AMTDCPOTEC Chapter 73
After Marrying the Disabled Crown Prince of the Enemy Country
Chapter 73 Distressed
He had always been this crazy. Le Zhi told herself over and over again in her heart.
She stopped crying gradually. Then she raised her hand to remove his hand from the top of her head and stood up slowly.
“Your Highness Taizi calculated very well.” Le Zhi commented calmly, “Empress’s scheme, the riots in Shengyang City, Emperor’s edict, everyone, and every step are in Your Highness’s plan. Even my reaction, you expected it all, right?”
Was the joy of Huo Xu being punished, to the shock after learning the edict, to the self-reproach and sobbing after she suddenly realized all in his plan?
Well-planned and never fails.
Huo Du frowned and remained silent, the color in his eyes was getting darker.
Le Zhi took two steps back and stared at his face seriously.
Snow drifted at night, fast and soundless. Snowflakes fell on the top of their hair, eyelashes, and shoulders.
“Are you angry?” Huo Du asked.
Le Zhi looked at him and smiled slowly. The snowflakes on the black eyelashes gradually melted, wetting her eyes, and making it impossible to see the mood at the bottom of her eyes.
“What? According to Your Highness’s prediction, how should I react?” Her smile grew brighter, and her eyes moved slightly. She glanced at his injured leg lightly, and said, “You have to set off early tomorrow morning. Just go back to the bedroom to rest.”
After she finished speaking, she turned around and walked in the direction of the mansion gate.
“Where are you going?”
“Can’t Your Highness guess it?” Le Zhi asked with her back to him with a smile.
After being choked twice in a row, Huo Du felt like he was shooting himself in the foot. Knowing her temper, he really deserved it now.
Seeing that the person behind him stopped talking, Le Zhi paused for a moment and continued to walk toward the mansion gate.
In the snowstorm, the person sitting in the white jade wheelchair stared in the direction where she left for a long time with deep eyes.
Where got a well-planned and never fails scheme.
He would never be able to guess her mind, right?
As the night grew darker, a carriage galloped out from the back door of the Taizi Mansion.
Le Zhi sat in the carriage and her mind became heavier. Not because of anger, but because of some anxiety.
Why does Huo Du have to go to Shengyang City?
After this incident, she felt deeply that she did not know him at all. She did not know what he was thinking, what he was doing, let alone what he was going to do.
These days, apart from her own affairs, she really cared too little about Huo Du.
Rather than saying it was too little, it was better to say it was too superficial. She avoided him, not daring and not willing to ask him. Even now, she subconsciously chose to ask Uncle Yin instead of asking him directly.
Where did she have the right to be angry?
Essentially, they were the same kind of people.
Xia Ming tightened the reins, and the horse let out a neigh and quickly stopped.
“Master, we are here.”
When Xia Ming’s remarks came from outside, Le Zhi tightened the cotton cloak on her body, lifted the curtain, and stepped out of the carriage.
Le Zhi frowned. She would never have chosen this time to disturb Uncle Yin unless for pressing time. She pursed her lips and was about to raise her hand to knock on the door when she saw the lights in the bamboo house lit up. Then she saw Uncle Yin walk out after opening the door and looking at her with a smile.
As if he had known she was coming.
She saw him wave his hand, and the courtyard door opened automatically.
Despite Lezhi’s astonishment, she stepped in. After taking a few steps closer, she saluted solemnly, “Uncle Yin, I…”
“It’s cold outside, come in quickly.”
Uncle Yin’s voice was as gentle as ever.
Le Zhi nodded and led Xia Ming and the others into the house together. A lot of refreshments were prepared in the front room. Le Zhi left them there and followed Uncle Yin into the tearoom by herself.
“Does Uncle Yin know I’m coming?” Le Zhi sat on the soft cushion and took the hot tea from Yin Changshuo.
Yin Changshuo said with a smile, “I heard the sound of horses’ hooves.”
Le Zhi looked puzzled. If he only knew it when he heard the sound of horses’ hooves, then how to explain the refreshments in the front room and the fragrant tea that had been brewed here a long time ago? These things could not be prepared in a short time.
She suddenly remembered that her imperial brother once said that a person with a unique martial skill could hear voices from a hundred miles away. At that time, she thought her imperial brother was bluffing her. It turned out that there were such people in the world.
Looking at Le Zhi’s surprised expression, Yin Changshuo smiled. If he did not have the ability, how could he survive until now? Probably he would have been wiped out by the heavy troops sent by Huo Changyun a long time ago.
“Have you quarreled with Xiao Du?” He asked directly without beating around the bush.
