According to Wei Chongrong’s intention, the situation in Honghe County was simple. Tuduo didn’t move and they didn’t move. If Tuduo tried to go back to help or there were other changes, they would use the opportunity to advance. It was enough to have Dongfang keep an eye on it. So, Wei Chongrong was going to go to Yisha City to see Tuya.
Unexpectedly, Jun Qing said that Tuduo acted strangely and never played cards according to common sense. If he came up with some more machinations, Dongfang wouldn’t be able to deal with it; he wasn’t capable of acting on his own. It was better for Jun Qing to go to Yisha City to meet Tuya and pick up Jun Hua.
Wei Chongrong couldn’t figure out whether Jun Qing didn’t trust him, but he was Jun Hua’s biological father and would never harm him. After thinking about it, he agreed to Jun Qing’s suggestion and begged again and again not to be fierce with Jun Hua when seeing him. It wasn’t Jun Hua’s fault to be captured.
Jun Qing raised his eyebrows in displeasure and said with a smile: “Did Hua’er complain to you that I was fierce with him?”
Wei Chongrong was speechless, and hesitated for a moment before saying, “Actually, he didn’t complain, it’s just that Huaixi… he’s always been a little afraid of you.”
In Wang Changning’s residence, Ji Xin played the role of a loving father, doting on his two sons, giving them whatever they wanted and never scolding them. Jun Qing had a cold temperament, and he was afraid that his sons would be spoiled rotten by Ji Xin and become useless dudes when they grew up. Therefore, he had strict requirements for them since they were little. Whether studying or practising martial arts, they had to be up to high standards and couldn’t be negligent.
Jun Hua loved to run around since he was a child, and Jun Qing never objected, but if Jun Hua failed to do something well, he would definitely be scolded.
Although in Wei Chongrong’s opinion, Jun Qing wouldn’t be able to bear scolding the lost and found Jun Hua, but the possibility of Jun Hua being scolded still existed, so it was better to remind one more time.
Jun Qing was silent, thinking in his heart: if Hua’er wasn’t afraid of him, wouldn’t he act even more wildly?
Even though he was in the Valley of Ecstasy, completely isolated from the outside world and unable to send out the slightest information, Jun Hua still keenly felt the change in the atmosphere in the valley. The relaxed atmosphere of the past was gone, everyone had become nervous and solemn, with no trace of a smile in their eyes.
Was something big about to happen? Jun Hua subconsciously guessed.
But Tuya was Zhuxia’s holy maiden, she was the monarch’s sister, who could threaten her? Unless it was…
With a flash of inspiration, Jun Hua suddenly thought of a possibility, and a light smile appeared at the corner of his mouth.
Sure enough, within two days, Tuya sent someone to invite Jun Hua, saying that she wanted to meet him.
Because Tuya only wanted to see him alone, and Ruan Ning hadn’t been separated from Jun Hua since they came to the Valley of Ecstasy and had already formed a serious dependence on him, he kept throwing himself at Jun Hua, not letting him go.
“Youngest Uncle, don’t leave me alone, I’m afraid.” Ruan Ning clutched the corner of his clothes tightly and wouldn’t let go.
Jun Hua reached out to rub his head and said softly: “Little Ning’er, don’t be afraid, I’ll be back soon, I won’t leave you.”
Ruan Ning still didn’t let go, stubbornly saying: “I don’t care, I don’t care, I just won’t let you go.”
Jun Hua sighed helplessly, and his tone became more gentle: “Ning’er, be good, don’t make trouble, Youngest Uncle really won’t leave you. I will have a good talk with Princess Tuya today, and maybe we can go home. Will you stay alone for a while? Just for a short while.”
The word “home” in Jun Hua’s words touched Ruan Ning. He lowered his head and thought for a while, and said in a small voice: “Then just for a short while, you have to be back soon. Don’t lie to me, or I will never speak to you again.”
“I won’t lie to you, I promise I won’t lie to you.” Jun Hua nodded again and again: “Why don’t we pinky swear?”
“Okay, let’s pinky swear, no going back on your word for a hundred years, who goes back on his word is a puppy.” After Ruan Ning finished speaking, he stretched out his hand, hooked up his pinky with Jun Hua’s and shook their hands.
