Chapter 44 | Arc 3.
Yue Hong jerked up, completely not expecting what she had just heard. What had the Emperor just said? He actually wanted to send her to the Hall of Punishment?!
That was a place that nobody ever left from once they’ve entered!
Extremely frightened, Yue Hong was just about to beg for mercy when a guard stepped up and gagged her, dragging her out. Yue Hong never would have expected that in just an instant, she would fall from the respected manager of Joyful Palace to a tragic servant sent to the Hall of Punishment!
When the palace quieted down, that person’s visage crept to the forefront of Gan Qi’s mind again, uninvited.
Gan Qi sighed. In the end he was unable to suppress the strong feelings surging through his heart. He got up and went outside of the palace. When he saw a few servants hurry to follow him, Gan Qi narrowed his eyes in displeasure and stated, “Don’t follow me.”
Behind him, the servants exchanged a glance, but eventually stopped following.
Gan Qi walked a bit, and rested a bit, until he eventually came to a stop in front of a small courtyard. This was the residence of Lil’ Shun, and he had never stepped foot into this place before.
Of course, as a servant’s residence, the master naturally had no need to visit. This was how he had always felt, but at this moment, Gan Qi only felt a strong attraction pulling at him. He desperately wanted to enter, but had to muster up the courage to first.
Just as Gan Qi was hesitating over whether he should push open the door, or make some noise to announce his presence first, the courtyard door suddenly opened from the inside. The elusive figure who had been haunting his thoughts also slowly appeared in the sight.
For just a moment, Gan Qi felt as if all his yearnings had been fulfilled, and his previously irritable mood also calmed down.
The person at the door also looked up, very surprised, and then hurriedly bowed, “This servant greets the Emperor. This servant had no idea Your Majesty was standing just outside, please forgive the intrusion.”
“No worries, Zhen was just walking around,” Gan Qi replied without batting an eye, staring at the other man as if he could never see enough. He thought of the other man opening of the door, and casually inquired, “Where are you going?”
Su Yu scratched his head and smiled, “This servant was not going anywhere in particular. Being in this yard for several days has grown stuffy and I wanted to stretch my limbs a little, lest this body grows lazy.”
Gan Qi subconsciously wanted to ask questions, such as ‘then why didn’t you come to serve me?’ but in the end he remember that it was himself who had sent the other away, so what he eventually said became, “Your body has healed?”
“This servant has a tough body, roughened through the years. This is nothing.” Su Yu replied, smiling lightly. With his system mall, there wasn’t much that he couldn’t heal from!
Gan Qi nodded, wanting to say something, but couldn’t find a suitable topic. He really was not very good at these kinds of things.
“Since Your Majesty is here, would you like to come in?” Su Yu asked with a hint of carefulness. Then, he followed up with self-deprecation as soon as he had extended the invitation. “Actually, forget that. This servant’s yard is too humble, it will defile the Emperor’s eyes.”
Watching Su Yu put on a show of inferiority, Gan Qi’s heart clenched in pain. “Zhen wants to come in and see.”
Saying that, Gan Qi resolutely stepped inside. The courtyard was very small, with a small gravel road down the middle. On both sides were a variety of peach trees, and under the trees stood a small stone table. At the end of the path stood the small house.”
For common people, this was definitely already a luxurious home, but to Gan Qi’s eyes, he only felt that he had deeply wronged his faithful servant all these years.
“Starting tomorrow, you will move into the side courtyard adjacent to Zhen’s palace.” Gan Qi spoke without thinking, and as soon as he opened his mouth, he realized that this probably wasn’t very appropriate. However, since he had already spoken these words, he couldn’t take them back, right?
Su Yu looked with surprise at Gan Qi, and bowed delighted, “Your Majesty is so compassionate, this servant is truly grateful.”
Gan Qi uncomfortably moved his eyes away. Stepping into the house, he saw that there was only a simple looking bed, with the room sparsely furnished with a small table and cabinet. This caused Gan Qi to inexplicably feel very angry, so he turned around and went back outside into the yard.
Su Yu had been respectfully following him, not saying a word. Once Gan Qi arrived back outside though, he spoke with a hint of embarrassment, “This servant’s yard is too humble, there’s not even a place to sit. It’s not worthy of Your Majesty.”
Gan Qi thought the yard was too rudimentary, so he lifted his chin and proclaimed, “Go and pack, Zhen will bring you over to the other courtyard right now.”
How could Lil’ Shun flourish in a cramped place like this?
Su Yu was a little dazed, but he quickly recovered and replied with a grin, “Please wait a moment, Your Majesty. This servant will hurry and pack up right now.”
And so very soon after, Su Yu left his courtyard carrying a small bag, following after Gan Qi to the side courtyard adjacent to the main palace.
The courtyard adjacent to the main palace was luxurious and comfortable, but no one lived there. Now that someone was finally moving in, Gan Qi instructed the servants to be extra diligent in tidying it up.
Su Yu sat on the bed in his new room, but his eyes wandered until they landed on the main palace. It probably wouldn’t be long before he moves into there, right?
But before that, he had to settle things here first.
