The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1316
Chapter 1316: Mental Knot I
Chapter 1316: Mental Knot! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Blood splashed onto the paper, drop by drop, spot by spot. As Wang Chong lowered his head, he discovered that the excessive force he had applied had caused the handle of the brush to pierce his palm. But as blood trickled down, Wang Chong could feel no pain whatsoever. It was like the brush had been jabbed into some other person's palm.
Blood dripped onto the paper, but it was only when Wang Chong saw the lines 'Be the first to worry about the country's worries and the last to rejoice in its joys' that he felt a sharp stab of pain—not from his hand, but from his heart.
Wang Chong had believed that he had forgotten, that he had learned how to be relaxed and indifferent. But when he saw those words and felt the pain they had triggered in his heart, Wang Chong understood that the pain had not vanished, only been buried even deeper.
He slowly drew back his palm, wiped away the blood, applied some salve, and bandaged the wound. Afterward, he took a new brush and continued to write, acting as if nothing at all had happened.
Days continued to pass, and soon, there was only half a month left in Wang Chong's house arrest.
Wang Chong's second brother Wang Bei and his little sister Wang Xiaoyao had returned from the border. This made the Wang Family a little more joyous, driving away the clouds of sorrow that had been hanging over the estate.
"Come, come! Eat!"
As darkness fell, lanterns were lit, illuminating the Wang Family Residence and imbuing it with a joyous air. Everyone had gathered in the main hall, where a long dining table covered in all sorts of delicacies had been laid out. In the light of the red lanterns, everyone had beaming faces.
The Wang Family could only be happiest while eating, able to completely forget about all other matters.
"Come, come! Let's get ready!"
Wang Chong's mother sat at the head of the table, her face all smiles. To her left was Wang Chong while to her right was Wang Bei. At the very end of the table was Wang Chong's little sister, Wang Xiaoyao. The other people were seated according to their importance.
"I want to eat this!
Wang Xiaoyao, from her seat at the very end of the table, used a specially-made pair of long chopsticks to rove around the table, placing the best foods into her own bowl. The food in her bowl was now piled higher than her rice, and her mouth was also stuffed full.
"Enough for now! There's plenty for everyone!"
Madam Wang was both vexed and amused, and everyone around her laughed as well. In comparison to others, Wang Xiaoyao would always live a most relaxed, happy, and free life. She didn't have many worries and was the easiest to satisfy. As she grew up, what she liked had never changed.
Of course, it was eating.
Seeing everyone look at her bowl, Wang Xiaoyao's appetite was stimulated, and she began to take big bites. Her head was so buried in her bowl that it was difficult to see.
A dinner with Wang Xiaoyao present would never be boring, and there was nothing more happy and harmonious than everyone seated around the same table.
"Oh no! What's going on? My favorite chicken legs don't have any salt?"
Wang Xiaoyao had grabbed a chicken leg with her chopsticks and placed it in her mouth, and then her brow creased in discontent.
"Little Sister, stop messing around. There's salt!" Wang Chong said, chuckling as he looked at his little sister. As he spoke, he took a chicken bone and placed it in the bowl meant for scraps. His little sister's naughty nature had truly not changed. He had already finished eating one and found no problems at all.
Moreover, the estate's chefs were renowned throughout the capital, and they couldn't possibly neglect the salt. His little sister was just causing a fuss.
"There's no salt, no salt, no salt!"
Wang Xiaoyao fumed and shouted, even throwing her chopsticks on the table in anger.
"Xiaoyao, stop making trouble!"
Upon seeing this, Wang Chong's mother immediately turned stern. Wang Bei also gave an unhappy frown. Unlike his little brother and his mother, Wang Bei had a much colder and more murderous gaze.
"If you're not eating, then leave!"
"None of you believe me! I'm not messing around! There's no salt! If you don't believe me, try for yourself!"
Wang Xiaoyao angrily frowned as she stared at the others, showing no signs of backing down.
"Is that so? Young Miss, let me try."
Seeing how angry their young miss was, Su Shixuan and Xu Keyi tried to ease the mood and reached out with their own chopsticks to take a chicken leg. These chicken legs were usually Wang Xiaoyao's favorite, so everyone intentionally left them for her. But now, there was naturally no harm in trying one.
But after taking a bite, Xu Keyi and Su Shixuan immediately frowned.
"What's wrong? Can neither of you taste the salt either?"
Wang Chong shook his head and chuckled.
