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MJT Chapter 16

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After living in that vicious place for over ten years, Yi Chongren had developed a very keen intuition for danger. The year he said those words to Prince Yue, he didn’t regret it. Now, he still didn’t regret it because he didn’t think he’d ever meet that person again even if that person won the world. But now, the situation had become more dangerous after things left his control. Not to mention, because of Douzi, he couldn’t just leave if he wanted. This was also a reason why he thought the situation was dangerous. He didn’t want to meet Prince Yue again. If he didn’t leave quickly, it would be difficult to ensure that he wouldn’t meet that person. But Douzi……

Yi Chongren was hesitating, but Huo Yunkai was in a hurry. Yifu seemed to have steeled his heart to abandon him and Douzi, but how could this be allowed to happen. Huo Yunkai didn’t know about the “grievances” between his father and yifu, so naturally, he couldn’t think of too much. He simply didn’t want yifu to leave. Not only was yifu his and his brother’s savior, he was also their teacher. He genuinely wanted to recognize the other party as his father. He thought it through. Once his father attained victory, he would take yifu back to the capital with him to live in peace. Although his current lifestyle was quite good, with yifu’s intelligence and courage, living in this place meant falling to oblivion and aggravation. And with yifu’s life experiences, he didn’t want to hear any more people calling yifu a traitor or a miscreant. He would definitely plead for his father to clear yifu’s name and let the common people all know that yifu was loyal and good. But yifu didn’t want him and Douzi anymore. Huo Yunkai was very sad, as sad as he when he learned of his mother’s suicide, maybe even sadder.

Once Yi Chongren revealed his decision not to return to the capital with Huo Yunkai and Douzi, the atmosphere in the mansion turned gloomy, especially obvious around Huo Yunkai. At mealtimes, Huo Yunkai wouldn’t speak, eating little. Many times, Huo Yunkai wanted to talk to Yi Chongren, but Yi Chongren would always avoid him. Not knowing what happened, Douzi and Baozi thought daddy was mad at big brother, so the two children were very worried. Daddy and big brother had never been like that before.

When it was time to sleep at night, Douzi and Baozi obediently lay side by side on the bed after their bath, waiting for daddy to lay down. Yi Chongren took off his outer robes, got in bed, and saw the two children staring at him as if they wanted to speak. Looking across at Douzi’s face, Yi Chongren’s heart started aching once more. Turning his head and letting down the bed curtain as if nothing was wrong, he lay on his side and patted the two children: “Sleep.”

“Daddy……” Baozi’s chubby face appeared a bit melancholy. Douzi as well.

“What’s wrong? Sleep.” Yi Chongren covered Baozi’s eyes, not daring to look at Douzi.

“Daddy.” Douzi turned to look at daddy from next to Baozi and said with distress: “Did big brother do something bad? Daddy doesn’t pay attention to big brother anymore. Daddy, tell Douzi, Douzi will make big brother apologize to daddy.”

Yi Chongren tightly clenched his hands into fists under the blanket and said without his expression changing: “Nothing’s wrong. How could your big brother do anything wrong? You two children shouldn’t guess blindly. Go to sleep.”

Yi Chongren said these final three words with a harsher tone, and Douzi and Baozi didn’t dare to ask further. Yi Chongren really loved these children, but these two children knew to listen to daddy. Obediently closing their eyes, Douzi lay back down and gradually fell asleep to his daddy’s soft patting.

The two children fell asleep. Yi Chongren lightly got off the bed. Putting on his outer robes, he left the room. The night didn’t have a hint of the scorching heat of daytime, a bit cool. Yi Chongren used qinggong[1] to reach the rooftop, silently watching the moon in the sky. Moonlight shone down, seeming to wrap his body with a layer of golden light, but this layer of golden light cast a kind of coldness around him that made it difficult for people to approach. During his childhood, he was also a mischievous boy who gave his mother headaches. In order to cure him of his mischief, his father invited a teacher over to teach him martial arts and tame his reckless energy. If his parents were still alive, they definitely wouldn’t recognize their son.

