Thousand Autumns – Chapter 13
Editor: Draygan, Forseti
First published on Ainushi.
Synopsis: What taste of ecstasy would it be?
Early the next morning, they hastily buried the abbot and the two little monks before entering the city.
After the event that happened last night, Chen Gong was like a bird that would be startled by the mere twang of a bow. He didn't want to stay in the city any longer. Even when he saw the distant sign of the Six Harmonies Association's sub-hall, he had no intention to go forward and only wanted to drag Shen Qiao to walk faster. Caught between a laugh and a cry, Shen Qiao said to him, "Nobody will notice us. They don't even know our names and will only go after the others. You don't need to worry this much."
Right after he finished, they heard someone tittering from the wall next to them. "I would say his concern is necessary. But again, the light was so dim last night that I didn't even notice what a charming face this mister has. I almost missed it!"
The voice was sweet and cute. Most importantly, it sounded extremely familiar.
Chen Gong thought he recognized the voice. As he raised his head, he saw a young girl sitting on top of the wall, smiling at them sweetly. She was wearing a red dress, her black hair was held up in two buns by two gold rings. Apart from her voice, there was not even one spot on her resembled the little monk from last night.
Were it in the past, if such a beautiful woman was to walk on the street, Chen Gong would definitely give her quite a few glances. However, now as he thought of the horrible deaths of the three monks in Beyond Cloud Monastery, he only felt a chill creep over him and didn't even have the courage to give her another look.
Bai Rong smiled, "Why are you so scared? Shouldn't you be happy that you get to meet an old friend again? I came here just for you two!"
Shen Qiao couldn't see, so he only cupped his hands towards the source of the voice. "May I know why this lady is looking for us?"
Bai Rong pouted, "What do you mean by 'this lady'? It sounds like we're strangers. My family name is Bai, Bai Rong. It's another name for 'peony', therefore you can also call me 'Little Peony'!"
As she spoke, her body moved and appeared in front of them in a flash.
Bai Rong seemed to have a greater interest in Shen Qiao, she even tried to touch his face.
Just as her finger was about to caress his face, Shen Qiao seemed to have noticed her intentions and took two steps back.
Bai Rong giggled and said straightforwardly, "Last night, one of you was reading the script, while the other heard the entire thing, so I assume both of you must have remembered a lot of its contents. I'm going to write them down from memory now, but there are some places that I can't recall accurately, therefore, I need your help. As for the reward… after we finish, no matter which one you prefer, beauty or wealth, you will get what you wish for~"
She dragged out the last sentence. There was an underlying current of seduction in her coquettish voice, it was enough to sway the heart of any man.
Chen Gong felt his ear burn and he was about to agree, but he suddenly felt a vice-like grip from the hand on his shoulder. He recovered from his muddled state and started to shake his head at once so rapidly like it was like a rattle-drum. "But I can't read!"
Shen Qiao also said, "You're looking for the wrong people. He's illiterate, and I'm blind. All I did last night was to read word by word from the book. I already forgot everything after I finished reading, so I'm afraid that we can't offer any help."
Bai Rong smiled, "Of course you can't remember because you are so nervous and alarmed right now. You can take your time to think it through after you go back with me, maybe you can remember a lot by then. Do you really have the heart to reject such a pretty girl like me?"
She didn't wait for them to answer after she finished, instead, her hand grabbed right towards them.
Alarms in Chen Gong's head went off. His body wanted to run away, but as he saw that slender white hand approach him, he lost all of his strength and could only watch that hand brush across his shoulder. His legs went soft and his entire body collapsed onto the ground, paralyzed.
"Junior marital sister, you are in such a good mood. Are you planning to kill someone again?" An extremely handsome face but with an old voice appeared at that same moment.
A man jumped off the wall and landed as light as a feather on the ground. Bai Rong's face turned slightly pale as he smiled at her. "We don't see each other often. Isn't junior martial sister happy to see me?"
Bai Rong had to put Chen Gong and Shen Qiao aside for now and focus on dealing with the unwelcome guest before her eyes. "What is senior martial brother talking about? I was unable to react just now because I was too happy with surprise. I haven't seen you for such a long time."
Huo Xijing glanced at her with a faint smile. After passing Chen Gong, his gaze landed on Shen Qiao. His expression changed, revealing his interest in the latter. "Such a pretty mister. Junior martial sister is going to kill him anyway, why don't you give me his face first and kill him afterward?"
