The doctor in the hospital has never seen such a situation. The eldest son of Duke Dingguo and Prime Minister Zhao’s Di grandchild cleared the way, followed by a group of noble children. Surrounded by the crowd were two 16 or 17-year-old boys, one of them was sweating profusely and the other was walking with difficulty. He looked as if he was in great pain, seeming to be suffering from something serious.
He had been here for a long time and had dealt with many people, so his ability to observe and make judgements were quite good, thus he suddenly became nervous. Both the scion of the Xue clan and Zhao gongzi were His Highness the Ninth Prince’s study companions, and among these people were a few eunuchs. Could it be that it was His Highness the Ninth Prince who was injured?
My mother! How could he be so unlucky today? Looking at how His Royal Highness the Ninth Prince seemed to be in extreme pain and barely able to walk, it must be extremely serious and he must have only come here to him because he didn’t have time to rush back to the palace for treatment. If he can't cure him, then he’ll surely get beheaded! The doctor could only feel frightened at the thought. He shuddered as he stood up, wishing he could kneel and kowtow, and beg this honorable bodhisattva to go to another place.
My mother! - said with the same vibe as ‘Oh my god!’ or ‘Oh, sh*t’.
Just as he was about to open his mouth, the boy who was supporting the Ninth Prince pointed to the lower hem of the Ninth Prince’s pants and said, "Doctor, take a look at him, he was scalded here." While speaking, he licked the candied haws, his attitude was very lackadaisical.
The doctor immediately let out a sigh of relief when he heard what You Shu said. A burn? So it was just a burn? Then, why did His Royal Highness the Ninth Prince look as if his leg was broken? Even when he sat down, his whole body went limp and he had to grip the young man's shoulder tightly, as if he could only suppress the pain by doing this.
He didn't believe the young man's words at all, but he didn't have the courage to chase the Ninth Prince out of the door. He promptly kneeled down to fold up the Ninth Prince’s pants, wanting to have a look at the injury.
What the Ninth Prince hated the most was other people coming too close to his body, so he kicked him away with one foot and pointed at You Shu, "You. Come and help Benwang."
You Shu thought he was done with the matter after bringing the Ninth Prince here. He pointed to himself with widened eyes, looking very confused, all the while licking his candied haws.
"His Highness has called you, so what are you standing around for? Hurry up and help the Ninth Prince!" The nearby servant quickly stepped forward and pushed the boy forward. Everyone else was dying of anxiety, so how could this person still think about eating? If it weren't for His Highness the Ninth Prince's stubborn temperament and not liking the touch of strangers to the point that even they, his personal eunuchs, would have to keep a distance of more than three feet, he would have already rushed over!
Previously, His Royal Highness only had a fever for three days, but half the servants in the Eastern Palace were flogged to death. If today’s burn was serious, no one could escape death.
Eastern Palace - residence of the Crown Prince (according to Pleco)
You Shu staggered from the push and almost fell into the arms of the Ninth Prince. Fortunately, he grabbed the back of the chair in time to avoid falling directly on his wound. Their cheeks were very close to the point that they were practically able to smell each other's breath. One had the familiar smell of ambergris while the other held a familiar maltose smell; it was sweet, warm and intoxicating. The Ninth Prince was obsessed with it and almost couldn't help himself. The slightly horrified eyes of the young man were just enough to help him regain his senses. He pressed him onto the seat beside him, and kicked the servant, “You are just a servant, but you dared to do such a thing to a noble. Who gave you the courage?" He completely forgot that he was pretending to be injured at the moment, and his actions were hundreds of times more agile than before.
ambergris - not sure on this, the raws says ‘dragon saliva fragrance’ hahahaha
Wasn’t it Your Highness the Ninth Prince who gave him the courage? Everyone criticised him in their hearts, but they didn't dare speak out. Everyone in the Capital knew that the Ninth Prince was very arrogant and that the servants around him also regarded themselves as superior. It was normal to berate Imperial Concubines at will and they even dared to antagonise first-class officials. Shoving some unknown pampered noble son was something they could easily do. Even if you had your teeth knocked out and you spat blood, and you felt angry and resentful, there was nothing you could do as they have the Ninth Prince’s support.
But right now, it was obvious who was favored and who was estranged, who was regarded as an insider and an outsider, and who was his weakness. It wasn’t the trusted eunuch who waited on him since he was young, but the young man who he had only met less than an hour ago.
Xue Wangjing and others were shocked, and looked at the teenager with admiration, but Zhao Yusong secretly gritted his teeth.
