Ch14 – Truth revealed

To the Third Prince, Du Ci’s existence is like two-way insurance.

The first way he could be of use is to collect Dasheng’s Intel and monitor the Crown Prince’s movements.
This will help the Third Prime determine whether the Crown Prince is sincere about their cooperation or just waiting for a chance to screw him over.
Once everything’s settled, Du Ci will be disposed of, neither he nor the Crown Prince would want to keep such a person around. 

On the other hand, if the Crown Prince is only faking cooperation in order to deal with him and invades Shu Shi later, in that case, don’t even mention gaining the Southwest land, the currently in turmoil Shu Shi will be attacked and lose part of their lands, perhaps even their country.
When that happens, the third prince will become a sinner, the losses would outweigh the gains.

This is where Du Ci’s second use comes into play.
Du Ci will take the proof of the Crown Prince’s attempt to collude with the enemy and commit treason to emperor Yuangong, pulling the Crown Prince under water while showing that Shu Shi has no rebellion in their hearts.



And the evidence of the Crown Prince’s collusion and treason was in the wooden box Second Yang held.

Big Yang and Second Yang were originally just simple bandits.
Because of Big Yang’s good fighting ability and Second Yang’s insidious and cunning mind, they caught the eye of Shu Shi’s spies and were recruited.
After being promised huge benefits, they agreed to help shelter the princes’ soldiers.
Bandits were not the only ones hiding in this mountain hideout, there were also Shu Shi’s and Crown Prince’s elite soldiers. 

The Crown Prince’s Qilin talisman and handwritten letter were demanded to be handover by the third prince, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to trust each other.


In actuality, the Crown Prince was also forced to act out of desperation.
The Ming family’s growing influence.
The fifth prince’s growing up.
The current emperor’s good health.
Those factors make his chance of succeeding the throne become hopeless, or else he wouldn’t have chosen such a dangerous move and even handed both the Qilin talisman and his handwritten letter over.

After contemplating for awhile, Qi Nanke understood.
Magistrate Kong was most likely on the Crown Prince’s side, that was why he shielded these mountain bandits.
However, even though these rascals were involved in doing something big, old habits die hard, they still had time to go down the mountain to commit robbery.
Magistrate Kong tried to cover it up, yet he didn’t expect to run into Qi Nanke’s group.

“I have long been aware of magistrate Kong’s close relationship with the Crown Prince.
The confidants I arranged outside didn’t stay idle all this time.
Through the years, I have grasped the relationships between all officials in the court clearly, perhaps even more than emperor Yuangong!” Du Ci said.
“I knew you were about to return to Royal City and calculated the right time to request the marriage.
Since the emperor has been vigilant towards the Duke’s residence, he would definitely agree to this request.
The marriage between you and me is a major issue.
First, in order to prevent you from kicking up a fuss at the border, they must provide a justified reason.
Second, to prevent you from defying the order, they must convince the Duke’s residence beforehand.
Important matters such as this would naturally fall on Goujiu’s head, making him have less time to keep watch on me.
I took the chance and ran to Zuifeng house, pretended I was drunk, and stayed in master Yu’s room.
Then, when night came, I left through the back door with Douding, hid inside a dung wagon, and was brought outside the city.”


Big Yang, Second Yang: “…”

Qi Nanke: “…”

Qi Nanke would have never expected this precious little prince to have the gut to hide in a dung wagon.
His admiration towards Du Ci grew a little more.
Despite being young, Du Ci dared to take action.
He has long-term vision and also a strategic mind.
Truly a rare person.


“I know you will pass by this place on the way back and plan to gather magistrate Kong’s proof of crimes first.” The volume of Du Ci’s voice went softer and softer, his cute face got all wrinkly from frowning, “Since you haven’t returned to Royal City for so many years, you probably aren’t aware of the inside situation.
And I…since I’m an outsider, you might not believe me even if I told you all of this, so I thought I should gather the evidence first, including the Crown Prince’s involvement, and give it to you…” 

Qi Nanke understood something, his voice turned chilly: “To show me that you are dedicated to Dasheng and have no rebellious heart, incurring my good feelings towards you.
Then, since you took such a risk to save Dasheng from a crisis, it would make me admire you.
What a good idea.”

