Xie Ke’s first reaction was to run away. He retracted his hand at once, and then stared at Fu Zhiyu in disbelief for a while, unable to move his feet.
The person he thought about day and night was right in front of him, and now looking at him. This scene made Xie Ke freeze in place.
The truth was Zhiyu must have guessed it a long time ago. Even if he escaped now, he would be just deceiving himself.
Fu Zhiyu sat up on the bed and looked at him up and down.
Xie Ke was wearing a night disguise, all in black, and he even covered his face with a mask, but it was useless. The two of them were too familiar with each other, and they could recognise each other just by looking at the figure. Besides, Xie Ke was the only one who would do such a thing in the middle of the night.
After the initial shock, Xie Ke didn’t dare to look at Fu Zhiyu, but also didn’t go away, just dumbly standing at the edge of the bed. After a while he said, “Zhiyu… I…”
He didn’t even know where to put his hands and feet. He was like a child who was caught stealing. He wanted to return all the items he had stolen and to explain. But halfway through the explanation, he couldn’t say anything. Xie Ke couldn’t find any excuses. In the end, he lowered his head and sighed. “I’m sorry. I miss you so much, I can’t help it. I just came here.”
Fu Zhiyu’s face wasn’t angry, it was indescribably calm. After all, he had guessed it a long time ago, and now he was just confirming it.
“What’s the point of being so secretive? I think it’s just being presumptuous again,” Fu Zhiyu said, shaking his head and asking again, “Just how long have you been here?”
“It’s only for the last month,” Xie Ke said honestly, “I heard they harmed you, I was afraid…”
Fu Zhiyu interrupted him very indifferently: “You know that they harmed me, and naturally you also know that the sacrifice proceeded smoothly. I solved it myself. Why did you want to come? Also, don’t treat me like a fool. I just bought the wine, and you knew. When did you plant the people? I’m afraid this is not a matter of a month, right?”
After Xie Ke was seen through, he didn’t dare to speak anymore. He carefully looked at Fu Zhiyu’s face and couldn’t figure out how he was feeling.
But if he lied at this time, Zhiyu would only be more angry if he found out.
“I didn’t mean to spy on you, I really didn’t,” Xie Ke explained. “Those people were there long before you arrived in Jiangnan. I just arranged them because I was afraid that you would have a bad time…”
The more Xie Ke talked, the lower his voice became, and then he stopped explaining, lowering his head and looking like he was awaiting trial.
When he was in the capital, he knew that Zhiyu didn’t plan to stay in the palace for a long time. Didn’t he pretend to be stupid at that time just to get away? As for the place to go, it was not difficult to guess, after all, Yuan Jiangwen’s business was in Jiangnan.
Xie Ke had a lot of selfishness in arranging these people at that time. He couldn’t suppress his possessiveness, just thinking that he had to come into contact with Zhiyu wherever he was.
But this kind of thinking changed later; he just wanted Zhiyu to live well.
After Zhiyu arrived in Jiangnan, Xie Ke was still in a coma for a long time. After he woke up, he discovered that even without his management, his set-up in Jiangnan was working very well. Some shops and restaurants had good business and made some money. The money was invested in other places, all secretly revolving around Fu Zhiyu.
They had been doing a good job conscientiously. After Xie Ke woke up, he was afraid that it would be bad for him to influence things, so he forced himself not to read the news from there. He was afraid that after reading it, he wouldn’t be able to help it, he would go to Jiangnan in spite of everything. Only vaguely knowing that Zhiyu had a good time made him feel at ease, so he could calm down and start dealing with the things in front of him.
But the longer it took, the more he couldn’t help it. His thoughts tortured him like a blunt knife cutting his flesh. When his subordinates hesitantly told him that something had happened, Xie Ke finally came.
But he didn’t dare to show his face when he arrived. He sent a message to the Deng and Qian families to make them behave, but at the same time he couldn’t resist the urge to get closer to Zhiyu.
He was obviously so close to him; Xie Ke couldn’t bear to leave.
He found one excuse after another for himself, such as protecting Zhiyu, but he still couldn’t hide the emotions surging in his heart.
“Is the newly opened Southern Xinjiang-style pastry shop selling osmanthus candy at the door also your creation?” Fu Zhiyu asked him, “What else, say it yourself.”
Xie Ke didn’t dare to hide it from him, so he said it one by one.
Fu Zhiyu: “……”
He felt a little sour when he heard it, and he almost had nothing to say. In the end, he only looked at Xie Ke and scolded him succinctly: “Crazy.”
When Fu Zhiyu went to learn about Jiangnan a few days ago, he also found that there were many merchants in the Jiangnan area. Some of the caravans were actually very rich in financial resources, and some were not even much worse than the four great merchants. He hadn’t thought of the seemingly scattered industries he had noticed. In fact, many of them were the work of Xie Ke.