Hearing this, Le Zhi’s cheeks turned red, and she shook her head, “No, I just don’t quite understand him…”
Before she could finish speaking, she stopped when she saw Uncle Yin gesturing at her. Then she saw Uncle Yin push open the low window on one side, picked up an empty teacup, and threw it into the dark night.
A few shadows fell from the eaves along with a few muffled sounds.
“Go back and tell that stinky boy that he’s already a grown man and still couldn’t say anything. He deserved to have his wife run away.”
Several secret guards in black looked at each other in dismay, not daring to answer.
How could they dare to say that?
Yin Changshuo picked up another teacup, “Still not leaving?”
After the stifling defeat, several secret guards quickly got up and left after hearing this.
The bottom of the cup touched the wooden table and made a soft sound, the low window was shut, and the outside returned to silence.
Retracting his gaze, Yin Changshuo glanced at Le Zhi’s unperturbed expression and say, “Are you used to it? This is how the stinky boy behaves.”
Le Zhi nodded. She was not surprised that Huo Du would send someone to protect her in the secret. He was always like this, arranging everything, but never told to her in advance.
Although she did not blame him, she still felt stuffy in her heart.
“Zhizhi, do you know? In fact, you are very similar to him.” Yin Changshuo smiled, “You’re smart and dexterous, you can understand just by a little bit, and you don’t talk much like Xiao Du. Even when you’re unhappy, you try your best to hide and suppress your emotions and never reveal them, right?”
The heart was pricked, and Le Zhi lowered her eyes, unable to say anything.
Those unspeakable suffocations were all seen through by Uncle Yin.
Yin Changshuo continued, “You don’t say it, and he doesn’t say it either. The more you pretend not to care, the more he wants to make you angry. Don’t think he seems to be very strong, but he’s just pretending to be fine. It’s not easy for him to like a girl, but he can’t read her mind, so isn’t he worry to death? He can’t think of a good way, so he has to make you angry. In his opinion, if you are angry, it means you care about him.”
Hearing this, Le Zhi raised her eyes blankly.
She suddenly understood why Huo Du was so angry with her a few days ago, it turned out to be this reason. He was already so old, still… childish, ah.
“To put it bluntly, he’s stupid.” Yin Changshuo took a sip of tea, and his tone was quite disgusting.
“I, I don’t know…” Le Zhi lowered her head and said softly. If Huo Du was said to be stupid, she was not much better. She could not see the reason behind his anger, and she could not surmise his intention of not telling her.
Both of them were also so stupid.
“Hey, can’t be.” Yin Changshuo shook his head in disapproval, “You did the right thing. How could you let the stinky boy succeed so easily? Now that you come out, the stinky boy must be very depressed. That’s how it should, make him feel uncomfortable.”
“But Uncle Yin, why does he have to go to Shengyang City?” Le Zhi finally asked. She frowned, and looked puzzled, “The Empress has ulterior motives. She must have laid a trap in the city to wait for him. Since he knew all about it, why did he insist on going?”
Yin Changshuo’s eyes darkened a little. He slowly raised his hand, opened the low window again, and looked into the distance.
Le Zhi turned her head and looked at the distant mountains like Uncle Yin. If she remembered correctly, that was the location of the Imperial Mausoleum of Great Qi.
“Want to hear this old man tell a story?” Yin Changshuo said lightly without moving his eyes.
“I’d like to hear more about it.”
“Once upon a time, there was a country that had been friends with a small tribe for generations. From generation to generation, the tribe grew stronger…”
And the bridge that bound the two sides was through marriage. In a certain generation, the tribe was blessed with the twins of a dragon and a phoenix. The little prince was majestic, and the little princess was beautiful. When the princess reached the marriageable age, they went to the friend country to propose marriage according to the usual practice.
The little princess had a childhood sweetheart since she was a child. He had always admired the princess but dared not say anything. He just followed the wedding procession quietly and escorted the princess all the way.
Originally thought it was just an act of intimacy to maintain the friendship between the two sides. The princess was anxious about this marriage. It was not until the night of the wedding, when her red veil was lifted, that she could clearly see the appearance of the Taizi of the friend country, which was her husband.
Her husband was born handsome and smiled softly at her.
The little princess lowered her eyes after a glance and smiled.
And the childhood sweetheart who sneaked into the Eastern Palace, listening to the whispers and chuckles as well as the light touch of the formal exchange of cups of wine, finally felt at ease and left swiftly.
The days after marriage were joyous and happy until Cefei* entered the mansion. Although she knew early that her husband would not be her only one. But in the end, it was really hard.
(Cefei* – side imperial concubine)
Fortunately, Cefei was a gentle person, and easy to get along with. After entering the mansion, she also got along well with the princess.
