Translated by Sleepchaser; TLCed and edited by Callis and juurensha
Everything happened in the blink of an eye. After a moment of stupor, Fu Junli went to sit at the seat that the Imperial guard had presented him.
After the banquet, his mind started to grow preoccupied. He spent a moment looking at Lianzhi as he played the guqin on stage, then shifted his gaze to Gu Bai, who was sitting next to Ji Zhangyin.
Once the banquet came to a close, Ji Zhangyin approached Gu Bai and said, “I’ll have someone escort you to the palace tomorrow.” Then he let him return to Fu Junli.
This time, they were seated in a carriage again. Gu Bai stared at the Fu Junli, who gave off the aura of ‘an unfocused mind unable to be cut short, a ceaseless sorrow of parting; there is something weighing heavily on his mind’. Only after mulling over it for a bit did he talk.
“Junli-gege, the gongzi who played the guqin in the banquet just now must be the Lianzhi you’ve mentioned before?”
Fu Junli nodded without a word, face growing pale. At present, it carried a tinge of green, his exhaustion evident.
“No wonder Junli-gege held on to him for so many years. Truly a gongzi from a peerless family…” Gu Bai kept his voice neutral and soft, before continuing with some worry, “I just had a glimpse today, but Yunxi should have congratulated Junli-gege in reuniting with an old friend. That gongzi seems to have entered the inner courtyard of His Highness, the Crown Prince. I’m only afraid that Junli-gege and that gongzi are…”
After that, Gu Bai did not speak any further. The situation was obvious. Lianzhi was now a person that belonged to the Crown Prince. If Fu Junli wanted a beauty, he could do as the Crown Prince did and pick up a prostitute. But was it so easy to want a beauty belonging to the Crown Prince?
Fu Junli didn’t comment. His heart felt somewhat troubled.
However, it wasn’t because of Lianzhi, but because of the scene of Ji Zhangyin holding Gu Bai intimately as they drank and laughed during the palace banquet. It was more upsetting than having to bid Lianzhi farewell, and his mood was completely chaotic because of it.
He did not continue to talk about Lianzhi. Rather, he looked at Gu Bai, his gaze worried. “Yunxi, what did the Crown Prince say to you before you left just now…?”
Gu Bai was surprised; instead of asking about Lianzhi, Fu Junli asked about this. He smiled in his heart. It appeared that the multi-day strategy had proved very effective. Since it was like this, the next game should be interesting.
“His Highness said that he would like to invite me to the palace tomorrow. To accompany him alone as we composed and admired poems a little—”
“No!” shouted Fu Junli, all of a sudden. “His Highness, the Crown Prince has always been a flippant and impudent person. The way he treated you today… In short, you’re not allowed to go tomorrow.”
“But if Yunxi doesn’t go, it’ll be seen as resisting the Crown Prince and implicate our entire family,” said Gu Bai, a pure and consoling smile on his lips.
“Don’t worry, Junli-gege. His Highness, the Crown Prince won’t take Yunxi in any way. He merely appreciates Yunxi’s talents…” Once he finished speaking, he didn’t wait for Junli to respond and continued, “But regarding Lianzhi-gongzi, what does Junli-gege intend to do?”
Fu Junli hesitated, not knowing what to say. His eyes swirled with the signs of careful consideration and recollection. Obviously, two characters “Lianzhi” had reappeared in his mind.
Noticing his expression, Gu Bai smiled. “Don’t worry, Junli-gege. You and Lianzhi-gongzi will eventually find happiness…” He did not interrupt his thoughts.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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The next morning, Ji Zhangyin sent someone to escort Gu Bai to the palace.
Master Fu watched as the imperial carriage stopped at the gates of the Fu family estate. The imposing, mighty imperial guards waited. Master Fu felt fearful, his eyes glued on Gu Bai’s face. At that moment, he thought of something, and happiness filled his heart.
He stared, pushing down the happiness in his heart, his voice serious as he said, “Be careful when you’re in the palace. Do whatever His Highness, the Crown Prince asks of you. If you disobey his command, you will lose your head!’
Gu Bai agreed, nodding obediently. But once he boarded the carriage, he was unable to hold himself back from smiling.
The moment they were in each other’s presence, Gu Bai rushed forward enthusiastically, not giving Ji Zhangyin a chance to say anything.
As he straddled him, the small crease of his buttocks pressed against the other’s hardness. The tender little hand clung to his shoulder. The bright-red lips moved to nibble gently on his own, before sucking a bit.
The tip of that little tongue was so hot, others would be madly itching to hold him in their arms.
Ji Zhangyin’s eyes suddenly flashed red. “You’re seducing me…”
“Do you want to openly make love in the middle of the day?”
Gu Bai laughed enchantingly.
In order to resist the urge to jump the youth on the spot, Ji Zhangyin was forced to take a deep breath.
Although they’d only known each other for a short period of time, not to mention only having met a few times, Ji Zhangyin had to admit the youth had an exotic charm, and it captivated him.
Noticing his expression, Gu Bai laughed with even more joy. He was extremely fond of these kinds of possessive men. It made his heart beat with more enthusiasm.