After experiencing so many changes, after entering the palace to become a slave, his temperament became colder and colder. At that place, not being cruel would get him get eaten alive. Uncle Yi, who saved him, was just a low ranking eunuch so preserving his life wasn’t easy. He had to depend on himself to survive. He had to learn to be cruel and learn to be cold. But no matter how cold he became, he was still a person. The human heart is made of flesh. Every time he looked at Douzi or heard Douzi call him “daddy”, he couldn’t bear to say the words to send Douzi away. But Douzi was Prince Yue’s son, a future prince. Even if he was reluctant, Douzi couldn’t possibly keep calling him daddy and couldn’t possibly remain his son. No matter how reluctant he was to leave Yunkai and Douzi, after they entered the palace, after they gained their respected positions, after they gained a different father, mother, sister, or brother, this illusory father son relationship would become a shame they’d wish to get rid of sooner or later.

Thinking of this, the aura around Yi Chongren became even colder, and his gaze became more resolute. Short term pain was better than long term pain. He definitely couldn’t hesitate when it came time to let go. If what should be broken isn’t, one must suffer the consequences of their actions. Yi Chongren jumped off the rooftop and entered the room. The two children slept soundly. He opened the closet and took out a locked wooden box. He felt for a key by the foot of the bed and opened the box. In the box was his savings. Inside were banknotes, gold and silver ingots, and jewelry. When he was Lord Qianhu of the Hu An guards, Yi Chongren accepted all benefits with a peace of mind. When Prince Yue’s mansion was ransacked by Zhang Zhong, nearly all of the possessions were given to him. Yi Chongren left these for Huo Yunkai and Douzi, including relics of the two prince consorts. Although this household was financed by him, Yi Chongren’s remaining money was more than enough to support him and Douzi for life. Locking the box, he left with the box to find Xiaoqin. 

Xiaoqin was asleep. Once she heard someone knocking the door, she hurriedly woke up. Seeing Yi Chongren upon opening the door, she was extremely surprised, and she let the other party into the room. “Dage?”

Yi Chongren put the box on the table and turned to ask: “I’m leaving. Do you want to go with me or stay here?”

Xiaoqin was stunned at first before she understood what the other party was asking. She pursed her lips and replied with another question: “You’re not going to return for my godfather and the others to return?”

“I’ll send a letter to Huaiqiu. If they aren’t willing to stay in the capital, they will know where to find me. I’m afraid nights are long and dreams are unending. I can’t be sure whether Prince Yue will let me go or not.”

Xiaoqin took a deep breath and said: “I’ll go with you. I don’t want to trouble godfather and godmother. I won’t return to the capital. If I stay here, godfather and godmother will worry about me. Godfather and godmother are old, so they should stay in the capital.”

As expected, Xiaoqin wasn’t willing to return to the capital. Yi Chongren patted the box: “These are all my household assets. I’ll leave them with you. Start arranging the household’s matters over the next few days. We might leave at any time.”

“Yes.”

Yi Chongren swallowed and said in a voice a few tones lower: “Keep this a secret.”

“En!”

Leaving the box to Xiaoqin, Yi Chongren left. With a mind in turmoil, he didn’t notice the person who kept following him in the shadows. Returning to his room, looking at the two children, Yi Chongren ignored the reluctance in his heart to quietly pack his bags.

——————————————————————————————————————–

After he finished meditating in his room, Huo Yunkai opened his eyes and resolution flashed through his gaze. Standing up, he left the room. At this time, Baozi and Douzi would definitely be playing in the courtyard. Before he reached the courtyard, he heard Baozi and Douzi laughing, and Huo Yunkai stopped. Looking all around him, only two aunties were watching over them, and he heart loosened for a bit.

“Douzi, Baozi.”

Huo Yunkai called, striding over.

Baozi and Douzi, who had just finished their class with daddy, saw their big brother and immediately ran over, arms stretched out for a hug. Huo Yunkai bent over and picked up his two little brothers with ease, asking with a smile: “What’d you learn from daddy today?”

“Gege gege, I learned to write daddy’s name.” Baozi said, raising his fleshy little hand with pride.

Douzi added: “Daddy wanted us to memorize the “ Three Character Classic[2]”. Baozi and I both memorized it. Daddy said tomorrow he’s going to teach us “Di Zi Gui[3]”.”