After appeasing Ruan Ning, Jun Hua followed the maid to see Tuya, still wondering what she was up to.
Before seeing Tuya, Jun Hua had no idea about her. Judging by Tuduo’s appearance, he just thought that she must be a beautiful and proud princess, but he didn’t expect Tuya to be completely different from Tuduo. Her appearance was barely pleasant but she couldn’t be said to be beautiful, let alone proud.
Seeing the surprise on Jun Hua’s face, Tuya smiled and said, “Do you think that I don’t look like the younger sister of Second Brother?”
Jun Hua nodded subconsciously, and then asked, “What exactly is the matter that made Princess call for me today?”
In the past, except for the lack of personal freedom, Tuya was very kind to him. She arranged his food, clothing and housing properly, and took good care of his health. If it weren’t for the foetal medicine prescribed by Tuya, he would be tortured to death by morning sickness.
What Jun Hua couldn’t figure out was why Tuya did this, and whether it was too much to treat a hostage so favourably.
Tuya curbed her smile and said with a serious expression: “I know you are the eldest son of Wang Changning and the Lord Consort of Wang Qin’s son, so I want to discuss something with you. If you agree, I will be able to let you go right away, and the little prince of Nanyue can go too, otherwise…”
“Otherwise what?” Jun Hua’s expression was calm; he guessed that Tuya would say something like this.
Tuya paused and continued: “The Great Yan is rich and strong, with a powerful army. It is beyond Zhuxia’s ability… Second Brother was not self-aware but it was his personal choice, not the will of all Zhuxia’s people. I hope that Wang Qin’s Shizi’s Lord Consort will be kind and will not hurt innocent people…”
Jun Hua was stunned, feeling that his mind was a little unable to keep up with Tuya’s words. He thought about it for a while and guessed: “Are you defeated?” Although the speed of change in the war situation was a bit overwhelming, apart from this, he couldn’t think of any reason for Tuya to ask for that.
Tuya nodded silently. Tuduo took Zhuxia’s elite soldiers to attack Nanyue, causing the rear to be empty. Yisha City was now under the control of the Great Yan’s army, and the Valley of Ecstasy was temporarily safe due to its special situation, but it was not a long-term solution. She had no choice.
“Why do you trust me?” Jun Hua suddenly laughed as he figured out the ins and outs. No matter what he promised Tuya, as long as Brother Rong really had Yisha City under control, when he was released, he could deny everything. What could Tuya do to him?
Tuya wasn’t surprised that Jun Hua would ask such a question, and said calmly, “I can’t guarantee whether releasing you will make Wang Qin’s Shizi treat the people of Zhuxia differently or not. But I believe that if I kill you, he will slaughter all of Yisha City to vent his anger.” In order to prevent the worst from happening, she used the antidote to get Jun Hua out of Li Jing’s hands, just to not give Tuduo the chance to completely anger Wei Chongrong.
“Just this condition?” Jun Hua couldn’t believe it. He thought that what Tuya wanted from him had to be a particularly difficult thing. Unexpectedly, it was just like this. They weren’t the savage nomads of the north, they had never had the habit of slaughtering cities.
On the southern border, the Great Yan had only one goal, which was to recover the lost land and completely restore Yizhou and Qiongzhou. As for the Zhuxia people and Nanyue people living there, most of them would be dealt with according to the precedent after the restoration of Youzhou and the development of Lingzhou, that is, they could leave or stay according to their own choice.
It was never their style to do such a bloody thing as slaughtering a city. Even if Tuduo had taken his life, Brother Rong would only slaughter the royal family of Zhuxia at most. How could he let the entire people of Zhuxia to be buried with him? Jun Hua deeply felt that Tuya’s worries were unfounded.
Tuya was silent, and then nodded earnestly: “This is it. I want you to swear by your unborn child that you will treat Zhuxia’s innocent people well no matter what the circumstances.” After she said these words, she handed Jun Hua a pill.
Jun Hua bit his lip and fell into contemplation. After a long time, he raised his head, swore according to Tuya’s request, and swallowed the pill.
“I’m sorry, I can’t help but do this. I must ensure that I can live to see if you have fulfilled your promise.” Tuya was very satisfied with Jun Hua’s actions and at the same time apologised for her behaviour. Words weren’t enough, she had to leave some protection for herself.
