In fact, he didn’t even need to act. During that time in the system space, Fu Zhiyu had changed a lot.
In his previous life, he had lived in a state of tension since he was a child. With his identity and his feelings, even if he wanted to stop, he was riding a tiger. If he stopped, he would end up gnawed to the bone. Only after death did he get a real rest.
Although the system space was not large, there were books full of information about various worlds. The Lord God and the systems enjoyed talking to him, and he could pick up something from what they said. Only then did Fu Zhiyu realise that life was actually much more extensive than he thought.
The things he had been struggling with all his life before were just a passage in a book, and the ending was already predestined, so he didn’t need to care too much.
Everyone was just an insignificant speck of dust, Fu Zhiyu thought. With this clear understanding all he wanted was to live an easy life, no longer being an overly self-demanding prince and no longer interested in being a perpetual chaser of Xie Ke.
Emperor Qingyuan kept paying attention to Fu Zhiyu’s movements while talking to Consort Yun.
The boy was helped by a palace maid to lie down on a soft couch, with a book in his hand, but he didn’t even read a few pages before he put it down. His eyes flickered and he reached for the fruit plate on the small table. He slowly ate a few pine nuts, still holding the book. Eating and reading at the same time, it took a long time for him to slowly turn a page.
He was like a leisurely little squirrel.
But Xiao Jiu was not like this before.
Emperor Qingyuan thought that some of the subtle movements of people were difficult to fake. Xiao Jiu used to be extremely demanding of himself, and he would never be distracted when reading. Even if he was unwell, he wouldn’t have such lazy moments.
The inability to concentrate was probably the most fatal injury in the deterioration of a genius, Emperor Qingyuan thought sadly as he walked up to Fu Zhiyu again.
“What book are you reading?” He asked softly.
“A travelogue,” Fu Zhiyu obediently showed him the cover, “It’s quite interesting.”
Emperor Qingyuan asked, “I remember, before the great ceremony, you were reading “The Theory of Resource Governance”. How was it? Did you have any insights?”
Fu Zhiyu raised his head to look at him, blinked, showing some confusion, and said, “…I (talking to the emperor, he uses ‘érchén’ – child and subject – as ‘I’) don’t remember very clearly. I read it when I was recovering from illness at Longquan Temple, but… I don’t understand it very well.”
The emperor lowered his head to look at the travelogue. Fu Zhiyu should have been reading it for a few days. Some simple notes were made on it, probably because the habit of reading books this way had not been lost.
But when he looked at the small characters, the handwriting was much different from what it had been before. It seemed that Fu Zhiyu had lost his style and his writing was a bit shaky, far cry from being endowed with a natural beauty that nurtured talent before.
The handwriting is the face of a literati, and this… also degenerated too much.
Fu Zhiyu knew that Emperor Qingyuan had noticed this. He hasn’t practised changing his handwriting deliberately. The reason was actually very simple; it was because in his previous life in order to see Xie Ke he fell and injured his hand. When he approved memorials, his hand was often shaking and he didn’t have much strength in it. His handwriting had changed a long time ago.
When Emperor Qingyuan saw this, he only sighed in his heart, but there was a gentle and kind smile on his face. He touched Fu Zhiyu’s head and asked, “Are pine nuts delicious?”
Fu Zhiyu nodded.
“Let the Imperial Household Department send some more later,” Emperor Qingyuan said, “Take good care of yourself.”
After saying that, Emperor Qingyuan was ready to leave. Before he left, he sighed, turned around and took Consort Yun’s hand, adding, “You have suffered.”
Consort Yun bowed and whispered, “This concubine only asks for Zhiyu to be safe.”
Consort Yun was extremely beautiful. Even though she was no longer young, her every move still had the aura of the number one beauty in the capital.
The beauty had tears in the corners of her eyes and the ends of her eyes were slightly red. Her exquisite palace dress made her look charming and elegant, yet she had a gentle and pitiful look about her.
