The Great Yan-zhi came in with great bravado, gave Wei Zhao a severe beating and left the courtyard in high spirits, leaving the mess all over the place.
It was not until the Great Yan-zhi had led her people out of the Northern Courtyard that the nanny and the maids who had been stunned by the whole thing dared to gather around to check on Wei Zhao and Yi Yin’s condition.
Yi Yin was protected by Wei Zhao, so naturally he was fine, but his wounds from yesterday had not yet healed, and his face was covered in tears today, making him look a bit funny.
Wei Zhao’s injuries didn’t look good. The Great Yan-zhi’s hand was fierce, and the whip was drawn on his back. The wounds were already bleeding and looked terrible. One of the timid maids even exclaimed in fright.
Yi Yin didn’t wait for his nanny to come and pick him up, so he rolled over and got up on his own, hugging Wei Zhao’s arm and asking, “Daddy, do your wounds hurt?”
Wei Zhao shook his head gently, but even this simple action caused the corners of his mouth to twitch slightly, showing that the pain was quite severe. The maids didn’t dare to delay and hurriedly helped Wei Zhao up and sent him back inside, while Yi Yin clutched the hem of his clothes and followed him back to his room.
After helping Wei Zhao sit down on the kang and helping him remove his clothes that had been torn by the whip and stuck to his bloody wounds, the maids were about to apply the medicine but Wei Zhao ordered them to leave.
“Master, your injuries…” The maids who retreated to the door felt very helpless. The wounds on Wei Zhao’s back were very deep, and it was absolutely necessary to apply the medicine quickly, but Wei Zhao didn’t want them to serve, and they didn’t dare to violate his orders. Yet if Wei Zhao were to suffer any harm, no one could bear the wrath of the king.
Yi Yin originally had to be expelled from the room too, but he refused to leave, so Wei Zhao didn’t insist and let him stay.
Wei Zhao treated his own wounds, moving methodically. It could be seen that he was very skilled at doing this kind of thing. The only thing was that he was injured on his back this time, and there were some places he couldn’t reach to apply the medicine by himself. Wei Zhao wanted to leave them alone, but then he heard Yi Yin whisper, “Daddy, I’ll help you.”
Wei Zhao didn’t say anything, so Yi Yin moved behind him, wiped away the dried blood on his back with a wet cloth, and then slowly applied the medicine to the wounds. His movements were very light, for fear of hurting Wei Zhao.
Even so, Wei Zhao was still trembling slightly and his forehead was slick with sweat when the good hemostatic ointment was applied to the bone-deep wounds.
There were many scars on Wei Zhao’s body, both old and new. The latest ones were left by the Great Yan-zhi’s whip today, but there were not too many of them and they were concentrated. There were more: scars from various sharp blades, as well as burns and scalds…
Not only that, many wounds were new injuries on top of the old injuries, and it was almost impossible to see the original appearance of the skin anymore. Yi Yin knew that these were all the work of Helian Zhuo, who was truly the most cruel to Wei Zhao.
Thinking of Helian Zhuo, Yi Yin suddenly felt that it was understandable how cold Wei Zhao was towards himself. After all, half of the blood in his veins was from Helian Zhuo. If Wei Zhao hadn’t strangled him to death in the first place, it was already very kind.
It was just that he didn’t want to be Helian Zhuo’s son. The man who never cared for him except to use him to hurt Wei Zhao was not worthy of being called a father at all.
In his previous life, in the tenth year of Wei Yang’s ascension to the throne, the Great Yan finally retook Youzhou, and Helian Zhuo was also defeated and killed in that battle.
What Yi Yin regretted most was that he had already broken into Qingjia, but he had not been able to end Helian Zhuo’s life with his own hands. It would have been one of the few things he could do for Wei Zhao.
When he finished applying the medicine, Yi Yin was already in tears. Wei Zhao felt the wetness on his back and couldn’t help but look back at him, “Little crybaby, what’s the matter with you in the past two days?”