The close attendant was kicked far away, lying on the ground and groaning intermittently, as if he was seriously injured. The Ninth Prince felt fed up looking at it, and waved his hand, "After going back, let him pack up and kick him out of the Eastern Palace. Benwang doesn’t want to see this incompetent thing that lacks foresight."
The accompanying guard cupped his hand upon receiving the order and gave the boy a deep look when he carried the eunuch out. What magical power did this person have to be treated so differently by His Highness? The so-called ‘lack of foresight’ was probably because he was disrespectful to the young man, right? His Royal Highness was covertly telling them that he had already placed this little Young Master Zhao under his wing and that he cannot be touched by anyone except himself.
You Shu was also shocked and he looked at his Master up and down with round eyes. After reincarnation, his master was completely different from his previous life, and his personality has become so overbearing, somewhat similar to the previous Crown Prince. It stands to reason that he grew up in a very superior environment in this life and he has not suffered any hardship. His parents also loved and protected him, so his personality should be more gentle and kind. Was it because he was spoiled?
You Shu found this amusing and his lips twitched. Even though the master's character changed drastically, he never doubted that the Ninth Prince was not his reincarnation. His master becoming the Ninth Prince wasn’t as much of a surprise compared to him time travelling 600 years and arriving at the Great Xia dynasty, and becoming Zhao You Shu. The important thing was that they could continue living and they could meet despite the constant flow of time and ever growing crowd of people. Wasn’t this great?
The Ninth Prince seemed to have found something incredible and stared at the young man, reluctant to let his eyes blink. After a long time, he finally flushed with excitement and said, "You, you have dimples!" He found that You Shu’s smile was so cute that his heart shivered. He hated that he couldn’t pull him into his arms to poke and lick those dimples. He wanted to see if they were soft like rice cakes and sweet like honey.
You Shu covered his cheek, his expression becoming strange. There were people with dimples everywhere, but why did the master act as if he had never seen them before? Do the people in the palace not have dimples?
The two mutually stared at each other, the atmosphere intimate but also strange. Learning from the mistakes of the eunuch earlier, the others naturally did not dare to bother them. When You Shu turned his head away to conceal his embarrassment and began to lick the candied haws, Xue Wangjing hesitated and said, "Your Royal Highness, has your leg healed?" Even if it hasn’t healed, we should just leave. Seeing that you kicked someone with such energy earlier, it didn't look like you were seriously injured at all.
He didn't dare to say the last part. He turned his head to look at You Shu, and said politely, "Little Young Master Zhao, may I trouble you to take a look at His Highness’s leg injury? If it blisters, it must be dealt with quickly, otherwise it will get infected."
The level of medical treatment in ancient times was very low. Colds and fevers could kill people, not to mention wound infections. You Shu's heart tightened, and he quickly bent over to lift up his master's pants. He also wanted to take off his boots and roll up his trouser leg, but he couldn’t because he was holding the candied haws in his right hand and he didn't know where to put them.
The long stick of candied haws was sticky. He was afraid that they would get dirty if he placed them on the table and there was also nowhere else in the room he could stick it in. If you told him to throw it away, he would anxiously look at you with reddened eyes. Seeing the young boy hurriedly turning around and around flusteredly because of a stick of candied haws, many people laughed secretly, especially Xue Wangjing, who turned away with his shoulders jumping up and down. He was obviously holding back the best he could, but wickedly refused to lend a helping hand.
"If there is no place to put it, throw it away. Could a bunch of candied haws be more important than the injury of His Royal Highness the Ninth Prince?" Zhao Yusong rebuked in a low voice, but he also didn’t help his cousin take the sticks. It was because the maltose had melted and flowed down to the stick onto the fingers of the young boy, he felt disgusted at the sticky and viscous appearance.
At the same time, the Ninth Prince said softly, "Give it to Benwang, Benwang will help you hold it." After speaking, he glanced at Zhao Yusong with a very gloomy look. He didn't think much about it before, but upon looking back, he now realized that the relationship between the two cousins seemed very poor. Otherwise, Zhao Yusong would not have repeatedly slandered You Shu in front of him, causing them to almost miss each other!
If it hadn't been for Xue Wangjing's suggestion to make fun of You Shu, or if he hadn’t been bored lately and wanted to have fun, he definitely would have disdained paying attention to those vile people who kept trying to curry favor. You Shu had just returned to the Capital with his father who came to report on his work. After the evaluation period, he would leave the Capital and might even have gotten married in the next two or three years. Then he would have a group of wives and concubines, and lots of children. When it came to that, what could he do?
