"This subject trusts only in your Majesty."

“A’Meng, come say hello to Wei Lian.” Ji Yue said to A’Meng, wanting his dog to come and be familiar with the stranger.

A’Meng was a very smart dog. The mastiff only recognised one master in its life and was vicious towards others. If Ji Yue specially instructed it to do so, then A’Meng wouldn’t hurt the young man again, but its attitude would not be more affectionate either.

Ji Yue's words were equivalent to giving Wei Lian a gold medal of death exemption in front of A’Meng’s face.

At any other time, A’Meng would obey Ji Yue’s every order, but today it begged to differ.

The master must have been deceived by this human! It will rip this human’s fake face to show his true nature!

Not only did A’Meng not greet Wei Lian with docility, but it became arrogant and domineering with the backing of its master. It bared its fangs and barked viciously, standing in a stance like it would pounce on Wei Lian at any giving time.

Wei Lian hastily covered his face with his sleeve, buried himself deeper into Ji Yue's arms and gasped in a trembling voice, “Your Majesty...”

Ji Yue shielded the person in his arms and his expression darkened. “A’Meng, down. Don’t be rude.”

A’Meng: “...”

Feeling aggrieved, it lowered itself to the ground, but it continued to stare at Wei Lian with round, hostile eyes.

Wei Lian cautiously cast a glance at it before looking away in fear.

A’Meng: Go on and act, keep acting.

Wei Lian’s acting was so smooth that all the court members who witnessed this scene thought that he was really afraid of dogs. Only A’Meng knew the truth, but it couldn’t speak, so it could only quietly woof to hint at them.

Unfortunately, its owner, who usually could understand its messages, seemed to be missing his brain today.

“So you also know fear at times.” Ji Yue had lost his reputation in front of Wei Lian several times. Now that he finally found a flaw that he could viciously attack, he immediately mocked unrestrainedly, “And here we thought you were fearless. You were not afraid of us, but are frightened of dogs like this.”

Wei Lian raised his eyes and pursed his lips. Hesitating for a moment before he whispered, “This subject only trusts in your Majesty. Your Majesty will not harm this subject, but I dare not trust other people or animals to do the same.”

This subject only trusts in your Majesty.

This feeling of being regarded as the only one trusted was strange. But Ji Yue's eyes were slightly on guard, as he didn't believe these words at all.

There were too many lies in this world and so little truth, how could he trust so easily?

The story was just a game of ‘each man for himself’, and he had the younger man’s life in his hands. Listening to those sweet words was fine, but he would be a fool to trust them.

This should be a tacit agreement between him and Wei Lian.

Ji Yue ignored a fleeting nudge deep within his heart and showed a smile. “A’Meng is my companion. Being the first meeting, A’Meng is not familiar with you yet, so that’s why it is at odds with you. You need to start bonding with it. Everything will be fine once you two get to know each other.”

A’Meng: “!!!”

No, no, no! It didn’t want to bond with this human!

Wei Lian dwelled on, “But this subject is afraid of dogs...”

“We will not let it hurt you while we are here.”

Anything Wei Lian wanted to say vanished.

“It’s better to meet now than later.” Ji Yue added, “Why don’t you start bonding with it today?”

* * *

A quarter of an hour later...

A’Meng and Wei Lian were having a staring contest.

The only thing he could say was that A’Meng was staring at him with eyes as large as brass bells, wishing it could tear Wei Lian apart. However, Ji Yue was watching from the side, so it had to put away its claws, shut its mouth, and put on a docile appearance.

Wei Lian’s back was towards Ji Yue, so his expression was not as scrupulous. He studied the golden-furred dog with lion’s mane in front of him pityingly, and his eyes were saying—sorry for making your dog’s life harder, to have to learn how to act with me, oh how misery loves company.

A’Meng was angered by the sympathy in the youth's eyes and wanted to bark back, but in consideration of its master, what came out of his mouth was a whine: What’s with that look in your eyes? I have dignity! I don't need your sympathy!!!

Wei Lian looked back lightly: What kind of mastiff got named A’Meng, so let's not talk about dignity.

Its dignity was lost the moment it got its name.

A’Meng: “...”

A’Meng wished it could rip out Wei Lian’s throat.

Wei Lian also wanted to slaughter this stinking dog.

If he had not reacted quick enough, he would have been dead under the dog's claws, disemboweled and died without leaving a complete body.

Why wouldn’t he hold a grudge about that?

