Storm In The Back Palace (Part Two)
Not even in her dreams, would she have even imagined, the one who secretly added saffron into Consort Ying’s medicine would actually be the one who gave Consort Ying three thousand worth of doting love. Why did it have to be like this?
In her impression of him, the Emperor is a weak and cowardly person, with no air of courage and no dominance that a monarch should have. Yet it just happens, that listening to his voice alone right now, would make her sense a highly inscrutable overcast of oppressiveness. Two years ago, Zheng Liu was able to stand victorious over the other princes, relying on this one word of “benevolence”, could it be that this is all but a fake image?
Thinking up to this point, no matter how strong Gui Wan’s calm mind can be, she too cannot refrain from dripping in cold sweat, turning her head to look at De Yu, whose face is also pale white, lips as thin as paper.
Gui Wan bitterly laughs inside, suddenly recalling a word of warning her mother had told her since young: Beyond people there are more people, beyond the sky there are more skies, the art of trickery is vast with boundless reaches. One who sits in a high position, must hold some tricks up his sleeves, and should never be overlooked.
Hand clenching into a fist, and only when her nails dug into her skin, inflicting pain, did Gui Wan gradually get rid of that feeling of fear and panic, calming herself down, she gently presses her lips together, whilst silently hiding within the darkness.
“Lou Che holds great power, Prince Duan is greatly domineering, I being able to forbear to this day, is already the absolute bottom line limit, how could I possibly further tolerate her giving birth to this vile spawn?” His responding question seems to be filled with a matter of fact tone.
“You have no heart……you are clearly uncertain whose child that actually is……in fact, you are also very pitiful, in order to sit on the dragon throne, you are unable to live as yourself, even when facing one who shares the same pillow as you, you still need to put on an act……could it be that placing such pain and suffering onto others will make you happy?” Consort Li’s laughter ripples, seeming to have restored her usual gentle grace, but all those within the hall understands, her spirit is already on the verge of collapsing.
“As someone who is already about to die, there is no need to overthink anything, just enjoy the rest of your time.”
The hall once again sinks into silence, Gui Wan feels as though a stone is stuck in her chest, her body feeling suddenly cold suddenly hot, alternatingly striking her, and her thoughts are rather jumbled up, such gloomy mood like her body has sunken into the boundless darkness.
“Your majesty……” Consort Li’s grieving voice once again sounds, softly yet sorrowfully asking, “Have you ever loved me?”
A light sound of scoffing, as though what he heard was a joke, “If you still had little use, I believe I would still love you for some time.”
“Then do you love Consort Ying?”
“Love, of course I love her, she is but a great chess piece that I can use to keep Lou Che in control, as of now, I do not have any thoughts of discarding her.”
Consort Li laughs, laughing savagely and insolently, seeming as though something great just happened, not at all like one who is about to die.
The laughter is abruptly choked off, the voice of devilish charm asks with overflowing tenderness: “What you laughing at?”
Her breathing having been cut off, can only draw in little amounts of air with great difficulty, disjointedly breathing out the words: “Your majesty……you’re so pitiful……you actually……don’t……don’t understand……don’t understand love.” Finishing that one sentence, all breathing completely disappears, clothing comes in contact with the ground surface, the body slowly slides down, only the hate and resentment left behind before her dying breath, seems to have remained in the hall, feelings of mourning lingers, such that even the perpetrator seems to have frozen on the spot, not speaking a single word, not making a single move.
Didn’t think Consort Li would end her life here just like that, towards her, Gui Wan feels disgust but at the same time, she also gave rise to feelings of compassion. Before she died, she had still revealed a slight show of goodwill, not to mention her own fate is this tragic……
“Eavesdropped enough?” Footsteps slowly paces near, gently asking.
Behind the dragon throne, her heart resists from beating, Gui Wan’s entire body turns ice cold, like being thrown into an ice pit.