Soon after, the princess became pregnant, perhaps with tribal heredity, and the princess also gave birth to a pair of extremely cute dragon and phoenix twins. Two years after the birth of the dragon and phoenix, Cefei also gave birth to a son.
Later, the old emperor died and left an imperial edict. When the Taizi succeeded the throne, the princess’ son must be quickly established as the heir. So, on the day Taizi took the throne, he also made his eldest son from the first wife the heir apparent to the throne.
After the young emperor ascended to the throne, his deep ambitions were undoubtedly revealed.
He used the power of the whole country to wage war on the neighboring three countries, trying to annex the three countries. However, he was repelled by the combined efforts of the three countries and finally had to agree to send his child to another country as a pledge hostage.
But his mind was meticulous, treacherous, and cunning. Although he promised, he was not convinced in his heart. There was still some time left before the agreed deadline for sending the child as a pledge, so he came up with a method.
Borrowing the power of the empress’s tribe to make a final counterattack.
At that time, the princess’ tribe was already succeeded by her elder brother. Tribal people were all kind and righteous people, and they do not want to make enemies with other countries. But because of the princess, they finally agreed to the emperor’s request to help him.
But he still ended in failure.
However, the emperor still did not give up. He was beyond control and borrowed troops everywhere. He did not admit defeat, nor would he admit defeat.
The princess blamed herself for causing so many of her people to die in the war. She had long been disheartened by what the emperor had done. She began to be depressed, did not eat or drink, and became thinner day by day.
And her childhood sweetheart had been silently watching her live. What he thought was that he would never show up if she lived a peaceful and happy life. However, she was getting more and more unhappy.
So, he appeared. He told the princess that as long as she wanted, he could take her and her children out of this icy palace. The princess agreed.
But somehow the emperor found out about it. The emperor did not get angry. He just calmly begged the princess to forgive him and give him another chance. He no longer obsessed with the war, and no longer dreamed of dominating the world.
His words were sincere with profound affections.
After all, they had been a married couple for so many years, and the princess was a kindhearted person, so she believed in him. She did not go to her childhood sweetheart appointment.
As for her childhood sweetheart, he knew what she meant when he saw that the princess had not come to the appointment for a long time. Since it was her choice, he naturally respected it.
Who would have expected that those earnest assurances were nothing more than coaxing words from the emperor? He loved the princess, so the moment he learned that the princess wanted to leave him with her childhood sweetheart, the jealousy grew wildly and seized his heart.
He would never let her leave him. Since she wanted to fly, he would break her wings.
So, the emperor pretended to accompany the princess to go back to her tribe to visit relatives and friends but actually was to deploy troops secretly, taking advantage of the tribe’s unpreparedness to capture it in one fell swoop.
He wanted to hold her tribe firmly in his hands so that she could never leave him.
He even included the cousin of the princess in the palace as a concubine. The princess knew that he did it on purpose. He deliberately humiliated her and her tribe. This was to warn her that she could never think of leaving him.
The princess was devastated and almost wanted to die. But thinking of her two young children, she could not be so selfish and abandon them. Even if she died, she had to send her two children out of this cruel palace first. She did not want her children to be stuck here like her, at the mercy of others for the rest of t their lives.
She knew that she had no face to look for her childhood sweetheart, but who else could she turn to for help besides him? She sent one letter after another, but no reply. She thought that he must be very angry, right?
When she wanted to give up, Cefei came. Cefei, who was as friendly as ever, had now become a Wenxian Guifei*. She kindly told her the truth.
(Guifei* – Imperial Consort, senior concubine)
It turned out that it was not that her childhood sweetheart ignored her, but that her letters could not leave the palace at all.
The emperor sent people to watch her every move, and no matter how cautious she was, her carrier pigeon would be caught.
The princess collapsed after learning the truth.
Fortunately, the Guifei had a good heart. She proposed to help the princess pass the letter, and she was more than willing to help her send the two children out of the palace and bring them to her childhood sweetheart.
When the two children were handed over to the Guifei, the princess’ heartache was bleeding. But she had to do it, she had to set her two children free. However, the two children did not seem to be very close to the Guifei, especially the youngest son, who was the Taizi, who was firmly holding his imperial mother’s hand and unwilling to leave.
He seemed to smell danger and cried terribly, “Imperial mother will take us away, otherwise I won’t go… I don’t want to go with her…”
The princess only thought that he was crying because he was reluctant to be apart from his mother, so she reluctantly pulled his hand away. She looked at her daughter on the side, reached out and touched her head, and said in a trembling voice, “Both of you have to stay together and be good, understand?”
