It’s because of this horrid personality of yours that the readers disliked you.
In the original story, the female lead was extremely fearful of him throughout and even though she’d grown some feelings for him due to stockholm syndrome, it couldn’t compare to one tenth of the fear she had for him.
Baoyi prayed for the Yulan Magnolia tree in her heart.
God knows, when Zhou Shizi said “Chop”, she’d thought that he was referring to her. When she realised that the one being chopped is just a tree, Baoyi was so happy that she almost went to help.
As she’d hoped, with the commotion she’d stirred, the female lead who was sneakily reading books in the study room had slipped away long ago, avoiding the chance of Zhou Shizi setting his eyes on her.
Zhou Shizi handled some letters in the study room before reading a book for a while. During this period, his gaze swept across Baoyi’s face three times yet he did not say a word.
Baoyi knew that her unusual behaviour today must have attracted Zhou Shizi’s suspicions but he should still be unable to abstract her objectives clearly. With Zhou Yunxi’s character, since he didn’t chop her just now, he won’t chop her next time —— as long as she didn’t stir up more tricks.
It’s a pity that she’d celebrated too early. Zhou Yunxi’s attention quickly shifted from her to somewhere else.
“Hua Ping!” He suddenly raised his voice.
Hua Ping is the head maid in Zhou Shizi’s compound and was currently waiting outside the room for an errand. She heard the hidden fury in Zhou Shizi’s voice and trembled. Entering wordlessly, she knelt down with a complete posture of begging-for-forgiveness.
This poor lady still didn’t know what she’d done wrong.
Zhou Shizi said in a cold voice, “Who has entered my study room today?”
“Replying to Shizi, only nubi”
“Oh?” Zhou Shizi’s voice raised, as if he was much more relaxed. However, people who are familiar with him know that this was actually an omen.
“The thing on the bookshelf was moved by you?”
Baoyi was seized with terror.
Hua Ping nervously shot a glance at the bookshelf and saw that there was indeed a jade fan on top of it. She gritted her teeth, “It’s nubi.”
“Which hand moved it?”
Hua Ping’s face immediately lost all colour.
“You’re not going to speak? Then it must be both hands that moved it.”
Zhou Shizi didn’t even look up, as if giving instructions for something trivial, “Thirteen, remove both her hands for me.”
Baoyi silently speculated Zhou Shizi’s objectives but her body heeded his orders and she stepped forward, taking out the dagger that was at her waist. Step by step, she moved towards the young lady on the ground who was trembling like a sieve.
“Shizi, spare me! Shizi, spare me!” Hua Ping was so agitated that her tears and mucus were running all over her face, no trace of the usual prudent and dignified appearance of a head maid.
In her heart, Baoyi was also caught in a struggle and she could not help but to pause in her footsteps. It’s because of her hesitation that a shadowy figure suddenly rushed in and knelt beside Hua Ping.
Once she realised who the person was, alarm bells immediately rang in Baoyi’s heart.
Yes, it was not someone else who entered the room but the female lead Lu Qingluo.
Hua Ping wasn’t a very good person, she’d even criticised the female lead behind her back. How could she be so reckless by rushing in to rescue people?
Really, she’s being willful because she has the halo to depend on!
Baoyi was so angry that she gritted her teeth, her brain spinning rapidly as she thought of how to scoop this foolish lady from the predicament that was in front of her.
Zhou Shizi raised his eyebrows, as if he’d never thought that there would be such an insensible lady in his compound, who’d dare to interrupt the master when he is questioning someone.
Zhou Shizi looked up.
The sunlight is very dazzling today, reflecting on the Yulan Magnolia trees in the courtyard, the rays seemed to be overbearing. Hua Ping’s back was to the door, going against the light. Zhou Shizi was almost unable to see her face clearly. As for the one who rushed in……
Shizi narrowed his eyes, gritting his teeth a little as he said: “Thirteen, what are you doing?”