Within a moment, Gui Wan’s mind produces an illusion, the one gradually approaching does not seem to be the current Son of Heaven, but a demon, that sort of abnormally demonic sense she gets just from hearing his voice, persistently lingers in her mind, indirectly affecting her judgement. If beside this dragon throne, both sides are open, she would definitely choose to sacrifice one amongst the two, pushing De Yu out without hesitation, but the dragon throne in this Yu Gan Hall, one side is attached to the glass crystal pillar, only Gui Wan’s side is open spaced.
Zheng Liu seems to be deliberately torturing them, his steps paced very slow, rhythmically closing in, very lightly, very lightly, like dust refusing to sticking to the surface. Gui Wan’s heart pounds crazily fast, for the first time, she feels so close to death, even when her body along with the horse fell into the valley at Feng Qi Slope, when the Nu Tribe’s long arrow skimmed past her sleeve, she has never felt as alarmed as this before, hundreds and thousands of fleeting thoughts flashes past her mind, yet not one is able help her escape this.
The footsteps suddenly stops, separating herself from the back of the seat, Gui Wan seems to hear his light chuckle at close proximity. Once her mind spaces out, a hand had already grabbed onto her shoulder, her body forcefully yanked out from the back of the seat, stumbling, all that could be heard was a “si” sound from her collar, and Gui Wan falls in front of the dragon throne.
When being pulled up, Gui Wan’s eunuch hat had already fallen, a head of elegant silk hair falls loose from the binding of the glazed hairpin, spreading like the highest quality of black silk. The glazed hairpin hits the ground, creating an impact against the marble floor, clear sounding like the breaking of jade, shocked by this breaking sound, Gui Wan immediately pulls herself together, heart calm as a mirror, mind clear like water, raising her head, she looks at the Son of Heaven.
Hair held up in a golden coronet, inner clothing of white Confucian robe, with a yellow robe very casually layered on top, don’t know whether he did not pay any attention, or whether he did not organise himself after the pestering of Consort Li just now, his skirt is slightly wrinkled, beside his forehead, there are a few loose strands of hair hanging, the usually well-refined emperor carrying three points of evilness right now, filled with an air of arrogance, the noble air of the imperial family strongly exhibited, his eyes carrying a look of slight surprise, carefully looking over Gui Wan.
Originally thinking it was a little eunuch who trespassed this Yu Gan Hall, after pulling the person out, it actually turned into a little fairy, elegant to the point of extremely graceful bearing, one glance and he was able to recognise the one in front as ––––– “Madam Lou?” His words contains a light chuckle, seeming as though he found something interesting.
Casually throwing back her sleeves, not even taking notice of how at ease and elegant this one action was, Gui Wan’s hand presses against the floor, was just about to get up, but only just realises her waist belt had been released, with that one strong pull from before, her clothing from the back collar to the left waist hooked onto the decoration of the dragon throne, tearing a huge hole, right now with her movements, the clothing opens up, revealing her jade back and fragrant shoulder. Merely making a light frown, she then smiles it off, Gui Wan stands up, not caring for the clothing that slipped off her shoulder, thinly smiling, she looks back at Zheng Liu, respectfully saying: “Greetings your majesty.”
“Tranquil like water, black hair like silk, smile like light plum blossoms, moon-like white skin, truly a beauty hard to come by.”
Thin lips singing praises, Zheng Liu’s eyes circles around Gui Wan’s body, the words he has yet to say being, Gui Wan’s presence carries an indescribably unique charm and also such casual and carefree nature, such view makes his heart ripple in thrill.
“To receive such praises from your majesty, Gui Wan dares not be worthy of such.” So calm as though the two just happened to run into each on the streets.
Brows raising, a sharp look flashes past his eyes, “What was Madam Lou doing behind the seat? Could it be that you also grew greatly interested in this land of dragon origin?” (Dragon origin – symbolises Han Chinese nation)
Today she just found out just how formidable this monarch is, a completely different man compared to the emperor who usually relies on Lou Che to make decisions, if not for this coincidental opportunity, seeing it with her own eyes, Gui Wan would really not dare believe it. Lips delicately parting, a resonant voice saying: “The imperial family’s air of vastly grandness, Gui Wan greatly admires, taking advantage of no one being here, I came in to enjoy the sight, disrupting your majesty’s aesthetic mood, is my sin.”
