After leaving the imperial garden, Fu Zhiyu immediately asked someone to make some inquiries about Xie Ke.
It was not something secret; after all, the selection of the imperial guards was a big event in the palace. But Fu Zhiyu hadn’t been out much recently and didn’t care about these things.
The palace staff moved quickly, and by the time Fu Zhiyu arrived at Liuli Palace, the information had already been delivered.
It turned out that Xie Ke’s selection as the imperial guard had something to do with Fu Zhiyu himself.
Because of the incident on the ice lake, the Empress Dowager wanted to reward Xie Ke. Saving the prince was considered a meritorious deed, and it was normal to be promoted.
In his previous life, Xie Ke politely declined the reward when asked by the emperor, only saying that it was his duty to save the prince, and he wanted to be rewarded for his true talents and hard work. The emperor was not angry when he heard that; he just smiled and praised the young talent.
Shortly afterwards, Xie Ke won the martial arts examination by a huge margin and became the true number one among the younger generation. The emperor remembered him and because Xie Ke was also Xie Lin’s son, and General Xie had been promoted by Fu Qingyan and had contributed a lot to securing his position on the throne, the emperor was pleased and made Xie Ke a fourth-rank officer. This was already a great achievement for a nineteen-year-old young man.
Now, the imperial guards were also the fourth-rank officers but it was a very different thing.
Although the emperor meant to reward Xie Ke for the life-saving incident, he only deliberately included Xie Ke in the candidates under consideration. The imperial guards were much more powerful than simple officers and the selection was extremely strict. Even Xie Lin’s son from the main wife, Xie Ke’s half-brother, failed at the last level and was not selected. Although Fu Zhiyu felt that this shouldn’t be a big deal for Xie Ke, it seemed Xie Ke was much more eager than in the previous life.
Fu Zhiyu didn’t know what he wanted but he felt that this man paid special attention to him, with that look in his eyes…
He couldn’t say what that look meant; he just felt that Xie Ke’s emotions were extremely complicated.
Fu Zhiyu frowned. He hadn’t forgotten his purpose; after entering the palace gate, he stopped the palace servant.
There were many silver needles for poison testing in Liuli Palace. Fu Zhiyu tested his clothes, saliva, the water he had touched, and so on. Finally, he preliminarily determined that there were problems of varying degrees.
His blood was the most obvious. The silver needle reacted quickly and turned red at once. On the contrary, the tea he had drunk was not so special. The silver needle soaked in it for a long time before it turned a little red. After repeated attempts of this kind, the silver needle had also undergone a change. It seemed to have been polished, much brighter than other silver needles that had not been experimented with.
But Fu Zhiyu also knew that the method of silver needle detection was relatively backward and simple. The situation of a needle turning red had never happened before, and with the limited means available in this world, he could not yet determine what was wrong.
After a few steps in the room, Fu Zhiyu thought of something else and squeezed a drop of blood into the cup, then poured it into the small pot of flowers by the window.
This pot was sent by the Imperial Household Department yesterday. The plant was very suitable to raise in winter, but it had been really cold recently, and when you looked closely, you could see that the leaves of the flower shrivelled a bit. It probably was going to be replaced with a new one today.
But when Fu Zhiyu poured this cup of water on the flower, it was as if it was instantly tinged with some kind of vitality. As if by magic, the slightly yellowed leaves gradually changed. When Fu Zhiyu waited a little longer, the flower was completely transformed into what it had been when it was first brought in, verdant and delightful to look at.
Fu Zhiyu: “……”
It didn’t look like a bad thing?
The Lord God told him that every world was just a pile of data, so strictly speaking, every world could have something that materialism could not explain. For example, in a world without fantasy settings a flower could suddenly become a stone, which was normal, a small error in the daily operation of the data, soon to be fixed.
The Lord God had its own set of operating rules, and Fu Zhiyu apparently was a particularly strange bug that couldn’t be fixed or deleted. The Lord God at first doubted whether he carried a virus and would infect other data, and quarantined him for a period of time. But eventually nothing was detected and no other data in the world of “His Name Will Live On in History” had this kind of a personality change, so the Lord God put the matter aside.
But just because it hadn’t happened then didn’t mean it wasn’t happening now.
The Lord God said before that he had mutated, and Fu Zhiyu now had good reason to suspect that he had indeed developed some kind of contagious virus as a result of his mutation.
But this “virus” was not necessarily bad; take the pot of flowers in front of him, it obviously looked better now.
Fu Zhiyu didn’t do anything else to this pot of flowers but just told the palace staff that this one didn’t need to be replaced with a new one and didn’t need to be moved, just staying where it was.
He spent more than a day observing it, and saw that the flower was indeed getting better. Its vitality that suddenly improved was not an illusion, nor was it last flash of vigour before the demise.
When Fu Zhiyu woke up the next morning, he saw that the flower had actually sprouted a few small pink buds, tiny like grains of rice in a pile of green leaves.
The palace maid came to clean up the bed for him. She was lively and talkative by nature, and she couldn’t help but say when she saw this: “It’s really strange, this flower grows so well in winter, and it looks like it’s about to bloom. Master, do you want to move it? It is warm in the room.”
“No,” Fu Zhiyu waved his hand, “just leave it there.”
More than half of his conjectures were verified, and he was in a good mood. But apart from that, Fu Zhiyu also wanted to know if there were any other changes in his body.
Although he had mostly faked his illness before, he had also been weak for a while from Dr. Chen’s golden needles, and had only fully regained his strength in the last few days.
Fu Zhiyu had tried something last night and now he had a bit of an idea. He took a look at the shelf in the study, picked a brush casually, held it between his index and middle fingers, and then with a slight effort, the brush shaft broke and fell soundlessly to the carpet at his feet.
When he tried it last night, he realised that he could easily break off the wooden lion carved on the bedside. Although he pressed it back sheepishly, the broken lion glared at him with its wide open eyes, reminding Fu Zhiyu that there had indeed been a change in him.
After several experiments, Fu Zhiyu felt that his strength could be completely controlled and there should be no accidents. He hadn’t noticed it earlier because he hadn’t experimented with it.
In his previous life, he practised martial arts and went to the battlefield, but he had never been so strong. In this life he used his serious illness as an excuse to no longer practise martial arts so as not to reveal his skills in any way.
It was not bad to have this ability now.
Fu Zhiyu picked up the two halves of the brush that had fallen on the floor. While thinking about it, he decided that this matter would not have any effect on his original plan; it just made him feel more confident.
He said that he would protect his mother and wasn’t going to engage in fighting for power; but at least he needed to have the ability to guarantee the success of his plan. Although now he had the favour of Emperor Qingyuan and no one dared to offend Liuli Palace, Fu Zhiyu knew that the old emperor would not last for more than a few years.
When the time came, he didn’t think that the Crown Prince would let him and his mother go, and it was not as easy as he said to find an opportunity to escape.
Keeping a low profile didn’t mean doing nothing. Only by learning to plan ahead could he get the long, uneventful life he wanted.
It was almost time for some scheming.
Fu Zhiyu looked at the sky outside, thinking silently. After his mother’s ceremony, he would go out of the palace. The appointment with Xie Ke was secondary; he had more important things to do.