Arc 7: Dizi’s Remarriage Chapter 15
After coaxing Qu Li into sleep, Tao Yuan carefully placed him on the bed, so he could rest well. Observing the tear stains on Qu Li’s face, Tao Yuan’s heart ached deeply.
The mere thought of nearly causing harm to Qu Li, whom he had been looking after for just two days, left Tao Yuan’s chest tightened, an inexplicable heaviness plaguing him. If it hadn’t been for his quick reflexes and timely activation of his spiritual power to repel that spirit fox, preventing Qu Li from being injured by it, he would have been too ashamed to face Miao Chen.
At the thought that he had just taken care of Qu Li for two days and almost hurt him, Tao Yuan his chest tightening as if there’s a lump of air in his chest. It made him very uncomfortable. If it had not been for his quick reaction and timely mobilization of spiritual power to repel the spirit fox, preventing Qu Li from being injured by it, he would have no face to see Miao Chen.
“Wangjun,” Jiang Yu entered quietly, speaking in hushed tones, “The two princes from the Kingdom of Sang requested an audience with you.”
“Hmph, I was just about to meet them,” Tao Yuan instructed, “Have them wait in the outer chamber.”
Tao Yuan savored a cup of tea, lingered a while longer by Qu Li’s side, purposely delaying for a bit before leisurely strolling out.
As the attendants drew the curtains aside, revealing Tao Yuan stepping out from within, both Sang Yun and Sang Wen immediately rose to their feet.
Casting a swift glance at them, Tao Yuan ascended to the chair at the head and sat down.
“Just a moment ago, Xue Ji nearly harmed Shizi 1. I implore Your Highness not to quarrel with a mere beast. I’ve already instructed someone to fetch treasures and tonics from the palace to help soothe Shizi,” Sang Yun spoke with an attitude neither haughty nor humble, exhibiting a gentle demeanor.
“That child is not the son of Da Wang and I,” Tao Yuan stated, his expression devoid of emotion, as he looked at Sang Yun.
“Is that so?” Sang Yun breathed a sigh of relief. “Although not the Shizi, it was Xue Ji who caused distress to that child. Please, Wangjun, convey our apologies on the child’s behalf,” he requested.
Sang Yun thought that since the child wasn’t the Shizi, perhaps their compensation could be slightly reduced.
Meanwhile, Sang Wen mused that if the child wasn’t of Lei Yuan’s lineage, perhaps there was a chance for Xue Ji to claim him back.
“That child is my own younger brother, the sole heir to my Qu family. Both my father and adoptive father have yearned for this for years. After much anticipation, we finally welcomed this son, and he is not even half a year old. Yet, he almost lost his life at the mercy of a mere beast,” Tao Yuan declared, his gaze chilling as he looked at them.
Sang Yun observed Tao Yuan’s expression, realizing he was really angry and considered that there would be no leniency in the compensation. He just relaxed earlier upon learning the child wasn’t the Shizi, but now, the stakes were raised upon discovering the child’s relation to Tao Yuan. Qu Cang’s reputation echoed far and wide among the smaller kingdoms of the Northern region. Injuring Tao Yuan’s child would be nearly as severe as harming Shizi of Lei Wu Wang.
“I am truly sorry. I leave the disposal of that beast in Wangjun’s hands. As long as you find solace, even if it means stripping its hide while it’s alive, it deserves no less,” said Sang Yun.
Sang Wen lowered his head, realizing Xue Ji wouldn’t be coming back. There was a tinge of sadness in his heart.
“I naturally won’t let this beast off lightly. But no matter how much it may possess human-like qualities, it still requires proper guidance from its owner. If it were ownerless, it might be excusable, but it has an owner, and yet it recklessly harms others. That simply indicates that its owner has failed to discipline it,” Tao Yuan said in a cold, resolute tone.
“Wangjun is right. It’s all our fault. We were negligent and failed to notice it sneaking out, nearly causing a major disaster. Fortunately, the young master is safe and sound. Otherwise, we’d be haunted by guilt and self-blame for the rest of our lives,” Sang Yun expressed with a deeply remorseful expression.
Tao Yuan glanced back and forth between Sang Yun and Sang Wen, suddenly breaking into a smile. He thought to himself that although these two were twins, their personalities were markedly different, and there was a distinct gap in intelligence. But observing Sang Wen’s silence and bowed head, he wasn’t entirely dim-witted. As for Sang Yun, despite his eloquence and refined, gentle demeanor, he was actually a deeply cunning and shrewd individual, adept at concealing his true intentions.
Having experienced so many lifetimes and encountered a variety of individuals, Tao Yuan, even without relying on a system, could discern the true nature of these two people.
‘The sudden appearance of the two ministers from the Kingdom of Sang here surely indicates a purpose,’ Tao Yuan thought. It seems the upcoming opponents will be these two individuals. To be honest, individuals like Yan Hao and Qu Feng are of no concern to him. After all, Lei Yuan would take care of them. Though he didn’t necessarily need to regard these two princes seriously, toying with them might just serve as a decent way to pass the time.
