Chapter 80: Be Good
November 14, 2022Merchie
Qi Changyi didn’t answer, and simply continued to stare at Li Yu.
“Your Highness, if you’d like to find out, this servant will go outside and ask about it…”
As he spoke, Li Yu was about to get up and walk out the door, but he was pulled back by a hand.
Qi Changyi didn’t have much strength, so he could only gently tug at Li Yu’s sleeve.
But Li Yu promptly turned back around to face him.
“Your Highness, this servant has only heard a few whisperings; they say last night, Lord Pei stayed in the palace the entire time.
His Majesty invited many ministers over for a banquet, and the entire Imperial City was decorated with lights…”
Qi Changyi retracted his hand, and his eyes shifted elsewhere.
Li Yu continued, “This morning, this servant also heard from a maid who had gone out to purchase a few items, that the Prime Minister’s Manor was covered in red.
His Majesty bestowed many precious treasures, and along with congratulatory gifts from the other officials, the front garden of the Prime Minster’s Manor is completely full.”
Qi Changyi’s face paled slightly.
His injured fingernail had already regrown a patch of soft flesh that was a faint pink color.
Li Yu saw that his emotions were becoming slightly volatile, so he didn’t say anything more.
In reality, Li Yu wanted to tell his master everything that was going on outside.
His Highness had liked Lord Pei for so long, yet had suffered so much in vain.
Now, Lord Pei was about to be married, but that wasn’t a relief to His Highness in the slightest.
It would be good if he could use this opportunity to sever their past ties…
No matter how lively and vibrant the atmosphere outside was, the quiet back garden still looked gloomy and bleak.
It seemed that no matter what kind of earth-shattering event occured in the outside world, it would have nothing to do with this back garden.
Qi Changyi sat in place for an entire day without eating.
It was only due to Li Yu’s incessant begging that he drank some water.
It was gradually getting dark; the hazy night slowly enveloped everything beneath it.
At this hour, the front garden of the Prime Minister’s Mansion would be celebratory and lively.
The crowd would be full of energy, their eyes reflecting auspicious red, as well as that perfect pair; a match made in heaven.
But the door to the little pavilion was suddenly opened, and a figure walked in.
Freezing cold wind trailed inside along with him.
“Why is it so dark”
The figure walked up to Qi Changyi, who was still sitting in place, and stood still.
Li Yu recognized that voice.
He retrieved a candle and lit it, glanced at the two, and retreated out the door.
The firelight suddenly brightened, reflecting Qi Changyi’s pale little face.
His complexion was quite bad, and he looked to be completely devoid of energy.
It was as if he would faint at any second.
The intense swathe of red that had suddenly appeared in front of Qi Changyi stung his eyes.
He stared at the bottom corner of the scarlet hem of the visitor’s robe, and his eyes turned terribly sad.
“I heard that you didn’t eat for the entire day.”
Pei Zheng reached out and tilted his chin up, his fingers groping that patch of jade-white skin.
“Even when you’re mad at me, you shouldn’t treat your body poorly.”
Qi Changyi raised his head slightly, and his gaze fell on Pei Zheng’s face.
He was wearing a wedding robe, fiery red and dazzlingly bright.
His eyes were cold and handsome.
Qi Changyi had never seen him in such brightly-colored attire before; it actually looked quite good on him.
But he was wearing all this for someone else.
Qi Changyi turned his head to the side, and a few crystal tears rolled down his cheeks, landing on Pei Zheng’s fingers.
Pei Zheng’s fingers persistently stayed glued to his skin.
Then, he twisted the small man’s face back toward himself, not allowing him to move.
Those small, pearly tears were stroked away one by one.
In a single, quick movement, Qi Changyi’s collar was slightly loosened, exposing a portion of his collarbone.
Pei Zheng’s eyes darkened.
His fingers traced along the collar, and he tugged it down slightly.
The alluring, demonic-red petals were slowly revealed in their entirety, complex and winding, blooming with bewitching charm.
The tattoo had actually healed quite well; there wasn’t any visible scarring.
The red lotus bloomed vividly upon the expanse of delicate white, and those bumpy bones even added a touch of charm to it.
