Arc 7: Dizi’s Remarriage Chapter 11
Before his last return to the capital, Lei Yuan had already captured a strategically vital city at the Beiliang Guan. He stationed soldiers there to ensure that this city would not be reclaimed by the nomadic tribes of Beiliang.
Although this city was incomparable to the capital, it was considered the largest and best in Beiliang Guan. Currently, it is also the safest place within Beiling Guan. Lei Yuan didn’t want Tao Yuan to endure unnecessary hardship, so he decided to temporarily place him there.
After staying for a few days, Tao Yuan felt that compared to the experiences of the previous host’s life, this place was incredibly comfortable. Sure enough, choosing the right person was indeed a very important matter.
In Lei Yuan’s he was tending to official matters while Tao Yuan sat to the side reading a book. The room was warmed by a crackling fireplace.
After finishing writing a letter, Lei Yuan looked up and saw Tao Yuan, immersed in his reading, looking very cute and charming. His rosy cheeks and lips tempted Lei Yuan with an irresistible desire to take a bite.
Lei Yuan rose from his seat and walked over to Tao Yuan, wrapping his arm around his shoulder, gently turning him to face him. He pinched Tao Yuan’s chin and then leaned in for a kiss.
Tao Yuan set his book aside, then wrapped his arms around Lei Yuan’s neck, returning his kiss. Their tongues danced and teased each other, igniting their passion.
“Your Majesty, I have a matter to report,” a voice sounded from outside the door.
Tao Yuan quickly pushed Lei Yuan away and stood up, quickly walking into the small room within the study.
“Come in,” Lei Yuan responded.
When Xiao Junye’s subordinate entered, he quickly reported, “Your Majesty, Yanwu Wang retreated.”
“Retreated?” Lei Yuan paused and asked, “Why did he retreat?”
“According to our spies, Yanwu Wang attempted to capture the city that had been seized, just like Your Majesty. However, the casualties were severe, and he himself got injured, so he decided to withdraw,” the subordinate explained.
“How severe are his injuries?” Lei Yuan wanted to know just how badly he was injured to make the decision to retreat.
“I don’t know, Your Majesty.”
“You may leave for now,” Lei Yuan ordered.
Tao Yuan emerged from the inner room and asked Lei Yuan, “With Yanwu Wang injured and retreating, what do you think he plans to do next?”
“It’s been several months. Even if he had’t been injured, his supplies must be running low,” Lei Yuan commented. “If I’m not mistaken, he’ll come to me for provisions, then pass through this city as a detour on his way to attack Jiyun Dao 1.”
“Will you lend them, Your Majesty?” Tao Yuan inquired.
“Letting him borrow is not impossible, but…”
“But we can’t let him borrow for nothing. There must be conditions that greatly benefit Your Majesty, right?” Tao Yuan said as he walked over and sat on his lap.
“Exactly,” Lei Yuan pinched his chin, then lifted him and walked into the small room. He laid Tao Yuan down on the bed and proceeded to undo his clothing.
Tao Yuan’s breath quickened in response to his actions, watching as his pants were completely removed.
Inside the carriage, Qu Feng curled up in a corner with his eyes closed. He was completely exhausted and had fallen asleep. Meanwhile, Yan Hao sat with his eyes closed. His complexion was deathly pale and disheveled.
In this life, without Qu Cang’s assistance, Yan Hao had already mentally prepared himself for the challenges of waging war after arriving at the Beiliang Guan. But he didn’t expect to suffer miserably, being devastating defeat and getting wounded. The thought of almost dying on the battlefield filled him with regret. If he had known, he would have done whatever it took to marry Qu Yun before coming to the Beiliang Guan. Then, once his power had expanded, he could have found a way to deal with Qu Cang and Qu Yun.
When Yan Hao and his troops arrived outside Hancheng, it was already the dead of night. Soldiers went to request entry, but the soldiers manning the city gates replied that it was too late, their king had retired for the night, and they would have to wait until the next morning to deliver their message.
Yan Hao knew this was surely an order given by Lei Yuan in advance. Despite being angry, he had no choice but to endure it. They had to spend the night outside the city.
