Chapter 7: ZiQi
Edited by Asa
After calling off the servants, Qi Xutian didn’t let anyone notify his arrival. Holding Mingyue as he stepped into Ning Xi Palace, he noticed the abnormal atmosphere. When he arrived at An Ruolan’s door, he had only seen Zhi Lan and another servant at the door, and the sound of things breaking could be heard.
Shushing the two up, Qi Xutian opened the door and entered.
The atmosphere inside was nervous, the messy floor filled with shattered pieces. An Ruolan was sitting at the makeup table, her back facing them. Looking at the empty surface, one could see where the shattered pieces came from.
At the side of the window was a man in a snow white robe, his dark hair tied loosely behind his head, looking out the window. His lips were pressed together and his chest heaved. It looked like he was really angry.
Qi Xutian purposely made more noise as he walked in. When the man noticed, he turned to see Qi Xutian, and instead of panicking, he organized himself slowly then bowed, “Greeting Your Majesty.”
The men of the palace were only referred to by their true names, but the name ZiQi was known even by Qi Mingyue. He was one of the most favored male concubines in the harem. However, he never became prideful because of this. He wore plain white clothes, but his presence was majestic and a bit cold. The only thing about him was that his background wasn’t simple. He was the young son of Mr Han of the Privy Council, therefore no one dared to talk ill about him.
Looking at him up close, it was just like the rumors had portrayed him. He was a handsome man and didn’t show a hint of femininity. His steps were firm and his posture was straight. He greeted Qi Xutian with the manners of a noble, and not a sign of imperfection was in sight.
Just as Qi Mingyue was observing this noble, An Ruolan slowly turned back. A trail of tears on her cheeks, she looked pitiful. Her brows were slightly knitted together. She spoke slowly, “Your majesty, ZiQi and I were just chatting. We didn’t know that your majesty would be coming today. We apologize for this mess, please allow us to be forgiven….” she turned to greet Qi Xutian as she spoke, but her body weakened as she tripped on her skirt, and it looked like she was about to fall onto the floor.
Qi Xutian took a step forward, holding her waist while the other held Qi Mingyue. At this moment, they looked like one happy family. As ZiQi looked at this scene, his eyes lowered, not showing what he was thinking.
“Ruolan even shattered her favourite makeup. What made you so unhappy? Is it something that ZiQi said?”
Listening to this, An Ruolan buried herself into Qi Xutian’s chest and cried, looking as if she had suffered some great injustice. Anyone could guess that it was ZiQi that said something that made her as such, but just now they had insisted that they were just chatting. Looks like Mother knew her way around words, but ignored her own son. Qi Mingyue’s heart skipped a beat, “Father should comfort Mother more. I have left the palace a long time ago, and am a bit unfamiliar. I wanted to come and visit.” He said that he was just here to visit, and he rearranged the things on the makeup table, but he was really just observing ZiQi.
Han ZiQi stood against the pillar, his expression unknown. As Qi Mingyue was observing him, he suddenly asked: “Father dotes Mother so much, so why does ZiQi look so upset?”
At the moment, Qi Xutian was comforting An Ruolan in his arms, but his eyes landed on Qi Mingyue, who was standing besides ZiQi, looking completely serious.
Only then did ZiQi raise his head, “My mistake, I had forgotten to greet the second prince. Please forgive me.” Despite being a male concubine, he was still below the women of the harem. When meeting a prince, the rules indicate that he must greet him properly.
The second prince was wearing a pale white gown, the silver hair tie around his long hair was a bit messy, and the collar of his robe was stained with blood. Han Ziqi then exclaimed, “the second prince is hurt?” Despite saying that, his face was still expressionless, not showing a single sign of surprise.
“You’re hurt?” An RuoLan exclaimed, lifting her tear-stained face from Qi Xutian’s arms, asking: “Your Majesty, is my son alright?”
“No need to worry, mother.” Qi Mingyue walked towards her, and tiptoed to help her wipe away her tears, “It’s only but a scratch, the royal doctor has seen it already, don’t worry.”
“The royal doctor has seen it? What did he say?” She said as she panicked, confirming it with Qi Xutian, “Is he really ok? Where was he hurt? How did it happen?”
“It’s just a scratch, and it stopped bleeding. It won’t be a huge problem. I wanted him to rest in XuanTian Palace, but he insisted on seeing you.” Qi Xutian turned around and held Mingyue in his arms.
The things that happened in the Royal School were probably already out, who didn’t know about it? Qi Mingyue smiled brightly in his embrace, “I’ve not seen Mother recently, but I miss you dearly. Now that I’ve finally gotten to go study in the Royal school, and even had gotten slightly injured, I still wanted to come visit.”
“That year that he left me, he was just a hundred days old, so small. Now that he’s so big, I can’t even recognize him. Seeing that he is so clever and cute, I’m at peace.” Seeing Qi Xutian being so loving towards him, An RuoLan felt conflicted.
She had referred to him as YueEr before, but now it was Son. It looked like the 5 years apart had changed him, or maybe it was Tan Wu’s words that had changed her. Qi MingYue continued to smile, looking cute and innocent.
Qi Xutian finally asked: “Does ZiQi have business with RuoLan?” Looking at the shattered pieces on the ground, “What did you discuss that made RuoLan smash everything? Is it because I haven’t been visiting you, and you’re upset?” he said as he smiled towards Han ZiQi.
Han ZiQi hung his head, “I do not dare.”
Qi Xutian grinned, and seductively said: “Tonight I’ll come to YouYe Palace for your forgiveness, what do you say?” Even though it was a question, it was more of an order.
Qi MingYue nodded in his heart, only an emperor could do something like this, comforting one while promising another.
An Ruolan didn’t seem to care about their conversation, and stared blankly at the mirror on the makeup desk, her mind wandering.
Qi Mingyue pulled himself back, and lay on Qi XuTian, “Father…” he mewled. Qi Xutian gently rubbed his back, “MingEr is tired, we’ll be heading back.” And with that they left.
Outside the door, RuoLan and Han ZiQi’s servant were still standing side by side. Chief Liu didn’t stand far away, but seeing them come out, he silently followed.
Qi Mingyue suddenly muttered, “The leader of the light blades is definitely someone special, it’s making me so excited.” He knew that ever since his mother had entered the court, that someone was silently surveillancing them, but once he left, it was gone. It wasn’t from someone’s stares but a type of atmosphere that normal people wouldn’t be able to pick up on. It was like walking into a dark room. Even though you can’t see it, some people can still feel the existence of another. Qi Mingyue had that ability in his past life, judging if someone is friend or foe in a moment of need. He’d never thought that he would have it this life as well, it seemed like the ability embedded in his soul.
Chief Liu snapped his head up, and for the first time, he was surprised. But he quickly pulled himself back together, only to express a type of added respect, “I am excited for Your Highness’s performance as well.”
Qi Mingyue couldn’t help but hope to get better soon, and he couldn’t wait to learn the art of self defense.