Li Jin Tian threw Zhou Yun Sheng onto the bed, then leaned over him. Just as he was about to tear open his clothes, his eyes fixed. He was in a trance. Zhou Yun Sheng pushed him away and sat down on the bedside’s stool.
Li Jin Tian’s pupil had no focus, but his actions were non-stop. He clung to the quilt and tore at it, pulling and biting. Then he immediately pressed himself onto the bed and arched fiercely, he let out a low roar, like an angry dog in heat.
Zhou Yun Sheng leisurely looked at him until he felt bored, then he stepped out of the room.
Li Xudong was waiting outside, when he heard Li Jin Tian’s guttural roar, he silently retrieved a dagger from his boots, a murderous glint in his eyes. However, the door suddenly opened and Jun Father strolled out, unharmed. Li Xudong’s blood red eyes instantly cleared.
“Did Emperor Father hurt you?”
Zhou Yun Sheng did not answer, he was too busy staring at the dagger in the child’s hands. He rebuked, “What do you want to do? Regicide? You fool, how many times have I told … …”
He was interrupted by Li Xudong jumping into his arms. The child was only 15 years old this year, but he was big and tall, his jaw already reached his neck, and the stubble he was growing in even itched his chin uncomfortably. But he didn’t have the heart to push the boy away, he was, after all, the son he’d raised.
“You really weren’t hurt by Emperor Father?” Li Xudong asked again, then he heard the sounds of intercourse coming out from the room again and questioned, puzzled, “What is Emperor Father doing in there?”
“Daydreaming.” Zhou Yun Sheng sneered.
Li Xudong no longer questioned, he slowly opened, “Jun Father, why did Emperor Father not visit for so long, then suddenly try to do this with you? He’s just treating you like a tool to vent, or maybe he’s punishing Gao Min, he doesn’t love you. Jun Father, don’t love him. He watched Gao Min poison you, he instructed Gao Lang to destroy your family, he also wanted to kill you. You should hate him. You won’t be lonely, because you still have me. I’ll stay with you forever, respect you, protect you, become stronger and get revenge for you. I’ll give all the treasures in the world to you, I’ll make you happy. Father, we don’t need to care about anyone else but each other. Don’t you think so, Father?”
His hoarse voice was urgent and pleading, he couldn’t stand anyone who wanted to take his father away.
Zhou Yun Sheng helplessly touched his cheek and smiled, “Naturally, in this palace, the only person I care about will always be you. As for Li Jin Tian, I will not hate him, hate requires care and energy.”
Li Xudong was relieved, he grabbed his hand and rubbed it against his cheek, like a puppy that only needed his master’s touch.
Zhou Yun Sheng was both angry and amused, he pushed him away and reprimand, “Li Jin Tian can’t hurt me. The next time something like this happens, just wait outside. You’re too impulsive. If you’d stabbed him in this palace, a lot of my efforts would’ve gone to waste.”
Li Xudong nodded over and over, he looked cute, the violent bloodthirstiness from before was gone.
This child is very respectful, raising him really wasn’t a bad decision. He’s just a little rebellious…
….. and too sticky.
Looking at the wolf cub who had once again affixed himself to his side, Zhou Yun Sheng sighed helplessly.
In the evening, Li Jin Tian woke up from his sleep and saw Qi Xiujie kneeling at the bedside, holding a set of robes. He was pale, his lips chapped, and he looked very haggard. Li Jin Tian froze, then his mind involuntarily flashed out many scenes. In his rage, he’d ripped Qi Xiujie’s clothes, bit him, gripped him, then viciously ran through him.
It was not love, it was an atrocity.
But the person in front of him did not show the slightest resentment, he even forced his body to kneel and offer clothes to him. Li Jin Tian’s face reddened in shame, but he also felt guilt that he’d betrayed Gao Min.
Even at this point in time, Gao Min was still in his thoughts, he really was hopeless. In deep self-loathing, Li Jin Tian quickly dressed and fled in a panic, then he sent over many treasures to Zi Chen Palace.
Li Jin Tian wanted to suppress the matter so Gao Min couldn’t learn about it, so half a month later when Gao Min formally asked him to send him and his troops to the South, Li Jin Tian agreed on the surface, but he schemed in the background. He gave the 14 years and older princes some duties in the court, and he secretly recruited the private soldiers in Gao family, in order to weaken Gao Jia and the Li Wang’s forces. Of course, some of his means were rather dark.
The day before Gao Min’s expedition, Gao Jia sent some news- Grandmother had an emergency and suddenly died. In accordance with customs, when the ancestors of a family dies, the family leaders needed to mourn for three years.
Gao Lang traveled to the palace to see Gao Min about this matter.
“You want me to use the Emperor’s feelings for me, to persuade him to free you from the 3 years of mourning?” Gao Min frowned.
“Not only to free me, to free you too. We cannot delay helping the South. My Gao Jia has finally earned such a good opportunity, three years of mourning will ruin my plans. The Emperor doesn’t only favor you anymore, Qi Jia and Six Princes are pampered too. Maybe in three years, they will make a comeback and endanger you and your son’s status.” Gao Lang expressed his worry.
