Chapter 76: His Highness is Gone
November 10, 2022Merchie
Qi Changyi’s body was soft and limp, and covered in an overwhelming feeling of coldness.
His mind was dizzy and disoriented; the contents of the imperial decree continued to echo in his mind.
It was as though all of his bones had been pulled out of his body; he couldn’t even kneel properly anymore.
Upon being shoved by Qi Yirou, his body tilted and he fell weakly to the ground.
No matter what he tried, he just couldn’t lift himself back up.
Li Yu’s eyes were red and struggled with all his might to break out of his restraints, before he ran over, and tried to help Qi Changyi up.
“Your Highness, please get up, the ground is freezing cold, your body won’t be able to handle much more of this…”
But no matter what methods he used to support the small man to stand up, Qi Changyi’s legs were too gelatinous and weak.
He fell back onto the ground, his body shivering uncontrollably.
His fingers dug tightly into the frozen dirt; The hand that Qi Yirou had stepped on had begun to swell and turn red, and one of his nails had been broken; thin lines of blood oozed from the wound.
Li Yu hurriedly pried open his fingers, “Your Highness, don’t clench so hard, stop clenching so hard…”
Out of nowhere, the little prince had mustered a monstrous amount of strength- Li Yu tried with all his might to unclench the swollen knuckles, but no matter what he tried, he couldn’t pull those fingers apart.
He could only watch helplessly as Qi Changyi’s fingertips left trails of blood on the ground.
Qi Changyi’s head was bowed; the expression on his face couldn’t be seen clearly.
In this freezing cold weather, he had almost been frozen into a snowman; even the blood pouring from his wounds had solidified and ceased its flow.
Qi Yirou, upon seeing his wretched appearance, didn’t feel guilty in the slightest, and continued to speak in a tone full of ridicule, “Stop pretending, you really can’t stand after just one little shove Your body can’t be that delicate, stop embarrassing yourself, get up!”
As she spoke, Qi Yirou wanted to go over and give Qi Changyi another shove, but Li Yu suddenly stood up, and, having lost all rationality, pushed Qi Yirou to the ground.
Then, he rushed at her, raised his fists, and began to beat her.
The only sounds in the huge courtyard were sharp, unrelenting screams, “Someone, someone, hurry up and take this madman away! I’m going to put him to death! I’ll definitely cut his corpse into thousands of pieces!”
Several servants hurried over and tried to pull Li Yu away, but his hands were wrapped tightly around Qi Yirou’s neck, digging his fingernails into her skin and drawing blood, with no sign of letting go.
The old housekeeper, who had been kneeling on the ground the entire time suddenly stood up.
He pretended to wobble, and crashed straight into the group of servants.
One of them accidentally stepped on Qi Yirou’s hand and she abruptly let out a shrill scream.
“Your Highness the Third Princess, this old slave is really sorry, having knelt for long, these knees of mine are a bit unsteady, may the Your Royal Highness have mercy.”
“Traitors, you’re all traitors! I’ll definitely punish you all for your crimes, all of you!”
The old housekeeper sneered unobtrusively, cocked an eye, and the other servants also stood up, blocking the rest of Qi Yirou’s servants from coming forward.
The two groups immediately mixed and tangled with each other; no one could tell the difference between enemy and comrade, pushing each other, crowding together, and scuffling among themselves.
The entire Prime Minister’s Manor was thrown into chaos, and the air was filled with pained, piercing screams.
At this moment, the little man, who had been kneeling at the side this entire time, suddenly shifted.
He slowly lifted his body off the ground and stood up, staggering slightly.
He looked out at the ongoing battle within the courtyard; his eyes were dazed, and he couldn’t find anything to focus on.
He didn’t know what he was supposed to do now.
There was only one thought in his mind: get away from this place, get as far away from everyone as possible.
All he wanted to do was hide, and find someplace where he could be alone.
His knees and fingers were in terrible pain.
But he acted as if he couldn’t feel it, and hobbled to the gate, walked out of the Prime Minister’s Manor, and into the street.
His snow-white robe was stained with dirt, and the small man’s chest felt hollow and empty; cold and void of a heartbeat.
