However, Fu Zhiyu also found that the child was much more clingy than in his previous life. He took Fu Zhiyu’s hand and didn’t want him to leave when he was bathing. Fu Zhiyu had to wash him by himself. The guards behind him felt that this was inappropriate and wanted to interfere but were immediately sent out by Fu Zhiyu to buy clothes for the child.
He felt that there was nothing wrong with it. Mingdao was pitiful at the moment and he couldn’t help but feel distressed for the child.
It was the middle of winter now, and Mingdao was wearing only two thin pieces of clothing on his body. It was cold even to look at it. Fu Zhiyu sighed uncontrollably while bathing the boy and looking at the assortment of big and small wounds on his body.
Yuan Mingdao was an orphan with unknown parents. He had an unfortunate childhood and because of this, the little bit of kindness Fu Zhiyu had shown him made him want to repay this kindness even if he had to die.
“Do you have a name?” Fu Zhiyu asked him softly, “If not, can I give you one? It’s just that I can’t give you a surname casually. My mother’s surname is fine. You’ll be called Yuan Mingdao, good?”
The child nodded obediently, speaking for the first time and saying one word: “Good.”
Then he blinked again, stared at Fu Zhiyu intently and added one more word: “Master.”
Fu Zhiyu touched his wet hair and smiled: “My name is Fu Zhiyu.”
As he spoke, he wrote these words on his arm, leaving a few blurred traces of water.
“I will teach you calligraphy and martial arts,“ he continued, “But I didn’t take you away to be your master. In the future, if you want, you can treat me as your elder brother.”
Yuan Mingdao shook his head stubbornly and then called him ‘Master’ again, still clinging to him and refusing to let go.
Fu Zhiyu didn’t force this matter either. He just bathed Mingdao for half an hour. The guards bought a lot of children’s clothes. He picked a light green cotton-padded coat from the pile and dressed Yuan Mingdao in it.
Yuan Mingdao was born very good-looking. After washing, his skin was extremely pale, and his green eyes looked like clear gems. He looked different from the people here, a different kind of exotic style. It was no wonder that the brothel keeper in the previous life was reluctant to let him go and did her best to make him obey.
His hair was not pure black, but a bit brown. Fu Zhiyu carefully wiped it with a towel several times. Now it was semi-dry, with a few strands hanging on his cheeks, making Mingdao look very docile.
“Too thin,” Fu Zhiyu put the clothes on him, touched his face again, and said, distressed, “There is not much meat here. The waiter will deliver the food later. Let’s have some snacks first.”
Perhaps because he had changed into new clothes, Yuan Mingdao didn’t gobble up the meal like he had done in his previous life, like a beggar who had not eaten in eight lifetimes. Although he ate quickly this time, his movements were disciplined, even a little reserved and elegant, and he didn’t stare at the meat, but remembered to combine meat and vegetables, and put down his chopsticks when he was almost full.
Fu Zhiyu waited for him to finish eating and touched his hair that was already dry. So he took the hair rope prepared on the side and tied Mingdao’s half-length hair simply.
From behind, he saw Yuan Mingdao’s back tense up and then gradually relax again.
In his previous life, he had been good to Mingdao, but he didn’t do these things for him personally. Back then, he still regarded himself as a prince; no matter how gentle his personality was, his upbringing from an early age made it impossible for him to condescend to do such things.
But now Fu Zhiyu had long since been enlightened. To put it bluntly, everyone was just data, and there was no point in strict etiquette. Now he could do whatever he wanted, and it was even less likely for Mingdao to be shackled by any rules.
In his eyes, Mingdao was now a younger brother who needed protection. He was only ten years old, he was still young and still had plenty of time.
“Do you want to take a nap?” Fu Zhiyu asked him, “I don’t think you’ve had a good rest recently, right? When you wake up, I will take you home.”
Who knows what part of his words affected Yuan Mingdao but the boy plunged himself into his arms. Fu Zhiyu hugged him, feeling how soft the child was. It was the life that he finally saw again, and it was the regret that he finally had the opportunity to make up for.
“Don’t go.” Yuan Mingdao whispered in his ear, “I’m scared…”
His voice was too low, and Fu Zhiyu didn’t hear clearly what he was muttering in the end.
“I’m not leaving,” Fu Zhiyu patted him on the back and coaxed, “I didn’t sleep well last night either, so I’ll lie down here with you for a while.”
Yuan Mingdao was coaxed by him and gradually relaxed. Fu Zhiyu was really sleepy. After he got Mingdao, it was like a knot had been untied in his heart.
They slept until noon. After Fu Zhiyu woke up, he saw that Mingdao, who was still asleep, was clenching his sleeve, refusing to let go. He moved a little, and the child immediately opened his eyes.
“No more sleeping?”
Yuan Mingdao shook his head, staring at him intently.
“Then let’s go out and have a look. I still have some things to do,” Fu Zhiyu said with a smile. “I haven’t been out like this for a long time either. I still miss it a little bit.”
Holding Yuan Mingdao’s hand and followed by two guards, he attracted quite a lot of attention as he walked down the stairs, and the noisy lobby was quiet for a moment, with the eyes of the scholars all looking at him, intentionally or unintentionally.
Fu Zhiyu had followed Grand Master Xu out of the palace before quite a few times. He had also met some famous scholars and attended several gatherings. He was good-looking and attracted attention, so many people knew him.
Besides, after so long, few people probably didn’t know that he was named Wang Zhao after his brain was damaged due to an illness.
Fu Zhiyu didn’t care about the whispers, he only said quietly to Yuan Mingdao: “Be careful of the steps. The steps of the Fengyue House are a bit too high, do you want me to carry you down?”
Yuan Mingdao, looking serious in front of so many people, shook his head firmly.
No matter how much the scholars speculated in their hearts, no one dared to step forward. They could only watch as this group of people walked through the lobby and were about to walk out of the Fengyue House.
But at this moment, someone squeezed out of the crowd. The guards reacted quickly and stood in front of Fu Zhiyu with swords in their hands, ready to protect him.
It was a scholar, wearing a moon-white robe, looking harmless at first glance. There was no sense of threat about him but there was a light of excitement in his eyes.
“My name is Shen Yang,” the scholar saw the guards pointing the swords at him but he was not afraid at all. He only saluted Fu Zhiyu and said, “I have been introduced by Grand Master Xu and have been fortunate enough to meet Wang Zhao a few times. Dare to ask, does Wang Zhao remember me?”
Since this man appeared, Fu Zhiyu felt that Yuan Mingdao’s hand holding his suddenly tightened.
To be honest, Shen Yang was someone he remembered, and remembered very clearly.
When Fu Zhiyu was the emperor in his previous life, he had three confidants and beloved subjects, all of whom he treated with sincerity, but the choices of the three were different.
His loyal guard Yuan Mingdao died for him. His beloved general Xie Ke eventually killed him. And his best support, Prime Minister Shen Yang, chose to betray him.
Yes, when Fu Zhiyu was the emperor, he personally appointed the commoner Shen Yang as his prime minister. To be fair, Shen Yang was very clever and talented. At the time of fighting for power with the Crown Prince, it was Shen Yang’s idea that gave Fu Zhiyu a lot of advantage.
However, when Xie Ke rebelled, it was Shen Yang who stole the imperial seal. When Fu Zhiyu was most in danger, he chose to defect to Xie Ke, leaving him behind.
It was not easy to see these three old friends today, and they were all the kind that he remembered deeply, ah.