Huo Feng could hear the voices of the two children from outside Yi Chongren’s room.
“Daddy, are there peaches in the capital?”
“The capital has everything.
Douzi, it’s grapes, not peaches.”
“Wu……Daddy, why does Douzi have to call that weird uncle ‘Father’? Douzi already has a dad, so how could there be another dad? Isn’t daddy called ‘daddy’? How could he be ‘father’?”
“You’re still young.
Daddy will tell you when you grow up.
Remember to call ‘Father’.
Once you return to the capital, you might need to change this habit.”
“Why do I have to change this once we return to the capital?”
“Daddy will tell you when you grow up.”
Douzi was visibly confused.
“Daddy, does Baozi also have to call weird uncle ‘Father’?”
Yi Chongren became silent.
A man naturally opened the door and walked in: “Naturally, Baozi should also call me ‘Father’.”
In the bedroom, Yi Chongren frowned and raised his head.
The man walked in.
Once Baozi and Douzi saw the weird uncle, they immediately forgot about what daddy told them.
The two children sitting on the bed immediately hid behind daddy, only sticking out half of their little heads.
The two children were still a bit curious towards this weird uncle that appeared out of nowhere.
Huo Feng spoke: “You still haven’t replied to Baozi’s question.
What should he call me?”
“Your highness, this isn’t a trivial matter, please reconsider.” Yi Chongren stood and let down the bed curtain, separating the two children from Huo Feng.
“The children are still young, they’ll misunderstand.
This commoner will explain it to them clearly.” Obviously, Yi hcongren didn’t want Baozi to be involved with this “relative”.
“Someone come.” Huo Feng shouted.
Xiaoqin entered from outside with her head lowered.
Yi Chongren vigilantly paid attention to Huo Feng, not knowing what he wanted to do.
Huo Feng looked at Yi Chongren and said to Xiaoqin: “Take Baozi and Douzi away.”
Xiaoqin raised her head and worriedly glanced at Yi Chongren.
Yi Chongren loosened his hold on the bed curtain and nodded towards Xiaoqin.
Xiaoqin walked to the bedside and carried the two children away.
“Daddy……” Baozi and Douzi didn’t want to leave.
“Go find your big brother with Auntie Qin.” Yi Chongren and Xiaoqin helped the two children put on their shoes.
Baozi and Douzi looked at daddy, then looked at the weird uncle they had to call “Father”, and obediently walked away with Auntie Qin.
Xiaoqin took the children out, and Ruan Xingtian, who was standing outside, arranged for a few guards to guard them from afar as Huo Feng had ordered.
He had important matters to discuss with Yi Chongren, so no one could disturb them.
Huo Feng pulled a chair over to sit across from Yi Chongren.
Yi Chongren sat on the bed a bit on guard and looked straight at the other party.
Neither of them spoke, and after a while, Huo Feng broke the silence.
“Yi Chongren, what are you afraid of?”
A sneer that Huo Feng was once very familiar with flashed across Yi Chongren’s eyes: “What should this commoner be afraid of? This commoner just doesn’t understand why your highness came here.
This commoner treated your highness with a bit of disrespect in the past, but on account of the favor this commoner has done for you, I hope you can let this commoner go.”
“Commoner? You call yourself a ‘commoner’, but why do I think that you’re the same as you were in the past, looking down on me?” Huo Feng moved his chair forward, knees meeting Yi Chongren’s knees.
Then, he leaned forward and placed his two hands on Yi Chongren’s sides.
Yi Chongren retreated back, eyes cold.
“What are you afraid of? Afraid this prince will eat you? Or punish you for your crimes?”
Huo Feng’s breath touched his face, and Yi Chongren, not wanting to show any weakness, didn’t move back.
He coldly said: “Didn’t you already say that you’d punish me for my crimes?”
A sneer similar to Yi Chongren’s appeared at the corner of Huo Feng’s lips.
He leaned towards Yi Chongren’s ears, as Yi Chongren once did to him, and said: “Where’s the Yi Chongren that once called me a foolish coward? How come after not meeting for a few years, you’ve become so cowardly? You’re afraid of returning to the capital with me, afraid I’ll adopt Baozi, and afraid of meeting me again.