Wei Zhao was not usually close to his son, but that didn’t mean he didn’t know anything about Yi Yin. In his opinion, the number of times Yi Yin cried in the past two days could match the number of times he had cried in the past year, so he was puzzled.
Yi Yin choked on the words “little crybaby” and felt that it was detrimental to his image, but then he thought that the fact that Wei Zhao could call him such a mushy name meant that Wei Zhao didn’t just hate him, so he whispered, “Daddy, I’m sorry!”
The wounds had just been treated, so Wei Zhao could not dress himself. He just took a coat and wrapped it around himself casually. He lay on the kang bed and asked curiously, “What are you sorry for?”
Yi Yin lowered his head, clasped his hands uncomfortably and said in a muffled voice: “I’ll stay away from Pei Di from now on, and I won’t provoke him anymore, so as not to hurt Daddy…” At least, he wouldn’t act rashly until he was strong enough to fight Pei Di.
Wei Zhao raised his eyebrows and smiled, his smile extremely faint and tired: “You don’t have to be like this. You can’t hide and you don’t have to hide. Next time you see Pei Di, you should fight back. No matter how bad it is, he won’t watch us die.”
Wei Zhao knew Helian Zhuo’s temperament well. He was quick-tempered, vindictive, and loved to take his anger out on everything. He had to rely on Tiele to get back the part of Youzhou while the Great Yan was pressing hard on him, and he had nowhere to vent his anger, so he would not let Wei Zhao die so easily.
If Helian Zhuo had not wanted Yi Yin, he wouldn’t have been born alive at all. Without Yi Yin, his most successful trophy, what would Helian Zhuo have to show off in front of his subjects?
“Daddy, I don’t want you to die!” Yi Yin didn’t know what happened afterwards, but the thought of Wei Zhao who couldn’t use his limbs and had no desire to live made him feel scared. He didn’t want to lose him.
Wei Zhao curbed his smile and said calmly, “Yi Yin, don’t be afraid, Daddy won’t die.” Yi Yin was a good boy, how could he die without properly settling him down.
Yi Yin was even more scared. The look on Wei Zhao’s face at the moment was like when he entrusted him to Lu Ming. He got under the covers, carefully avoiding Wei Zhao’s wounds and hugged him tightly, saying incoherently, “I will grow up soon, I will protect you when I grow up…”
Wei Zhao sighed silently and put his arms around Yi Yin. Why? Why was he the son of Helian Zhuo, the evidence of his rape and humiliation?
Yesterday night, Wei Zhao was so busy taking care of Yi Yin that he didn’t sleep for half a night, and today he was so injured that he fell asleep shortly after lying down, his breath shallow.
Yi Yin, on the other hand, had slept for a whole day and night from yesterday until now, and had just the right amount of energy, not sleepy at all. He was eager to have an opportunity to spend time alone with Wei Zhao, so he sat on the kang, amusing himself, reciting the Art of War when he was bored and thinking about how to attack Fuyu in the future.
It would be great if he and Wei Zhao could live together all the time, Yi Yin thought insatiably. As long as Helian Zhuo no longer appeared, Wei Zhao would love him very much, and he no longer would have to envy other people’s children for having loving parents.
But how would they get rid of Helian Zhuo’s clutches? They could not stay in Fuyu, which was Helian Zhuo’s territory; nor could they go to Tiele, Helian Zhuo’s in-laws, and the relationship between the Great Yan and Tiele was even worse than with Fuyu.
The only thing left was the Great Yan, Wei Zhao’s homeland and the place where Yi Yin had lived for nearly twenty years and was finally buried. But Yi Yin didn’t know if Wei Zhao could go back.
Wei Zhao’s father, Wei Su, was a far-sighted and ambitious emperor who devoted his life to restoring the Han dynasty to its former glory. In his early years, Wei Su had appointed Ji Qing, Wang Changning, and Jun Lin, Hou Zhaoyang, to beat the Tiele back to the north of the desert.
