Chapter Eight

Liu Xian’an listened carefully for a long time.
Because he was so focused on hearing it, he even had some ringing in his ears.

Enveloped by the night wind and a thin layer of white mist, Liang Shu’s body became even more clammy and cold, and the chill seemed to seep into his bones.
Such a cold, stiff person, coupled with a heartbeat that couldn’t be found and a pulse that could not be felt, was he really still……alive?

Liu Xian’an shivered unconsciously.

The corners of Liang Shu’s mouth rose, and he continued to bully people with a noble bearing, careless and lazy.

Cheng Suyue whispered between her teeth: “Ge, did Second Young Master Liu fall asleep in the prince’s arms?”

Gao Lin was also very confused.
Why hadn’t he moved or said a word for so long?

In the end, Liang Shu took the initiative to push Liu Xian’an away.

After all, no matter how strong His Highness Xiao Wang’s internal strength was, he still couldn’t stop breathing forever, as it was easy for something to go wrong.
Viewing Liu Xian’an’s shocked and bewildered expression, he felt that his goal had been achieved, so he leaned in slightly and looked into the other’s eyes, asking him for advice in a good mood: “This lord’s injury, is something wrong?”

Liu Xian’an didn’t know how to answer, because if an ordinary person lost their heartbeat……however, His Royal Highness Xiao Wang looked nothing out of the ordinary.
Was it possible that there was such a wicked martial art in the world that could turn a flesh and blood body into a piece of stone?

He had never read relevant records in serious medical books, but in the unscrupulous little stories, he had seen many Southern barbarian undead and living people made into puppets.
All of them were very cruel, but the dignified commander of the nation would not take such a wicked path.
Liu Xian’an thought about it, and asked again: “Has the prince felt unwell recently?”

“I have.” Liang Shu pulled his cloak back together, falsely massaging his temples, “Headaches, palpitations, stomach pains, occasional numbness and weakness of the hands and feet, poor appetite, insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, and nightmares.”

Cheng Suyue was dumbfounded by this series of symptoms.
She looked at her elder brother beside her and wondered, when did our prince become so sick, why didn’t you mention it to me at all?

Gao Lin placed his hand on his sister’s shoulder with complicated emotions, and thousands of words stuck in his throat.

Believe me, the prince is fine, he is simply too idle.

Cheng Suyue: “……”

Liu Xian’an checked Liang Shu’s pulse again.
He didn’t know if it was a psychological effect, but he felt that the other’s wrist seemed to be colder this time.
Although he didn’t know the exact reason, the deficiency of yang qi and the excess of yin and cold were always harmful to the body.
Just as he was thinking, the still pulse beneath his fingers suddenly jumped a bit.
He hurriedly went to search again, but Liang Shu had already calmly withdrawn his hand into his sleeve.

Liu Xian’an hesitated to speak: “Prince.”

Liang Shu said magnanimously: “This lord’s injury has been going on for years.
If Second Young Master Liu cannot make a diagnosis, there is no need to force it.”

Liu Xian’an actually wanted to try again, but he was really not sure if he could get a result.
His Royal Highness Xiao Wang could not be casually used for practice, so in the end, he just prescribed a warming tonic and handed it to Cheng Suyue, apologizing: “It’s because I’m not good at medicine.”

“Second Young Master Liu, please don’t say that.” Cheng Suyue comforted him, “The prescriptions prescribed by those people in the Imperial Hospital are also the same medicines, and each time, they say to take a good rest.
Maybe this injury needs recuperation, but the prince won’t stay still.”

Under the moonlight, Liu Xian’an picked out things used for decoction among the pile of herbs: “Why won’t he stay still?”

Cheng Suyue sighed: “There are always troubles in the eighteen cities in the northwest.
When I go back to the capital, those old men in court are just talkative farts……uh, they talk too much.
Although the situation in the past two years has been more stable than before, it is not so stable that the world is peaceful.
There was chaos in the southeast and northwest, and for the sake of peace of mind, the prince had no leisure for some time.
He had to straddle a horse and lift the sword even though his body was covered in injuries.
This time when the emperor asked the prince to go to Baihe Mountain Village to seek marriage, he also wanted to find a reason for him to rest for a while, and set up a home instead of always running around alone.
There is no one to look after Xiao Wang Manor, and the weeds will grow ten feet high.”

When it came to marriage, Liu Xian’an paused, then turned around and suggested earnestly: “Then His Royal Highness Xiao Wang should find a stable girl to run the home.
A-Yuan is used to being arrogant and pampered.”

Cheng Suyue smiled: “Second Young Master Liu said that on purpose, because he is reluctant to let his sister marry far away? I heard that Miss Liu is as beautiful as a fairy, and all the young people in Baihe City admire her.”

