TUMBT: Chapter 42

Author: Chai Jidan

Translator: chiangyushien, Renkun27

Proofreader: KainGuru

“Am I still on earth?” Mu Xueshi muttered to himself. He had a wailer’s look on his face.

The next second, Mu Xueshi considered again and he patted his chest, consoling himself: “At least I can still understand the writings. This proves that I’m still in China. Why did I never hear about this dynasty? Could it be that they’re a group of people hiding on an island, living independently, and lost contact with the mainland?”

Mu Xueshi muttered to himself for quite some time, but also felt that he should not focus on this. At the moment, the top priority was to find out about the system of the royal palace and the distribution of the various imperial palaces. Finding the silver coin was a trivial matter. To be able to save Su Ying was the urgent matter. Thinking of that little child with the little apple-like face, Mu Xueshi felt that the Third Prince’s heart was not made of flesh.

He found something similar to the royal family tree. Mu Xueshi held it in his hand and felt it was heavy. He briefly looked through it. He discovered that there were multitudinous clauses and subclauses listed on it, practically containing all of the monarchs’ and princes’ dates of birth and death since the founding of the Yunxi Dynasty. He found that preceding all of the Princes’ and the Emperor’s Grandsons’ names, there were two characters: 楪 【ye】and 侓【lu】. Could this be their surname? Why did I not see it in the Book of Family Names [1] at all?

([1]「百家姓」Bǎijiāxìng – The Book of Family Names, anonymous Song dynasty reading primer listing 438 surnames)

Based on his intuition, Mu Xueshi turned over to the last page. The first one he found was Su Ying’s name. Su Ying was in the second row from the bottom. There was one more below him. That person’s date of birth was nearly a year later than Su Ying. Mu Xueshi followed the names and looked it up. Soon afterwards, he found the row for every Prince of the reigning Emperor. Looking at a series of personal names dazzled Mu Xueshi. He carefully searched, but in the end, he did not find the Third Prince’s name.

Mu Xueshi kept his big eyes wide open as he looked at it. He pointed his finger to the Second Prince’s name — Ye Lu Huan, and then moved downwards. Unexpectedly, it turned into the Fourth Prince’s — Ye Lu Sheng. Mu Xueshi was very puzzled. How was it that the Third Prince’s name was not there? He carefully looked over it again. On top of that, there was also no established separate entity for the Crown Prince. Even if he would become the emperor later, there should also be a record of the time when he was a prince, and was not followed by revocation.

All of a sudden, there came a burst of noise from outside. Mu Xueshi flurried, and hastily placed the heavy book back on top of the ancient wooden bookshelf. Because he vigorously put forth his strength, the bookshelf tilted toward one side. On top of it were innumerable rarely-seen treasures, all of which must not be touched. And those books and painting scrolls, even if you would only damage the corner, it would make these priceless treasures lose their value, so the more that they should not be dropped and break.

Mu Xueshi was aware of this. So, in a twinkling of an eye, he used his hands to hold the bookshelf and made it stand steady again. Unfortunately, he did not realize that there was one more important issue. Each compartment of the bookshelf was connected with a hollow plate made of smoked bao li wood, with no obstructions around it. This also meant that Mu Xueshi only protected the bookshelf itself, and he did not stop the things on top of it from falling to the ground. Mu Xueshi heard the crackling noises as these hit the ground. Right before his eyes was a burst of black and white.

I’m in trouble… This was the first thought inside Mu Xueshi’s mind.

The second thought that Mu Xueshi had in his mind was to run away, but this idea was obviously unrealistic. Even if he could escape the Third Prince’s punishment, in this heavily guarded imperial palace, he, the royal court felon, would certainly be pursued and captured anywhere he went. Even if the Third Prince said that in this period of time the prisoners would not be punished, it did not mean that he would let go of any perpetrators.

If he was arrested, there would be no doubt that he would eventually be sent off to the Third Prince who would be waiting there to deal with him. So would that not add to his crimes?

He still could not think of a way. Mu Xueshi heard footsteps from outside. In the turn of a hand, he turned pale with fright. Almost without hesitation, he sprang to the Third Prince’s bed.

Who cares! Nobody saw it anyway! If the Third Prince would come back, I’d say that I didn’t know. I’d say that I’ve been sleeping in here all along, that’s enough! Mu Xueshi thought. He quickly picked up the quilt from off the ground, pulled it over his body, and nervously closed his eyes.

 


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