Yi Chongren, you’re the real coward.”
Yi Chongren’s eyes appeared dull: “Your highness, stimulus is useless against this commoner.”
“Why would I use stimulus against you? I’ve never forgotten those words you said to me over these six years.
Yi Chongren, you can run.
If you can bear to let Baozi become homeless and miserable, you can run.”
Killing intent flashed in Yi Chongren’s eyes.
“Zhang Deyuan and the others are still in the capital.
Yi Chongren, you’re just an ordinary commoner now.
You already don’t have the ability to save them anymore.
If you don’t want them to suffer a calamity, just run away.” With this sentence, Huo Feng stood up and strode away.
Yi Chongren tightly clenched his fists, resisting the urge to grab his sword.
Closing the door, not a trace of his previous cold-heartedness could be discerned on Huo Feng’s face.
Seeing him come out, Ruan Xingtian walked over to say something, but Huo Feng raised his hand to stop him.
Remembering that there was a strong martial artist in the room, Ruan Xingtian immediately closed his mouth.
After reaching a point far enough from Yi Chongren’s room, Ruan Xiantian said: “Your highness, the world is set.
You should return to the capital soon.”
Huo Feng said: “We’ll depart in three days, Tell Huaiqui to not interfere no matter what I do to Yi Chongren.
I have my own plans.”
Ruan Xingtian found this a bit difficult.
He knew how much Zhang Huaiqiu valued Yi Chongren more than anyone.
He would definitely clash with his highness if it was for Yi Chongren.
Ruan Xingtian was completely powerless in regards to this.
“I am not an ungrateful person, but I must use some schemes to make him obediently return to the capital with me.
Don’t tell this to Huaiqiu.
This is a fight of wisdom and courage between Yi Chongren and I.
If anyone interferes, I won’t let them off easy.”
This last sentence left no room for change in this matter.
Ruan Xingtian could only nod.
It seemed that he’d need to watch out for Huaiqiu.
After speaking with Huo Feng, Yi Chongren didn’t leave the room.
The more adversity he faced, the calmer he became.
Upon returning to the capital, he definitely wouldn’t have a pleasant experience.
He had already prepared for Huo Feng to use Baozi to threaten him.
Yi Chongren considered how to secretly kill Huo Feng and escape with Baozi.
As for Douzi……he believed Huo Yunkai could take good care of him.
He already couldn’t take care of them for much longer.
But just as Yi Chongren was thinking of countermeasures, Huo Feng ordered people to carry a bed to Yi Chongren’s room and move his own baggage to Yi Chongren’s room.
Not even looking at Yi Chongren, after washing off all the dust from the journey, he directly lay on the bed and pulled up the quilt.
After a while, snoring sounded.
Yi Chongren stared at the person sleeping in front of him in a daze.
For the first time, he was at a complete loss.
What was this person doing? He was just thinking about how to kill him, but that man carefreely ran over and slept right in front of him! Yi Chongren grabbed his sword from the head of the bed.
When could he kill if not now!
“Daddy……” Baozi and Douzi ran in.
Yi Chongren hurriedly hung his sword back.
Seeing the weird uncle sleeping as they entered, Baozi and Douzi lightened their footsteps, happily ran to daddy, raised the night pearl in their hands, and whispered: “Daddy, uncle father gave us this.
It can light up.”
Both Baozi and Douzi had a night pearl in their hands.
Upon receiving the gifts, the two children’s first thought was to give them to daddy.
Yi Chongren felt guilty in an instant.
He had just wanted to abandon Douzi! He didn’t deserve to be called dad by Douzi!
“Daddy, give.” Douzi put his night pearl in daddy’s hand.
Baozi also gave his to daddy, and also quietly said: “Uncle father said this pearl will become even brighter at night.”
Swallowing, Yi Chongren put the two pearls in Douzi and Baozi’s pockets and said in a low voice: “You should keep the things your father gave you.
Call him father, not uncle father.”
The two children blinked, seeming to understand and not understand at the same time.
Glancing at Huo Feng, who was sleeping soundly, Yi Chongren carried the two children out.