“No, she isn’t.” Liu Xian’an thought of Liang Shu’s “just be beautiful” marriage requirement and strongly denied it.
“How can the rumors outside be true? If you want to find a stunning beauty, you should go to the splendid and prosperous Wangcheng.”

Cheng Suyue did not quite agree with his statement, because the facts were in front of her eyes.
No matter how beautiful and prosperous the royal city was, there was no man there who could look better than Second Young Master Liu.
It could be seen that beautiful or not beautiful, it had nothing to do with the size of the location.

Liu Xian’an asked again: “What sort of person does the prince like?”

“The prince, ah.” Cheng Suyue thought for a long time before shaking her head.
“The prince seems to have never taken this matter to heart.
Last year, the Nanyang Fei kingdom proposed marriage to the emperor, but it didn’t work out afterwards.
As for why it didn’t work out……it seems that because the princess of the Fei Kingdom was so good at singing and dancing, the prince found it troublesome.”

Too much noise was troublesome? Liu Xian’an noted this down mentally and felt that he seemed to have found a key point to break up the marriage.

On the other side, Gao Lin was also worrying like an old lady, asking what had happened during the doctor’s examination just now.
Why did Second Young Master Liu have such an expression?

Liang Shu replied: “Because I concealed the pulse and heartbeat.”

Gao Lin was dumbfounded, almost perplexed to death by this strange thought.
Why did he hide his pulse from a doctor? For what purpose? Where was the sense? The one who suffered in the end – in any case, it would not be Second Young Master Liu.
At most, he would be a little surprised, and then a little confused, without further losses.

That bear son of Old Zhao from the prince’s palace tried to pull little girls’ braids and make them cry.
From this point of view, his prince was not even as good as little Zhao, who wore open-crotch pants.[1]

Lieutenant General Gao sighed and didn’t want to speak.

This night, Liu Xian’an was a rare sight.
He was writing a letter in the carriage, mainly asking if his father knew of any sort of injury, poison, or martial arts that could make someone lose their pulse and heartbeat and feel cold all over.
After writing it, he placed it in his sleeve, planning to wait until the next post station to send it out as soon as possible.

This turned out to take more than a month.
They passed a post station along the way, but it was already locked up.
A-Ning took out half a broken notice from the crack of the door.
It said that the post station had been moved to another location, but as for where it had moved to, that was not clear.
There was the four-squared seal of Chixia City, which showed that this place was under the jurisdiction of Shi Hanhai.
It was estimated that they would be able to enter the city after ten days or so.

“Not much rust on the locks and chains.” Liu Xian’an glanced at the gloomy sea of clouds in the sky.
“This season is humid and rainy.
The station should have just closed for a while.”

“Food shortage and a plague, the government does nothing about official business but can spare time to move a post station.” Cheng Suyue put her sword back into its sheath and kicked open the gate.
Slag and dust flew everywhere, and the guards went in to clean up and prepare to spend the night here.

A-Ning also went to the back kitchen to help boil water.
Liu Xian’an followed him and wandered around idly.
He caught a glimpse of a large jar in the corner on the edge of his vision, and lifted it casually, but was taken aback.

“What is inside?” Liang Shu stood at the door.

“Food.” Liu Xian’an moved aside.
“Although there is not much, if Chixia City is in the midst of a disaster, it would be enough to eat for ten days.
How could it be left here for no reason?”

Liang Shu walked in and grabbed a handful of grain from the pot.
It was not moldy or mixed with dirt, and was indeed edible.

Presently, the guards outside also discovered that most of the daily documents in the station were still stored in the cabinet and had not been taken away.
There were even clothes in several bedrooms.
It didn’t look like a normal relocation, but instead like people in the post station rolled up their bedding overnight and hurried to another place after hearing some news.

“The official seal is not forged.” Gao Lin read the half notice again.
“Why did Shi Hanhai close this place, does he want to completely cut off Chixia City from the outside world?”

Cheng Suyue said: “The sky is high and the emperor is far.[2] Once the gate of the city is closed, who knows how domineering he is within.
Now the people are not even allowed to send a single letter.”

“Cheng-guniang, we didn’t seem to see many refugees during our journey.” A-Ning as already very familiar with the people from Xiao Wang Palace, so he asked her in a low voice, “It would be reasonable to say that patients infected with the plague can’t travel far, but there are always people in the city who are not sick, and if they have no food to eat, why do they not flee?”

“It’s probably because the person surnamed Shi fears that his crimes would be exposed, so he locked the gates of the city, ba.” Cheng Suyue gripped the hilt of her sword.
“He’s a real piece of shit.”

Liu Xian’an stood aside and listened, imagining what might be happening in the city, and couldn’t help but sigh at the suffering of the world.
He turned his head and glanced to the side.
The sky was completely dark, so Liang Shu was shrouded in twilight.
Although his expression could not be seen clearly, the murderous aura on his body did not diminish in the slightest.
On the contrary, it also added a bit of biting coldness – piercing other people’s bones.

