Great performances made time slip by. The party was soon coming to an end.
At the end of the performances, magnificent fireworks lit up the skies. Every person in the palace, in the Imperial City, was mesmerised by the beautiful night sky.
“Zhao Yarou, this is not bad at all.”
“Yeah, it’s really pretty. Too bad it disappears so quickly!”
“If it isn’t so pretty, how would it be memorable? People often forget about the beauty of the things around them!”
“...” Unconsciously, Ye Lang started to talk to Zhao Yarou. He’d forgotten about everything else as if he really was there to celebrate her birthday.
“Hey, is that a sky lantern?”
Among the fireworks, Ye Lang saw many sky lanterns slowly rising into the sky. These lanterns were a lot prettier than the ones he released the other day too, making the scene magnificent as ever.
“Sky lanterns… These are the sky lanterns you released the other day?” asked Zhao Yarou.
“Yep! I was bored so I made a few. I didn’t expect everyone else to made one too.” Ye Lang stared at the dots of light in the sky.
“Of course they did, because they were so beautiful!” said Zhao Yarou gently.
“Oh right, you can release one now too. Write your birthday wish on a lantern, then let it fly into the sky. The heavens will receive your wishes, then it will come true. Too bad we don’t have any now…” Ye Lang said wistfully.
“I have sky lanterns, I prepared some to release it with you!” A huge sky lantern appeared by Zhao Yarou’s side. This was designed by Zhu Ye’er to fly.
This was the highlight of the night. Zhao Yarou had wanted to release a lantern with Ye Lang.
“Then write your birthday wish down, then stick it on the lantern!” said Ye Lang excitedly. He’d already forgotten about everything else now.
“Alright!” Zhao Yarou took a brush but there was no ink. She wrote her wish down with water, clear water.
This was because she didn’t want anyone to see her wish. Only the heavens will know, they would know what she wished for!
Ye Lang did not care. After she was done, they released the lantern together. Zhao Yarou was all smiles under the lights, perhaps the happiest smile she had in her life.
That was because she was spending her birthday with Ye Lang, and she’d just sent her wish to the heavens!
Ye Lang was equally excited upon seeing the lantern, he was grinning too. It made him look kind and approachable as ever!
They both didn’t know that what they did that night soon became a tradition across the mainland. A birthday tradition, which was to write your wish on a lantern, then release it on your birthday.
The higher the lantern flew, the more likely your wish was going to come true!
Zhao Yarou did not know that a small thing she did to make herself happy would be forever be remembered in history. Generations down the road, people would hear of the story between her and Ye Lang because everyone had a birthday.
However, these people might not know of the sudden plot twist!
When the lantern disappeared, Zhao Yarou’s party ended too.
“Thank you for spending the best birthday I’ve ever had with me!” said Zhao Yarou.
“Why are you thanking me? I don’t think I even did anything,” said Ye Lang blankly.
“It’s enough, it was enough!” Zhao Yarou smiled, looking at him. She suddenly became very, very gentle, like a gentle…
Wife? No, more like a little sister!
This feeling was odd. Not just to the crowd, even Ye Lang thought something was off.
“Are you thinking of something bad? Why are you smiling like that?” Ye Lang asked.
“Nothing! I just want to ask you something,” Zhao Yarou asked, smiling.
“What is it?”
“Ye Lang, tell me, how did you put on those ears and that tail?” said Zhao Yarou mildly, with a smile on her face as if it was a very normal question.
What did the empress say? Did she say ‘Ye Lang’? Was Ye Lang here? Also, what ears and tail? Was she talking to the fox?
Did she mean the fox was Ye Lang? How was that possible?
The crowd started to murmur, Li Yue’s expression changed. They all wanted to ask Zhao Yarou many questions.
Very soon, Ye Lang’s next words confirmed that the fox in front of them was definitely the Ye family’s thirteenth master.
“Oh, this is very simple. You’re very good at alchemy, you can use one like this too. You just have to…” Ye Lang answered as if he hadn’t noticed anything wrong. He continued explaining how he did it.
A person THIS slow could only be the thirteenth master!
Suddenly, all the questions that plagued the audience were answered, i.e. why she placed so much importance on Ye Lang, why he was so weird etc.
Zhu Ye’er understood why Ye Lang made her felt that way too- they were the same person! She also understood why he had to distance himself from her, he couldn’t let Zhao Yarou know.
Anyone who was close to Ye Lang ran the risk of Zhao Yarou’s wrath. A while after this, anyone who’d been close to him were all punished on the basis of treason.
Li Yue also understood why he was so enthusiastic about making friends there. He wanted to make sure these people were punished! They deserved it too.
At this moment, everyone started moving. Some stepped back, some stepped forward to surround him.
When Zhao Yarou had uttered his name, her guards had actually started to mobilise. Sir Tie Jing initially wanted to come forward but he was secretly stopped by Zhao Yarou.