Douzi and Baozi took out their night pearls to play, liking their present very much.
And Huo Feng truly seemed to have fallen asleep, not giving any reactions.
Yi Chongren, who initially felt guilty towards Douzi, pushed open the door, but the guards outside told him he couldn’t leave the courtyard.
The rage in Yi Chongren’s heart flared up in an instant.
He wouldn’t flare-up in front of the children, so he carried Baozi and Douzi back into the room, thinking it would still be best to kill the person in the room.
Once he fell asleep, Huo Feng didn’t wake up until the sky was dark.
The first thing he did after waking was touch his neck to check if his head was still attached.
His head was still there, so Huo Feng was relieved.
There was a faint light shining in from outside the room, so Huo Feng got up and opened the door.
And saw Yi Chongren reading by the candlelight.
The two children weren’t there.
Hearing movement, Yi Chongren raised his head to look at Huo Feng, before indifferently continuing to read his book without the intention to speak.
Huo Feng could see the anger in the man’s heart.
He went out to let someone bring something to eat, and then naturally sat directly across from Yi Chongren, a small square desk in between them.
Yi Chongren didn’t say anything, so Huo Feng carefreely stared at the other.
No matter how calm Yi Chongren’s heart was, he couldn’t’ remain calm under the other’s undisguised gaze.
But firstly, he didn’t want to say a word to the other party; second, he didn’t know what to say.
Yi Chongren stealthily turned a bit to avoid Huo Feng’s gaze, turned a page in his book, and continued reading.
“Empress Dowager Ru and the emperor are both dead.”
Huo Feng spoke.
Yi Chongren’s hand paused momentarily and he raised his eyes to look at the other.
Seeing Yi Chongren recover his calm after a momentary look of bewilderment, Huo Feng felt satisfied.
“After the final result was set in stone, Empress Dowager Ru committed suicide.
The emperor escaped from the palace and met my people.
My people didn’t recognize him and directly killed him.”
Huo Feng appeared as if he was just talking about some trivial matter, but firmly fixed his gaze on Yi Chongren, wanting to discern if the other was truly as calm as he seemed.
Yi Chongren could hear the test in Huo Feng’s words.
He put down the book, turned towards Huo Feng, and heartlessly said: “It was best to let these two people die for you.
Leaving them would only make them fall in the hands of people with aspirations.”
“Yi Chongren, where on earth is your heart?” Huo Feng stretched out his hand and lightly tapped Yi Chongren’s heart with his index finger.
Yi Chongren backed off without words.
“Lord Qianhu of the Hu An guards was Empress Dowager Ru’s confidante and favored official.
Your closeness with Empress Dowager Ru has long stopped being a secret.
She died, but you seem indifferent.
I thought you would still feel some affection towards her.”
It’s me, not “this prince”.
Huo Feng’s attitude was very different from when he was using Baozi and Douzi to threaten Yi Chongren earlier. Yi Chongren only thought the gaze Huo Feng was using to look at him was too deep.
He couldn’t see through what the other was planning to do to him.
With Huo Feng’s current status, it was normal for him to be unable to swallow the anger from what he did and said to Huo Feng in the past, but why would he involve Empress Dowager Ru?
Yi Chongren responded carefully: “No matter how much affection this commoner shared with Empress Dowager Ru, after this commoner left the capital, it disappeared.
What does your highness think this commoner should do? Get revenge for Empress Dowager Ru?”
I only want to know just how close you were to Empress Dowager Ru.
Huo Feng deeply looked into Yi Chongren’s eyes, wanting to see the true thoughts hidden at the bottom of his heart.
“Your highness, supper is here.”
Huo Feng directly stood up, letting the other enter.
He wasn’t in a hurry.
After they returned to the capital, he would have plenty of time.
Three days later, Huo Feng and his party set off as planned.
These three days, Huo Feng spent all his time in Yi Chongren’s room reading books, establishing father son bonds with Baozi and Douzi, or fighting with Yi Chongren.
No matter how one looked at it, he was monitoring Yi Chongren.
Yi Chongren seemed to have accepted his fate.
To him, other than the two children, nothing was important, including his own life.
