Chapter 64: What if I Insist on Going in
The two rushed out of the city.
When they got back to the barracks, they discovered that Zhao Litang had returned before them.
“Changyi, go inside and rest first.”
Zhao Litang sent Qi Changyi to his room before he pulled Wu Quan to the side and scolded him thoroughly.
Qi Changyi bit his lip in guilt.
He stood at the doorway and watched from afar, unwilling to enter his room.
“I wanted you to keep an eye on him, not take him outside! You know about his condition.
It’s freezing outside, what the hell would you do if something happened to him!”
Wu Quan lowered his head in shame, “General, this subordinate will remember your teachings.
This subordinate knows he is wrong, he will never take His Highness out without permission again!”
Zhao Litang sighed, “All right, I know I can’t blame it all on you.
I know what kind of person you are.
Did he say something sweet to make you let down your guard”
Wu Quan’s head dipped even lower.
Zhao Litang thought that to be the case.
He said, “Check his pulse first to see if there are any abnormalities.”
Wu Quan didn’t leave immediately.
Instead, he told Zhao Litang about how they had seen Pei Zheng and the imperial guards in the city.
“He’s quite efficient.” Zhao Litang said, “Don’t worry, without the Emperor’s decree, no one has the guts to come to the barracks and act rashly.
Even if he does come, he has no evidence that I have the person he’s looking for.”
Upon hearing Zhao Litang’s words, Wu Quan was instantly relieved.
He turned around and walked into Qi Changyi’s room.
Inside, there was a small fire, which kept the room steamy and warm.
Qi Changyi had already taken off his cloak.
Wu Quan took his pulse, and a strange expression spread over his face.
Zhao Litang called him to the side to question him.
Wu Quan shook his head, “His Highness’s pulse has been extremely unstable lately.
When it speeds up, he becomes more energetic, and can even walk a few steps.
But when it slows down, he’ll fall unconscious for extended periods of time, and even become feverish.
If it wasn’t for that old doctor’s prescription reinforcing his body, His Highness would probably still be in a coma right now.”
Zhao Litang clenched his fists.
The little prince couldn’t keep living like this.
For the past few days, he had been sending people to look for that mysterious ghost doctor in the Ghost Valley.
Unfortunately, no one had ever seen this ghost doctor before, so no one knew what he looked like.
On top of that, no one even knew where the Ghost Valley was.
Was it really just a legend
Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted as a little private with a bloody, swollen face ran inside.
“Reporting to the General! L…L-L-Lord Pei is here!”
The private shouted as he clutched his cheek.
Zhao Litang’s eyes changed, “Pei Zheng”
“Y-yes, the Prime Minister Pei of the Imperial City, Lord Pei!”
“What is he doing here”
The little private was about to cry, “This subordinate asked the same question, but was then beaten up to this point by Lord Pei’s guards.”
Zhao Litang waved his hand, “Forget it, you can leave now.
I’ll meet with him.”
Just as he was about to leave, he thought of the bright-eyed little prince who was lying on the bed.
He walked back to the small man’s bedside and bent down to look at him, “Changyi, do you know who I’m going to meet with now”
Qi Changyi gripped his sleeves and nodded.
“Whatever happened in the past, if you’re not willing to tell me about it, I won’t press you.
If you don’t want to see him or go back with him, I will definitely protect you, okay”
Qi Changyi’s nose turned warm, and sparkling tears beaded at the corners of his eyes.
“I know, Brother Tang.
Please be careful, please don’t get hurt.”
Zhao Litang responded with an “mm.”, before he turned and left.
In front of the gate to the barracks, two neat columns of imperial guards were lined up, clad in golden armor that distinguished them from the soldiers garrisoned at the borderlands.
The moment they saw Zhao Litang, the soldiers automatically cleared a path for him.
Pei Zheng was sitting languidly atop a chair at the back, and was hugging a charming beauty in his arms.
“Why, if it isn’t the extremely busy Prime Minister Pei.
How did you find time to come to a place as remote as the borderlands Could it be that no one in the entire Imperial City can stand you anymore”
Zhao Litang’s were dripping with sarcasm; anyone who heard these words would be enraged.
But Pei Zheng wasn’t enraged at all.
The angrier Zhao Litang became, the higher his lips curved.
Fondling the beauty’s fingers, Pei Zheng glanced over, “I just happened to pass by on official business.
