Chapter 97: Is the Ninth Prince Qi Changyi…
December 5, 2022Merchie
Shen Shijiu seemed to hesitate; he didn’t know whether he should tell Pei Zheng or not.
When Pei Zheng asked this question, he didn’t actually care about Shen Shijiu’s answer.
For a long time now, a certain thought had lingered faintly in his mind.
That thought quietly buried itself deep within his heart, and slowly began to take root and sprout with every passing day.
And Shen Shijiu’s entry into the Imperial Hospital, then the Prime Minister’s Manor, wasn’t just Jiang Yubai’s decision.
Rather, it was mainly Pei Zheng’s.
During these past few years, he had experienced too much disappointment and despair, so he closed his heart.
Even when faced with the smallest bit of hope, he was extremely cautious, as though he were treading on thin ice.
That idea was screaming at him, anxiously waiting to break out, but it could only remain suppressed in his heart till the end of time.
And Pei Zheng could only keep telling himself, just wait for a little longer, stay calm, and act like you always do.
So, he pulled his arm away, and turned back around.
The banquet was finally coming to an end.
The Emperor left first; some of the ministers were still drinking, while others had already returned to their manors.
Pei Zheng drained a cup of wine, before he stood up.
He hadn’t spoken much tonight, merely gulping down cups upon cups of wine.
Shen Shijiu, who was standing beside him, looked very worried.
His Lordship’s pulse was already unstable, yet he was still drinking such strong wine; it would definitely hurt his body.
Why was His Lordship so careless with his own health
Pei Zheng was a bit dizzy after getting up.
Shen Shijiu saw this and hurried over to support him, “My Lord…”
Pei Zheng grabbed his arm to steady himself, before he pulled Shen Shijiu along as he slowly walked out of the hall.
Ah Mu Le was still in his seat talking with the other officials.
But when he saw Pei Zheng leaving, he stood up as well and followed him out of the hall.
Pei Zheng and Shen Shijiu walked down the steps and headed toward a small garden.
Someone was standing there; he appeared to have been waiting for them.
“Lord Pei, you’re back from the banquet”
Jiang Yubai walked over once he saw that Pei Zheng had arrived.
He had been standing there for quite a while; he didn’t expect that the banquet would last for so long.
Shen Shijiu was obviously pleasantly surprised to see Jiang Yubai, “Imperial Physician Jiang!”
Jiang Yubai frowned and looked over at the veiled Shen Shijiu, “You…”
Shen Shijiu lifted his veil, and smiled at Jiang Yubai, “Imperial Physician Jiang, it’s me.”
“Shen Shijiu, what have you been up to You look so weird.” Jiang Yubai glanced sideways at Pei Zheng; this must have been Pei Zheng’s idea.
“Lord Pei, could you spare me a moment of your time tonight”
Pei Zheng glanced at Shen Shijiu, “Wait for me outside.”
Shen Shijiu obediently “oh”d, and waved goodbye to Jiang Yubai, “Then I’ll be going now, Imperial Physician Jiang.”
Jiang Yubai gave him a kind smile.
He waited until Shen Shijiu’s figure disappeared out of the little garden’s archway, before the smile on his face vanished as well.
“Pei Zheng,” Jiang Yubai pointed at the archway, “Just how certain are you”
Pei Zheng didn’t answer, instead asking, “What do you want”
Jiang Yubai said, “I recently flipped through some ancient manuscripts and discovered some rare herbs1 that were recorded inside.
They might be able to help you recover your internal strength.”
He paused, “But it’s said that these herbs can only be found in the Ghost Valley, which means that the only person who comes into contact with them is the Ghost Doctor, whose whereabouts are currently unknown.”
Pei Zheng’s eyes changed, “What effect will these herbs have after being ingested”
“After a small dose, they can stabilize the internal force, and allow it to flow freely within the body.
If you take the right amount, you’d be fully recovered in just a few days.”
When he heard these words, Pei Zheng thought of the pill from that day, which in turn reminded him of the shifu that Shen Shijiu was always blabbering about.
His eyes narrowed slightly.
“What do you know about this Ghost Doctor”
Jiang Yubai pondered the question for a bit, “It’s said that she’s a woman who wandered the world in her youth looking for patients.
Years have passed, yet there hasn’t been a single sighting of her.
But she is a master of disguise, so she might have been hiding in plain sight this entire time.”
“How skilled is she’
Although Jiang Yubai didn’t want to admit it, he could only answer truthfully, “She’s better than me.
It’s said that she can cure any common illness, and can even revive the dead…”
His expression suddenly changed, and he stared at Pei Zheng, “Are you really saying…”
Pei Zheng’s face had already recovered its usual expression, “It’s getting late.
