Chapter 48 | Arc 3.
The 7th Wangye – who had been absent ever since Su Yu first appeared in this world – chose this time to make an appearance at the palace, precisely two days after Gan Qi alienated the Female Protagonist. No matter which angle one considers this matter from, something appeared slightly off.
Su Yu narrowed his eyes and stood up, giving a light smile. “Let’s go watch the show.”
Because he was nearer, Su Yu actually arrived before Gan Shen did. Standing to the side and chatting idly with Gan Qi, they eventually saw a figure carrying a birdcage cautiously approach.
“Little brother greets Royal Brother.” Dressed in an old white robe and with a face full of humility and courtesy, the impression the 7th Wangye gave Su Yu was completely different that what he’d been portrayed as in the original plot.
Gan Qi lifted a hand, waving him up and then pointing to a chair. “Seventh brother doesn’t need to be so courteous.”
“Many thanks to Royal Brother.” Gan Shen smiled and gave thanks. Despite the fact that he and Gan Qi were true brothers – born from the same father and mother – life experiences had long ago erased such naïve thoughts from his heart.
After seeing the other sit down carefully, Gan Qi continued, “Seventh brother hasn’t come to visit me in a long time.”
“This little brother is at fault. These days were spent writing poetry and admiring nature, little brother actually neglected such an important event. Royal Brother, please don’t hold this against me.” Gan Shen replied with a small, shame-filled smile and slowly lowered his head.
Gan Qi didn’t indicate whether he actually was annoyed or not, and instead just smiled and then glanced pointedly at what his brother held in his hand. “Why did you bring this thing with you to the palace?”
Gan Shen placed the birdcage on the table, laughing like a spring breeze but his eyes held some pity. “This is a canary that little brother bought a few days ago – I find it interesting. When the canary flies, it naturally soars the sky, but once locked in this little cage, it looses its freedom, and its life is subject to its master’s wishes. How pitiful.”
This sentence, like the phrase before it, clearly held some implicit meaning. His previous sentence had served to highlight his harmlessness – reflecting his pure spirit watching flowers and writing poetry all day – and the words he had uttered just now was clearly referring to Qin Yiran.
After Qin Yiran entered into the imperial harem, she became like a canary, trapped in a cage. She was limited to the palace, and if she couldn’t garner the Emperor’s favour, then her days really would be quite pitiful.
Gan Qi’s eyes narrowed and he stared at hunched canary. “Some birds screech very annoyingly, and they might even peck at you. It’s better to not raise these kinds of bird, lest you bring irritation to yourself.”
Gan Shen was just about to open his mouth to retort when he heard a sudden light laughter. This sound very obviously did not come from Gan Qi. He lifted his head, and his eyes fell on a eunuch standing by the table.
“You are Royal Brother’s household governor, Han Gong Gong right?” Gan Shen’s gaze lingered on Su Yu. “What has amused Han Gong Gong so much?”
Su Yu approached a little and bowed, “This servant has lost composure before His Majesty and Wangye. This is already a great sin, I dare not say more nonsense.”
“No matter what you say, Zhen will forgive you.” Gan Qi didn’t even think twice before promising this.
Gan Shen swept a careful glance between Gan Qi and Su Yu, and his eyes flashed with a touch of complexity and indistinguishable motives. “Since Royal Brother has already said so, can Han Gong Gong enlighten this prince now?”
“This servant laughed just now because Wangye’s words were very interesting.” Su Yu put on the act of being a servant, but his tone was very relaxed, “Since Wangye feels that the canary trapped in the cage is very pitiful, why not just release it? Wouldn’t that solve the problem?”
Gan Shen laughed very gently and courteously, “Han Gong Gong hasn’t considered the full picture, what if all this canary wants is to stay by this prince’s side?”
“Then it deserves to stay in this cage ah,” Su Yu dismissively raised his eyebrows, aiming a scoffing look at Gan Shen. “Whether it’s a canary, or a person, one has to learn to choose their outcomes. If the canary wanted to soar the skies, but also wanted to stay by its master’s side, then isn’t it being too greedy? Wangye, don’t you think so?”
Gan Shen’s gaze lingered on Su Yu’s face for a long moment, and then he said ambiguously, “Han Gong Gong has changed a lot since the last time this prince saw you. Now only have you become more spirited, even your wit has increased. To have such a clever servant by his side, Royal Brother is really lucky.”
“Wangye is mistaken – this servant has just experienced a serious bought of sickness, how could my spirit have improved that much?” Su Yu smiled and deflected, backing up two steps. He was vaguely aware that something was not quite right, because the look that the other had sent him just now clearly contained strong hatred.
Although the other was a good actor, he couldn’t escape Su Yu’s sharp gaze. Su Yu searched through the original’s memories but he couldn’t find any instance where he had offended Gan Shen. Perhaps it was just because he was Gan Qi’s household manager that he had incurred such hatred from this prince?
“Lil’ Shun is right, if Seventh brother really pities that canary, then why not just release it?” Gan Qi naturally sided with his object of affection.
“Royal Brother is correct.” Gan Shen did not show any hint of annoyance in front of Gan Qi and Su Yu, and simply opened the door of the cage. However, the canary didn’t move at all – maybe it was entirely domesticated, or it had simply gotten used to life in the cage – but it only stared dumbly at the open door.
Gan Shen gave a scoffing smile. “Earlier, little brother had been worried that this canary was not happy in its cage, but it looks like I’ve worried needlessly.”
