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MJT Chapter 28

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After being angered by You Hong, Huo Feng left the imperial study and headed straight to Ningshen palace. You Hong even talked about Yi Chongren’s identity, rudely saying that his majesty shouldn’t mingle with a castrate all day as it was detrimental to the throne. Huo Feng tore off You Hong’s black hat on the spot, bluntly saying that insulting Yi Chongren meant insulting the crown prince’s yifu, insulting the two prince’s father, so he wouldn’t show mercy! Some people pleaded for leniency towards You Hong, but Huo Feng dismissed them from their offices, and the atmosphere in the palace instantly became tense. In response, none of the important ministers said a word, remaining silent, and those who still wanted to plead for You Hong finally chose to shut their mouths.

Huo Feng was enraged as he went to Ningshen palace, but as soon as he stepped in the bedroom, he immediately restrained his anger. Walking to the bedside, he curiously asked his person: “Where are Baozi and Douzi? Why don’t I see them? Did you not let them rest this afternoon?”

“They were playing go this afternoon. Yunkai came and took them out to play. Are you staying here tonight?” Yi Chongren couldn’t get up, half laying in bed.

Once he thought of this, Huo Feng’s anger rose once more and he repressed his bad temper to say: “I’ll stay here tonight. In the future, I’ll always stay here. I’ll let Lu Tao prepare a meal.”

“Don’t be in a hurry.” Yi Chongren grabbed Huo Feng’s hand, letting the man sit beside him, and lightly said: “Wait for your anger to quell before eating.”

Huo Feng froze.

Yi Chongren lazily said: “I already know about You Hong. You don’t have to get angry with him. Leave it to me.”

Huo Feng frowned: “I should settle this matter. I’m still the emperor, so I can’t ask you to come forward for everything.”

“What you need to settle is the livelihoods of the people. Leave this unimportant trash to me. You’ve also said before, I won’t hide behind you just seeking comfort.”

Seeing the confidence on Yi Chongren’s face, the anger Huo Feng had been holding back instantly dissipated. How could he forget how amazing his Chongren was. Even he himself was no match for this person, not to mention You Hong. As long as this person wanted, even the world could fall in his hands.

Huo Feng smiled: “Then this husband will leave it to you.”

Yi Chongren’s heart thudded. Husband?

“Chongren, I really want to seal you as the empress.” With regret and guilt, Huo Feng kissed Yi Chongren’s still visible red and swollen lips. Yi Chongren was still a somewhat distracted, “husband” ……

——————————————————————————————————————-

Huo Feng, who was originally pretending to be so troubled by You Hong, moved into Ningshen palace without a word. For a few days, his expression remained dark and the atmosphere in court became particularly stifled. Those officials who previously petitioned his majesty to hold a concubine selection would receive his majesty’s censure with any slight misstep. No matter how muddled a person could be, they could understand what his majesty meant.

After You Hong was dismissed from his post, he threatened to die for his beliefs. If he hadn’t agreed to leave the matter to Yi Chongren, Huo Feng would definitely have cut off You Hong’s head. That day, Huo Feng discussed new legislation with the ministers until dark before returning to Ningshen palace. He had already eaten in the imperial study, but he privately wanted to hear Yi Chongren’s advice regarding the promulgation of new legislation.

Ever since Huo Feng moved to Ningshen palace, Baozi and Douzi stopped sleeping with daddy. The two moved to a room adjacent to daddy’s. The candlelight in the two sons’ room shone, and Huo Feng directly returned to his and Yi Chongren’s room. Pushing open the bedroom door, a look of surprise appeared on Huo Feng’s face.

“Chongren?”

In front of the dressing table, clothed in his crimson official robes, Yi Chongren was facing the bronze mirror doing his makeup. He glanced at the person who just returned through the bronze mirror and continued to apply his powder. Huo Feng walked behind Yi Chongren with confusion, asking: “Why are you putting on makeup? I thought you didn’t like it.”

“I don’t like it.” Yi Chongren looked at his gradually whitening face in the mirror and coldly explained: “I’m going to go see people in a while, so I need to use this face.”

