Arc 4 – Slag that Prince Regent
Passing through the imposing and high palace walls, Chi Zhao didn’t directly return to his quarter and instead went to the empty imperial garden abundant with flowers and birds.
The Emperor was still young, so his harem was empty. The former Emperor however had many imperial concubines at first but when he died, he had named several favourites of his to be buried with himself. It just happened that those favoured concubines were rather high in rank.
The imperial concubines with profound family backgrounds were all buried and the remaining ones without background got lucky and were sent to various imperial courtyards in Chen Empire to live comfortably. Before the former Emperor passed away, he had organised everything such that only the Empress was left by the young Emperor’s side in order to make the mother and son’s life a little easier in the future. Unfortunately, the Empress didn’t realise the Emperor’s intentions and before the young Emperor could come of age, she similarly left the world.
The former Emperor was a good Emperor and a good father. If he didn’t inherit the throne and was born into an ordinary family, he would probably also be a good husband.
Such a good man but unfortunately, he died too soon.
Chi Zhao didn’t let anyone follow him and he alone went to find a large bluestone to sit on and enjoy the cool breeze.
The system was really surprised this time. It looked at Chi Zhao suspiciously and then quietly listened in to Chi Zhao’s inner voice. When it heard him calmly think about the former Emperor and his harem, the system felt like its logic library was about to emit smoke.
It wasn’t uncommon for a goody goody to suddenly blacken. The data each system came with contained various files that would help it understand their hosts better. The system remembered that there was once a host just like this and was too timid to do anything at the beginning. When he was later forced into a dead end, he had transformed into a demon who would swallow humans whole without spitting out any of their bones. What conscience? What compassion? He directly embarked onto the terrible road of clearing every world successfully using no matter what means possible.
But the problem was, Chi Zhao wasn’t forced into a dead end nor did he turn into a demon. His current state……how to put it, it was as if he had suddenly come to an epiphany and no longer cared about the people or things around him. As a result, he seemed to have let everything go and could now do anything without any fear or concern.
The system felt a little worried.
【Host, are you okay?】
Chi Zhao raised an eyebrow, “Why won’t I be okay?”
【…….Don’t you feel bad seeing Shen Wumian like this? I secretly took a peek just now. He didn’t move at all and seemed to have been hit hard by your words.】
Chi Zhao was noncommittal, “Isn’t that good? That’s what I wanted. The more miserable he is, the more points I get.”
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【Then, this time you won’t fall for him?】
“I won’t.” Chi Zhao answered very quickly, as if he had already prepared this answer in advance.
Chi Zhao’s gaze travelled over to the other side. There was a small koi pond in the Imperial Garden. From Chi Zhao’s end, he couldn’t see the koi in the koi pond, but he could occasionally see bubbles appearing on the surface.
Chi Zhao’s tone was light and calm, “I won’t fall for anyone until I go home.”
Chi Zhao had said similar lines many times before: “I don’t like him, don’t worry”, “Are you kidding me? How can I like him?”, “I definitely won’t fall for him!”, and every time Chi Zhao said it, the system’s response was scornful, and it never took him seriously. Chi Zhao was also the same. He had only said those words for the sake of it but he naturally couldn’t control the future.
The system grabbed its fat data link and suddenly felt that his words this time seemed to be a little different from the ones before.
Having spent so many years with the system, Chi Zhao knew that although the system living in his mind may seem very intelligent, almost indistinguishable from humans, it in fact couldn’t process human emotions at all.
In other words, it could deal with emotions but just like a child, it could only deal with the very basics. If it got a little more complex, it wouldn’t be able to get its head around it.
Chi Zhao felt a little awkward talking to the system about something like this. It felt like he was teaching a child bad things. But even if he didn’t say anything, the curious system would probably secretly listen to his inner thoughts when he is not paying attention, so it was probably better to tell it directly.
After changing his sitting posture, Chi Zhao calmly replied, “Because, I find it annoying.”
The system held its round data link in confusion. It didn’t know why Chi Zhao found it annoying. From a human body’s perspective, love should be like a drug for them, unable to quit, so how could he find it annoying? Was there something wrong with Chi Zhao’s body?
But that wasn’t possible. Chi Zhao’s body was still in the hospital so how could such a strange change suddenly happen?