Acting as though she is unintentionally looking all around, she sees a few beams of light penetrating the inside of the hall, looking further to glance at the dragon throne area, she was secretly shocked, so this is how it is.
She has been having her doubts, the emperor is also an ordinary person, how did he know someone was hiding behind the dragon throne, only now did she find out, there is a lot more to the lighting within the Yu Gan Hall, using the effect of the glass crystals as a mirror, right now, the light coming in from the outside, perfectly shines on the glass, reflecting the situation of half the space behind the dragon throne.
Secretly astonished by her own finds, she does not dare to look behind the dragon throne again, scared Zheng Liu will find out there is still another person there, Gui Wan once again returns her eyes to the Son of Heaven. Right now, as long as she is able to find a chance to let De Yu gong-gong leave the hall, then half her life will undoubtedly be saved.
“Madam’s aesthetic mood is very great, don’t know what you saw, what you heard?” Zheng Liu smiles sceptically as he lightly says this, tenderness as vigorous as ever, yet those clear cold eyes were deadly locked onto her, refusing to let her go.
This question is undoubtedly most difficult to answer, her heart stands firm, Gui Wan gradually reveals a smile, “Heard everything, saw absolutely nothing.” Words sounding playful, yet all said were the most honest of answers.
“Madam’s honesty truly is of most noble moral character, making things difficult for me also, such virtuous human nature, to actually disappear before my eyes.” A smile like the spring breeze, but in it, there harbours killing intent.
Her heart really wants to back away, yet she can only force herself to grit her teeth, slightly taking half a step forward, Gui Wan tucks the strands of hair that had fallen to her cheek side behind her ear, “Your majesty, why should you panic, Gui Wan is not the person you must hurriedly eradicate, could it be, your majesty believes that all that has happened today were all wrongdoings?”
“How could I possibly be wrong?” Looking down on all the arrogance within the world.
“Only those who have done wrong, would need to cover up their wrongdoings, since you have done no wrong, then why must your majesty feel uneasy at heart?” Questioning him back, Gui Wan’s eyes were leisurely light, no anger, no panic, looking just as though she is speaking facts.
“Madam’s remarks has allowed me to see the light ah,” Raising his hand, he pulls Gui Wan close up to his side, his face displaying an expression of half admiring, half complex emotions, “Making me almost cannot bear to see you dead.”
Hand fiercely locking onto her neck, slightly exerting a bit of force, Gui Wan’s neck tightens, immediately finding it difficult to breath, raising her eyes, she notices the faint look of vast haziness within Zheng Liu’s eyes, although it disappears in a flash, it was indeed real, no matter what, this is a glimmer of hope. Gui Wan’s hand grips onto Zheng Liu’s, seeming to have seen something unexpected, a shrill voice saying: “Lady Consort Li––––”
Neck suddenly loosens, Zheng Liu’s face turns dark, although he does not look back, but in that very moment he heard the surprised cry, he loosened his strength, a cold face watching Gui Wan slowly adjust her breathing.
Lightly breathing in and out a few times, Gui Wan gradually catches her breath, although she is secretly resentful inside, the Zheng Liu she raises her head to see, still has a smile like that of orchids spread across his face, “Your majesty is not actually an emotionless person, Lady Consort Li did not die unjustly.”
“You think that I didn’t kill you because of her? Truly laughable, she didn’t even have such skill when alive, so what is there to fear when she’s dead?”
“Although there’s nothing particularly taboo of a dead person, but words that have already been spoken, cannot actually be erased, even when sitting high up on the dragon throne, there are still some extent of helplessness right?” She melodically says with a cold gaze.
“As long as you’re dead, everything that happened today, who else could possibly know?” Emitting a laughter, horrifying to the bones, Zheng Liu steps forward half a step, once again covering Gui Wan’s figure.
