“It’s my fault for being careless,” Yuan Mingdao said, sitting on the stone and blaming himself again. “Master was worried and had to accept Xie Ke’s help against his will.”
“How can there be a reason to blame yourself for being harmed?” Fu Zhiyu checked his wounds while carefully applying the medicine. “I was really anxious at that time. Regardless of whether it was Xie Ke or not, do you still have to worry about it being against your will or not while receiving help from others? Seriously, it wasn’t against my will. After I get you back, I feel that everything else is nothing.”
It really wasn’t Xie Ke who made this happen. After such a long search, Fu Zhiyu knew it wasn’t him. Xie Ke wouldn’t need to drag it out for so long.
“It was also their fault that they were too careless,” Yuan Mingdao thought for a while, and felt aggrieved. “It’s not that I overheard them on purpose. Can’t you discuss such a big matter behind closed doors? It was in the wild, I just happened to pass by and heard a few words, so they had to hunt me down. Is it my fault? There are all kinds of people in the world, really.”
Fu Zhiyu frowned and guessed: “If they wanted you dead, it was probably a treason, right?”
“Master is right,” Yuan Mingdao said. “The princess didn’t hear them. I met her on my way to escape. She is kind of innocently involved, so it’s okay for her to go back. So many people watch, they won’t kill them all. After all, the princess doesn’t know anything. She didn’t even know who the people who were chasing her were.
In fact, the Xue family, even if I didn’t say it, Master would have guessed it, right? It’s not the first time they conspire with the Western Regions.”
The matter of the Xue family’s union with the ancient countries of the Western Regions was really only clarified by Xie Ke. In fact, the emperor was unaware at that time, distracted by the barbarians. Although there were some suspicions, he didn’t guess anything, let alone have conclusive evidence.
“A thief’s heart never dies (an idiom meaning that someone doesn’t give up on evil intentions),” Fu Zhiyu said, “Are they going to make a move?”
Yuan Mingdao nodded and said, “The Xie family is getting bigger and bigger. If this continues, the other families will be exterminated by the emperor. Now that there is still strength to resist and the people from the Western Regions have an excuse to be in Jilin, they are ready to move. They want to drug Emperor Qingyuan and force him to abdicate. After all, the Xie family only obeys the emperor now and doesn’t have good relations with the Crown Prince. If the emperor dies, there is nothing the Xie family can do.”
These two families still underestimated Xie Ke’s ambitions and didn’t know what a big surprise was waiting for them over there.
“This is also an opportunity for us,” Fu Zhiyu pondered for a while and said, “I’m going back to talk to Mother Consort about this, and I have to send a message to the two uncles as soon as possible. Maybe we can take advantage of this chaos to escape.”
He also immediately understood why Mingdao said he couldn’t go back. He had shown his face in front of those people, and his identity was different from that of the princess. If he returned to the camp, he would inevitably be targeted. With Mingdao having such big news, they wouldn’t rest until he was killed, and others might be dragged into it.
“Master, don’t worry, I’m not afraid,” Yuan Mingdao nestled in his arms and patted Fu Zhiyu on the back comfortingly. “I’m still waiting to leave here with the Master and go to Jiangnan. This little twist is nothing.”
But Mingdao couldn’t go back, and Fu Zhiyu had to find a place to house him.
“There are a few temples nearby, but you can’t stay there for a long time. They will definitely look for you…” Fu Zhiyu suddenly had a flash of inspiration. He stuffed the waist token he picked up from the stream into Yuan Mingdao’s hand and said, “Mingdao, to the north of the hunting ground is Pingcheng County, where is a branch of the younger uncle’s merchant house. I specifically mentioned to him back then that this token is a sign, and he informed all the branches, so that in case we have any accidents on the way out, we can find a place to meet.
If you stay there, the merchant house will take care of you and send you to a safe place.”
“Okay,” Yuan Mingdao nodded. He was also decisive, knowing what his current situation was. He said, “Then I will go now. Master, please be careful in everything.”
“I’m not at ease, I’ll send you there,” Fu Zhiyu touched his head and comforted, “Now it’s dawn, and there are more people searching. I’m afraid they will meet you. I know the way here better.”
Yuan Mingdao hesitated for a moment, then looked in the direction where Xie Ke was standing.
“…Do you think he doesn’t know about the Xue and Lin families?” Fu Zhiyu didn’t look back; the expression on his face seemed to be a smile, “It’s just that you suddenly bumped into them, it was an accident.”
Yuan Mingdao glanced at him, the worry on his face still evident.
“You go first and wait for me in Jiangnan,” Fu Zhiyu comforted, “It is impossible to avoid him in this last stage. Leave it all to me. Mingdao must believe in me too. I won’t leave you alone in Jiangnan.”
Fu Zhiyu finally gave Yuan Mingdao a bottle of pills he had made and told him to remember to take them if he was injured, then turned and carried him on his back, walking in the direction of Pingcheng County.
Xie Ke waited in place for a while. His dislocated arm hurt more and more severely, but Zhiyu never came back. He didn’t dare to disturb him. After waiting for a long time, he cautiously walked a few steps over there and found that the two people had disappeared.
