I [Imperial] Am Not This Kind of Man - Chapter 6
This chapter was translated by Daed and proofread by phoodzz to be hosted on Foxaholic.com.
The two of them left Liu Guang Palace Hall shoulder to shoulder. As they stepped out of the great doors, the cool breeze greeted them.
Qin Nuo heaved a long sigh. He had finally persisted until midnight. What he had thought would be a calm and smooth night on night duty, had become such a chaotic night. And judging by the looks of things, the true chaotic time was still waiting in the back.
What should he do to be able to keep himself unscathed in the following chaos?
If he had to judge based on the objective view of historical development, Qin Nuo honestly wanted to stand on Pei Ling’s side. But then he considered the consequences. If the Huo family clan won and the Crown Prince successfully ascended to the throne, then he as a run-of-the-mill prince would surely receive a title and salary. On the other hand, if Pei Ling made a comeback¹, his already mighty influence over the court and the people would surely grow—which could give rise to the fear that he might truly become disloyal to the throne. Then as a direct descendant of the Da Zhou’s imperial clan, who knew when the butcher’s knife would fall upon his (QN) head.
[¹TLN: The chinese is 翻盘 (literally “flip the plate”), something akin to “turned the tables.” It is used to describe turning a position of disadvantage into one of advantage]
But if the Huo family clan succeeded, would they not harbor such disloyal intentions in the future as well? Or would the further ruin of the imperial court brought by the conflict of the two sides rouse the ire of the people and allow external forces to invade……If such a day really did arrive, he would also be in great danger!
This was agonizing. He thought that having transmigrated into a prince, he wouldn’t need to worry about his food and clothes; all he had to do was to enjoy life. He never thought that while he certainly didn’t have to worry about his clothes and food, he still would have to worry about his own life instead!
The two of them each harbored their own thoughts, neither of them spoke for the entire trip. Up until they reached the Qian Yuan Palace Hall entrance did Qin Ze stop in his tracks and turn to say, “It is not very good for us to barge in without warning. Let us first go find my Consort Mother at the Hou Pei Palace Hall² and inquire about the situation in the resting chambers.”
[²TLN: Hou Pei Palace Hall (后配殿 Hou Pei Dian) – Rear Palace]
Qin Nuo naturally had no objections. The way he saw it, Qin Ze simply did not want to stay at Liu Guang Palace Hall and purposefully found a reason to leave.
They entered Hou Pei Palace Hall. The Virtuous Imperial Consort was not in the room. Her personal female official—Fan Juan—welcomed them and reported, “Your Highnesses, the Empress has summoned the consorts to discuss important matters. Virtuous Imperial Consort has headed over.”
Qin Nuo really wanted to ask, “What important matter?” But Qin Ze already responded absentmindedly, “Then we will wait for Consort Mother here.”
Well, it wasn’t like he had anything else to do. Qin Nuo took a seat on the other side.
Fan Juan immediately served them tea and desserts.
Qin Nuo was very gloomy, he stared blankly through the window as the curtain of the night fell outside. In his heart, he pondered over the next move that Empress Huo orchestrated. When would Pei Ling enter the palace?
They sat in silence for a while when Qin Ze suddenly opened his mouth, “Ninth Brother, aren’t you tired?” He picked up a chestnut almond flaky cake conveniently and sighed, “After staying up all night, I’m actually really hungry.” And then he started eating.
Although Qin Nuo didn’t feel hungry, he also picked up a piece and bit into it since he saw Qin Ze eating.
The dessert tasted alright, but it was too dry. He conveniently picked up the warm tea on the table.
Qin Ze’s hand shook slightly. Soon after, he dropped his line of vision. His long eyelashes covered the flash of peculiarity that appeared for an instant.
Qin Nuo was entirely unaware. He ate a dessert, drank a cup of tea, and was just feeling bored when he felt a wave of drowsiness hit him. That’s strange, he had clearly snuck a nap before in the side hall. How could he be drowsy again?
He watched as Qin Ze who sat opposite him stretched and yawned, “Ninth Brother, you’re too exhausted tonight. I’m sleepy too. How about we lie down on the couch in the back for a while. Just wake us up when Consort Mother returns, Fan Juan.”
As he said so, he personally went up and supported Qin Nuo to his feet and past the curtain.
Qin Nuo wanted to break free from his grasp, but he couldn’t muster any strength and was only able to follow Qin Ze’s footsteps forward.
As he collapsed onto the bed-couch³, Qin Nuo felt like his eyelids were glued together. No matter how hard he tried, they wouldn’t open. His body felt light as a feather, like he was about to be immersed in a beautiful dream.
Something was off! The last shred of rationality struggled in his heart, Qin Nuo bit down hard on his tongue.
Pain coupled with the metallic taste of blood flooded his mouth, barely recovering his consciousness. Then, Qin Nuo felt a hand press against his throat, and then……opened the first button of his clothes, followed with the second……
A thousand “Holy sh*t” rampaged through his brain, ‘What are you doing? Ol’ Ten, you shouldn’t be this kind of Ol’ Ten, right?!’
Once he became anxious, a sudden surge of heat rushed into his abdomen like a little rat. While the hazy feeling in his brain mostly subsided, his body was still limp and feeble.
Shortly afterwards, he changed his mind. Wait, that’s not right. Usually they absolutely did not get along, to the point that they wanted the other party to “die” on the spot to give them fresh air to breathe. There was no possibility of any margin where any wild and fanciful thoughts exist. Even if one retreated a thousand steps, and Qin Ze—this brat—really held inappropriate ideas towards him, it wouldn’t be tonight. Their ol’ pops in the resting chambers was still hanging on by a thread!
