CHAPTER 1: STABILITY

II

The barbarians had mustered up all their strength, gathered all the Heavy Armors they had in possession to launch a surprise attack on Yanhui Town; it could even be said that they had risked their old lives for this. The Heavy Armor forces that even Great Liang struggled to support, imagine what this concept would be like to the Man's Eighteen Tribes?

Perhaps even 'wringing out the grease' would still be far from enough, they must scrape down to the bone and marrow thrice.

Naturally, as their race was one that grew up sharing the same nest with wolves, they were well-versed in the arts of combat. Considering their long-planning and Heavy Armored forces, as expected, they should be invincible.

Unfortunately, they clashed against the Black Iron Camp.

The Black Eagle took back control of the Giant Kite, and Dark Armors captured the barbarian prince alive. Under Gu Yun’s acquiescence, they had slain all the remaining fallen forces in the city. The sun had not gone down, and yet, the battle was already over.

Still not done, after Gu Yun finished handling foreign enemies, he immediately turned his forces over to his own side as fast as lightning. As the name of the renowned Black Iron Camp was still striking fear in the hearts of many, he had arrested all the military personnel of Yanhui Town and Changyang Gate from big to small: there were more than sixty people in total from the first line of the Northern border.

There was no discussion of right or wrong; they were immediately put under imprisonment waiting for trial. The people of the Northern Frontier were momentarily in a state of fear.

Chang Geng and Ge Pang Xiao were temporarily arranged in the house of Yanhui Town's Governor, Master Guo. Master Guo was quivering as he saw Gu Yun, fearing that he'd be implicated.

It was only after hearing the order of taking care of the little prince that he knew he had escaped. He really did not dare to neglect; he had sent two rows of servants to line up in front of the quarters Chang Geng was staying in to listen to his every call, the only thing missing was for him to come over to serve the tea and pour the water himself.

Thanks to Chang Geng, Ge Pang Xiao got to enjoy the royal courtesy.

When the little meatball calmed down after the chaos, upon realizing that his home and family were now destroyed, he immediately broke down in tears. Halfway through crying he suddenly remembered that Chang Geng was just like him. He was all alone, even though he still had his yifu as a relative, Uncle Shiliu was nowhere to be seen and didn't come by once to visit. Misery loves company, so he couldn't help but feel sympathy and was embarrassed to make a ruckus in front of Chang Geng.

But without crying, there was nothing else for him to do. Ge Pang Xiao counted his fingers trying to make clear of everything in this situation, but eventually, he gave up. This was all too complicated for him, his thoughts ended up in a mess no matter how hard he tried. He asked Chang Geng: "Big brother, they said your father is the Emperor, does that mean Auntie Xiu is the Empress?"

Chang Geng was holding half a Xiu Zhong Si in his hand. When he saved Ge Pang Xiao, he had shot out one of the Xiu Zhong Si in the iron wristband, then he secretly took it back when they cleaned up the battlefield.

As for anything created from metal, sharp and durable were difficult to coexist. The Xiu Zhong Si, although it could cut through iron with ease, it was not very durable or strong: the tip had been folded when it hit the barbarian's Heavy Armor, the hot Ziliujin had melted a corner of it. Even the blade was gone. It was now only a bare and dark piece of metal.

Chang Geng was using a nail to scrape off the raised place on the knives, while casually replying to Ge Pang Xiao: "The Emperor's sons are not all born from the Empress, he has a dozen wives. Moreover, Xiu Niang belongs to the Man's Tribes, and I am not a prince either, the barbarian woman only wants me to feign being a prince."


Ge Pang Xiao: "..."


The little son of the butcher's family, after listening to this answer, understood things even less now. His mouth was agape in confusion for a moment. Then he felt that his big brother was very pitiful. Even birds and animals all around had parents - it was only Chang Geng who couldn't figure out his own roots. His heritage resembled a confusing mass of threads that couldn't be unraveled. There was no telling who they really were.


