March 18, 2023Merchie
The convoy continued onward and finally exited the desert.
Everyone exhaled deeply in relief.
After switching back to carriages, they entered the border of the foreign tribe, where they could see many soldiers from the Celestial Dynasty. They were all fully armored and looked nervous, as though they were prepared to head to battle at any moment.
Qi Changyi still hadn’t woken up, and had been placed in his own carriage. Only Pei Zheng stayed with him.
The carriage swayed as it continued toward the Celestial Dynasty’s barracks.
After they arrived at the gate to the barracks, Zhao Litang was already there waiting for them.
The carriage entered the barracks and stopped outside a tent.
Everyone got off their respective carriages, and Qi Yirou was also escorted away to rest.
Zhao Litang asked Shen Huan a few questions about Qi Changyi’s condition, and Shen Huan answered everything truthfully.
When Zhao Litang heard that they had to wait until Qi Changyi woke up by himself, he couldn’t stop his heart from tightening.
He knew Qi Changyi had attempted suicide before. But what Zhao Litang didn’t know about was the deep, heavy despair he had experienced that had allowed him to try and end his own life, that had left him without any ties to the world.
Then, now that he had recovered his memories, would he still want to continue living?
No one knew the answer.
The doors to the carriages in front all opened, and the people inside stepped out.
Pei Zheng carried the quiet little prince in his arms as he walked straight toward a nearby tent.
Zhao Litang clenched his fists as he watched the pair pass by him. Just as he was about to walk over, a soldier came over to report military affairs. Zhao Litang’s gaze penetrated the tent for a moment, before he angrily turned around and stormed off.
No one else entered that tent. Cheng Feng personally stood guard at the entrance.
The sky gradually dimmed, and the tent remained completely silent.
When it was time for dinner, Jiang Yubai came over, carrying a food box.
“Come inside and eat.” He said to Cheng Feng.
“No need, I’m not hungry.”
As he spoke, Cheng Feng made way for Jiang Yubai.
Unexpectedly, Jiang Yubai didn’t go inside. Instead, he shifted his feet until his face was almost touching Cheng Feng’s chin.
After he finished speaking, Jiang Yubai scanned over him in suspicion.
Cheng Feng could hardly breathe, and he averted his eyes in panic.
Seeing that he wasn’t saying anything, Jiang Yubai simply shoved the food box into his hands.
“How about this, you go inside and eat, and I’ll stay out here and stand guard, all right?”
Cheng Feng held the food box, while Jiang Yubai yanked him by the arm and pushed him into the tent.
Before he could finish, Jiang Yubai pulled the tent’s curtain shut.
Cheng Feng had no choice but to carry the food box and walk inside, before he placed it on the table.
“Master, it’s time for the evening meal-“
Cheng Feng glanced at the bed, and saw Pei Zheng leaning against it with his eyes closed. He seemed to be sleeping, so Cheng Feng didn’t say anything more, and was about to leave.
However, Pei Zheng was roused by the quiet disturbance, and thought that the small man beside him had woken up. His eyes shot open, and joy seemed to flash through his eyes, before it was extinguished once more.
“Master, you’re awake.”
Pei Zheng nodded lightly and sat up on the bed.
The little prince beside him was still fast asleep; it appeared as though his complexion had regained quite a bit of its ruddiness, but he still hadn’t woken up.
“What’s going on outside?”
Pei Zheng had already stayed in the tent with the little prince for an entire day, and hadn’t allowed anyone to disturb them, so he had no way of knowing the current situation.
Cheng Feng answered, his tone serious, “General Zhao already went out to take care of it today. It’s said that a few moles were caught in the foreign capital. After hours of interrogation, nothing useful came of it, so General Zhao has already returned.”
Pei Zheng “mm”d, before he reached up and wearily pinched the center of his brow. It seemed that after closing his eyes and resting for a bit, he felt even more exhausted.
He leaned over and affectionately brushed his fingertips over the small man’s cheek. He stroked his ink-black hair, and said in a low voice, “I’m going out to take care of something. Be good and sleep. Wait for me to come back.”
Then, he placed a soft kiss on his forehead, and got off the bed.
“Master, you should eat something first.”
“No need. Prepare a horse.”
Cheng Feng knew that Pei Zheng was off to deal with the foreign tribe’s moles himself, so he didn’t say anything more and left the tent.
Jiang Yubai saw that he had come out after only a short period of time, and was about to ask him something, before he saw Pei Zheng come out as well.
Pei Zheng merely gave Jiang Yubai a light nod in greeting. Then, he turned over and mounted his horse, before galloping away in an instant.
Cheng Feng and Jiang Yubai spoke for a bit. Cheng Feng requested that he help to take care of His Highness, before he also mounted a horse and left.
After the two left, Jiang Yubai entered the tent. He noticed the untouched dishes laid out on the table and shook his head helplessly, before he cleaned everything up.
He sat at the table and looked at the small man on the bed. Unfortunately, everything was just too quiet. He stared until he was fighting with his eyelids, before he slumped over the table and took a nap.
“Doctor Jiang, Doctor Jiang!”
He could faintly hear a soft, sweet voice that he seemed to have heard before calling for him, but he was probably dreaming.
Jiang Yubai turned his head and continued to sleep.
No one had ever called him that; it wasn’t a dream!