Gui Wan stands on the spot unmoving, till the very moment Zheng Liu’s breath came right before her face, she still makes not a single move, only he closes in, his hand once again placed on her neck, she looks into his cold eyes, whilst carefully looking at him, she speaks up doubtfully: “With me dead, could it be that your majesty is able to forget all those words just like that? I’m afraid not right?” Voice so soft sounding, as though penetrating right through the heart.
Movement rigidly comes to a halt, Zheng Liu’s action of clasping onto the neck remains unchanged, yet not a single bit of strength is used, pausing for a moment, his thin smile once again appears: “Interesting, interesting……” Acting as though it was unintentional, the moment his fingers parts from her neck, they glide across Gui Wan’s exposed shoulder, causing the tattered robe to slip down to her waist, the waist belt has long been loosened, with Zheng Liu’s very light action, it descends onto the floor, thus shedding off the outer robe, inside, she is only wearing a very thin undershirt, skin like that of snow, a delicately exquisite figure, and also that unchanging face of casual and carefree nature, attractive to the extreme, an extremely demoness-like charm.
Eyes slightly darkens, the Son of Heaven’s eyes wanders around Gui Wan’s body repeatedly, sighing: “Madam’s calm makes me very envious.”
Seeing the depths of his eyes clear and calm, she was secretly surprised by just how unpredictable this person is, knowing his killing intent has dropped right now, Gui Wan relaxes quite a bit, “Your majesty holds the entire world, what is there that’s not yours, so how could you possibly be envious of others?”
The distance between the two people were already extremely close, Zheng Liu does not care for the words that passed by his ears, his finger wraps around Gui Wan’s hair, spinning it round and round on his finger, as though this action seems like great fun, he doesn’t get tired of it. Black hair winding, trapping his two fingers, he shallowly laughs out loud, with one pull of the hair, he pulls Gui Wan into his arms, one hand tightly locked on her waist, one hand wrapped in her hair, caressing her tender and delicate shoulder, he gently says: “You’re so intelligent, take a guess, in the end will I kill you or not kill you?”
Right now, she has already come to understand this person’s moral character a little, extreme brutality, malicious and insidious, what’s more terrifying is, he has concealed all this under a well-refined outer appearance, causing people to be struck with chilling terror. Gui Wan’s lips parts, lightly saying “Then why don’t your majesty play a bet with me?”
“Do you think, you have a stake worthy enough to bet with me?” Zheng Liu lightly ridicules, hand actually loosening her confinement, wrapping around Gui Wan’s waist, allowing her to speak comfortably.
“The outcome is still uncertain, why fear whether there is a worthy stake or not?” A melodious voice graceful and sweet.
A burst of lightly wild laughter rings throughout the hall, a fire lights up deep in Zheng Liu’s eyes, loftily yet sceptically, he softly whispers: “I also really want to know, what Madam and I will be betting on?”
Gui Wan’s heart feels as though it slightly broadens, knowing he temporarily wouldn’t lay down murderous intent, the corner of her lips hooks up, drawing a beautiful curve……
“With a period of two years, to see whether your majesty will get what you want.” Gambling on the entire country, casually coming out of her mouth.
Zheng Liu finely squints his sharp eyes, adding an additional three points of evil air to his character, a seeming yet un-seeming smile surfaces on his lips, the hair wrapped around his finger let loose, fingertip lightly touches Gui Wan’s neck, her icy skin of sparkling pure white composes a scenic painting with his fine and slender finger, clearly a situation of wandering between life and death, yet because of her open and casual personality, pure leisurely nature like water, a trace of cunning brilliance emerges.
“Is Madam trying to use a stalling tactic?”
Gui Wan light laughter resonates, holding in her mouth, an implication of a funeral invitation, she shoots back sarcastically: “Since your majesty knows, why not kill me?”
