Yinyou was born in the 20th year of Kangxi, so he’s 19. Yinzhen’s three years older, so now he should be 22. Because of the Chinese age system, they consider themselves one year older than they actually are. So they’re 20 and 23. —Bambi

In the 39th year of Kangxi’s reign, during the splendid springtime, Kangxi decided to embark on a southern inspection tour. Yinyou was not included in the list of entourage but he didn’t thought there was something wrong with this. This tour was not a simple one, and there were a lot of troublesome things involved. He certainly wouldn’t ask for trouble. 

In fact, what surprised him the most was that Yinzhen was not on the list either. Instead, the Crown Prince who had stayed to supervise the cabinet in the past was. The eldest, second, third, eighth, ninth, tenth, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth brothers were all among the entourage.

In this way, the only adult princes left were Yinzhen, Yiqi, and Yinyou. Yinqi did not care about governing, and Yinyou was devoted to the Ministry of Industry. As for Yinzhen, before the emperor left, he publicly told the officials to encourage the fourth prince to do well. For a time, high-ranking officials in the capital looked to Yinzhen for guidance.

Yinzhen seemed unaware of the officials’ eyes. He quietly immersed himself the work, consulting with others to resolve minor issues and presenting major issues to Kangxi, letting the emperor decide. He reported everything he did and how he resolved issues to Kangxi in letters, all without losing his composure. He successfully avoided the emperor’s suspicion.

Yinyou knew that both Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty liked to tour the South. As for which years they went there and what happened, he had no idea. He vaguely remembered that something had happened during Kangxi’s southern tour which caused the Crown Prince to be deposed for the first time. That time the thirteenth prince was also  imprisoned1Long story short: the Crown Prince apparently tried to kill Kangxi. This was the eldest brother’s scheme. Kangxi believed it. Of the princes, only the 13th brother defended the CP but by doing so he went against the emperor which was a crime.. Because of this, before the departure Yinyou advised Yinxiang that he should stay in his tent when he had nothing to do, and not mess with the Crown Prince’s affairs. If he was really bored, he should go to play with the twelfth and fourteenth brothers.

He did this because he had watched that kid Yinxiang grow up, and was naturally fond of him. Yinyou didn’t know if little thirteenth would take his words to heart, but this was the only thing he could do. Although Kangxi was considered a wise emperor, he was still a human being. When something he didn’t want to happen happened, it wouldn’t be too strange if he expressed his anger.

At the end of last year, even after Yinyou and Yinzhen confessed their feelings, their relationship was not much different from the past. Yinzhen was still doing his own things, while Yinyou stayed in the Ministry of Works, only now there was a certain kind of atmosphere between them which was difficult to pin-point.

The uneasiness in Yinzhen’s heart was also put down. Occasionally, when no one was around, he would hold Yinyou’s fair hand, kiss his cheek and coax him.

The only thing that made Yinzhen unhappy was that at the end of last year, the seventh Fu Jin became pregnant, and Consort Cheng gave Yinzhen two more Ge Ge2Ge Ge are concubines. Its the Manchu title.. Thinking of the Fu Jin and Ge Ge in his house, even if Yinzhen was jealous, he could only keep quiet.

“Seventh Prince, this steam mechanism looks very effective, but it sounds still difficult to implement. Wei Chen thought about it: if we put it in a carriage, this might go faster, but after all, there are too many people walking around. If one is not careful, what should we do if they bump into someone?”

As he talked, the man with a thin face laid out a complicated drawing in front of Yinyou. Because it was drawn with a brush, Yinyou’s brain ached from looking at it, but he still examined it carefully.

Its true he was an engineering student in his previous life, but his speciality and his previous work were different from this. He patted the official in the shoulder and suggested, “You’re too detailed and this time, you’ve caught something we’ve overlooked. Consider this: If we put this new carriage on a specific road made just for it, wouldn’t that problem be solved, wouldn’t that problem be solved?”

Yinyou hoped that these kinds of carriages would be put to use sooner rather than later. After all, they would be utilizing steam locomotives, and wouldn’t that be something? But as Yinyou looked at the official’s shining eyes, he was clear-headed. Even if China was full of capable people, it wouldn’t matter as long as Kangxi did not agree to construct these roads.

Although he was not highly educated on Qing Dynasty inventions and events, he still had some knowledge of the emperors’ personalities. After all, these were all summarized in textbooks and supplemented with additional readings. Although Kangxi could be considered open to Western science, he kept this knowledge to himself and did not share it or indoctrinate the people. The emperors of the Qing Dynasty tended towards a policy of keeping the common people ignorant, rather than allowing for a hundred flowers to bloom3Bǎi huā qí fàng. It literally translates to “hundred flowers blossom simultaneously” and metaphorically it means encouraging a diversity of opinions, ideas, or talents to flourish. as in the Tang Dynasty.

