Chapter 15

The first seven or eight days of the new year was a holiday. According to Ming Country's tradition, the Imperial Court would also take a break; the Emperor would not attend court from the first to the third day.


However, this Beautiful Emperor was not like any other people; he actually rested for seven or eight days in a row, as if he had no intention to return to the court. It wasn't until the court officials almost broke their arm-bones trying various method, did the Beautiful Emperor come back.


But let's not talk about that, because these days were Dongfang Xiao Wangye and his beloved wife's sweet days.


Since the new year, Beitang Yao Yue told the Chief Manager to close the Wangfu's gate; all of those who came visited would not be seen, gifts would not be received; who or whatever came here would be sent back.


If Beitang Yao Yue was said to be idle, Xiao Wangye was even idler than him; the whole days he thought about nothing except hugging Yao Yue very closely, shamelessly chasing the sweet moments with Yao Yue.


The truth was, Beitang Yao Yue was not without his own desires. It was just that his temperament was originally cool; suppressing his desires for a long time had become a habit. But if he was teased, he wouldn't be so well-behaved.


When they'd spent some times at the Jing Wangfu suburb mansion near Lake Biyan, Xiao Wangye found out. At that time, he slowly became aware of Beitang Yao Yue's feelings; when they made love at one night, Yao Yue's passion was absolutely unrestrained, but then the next day Yao Yue would be easily annoyed and wouldn't indulge Xiao Wangye's advances.


Thanks to these experiences, added that Yao Yue's condition was not as usual, Xiao Wangye learned to exercise restrain.


That night on the New Year eve, though they only made love once, Beitang Yao Yue had to lie in bed for one whole day. Xiao Wangye was a little upset, but he could be considerate and accepted it.


And for the ice-carved dolls, Xiao Wangye didn't expect Beitang Yao Yue would like them that much. He ordered people to find a colorful glass box, and put the ice-dolls in it; through the glass of the box the pair of charmingly naive children could be seen clearly. He placed it in the bedroom so they could see it at any time.


"Yao Yue, is it delicious?"


"En, it's okay." Beitang Yao Yue was leaning against a soft couch, idly turned the pages of the book in his hands.


Yao Yue was having a craving for sour and spicy foods, and wanting to eat them almost everyday. With little difficulties, the Wangfu's chief manager found in this winter months, the rare fresh pineapples and hawthorn berries, and also pickled plums. But Beitang Yao Yue's upbringing was too good; obviously he wanted to eat them, but he only ate when it was time for meal and not at any other times.


It didn't matter, Dongfang Hao Ye ordered those fruits to be made into various kinds of light snacks so he could feed them to Yao Yue at any time.


"Why are you staying here? Aren't you bored?" Beitang Yao Yue asked.


"Hehe.. I'm looking at you, how could I be tired?"


Beitang Yao Yue had long been used to Hao Ye's sweet talking, now when he heard them he didn't say anything. But the person who was just coming in through the door could not help but shiver in chill by those words.


"Jian Qing, you came." Beitang Yao Yue straightened up and pointed to the chair in front of him, asking Jian Qing to sit down, "Where's Yao Chen?"


"She couldn't come. Lian'er is having a fever, so she stayed."


Beitang Yao Chen and Gong Jian Yu's two children, Hua Lan and Hua Lian had also been brought back from the border, and was staying at Gong Family's residence in Yaojing.


Gong Jian Yu watched Beitang Yao Yue, and smiled, "You look good, seems like you've been very comfortable this new year."


Beitang Yao Yue smiled, "So do you."


Xiao Wangye went back to the inner room to take two red-packets, when he came back he handed them to Gong Jian Yu.


[ Red-packet/red envelopes (hongbao) usually contain money. Elders would be giving these, mostly to children, at Chinese New Years.]


"What is this?"


"Haha." Xiao Wangye laughed, "It's lucky money. Your two good children came back, this Uncle and Uncle's husband can't not give them."


Gong Jian Yu took the red-packets and laughed, "Then I thank you in their stead."


"You're welcome." Dongfang Hao Ye grinned, didn't forget to add, "Just you take care not to forget prepare red-packets next year."


