“Happy New Year, your Majesty.”

The last day of the twelfth month was New Year’s Eve, it was also the night where families gathered for a meal.

The lanterns and firecrackers were lit up early in the palace. The place was illuminated with colourful embroidery, it looked bright even from a distance.

A prosperous and bustling scene.

This was a rare day without a curfew. The palace workers put on thick winter clothes, and set off fireworks, or admired the lanterns together under the eaves in front of the corridor. The lanterns in the palace were naturally different from those available to the common folks—lotus cups crafted from jadeite, eight gem coloured glass lamps, frames carved from red wood, all of which were treasures that could not be seen outside.

Everyone’s face was filled with joy. His Majesty once ordered that from the first day to the third day of the Lunar New Year celebration, anyone in the palace could go out to visit their families, which was unprecedented in the previous dynasty. Many people looked forward to being reunited with their relatives tomorrow.

The so-called tyrant known by everyone in the world had actually given many kind orders.

Even in the coldest place, it would inevitably become lively on this day.

It was just that the excitement had never reached the one inside the Yangxin Palace Hall.

In previous New Year’s Eve, Ji Yue would give the palace workers in his palace hall a holiday, allowing them to go out and enjoy the lanterns and flowers. Even Li Fuquan was dismissed.

He himself prepared two sets of dishes and chopsticks and sat alone in the palace hall. Watching the table of food, sometimes letting the food get cold without taking a bite.

Reunion meals are only delicious when eaten with family.

He no longer had a family, so he could not taste the flavour, and if he did, there was only bitterness in his mouth.

The Qin Emperor was said to be powerful and unparalleled. Undefeated in the seven lands. His name brought fear to anyone. But one thing that people always forgot was that this famous tyrant Emperor was only twenty-one years old this year.

A young man who had just reached his coming of age at twenty.

On the day where every family reunites, the Emperor removed the burden as heavy as the world off of his shoulders, as loneliness crushed in like a tide. Everyone knew that it was lonely at the top, but only when one really stood in this high position could they truly know the darkness behind the brilliant world.

Li Fuquan once leaned behind a pillar and saw such a scene—fireworks lit up the world outside, the world came to life, everyone was smiling and celebrating.

But the true Son of Heaven was not happy.

The young man in the palace hall lowered his beautiful eyes and stared at a pair of unused bowls and chopsticks. In this solitary space, his face was void of emotion.

The scene was too heartbreaking to watch.

The heavy defence around his Majesty’s heart was too tight. Li Fuquan failed to enter it even after ten years.

He knew that he was a mediocre person who was neither smart nor sharp. How could he understand what his Majesty was thinking and ways to gain his Majesty’s complete trust?

He couldn’t.

But maybe...Wei Lian could.

“Is his Majesty not back yet?” Wei Lian held back his restless claws from the table of delicious food. When he saw Li Fuquan enter, he immediately put down his chopsticks and forced himself to sit upright.

He had been sitting here for a little more than an hour, he would be growing mushrooms from his head 長蘑菇 Internet slang for waiting for a very long time. soon.

The food was getting cold but the Qin Emperor was still nowhere to be seen.

Wei Lian did not care in the slightest about where the Qin Emperor was at. But according to the rules, he could not eat before the Emperor, so he had to suffer from hunger.

...This is even something a human would do!

On such a festive night and not allowing him to eat. It was like sentencing someone to death!

The corner of Li Fuquan’s eyes twitched, pretending not to see the empty spot on the plate where a dumpling used to be. “Not yet, Gongzi.”

“Did his Majesty really summon me to the Yangxin Palace Hall for a reunion meal?” Wei Lian’s eyes narrowed with suspicion.

Li Fuquan immediately replied, “This servant dare not pass misinformation using his Majesty’s name.”

But the tone he used contained a hint of uncertainty.

He posed this suggestion to his Majesty last night, why not summon Wei Gongzi this year’s New Year’s Eve to bring some life to the palace hall?

At that time, his Majesty was eating dinner and looked as if he was lost in thought, so he offhandedly made an affirmative response.

...Was that really an affirmative?

Li Fuquan at that time treated the response as a yes, but now it seemed...

“It seems that his Majesty has forgotten about me.” Wei Lian sighed softly.

Li Fuquan: “...”

This was very awkward.

The invited guest was here, but now the situation had become like this. If the host didn’t send out the guest, it would be an offence.

When Wei Lian got up, Li Fuquan hurriedly said, “Gongzi, please wait. This servant will send someone to find his Majesty.”

That said, with the palace so big, the question became whether the Emperor could be found.

Li Fuquan did not know if his Majesty left the Yangxin Palace Hall unattended. He sent someone to check the imperial study earlier but his Majesty was not there.

“Don’t bother.” Wei Lian lowered his eyes. “I know where he is.”

Cold Palace...

If there was any place where the New Year Eve’s liveliness didn’t shine, it would be here.