Emperor Qingyuan’s heart softened. Although there were countless women in the harem, only the one in front of him was different to him.
He and Yun’er also used to…
Emperor Qingyuan sighed in his heart; his tone was even softer as he said, “When I finish handling political affairs, I will come back to see you.”
Consort Yun nodded and watched the emperor leave. When the imperial guards had walked out of the palace gate, she took out her handkerchief and wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes, with no expression on her face.
Fu Zhiyu watched his mother’s face-changing process from the side and silently applauded his mother’s acting skills in his heart.
After Consort Yun finished her performance, she waved away the palace maids to her left and right and walked to sit down next to Fu Zhiyu. He offered her a plate of peeled pine nuts on a silver tray, like a treasure.
“Just let the maid do this kind of thing,” Consort Yun looked at the plate of white pine nuts, couldn’t help laughing and took Fu Zhiyu’s hand to take a closer look, “You, he’s already gone. Stop pretending if you don’t want to and do what you want to do.”
“What I want to do now is to peel pine nuts for Mother Consort,” Fu Zhiyu said with a smile. “I know that Mother Consort likes to eat them, so this is the most important thing.”
“I think you seem happy?” Consort Yun asked while eating pine nuts one by one, “At least you’ve passed the emperor’s hurdle. I think he is convinced.”
“Father Emperor?” Fu Zhiyu smiled, “He is nothing.”
In front of Consort Yun, he had always been honest and dared to say even such rebellious things.
But Fu Zhiyu was indeed happy, not because of the emperor but because he had just confirmed one thing.
From the moment he learned that Xie Ke had been staying at Longquan Temple and refusing to leave, he had doubts in his heart. After all, Xie Ke didn’t wait just for a day or two. Fu Zhiyu had fallen ill at Longquan Temple twice, which took more than ten days. Except for a few days in the middle, Xie Ke had been there all the time. According to the eunuchs guarding outside, Young Master Xie repeatedly tried to come to visit him.
This was very strange. Xie Ke was the protagonist. According to the plot, it was absolutely impossible for him to stay there. It was very likely that he would be judged as being OOC and then be deducted points, because these actions seriously affected the plot.
And Fu Zhiyu didn’t follow the actions of his previous life this time either. He played it differently but everything actually worked out the way he wanted it to, without a hitch.
These things made him even more certain that this world was no longer a plot world, but a “free world” that had been mentioned by the systems, the world not affected by the original book.
Because all things come to an end, and so do the actors’ missions, but after the end of the plot the world still exists, it just becomes “a free world”, no longer subject to the nature of the plot, free to develop in all possible directions.
If the world is still involved in the plot, even if the actor does not intervene, there is “setting inertia” of the original plot.
For example, in his previous life, Fu Zhiyu didn’t harm the noble lady in the palace and the child in her belly at the age of eight, as set in the book, but she had an accident and the child was lost all the same, and the palace still didn’t find out who the perpetrator was. This noble lady had a bad temper and had offended too many people; anyone could do it.
As another example, Fu Zhiyu still became the emperor. He was not as brutal as in the original book, but because of his laxity in ruling his officials and the discontent of the affected people he was still cursed as an incompetent emperor.
In his previous life, although the plot was partially diverted due to him being different, it often had to return to the right track in the end. Although it was also the actor’s merit, there was “setting inertia” too, which to a certain extent kept the plot from deviating from the main line.
When Fu Zhiyu was in the system space, he had heard from the Lord God that the mission of “His Name Will Live On in History” had been completed and that Xie Ke’s actor had scored very high. At that time he had already been in the Lord God’s space for a long time, so when he heard this news, he felt that it was expected.
A world that had completed its mission would become independent, become a ”free world”, not subject to the supervision of the Lord God. It was reasonable to say that it was impossible for any more actors to enter it. But the world of “His Name Will Live On in History” was rebooted.
If it was rebooted, it was rebooted. Fu Zhiyu didn’t care why the actor Xie Ke did this. Anyway, he was back.
