“I counted seventy-two.”

The ice and snow melted during the early spring but the lake water remained freezing. Falling into it once could result in a serious illness, let alone the second time.

The second time, Princess Chonghua was thoroughly terrified. 

She never thought that Wei Lian would dare to do this. 

How dare he push her down in front of the Qin Emperor

Princess Chonghua splashed in the water for a long time. The people on the shore were looking at her like bystanders, none of them were coming to save her. 

The voice of despair faded as the woman sank below, her figure disappeared into the lake. 

Only the circular water ripple was left on the water surface. 

After a long time had passed, the lake returned its calmness. The waves were completely gone. 

Xie Chen thought he would need to inform the Yan Empire’s envoys to come collect her body. 

But as soon as this idea emerged, another change was happening to the water. 

First, a cluster of a woman’s dark hair appeared, followed by a pale face from being soaked in the cold water. 

There was no graceful bearing of the number one beauty in the seven land anywhere. She was like a water ghost that could give a fright even in broad daylight. 

She could not win against her instinctive reaction as she swam up from the bottom. 

Once she swam to the shore and took in a long breath of fresh air, she saw a pair of brocade shoes embroidered with white cloud patterns when she was about to climb ashore. 

She raised her head in horror and was met with Wei Lian’s gentle, smiling eyes. 

The young man was waiting near the shore for her to come up. 

Wei Lian held out a hand to her as if he was going to pull her up. 

Princess Chonghua’s lips shivered as if she had seen a ghost. 

Was it still not too late for her to sink back down into the lake?

Too late obviously. 

“I counted seventy-two.” Wei Lian shared lightly. 

Princess Chonghua was stunned. Her brain, dizzy from soaking in the lake, could not process what Wei Lian meant. 

“It appears that is your limit.” Wei Lian pondered. 

Her pupils dilated. She finally understood what that number meant and was quickly pressed back down into the water by the young man’s hands!

She struggled violently under the water. Wei Lian was like an unmovable mountain, looking completely unaffected. 

Between the time Princess Chonghua sank into the water and came back to the surface, it was seventy-two seconds. 

That was how long she could hold her breath. 

If that wasn’t her limit, there was no way she would not have come up to the surface because she would be admitting she had framed Wei Lian. 

So this seventy-two seconds. 

Then, why not just experience a few more seventy-two seconds?

Enjoying the unbearable pain of drowning a few more times. 

This was the punishment for offending Wei Lian. 

Wei Lian pressed Princess Chonghua back into the water three times. 

Each time he counted seventy-two seconds before lifting the person up, giving the person time to breath a few mouthfuls of air before gently and mercilessly pressing the person down into the water again…before starting another countdown. No more, no less. 

Xie Chen watched this, feeling a small shiver run down his spine. 

He fought on the battlefield, killed people like flies, and the handsome face on the sword’s reflection always showed no emotion. However, he felt as if there were pins and needles stabbing his scalp. 

Sure enough, the only person who could capture his Majesty’s attention was by all means not a kind person. 

After three near death experiences, Wei Lian finally got up and slowly wiped his hands stained with water with a handkerchief. “Pull her up.”

Princess Chonghua no longer had the strength to climb up. After being pulled up by the bodyguards, she lay on the ground like she was on her last breath of life. 

This time she had truly almost died. She wasn’t even trying to appear soft and weak in front of Ji Yue. 

She did not even dare to envy and hate Wei Lian any more, only fear remained. 

This man was too terrifying. 

Kind like a gentleman, and cruel enough to be regarded as the second Qin Emperor. 

Having travelled back and forth from the Gate of Underworld, the fear that penetrated deeply into her bones was more than that felt from the Qin Emperor. 

Wei Lian then bowed down and saluted to Ji Yue, “This subject pushed Princess Chonghua into the lake and asks your Majesty for punishment.”

Xie Chen: “...”

Earlier in the imperial study, the Emperor and him were talking about the good old times. Seeing that his Majesty’s appearance was much more relaxed than in the past, he had to ask if something happy had happened. 

Xie Chen and Ji Yue were also close friends during their youth. They have also gone through many life and death experiences from their countless time fighting side by side on the battlefield. Their relationship was not just the Emperor and his subject, they were close like brothers. 

In private, they usually dropped the formality and restraint, they even occasionally made fun of each other on personal matters. 