Hearing this, Gong Jian Yu automatically glanced at Beitang Yao Yue's belly. Beitang Yao Yue felt awkward. It wasn't so obvious some time ago, if he wore large clothes, his bulging belly could not be seen. But he'd been taken good care of these days, so he shaped up a lot; also the room was warm so he didn't wear a coat. Gong Jian you could see it clearly.


Uncomfortable, Beitang Yao Yue asked, "What's the matter for you to come here?"


"It's nothing. Today is the Lantern Festival, originally we wanted to invite you two stroll down the streets, but then Lian'er has a fever. Yao Chen let me buy some ice lantern for you, so I come here to see you."


When he heard this, Dongfang Hao Ye suddenly jumped up and shouted, "That's right! Today is the Lantern Festival! I forgot I made an appointment to meet someone and go sightseeing. Yao Yue, you and brother-in-law talked slowly. I'm going out."


"Who did you make appointment with? How come I didn't know?"


Dongfang Hao Ye asked Hong Ju to help him change his clothes, then he said, "It's my new friend, but you don't know him. I talked to you about him a while ago, you probably forgot."


He eagerly changed his clothes, picked up a few silvers, then yelled to Xiao Dong to get ready. At the side, Gong Jian Yu laughed, "Xiao Wangye's temper is still like a child, isn't it?"


Dongfang Hao Ye glared at him.


Hateful! Dare poking at his weakness.


However, he was in a hurry and didn't have time to care about it.




On a corner of the Yinxing Street, Yan Zi Xing was drinking a bowl of dumplings soup. When he saw Dongfang Hao Ye running over, he beckoned to him.


"I thought you weren't coming." He said while laughing.


"Impossible!" Dongfang Hao Ye ran over to him, feeling a bit guilty. In fact, he really almost forgot, if not for Gong Jian Yu came over to remind him, he would still be at home, sitting next to Beitang Yao Yue and forgetting the agreement they made some days ago.


"Had you forgot, then it's okay. But you shouldn't come see me anymore." Yan Zi Xing joked.


Dongfang Hao Ye patted his chest and said, "Fortunately, I didn't forget."


"What? You can't give me up?"


"Of course, I can't. Where else could I find a good friend like you? Also you're not too stingy." Dongfang Hao Ye patted Yan Zi Xing's shoulder with a laugh.


Since childhood, he didn't have any friend of similar age, so it could be said that Yan Zi Xing was the first.


As for Nangong Liu Jian, he didn't count. Their friendship was much more complicated than a friend.


Yan Zi Xing's eyes flashed, he only grinned and did not speak.


Dongfang Hao Ye impatiently pulled his hand, "Let's go, I'll treat you to a good meal."


Yan Zi Xing returned the soup bowl to the stall-keeper and gripped Dongfang Hao Ye's hand in his own, "We'll go to the lantern market first, then we can go eat and clear a table of dishes."


"Good." Dongfang Hao Ye nodded; not at all weirded out that Yan Zi Xing was still holding his hand, and followed Yan Zi Xing to the market downtown.


The First Month's Lantern Festival was lively; the shops were dazzling the eyes, and the streets were bustling with activities. Seeing it, Xiao Wangye was so excited.


When he was Wen Country's prince and lived inside the palace every day, only some times did he came out. When he'd strolled the downtown areas, he couldn't count how many guards followed him, either in shadow or in broad-light. Later, he'd worked hard to practice martial arts, naturally he didn't care to go play. But here in Ming, he was like a fish that was back into the waters; he was very happy.


Yan Zi Xing said, "Hey, I say, don't you understand what it means to restrain yourself?"


Dongfang Hao Ye turned to him, blinked, and said, "What is restrain yourself?"


Yan Zi Xing clutched his chest as if he was about to faint, after a while he said between his teeth, "Fang Hao, how old are you this year?"


"I'm twenty years old!" Xiao Wangye proudly puffed up his chest.


Yan Zi Xing stared at Dongfang Hao Ye's full hands, then at the exhausted look on Xiao Dong's face, he couldn't help clicking his tongue, "How come the temperament changed so much?"


"What did you say?" His voice was too low, Dongfang Hao Ye didn't catch what he said, thinking perhaps Yan Zi Xing was swearing at him.


Yan Zi Xing changed the topic and said, "We have bought so many things, let's go find something to eat."


Dongfang Hao Ye said, "Okay." There was still time to go home before the evening and accompany Yao Yue, he'd been shopping for an afternoon so he could rest a bit.