“I’ve already disabled Qi Xiujie and Six Princes, they can’t cause any trouble now. Brother, Grandmother has always cared for us. She’s dead, how can we just ignore filial piety for our own convenience? And don’t mention using the Emperor’s feelings again, I don’t need to manipulate him. You don’t know the extent of the Emperor’s feelings for me. You should forget those unnecessary concerns.” Gao Min waved his hand, unworried.
Gao Lang considered for a moment, then reluctantly nodded.
After the two men went their own ways, the spy relayed their conversation to the Emperor. Li Jin Tian glanced at the report, then gave a mocking smile. When Qi family’s ancestor had passed away, Qi Jia’s head had unified more than 20 people and held a mourning vigil for a whole day. How could Gao Lang compare? His ambitions were really big.
Zi Chen Palace.
When Zhou Yun Sheng heard that Gao’s grandmother had died, he knew that Li Jin Tian was behind it. He couldn’t currently move Gao Jia, but three years was more than enough time to slowly weaken and collapse their forces. He’d also dealt with Qi Jia in this slow way. This was what it meant to be royalty, no matter how powerful the courtiers were, their life and death were still in the Emperor’s hands.
In a few days, he will ask Li Jin Tian for the bones of his family. The Qi family were all beheaded, their bones were casually discarded in the outskirts of the city in a disorderly burial, to find them all will not be an easy task. But although it was not easy, as long as it was Qi Xiujie’s wish, Zhou Yun Sheng would complete it for him.
While he was lost in his thoughts, Li Xudong came in drenched in sweat, carrying a bow and arrow. He immediately clung to his Jun Father’s waist, his head rubbing into his shoulder.
“Go away child, you’re covered in sweat.” The little cub had gotten incurably hungrier and thirstier lately.
“Jun Father, I missed you.” The boy’s voice was starting to get deeper.
“You’ve only been in the exercise field for two hours yet you miss me, are you still weaning?” Zhou Yun Sheng gave a helpless smile.
Of course, even leaving for one hour would make me miss you. Li Xudong didn’t answer, but his lips quietly brushed his father’s ear lobe. Zhou Yun Sheng patted him, then lightly said, “I heard that Li Jin Tian is letting all the older princes get experience in political affairs. Which department are you going to go to?”
“I want to go to the Ministry of Appointments or the Ministry of Revenue.”
“Power and money, you can only think of these two things?”
“What does Jun Father mean?”
“Go to the South.”
Li Xudong was silent, reluctant. He didn’t want to leave his Jun Father’s side.
Zhou Yun Sheng saw his little mind and explained, “Power, contacts, money, although these can consolidate your position in the classroom, it won’t let you board the supreme throne. The Shouwen capital has rebelled for three years, but they haven’t gotten anywhere, do you know why? It’s because they have no military power. The one who has the biggest muscle, is the one who has the qualifications to rule the country.”
He didn’t wait for Li Xudong to answer, he continued, “Don’t even think of telling me that you don’t want to be Emperor. If Li Xu Yan sits on that throne instead of you, do I need to tell you how we will end up? Gao Min hates us. Because Li Jin Tian is still alive, he doesn’t outright attack us, but when Li Jin Tian dies, he will eagerly kill us. Did you think that he’d leave us alone because he thinks we’re disabled? If it was you, could you ever feel relieved if your enemy was still alive?”
Li Xudong, of course, wouldn’t feel relieved, but he was reluctant to leave Jun Father alone in the palace. His eyes were anxious, but he knew that now was not the time to be willful. He’d promised to protect Jun Father, to be Jun Father’s pillar, now was the time to rise up.
“Jun Father, I’ll go to the South, I will crush them for you. Please be careful here.” Li Xudong tightly hugged his father, his red eyes had killing intent. He would one day kill Gao Min and Lu Xu Yan, he’ll also kill Li Jin Tian. If those three had not persecuted him, Jun Father would not have such a difficult life.
Some princes requested to go to the Ministry of Revenue, some to the Ministry of Appointments, and some to the Ministry of Rites, in short, they went into whichever department had real power. Li Xu Yan, of course, went into the Ministry of Revenue, and the rest of the princes went their own way. Only Six Princes proposed to follow the army to the South for experience, even Li Jin Tian was stumped.
Gao Min smiled scornfully after hearing the news. A disabled boy is rushing to the battlefield just to die, Six Princes is really too bold. But this was a good opportunity for him. On the battlefield, where swords swung indiscriminately, sending people to inconspicuously get rid of Six Princes was too easy. With Six Princes dead, what hope does Qi Xiujie have in this life? He’d tasted the pain of losing a son in the last life, in this life, he will make Qi Xiujie feel this pain.
Having said that, it was good that Li Jin Tian had pardoned Qi Xiujie’s death penalty, a simple beheading was really too easy for him.
So, Gao Min not only didn’t oppose, he even urged Li Jin Tian to quickly send Six Princes away, at the same time, he also stuffed Gao Nian, who had finally healed from his injuries, into the South troops so he could gain some military power.
Li Jin Tian called Six Princes into the study for an hour-long talk to see if he understood his petition.
The war lasted a full three years.
In those three years Gao family’s army was successfully undermined by Li Jin Tian, and Li Wang was implicated in a salt tax case and was exempted from his duties. Even the spoiled Five Princes made successive mistakes, and was reprimanded by Li Jin Tian in front of the morning imperial court, his prestige was greatly reduced.
But most shockingly, the inconspicuous Seven Princes gradually began to show his talent and joined the limelight.