What he cared about was that a “free world” that had completed the mission would not revert to the mission world even if it was rebooted, and the mission would not be re-released again. Xie Ke’s abnormality and his own attempts had almost verified this.
This was indeed a “free world”, and Xie Ke was most likely no longer an “actor”. He just held the identity of the protagonist. The world was no longer affected by the inertia of the plot, and there was a lot of room to play.
Then at least it was likely very possible to save his mother’s life and prevent her from dying as described in the book.
This was one of the things Fu Zhiyu was the happiest about since his rebirth.
He knew that his mother was extremely confused as to why he had to play dumb at this time. He did have a chance in the fight for the throne, especially now that the plot was free. In his previous life he had been able to fight back and defeat the Crown Prince without preliminary knowledge, so if he wanted to fight this time, it would only be easier.
But it was not that he hadn’t been the emperor before. When Fu Zhiyu remembered it now, he only felt that those days were extremely painful. He suffered himself and brought pain to the people.
He and Fu Zhiyu’s character in the original book were two extremes, one was too cruel and the other was too gentle. In terms of his talent as an emperor, let alone Xie Ke, he was not even comparable to today’s Emperor Qingyuan.
It was the fault of the emperor that he couldn’t control his subjects. He was not suitable for the throne, and there was no need to fight.
Besides, even if this was a free world, Fu Zhiyu didn’t think that any emperor could beat Xie Ke. The two sides were just not at the same level.
If Xie Ke kept his system, the difference would be even more dramatic. He was one of the top three players in terms of points, and there were so many things that could be redeemed for points in the system. Now that there were no restrictions from the plot, anything received from the system could be a devastating blow.
Maybe without the plot restrictions, the Fu imperial family would be finished even faster.
In the evening, Fu Zhiyu lay down early and was about to fall asleep. Suddenly, he heard a voice calling his name softly like a thief: “Zhiyu, Zhiyu, can you hear me?”
Fu Zhiyu was taken aback and subconsciously replied: “Who?”
The palace maid on the side heard it and was about to step forward but was stopped by Fu Zhiyu with a wave of his hand.
“You go out.” He said, “I don’t need anyone to serve here.”
He recognised whose voice it was; the words directly sounded in his mind.
“Lord God?” He replied softly, “How did you get here?”
“You don’t need to speak, we both can communicate in our brains,” the Lord God said. “I had a hard time getting this chance to come, I don’t know how long this opening will last.”
“Is this world now in the state of a free world?” As soon as Fu Zhiyu heard this, he quickly asked the question he wanted to ask most, “I’m fine, I’m doing good.”
“Did you find out? Indeed it is,” the Lord God sighed, “This world is made very strange by Xie Ke. I don’t even know how he did it… The mission of “His Name Will Live on in History” was a super high-level task. He did that, and now it has become a fixed part of the entire system. It’s a time bomb, only temporarily stable.
Zhiyu, I’ve treated you well. Can you do me a favour and ensure that the world will not be collapsed by Xie Ke? Otherwise we’ll be in a difficult situation.”
The Lord God did treat him well and taught him a lot of things. Fu Zhiyu agreed after thinking about it, and said, “I will do my best.”
“Has he done anything strange to you recently?” After hearing his promise, the Lord God breathed a sigh of relief, and added, “If he does, you can beat him up.”
Fu Zhiyu said honestly: “I can’t beat him.”
“That’s not necessarily true,“ the Lord God said. “You are different from others. You are a bug that has been in the Lord God’s space for a long time. I have detected that you have mutated.”
“…It doesn’t sound like something good.”
“You have to believe that I won’t screw you,” the Lord God said. “You…”
Fu Zhiyu was ready to listen, but as soon as the Lord God got to the point, there was no sound, probably because the opening was closed, forcing it to go offline.
Fu Zhiyu had been back for more than ten days, and he hadn’t felt any changes in his body. Or maybe he had tossed himself around before he had time to feel it.
He won’t suddenly grow any ears or a tail, right?
He became frightened for the first time after being reborn.