Hearing this, Xiao Dong felt that he was granted an amnesty, they trotted to the best restaurant Zuifu House.


Dongfang Hao Ye and Yan Zi Xing climbed to the second floor, then sit on a table next to the window and ordered a few of the best dishes and asked for a bamboo pot of drink. While they waited for the food, Xiao Wangye asked Xiao Dong to bring the stuff he bought.


Yan Zi Xing stared at the tea cups in Dongfang Hao Ye's hands, suddenly he said, "Did you buy these things for your wife?"


"En. I'm taking it home to show him." Xiao Wangye said with a smile. [she and he in Chinese are similarly pronounced 'ta']


"She... will like it?"


Xiao Wangye thought for a moment, then said, "Probably not. We do not have the same preferences."


"Then why did you buy it for her?"


"Although he may not like it, still I want to share it with him. And because I like it, he won't hate it." After all, Xiao Wangye knew his own beloved wife. Every time he mentioned his wife, his smiled grew wider.


There was a mysterious glint in Yan Zi Xing's eyes, he laughed and said, "You're so good to your wife."


"Heehee, I'm flattered, I'm flattered. My friend is so kind, let's drink, let's drink." Dongfang Hao Ye raised his cup in excitement.




In the evening, when Dongfang Hao Ye returned to the Wangfu, Gong Jian Yu had already left and Yao Yue was leaning against the soft couch.


Dongfang Hao Ye had bought several colored lanterns, and also several play things and delicious foods that he gave to Hong Ju and let her pick some that she liked; he proudly brought in the rest of his many stuff to show to Beitang Yao Yue.


"What did you buy?" Beitang Yao Yue lifted a chess piece and said without lifting his head.


"How do you know I bought something?"


Beitang Yao Yue raised his head and looked at him, then said with a smile, "You were so loud outside, how could I not hear?" He lazily sat upright, and said, "Alright, show them to me."


Dongfang Hao Ye laughed, he took a few small things from his arms and placed them one by one on the table. Beitang Yao Yue stared at them, his expression was slightly awkward, "Why did you buy these?"


"Aren't they cute?" Dongfang Hao Ye picked up the small shoes and small hats to show them to Yao Yue; fondling each of them admiringly.


"... En." Beitang Yao Yue shifted and forced out an answer; his gaze flitting over the small clothes.


Dongfang Hao Ye picked up a fine and small buttoned lined jacket and held it in front of Yao Yue's belly, "Yao Yue, see this one, is it a little too small?"


"Small? I don't think so, I think it's already big enough." Beitang Yao Yue looked at the lined jacket and answered uncertainly.


"But..." Dongfang Hao Ye scratched his head, "Isn't it a little too small for the baby later?"


It was probably too small, Yao Yue's belly would grow bigger in a few months.


Beitang Yao Yue gave him a look, frankly said, "If the baby is this big, he can't come out."


Startled, Xiao Wangye hurriedly said, "That's nonsense! Of course he'll come out."


Beitang Yao Yue seemed a little bit troubled with this issue; he looked down and touched his belly.


Watching Yao Yue's expression, Xiao Wangye suddenly remembered that woman he met on the mountain road on his way to Yaojing, he couldn't resist a shiver.


Dear Old Man in Heavens! He didn't want Yao Yue to suffer that kind of situation!


Xiao Wangye only now realized this problem, but it seemed like he was.. a step too late.


"Yao Yue, you... Are you afraid of the pain?" Xiao Wangye asked with shaky voice.


Beitang Yao Yue looked up at him.


"Delivering a baby is painful, very painful..." Dongfang Hao Ye was about to crouch down to touch Yao Yue's belly but he abruptly stood again, then he crouched again only to stood abruptly again; he did it several times before he anxiously said, "What to do? What to do? How come I just now think about this.."


Beitang Yao Yue snorted and glared at him, "It is painful, how come you only now think about it?" Inwardly he said: you were so proud when you put this baby inside my belly, but now you're afraid of me being in pain?


Dongfang Hao Ye grew even more panicked, then suddenly a wild thought crossed his mind, "Right! I'll go ask the Beautiful Emperor if there is a way to make delivering a baby not painful, it'll be better if he makes a special medicine that won't make you feel any pain!"