“You thought it looked bad before, didn’t you” Pei Zheng traced the skin with his finger, “What about now Do you like this design”
Qi Changyi shrank inward slightly at as Pei Zheng’s cool fingertips touched him.
He stretched his hand up and pulled his collar back into place.
That blazing red lotus was blocked by the snow-white robe.
Pei Zheng maintained his composure and retracted his hand.
He looked down at the small man in front of him, and wanted to see just a shred of emotion on his face.
But Qi Changyi was still merely crying silently; there wasn’t even the slightest crease in his brows.
He was extremely calm as his tears continued to flow.
As Pei Zheng gazed at the silent little prince, his heart jumped furiously several times.
He walked over and stood in front of him.
“Don’t cry anymore.
Wait for me here tonight.”
The small man continued to cry, and his body shuddered once.
Pei Zheng rubbed his back, then leaned over, placing a soft kiss on his lips, “Be good.”
Qi Changyi lifted his head, his eyes brimming with tears.
At this moment, Cheng Feng hurried over and knocked on the door.
“Master, it’s almost time, everyone’s waiting.”
Qi Changyi’s body visibly stiffened, but Pei Zheng hugged him and didn’t move.
The knocks on the door became slightly more urgent, “Master, you can’t keep the guests waiting, you should come out as soon as possible.
Those people are all eying you like a tiger eyes its prey, they’re just waiting to pick you apart.”
The door suddenly opened, and Pei Zheng walked out, his face gloomy, before he strode out of the back garden.
Cheng Feng sighed audibly in relief, and followed suit.
When Li Yu saw Pei Zheng leaving, he pushed open the door and walked inside.
All he saw was the small man leaning against the edge of the table.
His frail back was slightly arched, his body was shaking, and it was obvious that he was crying.
Li Yu walked to Qi Changyi’s side, but didn’t know how to comfort him.
He could only accompany him in silence while gently patting his shoulder.
“Cry, you’ll feel better after crying, letting it all out is better than holding it all in…”
Just as he was speaking, Li Yu glanced out the window, and immediately called out in surprise.
“Your Highness! Your Highness, look! Look in the garden, what are those things!”
Qi Changyi was still submerged in his grief.
He raised his head, and with hazy, tear-filled eyes, looked out the window.
He could only see the bare willow trees outside the window covered in red lanterns, though most of them were obscured, and he couldn’t see them clearly.
“Your Highness, shall we go out and take a look”
Qi Changyi looked at the window sill for a long time, and finally nodded.
He allowed Li Yu to fetch a thick cloak and drape it over him.
This cloak was flame-red; even the fluffy collar was scarlet.
Upon opening the door of the little pavilion, Qi Changyi halted in his footsteps.
The entire back garden was filled with lanterns; they were all in the shape of bunnies with little red lotus flowers sitting on their heads, and they all emitted a bright red glow.
Every lantern had been lit, shining brightly and vividly against the backdrop of the dark garden.
There were many lanterns hanging on each tree; they were like red lotuses blooming on the willow branches.
“Your Highness, it turns out that people who were at work in the garden earlier were hanging these lanterns up.
It really is beautiful.”
Qi Changyi looked up at the lanterns that dotted the entire garden, and his eyes became hot again.
He lifted his head slightly to force the tears back into his eyes, before he walked out the door.
That little path he had walked so many times during the day was now bright enough for him to see every little stone inlaid in it.
Qi Changyi stood under a tree and reached up, cradling a lantern in his palm.
It was extraordinarily well-crafted; whether it be the bunny or the red lotus, everything was meticulously painted and textured; it was as if they were alive.
One could tell at a glance that it was made by a renowned craftsman’s hands.
It was much better than the one that Brother Pei had gifted to him on the street.
But it would never be the same as the one he had lost.
The Lantern Fair1 had long since passed, so there were hardly any street vendors selling lanterns.
So where did these lanterns come from
“Your Highness, when we went to the street last time, and you searched for so long but couldn’t find anything, were you looking for this”
Qi Changyi carefully withdrew his arm, and let the lantern fall back, and continue to hang in its original position.
