Warning: Mild gore, mild sexual references

“With you here, I will not be afraid.”

Unlike the small cask in the Qingzhu Pavilion, the Emperor had a TangquanHot Spring Pavilion. Pavilion entirely for bathing. There was a large, hot pond inside. The walls were made of white jade, a faucet crafted into a dragon's head spouted out the liquid, and the ground beneath was heated to a warm and comfortable degree.

Wei Lian removed his clothes and hung them on the folding screen, stepping on the jade steps barefoot and slowly into the water. His inked hair floated on the water surface, and his radiant, creamy skin blushed slightly from the steam.

Water beads traveled down his exquisite collarbone and graceful spine. The youth scooped up a handful of water and poured it over himself, shrouding his delicate and lazy brow with steam.

Standing in the water, his gaze was deep. When he smiled, it created an instant moving attraction, as if the person residing in the water were a soul-stealing demon.

He didn’t dare to prolong the bath. Not long after, he got out of the water, wiped his body dry, took the prepared clothes and put them on. The clothes’ thin materials put no effort into hiding his slender form.

He thought that after he had bathed, there would be candied fruit waiting for him in the chamber.

But instead of taking him back, the palace workers took him around the folding screen and showed him a few things being displayed on the table.

Standing by the table was the head eunuch, Li Fuquan.

He studied those playthings on the table without changing his expression.

While inside, it was like a violent revolution.

...What was that tube used for?

...Where would...that ointment be applied?

It wasn’t that Wei Lian didn’t know those answers.

It should be said that he was expecting this day would come when he decided to pick the Qin Emperor as his backer.

But-but he was still a sick person!

He hadn’t broken his fever and his wounds hadn’t been fully healed yet. Not to mention he was still delirious in the Emperor’s eyes.

And the Qin Emperor wanted to be intimate with him in his current state?

Was that something a human would do???

Li Fuquan was the Emperor's personal attendant, and his words were the Emperor’s words.

The Qin Emperor was now no longer a human being in Wei Lian’s mind.

Ji Yue, who was still unaware that his reputation was harmed by misinformation, pondered in the Yangxin Palace Hall on why the younger man was taking so long.

* * *

Wei Lian surveyed these objects, pretending to act ignorant. Using his sickly appearance that had not yet subsided, he asked with a bewildered, feverish expression, “What are these...?”

Li Fuquan served up a fake smile. “Congratulations, Wei Shijun, these are good things. His Majesty has taken a fancy to you, and you will be blessed tonight. However, there are some preparations that must be made before accepting the grace, so as not to tarnish His Majesty's dragonTeo: LOL 'dragon' is often used as a replacement for ‘Imperial’. body. Attendants, come and prepare Wei Shijun’s body.”

“What are you going to do?” Confusion showed on Wei Lian’s face as two strong palace men quickly came forward and held him by the arms, trying to place him on the table.

Wei Lian lowered his gaze and his fingers clenched into fists. A hint of cold killing intent surfaced in his eyes.

That moment, a chill ran down the two palace attendants’ spines; they felt that the temperature of their surroundings dropped a few degrees lower, and even their movement paused a bit.

He could certainly kill these men right away.

But that wouldn’t do.

This was the Qin Palace, where the Qin Emperor lived.

One must not act rashly.

After some thought, Wei Lian loosened his hands and dissipated his internal energy, shaping his expression into one of helplessness. “Release me! Let me go!”

The palace attendants weren’t aware they were inches from entering the gates of Underworld. They only stopped their hesitation when they noticed the coldness in the air disappeared, pinning the youth back onto the table, while another man stepped forward with the tube and tried to strip the young man of his trousers.

The youth struggled fiercely, his cries becoming desperate, “Don’t—”

Li Fuquan sneered, “It’s best for Wei Shijun to quietly cooperate so there will be less pain and bleeding later on.”

The young man was just a plaything, yet he tried to view himself as something more.

The youth murmured with a pale complexion, “I don’t want...”

“What's going on here?” A low voice came from nearby as the Qin Emperor, dressed in black robes, appeared by the entrance.

Everyone in the pavilion stopped their movements.

One after another they knelt down and saluted, “This servant, saluting your Majesty.”

The only outlier was Wei Lian, who slid powerlessly to the ground. His hair was in disarray as whimpers escaped from his lips.

When he saw Ji Yue, he instantly looked at the other like a saviour had come to his rescue as he scrambled to his feet, and threw his entire body into the older man’s arms and held onto the wider waist for dear life.

Wei Lian buried himself into Ji Yue's chest and sobbed softly, “Mother, I’m scared...”

Ji Yue: “...”

Ji Yue patted Wei Lian’s back soothingly. Then, he raised his gaze, his tone ice cold, “What were you doing?”

Cold sweat burst out from Li Fuquan’s forehead right away. “Your Majesty brought Wei Shijun back to the Yangxin Palace Hall, so this servant thought that your Majesty was going to summon Wei Shijun for his service and...I decided...”

