As the carriage moved unhurriedly along the road, the hustle and bustle of the Qixi Festival faded away, and the closer they got to the palace, the quieter the market became.
The two of them sat side by side in the carriage, Ning Zhiyu leaned on Yan Yuan's shoulder and spoke softly to him, but Yan Yuan never responded to him.
Ning Zhiyu called out to Yan Yuan several times before Yan Yuan came back to his senses and turned his head to look at Ning Zhiyu: "...
Ning Zhiyu sat up and worriedly asked, "What are you thinking about these past few days You are always lost in thought when you are with me, is it because you have encountered some difficulties in the affairs of state"
Yan Yuan smiled, "No."
Ning Zhiyu looked steadily at his handsome face, and an indescribable sadness rose up in his heart.
He felt that although this man was sitting beside him, his heart was getting further and further away from him.
Today, Yan Yuan had not planned to take Ning Yuan out, but Ning Zhiyu had begged him for a long time, saying that he wanted to go to the temple fair and watch the lanterns like an ordinary couple.
Since Ning Zhiyu rarely wanted anything, Yan Yuan could not bear to refuse, and seeing that he was in much better spirits after taking the dragon scales these days, he agreed.
However, from the day Xuan Long left, his heart never stopped missing him.
Yan Yuan knew he was wrong to do so, but he simply could not control himself.
At first, he was only obsessed with Xuan Long's body and wanted to make love with him when he was close to him, but now that Xuan Long was gone, his heart was left empty.
Although he would not die, he could not stop thinking about that dragon's face in his mind, thinking about it when he ate, thinking about it when he slept, thinking about it when he dealt with court affairs, even when he was with Ning Zhiyu, he could not help but think about it frequently.
He knew that the deeper he fell, the deeper his betrayal of Ning Zhiyu.
However, if people could easily control their feelings, how could there be so many smitten men and women who would die for love
he really be in love with that dragon
What about A'Yu, what should he do about A'Yu...
Yan Yuan's heart clenched when he thought of this, but at that moment, Ning Zhiyu suddenly coughed at his side.
Yan Yuan's heart was startled and he took out a handkerchief from his sleeve and brought it to Ning Zhiyu's lips.
Ning Zhiyu raised his hand to take it and Yan Yuan gently smoothed his thin back: "Does it hurt a lot"
Ning Zhiyu shook his head, covering his lips with the handkerchief and coughing incessantly.
The curtain of the carriage was lifted by the wind, and the moonlight penetrating from the window revealed that his face was pale and his eyes were scarlet.
Yan Yuan was distressed and ordered the guards driving outside to quicken their pace.
It took a long time for Ning Zhiyu to calm down, and when the white handkerchief was removed from his lips, it was half red with blood.
Yan Yuan took the handkerchief from him and folded it, using a clean area to wipe away the blood left on Ning Zhiyu's lips, and said dumbly, "I should never have brought you out.
You were fine, it must be because of the wind this evening, now you are coughing up blood again."
Ning Zhiyu knew that he was concerned about him, so he smiled and lifted his hand to touch Yan Yuan's warm cheek, saying comfortingly, "This body naturally has its ups and downs, it's fine, don't worry about it, A'Yuan."
Yan Yuan did not want to say heavy words again, so he silently took Ning Zhiyu into his arms.
Ning Zhiyu leaned on his shoulder, and remained speechless for a long time.
When the carriage entered the imperial city, Ning Zhiyu called him.
Yan Yuan looked down: "Hm"
"I am very happy tonight." Ning Zhiyu said softly.
Yan Yuan smiled, his eyes soft: "I am also very happy."
“A'Yuan." Ning Zhiyu called out to him again.
"Hm" Yan Yuan patiently replied.
you fall in love with someone else one day, don't tell me."
Yan Yuan's body stiffened slightly, "What are you saying"
The corners of Ning Zhiyu's mouth lifted in a shallow arc, as relaxed as if he were chatting about what he had eaten this evening.
His eyes were as dark as night, with a not-so-heated light burning inside them.
Perhaps because of the darkness, the fire seemed extraordinarily alive, yet it seemed like it would go out at any moment.
"I just want to be happy in my last days on earth.
If you fall in love with someone else, don't tell me, give me a glass of arsenic and send me away in peace.
It would be better if you fed it to me with your own hands, and I could die in your arms...
which would make me happy."
Seeing the smile on Ning Zhiyu's face, Yan Yuan felt dazzled and panicked, tightening his arms to hold him tightly in his embrace, saying hoarsely, "You have really been sick for too long, even your mind is not very clear anymore, always talking nonsense like this.
But I will not despise you, you are my empress, no matter what you become, I will continue to love you.
How can you say such a thing as giving you poisoned wine Do you want to make me unhappy and upset"
Ning Zhiyu clutched the lapels of his coat and his eyes turned red: "No..."
He did not want to upset Yan Yuan.
He just couldn't accept that the only person in the world who had treated him well was leaving him.
If that day came, he would rather be a sober-minded fool than a blind man with bright eyes.
There was nothing to fear from death, but what was worse than death was watching his beloved go against him.
If a person has no hope, death is a very easy thing.
Yan Yuan stroked Ning Zhiyu's back and spoke in a warm voice: "I know you are sensitive, and when you are sick for a long time, you tend to have random thoughts."
"I don't blame you."
"If you are tired, go to sleep, I am here."
