Out of the two’s line of sight, the Prince took Zhou Yun Sheng’s hands, his expression gentle.
“Where you worried that I’d lose my temper?”
“This humble servant wouldn’t dare. His Royal Highness is wise, how could he fall so easily? I have not helped His Highness, humble servant is ashamed.”
Zhou Yun Sheng was not flattering him, the Crown Prince was refreshed after waking from the drug’s control, even without help he would be able to take the throne. It often let Zhou Yunsheng feel that his help was redundant. Many times, Zhou Yunsheng suspected that the Prince who was manipulated into becoming a drug addict by the heroine and this Prince were different people.
The Prince loudly laughed, he squeezed the boy’s fingers and whispered, “Yun Sheng’s presence is Gu Si Nian’s greatest help. If there was no Yun Sheng, there would be no Gu Si Nian today.” Here he paused a little, then intimately caressed the young man’s face, his voice lowered, “I am grateful to the heavens that you were sent to my side. When you worry about me, I am very happy.”
Zhou Yunsheng sagged, afraid to talk. The world was different, his identity was different, his behavior and emotions were also different. Although this man often gave him a familiar throbbing, he didn’t want to rush to action. Shen Yi Bin’s wish was for his family to prosper, for his family to live in peace and joy. If he made the wrong move, the original would not be able to achieve his one wish.
The Prince saw that he did not respond, yet also looked like he wanted to say something, but he heard approaching footsteps so he had to give up perusing.
Yu Baotian thought that the Prince was just putting on a show and couldn’t hold on for a few days. But he unexpectedly took his investigation seriously. He personally went to the disaster area to appease the people, night after night he labored in the examination and building of an approved dam, gradually Liang Jiang regained vitality.
He listened to the people’s thoughts, the bitter people’s suffering, the anxious people’s concerns. Without the palace food, and because of his constant overworking he thinned down to a pitiable size. Yu Baotian was moved, the attitude of the Crown Prince was no longer extreme madness. Every three days he would send a report to Beijing, he described all the Prince’s deeds, his heartfelt words were convincing, causing Tian Chen to be very pleased.
The Prince was so capable, better than the Seven Princes’ mediocre performance. Seven Princes was anxious, he desperately struggled to think of a counter.
One day, the governor Wang Bin hosted a banquet for the Prince in his official residence.
Wang Bin was the Prince’s subordinate, his daughter was the Prince’s Imperial Concubine and she was quite favored, therefore his relationship with the Crown Prince was very close. And he had a great relationship with the previous Crown Prince’s loss of power.
The first Crown Prince didn’t suffer from Han Shisan poison, but the scheming of others against him was no less toxic. The Prince had a smooth life, he inevitably became more and more conceited and his supervision of his subordinates was weak. Even a strong person, when placed in a group of pig teammates, could be dragged down and easily defeated. And Wang Bin was the leader of the pig teammates.
He was very greedy, after seven or eight years of seizing the court distributed funds to reinforce the dam, the two dams were fragile to the point of cardboard, just a poke could break them. When the Prince was ordered to come for disaster relief he was afraid the Prince would find out this matter, so he interrupted most of the disaster relief money, and also sent two beauties to bewitch the Prince.
While the Prince and the beauties were rolling in the hay, a heavy rain was pouring. It washed away an upstream dam, resulting in a surging flood that engulfed countless people, it could be called a catastrophe. The Prince was rescued from the official residence with his trousers missing, it was very unsightly.
When the news returned to the capital, Tian Chen Emperor’s anger was beyond imagination, the Prince’s status was abolished.
The second world’s Prince was poisoned with Han Shisan by Xie Yurou. The Prince’s good grace was even fainter, even without his pig teammates, he lost his status all on his own. The Crown Prince not only lost his title, he couldn’t enter the Imperial tomb after death, his outcome was very miserable.
But Zhou Yun Sheng was here, the situation was greatly different in this world. The Crown Prince survived the destruction of Han Shisan, and became wiser and more tolerant, plus his previous crisis made him unable to relax. His supervision was very strict, so as early as three years ago he’d discovered Wang Bin’s stealing and ordered him to pay back the silver and reinforce the dam every year.
So this time, even if the rain protested fiercely, the upstream dam was impregnable. Far away in the capital, Xie Yurou was unaware of the Prince’s private actions and was quietly looking forward to the arrival of the catastrophe.
That the Prince could be so discerning and impeccable, it really was a blessing for the people.
Wang Bin, although he was not as dirty as in the first world, but people’s natures are difficult to change. So he invited the Prince to the banquet to tighten their relationship. His daughter lost her favored status three years ago, how could he not worry?
Wang Bin was still a big official, the Prince had to give him some face so he not only came on time for dinner, he also gave him some praise. Fortunately, Wang Bin also knew what the Prince liked, the banquet was not overly luxurious, there were only a few homemade dishes, but the women sitting at the table severely stabbed into the Prince’s eyes.
These women were too beautiful, excellent figures, glittering eyes, graceful and elegant, not a thing was unpleasant to the eyes. Being served by beautiful women was something normal, but some were also sent to serve Shen Yi Bin, they even ambiguously teased him. What is this?