“Baozi and Douzi are amazing. Do you want gege to take you out to play?”

“Yes yes.”

Once they heard the word play, the two children immediately forgot about their recent worries regarding daddy and gege.

Huo Yunkai took his little brothers to the swings. He had built the swings with yifu the year before. Looking at those two swings, Huo Yunkai’s heart became a bit sour. Yifu didn’t want them anymore. Immediately, he tightly gritted his teeth. He would definitely make yifu promise to return to the capital with them!

After a while, the sound of Baozi and Douzi’s laughter spread across Lin manor. The two aunties watching Douzi and Baozi handed them to Huo Yunkai with peace of mind and went to make lunch. But once mealtime arrived, everyone became panic-stricken as they noticed that Douzi and Baozi disappeared. They didn’t know where Huo Yunkai went either.

After receiving the news, Yi Chongren’s expression turned dark and he rushed out of the house with his sword, bringing an icy fire in his eyes that scared everyone who saw him witless. The two aunties blamed themselves. Who would have known Huo Yunkai would secretly take away the two children.

Huo Yunkai knew he was courting death. Even if he didn’t die, he knew he’d be beaten by yifu. But for the sake of keeping yifu, he was willing to do anything. He didn’t know how to contact his father and didn’t know about his father’s attitude towards yifu. After thinking for a few days, he directly took his two little brothers to the guard camp at Jade City Pass and revealed his identity as Prince Yue’s eldest son. Yifu wanted to leave and no one could stop him. Huo Yunkai put all his hopes on his father. Yifu was their savior. For the sake of reason and justice, his father shouldn’t make things hard for yifu. Once he let his father know what type of person yifu was, let his father know how yifu took care of him and his little brother over the last few years, his father would definitely help him persuade yifu to return to the capital with him.

When Huo Yunkai appeared, the atmosphere in the guard camp suddenly changed. The whole world knew about the hereditary prince’s disappearance, and now, the hereditary prince had arrived at their doorstep. The captain of the guard camp felt that he was facing a great enemy. Although they couldn’t confirm whether the other party’s identity was real or fake, he definitely couldn’t be neglected. The captain, Zhao Dongchuan, was shocked into cold sweat by the sudden appearance of Prince Yue’s heir, and personally made arrangements for Prince Yue’s hereditary prince and the two children with unknown identities, and immediately sent men to report to Prince Yue .

Many people on the street saw Huo Yunkai bring the two children into the guard camp so Yi Chongren didn’t spend too long searching for their whereabouts. But before he reached the guard camp, a group of people stopped him.

“The military barracks are a restricted place. Get out of here!”

Faintly hearing the sound of a child crying, Yi Chongren’s heart clenched. Tightening the reins, he directly shouted: “Huo Yunkai! If you don’t want to die, bring Douzi and Baozi out!”

“Ah!” Everyone around him gasped. This person wanted to find his highness the hereditary prince! Something’s wrong!

“How dare you! How dare you be rude to his highness!”

Yi Chongren was surrounded. Ignoring the soldiers exuding killing intent around him, Yi Chongren’s cold eyes searched for the direction the crying sounds came from. Soon, a voice obviously lacking in confidence sounded out: “Yifu, promise to return to the capital with me and I’ll bring Baozi and Douzi home.”

“Ah!” Another round of surprised gasps sounded. The soldiers surrounding Yi Chongren immediately retreated a few steps. This person was his highness’s yifu?!

“Wuwu……Daddy doesn’t want Douzi anymore……Daddy doesn’t want Douzi anymore……”

Huo Yunkai carried Douzi and Baozi out of the camp tent. Baozi was also crying: “Daddy, I don’t want to leave Douzi, daddy, wuwu……”

Huo Yunkai’s eyes were red and his voice was hoarse: “Yifu, I don’t want to force you. I just don’t want to leave you and Baozi. Can yifu forgive me.”

After saying this, Huo Yunkai carried Douzi and Baozi back into the camp tent and the sound of the children’s crying became louder.