Ge Pang Xiao vowed: "Big brother, you can rest assured, whether you are the son of an emperor, or the son of a mayor, or even the son of a singer, you will always be my big brother!"


Upon hearing this, Chang Geng first dryly smirked, then perhaps this line had touched him inside, he finally revealed a little smile.


Ge Pang Xiao: "It would be great if I can enter Black Iron Camp in the future..."


Chang Geng did not have time to answer as someone outside the house suddenly said: "Unlike regular soldiers, the soldiers of the Black Iron Camp must do very harsh training regiment every day, can you endure it?"


The two boys looked up and saw Shen Yi pushing the door open.


Shen Yi had replaced the terrifying black armor and reversed back to the poor scholar who talked lengthily like a mother-in-law in the blink of an eye. The word 'poor' was written all over him from head to toe. He placed two food containers on the table: "Midnight meal, eat up."


Master Guo paid great attention to health, their dinners only consisted of very watery soup. The adults could make do, lacking a few bites didn't make that much of a difference. But how could two young boys endure this? Ge Pang Xiao drank three bowls of chicken noodle soup, yet he still felt like he was only full of water. After the food containers were opened and he saw that there were real steam buns and real meat inside, he immediately rushed forward with a cheer, the matter of Black Iron Camp or White Iron Camp was all thrown to the back of his head.


However, this little boy truly knew his manners; even when forgetting the world, he would still not forget his big brother. He first took a large steam bun from the box and brought it to Chang Geng: "Big brother, you eat."


Chang Geng glanced behind Shen Yi and saw that the person he wanted to see did not come. He suddenly lost his appetite, waved his hand in disinterest, and tried to suppress the feeling of loss in his heart, then tiredly greeted: "General Shen."


"I dare not accept the honor," Shen Yi took one look at his face and immediately knew what he was thinking. He calmly sat down and explained: "There are major inspections and cleansing at the border area this time, the Grand Marshal cannot clone himself, but he still harbors immense concern for Your Highness. He had especially asked me to come to visit."


"I do not dare to accept 'His Highness'," Chang Geng bowed his head and said coolly, "Shil — Marquis is busy day-to-day with military affairs, yet he still has the heart to remember us, it is truly flattering."


Shen Yi laughed: "If Grand Marshal knows that you're being rather distant like this behind his back, he would definitely be very sad. Unfortunately, this person, he has never spoken out despite how upset he might feel, and always caused more trouble for us underlings. "


Chang Geng did not say a word in his indifference, he seemed to have placed his entire mind onto what was left of the blade in his hand. He carefully selected a position on top and started to drill a hole in it with a nail.

His heart was as clear as a mirror, he frankly did not believe Shen Yi to be just any ordinary subordinate. Even if they were patrolling in disguise, would an ordinary subordinate dare to command the Marquis of Order to wash the dishes or to cook some porridge? Unless one was an undying being trying to hang oneself - already tired of living.


No one was speaking, and the atmosphere momentarily became very uncomfortable.


Shen Yi was smiling on the outside but cursing on the inside as Chang Geng's expression was all completely for Gu Yun to see. However, Gu Yun, that bastard, did not dare to even look and pushed him over here to be his scapegoat. He thought: "From the day I got on the same felonious boat with that Gu, nothing good would ever happen."


Shen Yi was born from a prestigious and influential family, which had some connections with the family of old marquis Gu's mother, so to speak. When the old marquis was still alive, he had welcomed Shen Yi to live with the Gu family for a while. All of Gu Yun's grand mischievous deeds from childhood, half of them were Shen Yi's 'merits'.


Later when old marquis Gu and the First Princess both passed away, the two went their separate ways. Gu Yun entered the palace to inherit his royal status, and Shen Yi went back to partake in the imperial examination. But even after passing the exam, he had refused to enter the Hanlin Academy*. Instead, despite others looking upon him as if he was a madman, he personally inquired to enter 'Ling Shu'.


