As the most privileged babies in the Great Yan, Tuantuan and Yuanyuan never lacked people to take care of them. However, the two little guys were picky by nature. Their biggest hobby was to stick to Jun Hua. They would cry endlessly if Jun Hua stayed a little farther away from them, and they were very skillful in crying. It was not that the two would cry together, they worked in shifts. You cry first and I will rest. When you are tired of crying, I will go on. We won’t stop until we achieve the goal and stick to Jun Hua’s side.
Facing the serious “Oedipus complex” of his sons, Wei Chongrong was initially angry. Should he be treated differently in this way? Although he was not so much involved in the process of carrying the babies for nine months, he was the one who was most attentive when the babies were born, okay?
Not to mention anything else, just talking about the posture of holding his sons, his was much more standard than Jun Hua’s. It was a pity that it was useless. Tuantuan and Yuanyuan could stay in his arms for up to a stick of incense, and then they would look for Jun Hua. If he didn’t let them go, they would bawl at the top of their lungs.
Jun Hua was very pleased with himself for two days. The parent who gave birth was different. Tuantuan and Yuanyuan loved him so much, ah. But before the two little ones had the third day washing ceremony(1), Jun Hua couldn’t take it anymore. His sons’ clinginess was just a bit too much.
“Brother Rong, take Tuantuan and Yuanyuan to another room, I’ll sleep for a while, I’m going to die of drowsiness.” Jun Hua said with a yawn. He hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since Tuantuan and Yuanyuan were born. He really couldn’t hold on anymore. He was going to find the God of Dreams to have a chat.
Wei Chongrong was holding a twin on each arm and said hesitantly: “They won’t wake up for the time being, will they? When they wake up, if they can’t find you, they will cry again and will be hard to coax.” The intuition of the two children was too keen, and Wei Chongrong was scared of their crying.
Jun Hua lay back on the bed, pulled the quilt to cover his face, and said, “If they cry, let them cry, just don’t let me hear it. I’m really sleepy.” He spoke from under the quilt, his voice muffled.
Wei Chongrong carefully handed the two sons to the arms of the wet nurses, moving very lightly so as not to wake them up accidentally. After the transfer was completed safely, Wei Chongrong pulled the quilt down a little and said, “Don’t sleep with your head covered, it’s not good for your health.”
Jun Hua rolled over, turned his back to him and muttered, “Don’t bother me…”
Wei Chongrong smiled faintly and obediently sat down on the edge of the bed, signalling with his eyes for the wet nurses to carry Tuantuan and Yuanyuan to the next room.
The two wet nurses nodded in silence and followed the orders. The Taisun and Wang Linjiang were both typical examples of put-them-down-they-will-cry babies. Someone had to hold them at any time. Fortunately, they were of a high status and had plenty of people around them who could rotate. If it were ordinary people, the whole family would be exhausted to death.
It was a rare moment of peace and quiet for Jun Hua, and he soon fell into a deep sleep, but before long, he heard someone calling him.
“Who are you? I’m asleep, don’t disturb me, okay?” He said with an impatient face as he raised his hand and rubbed his eyes.
The person wasn’t angry and only said warmly, “How can I talk to you if you don’t fall asleep?”
Jun Hua blinked, suddenly stunned, and said after a long time: “It’s you! Why haven’t you come out for a long time?” He remembered that when he just married Wei Chongrong, Huaixi would appear from time to time, and later when he and Tuantuan and Yuanyuan were in danger, Huaixi was the one who alerted him.
But after that, Huaixi never appeared again. When Jun Hua thought about it occasionally, he would wonder if it was just a dream and didn’t really happen. Fortunately, today Huaixi finally appeared again, and Jun Hua inexplicably felt a trace of joy.
“I’ve already seen everything I want to see. What would I come out for? Aren’t you afraid that I will steal your Brother Rong?” At first, when Huaixi found that the person he had been in love with for a lifetime fell in love with his other self, it was not that he minded it, but…
That person was Wei Chongrong, Little Monkey’s Brother Rong, not Yi Yin, let alone his.
