Ch9 – Miss the hotpot

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Sounds of horses’ hooves echoed along the mountain road.
The three tall horses dashed through the forest as night gently provided them concealment.

On one of the black horses, an imposing big man sat with a delicate and fair young boy in his arms.
The young boy’s small frame clearly couldn’t compare to the man’s enormous size.
In such a position, he looked like a squash about to be crushed by a mountain.
The boy pried the man’s cloak open and called out cautiously, “Young master… hic! Young, Young Master!” 

The little hiccupy boy was, of course, Douding.
After Vice General Xu and Vice General took him out of the magistrate’s courtyard, Douding waited for so long, yet there was still no sight of the little prince.
So he panicked and started crying until his voice turned hoarse and his eyes were all puffy, looking very pitiful.

He sniffled and sobbed on the horseback as he called out to the person in front, “Young, Young Master! Hic!”



“What are you shouting with that hoarse voice for! I’m not dead!” Du Ci’s voice flew downward with wind, full of reproaches, “You’re already so old.
Why do you only know how to cry whenever something happens? Is this what I taught you at home? What did you tell me when we left?”

Poor Douding didn’t dare to call out anymore. 

Vice General Xu, who was riding with him, couldn’t bear it and spoke up to help, “Hey, he’s still a kid.”


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Douding immediately protested, “I’m not! I, I won’t cry anymore, Young Master, I won’t cry anymore.”

Vice General Xu frowned.
He looked like he wanted to say something but then dropped it and turned to his general with an incredulous look.

Qi Nanke and Du Ci sat on the yellow skin, white-spot horse together, running in front.
In the past, Qi Nanke had never allowed another person to ride with him.
He didn’t expect the little prince to be an exception…


Vice General Xu felt strange.
Didn’t the general want to break the engagement? What about secretly entering the Royal City and seeking the little prince to negotiate and join hands? He even said if the little prince didn’t intend to defy the decree, he still had a backup plan.

We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.

But looking at this now, which part of him seems like he wants to defy the decree?

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What the hell is going on here? 

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The two of them were full of doubts.
But now was not a good time to ask, so they had to bear with it for the time being.

Vice General Zhou said, “Master, if that ‘barbarian’ wasn’t killed or silenced, then he must be hidden.”

‘Barbarian’ is what Du Ci and Douding called the bandit leader in Shu Shi’s language.
Since the two vice generals didn’t know what that guy was called, they just outright copied them.

Qi Nanke said, “If he is hidden, then it must be in magistrate Kong’s real residence.” 

“That bastard!” Vice General Xu was a righteous person.
His brows jumped up in anger, “So he really does have several residences! How very promising!”

Their group had already investigated.
Magistrate Kong’s family being wealthy was no one secret.
All the villagers at the foot of the mountain knew about it; they just asked around for a bit and already got everything they needed.

Kong’s assets included several mansions, many plantations, and many shops.
This kind of wealth was comparable to a third rank official in Dasheng Royal City!

“When we reach the mountain base, let’s go separate ways to handle different tasks.” Qi Nanke said solemnly, “Old Xu, Old Zhou, you two go and search all the other residences one by one.
If the barbarian isn’t there, then go through the plantations.
Alive, I want to see the person.
Dead, I want to see the corpse.
Meanwhile, I’ll go up the mountain with Baoyu to find the rest of the bandits.” 


Du Ci also said, “Douding, the mountain is dangerous.
Follow Big Brother Xu and the others, don’t cry anymore, understand?”

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Douding tried to hold down his uneasiness, “But, but you…”

Du Ci glared at him, “Nothing will happen to me.” 

Then he changed his tone and smiled, “Before I met my man, I can’t bear to die.
Qingjun, you have to protect me well! Otherwise, your effort and rewards will go down the drain!”

Qi Nanke smiled.
Under Vice General Zhou and Xu’s jaw-dropping shocked look, he reined in his horse and answered, “Alright!”

When the group got to the foot of the mountain, they dismounted to rest for awhile before going separate ways.

Before leaving, Du Ci took Douding behind a large tree in the distance to go pee-pee.
The two stood next to each other.
When they lifted the hem of their clothes, Douding said with a bit of envy, “Young Master, even your thing is beautiful.” 

Du Ci clicked his tongue and threw him a glance, “I know, no need for you to tell me.”

Douding laughed.
Then, he looked left and right before lowering his voice and asked, “Young Master, those three…?”

Du Ci looked at him, “You tell me, what did you notice?”

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Douding’s pitiful expression vanished in the blink of an eye, revealing a calm composure that didn’t match his age, his big eyes reflected the moonlight, “After they took me away, I kept crying until I hiccuped.
They were annoyed by me, so they started talking about things at the frontier! Judging from their physique and way of doing things, they don’t look like ordinary jianghu’s warriors.” 

“Mm, I didn’t teach you in vain.” Du Ci nodded, retied his belt, and said, “I think those three have just returned from the frontier, especially that one called Qingjun.
Did you see the wound on his face? It’s definitely not an ordinary injury.
If the trajectory was even a little off, he would have lost his eye.”

Douding widened his eyes: “Young Master means…?”

“They’re soldiers,” Du Ci turned his head to look into the distance and observed the three shadows standing with their backs straight, then laughed coldly, “They’re not bad people.
You can go with the other two.
Pay attention to the ledgers and letters in the residences and plantations.”

“I understand!” Douding nodded. 

He hesitated for a moment, then asked, “That letter with plum blossom mark…? Is it really the eldest young master?”

“Either the eldest or the third,” Du Ci’s eyes narrowed slightly, revealing a bit of a cunning and somber look.
But that expression disappeared very quickly and was replaced with a smile.
When Du Ci smiled, his eyes curved up into an arch, very pleasant to see, “Dasheng’s emperor wanted to hide the internal strife in Shu Shi from me.
Hmph! he really thought I was a fool or what?”

Douding frowned, “Your Highness, His Majesty has already given up on you.
Why don’t you just stay in Dasheng…”

Du Ci didn’t say anything for awhile and only raised his eyes to gaze at the distant moon.
Then, he patted Douding on the shoulder, “I miss the hotpot back there.” 

Douding pursed his lips, his voice was a little dejected, “I also miss it.”

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