"Where in the world something like that exist?" Beitang Yao Yue glared.


The more Xiao Wangye thought about it, the more he thought it was possible, making up his mind, he said, "Tomorrow I'm entering the Palace!"


"Idiot!" Beitang Yao Yue ignored him, then he got up and walked back into the inner room.


The next day in early morning, Xiao Wangye called the Chief Manager to prepare his horse, then he took Xiao Dong to go into the Palace.


When they arrived at the Palace, the early morning court had just ended. The Beautiful Emperor heard that Xiao Wangye was here and called him in, sitting on the dragon chair he looked at Xiao Wangye and smiled, "It's been so long, why are you only now coming to the Palace to see me?"


Dongfang Hao Ye laughed, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder, Beautiful Emperor, you're not blaming me for it, right?"


Beitang Yao Hui, whose name he had changed into Si Yao Hui, had risen to be an Emperor, naturally he was not as idle as he used to; tied to this high and remote throne he was on, he was forced to adept the manner and calmness an Emperor should have.


Dongfang Hao Ye looked at the beautiful and enchanting figure of the Emperor in sympathy, lamenting that by making such a person to be an Emperor, the world had to pay by losing one beauty.


"Why didn't Yao Yue come with you?"


"He is inconvenient, and is resting at home."


"Xiao Wangye must be quite distressed." The Beautiful Emperor smiled, he was leaning against the back of his dragon chair as if there was nothing at fault; as if he had forgot the fact that he was the one sending court documents and military matters to burden other people.


Xiao Wangye could not help thinking, if an Emperor had this kind of attitude; a casual posturing as if he owned the world; even if Third Elder Brother fawned over him wouldn't move him.


[Reminder: Hao Hao's Third Elder Brother, Dongfang Hua a.k.a the Wen Country's Emperor.]


The Emperor asked, "The first day of the month, I sent people with some gifts, do you like them?"


"We do. Thank you, Emperor, for your generosity, but isn't it too much?"


"If you like them, then it's fine. A few days ago Yao Yue's baby was disturbed, I truly felt guilty."


"Hehe, Emperor, if you really feel guilty, would you like to do something to compensate?" Xiao Wangye seized the opportunity, said, "Those medicine ingredients are fine things, but they are commonly used things."


"Oh?" Si Yao Hui smiled lightly, "Then, what does Xiao Wangye want?"


"Hehe..." Xiao Wangye wryly laughed, his face reddened, "I.. I want a medicine that will make giving birth not painful."


"What?" Si Yao Hui blanked, "What do you want?"


Xiao Wangye said, "I want a medicine that will make Yao Yue's delivery not painful."


Si Yao Hui widened his eyes, he stilled for a moment, then burst into laughter.


Xiao Wangye unhappily said, "Emperor, can or can't you make it?"


The Beautiful Emperor laughed for a long time before finally stopped, then he said, "There's no such thing like that in the world, I cannot make it."


"Huh?" Xiao Wangye was disappointed, then he thought about it before reluctantly asked, "Is there no other way, then?"


Si Yao Hui pulled up the corner of his lips, "There is."


"What is it? What is it?"


Si Yao Hui gave him a look, then slowly said, "He has to give birth first."


"Tsk..." Xiao Wangye was discouraged, pouting he said, "Emperor is kidding me."


"Who told you to ask such silly question." The Beautiful Emperor could not help rolling his eyes; doing such outrageous movement, he still looked so beautiful.


"Childbirths are always painful; both women and men are the same. Moreover, men's body shape are leaner, their hip bones are narrower; them giving birth will be harder than women. Although Moye people have special physical constitutions and can get pregnant from anal sex; but by nature men's childbirths are harder than women's."


Xiao Wangye's heart and liver trembled as he heard this.


When the Emperor saw his expression, he consoled, "I cannot help you. But you don't need to be so worried, I think Yao Yue's physic is good, there is no problem. Later he will inevitably feel painful, but there shouldn't be any danger."


Xiao Wangye was extremely dismayed and had no mood to chat with the Emperor, he said a few words of courtesy then withdrew from the Palace in despair.




"Fang Hao? Fang Hao! Faaaaang Haaao!"


Xiao Wangye came out of the hall and walked absent-mindedly. He'd been walking down a few path without seeing where he went, when he heard someone calling his alias. After a few moment he finally reacted; he looked up and saw the person coming over to him, then he was startled.