Bai Rong stepped forward in between Shen Qiao and Huo Xijing unobtrusively. "Junior martial brother sure likes to joke, I've never thought about killing them. Speaking of which, why is junior marital brother here? Don't tell me that you traveled thousands of miles just to chat with me about the good old days?"
Huo Xijing answered, "I've heard that junior martial sister had an extremely big stroke of luck last night. I happened to be passing by, so I decided to drop in and take a look."
Bai Rong replied, "What kind of riddle is senior martial brother talking about? I don't seem to understand~"
Huo Xijing gave a light snort, "Last night, the Six Harmonies Association appeared outside the monastery in the city outskirts with the remaining script of The Strategy of the Vermillion Yang, but the script was destroyed by Yan Wushi. You were also present at the time. I've heard that before the script was destroyed, Yan Wushi asked someone to read it aloud once. According to how smart junior martial sister is, I believe you've already written it down and are ready to hand it over to Master, am I right?"
Bai Rong stuck out her tongue like how little girls coquettishly feigned anger. "Considering how much I respect Master, for something like this, of course, I have to hand it over to Master directly and let him decide how to handle it. It can't be that senior martial brother wants to steal my credit after hearing the news, right? Because I certainly won't allow that~"
Huo Xijing said, "Your senior martial brother actually has a good idea. Why don't you let me keep it for you? We can then go back and report to Master together. This way, we won't have to worry about you losing it."
Bai Rong laughed, "Senior martial brother, do you think I'm stupid?"
Huo Xijing also laughed, "It breaks my heart that you distrust your senior martial brother this much!"
This pair of martial brother and sister were laughing and talking while smiling, but the truth was that there were swords and blades hidden behind each of their words. Both of them stared at the other's unguarded weak spots as they spoke.
Bai Rong didn't dare lower her guard for even a split second. She knew clearly that Shen Qiao had run away with Chen Gong, but she was too busy to take care of them. She had to put all of her focus on Huo Xijing for fear that she would fall into his traps before she was even aware.
Huo Xijing raised his eyebrows, "They left. Isn't junior martial sister going to chase after them?"
Bai Rong smiled, "I think senior martial brother is more important than them."
The conversation sounded extremely loving and sentimental, but both of them knew in their heart that was not the case at all.
Chen Gong didn't know how Shen Qiao managed to pull him up, drag him along and escape together. Shen Qiao couldn't see, even with the help of his stick, he had been running into this and that as he moved. Chen Gong had no strength left and could only give Shen Qiao directions from behind. The two of them ran for over an hour before Chen Gong finally panted, "S-Stop, I can't run anymore…"
Shen Qiao slowed down, but his expression didn't become any less dignified, as he walked towards the nearest inn.
Chen Gong hurriedly asked, "Are we not exiting the city? Let's hurry and get out, so that devilish woman can’t catch up with us!"
Shen Qiao explained, "All the more reason for us to stay here. They are definitely expecting us to leave the city as well. There are more people in the city, so it won't be that easy for them to find us. Let's put up at the inn for a night first and find a chance to leave the city tomorrow. She won't be able to pay any attention to us for a while with that man there."
They walked into the inn and asked for a room. Chen Gong noticed that despite Shen Qiao had been walking pretty fast, he looked utterly exhausted. He remembered that Shen Qiao's body was much weaker than his and how normally Shen Qiao had to stop to catch his breath every time they walked a little far. Feeling a bit sorry for him, Chen Gong suggested, "I'll sleep on the floor tonight, you can take the bed."
Shen Qiao didn't decline the offer out of modesty like he normally would because he really couldn't hold on much longer. Ever since Yan Wushi poured inner qi into his body and made him strain his eyes last night, he had been feeling weak from head to toe. He was merely holding onto his tension prior to this, and now once he was able to relax, he immediately became dizzy and was about to collapse.
Chen Gong was quite curious, "They're martial brother and sister, but how come they act like they are enemies? That guy is a little weird, too. His voice sounds like an old man, but his face is so young!"
Rubbing his temples, Shen Qiao replied, "Because he practices ‘Solar Scheme’ ."
Chen Gong asked, "What's 'Solar Scheme'?"
'That name sounds quite imposing,' he thought.
Shen Qiao explained, "It's a face-switching art. Peeling the skin of other people and fusing it with his own using some kind of secret arts in order to stay young and beautiful forever. For those two people, either one of them would be a thorny person to deal with. If it weren't for them not getting along with each other, we would not have escaped successfully today."
Chen Gong felt his blood run cold from listening and couldn't restrain himself from crying out, "How can there be skill this malicious?!"