Su Shixuan and Xu Keyi would sometimes play along with his little sister. She was the youngest member of the household, after all.
"It… it seems like there really is no salt…"
Su Shixuan and Xu Keyi hesitantly looked at Wang Chong.
Wang Chong shook his head, not knowing if he should laugh or cry.
More and more people began to extend their chopsticks and take a chicken leg, realizing that something was wrong. And at this moment, a flurry of footsteps could be heard from outside. Under the eyes of the flabbergasted diners, the head chef of the residence rushed in, still holding a ladle in one hand.
"Madam, Second Master, Third Master, my utmost apologies. There was a small mishap while cooking just now. The bowl of Dongting chicken legs that the young lady enjoys so much was served without salt. I will go back and recook it! Madam, I am truly sorry!"
As the old chef spoke, he took the bowl of chicken legs from the table and hastily left.
The hall became eerily silent as everyone turned to look at Wang Chong. All of them had tried one of those chicken legs, and all of them had determined that there had truly been no flavor to them. And perhaps because they hadn't been cooked for long enough, they had still been a tiny bit raw.
But Wang Chong had failed to taste anything unusual.
Everyone had complicated expressions on their faces and deep concern in their eyes. Given all the time that had passed, everyone believed that Wang Chong had gotten better and had already forgotten about the problems of the court. He seemed to be fine, even occasionally joking around with Wang Xiaoyao.
But now, they came to the startling realization that nothing was as they had imagined.
Wang Chong had never forgotten.
In the face of all these worried gazes in this silent hall, Wang Chong seemed to understand something, and then his smile began to fade. He had always believed that he had been hiding it well, never expecting that he would be exposed like this.
"Mother, I'm going out for a walk!"
Wang Chong stood up, put down his chopsticks, and calmly walked away, avoiding everyone's gazes. Behind him, Wang Xiaoyao was still shouting that "I knew there was no salt, but none of you believed me." As he felt the wind blow on his body, Wang Chong suddenly felt a chill.
There were some things that were thought to have been forgotten, but while he could fool others, he could not fool himself. A day would come where the mask on one's face would inadvertently be pulled off, revealing that most fragile part of one's soul.
Wang Chong didn't want others to worry about him.
But there were some things that he could not help but worry about!
He was confused and lost. In this dark night, he had no idea where to go!
"Madam, we found this in the young master's room."
Not long after Wang Chong was gone, a maid suddenly stepped forward and opened her palm. In this palm were a bloodstained bandage and a cinnabar brush that had been snapped in two. The sight of these two objects made Madam Wang instantly pale.
"Mother, I'll go and find him!"
Wang Bei immediately stood up.
"There's no need. Let him have some time to himself."
Madam Wang shook her head, her eyes dim. Wang Chong had already fallen unconscious twice, and the mental knot in his heart remained tight. All they could do at this time was to try not to stimulate him and refuse to discuss any political matter within the residence. Just like that imperial physician had said, her child's mental illness could only be resolved through his own efforts.
Wang Chong walked alone through the residence in the quiet night, intentionally avoiding the places where others would be and choosing the most remote gardens and verandas. He walked around and around, but the ache in his heart remained and only intensified with time.
The sound of the bell marking the time came from outside. Wang Chong stopped and faintly heard footsteps making their way toward the residence. Within the capital, each area would have people announcing what time it was, and these people would usually travel in pairs.
"…Ahead of us is the Wang Family Residence!"
The voices of two night watchmen drew Wang Chong's attention.
"Isn't that where the King of Foreign Lands is?"
"Ah! You're a newcomer, so I advise you not to talk any more about that."
One of the watchmen had barely spoken when he was cut off by his partner. The two watchmen gradually faded into the darkness. As Wang Chong came to his senses, he realized that he was standing in front of the high perimeter walls.
These walls seemed to be as high as mountains, blocking his path and weighing down his heart. At this moment, Wang Chong suddenly had a strong desire to go out. With a light shake of his feet, Wang Chong drifted onto the wall like a leaf.
As he stood on the wall, he could see countless lights twinkling in the darkness, and that familiar feeling once more surged into his heart. He was like a solitary boat drifting in the endless ocean, lost in the darkness and confused as to where to go.
Wang Chong turned and saw the two night watchmen walking into the distance. Softly sighing, Wang Chong jumped down from the wall and began to head in the opposite direction.
Behind him, a silent figure watched from the shadows, and then furtively began to follow.