With the Son of Heaven’s pride, even if he knows this is a stalling tactic, he would definitely still accept it, besides, this is originally a battle of persistence within the war of wits. The Emperor’s greatest menace, is the two greatest power holders within the imperial court, which is none other than Lou Che, Prince Duan. To centralise imperial power, number one, remove the two obstructions, or number two, utilise the two powerhouses, but with Zheng Liu’s true character today, she is only afraid that it will most likely be the former option.
His gazing eyes furrowed, the frostiness under Zheng Liu’s eyes gradually melts, his hand leaves her fine neck, landing on her jade shoulder, he lightly lowers his head, the loose hair besides his cheek touches that bright and delicately elegant face, eyes meet eyes, nose to nose, only half an inch distance between the lips, even when inhaling and exhaling, they could feel one another’s breath, a faint touch of entangled fragrance slightly deluding her willpower by a few points, then further leaning in a bit his lips grazes past her cheek, softly whispering next to Gui Wan’s ears: “This game indeed has a quite a bit of meaning. Say, regarding today’s matters, the thing that is deluding my mind, in the end is it this interesting bet or is it……you?”
Hot breath coming in contact with her ear, Gui Wan knows that his killing intent had completely disappeared, softly sounding a little laugh, “Your majesty’s deepest implication, how could the average person possibly measure up to it?”
As soon as those words were spoken, bright lighting suddenly penetrates the hall, with a light sound, an eunuch open the doors and walks in with light movements, kneeling on the ground, softly saying: “Your majesty––” Hearing no answer whatsoever, he raises his head to take a look, and is rendered speechless, Li gong-gong freezes.
Within the dimly lit hall, there are only a few beams of light, using the outside lighting shining in, right now the two people in front of the dragon throne can be seen before his eyes, Li gong-gong carefully identifies the two people, heart starting to chaotically pound, deep down he asks himself, whether he has found the wrong timing to enter. The Emperor in an extremely ambiguous manner, has his arm wrapped around a woman in dishevelled clothing, the woman’s clothing is half ripped, exposing a huge area of a shoulder, ice clean with snowy white skin, across the grand hall, he can also recognise, that type of devilish beauty and unique charm, once seen difficult to forget, clearly the wife of Prime Minister Lou.
Hurriedly lowering his head, acting as though he saw nothing, Li gong-gong respectfully kneels at the entrance of the hall. Doors slowly closes, an additional presence resides within the hall, which once again returns to silence. Zheng Liu slightly loosens his strength, the hand wrapped around Gui Wan’s waist wanders downwards, pulling up the tattered clothing, concealing Gui Wan’s back, covering her jade shoulder, then picks up the descended waist belt with embroidered patterns, gently lining it around her waist. His actions appear very orderly and methodical, filled with great patience.
Somewhat surprised as she watches his movements, Gui Wan soundlessly leaves him to it. Turning her head towards the still absolutely motionless Li gong-gong she secretly laments, originally thought the main head eunuch within the palace, Li Yu is someone Lou Che had sent to monitor the Empress, looking at it now, he is also one of the observers planted by the Emperor. She inwardly cries out “so risky”, this palace holds so many rights and wrongs, people’s hearts sinister, truly is absolutely unpredictable.
Zheng Liu lets out a deep laugh, looking at Gui Wan, eyes sharp, yet his words holds unlimited warmth and gentleness: “What? Is it very surprising?”
Slightly gathering up her expression, so that when she turns her head, it loosens up a bit, Gui Wan seemingly smiles, “People’s hearts are unfathomable, makes me deeply realise this……” A seeming lamentation, yet it is spoken in a playful way, causing Zheng Liu to give rise to a gentle sound of laughter.
At last, the waist belt is tied up, hands coming to a stop, Zheng Liu turns around and makes his way down the steps, slowly paced steps heading towards Li gong-gong, the head eunuch kneeling on the floor seems to be extremely fearful, shrinking back a little as Zheng Liu approaches. Up till the very moment Zheng Liu comes right before him, he can only stand up, as he quietly reports, Zheng Liu seems to be getting happier and happier, his smile thickening quite a bit.