*The Imperial Hanlin Academy, from the Tang dynasty, lasting until the year of 1911

The Ling Shu Institute* did not exist to diagnose sickness or to brew medicine. They did not fix up the human body, they only fixed up machines. They ranked equal to the Imperial Guard, directly under the command of only the Emperor himself, was the largest debt collector of the Ministry of Revenue, and also the parents who fed and clothed the military forces.


*the word used for Institute was (yuàn) which could also be used for hospital, that's why there's the joke of them not existing to cure humans

'Kite', 'Armor', 'Cavalry', 'Light Suit', 'Eagle', 'Chariot', 'Cannon' and 'Dragon': the seven primary military arms, from the equipment design blueprints, to improvements and upgrading, and even the secret mystery of the Black Iron Camp, they all came from Ling Shu Institute.


The Ling Shu Institute often used 'Imperial Mechanics' as self-deprecation and a display of modesty. They almost never spoke up in the Imperial Court, and appeared like they were not very high-ranking. They spent all of their time hiding away inside Ling Shu Institute, burying their heads in handling iron stuff.


But no one dared to compare them with the craftsmen from the common folks who made a living by machine oil.


The reason why Gu Yun was able to restart the Black Iron Camp was not only a matter of a measly letter of emergency from the emperor. To a large degree, this was thanks to his old friend Shen Yi who had assisted in creating a relationship with the Ling Shu Institute. In the key moment, they had stood behind this young general, and provided him with the most advantageous support, making the military power that had been degraded for ten years, once again overwhelm the talkative scholarly magistrates.


After the Black Iron Camp died and came back to life, Shen Yi was invited by Gu Yun to leave the Ling Shu Institute and to become Gu Yun' exclusive assistant. These messy matters, with Chang Geng's knowledge and experience at this time, of course, he would not know.


Shen Yi also did not intend to explain them either, he just looked up and asked Ge Pang Xiao: "I have a few words to discuss with His Highness, you..."

Ge Pang Xiao smartly replied: "Yes, yes, you both continue, I always get drowsy when I am full. I should go back to sleep now."


He gathered up two big steam buns and a pig's foot, then jumped off the chair and ran out.


In the room, only the two of them remained. Shen Yi slowly spoke: "At that time when the war situation at Western Regions became stabilized, Grand Marshal received a secret decree from the Emperor: he ordered him to travel to the Northern Frontier to search for Your Highness, the Fourth Prince, who had disappeared together with the consort sisters that year."


Chang Geng's movements stopped for a second, he raised his gaze and looked at Shen Yi without saying a word.


Shen Yi's expression was sincere, not a hint of being disingenuous could be found:


"When we approached Yanhui Town, we found signs of barbarian activities outside the city gate. The Wolf King's son has always been very ambitious, he had never intended to be just a subject.


"Grand Marshal was concerned about the threatening change that could occur to the Northern Frontier and had stopped to inspect the situation, he just happened to meet Your Royal Highness in the midst of wolves.


"Fourteen years ago, during his childhood, the Marshal was often with the First Princess and had the chance to meet with the consort once. When he saw you he instantly felt that you looked quite familiar, up until we sent you back to Yanhui Town, and upon seeing Xiu Niang, only then did we confirm that you are the Fourth Prince we were looking for."


"Fourteen years ago, the Marshal was just a young child, Xiu Niang had long forgotten him. At first, we originally intended to show our identities and pick you both up to go back to the capital. We did not expect to accidentally discover that Xiu Niang was in secret communication with the barbarians. In order to avoid affecting the grand scheme of things, Marshal Gu secretly transferred some men from the Western Regions to here, plotting to turn their plan against themselves.


"This time, the Eighteen Tribes' elite forces are all defeated. Their prince was also captured, and a huge amount of financial resources have gone to waste. At least we can protect the peace and stability for the Northern Frontier this year. I hope that Your Highness would take the lives of thousands of civilians living in the border to heart and not blame the Marshal for being deceitful."


