A few days later, the Emperor issued a decree, saying that Yan-daren, who had been on the battlefield for five years and had made outstanding military achievements, was now appointed as the Imperial Bodyguard Commander, in charge of the 60, 000 elite soldiers in the imperial city.
Regarding this, the central court was constantly criticizing, saying that the Imperial Bodyguard Commander was an important position and that Yan-daren was too young to take on such a big responsibility.
Hearing these rumors, Xiao Wangye was indignant for several days. It so happened that he met Yan-daren, who was patrolling the palace that day, and he hurried over to comfort him.
“Yan-gege, don’t be angry. You are young, promising and resourceful, and much more powerful than those old and decadent people. Don’t mention 60, 000 elite soldiers, even six million is nothing,” Xiao Wangye said with a solemn look.
This brainless flattery came by surprise. Yan-daren was amused, and the corners of his lips couldn’t help but hook upwards.
Xiao Wangye was dumbfounded. From birth ‘til now, the number of times he had seen Yan-daren smile was no more than ten. Yan-daren was usually cold and not easy to provoke, but when he smiled, it made people feel a spring breeze.
Xiao Wangye secretly thought in his heart that he was so handsome, he wanted to kiss him.
In the end, Xiao Wangye only had the heart of a thief and not its courage. Accompanying Yan-daren on his patrol, they walked around the palace. When it was over, Yan-daren said he was going to take his leave. Xiao Wangye was very reluctant to part with him.
He asked Yan-daren, “Will you patrol around the palace again tomorrow?”
Actually, the Imperial Bodyguard Commander would only make an inspection once every five days. As soon as Yan-daren wanted to say no, he heard Xiao Wangye rushing to say, “I have nothing to do in the palace the whole day, and it makes me feel bored. Having Yan-gege to talk with feels a lot better.”
Yan-daren was puzzled. “If Xiao Wangye is bored, why not go out of the palace?”
Xiao Wangye stammered. “I… After all, this Wang’s identity is different. Things like going out of the place still need the permission of Emperor-gege.”
Yan-daren wanted to ask more, but when the words reached his lips, he changed them. “I see, then this lowly official will come again tomorrow to accompany Wangye.”
Xiao Wangye rejoiced in having come to an agreement.
The next day, Xiao Wangye waited for Yan-daren until it was almost noon.
Yan-daren said, “I just went to see the Emperor, requesting to take you out of the palace for a long time to relieve your boredom.”
Xiao Wangye, who was fishing in the pool, felt that Yan-daren was simply glowing at that moment.
Yan-daren took Xiao Wangye to the most bustling market. Xiao Wangye hadn’t been to such a bustling place in ages, and every time he saw something novel, he’d want to buy it.
And of course, he did buy it. After all, he had plenty of silver.
Xiao Wangye strolled around for a while and then arrived at a jadeware shop. Seeing Xiao Wangye’s clothes, the owner of the jadeware shop could tell that his identity wasn’t small. He especially took out the shop’s treasures and recommended them to Xiao Wangye.
Xiao Wangye took a look, but had no interest in them. The palace had countless jade carvings that those shop’s treasures couldn’t enter his eyes. But on the contrary, a jade pendant at the corner caught his attention.
It was a blue and white jade with cloud patterns, and it had a fine texture and a gentle luster. Xiao Wangye picked it up and carefully weighed it in his hand. A moment later, he turned to ask Yan-daren: “The jade pendant on Yan-gege’s waist has not been changed for many years. Was it given by a very important person?”
Yan-daren reflexively held the jade pendant on his waist in the palm of his hand, but after a while, he slowly let it go. He hesitated and said, “Used to be.”
“But now not?” Xiao Wangye looked again at the piece in his hand and asked, “Then, can I give Yan-gege one?”
Yan-daren didn’t refuse and accepted Xiao Wangye’s jade pendant.
Perphaps he felt that it was unreasonable to accept a gift from a Wangye for no reason, so when the two passed by a small stall, Yan-daren took the initiative to hold Xiao Wangye’s hand and ask, “Would you like to eat tanghulu1糖葫芦 – sugar-coated Chinese hawthorn or other fruit on a stick
Yan-daren originally intended to please Xiao Wangye, but his words, paired with his apathetic and rigid way of speaking, seemed completely awkward.
Fortunately, Xiao Wangye didn’t think so. He felt that this kind of Yan-daren who couldn’t speak well was actually quite cute.
Right now, Xiao Wangye even began to tease him, his mouth pouting as he pretended to complain, “I gave Yan-gege such a valuable jade pendant, but Yan-gege is only inviting me to eat one tanghulu skewer. Really too stingy.”
Yan-daren was distressed. He had never coaxed anyone with tanghulu before, not even children nor adults like Xiao Wangye who were half a head shorter than him.
He asked humbly, “Then what should I do?”
Xiao Wangye was beaming as he raised two fingers and said, “It should be two skewers.”