The following morning, after Lei Yuan and Tao Yuan had breakfast in their usual leisurely manner, they had their subordinates inform the guards to allow Yan Hao to enter the city, with no more than fifty accompanying soldiers.
Qu Feng and Yan Hao had spent an uncomfortable night together in the carriage, so when they heard they could finally enter the city, they quickly tidied themselves and urged their soldiers to drive the carriage into the city.
Tao Yuan and Lei Yuan sat in the main seats of the hall, watching as Yan Hao and Qu Feng walked in.
Once they were seated, Tao Yuan looked at Yan Hao and said, “Although Yanwu Wang appears quite worn, he doesn’t seem to have any significant injuries. Since he can still walk, why would he retreat just due to minor wounds?”
“…I’ve been injured in the waist and abdomen. While I can still walk, I can’t ride a horse, so I decided to temporarily withdraw,” Yan Hao explained for himself.
Both Yan Hao and Qu Feng looked considerably haggard. As a man, Yan Hao maintained his mental state despite being so tired. But Qu Feng appeared to have changed. Not only did he look much older on the outside, but he also looked mentally unsettled.
“Why does Yanwu Wang, as the commander-in-chief, need to lead the troops in person? Wouldn’t it suffice to remain in the camp?” Tao Yuan deliberately asked with a tone of feigned curiosity. “Could it be that Yanwu Wang has no capable subordinates left? My father told me that when the old Yanwu Wang was still alive, he had many competent generals under his command.”
Tao Yuan was intentionally mocking him. In this lifetime, without Qu Cang, Yan Hao had no capable generals under his command.
Yan Hao clenched his fists, then pretended not to have heard Tao Yuan’s comment and turned to Lei Yuan. “I have an important matter I wish to discuss with Leiwu Wang.”
Tao Yuan slowly stood from his seat and said to Lei Yuan, “Your Majesty, I’ll retire to my chambers for a rest.”
Lei Yuan nodded as he watched Tao Yuan walk out. Seeing Tao Yuan leaving, Qu Feng quickly stood up and followed him out.
After the two of them left the main hall, Tao Yuan intended to return to his courtyard, but Qu Feng followed closely behind.
Tao Yuan turned to look at him and asked, “Why are you following me?”
Qu Feng gazed at him with a flattering smile and said, “Cousin, could you arrange a courtyard for me to freshen up and rest? Even the simplest one will do!”
“After Yanwu Wang finishes discussing matters with Da Wang, he will leave immediately. We don’t plan on entertaining you. Why should I arrange a courtyard for you?” Tao Yuan said with an expressionless face. “Besides, you’re the type to hold grudges and not show gratitude. I don’t even want to waste a drop of water on you.”
“Cousin, please, at least considering we’re related by blood, let me stay here. I just need one room. Cousin, I promise to stay quietly inside, not to disturb you,” Qu Feng pleaded with an earnest and urgent look. “I beg you. I will definitely repay this favor.”
“Blood ties? Repayment? Do you think I’ll believe your words?” Tao Yuan mocked, chuckling. “Even if what you say is true, actions speak louder. I am Lei Zhengjun, the rightful king, while you are merely a cejun, a side king. Da Wang in every aspect, surpasses Yan Hao. Do you think there will ever be a need for your repayment? And let’s not forget, I distinctly remember when I had you driven out of the courtyard, you said you would make me beg on my knees for mercy.”
“It was my fault before. I was just venting my anger. Can’t you show some mercy and let me stay? I really can’t take it anymore. War is just too terrifying! It’s truly terrifying!” Qu Feng knelt and cried, “I can serve you, pour tea, fetch water, do whatever a servant should do. Just let me stay here. I’ll do anything you ask. Please, I’m begging you, I’m begging you!”
“All of this is what you should endure. Don’t you want to be a zhengjun? You can’t even muster the courage to share the same hardships with Yanwu Wang. What kind of rightful king are you? Do you only want to be a king who indulges in luxury? Well, if that’s what you desire, it’s not impossible. But it’s a pity that Yanwu Wang is not like our king. He can’t take care of you the way Dawang takes care of me. So, endure it.” Tao Yuan said and turned away.