I was missing an old friend so I came by to say hello.
General Zhao, why are you so angry You’ve only been here for a few days, but there’s nowhere for you to release the fire raging in your body”
Those who understood the veiled meaning in his words had scarlet earlobes.
The beauty in Pei Zheng’s arms also playfully slapped his chest.
“My Lord, don’t say such things in broad daylight.”
Only after he spoke did everyone suddenly realize that this beauty was an extremely fair and gentle-looking man.
“They don’t understand, but what about you Hm” Pei Zheng purposefully bit the young man’s ear and spoke in a husky, seductive tone.
“My Lord, you’re so mean, how can you bully Luo Yu like this”
Zhao Litang felt nauseous at the sight of the two entwined figures, and couldn’t bear to look at them any longer, “Now that Lord Pei has said hello, you can leave now!”
“Why are you so eager to shoo me away Aren’t you going to invite me inside” The smile on Pei Zheng’s lips suddenly vanished, and he was back to his usual cold, gloomy self, “Or are you hiding a little secret in there Are you afraid of me finding out about it”
Zhao Litang paused and said nothing.
Everybody suddenly fell silent.
The soldiers in the training grounds also stopped and looked over.
Pei Zheng still had that fearless, arrogant look in his eyes.
The beautiful man in his arms slowly pulled open his collar, and, in front of everyone, Pei Zheng stuck his hand right down Luo Yu’s robe.
If Zhao Litang wouldn’t let him in, he would simply sit in front of the barracks and let one thing lead to another.
Zhao Litang gripped the hilt of his saber, and backed away slightly in order to keep some distance from the two.
Through gritted teeth, he said, “Lord Pei, this way1.”
Pei Zheng smiled.
He removed his hand from the young man’s robes and squeezed his thin arm.
Though the gesture appeared to be ambiguous and gentle from a distance, the corners of the beautiful man’s lips twitched in pain.
There was really nothing to see in the barracks.
The place was full of gray-haired soldiers with muddy faces, who were always covered in sand and dust, and suffered hardships all year round.
In comparison, the imperial guards of the Imperial City were all fresh-faced and tender-skinned.
Pei Zheng’s naturally fair complexion stood out even more among the drab, dusty crowd.
“Here are the training grounds, the stables, the sand pit, the armory…”
The little private with the swollen face introduced each place as he spoke.
The beautiful man that Pei Zheng had been hugging earlier had already retreated; only the black-clad, expressionless Cheng Feng trailed behind him.
Cheng Feng raised his arm, and the private shrank away in fright.
Cheng Feng didn’t seem to notice and whispered something into Pei Zheng’s ear.
Pei Zheng immediately stopped walking, “General Zhao, let’s stop here.
It’s getting late…”
Zhao Litang replied, “Then I won’t waste any more of Lord Pei’s time.
The barracks are simple and crude; I will send someone to find lodging for you in the city.”
I think the barracks are quite nice.” Pei Zheng pointed to a smaller building hidden behind the main barracks and said, “If General Zhao doesn’t mind, I can stay there for a bit.”
Zhao Litang’s expression changed.
He looked at Pei Zheng; the building he was pointing to was where Qi Changyi was staying.
“I’m afraid that would be inconvenient.
My Lord is of such noble status, how could you stay in such a place People will think that my soldiers are insulting Lord Pei.”
Pei Zheng didn’t say a word, but he kept staring at the little building with a certain thoughtfulness in his eyes.
Though his lips were curled upward, it was a smile that made people shudder.
Zhao Litang said, “What about this, I’ll have someone clear out a larger room in the barracks for Lord Pei to stay in.
What do you think”
After a while, Pei Zheng tore his eyes away, “Then I’ll thank you for your consideration, General Zhao.”
Zhao Litang immediately ordered someone to clear out a room at the other end of the barracks and had someone else escort Pei Zheng to the building.
Pei Zheng didn’t have any objections and brought that beauty from earlier into the room as well.
It was still early in the evening, yet there were some strange, ambiguous noises coming from Pei Zheng’s room.
Muffled moans and soft cries were soon followed by screams of unbridled pleasure.
The charming sounds were enough to melt anyone’s mind into water.
All the soldiers guarding Pei Zheng’s room, save for the stone-faced Cheng Feng, had bright red earlobes.
No one could’ve guessed that Lord Pei was interested in men, nor could they have expected him to be so flamboyant and unruly.