Shen Qiao couldn't force himself to stay awake anymore and lay down with his clothes on. He turned to his side, his body slightly curling up and his eyebrows faintly furrowed together on his pale face–it almost looked like he was in his final days.
When Chen Gong first started to travel with Shen Qiao, he was worried that Shen Qiao would collapse at any moment, but he got used to it afterward, seeing that Shen Qiao was like that all the time.
He suddenly thought of something and asked, "Didn't you say that you don't remember anything? How do you know he's practicing face-switching art?"
"Oh, I can remember a little sometimes."
Chen Gong's mouth twitched.
"Let's sleep. We still need to get up early tomorrow." Shen Qiao clearly didn't want to talk about it anymore. He turned over, his back facing Chen Gong.
Chen Gong was left with no choice but to lie down after him.
He had a nightmare that night. In it, his face was peeled off and replaced by a wrinkled face of an old man. He couldn't even recognize himself from the mirror. He was horrified and woke up at the end with a shock. It was almost noon, and the bed was already empty.
Shen Qiao was gone.
It gave Chen Gong a start. He jumped up while his head was still muddled and touched the bed. It was already cold. Just when he was trying to decide whether he should go out and look for Shen Qiao, he saw Shen Qiao push open the door and walk in.
He heaved a sigh of relief, "Where have you been?"
After these days of traveling together, even though Chen Gong never said anything, but deep in his heart, he was already used to having Shen Qiao as a companion without knowing it.
In the eyes of the others, since Shen Qiao was blind and his health was not good either, there had to be a lot of inconvenience in his everyday living that needed Chen Gong's help. However, the truth was that Chen Gong often listened to Shen Qiao. Thanks to Shen Qiao, they had avoided many wrong paths.
Shen Qiao closed the door and said softly, "Let's part here today."
Chen Gong went blank for a moment, then he jumped up. "Why?!"
Shen Qiao explained, "After Bai Rong finishes dealing with her senior martial brother, she might turn around and look for us. As for the Six Harmonies Association, even though I managed to send them away last night when they offered to travel together with us, it's not guaranteed they won't regret it afterward."
He paused for a second and sighed, "Also, that Murong Qin should be an expert from the imperial court. Catching us would be a piece of cake for him if he sends out people from the government to look for us. It's true that one of us is blind while the other is illiterate, but the temptation of The Strategy of the Vermillion Yang is simply too tremendous. We end up hearing something that many people want so badly all their lives yet can't get a hold of. Compared to the other people who were present, we could not be any less of a pushover–any martial artist is capable of taking away our lives."
Chen Gong stammered, "T-then what should we do? It's not like we want to hear it. That thing sounds so abstruse, no one wants to hear it!"
"It is not a man's guilt, but the wealth he carries. We appeared last night together, and it has already created an impression for the others. The only way out for us now is to part and be on our own way."
After a moment of panic, Chen Gong realized that this was indeed the only possible way out. If they were to really be involved in a confrontation, other people could probably beat them to ground with no more than a punch. This sense of powerlessness surged inside him and became an even greater sense of despair — Chen Gong hated himself for his incompetence, but there was nothing he could do.
"…Fine then." Agreeing reluctantly, he looked at Shen Qiao. "But will you be alright by yourself?"
Shen Qiao laughed, "Why wouldn't I? Back then when we were in Funing District, you saw how well I could do by myself."
Chen Gong agreed, but he couldn't feel happy about it no matter what. "Will we be able to meet again after we leave the city?"
"It would depend on fate then. Are you still going to Six Harmonies Association?"
Chen Gong shook his head. He was quite clear on that. "Their vice chairman already knows me. It’s like walking right into a trap if I were to go there again. Everyone knows I've heard that stupid script, and they would certainly try to dig up something from me."
"Where are you planning to go then?"
Chen Gong was disheartened. "I'll see as I go. Perhaps there would be a time when I run out of money, then I might just settle down at the place I'm in. Anyway, people have to eat."
"The Six Harmonies Association is a big sect after all and therefore has a high threshold. You might not be treated well even if you can make it. It's better to find a small sect that has moral standards which are upright and just. With your wisdom and talent, I think you'll stand out soon enough."
"Whatever. I don't want to go south anymore. I want to head to the north, all the way towards Ye City. I heard it's pretty prosperous there, so maybe there are more opportunities for me to make my mark."
