Zhang Shulin waited in the mountains for a bitter three days and nights, his eyes were puffed up, his two eye bags very obvious. On the fourth day, he really couldn’t wait any longer, he grabbed a knife to go down the mountain but was stopped by his family.
“Boss, you have a lot of staff, can you send a few people to help find Little Black? In the future, I’ll return this kindness.” Zhang Jiarui implored to Zhou Yun Sheng.
He was an extremely clever boy. He was only fifteen years old but was already taking the test to become a scholar. He had self-proclaimed super ability, he was confident he would succeed. Although he was requesting a favor, his attitude wasn’t humble.
Because of the series of misunderstandings, he’d already lost a lot of pride, it was difficult for him to ask something from Zhu Ziyu. Plus, even knowing Zhu Ziyu was innocent, his bad impression of him didn’t decrease on bit, in fact, he secretly hated Zhu Ziyu even more. So, his request was honeyed while his heart hid a dagger.
Zhou Yun Sheng was too lazy to bother with such an insignificant bug. But, if the fate of the world followed the original story, Zhang Shulin would go down the mountain alone to find Qin Ce, get himself lost and hurt, then be rescued by the loyal dog. They’d then casually find a cave to rest in and their relationship will stabilize.
The loyal dog was deeply moved that he’d go down the dangerous mountains alone just to look for him. After that, his attitude to Zhang Shulin would become more loving and they’d start acting like a real married couple.
Zhou Yun Sheng had no intention of breaking them up, but he didn’t want their feelings to become more stable either. After a little thought, he agreed to send his people, and also accompanied them. This was also an opportunity to ingratiate himself to the loyal dog.
He took several guards and used the cover of the night to hurry down the mountain. The mountain road was rugged, there were branches sticking out from every direction, so it was not long before his hair and clothes were disordered. His elegant prince image immediately disappeared.
The night road was difficult to navigate. Since they had no torches in case it attracted bandits, they had to walk by the weak moonlight. Even if he was physically fit, he didn’t have night vision, after a while, he accidentally stepped on a loose stone and tumbled down the mountain.
The guards desperately chased him while shouting ‘young master’.
Qin Ce was walking up the hill when he saw a figure fluttering towards himself. He reflexively stretched his arm out to catch it. The moon shone through the branches, reflecting on a beautiful, jade-like face.
“Ziyu?” He was startled, but pleasantly surprised. His heart kicked into overdrive, he tightened his arms around the figure and intimately asked, “Why are you here?”
“Oh, it’s you?” Zhou Yun Sheng’s head was spinning, when he gathered his wits he found himself in the loyal dog’s arms. He pushed himself slightly off his broad chest and said, “You didn’t return for a long time, so I took some guards down to find you.”
“As you can see, I’m fine.” Qin Ce’s thin lips slightly raised, he helped stand the young man up, then looked him up and down, “Where are you hurt?”
“Here, my ankle is twisted.” Zhou Yun Sheng shook his ankle, then gasped. The guards finally caught up, they surrounded him in non-stop questions of concern.
Qin Ce was squeezed out from the circle of guards. He looked up at the drifting clouds, the moon was slowly crawling down.
“I’ll carry Zhu Gongzi on my back. I’m a wild villager, I’m more used to the mountains and more stable on my feet than you guys.” Qin Ce, who had already recovered his memories, said shamelessly.
The guards were also worried about their poor footing, they weren’t even able to stop the young master from falling, so they helped put him on his back. Zhang family saw Zhu Ziyu come back with Little Black in less than an hour and were overjoyed.
“Brother Little Black, where did you go?” Zhang Shulin jumped into Qin Ce’s arms, they staggered back and he almost dropped Zhu Ziyu. While he had amnesia, Qin Ce had felt that Zhang Shulin was very gentle and was good at keeping the home, so he’d thought that living a lifetime with him was a good idea. But now, he suddenly felt tried whenever he looked at him, he even felt some inexplicable guilt.
But, he always had a poker face and his mood was never shown easily. He simply gave them a story about avoiding a patrol of bandits and running into the army while he carefully placed Zhu Ziyu onto a soft haystack.
“Where’s the sprain? I’ll take a look.” He sat next to the young man and casually took off his shoes.
Lushi and Tweety wanted to stop him from looking at the young master’s body, but it was too late. They didn’t want to make anyone suspicious of their master’s secret by speaking up, so they could only stare at them worriedly. Fortunately, Qin Ce seemed to be wholeheartedly looking at the injury, he didn’t look like he’d noticed anything wrong.
“Hissss, can’t you be gentler?” After he’d escaped from the system’s control, Zhou Yun Sheng had never been seriously injured, this suddenly unfamiliar pain was unbearable.
Qin Ce stared numbly at his feet. He’d never seen such a jade-white and graceful-looking foot. He had five, pink, lovely round toes, which were trembling and curled up because of the pain. He swallowed a mouthful of saliva while he imagined what it would be like to suck and lick each one of the toes. But as usual, his face was expressionless, he seriously pressed the toes as he examined them.
“It looks like the bone isn’t broken. I’ll rub some medicine on it, then you have to rest for three or two days. It’ll get better by then.” He took out a small bottle, it smelled of strong medicinal cream, and applied it to the swollen area, pressing and rubbing.
Zhou Yun Sheng clenched his teeth in patience, but because it was too painful, his eyes were filled with reflexive tears. His dark soaked pupils rendered anyone who looked at him breathless.