Jun Hua shook his head and said with certainty, “No, it won’t happen. As slow as Brother Rong’s nature is, it’s not easy to make him move. But if he does, he won’t change his mind easily again. I have faith in him, you don’t stand a chance.”
“Is that so?” Huiaxi was taken aback for a moment, and smiled in relief: “Yes, he is your Brother Rong, not mine, so I am going to say goodbye to you.” This world didn’t belong to him and he was always out of place. He had no more regrets and wasn’t going to stay for long.
Jun Hua was startled and suddenly cried out, “Where are you going? I can’t share Brother Rong with you but I don’t mind sharing Daddy, Father and Little Tiger. Even Tuantuan and Yuanyuan, if they are willing to call you Daddy, I promise I won’t be angry.”
“Little Monkey, this is your life. I should have never been involved in it. Maybe it was God’s mercy that gave me such an opportunity to see that all my relatives are living well, but…”
Huaixi sighed and said reluctantly: “I am not from this world after all, it’s time to go.”
Jun Hua finally reacted and said anxiously: “But where can you go?”
“It’s fine everywhere, I don’t care. Little Monkey, you have to take care of yourself, and get the relationship between the twins right.”
“I know.” Jun Hua wanted to say something else, but found that the person beside him had disappeared.
When he said goodbye to Little Monkey, Jun Hua didn’t actually think about where he could go. He just didn’t want to disturb his and Wei Chongrong’s lives anymore. He was ready to take a long sleep and never resurface.
But after the long darkness, he still woke up.
“Master Hou, wake up, Master Hou…” The voice in his ears was familiar, and he tried to open his eyes.
Something didn’t seem right…
Shouldn’t he be the Crown Prince’s Lord Consort? Jun Hua’s memory was still stuck in the time when Tuantuan and Yuanyuan were just born.
Taking a closer look, he saw Guan Yan who had taken care of him since he was a child.
He was not in Yongfu Palace…
Jun Hua regained his senses in an instant, raised his eyes and glanced around. This was the bedroom of Hou Zhaoyang’s mansion he was familiar with. The layout of the room was exactly the same as before.
Dared he say he had gone back again? Jun Hua couldn’t say whether he felt regretful or fortunate.
Then he heard Guan Yan say, “Master Hou, Captain Helian is here, what is your order…” If it were anyone else, Guan Yan wouldn’t have informed him at all if that person had chosen such a time to visit his home, but Yi Yin was different.
After hearing the name “Wei Chongrong” for a long time, Jun Hua couldn’t react for a while. He was taken aback and hurriedly said, “Uncle Yan, bring Ah Yin in.” Guan Yan nodded and went out.
Jun Hua was lying on the bed, thinking about what time it was now. All along, Yi Yin had been lukewarm to him and had taken the initiative to come to his mansion only a handful of times. Good people don’t visit, and those who visit aren’t good…(2)
In a few moments, Jun Hua came up with the answer. It was the spring when he was seventeen years old, when he was accidentally injured during the spring hunt. If Yi Yin hadn’t come to his rescue in time, he wouldn’t probably just hurt his arm.
It was also strange because Yi Yin didn’t usually care for him, Wei Yang had always been the only one in his eyes and heart. That day, however, on a whim Yi Yin came to visit Jun Hua, but unfortunately, they didn’t get along, and they didn’t talk much before they quarrelled.
Just when Jun Hua was thinking about it, Guan Yan led Yi Yin to the door. Guan Yan didn’t come in, and after informing Jun Hua, gently opened the door and motioned to Yi Yin to enter the room by himself.
Yi Yin rarely came to Hou Zhaoyang’s mansion, and it was the first time he came to Jun Hua’s bedroom, so it was inevitable that he would be a little restrained. He stood stiffly, hesitated for a moment and asked, “Huaixi, are you better?”
Hearing Yi Yin’s words, Jun Hua was shaken. He turned his head and looked straight at Yi Yin but didn’t know what to say.