Chen Gong wasn't very spirited when he said it. He didn't have many things to pack–only two sets of clothes with him that he could just tie his bundle and leave. Before he left, he looked back and saw Shen Qiao quietly sitting there, with his bamboo stick placed in front of him. Even though his eyes had no focus, he was faced towards him, as if he was seeing Chen Gong off.
Chen Gong couldn't tell why, but he felt his nose twitch and his voice caught in his throat as he said, "Y-you, you take care."
Shen Qiao nodded, "You too."
They were two strangers who came together by chance, happened to travel together, and due to some reason, parted and went their own way in the end. This was something that could not have been more common, but Chen Gong, who was only a teenage boy, had yet to learn how to take it calmly.
Shortly after Chen Gong left, Shen Qiao also started to pack his clothes in preparation for exiting the city. He was going to leave from the southern gate so that he wouldn't run into Chen Gong. It was true that by leaving separately the targets would be dispersed, but he had another reason for it.
Chen Gong was alert and high strung all the way as he exited the city. Only after seeing that no one followed after him or tried to stop him did he finally feel relieved.
Huai Prefecture was not far from Zhou Dynasty. Travelling merchants frequently passed by here, and there were people carrying and selling goods during daytime even outside the city gates. Cries for customers could be heard here and there, making it quite a bustling scene. Chen Gong didn't have time to look closely since he had been focusing on avoiding those powerful people. Now that he was within the prosperous fair, the mindset of a teenage boy that loved bustling scenes emerged again.
However, he didn't dare spend too much time looking around. After taking a cursory walk around, he bought two freshly baked steaming hot pancakes to eat on his way and headed out to the north along the official road.
After he was about a hundred steps out of the fair, he heard a burst of stampeding sounds of horses from behind, with screams and wails mixed in it. Chen Gong hurriedly turned around and saw a few people sprinting out from the city towards him, followed by a large troop of men on galloping horses with bows in their hands.
He didn't know what was going on and stood still where he was for a moment, but the sight of those people getting closer and the people that followed after them even started preparing their bows to shoot his way frightened him out of his mind. He started to run together with them subconsciously, even though his head was still muddled, unable to understand why such a scene would suddenly appear out of nowhere.
Not only him, all the commoners around the city gate were thrown into disorder, screaming incessantly as they fled in all directions.
Chen Gong didn't dare to even turn back his head. He ran forwards as fast as he possibly could while thinking in his head that his luck really could not be worse. Incidents kept happening wherever he went.
After he had been running for a while, Chen Gong suddenly heard the sound of an arrowing piercing through the air as it whizzed past his ear and disappeared into the bush in front of him.
His leg became soft and he almost fell forwards.
Sounds of people screaming and falling to the ground could be heard from behind him. Laughter from people riding the horses came from a distance, they sounded quite pleased with themselves.
Someone flattered, "Commandery Prince's  archery skill is amazing! I would say Prince could hit any target within the distance of a hundred steps and would never miss!"
The laughter suddenly came to a stop. The person raised his voice, "No one is allowed to touch the fastest one in front. I'm going to shoot him!"
Who else was running faster than Chen Gong? No one!
He suddenly realized what was happening!
Most of the high officials and noble lords were fond of hunting, but some of them were extremely perverse. They didn’t like to hunt animals but had a special interest in hunting live people. They would release prisoners and slaves and command them to run as fast as they could, then they would shoot them with arrows and didn't care whether their prey would die. This was called human-hunting.
Chen Gong had only heard about it after he left Funing District. At that time, he thought it was something rare and clicked his tongue together with the others as he listened. Now when the story became real and happened right to him, it was not interesting at all!
After realizing what was happening, his heart was beating faster than the drumbeats and was about to jump out of his chest!
Chen Gong suddenly stopped, turned around and prostrated on the ground as he begged in loud voice, "Please spare my life, Your Highness! Please spare my life! I'm not a game! I'm not even a prisoner or a slave! I’m a person in good standing!"
"So what? I can kill you if I want to!" The leader laughed casually, but after he saw Chen Gong's face, he let out a sound of surprise. "Raise your head and let me see."
Chen Gong mustered up the courage to raise his head, his face filled with dread and fear.
But Mu Tipo found him amusing. "The skin is a little dark, but still pretty. The limbs seem flexible, too. If I am to spare your life, what do you have to repay me?"
Chen Gong was confused. "I would happily do anything at Your Highness's order…"
Mu Tipo laughed softly, "All right then. Someone bring him back and clean him up!"