Every time Douzi brought his latest present from father to daddy, Yi Chongren’s heart would be gnawed by guilt.
If he couldn’t let it go, he’d face it.
The first thing Huo Feng did upon returning to the capital was ascend the throne.
Soon, Huo Feng would marry some wives and bear other children.
Once kind hearted, simple Douzi entered that dangerous quagmire, as a dad, he had to protect his son.
As for Huo Yunkai, Yi Chongren wasn’t very concerned.
Huo Yunkai was already sixteen, was Huo Feng’s eldest son, and was knowledgeable in martial arts and studies after years under his guidance.
Yi Chongren wasn’t boasting, but it wouldn’t be easy for Huo Feng to raise a son who could rival Huo Yunkai, at least for the next ten years.
At that time, Huo Yunkai would already be over twenty years old.
Even if the other party had Huo Feng’s favor, they wouldn’t be able to compete with Huo Yunkai.
In other words, Huo Yunkai’s position as the crown prince was not only set in stone, but also unshakeable.
In comparison, Douzi was in more danger.
After thinking these matters through, Yi Chongren had no more baggage.
In the past, he could save old brother and the other right under the noses of Zhang Zhong and Sun Jiyu.
In the future, he could protect Douzi and Baozi in the same manner.
Even if Huo Feng became the emperor, he was not afraid.
Yi Chongren, confident in his abilities, brought everyone in the mansion, including Xiaoqin, who once vowed to never return to the capital.
Xiaoqin had no relatives, and Yi Chongren treated Xiaoqin as his own little sister, so naturally, he would place her at his side to protect.
The large group of people headed towards the capital.
Unlike the journey there, the journey back went a bit slower.
All the people in the mansion were old, weak, women, or children, so they naturally couldn’t ride horses.
Huo Feng had let Ruan Xingtian and Zhang Huaiqiu prepare many carriages to bring these people and their families back to the capital.
Huo Feng transferred ten thousand men from Zhao Dongchuan’s group to escort them back to the capital.
The carriages were in the front, the soldiers followed.
In the carriage at the head of the group, Baozi and Douzi lay by the window, appearing curious.
Huo Yunkai didn’t sit in the carriage.
He rode a horse beside the carriage.
Returning to the capital, no one was happier than him, because yifu seemed willing.
And most surprisingly, Huo Feng didn’t ride a horse.
He sat in the carriage with Yi Chongren and the two children, holding Baozi, who was looking out the window.
Douzi was in Yi Chongren’s arms.
Huo Feng wasn’t biased towards Douzi because he was his biological son.
On the contrary, as if to prove that he treated Baozi as his biological son, Huo Feng pampered Baozi a bit more.
Just like now, he didn’t hold Douzi, instead holding Baozi.
Douzi and Baozi did not feel as repulsed towards this father that came out of nowhere as before.
Not to mention, Huo Feng’s “toy offensive” was very effective.
This was Ruan Xingtian’s idea.
In addition, Huo Yunkai kept speaking for his father, so Douzi and Baozi were bribed easily.
In response, Yi Chongren always appeared calm.
Douzi was originally Huo Feng’s son, and Baozi also did Huo Feng a favor no matter how one looked at it, so Huo Feng should treat Baozi well.
Yi Chongren, this dad, wasn’t against more people treating his children well.
He wasn’t so petty.
Huo Feng sensed that Yi Chongren accepted the matter of returning to the capital, so he was relieved quite a bit.
If Yi Chongren really took Baozi and left, he wasn’t confident that he’d be able to find him.
Those threatening words were just a tactic for making the first move.
In terms of scheming, he was far from capable of being Yi Chongren’s opponent.
Also, he didn’t want to scheme against Yi Chongren.
He preferred to live in peace and harmony with Yi Chongren to take care of the two children like now.
 夜明珠 a rare form a fluorite that is naturally luminescent.
It’s those glowing round rocks that appear in cdramas a lot.
 是我，不是“本王” Throughout the novel, Huo Feng had been using 本王 to refer to himself, and in the previous paragraph he used 我.
I translated both as “I” or “me” to avoid clunkiness but the first is more formal and the second is more casual.
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