Fu Zhiyu hadn’t reacted yet.
His brain was so messed up by the alarm that it felt as if it had been mushed into a ball of paste.
When the Lord God finished speaking but before Fu Zhiyu had time to answer, he felt a great suction force behind him, sucking him in all at once.

Everything in front of his eyes turned black, and he suddenly lost consciousness.

“Awake, awake! His Highness is awake!”

When Fu Zhiyu came round again, the only thing he felt was that his whole body seemed soft and he didn’t have any strength at all.
He felt hot and cold, sticky and very sore.
Not only that; but there was also the sound of women talking, as well as a faint sobbing.

All this made him feel strange and uncomfortable; his mind was sluggish.
At that moment, he couldn’t figure out who he really was.

His eyes remained half-open and he couldn’t see clearly.
His vision was dim and blurred.

“Xiaobao (Little Treasure)?” He felt a woman crying while touching his face with trembling hands, “Are you… really awake? Look at Mother Concubine…”

All other sensations were blurred, but only the touch of these hands was clear.
Fu Zhiyu seemed to be pulled out of the illusion of nothingness by these hands all at once, and his eyes finally brightened.

“You… Mother Concubine?” He strained his throat and managed a few words, “I…”

Before he finished speaking, the woman, who saw him really wake up, cried out excitedly, buried her face in his shoulder socket and her tears instantly wet his clothes.

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” Fu Zhiyu stretched out his hand, coughed twice, and finally found his voice.
He slowly stroked his mother’s hair and said softly, “…I’m back.”

After that, an imperial doctor came to check Fu Zhiyu’s pulse, turned around and bowed his head respectfully, saying, “Congratulations to Noble Imperial Concubine Yun(1), His Highness Ninth Prince has survived and is no longer in danger.
However, the weather has been cold recently, and long-term recuperation is still required to avoid falling ill.
I will write down a prescription, please take the medicine regularly.”

When Concubine Yun heard this, she was overjoyed.
She rewarded the doctor and then touched Fu Zhiyu’s face again, shedding tears in distress.

“My son is so thin,” she cried, “If I had known, I wouldn’t have stayed in that Longquan Temple.
I was praying for blessings but did my son a disservice.”

Fu Zhiyu’s throat felt uncomfortable after saying a few words.
Even after drinking some water, it still hurt badly, so he stopped talking, just holding his mother’s hand, reluctant to let go.

His mind gradually became clear, and it occurred to him what scene it probably was.

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That winter, according to the protocol, a grand ceremony was to be held, with the imperial family praying for good weather and prosperity for the country.
Longquan Temple on the outskirts of the capital was the official temple of the founding dynasty and had been the site of major ceremonies for many years.
The imperial family had always attached great importance to it.
The emperor, the empress and the concubines of the harem with the rank of noble concubine and above were all present, and a number of important ministers accompanied them.
Several princes, including Fu Zhiyu, also followed.

The ceremony went well and ended three days ago.

However, the Empress Dowager had always been fond of the purity of Buddhism and wanted to discuss Buddhism with the abbot, so she stayed for a few more days, as did several of the concubines, including Concubine Yun.

She stayed not to keep the Empress Dowager company, but because she had heard that the peace talisman of Longquan Temple was extremely spiritual, so she thought of begging for one for Fu Zhiyu.
The peace talisman was received, but on the night before leaving the temple, Fu Zhiyu fell into the ice lake not far from Longquan Temple.
Although he was rescued, he had floated in the ice lake for a while, and when the doctor arrived, he had already fainted.

He had been suffering from a fever since then, and several prescriptions were of little use.
It was even thought that the Ninth Prince might not be able to survive.
But who knew what kind of destiny he had; perhaps the peace talisman of Longquan Temple was really useful and couldn’t let the imperial bloodline die here, so Fu Zhiyu survived in the end.

Back then Fu Zhiyu went to the ice lake because he was curious about it.
Although the lake in the palace also froze in winter, the ice was not as thick as in the temple, thick enough for people to be able to stand on it.
It was also very boring in the temple.
Fu Zhiyu had been here for more than ten days, and the ice lake was the only place he found interesting.