After that, Wei Su’s goal was Fuyu, but Youzhou, however, became the graveyard of the empire’s most famous generals, Jun Lin, Ji Yu, Lu Ziqian… and then Wei Zhao.
The first three were either dead or wounded, but they were all victorious over their opponents. Only Wei Zhao was captured by accident, disappointing Wei Su, who had high hopes for him.
In the eyes of the emperor who could not tolerate failure, Wei Zhao’s death in battle might have been a better outcome. But instead of dying, he became the exclusive property of Helian Zhuo and even gave him a son.
In his previous life, Wei Zhao had asked Lu Ming to bring Yi Yin back to the Great Yan because during the tragic witchcraft rebellion, the Crown Prince Wei Ming’s and Princess Yuankang’s entire families had died. The old emperor, who was desperate for descendants, regretted it and inevitably had a higher tolerance for his only remaining grandchild.
Now, before the witchcraft chaos, both Wei Ming and Princess Yuankang were in good health. Not to mention Yi Yin, it was still unclear whether Wei Su would accept Wei Zhao.
It should be noted that, thanks to Helian Zhuo’s efforts, Wei Zhao’s experience in Fuyu had already spread throughout the Great Yan, and there was much debate at court and among the common people, with some believing that Wei Zhao was innocent, while others feeling that he deserved to die and his death would be a service to the world.
If Wei Su didn’t think so, why didn’t the Great Yan rescue Wei Zhao in the past few years? The more Yi Yin thought about it, the more messy his feelings were. The road ahead was bleak, and he didn’t know where to go.
In the midst of Yi Yin’s ruminations, the day passed quickly. Wei Zhao slept until dinner time, waking up to see his son frowning and clenching his fists, muttering something under his breath with a particularly rich expression.
As usual, there was no need to get off the kang for dinner, but Yi Yin refused to be fed by his nanny and ate on his own with chopsticks. He was also proficient in his movements, which attracted Wei Zhao’s sideways gaze.
Not wanting to arouse too much suspicion, Yi Yin had to hold his chopsticks a little more awkwardly and deliberately spilled a few grains of rice on the bedside table. Finally, Wei Zhao stopped staring at him and gave him a couple more dishes to eat.
After dinner, Wei Zhao had the whim to teach Yi Yin to recite the Three Character Classic, which was used to educate the children of the Great Yan. Yi Yin had learnt the Three Character Classic before and could still remember most of it, so when Wei Zhao recited one sentence, Yi Yin repeated it after him.
After teaching the first eight sentences, Wei Zhao started again from the beginning, repeating them three times and asking Yi Yin to recite them. Yi Yin didn’t want to give Wei Zhao the impression that he didn’t have enough brains, so he recited smoothly.
Then Wei Zhao continued to teach him, and just as father and son were having a good time, a maid came to report that the king would be arriving soon.
Wei Zhao’s expression froze when he heard it. His smile, if there was any, disappeared instantly, and the look he gave Yi Yin was a little more chilly. Yi Yin innocently covered his face with his hands. He knew that as soon as Helian Zhuo appeared, Wei Zhao would not feel comfortable even looking at him.
Wei Zhao summoned the nanny and asked her to take Yi Yin to the front yard, telling her to keep an eye on him and not to let him wander off. The nanny took the orders and carried Yi Yin out the room, whether he wanted to or not.
When the nanny came out of the backyard with Yi Yin in her arms, she ran into Helian Zhuo. She hurriedly lowered her head and saluted. Yi Yin also lowered his head. He didn’t want to see Helian Zhuo.
Who could have thought that Helian Zhuo would be in good spirits today. He actually took Yi Yin from his nanny’s arms, hugged him and pinched his face for a while, then gave him back to the nanny, turned around and walked into the house. Yi Yin covered his face in displeasure, but the nanny said that the king must have come here because of what happened during the day.