Back then, when Wei Yang gave Yi Yin that cup of poisoned wine and he was powerless to stop it, Jun Hua knew that he was doomed.
He killed the emperor at whatever cost and avenged Yi Yin, but he could no longer find a purpose to keep himself alive.
What happened later was like a dream, in which he went to another world. In that world, everyone was living a good life, Daddy and Father were fine, Tuantuan and Yuanyuan were very good, and Little Monkey and his Brother Rong were even better.
It was a pity that he was not Little Monkey, and Wei Chongrong was no longer Yi Yin.
When he woke up from his dream, he went back in time to the 9th year of Taiping, seven years before Wei Yang gave Yi Yin the poisoned wine.
This time, he would definitely not let those things happen again.
Seeing Jun Hua staring at him but keeping silent, Yi Yin felt uneasy and called out: “Huaixi, is your wound hurting again? Do you want me to call the doctor to come and see…”
“Ah! No, I’m fine…” Jun Hua regained his senses and answered Yi Yin’s question while propping himself up on the bed trying to get up.
After so many years, Jun Hua had obviously forgotten that his injured right hand couldn’t exert any strength. As soon as he was halfway up, he felt a piercing pain. He subconsciously let go and flopped to the bed all of a sudden. It was really embarrassing.
Damn it! How could he forget that he was still a wounded soldier!
Jun Hua thought he was going to fall back to the bed heavily, but unexpectedly fell into a warm embrace.
Before he could turn around and look, Yi Yin’s reproaching voice sounded in his ears: “You don’t think it’s enough to hurt one arm, do you? Do you want to hurt the other one to keep it company?”
After staying with Little Monkey for ten months, during which he could occasionally come out to get some fresh air, Jun Hua had long been accustomed to Wei Chongrong’s gentle words, and now he was stunned when he heard that Yi Yin was obviously concerned, but it didn’t sound good.
Was this the way they used to get along?
Yi Yin didn’t seem to realise that his attitude was a bit harsh. He gently helped Jun Hua to lie down on the bed, took a pillow and put it behind him to make him lie more comfortably, and then said: “It’s not that I’m criticising you, just your riding and shooting skills. What’s the point of going to the spring hunt? You can’t hit the prey but you can still be knocked down from the horse. Who is to blame for that, ah?” Speaking of Jun Hua’s injury, Yi Yin was extremely frustrated.
Jun Hua was completely taken aback when he heard these words. He admitted that his riding and shooting were really no match to Yi Yin’s, but…
He didn’t want it to be like this, he just couldn’t do anything about it.
If there was a choice, wouldn’t he want to be proficient in martial arts like Little Monkey? But he was born with a crippled leg and weak health. He knew better than anyone how eager Wei Su was to cultivate another Jun Lin, but he had never even let anyone teach Jun Hua martial arts, not because Wei Su didn’t want to, but because he couldn’t. It could be seen at a glance he was really not a martial artist.
Could this be considered his fault?
Jun Hua had always disliked going to the spring hunt in Shanglin Park, but with Wei Yang taking the lead, how could he not go? Even if he returned empty-handed, he still had to ride a few circles, otherwise Wei Yang wouldn’t give him a good look.
Without the experience of being with Little Monkey, Jun Hua wouldn’t care too much about what Yi Yin said.
But with this contrast, he inexplicably felt aggrieved. The reason why Wei Chongrong treated Little Monkey so well was because he remembered that he had treated him so badly before. He wasn’t jealous of Little Monkey, but the feeling of injustice was really difficult to dispel.
Yi Yin rambled on for a long time, but suddenly noticed that Jun Hua was silent, so he hurriedly turned his head to look at him.
Then he saw Jun Hua with his head lowered, not saying a word. He couldn’t see the expression on his face. Yi Yin paused, intuitively feeling that Jun Hua was unhappy. He wanted to explain that he wasn’t malicious, but he didn’t know where to start.
After a long silence, Jun Hua raised his head and said indifferently: “In fact, you are not wrong, I am the one who is out of my depth.”
