Chapter 16 : Never-ending Troubles

Title: Infinite Power Over The World

Original title: 权倾天下[重生]

Author: 叶默凉(Ye Moliang)

Translated by: ~PurpleLy~

Once Crown Prince Murong Cheng learned of Shen Ci’s existence, he had a strange notion. Say nothing of Murong Heng and how different he was in the past; he’d actually gleaned how to reinvent himself. Just him having sought out this aide was enough to prompt Murong Cheng to prepare for battle.

He’d heard of Gentleman Wan Ting’s reputation, so he didn’t dare be reckless about this matter. Thus, he immediately dispatched several capable subordinates to monitor outside the entrance of Prince Heng’s mansion and to report to him right away if there was any movement.

In the meantime, there was continuous music playing in Prince Heng’s mansion. Shen Ci sat before the jiaowei qin, gently plucking the strings with his hands. He remembered that when he was younger, his father allowed him to learn how to play the qin. His dream was to become an outstanding qin musician, so he practised diligently. In the beginning, he often suffered injuries on his fingers, and bloody cuts were common. But before he could wait for his dream to be realised, his family had undergone such a major change that his qin training had to be put on hold since then.

Many years later, when he was slowly able to control his emotions and no longer think about the past, he picked up the qin again. However, his family’s fortunes were dwindling, Feng Nan needed to protect him and couldn’t leave, so he could only occasionally play a song when he was on a pleasure boat. There, he was able to earn some silver taels for their living expenses. Fortunately, the boss of the pleasure boat was someone with good sense. The silver he gave each time was sufficient for Shen Ci to maintain his livelihood, and he never requested for him to do anything else. That was how he and Feng Nan could live a stable life up until now.

After the Shen residence collapsed, everyone was killed, leaving him and Feng Nan to depend on each other for survival. He couldn’t bear to make things difficult for Feng Nan’s embarrassment, so he gave up his wish to own a better qin. It wasn’t until Murong Heng appeared in his life that everything completely changed.

Shen Ci caressed the jiaowei qin beneath his hands, feeling every part of it with his fingertips. He strummed the strings every now and then and played a few monotonous syllables. Some time passed before he heard the familiar sound of footsteps not too far away. His face brightened into a smile.

“I’m back.” Murong Heng’s voice rang out, and he quickly made his way into the pavilion. When he noticed that Shen Ci was just plucking the strings and not doing anything else, he smiled and said, “Could it be that Ah Ci has been waiting for me to return?”

Shen Ci lowered his head and said nothing. He was indeed waiting for him to return. Ever since the previous time both of them had played the qin and flute harmoniously, he’d found that it was hard to focus while playing the qin alone. He wanted someone to play along with him, so he chose to sit and not move as he waited for Murong Heng to come back after court had been dismissed.

After ordering the guard behind him to fetch the jade flute from his room, Murong Heng brought the flute to his lips and played it softly. This was then followed by Shen Ci’s qin music. The two of them synchronised, and there was even a tendency to vie for virtuosity. The elegant music was quite sublime.

At the same time, several of the crown prince’s undercover guards had also arrived outside the entrance of Prince Heng’s mansion. They hid atop some far-off, dense trees, a decent distance away from the mansion. They happened to catch sight of the scene in the pavilion. The leader narrowed his eyes as he pondered inwardly. It appeared that the relationship between Prince Heng and this person was truly unique. If he were someone average, how was he qualified to be invited by the noble prince into his mansion, let alone play music together in harmony? Therefore, what the crown prince said was right. This person needed to be disposed of, otherwise, once the two of them grew closer the more they partnered together, that would be the period of decline for the crown prince.

After snooping for a while, the few undercover guards wanted to leave. Just then, a gust of wind breezed past, brushing over the swords that they were carrying and giving off a barely audible swishing sound. However, the man in white in the courtyard froze instantly. His expression changed, and he hurriedly ordered everyone to withdraw.

Seeing Shen Ci stop abruptly, Murong Heng also lowered the jade flute and asked, “What’s happening?”

“There are people all around.” Shen Ci narrowed his eyes and succinctly answered.

As soon as he’d spoken, Murong Heng’s countenance changed drastically. The nearby guards also set off immediately. They soon encountered the undercover guards concealed in the trees and clashed with them.

Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to flee, the few undercover guards braced themselves. They drew out their swords and started fighting with the mansion guards. Slowly, their defences began to fail. Discerning that the situation wasn’t favourable, the leader glanced around for a way to escape.

Right at that moment, a guard raised his sword to stab at him. He swiftly swerved to evade, but he still suffered a gash on his abdomen. When he saw that his brethren all around him were gradually succumbing, he lunged his sword at the guard in front who was battling him. Once the guard dodged, he retreated and escaped.

Upon seeing their leader flee, the remaining undercover guards also wanted to get away. However, the guards rigorously trained by Murong Heng were far superior in skill, so how would they let them go so easily? Before long, the bodies of the few undercover guards were covered with gashes. When they realised that there was no escaping, they simply bit the poison pill in their mouths to kill themselves.

The undercover guards collapsed to the ground. The fight was done. Murong Heng strode out of his mansion. He reached out to tug off the black scarf from one of the undercover guards. The unveiled face seemed unfamiliar, but he wanted to know who’d sent them. If it wasn’t Murong Cheng, it would be Murong Chong.

The leader of his guards half-knelt and lowered his head. “Your Highness, one of them escaped.”

“No harm.” One person would need to be released to report back, so just use the opportunity to disrupt their plan. However, he must be more careful in the future. The patrolling of the Shen residence, in particular, must be strengthened so that no one with bad intentions would be allowed to approach.

“Deal with the bodies.” Murong Heng ordered in a chilly tone. He then turned around and went back into the pavilion and gave a laugh, saying, “Ah Ci, you indeed guessed right. Someone came to spy.” Previously, Shen Ci had already said that in the future, there would surely be people sent over to investigate, and they needed to be wary. Unexpectedly, he’d predicted it accurately.

“Da Ge is too generous with your praise.” A proud smile appeared at the corners of Shen Ci’s mouth, and his fingers strummed gently on the strings of the qin. His entire person appeared calm and composed, as if everything was under his control.

At this time, the undercover guard who escaped had just returned to the imperial palace. He went all the way to the crown prince’s palace. Once he reported the incident, he didn’t expect to receive a kick from the crown prince. It caused his wound to split open, and the pain was extreme.

“Useless! Even gotten yourselves discovered! What’s the point of having you?” Murong Cheng exploded in anger. He thought that the level of martial arts of these undercover guards was enough to get by, but he’d foolhardily underestimated Murong Heng.

Moreover, according to that undercover guard, Murong Heng was on very good terms with that man. That made Murong Cheng even more furious. No, he mustn’t let these two ruin his plan. When he thought of this, he said in a low voice, “Get the heck out of here. Send someone to kill that man.”

Murong Heng couldn’t be killed at the moment. He would attract Imperial Father’s notice if he were to be killed, and it would be more difficult to explain then. But it was different for that Gentleman Wan Ting. If he were killed, it would be tantamount to snapping off one of Murong Heng’s wings. Let’s see how fierce he can be then! Kill this one person to avoid future troubles!

The next day, Shen Ci awoke early in the morning. He took the things that Feng Nan had prepared last night, got in a carriage, and hurried to the outskirts. The moment he departed the house, the information about his movements reached Murong Heng’s ears.

Murong Heng quickly followed his carriage discreetly, not because he had unscrupulous thoughts and wanted to see what Shen Ci would do, but because he didn’t dare take chances with his safety after what happened yesterday. Regardless if it was the crown prince or the fifth prince, they would certainly attempt to kill Shen Ci first in order to gain the upper hand.

Therefore, he’d followed to secretly protect Shen Ci, as well as to see who couldn’t sit still anymore. With this in mind, Murong Heng brought along several highly-skilled guards and trailed behind Shen Ci’s carriage.

Upon arriving at the foot of the mountain, Shen Ci got out of the carriage. With Feng Nan’s help, he walked up the mountain step-by-step until he reached the entrance of a temple. He walked inside and came to face two memorial tablets before slowly kneeling down.

Murong Heng witnessed this scene. It was then that he realised today was the death anniversary of Chen Mo Heng and his wife. That was why Shen Ci had come here—to pay respects to his parents.

Furthermore, he’d chosen to come here and not the burial place in order to safeguard the ashes of his parents. If someone with bad intentions knew where Chen Mo Heng’s ashes were buried, it would be hard to prevent them from being stolen and used to threaten him. As such, this measure was also for the sake of protecting his parents.