“Madam, are you willing to make a small bet with me right now?” Containing a calculative chuckle, Zheng Liu’s eyes were locked onto Gui Wan, carefully observing her behaviour.
Simply having no power to refuse, Gui Wan lets it go with a smile, a clear view like the moon, leisurely sighing, she slowly replies: “Your majesty’s aesthetic mood, how could I dare disrupt it?”
Figured that Gui Wan will answer as such, a smile reaches the bottom of Zheng Liu’s eyes, walking up to the right side of the huge hall, the most inconspicuous pillar inlaid with a square piece of glass, he reaches out and lightly presses the glass, then turns it half a circle to the left, in the left side of the Yu Gan Hall, there is actually another door, Gui Wan silently watches, her state of mind slowly settles down, she thinks back to when she was hidden behind the dragon throne, that moment Zheng Liu’s voice suddenly sounds, making her receive a fright, so it is by the means of sophisticated machinery, comforted by this revelation, she is now feeling much more at ease.
“Your majesty––––” Desperately called for the Emperor, Li gong-gong lightly asks accordingly, “This Lady Consort Li and palace maid’s corpses……” Not daring to arbitrarily make the decision himself, he sees that the Son of Heaven’s mood today is not bad, and therefore boldly asks this.
Glancing at Li gong-gong with a frown, Zheng Liu appears impatient, he has yet to open his mouth, when a clear and leisurely voice had already snatched the opportunity, “Consort Li was jealous of Lady Consort Ying, and actually added saffron to the miscarriage prevention medicine, because this matter was about to be brought to light, she has no face to face his majesty, and thus hung herself in apology of such offense, the maid followed her master through her suffering, in remembrance of past graces, his majesty shall not delve into the matter, keeping both master and servant’s bodies whole.”
Gui Wan neither hurriedly nor slowly makes her way down the steps from the dragon throne, gentle voice, smiling eyes, like the elegance of the moon, the tattered clothing opens a little along with her movements, further adding a casual sway to the person, elegantly distinguishable and admirable, walking up to the grand hall, her tone makes a change, looking at Zheng Liu: “The current Son of Heaven rules the world with ‘benevolence’, such lenient demeanour further graces the four seas, widely distributing across the world, what does your majesty think of this?”
Zheng Liu’s eyes darkens, appearing still and bottomless, his smile steadily blossoms, with one wave of a hand, Li gong-gong understands the meaning, quietly saying: “Yes, your majesty is benevolent.” And then bows his body, withdrawing out of the hall.
Towards her abrupt decision making just now, he does not seem to be angered, Zheng Liu’s lips curls into a smile, playfully saying: “Within this one day, just how many more surprises does Madam have to give me?” Leisurely letting out a long sigh, he seems to feel regretful.
“The light of a firefly, how could it compare to that of the moon, the shock your majesty has given me, is truly something that Gui Wan cannot forget in this lifetime.” Firing back a light ridicule, in the end she just couldn’t hold back from soothing the stuffiness in her heart.
Leaning on the secret door, with the show of a Son of Heaven’s luxuriously lazy attitude, listening to Gui Wan’s words, Zheng Liu just laughs it off, smiling at Gui Wan, “If others said those words, I would definitely hold a grudge, today Madam sayys such words, yet I cannot bring myself to hate you ah.”
“The ‘broadness’ of your majesty’s heart and mind also puts Gui Wan to shame.” Seemingly praising, seemingly degrading, she says this in between a playful laughter.
Once the last word was spoken, Gui Wan had already come up to the entrance of the secret door, her eyes exploring the secret passage, her original image of a heavily dark passage turns out to be tremendously bright, the glass neatly lined along the walls uses the principles of reflections, attracting the outside light into the secret passage. Whilst admiring this, she also could not help but to sigh, the secrets within this imperial palace, sure is greater than the average, especially one like today’s, being the greatest of them all.
All of a sudden, an additional sparkling crystal piece appears before her eyes, Gui Wan frowns in puzzlement, a surprised expression looking at Zheng Liu.