The Crown Prince endured until he saw a woman tenderly smile at Shen Yi Bin and grab his arm. The backlog of anger finally broke out. He overturned the banquet and pulled the young boy away, leaving only a meaningful ‘Wines and foods gone bad are rotting, people are frozen to death at the wayside!’.
Wang Bin’s face lost all color.
After Yu Baotian heard the story he slapped his palms laughing, he praised the Prince’s wisdom and called him the country’s big fortune and so on. The matter was written in the letters sent to Tian Chen Emperor.
Tian Chen Emperor was exceedingly proud.
When the prince pulled the young man into the carriage he still was not able to calm down, his chest sung up and down, like a beast was trying to get out.
“Your Highness, you cannot be too excited, your body will suffer.” Zhou Yun Sheng sighed, took out a pill and pushed it into the Crown Prince’s mouth.
The Prince’s eyes were very bright, heavy love stirred in his pupil. He looked at the young man, then opened his mouth and took the pill along with his fingers into his mouth, his tongue wrapped around them.
Zhou Yun Sheng immediately retrieved his fingers and stayed silent.
The Prince folded his hands into fists. He wanted to pull him into his arms, wanted to tear off his gorgeous robes, wanted to pry open his mouth and kiss until their souls exchanged. But he could only think about it for now.
He knew that he still hadn’t fixed his reputation enough, if he pursued the young man his bad reputation would rub off on him, his career would be destroyed. The only thing he could do for now was ascend the throne. Once he climbed the supreme throne, he could protect the boy under his wings, and clear all obstacles in their path.
Although he was determined, the great sadness and heavy helplessness still plagued his heart. The Prince faintly sighed, he stroked the young man’s cheek and slumped back in his seat.
Zhou Yunsheng’s heart was struck, the dense pain made his brow wrinkle.
The Prince left Liang Jiang, thousands of people sent him off, some people kowtowed and some shed tears- the scene was very moving. As they drove through the other counties, thousands of people gathered under parasols, they formed a thick mass. The Prince finally won the recognition of the people.
Seven Princes was still waiting for the Prince to fall off his horse and reveal some flaws, but he didn’t expect the Prince would rage against Wang Bin and make his heir status rise to a new level. The Seven Princes did not find a bit of fault, he could only be silent.
Far away in the capital, Xie Yurou saw that the dam was safe and sound and the Prince was wise and revered, her heart’s panic was simply too difficult to describe.
This life, her ultimate goal was to be Queen Mother, the most distinguished woman. If the Seven Princes does not ascend the throne, what was the point of her rebirth? At least last time she climbed to be the Emperor’s concubine, if in this world she only made it to a prince’s concubine, isn’t that too tragic? It wasn’t even as good as the first world, not to mention, her enemy Shen Qiao Dan was alive and living in prosperity.
Thinking about future possible misfortunes, Xie Yurou couldn’t sleep soundly that night. But she remembered that there would be a great opportunity to get rid of the Prince in the future, and finally calmed down.
Because the Prince was very weak the convoy moved very slowly, but when they were not even out of Liang Jiang’s boundary the Seven Princes suddenly fell ill. Not long after the Prince also fell unconscious.
“This, this is an epidemic infection, we must put them into quarantine!” The doctor diagnosed them, then alarmingly shouted in panic.
The guards quickly requisitioned a local landlord’s courtyard and carried the two Princes in. Then they wrote to Beijing to pass on this matter. Tian Chen Emperor was shocked, he immediately dispatched several doctors who rushed non-stop to Liang Jiang, carrying carriages full of precious herbs.
The Crown Prince and the Seven Princes’ palace each sent an Imperial Concubine to help them. In the first world the Seven Princes was also infected with the epidemic, and Shen Qiao Dan was the one to take care of him, so her friendship with the Seven Princes deepened. In this world, Xie Yurou was the favored concubine, and Shen Qiao Dan had already lost interest in the Seven Princes so she was naturally indifferent to help the prince.
The Prince’s body had been hollowed out by Han Shisan so the epidemic was extra menacing, the disease had put him near death. The Seven Princes was fated to have this disease, and he’d contracted the disease earlier than the Prince, so his situation was not optimistic.
Zhou Yunsheng took care of the unconscious Prince, then left him to his concubine, Wang, when she arrived to avoid showing partiality.
He had just left when the Crown Prince woke up, he saw the figure at the foot of his bed and his eyes showed a touch of disappointment, he whispered, “Where is Yun Sheng?”
Wang had a veil over her nose and mouth, she carefully asked, “Who is Yun Sheng? “
A close by eunuch answered on her behalf, “Great Highness, Shen official took care of you day and night for four days, he left when the Imperial Concubine arrived.”
The Prince’s disappointment disappeared, he smiled slightly, pointed at Wang and said: “I do not want her, call Sheng back.”
Wang couldn’t protest, she quickly followed the eunuch to leave.
‘Wines and foods gone bad are rotting, people are frozen to death at the wayside!- Rich people waste food while poor people starve to death. Excerpt from Chang’an to Fèng Xiān a poem by Du Fu, a popular Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. Translation stolen from Frank C Yue on here.