Feng Nan was also kneeling on the rush cushion. All of a sudden, a memorial tablet close by caught his attention. Once he read the name on it, he burst out in alarm: “Young Master! There’s actually a tablet for Prince Heng!”

Shen Ci was shocked when he heard that. Just then, Murong Heng’s voice rang out from a distance and grew closer: “I set up this memorial tablet because I wished to commemorate the past ignorance and my gratitude for being allowed to attain a new life.”

Shen Ci inexplicably frowned, but he was even more astonished that Murong Heng had shown up here. His expression was so obvious that Murong Heng couldn’t help laughing out loud.

Walking ahead of Shen Ci, Murong Heng faced Shen Mo Heng’s memorial tablet, offered three sticks of incense, then immediately backed away until he reached Shen Ci’s side, and said in a low voice, “I’m here to be with you.”

It wasn’t surprising that some would misconstrue the words he’d uttered. Shen Ci pursed his lips, then turned to the side where Feng Nan was standing and said, “Feng Nan, you can return first. Da Ge and I have something to discuss.”

Feng Nan’s eyes widened upon hearing the words. Da Ge? Since when did his young master and Prince Heng grow so close to the extent that they could address each other as brothers? He was completely in the dark! When he faced his young master, no words of refusal came to mind, so he stood up and walked out. He turned to glance back every three steps. The harmonious sight of Murong Heng’s and Shen Ci’s backs triggered a throbbing pain in his heart again that wouldn’t calm down.

Once Feng Nan left, Murong Heng assisted Shen Ci to stand up. Needless to say, he trusted that Shen Ci also clearly understood why he’d followed this time. He was an intelligent person, and he could understand his intentions without him saying much.

When he thought of this, Murong Heng became startled right away. When did he come to be like this? He actually felt that Shen Ci could understand everything about him, and he was willing to yield everything of his to him. He didn’t know when this kind of trust emerged, but it was already deeply ingrained in his heart.

The two remained in the temple and ate lunch together. Naturally, the food in the temple couldn’t be compared to that of the palace, and it was even a little hard to swallow. But for some reason, with Shen Ci by his side, Murong Heng would still be able to consume it if the food were more unpleasant than this one.

Shen Ci put down the bowl and chopsticks he was holding, used a cloth to wipe off the residue around his mouth, and asked in a low voice. “Da Ge, have you decided? What are you going to do next?”

“I want……” He was about to continue when he suddenly heard a peculiar sound at the door, as if someone was eavesdropping outside and accidentally stepped on a branch. He swiftly stood up and rushed out.

Could it be that someone had been trailing him all the way here for the sake of just listening in on the conversation between him and Shen Ci?

But after leaving his mansion, he couldn’t detect anything. When Murong Heng turned around, he saw a medium-sized kitten shivering and hiding at the corner of the wall, looking pitifully at him.

It seems that this little fella was the one who’d made the noise earlier. Murong Heng heaved a sigh of relief. He only heard the kitten emit a soft cry. It looks like it had been separated from its mother.

Shen Ci also heard the kitten’s whimpering, and he came outside in surprise. He picked the cat up from the ground and held it in his arms as he spoke gently: “Have you been separated from your mother? I’ll take you to look for her, alright?”

The kitten was probably a little frightened. It burrowed into Shen Ci’s arms without moving. Shen Ci walked beside Murong Heng and slowly stroked the kitten’s body to calm it down.

All of a sudden, he heard the meowing sounds of a cat. The kitten in his arms also began to struggle. Shen Ci thought that perhaps the mother cat had come searching, so he hurriedly placed the kitten on the ground. When he heard the happy cries of two cats reuniting, the corners of his mouth automatically curved into repeated smiles.

“Let’s go.” Murong Heng observed Shen Ci’s actions but didn’t get in the way. Everything in the world is sentient. He’d also witnessed Shen Ci’s gentle care earlier and felt indescribably happy inside.

Just as the two were about to head down the mountain, the guard next to him drew out the sword from his waist without warning. Murong Heng also heard an unusual sound, and everyone’s expressions grew tense.

Immediately afterwards, more than a dozen men in black rushed out from the surrounding forest and moved towards them!


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