No longer teasing the other man, Gu Bai continued to sit on his lap. Then he changed the topic of conversation to what he really wanted. “Ji Zhangyin, I want to borrow someone from you…”
How audacious! A beat after he had called that man by name, cold sweat appeared on the forehead of the eunuch next to him. This little gongzi really didn’t want his life. He actually dared to call out the Crown Prince’s name.
Yet the next moment, Ji Zhangyin’s reaction made the eunuch sweat even more. On Ji Zhangyin’s face was a happy expression as he looked at the youth. “Who do you want?”
“Lianzhi…” Gu Bai narrowed his eyes. “I want you to give Lianzhi to Fu Junli!”
“Oh? Such a peerless beauty. It’d be a pity to give him to Fu Junli…” Ji Zhangyin arched a brow, a smile once more on his face. From the youth’s request, it was obvious he did not care for Fu Junli. A wave of relief washed over him.
Gu Bai caught a glimpse of his expression and couldn’t help but think he was jealous again. He shifted closer.
“You had Rong Lianzhi come out precisely for this, didn’t you? Although my original plan was disrupted, now I have a better idea. I’m going to play a game. Do you want to join?”
“What kind of game?” Ji Zhangyin’s heart trembled.
“Bring your ears closer…”
Gu Bai lowered his head and whispered a few words.
Once he finished, Ji Zhangyin looked up at him, eyes flashing with a dark gaze. “You’re playing with fire…”
“It’s because if one doesn’t play with fire, Gu Bai would die.” A faint smile played on the youth’s lips, his clear and pure eyes gleaming with a bewitching light.
Ji Zhangyin’s heart froze. At that moment, he lowered his head and bit the other’s lips. Gu Bai’s bewitching and strange gaze misted as he enjoyed the kiss, responding with much enthusiasm. In an instant, the two fell into a hot tangle of limbs.
Once they broke off the kiss, Ji Zhangyin picked up the youth, making for the bedroom with a heated gaze and long strides…
Fu Junli stayed in the estate for the whole day. He didn’t see Gu Bai return until Hai Shi.
Unlike in the morning, when he had been bright and refreshed, the youth appeared exhausted as he disembarked from the carriage. He walked unnaturally, his clothes loose. The corners of his eyes were damp and red.
Fu Junli’s heart seized. He waited until Gu Bai came closer and he could see the messy marks on his neck before he suddenly grabbed his shoulder, his voice trembling. “Yunxi, the Crown Prince, towards you…?”
Fu Junli’s grip was especially strong, causing Gu Bai some pain. He wanted to struggle out of it, but with his body as weak, aching, and limp as it was, he could only endure it.
Shooting him a glance, Gu Bai lowered his head. He held down the urge of wanting to leave, leaning on Fu Junli without a word, allowing him to stare at the hickies on his neck.
When it felt like Fu Junli was using more and more force gripping his shoulder, Gu Bai muttered under his breath, “Junli-gege, I’m tired…”
Then he used all his strength to push him away, staggering as he fled.
Fu Junli stood glued in place, watching him leave.
As he gazed at the sight of his departing back, he felt the illusion of pain in his chest.
From then on, Gu Bai entered the palace once every three to five days. Each time he returned home, he would appear aching, weak, and limping. After that, along with the Crown Prince’s various rewards, the businesses and industries of the Fu family grew smoother and greater.
Although Master Fu was delighted, Du Haitang clearly knew what was going on from what she had seen. With a pale face, she went to look for her son to talk in private, and found Gu Bai writing.
“Mother, why have you come here all of a sudden…?” Gu Bai averted his gaze, rushing to hide the collection of poetry behind his back.
“What are you hiding? Show Mother…” Du Haitang caught sight of something wrong with his expression, and snatched the item in his hands.
Although she was of humble birth, she was literate. After she had flipped open the poetry collection and turned over a few pages, tears suddenly flowed down her cheeks. She hugged Gu Bai amidst her sobs.
“Wuwu, my silly son, why of all the things you learned, you had to copy your mother’s foolishness from all those years ago? Wuwu…”
Fu Junli’s expression grew more and more sullen as the days passed. Gu Bai also estimated that the atmosphere of melancholy was just about to reach an endpoint. The night before he had entered the palace once more, he held him in his arms and cried for a while before whispering a few words.
“Junli-gege, Lianzhi-gongzi will return soon…”
After that, Gu Bai sprinted off. And Fu Junli stood there for a long time. He didn’t dare to even think about what he had meant.
It wasn’t until the next evening that he finally understood, when he saw that the person who stepped out of the carriage wasn’t the youth, but another familiar figure.
“His Highness, the Crown Prince appreciates Du Xiao-gongzi’s talents, and will have the little gongzi stay in the palace for a while… This is the beauty that His Highness, the Crown Prince bestows on Fu-gongzi…”
The other eunuchs left after the announcement, leaving Fu Junli glued to his spot.
“It’s all your fault! All yours! If it weren’t for you, how could my son be so foolish? Wuwuwu…. Take a good look at yourself. It’s all your fault. To be in a prince’s company is as perilous as living with a tiger. When can my son return? Wuwu…”
Du Haitang had broke into a sob out of the blue, and not caring how offended he might be, dragged him into Gu Bai’s room. She retrieved a book of poems and threw it in his face.
Fu Junli picked up the poetry collection on the ground and flipped through it. After he read several pages, his body froze, as if he had lost his soul.
I wonder what was written…
See you guys next time