Every day after reciting the scriptures with his mother, he secretly went there.
A group of young monks who had just joined the temple quietly made skates and took advantage of the night to skate there happily.
Fu Zhiyu couldn’t skate, but he was just sixteen years old this year.
He still had a youthful mentality.
It was very enjoyable to watch this lively scene.

Unexpectedly, as soon as he stepped on the ice that day, the ice broke under his feet and he fell into the water.

Then… Xie Ke appeared.

But why didn’t the scene follow the original plot line in the book? Where did Miss Xue go this time?

Fu Zhiyu had some doubts.
He happened to be sent back by the Lord God at this plot point.
If he came earlier, he wouldn’t go to the ice lake even with the knife pressed to his neck.

Not to mention the almost fatal incident, he robbed Miss Xue’s plot line and met Xie Ke, which was really unlucky.

Fu Zhiyu still remembered the last thing the Lord God said to him, but he didn’t know what the specific situation was, and the Lord God hadn’t had time to finish speaking.

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In any case, at this point in time, he still had a chance to extricate himself.
Fu Zhiyu lay on the bed, pondering silently.
No matter what Xie Ke wanted to do this time, the farther away from him, the better.
Anyway, he was just a cannon fodder who had only lived for a fifth of the book.
As long as the protagonist didn’t deviate from the main line, the stability of the world wouldn’t be affected.

As a stubborn bug in the system, Fu Zhiyu was in a stable state of mind and even his mood was good.

He thought that his mother concubine was barely mentioned in the book, not important to the plot, let alone the main line, so her fate could be changed, too.
If he had a chance to do it all over again, he would never let her die so aggrieved and early.

Fu Zhiyu had plans but he had just woken up and his body was not well yet.
In the end, he couldn’t resist his grogginess.
He turned his head and fell asleep again.

In order not to disturb his rest, Concubine Yun also went out and personally watched over the kitchen to make the medicine.
Only two guards were left by Fu Zhiyu’s room, standing outside the door, and a palace maid was waiting a short distance away with her head bowed, ready for her master to summon her at any time.

Because of his health problems, Fu Zhiyu couldn’t rush back to the palace, and after he woke up, the Empress Dowager also had her say.
Longquan Temple had the Buddha’s blessing.
The miraculous recovery of the Ninth Prince was ironclad evidence.
He should have stayed here until he was well enough to go back.
Here, he would be living in the north wing.

Although Longquan Temple was an official temple of the dynasty and was heavily guarded, it was not comparable to the imperial palace.
If someone had a wish to come in, it was not difficult.

In the middle of the night, the palace maid guarding the house felt drowsy.
For some reason tonight her sleepiness was so overwhelming that she couldn’t keep her eyes open.
She quietly put her head on the wall on one side and decided to close her eyes for a moment.
But as soon as her eyes closed, she quickly fell asleep, as if she had been drugged.

Fu Zhiyu also fell into a deep sleep, so he couldn’t see that at this very moment a cloud covered the moon and, taking advantage of the darkness, a man tumbled through the window at such speed that the guards on patrol didn’t even notice. 

Fu Zhiyu only felt that his dream was very unsettling.
There was a huge snake in his dream that entangled him tightly from head to toe, suffocating him, so he had to open his mouth wide to get some air.

But the snake was very annoying and refused to leave him even this option to breathe.
The snake’s tongue reached out and licked his lips lightly, its fangs nibbling his mouth repeatedly, making Fu Zhiyu gag.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” He heard the snake gushing apologies while still refusing to let him go.

If you are sorry, release me! Fu Zhiyu couldn’t break free from the coils of the snake and was in such a sorry state in his dream that he couldn’t even speak.

“It’s me who understood too late… I waited for a long time and did a lot… just for a chance.” The snake completely ignored his struggle and locked him tighter, as if it wanted to rub Fu Zhiyu into its flesh and blood.
It then whispered in Fu Zhiyu’s ear, “As long as you’re back… finally everything can start again, we, we can start again.”

The author has something to say: 

Xiao Yu: I don’t think so.

Her title is 贵妃 (guìfēi) – imperial consort, noble consort, senior concubine 

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