Almost every corner of the palace was decorated with lanterns and red silk, except for the cold palace, which remained white and miserable. White banners swung with the night breeze, making this place like a mourning hall.

There were too many dead souls in the cold palace, as countless people were buried here, many of the ashes remained and were scattered into the dry well. Not even a roll of straw matting was bestowed for the dead. It was so cold and miserable that even the wind sounded like sobbing. There were rumours that this place was haunted by ghosts. Some palace workers would hang white banners here to comfort the dead, attempting to give peace to the spirits.

The white banners had been hanging for many years with no one removing or replacing them, so they appeared ruined.

It was very depressing in this cold and empty courtyard.

The Qin Emperor was born and raised here. Yun Ji was framed when she was pregnant with him and lost grace with the previous Emperor. It was only because of the royal child in her stomach that she escaped death, but she had been living in seclusion here ever since.

The late Emperor had many sons and daughters, missing just one was not an earth-shattering deal.

Since then, it seemed everyone forgot about the mother and son, until Ji Yue turned nine, when the late Emperor fell seriously ill and many princes were either dead or injured during the struggle for the throne. In the end, the ambitious Empress Dowager took advantage of the chaos and picked up the forgotten Ji Yue in the cold palace as her puppet.

She thought she had picked a vulnerable rabbit that could be slaughtered anytime, she would never have thought that what she released was an invincible lone wolf.

The Qin Emperor took the throne and issued a decree to release all the concubines left in the cold palace from the previous dynasty to return home and be supported by their relatives.

If there were no descendants, there was no reason for them to stay in the palace.

So now the cold palace was uninhabited, empty and quiet. Common cowardice meant the palace workers dare not come near here at night.

The lone Wei Lian walked down the desolate path. None of his footsteps made a sound as he pushed open the rotten wooden door.

Under the moonlight, Gongzi with hair that reached his waist and dressed in white was startled.

Severe winter, chilling wind, late night, cold palace.

A feral cat’s call from an unknown origin was like an infant crying, the sound was ear-penetrating.

The suffocated feeling would make anyone feel uneasy.

With no trace of fear on his face, Wei Lian stood in the rustling courtyard with his eyes closed, listening to his surroundings and trying to locate where the Qin Emperor was.

Few seconds later, he opened his eyes and walked straight to a simple room and pushed the door.

It was cramped and narrow with a panoramic view of the environment.

Such a small room could not hold too many things. Examining around, there was a table and a pair of chairs, enough for one person.

A candle was burning on the table. Its flame flickering and illuminating a clear silhouette on the mottled wall.

There were also congee with side dishes, light in flavour. Two sets of bowls and chopsticks facing each other. Wine jars scattered over the floor, it was obvious that someone had been drinking quite a bit.

The young man leaning on the chair was holding a bottle of wine with his beautiful fingers. His eyes were shrouded in intoxication that only enhanced his charming face. When he heard the sound of the opened door, he raised his eyes without putting down the wine cup in his hand.

The young man dressed in white entered through the door. What poured into the room was the cold breeze and white snow, mixed with the sound of the roaring wind. He quietly gazed at the other man in dark clothes in the room, his expression was fresh and cold like moonlight.

Like an immortal who descended from heaven.

Ji Yue smiled. His movement only paused for a moment, then he continued to pour wine without care. His tone was relaxed and loose, “Why are you here?”

“If this subject didn’t come, this subject would starve to death.” The youth replied.

Wei Lian closed the door, blocking out the cruel wind and cold snow from further invading the room.

Ji Yue raised his eyebrows and said with mockery, “Why such intense resentment? What’s wrong? Did not seeing us make Wei Lang starve from losing the desire to drink and eat?”

“Your Majesty is really an eminent person with a short memory.” Wei Lian said lightly, “Yesterday, Eunuch Li informed this subject that you requested our presence at the Yangxin Palace Hall. This subject waited for an hourAs much as I like to keep the two hours thing going, I am just going to make it simple and make the character verbally use an hour instead of shichen/ time period or two hours., only to watch the food turn cold.”

He stressed the last sentence, emphasising how outrageous Ji Yue’s behaviour was.


Ji Yue pondered for a moment.

Yesterday at dinner, Li Fuquan seemed to have suggested something to him.

But he did not hear clearly.

During that moment, he was trying to figure out why the food tasted so different between eating alone and eating with Wei Lian. Otherwise, why would he lose his appetite—finding everything he ate less tasty than before.

He did not even pay attention to Li Fuquan’s suggestion as he offhandedly agreed, since Li Fuquan would handle anything.

Who would have thought the request was for Wei Lian to come.

Thinking of this, Ji Yue felt that he needed to explain himself.

“We did not forget.” Ji Yue defended himself seriously.

Wei Lian made an ‘I see’ sound, waiting to see what the other man had to explain himself with.

“We were not aware of this at all.”

Wei Lian: “...”

“Your Majesty!” Wei Lian was angry now.