Chang Geng listened, pondered for a moment, then nodded as this was all fair and reasonable: "Alright."


Shen Yi instantly felt relieved, he smiled and spoke: "That year when the Heavenly Wolf Tribes bowed down to Great Liang, they had given two treasures of the savanna to His Majesty: one was Ziliujin, the other was their Goddess. The Goddess was of exalted status, touched by their sincerity, he had made her the royal consort, and she was also the only royal consort of our imperial court.


"And as for other matters, your subject has already told Your Highness before. If the royal consort in heaven could see that you have grown up so well like this, she would be very pleased."


Chang Geng sneered inside. According to Shen Yi, wouldn't it mean that Xiu Niang - Hu Ge Er was his real blood-related aunt? The aunt was already like that, how much nicer could his real mother be?


Chang Geng: "I personally think that according to common sense, this story should be that after the royal consort discovered she was bearing a bastard son, she had risked her life trying to escape and wanted to get rid of the child inside with a bowl of abortion medicine?"


Shen Yi: "..."


The many secrets of the royal palace were inconvenient to go into precise details, but the thing was, this kid had guessed it completely right.


After all, Shen Yi had also mingled with the aristocrats since he was a child, whatever his thoughts might be it absolutely would not show on his face. He immediately put on a surprised and tensed expression, as good as real:


"Why would Your Highness speak of such words? If it is because of Miss Xiu, then you don't have to dwell too hard on it. In the end, Miss Xiu was still a foreigner, if her heart still goes out to her own people, that isn't anything to blame her for.


"Not to mention, in the past few years, despite harboring hatred inside, she still worked tirelessly to raise Your Highness, and she has even managed to send half a piece of the jade pendant back to the capital to inform. It must have all been done as a preparation for her to die for the country, to not implicate Your Highness. Could one still say that this was not driven by familial love? Even your aunt is like this, how can your real mother not love you?"


Shen Yi momentarily paused, then continued: "The appearance of His Royal Highness and the consort were like being carved out from the same mold, but your personality is just like His Majesty's, how could this biological relation be made up? As for Miss Xiu breaking Your Highness's toe, I believe there must be some other hidden matters inside, or perhaps because Your Highness was still too young back then, hence why you could have remembered it wrong, these are all possibilities."


Teacher Shen's words were reasonable and extraordinarily eloquent, if Chang Geng was not aware of this poison inside his body slowly causing him to turn mad, he would probably get persuaded by this made-up story and truly believe that Xiu Niang had worried about him with all her heart.


He could no longer fully trust in other people's stories. He would always harbor stacks and stacks of questions and skepticism. He couldn't help but break down the other's every sentence to mull over, and as he took a deeper look, they would always be full of doubts.


Chang Geng suddenly felt very exhausted.


After an incense burning period, Shen Yi held a face that had gone stiff from smiling and was sent away by Chang Geng.


Chang Geng followed Shen Yi to the door: "Before, I was still unaware, thinking that Marquis Gu's health was no good, and often went on to be lengthy about it. I ask that the Marquis forgive me."


Shen Yi lowered his eyes and could only see Chang Geng's head as Chang Geng was refusing to look at him. He let out a sigh and left the small quarters where Chang Geng lived. As he exited the gate and turned towards the small trail, he caught sight of the 'busy with military affairs' Gu Yun sitting outside in the courtyard's small flower garden.


Master Guo's courtyard grew a lot of mint. Gu Yun was sitting in the small pavilion alone, with nothing to do he started to pluck it up, putting some in his mouth, then ended up chewing and swallowing it as time went by.


There's no telling how long he had been sitting alone here, the batch of mint had almost gone bald because of him like a goat had ravished this place.


Shen Yi lightly coughed, but it seemed Gu Yun had not heard him at all. Only after he came closer did Gu Yun squint his eyes and recognize him with difficulty.


"Did the effectiveness of the medicine wear out?" Shen Yi sighed.


