Then, Long said simply, “Have a good rest.”
“Yes.” Xu nodded.
Long and Shi left with the jade pendant and the special letter.
Fang looked at Xu and said slowly, “The emperor treats you so well. He cares about you a lot.”
Xu was slightly stunned. Then, he smiled and said, “Of course. I see him as my elder brother.”
Fang smiled. “You’re so happy to have such an elder brother?”
“Of course.” Xu jumped towards the bed with one foot and sat down at the edge of the bed.
“Fate brought us together. I think the emperor and I are born to be brothers,” Xu said firmly.
Fang was a little jealous. “I’ll be jealous if you keep saying that.”
Xu laughed. “You’re really jealous?”
“Yes.” Fang pretended to be serious. “Of course I am really jealous!”
Xu laughed again.
Long and Shi went back to Qiankun Palace with the imperial carriage.
When they got to the bedroom, Long led Shi to the table and poured a cup of hot water for him. “It’s a little cold outside. Drink some hot water.”
Shi nodded. “Mhmm.”
Long and Shi both drank a cup of hot tea. Then, Long said, “Go to sleep. We won’t talk about anything today.”
“Good.” Shi agreed with him, but… “The jade pendant and the letter must be hidden well.”
Long thought Shi’s words made sense, so he immediately handed over the jade pendant and the letter to Shi. “Qingzhou, put them away. With you keeping them, I’ll feel at ease.”
Shi slightly raised his eyebrows. After watching Long for a moment, Shi smiled. “Okay.”
Long didn’t go to see where Shi put those things, but went to the bedroom.
Just after Long took off his coat and went to bed, Shi came back.
Long left the other half of the bed for Shi. “Qingzhou, come here.”
Shi sat on the edge of the bed to take off his coat, and then, he also went to bed.
After both of them lay down, Long immediately held Shi into his arms.
Shi turned his head. Long pecked Shi on the lips. “Let’s sleep.”
“Mhmm.” Shi nodded.
Although it wasn’t long before dawn, Shi and Long still slept for a while.
Unsurprisingly, in the morning court meeting of the next day, the ministers began to discuss what happened the previous night that Qiu Ming led his troops to fight against the assassins outside the imperial city, but suffered heavy casualties.
Some ministers angrily said the assassins must be arrested.
Some blamed Qiu Ming for failing to lead the troops.
Some said the assassins were so bold and the court must investigate who the mastermind was…
In short, most people thought that what happened outside the imperial city was a deliberate provocation to the court, which should not be tolerated!
It was rare that the ministers’ thought was the same as Long’s. At last, Long ordered the Ministry of Punishments to thoroughly investigate the matter and the person who was responsible for that was Minister Hu Qingyuan, who was appreciated by Shi.
After the meeting, Long met with two other ministers and ordered something. One of the ministers was Sun Youjing, one of Shi Qingshan’s students.
Shi and Long trusted Sun very much at the moment.
After giving the orders, Long went to Qiankun Palace, but he was surprised to see that Shi was about to go out.
“Hmm? Are you going out?” Long asked as he walked to Shi.
Shi nodded. “Yes. I suddenly thought of some clues that might have something to do with the jade pendant and the letter. So I wanted to go to have a check.”
“What?” Long was more surprised. “What do you mean?”
Shi smiled. “I’m not quite sure about it. Yesterday, I thought the jade pendant was a little familiar, but I was not sure if I’d seen it anywhere. I didn’t think of anything until this morning. So I wanted to go out and verify it with my own eyes.”
“Then I’ll go with you,” Long said at once.
“But…” Hearing Long’s words, Shi was a little hesitant.
Long narrowed his eyes. “Is it a secret?”
“No.” Shi smiled bitterly. “There are a lot of assassins outside now. I’m not afraid of anything if I’m alone, but if you’re with me…”
Shi didn’t finish his words, but Long understood what Shi meant.
They had fights before over whether Shi actually saw Long as a “burden”. Although Shi told the truth this time, he was afraid that he’d hurt Long’s pride.
Seeing Shi’s reaction, Long felt very sorry. He knew that Shi still remembered last time when they fought over this and he also knew that Shi was afraid of hurting him.
Long didn’t like Shi being that, so he said with a smile, “Qingzhou, you’re right. Well, I won’t go with you this time.”
However, Long didn’t expect that his easy compromise made Shi fall silent.
“What’s the matter? Aren’t you happy if I don’t go out?” Long was confused.
Shi slightly lowered his head, and then suddenly said, “Let’s go out together.”
“Why?” Long was shocked when he heard that.
Shi raised his head and said seriously, “Let’s go out together and lure the snake out of the hole, see if those people really want to die. I really want to know how many assassins have been hiding in the imperial city!”
Long kept silent for a second and then smiled. “Qingzhou, you’re willing to take risks?”
Shi smiled. “The people who are taking risks aren’t us, but them.”
Long laughed. Seeing Shi was so confident, Long was very happy. Long always thought that Shi was overcautious when he was dealing with thing in the past because Shi was worried about him. And due to that, Long got angry and said that he was a burden to Shi last time.
Back then, Long said those things without thinking carefully. But now, Long found the confident empress was so charming and attractive!
So, Long smiled and held Shi in his arms. “Yes! You’re right! In fact, they’re taking risks, not us!”
Shi smiled. “Your Majesty, let’s leave after breakfast.”
“Good!” Long looked forward to it, not because he wasn’t afraid of death and had to leave the palace at this moment. Instead, he thought that if he was still afraid when being protected by so many people, he had better be a dead man!
Long didn’t think he was a weak and incompetent person! He didn’t want to live under other people’s wings forever!