“Daddy……Daddy……Douzi will be good, Douzi will be good……”

Throwing his sword, Yi Chongren dismounted and stormed into the barracks. Zhao Dongzhuan, who came out with Huo Yunkai, stopped the soldiers who wanted to restrain Yi Chongren. Killing intent appeared in Yi Chongren’s eyes, and he stormed into the tent like it was nobody’s business. Huo Yunkai, who was hiding inside, was frightened at first, and then he released his two crying little brothers from his arms.

“Daddy!”

Once they saw daddy, Douzi and Baozi, who were out of breath from crying, rushed over. Douzi’s two little hands tightly grabbed daddy’s clothes and he cried loudly: “Douzi will be good, Douzi will be good……”

Baozi cried until his little face was flushed red: “Daddy, why don’t you want Douzi…… wuwu …… Daddy, Baozi will be good, Daddy, don’t not want Douzi……”

Yi Chongren half-knelt on the ground and hugged the two children, and said again and again: “Daddy doesn’t not want Douzi, Daddy doesn’t not want Douzi……” Huo Yunkai stood at the side with his head lowered. Zhang Dongchuan stood outside with his mind full of fog. What on earth was going on? Who was that person?

Only after coaxing for an entire two hours did Yi Chongren manage to coax the two children to stop crying. Tired from crying, they fell asleep in their daddy’s arms. However, the two children were so sad this time that they couldn’t stop sobbing and sniffling in their sleep. Placing Baozi and Douzi on a hard board bed that wasn’t soft enough, Yi Chongren looked towards Huo Yunkai, who was still silent. Huo Yunkai gradually knelt down before him: “Yifu, hit me.” Yi Chongren walked over, raised Huo Yunkai, and punched him in the stomach without mercy.

Yi Chongren was very angry this time. Even though Huo Yunkai was Prince Yue’s heir and could even become the crown prince one day, he still beat Huo Yunkai until he had a bloody nose and a swollen face. This was the first time Huo Yunkai had ever been beaten so badly, but he endured it willingly because this way yifu wouldn’t leave. Zhao Dongchan ordered people to surround the tent with three layers inside and three layers outside. At this time, no matter whether they were Huo Yunkai or Yi Chongren, Zhao Dongchuan definitely wouldn’t let them leave the barracks. What’s more, Yi Chongren beat Huo Yunkai into such a shape, giving Zhao Dongchuan extra courage. He also didn’t dare to let go of the “yifu who beat Prince Yue’s hereditary prince”.

Yi Chongren was forced to stay in the barracks. After beating Huo Yunkai for a bit, he quickly calmed down. Looking at the two children who had cried until their eyes and cheeks were swollen, he conceded. Actually, he had already conceded when Douzi cried. If he had any weaknesses on this earth, they had to be Baozi and Douzi. He calmly waited there for Prince Yue to arrive or for Prince Yue to issue an imperial decree. He didn’t care how Prince Yue would deal with him. He had a clear conscience. Kicking Huo Yunkai out, not letting him enter, Yi Chongren lay on the bed that wasn’t spacious enough to guard the two children.

—————————————————————————————————————

A group of three thousand men quickly arrived at Jade City Pass. When they were still five days away from Jade City Pass, the leader of the group received an urgent letter from the person sent out by Zhao Dongchan, the captain of Jade City Pass. There were two letters. One letter was written by Zhao Dongchuan; one letter was written by “his son”. Reading Zhao Dongchuan’s letter, his expression changed; as for the other letter, he only read half before flaring into anger. Once he finished reading, he immediately ordered his subordinates to speed up so they could rush to Jade City Pass in the shortest amount of time possible.

Yi Chongren, you want to run away? Between you and I, who’s the real coward?

[1] 轻功 kinda like ancient chinese parkour ig/ a type of martial arts

[2]   三字经 is a 13th century reading primer consisted of Confucian tenets in lines of 3 character

[3] 弟子规 written in the Qing dynasty about the Confucian requisites for being a good person and living in harmony with others

(t/n: I have returned! My editor is on indefinite hiatus for medical reasons so if anyone’s interested in editing this novel, please contact me. I hate editing.)

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3 responses to “MJT Chapter 16”

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