Chapter 47 | Arc 3.
Gan Qi forcefully choked back the words that were at the tip of his tongue, his face also slowly darkening like the bottom of a black pot. Su Yu, as if completely unaware, continued to say infuriating words in a light and optimistic tone. “This servant is just a lowly aid. Your Majesty’s benevolence and tolerance of this servant is only due to the many years of loyal dedication. Your Majesty has not looked at me differently at all, wouldn’t you agree?”
With that, Su Yu looked at Gan Qi with a smile on his face, seeking affirmation.
Gan Qi’s heart was very bitter. Sure enough, his object of affection only defended him out of loyalty for a master, and not out of love for someone they truly cherished.
Despite clearly knowing this, hearing this from his object of affection’s mouth still caused Gan Qi to feel intense heartache. Even though he had not yet confessed he was already rejected. This really was a bitter feeling.
“Yes, it’s as you say.” Gan Qi spoke with thick bitterness. He thought that this was already the most wretched he could feel, but little did he know that there was still more heartache to come.
Two hours later, just as Gan Qi – full of sadness – was getting ready to sleep, Su Yu bowed and came in with a tray, slowly approaching Gan Qi. The tray was covered in a red cloth and Gan Qi couldn’t see what was below, but he still felt an ominous premonition start to rise, a conditioned response to Su Yu’s antics.
When Su Yu stopped in front of him, Gan Qi frowned and asked, “What is this?”
Su Yu only smiled and reached out to uncover the tray, taking away the red cloth and slowly revealing rows upon rows of unflipped tiles. There were exactly 18 of them.
Gan Qi’s eyebrows jumped up, and his forehead wrinkled even more, “What are you trying to do?”
“As Your Majesty can see, the servant is waiting for Your Majesty to flip a tile.” Su Yu smiled guilelessly.
Both of Gan Qi’s eyebrows shot up. If he remembered correctly, there was only one person in his whole harem, and he had also just sent that person away. What was written on those 18 tiles?
Was it all empty, or did it all have the same name written upon it?
But no matter what it said, Gan Qi had no intentions of flipping any tiles. “I don’t want to flip a tile.” [T/N: Reminder – flipping tiles was how emperors chose their bedpartner for the night. The names of the women in their harem are carved on tiles, and all the tiles are presented to the emperor. He then flips over the name of the girl that he wishes to spend the night with.]
Su Yu inched his face forward, thinking, ‘If you actually dare to flip a tile, then watch me castrate you. We can be eunuchs together.’ But on the outside, he smiled and said, “The servant personally prepared these tiles. Won’t Your Majesty flip one over?”
“I don’t want to flip one over!” For all other things, Gan Qi could acquiesce to his object of affection’s demands, but for this matter, he couldn’t relent. Otherwise, how could he be worthy of the other’s heart?
Su Yu, seeing Gan Qi refuse so adamantly, decided to cut his lover some slack. He hesitated for a moment and then placed the tray on the table, slowly raising his hands in front of Gan Qi. “Your Majesty, this servant personally engraved these tiles. As you can see, this servant’s hands have been hurt and bruised. Seeing how hard I’ve work on these, wouldn’t Your Majesty please flip a tile?”
Su Yu’s two hands, looking slim and delicate and now marred by shallow red lines, instantly provoked Gan Qi’s protective desires.
“Why were you so careless?” Gan Qi grabbed Su Yu’s hand but didn’t dare to use too much force, deeply scared of hurting the other.
Su Yu let Gan Qi hold his hand and said with a slight smile, “Isn’t it because of these tiles? The servant worked so hard on them. Won’t Your Majesty flip one?”
In order to complete his main task, Su Yu was in quite a dilemma. Eventually, he had come up with this idea.
At these words, Gan Qi’s heartache didn’t decrease one bit. Rather, he became more helpless. His object of affection wanted him to flip a tile, who could understand his pain?
On one hand, Gan Qi was still hesitating over how to reject his object of affection’s demands without hurting the other’s feelings, when Su Yu suddenly grabbed his hand and dragged it over to a tile lying at a corner of the tray.
Gan Qi jerked with surprise and tried to react but it was too late. The tile had already been flipped over. He felt a little anger and a lot of helplessness, and was just about to reprimand his mischievous sweetheart when he saw what was carved and suddenly froze. “To…fu?”
Could someone tell him, why was this kind of thing engraved on the tiles carefully prepared for him by his household manager??
Su Yu smiled as he picked up the tile and heard Round Ball announce that his main task had progressed from 0% to 2%. His mood instantly became a lot better. “Since Your Majesty has chosen tofu, then tomorrow morning you must eat at least 3 chopsticks’ worth of it.”
Although in theory flipping tiles was how ancient emperors chose their bedpartner for the night, the main task did not clarify this point. Therefore, there wasn’t any harm if Su Yu did a bit of creative interpretation, right?
The corners of Gan Qi’s mouth twitched as he look at Su Yu, and then his gaze fell on the rest of the tiles which he had not flipped. In his heart, an ominous premonition began to rise again.
“Is Your Majesty wondering what is engraved on the other tiles? Your Majesty must not worry, this servant will come by every night to ask the emperor to flip over a tile.” The 18 tiles were all engraved with foods that Gan Qi detested, and he had taken a lot of time to come up with all of them.
Seeing Su Yu smile as he placed the red cloth back over the tray, Gan Qi only felt the bitterness in his heart expand to also fill his mouth and taste buds. However, when he thought of the hand he had just held, his unhappiness drifted away – those hands were so soft and nice to hold!