He could only see Baoyi’s back facing him as she stood stiffly in front of the kneeling servant girl. She covered the person completely, such that even a strand of hair could not be seen. What’s more hateful is that this girl seemed to have grown eyes on her back, moving to the left when he did and also to the right when he moved.
No one will believe that it’s not deliberate!
Baoyi turned her head to show a pitiful expression: “Shizi, didn’t you ask me to chop off her hand? I’m in the process of finding an angle. She’s a lady after all, I wish to chop it a little nicely.”
Chop it a little nicely.
Are you able to chop her five fingers again?
Hua Ping’s cries immediately loudened.
This was no longer cries for mercy, this was the cry of a really frightened young lady, not at all a beautiful tear stained face. Mouth wide open, hoarse voice, a face full of snot and tears, a really awful sound.
“Shut up!” In a fit of annoyance, Zhou Shizi raised his hand and threw the paperweight.
Seeing that it was going to smash on Hua Ping’s face, Baoyi unexpectedly moved to the side. The Qilin paperweight smashed heavily into the curve of her knees, letting out a resounding sound before falling to the ground in one piece. Baoyi bent over, kneeling on the floor as her forehead broke out in a cold sweat. Both hands covered her knees as she clenched her teeth.
Hua Ping clearly didn’t think that this would happen, her mouth was agape, her cries long forgotten. Lu Qingluo’s face was also filled with shock.
Not paying any attention to the saintly female lead’s sympathy, Baoyi clenched her teeth and turned around, kneeling on a single knee, “Shizi, shu zui.”
Zhou Yunxi was also evidently caught unaware by this sudden scene. He knew how heavy the hit must’ve been and the paperweight was not short of any corners. Thus, he was clear of the true power that reached Thirteen’s body. What he didn’t understand was that with her skill, why didn’t she avoid it?
Zhou Yunxi’s voice was extremely cold.
At this moment, under the immense pressure, even Lu Qingluo didn’t have the courage to speak, staring blankly as the course of events unfolded. At present, her face was no longer covered but in Shizi’s eyes, there was simply no such person as his entire gaze was locked on his shadow guard.
Baoyi knew that she was in a mess, Zhou Yunxi had really lost his temper now.
There was absolutely nothing on Zhou Yunxi’s bookshelf. He was just probing the maid. It’s just that Zhou Shizi’s probing is not something that anyone can withstand. Hua Ping didn’t give away the female lead only because she was afraid that she’d be blamed for leaving her post without permission, while the female lead believed that Hua Ping was protecting her so she stepped forward bravely and revealed herself in front of Zhou Yunxi.
Zhou Yunxi threw the paperweight but failed to hit Hua Ping because the female lead instantly pulled Hua Ping into her embrace and endured the hit in her place, getting bruised then and there.
That fragile beauty, unyielding expression in her eyes and dusty temperament left a deep impression on Zhou Yunxi……
Just kidding. How could she allow that to happen!
“Thirteen, do you still remember your identity?”
“This subordinate is Shizi’s shadow guard.” Baoyi said in resignation, “Each and every tiny bit of this subordinate belongs to Shizi and cannot……take damage for others.”
As a shadow guard, to sacrifice oneself to protect someone other than her master is a serious dereliction of duty.
“Do you have any explanation?”
“Yes!” Baoyi replied loud and clear. Facing Zhou Yunxi’s wrathful expression, she replied earnestly, “Shizi, this subordinate was dazzled by the light from outside and stumbled! You know that ever since the last time this subordinate got injured, I’ve been likely to fall. Even when I’m lying properly, I’ll suddenly fall from the roof beam.
All this was the truth. Baoyi blinked.
Zhou Yunxi glared (at Baoyi).
—— Lying properly? That means that you fell asleep, ok? The gum in your eyes have yet to be wiped clean!
Faced with this foolish and wild talk, the people in the room were sensibly silent.
Zhou Shizi glared fiercely at her for a long time before suddenly waving his hand and heavily flinging the book on the table at her feet.