He was furious for real!

His stomach had been complaining for so long and this Qin Emperor did not even call to mind this. And he could not vent this on the source of his anger, because the source of his rage was the Qin Emperor.

It was too infuriating.

Wei Lian, in an ungentlemanly manner, grabbed the chair and sat down on the opposite side and raised his hand to pick up the chopsticks. “This subject is very grateful to your Majesty for preparing an extra pair of chopsticks and bowls. Don’t mind if I do.”

Ji Yue dropped his smile. “Put it down.”

Wei Lian turned a deaf ear to the threat and grabbed himself a piece of vegetable.

Ji Yue stopped the other’s movement with his own chopsticks, the pitch of his voice was lowered by an octave, “Wei Lian, this set of bowl and utensils was not meant for you.”

Wei Lian raised his head and asked calmly, “Your Majesty would rather give to one who will never return than this starving subject?”

He knew who the Qin Emperor arranged the extra set of bowls and chopsticks for each New Year’s Eve.

The emotion on Ji Yue’s face faded slightly. “Since you know who it is for, you should understand—” You are not allowed to use these.

“This subject does not understand.” Wei Lian looked at the older man.

Ji Yue’s eyes turned cold.

The next moment, he heard Wei Lian utter in a soft voice, “This subject has never met his own mother.”

“Therefore, this subject cannot understand your Majesty’s reminiscing feeling.”

“But this subject believes if your Majesty’s mother were alive, she would not want to see your Majesty dwelling on the past.”

Ji Yue froze, the emotion in his eyes dissipated into a deep, dark pool. “You—”

Then Wei Lian interrupted him, “This subject is so hungry.”

“...” Ji Yue removed his chopsticks, his gaze somewhat helpless.

“Fine, eat.”

Wei Lian ate without restraint.

He ate very civilly. Complaining about his hunger, yet his movements still maintained the innate elegance of the royal family, which was very pleasing to the eye.

It was as if he was feasting on a delicious delicacy instead of a tasteless meal.

Ji Yue watched the way the other was eating and suddenly, he found his appetite.

On a lively New Year’s Eve, the tyrannical and unjust Qin Emperor and the Chu Empire’s hostage Prince—two men of vastly different status’—sat together in a shabby room in the cold palace, eating the blandest of congees and side dishes with great pleasure.

It was such an amazing sight.

They have dined together many times in Yangxin Palace Hall, luxury from all over, fine liquor and delicacies, but none could match this evening’s comfort meal.

“How did you figure out that we would be here, and how did you know that we prepared the second set for our mother?”Ji Yue was interested.

Wei Lian raised his eyes in surprise. “Was this so hard to guess?”

Ji Yue smirked. “No, but others could not guess it.”

“The only one who knows is Wei Lang.”

Wei Lian lowered his head and continued eating. “Then everyone is a fool.”

Ji Yue added for him, “And you are the smartest?”

“Not exactly.” Wei Lian corrected humbly, “One of the smartest.”

Ji Yue smiled brightly, “Wei Lian. Wei Lian, you are really—”

He finished, “A clever man.”

“...Wei Lian, if one day the six empires united and sent a large army to attack the Qin Empire, you can definitely defend the Qin City by yourself.”

“What made your Majesty say that? This subject is not knowledgeable on war.”

“There is no need for you to be on the battlefield. You just need to stand there, and your thick face can shield the city wall.” Ji Yue knew how to break the ice when he joked. “It would be guaranteed to be indestructible, even troops of more than one hundred thousand could not break through it.”

When he finished, he drank another cup of wine.

When Wei Lian saw the mess of wine jars on the ground, he thought that the Qin Emperor had already drunk quite a few cups before his arrival. If the Emperor got drunk, with no one around, didn’t it mean he would be the one who needed to carry the older man back?

No way, he couldn’t, he did not want to do any physical labour.

As he was about to snatch Ji Yue’s cup away and asked the other to stop drinking, Ji Yue already noticed his attention on the cup and the older man’s reaction was more extreme, “You are not allowed to drink!”

Wei Lian: “?”

Who wanted a drink?

Wei Lian was puzzled for a moment. He pondered for a moment more. Instead of taking the cup out of the Qin Emperor’s hand, he took the wine jar on the table.

Whatever the case, the Emperor could not drink any more.

Ji Yue acted as if he was faced with a mortal enemy, grabbed the wine far from the table and held it in his arms. “Don’t touch! You stay far away from it.”

The last time Wei Lian drank one cup, he became so drunk that he pressed Ji Yue down and conducted bad deeds. This time, if the youth drank one more, he would definitely flip heaven upside down.

Ji Yue once again imagined that picture, with a sudden jolt, he even pushed his chair back a bit to increase the distance.

Wei Lian: “...”

He made a gesture of ‘do as you wish’.

Ji Yue was afraid that Wei Lian would have second thoughts about the wine, so he emphasised, “These are all ours. You are not allowed to touch a single drop, do you hear?”