“Who?” Huo Feng had a guess.

“You Hong.”

As expected!

Huo Feng pulled a stool over to sit beside him and glanced at the rouge and gouache on the table, asking: “Do you need my help?”

“You know how?” Yi Chongren side eyed him.

Huo Feng revealed a reminiscent smile: “No. But I want to try.” Saying this, he picked up the brush for drawing eyebrows on the table, “You can teach me.”

Yi Chongren looked at Huo Feng for a while, finished applying his white powder while facing the mirror, and then placed a few boxes of different colors in front of Huo Feng, telling him how to draw his eyebrows, eyes, and lips.

Drawing eyebrows and lips……only a husband would draw eyebrows and lips for his own wife…… Huo Feng never thought of Yi Chongren as a woman, and although Yi Chongren had a beautiful appearance, he also never had these types of thoughts. At this moment, Huo Feng felt that he was a man drawing his wife’s eyebrows. He wasn’t very skilled, his hands were unsteady, but Yi Chongren calmly sat before him, letting him paint his face, and Huo Feng couldn’t help but want to kiss the other party.

When he finally finished, Huo Feng knitted his brows in dissatisfaction: “It doesn’t look as good as when you do it.”

Yi Chongren turned to look in the bronze mirror and took the lip brush in Huo Feng’s hand: “Not fierce enough.”

Yi Chongren retouched his face and the demonic appearance of the former Lord Qianhu of the Hu An guards gradually emerged. Huo Feng said with distaste: “You still look better without makeup. I don’t even know where to kiss you.”

The corners of Yi Chongren’s lips slightly raised and he stood: “This originally wasn’t meant for you to see. I’m going.”

“You’re going by yourself?” Huo Feng held Yi Chongren’s hand.

Yi Chongren withdrew his hand and said: “Your martial arts aren’t good. I’ll go by myself.” Saying this, he patted Huo Feng, not giving the other party the opportunity to oppose, and in a flash, he was gone.

Huo Feng felt down, but there was nothing he could do about it.

You Hong was in his study writing at a tremendous speed. He wanted to submit a joint petition with a few ministers from the previous reign to his majesty to expel Yi Chongren from the capital. Yi Chongren used his identity as a eunuch to charm his majesty, and he must be punished! You Hong went from simply wanting his majesty to hold a concubine selection to wanting to eliminate Yi Chongren. He was clear that if Yi Chongren didn’t die, his majesty would not return to orthodoxy. That person was a scourge! During the previous reign, he and Noble Consort Ru had an ambiguous relationship; Now, he seduced the emperor. In You Hong’s eyes, all of Yi Chongren’s so called good deeds were done for his own benefit, to leave an escape route, having nothing to do with loyalty.

A gust of wind blew in. You Hong raised his head, wondering how the window opened. He hurriedly used a paperweight to press down the randomly flying pieces of paper and stood to close the window. After he closed the window, You Hong turned. The next moment, he screamed “Ah” as if he saw a ghost and fell to the ground. Then, he lost his head in panic and frantically tried to escape, pushing the door, only to realize it was actually locked from the outside!

You Hong felt the blood drain from his face, and he pounded the door screaming: “Someone come! Someone come! Help me! Help me ah!”

With a “whoosh”, something dropped from the sky, gazing You Hong’s face as it flew by. “Ding!” a dagger pierced into the door panel. You Hong felt his hairs stand on end, and a yellow stream of water flowed from his crotch. You Hong gradually looked down……he, he peed.

“Lord You neglected sleep and forgot about food out of loyalty for the state, yet he can’t even remember to go to the latrine.”

Hearing the sneer behind him, You Hong was itching to dig a hole and bury himself inside. He was actually so scared of Yi Chongren that he wet his pants!

“Am I that scary? Or are there any treasures on that door?”

