Chapter 51 | Arc 3.
Clearly the words were full of warmth and affection, but Su Yu could detect a hint of sadness in Gan Qi’s voice. Crooking his head in thought, Su Yu understood after a few moments – it seems that Gan Qi has already sensed he is lying, so right now… he was eating vinegar?
This jealousy is quite interesting, Su Yu thought gleefully and didn’t bother to explain himself. “This servant has already answered Your Majesty’s questions. Are there any other matters you would like for this servant to complete?”
“Nothing. Go and rest.” Waving his hands, Gan Qi sent Su Yu off.
Su Yu left refreshingly and had a good night’s sleep, but little did he know that after he left, Gan Qi tossed and turned all night, feeling especially restless.
Even when he was at his most infatuated with Qin Yiran, Gan Qi had never experienced this before. Now, because of Su Yu’s one little lie, he felt extreme heartache, to the point that he was having trouble restraining some rather violent impulses from erupting in his heart.
He’s probably gotten to the point where he’ll do crazy things just for Lil’ Shun’s attention, hasn’t he…
Gan Qi didn’t even dare to think about it. If Lil’ Shun were to never become aware of his amorous feelings, and hence never developed reciprocal feelings, then what would he do?? How could he continue to interact with Lil’ Shun?
Perhaps one day he would not be able to control himself, and he would probably give in to his possessive desire, chaining Lil’ Shun beside him.
Gan Qi covered his eyes, wanting to smother the complex thoughts within, but as soon as he closed his eyes, pictures began to appear in his mind. Lil’ Shun’s eyebrows and his expressions, the curves of Lil’ Shun’s figure, the lifted corner of his mouth when Lil’ Shun gives a small smirk, those ten fingers that drag over his body whenever the other helps him to change…
Gan Qi breathed deeply, and his right hand slowly began to drift downwards, unable to be uncontrolled.
The next day was a sunny day. Su Yu happily continued his provocative attacks of being a tease while also pretending to be completely oblivious to Gan Qi’s feelings. He truly was bad to the bone.
Gan Qi stared dully at Su Yu, his heart enjoying Su Yu’s unguarded trust and admiration, but also secretly bemoaning that the other was completely oblivious to his amorous thoughts. Vaguely, he realized that the possessive desire in his heart to bind Lil’ Shun to his side and show the other the full extent of his love was growing stronger and stronger.
Once one loves to a certain extent, there really is a chance that they will become crazy for it.
When Su Yu’s fingertips skimmed over his chest again, Gan Qi captured the naughty appendage in his hands, his gaze dark and his breathing heavy. Something thumped wildly in his chest.
Su Yu slowly looked up, his face full of confusion and worry, “Your Majesty, what’s the matter? Do you not feel well? Should this servant go fetch a doctor?”
“No need,” Gan Qi’s voice was slightly hoarse. He looked somberly at Su Yu and pressed down on his turbulent emotions. “Lil’ Shun, have you ever loved someone?”
Yes, and he’s standing right in front of me. Su Yu thought, but outwardly he showed a bitter expression. “Why is Your Majesty asking this? I am but a crippled servant, how could I afford to like anyone? Your Majesty should stop teasing this servant.”
“Is that so…” Gan Qi sighed and slowly loosened his grip on Su Yu’s hand. “So Lil’ Shun doesn’t have someone special in your heart ah.”
Su Yu just smiled sadly and didn’t speak, but after he left Gan Qi’s vicinity, a vicious smile filled with wicked humour emerged. Was his lover finally on the brink of collapse? It seems like it will soon be time to settle all accounts.
Back with Gan Qi, even though Su Yu had already taken up most of Gan Qi’s thought capacity, there were still some other things that needed his attention.
On this day, Gan Qi summoned Gan Shen into the palace. The two brothers sat across from each, not speaking much as they played a game of Go. In the end, the person who lost was Gan Shen. [T/N: Go is a tradition Chinese strategy game, in the same genre as chess.]
“This little brother is not proficient at Go, Royal Brother has bore witness to something unsightly.” This time, Gan Shen did not bring the bird cage with him. Instead, he carried a fan in his hands; it had been a gift from Gan Qi.