Wei Lian glanced at the pile of wine jars on the ground, and asked sincerely, “Are you not afraid of getting drunk?”

Ji Yue held the wine jar. “What do you know? We are martial arts practitioners, we can use our internal energy to cleanse the alcohol.”

This was where his confident claim of stomaching a thousand cups of wine and not getting drunk came from.

Otherwise, he would have fallen down drunk if he really drank a thousand cups of wine.

Wei Lian thought for a moment. “Oh.”

You are amazing, you are great.

Ji Yue narrowed his eyes, “What kind of tone is that? Do you not believe it?”

Wei Lian: No, I did not mean that.

Ji Yue put the wine jar back on the table and announced grandly, “Then we will show you!”

Wei Lian: “...”

It appeared that the Qin Emperor was already drunk.

He did not bother to stop it, since the other party had boasted that he could use his internal energy to cleanse the alcohol, no need to lose his mind over this.

He knew that this was a way for the Qin Emperor to vent his emotions.

Everyone should have a way to vent their negative emotions. The Qin Emperor shouldered the burden of the size of his empire and its people, it was hard to estimate how much harder it was than ordinary people. The sorrows and burdens piled up in his heart were thousands of times heavier.

As the Emperor, he kept his emotions close to his heart, not allowing anyone to see through his weakness. Always vigilant, walking on the edge of a blade that was as thin as ice.

No one could stand living long-term like this.

If the rage wasn’t poured out in silence, it would just slowly kill the person. Even Wei Lian who endured silently for a long time was at the end of his patience as he slaughtered his tormentors.

The Qin Emperor needed to maintain his front for three hundred and sixty-four days in a year, and the remaining one day of vulnerability was reserved for his mother.

So it was not hard for Wei Lian to guess.

The only person the Qin Emperor could trust was his biological mother, Yun Ji, who had given him warmth in his childhood, brought comfort to his soul, allowed him to shed his hard outer shell for a moment, revealing his soft inner self to vent his suppressed emotions.

However, his mother passed away eleven years ago.

He had to rely on a second set of unused dishes and chopsticks to pretend that his mother was still beside him.

An Emperor could not show weakness to anyone, but a child could be weak in front of their mother.

Heaven and earth were like a furnace, bringing suffering to all living beings. Even someone as powerful as the Qin Emperor possessed such a fragile side.

There were too many heartless people in the world. Wei Lian was not afraid of someone with human warmth, even less disgusted by it.

To his surprise, the Qin Emperor did not seem to mind showing this secret side in front of him.

To be honest, he was a little afraid he would be silenced for knowing too much.

After three rounds of drinking, Ji Yue was slightly tipsy judging by his face. They swept the table clean of food, but the volume was not much anyway.

Wei Lian was naturally sober having not touched a single drop of wine. He inspected the empty dishes before him and chuckled. “Your Majesty has always been picky on food, but to stomach today’s mediocre meal. This subject cannot tell if your Majesty had been faking his appetite in the past.”

“What is there to pretend? We had worse things before, but that was from having no choice.” Ji Yue softly swirled the cup of wine in his hand and said frankly, “If one has choices to live a good life, why choose to eat inferior meals?”

Wei Lian completely agreed with this.

Because he himself was the best example.

Once a person was under alcohol’s influence, it was natural for them to be more talkative. So having a rare chance of seeing such a pleasing looking person tonight, Ji Yue suddenly had the desire to talk on subjects he held back on for some long.

“Is she really not coming back?” Ji Yue asked in a quiet voice.

Wei Lian knew who the other was talking about and replied, “Your Majesty knows this answer better than this subject.”

The Qin Emperor was not one to escape reality, otherwise he would not have allowed him to use the extra bowl and pair of chopsticks so easily.

The older man actually knew that the person was gone, and there was no way to return to the past. He just could not let go of that part of the thought.

“We do not believe in ghosts and gods.” Ji Yue chuckled. “We heard of the rumours that the cold palace was haunted, which gave birth to this idea that if our mother’s soul is still here, was she staying by our side? She was wrongly killed. It was believed that the people who died in tragic circumstances would linger in their final resting place. We thought she might be lonely so we often came here to visit her.”

“We invited a specialist to help her find peace. If there are ghosts in the world, we do not want her to stay in the world of living. She was betrayed by that person in this life and suffered. She should have a better life in her next life.”

Wei Lian quietly said, “May the Empress Dowager be blessed with great fortune, and have happiness and peace in her next life.”

Yun Ji had long been posthumously named as the Empress Dowager by the Qin Emperor. It was only natural that Wei Lian addressed her as such.

“We were born in the cold palace. We experienced true hunger and could not afford to be a picky eater.” Ji Yue half covered her eyes and said calmly, as if he was telling someone else’s story. “The palace workers often forgot to bring water and send food. Mother would dig the moss in the ditch for food. We drank mother’s blood before, and also melted snow in winter. It tasted really bad. How could something appear so pure and clean to be so filthy inside, like those people’s hearts.”