He was equal parts shameless and brave.
In reality, Pei Zheng was still fully clothed and was sitting in a chair, sipping a cup of tea.
His thin lips were curled in a mysterious smile.
And that beautiful man, Luo Yu, was lying on the bed by himself.
His robes were loose, and his face was flushed.
He shook and gyrated his hips.
His head tilted back and he moaned, his hands tracing every part of his body.
It was only until he had screamed himself hoarse, that Luo Yu mustered the courage to ask Pei Zheng in a low voice, “My Lord, it’s been almost four hours, are we done”
Pei Zheng looked over at him, his gaze cold, “Keep going.”
Luo Yu could only continue this performance with his sore throat.
Night had finally fallen.
Pei Zheng stopped Luo Yu, stood up, and adjusted his collar so that it was slightly tilted before he walked out.
He ran straight into Zhao Litang, who was leading a group of soldiers on night patrol.
“It’s so late, yet General Zhao still hasn’t rested for the night.
You’re quite the hard worker.”
Zhao Litang looked at Pei Zheng and his crooked robes, and his face was ashen, “Lord Pei, being a soldier requires strict discipline.
If you want to do that, you should go somewhere else, instead of disturbing the atmosphere of my army!”
Pei Zheng smiled and said, “What a coincidence.
I was also thinking about going somewhere else.”
With those words, he walked away.
Zhao Litang continued patrolling for a while, before he went to Qi Changyi’s room to check on him.
The small man still hadn’t gone to sleep yet.
He was sitting on the bed with his shoes off and was staring at Wu Quan inexplicably.
“Changyi, why haven’t you gone to bed yet”
Zhao Litang took off his armor and walked over.
“Brother Tang, don’t talk to me right now.
I’m competing with Brother Wu: whoever blinks first loses, and I can’t lose…”
The little prince’s eyes were already very dry and red.
He was scowling with effort and was trying his best to keep his eyes open.
His eyelids were at their limit, so he quickly pinched them with his fingers and pulled them upward.
Wu Quan suddenly blinked, and two lines of tears immediately ran down his face.
He covered his eyes and shouted, “Ah! I lost! The enemy troops are too powerful! I was no match for them!”
The small man also blinked his eyes several times, and lifted his head to keep his tears from flowing, before he smiled at Zhao Litang, “Brother Tang, I won!”
Upon seeing how bright and happy he looked, Zhao Litang swallowed the words he was about to say back into his throat.
“You’re very cool.
But it’s getting late, no more playing for today.
It’s time to rest.”
Qi Changyi pouted, but he obediently buried himself under the blanket, and waved at Wu Quan, “Brother Wu, let’s have another battle tomorrow.”
Wu Quan nodded before he and the rest of the night patrol retreated.
Zhao Litang walked over and tucked him in.
The little prince lay peacefully, his eyes closed.
“Sleep well, don’t worry about anything tonight.”
Zhao Litang turned around and was about to leave.
Before he reached the door, he heard a slight rustle from beneath the quilt.
Zhao Litang walked back to the side of the bed and gently lifted a corner of the blanket.
Sure enough, he saw the small man curled into a ball, hugging his knees, and sobbing quietly, his cries filled with terrible sorrow.
He buried his face in his arms, his shoulders trembling.
“Don’t cry, Changyi, what’s wrong”
Qi Changyi looked up, his little face covered in tears.
His soft, aggrieved voice was filled with repressed sadness.
“I…I don’t know either, I just feel a little sad…” He pinched his lapel tightly with his fingers.
Zhao Litang wanted to help the small man up to comfort him, but he was interrupted by a sudden commotion at the door to the barracks.
“Lord Pei! Lord Pei, you can’t go in there! This is a restricted area; no one is allowed inside without the general’s permission!”
A frigid voice laced with drunkenness sounded.
“What if I insist on going in”
I feel like I might’ve misinterpreted something, is it even possible to…do that for four hours
Why is he drunk again, why didn’t he just force his way inside while Zhao Litang was on patrol, why was he watching Luo Yu, why is he so weird and illogical all the time
Also can we appreciate Brother Wu, what a sweetie~
Thanks for reading~
1.請 (qǐng): It’s kind of like “please come this way”, but it’s like…you let the person walk in front of you instead of leading them away, I don’t know, if you’ve watched any harem dramas they do this kind of thing