Imperial Physician Jiang, you should rest early.”
When he finished speaking, Pei Zheng turned and walked out the arched gate of the little garden.
Jiang Yubai was still rooted to the spot, thinking over everything that happened.
If the shifu that Shen Shijiu always spoke of was really the Ghost Doctor…
But the chances of that being true were just too slim.
Shen Shijiu had been standing outside the arched gate of the little garden this entire time.
He only saw Pei Zheng and Jiang Yubai standing inside, but he couldn’t hear what they were discussing at all.
“What a coincidence, aren’t you a relative of Pei Zheng What are you doing here all by yourself”
Ah Mu Le appeared out of nowhere, and smiled at Shen Shijiu.
Shen Shijiu was startled by Ah Mu Le, but didn’t want to scream, fearing that he would interrupt the conversation in the garden.
He could only clap his hand over his mouth and flare his eyes slightly.
“Did I scare you” Ah Mu Le leaned closer and waved his hand, “You’re such a scaredy-cat, it’s quite adorable.”
When Shen Shijiu saw him, he was actually a bit angry.
Earlier at the banquet, Ah Mu Le had made things difficult for him.
Shen Shijiu hadn’t forgotten that, and was still holding a grudge.
“I don’t know you.
I can’t just randomly talk to strangers.”
With those words, Shen Shijiu shut his mouth, determined not to speak with this man with a head full of braids.
Ah Mu Le saw how angry he looked and found him even more adorable, “You don’t know me, but I know you.
Your name is Shen Shijiu, and you’re an apprentice at the Imperial Hospital, right”
Shen Shijiu turned away, “Wrong, you’ve got the wrong person!”
Ah Mu Le walked around to face him, “The wrong person It couldn’t be, you look so dumb, you’re definitely Shen Shijiu.”
Shen Shijiu continued to insist, “You’ve really got the wrong person!”
“Oh Then what are you so anxious about” Ah Mu Le was amused by him and laughed.
“I-I’m not anxious, this is just how I talk…”
Shen Shijiu turned around again, so that his back was facing Ah Mu Le, and twined his fingers.
He really was a terrible liar indeed.
Ah Mu Le reached out and was about to touch his thin shoulder, but only grasped a handful of air.
Pei Zheng had already walked over.
He moved a second faster than Ah Mu Le as he yanked Shen Shijiu by the waist.
Shen Shijiu collided with Pei Zheng’s body, his face smashed against the other’s chest.
With one arm wrapped around Shen Shijiu’s shoulders, Pei Zheng’s breathing had become a bit heavier.
His grip tightened slightly, firmly pinning Shen Shijiu against his chest.
“Chief Ah Mu Le, just now, what were you doing to this minister’s man”
Ah Mu Le withdrew his arm with indifference.
He was very curious about Shen Shijiu, but to find a way to deal with Pei Zheng was his ultimate goal.
“Lord Pei, you’re taking it too seriously.
This is the royal palace of the Celestial Dynasty, what can I do It’s just that…”
Ah Mu Le deliberately lowered his voice, “There are some things that others are too scared to say, but that doesn’t prevent me from saying them.”
He pointed at Shen Shijiu, who was quietly buried in Pei Zheng’s arms, “Has Lord Pei really figured out where this person came from”
“Whether I figured it out or not, it’s this minister’s business.
Since when did other people have to worry about it”
Pei Zheng’s face was visibly gloomy, his expression full of displeasure.
“All right, all right.
I, Ah Mu Le, am not someone who likes to meddle in others’ business.
It’s just that, it has only been so long since the Ninth Prince passed away, yet Lord Pei has already found a substitute that bears such a close resemblance Whatever trick you used to find your new lover is really quite impressive.”
Ah Mu Le laughed and applauded.
Pei Zheng’s eyes were filled with an overwhelming coldness.
He rested his chin on Shen Shijiu’s head.
Who said that he was a substitute
The ball of warmth he held in his arms was the accumulation of every droplet of hope he had.
Soon, he would be able to turn this hope into reality.
But he wouldn’t allow anyone to judge his methods.
Pei Zheng slipped his fingers into Shen Shijiu’s cuff, before he grabbed the folding fan and sent it flying in Ah Mu Le’s direction.
Ah Mu Le reacted swiftly and dodged, but the folding fan relentlessly circled his body, before it suddenly flipped open.
The fan emitted a silver glow; it was even brighter now than it was in the hall.
Ah Mu Le cursed in his mind.
Pei Zheng actually had the gall to kill him while he was in the palace.
As he dodged left and right in a panic, the silver light was unable to pierce Ah Mu Le’s body.
However, Ah Mu Le was a muddy mess, having rolled on the ground a few times.