He had not even told this to Li Fuquan before.

Li Fuquan would never truly understand the high and mighty Qin Emperor’s unpleasant past, but Wei Lian could.

To him, Wei Lian’s upbringing was the same as his.

As Wei Lian quietly listened, he poured himself a cup of strong wine.

Ji Yue immediately warned, “You’re not allowed to drink!”

Wei Lian said, “This subject is not drinking, but only with a cup of filled wine could I be able to enjoy hearing the story.”

Ji Yue: “...”

“We are stopping.”

Wei Lian furrowed his brows. “Don’t be like that, the mood is finally fermented for the story.”

Ji Yue sneered, “Wouldn’t it be better to bring you a plate of melon seeds?”

Wei Lian’s eyes brightened. “Really?”

Ji Yue gritted his teeth. “No!”

Wei Lian glanced at him and unhurriedly said, “Then in exchange for your Majesty’s story, allow this subject to tell one as well.”

“How this subject drank this certain milk when he was four years old. During that time, no one looked after me. One day, when I was so thirsty, I saw a wooden cart filled with milk, so I secretly took some to quench my thirst. It was the best drink I ever had.”

“It was not until later that I found that the cart of milk was sent to my father’s current favourite concubine to use as a bath.”

“It’s funny how some people couldn’t even get a drop of water, while others could bathe in milk.” Wei Lian spoke in a light-hearted tone, as if he was telling a funny story, but the words in the story would make anyone feel sad.

Ji Yue glanced at him and retold, “In the past, we looked forward to snow days in winter the most, mother would always build snowman, snowball fight with us. Even when we were freezing cold, we were very happy. The life in the cold palace was hard to endure, so that was my only joy. Unfortunately, that fun was soon gone.”

Later, Yun Ji finally could not bear having a woman’s best years spent in the cold palace. She slowly went mad from the torment. Since then, it had changed to Ji Yue taking care of her. And then, Yun Ji was pushed into the dried ancient well, making Ji Yue motherless.

That was why, during their first encounter, Wei Lian escaped death using the excuse that he missed playing in the snow with his mother.

It poked Ji Yue’s soft spot.

Wei Lian’s expression remained unchanged. “This subject also like snow days. Burying a person alive is a very effective quiet kill.” He killed someone using this method.

Ji Yue: “...” That's pretty scary.

When Wei Lian sensed Ji Yue’s gaze, he quickly blinked and changed the subject, “This subject was kidding, what I meant to say is when I was a child, I would also play in the snow with my sister. One of the few joys I remember.”

He did not lie. Wei Xiang was his only companion when he was a child. When Wei Lian was young, she brought him warmth.

But after Wei Xiang grew up and distanced herself from him, they rarely met eye to eye, let alone played together.

Ji Yue drank another cup. “There was no concept of time in the cold palace, so we could not tell the present time. The excitement outside rarely entered the cold palace. Only when we saw the palace’s bright lights in the distance and traces of instrumental sound, we knew there was a festival outside, but we did not know which it was. Afterward, when we came out of the cold palace, we had lost interest in those festivals.”

Wei Lian quickly followed, “This subject never celebrates festivals. Because during those, there are few you want to celebrate with, many you can celebrate with.”

The art of words was always subtle. The former referred to the group the person wanted to celebrate the festival with, while the latter referred to the group the people could celebrate with but with conflicting views.

Translation, there were few friends and many enemies.

This was true for Wei Lian, as well as for Ji Yue.

The two exchanged looks.

There was a moment of silence in the dimly lit room. For a moment, the two young men with outstanding appearance were quiet. Suddenly, a burst of uncontrollable laughter broke out at the same time.

Ji Yue laughed so much that the wine cup in his hand fell onto the table. The remaining wine inside spilled out of the cup with a splash. The laughter overflowing from his throat was uncontrollably joyful. Wei Lian’s eyebrow curved as he covered his lips with his wide sleeves. His gentle, low chuckle was particularly pleasant to the ears.

“Wei Lian, it’s so rare to see a man like you in this social status.”

Being of the royal bloodline, but living worse than beggars. Wasn’t that just the biggest joke?

It was like they were having a ‘who had the saddest life’ contest, the most ridiculous thing in the world to have a contest over. But after saying that, it felt like a heavy burden was lifted off as one part of the suffocations residing in the heart were relieved.

Wei Lian stopped laughing and said, “You are already the Emperor.”

Ji Yue sneered, “If we had not succeeded in bringing down the former Empress Dowager, we would still remain as a joke now.”

“But what if that isn’t true.” Wei Lian sighed. “Isn’t what this subject has superior enough joke?”

From a Prince to a male pet, this Gongzi’s life was still just as miserable.

Ji Yue glanced at him. “You don’t need to put out such self-mockery. We know what kind of crazy man you are deep in your bones more than anyone.”