Xie Chen just brought this question up randomly. What he did not expect was for Ji Yue to reply with, “We have someone in our heart.”

The general was shocked.

Was it raining red water下紅雨 Impossible event.
? Does His Majesty understand the feelings of love?

Xie Chen even remembered that one time on the battlefields during their youth. He drank with his Majesty under the moon. After three rounds of wine, he freely talked about his future, saying with heavy inebriation, “When this subject was young, I wanted to be a great hero in the Jianghu, but I did not expect to be a general instead. If I have a beloved lady, I must never have her worrying about me. Once I return to Qin in the future, I will request my resignation to your Majesty and take my lady to wander the Jianghu, travel all over the world!”

Ji Yue asked calmly, “Where is this lady of yours?”

Xie Chen uttered, “...This subject has not met her yet. But it will happen sooner or later. Does your Majesty never think about having such a beloved in the future?”

“No.” The young Emperor played with his cup and replied with disdain, “What’s good about love? It is called a man’s weakness, making people indecisive. It has hundreds of disadvantages and not one advantage.”

Xie Chen said, “But this subject heard that being with one’s beloved will bring many tastes of happiness.”

Ji Yue replied, “Our heart is filled with the commoners. We are happy to sit under heaven.”

Xie Chen pondered carefully. “Then this subject will also follow your Majesty and not look for a lady.”

And now?!

Didn’t we agree to be single for life? And now you find yourself a beloved. 

If it was not for his loyalty, he would also have scolded the dog-of-an-Emperor. 

He did not connect the dots before, but now seeing his Majesty’s attention on the young man in white, he could assume that this was the beloved that his Majesty mentioned. 

Sure enough…very interesting

* * *

Ji Yue came forward and helped Wei Lian up. He whispered in the younger man’s ear, “We will punish you three rounds tonight.”

Xie Chen: “...”

Your Majesty, please have some sense. There is a martial artist present, who could hear you loud and clear!

Is a dog life狗命 Single dog joke. not a life?!

Wei Lian’s answer brought him even more shock. 

Wei Lian replied, “Scram.”

Then his Majesty, instead of getting angry, he smiled happily. 

Xie Chan was unresponsive. 

This was not the Emperor he knew of. 

He must have returned to the Qin Emperor the wrong way. 

“You said I pushed you. If his Majesty didn’t come, you would have died.” Wei Lian got up and looked down at Princess Chonghua lying on the ground. “But didn’t the Princess just swim earlier? For what reason would the Princess die in the water?”

“Frame-up or to deceive the Emperor.” Wei Lian asked, “Which of these two charges does the Princess want to admit?”

She could not admit either of them. 

But she committed both of them. 

Princess Chonghua had no grounds to refute. 

“We are clear on this.” Ji Yue said in an indifferent voice, “How dare we allow our Guijun to be framed by another? From today forth, Princess Chonghua will be forbidden to leave Ningyue Tower to cause any further trouble. We will also send a letter to the Yan Emperor, requesting an explanation.”

All the blood drained from Princess Chonghua’s face, making her face look ashen. 

Sending a letter to her father…offended the Qin Emperor, then she would bear her father’s wrath when she returned. She would lose favour and all her glory. Those concubines and sisters who used to envy her would bully her while she is down…

No, this was too terrible, no way!

This made her feel worse than any punishment. 

Princess Chonghua could not hold back her sobs. This time, it was real tears for her bleak fate. 

But no one sympathised with her anymore. 

The party left her alone by the lake. 

When the cold breeze blew, the woman lying on the bank was wet and in a sad state. 

“It’s so heartbreaking.” A young man sighed. 

“Here, to wipe your tears with.” A slender and beautiful hand handed her a handkerchief. 

Princess Chonghua raised her tearful eyes and saw a gentle and handsome face. 

* * *

“This is General Xie, courtesy name Chengyuan.” Ji Yue introduced them, “Chengyuan, this is Wei Lian.”

“It’s this one’s pleasure to meet the general.” Wei Lian smiled lightly. 

Xie Chen cupped his fist and saluted, “The pleasure is all mine, Gongzi.”

Xie Chen remembered as soon as Ji Yue said the name ‘Wei Lian’. 

Wei is the surname of the Chu Empire. During the last attack on the Chu Empire, the Chu Empire sent a hostage prince to ensure peace. 