Arriving at this thought, cold sweat immediately drenched the Ninth Prince’s head and face, and he internally felt even more worried. In addition to the lingering fear, he momentarily felt extremely grateful to Xue Wangjing, and then soon felt great hatred for Zhao Yusong! He also remembered that he had a very bad impression of You Shu because of Zhao Yusong's slanderous remarks. Before You Shu opened the door and walked in, it seemed- it seemed that he had said some extremely hurtful things?
The Ninth Prince tried very hard to remember, becoming even more nervous and embarrassed. He actually ridiculed You Shu in front of so many people, saying that he tried to please the public with claptrap and that his character was dirty. How could he use the words "dirty" to describe such a graceful youth? Damn it! His heart was blinded by ignorance or he must’ve lost his mind!
Zhao Yusong, what hatred is there between Benwang and you? You want to ruin Benwang like this? His Highness the Ninth Prince, who was 17 years old this year and would soon be titled as the Crown Prince of the Xia dynasty, experienced a setback for the first time in his life. He deeply felt anger to the point of wanting to skin a person while they were alive.
But before that, he must clear up this misunderstanding. Otherwise, what would You Shu think of him? No wonder he was aggrieved when he saw him, he was also very reserved and scared.
While the Ninth Prince’s heart was in turmoil, You Shu had already passed the candied haws over, without realizing how bold it was to do so. It seemed that he had been separated from his master for more than six hundred years, but in his memory, it was only for about eight to nine months. The intimacy and tacit understanding cultivated over the years will not disappear in such a short moment.
The Ninth Prince took the candied haws and did not dislike the sticky maltose at all. In fact, he felt very satisfied with what he could do for the young man, even if it was the most trivial of things, as if he owed the young man in his previous life and that he must pay it back in this life.
The two interacted very naturally, but in the eyes of others, it was very odd and surprising. The Ninth Prince suffers from a serious cleanliness disorder, so how could he help a stranger hold a stick of candied haws? And it had also melted and was covered in saliva as it licked countless times. Did he like the young man that much? To the extent that he made no distinction between what was his and the young man’s?
Xue Wangjing stared at the young man who was squatting on the ground, taking off the Ninth Prince’s shoes and rolling up trouser legs for him, and whispered, "Brother Cangji (Zhao Yusong), where did this little cousin of yours come from? Has he met His Highness before? Even if they hit it off from the start, it shouldn’t have been to this extent, right?!”
Brother Cangji - Zhao Yusong’s courtesy name
It may be possible for others, but it was unimaginable that this happened to the outrageously arrogant, eccentric and overbearing Ninth Prince. There must be some reason for this.
Zhao Yusong was also very upset by the sudden change. He wanted to make You Shu retreat in defeat and make him the object of ridicule in passing, but who would’ve thought that the Ninth Prince would uncharacteristically be attracted and stick to him, like a bee seeing a flower. You Shu has never interacted with the Ninth Prince and did not feel it deeply, but they - who had followed the Ninth Prince for more than 10 years - felt that their horizons had been broadened and were in disbelief.
"I don't know the inside story either." He shook the jade fan in his hand. Although he tried to conceal it, his eyes still looked somewhat sombre. Once the relationship between You Shu and the Ninth Prince becomes deeper, the words he previously spoke derogating You Shu would surely become a thorn in the Ninth Prince’s heart. Therefore, he could not let the two continue to get along.
Zhao Yusong put away the fan while thinking about possible countermeasures. Meanwhile, You Shu was gently lifting up his master's trouser legs to check the injury.
“How is the injury this bad?" Xue Wangjing stepped forward quickly, his tone anxious, before You Shu could even speak. His Royal Highness kicked a few times earlier and looked very lively. He thought he was pretending, but it was actually much more serious than he expected. Not only did the area of scalded skin become a big patch of red, but the burn also produced a few large shiny blisters. He felt distressed just looking at the blisters, let alone the thought of touching them.
You Shu was also very surprised, and his brows furrowed. When he was in the research institute, he specialized in logistics work and he was naturally familiar with things such as taking care of wounds. Before the doctor could speak, he raised his sleeves and said slowly, "With such a big blister, you must poke a small hole in the blister with a needle to release the fluid, so that it will heal quickly."
