The thought of the painting which Grand Tutor Liu used to openly defy Yun Ruofeng made Ning Lianchen both touched and worried for the aged man.


"Grand Tutor Liu, no need to stand on formalities; please get up quickly."


Grand Tutor Liu stood up. The man who was always serious in speech and manners had tears welling up in his eyes. "Your Majesty, this old official is afraid that time is running out for me. This old official will not be able to stay by your side, and must leave you to fend off Prince Yun alone..."


Ning Lianchen lifted his hands to wipe off the tears from the corners of his respected teacher's eyes. "You are this Emperor's respected teacher, and as they say, a teacher for a day is a father for life. This Emperor’s father passed on early. In this Emperor’s eyes, you are more like a strict father than a teacher. If you believe your time is running out, don’t say such things anymore; I will save you."


Ning Lianchen understood what Grand Tutor Liu was trying to say. He had openly defied Yun Ruofeng during the Dragon Boat Night Banquet; it is practically a given that Yun Ruofeng will have him executed.


However, although I am weak, I am determined to save Grand Tutor Liu.


"Your Majesty, Prince Yun has an immeasurable number of tricks up his sleeve. He controls the imperial power, using it to manipulate the court, and frame the previous Eldest Imperial Princess. He has even gone as far as to set heavy taxes, and channel all the country’s wealth into the military. You can’t incur his wrath while you have yet to spread your wings. You have to suffer through hardships until the time comes you are able to build up your own influence; only then will Prince Yun be slain. If Nanzhao goes on like this, this nation will definitely collapse." Grand Tutor Liu's words were spoken in an almost conversational tone, but there was no mistaking the cold and bleak meaning behind his words.


Ning Lianchen's felt his heart being wrung. It sounded like Grand Tutor Liu was trying to leave his last words. No, I can’t let Grand Tutor Liu die!


"Your Majesty, this old official has a ten-year-old daughter. If any mishaps are to occur, please take care of her in this old official's stead. When she is of age, you can let her out." Grand Tutor Liu then dropped to his knees. "Your Majesty only has to take care of this old official's daughter for five years. Five years will be good enough."


Ning Lianchen pursed his lips. Grand Tutor Liu is already resolved to die...


"Grand Tutor Liu, your daughter is waiting for you at the Liu Residence. You will be fine; this Emperor will think of a solution." Ning Lianchen helped Grand Tutor Liu up, his voice determined.


Grand Tutor Liu nodded, "Thank you, Your Majesty. This old official has arranged the books on the bookshelves. The first level - governing a nation; the second - deployment of troops; the third - use of personnel. These books add up to a dozen or so volumes. Though there aren't many, each and every one of them contains the quintessence of the guiding principles. This old official has placed Your Majesty's favourite floral tea and commoners' stir-fried chestnuts in the low cabinet beside the bookshelves. Your Majesty can enjoy them when you are tired of reading."


"Grand Tutor Liu, this Emperor will definitely save you." Ning Lianchen could feel the bitterness in his heart.


Grand Tutor Liu bowed deferentially. "Many thanks, Your Majesty. This old official shall take my leave. It's late and chilly, but please have a good rest." Grand Tutor Liu then turned and left. At the moment when he turned, there was a trace of firm determination in his eyes.


Grand Tutor Liu sneered, his grey-white hair appearing desolate under the moonlight. In reality, Wei Mohai’s subordinate, Qin Ling, had already come up to Grand Tutor Liu with a cup of wine after he exited the main hall. How could he not have known that it was full of poison?


He knew that when he openly defied Prince Yun, he would undoubtedly end up dead, but he had no regrets. He didn't speak a single word as he downed the contents of the cup.


Qin Ling had said that it would be four hours before the poison takes effect. This means that I can properly accompany my daughter in these four hours.


Four hours. He had spent one hour waiting for His Majesty to come out. After reaching his residence, he would need to pen a letter and have a servant send it to the Literary Association. Once they received the letter, it would definitely deal a huge blow to Prince Yun.


However, the consequences for such a letter would be the execution of his entire family. He couldn’t bear thinking about his daughter suffering such a fate, and could only entrust her to Ning Lianchen for now.



On the other boat, Su Xi-er pushed Pei Qianhao away. She turned her head slightly and saw Grand Tutor Liu.


She lifted her head and planted a kiss on Pei Qianhao of her own accord. "Prince Hao, please allow this servant to make a trip to Grand Tutor Liu’s residence."

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Cosy

TLC: Rakumon


Cosy: Ah, I feel so bad for Grand Tutor Liu...

Rakumon: Oh no, so this was what Prince Yun meant when he said he was going to allow Grand Tutor Liu to spend time with his daughter T^T *Sigh* Grand Tutor Liu has even included his life in this bet ;_;