He stood under the tree, looked up at the branches glowing with vibrant, scarlet light, and nodded lightly.
“Last time, we went through so many shops but we couldn’t find it.
It looks like these lanterns were all custom made.”
Qi Changyi’s eyes were brightened slightly by the red light, and he finally seemed to have regained some energy.
Li Yu supported Qi Changyi by the arm, and they walked back and forth through the back garden a few times.
Qi Changyi seemed to be a little obsessed; he had to walk over every patch of ground that was illuminated by a lantern.
Only then would his heart be at ease.
But after walking for so long, his body was frozen.
“Your Highness, let’s go back inside and warm up for a bit.
These lanterns won’t be taken down.
You can look at them again tomorrow or the day after.”
Qi Changyi stubbornly refused to return inside, and continued to wind through the huge back garden.
A gust of freezing wind blew past; it was like an ice-cold blade piercing through his thick robes and plunging beneath it.
A mouthful of cold air rushed into Qi Changyi’s throat, and he bent over and began to cough.
At first, they were only a few soft coughs.
But unexpectedly, they became steadily more severe and heart-wrenching.
Li Yu panicked.
There was not a single person besides them in the back garden right now; all of the Prime Minister’s Manor’s servants were busy in the front garden.
What would he do if something happened to His Highness
He passed a handkerchief over, and Qi Changyi covered his lips with it before coughing again.
After his coughing finally subsided, Li Yu took back the handkerchief, and his entire body suddenly trembled.
He hadn’t even unfolded the snow-white handkerchief yet, but he could already see that it was soaked through with red; everything he had coughed up just now, it was blood!
Li Yu’s hands were shaking to the point of almost dropping the handkerchief.
He quickly stuffed it into his robes, and the corners of eyes reddened.
He had heard Imperial Physician Jiang say before that His Highness’s body was already ruined and battered2, and if he wanted to recover completely, he couldn’t rely solely on nurturing his body; His Highness’s mind was the most important aspect to it.
If the knot in his heart could not be undone, or if the stagnation within continued to accumulate, the damage it would cause would be immeasurable.
Li Yu couldn’t remember the last time he had seen a smile on His Highness’s face.
For the past few days, he had been unwilling to even speak, and now, even when he was completely uninjured, he was still coughing up huge mouthfuls of blood.
He had drank so many different medicines, yet not a single one of them could cure the wounds in his heart3…
Finally, they reached the exit of the back garden; they had walked through every corner of the back garden.
As he stood in front of the gate, Qi Changyi stared dazedly into the pitch-darkness.
The Prime Minister’s Mansion was very large; the back garden was tucked in the innermost sector, so it was quite some distance from the front garden.
Standing here, he had no way of knowing what was happening in the front garden.
“Your Highness,” Li Yu said softly, “Let’s go back, okay You can go back, rest, and sleep well.
Tonight isn’t any different from any other night, it’ll be over soon, very soon…”
Li Yu didn’t know what to say.
In reality, thoughts and worries about what was happening in the front garden also filled his mind; just what kind of scene was unfolding there
Even his heart was tight with panic; he couldn’t imagine how sad His Highness was.
A faint, almost imperceptible voice called out, so soft that it was immediately scattered by the cold wind.
But Li Yu still heard it.
Qi Changyi was calling for him.
“Your Highness, this servant is here, this servant is right here with you.” Li Yu’s voice was slightly choked.
Qi Changyi gazed out into the blank darkness, “I want to go take a look.”
Noooooo don’t take a look, just go to bed, bed makes all the sad ** go awayyyyyyy
Thanks for reading~~ I feel a little more motivated knowing that at least one person other than my editor and tl checker is reading this hahahahaha
1.This is not referring to the street light parade of previous chapters, nor is it referring to the Lantern Festival (Shangyuan or Yuanxiao Festival)
2.千瘡百孔 (qiān chuāng bǎi kǒng): Riddled with wounds and holes, it means he’s in a pretty bad condition, uh, yeah.
心病 (xīn bìng): ‘heart sickness’.
It can mean a number of things, anxiety, heart disease, mental illness, in this case it refers to unresolved matters of the heart.