“Many of the things I didn’t take care of were made by them by themselves,” Xie Ke hurriedly explained. “I just provide some help sometimes, and I also control them so that they don’t dare to have any crooked thoughts, being greedy and trying to harm you.”
Xie Ke had always been cautious when Fu Zhiyu was concerned. These businesses were very big, but they were actually independent of each other. For example, the person who managed the restaurant didn’t know that the pastry shop over there also had the same origin.
Xie Ke was not short of money, and these things were originally prepared for Fu Zhiyu.
Zhiyu hadn’t done anything in the three years since he took over Jiangnan. Xie Ke thought he just didn’t want to get involved in these little things anymore, just wanted to live a relaxed and normal life, so when the Deng and Qian family offended him, Xie Ke took care of them by himself. He didn’t want to make Zhiyu bother more.
But he didn’t expect that this incident would change Zhiyu a lot. He went to the government office to read the documents every day. Seeing that he was going to take charge, Xie Ke naturally supported all Zhiyu’s choices. He didn’t mean to disturb him, but since he came to Jiangnan, he couldn’t leave at all. He just wanted to stay day after day. It was so close to Zhiyu. He was like an addict. He made excuses for himself to stay here day by day, trying to get close to Zhiyu again and again, and then… this was what happened.
“I’m sorry…” Xie Ke took off the black scarf covering his face. He looked at Fu Zhiyu with sincerity in his eyes, “I’ll leave Jiangnan now, and I really won’t bother you again in the future.”
Fu Zhiyu didn’t speak, and his silence made Xie Ke feel even more helpless.
“Those businesses, if you want to use them, you can also use them, any way you want. They were originally for you,” Xie Ke said. “The things you plan for Jiangnan are not easy to realise. Although Yuan Jiangwen has money and is willing to help you, his caravans are involved in huge and complex interests. He has to take into account many people, and many things are not up to him to decide. I know that sometimes it is too difficult for him, but it doesn’t matter to me. It’s okay for those shops to lose money. They don’t lack money.”
He was ready to leave, so he hurriedly told Fu Zhiyu about this in a rambling manner, afraid that if he didn’t know, he would suffer another loss or take a detour.
“How do you know what I want to do in Jiangnan?” Fu Zhiyu asked him, “Watching me from start to finish, Xie Ke, are you a pervert?”
“No, no, I didn’t read that. I usually didn’t dare to get too close to you for fear that you would find out,” Xie Ke quickly explained, “But I… in my previous life, I read the political commentaries you left behind.”
After Zhiyu left this world in his previous life, the longer it took, the more Xie Ke couldn’t bear the longing for his lover. He could only rely on some of the things Zhiyu left behind to look at them and remember him, including the political essays written by Zhiyu. Xie Ke didn’t know how many times he had read them.
Xie Ke actually felt something was wrong at that time. Back then, he thought that Zhiyu was an actor, so it was normal that his character was different from the original work. Therefore, the political commentaries he wrote were very different from something that would be written by the vicious Fu Zhiyu in the original text.
But the more he looked at them, the more he felt that something was wrong. After all, the actor was different from the natives. The political essays written by Zhiyu when he was the emperor were written with great care, showing what kind of person he was. He tried to treat his people gently and tried to build a better Jilin for them. But this was also what made it strange.
The actor didn’t need to do so much. The actor who knew the plot should have known very well that his task would be over long before he could do these things. So why bother to do such detailed and useless work?
Some of the ideas in Zhiyu’s political essays were more advanced than the original text, which meant that his plan was more progressive than the original world, but he had no chance to realise it.
But at that time, Xie Ke was sure that Fu Zhiyu was an interfering actor. Even if he felt that something was wrong, there was no way to undo it at that time.
“I know you haven’t let go of those things in your heart,” Xie Ke lowered his head, “I’m sorry, if it weren’t for me, you could have achieved them, and you could be a good emperor that everyone loved.”
Fu Zhiyu glanced at him, shook his head and said, “It would be the same without you, the plot would be the same. It’s all in the past, don’t mention it anymore.”
Xie Ke was right. His current plan for Jiangnan was indeed an upgraded version of those ideas in his previous life, and generally nothing had changed.
Both of them were silent. Xie Ke had spoken before, and now Fu Zhiyu finally spoke: “Why are you still doing this?”
Xie Ke was taken aback for a moment, looked at him and said, “I want to… protect you, Zhiyu, I’m really scared that something will happen to you.”
When Fu Zhiyu heard this, he curved the corner of his mouth in a smile, but the smile wasn’t a happy one, containing a bit of indescribable irony.
“Don’t you remember the pain?” Fu Zhiyu looked at him and said, “I gave you an arrow, and you almost died. That’s it. Do you want to come back? Don’t you hate me at all?”
Xie Ke listened to this question, sighed for a long time, and said with a wry smile: “Zhiyu, what exactly do you think of me? I… how can I hate you?”