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MJT Chapter 24

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Huo Feng didn’t attend morning court today. He didn’t head out from Ningshen palace to the imperial study until around 9:07 am. The emperor stayed at Ningshen palace overnight, the two princes stayed in the emperor’s bed chamber overnight, and Yi Chongren stayed at Ningshen palace. Although they didn’t hear any definite news from anyone’s mouth, the officials tacitly understood what his majesty did at Ningshen palace last night. There were obvious scratches and nail marks on the back of his majesty’s hands,  there was a line of imprints on his neck, and his lips were broken. Who could bite the emperor? And who could leave wounds on the emperor’s mouth? Seeing the hidden smile on his majesty’s face, no matter how one looked at him, he looked like a cat that stole some fish. For a while, a strange atmosphere flowed around the group of officials, and Xie Dan, Zhang Huaiqiu, and the others couldn’t help but knit their brows. It was one matter if his majesty favored Yi Chongren, but “dominating” Yi Chongren was another matter.

Huo Feng didn’t mention a single thing about last night, discussing national affairs with the officials the moment he reached the imperial study. The crown prince Huo Yunkai was also present, and he kept staring at his imperial father, finding it hard to hide his shock.

Three quarters past noon, Huo Feng, who was ready to eat, let the ministers retreat, leaving only the crown prince. Huo Feng dismissed the servants, and ordered for no one to disturb him. Huo Yunkai directly asked: “Imperial father, why didn’t you return to your bedchamber last night? Why didn’t you let Baozi and Douzi return to Ningshen palace?” Huo Yunkai didn’t sleep well last night. When he was heading back from taking his little brothers on a stroll, Lu Tao told him that his imperial father would be staying in Ningshen palace and wanted him to let his brothers sleep with him for the night. Even if he was stupid, Huo Yunkai could sense that something was up.

Huo Yunkai greatly cared about Yi Chongren, his yifu. His first reaction was that imperial father was taking advantage of yifu. Some people said that yifu seduced imperial father, but he didn’t believe it. Huo Yunkai was saved by Yi Chongren and lived with him for six years, so his feelings naturally differed. Huo Feng was also clear on this, so although he knew about how much the crown prince cared about Yi Chongren, he didn’t use his position as his father and the emperor to reprimand the crown prince, only calmly and seriously saying: “Last night, your yifu and I performed the rites of husband and wife. Your yifu is my person now.” 

Huo Yunkai sucked in a cold breath, and subconsciously asked: “Yifu was willing?!” He didn’t believe it.

Naturally, that person was not willing. Huo Feng said frankly: “I’ve already liked your yifu for many years. This is the reason why I personally went to Jade City Pass to receive him. Your yifu always minded his past, so even if his heart was willing, he wouldn’t express it to me. But I, don’t want to wait any longer. Yunkai, the moment your yifu sent your jade pendant into my hands, your yifu and I’s fates were entangled for a lifetime. I, hope you can accept this.”

Huo Yunkai didn’t know how to respond. He was in a mess. Although he wasn’t knowledgeable on the ways of the world, he could tell that last night, imperial father definitely took advantage of yifu when he was drunk. Imperial father, actually liked yifu…… yifu actually sent his own jade pendant to imperial father six years ago…… yifu…… imperial father……

“Your yifu is willing to be with me. I won’t hide it from you, many people will be against this matter and will try to force me into disposing of your yifu. Yunkai, are you going to join the others in forcing me to drive away your yifu or kill him, or will you help your yifu and I?”

Huo Yunkai’s body shook. There was definitely a possibility that this would happen! Huo Yunkai, whose temperament was greatly affected by his yifu’s, quickly calmed down. One was imperial father, and one was yifu. If imperial father and yifu could really be together, then that would be the best outcome for him! With a suddenly clear mind, Huo Yunkai raised his eyes: “Imperial father, this son has said before that he will be filial to yifu and take care of yifu in his old age. This oath will never change. This son only wants to ask imperial father of one matter. Will you establish an empress?”

“No.” Huo Feng answered without hesitation, “Having you three sons and your yifu is already enough. This is also the only thing I can do to compensate your mother and auntie. I will never have another woman and will never have other heirs. But for now, I still can’t open up on this matter or else the court officials will aim their spearheads on your yifu. There are already people sending petitions for me to hold a concubine selection. I can delay this matter for now, and when the time is ripe, I will let them understand that in this life, I will have no one other than your yifu. I need your help.”

Huo Yunkai clenched his fists and said: “Imperial father, what do you need this son to do?”

As expected of the son taught by Yi Chongren! Huo Feng was extremely pleased with the crown prince’s reaction. He let the crown prince come to his side and whispered in the crown prince’s ear what he wanted him to do. Huo Yunkai nodded, and once he heard his imperial father’s final words, he shook abnormally.

Huo Feng patted his son’s shoulders: “I’ve conquered the rivers and mountains for you. For the rest, you must rely on yourself.”