Gu Yun was confused, instinctively making a gesture signaling he could not hear.


Shen Yi had to move forward and get closer to him: "Let's go back first, I'll tell you more about it there - give me your hand, there are stone steps."


Gu Yun shook his head, refusing his help. He took out a liuli glass* and placed it on the bridge of his nose, then slowly left without saying a word, even his two beauty marks seemed to have faded in color.


*琉璃镜 (Liúlí jìng, lit. colored glass lens); the monocle Gu Yun wears


Shen Yi glanced at the mint leaves that had been made bald by the goat surnamed Gu, then chased after him.




Gu Yun actually stayed right next door to Chang Geng, but unlike Chang Geng's place, the place where he settled seemed quite cold.

If Chang Geng said 'No need to serve', Governor Guo would surely and shamelessly praise 'His Royal Highness' heart goes out to the people', then proceed to send over dozens of servants.

However, even if he acquired an enormous sack of courage, Master Guo would still not dare to speak of a single flattering word in front of Marshal Gu.

Gu Yun casually sent out an order of 'Don't come to bother' where he lived. Except for the scary Black Iron Camp soldiers, no one dared to enter even half a step.

In situations where he could not see well and could not hear, Gu Yun would become extremely agitated and tense, and would especially hate having unfamiliar people hovering about.

Shen Yi had not seen him so rigid in a very long time, as if every tree and bush was an enemy soldier. He had thought that perhaps by hiding away in the small town of Yanhui for two years, Gu Yun had learned how to peacefully coexist with this vague concept of common life. But it seemed to be impossible after all.

The one who learned to live in peace was 'Shen Shiliu' alone, not Gu Yun.

In fact, Gu Yun, this person, although he usually bore the demeanor of confidence and calmness, the truth was, eight to nine parts of it were false, but his acting was simply too real that no one could see through it.

At the same time, although his blindness and deafness were all real, they seemed like just an act.

From this point of view, Marshal Gu had set an example upon himself to embody the saying 'true could be false, false could be true'. Shen Yi did not know whether he was really missing something inside, or if it was intentional.

Ah yes, his heart was also sincere and genuine, but it seemed that not many people were convinced either.

Near the evening, when the night had just started to fall and the twilight stars had not yet revealed themselves, the first thing Gu Yun did after returning to his chamber was turn on all the lights.

Then he took off the liuli glass, rubbed his eyes hard, and said to Shen Yi: "Get me my medicine."

Shen Yi was a refined and mannered broken mouth. Apart from fighting in battles, his side job was to ramble; he went on with practiced ease: "Grand Marshal, thirty percent of the medicine is still poison. When in no extreme emergency, I believe you should drink as little as possible..."

Gu Yun stood under the lamp with his expression remaining unchanged, his gaze was a bit dazed and he did not respond.

Shen Yi closed his mouth — he remembered, at this distance, Gu Yun could not hear him.

Gu Yun's deafness was a trick to restrain all the broken mouths. One hit was sure to kill, all these years it had never failed once. Shen Yi had to silently turn around and went to the kitchen to brew the medicine.

The liuli glass was very flimsy, pressed onto either side of the bridge of the nose. With just a slight change in temperature, it would condense a layer of white fog and completely block the line of sight. It was also quite fragile and could easily damage the eyes if it broke. Overall, it was very inconvenient for military officers. But if it's just in one's own home, it's still alright to put on in case of urgent matters.


After Shen Yi came out again, Gu Yun had re-framed the glass on the bridge of his nose, whetted the ink, and began to write his report.


Although Governor Guo was only a small official out in the border, his living conditions were not at all poor. The lamp on the table was not just an ordinary oil lamp, but it was a steam lamp which could have its brightness adjusted. Judging from the complicated lace design, it was perhaps bought from the hands of the people from the East.