"Yang Qing Yi? Why are you here?"


Behind him, Yang Qing Yi was running over then saying breathlessly, "I've entered the Grand Medical Hospital since last month, now I'm a pharmacist at the Medical Hospital."


"Oh." Dongfang Hao Ye recalled Yan Zi Xing said, Yang Qing Yi had entered the Hospital. He looked around and found that he had somehow walked in the direction of the Grand Hospital at the southwest side of the Palace.


"Fang Hao, how are you here? I was shocked when I saw you, I thought I was mistaken. Though you dressed completely differently, but..." Yang Qing Yi suddenly stopped, he carefully scanned at Dongfang Hao Ye up and down, then asked, "What kind of person are you?"


"A man." Xiao Wangye rolled his eyes.


"No, I mean, I was saying... How did you come up in the Palace?"


Xiao Wangye said with a laugh, "My wife is somehow related to the Imperial Family. His mother's eldest uncle's eldest daughter was married to the left minister's eldest son and their eldest daughter is currently the Dowager Imperial Consort Yu. Do you understand?"


Yang Qing Yi was made dizzy by Dongfang Hao Ye's explanation, he could only nod.


Xiao Wangye hid a snicker, this nerd! Dowager Imperial Consort Yu was his Father's concubine number twenty one, where in Ming Palace did such a person exist?


Dongfang Hao Ye said, "Hey, Young Master Yang, why aren't you working in the pharmacy room and running outside instead?"


"I was ordered by the Emperor to bring in some medicine."


"Huh? You were ordered with this kind of errands?"


"Today, the name of the Pharmacy Department is known everywhere, some time ago His Majesty built a self-contained medicine stove on the west side of the Grand Hospital. I am responsible for cleaning and stocking medicine there." Yang Qing Yi explained.


Oh, such miscellaneous job.


Dongfang Hao Ye nodded as if he understood.


Yang Qing Yi was very happy to see him and insisted on sending him out. He thought Fang Hao couldn't find the road and was afraid he would catch some troubles in the Palace.


Dongfang Hao Ye didn't refuse, also he remembered he wanted to asked a prescription to reduce vomiting that was caused by pregnancy.


"You really have a wife?" When Yang Qing Yi heard that Fang Hao's wife had morning sickness, he still blanked.


"Of course, why didn't you believe me?" Dongfang Hao Ye glared at him.


Yang Qing Yi only laughed. His medical skill was not bad, although he was not yet an expert, he still knew the prescription.


Dongfang Hao Ye himself also knew some medical skill; he didn't need to search for paper, ink and pen, because he could remember the prescription after only was told once.


"The Emperor is the mightiest position under the sky, but he still works with the Pharmacy Department, I think it's weird." Dongfang Hao Ye carelessly said.


"The Emperor's knowledge in medicine is brilliant, but I don't want to make assumptions."


"Is the Emperor's medical knowledge that good? What does he usually make?"


"What kind of medicine, I don't know. But there is always a few herbs that he uses the most."


"Oh, what herbs?"


Yang Qing Yi was not suspicious, he casually named a few herbs. Dongfang Hao Ye chatted with him about random topics, when they arrived at the Palace entrance, they bowed and said farewell.


Yang Qing Yi said, "The second day of the next month I'll be taking a holiday, and I'll definitely return to the Liu Family Shop. If you have time, let's meet up."


"Alright. I also promised to meet with Xiao Xingxing. The more people, the more fun."


Yang Qing Yi paused, "Xiao Xingxing? You.. and Yan Zi Xing are very close?"


"Very close."


Yang Qing Yi looked at him and said nothing.


Dongfang Hao Ye left the Palace then hurried to the pharmacy shop on the way back to the Wangfu. He asked for the ingredients Yang Qing Yi said to relieve Beitang Yao Yue's vomiting, and for the herbs that Yang Qing Yi said the Emperor often used.


He said to Xiao Dong, "Call people of the East Gate to check and see if there is particular prescription for these herbs. Also, tell them to check Yang Qing Yi's history."


"Yes." Xiao Dong said, "Wangye, I heard there is a Wangduan Peak off the back gate of the Palace, it is remote and sparsely populated. It looks tranquil but there are many shadow guards and is guarded tightly. Stone had tried to reach it once, but he came back empty-handed."