"Who, who will do it?" The doctor trembled so much that his teeth chattered. Even taking the pulse of the Ninth Prince was enough to frighten his soul out of his body, much less poking His Highness the Ninth Prince with a needle. He heard from one of his seniors who was on duty in the Imperial Hospital that the most difficult person to treat was this Master before him. He often beat the Imperial Physicians half-dead because of minor illnesses like headaches.
You Shu looked at him strangely, and said, "Naturally, I will poke the hole. Go prepare the burn ointment. I’ll need to use it later." He was used to serving his master. After more than six hundred years, he still couldn’t change this habit and took charge of everything.
The doctor exhaled and hurriedly went to find the burn cream. You Shu washed his hands clean, picked a silver needle of the right length and held it over the candle flame.
Zhao Yusong sneered when he saw that You Shu refused to let go of any opportunity to flatter the Ninth Prince. However, Xue Wangjing's impression of the youth has greatly changed. The worries and concerns in the young man's eyes were not faked. Not only did the Ninth Prince get along with him right away, but he also had a deep affection for His Highness. If it really was the first time these two have met each other, it could only be attributed to fate.
Fate is a very mysterious thing.
Seeing that the young man wanted to take care of his wounds by himself, His Royal Highness the Ninth Prince’s heart felt very sweet. Never mind these few blisters from getting scalded, even if a whole layer of his skin was scalded, he was willing just so You Shu would take care of him like this again. He placed the injured leg on the low stool and said softly, "No problem, take it slow."
You Shu responded with a nod, squatted down to look at a few of the blisters, and asked, concern colouring his voice, "Does it hurt?"
The Ninth Prince, who looked indifferent earlier, now frowned and said, "It hurts. It hurts." If it didn’t hurt, then the young man would probably not be worried for him. So, it was better to make him take his well being into heart.
Not only was his master’s expression fragile, but his tone of voice was also very aggrieved. It was the first time You Shu saw him like this. He had always believed that his master was strong and resolute, calm and capable, invincible and omnipotent. However, right now, he was like a young boy who didn't know how to conceal his emotions, let alone arm himself.
No, he thought of it wrong. The current master was just a young boy. He was only seventeen years old. He was pampered and lived in luxury. It was normal for him to react like this. You Shu felt this situation to be very novel. He looked at him several times and couldn't help but try to comfort him, "As long as the liquid is released and the medicine is applied, it will get better after three or four days. Don't be afraid. However, when you return, you mustn't let the wound get wet, and must not break the outer layer of skin, otherwise it will become inflamed."
As he spoke, he gently blew on the blisters. He was gentle in both his movements and his tone of voice, as if he was coaxing a young and ignorant child.
This Little Young Master Zhao is too simple, right? How could you talk to a lion the same way you talk to children? Aren’t you afraid of being torn into pieces? Right at this moment, Xue Wangjing's admiration for You Shu was like a surging river, forever flowing uninterrupted. He also gave the gloomy Zhao Yusong a thumbs up, indicating that Young Master Zhao's courage was No.1 in the Capital.
They all waited for His Royal Highness the Ninth Prince to go wild, but unexpectedly, the Ninth Prince’s lips slowly curled and his eyes gleamed, he was practically beaming with joy.
"Okay, Benwang definitely won't let it get wet and won't break the skin." He even agreed, and his tone was also as soft as a feather.
Everyone was shocked, only You Shu didn't feel anything. He poked the blisters carefully and then gently wiped the overflowing fluid with sterilized cotton. The Ninth Prince raised the candied haws and licked it the place where the boy had licked it before. After a few licks, he hesitated for a while before speaking slowly, "How old are you?"
"Sixteen." You Shu answered without looking up.
"The case where you were framed in Lin'an Prefecture before, is it now closed?"
"How did it end?" The eyes of the Ninth Prince flashed, revealing hidden killing intent.
"I am unsure. It seems that several people involved in the case have been exiled?" You Shu's eyes rolled, seeming as if he was trying to recall. He didn't inquire about the follow-up, so naturally he didn't know about the outcome of everyone involved.
"It turned out to be just exile?" The Ninth Prince's tone became heavier. He was obviously dissatisfied with the result and secretly noted down the supervising Imperial Censor in his heart. He started it, so he slowly introduced the main topic, his tone mixed with imperceptible anxiety, "Is it true that you can see ghosts? Actually…..."