Big Yang, Second Yang: “???” How come we’re so confused? Weren’t the little prince and Qi Nanke on the same side from the start?

Du Ci sighed and remained silent.

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.

Hl Rjcxf’r jcufg vlv cba rtbk wemt bc tlr ojmf, yea agjmfr bo la mbeiv yf rffc lc tlr olfgmfg fsfr jcv vjgxfcfv mbwqifzlbc, “Cgf sbe gfugfaalcu la?” 

“Zs wjc mjccba ibbx ilxf sbe.
P’w cba gfmbcmlifv! Rba gfmbcmlifv!”

Hl Rjcxf’r nblmf kjr rb mbiv la jiwbra ogbhf Dlu Tjcu jcv Vfmbcv Tjcu bc atf rqba, “Vb sbe ilxf rbwfbcf bcis obg atflg jqqfjgjcmf? Lbk rtjiibk!”

Du Ci, “What about it? If you like someone, of course their appearance is the first thing you look at.
I am shallow, so what?!”

Qi Nanke: “…” 

Du Ci stealthily sneaked a glance at Qi Nanke, “If you think I’m a shallow person, then why did you object when I said I want to break the engagement?”

Then, his lips curled into a little foxy smile, “Have you fallen for me?”


Qi Nanke: “…”

Big Yang, Second Yang: “…” Being force-fed dog food, we want to cry! 

Qi Nanke growled, “Get to the point!”

Du Ci snorted, waving his arms and shaking his head, “That’s all it is.
You already figured out the rest.
I originally intended to gather the evidence first and give it to you when you come.
After that, I plan to act spoiled with you, showing my loyalty and telling you how much danger I was in, how difficult it was, how many times my life was hung by a thread.
I don’t believe your heart is so hardened it wouldn’t move even a tiny bit!”

Du Ci spread his hands and shrugged, ” But that plan is a wonderful failure now.
You already know everything, so I have nothing to act spoiled with or complain about.”

Qi Nanke: “…” 

Qi Nanke: “Since you have gathered the evidence, what are you going to do with it?”

“Isn’t that your job ah?” Du Ci replied, “I no longer have a family’s backing.
I’m all alone with five hundred servants to take care of, what can I do?”

Qi Nanke fell into deep thoughts, his eyes solemn, “You want me to side with Goujiu?”

The Crown Prince’s collusion with the enemy was conclusive with this evidence.
Once Qi Nanke handed it over and exposed this matter, Duke Qi’s residence would be standing against the Crown Prince.
At that time, even if Duke Qi wanted to stay neutral, he would be forced to take sides, and the biggest faction that opposes the Crown Prince is the Fifth Prince’s and the Ming family behind him, in other words, Goujiu’s faction! 

The disputes between factions aside.
The fact that the Crown Prince planned to usurp the throne and gave their lands away while Qi Nanke was fighting hard to defend it on the battlefields, really made people gnash their teeth in anger.
It was unacceptable!

Du Ci observed Qi Nanke’s complexion and said, “Even though the Ming family is a dog relying on its master to act big and don’t usually do anything good, they are the only ones who can protect your family.”

Qi Nanke understood what Du Ci meant.
The outcome of this faction’s dispute was clear.
If the Crown Prince ascends the throne— First, the Southwest land will be given up.
Second, Du Ci will be assassinated.
Third, later on, Shu Shi can use this matter to threaten the Crown Prince and extort benefits for themselves.
As for the Qi family, if they have already gained the current emperor’s wariness now, then they would become even more of a thorn in the Crown Prince’s eyes in the future.
The Qi family’s upcoming days will be full of hardship.

But if they sided with the Ming family, then those things may not necessarily happen. 

