Xiao Wangye held the letter in his hand and read it over and over for a long time. It was only three words, but he felt like he couldn’t read it enough.
Qiao Qiao was very curious. While pouring water for Xiao Wangye, she wanted to take a look. “What’s so nice to look at, Wangye?”
Xiao Wangye quickly moved it out of sight.
He folded the letter paper and returned it to his sleeve as he coughed solemnly, “It’s just a letter with no literary grace. The characters are not written well, and there’s nothing worth appreciating.”
Qiao Qiao believed him. She took the teapot and walked out. As soon as the door was closed, Xiao Wangye quietly took out the letter “not worth appreciating,” and smiled silly as he read it.
Early the next day, Xiao Wangye kept watch by the courtyard wall. He looked up and waited for the carrier pigeon. He thought that if he received another letter from Yan-daren today, he would reluctantly reply.
He waited until dusk and it never came.
Xiao Wangye was a little restless. He paced back and forth in the courtyard with his hands behind his back. At this time, the little servant boy watching by the gate ran in and said, “Reporting to Wangye: I have been chatting with the housekeeper next door today, and I heard that their master’s old injury has relapsed. His fever hasn’t subsided, and he’s been lying in bed for several days…”
The servant boy had not yet finished speaking when he saw Xiao Wangye run like a wind out of the gate.
Xiao Wangye anxiously rushed to Yan-daren’s house. When the housekeeper next door saw the Wangye, he dared not stop him and he let him into the house.
Yan-daren was really lying on the bed, and his face was slightly pale. Xiao Wangye’s eyes turned red the moment he saw him.
Yan-daren didn’t expect that Xiao Wangye would suddenly appear. He was a bit flustered, but he was also delighted. He sat up from the bed and pulled Xiao Wangye to his side, coaxing him softly, “I’m okay. I’m okay, Xiao Jiu.”
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Hearing this, Xiao Wangye calmed down. He saw that although Yan-daren looked wan and sallow before him, his movements were not hindered greatly. He couldn’t help but breathe a long sigh of relief.
He then realized that he had rushed over in a panic that his face was no longer hung well. So Wangye put on some airs and said, “This Wang came to visit in sympathy for the your condition. Since there’s nothing wrong, this Wang will go back first…”
“There’s something wrong,” Yan-daren suddenly said.
“What is wrong?”
“My chest hurts,” Yan-daren said with a wooden face.
Xiao Wangye was stunned. He had grown this big, but it was his first time hearing Yan-daren say he was in pain.
And though he wasn’t sure why, he could actually hear a trace of coquetry in this sentence.
Xiao Wangye’s heart softened again. He sat back next to Yan-daren and said softly, “Let me see your injury.”
Yan-daren listened to his words and untied his inner garment, revealing a large muscular chest. Xiao Wangye saw that the chest, which should’ve been smooth, was now covered in scars of all sizes. Those were the medals he had earned from the battlefield.
And different from all the other scars was a deep wound that had just started to scab. This wound was only two inches away from the heart, and a large area at its edges was swelling. Just by looking at it, one could imagine how serious the injury was.
Xiao Wangye trembled and stretched out a finger, slowly stroking the scar.
“That day, you were actually blocking it for me, right?” Xiao Wangye asked.
On the day Xiao Wangye made up his mind to leave the capital, he sat in the carriage in silence all the way.
He had been thinking: How could his Yan-gege, who was highly skilled in martial arts and had won so many battles, could be stabbed in the chest by an assassin?
At the moment he was pushed away, he clearly saw Yan-daren stepping forward to rescue the Emperor. But in the end, how could he fall in front of him?
“The assassin came for me,” Xiao Wangye said with certainty.
Yan-daren didn’t speak, which could be considered as agreeing tacitly.
In the beginning, the assassin did go in the direction of the Emperor. Yan-daren thought he had pushed Xiao Wangye away from the danger zone before going to the Emperor’s aid, but unexpectedly, the assassin changed directions in a split second and rushed towards Xiao Wangye.
Yan-daren didn’t have enough time to take out his sword. Seeing the dagger about to stab Xiao Wangye, without even thinking about it, he blocked it with his body.
“The assassin was killed when he was found,” Yan-daren calmly stated what happened afterwards.
But he didn’t go on to say more. He thought, Let Xiao Wangye’s last memory of his Emperor-gege be good. Xiao Wangye had already suffered too much, and he wasn’t willing to make Xiao Wangye sad again.