After a while, Huo Yunkai kneeled down and kowtowed thrice to his imperial father: “This son will definitely live up to imperial father’s expectations!” 

“I trust you.”

Huo Feng supported his son up with both hands. In his eyes, the crown prince was good, Baozi and Douzi were also good. They were all the children of him and another person, them, the children of the two of them.

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

When Yi Chongren woke up, his first thought was that he was actually still alive. The next moment, he found out that he was only still alive. That year he was heavily injured, he was nearly cut in half by someone, and he fled with all his remaining strength. But now, he even found difficulty turning over. His entire lower body didn’t seem to be his anymore. Last night was both blurred and chaotic, so he couldn’t even remember how many times Huo Feng did him, let alone when the other party left. It was dim in the bed, and Yi Chongren weakly raised the bed curtain. The outside was naturally very bright.

Withdrawing his hand, and turning over with difficulty, Yi Chongren’s left hand grabbed the bed to support himself up. Just as he raised his upper body, his wrist trembled and he fell back into bed.

Yi Chongren instantly broke out in cold sweat. A certain part of his lower body hurt. Eyes flashing with killing intent and another complicated sentiment, Yi Chongren thought of how to tackle his current dilemma, and then he froze. Lifting the quilt, his eyes flashed slightly. The clothes on his body……were new. He felt a cooling sensation from a certain area. Yi Chongren pursed his lips, not moving anymore.

What happened last night greatly exceeded his expectations, and once Yi Chongren found out he was changed into a set of clean satin inner robes and he was drugged there, Yi Chongren didn’t know how to react. Ever since reuniting with Huo Feng, this feeling of “not knowing how to react” appeared more and more. Yi Chongren was shrouded by a strange feeling. If it was the past, he would definitely kill Huo Feng without a word. But now, he hesitated. At a time he should be hesitating, he hesitated. He seemed to be in danger.

He thought of Huo Yunkai, thought of Douzi, thought of how he and Huo Feng met countless times in the palace, thought of the moon viewing platform where he and Huo Feng opposed each other with equal harshness……Yi Chongren powerlessly closed his eyes. It was a mess, everything was a mess.

“Daddy……”

Yi Chongren immediately opened his eyes.

“You’re awake?”

“Douzi.” Yi Chongren realized how unpleasant his voice sounded the moment he opened his mouth.

“Daddy? What happened?”

The bed curtain was lifted and a worried small face appeared before Yi Chongren. Yi Chongren tried to laugh and raised his sore arm to touch Douzi’s face.

“Where’s Baozi?”

“Daddy.”

Baozi’s voice sounded, and Yi Chongren raised his eyes to see Baozi slowly walk over, carrying a bowl. Huo Yunkai followed behind Baozi, carrying a tray.

“Yifu, you’re awake.”

Yi Chongren lost all his hesitations. He would definitely kill Huo Feng!

If Huo Feng had any bargaining chips to cool Yi Chongren’s temper, they were the three children. Last night, Yi Chongren suffered, so he really wanted to accompany Yi Chongren by his side, but he also understood Yi Chongren’s temperament. If Yi Chongren saw him when he woke up, it would be hard to guarantee that he wouldn’t draw his sword and hack him to death, so he first let Yunkai, Douzi, and Baozi dissipate Yi Chongren’s fury.

Huo Feng didn’t evade the issue out of fear and let the imperial kitchen prepare a light meal for the people in Ningshen palace, even specially instructing the children to bring it to their father’s bedside. He also let Douzi give a letter he wrote to Yi Chongren. In front of the children, Yi Chongren wouldn’t flare up. But bumping into Huo Yunkai made him very awkward. Luckily, Huo Yunkai performed very normally, even supporting him off the bed to sit down naturally.

Baozi and Douzi took turns speaking to coax their daddy into happiness. Imperial father told them that daddy’s body was unwell, so Baozi and Douzi were very worried. They had never seen daddy so weak. After Yi Chongren finished eating, Douzi gave daddy a letter, saying it was from imperial father. While yifu was in a daze, Huo Yunkai led his two little brothers away.

Chongren:

I know you hate me. But what happened last night wasn’t because of a drunken stupor, but what I wanted to do ever since I saw you at Jade City Pass. Chongren, these six years, every night, I thought of you. Thought of your eyes, thought of your face, thought of your disdain towards me. At first, I was angry and embarrassed, only wanting to win the world and tell you not to humiliate me anymore; but later, what I thought about the most were your eyes. I wanted to see your true face underneath all that powder.

Once I hurried to Jade City Pass, I saw it. I saw that pair of eyes carved in my heart, saw a true smile that I had never seen on your face before. That moment, I knew why I could never forget you those six years.

Chongren, I’m already forty, I don’t want to miss you anymore, I don’t have many more six years. You know that the moment I sat in this position, I lost much of my freedom, but for you, I definitely will not concede. No matter how much the court resists, no matter how much the officials object, I will firmly grasp you. Because there is only one Yi Chongren in this world. I may encounter many beautiful things in life, but it’s enough to grasp one with all my heart[1]. 