The gentle little princess nodded with red eyes and responded softly.
The Guifei took the little prince and the little princess out of the palace under the pretext of praying for blessing while the emperor was busy discussing official matters. She also brought along her own child to avoid suspicion.
The princess thought her wish had been fulfilled until the bad news came.
Her children, one dead and one injured.
Blood, she had never seen so much blood. Basin after basin of blood water came out from the Eastern Palace. It was the blood of her son.
While her daughter… remained in the woods forever.
The blood in the princess’ whole body froze, freezing to the bone. She walked into the Eastern Palace tremblingly and saw the little prince reeking of blood. The little prince’s face was full of tears, but there were no tears in his eyes.
Perhaps was the mother and son connection, the little prince turned his head and looked at her through the palace people.
The eight-year-old child had only sadness, despair, and deep… resentment in his eyes. He only glanced at his mother, then turned his head away and closed his eyes.
The princess understood that her son hated her.
She felt that her son was right to hate her. During her whole life, she was indecisive and gullible, unable to protect her people, and harmed a pair of children. If possible, she wished she could exchange her own life for her daughter’s life.
However, there was no if.
In the end, she returned to her palace in a daze. The emperor was waiting for her there.
The eyes of the young emperor finally reddened, and he strode forward, hugging his empress tightly. He said, “It’s my fault. It’s my fault…”
The princess was like a walking corpse, being held by the emperor without feeling the slightest.
The emperor was afraid that she would commit suicide, so he sent the palace people to take away all the sharp objects in her palace, even the beams were smashed, and the hard walls were made into soft walls.
However, a withered heart could not be awakened.
There was no need to seek death. The princess’s life deteriorated little by little, and it did not take long for her to die with guilt for her son and her tribe’s people.
She could finally go to see her daughter. But she did not know if her daughter was willing to see this irresponsible mother.
If she could make atonement in the underworld, she wished her son a happy life. If there was an afterlife, she wished that her children would meet a good mother.
Never met someone like her.
Until the princess died and was buried in the imperial mausoleum, the little prince did not even look at her.
The childhood sweetheart just left the country for a few months because he was disappointed. He never imagined that these things would happen during his absence. He was in so much pain and remorse that he almost wanted to die with the princess.
However, he could not.
The princess’s unfinished responsibilities would be his responsibility. He took the completely disheartened little prince out of the mansion and took good care of him.
“You are so smart, should know all the people in this story.” Yin Changshuo turned his eyes back to Le Zhi.
The cold wind from the mountains blew in through the low windows, making it so cold.
Le Zhi felt as if her face was frozen. She raised her hand to touch it, only to realize that her icy cheek was full of tears, almost covering her whole face.
She wiped the corners of her eyes hard, but the tears seemed to be endless, and the more she wiped, the more they flowed.
The people in the story were not hard to guess at all. The emperor was Huo Changyun, the princess was Huo Du’s mother, and the concubine was the current empress, Lin Wanning.
In fact, Le Zhi had always wanted to know how Huo Du’s leg injury came about, but now it seemed that it was not an accident. And he never mentioned a single word about Huo Du’s sister. When Uncle Yin was speaking just now, he also deliberately did not mention the cause of her death.
Come to think of it, it should be a… heart-wrenching cause of death.
“Xiaoxiao was, was…” Yin Changshuo choked and tried to say it several times, but he could not say it again.
“Uncle Yin, don’t say it.” Le Zhi turned around and said in a choked voice. There were some things that it would be too cruel to recall again and to say them was like tearing the wound open again.
It would only be even more devastating.
“Xiao Du hated his mother because of Xiaoxiao. Over the years, he never went to worship her once. Even if he saw the Imperial Mausoleum in the distance when he was healing here, he would be gloomy and not say a word.” Yin Changshuo lowered his eyes and looked sad, “I know that the pain of the broken tendon in the right leg is less than one-tenth of the pain in Xiao Du’s heart. He was watching Xiaoxiao in front of him… He couldn’t let go. He blamed himself. But at that time, he was only eight years old…”
Seeing ones loved die in front of them was a feeling that Le Zhi would never forget. Just because she knew it, her heart hurt so much, as if she had experienced this kind of pain again.
“Shengyang City is the former Shengnuo tribe.”
Le Zhi raised her eyes abruptly and finally realized why Huo Du was going there.
“The deep hatred is true, and so is the love for his mother.” Yin Changshuo sighed and looked tired, “That silly boy always looks cold, and distances people thousands of miles away. He doesn’t know that Lin Wanning has set a trap in the city, but he will still go. Because he is like his mother, and his heart is softer than anyone else. Even if the people there hate his mother and hate him, he will not abandon them.”
