“We don’t want you hurting.”

How about, you are best not to forgive us.

You are best not to forgive us.

Not to forgive us.

In what not to do in a relationship, what Ji Yue did was on a textbook level.

We Lian was calm. “All right.”

Ji Yue, you are finished. You used up your last chance to survive.

Wei Lian asked, “Are there extra tents? I think it’s best if we sleep separately tonight—”

Ji Yue immediately took a bite of the venison and tried to hold back his pained expression. “What did you say?”

Wei Lian uttered, “...Nothing.”

You do not want to sleep separately yet you do not want to be intimate as well.

I do not understand your logic.

What several injuries that take one hundred days to heal. An excuse no less. Ji Yue could definitely tell he was back in great health. 

He really can’t with the older man right now. 

This was his first time feeling so helpless towards a person. 

Seeing Ji Yue still struggling to stuff venison into his mouth, Wei Lian could not bear the sight of it anymore, he grabbed the venison and threw it aside. “Don’t eat it.”

A’Meng, who had finished swallowing a roasted chicken, saw more meat flying its way. It rushed over excitedly and sniffed the new food on the ground. 


It swayed sideways, fell on the ground and completely lost consciousness. 

It fainted.

The dog actually fainted.

A’Meng, who was not picky and would even eat corpses, was defeated by the meat Wei Lian roasted with his own two hands. 

Ji Yue tried to hold back, resisting that urge to smile by covering his mouth. The smile behind his hand was so wide that he almost did not stop his laughter. 

Wei Lian got up and left, “Don’t have to be so mean.”

What are you smiling about!

Ji Yue hurriedly caught up with him. When he was far away from the crowd, he hugged Wei Lian from behind and put his arms around the younger man’s waist. “Don’t be angry. We weren’t laughing at you, were were laughing at A’Meng.”

“A’Meng is too funny, hahaha…” Ji Yue started laughing in the middle of his sentence. He rested his chin on Wei Lian’s shoulder, shaking with laughter. 

Wei Lian was still acting indifferent, but Ji Yue’s laugh was too infectious. He could not maintain his unmoved mood as he chuckled. 

Ji Yue immediately seized that chance. “Wei Lian, you laughed!”

“Don’t be angry with us now that you’re laughing as well.”

Wei Lian demanded, “Let go.”


Wei Lian made a face. “Your hands are covered in oil. You are going to get my clothes dirty.”

Ji Yue let go of him, turned and took his hand. “Then go and wash it by the stream.”

Neither of their hands were clean. Wei Lian did not shake off the other man’s hand since they have to wash them sooner or later. 

Earlier when they were by the huge bonfire with the group, they were warm both inside from the food and outside from the flame. As soon as they reached the stream, the cool wind blew against their faces, cooling down the heat and waking them up. 

The two squatted by the stream and washed their hands. Ji Yue turned to Wei Lian. He suddenly had this playful urge as he shook off drops of water on Wei Lian. 

Wei Lian quickly blocked it with his sleeve, but a few drops of water still splashed on him. 

It was ice cold on his face.

“Ji Yue!”

You are your three year old self.

Wei Lian immediately took a handful of water and counterattacked. 

Ji Yue escaped in time, not one drop of water landed on him. 

Wei Lian got up and went to chase. The mountains and woodlands made it spacious enough. Ji Yue relied on his martial art skills and quickly disappeared in the dark night. 

Wei Lian stopped and looked around, seeing not one shadow. 

He almost wanted to use his internal energy to search.  

However, he held back the urge and shouted instead, “Ji Yue!”

The leaves above his head rustled. 

As soon as Wei Lian looked up, someone patted him on the shoulder from behind. 

Any ordinary person would have been scared out of their wits. 

Wei Lian turned back at Ji Yue and without any amusement said, “Who are you trying to scare?”

Playing these pranks at a full grown adult. 

Ji Yue approached slowly and trapped the younger man against the tree.

Wei Lian thought Ji Yue was going for a kiss as he lowered his eyes slightly. 

But Ji Yue stopped just in front of him and suddenly pulled out the jade fox pendant around Wei Lian’s neck. 

A red thread was tied around the jade, which was warmed to the touch.

Ji Yue put the jade pendant back under his clothes and said with a smile, “You always wear it.”