Actually, there are so many capable people with different abilities in this world, being able to see ghosts is nothing too strange. I previously said you were simply engaging in demagogy and had a vile heart, but that was because I listened to rumours and only heard one side of the story, which caused me to have a bad impression of you. In the end, I was just being narrow-minded and should apologise to you for that. If you can really see ghosts, do you get scared? Do you get nightmares? I can take you to the temple to ask a senior monk to resolve it. If you feel scared, you can also live in my palace. I’m a descendant of the imperial family, evil spirits definitely won’t dare to come near me. I can protect you from any harm…...
The Ninth Prince had many things to say, but he only uttered one word when he was interrupted by the young man, "No, of course it is not true! I don't want to mention those things again."
You Shu raised his head, glanced at his master quickly with reddened eyes, and then hung down anxiously. He almost forgot that the master hated ghosts and gods. Seeing that the Master was injured, he got so worried that it clouded his mind. Among the people present here, who knew how many were willing to share and overcome the difficulties for the Master. As an Outsider, he was an existence that was to be feared. So he should stay far away and obediently hide himself, otherwise their relationship will end up like it did in their previous life —— completely severed.
Thinking of this, You Shu couldn't help speeding up his movements. His fair little face became stern, his brows wrinkled, and he looked very reserved and serious.
The Ninth Prince clearly felt the alienation and wariness emanating from the teenager, and he was both upset and angry. This anger did not stem from the boy's rudeness, but from his past self’s previous nonsense. How could he judge someone before even meeting them? Simply stupid!
The young man seemed to be very evasive about that topic. It can be seen that he has taken his nonsense to heart. What was he going to do now? For the first time, the Ninth Prince experienced the feeling of being at a loss and was speechless. He racked his brains and thought for a while, but didn't dare to open his mouth. He was afraid that if he said something wrong, he would hurt the youth again.
So he could only stiffly change the subject, hoping that the boy would slowly calm down after some time. He glanced at the young man up and down a few times and said softly, "Do you like wearing flowers?" If an ordinary man wore this outfit, he would feel disgusted, and then ask the guards to strip the neither masculine nor feminine clothing of the other party on the spot, but the young man looked particularly pleasing to the eye when he wore it.
The vibrant peony complemented his already smooth and glowing little face, while the camellia by his ear and the gem on his forehead did not look garish and instead showed off the young man’s youthful vigor and vitality. He looked like an unparalleled beauty. He had a look that no one could hate and a sweet temperament that made the people who looked at him loosen their guard.
The Ninth Prince could look at this face for a lifetime without getting bored.
You Shu didn't care about his bizarre dressing. If other people laughed at him, then so be it. However, he couldn’t stand making a fool out of himself in front of the Master. Shyness, annoyance and regret started to gush into his little heart. He immediately took off the camellia by his ear, his face flushed and his ears red, "I, I don't like it. My mother insisted that I wear it."
The boy's cheeks were red and his eyes were wet, making him look even more beautiful than before. This shy little appearance was also thousands of times cuter than the indifferent and estranged look from before. The dark clouds in the Ninth Prince’s heart dissipated in an instant. He took the camellia that was about to be destroyed and inserted it back, and even earnestly adjusted the angle of the flower, sincerely saying, “Your mother has very good taste, this flower suits you very well. You Shu really is a beauty.”
My family’s You Shu really is a beauty. The familiar teasing statement strangely coincided with this sentence from his memories, making You Shu absent-minded for a moment. While he was in a daze, the Ninth Prince quickly stretched out his hand, poked the young man's barely discernible dimple, then hid his fingertips in his sleeves and gently rubbed them.
The feeling on his hand was better than he imagined. It was a worthwhile trip to be able to meet You Shu today.
The poke brought You Shu back to his senses and he bowed his head quickly, swiftly dealing with the wound. He repeatedly warned himself that the Master did not need Outsiders with strange abilities around him and finally calmed down. He spread the ointment evenly, bandaged the wound well and urged, “It’s done, Your Highness can return to the palace now.”
The Ninth Prince frowned and retorted, “Return to the palace? What ‘return to the palace’? Benwang just came out of the palace. Come, let’s go stroll on the street."
They only got to meet for a short while before they had to separate? The time was too rushed, he couldn't accept it. Not to mention it was just a few blisters from a burn, even if he broke his leg, he wanted to stay with the young man all day and only return to the palace when it was almost time for the palace gates to be locked. No, it was better to present a memorial to his Father Emperor tomorrow and ask him to allow him to build a mansion outside the palace, so that he could meet with the young man every day.
Blu: I almost typed Duke Dingguo as Duke Dingdong kekw