Chongren, let’s be together. Together, let’s take charge of this world; Together, let’s watch Yunkai become a brilliant ruler; watch Baozi and Douzi grow up. You, are their daddy; I, am their imperial father.

Yi Chongren tightly gritted his teeth. Once he read the last word, he forcefully threw the letter to the side. Both eyes glaring at the top of the bed, Yi Chongren panted hurriedly, trying to suppress a certain emotion that made him incredibly sad.

——————what happened last night wasn’t because of a drunken stupor……

——————could never forget you……

——————there is only one Yi Chongren in this world……

——————I may encounter many beautiful things in life, but it’s enough to grasp one with all my heart…..

—————-Chongren, let’s be together……

Closing his eyes, Yi Chongren pulled the quilt over his head. He could cut off a person’s head without blinking, could watch people die right in front of him indifferently. But towards Huo Feng’s short letter, he once again didn’t know how to react. Mind in chaos, heart in chaos, a feeling of headache he hadn’t felt in many years lingered in his heart. Damn it! Damn it! He hated these types of uncontrollable feelings, he was Yi Chongren, the Yi Chongren who never lost his reason and calm!

“Creak”, the door to the bedroom was pushed open, and Yi Chongren forcefully bit his lower lip, pulling down the quilt. The hanging bed curtain was once again lifted, and Yi Chongren’s anger rose, reddened eyes glaring at the newcomer, tightly scrunching the letter in his hand into a ball.

The newcomer sat by the bedside, holding the hand gripping the letter, and leaned over. Yi Chongren breathed unstably and felt for the dagger under the pillow with his other hand. The other party seemed to not notice, and he covered Yi Chongren’s cool warm lips with his own, gently tossing about in bed. Yi Chongren tightly grabbed the dagger yet his hand trembled beyond recognition. The other party easily took away the dangerous dagger and wrapped Yi Chongren’s trembling hand in his rough palm. Once Yi Chongren’s lips became as heated as his own, the other party backed off.

“Chongren,” Huo Feng’s voice was very hoarse and his expression was quite emotional, “Let’s be together……I’m unable to give you status and can’t raise you as the empress……I can only use these methods to give the inner palace and inner court to you.” The day I ascended, you, were already my empress.

Yi Chongren pursed his lips without saying a word, so Huo Feng just watched him. After a while, Yi Chongren tightly closed his eyes, and once again opened them, eyes cold. Huo Feng’s heart sank. Was he still unwilling?

“If you want me to agree, I can, but you must promise me one thing.”

Huo Feng’s face lit up with ecstasy: “Say it!”

Yi Chongren calmly said: “A lifetime is too long, I just need ten years. These ten years, you can’t hold a concubine selection, can’t raise concubines, can’t set a finger on even a palace maid. If you agree, then from today onwards, I, Yi Chongren, am yours.”

Huo Feng froze, and he immediately understood why Yi Chongren raised these conditions. At once, Huo Feng didn’t know whether he should be happy or angry, but he didn’t argue. After ten years, this person would understand that what he said today was by no means an impulse.

Huo Feng lowered his head and gave Yi Chongren’s mouth a light peck.

“Ok. I promise you.”

Yi Chongren felt something burst in his heart with Huo Feng’s “Ok”. Then, he heard Huo Feng say with thick desire: “Then from today onwards, you, are mine.”

Letting down the bed curtain, Yi Chongren’s eyes panic. This person really wanted to do him to death!

“Hehehe……” Huo Feng was amused by Yi Chongren’s appearance. He took off his shoes, got in bed, hugged Yi Chongren, and yawned, saying: “Your body isn’t better yet. Accompany me to sleep for a bit. But Chongren, don’t leave wounds on obvious places next time. For better or worse, I’m also the emperor, so help me save some face.”

Yi Chongren glanced at the wound on Huo Feng’s lips, disapproving. Not killing this person was already giving him face. Was he this easy to obtain?

Huo Feng’s hand touched Yi Chongren’s heavily injured area, and he bit his ear: “Does it still hurt a lot?”

Yi Chongren took the dagger thrown aside by Huo Feng and stabbed at him. Huo Feng hurriedly grabbed his wrist, not daring to ask again. He forgot, the person he liked was not just full of strategems but also a master of martial arts. Hurriedly throwing the dagger off the bed, Huo Feng held Yi Chongren tight, not saying another word.

The both familiar and unfamiliar breath sprayed on the top of his head. Yi Chongren wanted to push Hou Feng away but forced himself to be patient. He gave this person ten years, so he had to quickly get used to everything about this person. Not thinking of whether these ten years were worth it, Yi Chongren told himself that this was the best choice. The best, the best.

[1] 弱水三千, 我,只取一瓢饮 Comes from a Buddhist scripture. Metaphor for fidelity and devotion to love. Used in Dream of the Red Chamber when Jia Baoyu expresses his love for Lin Daiyu.

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