Gan Qi did not continue this conversation, but instead asked about his daily life. After a while, he sent the other on his way. Su Yu personally escorted the Wangye away, and he didn’t forget to put on one last show demonstrating his authenticity, “The Emperor is always alone during the weekdays, and very lonely. If Wangye has the time, please come visit His Majesty more often.”
“As a servant, you have a very big heart. But you must also remember your status.” Gan Shen gave a careful smile and lowered his voice. “His Majesty’s heart is always difficult to comprehend. Today, you might be spoiled to the high heavens, and yet tomorrow you might fall like dust on the ground. You will never know.”
These kinds of manipulations were but child’s play to Su Yu. He directly refuted back according to the original character’s personality, “As a servant, I should mind my status indeed. But this is within what His Majesty has allowed – as for what other people think, this servant does not care at all. Moreover, this servant is His Majesty’s personal aid – no matter how His Majesty decides to treat me, that is all within his right and I will stay loyal to him. Wangye, wouldn’t you say that I am right?”
“Han Gong Gong is just as faithful as before, if Royal Brother were to hear this, he would naturally be happy,” Gan Shen replied with a tight smile, and then he stopped walking. “Han Gong Gong had better head back and serve Royal Brother. This prince will not keep you any longer.
“Alright then, Wangye have a safe trip back,” Su Yu smiled back. However, as soon as he turned around, his face turned cold. “Round Ball, did the original plot mention how Gan Shen first met Qin Yiran?”
The little ball quickly replied, “The specific time was not recorded, but it should have been when they were very young. At that time, Gan Shen coincidentally met the Female Protagonist in the streets and saved her from being run over by a horse-drawn carriage. The Female Protagonist always remembered this person, and later found out that he was the 7th Wangye.”
“When was Yue Lian sent to Qin Yiran’s side?” Su Yu asked again.
The little ball went to check on original plot again. “It should be around the time when the Female Protagonist was 13 years old. Using concern for her health as an excuse, the 7th Wangye had sent Yue Lian to her and ever since then, she’s been serving by Qin Yiran’s side.”
Su Yu nodded, silent and no longer speaking, but Round Ball was overcome with strong curiosity, “Why is Master Host suddenly asking about this? Is there a problem?”
“The answer is so obvious, and you still don’t get it?” Su Yu unceremoniously shot a look of contempt at the ball.
Round Ball wanted to cry – it knew that as an AI, it’s IQ wasn’t that high, but Master Host didn’t have to laugh at it about that every single time, right? QAQ
“Do you remember when Gan Qi fell in love with Qin Yiran at first sight?” Su Yu kindly began to help Round Ball arrive at the answer, by prompting it with questions.
In order to prove that it still had some intelligence, the little ball instantly answered, “When they first met, the Male Protagonist was 18 years old and the Female Protagonist was 14. Gan Shen was the one to introduced them.”
“That’s correct, Qin Yiran met Gan Qi when she was 14 years old, but she met Gan Shen when she was still a little girl and has always thought about him ever since, wanting to meet him again and spend her life with him. So, why would Qin Yiran voluntarily enter the palace at age 16?” Su Yu coaxed Round Ball like he was coaxing a child, prompting him into the right direction.
Round Ball, though, felt that Su Yu’s look was far from encouraging – it was actually rather depressing. It shook its round body, feeling very hurt, and answered, “She entered the harem under the orders of the 7th Wangye ah, and that’s also why 2 years later, she helped poison the Male Protagonist with Yue Lian.”
“Then the question arises,” Su Yu put up two fingers, “When Gan Shen first met Qin Yiran, Gan Qi hadn’t even met her yet, let alone fall in love at first sight. Similarly, when he gave Yue Lian to Qin Yiran, there was still no guarantee that Gan Qi would even like Qin Yiran. And yet, years later, these two ladies became the best tools for him to bring about Gan Qi’s downfall. Isn’t this too coincidental? Do you really think there can be such a big coincidence in this world? Besides, if he really loved Qin Yiran, then how could he bear to send her into Gan Qi’s harem for his own benefit?”
“Those two things really are coincidental ah,” Round Ball carefully thought out loud. Half a second later, it finally reacted and it jumped up in shock, “Are you saying….. are you saying that the 7th Wangye actually has a prophetic golden finger, so powerful that he could calculate that the Male Protagonist would fall head over heels for the Female Protagonist, and hence he sent Yue Lian to be by Qin Yiran’s side?!”
Su Yu couldn’t help but give an exaggerated roll of his eyes. He felt that the IQ gap between himself and the little ball was too big, and there was no hope for reconciliation. “Is that the only thing you can think of?”
Stringing together these events from the original plot, and then taking into consideration Gan Shen’s strangely cautious look from before, Su Yu was already 90% sure that he knew what was going on.
The only hint of doubt remaining was that perhaps this really was all just a large coincidence, where Gan Shen met Qin Yiran and saved her life, falling in love, and Yue Lian had indeed just been sent to her side out of his concern for her health.
And as for the weird gaze Gan Shen had pinned on him earlier, it would have to be attributed to his status as a lead servant of Gan Qi’s, and hence the distaste.
But, was it really possible that there exists such a series of large coincidences in this world? Su Yu gave a sneer in his heart, and erased that 10% of doubt. There was no way.
The little ball worked its brain extra hard, trying to match Su Yu’s thoughts, and at this point, it finally came to a conclusion. “Master Host, do you mean to say that Gan Shen was reborn?!”
Translator: Lone Wolf Translations