You Hong gradually turned around with trembling legs and looked at Yi Chongren, that demonic face of Yi Chongren. No one who had contact with the Hu An guards wasn’t afraid of that face. You Hong lost all the grandeur he had while remonstrating in the imperial study. He seemed to be back in the previous reign when at any moment, he could be thrown into the Hu An guard’s prison and subjected to the cruelest of punishments.

Yi Chongren slowly removed the paperweight and picked up the proposal that You Hong was in the midst of writing. You Hong was trembling in fright, not knowing if he could escape this time.

Yi Chongren leisurely read it over and lightly said: “It seems that your excellency is dissatisfied with me. Wu……charmed his majesty……should be punished…..these sins aren’t light.”

You Hong couldn’t support himself anymore, and he thudded to his knees. He was frightened to the point that he couldn’t even speak, not to mention beg for mercy.

Yi Chongren hung a sneer on his lips, slowly ripping the proposal to pieces right in front of You Hong, throwing it to the ground. You Hong felt that his fate was just like that piece of paper, torn to shreds by that terrifying man in an instant.

Yi Chongren stood up and You Hong desperately shrunk back, but his back hit the door, unable to escape. Yi Chongren gradually stepped towards You Hong, and You Hong bloodlessly tried to shrink into a ball. Once Yi Chongren walked right in front of him, he was so frightened he didn’t dare to breathe.

“Lord You,” Yi Chongren looked down at You Hong with eyes like knives, “You’ve already been dismissed by his majesty, so you should kneel when you see me. But because you’re loyal to his majesty, I won’t make things too hard for you. But……” He squatted down, and You Hong’s teeth chattered.

“I, Yi Chongren, have never been a generous person. I won’t let anyone who troubles me live a good life.” Yi Chongren lightly patted You Hong’s trembling shoulders and coldly said: “Do your best.”

Standing, Yi Chongren kicked open the locked door and strode out. You Hong’s entire residence was quiet, and everyone in the residence seemed to disappear at once, terribly quiet.

After leaving the You residence, Yi Chongren “visited” a few ministers that liked to worry about Huo Feng’s “bedroom matters”. Although these ministers weren’t scared into peeing their pants like You Hong, they weren’t far from it.

When Yi Chongren returned to the palace, Huo Feng hadn’t gone to rest yet, obviously waiting for him. As soon as he saw Yi Chongren’s face, Huo Feng knew that everything went smoothly. Once he heard that You Hong was actually scared into peeing his pants, he immediately laughed uncontrollably. Hurrying Yi Chongren to wash off his makeup, because he hadn’t touched Yi Chongren for many days to let him recuperate, Huo Feng hastily hugged Yi Chongren to bed and rolled in red waves[1]. A moment in spring is worth a thousand gold, it was still late at night. 

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

You Hong left the capital with his tail between his legs. He was seriously ill for over half a month, then gave the prime minister, Xie Ming, a “letter of repentance” to give to his majesty, not telling a single person, and left the capital with his family. Supposedly, he left looking haggard, not looking like a person. In the letter of repentance, You Hong admitted feeling ashamed for being narrow-minded and betraying his majesty’s trust, obstinately bent on trying to kill Yi Chongren’s loyalty to the court. In the end, he realized his mistakes, no longer fit to face his majesty, and returned to his hometown. You Hong’s departure didn’t produce too big of a response in court. The crown prince clearly expressed his dislike for You Hong, and his majesty dismissed him from his post. He clearly never understood his own position. It was already fortunate that he could leave alive.

No one else brought up concubine selection in front of his majesty. Huo Feng put all his energy in court politics, and Yue thrived. Those ministers that were initially against his majesty’s favor for Yi Chongren began to reflect. Was it really wrong for his majesty not to register any concubines? After experiencing the corruption of the previous reign, the common people now lived and worked in happiness, so what was more important than having a competent ruler? After the promulgation of numerous new decrees, the number of ministers concerned about his majesty’s household affairs gradually lessened. His majesty already had a crown prince to the rivers and mountains had a successor. If his majesty didn’t want to marry, then he wouldn’t marry.