Gan Qi, in the main palace, also happened to be thinking of Su Yu in the side courtyard. He would have liked to directly settle the other into his own main palace, but he wasn’t sure how to achieve that. Therefore, for the time being, he couldn’t act carelessly.
Thinking of that, Gan Qi closed his eyes with some irritation and weariness, taking a long deep breath.
While these two people were enjoying the closer proximity and bemoaning the wall separating them, on the other side, Qin Yiran’s entire being felt unwell after she heard that Yue Hong had been sent to the Hall of Punishment.
“What are you talking about? Say it again!” Qin Yiran seized the maid who had just delivered the news tightly, her eyes wide with disbelief.
The little maid winced in pain, but timidly repeated the words once again, “Yue Hong has been sent to the Hall of Punishment by the Emperor. This servant heard it from an eunuch serving His Majesty.”
“How could this happen! Why would he send Yue Hong to the Hall of Punishment!” Once again receiving the same answer, Qin Yiran’s annoyed gaze shifted away from the little girl and she began to anxiously pace back and forth in the room, “That Gan Qi, how dare he treat this Consort’s people like that!”
The maid was thrown to the ground, but the atmosphere was so frightening that she didn’t dare make a sound. This was the first time she’d seen Qin Yiran so enraged.
“No, this Consort demands an explanation. This is too much!” Qin Yiran was so angry she completely lost her mind. Standing up, she was about to head out but a maid standing to the side cautiously stopped her.
“Esteemed Consort, you are angry, but you can’t go to see the Emperor right now.” The palace maid appeared very unremarkable and ordinary, but there was a calmness and sophistication to her eyes which didn’t match her age.
Qin Yiran sharply retorted, “He sentenced my closest aid to the Hall of Punishment, why shouldn’t this Consort go and demand an answer?”
Despite hearing her master scream back at her, Yue Lian remained calm and steady. Looking straight at Qin Yiran, she said, “Esteemed Consort, you must not forget your status.”
Being looked at with those penetrative eyes, Qin Yiran finally managed to regain some of her senses. However, she was still breathless with rage on this matter.
Seeing Qin Yiran slowly calm down, Yue Lian finally spared the other maid a glance, walking over to where the other had collapsed on the floor. “Are you alright?”
“This servant … this servant is fine. ” The little girl was shivering all over, and could not even lift her eyes.
Yue Lian soothingly patted her on the shoulder, saying softly, “The Esteemed Consort had a momentary lapse of judgement just now. You must not take it to heart.”
The little girl lowered her head and did not speak, evidently very frightened.
“Well, why don’t you leave now.” Yue Lian put her hand down and smiled.
The maid – as if grasping a lifesaving straw – hurriedly saluted and scampered out of the room. What she did not know was that behind her back, Yue Lian looked at her with the gaze that one would use on a dead person.
Once there were only two people left in the palace, Yue Lian walked back to Qin Yiran’s side and helped her sit down at the table, whispering warmly, “This servant knows that the Esteemed Consort cares very much for Yue Hong, so you experienced a surge of complicated emotions just now. However, you must keep in mind that here at the palace, the walls have ears and people will judge – if someone unsavoury were to find out your true feelings, then nothing good will come of that, and you may never see the person you’re waiting for again.”
Hearing this, Qin Yiran finally fully regained her senses. However, she was also filled with resentment; Gan Qi had admired her, promised to be loving and considerate, and yet what did he do? He actually sent her lifelong companion, Yue Hong who had been with her since childhood, to the Hall of Punishment!
How could Gan Qi…. How could he treat her like this!
“Esteemed Consort is angry, and this servant understands, but have you considered this? If you were truly to rush in all angry like this, would you actually be able to save Yue Hong?” Yue Lian gently coaxed. “Since the Emperor dare to act against Yue Hong, it’s obvious that he is already unhappy with you. If you were to rush up like this, then that would only harm Yue Hong in the end ah.”
Although Qin Yiran didn’t want to admit it, she felt that this made a lot of sense. Gan Qi acting out was probably to retaliate against her previous actions of punishing Lil’ Shun.
Clearly the other was the king of a country, and yet he was so narrow-minded… it really makes other people feel disgusted!
Qin Yiran, frowning in disgust, reluctantly asked, “The how do you think this Consort should act?”
“If the Esteemed Consort truly wants to save Yue Hong, then I’m afraid the only thing you can do is mend your relationship with His Majesty.” Yue Lian lowered her head, and her dark eyes flashed with a meaningful light.
Upon hearing this, Qin Yiran’s face of disgust became even more apparent. “Gan Qi, even looking at him disgusts this Consort. If you want me to mend our relationship, then I would rather stab myself with a knife!”
Earlier, she had agreed to let Yue Hong go and find Gan Qi because she was expecting him to come running to her, full of apologies. Never once had she thought that she’d have to do the chasing and pleading!
Yue Lian inwardly sneered at Qin Yiran’s stupidity, but put on a face of caring empathy on the outside. “This servant knows, but right now Yue Hong is in great peril. If you don’t rescue her soon, then this servant is afraid that….”
Yue Lian’s words were subtle, but the meaning was very clear. Qin Yiran clenched her teeth and eventually replied sullenly, “This Consort understands.”
Translator: Lone Wolf Translations