Qin Ce quickly glanced at his face, then focused back on his toes. He’d never seen such a delicious looking man!
Everyone had expressed their concern and gathered around to see the injury, so his foot was exposed to everyone. Qin Ce was inexplicably irritated at this, so he involuntarily sped up his rubbing, then helped the young man put back on his socks and boots.
Afterwards, he said in a flat tone, “Right, this injury should not hinder you too much. Take this medical cream, it might be useful in the future.”
Zhou Yun Sheng took the bottle and slightly laughed, “Zijin Quyu cream, twenty-two silver per bottle. Such a great medicine, where’d you get it?”
Qin Ce didn’t blink, “I picked it up by the roadside.”
I didn’t expect this loyal dog to have the skills to lie with his eyes wide open, Zhou Yun Sheng thought as he squinted meaningfully at the other man.
“I’ve always been very lucky.” Qin Ce glanced at him and calmly added.
Zhang family, even Zhang Jiarui, all believed him.
“Since the army have been sent to exterminate the bandits, when can we go home?” Zhang Shulin asked excitedly, he sat close to Black, his face full of expectations.
Qin Ce frowned at the words. It wasn’t easy to get so close to Zhu Ziyu, if he had his way, he’d wait with him in the cave for at least ten more days. He was silent for a long while before he muffled out, “Tomorrow morning, we’ll leave then.”
Zhang’s two sisters cried in surprise.
The next day, early in the morning, Qin Ce carried Zhu Ziyu on his back and lead the group down the mountain, they met a line of villagers who were also walking down to the village, they looked very haggard. Every household door was broken open, their water tanks were smashed, and their dishes were in pieces. All the grains and poultry were missing, and everywhere was littered with garbage.
“Master, what’s wrong? Are your hurt?” The village head led a group of people over, although his face showed grief for the lost property, there was more joy for having survived the ordeal.
“I twisted it on the road, it’s not a big deal. How are you?” Zhou Yun Sheng patted Qin Ce’s shoulder, indicating that he should put him down.
Qin Ce stayed motionless, like a wooded stake pounded into the ground.
The village head sighed, “Thanks to the boss’ reminder, we survived alright. Fortunately, you made us not take all the food away, otherwise we’d have suffered even more. Yang Jia village saw us traveling up the mountain and also had their villagers evacuate. But they took all their food with them. Those bandits were so angry, they not only set fire to their village, they also combed the mountains and wantonly murdered anyone they met, it was really miserable! If the army hadn’t arrived in time, I’m afraid that not a single villager would’ve survived.”
His voice faded and the surviving villagers gave a sad sigh. The villagers who had clamored to run back to get more food lowered their heads in embarrassment. They’d come back a few times and collected some food, they’d even taken from houses that didn’t belong to them. They’d thought they were fortunate that they didn’t meet any bandits, but, after hearing about Yang Jia Village’s end, they were naturally shamed to death of their actions.
Zhou Yun Sheng said a few words to the village chief, saw his carriage arrive and waved the crowd goodbye.
Qin Ce slowly placed him in the car. He watched after him till the carriage disappeared at the end of the road, then turned toward Zhang Jia.
“Little Black look, our family’s food wasn’t found by the bandits!” Zhang Shulin ran out from the smashed door, dragging a few bags of rice behind him.
Qin Ce sat silently on the stool, quite uninterested.
Zhang Jiarui gathered the broken porcelain into a pile, then carried over a dustpan while he smiled gloatingly, “Our big brother is too smart, he hid the bags so well the bandits never stood a chance. Plus, our family home is so shabby, they definitely wouldn’t expect to find anything. After searching around, they probably unsuspectingly left to loot another house. Unlike Zhu home, with its carved beams and richly ornamented pavilions, so magnificent, the bandits probably took one look at it and jumped for joy. I wonder what kind of look he’ll have when he sees his ruined house. If they started a fire … … ”
“If not for Zhu Gongzi’s timely reminder, your village would’ve been wiped out, yet you don’t even show a hint of thanksgiving … … ” Qin Ce darkly opened.
Before, he’d felt that Zhang Jiarui was tough and quite talented, he had planned to take him under his wing. But now, all he saw was his poor narrow-minded behavior, he was not worthy of cultivating.
Zhang Jiarui was wrangled in by his majestic momentum, he’d always secretly suspected Black had a noble identity, but he was never one to give up quietly, “Zhu Jia oppressed the villagers for so many years, I have years of grievances to let out, so why can’t I?”
“The one who oppressed the villagers was Zhu Gongzi’s father and his housekeeper, what does that have to do with Zhu Gongzi?” Qin Ce warningly stared at him.
“Of course he’d say he had nothing to do with it, Brother Black, how can you believe him?! Who in this village doesn’t know that Zhu Ziyu is even more overbearing than his father… …”
His voice was over shadowed by a shouting voice, “Zhu Lao Si has been escorted to the officials by the landlord, he says that he was the one who oppressed the people, stole the fish and over-rented the villagers. This crime cannot be forgiven! The landlord also brought all the books to the officers, he’s going to confront Zhu Lao Si right now in the administrative office! Come on, let’s go see ah!”
Qin Ce’s heart shook, he immediately got up and went to the office.
Zhang Jiarui, who was just badmouthing Zhu Ziyu, froze. His cheeks flushed, tingling and red like he’d just been slapped by a hammer.
Qin Ce always has a poker face and rarely speaks (unlike Cao Mo Kun who was very blunt and sleazy), so that’s why ZYS doesn’t notice his thirsting.