Firecrackers burst outside the palace, and in the blink of an eye, a year passed by. The night of New Year’s Eve, Huo Feng, Yi Chongren, and the three children ate a festive new years dinner at Ningshen palace. After eating, they accompanied Douzi and Baozi to play with firecrackers. Huo Feng wanted Yi Chongren to accompany him for a walk around the palace. The two drank some wine, but they weren’t drunk yet. Huo Yunkai proactively asked to go to the border to learn after the new year, and Huo Feng agreed.

The two walked along the dimly lit palace road as snowflakes fluttered down from the sky. The imperial guards followed behind them far away, and Huo Feng nonchalantly held Yi Chongren’s icy hand.

“When it’s cold, your hands get even colder.”

“Your majesty’s hands are always scorching.”

“Haha,” Huo Feng tightened his grip, “Perfect for keeping you warm.” Yi Chongren hooked the corners of his lips.

After walking a few steps, Huo Feng ruefully said: “In the past, I never imagined there’d be a day where I could walk with you like this. Sometimes, I think that change was not necessarily a bad thing. You, were buried too deep. If it weren’t for those matters, I would have missed you. Every time I think of this, I feel so fortunate.”

Yi Chongren lightly said: “If you missed me, then you missed me. You resolved to raise the troops, so I didn’t plan in vain.”

Huo Feng shook his head, seriously saying: “If I missed you, I’d regret for a lifetime. At that time, you must have resented me for failing to meet expectations.”

Yi Chongren glanced at Huo Feng with a look saying “you’re finally aware”. Huo Feng laughed and said: “I just knew you were annoyed with me. Someone with control over seven hundred thousand soldiers could be so useless. At that time, even if you directly told me that imperial brother wanted my life, I probably still wouldn’t raise troops. I’d only think you were stirring up trouble.”

“So I forced you to see clearly.” Yi Chongren said with some self reproach: “Too bad I couldn’t save the two ladies.”

“Don’t mention it anymore. You already tried your best.” Huo Feng didn’t say that if the two ladies survived, things probably wouldn’t go so smoothly with this person. Everything was arranged by the heavens.

“Chongren, you knew that Xingtian would save me that time, so why did you secretly cut my ropes?”

The atmosphere was both serene and warm, so Huo Feng asked out the doubts buried in his heart for so many years. Yi Chongren took a few steps forward and replied: “I couldn’t be sure that he wouldn’t meet any changes before arriving. By cutting your ropes, even if there were changes, you could save yourself. If Ruan Xingtian’s side made any careless mistakes, Huaiqiu and I could take you out. Of course, that was the worst case scenario.”

Huo Feng subconsciously tightened his grip on Yi Chongren’s hand and bitterly smiled: “I really was a coward back then. But Chongren, you didn’t hold back on those punches.”

Yi Chongren in a matter of fact manner: “I’m a person who remembers grudges.”

Huo Feng took the man in his arms and asked by his ear: “Do you want to give me some more punches to vent? I was wrong.”

Yi Chongren pushed Huo Feng away with laughter in his eyes: “You’re the emperor now. There’s finally no more people messing with me, so how could I go looking for trouble?”

“Haha,” Huo Feng pulled the man back and lowered his head to passionately ask: “Chongren, am I in your heart?”

Yi Chongren didn’t reply and opened his lips when Huo Feng kissed him. His heart pounded. Did it matter if it did or not? He wouldn’t be with a second man.

All the guards behind them turned around, looking away from the indecency. Under the dancing snow, two people stood on the palace road, forgetting themselves as they kissed. In the past, they stood on this palace road exchanging blows to hurt each other. No one expected that one day, they’d stand here and embrace each other with mutual affection.

The smothering kiss ended, and Huo Feng once again held Yi Chongren’s hand: “Let’s go back, it’s too cold outside.”

“Ok.”

Ther two walked back to Ningshen palace hand in hand, side by side. Snowflakes fell on Yi Chongren’s shoulders, and Huo Feng helped him wipe them away. Yi Chongren lowered his head, looking at the road under his feet, a light smile on his lips.

[1] 翻红浪 The red brocade quilt is piled on the bed like waves

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