After the imperial decree was announced, the imperial court and masses were in an uproar.
They could let it be if it's just Fang Xu, but the arrival of the eldest princess, a woman, in the army was unexpected. Moreover, Zhao Changyu sent the princess, but left Prince Qin in Jing- a thought provoking decision.
Many people began to speculate that although he and Prince Qin were fully blood-related brothers, the relationship between the two was not as good as it seemed.
(T/N: Basically, they share the same father and mother. Meaning they are fully related than just being half-brothers, which is just sharing one parent)
When Prince Qin received the report at his residence, he broke everything in the house. "I, a prince, actually lost to a little girl! My foolish imperial brother would actually rather give the country’s military power to an outsider than to me!”
"Wangye, since the emperor is not benevolent, we can’t be blamed for being unrighteous." An advisor in the prince's mansion said, "We sent a maid to his palace. As long as some of that is slowly added to his food, he will fall ill soon. The princess and her husband will be away, and the crown prince is still young. Then wouldn't Da Mao be in the charge of Wangye?"
(T/N: Wangye is a term to address someone of a high status respectfully, like prince, nobleman etc)
When Prince Qin heard this, his expression changed. He coincidently got something good when he went out for a trip last time. It was said that only a small amount is needed when it is added to people’s food. After eating it for three days, they will be poisoned. Although it just looks like common fever or cold, the results were fatal.
Now that his people are in the imperial physician department, they just need to be a bit more careful. With the outside and inside coordinating with each other, Zhao Changyu will never realise it.
"Okay." Prince Qin nodded. Now that the emperor has begun to doubt him, their actions should be fast rather than slow.
However, it was said that when Fang Xu received the decree, the ban had not been lifted off the princess’s residence, so he received the decree with Princess Yu Rong at the Princess Palace. Zhao Yurong originally thought her imperial father was going to dissolve her ban, but she didn't expect that he wanted to send her to the battlefield instead.
"The battlefield is dangerous. Princess, are you sure you want to enter the palace and meet the emperor?" Fang Xu said, slightly worried. It was difficult for him to oppose the decree, but he was also worried about his newly-married wife.
"Don't worry. Although bengong never commanded soldiers, I’ve always followed my imperial father. When my father was still a prince, he took me to play in the barracks. After Jiu'an was besieged, I also followed my father to help and kill the enemies. At that time, I hadn’t even reached the age of fifteen!" Yu Rong said. She was talented in martial arts since she was a child and Zhao Changyu even personally taught her martial arts. She followed him in the barracks at a young age, only restraining herself when she became a princess.
(T/N: ben gong 本宫 meaning 'I' Not just anyone can use it. Empress or imperial concubine with their own palaces can use thus. Grown up princesses also with their own palaces can also use this.)
“I know.” Fang Xu said.
That year, he also participated in the battle where Zhao Changyu returned to aid Jiu'an. They fought a bloody battle for nine days and nine nights before they finally rescued Jiu'an and drove the Beiyuan people all the way to the north of Yanzhou. It was also in that battle that he saw the young girl donned in armor. She was obviously the thinnest and weakest, but she was always on the front line, not even the slightest bit inferior to them men.
After the battle ended, he unintentionally saw the girl's blood-stained face, graced with a smile even more dazzling than the most beautiful peach blossoms in spring.
After Fang Xu and Yurong received the imperial decree, they used the fastest speed to gather in their troops and to appoint a general. They took three thousand light cavalry out of the city, and joined the 200,000 troops gathered from different places at Fengzhou to fend off the enemy together.
When they left, Zhao Changyu and Ye Huai stood at the top of the city wall and watched them go far away.
Zhao Yurong rode on the horse and waved at them, shouting: "Imperial father! Wait for our good news!"
Zhao Changyu's face was calm, but the hand under his wide sleeves pinched Ye Huai's hand painfully.It shook from the excess force being used. "Zhen sent my own daughter to the battlefield." Zhao Changyu said.
"Your Majesty, this is what the princess wants. Look at how beautifully she smiles." Ye Huai comforted him.
Zhao Changyu finally relaxed a little, but after returning to the palace, he expressed clearly with his actions that his anxiety cannot be relieved by just words. Ye Huai was tossed by him from day to night. When Zhao Changyu finished tossing he went to deal with the important affairs of the country vigorously, but Ye Huai lay on the bed and sighed: they're both men, why is he (ZCX) so energetic, but he (YH) gets back pain after he was done by someone?
After Ye Huai finished showering, he touched a certain painful and hot place. He was sad to find that he would have to drink porridge again for about three days.
Three days later, during the afternoon, Ye Huai wrote words in Zhao Changyu's study as usual. However, now his treatment was better, Zhao Changyu gave him a stool so that he can sit for a while when he is tired from writing.
After Ye Huai had just finished copying a page, Zhao Changyu picked up a memorial and said to Ye Huai: "Your method is good. Recently, Huizhou has been suffering from a small drought. With the loan relief strategies, they’ve managed to cope. It’s much cheaper, but even more effective."
"Your Majesty is flattering me. I didn’t think of it alone, Hua Shangshu should also be thanked for his hard work." Ye Huai said.
(T/N: This minister: He's referring to himself.)
"En, well said. Zhen has to give Hua Nan a good reward." Zhao Changyu said. Later that day, he made an edict. The Minister of Revenue, Hua Nan, was awarded with the high-ranking title of Crown Prince’s Deputy Imperial Tutor. The Left Assistant Minister of Revenue, Gu Chengzi, was also titled the Crown Prince’s Deputy Protector.
