Xiao Wangye held the two huge skewers of tanghulu and arrogantly walked down the street.
However, the hawthorn was probably not fully ripe yet, for as soon as Xiao Wangye took a bite, his small face scrunched up from how sour it was. His whole body even trembled.
Yan-daren asked, “Is it not delicious?”
Xiao Wangye raised the tanghulu to him and said, “Try it.”
Yan-daren took a bite from Xiao Wangye’s hand, then immediately after, his brows frowned tightly. When Xiao Wangye saw it, he giggled with a “hihi.” Then Yan-daren thought it wasn’t particularly hard to swallow.
When the sun was about to set, Yan-daren sent Xiao Wangye outside the palace gates, then turned and left. But after two steps, he suddenly thought of something and turned his head back, only to find that Xiao Wangye was still standing there, anxiously waiting for him to look back.
Yan-daren walked back to Xiao Wangye and reminded him: “Outside the palace today, someone seemed to have been following us. Wangye should be more careful these days.”
Xiao Wangye shook his head and said, “I’ll be fine.”
Yan-daren lowered his voice and said, “If Wangye trusts this lowly official, then you need not hide anything from me. Don’t hesitate to tell me anything.”
Xiao Wangye hesitated for a while, but in the end, only said, “Next time, okay?”
Yan-daren didn’t say anymore. He simply looked at Xiao Wangye helplessly, wondering how he had grown this big without having a bit of scheme in his heart.
But actually, it wasn’t that Xiao Wangye didn’t have any schemes. It was just that all of his scheming was for Yan-daren.
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The next day, the weather was just right. The Emperor invited Xiao Wangye over to the garden pavilion to play chess. Xiao Wangye had excellent chess skills, and the Emperor was even pressured to some degree.
The Emperor felt ashamed for his inferiority and said, “Xiao Jiu has made much progress.”
Xiao Wangye humbly accepted the praise, but in his heart, he thought: Emperor-gege, it is you who have regressed. But this was also excusable. The Emperor now had too many things to worry about. How could he leisurely ponder over these things like him?
At this time, a team of imperial guards walked past outside the pavilion, and it was Yan-daren who was in the lead.
Yan-daren was originally doing his routine inspection, but when he saw the Emperor, he naturally had to come in and pay respects.
The Emperor swept over Yan-daren, then his eyes fixed on his waist
“Why did you remove the jade pendant?” The Emperor asked.
Yan-daren’s face changed slightly, and he lowered his head and said, “Your Majesty, the former one had accompanied your servant1臣 (chén)- How an official would address himself when speaking to a sovereign. It’s like saying, “I, your servant.” for nearly twenty years, and it was time to slowly let it go.”
The Emperor smiled and said nothing.
The Emperor turned to Xiao Wangye again and asked, “Xiao Jiu will be an adult next month. What are your plans?”
Xiao Wangye covertly looked at Yan-daren and said, “I still want to stay in the capital.”
The Emperor affectionately rubbed his head and said, “Okay, then just stay.”
Xiao Wangye’s selfish motives were satisfied, and he was deeply grateful inside. When they played chess later, he was obviously lighter.
Actually, Xiao Wangye also wanted to go to a faraway place, but Yan-daren was here, and it made him reluctant to leave.
Before Yan-daren took office, the Imperial Bodyguard Commander would, in accordance with custom, patrol only every five days inside the palace. But after Yan-daren took office, it turned into a daily trip.
For this reason, the guards in the palace dared not slack. They all praised that the newly-appointed Yan-daren was a good and responsible official who was dedicated to his duties.
He was also in charge of Rui Wang-dianxia. Though nobody knew why, Xiao Wangye would work on time with Yan-daren everyday, appearing in every corner of the palace with him.
Like before, today, Xiao Wangye was waiting for Yan-daren at the only entrance to the Emperor’s palace. The only difference was that, prompted by a sudden impulse, he hid in a corner.
As a result, Yan-daren exposed him without even approaching. “Come out. I see the corner of your clothes.”
Xiao Wangye had no choice but to show up in an imposing manner.
Yan-daren walked towards him, bringing over a skewer of tanghulu with a wooden expression. Xiao Wangye covered his mouth in surprise.
In order to make up for the sour tanghulu last time, Yan-daren said, “Don’t worry, this one is very sweet. I have tasted it.”
Xiao Wangye was even more surprised, his heart pounding. He took a small bite of the tanghulu while walking.
The two were walking side by side, and they were very close. They could brush against each other when they swung their arms. Xiao Wangye suddenly wanted to hold hands with Yan-daren.
Yan-daren was stunned when he felt the cold touch in the palm of his hand, and he looked down at Xiao Wangye.
Xiao Wangye dared not respond to his gaze. He lowered his head, licked the tanghulu, and said in a low voice, “My hands are cold.”
Yan-daren nodded. It was indeed quite cold, so instead of letting go of the hand that he wanted to pull away, he clenched it a little bit, and seriously warned, “The weather had turned cold these past days. Wangye should put on more clothes.”
Xiao Wangye said obediently, “I understand, Yan-gege.”