Wei Lian feigned a confused expression.

Ji Yue raised his eyebrows.

Wei Lian cast a glance at the older man and said honestly, “All right, this subject still thinks of himself as very powerful. There are many royal princes in the seven empires, and the real fools have long died.”

To be alive was to be victorious.

Ji Yue laughed and said, “Then that’s you.”

Wei Lian was struck dumb.

At that moment, a gust of wind poured through the window and blew out the candle on the table.

The room suddenly became pitch black.

They both knew martial arts so they had excellent night vision, so it didn't matter if the candles were out.

This still didn’t stop Wei Lian from playing his persona.

“Your Majesty, this subject is afraid of the dark.” Wei Lian said with a very calm voice. “Let's get out of here.

Ji Yue: ...We did not hear a trace of fear in your voice.

“Grow up.” Ji Yue mocked. Then he grabbed Wei Lian’s hand and led the younger man out of the cold palace.

Ji Yue walked the other back to the Yangxin Palace Hall like he did it a million times. He had long forgotten that he and Wei Lian were no longer living together. Unexpectedly, Wei Lian took his hand and headed in the other direction.

Ji Yue was caught off guard and asked while walking, “Where are you taking us?”

“Your Majesty told this subject three reminiscences. Eating, playing in the snow, and celebrating the festival. Not eating ones fill during childhood, without a companion for snow, and not participating in festivals.” Wei Lian bent down, got up and said with a smile, “ If these are your regrets, then these are also this subject’s regrets. In this case, why don’t we fulfil them?”

Ji Yue asked, “Fulfil?”

“That’s right. Out of the three, we’ve only had a meal together.” Wei Lian quietly let the other’s hand go as he slowly backed away. “Then the next thing is...naturally play in the snow!”

The young man in white slammed a snowball he just made while he was bending down on Ji Yue, then turned and ran away.

Ji Yue was caught off guard and was smacked with a snowball, and a cold aura spread around him. “Wei, Lian!”

He also grabbed a handful of snow from the ground and went after Wei Lian, throwing at the running man without saying a word.

Wei Lian did not care that he was covered with snow as he countered the attack with another snowball.

“Wei Lian, you stop right there!”

“That depends on your Majesty’s ability to stop me!”

The two were like a cat chasing a mouse, each intended to playfully harm the other, a period of joy that neither of them wanted to end. If there were spectators, their jaws would have fallen to the ground—his Majesty and Lian Gongzi play such a childish game like a snowball fight, how unbelievable.

There are people who retain their childlike innocence even after years of experience.

They were forced to act like sophisticated adults in their childhood, but they could also retain a valuable childlike innocence even after they were grown up. They were just missing a partner who could act crazy and cause trouble with them.

Both had regrets, but together they were complete.

This was the reason why their love began in this world, maybe. Two of them were not aware of it, but heaven and earth already had the proof.

In the end, it was the ‘delicate and weak’ Wei Lian who ran out of strength first and was caught by Ji Yue, who dragged him by the wrist and dumped snow on him.

“Your Majesty, don’t! Cold—” Wei Lian laughed as he begged, “Your Majesty, please have mercy on this subject...”

What came out of Wei Lian’s mouth was perfectly normal, but Ji Yue had been having certain dreams these days. Hearing such words sent shivers down his spine and his momentum died down.

“Now you know how to beg for mercy? Didn’t you have a great time just now hitting us with snowballs?” Ji Yue hummed, but still helped the other brush the snow off his clothes.

“You are too strong. This subject is tired and does not want to play anymore.” He said, panting lightly. His cheeks were slightly flushed from the strenuous running, a lovely sight.

Ji Yue flashed a victorious smile.

Even when he was a child with nothing, he could have such pure and simple happiness like winning a game of snowball fighting with his mother during winter.

Later when he sat above the world, conquering all four directions victoriously, he no longer felt such happiness like before.

But now, Ji Yue had finally regained that old joy.

Perhaps, when he acquiesced to Wei Lian using the bowl, he tacitly recognised that he had an additional weakness.


Ji Yue's smile froze on his face.

Wei Lian took advantage of his distraction and threw the hidden snowball in his hand.

“This subject never admits defeat.” Wei Lian showed a shy smile before running away.

Ji Yue: Wei Lian, you are finished.

As he was about to catch the other, he saw the young man ahead of him stumble for a second from running too quickly and trip. Before he fell into the snow, Ji Yue immediately picked up his feet to perform a light movement skill and leaped forward, catching the other into his arms.

...Then from not being able to stand steady on the slippery snow, the two tumbled in a tangle of arms and legs.

On instinct, Ji Yue protected the back of Wei Lian’s head, changed their position in mid air and used himself as a cushion.

He firmly believed in his strong body against this insignificant fall. While the other man’s body was so weak, how could his frame remain whole after such a fall?