The crown prince’s deputy officials were empty titles, generally used to reward meritorious officials and give honor. The six titles have always been awarded to outstanding individuals, but only Ye Huai received an official post with the title
Translator’s Note: The six titles are a crown prince’s imperial tutor + deputy, imperial advisor + deputy, and his imperial protector + deputy.
In just two months, he has become a legend in the dynasty.
For a while, there were those who praised him for his youthfulness and those who derogated him. Everybody flew up to Zhao Changyu's table to curry favour with him, but before Zhao Changyu could say a word, for l he fell ill.
The illness came suddenly without any signs. It was probably because he spent a long time in the bath the day before, so he had a fever the next day.
The emperor being unable to attend court was a big matter. In his illness, Zhao Changyu woke and slept in random bouts. Thus, when he woke up for the first time, he made an edict to let the crown prince supervise the country, and for Ye Huai, as a fellow of Zhongji Temple and an assistant minister in the cabinet, to assist the prince.
"You don't need to do a lot, just take care of the crown prince for Zhen. Don't be instigated by unworthy people. If someone makes things difficult for him, help protect him for Zhen." Zhao Changyu, in his illness, was groggy as he held Ye Huai's hand. Through all the plots and schemes, one after another, only Ye Huai remained loyal. That was why at this point, he did not hesitate to hand over the auxiliary power to Ye Huai.
However, after seeing the Crown Prince, Ye Huai immediately realised assisting him would not be an easy task.
The biggest thing about being an advisor to the Emperor or Crown Prince was trust.. As an advisor, if your employer trusts you, then you are very important. If your employer does not trust you and even excludes you, then you would never have an opportunity to prove your use.
Ye Huai soon had his second meeting with him.
When Ye Huai saw the crown prince again, it was completely different from their first meeting. The crown prince didn’t mince his words at all.
Ye Huai: "Xiao Lingling, what's wrong with this kid?"
The crown prince, Zhao Qifeng, was only fourteen years old this year. In the eyes of Ye Huai, he was just a kid who has not even graduated from junior high school.
520: "He probably found out that you might become his stepmother, so he's throwing a tantrum!"
Ye Huai: "..." How do I answer this...
520: "Or stepdad?"
Ye Huai: "..." I refuse to admit it.
520: "What are you going to do?"
Ye Huai: "Let's see first. As long as Prince Qin doesn't make trouble, Zhao Changyu's throne can't be thrown away, so it's alright. As for this second-year junior high kid, he should succeed the throne if he can.”
As a result, the imperial advisor Ye Huai was even more leisurely than when he was a minister. He didn't even need to accompany the emperor, so he just wandered around the city of Jiu'an every day after the roll-call was done.
When passing by the plum cake store on Zuiweng Pavilion street, Ye Huai deliberately bought two large boxes.
When he first came, he was so poor that he could only buy one. Now that he was rich, he could finally buy the plum cake he had been dreaming of.. "Just thinking about it makes my heart hurt!" Ye Huai said to 520.
The plum cake shop was still the same, but the beautiful plum blossom girl had married Jiang Hao. After they got married, Zhao Changyu transferred Jiang Hao to Youzhou Hanwu County to be its county magistrate. The two left together.
520: "It's only a few months, it hasn't even reached half a year!"
Ye Huai: "Let’s take some back for Zhao Changyu to taste it. He should be about to wilt away from drinking medicine everyday, right?"
520: "As a doctor, can you speak in a more civilized manner?"
Ye Huai: "I'm very civilized, don't misinterpret my innocent words with your dirty thoughts."
520: "..." Innocent? I want to vomit!
"Ah, why is this place shaking?" Ye Huai was about to go back when he felt the ground suddenly shake, almost causing him to drop the plum cakes.
Everybody screamed “Earthquake!!” and fled everywhere. After a while, the shaking finally stopped.
Ye Huai: "Xiao Lingling, why does this feel so familiar?"
520: "What feeling?"
Ye Huai: "It shaked, but it also seemed like it didn't shake... Just like in 2008, it's over! You quickly see if there is a major earthquake somewhere!"
520: "I'm checking... found it, it's Youzhou."
Ye Huai: "Blessings never come in pairs and misfortunes never come alone!" Ye Huai rushed towards the palace with his plum cakes.
The shaking had also caused a big commotion in the palace. n as Ye Huai entered the palace gate, he saw Chen Yan running wildly, "Master Gu, His Majesty is summoning you.”
"His Majesty is awake?" Ye Huai threw the plum cake to the little eunuch who Chen Yan had brought, lifted his robes, and followed Chen Yan to Zhao Changyu's bedroom.
When Ye Huai came in, the prince had already received the news and was guarding Zhao Changyu's bedside. When he saw Ye Huai entered, his face instantly darkened a little. However, his good education made him know to hide it.
"Crown Prince, you can go out first, I have something to tell Gu Qing." Zhao Changyu leaned against the bed, his voice still weak.
The crown prince obediently saluted Zhao Changyu and retired. Before going out, he glared at Ye Huai, giving him a clear warning.
Ye Huai rubbed his heart. The child couldn’t do much harm compared to his father, so Ye Huai just gave him a friendly wink. The prince was taken aback by his flirtatious glance and couldn’t help but blush, his pace quickening as he rushed out the door.
The author has something to say:
Thank you for your support, mwah!