"I also heard that only a few people ever go there, and the defenses around it has been increased in recent days. Also.. someone saw the figure that was very similar to Ming Emperor appeared there."


Xiao Wangye pursed his lips, touched his chin and narrowed his eyes, "Interesting."


Looked like Beitang Yao Ri was here after all. But why did he live there? Was he imprisoned by the Emperor? But how could the Emperor hold him there? Was he hurt, or threatened by the Emperor?


Dongfang Hao Ye was puzzled.


When they returned to the Wangfu, Beitang Yao Yue had just got up and was reclining lazily.


He'd got a lot fatter recently but Xiao Wangye didn't say anything about it; his cheeks were obviously chubbier and his facial features looked softer.


He was born good-looking, his appearance was very beautiful, he was the rare beautiful man; but his sharp and indifferent attitude often made people flinched. However, now his appearance looked warmer.


Smiling from ear to ear, Dongfang Hao Ye joined Yao Yue, and helped massaged his back and occasionally ate some tofu [means flirting]. These days his beloved wife was somehow docile.. hehe... It was, oh so sweet.


Yang Qing Yi's prescription for reducing vomiting was actually good; although Beitang Yao Yue sometime still felt sick, they were not as violent as before. Unfortunately, Ming Country's people had been getting more and more nervous. Li Can's army had actually managed to occupy Lingzhou, and wanted to promote Beiyu Wang, Si Jian as Emperor.


At this time, the Beautiful Emperor didn't sit still. Reports came that people of Xijue from the west were secretly supporting behind Li Can and Si Jian, and had joined in agreement to hold a large-scale movement. When the Beautiful Emperor heard the report, he sent a decree to Gong Jian Yu to lead a hundred thousand army to stand-by.


By the end of the Second Month, many reports and documents came one after another to the Palace and the North Heavenly Gate, Beitang Yao Yue was no longer as idle as the previous months.


At Beitang Yao Yue's side, Dongfang Hao Ye had also received numerous letters from Third Elder Brother and Mother, asking and reminding him to hurry come back home.


Xiao Wangye had discussed about the situation in Ming Country. If his Third Elder Brother was willing to send troops, then together with Ming Country's army to attack from north and south, it would surely calmed down Ming's civil strife.


Only, it was taboo for an outsider meddle with another country's civil matters.


Besides, Wen and Ming country were not without some disputes. If his Third Elder Brother was 'sitting on a mountain watching the tigers fight'[*], and thinking like a fisherman[**], Dongfang Hao Ye couldn't blame him. That was why didn't want to leave from Ming. Because as long as he stayed in Yaojing, Third Elder brother would be worried about him, and couldn't think of reaping some secret benefits.


[* zuo shan guan hu dou : sit on the mountain and watch the tigers fight (idiom), means watch in safety whilst others fight then reap the rewards when both sides are exhausted.


** he bang xiang zheng yuweng de li : crane and clam war together (and the fisherman catches both).]


As for the herbs for that he fished out from Yang Qing Yi that day, he'd had it checked and Xiao Dong came back with a long, long list of possible prescriptions. Xiao Wangye was filtering them one by one according to the possible situation of Beitang Yao Ri, when he recalled that one rare and disclosed secret.. maybe that was it?


A name of a drug suddenly crossed Dongfang Hao Ye's mind, but he was unsure.


Beitang Yao Ri's situation, if he was injured, then Bright-moon Miracle's healing property was matchless, so he could've cured himself. But if he was poisoned.. it could lead to troubles.


Whatever! Right now Dongfang Hao Ye had no mood to think about Beitang Yao Ri. Since Beitang Yao Ri had not come forward himself, he must have his own plans.


It was not that Dongfang Hao Ye underestimated his own abilities, but if he was to formulate a plan for Beitang Yao Ri, most probably it wouldn't do any good, anyway.


Recently he had news that his Sister-in-law, Qiu Zi Ling would be coming back accompanied by Doctor Qiu, and that she was pregnant.


Xiao Wangye was very happy. First, he was happy for Third Elder Brother's good news. Second, he was happy that Doctor Qiu, who was a medical expert, also came. Now, his Beloved Wife didn't have to worry for a thing.