A man and a dog both wanted to kill each other. However, in the eyes of others, the young man was gentle and affectionate, while the mastiff was obedient and docile.  The man and the beast got along very harmoniously.

Ji Yue was very relieved.

After three quarters of hours had passed, they left the Yangshou House and returned to the Yangxin Palace Hall.

Ji Yue had to get up before sunrise every day, spend two hours at court, and once he returned in the early morning, he could join Wei Lian for breakfast.

As Wei Lian returned to the pavilion, he recalled something suddenly and paused, which Ji Yue noticed and asked, “What's wrong?”

Wei Lian shook his head. “It’s nothing...maybe this subject has been standing outside for too long and my body is at its limit.”

He still had to play his sickly Young Master persona.

Ji Yue nodded. “Then head back to have a rest.”

Wei Lian nodded back.

Originally, he wanted to deliberately murmur, The palace maid who brought me out has not yet returned. This subject fears that she would still be looking for me.

These sentences were enough for the Qin Emperor to execute the palace maid.

The Qin Emperor was such a clever man that he could understand that the palace maid had intentionally sent Wei Lian to his death. Wei Lian wasn’t familiar with the palace and didn’t know which part was forbidden in nature. How could a palace maid not know which parts needed to be avoided? What else would be the reason to bring him there, unless it was with bad intentions.

Being clear headed, Wei Lian had always been aware of the larger picture, and he understood more than anyone who wanted him dead, more than the dog.

He was not a good man, and he had killed all those who had bullied and abused him in the past. He returned an eye for an eye to those who hurt him. As a very vindictive man, he had no intention of letting Zhu Yue live the moment she plotted and took action to kill him.

One should always pay for one's actions, wasn’t that so?

But on second thoughts, Zhu Yue would die, but not because of him.

He wasn’t a virtuous man, but the persona he created was. If he had someone killed because of his ‘careless remark’, he would have to act out his guilt for a long time and probably fake having nightmares to pass the test.

Too troublesome just to think about it.

He was too lazy to act the part.

Zhu Yue would use the dog to commit murder, so he could also lend someone his blade to kill借刀殺人 It means let someone else do his dirty work.. There were so many ways to make Zhu Yue taste her own painful consequences while keeping himself impeccably clean.

It all depended which way Wei Lian wanted to use.

* * *

Zhu Yue pretended to have abdominal pain and withdrew from Wei Lian’s side, and naturally did not go to relieve herself. Instead, she went straight to the Yangxin Palace Hall.

In the west wing, Zhu Chu was still embroidering her unfinished project. As the Yangxin Palace Hall’s palace maids, they were very free when there was no work to be done.

She wondered where Zhu Yue had gone again while her hands were automatically doing the needle motion. That woman uttered a load of treacherous things behind closed doors earlier, which she persuaded her not to do. She didn’t know how much of them entered Zhu Yue’s ears. Now the other palace maid was still not back yet after leaving early in the morning.

The relationship between her and Zhu Yue was not that close, at most, they could be labeled as caring roommates. She knew Zhu Yue’s high ambition and always regarded herself as the future empress, not putting someone with a plain face like Zhu Chu in her eyes. While Zhu Chu was more earnest, making it hard for her to argue with Zhu Yue. The two of them were just keeping up appearances, so there was no real sisterhood between them.

As she was thinking, Zhu Yue returned.

“What's wrong again?” Zhu Chu was shocked by the other’s return this time. “Your face looks so pale, why do you take yourself out in the freezing weather again?”

Ignoring her, Zhu Yue sat down on the bed with a white face, as if she were a statue. Her heart was still palpitating.

This was the first time she had killed someone. A human’s life, so she was naturally flustered.

But she didn’t regret it.

If Wei Lian really died, she would definitely be grinning from ear to ear.

Sensing that something was wrong, Zhu Chu said solemnly, “Tell me, what did you do?”

Zhu Yue huffed with a jolt of annoyance, “Do what? Why are you acting so strange!”

Zhu Chu looked at her suspiciously, hoping that she had better be thinking too much. She breathed slowly. “Fine, all right, I'm just worrying about you. You don’t look so well, so you should rest since I’m on duty today. Since it’s about time to send his Majesty breakfast, I'll head out and serve.”

Zhu Yue was so distracted that she did not care what Zhu Chu had said. She was in a state of confusion, expecting the news of Wei Lian’s death and worrying about what would happen to her if the matter was exposed.

No, she would not be exposed. Even if Young Master Lian hadn't died, it meant he didn’t encounter the mastiff, which means nothing had happened, she wouldn't have lost anything then. If the man was fine, how could she possibly be held responsible?