This was the excuse Ji Yue gave himself for his instinctive protective behaviour.

Wei Lian fell into Ji Yue’s arms, while Ji Yue fell heavily into the snow.

He hissed from his back hitting the cold, while remained firm on protecting the other in his arms.

He stared expressionlessly at the youth against his chest. “Still not getting up?”

The moment Wei Lian raised his head from his arms, Ji Yue saw an unparalleled face dusted by the moonlight. When the youth raised his eyes slightly, the glow behind him was as bright as if he was cloaked by the stars and outfitted by the moon.

Ji Yue's heartbeat suddenly contracted.

Like a seed sprouting from the ice surface, a flower blossoming from the snow.

Ji Yue didn’t even react when Wei Lian got up from his body.

Wei Lian stood up and gazed down at the other. “Is your Majesty comfortable lying in the snow?”

Ji Yue huffed, “So comfortable that we do not want to get up.” He would never admit that he was in a trance from looking at Wei Lian, he still wanted to keep his reputation.

Wei Lian’s voice was clear and crisp, with a hint of tease, “Then your Majesty should spend the night here.”

Ji Yue immediately got up. “You are in no position for us to listen to you.”

He used his internal energy to dry his clothes that were soaked by the snow and the chill air, as well as Wei Lian’s clothes while he was at it.

Wei Lian smiled softly.

Such a duplicitous person.

“This subject is tired from playing in the snow.” Wei Lian said sluggishly, “This subject wants to return and sleep.”

Ji Yue was stunned and brought up, “What about the other thing?”

Wei Lian pretended to be confused. “What other thing?”

“...” Ji Yue stressed, “You said it yourself, celebrating the festival together.”

“This—not a very important thing, this subject was left by himself for years so I never celebrate this. It is not necessary to do so this year.” Wei Lian casually said, looking unconcerned.

Ji Yue’s face darkened. “We are not considered as human? Didn’t you say together—” He was feeling slightly aggrieved.

Wei Lian gazed at him.

Ji Yue was feeling a bit uncomfortable by the stare and turned his face. “Why are you looking at us like that?”

Wei Lian chuckled softly. “Your Majesty is actually looking forward to spending New Year’s Eve with me, right?”

Ji Yue denied, “No.”

Wei Lian turned around to leave. “Then this subject will be returning to sleep.”

“Yes, we are!” Ji Yue was defeated by the youth. He went forward and pulled on Wei Lian’s sleeve, showing his childish side. “You’re not allowed to return.”

Wei Lian lowered his eyes. “Then why aren’t you following me?”

This time, Ji Yue indeed followed Wei Lian’s lead like a good child.

“Where are you heading now?” After following Wei Lian for a long time, they still haven’t reached their destination so Ji Yue got curious.

Wei Lian replied, “Not sure.”

Ji Yue: “???”

“It’s this subject’s first time celebrating New Year’s Eve with another. Since I have never participated in one before, I don’t know what to do.” Wei Lian said sincerely.

Ji Yue asked, “So what are you doing right now?”

“Strolling around aimlessly.”

Ji Yue: “...”

God damned the Grand Empress Dowager strolling around aimlessly.

Ji Yue stopped and took a further step.

Wei Lian glanced at the other.

Ji Yue said bluntly, “From our experience, the palace workers always go to admire the lanterns and fireworks.”

“We know a good place to see the whole palace’s lanterns and to get the best view of the fireworks being the closest to heaven.”

He grabbed Wei Lian’s hand without looking back. “We will take you there.”

The building with a dangerous height of thirty metres, where one could feel like plucking the stars off of the sky.

Zhaixing Tower was the highest building in the palace, with nine floors. Just a glance, anyone could tell it was a pagoda of nine tiered towersHere is an example:. Imperial astronomers would often observe the stars at night and predict the fate of the Qin Empire.

Wei Lian gazed at the flight of stars as far as his eye could see and mumbled without changing his expression, “Your Majesty, why don’t we go back?”

He did not want to climb that amount of stairs.

It was true that this distance was no issue using light movement skill. However, he couldn’t do that, he would have to walk up one stair at a time...

It was better to go back to bed.

“Pfft.” Ji Yue puffed out a laugh. “Lazy fox, you’re not leaving.”

Wei Lian: “?”

When did he become a fox?

In Ji Yue’s eyes, Wei Lian was a black-bellied and cunning fox who was occasionally adorable, but lazy most of the time.

Wei Lian didn’t even have time to understand what was in Ji Yue’s head to compare him with a fox, when an arm wrapped around his waist. Before he knew it, he was lifted up into the air and into Ji Yue’s arms.

“Hold on tight. Close your eyes if you’re afraid.” Ji Yue warmly reminded the youth. Wei Lian could feel the hot breath against his ear.

He quietly put his arms around Ji Yue’s neck.

The next moment, Ji Yue gathered his internal energy and jumped into the air, his posture graceful and smooth.

They were on the rise.