Jun Hua waved his hand indifferently. If it were him, he wouldn’t let the opponent go so easily. Suddenly, he thought of a very important question and hurriedly asked: “The thing you made me eat is not harmful to my child, is it?”
Tuya shook her head gently and said: “No, don’t worry, Lord Consort. You can leave the valley now.”
That’s it? As Jun Hua said that to himself, he took two steps and stopped again, turned around and said, “Your Royal Highness, do the good deeds to the end. I don’t know the way.” When he returned, he was going to work hard to study Qimen Dunjia and the use of the traps.
Jun Qing came to Yisha City as promised, thinking all the way about what conditions Tuya would propose to him, and even had the draft ready.
He didn’t expect to be told by Tuoba Xianhan that Tuya had released Jun Hua and Ruan Ning, and the two were currently resting in the city.
Hearing this, Jun Qing’s usually indifferent expression cracked; he had the feeling of punching the cotton.
Without thinking, he went straight to the house where Jun Hua was temporarily staying. Jun Hua was telling Ruan Ning a story, and when he heard that Jun Qing was coming, he stood up quickly. Did he hear it right? His daddy actually came to Zhuxia. Shouldn’t he be in the capital? Was he angry with him?
When Jun Hua thought of this, how could he sit still? He immediately ran out of the courtyard.
“Daddy!” As soon as Jun Qing stepped into the courtyard, he collided with the oncoming Jun Hua.
Jun Qing frowned in displeasure and said, “How old are you, still so fidgety…”
Jun Hua puffed out his cheeks in defiance and complained: “Daddy, don’t be so fierce! Your son and grandson just escaped death and are in a state of shock. Instead of comforting me, you come to lecture me. No fun at all.”
In fact, Jun Hua didn’t think much of it, he was just afraid of being scolded by Jun Qing, so he used the baby as a shield.
Unexpectedly, when Jun Qing heard his words, his face changed, and he immediately reached out and took his left hand to check his pulse.
Previously, Jun Qing had discussed with Wei Chongrong what could have happened to Jun Hua that made him stay in Nanyue and not return. Now he seemed to have the answer. As soon as Jun Qing thought of his son doing something risky even though he was pregnant, he couldn’t calm down.
Fortunately, Jun Hua’s pulse was stable, and the development of the foetus was normal, which made Jun Qing feel a little relieved.
He took a deep breath and asked solemnly, “When did you know about it?”
Jun Hua took a peek at Jun Qing’s face, and seeing that he had no plans to lecture him, carefully said: “I didn’t know originally. It was only when I took Little Ning’er that day and was chased by Li Jing. As a result…” As a result, the foetus was in danger, and then he was warned by his other self.
“You didn’t know that before?” In the past, Jun Qing had made a similar mistake, so before Jun Hua left Yujing, he repeatedly reminded him to pay attention. He never thought that Jun Hua would make the same mistake; fortunately, it didn’t lead to an accident, which was a blessing among misfortunes.
Jun Hua shook his head and said, aggrieved: “I really didn’t know, there were no signs before.”
Jun Qing counted the time. When Jun Hua and Wei Chongrong sneaked into Nanyue to save people, Jun Hua was only a little more than a month pregnant. It was normal not to know, so he didn’t ask anything else about it. Instead, he took Jun Hua’s hand and entered the house, asking about what happened later on the way.
He wasn’t aware that Jun Hua was glad that he had escaped the scolding. After all, it was his negligence. If his other self could notice, why couldn’t he notice? Fortunately, the little guy was lucky and survived until now, otherwise he would have died of guilt.
As soon as he arrived in Yisha City, Jun Hua understood why Tuya made such a request. Tuduo was trapped in Jing’an City by Wei Chongrong and couldn’t come back. Tuoba Xianhan completely controlled Yisha City from the inside out. If Tuya didn’t let him go, it would only make the situation worse.
Jun Hua has no intention of staying in Yisha City for a long time. He wanted to rush to Dongshan Town. He wanted to see Wei Chongrong as soon as possible and tell him about the child. But Tuoba Xianhan told him that Jun Qing was already in Yisha City, so he had to stay and wait for his father. Although Jun Hua was worried that he would be scolded when he saw Jun Qing, the incident was really his fault.