The tent flap rustled open as Lei Yuan walked inside, with Sang Yuan following closely behind.
The moment Lei Yuan stepped in, he sensed the uneasy atmosphere. Seating himself beside Tao Yuan, he turned and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Are the two princes here for a visit?” Tao Yuan turned to Lei Yuan and inquired.
“They are about to leave,” Lei Yuan replied.
Smiling, Tao Yuan responded, “If they’re here as guests, we have to extend proper hospitality. Why rush their departure?”
“Thank you for the Wangjun’s hospitality. We were rather bored at the palace, so we followed the Third Prince here for a change of scenery. If it’s not an inconvenience, we’d be happy to stay and keep Wangjun company, passing the time with conversation,” they expressed.
“As esteemed princes, how could I ever find your company burdensome? If you both wish to stay a few more days, then please do. However, today I’ve just brought my brother here to take care of him and attend to Da Wang’s needs. My energy is quite limited. If you insist on staying, I might not be able to entertain you to the fullest extent. I hope you won’t mind,” Tao Yuan expressed.
“How could it be?” Sang Yun smiled and said, “We wouldn’t dare trouble Wangjun with excessive hospitality. We simply wish to stay and chat with you. If you have free time, come find us. If not, there’s no need to concern yourself with us.”
“Da Wang, is fox meat delicious? I’ve never tasted it,” Tao Yuan turned to Lei Yuan and asked.
“Not particularly,” Lei Yuan looked at Tao Yuan affectionately and said, “But if you’re curious, I can have someone catch one for you to sample.”
“No need to catch one. There’s a ready one here, a gift from the two prince,” Tao Yuan gestured toward a nearby cage.
Sang Yuan lowered his head and was stunned for a moment, then said, “This is… Xue Ji?”
“Jiang Shuang,” Tao Yuan called out.
“Here,” Jiang Shuang stepped forward.
“Take this fox to the chef and instruct him to make it as delicious as possible. Later, we’ll serve some of it to the two princes,” Tao Yuan commanded.
“Yes,” Jiang Shuang lifted the cage and walked out.
“Xue Ji!” As soon as Sang Wen heard that Tao Yuan wanted to eat Xue Ji’s meat, he immediately got excited and attempted to snatch it. Sang Yun promptly held him back, shooting him a stern glare.
“Wait,” Tao Yuan called Jiang Shuang. “The fur of this fox looks quite fine. Tell the chef to carefully remove the fur intact.”
“Understood,” Jiang Shuang turned around, parted the tent flap, and walked out.
“You two princes need not be sentimental over this beast. Creatures that can’t be tamed like this one often bring only trouble. If I’m not mistaken, this creature must have harmed people before, am I right?” Tao Yuan remarked.
“Did that fox harm you?!” Lei Yuan immediately looked tense at Tao Yuan and hugged his shoulder, wanting to take him to the inner room for examination.
“No,” Tao Yuan held Lei Yuan’s hand and said, “I wasn’t injured. The fox suddenly darted out and almost bit Qu Li, but I managed to repel it in time with my spiritual power.”
“Truly uninjured?” Lei Yuan couldn’t help but furrow his brow, still feeling concerned.
“Absolutely unharmed,” Tao Yuan whispered, covering his mouth with his hand. “I’ll let you examine me later.”
Only then did Lei Yuan release Tao Yuan, glaring fiercely at Sang Yun and Sang Wen. He sternly remarked, “If you can’t control that beast, you shouldn’t have brought it here. Can you bear the responsibility if it truly harms my wangjun and nephew?”
“Da Wang is absolutely right. It’s our fault for not keeping an eye on that beast. Thankfully, it didn’t injure Wangjun or the young master. Wangjun is magnanimous and doesn’t hold us accountable. Even if that beast were killed to vent Wangjun’s anger, it would be reasonable,” Sang Yun’s words seemed to comply with Lei Yuan’s remarks while also indicating that the fox hadn’t harmed anyone. On the surface, it appeared as though he was highlighting Tao Yuan’s forgiveness compared to their own accountability. In reality, due to the absence of harm caused, Tao Yuan couldn’t hold them accountable, only expressing his frustration toward the beast.
Lei Yuan’s evident concern for Tao Yuan both surprised and deeply impressed Sang Yun and Sang Wen. Although Sang Yuan had mentioned Lei Yuan’s deep affection for wangjun before their arrival, seeing Lei Yuan today immediately captivated them with his appearance and imposing aura. They had thought he was someone who concealed his emotions well, but they were surprised by his evident worry for Tao Yuan. In their hearts, they earnestly hoped that someday Lei Yuan would also show a similar level of concern for them as well.
“The way that spirit fox leapt out to bite showed it was quite skilled. It must killed a lot of people out of practice. As esteemed princes, naturally, you might not be concerned about lives, but everyone has parents who raised them. Death is an inevitable part of life, but no matter how one meets their end, it’s far better than dying in the jaws of a beast. So, let me advise you both. It might be wiser to keep tamer animals by your side in the future. This way, you can avoid those untamed creatures from causing harm to yourselves.” Tao Yuan advised.