There was also a Western clock next to the steam lamp, and although it was a fake product, it seemed as good as real. If inspected carefully, there were fine marks on the top to indicate the 12 earthly branches, the 10 heavenly stems, and the 12-hour period of the day. The upper left corner also had a small window with the 24 solar terms alternating. This object seemed to be neither fish nor fowl. The lower part of the clock was transparent, and gears both large and small pushed forward. Gu Yun hated this thing as the gears were very noisy when turning; he had considered telling someone to take it out.


But it didn't matter at the moment, he could not hear it either way.


When Shen Yi came back with a bowl of medicinal soup, Gu Yun had just finished writing and placed his brush down.


Gu Yun: "Look over it for me to see if there is anything wrong."


The steam lamp was dazzling, there was a row of Western women showing their chests on the lampshade, all of them were posing in a way that revealed each and every detail, Shen Yi used his hand to shield the light and whispered: "How vulgar."


Then he quickly read through Gu Yun's report and sighed: "If there is anything wrong? Marshal, please pardon this Shen's humble skills and shallow knowledge, I don't see a single thing that is right in this."


Gu Yun: "Huh? What?"


Shen Yi: "..."


He picked up Gu Yun's report by the corner, stuffed it back into Gu Yun's arms, gently held his elbow, and pointed to the small couch next to him, indicating that he should just go hang out over there. Then Shen Yi spread his own paper, dipped his brush in ink, and tried to start writing a new one.


Gu Yun took the medicine bowl and downed it in one go with enthusiasm. He leaned on the delicately carved couch, did not even take off his shoes, then crossed his two legs up high and quietly waited for the medicine to take effect. At the same time, his hands did not stay idle — Gu Yun's ten fingers swiftly folded the previous report into a paper bird, then took aim at the back of Shen Yi's head.


How itchy can this man's hands be!


Shen Yi heard the sound of the wind and caught the paper bird with his hand. Truly admitting defeat this time, he asked Gu Yun: "Can you hear me like this?"


"It's alright, still a little fuzzy," Gu Yun said. "Either way you could rephrase what I have written down before accordingly and make it sound nicer for me."


Shen Yi sighed: "Marshal, you want to tell the Emperor that it was the Fourth Prince himself who had seen through the conspiracy of the barbarians, and had set aside familial love, thus providing us with the opportunity to exterminate them in one fell swoop? Would you believe something like this?"

No one knew what type of panacea Gu Yun had taken, the two small beauty marks under his eye and on his earlobe seemed to have come back to life, shining bright red once again.


"And if not?" Gu Yun asked: "Otherwise are we going to tell His Majesty that I have wanted to dominate Great Liang's military forces for a long time now, that the Western Regions' situation had just settled, yet I'm already plotting to take over military control of the Northern Frontier, and I had quickly taken advantage of his order to protect the little prince to run off to trap the barbarians?


"Or should we say that I have secretly dipped my hands into the prohibited Ziliujin black markets which have been repeatedly banned, and accidentally discovered that the amount of Ziliujin that flowed into these markets in the recent years is abnormal?"


Shen Yi: "..."


Gu Yun proudly spoke: "You can round it up and make it sound more believable, otherwise what would I need you for? Moreover, having that unfortunate mother, Chang Geng, that kid, after we return to the capital, he will likely be harassed by those old bastards. You need to dress it up nicely for me, say that the Fourth Prince had led a dreadful life but despite going through many trials and hardships, his heart of sincere loyalty to the country had not been diminished. You must make it heart-wrenchingly sad, as long as His Majesty breaks down crying as he reads it, let me see who would dare to talk."


Shen Yi: "... "


Gu Yun had just made him coax the prince. Now he wanted him to make the Emperor cry.


Shen Yi sneered and put down the brush: "Pardon this Shen for not having enough ink inside for this, Marshal should go and inquire another expert then."


Gu Yun: "Ah!"