“Cousin!” Qu Feng stood up, wanting to catch up, but he was blocked by Tao Yuan’s attendants. He could only shout loudly, “Cousin, I just need a room to rest for a while. Please, Cousin! I’m begging you!”
Watching Tao Yuan’s retreating figure, Qu Feng cried on the ground for a long time. Then, he stared with determination and muttered to himself, “What’s so great about you?! Sooner or later, there will come a day when you’re in my hands. No matter how you beg me, I won’t let you off easily!”
Everything that should have been enjoyed by the original host in the previous life was taken by Qu Feng. The original host had a non-confrontational personality and willingly yielded everything. Yet, a cejun was trying to overshadow the rightful king. In this life, Tao Yuan was determined to make him endure twice the suffering that the original host experienced in the previous life.
Wasn’t he the one who wanted to be zhengjun of Yanwu Wang? Didn’t he feel that the original host had no right to hold the position of the rightful king? Didn’t he always want to replace the original host, believing that he could do a better job? Tao Yuan would make it all happen, but in his own way.
Yan Hao never begged anyone with such humility. He found it extremely difficult to agree to Lei Yuan’s request, but he had no choice. He felt quite frustrated and aggrieved.
After reaching an agreement, Yan Hao left with Qu Feng.
With each step and each glance back, Qu Feng followed behind Yan Hao, tears streaming down his face. He genuinely didn’t want to leave. He was willing to do the lowest of tasks here because it was better than the constant fear and danger of his previous life. The thought of returning was pushing him to the brink of a breakdown.
Back in the carriage, Yan Hao couldn’t contain his anger any longer. As he watched Qu Feng sob uncontrollably he couldn’t help but get angrier.
Thinking of the past, when Qu Yun was always by his side, taking care of him when he was weary, comforting him when he was in a bad mood. He accompanied him on campaigns, enduring hardships without a single complaint, always being considerate and gentle.
But Qu Feng did nothing but cry, and any little noise would make him scream in fear. Yan Hao was already irritated enough. Qu Feng only added to his annoyance. Yan Hao considered sending him back, but in the past few months at Beiliang Guan, northern rebel refugees had been plundering and killing everywhere they went. Yan Hao’s soldiers had suffered severe casualties, and they couldn’t spare a significant force to escort Qu Feng back at the moment.
“Stop crying!” Yan Hao finally let out his pent-up frustration, shouting loudly, “Is crying the only thing you know how to do? If I knew what kind of person you are, I wouldn’t have brought you here! You insisted on coming along, and now all you do is cry. Cry one more time, and I’ll throw you off this carriage to cry your heart out!”
“I’m sorry, I won’t cry anymore. I promise not to cry. Please, Your Highness, don’t throw me off,” Qu Feng immediately wiped away his tears and begged.
“In my past life, when Qu Yun followed me, he was completely different from you. He took care of me and showed concern. You keep saying you’ll do better than him, but in these few months, aside from crying, have you ever taken care of me? When I got injured, did you show any concern for my condition?” Yan Hao questioned.
“I… I’m just too scared. I had no idea that war could be this terrifying. Your cousin had some experience because he was around my uncle when he was younger, but I’ve never been through anything like this,” Qu Feng pleaded, clinging to Yan Hao’s leg. “My king, please, allow me to stay in Hancheng. If I stay by your side, I’ll only be a burden. Once I get used to everything, I promise to serve you faithfully.”
“Did Qu Yun say anything about you staying behind?” Yan Hao asked.
“N-No, he didn’t. I asked him, but he wouldn’t allow it. So, I thought, if my king were to speak, they would surely agree,” Qu Feng replied anxiously.
“Hancheng is the territory of Leiwe Wang. If I leave you here, it’s equivalent to entrusting your care to him, and I must agree to his terms,” Yan Hao declared with a cold demeanor. “So, endure it. If you dare to cry or cause a scene again, I’ll casually find another place to settle you.”
Qu Feng covered his mouth and forced himself to hold back his tears, determined not to let them spill.
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- 吉云道 Jí yún dào: Lucky/ Giga Cloud Road/Ridge/Path