang Defu didn’t dare to be rude, so he quickly ordered the servants to stop and wait on the side of the road. Then he went up next to the curtain of the first sedan chair with a smile. “Servant greets Shu Fei Niangniang. On such a cold day, Niangniang still came to see His Royal Highness? Alas, this servant didn’t have any luck at all, just went to work at his request, and failed to serve tea to Niangniang himself.”
Behind the curtain, Shu Fei softly smiled. “What luck will it bring you in serving me tea? Is it not more than a blessing to be able to do private affairs for His Royal Highness? Is Yong Qi inside the sedan chair?”
“Replying to Niangniang, the inside is indeed His Highness Yong Qi.” Her words held more weight than what she said, and after hearing it, Chang Defu secretly cried bitterly. The nobles in the palace, one was more difficult to serve than the other. Any one who dared offend them a little bit would end up having a miserable end. Having half of his face approached the thick felt curtain, he said with a pitiful smile: “Niangniang, pardon the offense, this servant dared to reply again, of course serving tea is a lucky thing, and who wouldn’t want to serve tea for such Noble who are ten thousand times more precious than this servant, and even a string of hair is more important than this servant’s life…”
Shu Fei let out another amusing chuckle in the sedan chair.
Sitting in the sedan chair behind was Yong Lin.
This time, following his mother to visit Yong Shan, his butt was so itchy that he couldn’t sit still. If it wasn’t for the snow, and that he was under the watch of Shu Fei, he wouldn’t want to sit in the sedan chair, feeling so suffocated even if he was beaten to death. As soon as the sedan chair stopped, he poked his head out and saw Chang Defu going to the front of Shu Fei’s sedan chair for greetings, then he saw another sedan chair stopping at the other side. He immediately raised his voice and asked, “Is that Brother Yong Qi over there?”
While talking, he ran out of the sedan chair, walked over to Yong Qi’s place with a bright smile, and yelled excitedly, “Good heavens! Brother, come out to see this snow! A heavy snowfall in winter means a bumper harvest. I just said that I was going to fight snowballs with my brothers and make a snowman and the ice lantern, but brother Yong Shan said that you were out. Fortunately, I met on the way, ha!”
Before he could reach and lift the curtain of the sedan chair to find Yong Qi, Shu Fei’s voice was raised from behind, “Yong Lin! What are you running around in the snow? You come back here.”
“Are you being disobedient? Just now, what did I and your brother say? Did you take it like a passing wind? If you do this again, your mother will immediately send you back to the fiefdom.”
“Mother, I only want to have a few words with Brother Yong Qi.”
“What’s so important that you must say it in the snow? Are you coming back or not?”
Sitting on the sedan chair listening to their mother and son’s conversations, Yong Qi felt uncomfortable. He lifted the curtain, and said softly across the window: “Yong Lin, listen to Shu Fei Niangniang’s words, go back quickly.”
Yong Lin never thought that Yong Qi would also help his mother, his energetic face suddenly wrinkled up into a bitter melon as he muttered unwillingly, “I knew it, you all dislike me.”
And then he had to walk back dejectedly.
Only after her son returned did Shu Fei have the time to take notice of Chang Defu.
“Chang Defu, on such a rare opportunity that is hard to come by, I will be honest with you.” She asked Chang Defu to lean over a little before stretching out her two fingers to open a gap in the dense curtain, her voice that like a whisper to the ear suddenly became cold. “You have been sneaking around with someone in the Royal Infirmary recently and got some shameful medicine to please Yong Shan. I saw it all.”
Chang Defu was taken aback and almost knelt in the snow with his knees.
Shu Fei sneered, and slowly said with a low voice that could only be heard between the two of them: “Don’t think that there is only one great crown prince over your head. There are many great people in this palace. Yong Shan is only sixteen years old this year. You see how many years I have spent in this palace. Without me as a mother, do you think the one you serve can become a crown prince? He would have long ended up like Yong Qi.”
Chang Defu trembled in the cold weather and heavy snow, knowing that it wasn’t a joke to offend the noble in the sedan chair, but it was also unfortunate that he was involved in the affairs of Yong Shan and Yong Qi. Trying his best to smile, he said: “Niangniang, calm down, this servant is a fool. His Highness the Crown Prince’s orders…”
“I’ll spare you this time.” After the incisive hit, Shu Fei changed her tone of understatement again. “Actually, don’t keep talking about nonsense like a noble and servant. You should know that when a man achieves the Dao, his poultry and dogs rise to Heaven. You have to be good. Serve Yong Shan well.”
“To make Yong Qi leave early and to keep Yong Shan at peace is also to protect yourself. Understand?”
“Yes yes, this servant is at your service, what’s Niangniang’s order…”
“Shut up. I’m not ordering you or anything, don’t push the accusation of abetting on me.” After Shu Fei finished speaking, she slowly leaned back and sat up straight, “Raise the sedan chair, I’m going back to rest.”