“No, I didn’t mean that…” Yi Yin was a little anxious when he found that Jun Hua misunderstood his words. He took two steps to the side of the bed, stretched out his hand to hold Jun Hua’s shoulder, and explained: “I was trying to say that it’s not worth hurting yourself for the trivial matter of spring hunting. The prey in Shanglin Park is all raised in captivity, and hunting is meaningless. It doesn’t matter if you go or not… No, I mean I can help you hunt whatever you want…” The more Yi Yin said, the more chaotic it sounded, making Jun Hua speechless. Was Yi Yin afraid that he wasn’t depressed enough?
“Whatever I want?” Jun Hua took a deep breath and reminded himself to be calm.
Yi Yin nodded and said firmly: “Yes, but you can’t want things like the Green Dragon and the Vermillion Bird.” Hunting was nothing to him; as long as an animal existed, he had a way to get it.
Jun Hua laughed, and then said, “I want a white tiger, is that okay?” There was a little white tiger originally kept in Wang Qin’s residence that Wei Chongrong had caught especially for Little Monkey, and later the tiger moved into the palace with them, growing furry and chubby, particularly cute.
“A white tiger? A live one?” Yi Yin said word by word, seeming a little surprised.
Jun Hua pursed his lips and gave a soft “en”. Of course, he wanted a live one, he didn’t lack tiger skins.
Yi Yin was silent for a while, not saying whether it was possible or not, only confirming that he understood.
Upon seeing this, Jun Hua hurriedly said, “I just said it casually, if it’s difficult, forget it.” He suddenly felt that he seemed to be a little bit influenced by Little Monkey, but Yi Yin wasn’t Wei Chongrong. Wei Su only recognised him as a descendent of the Wei family, not as a member of the Wei family.
And exactly because of it the Ji family had no successor either, after all, his origin was kept secret. Empress Ji had given Wei Su two sons and three daughters. Except for Yi Yin, the only seedling, no one survived. If this weren’t the case, how could Wei Su with his temperament tolerate Yi Yin’s existence.
Nowadays, the power of the little emperor who ascended the throne at a young age was usurped by the Shangguan family, and there was no one available except the two of them. And they also depended on Wei Yang to survive, and no one could live without the other.
With Wei Zhao present, Wei Chongrong went from the heir of Wang Qin to the Crown Prince of the dynasty. A mere little white tiger was nothing, not a problem at all, but for Yi Yin, this requirement was a bit too much, and Jun Hua felt that he was too abrupt.
Besides, if Yi Yin really caught a little white tiger, why would he give it to him? He would rather give it to Wei Yang to please him. He had always cared more about Wei Yang. As long as it was Wei Yang’s request, he never disobeyed it until he died.
“But I didn’t say that.” It was just that white tigers were rare. The adult ones could only be kept in cages if they were caught. It was a bit difficult to find a little one, preferably the one that had not been weaned. You had to be lucky enough.
Jun Hua blinked, and a look of surprise flashed in his eyes. Did Yi Yin promise him?
Until Yi Yin got up to leave, Jun Hua felt like he was in a dream. He was afraid that the dream would end at some point and he would have nothing when he woke up.
His injured arm was almost healed, and Jun Hua returned to the palace to report. When he saw Yi Yin, he also saw Wei Yang, and Jun Hua’s good mood was immediately gone. He used to merely dislike Wei Yang but now he hated him to the bone.
It was just…
It was not difficult to deal with Wei Yang. Wang Lu had been waiting for an opportunity for all these years.
But if he attacked Wei Yang for no reason, Yi Yin would hate him to death, and he couldn’t explain why he did this. To say that Wei Yang would kill Yi Yin in the future? Yi Yin would definitely not believe it and would wonder if he was crazy.
However, he couldn’t do nothing. Since he had a chance to start over, he couldn’t watch the past repeat itself.
Wei Yang had no real power and he didn’t like seeing people from the Shangguan family at court every day. Most of the time, he lived in Shanglin Park without taking the empress with him. On the contrary, Jun Hua and Yi Yin would accompany him back and forth.