Jiang Yubai’s eyes flashed open, and he saw an enlarged face in front of him.
At some point, Qi Changyi had woken up, and he also felt that his strength had returned. He didn’t know how long he had been lying around and sleeping; all he wanted to do was to get out of bed and move around.
He hopped off the bed himself. Barefoot, he walked for a few steps, before he spotted the figure slumped over the table.
Unexpectedly, Jiang Yubai had fallen into a deep sleep; Qi Changyi called for him many times, but he still didn’t move. Only when he called him ‘gege‘ did he finally wake up.
Jiang Yubai screamed in shock; it was quite loud, and it startled Qi Changyi. He hurriedly stretched out his little hands and covered Jiang Yubai’s mouth.
“Shh, Doctor Jiang. We have to be quiet, we can’t disturb the other people’s sleep.”
Jiang Yubai nodded, and Qi Changyi slowly lowered his hands.
“You’re awake! You’re finally awake! Your Highness, you’re finally awake! How are you feeling? Do you feel uncomfortable anywhere? Do you still have a fever? Are you feeling unwell? Does it hurt anywhere?”
Jiang Yubai grabbed his arm and took his pulse, before he paced around him, looking him up and down, afraid that there was still something wrong with him.
Fortunately, Qi Changyi’s pulse had already returned to normal. Underneath his thin veins, it beat healthily and steadily.
Jiang Yubai rolled small man’s sleeve up; that large, wounded patch had already healed, and it had faded back to white, tender skin.
“Good, good, you’re finally better.”
Jiang Yubai’s eyes grew wet. They had spent so much effort, but none of it was in vain.
As long as His Highness was cured, it was all worth it.
Before, he had been afraid that the little prince would refuse to wake up. But fortunately, he did wake up.
Jiang Yubai opened his arms and hugged the small man in front of him, “You’ve woken up… as long as you’ve woken up…”
Qi Changyi returned Jiang Yubai’s embrace, and gently patted his back, obediently enduring his tight hug.
Footsteps sounded from outside the tent, before the curtain was pulled open. The person who came in was Shen Huan.
Shen Huan had heard Jiang Yubai’s scream earlier and thought that her little disciple might have woken up, so she immediately hurried over.
The moment Shen Huan spoke, her eyes also filled with tears, and they threatened to fall at any moment.
Jiang Yubai had already let go of Qi Changyi, and the little prince looked toward the entrance.
“Master Shen,” Qi Changyi faced her, his eyes curving as he smiled sweetly, “Thank you for saving me.”
He called me… Master Shen.
Shen Huan knew that he had forgotten all the memories he had as Shen Shijiu. Naturally, that meant that he wouldn’t remember his own shifu anymore. That wasn’t his fault.
But Shen Huan felt even more miserable. Her little disciple, who had once relied on her, trusted her, loved to cling to here, and told her that she was the best shifu in the world… now regarded her as a stranger.
Shen Huan wanted nothing more than to hurry over and give him an affectionate hug and tell him that he had almost scared her death, before she would unrestrainedly wipe her tears all over him.
But now, she couldn’t do that.
Qi Changyi had just woken up, and he had just begun to recover. Right now, his mind couldn’t receive any more negative stimulation.
Shen Huan also knew that the part of his memories he had lost wouldn’t be forgotten for long. He would definitely slowly recall them in the coming days.
So, all she had to do was wait for him to remember her again.
The curtain was pulled open again. This time, it was Zhao Litang and Yue Nu.
Ever since Yue Nu found out that Shen Shijiu was Prince Qi Changyi, he understood many things.
It turned out that Xiao Shi was someone whom the general had never been able to forget. He was someone who the general had carefully buried deep in his heart. His place in the general’s heart would probably never be filled by anyone else in this lifetime.
However, Yue Nu had always held pity and affection for him in his heart. He was such a kind, cute, idiotic boy; who could ever bear to hurt him?
So, when he found out that Qi Changyi had woken up, Yue Nu was also overjoyed and followed Zhao Litang to visit him.
The moment Zhao Litang entered the tent, Qi Changyi looked in his direction, before his eyes brightened as well.
Although Qi Changyi had seen Zhao Litang during the days he had been ill, he hadn’t been as lucid as he was now.
As he heard those words, Zhao Litang recalled the lively, adorable little prince of the past.
He had everyone else leave. Zhao Litang walked up to Qi Changyi.
His fingers were trembling, his breathing was chaotic. He reached out to touch the small man in front of him, who was alive, whose eyes were glistening with tears. But he was afraid that this was all a hopeful illusion that would fall apart with a brush of his fingertips.
Just like the fantasies he had dreamt of for countless days and nights.
“It’s me, Tang-gege. It’s Changyi.”
The tears at the corners of Qi Changyi’s eyes slipped down.
In his memories, when he had parted ways with Zhao Litang, it had also been at this barracks. At that time, Zhao Litang had hidden him here, protected him, and the small man had experienced a brief period of joy.
He remembered everything. Zhao Litang was just like his blood brother, someone who would always protect him and give him comfort.
Qi Changyi wiped his tears, and he opened his arms to Zhao Litang, “Tang-gege, can I hug you?”
The author has something to say:
Xiao Pei: Why am I not here when my wife wakes up? Would you mind giving me an explanation?