As the system frantically tried to figure out what was going on, Chi Zhao paused for a moment and continued, “I am the only one who remembers what happened, only I feel lonely and sad. It’s too unfair. You said that these worlds are real, so it means that every one of the partings were real. Whether it is in my eyes or their eyes, it’s the same. If you die, you die. It means that we will never meet again, eternally separated.”
Thunder, rain and dew are all graces from God. It there is a God in this world, then life is a gift from God, and death is also the same. Everyone’s life has a beginning and end and there may be unwillingness to leave but at least they know that they are not alone when they go there. Lovers, friends and family would be there waiting for them and they could also sit down in anticipation, waiting for the day they are once again reunited.
But…….Chi Zhao didn’t have such an opportunity.
He had jumped out of the rules of the world and is now no longer under God’s control. From that moment onwards, his world only has a beginning but no end. No matter which world he would go to in the future, he would be filled with memories of the past. Day after day, year after year, he would perhaps get used to it, but it would most definitely be a long and difficult process.
And that was why, it was really unfair.
The system had concealed a lot of things from him. This, Chi Zhao knew. He also could tell that these worlds are probably not real. What if these worlds were just some fake scripts written by someone? What if it didn’t even involve a script and was just a bunch of data shuffling everything around and self-improving after every attempt?
Then what about him? And what about those people whom he had given his heart to?
The more he thought about it, the more irritated he felt. It went from irritation to anger, and anger to embarrassment.
Simply put, he no longer wanted to emotionally invest himself. In any case, his goal was to go home. He wanted to be resurrected. He was only twenty when he died and still had a bright future ahead of him. That was also his only retreat, and also his home.
Chi Zhao felt that his thoughts were firm and rational, but the system looked at his extremely cold expression and didn’t dare say a single word for a very long time.
The system retreated into Chi Zhao’s mind. After going through its own database for a long time, it finally managed to pull out an “Encyclopedia of Host Behaviours” that came with it when it left the factory from its pile of junk files.
After going through it for a long time, the system was finally able to determine what Chi Zhao’s current mood was.
According to the book, Chi Zhao’s behaviour and mentality indicated that he was sulking.
The encyclopedia could only help the system analyse the hosts behaviour, but it couldn’t tell the system why the host was behaving that way. But as long as it ensured that Chi Zhao was fine and not emotionally stimulated, everything should be fine.
After all, there was a similar case before. The host had fallen in love with their target, but the target didn’t like him back. In the end the host got so angry, he let his emotions take control and he leapt off the 88th floor of a building whilst dragging the target along. That incident back then had left a large psychological shadow on both the system and the target at the time.
Thinking about it now, the system felt that it was worrying pointlessly. With Chi Zhao being so good and so kind, how could he do something like that? If he was sulking…..His anger should be gone after some time?
With this thought in mind, the system calmed back down and continued to invest itself in its singing career.
Chi Zhao on the other hand stayed in the Imperial Garden for a while and then returned.
No one knew how destructive his words to Shen Wumian that morning was because that afternoon Shen Wumian once again appeared beside Chi Zhao looking no different from usual.
No matter what Chi Zhao said, he still continued to act like this. His current focus in life had completely shifted onto Chi Zhao. After going over every single day to attend the court, he would deal with some paperwork at the Qinzheng Hall and, no matter how much work he had to deal with, he would always arrive in time to have lunch with Chi Zhao.
In the afternoon, Chi Zhao attended his lessons. Art, literature, martial arts; only after becoming Shen Wumian’s student did Chi Zhao truly realise how amazing this person was. There was almost nothing this person didn’t know; he was good at everything. Chi Zhao who was in awe at this couldn’t help but also take the lessons more seriously.
As time passed, Shen Wumian no longer asked him to learn about governing the country and he also wouldn’t specifically throw out government related questions to test him. But a few months later, Chi Zhao accidentally saw a report left by Shen Wumian. Once he quickly skimmed through it, he was able to quickly come up with several strategies to deal with the problems written in the report.
Please read this from kk translates
With the report in his hand, Chi Zhao fell silent.
Did he just unknowingly fall into a trap……….
He stared at the officials scribbles on the report for a while and calmly placed it back.