It was not his fault that he misunderstood his Majesty’s intention! Since ancient times, all emperors only brought their concubines to the Yangxin Palace Hall for one thing.

And that one thing was not something as simple as purely sleeping under the same quilt as they chattedi.e. Nothing sexual happened.

How could he know that his Majesty had no such desire...

Ji Yue’s tone raised, yet remained mild, “Who allowed you to act in self-assertion?”

He got impatient from waiting too long in his bed-chamber, so he came out to investigate. But as soon as he entered, he heard the youth's miserable cries followed by witnessing the scene of the struggling young man being held down by the servants.

All of a sudden, his good mood was gone.

People who spoiled his good mood never ended up well.

Hearing this rhetorical question, Li Fuquan was so frightened that he immediately knelt down lower. “This servant deserves death!”

Having served His Majesty for many years, he naturally knew His Majesty's temperament like the back of his hand. The so-called tyrannical Emperor would not easily roar like thunder the moment the stormy appearance showed up, or shout at the slightest disagreement, like a vicious human-eating beast.

No, that was not how the Qin Emperor acted. His Majesty was a smart and handsome gentleman who handled things in an extremely graceful manner. The Emperor would never reprimand in a loud voice, and would seldom become angry—his Majesty would only...

Would only sentence people to their death with a smile, as if it were a simple command like dismissing them.

The embodiment of a smiling tiger笑麵虎 An outwardly kind but inwardly cruel person; a wicked person with a hypocritical smile; be a very wolf at heart but innocent in appearance.

The gentler his Majesty's tone was, the worse the fate of the other person would be.

Li Fuquan’s whole body was shaking like a leaf, fearing that he wouldn’t keep his head in the next moment.

There was truth in the phrase, ‘being close to the sovereign was as perilous as lying with a tiger’.

“Li Fuquan, you have been with us for twelve years. We recognise your loyalty and will spare your life.” Ji Yue said indifferently, “Just don’t presume that after years of following us, you can assume our thoughts and act in our place. Thirty lashes.”

Li Fuquan immediately bowed. “Thanking your Majesty for his kindness.”

“As for the rest of you.” Ji Yue's slightly raised stare contained no trace of emotion at the few palace workers who were pinning Wei Lian in place just earlier.

The palace members’ expressions were already ashen. They knelt on the ground, begging for their lives, “Your Majesty, please have mercy!”

Ji Yue was not moved in the slightest. “Drag them down and have them be caned to death杖斃 literally means death by cane. A method where the person is beaten by a cane on their rears. Because this method doesn’t kill, they would stab the person’s abdomen before the sentence. The person would bleed to death as he got spanked. Think of it as humiliation before their death..”

“Your Majesty, please have mercy! Have mercy!” A few palace members cried out at once, but they were ruthlessly dragged away by the guards.

One of them, probably knowing that his death was inevitable, did not beg for mercy, but simply cursed loudly, “Tyrant! You have no regard for human life! You will not die a good death! The Qin Empire will perish with you!”

Ji Yue's expression remained the same. “We don’t want to hear it.”

The guards heeded the Emperor’s word and immediately cut out the man's tongue. Blood spurted out from the wound as soft flesh dropping to the ground sounded. Now the man couldn’t even utter a fully comprehensible wordRaws said he can't utter a single sound, but without a fully functional tongue, one can still make noise but it is hard to understand without the help of tongue. Amazingly, some people have learned to talk without it.

Wei Lian shrank into Ji Yue’s arms, eyes drooping silently.

The rumours were true. The Qin Emperor was indeed...a tyrannical Emperor.

Wei Lian had no pity for these palace men. It was true that they didn’t deserve to die, but what kind of person was he, really? There were many princes in the Chu Empire’s Royal Court, and many of them had died prematurely. He had survived to this day because of his ruthless scheming and firm determination. He had never felt any unnecessary sympathy.

As a fox it was only inevitable that there would be a sense of grief over the death of a rabbitGrief as a fox over the death of a rabbit: 兔死狐悲 lit. if the rabbit dies, the fox grieves (idiom); fig. to have sympathy with a like-minded person in distress..

So, it seemed that he was very lucky to survive thus far. Today, it was these palace men who were ordered to be dragged out, but tomorrow, it might be his turn.

“Our great Qin Empire has lasted for a thousand lifetimes and the name Ji Yue will be remembered in history. And a nobody dared to run his mouth off?” Ji Yue snorted, “How ridiculous.”

Wei Lian acted like he didn’t understand, as he continued to embrace the older man tightly. Even his body was trembling slightly.

Ji Yue supported the younger man up, studied the youth's fragile appearance and asked gently, “Were you frightened?”

The young man in white lifted his terrified eyes. After a long time, he nodded then shook his head.

“I will not be afraid with you here.”

He fainted into Ji Yue’s arms immediately after speaking.



  1. Bambootriangle

    Ah I just noticed this novel got picked up!! So happy!
    Thank you for the translation ahaha they’re really a match made in heaven, cunning fox and ruthless tyrant

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