"This one wouldn't dare." Ji Man respectfully saluted even though it was true that she didn't want to teach another student. Right now, she had free time to go out and do her own stuff because she was only teaching Haohao. It would also be too tiring to teach two students. Besides, the marquis could afford to hire two teachers.
Who could have thought that Liu Hanyun would want to have a long chat and didn't have any intentions of letting her leave? Ji Man tried to find excuses to leave several times, but Liu Hanyun stopped her every time.
Why was she keeping her here? Ji Man gradually couldn't stand it any longer. Liu Hanyun didn't have anything to say to her, so why was she refusing to let her leave?
"I have to go back to look after the heir." Ji Man stood up for the fifth time.
Liu Hanyun continued to say something to stop her, but Ji Man didn't bother listening to her and rushed out of the room.
"Stop him!" Liu Hanyun's expression changed. "How dare you treat me so disrespectfully by leaving before I finish talking?"
It was only now that Ji Man started to panic for real. Marquis Moyu wasn't here, and Liu Hanyun had trapped her here. There could only be one reason why she was doing this.
Original translation is from fuyuneko dot org. If you’re reading this elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
"Out of my way!" Ji Man didn't know where she found the strength, but she actually pushed away the two male servants that were blocking her and recklessly dashed towards the western courtyard.
The male servants would soon catch up to her. Ji Man continued to blunder forward as fast as possible.
She hoped that she was just overthinking things. Unless all of these people no longer wanted their lives, how could something bad happen to Haohao? Haohao was Marquis Moyu's beloved son.
Ji Man ran all the way back to the garden with her jaw clenched.
When she reached the garden, Haohao was already gone, and only the servant girl from before was still there and looking rather helpless.
Seeing him coming over, the servant girl said, "Teacher Ji, the heir was taken away by people from the palace."
People from the palace? Ji Man was dumbfounded. It couldn't be that Marquis Moyu started to miss Haohao while he was in the palace, so he had him brought to him?
Ji Man couldn't think of a better idea. Other than the emperor, no one would have the power to suddenly take the marquis's heir into the palace.
The male servants rushed over here. Seeing that the matter had already been resolved, one of them apologetically smiled and said, "Teacher Ji, why did you run so quickly? We just wanted Teacher Ji to stay over a bit longer."
Ji Man sneered and turned around to go look for Steward Qian to get a horse.
The new emperor had summoned Ning Yuxuan here, and they ware leisurely playing chess.
"This emperor had already discussed with my group of dear officials. Yuxuan, you've served this nation well and accomplished great meritorious service. Therefore, this emperor will increase your annual salary by one thousand pecks of grain." Zhao Li slightly smiled and said, "Are you satisfied with this?"
(T/N: A feudal governmental official's salary was measured in grain, but the actual salary was mostly paid out in money.)
This was within his expectations. If the new emperor had rewarded him with more power, it would have actually put him in a bad position. Ning Yuxuan was smiling as he respectfully saluted. "This subject thanks Your Majesty's great benevolence."
Zhao Li waved his hand. "You're the only person in the imperial court that this emperor can rely on. This emperor can only hope that you won't fail to live up to my expectations.
Ning Yuxuan nodded. "This subject will continue to serve Your Majesty."
The imperial garden was very quiet. As Zhao Li looked at the calm man across from him, he suddenly asked, "Dear subject, do you miss your first wife?"
Ning Yuxuan was briefly stunned. "Your Majesty, why are you mentioning this?"
Zhao Li smiled and said, "Yuxuan, you never bare your real heart to anyone, so this emperor is guessing that you probably miss your first wife the most."
Marquis Moyu's brow was furrowed as he cast a glance over the new emperor to check on his expression. Feeling a bit uneasy, he replied, "How could that be? Nie-shi is dead, and this subject has never held much affection for her."
Ning Yuxuan's heart fearfully skipped a beat when he saw that Zhao Li's expression had abruptly turned chilly.
Several women were walking at the other end of the imperial garden. They were probably just palace servant girls. However, there was one that looked very different from the rest of the group. She was glancing around and exclaiming in astonishment, "Such an enormous garden!" The sound of her voice broke the previously silent imperial garden's tranquility.
Ning Yuxuan lost his grip on the chess piece, and it ended up falling out of his hand and rolling across the ground.
"This is such a good place. Who lives here?" Xia-shi made a ruckus as she continued to say, "It's even better than that marquis's estate."
Ning Yuxuan's complexion finally paled.
Zhao Li chuckled. He rapped a black chess piece against the game board. "Dear subject, you're so amazing. You actually had everyone fooled.”
Marquis Moyu pursed his lips. His expression was stiff as he said, "Your Majesty, there must be some sort of misunderstand."
"That's alright. This emperor has the time to listen to his dear subject slowly explain himself." Zhao Li smiled and said, "Oh right, this emperor had your family's heir brought into the palace too. He's truly a clever and quick-witted child, and he has a cute appearance too. This emperor has decided to reward him by allowing him to stay in the palace and keeping the empress company. Dear subject, what do you think of this?"
"Your Majesty!" Ning Yuxuan's brow was furrowed.
Zhao Li turned his wheelchair and looked at the flowering flowers in the garden. "Dear subject is someone that has to accomplish great things and naturally can't have any weak spots. The empress will help dear subject take care of his heir. Dear subject, do you not trust this emperor?"
It took a long time for Ning Yuxuan to suppress his anger. He finally withdrew his hand from the stone table and said, "This subject would prefer to personally care for his own child."
"That child doesn't just belong to you. Isn't his mother still alive?" Zhao Li smiled. "Right now is the time to make use of your talent. This emperor doesn't want anything to come between us, so don't put this emperor into a difficult spot, dear subject."
Ning Yuxuan took a deep breath. His fist was clenched very tightly, but he couldn't find any words to refute Zhao Li.
The new emperor was expressing concession as well as drawing him one step closer to his side. But, how had the emperor found out about the connection between Haohao and Ji Man?!
Translator Ramblings: Wouldn't it have been worse for Ji Man if she had been around when the palace people came? She couldn't have done anything to stop them and would have only gotten herself in trouble. By keeping her out of the way, at least Liu Hanyun will only be blamed for Haohao instead of Haohao and Ji Man.