It felt as though he had been stabbed, and the wound was gushing blood.
He didn’t stop walking, walking, walking forward without purpose, without destination, like a frozen, soulless shell.
The sky had already gradually darkened, and the street was lit with thousands of lights.
People strolled by in groups of three to five, the smiles on their faces filled with joy and contentment.
The small man was alone, covered in bruises and wounds.
The corners of his eyes grew wetter and wetter, and his vision blurred, rendering him unable to see the path before him.
Someone rushing past accidentally bumped into him.
His legs had been unsteady to begin with, so he fell right to the ground from the impact.
The skin on his palm was scratched, and beads of blood instantly rolled out.
The man hurriedly apologized, and tried to help him up, “I’m really sorry, Young Master.
Are you all right”
Qi Changyi’s gaze was gray and defeated, dim and devoid of light.
He avoided the man’s hand, and stood up by himself, swaying and wobbling, before continuing to walk forward.
Perhaps it was from the pain of the fall, but tears suddenly flowed down his face, without restraint.
The wind blew over his cheeks, and chilled the droplets till they were as cold as ice.
No one would ever wipe his tears for him again.
He could only lift his sleeve and rub the tears away with force, leaving red marks on his pale skin.
He continued walking along the wide street.
He couldn’t tell how long he had been walking for, but his body had been frozen numb, and the blood that had been flowing from his nailbeds and palm had long since dried up.
Even at night, the streets of the Imperial City were full of people.
The lively, bustling crowds were far too noisy.
Qi Changyi turned a corner, and walked into a shadowy alley by himself.
His body brushed the wall as he slowly sat down, hugged his knees, and buried his head into his arms.
The raging torrent of tears immediately washed into his robe.
Brother Pei and Second Sister were getting married…
The two of them were the Golden Boy and The Jade Maiden*, a match blessed by the Heavens.
They were both talented and powerful, but him He was so stupid, how could he even be compared to them…
God must hate stupid children like him, so he didn’t treat him well at all.
Everybody liked smart children, but no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t learn the things that others could, so there would never, ever be anyone who truly liked him…
The small man leaned against the wall.
As he cried silently, he didn’t notice the group of figures that suddenly appeared behind him.
The Prime Minister’s Manor was still rife with chaos, but once Pei Zheng returned, the noisy courtyard instantly fell quiet.
Pei Zheng stood in front of the gate, and swept his cold gaze over the people in the courtyard, and discovered that one figure was missing from the bunch.
He tried his best to quash the anger in his heart, and looked toward Li Yu with an ice-cold gaze, his eyes gloomy and terrifying.
Li Yu hurried over to greet him.
Then, he suddenly remembered something.
He circled the entire courtyard, but couldn’t find a trace of his master, and his back was immediately covered in a layer of cold sweat.
“L-Lord Pei, His Highness is gone! What do we do!”
Qi Yirou covered the wound on her neck, “It’s not like you’ll never find him.
He’s a big boy, there’s no way he’d get lost so easily, so what’s the big fuss about”
In a flash, Pei Zheng shifted in front of Qi Yirou, which frightened her to the point of stumbling back and almost falling to the ground.
Pei Zheng stared at her and asked, “What business does the Third Princess have at this minister’s manor”
Qi Yirou looked at his gloomy gaze and was a little scared, but she still straightened her neck, “S-Second Sister and I came to relay the imperial decree.
Unexpectedly, Lord Pei wasn’t in the manor…”
Pei Zheng’s eyes changed, “Since I wasn’t here, who asked you to read the imperial edict”
As he spoke, he took another step forward.
He stared down at Qi Yirou, his eyes fierce and hateful- he looked as though he was ready to tear her to shreds.
Qi Yirou’s eyes widened slightly, and she didn’t know how to answer.
She looked to Qi Bingzhi, who was standing beside her, for help, mouthing, “Second Sister…”
Qi Bingzhi also walked over, and said in a soft voice, “Lord Pei, Rourou didn’t mean to, Lord Pei, please don’t blame her.”
“Didn’t mean to” Pei Zheng’s lips curled into a sneer, “I think this was exactly what she meant to do.”