If he had noticed his physical condition earlier and stayed in Dongshan Town, allowing Wei Chongrong and Dongfang to sneak into Jing’an City, the two little ones, Ruan Ning and Ruan Meng, would have been rescued a long time ago and wouldn’t have been a cause for worry for so long. If he had fallen into the hands of Tuduo and been used by him to threaten Wei Chongrong, no matter what the outcome would have been, it would be unimaginable.
Unexpectedly Jun Qing didn’t even ask much, and when he heard Jun Hua say that he didn’t know, he really stopped asking questions, leaving Jun Hua giggling with joy.
However, after Jun Hua said that he was going to Dongshan Town, Jun Qing opposed him, saying that he wasn’t allowed to go and asked him to return to Yujing with him.
“Daddy, why? Brother Rong doesn’t know about the baby yet, won’t you let us meet?” It was too sad if he couldn’t tell Wei Chongrong in person about such an important matter, so Jun Hua was very reluctant and tried to reach an agreement with Jun Qing.
Jun Qing was resolute and said categorically, “No, you must come back with me.”
“I won’t! I’m going to Dongshan Town! Daddy, please?” Jun Hua continued to be coquettish.
Jun Qing shook his head; his tone became a little softer, but his attitude remained the same: “Rong’er is going to launch an attack on Nanyue soon. It will be a difficult battle, and you can’t help if you stay, so why bother to burden him? Hua’er, be obedient, don’t mess around anymore.”
The resistance was futile. Jun Hua had to follow Jun Qing back to Yujing, and at the same time entrusted Tuoba Xianhan to take a letter to Wei Chongrong.
When Wei Chongrong received the letter, he couldn’t believe it at first and when he made sure that the contents of the letter were true, his whole being suddenly was dumbfounded.
Did he read it right?…
Little Monkey had a baby monkey…
He was going to be a father…
After a long time, Wei Chongrong let out a yell, frightening the soldiers inside and outside the camp.
Relying on his familiarity with him, Dongfang boldly peeked inside the tent and asked in a low voice, “Master Shizi, what happened?”
Wei Chongrong rushed over excitedly, hugged Dongfang and bellowed: “I’m going to be a father! I’m going to be a father!”
Dongfang tried his best to get free from Wei Chongrong’s hug just to be able to take a breath. His Master Shizi was excited, it was understandable, but he was squeezing his neck, ah. Not to mention that Dognfang hadn’t lived enough yet, he didn’t want to meet the King of Hell right now and be reincarnated as Master Shizi’s little kid.
Finally, Wei Chongrong regained a trace of sanity and let go of Dongfang before he could choke.
Dongfang rubbed his neck and retreated far away, while Wei Chongrong started counting on his fingers when the baby would be born.
It was also his inexperience and carelessness that prevented him from noticing Little Monkey’s insatiable appetite and sleepiness during that time. If they had known about the existence of the baby earlier, they wouldn’t have had so many twists and turns. Fortunately, Little Monkey and the baby were both blessed and the worst thing hadn’t happened.
No, he had to end the war in the south as soon as possible, he couldn’t drag it on anymore, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to go back to the capital in time for the baby monkey to be born.
At this moment, Wei Chongrong would never have imagined that by the day of his triumph, his status would no longer be that of Wang Qin’s Shizi.
After taking over Yisha City, Tuoba Xianghan went through the palace of Zhuxia like a plough and found a lot of useful evidence.
Princess Tuya also admitted that she was the one who kidnapped Wei Mao from Dongshan Town to the Valley of Ecstasy that year, and the reason was quite complicated.
It turned out that in Zhuxia, the princess who served as a holy maiden had to remain chaste for life. But Tuya violated this prohibition and fell in love with a young doctor. Because they didn’t make a big mistake, the elders of the Valley of Ecstasy didn’t revoke Tuya’s status as a holy maiden, but they were going to execute the doctor by fire.
Zhuxia’s former monarch had many children, and Tuya and Tuduo had never been familiar with each other, but Tuduo approached Tuya at that time. He asked her to do one thing for him, and he would help her save the doctor. Tuya had no choice but to follow Tuduo’s instructions.