“It’s all my fault…” Le Zhi sobbed softly.
It was all her fault. It was because she was unwilling to let go of Huo Xu as she could not eradicate them all in one fell swoop, which gave Lin Wanning a chance to counterattack, and deliberately used this trick to lure Huo Du into the tiger’s den.
“Foolish child.” Yin Changshuo shook his head, “Even without you, Lin Wanning will not let Xiao Du go. He always needed to go to Shengyang City, whether it’s earlier or later.”
After speaking, Yin Changshuo got up and went to the cabinet to get a wooden box and handed it to Le Zhi.
“It’s somewhat useful to take this to go to Shengyang City.”
Le Zhi stood up and took the wooden box. She did not open it, but she was a little puzzled.
Why was Uncle Yin so sure that she would follow Huo Du?
The sky in the east gradually turned bright, and the morning sun began to appear.
Le Zhi saluted Uncle Yin and bid farewell, walked out of the bamboo house, and boarded the carriage.
Looking at the carriage galloping away, Yin Changshuo showed a small smile on his face. He slowly turned his head to look at the imperial mausoleum.
Ah Yu, are you happy?
Xiao Du is luckier than you and me, isn’t he?
When the morning sun rose, Le Zhi finally rushed back to the mansion. She could not help but breathe a sigh of relief as the long-distance carriage outside had not left yet.
On the way back, her heart was anxious as she was afraid that he would leave without waiting for her.
She entered the mansion gate anxiously. She hurried back to the bedroom, but when she pushed open the door of the bedroom, there was no one inside. Unable to find Huo Du, she hurriedly summoned her three personal maids.
Li Yao could not go with her as she had to stay in the capital to deal with Huo Xu’s people and always help her monitor Huo Xu’s movements. If Shen Qingyan wanted to find her, she would naturally have to go through Li Yao.
She originally wanted to bring Lin Yue and Jing Xin along. However, thinking of An Xuan, she hesitated again. Although she was sure that nothing would happen, Shengyang City was in crisis after all, and An Xuan would definitely not want Jing Xin to go.
“Jing Xin, you stay in the mansion with Li Yao…”
“No, Master.” Jing Xin shook her head, “I want to follow you to take care of you.”
Jing Xin had always been submissive, but this time she was unusually resolute. She had long been used to following her master and taking care of her daily life these days. Since her master was traveling far away, how could there be enough with an only maid?
“But…” Le Zhi looked embarrassed.
A voice interrupted the conversation between the master and the servant.
Le Zhi turned to look outside the room, and saw An Xuan standing outside the room saluting her, “His Highness Taizi asks whether you want to go with him?”
“Let him wait!” Le Zhi deliberately replied to him angrily.
He only knew to let others ask her!
An Xuan was stunned for a moment before nodding and saying yes. He pretended to look at Jing Xin inadvertently, then turned around and walked out.
Unable to persuade Jing Xin, Le Zhi had to agree to bring them both. The two girls immediately began to pack for her, and soon they were ready for the trip.
After Le Zhi bid farewell to Li Yao, she walked toward the outside of the mansion. When she ran into An Xuan at the gate, she deliberately stopped and whispered, “I’m sorry, Lord An. I couldn’t stop Jing Xin.”
When An Xuan heard their conversation just now, he was relieved and nodded, “Thank you, Taizifei.”
He always knew what Jing Xin’s temper was like.
Forget it, she would be safe and sound with him around anyway.
With a sigh of relief, Le Zhi stepped onto the carriage, lifted the curtain, and sat in the carriage.
Huo Du looked at her quietly, without saying a word.
The carriage set off slowly.
Le Zhi wanted to cold-shoulder him for a while and ignored him. But when she saw him, her heart could not stop feeling sour, and her eyes filled with tears in a short while.
She turned her head, not wanting him to find out.
But Huo Du had already seen it, he moved towards her cautiously and sat beside her.
But before he could sit down properly, Le Zhi turned around and threw herself on him, wrapping her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.
Huo Du’s body stiffened for a moment.
“You’re trying to make me angry by deliberately hiding it from me and not telling me, right?”
“I’m really angry, very angry, very angry.” Le Zhi’s voice was small but full of anger and grievance.
Huo Du hummed “en” again.
“Apologize to me.”
Huo Du stroked her back and answered her obediently, “I’m sorry.”
Le Zhi did not speak, just hugged him tighter.
There was a moment of silence in the carriage.
She finally spoke. It was just that there was a heavy sob in her voice.
The author has something to say:
Woo, woo, woo…. Xiao Du’s childhood was really miserable.
*This two-in-one fat chapter made me cry… QAQ