Yinyou’s mind wandered. Perhaps Kangxi would be more accepting to creations of their own making? It was a curious notion: when their own people produced something beneficial, it was deemed as positive, yet if it was crafted by others, it was viewed as a potential threat. Lost in contemplation, Yinyou failed to notice the eager expression on the official’s face, whom he had just patted on the shoulder.

The status of the craftsman was not high, and this official was just a minor official from the seventh rank. It was a great honor to be looked at by the seventh prince with such trusting and expectant eyes. This official clenched his hands full of fighting spirit. Since he had the diagram in his hands, he must strive to share the seventh prince’s worries!

The Minister of the Ministry of Works looked at the bustling Ministry with a look of relief on his face. In the past year, the emperor has repeatedly praised the Ministry of Works in the court. When buying materials, they didn’t have to worry about running out of money. Even if they went to the Ministry of Household4Yinzhen is in charge of the Ministry of Household, so he of course gotta support his bf! to ask for money they would no longer get cold stares from the officials. Now their waist were straight and they walked with their heads high. Everyone was so energetic, and it was all because they had the fortune of having the seventh prince at their side.

Thinking about the unexpectedly good results of the spinning wheels, waterwheels and plows they tried out at the end of last year, he couldn’t help but let out a hearty laugh. It turned out that apart from being scolded, his Ministry of Works could still have such liveliness.

Since the steam locomotive was still in the design stage, Yinyou was not so busy and he went back home for dinner when the time came. Because his Fu Jin was three months pregnant he was both happy and relieved. Now that he had a child, he no longer be pressured to accept the women Consort Cheng sent.

Now that he and Yinzhen have established a relationship, if he continues to bring women into the Mansion, he will be sorry for both Yinzhen and those women. What’s more, he remembered that among Kangxi’s sons, there were several who had few concubines, such as the eighth brother and the thirteenth brother. 

After leaving the Ministry of Industry, Yinyou carefully thought about the three women at home. Jinsu managed the house orderly and since Maqi was no longer a follower of the eighth brother he didn’t need to be on guard against her any longer. Although the maiden families of Fucha shi and Barda Hala shi were humble, they belonged to the Eight Banners. Since Fucha was a well-respected surname among the Eight Banners, after some time this Fucha shi could be simply promoted to Ce Fu Jin. Yinyou felt this arrangement was suitable.

If the imperial concubines refrained from gifting him any more women, and considering that Kangxi still had many younger sons, he may not remember him when sending women to the various imperial princes and nobles. Furthermore, other ministers probably won’t send women to him, an insignificant prince, to curry favor.

At noon, he accompanied Jinsu to have a meal. Barda Hala shi and Fucha shi wanted to serve him during his meal but he waved them away. Then, after eating his fill, Yinyou took the newly obtained scented tea and entered the palace.

When he arrived at Consort Cheng’s place, she was watering a pot of flowers. Seeing Yinyou coming in, she put down the kettle in her hand and took a pair of scissors from the maid next to her. She slowly trimmed the flowers as she asked softly, “Why did you come in today?”

“Son came to pay his respects to E’niang.” Yinyou smiled gently and walked to Consort Cheng’s side.

He carefully took the scissors from Consort Cheng’s hand and started trimming for her. “This son got some scented tea. I heard that women drink it to nourish their beauty, so I thought of gifting some to E’niang. Is it possible that E’niang doesn’t welcome me?”

Consort Cheng saw that Yinyou had chopped off her flower into a mess, but she didn’t scold him or felt it was a pity. She walked closer to Yinyou and tightened his collar, saying, “It’s still cold this early in the spring. Why are you still going out? This is all you’re wearing?”

“I’m already wearing very thick clothes, E’niang.” Yinyou grinned and put down the scissors. He took Consort Cheng to sit aside and chatted about the house affairs and Jinsu’s physical condition. Consort Cheng felt at ease hearing him be so leisurely.

“This is Jinsu’s first child. You have to ask the servants in the house to be especially careful.” Consort Cheng sighed, “Although I arranged two Ge Ge for you, you can’t break Jinsu’s heart, I like her a lot and if you do something bad, I will definitely deal with you.”

“E’niang, don’t worry, this son is not that kind of person.”

Yinyou was not a lustful man and now that he was in a relationship with Yinzhen this kind of indulging was even more difficult to happen. He accepted those two Ge Ges because he didn’t want to make his E’niang lose face and he slept with them because he didn’t want people to think Jinsu was not virtuous. Even so, he only slept with them one time and spent the rest of his days in his own courtyard.

Yinyou smiled and said, “E’niang, I’m a little hungry, please ask someone to make me some snacks.”