And that prince captured his Majesty’s eye. 

This was very awkward. He was the one who led the troops and launched an attack on the Chu Empire, in other words, Xie Chen was an enemy of Wei Lian’s home land. 

After having witnessed Wei Lian's methods, it was clear to say that Wei Lian was not a pushover. If Wei Lian was ever hostile to him, he would be powerless against the other man. 

There was no way he would harm his Majesty’s beloved. 

Fortunately, this Gongzi seemed to be a very reasonable person. Gentle and polite, not showing any malice towards him at all. 

Then Xie Chen rethought the method Wei Lian used to rectify Princess Chonghua. He secretly crossed out the word ‘gentle’ in his heart. 

Not working to eat any more of A’Meng’s food, and being unfamiliar with Wei Lian, after chatting a few more minutes, he bid goodbye after reading the room. 

As soon as the general was gone, Ji Yue also dismissed the palace workers. 

Wei Lian clapped and said, “What a handsome youth.”

Ji Yue uttered, “...Chengyuan is a few months older than you.”

The man who reached the coming of age was no longer considered a youth. 

While Wei Lian on the other hand had yet to reach that age. He could still be called a youth. 

Wei Lian changed his words, “What a handsome young man.”

Ji Yue was very nervous. “Don’t you dare fall for him!”

“There are so many people who like you, but how is it that I get no one?” Wei Lian was very unhappy. “Is it because they dislike how I don’t hold as much power as you do?”

What Wei Lian said made no sense, sure he was avoiding the question, but now Ji Yue could not keep up with his thinking process. 

Ji Yue pondered for a moment and suddenly came to a conclusion. 

Reason wasn’t needed for a jealous individual. 

“That can’t be?” Ji Yue extended his hand and brushed the younger man’s nose. “Wei Xiao Lian, did you grow up drinking vinegar? Chengyuan is like our brother, he likes girls.”

“A girl like Li Chonghua?” He turned the topic back in an instant. 

Ji Yue’s rotten love admirer framed him, which was infuriating. 

Even if he retaliated back, he was still angry. 

Ji Yue was torn between crying and laughing. “We will send a letter to the Yan Emperor. After that, she will be a shadow of her former self, even that can’t calm your anger??”

“Then you should have made it so I won’t have to see her face.”

“We have already forbidden her from stepping out of the tower.”

Knowing that Wei Lian’s anger was redirected to him, Ji Yue coaxed the younger man with all the tricks in the book. To be fair, if someone coveted Wei Lian and smeared his image in Wei Lian’s heart, Ji Yue would also be annoyed even if Wei Lian was not interested in that person or even if the method was clumsy. 

Ji Yue knew how to respect his beloved, but he still had this small possessive desire that did not want anyone to set their hearts on his beloved. 

Wei Lian suddenly asked, “Ji Yue, do you think my treatment of her was a bit…too cruel?”

He had shown a very gentle and harmless side in front of Ji Yue since the beginning. 

Ji Yue did not know what kind of person he really was. 

The older man did not know what kind of scheming, indifferent person lay under the simple persona, the cold blood that flew under the warm skin, and the ruthlessness under the soft smile. 

Ji Yue had never met his true self. 

If he did, would he continue to like me?

Ji Yue did not care. “How was this cruel? It’s great in fact. Although we have the confidence to protect you, if you can protect yourself, it makes us more at ease.”

“Wei Lian, our eyes can clearly tell the difference between if what you did was cruel or not, good or bad.”

Wei Lian thought how the older man was clearly blind. He said tentatively, “If I do this to her today, then aren’t you afraid that I will do it to you in the future—”

“So what? If you treated us that way, it means we were the one who bullied you first, so it would be us who was at fault.” Ji Yue teased him. “But we would not bully you, so your words don’t hold water.”

“We have nothing but one empire. Take it if you want. As long as you don’t harm the people, we would even become your empress.”

Wei Lian: “...”

Where did Ji Yue learn to talk like this?

Even if he knew the older man was joking, he was still intoxicated by the joy. 



  1. Muggelschmuggel

    »Dog Life (Chin. characters): Single dog joke.« Forgotten T/N
    »We already forbidden her from stepping out of the tower.« We have

    XC: *speechless desu*

    Thx for the ch ٩( >ヮ<)۶

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