Of course, Tuya didn’t know what kind of purpose Tuduo was trying to achieve when she caught Wei Mao.
When Wei Zhao saw the letter brought back by Jun Qing, his expression remained unperturbed. Originally, what he wanted was to depose Wei Lan and put Wei Mao onto the throne instead.
But Jiang Che’s words reminded him of how the new emperor would look at him and Wei Chongrong in the future if he did the act of deposing the emperor. Especially if Tuduo took the initiative to attack, Wei Chongrong might be able to get the eight counties of Yizhou and the four counties of Qiongzhou back. That would be a feat of gaining the territory.
To be honest, if it weren’t for Wei Lan’s promise to Tuduo that let him make such a risky move, the Great Yan would not have such a chance.
Now that the opportunity was present, Wei Zhao naturally didn’t want to miss it. But in the past, when he restored Youzhou and gained Lingzhou as the emperor’s son, he had caused a lot of controversy in the court. It was only thanks to Emperor Xingzu’s suppression and Wei Ming’s unquestioning trust in him that Wei Zhao hadn’t suffered any harm.
At this moment, his identity changed from the emperor’s son to the emperor’s uncle, and it was impossible for the emperor to be indifferent to the military power in his hands. Coupled with Wei Chongrong’s military achievements, Wei Zhao had to admit that if he were in Wei Mao’s place, he wouldn’t be able to tolerate the existence of such an uncle.
Who knew if such an uncle would have a whim one day and dethrone him? Although this was not very likely, could the emperor tolerate the existence that carried such a threat to him? This was almost the case of “the merit is so great that it threatens the monarch”.
“How is Hua’er’s condition? Should we ask the imperial doctor to come and take a look?” Wei Zhao asked Jun Qing, who had just entered the study.
Jun Qing waved his hand and signalled that they didn’t need to: “Hua’er is alright, it’s just that the journey was tiring, he’ll be fine after two days of rest.”
“That’s good.” Wei Zhao breathed a sigh of relief, paused and suddenly asked, “Ah Qing, have you ever regretted it?”
Jun Qing was at a loss, somewhat unsure of what Wei Zhao meant. He never did anything that made him regret it.
“I mean…” Wei Zhao pondered: “Do you regret that you weren’t the one who was taken away?”
Before the death of Emperor Xingzu, Wei Zhao finally learned of his origin and who played that tune on the qin that he heard as a child. In addition to being surprised, he was more curious about how his father made a choice between him and Jun Qing.
There was no way for him not to think about the fact that his father’s single thought had decided the fate of them two.
Jun Qing laughed when he heard his words, causing Wei Zhao to look puzzled, before he said calmly, “That was not something I could decide, so why should I regret it? Besides, my surname is Jun, and I can inherit his surname and title, what’s wrong with it?”
So it was Wei Zhao’s turn to be dumbfounded. Yes, Jun Qing’s surname was Jun and he was the only son of Hou Zhaoyang Huan.
And his surname was Wei. He was the second son of Emperor Xingzu and Empress Xiaochun, and he couldn’t even kneel in front of his father’s tomb in person(1).
Seeing Wei Zhao silent, Jun Qing said softly: “Have you come across something you can’t decide?” He and Wei Zhao had grown up together since they were three years old, and they were really too familiar with each other. Wei Zhao had never been an indecisive person.
However, this time, Wei Zhao didn’t deny Jun Qing’s words, but nodded lightly.
Jun Qing didn’t ask Wei Zhao what was bothering him, but simply said: “Since you can’t make up your mind, just follow your heart.”
Wei Zhao suddenly looked up, raised his eyebrows and said, “Are you not afraid that I will drag you and Ah Xin down?” Brothers could kill each other for the throne; was Jun Qing’s trust in him a little too high? He was simply flattered.
Jun Qing smiled indifferently, leaned to Wei Zhao’s ear and said, “If it is a private matter, as long as you are happy, I have no right to interfere. If it is… a matter of great importance to the court, you and I have been long regarded as one, can we still be separated?”
Wei Zhao didn’t say anything else, but the hesitation in his eyes disappeared.