“It is but a simple game of Go, it doesn’t matter is one loses. However, there are some things where if one loses, they will spiral into eternal damnation.“ Gan Qi said slowly as he picked up the pieces of the game one by one and placed them back into the box.
Gan Shen’s eyes flashed but he pretended like he did not understand, “Is there really such a terrible thing in this world? What is Royal Brother speaking of?”
Gan Qi raised his eyes and look towards the folding fan in Gan Shen’s hands, his expression very calm, “Zhen is saying that sitting in this seat of power, if Zhen is not careful and has any little mishaps, or if people successfully plot against Zhen, then the outcome may be worse than eternal damnation.”
“Royal Brother has always been wise, how could you not see through those people’s ill intentions?” The hand he used to hold the game pieces became tense, but Gan Shen still managed to maintain a gentle look on his face.
Gan Qi pinned Gan Shen with a careful stare for a long moment, and then sighed, “After the New Year, 7th Little Brother will be seventeen?”
“This little brother is indeed nearing seventeen, but I don’t understand why Royal Brother is asking this?” Gan Shen gave a careful smile, putting on the appearance of a respective junior.
Gan Qi picked up the last game piece and threw it into the box. Then, he pick up a towel draped to the side and wiped his hands, “Jiang Nan region is fertile and affluent, and many talented scholars gather in that area. Zhen will secure you a piece of land there, what do you think?”
These words came too suddenly – even though Gan Shen was a master at concealing his thoughts and putting on fake displays to suit his needs, he was still stunned quiet for a long moment. “What does Royal Brother mean? Is it that you’ve grown irritated at seeing this little brother being useless every day, and feel it has brought down your image? Is this why you are trying to send this little brother so far away?”
The words were respectful, but his tone held a hint of grievance. It was as if the first thoughts upon hearing these words were not one of happiness as a Wangye for receiving land as a gift, but rather as a little brother who was being driven away by a much-loved elder brother.
Gan Qi looked intently at Gan Shen for a while, and finally just smiled, “Zhen was just kidding with you, nothing more than a joke. Zhen is feeling a little tired so Zhen won’t keep you any longer.”
Having said that, Gan Qi got up and walked away into the inner palace.
Gan Shen sat alone for a long time, his eyes flickering between burning intensity and muted emotions. Finally, he managed to restore the light expression he always displayed and idly stepped out of the palace.
Su Yu – who had just come to know of this matter – couldn’t understand Gan Qi’s actions. He clearly knew that the other had a rebellious heart, and yet he didn’t do anything, merely sending the other away. Wasn’t this nurturing a tiger and deliberately waiting for calamity?
In the end, Su Yu could only explain Gan Qi’s actions by attributing it to sake of their blood relation; Gan Qi probably couldn’t bear to be so fierce and heavy-handed. However, when Su Yu found out over the next few days that Gan Qi held many meetings with various court councilors, some even extending way into the night, and that he had sent spies over to the 7th Royal Palace, he was suddenly enlightened.
As his lover, how could Gan Qi be an indecisive person?
At the same time, Su Yu learned from Round Ball that Gan Shen had also been very busy these days. The 7th Royal Palace hosted group after group of guests, its entire atmosphere very lively.
So, these two brothers were finally going to confront each other head-to-head?
“Master Host, even though the Male Protagonist is no longer that idiot of zero IQ from before, but if Gan Shen really has been reborn, then obviously he’s had years to prepare! I don’t think the Male Protagonist is a match for him ah, so what should we do?” Su Yu wasn’t even worried, and yet Round Ball was so anxious it kept flying to and fro in the room without rest.
Su Yu glanced up from the book he held and asked coldly, “Who are you calling an idiot?”
Round Ball exploded in despair, “I, I was, I, uh, … I was talking about myself!” Was it not allowed to even state the facts anymore?? QAQ
Su Yu retracted his gaze and then stated dismissively, “The information I told you to gather, have you done so?”
“It’s all written down,” The little ball continued to circle the room. Before, Su Yu had tasked it with recording in detail all the names of the officials who had dealings with Gan Shen, and the details of their conversations. “But isn’t the Male Protagonist already investigating this? Why do we need to do it too?”