Shen Yi tilted his head and saw Gu Yun playing the victim with not even a hint of shame whatsoever:


"My head hurts. It hurts, hurts, hurts, hurts enough to explode — Brother Ji Ping, besides you, there is no one else who will help and support me, how can you have the heart to abandon me like this? This lonesome and desolated mortal world is truly heartless, what else should I live for?"


Then he clutched his chest and fell over on the small couch in a coffin position and played dead.


... saying your head hurt, then what were you clutching your chest for?


Rows of blue veins popped up on the back of Shen Yi's hand.


However, after a while, Shen Yi still reluctantly sat down again, spread the paper, carefully considered every word and sentence, and modified Gu Yun's report.


After Gu Yun 'the corpse' had lied down, he did not come back to life again, because his head actually did hurt. Shen Yi also knew that this was the medicine's side effect.


After drinking this medicinal soup, there was a period as long as an incense burning time wherein his eyes could see crystal clear and his hearing was extremely sharp. When this period was over, the headache would start to kick in, and even just opening his eyes would feel as if his surroundings were spinning. The sounds all around him echoed both near and far.


This symptom would slowly be relieved after about half an hour. Afterwards, his eyes and ears could temporarily function like normal people.


How long could he stay normal? That would be hard to say.


When Gu Yun took this medicine for the first time, the ache was painful enough for him to beat his head against the bedpost. Afterward, as he was able to see and hear clearly for more than three months, it almost made him forget that he still had two nonfunctional body parts.


And as he used it more and more frequently, on one hand, he had acquired the skill to fall asleep no matter how bad the pain in his head became, but at the same time, its effectiveness seemed to be slowly wearing out.


As of right now, a single dose could only be effective for about three to five days.


"It might become completely useless in a few years...," Shen Yi thought.


The two - one sitting, one lying - did not speak a single word. It was only once the night was dark and the sound of night patrol could be heard in the distance that Shen Yi had finally put his brush down. He turned around to pick up a blanket and covered Gu Yun.


Gu Yun still kept the same sleeping position as before when he fell over, completely motionless. Only his brows were slightly crunched together, his lips and cheeks were pale white as if there was not a trace of blood. Still, his two beauty marks continued to shine.


Shen Yi looked at him, then carefully walked out.



The next day, once Marshal Gu woke up, he had reverted back to the Marquis of Order bursting with energy once again.


The day was still not bright, yet Shen Yi was already stirred awake by Gu Yun. He answered the door with still drowsy eyes, only to see a very enthusiastic Gu Yun: "The stuff I commissioned has finally arrived. Just you watch, when I bring this to apologize, I guarantee it can completely soothe the anger of that little brat!"


Shen Yi blinked hard, suddenly there was an ominous premonition rising up in his heart.


The Marquis ordered four Black Iron Camp soldiers to move a box as large as a house post, then marched over to Chang Geng's place with vigor. When passing by the patch of mint that he had wrecked the night before, Gu Yun picked another leaf and put it in his mouth, not caring that its sharp edge was digging into his lips, he blew a melody that he invented himself, as if to declare from afar that he had descended for a visit.


As a result, as one of his feet had just entered Chang Geng's courtyard door, he was immediately greeted with a murderous long sword flying towards him. The servant nearby carrying a tea tray screamed out in fright, the tray and everything on it shattered to pieces as it dropped onto the ground.


Gu Yun's wrist fired a blade the size of a palm in an instant. Suppressing the sword Chang Geng was holding, its whole body slipped out like a fish. The two sharp edges came into contact, creating a high-pitched screeching sound. However, after Gu Yun flexed his fingers, Chang Geng's wrist suddenly went numb and he nearly had to let go of the long sword, forcing him to retreat.


Gu Yun retracted the blade back to the wristband, and with both hands behind his back, he smiled and said: "What has irritated Your Highness so early in the morning? No matter, you can put all of your anger on your subject."


Chang Geng: "..."


This man surnamed Gu might think that he was coming to apologize, but unfortunately, no matter how one would look at it, it appeared as if he came especially to pick a fight.