Since Jun Hua returned to Wang Qin’s residence, he had spent his days eating and sleeping. Apart from caring about when Wei Chongrong would come back, he had nothing to worry about. As a result, the foetus in his abdomen naturally developed very well, and his belly, which had not been visible before, was soon bulging.
Although Wei Zhao was busy all day long, Jun Hua was pregnant with his eldest grandchild, how could he not be concerned? Then Wei Zhao discovered that Jun Hua’s belly seemed to be a bit too big for his term.
You know, whether it was Wei Chongrong or Jun Hua, the size of the baby at birth was far beyond that of an ordinary baby. It cost Wei Zhao and Jun Qing half of their lives to give birth to these kids. If this baby gathered the characteristics of both parents, it was not good news.
In particular, Wei Zhao also learned that Jun Hua didn’t just rest in the house without moving, but wandered around all the time.
He thought for a while and asked Sun Ye to come to check. The answer he got was, “With twins, it’s not unusual to have a bigger belly.”
Jun Hua heard that he was pregnant with twins and was so excited that he rushed back to his room to write to Wei Chongrong. Wei Zhao frowned slightly. If both of them were boys, it wouldn’t be a good thing in the imperial family.
In the Great Yan’s imperial family, the birth of a dragon and a phoenix was certainly considered auspicious, just like Prince Xiaozhen and Princess Guchang back then. The two princesses couldn’t be said to be an auspicious sign but it was not a bad thing either. Anyway, it didn’t matter if there were more girls in the palace, one more one less was all the same.
The two princes were a different story, especially the eldest son and the second son, which was simply terrible. If they didn’t look alike, like him and Jun Qing, it would be easier. But if the two looked exactly the same, as a rule, the weaker one wouldn’t be allowed to stay.
Later in the evening, Huo Qingyang came to Wang Qin’s residence, saw Wei Zhao’s uneasy expression and thought that something big had happened at court.
But when Wei Zhao said that Sun Ye diagnosed Jun Hua, and Jun Hua was pregnant with twins, Huo Qingyang was even more puzzled. Was there anything wrong with twins? Wei Zhao had only one son, Wei Chongrong. If Jun Hua gave him one more grandson or granddaughter at a time, what was he unhappy about?
Then Wei Zhao explained the rule of the imperial family that didn’t allow twin princes to exist, and by the way, mentioned the reason why.
Huo Qingyang was shocked and said after a long time: “It’s no wonder that there have never been twin princes born in any generation of the dynasty.”
Wei Zhao sighed: “It’s not that they have never been born. But one of them has been dealt with.” But Rong’er’s sons, no one was going to harm them.
“What are Your Highness’s plans?” Huo Qingyang didn’t think that Wei Zhao would be stumped by such a thing.
“We’ll see, it’s not necessarily two boys.” Wei Zhao had long disliked the old guys from the office of the Minister of the Imperial Clan, but it would be very troublesome to confront them now.
In the middle of the third month, a battle report was sent from the southern border. Wei Chongrong, the son of Wang Qin, captured Jing’an City. After Yizhou, Qiongzhou was also regained.
Wei Zhao read the war report and his expression became quite solemn. After a while, he took the war report and went to Qing’en Palace alone.
Jun Feili was a little surprised by Wei Zhao’s sudden visit but still invited him into the palace. Wei Zhao respectfully greeted the Empress Dowager and then gave him the latest battle report. After Jun Feili had seen it, his whole face completely changed.
It took a long time before he said in a low voice: “Kou’er…” On the day the city was broken, Tuduo threatened Wei Chongrong with Wei Kou as a hostage. But Wei Kou broke free from the guards holding her and jumped from the city tower. Tuduo had no one to rely on and was captured.
- The author is trying hard to be as subtle (or as incomprehensible) with this previous passage as possible. But have you figured it out? Jun Lin is also Wei Zhao’s father. He and Jun Qing are non-identical twins. So, remember the moment when Jun Lin comes to the palace and Wei Ming shows him Wei Zhao, and Jun Lin has a complicated look in his eyes. It is not because he looks at the child of his lover from another woman, he is looking at his own child. Jun Lin was also the one who played the tune Wei Zhao was obsessed with. And… Jun Lin is the one who made the choice which one of the twins would stay with him and which would be sent to the palace. Why was it Wei Zhao? You’ll know soon.