Ning Zhiyu could not help but feel the urge to cry.
This man had obviously treated him so tenderly, how could he suspect that Yan Yuan had changed his mind Maybe he really was sick and loved to think wildly, hurting himself as well as his A'Yuan.
“En." Ning Zhiyu wrapped his arms around Yan Yuan's waist and leaned against his shoulder, closing his eyes while tears slipped out of the corners of his eyes.
The carriage stopped outside Luanfeng Palace.
Yan Yuan carried Ning Zhiyu and got out of the carriage.
When he entered the palace, Ning Zhiyu woke up.
Yan Yuan gently put him on the bed, took Ning Zhiyu's hand and talked for a while, then put him to sleep before he left to attend to today's pile of government affairs.
Yan Yuan had not returned to Qiankun Palace for several days, and spent the night either in the Luanfeng Hall or on a small couch in the imperial study.
As soon as he returned to the place where he had lived with Xuan Long, he felt empty and desolate, and could hardly sleep.
He did not expect that a mere demonic beast could leave such a heavy mark on his heart, just like the scratch marks left by a sword passing over a wall; no matter how deep the marks are, they can be repaired to perfection by skilled craftsmen, but what once existed will not be erased forever with the calmness of the surface.
In the imperial study, Yan Yuan sat behind the desk, looking at the documents on the table.
The weasel hair brush in his hand was about to fall, and the ink from the tip of his brush dripped onto the documents, blurring the words on them into a mess.
Yan Yuan snapped back to his senses, and when he looked around, he saw that the large imperial study was empty, and he was the only one.
The unique solitude and silence of the dark night completely submerged him, and he suddenly remembered the clumsy dragon.
Although the dragon was clumsy, he was really good to him; he would try to coax him when he was angry, he wouldn't say anything nice, but would only use his actions to prove his sincerity.
Yan Yuan originally thought he did not care about Xuan Long's sincerity, the person he loved was A'Yu, what did he need Xuan Long's sincerity for He had felt it was superfluous before, but now...
it was still actually a burden.
He cannot betray his promise with A'Yu...
Yan Yuan put down the weasel hair brush in his hand and took out the iris jade pendant from his chest, the same piece he had given to Xuan Long as a token of love.
Xuan Long did not take it with him when he left, and it was left on the table in the side hall of Qiankun palace.
It is funny that when he chose this jade pendant, Yan Yuan did not use any care, he just asked the eunuch to pick it from the treasury.
He just took a random piece and gave it to him, telling Xuan Long that he had chosen it carefully, and then he made him so happy that he even plucked a scale and gave it to him.
Now that the dragon was gone, Yan Yuan kept this meaningless jade pendant in his pocket, taking it out from time to time to look at it.
When he looked at this jade pendant, he always wondered whether Xuan Long had once held this jade pendant in his possession, and whether his fingertips had also rubbed the lines on it, thus thinking of him.
However, no matter how confused he was, no one answered him.
Xuan Long had left.
The sky and the sea are wide, will he go back to the thousand-year-old pond, or will he find another place where no one knows about him, where he can hide in peace and quiet, where he cannot be found
Yan Yuan's heart swelled with an inexplicable sadness.
He lifted his hand and wanted to throw the jade pendant to the ground to break his undeserved thoughts, but he felt reluctant to do so.
He had given Ning Zhiyu the inverse scale as medicine, and the only remaining link between him and Xuan Long was this jade pendant, which meant very little to him, but it contained the love that they had shared.
Even if that love seemed ridiculous to anyone.
Eventually, Yan Yuan withdrew his hand, but somehow his grip failed to tighten and the jade pendant slipped from his hand extremely quickly, smashing onto the hard tabletop.
The jade shattered.
Yan Yuan scrambled to pick up the jade pendant and tried to piece the fingertip-sized fragment of broken jade back together, but he could not do so, and with unease in his heart, he called out in a loud voice.
Chen Yan came in and seeing his anxious face, he carefully approached him and asked, "Your Majesty, what is wrong"
"Look at this jade pendant, can it be restored to its original form" Yan Yuan said in an urgent voice.
Chen Yan looked at it for a moment and truthfully said, "Your Majesty, this jade is broken, I am afraid it cannot be restored.
Even if it is repaired, it will still have marks.
Aren't there still many jade pendants similar to this one in the treasury, you should not be in such a hurry."
"It's not the same...
not the same.” Yan Yuan murmured, a sense of foreboding faintly appearing in his heart.
This was the token of love he gifted to Xuan Long, and since it was a token of love, it was naturally unique, how could another one be the same.
When he finds Xuan Long later, he will have to return this jade pendant to him.
There is no reason to take back what he gave away.
At this moment, Yan Yuan did not think about anything, only this thought came to his mind.
However, a broken mirror is difficult to make whole, and so is a broken jade.
Unless the immortals were alive, this jade would never be restored to its original form.
Just like a broken relationship, even if you try to restore it afterwards, it will never be the same as before.
That night, Yan Yuan had that dream again, and when he woke up in the morning, he wept and wet his pillow, drowning in the grief of the destruction for a long time.
Even when he ran to Luanfeng Hall and held Ning Zhiyu in his arms, he could not feel at peace.
Unable to figure out why this was so, he blamed it all on the fact that the heavens had found out that he was conflicted and therefore used this intense pain to warn him to treat his lover well.