Jun Hua had no good feelings about Shanglin Park. He had encountered everything from falling into the water to falling off a horse there, and he really didn’t like it. Therefore, when Wei Yang didn’t summon him, he often locked himself in Yunyang Palace, playing the qin and reading books by himself.
On that day, Jun Hua was looking through a travelogue in boredom when Yi Yin suddenly came over.
Jun Hua was a little surprised when he heard the announcement. Why would he come? Indeed, Jun Hua had thought about talking to Yi Yin, first convincing him and then dealing with Wei Yang, but it wasn’t easy to discuss it, and Jun Hua thought about it for several days without knowing how to start.
After all, the person Yi Yin was closer to had always been Wei Yang, and he would not believe Jun Hua easily. In the past, Jun Hua had warned him many times that Wei Yang was extremely suspicious and shouldn’t be trusted, but Yi Yin not only didn’t believe it, but also distanced himself from him.
Starting again, Jun Hua was actually not sure that he could convince Yi Yin. He was already prepared to deal with Wei Yang first, even if Yi Yin might hate him forever for it. In any case, he had to save Yi Yin’s life.
Yi Yin had not come alone, he also carried a little snow-white kitten meowing in his arms.
Somehow, Jun Hua suddenly thought of the twins and thought that he would never see them again.
Raising his hand to rub his eyes, Jun Hua hooked his lips and smiled: “Ah Yin, do you want to use a little white kitten to replace a little white tiger?”
Yi Yin shook his head and said seriously: “Of course not. I haven’t found a little white tiger yet and I don’t know when I will find it. I see you almost don’t go out so I thought you must be bored. I decided to send you a kitten to relieve your boredom.”
Jun Hua smiled, gently picked up the kitten and tenderly stroked the fur on its back, “Thank you.” In the previous life, Yi Yin had never come to give him a kitten; it seemed that the talk about a little white tiger inspired him to do this.
Perhaps, he could be a little more demanding…
Little Monkey once said that his Brother Rong was like a walnut. If you smash it, it will move; if you don’t smash it, it will not move.
So he relied on Brother Rong since he was a child, seeking him out for everything he wanted, and Wei Chongrong not only was not annoyed, he was happy about it.
Jun Hua was totally unfamiliar with this trick of Little Monkey. He never troubled anyone with his own affairs, especially Yi Yin, for fear that Yi Yin would be annoyed with him. As a result, Yi Yin only regarded him as a kind of friend until he died, not giving them any chance for further development.
It was a complete coincidence that the little white tiger was mentioned that day, and Jun Hua didn’t dare to have too much hope. Who knew that Yi Yin would remember it and would temporarily replace it with a little kitten? Such a thing was simply impossible before.
“What’s there to thank me for? I didn’t raise this cat either, I just picked it up by chance.” There were no rare and exotic birds and beasts in Shanglin Park. A little kitten was nothing, it just took a short trip. Yi Yin didn’t take it to heart at all.
“Why wouldn’t I thank you? Except for you, no one ever thought about whether I was bored or not. Shanglin Park is big and it is not always convenient for me to go out by myself…” It would be great if he could have the qinggong of Little Monkey, but unfortunately this was impossible.
Yi Yin imagined himself in Jun Hua’s place, thought for a while and found that Jun Hua was quite pitiful. He couldn’t go out to ride horses and hunt in his spare time like him, so he asked, “How about me accompanying you to wander around now?”
“Really?” Jun Hua begged, eagerly seeking confirmation.
“Why would I lie to you about such a trivial matter? Let’s go.” Yi Yin turned around and walked away. He stopped just after two steps and then stood still, turning back and extending a hand, “It’s still early, we’re not in a hurry, where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere is fine, I don’t care.” As long as it is by your side, even if it is the ends of the earth or the Gobi desert, the sky is full of flowers.
- The tradition to wash children on the third day after their birth and gather relatives to wish the children good luck
- I think it’s probably a paraphrase of the expression “Good people don’t hide anything, and those who hide aren’t good”