“Pei Zheng, don’t forget your status, don’t forget who it is you’re about to be married to!” Qi Yirou shouted loudly.
Who would have thought that this sentence would stab through Pei Zheng’s heart so painfully.
He said in a deep voice, “Li Yu, tell me exactly what happened.”
Li Yu smeared the blood at the corner of his lips away, and recounted the earlier events, down to the very last detail.
He made sure to place emphasis on how Qi Yirou had targeted his master, as well as how she had only poured fuel onto the fire of the situation.
Upon hearing this, Qi Yirou immediately refuted his accusations, “Nonsense! When did I hit him When did you see me do anything to him”
“Third Princess, this servant’s eyes have not been gouged out yet; they’ve seen everything.
Not only did you hit His Highness, you also broke his nails by stepping on them; the nerves of one’s fingers are linked to their heart1.
It must have been extremely painful…”
Qi Yirou’s eyes widened slightly, and she shook her head in a panic, “I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t step on them hard at all.
He was the one who broke his own nails-“
Before she could finish speaking, Qi Yirou’s neck was suddenly strangled, and whatever she was about to say was swallowed back into her stomach.
Pei Zheng’s eyes narrowed, and his fingers clenched lightly.
Qi Yirou was beginning to have difficulty breathing.
Her cheeks flushed an alarming red, her hands spasming and thrashing madly.
No one in the entire courtyard dared to move; Pei Zheng’s anger was obvious to anyone.
Whoever dared to try and dissuade him would no doubt immediately have their necks snapped by him.
Qi Bingzhi’s eyes were full of worry, and she stepped forward, and tried to reason with him, “Lord Pei, Lord Pei…”
Pei Zheng looked at her coldly, but his tight grip finally loosened.
Qi Yirou didn’t have anything to hold onto, so she limply slumped to the ground.
She coughed violently several times.
Tears welled up in the corners of her eyes, and she raised her head to glare at the person standing in front of her.
“Pei Zheng! I’m a princess, and Royal Father’s most beloved daughter! You actually have the guts to do this to me You’re not afraid that Royal Father will blame you for this” Pei Zheng laughed coldly, and bent down slightly.
“It looks like the Third Princess still hasn’t grasped the situation.
Someone, take the Third Princess away.
This minister will help to shoulder some of His Majesty’s burdens, and teach her a proper lesson on His Majesty’s behalf.”
Several guards of the Prime Minister’s Manor came forward and were about to pull Qi Yirou away.
The frightened woman shrank back and crawled away as fast as she could in the direction of Qi Bingzhi, and then grabbed the hem of her sister’s skirt, and began to plead with her.
“Second Sister, Second Sister, save me, Pei Zheng’s gone crazy, he must have gone totally crazy, right How could he have the guts to do this to me”
Qi Bingzhi glanced at Pei Zheng, her eyes complicated.
She used her brain more than Qi Yirou did: naturally, she knew that this marriage was arranged to deal with disputes over power and interests.
Based on the current situation within the Imperial Court, she knew that if he had to choose between her Third Sister and Pei Zheng, the Emperor would choose Pei Zheng without hesitation.
“Rourou, be good.
I believe that Lord Pei, he… Won’t blame you too much for this.”
Qi Bingzhi pulled the hem of her skirt away, and took an imperceptible half-step backwards.
Qi Yirou’s eyes widened in disbelief and shock, “Second Sister, you…”
Everything that Qi Yirou had done wasn’t just for her own sake.
Because of Qi Changyi and Pei Zheng’s inexplicable, shameful relationship, Qi Bingzhi’s position was threatened.
She was merely trying to get revenge for her sister.
She never expected that, at the end, Qi Bingzhi would treat her like this.
Qi Yirou was stunned into silence.
Dejected and anguished, she was dragged away by the guards.
I’m crying with laughter, maybe I need to start a kidnapping counter
Thanks for reading~
1.十指連心 (shí zhǐ lián xīn): every part of the body is connected to the heart
金童玉女 (jīn tóng yù nǚ): the Golden Boy and the Jade Maiden, which refers to a very attractive couple.
The Golden Boy and the Jade Maiden are also said to be able to bring good fortune to families.