“Did Madam forget about our little bet?” With the secret passage being so narrow, the two people are practically pressed against each other, as Zheng Liu meaningfully says this in a soft tone right beside Gui Wan’s ears.
Not understanding his intent, she does not inquire, Gui Wan accepts the crystal piece, continuing to walk through the secret passage, she does not know how long she has been walking for, when she suddenly sees a black wall in front, presumably they have walked up to the end now, smiling, she was just about to turn back and softly call out to him, when Zheng Liu suddenly extends his hand, covering both of Gui Wan’s eyes, turning her body into his arms, her entire body completely fitting in. Gui Wan was startled, originally wanted to push him away, but because she remembered his identity, she had to think twice about it, and could only choose to silently stay unmoving.
Yet again, that clear fragrance sits in his nose, Zheng Liu suddenly smiles thinly, releasing his hands. Gui Wan opens her eyes and takes a glance, the black wall has already been opened, and yet another grand hall appears before her eyes, attentively looking at the four walls of the secret passage, not knowing how many finely divided glass pieces are inlaid there, not knowing which one is the secret button that opens the secret door, just now Zheng Liu covering both her eyes, is also because he’s afraid of her being able to explore the mechanisms behind the secret passage right? This way, even if she knows of the entrance to the secret passage within the Yu Gan Hall, what point is there? Secretly lamenting inside, both scared and worried, this person does things with such meticulousness, keeping everything in the dark, away from all the officials, rain or shine indeed unpredictable, a bottomless pit. (Rain or shine meaning good or bad)
Within this imperial palace, everyone is truly of outstanding character, those who lives here are all extraordinary, this thought skims past her mind, Gui Wan sarcastically smiles, walking into the hall.
Completely different to Yu Gan Hall, this hall has not even the slightest touch of glamour, no golden brilliance, no glass adornments, the interior exudes an air of scholarliness, simple and elegant, spotlessly clean. The imperial palace is filled with surprises, to actually still have such a quiet place like this, Gui Wan turns her head and looks all around, observing with full concentration.
Zheng Liu wanders towards the desk within the hall, pushing open the windows, the light fragrance of green grass instantly flushes up the nose, a gentle breeze blows, caressing her face. Gui Wan follows after him, watching Zheng Liu’s movement, until he turns around, leisurely saying: “What we’ll be betting on is over there.”
Her eyes follows the direction he points in, entering her vision is actually the Prime Minister Estate’s garden, Gui Wan was secretly surprised, only after a short moment of deep thinking, did she recall that this is Consort Ying’s Jing Ye back courtyard, exactly the same as the Prime Minister Estate’s courtyard, turning her head, displaying a tender beauty of careful pondering, she contains a smile as she asks: “Betting on this courtyard?”
“Of course not,” Zheng Liu raises the crystal piece within his hand, holding it in front of his eyes, he looks into the courtyard, lightly smiling as he says, “Betting on the one within the courtyard.”
 The word for benevolence here is a tricky one to translate — rén / 仁 — yes it can mean benevolence but it can also mean to be humane, the foundations of being human which goes on about having a good heart, a loving nature…basically Zheng Liu is regarded as a very down to earth royalty which earned the most sincere respects from the commoners
 Beyond people there are more people, beyond the sky there are more skies or rén wài yǒu rén, tiān wài yǒu tiān /人外有人，天外有天 – people cannot outdo people, as there are no limits in this universe, in other words, no matter how strong or talented you are, there will always be another above you.
I sometimes feel so uncomfortable translating Emperor Zheng Liu’s parts, he gets way too intimate with Gui Wan that I’m just screaming in my head for her to just run away from him already. Of course Gui Wan is more intelligent than I am, and knows this is the only way for her to get out alive. But still, how much I wish she could just swat his hand away from her. Ugh.
Anyhow~ hopefully your questions that had risen from the first half of the chapter has now been answered…although there’s probably more questions to follow, regarding the relevation at the end of the chapter hahaha