“Wangjun’s words are wise. In the future, we will certainly keep tamer animals,” Sang Yun said with a gentle expression, casting a glance at Lei Yuan after speaking.
Sang Yuan had already understood the situation. He turned to glare at Sang Yun and Sang Wen, then bowed to Lei Yuan and Tao Yuan, saying, “I apologize for startling Wangjun. I’ll take them back to properly discipline them, so they won’t embarrass themselves in front of Wangjun again.”
Sang Yun and Sang Wen both looked at him when he mentioned taking them back immediately. Sang Wen’s eyes clearly revealed reluctance, while Sang Yun’s face displayed no discernible emotion.
“Since they wish to stay and I’ve agreed, how can I go back on my word? If the Prince has urgent matters and needs to return, feel free to do so. Two days later, Wangjun will naturally arrange for both princes to return safely,” Tao Yuan quickly turned and signaled Lei Yuan with a glance. “Isn’t that right, Da Wang?”
Lei Yuan glanced at Tao Yuan for a moment. He had no intention of keeping these two individuals around, yet he also didn’t wish to contradict Tao Yuan’s words. He turned to Sang Yuan and said, “The Prince may return first, and the two princes may stay.”
Sang Yuan knew it wouldn’t be appropriate to leave them at that moment, so he insisted, “If they stay here like this and Father finds out, he will definitely blame me. I ask for Wangjun’s forgiveness. Please allow me to report to King Father first. Then, I will have them stay and accompany you to talk.”
Tao Yuan smiled and said, “In that case, we won’t detain you any longer.”
“Goodbye,” Sang Yuan bowed to Lei Yuan and then turned to Sang Yun and Sang Wen, saying, “Let’s go.”
Watching them depart, Lei Yuan looked at Tao Yuan and asked, “Do you know why they came?”
“I know,” Tao Yuan smiled and said, “The King of Sang wants to strengthen the relationship between our nations by proposing those twin princes brothers to Da Wang. So, the Prince of Sang specifically brought those two princes here for Da Wang’s consideration. Am I right?”
“If you knew, why did you still choose to let them stay?”
“If I didn’t let them stay, how could they know just how much you love me, Da Wang?” Tao Yuan looked at Lei Yuan, blinked charmingly, with a captivating glint in his eyes.
Lei Yuan immediately scooped him up and headed towards the inner chamber.
Lei Yuan pushed Tao Yuan onto the bed. He pressed down on him and kissed him hard, as he savored the sweetness in his mouth, and teasing his tender tongue.
Tao Yuan wrapped his arms around Lei Yuan’s neck, kissing him back, while Lei Yuan pulled open his attire and put his hand in to fondle Tao Yuan. Suddenly, Qu Li, who was lying on the other side of the large bed, began to cry.
Tao Yuan quickly pushed Lei Yuan away, sat up, adjusted the fallen clothing on his shoulder, and rushed to pick up and comfort Qu Li.
Lei Yuan glanced down at his own lap, unable to restrain himself any longer. He didn’t want to hold back.
“Da Wang, look,” Tao Yuan sat beside Lei Yuan, proudly showcasing his ‘treasure.’ “This is my younger brother,” he smiled, with a sense of pride in his voice.
“Let Jiang Shuang come in and take my nephew away,” Lei Yuan said with a stern expression.
“Why take him away?” Tao Yuan asked. “I’ll comfort him, and he’ll fall asleep soon. Later, I’ll let him sleep on the nearby bed. We just need to keep our voices down, won’t that work?”
“Jiang Shuang!” Lei Yuan called loudly.
“Don’t call out!” Tao Yuan hurriedly covered Lei Yuan’s mouth, looking at him with pleading eyes. “Please, just let him sleep here, okay?”
“Da Wang, what is your order?” Xiaoshuang responded from outside.
“It’s fine,” Tao Yuan replied as he forcefully covered Lei Yuan’s mouth.
“Look. You see, he’s already asleep,” Tao Yuan whispered to Lei Yuan.
Lei Yuan glanced at Qu Li’s face, thinking that he was quite happy that the little round-faced one from home didn’t accompany him. But now, another round-faced little nephew came along. Maybe round faces were his Achilles’ heel.
Tao Yuan placed the already sleeping Qu Li onto the nearby bed, covering him with his small blanket. Then, he hurried back to Lei Yuan, planting a firm kiss on his cheek.
Tao Yuan pushed Lei Yuan down, lowered the curtain, removed his own pants, and straddled Lei Yuan’s lap.
Lei Yuan spread his hands, watching Tao Yuan’s actions on his own.
2 more chapters will be released tom (๛ ˘ ³˘ )♡
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- 世子 shì zǐ: crown prince / heir of a noble house in this case it is the former. They thought Qu Li was the child of TY/LY