Wei Lian replied calmly, “What else? Leaving it to collect dust in the bottom of my storage?”

Ji Yue nodded, “You have a point.”

“This is for you too.” Wei Lian handed him an embroidered pouch.

“Hmm?” Ji Yue accepted the pouch. It was embroidered with a white fox, a spitting image of the one he carved. 

He carved with one stroke and Wei Lian stitched with one needle and thread. 

“Didn’t you say you wanted it last time?” Wei Lian said, “Clothes and shoes will take more time, so I embroidered you a pouch first.”

“I have not embroidered anything for others for a long time.” Wei Lian added, “Don’t say it’s ugly.”

How could it be ugly?

It was very well-made. 

Anyone could tell from a glance how much effort was put into it. 

Ji Yue looked at it very fondly and asked, “When did you embroider it?”

He and Wei Lian saw each other every day. If Wei Lian had done embroidering long ago, he would not have waited until today to give it to him. 

Wei Lian was silent for a moment.

Ji Yue approached, “Wei Lian?”

Wei Lian looked away, “...Last night.”

After Ji Yue fell asleep on him, he could not sleep from being so angry. Then he remembered that the pouch was almost finished so might as well complete it. 

Ji Yue changed to a strange expression. “Weren’t you angry with us last night?”

Wei Lian replied indifferently, “That doesn’t concern you.”

Ji Yue grinned. 

Just thinking of Wei Xiao Lian embroidering his pouch while pouting…

He was drowned by the cuteness. 

* * *

Next day was another fine day. 

The generals were ready to ride on high horses with quivers on their backs.

In the quiver were arrows engraved with their name to prove the authenticity of their kill. 

Ji Yue rode on Xiao Hong and pulled Wei Lian onto the horse. 

A’Meng followed them, looking majestic.

Wei Lian asked, “Why are you not riding on Xiao Bai?”

“Today is for your happiness. Naturally we will be using your horse.” Ji Yue replied. 

This was the perfect answer. 

With a whistle, the generals rushed into the forest one after another. 

Of course, at the beginning, no one dared to pass Ji Yue. 

Ji Yue did not want to be surrounded by people anyway as he rushed straight into the depths of the mountain forest. 

The small animals in the periphery were never within Ji Yue’s hunting range as they fled without a trace the moment they saw A’Meng. 

Ji Yue came here only to wrestle with the toughest in the mountain forest. 

When they got into the forest, Xiao Hong was troubled as it greatly decreased its speed. They were the only people around. 

Many fierce beasts lay dormant in the depths of the mountain forest, and there was a scent of dangers everywhere. Xiao Hong’s animal instinct made it uneasily dig its hooves in. 

Ji Yue listened to his surroundings before he suddenly drew his bow and arrow, drew it back and fired off a precise shot. 

Instantly, a roar came from the arrow’s direction, frightening the birds away. 

Ji Yue’s expression remained unchanged. At the same time, he reloaded with three arrows and shot them out together. 

There was no more movement in the grass.

Ji Yue then rode towards it, pushed the grass with his arrow and found hiding in it was a black bear. 

Ji Yue asked, “Do you eat bear paws?”

Wei Lian replied, “No.”

Ji Yue said, “We don’t either.”

The two contemplated for a moment. Ji Yue decided, “Then don’t cut off the bear’s paws. Just leave it here for now.”

Such a big prey, there was no way they were going to be able to dress it  or drag it back. 

It would tire the horse out. 

Ji Yue turned his attention to his next target. 

The Emperor was indeed a sharpshooter with one hundred percent accuracy. Jackals, wolves, tigers, and panthers, all animals would die when they encountered Ji Yue. 

At one point, he clearly found his target, drew his arrow before putting it down. 

Wei Lian could feel that the animal had not escaped and asked, “Something the matter?”

“A female leopard that recently gave birth.” Ji Yue had a rich experience from the annual hunt. “Killing the mother and the small leopard cups will not survive.”

Wei Lian was surprised. “You are quite…”


Ji Yue continued, “If the cubs are dead this year, who can we hunt next year?”

Wei Lian: “...”

All right, the Qin Emperor was not being merciful. 

* * *

Maybe from coming here every year, it seemed like most of the animals were familiar with Ji Yue. The dumber ones were killed, becoming an easy meal for A’Meng. The rest and smarter ones went into hiding long ago, avoiding the King of the Underworld’s yearly presence.