The Fifth Prince is still young.
Although the Ming family is powerful, they do not have military power.
To them, the Qi family is like a double-edged sword that they may or may not want to have on their side.
But, if the Qi family pulls the Crown Prince down, the Ming family will happily lend a hand to help push it forward.
Moreover, once Qi’s family’s eldest son marries a man, the threat they pose would become even smaller.
So the Ming family will be willing to protect the Qi family!

As for what will happen after the Fifth Prince takes the throne…the Southwest land will not be ceded at the very least.
Things can only be taken one step at a time.

Qi Nanke quickly thought through everything, and his eyes fell on Du Ci becoming even more complicated.

This person didn’t only find a way out for himself, but also for the Qi family. 

However, looking at the little prince’s dissatisfied expression as if he had just suffered a huge loss, Qi Nanke felt so annoyed he gritted his teeth.
He wanted to grab the person and give him a spanking!

Qi Nanke took a look at the evidence inside the box one by one.
After determining there was nothing wrong, he tied Big Yang and Second Yang up and hid them in the forest.
Obscured by darkness, the camp was still as silent as before, no one noticed anything abnormal.


Qi Nanke brought Du Ci down the mountain.
He quickly wrote two letters, took out a whistle and blew on it, the sound was sharp like some kind of bird’s cry.
Soon, two eagles flew over, Qi Nanke tied the letters to their legs.
The eagle rubbed their faces on Qi Nanke’s intimately, then looked over at Du Ci and let out a cry before flapping their wings to fly away.

Du Ci looked at the flying eagles and expressed admiration, “These two are the legendary Hei Feng and Hei Huang, right?” 

Qi Nanke lifted Du Ci up and put him on the horse.
He sighed softly as he turned around, “You even know this?”

“I heard they were especially raised by you and are very intelligent.
They know how to scout, deliver letters, and can even save people in critical situations.” Du Ci replied, “As long as it’s something related to you, I will inquire about it.
I just didn’t expect… really didn’t expect…”

Qi Nanke: “…”

Qi Nanke said with a dark face: “What’s wrong with me now? When I was nineteen, I was thin like a stick.
Only after I came to the military camp for a few years did I gain some muscle.
How can I kill the enemy if I was thin and weak like before?” 

Du Ci exclaimed, “But you definitely went overboard with muscle thingy!”

Qi Nanke: “…”

Qi Nanke decisively changed the topic, “How did you sneak into the bandit’s camp?”

“After you left, a messenger named Masan came,” Du Ci replied, “He had Shu Shi’s purse embroidered with plum blossom on him, so I guess he was someone from Shu Shi and not Dasheng.
If that was so, he might recognize me.
Even if he didn’t recognize me, he would recognize the flute.” 

Qi Nanke: “That’s why you purposely showed yourself, so he could recognize you? They already had the intention to find you, but you just delivered yourself to them.
How great!”

Qi Nanke couldn’t imagine how dangerous it was at the time and couldn’t help nagging: “Are you crazy? What if they just shot you down without saying a word?”

Du Ci: “I had to take a gamble.
And even if I got hurt, I could use it as an excuse to ask you to take care of me.”

Saying so, he lamented again, “I just didn’t expect… really didn’t expect…” 

Qi Nanke: “…”

“Don’t take such a risk in the future.” Qi Nanke said, “You have never been injured before.
You may not die from being hit by an arrow, but you might die from the extreme pain.”

Du Ci: “…” I’m not a paper man, okay?

The two fell silent.
The yellow skin, white-spotted horse walked leisurely, from time to time, he lowered his head and grazed on the grass.
Du Ci clung to the horse’s mane.
His beautiful dream was crushed too suddenly, even now he was still dumbfounded by it. 

Just as he was looking for something to dispel the awkward atmosphere, Qi Nanke’s muffled voice came from behind, “Zuifeng house… Isn’t it a brothel?”

Du Ci: “…”




T/N: I’m back! I have no excuses.
I got sick, then after the sickness the laziness kicked in.
Sorry all .
I won’t jinx myself with a deadline ever again.


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