Just as Gan Qi’s eyes began to emit a faint green light, Su Yu dragged Gan Qi’s thoughts back to reality and said with a smile, “It’s become very late. This servant will help you get ready for bed.”
Gan Qi’s eyes instantly emitted an uplifting, radiant light, and somewhere else on his body also lifted up. However, at this time, no matter how uplifting everything was, it was only self-torture.
Aware of this, the light in Gan Qi’s eyes slowly dissipated, and he secretly took a deep breath. Striving to control his heart and body and to push down the throbbing pressure, he intoned with difficulty, “No need. Today Zhen does not need you to serve.”
Just by seeing this man, Gan Qi almost couldn’t control the pounding of his heart. If the other were to come close and help him change again, then he is afraid that he wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight.
“Your Majesty does not want this servant to serve you… are you rejecting this servant again?” Su Yu brought out his earlier trick and put on a sad expression.
Should he torment himself, or let his dear sweetheart feel sad? Gan Qi gave a helpless sigh and quickly came to a decision. “Alright, come aid Zhen. Afterwards, you should go to sleep as well. Don’t stand vigil overnight – leave that to some other servant. Tomorrow, you can also take the day off. You need to rest since you’ve just recovered.”
“This servant thanks Your Majesty for the kindness.” Su Yu grinned and proceeded to help Gan Qi change his clothes, naturally eating some tofu along the process.
After eating his tofu, Su Yu went to sleep in a good mood. As for whether Gan Qi could sleep after that, Su Yu professed that he’ll only care about that after he settled all accounts between them.
With Gan Qi’s special decree, Su Yu slept until he woke up naturally the next day. Actually, he woke up once in the middle – he’s always been a very alert person, and when someone suddenly appeared by his bedside, Su Yu had naturally woken up – but once he realized that it was just his lover who had sneaked over, he rolled over and went back to sleep.
What he didn’t know was that after he had gone back to sleep, Gan Qi had almost kissed him. It really was an ‘almost’ – there was only a small distance left between them, but in the end Gan Qi endured and managed to not act on his impulses.
After his breakfast, Su Yu wandered into the royal kitchen and called the Head Chef over to inquire, “Has Consort Yi’s meal already been prepared?”
The Head Chef’s eyes flashed and he respectfully replied, “His Majesty had previously allocated a kitchenette to Consort Yi. Therefore, her meals are not prepared here.”
Su Yu raised his eyebrows; he had completely forgotten about that. “Then today onwards, take back the kitchen privileges of Joyful Palace. From now on, prepare Consort Yi’s meals here to be sent over.”
Seeing that the Head Chef didn’t reply, Su Yu added, “This is the Emperor’s command.”
This time, the Head Chef gave an answer, “This servant will carry out these orders.”
Su Yu nodded and then stated lightly and dismissively, “Recently Consort Yi has been experiencing a rise in internal heat. When preparing her meals, add in a bit of Huanglian to help her cool her internal fire.” [T/N: These are all concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Internal heat/fire causes discomfort to the body, and wrecks the body’s natural harmonious balance. Huanglian – known scientifically as Coptis Rhizome – is a medicinal plant.]
The Head Chef secretly gave Su Yu a glance, but in the end agreed, saying, “This servant understands.”
Su Yu looked around the royal kitchen, and then gave a parting word, “You’ve taken good care of this royal kitchen. I’ll make sure His Majesty hears of how well you’ve done.”
“Then this servant thanks Gong Gong for his kindness,” The Head Chef’s smile instantly became much more sincere.
But Su Yu’s face instantly darkened and he became less happy. Why did you call me Gong Gong, we could have continued to have a beautiful working relationship. [T/N: Reminder – Gong Gong refers to high ranking eunuchs. Su Yu hates being reminded he’s a eunuch lol.]
Su Yu headed back to his new residence. Gan Qi had already finished with his morning court session and was currently working inside his royal study. Su Yu was just about to head over to remind the other of his presence when he heard Round Ball suddenly make a sound. “Master Host, I’ve just received some news.”
“What news?” Su Yu turned a corner and went back to his side courtyard.
“A little maid just died in Joyful Palace. Even though it looks like she committed suicide, she was actually poisoned to death,” Round Ball informed Su Yu.
Su Yu was silent for a moment as he thought. “Keep an eye on Yue Lian, don’t give her the opportunity to do anything to Qin Yiran.”
The topic changed too fast, the little ball couldn’t quite keep up. “Didn’t the 7th Wangye send Yue Lian over to help the Female Protagonist? Why would she turn on Qin Yiran?”
“The 7th Wangye is completely different from an IQ-less-Gan Qi. How much do you think he really loves Qin Yiran? Even if he did like her, it was still tied in with how useful she was to him. Now that Gan Qi’s attitude towards Qin Yiran has changed so dramatically, the 7th Wangye’s attitude towards her will definitely change as well. A pawn that has lost its value, what use is there to keep loving it?” Su Yu poured himself a glass of water and continued to explain to Round Ball, “Besides, Yue Lian is not a virtuous person.”
Earlier when Qin Yiran had irritated Gan Qi and had been dragged out, this maidservant was present the whole time. However, not once had she pled for mercy on her master’s behalf.
Round Ball gave an ‘Ah’ of acknowledgement, and just as Su Yu was about to visit Gan Qi to remind the other of his presence, he heard Round Ball speak up again. “Master Host, I’ve just received more news.”
Su Yu raised his eyebrows, “What is it?”
Round Ball flashed slightly, “The 7th Wangye has just arrived at the palace.”
Translator: Lone Wolf Translations