“Yes! This subordinate will go to receive her punishment now!” Baoyi said sincerely. Then she limped out of the study room and upon turning a corner, her hand secretly gestured a “V” sign.
Having followed Zhou Shizi for many years and based on the original host’s memory, she knew that she had once again escaped disaster.
Zhou Shizi looked at the swaying slender figure, then turned to look at the two maids on the ground. He suddenly wasn’t in the mood to continue the interrogation.
“Get lost! All of you, get lost!”
As if presented with amnesty, Hua Ping immediately retreated out of the study room with Lu Qingluo’s support.
Thanks to Baoyi, from beginning to the end, Zhou Shizi did not take notice of Lu Qingluo.
Zhou Yunxi had developed this unpleasant character mainly due to the people of his father’s generation.
The late emperor doted on his youngest son, Prince Duan
Prince Duan was the late emperor’s youngest son that he doted on the most and when he passed away, Prince Duan was in a far away vassal state. By the time he’d rushed back, the Imperial City had already enforced martial law. Just as Prince Duan was about to force his way inside the city, news came that his second brother had already ascended the throne as emperor.
The new emperor tabooed Prince Duan’s military power and although he was conferred the title of Prince, a mansion was established in the capital for him and his Wife and Son were detained in the capital. At that time, Zhou Yunxi was already eleven years old and because children of the imperial family matured early, he naturally knew of his unfavourable situation. In order to flee the capital, without the slightest hesitation, Prince Duan appointed Zhou Yunxi as his heir, pushing Zhou Yunxi to where the wind and waves are the highest.
During the crowning ceremony, while everyone’s gaze was attracted by the young Zhou Yunxi, Prince Duan had already snuck back to the vassal state, leaving his son and widow in the capital.
This once again pierced a knife into this precocious child’s heart.
Although Prince Duan’s Wangfu in the north had later repeatedly tried to secretly retrieve Duan Wangfei and Shizi, they all ended in failure. Afterall, with the lesson learned from dealing with Prince Duan, the imperial family had dispatched more manpower, making Prince Duan’s Wangfu impenetrable. They didn’t stand a chance. In the end, even Prince Duan stopped taking the dangerous risk in fear that the emperor would have a hold over him. It was just a woman and a son, there were women in the north waiting to bear his children anyway. As for Shizi, he could just depose him and appoint another.
Just like this, Zhou Yunxi was abandoned by Prince Duan and soon, Duan Wangfei, who only knew to blame everyone and everything except herself, died of grief. After Zhou Yunxi lost his last support under these circumstances, the child that once had a healthy disposition became sensitive, distrustful, precocious, and even……twisted.
If even his biological father could sacrifice him, he didn’t know who else he could trust in this world.
Shadow guard Thirteen had been by his side since she was eight years old, followed him from the north to the capital and was subsequently detained with him. Zhou Shizi was able to tolerate her actions today mostly because in his heart, they are more or less connected by the same fate.
They were both abandoned in the capital.
It was relying on this bit of favour that Baoyi dared to court death.
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Iluska & Maelani Translations
1. 奴婢 (núbì) means slave girls or maidservants. Maidservants and slave girls often use nubi to refer to themselves instead of ‘I’.↩
2. 赎罪 (shú zuì) means atone for a crime. In this case, she’s asking for forgiveness.↩
3. 姐姐 (jiějie) means elder sister. Doesn’t have to be blood related.↩
4. 梨花带雨 (lí huā dài yǔ) literally translates to pear blossom bathed in the rain. Which means weeping beauty. In this case, it means tear-stained face of a beauty.↩
5. 您 (nǐn) is a courteous and more polite way of saying you.↩
6. 风口浪尖 (fēng kǒu làng jiān) literally translates to where the wind and the waves are highest. It means where the struggle is the fiercest.↩
7. 王妃 (wáng fēi) Wife of a Prince.↩
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