Chen Gong left home since he was young, and it was not like he didn't understand anything about the society out there. Seeing that everyone on the side looked at him with a strange expression, along with the words the person just said, he suddenly realized that this person took a liking to him as a boy-toy !
In the country of Qi, among the upper-class nobility in particular, a boy-toy was not something rare. For several generations, the emperors of Qi had been interested in both sexes. Since subordinates tended to follow the example of their superiors, homosexuality was practiced in large-scale at the lower levels, too.
Chen Gong wasn't aware that he had met the most famous one among the emperor's favored officials, but it didn't stop him from being frightened out of his wits after realizing what just happened. He shouted as he kowtowed, "Please spare my life, Your Highness! I, I don't look good. I don't want to go back with you!"
Mu Tipo's face darkened.
Chen Gong's heart was thumping.
He learned a few punching and kicking moves from Shen Qiao, but the other party had a group of people with him, each of them had blazing eyes and brought weapons on the side. The few martial arts tricks he had were absolutely useless against them. Before he could even get close to the nobleman, his heart would have been pierced by thousands of arrows already.
Chen Gong once thought he feared nothing, but at this very moment, he finally realized how naive and ridiculous he was. He wasn't afraid before because he was capable of coping with those situations, and he was afraid now because he didn't even need to figure out who were these nobles in front of him to know that they were definitely not someone he could afford to offend.
The servant on the side started to laugh again, "Commandery Prince, I've never seen anyone as insensible as him!"
Another person echoed, "That's right. It's not like he's exceedingly beautiful either. It was his fortune that Prince is interested in him. How could he dare to refuse! It's better to just shoot him here!"
Mu Tipo's eyes narrowed. He slowly raised the bow in his hand.
"Your Highness! Please let this lowly person explain to you!"
Chen Gong's head went blank with a buzz. He didn't have time to think it through before he blurted out, "This lowly person doesn't have good looks and thus is not worthy to be treated so highly by Your Highness, but this lowly person does know, does know a person! He's a lot prettier than me… No! He's even prettier than all of these people you brought combined!"
All of the people following Mu Tipo were good looking men. After hearing Chen Gong's words, they all burst into laughter, ridiculing how little Chen Gong knew about the world.
"Look how rustic he looks, yet he's saying he has seen people prettier than us!"
Mu Tipo didn't say anything. His hand pulled out an arrow decorated with white feathers, and it seemed like he was about to draw the bowstring and shoot it.
Chen Gong was covered in cold sweat. In a life and death crisis, he was unable to think of anything else before he shouted, "That person is right in the city. We've just parted. If Your Highness doesn't believe me, I can bring you there. He has a good appearance, it's just that his eyes aren't very good. I-I'm just a-afraid that Your Highness won't like him because he's blind!"
Hearing the word 'blind', Mu Tipo finally felt a bit interested. "That being said, I've never played with a blind person before. I would assume that you don't have to blindfold him when you tie him up in bed?"
His frivolous tone stirred up a burst of filthy laughter.
Chen Gong had finally witnessed that these officials had absolutely no moral principles. But his words were already out, and it was too late for him to regret them. He said to himself that Shen Qiao's skill was better than his, maybe he could fight off these people. Or maybe by the time they got there, Shen Qiao would have already left.
All kinds of thoughts flashed across his mind in a hideous mess as he blankly sat there without moving. The servant approached Chen Gong on his horse, holding his chin up as he commanded, "Hurry and bring us there!"
Chen Gong clenched his teeth, "Your Highness. Actually… actually that person's health is not good. Even though he's pretty, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed…"
Mu Tipo ridiculed, "Looking sickly… that's even better. Playing with him would be a whole different feeling. Even if he dies while playing, it would be his own problem, and no one can blame me for it! It's fine if you don't want to show us the way. Why don't we replace him with you? Your body is strong, so presumably, there will be no problem however we play with you. How about making you take off your clothes and play together with my wolfhounds? They happen to be in heat right now, and I was worried that I couldn't find them something to mate with!"
Chen Gong's eyes widened. He could never imagine that there were people so ruthless and savage in this world. He was trembling from head to toe from Mu Tipo's description and could no longer bear to put up any resistance.
'Don't blame me, Shen Qiao. I have no other choice.' He thought to himself.
Chen Gong led the large troop into the city and arrived at the inn they had been staying in. Only half a day had passed since he left.
The innkeeper still remembered him. Seeing that he had returned with an entire troop behind him, the innkeeper didn’t dare to treat him shabbily. He hurriedly came up to greet him, "Would you like to…"
Chen Gong couldn't help but to turn around and look at Mu Tipo. The latter had covered his nose, frowning from the sight of the inn's crude interior. He was reluctant to enter, so he only ordered a few of his underlings to enter with Chen Gong to investigate.