Whatever. Since he wants him to learn how to govern a country, he will learn how to govern a country. In any case, he wasn’t following the plot line anymore.
Chi Zhao lowered his eyes and thought of several new ways to abuse the protagonist. Very soon, his mood turned for the better and he turned and left with a smile with Hong Lei hurrying after him.
After recuperating over summer and autumn, Hong Lei finally recovered and could be reinstated. She knew very well why she was punished so when she returned this time, her attitude towards the young Emperor had changed completely. Everything she did was filled with dedication, and not a single mistake could be pointed out.
Hong Lei’s initial task was to keep an eye the young Emperor, but Shen Wumian later found out that the young Emperor had already known about Hong Lei’s identity since a long time ago. He not only didn’t transfer her away, he still let Hong Lei serve him without a complaint.
Chi Zhao took advantage of Hong Lei’s existence to stab Shen Wumian a few times. Having heard hurtful words too many times, Shen Wumian gradually got used to it. Four seasons passed and Shen Wumian who was originally very smart discovered during this time that His Majesty wasn’t as obedient as he seemed on the surface and most of his hurtful words were spoken intentionally.
It was just that Shen Wumian couldn’t understand why he wanted to hurt him.
And why didn’t he say anything when he was given poison that could kill him?
Was it his way of getting back at him?
It was very possible.
Chen Yi’s personality was originally quite unique. He may appear obedient on the surface but he was rebellious inside and despite being sensitive, he also sometimes would have some extreme thoughts. If you love someone, you wish for them to live; if you hate someone, you wish for their death. In his eyes, it was probably a case of love and hate.
Watching the young Emperor spread open his arms to allow the eunuch to dress him, Shen Wumian smiled faintly and slowly hid away the deep emotions in his eyes.
It didn’t matter if it was a combination of love and late. It didn’t matter if he wanted him to die. It was fine as long as…….the person in his heart was always himself.
After changing his clothes, Chen Yi slowly approached Shen Wumian. The latter smiled gently, “Your Majesty, you look very good in it.”
Today was Chen Yi’s fifteenth birthday. The Emperor’s birthday was celebrated all across the country and new clothes were put on for his own birthday banquet.
A year had passed, and Chi Zhao had grown another two inches. Despite this, he still had to look up at Shen Wumian. What Shen Wumian had done to him over this year, anyone with eyes could see and Chi Zhao who was the one involved also saw it very clearly. At this moment, he tilted his head slightly as he looked at Shen Wumian who was smiling at him from the depths of his heart and felt that this person was really strange.
If the two swapped places and Chi Zhao was subjected to hearing hurtful words one after another, he would’ve already turned violent and beat that person up, but Shen Wumian just continued to act like he didn’t hear it. At the beginning, he would reveal some emotion but later on, he didn’t show any changes at all. Once, he even quietly waited for Chi Zhao to finish speaking before passing over a cup of tea to get him to quench his thirst.
Looking back now, Chi Zhao felt very miffed. He felt that he was undermined.
The young man tilting his head looking at him intently was a very tempting sight. Shen Wumian however had good control of himself. He added a bit of obedience to his already gentle smile, stepped back and lowered his head humbly, “This one will take Your Majesty over.”
After saying this, Shen Wumian straightened up and walked out. Chi Zhao hesitated for a second before similarly walking out. Although Shen Wumian was training him to be a real Emperor, in daily life, Shen Wumian didn’t act that respectful to him. Just like now, he and Chi Zhao walked side by side instead of the usual way an Emperor and his subject would.
After all, the prince regent’s mindset had changed. Before, he wanted to be the Emperor but now he wanted to be the Emperor’s man.
To still have that desire after having his heart pierced so many times, he really must be a masochist.
It seemed that every protagonist had a slight masochist side to them. No matter how the person they like tormented them, they wouldn’t get angry let alone hurt him. Outsiders may think that they are deeply in love but as the one involved, Chi Zhao only felt one emotion.
He didn’t know if all protagonists were like this or it was only the protagonist he meets.
As this thought appeared in his mind, Chi Zhao paused slightly. Shen Wumian seemed to sense it but before he could turn his head, Chi Zhao had already continued forward, as if that moment just now was just his imagination.
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