It was already after the meal time, how could Yinyou be hungry? Consort Cheng understood that her son wanted to talk to her about something so she diligently sent her servants away. Only when mother and son remained in the room did Yinyou start talking.

“E’niang, this son is not a womanizer. There are too many women in the house and it only causes me a headache. Moreover, if I have so many women, in the future if someone is interested in using them to stir trouble it wouldn’t be too difficult.”

When Yinyou noticed that Consort Cheng’s face was calm after he finished stating his mind he finally felt relieved.

Consort Cheng nodded, “I know it’s not easy for you, I understand.”

Her maiden family was not very prominent, and she only gave birth to one child, Yinyou. She was not favored by the emperor but she gave birth to a prince, so she could only be an imperial concubine. Now she was a Consort and she knew it was her child who earn her this position.

She did not give him a healthy body, allowing him to grow up in the neglect of the emperor and the cold eyes of his brothers. When she first heard that he was being bullied by the eldest brother, she broke one of her fingernails in hatred. Consort Hui was unafraid and cruel because she had powerful relatives, but Consort Cheng knew that in the harem the winner had the final laugh. She remained cold-headed and did not fight back. She was simply biding her time. In her heart, she remembered all the times her child was oppressed by the eldest prince.

After advising Yinyou to be careful, Consort Cheng suddenly said, “The fourth brother sent me a lot of things. Please go and thank him for E’niang. Your fourth brother has been taking care of you since you were a child. Now that you’ve grow up you should also help him out. Don’t just eat and drink your fourth brother’s food all day long.”

Yinyou was secretly surprised, was Consort Cheng making her position clear? Towards Consort Cheng, Yinyou felt both guilt and love. This time, he also admired her. For women in the harem it was very important to stand on the winning side. She was not particularly favored, but she was still in a high position. Didn’t that show she was exceptional?

“This son understands. The fourth brother has always treated me very well. E’niang, you don’t need to worry,” Yinyou reassured her with a smile.

Consort Cheng nodded, choosing not to dwell further on the matter. When the servant brought the pastries, Yinyou ate half a piece, then rose to bid his farewells, kneeling as he did so.

Not far from Xianfu Palace5The place where Consort Cheng lives., Yinyou met Yinzhen who was coming out of Yonghe Palace6The place where Consort De lives.. The two brothers smiled at each other and walked side by side.

After leaving the palace, the two of them got on a sedan and Yinyou started talking with a smile, “Fourth brother, E’niang just told me not to just think about eating and drinking from you all day long, and that I should help you wherever I can. If in the future she asks you about it, you must remember to say a good word for me.”

“Cheng E’niang knows you very well.” Yinzhen’s eyes darkened slightly and he reached out and hooked Yinyou’s index finger.

A wry smile appeared in his face, “The water is too muddy, why should seventh brother go down and dirty his clothes? Even if I get stuck in the mud, at least you are still clean7He means that Yinyou should not get involved in the political twist. Mostly because its very dangerous. .”

Yinyou reassured him, “These are the wishes of E’niang, and they must also be the wishes of E’niangs family. Fourth brother, you don’t have to mind it.”

He held Yinzhen’s hand and said indifferently, “I’ll just be dirty, what else? How can I stay clean when you’re already standing by the muddy water?”

Yinzhen frowned slightly and tightened his grasp on Yinyou’s hand but said nothing.

After the sedan stopped at Yinzhen’s mansion, Yinyou suddenly said, “Fourth brother, I am a man and I know how to protect myself. You just continue walking and I’ll follow behind you naturally.”

Yinzhen just gazed at Yinyou silently. He asked him in a deep, low voice, “Do you know what will happen to you if I lose?”

“I know,” Yinzhen chuckled and reached out to grasp the pendant in Yinzhen’s waist. Holding his own pendant, he fitted the two of them together. The two jade pendants actually formed a circle without any flaws.8This pendant appears for the first time in chapter 59! Told you guys to remember it, did you?

“E’niang’s maiden family chose to support you and that’s their business. I chose to follow you, and that’s my business too. We just happened to chose the same person.”

Hearing Yinyou’s persuading words, Yinzhen felt complicated but also more determined to get that position. From this moment on, he couldn’t lose this huge gamble, in fact, he couldn’t afford to lose.

The two got off the sedan chair and as soon as they entered the mansion, they saw Xiao Luzi walking towards them in a hurry, with obvious panic on his face.

“Master, seventh Master. The Crown Prince and the ninth prince were sent back to the Capital. The emperor ordered the Crown Prince to be imprisoned in Changchun Palace9The place where the CP lives. In official history he was imprisoned in Xian’an Palace. and no one is allowed to visit him!”

The translator has something to say: If any of you read something about me saying I will upload Friday, ahem, no, you didn’t!