But what is happening here? After taking off his (QN) outer clothes, a certain someone’s sinful hand continued towards his (QN) pants……
Qin Nuo used up his entire strength to open his mouth and ask,
‘What are you doing?’
“What are you doing?!” A loud shout caused Qin Ze’s hand which was undressing the belt to pause.
The person who asked this was obviously not Qin Nuo, but the Virtuous Imperial Consort Ge.
She just returned to see her son supporting Qin Nuo to lie down onto the bed. The latter’s limbs were limp and painful, his breathing steady. He was evidently fast asleep. And her own son was currently getting rid of Qin Nuo’s clothes.
“Ze’er, what are you doing? What happened to Ninth Highness?” She instantly sensed that Qin Nuo’s condition was not right. Her gaze turned to fall upon her palace maid, Fa Juan.
Fa Juan hurriedly knelt on the ground, yet she did not dare try to explain herself.
Qin Ze who faced her opened his mouth, “Consort Mother, don’t blame Fa Juan. I was the one who tasked her with slipping the knock-out drug into this dimwit’s tea cup.”
The “dimwit” lying on the bed’s heart trembled. As expected, he had been drugged!
Virtuous Consort Ge frowned, “Why did you go to such lengths to knock him out? If you are worried that he will ruin our plan, then what is the point of bringing him here? It would be fine to leave him with the rest of the princes in Liu Guang Palace Hall.”
Qin Ze furrowed his brow, “Consort Mother, are you really going to completely follow the Huo family clan’s arrangements?”
Virtuous Consort Ge’s expression darkened as she brooded without replying.
Qin Ze was somewhat agitated. He continued, “Consort Mother, the Huo family clan are totally treating our Ge family clan as swords to command. If they can really overthrow Pei Ling in one move, then that’s whatever. If they failed, then by that time they would at the very least push out a scapegoat. I’m afraid that our Ge family clan……”
Virtuous Consort Ge whisper-shouted, “Shut your mouth!” She looked around the surroundings. In a hushed voice, she warned, “Do you know how many ‘eyes and ears’ the Empress has in the royal palace? And you dare to state such muddled words so loudly.”
Qin Ze realized his loss of composure, and hastily walked to Virtuous Consort Ge’s side. He clasped her sleeve.
“We have no choice in this matter. Your grandfather’s promotion in the early years as the assistant minister to the Ministry of War was attributed to the help of the Huo family clan. They wrote to the emperor recommending him. This is the favor that we owe ……”
“Will Consort Mother throw in your son’s life to repay a favor?” Qin Ze scoffed.
“What rubbish are you saying, it’s not like you need to put your life at stake.”
“I don’t need to ‘put my life at stake,’ but is there any difference?” Qin Ze gave a cold snort, “Let the assassin use my identity to approach Pei Ling, then act against him. This assassin will then be associated with our Ge family clan. Once they act carelessly and reveal their tracks, they (PL & subordinates) won’t dare to be rude to the Huo family, but they won’t be so polite to us. Not to mention, Pei Ling is a top-class master. Once the assassination fails, there is going to be a death grudge. General Pei Ling will absolutely hate us down to his bones. Even if Grandfather is here, he would definitely not agree to this scheme.”
This caused Virtuous Consort Ge to waver. Although they were physically on the Huo family clan’s “big ship”⁴, they didn’t really have the enlightened spirit to sacrifice themselves for the Huo family clan.
[⁴TLN: big ship in this context means that they’re on the same side, that they’re in cahoots now]
“But if we don’t act according to plan……”
“Who said that we won’t act according to the plan? Compared to me, isn’t there a much better candidate?”
Virtuous Consort Ge’s gaze immediately fell upon the bed-couch, where Qin Nuo was still unconscious. His excessively attractive face was flushed. He looked so much like that wretch back in the day (QN’s Consort Mother).
Her brows subtly twitched while her mind calculated quickly.
The Huo family clan wanted the assassin to disguise as a prince to create a reasonable opportunity to approach Pei Ling and assassinate him. They chose Qin Ze, not only because he was someone on their side, but because after Pei Ling returned to the capital last year, he had only entered the court twice before he shut his doors and recuperated. So he had never met Qin Ze. Furthermore, Qin Ze was thirteen years old this year. His height was tall, already no different from a grown adult, which made it more convenient for the assassin to disguise himself.
These two advantages were present even if the person in question changed to Qin Nuo. Towards this legendary slow-witted prince, Pei Ling should be even less on guard.
After considering her son’s suggestion, Virtuous Consort Ge gritted her teeth and nodded her agreement.
Qin Ze was overjoyed at this sudden good news. His efforts to trick the dimwit to come here had not been in vain.
Except the mother and son never would have thought that despite being unable to move an inch, Qin Nuo was still conscious. Their entire conversation entered his ears.
Qin Nuo was both shocked and enraged. And here he had thought that Qin Ze was innately kind and that there was one point of brotherhood⁴ between them. Who would have thought that this kiddo wanted him to be the “brave and chivalrous” scapegoat⁵?
[⁴⁵TLN: 还有一分兄弟之情 – that there was one point of brotherhood between them. 一分 is one point or one percent (out of ten). 背锅侠 – somewhat literally, “pot-carrying brave and chivalrous hero”. Basically someone who will pick up the slack/takes on other people’s responsibilities.]
What should he do? He was completely immobilized!
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