The distance from the ground was getting larger and larger.

Wei Lian could hear the whistling wind as he glanced down calmly, looking at the frightening height.

Fortunately, he was not afraid of heights.

“Don’t be afraid.” Ji Yue reassured him.

Wei Lian was not afraid, he even had the leisure to enjoy the scenery.

However, since the Qin Emperor said so, Wei Lian really gave the other some face.

In his performance, he closed his eyes, pretended to be very afraid by burying his face into Ji Yue’s arms, and tightened his arms around the other’s neck slightly.

Ji Yue tapped lightly on his toes on each layer of the tower, and in a few jumps, he brought Wei Lian to the very top.

“All right.” Ji Yue said, “You can open your eyes now.”

When Wei Lian opened his eyes, he found that they were not standing in the pavilion on the ninth floor.

...They were standing directly on the eaves of the ninth floor.

Underneath Ji Yue’s feet were neatly stacked black tiles.

The view down from the top could make anybody who was faint at heart, dizzy.

Wei Lian decisively held Ji Yue’s hand, and leaned closer. He was practically on top of the other man. “This subject does not have the strength to stand steady—”

The corners of Ji Yue’s lips seamlessly raised as he calmly said, “Then sit down.”

Sitting down felt much better. Despite the fact that Wei Lian was not really afraid.

The two of them sat side by side on the roof, feeling the cool breeze blowing around them as they gazed out into the horizon.

This height could really take in the entire palace and the lights in the distance.

Green tiles and red walls, a small bridge over a flowing stream that was hidden from view, it felt unworldly looking out from the pavilion roof. The top of the palace roof tiles were covered in heavy frost and snow, and the plum blossoms were in full bloom on the branches.

The playful figures of the palace workers were like little dots, decorating this majestic empire, and captured into the eyes.

Following the winding road from the palace to the city gate, the people outside the palace could be seen, even just barely. The market was bustling as children gathered in the streets to set off firecrackers. Performers juggling, vendors shouting, the whole town was out and about. Every house was decorated with couplets, perfect pictures of jubilation.

The distant mountains were hidden in the night, leaving only their quiet silhouettes, outlining the vast landscape.

This place was the land of living.

They took in everything from above and had this moment of silence with each other.

Wei Lian calmed his mind and looked down, his heart surging.

This was like nothing he had ever seen before.

He suddenly raised his voice, mixed with a faint excitement, “Look, fireworks!”

Ji Yue followed the other’s line of sight and saw a firework rising into the sky, blooming in the night, exquisitely splendour.

Countless fireworks followed, decorating the entire starry sky in a dazzling sea of flowers.

The beauty was overwhelming.

Rivers of star, curtain of night, countless coloured lanterns, spectacular bright fireworks.

These things actually happened every year, they were nothing new, Ji Yue had long been tired of seeing them.

He had never thought they would be so beautiful like now.

When the young man in white beside him was concentrating on the fireworks, Ji Yue quietly turned his head and watched Wei Lian’s side profile.

The youth was very good-looking, his facial features were exquisite at all corners, a complete interpretation of the word ‘beauty’.

Wei Lian tilted his head slightly, and the golden halo of fireworks was reflected on his cheek, enhancing his charming face. The long hair was blown by the oncoming breeze and seemed to be riding on the wind. The young man's smiling eyes were curved and shining, like thousands of stars, and fireworks fell into his eyes.

Ji Yue was slightly out of breath.

Why did he still feel drunk when he had already dispelled the alcohol?

Wei Lian noticed the other’s eyes and suddenly turned his head. His starry eyes met the older man’s gaze.

Both men were startled.

It was like they were back when they first met, Ji Yue cast a glimpse of the graceful figure in the snow.

A few moments later, Wei Lian showed a smile and dropped a whisper in the clamour of fireworks.

“Happy New Year, your Majesty.”

Ji Yue flattened his lips.

This was his first real New Year's Eve, and the first time someone had said Happy New Year to him.

Many people wished him a happy life and good fortune, but what he really wanted to hear was just simple happiness.

He waited for twenty-one years.

Just waiting for someone like Wei Lian.

After a long time, he smiled softly and replied in a low voice.

“Happy New Year.”




  1. Muggelschmuggel

    »Ji Yue acted as if he was faced with a moral enemy..« mortal enemy (but moral sounds funny xDD)
    ».. named as the Empress Dowager as the Qin Emperor.« by the Qin Emperor
    »Ji Yue half covered her eyes and said calmly..« his eyes
    »His gentle low chuckled was particularly pleasant to the ears.« chuckle
    »Wei Lian didn’t not even have time to understand what was..« – not

    Woah, this was a looong chapter, full of ups and downs. But in the end it just shows how lucky JY can be that WL entered his life :3

    Thx for the ch ٩(。˃ ᵕ ˂ )و

    • Sahloknir

      I’m blaming the long chapter for the typos. 😀 Thanks again!

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