Thus, Second Young Master Liu recalled the situation of taking his pulse that night.
He still hadn’t found the answer as to what could make a living person feel like cold stone.
As for this matter, A-Ning didn’t believe it at all.
He once said categorically that the young master must have made a mistake! But Liu Xian’an felt that he was not wrong, and wanted to find a chance to prove it.

Because they had to get up early the next day to get on the road, everyone rested early that night.
Those rooms had a strong musty smell, and lying in them could marinate the brain.
No one wanted to sleep, so the guards lit a few fires in the courtyard and leaned on pillars to make ends meet and rest.

A-Ning fetched hot water and waited for Liu Xian’an to wash up, busying himself with arranging bedding for the night.
Turning around, he saw that his young master was tiptoeing towards the other side of the front hall like a thief.
He couldn’t help being stunned, and asked in a soft voice: “Young Master, Young Master?”

Liu Xian’an waved his hand at him, signaling him not to make noise, and his footsteps didn’t stop.
He walked all the way to Liang Shu, crouched down cautiously, and even held his breath this time as he placed just two fingers lightly on the other’s wrist.

Still no pulse.

Liu Xian’an let go of his hand, and instead of listening to his heartbeat, he bent his index finger and brought the back of it close to Liang Shu’s nose, trying to test whether he was breathing.
Unexpectedly, before he got close to him, his knee suddenly softened for some reason and he promptly lost his balance, throwing himself into the arms of the person in front of him.

“Hiss!” His nose was sore from bumping it, and he hurriedly sat up.

Liang Shu opened his eyes, looking at him in surprise and puzzlement.

Liu Xian’an quickly found an excuse for himself.
I was passing by and accidentally fell down and disturbed the prince’s rest, hoping for forgiveness, I will leave immediately.

He walked away after speaking at the fastest walking speed of the whole trip.
The hem of his white clothes rustled across the fire, disturbing a dark red spot.
The person was almost burned, and he seemed to stagger a bit.

“Young Master, come here!” A-Ning pulled him behind a pillar, puzzled.
“What were you doing just now?”

It was a long story, but Second Young Master Liu didn’t want to say that his nose still hurt and tears were coming out due to the pain.
Thus, he pulled the blanket over and wrapped himself up to escape from reality, and began to once again climb the sky and traverse the fog, wandering round and round the infinite and touring the great avenues.

A-Ning: “…….”

And not far away, Gao Lin was trying to persuade  – can you stop scaring Second Young Master Liu next time? Thinking about it carefully, my prince, this is the first doctor who came to see you on his own initiative without urging or threats from the emperor.
Shouldn’t you cherish it?

Liang Shu tossed the small soybean grain in his hand into the fire.
He had used this thing just now to hit a certain person’s knee.
No matter how light a scholar’s footsteps were, they couldn’t hide from the ears of a master, let alone two cool fingers resting on his wrist, repeatedly pressing and pressing – His Royal Highness Xiao Wang, even if he was poisoned with knock-out drugs, might even be pressed awake.

Gao Lin really didn’t understand this Little Zhao sort of fun, because in his past experience, the so-called “teasing” by his prince referred to luring a group of barbarians to run around like headless chickens in the desert, or tricking a group of corrupt officials in Daliang City to throw themselves into the net overnight along with their wealth.
Or worse, he would be a sour, pedantic, sharp-tongued old man with a qi disorder when he returned to Wangcheng.
This kind of teasing method of working for a long time just to make another family’s young master bump his nose was really incomprehensible.

Liang Shu waved his fingers, signaling Gao Lin to disappear from his view immediately and stop being an eyesore.

He found that his pulse, which could be hidden at any time, functioned like bait.
It caused Liu Xian’an to poke his head out from time to time, briefly leaving that suspended, unseen world of little emotion for a while.
Although he would shrink back soon, at least when attempting to find his pulse through various methods, there would be a rare surprise and tension on the other party’s face.

Liang Shu leaned back against the pillar and glanced to the side.

The campfire was leaping, and Liu Xian’an had wrapped himself in a blanket like an airtight cocoon.

Although he was motionless, he wasn’t actually asleep either.

The Three Thousand Avenues were shaken by His Royal Highness Xiao Wang.
It was rare for him to experience embarrassment, and after realizing it, he simply stretched out a hand from the blanket and pressed it firmly on the soft muddy ground beneath him, his fingers turning white from the force.

All things were born from the soil and returned to the soil.
Since everyone was soil, life and death were not important matters.

And if even life and death were not important matters, then falling into someone’s arms in the middle of the night was even less important.

This was rational.

Second Young Master Liu let out a sigh of relief.

He felt a little better at heart.

[1] Open-crotch pants are what children wear before potty training. ⮐

[2] “The sky is high and the emperor is far,” 天高皇帝远, means that something is far from the central government and therefore beyond its control. ⮐

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