Chang Defu stepped aside and waited for Shu Fei and her people to leave from a distance. He then exhaled a long sigh of relief, wiped the cold sweat from his forehead and walked back, informing the awaiting Yong Qi in the warm sedan chair: “Your Highness, we’re going back.” Turning around and stomping, he viciously scolded a few servants who hurriedly lifted the sedan chair, “Raise the sedan chair! Clumsy! Go faster, you bunch of lazy things, don’t you see the snow is getting heavier and heavier now!”
When the sedan chair returned to the Prince’s Palace, Yong Shan was really waiting for him.
It was unknown whether he had just sent Shu Fei and Yong Lin out, and had not yet entered, or if he really made a special trip to wait for Yong Qi. Anyway, when Yong Qi stepped out of the sedan chair, and after lifting his eyes, he saw Yong Shan standing on the steps, like a jade tree facing the wind; an arrogant, graceful and unrestrained prince, completely set off by the snow scene filling in the sky.
Yong Qi’s heart jumped when he saw it, and he couldn’t help sighing. They were obviously twin brothers, but Yong Shan’s temperament was more proud and was gifted with his heroic spirit, which Yong Lin would not be able to beat in his life.
Emperor Yan’s favorite concubines all looked extraordinarily beautiful, and the sons they gave birth to were all good-looking. Yong Qi himself was a very handsome one. Therefore, the eldest Prince brother never valued the appearance of his brothers, he only liked the friendly ones, such as Yong Lin.
However, this time the scene in front of him was really like the only thing he first saw in his entire life. When he raised his eyes, for a while, like a young girl who had never seen the world, his mind became a mess as it was drifting about absurdly beyond belief, and even secretly compared Yong Shan’s eyebrows with Yong Lin.
The subtle difference between Yong Shan and Yong Lin was that, in the past, Yong Shan looked dangerous and scary; but now, he knew how to behave like a grown up gentleman, bit by bit, showing his composure and shrewdness.
He himself wasn’t one-third compared to Yong Shan. Yong Qi was unreasonably ashamed.
After waiting for a long time, Yong Shan stepped down the steps and asked, “Has my brother frozen? Why is he standing under the steps and refusing to move?” His beautiful eyebrows knitted together, “Your hands are so cold, and Chang Defu dared to say that he is thoughtful, why didn’t he even prepare a hand warmer?”
“Yes yes, this servant didn’t manage it well.” Chang Defu scolded himself repeatedly.
Yong Shan ignored him and walked inside with Yong Qi.
Yong Qi’s heart was up and down, one moment thinking of Li Fei’s instructions, next moment thinking of the fight between Shu Fei and his mother, and later thinking of Gong Wuhui, who he had no impression of at all. He was a person who couldn’t lie, once he faced the powerful Yong Shan, it was unknown how long he could hold before spilling the beans.
Feeling anxious being escorted by Yong Shan along the way, he randomly found a topic and said: “When I just arrived just now, I saw the sedan chair of Shu Fei Niangniang and Yong Lin.”
Yong Shan’s pace suddenly slowed down, but resumed again only after an instant and his smiling face was restored. He continued to move forward, asking casually, “Really? Did my mother say anything?”
“I didn’t meet Shu Fei Niangniang, the sedan chair just stopped and waited on the side, so that the elder would go first. Only Chang Defu went to greet her. I was thoughtless. I should have gone to pay her respect as well.”
Yong Shan laughed and scolded, “It’s a snowy day, paying respects can be done at other times. Brother, you, you just like to make trouble for yourself.”
When he got to the door, he lifted the thick tapestry on the door and let Yong Qi go in first.
The room remained the same as when before he left, with the underground heating still burning vigorously, and it was very warm and comfortable.
As soon as Yong Qi entered the door, he subconsciously sighed, revealing a touch of comfort. Yong Shan stopped behind him, put his arms around his waist and said, “I think in the huge palace, only here is the best place for my brother. It is warm enough here, and it is uncomfortable to wear too much, brother should take off one or two pieces of clothes.”
As he said, his hand went ahead to the front, groping with his fingertips, to help Yong Qi pull the scarlet satin rope tied to the cloak at his chin.
Probably the room was too hot, so there was too much difference between the icy snow outside and the warmth inside the room. Yong Shan didn’t move much but Yong Qi felt that his body was weak for no reason, even his knees were mostly soft, and it was very difficult to stand upright.
The history book had a record about all sorts of beauty that tended to bring trouble. Many people will find ways to flirt with them, the more beautiful they are, the more likely to be sexually harassed. The embarrassing scenes, one after another vividly passed by, and the eldest prince felt embarrassed to find that he was even more unbearable than the scandalous women in history.
[A little bit shorter. I’ll come back with the next part soon.]