Zhu Yue kept comforting herself.

Seeing her distracted look, Zhu Chu shook her head lightly and pushed the door open.

*  *  *

The Qin Emperor was so busy with his day-to-day affairs that he summoned his ministers to discuss matters just after breakfast in his study, leaving Wei Lian resting in the Yangxin Palace Hall.

The palace workers went to clean up the scraps on the table, and when Zhu Chu entered, she pondered a bit before walking quietly over to Wei Lian and whispering, “Gongzi, this servant girl has something to warn you about.”

After stewing over it for a long time, she still couldn’t shake off her suspicion based on Zhu Yue's appearance, so it would be best to give a heads-up to the Young Master.

Wei Lian only replied after other palace workers were dismissed, “Yes?”

“This is only this servant girl’s speculation...” With no one around, Zhu Chu could finally let herself loose a bit. “Be careful of Zhu Yue.”

Wei Lian didn’t change his expression, waiting for her to finish.

Zhu Chu thought that Wei Lian didn’t remember who Zhu Yue was. There were so many palace maids working in the Yangxin Palace Hall after all, it was impossible to remember them all. Just like his Majesty, who couldn’t forget anything regarding the empire, but he was indifferent to human affairs. There was not a single person in this palace hall whose name his Majesty remembered except for Eunuch Li.

Except now there was one more person added to the short list, Lian Gongzi.

Zhu Chu might as well share how much Zhu Yue admired the Qin Emperor, how delusional she was, and how sneaky she was behind his back, especially today. She had no affection towards Zhu Yue, but she had immense sympathy for the gentle Gongzi before her, so she naturally wouldn’t hide this from him because of Zhu Yue.

After listening to her, Wei Lian said, “So that's how it is.”

As a newcomer, how could he have attracted the attention of a murderous palace maid? As it turned out, she was the Qin Emperor’s rotten peach flower爛桃花: Unhappy love affair. But to me it’s more like a failed love pursuer. Peach flower is often associated with someone looking to find love..

Zhu Chu concluded, “Gongzi needs to be careful, this servant girl keeps feeling like Zhu Yue will not leave the matter aside.”

Not only would she not leave the matter aside, she already acted out on his life.

Without saying much, he replied, “I got it. Thank you for the warning.”

Zhu Chu bowed her head and whispered, “It is this servant girl’s duty to watch out for Gongzi."

He smiled but did not say anything. He was already on alert inside.

...He seems to have attracted another peach flower as well.

What was up with this girl? How could she fall for someone so casually?

When he first approached Zhu Chu, he did so to get information, but never intended on deceiving her. He was a cut-sleeve from top to bottom, he would not be able to return the girl’s feelings.

It seemed that Zhu Chu, this hidden informant, should not be used in the future.

Like Ji Yue, Wei Lian disliked emotional involvement outside of a relationship of interest.

*  *  *

When Zhu Chu returned to the west wing, the smile remained on her face.

How could she not be happy to see him again, and to speak with Gongzi alone for a while?

With someone so magnificent, it was inevitable for her to fall in love at first sight. Her feelings increased every moment she was with him.

Zhu Chu’s happiness was in stark contrast to Zhu Yue's disorientation. Perhaps her joy was so intense that Zhu Yue couldn’t hold back asking, “What are you so happy about?”

She desperately needed something else to distract her mind from the chaos inside.

Zhu Chu said with a smile, “Nothing, it’s just Gongzi chatted with me after the meal—Oh!” She let that slip.

Zhu Chu quickly kept her mouth shut.

But the moment Zhu Yue heard that, all the colour drained out of her face.

Wei Lian wasn’t dead?

Authors Corner

The author has something to say:

Wei Lian: [gently] I’m not dead, but I can’t say the same for you.



  1. Muggelschmuggel

    From »Zhu Chu concluded, “Young Master needs to be careful…« till »Like Ji Yue, Wei Lian disliked emotional…«, it is twice in the text.

    Zhu Chu, whyyy? (۳ ಥ_ಥ)۳ I thought she was just a good helper but no, she -had- to fall in love, of course. Author, stop that xD

    Thx for the ch ٩( >ヮ<)۶

    • Sahloknir

      That double up is weird. Ty. Yes, I’m kinda upset at Zhu ‘sudden love’ Chu. I was hoping she’d just be super nice. :/ Ah well, A’Meng makes up for it…

Submit a Comment