“Are you so useless now that you can’t even match the skills of those people helping the Male Protagonist?” Su Yu gave Round Ball a playful, teasing glance.
Round Ball exploded again, this time in anger. “How is that possible! The information I record is definitely much more detailed and accurate than what the Male Protagonist has!”
Su Yu nodded and turned the page of his book, absentmindedly issuing a new task, “Then write down those messages in a way that is consistent with the technology of this world.”
“…” In a way that is consistent with the technology of this world, doesn’t that mean calligraphy with a brush?! Round Ball looked at the detailed reports it had recorded and simply wanted to cry. Why did it feel like its Master Host was abusing his power to avenge private wrongs?
But it wouldn’t be Round Ball if it couldn’t even finish this little task. Despite the workload was quite large, but with its ability to control 10 calligraphy brushes at the same time, it soon finished the task in less than half a day.
And so with its completed task in hand, Round Ball cried as it swore in its heart to never call the Male Protagonist an idiot again, even if it was the truth. In the future, it would make sure to praise him as the world’s highest IQ talent!
And having had enough of bullying his system, Su Yu happily called some servants over to carry these ‘fresh out of the oven’ important documents, and set out to find Gan Qi.
When Su Yu arrived at the imperial study, Gan Qi had just sent away a crowd of officials and was currently sitting at the dragon desk massaging his temples. Su Yu took the stack of paper from the servant following him and stepped into the room.
Hearing the sound of movement, Gan Qi opened his eyes but as soon as he saw Su Yu, his cold gaze instantly turned soft, “Why did you come here?”
“The servant came to deliver some good things to Your Majesty, ” Su Yu smiled and put down the thick stack of paper. “Please have a look, Your Majesty.”
Gan Qi gave Su Yu a questioning glance and then took the document lying on top, giving a rough look-through. His eyes instantly lit up, he eagerly flipped through the rest of the documents as well, his whole spirit appearing to have lifted.
He looked up at Su Yu, wanting to voice his questions, but then he saw Su Yu wink at him. “Your Majesty cannot ask where all this came from, because otherwise, this servant will be in a very tough position.”
Gan Qi and Su Yu looked at each other for a long moment, and in the end, Gan Qi didn’t ask anything; he just bowed his head and started to carefully consult the contents of the documents. Su Yu noticed that Gan Qi’s tea had long since cooled and he went off to fetch him a new cup with a tender smile.
No matter the world, his lover was always like this. Even if there were a myriad of secrets surrounding Su Yu, he would still never push for explanations that Su Yu was reluctant to give.
When Gan Qi had finished reading the contents of all the papers, the sky outside was already very dark. A candle had been lit in the Imperial study, and just as Gan Qi raised his head, a cup of steaming hot tea appeared in his view.
“Your Majesty should drink this hot tea first, it will relieve some of your fatigue.” Su Yu said as he stood to the side with a smile.
Gan Qi felt his heart warm up. He took the teacup and then suddenly frowned as he had a thought. “Have you been standing there all this time?”
“Yes, this servant naturally should stay close to Your Majesty, so that I can be of aid whenever needed. Is there something wrong with that?” Su Yu stared at Gan Qi in pretend confusion.
Gan Qi’s brow furrowed even harder and he pointed to a chair next to him, “Who asked you to stand for so long? Go sit down.”
Su Yu smiled and obediently went to the chair to sit down. Only upon seeing this did Gan Qi’s face ease slightly. Pointing at the thick stack of paper, he began, “Lil’ Shun, what you’ve brought over are of extreme importance to Zhen. Zhen really does not know how to thank you.”
“Your Majesty’s praise is difficult for this servant to accept. Serving Your Majesty is this servant’s joy. If Your Majesty feels comfortable sharing your thoughts and worries, then it is this servant’s honour. That being said,” At this, Su Yu paused a little, “there is indeed something this servant would like.”
“Say it,” Gan Qi nodded encouragingly,
Su Yu looked directly at Gan Qi and stated his request, “Before Your Majesty makes your final decision, this servant would like to go have a chat with the 7th Wangye first.”
Translator: Lone Wolf Translations