When the fan’s silver light slowly faded, Ah Mu stepped forward, threw the fan to the ground, and stomped on it several times until it had been smashed to pieces.
“Pei Zheng! Are you crazy! I am the chief of the barbarian tribe! Are you trying to start another dispute between our nations!”
“You’re telling me that the barbarian tribe never had such intentions” After Pei Zheng used his internal energy, a layer of cold sweat had appeared on his back, but his expression didn’t reveal a thing.
“Everything I said was true, no wonder you flew into such a rage.” Ah Mu Le tidied up his robe.
“Others would have never imagined that the cold Prime Minister Pei would actually have feelings.
Back then, you almost died for the Ninth Prince in my barbarian tribe’s main hall.
And now, you are still forcing yourself to use your internal energy even when you are unwell.”
Ah Mu Le walked a few steps closer, ” If I pushed you right now, you would fall over, right”
Shen Shijiu suddenly raised his head.
Earlier, he had felt Pei Zheng’s body sway a little.
He had reached out and hugged Pei Zheng’s waist at just the right moment, which allowed him to stand properly.
Swiveling to grab Pei Zheng’s arm, Shen Shijiu turned his head to look at Ah Mu Le, his gaze watchful and filled with vigilance.
“What are you trying to do!”
Ah Mu Le stopped at his high-pitched warning, and really didn’t take another step.
“I’m just joking, what are you staring at me for Didn’t you see how your lord treated me just now”
Shen Shijiu shook his head, “I didn’t!”
Ah Mu Le choked.
Although he wasn’t actually going to do anything to Pei Zheng, Shen Shijiu resembled a small animal protecting its owner; it was as if he was afraid of Ah Mu Le eating his lord up.
Clearly, Pei Zheng’s the one who eats people.
Shen Shijiu’s eyes were looking past Ah Mu Le, and they suddenly lit up, “A-Feng, you’re back!”
Cheng Feng rushed over, “Master.”
Pei Zheng “mm”d lightly.
Now, Shen Shijiu had someone to back him up, so he said to Ah Mu Le, “We’re going back now, can’t you move aside a little”
Ah Mu Le frowned.
So now he was treating him like a bother
Shen Shijiu half-supported, half-dragged Pei Zheng and walked past Ah Mu Le.
Cheng Feng bowed to Ah Mu Le and followed them.
Ah Mu Le was left standing alone beneath the moonlight.
His original intention had been to ask Pei Zheng about that little fool; it had been so long, yet Ah Mu Le had been unable to forget about him completely.
Who would’ve guessed that Pei Zheng refused to divulge even a word of information.
The sedan chairs were waiting at the palace gate.
After Pei Zheng climbed on, Shen Shijiu was about to step into his own sedan.
But suddenly, a stream of blood appeared at the corner of Pei Zheng’s lips, which worried Shen Shijiu to the extreme.
“My Lord, can I sit in the same sedan as you I’m worried about you…”
Shen Shijiu stood outside Pei Zheng’s sedan and spoke softly.
The inside of the sedan was silent for a long while.
Shen Shijiu thought that he had overstepped the rules, so he lowered his head and was about to leave.
The sedan’s curtain was suddenly lifted from the inside, and Shen Shijiu looked up into Pei Zheng’s slightly droopy eyes.
Shen Shijiu couldn’t stop his lips from curving upward, “Mm!”
Then, he swiftly climbed inside.
The sedan chair was lifted, swaying slightly, before it headed toward the palace gate.
Shen Shijiu took off his veil, and carefully wiped the blood on Pei Zheng’s lips, before placing his fingers on Pei Zheng’s wrist.
“My Lord, does it hurt”
Pei Zheng glanced at him, and saw that there were actually tears swimming in Shen Shijiu’s eyes.
He reached up and brushed his hand over the corners of Shen Shijiu’s eyes.
“Why are you crying”
Shen Shijiu didn’t know why he was crying either; he just had the urge to cry.
But it was also because he finally understood something.
That Ninth Prince… His Lordship almost lost his life in order to save him.
That means, he must be really important to His Lordship.
“My Lord,” Shen Shijiu mustered up all his courage to ask, “Is the Ninth Prince Qi Changyi…”
Before he could finish speaking, Shen Shijiu’s vision was enveloped in a layer of shadow.
Then, something warm and moist touched his lips, soft and gentle, carrying the sweet, rich aroma of wine.
This man needs to stay away from alcohol, look at all the stupid ** he does when he’s drunk o.O
Thanks for reading~
1.So I said ‘herbs’ here, but this word, 藥物 is more general, like ‘medicinal ingredients’.
藥 is ‘medicine’, and 物 is ‘thing’.
Or it can also just mean ‘medicine’.