He became anxious in an instant and sent a signal to the Shadow, and soon Shadow Seven arrived.
“Zhiyu is gone, you follow this path to look for him, but don’t let him see you,” Xie Ke carefully instructed, a little anxious, “He shouldn’t encounter those searching teams. If there are those people approaching, you should lure them away in advance, don’t let them disturb Zhiyu. When he doesn’t need you anymore, just come back.”
When he saw Yuan Mingdao’s appearance, he guessed that he was deliberately injured. In this place, there were not many forces who would dare to risk such a move, and he could guess who it was that could make Yuan Mingdao afraid to go back.
They will all move in a few days, he thought.
“Master,” Shadow Seven hesitated before leaving, “I will fix your arm before leaving.”
“Go quickly!” Xie Ke’s voice deepened suddenly, “Zhiyu is important, I don’t need you to worry too much about me.”
Shadow Seven obeyed and left. Since Yuan Mingdao and the princess had already been found, all the shadow guards who had gone out to find them returned to their positions. After a long time, Xie Ke’s arm was finally fixed.
His props were limited after all, and there was no need to spend them on such a minor matter as dislocation.
But because of this, Xie Ke clearly felt what the system had told him before: his body didn’t work too well since it was forcibly repaired last time. At least his arm wouldn’t have been dislocated after a fall like this before.
“Let’s go back,” Xie Ke glanced in the direction of Fu Zhiyu’s departure, a little reluctant, “I will annoy him, and there are more things to do back there. Leave all those people who made him worry like this to me.”
Xie Ke knew he was really bad at courting people, acting almost recklessly and bluntly whenever he came across Zhiyu. He knew that it was annoying to do this when the other party already didn’t have any affection for him, and he was gradually getting the hang of it in these constant helpless constant attempts.
In fact, Zhiyu was really a very simple person. After not liking Xie Ke, he lived more objectively and sensibly than in his previous life.
Take the Qianyuan Battle as an example. In fact, Xie Ke worked hard in it just to gain more power to protect Zhiyu. The Qianyuan Battle was a springboard for him.
But he later discovered that even though the power he gained from it did make it easier for him to get closer to Zhiyu, none of the things he tried his best to send to Zhiyu made him happy. Zhiyu always had that indifferent and annoyed expression towards him. Most of the time, he treated him as a transparent person, and sometimes when he was in a bad mood, he would get so upset that no amount of coaxing would help.
On the contrary, the Qianyuan Battle, which Xie Ke used as a springboard, became Zhiyu’s only positive impression of him in this life.
Because the war was shortened, Fu Zhiyu felt that the people had suffered less, so it was a good thing. After all, he had been an emperor, and he still had this feeling of concern about the country and the people in his heart.
So, the Qianyuan Battle became the only thing Xie Ke did right in this life by accident.
Xie Ke was someone who was used to being in the upper echelons. Not to mention that he was always playing the role of the protagonist, he was also on the top of the pyramid among the actors. Some domineering and self-righteous habits were engraved in his bones. Maybe sometimes he didn’t even notice it himself, subconsciously making such choices.
This kind of trait, decisive and strong, was very good when it came to the career, but when it came to feelings, especially in the face of such a cunning Fu Zhiyu, this trait of Xie Ke could only be counterproductive.
He was really slow in this regard and found the crux of the problem too late.
It was also for Zhiyu that he began to work hard to suppress the bad parts of his personality. For example, he hadn’t made the shadow guards follow Zhiyu for a long time. Although Xie Ke knew that his intention was to protect Zhiyu from an accident, Zhiyu didn’t like this, so he wouldn’t do it.
Not what he thought was good was good. He was also trying to show the best side of himself, or rather, the side that Zhiyu liked best, just like Zhiyu did in his previous life.
Maybe, Zhiyu wouldn’t resist him so much and would gradually feel that he wasn’t that bad, right?
People instinctively don’t refuse what they want, but Zhiyu was really special. Once he was reborn, there were really few things that could be worthy of his attention.
There were times when Xie Ke really didn’t know what to do, but he seemed to have some understanding now.
—Don’t be an obstacle to Zhiyu.
Fu Zhiyu avoided the searching teams all the way, took the back road and sent Mingdao to the northmost part of the hunting ground. Pingcheng County was right there, and the things on the merchant house’s side also went smoothly. As soon as Fu Zhiyu took out his waist token, even before he said a word, the merchant house’s owner saluted him as if he understood, and took him into the room in the back.
“Master must be careful about everything.” Although Yuan Mingdao wasn’t at ease, he also knew that staying by his master’s side now would only cause him disaster. After all, it was easy to avoid a shot in the open but an arrow in the dark was difficult to prevent. He kept staring at Fu Zhiyu, worried and reluctant, “I will always be waiting for you.”
“It’s fine, my two uncles and I have been preparing for this for a long time. There are also people in the capital. I’m not that passive,” Fu Zhiyu comforted him and then carefully admonished, “You have to be more careful on the road. Don’t think too much. Just wait for me.”