"Is the person who checked in with me still here?" Chen Gong made a gesture with his hand. "His eyes are bad, and he was holding a bamboo stick."
The innkeeper immediately replied, "Yes, yes. He's still here in his room. He hasn't come down yet."
Chen Gong's heart thumped with joy, but then a sense of guilt rose from within it. However, the sense of guilt didn't last long before someone interrupted.
The underling that came with Mu Tipo frowned and barked at Chen Gong, "What're you waiting for? Hurry and bring us upstairs!"
The underling had makeup on his face. His manner was somewhat unnaturally affected and flowery. Chen Gong didn't even want to give him a second look. However, he could not disobey the person's words, therefore, he had no choice but to slowly lead him upstairs, hoping that Shen Qiao had already left and yet at the same time that Shen Qiao was still there.
Chen Gong brought him upstairs and knocked on the door.
After the third knock, he heard a familiar voice answer from inside. "Who is it?"
Chen Gong was unable to describe the feeling in his heart at that particular moment. He swallowed hard before replying, "It's me."
"Chen Gong? Why are you back? Come in." Shen Qiao was a little surprised, but his voice was as gentle as always.
Chen Gong's feelings became extremely complicated, his sense of guilt welled up inside him all at once.
"Why don't you go in?" Mu Tipo's underling became impatient and gave him a hard push.
Chen Gong staggered forward and pushed the door open.
Shen Qiao was sitting by the window, his face turned slightly outwards as if he was appreciating the scenery outside. But Chen Gong knew he had lost his sight completely after that night.
"Tut. So this is the beauty you were talking about? He's not very…"
The underling paused mid-sentence and didn't know how to continue as Shen Qiao turned around.
Mu Tipo's eyes brightened as he walked upstairs by himself after his impatience got the better of him from waiting downstairs.
He came from a poor family and started to lead an over-extravagant life only after his mother had gained power and he started to hang out together with the emperor later. Therefore he paid extreme attention to people's attire and would disregard anyone whose manner of dressing wasn't gorgeous enough.
Shen Qiao's clothes weren't made of good materials, and he only tied his hair up simply. There wasn't even a jade hairpin. He simply wrapped it in a cloth piece that had the same azure color as his clothes.
However, Mu Tipo couldn't move his eyes away at all.
The course materials could not hide the outstanding quality of the beauty himself.
His mouth felt dry even as Shen Qiao expressionlessly 'looked' at him. He could barely hold back the urge to step up, press him down, tear his clothes, and violate him against his will.
"Chen Gong, who else did you bring with you?"
Hearing his slightly ignorant voice, Mu Tipo felt himself becoming even more excited.
What taste of ecstasy would it be when this person cried while knitting his brows? He couldn't even imagine.
Mu Tipo even thought it through, he would first keep the person in Huai Prefecture till he was done playing with him and then give him to the emperor of Qi, Gao Wei. Just like him, Gao Wei also liked to play with things that were different. If he could send over such a blind beauty, the emperor would definitely be pleased.
"What's your name?" He asked Shen Qiao.
Shen Qiao slightly frowned, but instead of answering, he just repeated, "Chen Gong?"
 Solar Scheme (偷天换日 tou tian huan ri): Literally means to steal the sky and put up a sham sun, or putting up a gigantic fraud/scheme.
 Commandery Prince (郡王 jun wang): High title of nobility, ordinarily prefixed with a place-name (Mu Tipo’s full title was Chengyang Commandery Prince or Commandery Prince of Chengyang) designating the noble’s real or nominal fief. Normally granted to the sons of Imperial Princes, but in this case, Mu Tipo was very much favored by the Emperor.
 Boy-toy (娈宠 luan chong): Males, usually young boys, who were kept and used as sexual objects by the wealthy and the powerful ones.
Just want to let you guys no I didn’t drop this serie, but with the rapid expansion of our site, we are running a little short on editors currently! Sorry for the long delay of this chapter. We welcome anyone if they are willing to help out in our group, and please refer to the contact page if you’re wishing to join! Yes, we are recruiting! Our dear Yan Wushi who has almost stayed missing since the beginning will start to hang out more with all of us MC beginning next chapter! And woa we finally got to see how this Chen Gong guy, who has been hated by the readers for so long for taking up ML’s space, turns out! 😛 Enjoy~