When there was no animal in sight for a long time, Ji Yue simply rode slowly and enjoyed the scenery with Wei Lian. 

There was birdsong and fragrant flowers in the mountains, and bubbling streams. Ignoring the danger lurking, this was a sight to behold. 

A’Meng buried itself in food and ate indiscriminately. Such a happy and perfect dog life. 

Then, a change suddenly occurred. 

The first sign was A’Meng spitting out the bones it was chewing, looking around vigilantly. 

Ji Yue drew out an arrow from the quiver, put it on the bow, slowly pulled back and released. 

This time, he did not hit a beast. 

He hit a human. 

An assassin jumped from a tree with a dagger. Before the assassin got close, he was pierced by an arrow and died immediately. 

Wei Lian’s eyes dilated. 

He could sense that there were more people lying in ambush nearby. He could hear a lot of breathing…

Seeing one of them die, the black masked assassins jumped from the grass in all directions. 

Rushing towards the two men on the horse. 

They were surrounded. 

Even though he was trapped in the encirclement, Ji Yue’s face remained the same, he even whispered comforting words to Wei Lian. “Don’t be afraid.”

“We will protect you.”

Encounting assassination was a common occurrence for the Qin Emperor. The royal palace was usually heavily guarded, hard for assassination attempts. Now with the Emperor out and about in such a rare occurrence, it was normal to meet assassins. 

Wei Lian nodded and stayed still. 

He believed Ji Yue had the ability to handle it well. 

People in black rushed forward and began to assault from close range. 

The ferocious A’Meng growled before pouncing and biting an assassin. 

Ji Yue abandoned using the bow and arrow and pulled out the sword around his waist, guiding the horse with one hand and waving his sword with the other. 

Not forgetting to protect the youth in his arms as well. 

As the two forces clashed, a massacre began. 

Each time the sword raised and fell, a life would be gone in an instant. 

A’Meng was even more fierce and brave, biting several assassins bloody. 

These unknown men were not Ji Yue’s opponents as the older man had more than enough ability to deal with them. 

Wei Lian was half-relieved. 

Then, a man in the distance quietly pulled back an arrow and aimed at Ji Yue. 

Wei Lian caught a glimpse of it. On alert, he pressed on the bracelet around his left hand, thinking of using his needle. 

The man probably viewed Wei Lian as Ji Yue’s weakness. Because he suddenly changed his target and aimed straight at Wei Lian. 

Wei Lian showed no fear, only looking more cold. 

He got the silver needle clamped between his fingers. As he was about to send them flying, Ji Yue turned sideways and blocked Wei Lian’s sight. 

The next moment, a sharp arrow pierced through Ji Yue’s shoulder and stopped in front of Wei Lian. 

The fresh blood slashed on Wei Lian, so dazzling red that it hurt his eyes. 

Wei Lian was stunned. 

Everything in his head suddenly turned blank. 

He was speechless. 

How dared Ji Yue act on his own initiative?

He could have dodged it, there was no need for Ji Yue to do this!

“Don’t cry.” Ji Yue was still whispering comfort words to him. 

The speaker was right within his hearing range, but it sounded as if the voice came from the horizon. 

What nonsense? How could he be crying!

Wei Lian touched his face in a daze and found he was really crying. 

“Everything will be fine. We can still protect you.” Ji Yue forced out a smile. “Aren’t you afraid of pain? We don’t want you hurting.”

He knew that Wei Lian was very powerful, but when the arrow was flying towards Wei Lian, he forgot everything. 

He reacted on instinct, the instinct to protect Wei Lian. 

Protect the younger man in his arms and don’t let harm come to him. Wei Lian was very afraid of pain. 

Ji Yue frowned and felt the numbness in his right arm. 

The blood oozing out was black. 

The arrow was poisoned.

Translator's Corner

The Translator has something to add:

Side note, I pre-ordered Empire’s uncensored Simplified Chinese physical copy (I hope I get quote number 4!!!). Land of Promise is the ‘English’ title that Via Lactea went with. So excited but also sad that it is going to take forever for me to get the book (finger cross on the 3-5 months expectancy).
*Rip Teo who reads in Traditional Chinese.


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