Zhong Wan glanced at the driver of the carriage, and the latter lowered his head in shame. Helplessness settled in the pit of his stomach. That person probably belonged to Yu She.
What was inevitable could not be escaped from. Zhong Wan disembarked from the carriage and headed for the side courtyard.
Yu She had yet to return. The moment Steward Feng caught sight of Zhong Wan, he almost jumped from shock. After he had heard the news from the people leaving the palace, only then did he know what had occurred. Steward Feng’s hands shook from rage. “Fifth Prince is Heir’s blood-related younger cousin. Her Highness, Consort Yu is Heir’s blood-related aunt. They, they…”
As he was speaking, someone arrived. The servant said that someone from the palace came to invite Prince Yu.
Zhong Wan furrowed his brows. “Was Prince Yu summoned to reprimand Yu She?”
“How could that be?” Steward Feng exhaled. “It’s certainly to have Prince Yu lecture Her Highness Consort Yu and Fifth Prince.”
But Zhong Wan was still unable to be at ease. “No matter how you put it, it was Yu She who shoved Fifth Prince into the water. Is he really not going to get in trouble?”
Steward Feng did not seem to care at the slightest. “As long as Fifth Prince is fine, then Heir will be fine. This wasn’t the first time either. At the very most… he’d be punished half a year of salary and ten days to half a month of house arrest. It’s not a big deal.”
Steward Feng heaved a sigh. “Her Highness Consort Yu probably knows that will be the result. As such, she would insist on making this a bigger deal…”
Steward Feng appeared used to such things. But for some reason, no matter how Zhong Wan thought of it, he found the situation beyond belief.
“Why did your honored self come?” It was at that moment that Steward Feng had noticed Zhong Wan’s presence. Surprise flashing in his eyes, he asked, “Why… did your honored self move in so soon? I haven’t tidied up anything yet.”
Helplessly, Zhong Wan said, “Your family’s Heir tricked me to come here. If there’s nothing… may I return home?”
Steward Feng didn’t even have to think about it. “Of course not! Since this is Heir’s intention, how could we dare to let you go?” The memory of a young Zhong Wan tormenting him for three months was carved deep into Steward Feng’s mind. He feared Zhong Wan would escape again, and threatened in a flash, “If your honored self actually sneaks out… what do you think would happen if Heir returns and doesn’t see you?
Zhong Wan’s Adam’s apple bobbed. “What… would happen?”
“The best case scenario is that he flies into a tantrum and then plans for his compensation. The one out of luck would be you,” Steward Feng exaggerated, trying to scare him. “In the worst case scenario, he would explode in rage! Then in the middle of the night, he would send people to take down Prince Qian An’s estate and capture you… Prince Qian An is still ill and cannot bear suffering such a fright. Also, if Heir sent people to Prince Qian An’s estate in the middle of the night to capture you… Do you still want your reputation?”
Mentally drained, Zhong Wan stared at Steward Feng. “Last time, after you tried to persuade me, it incited Yu She to run to our residence and ask me for an explanation. At that time, I’ve already lost all of my reputation.”
Proven wrong, Steward Feng smiled in an embarrassed manner. “Last time, I was muddle headed and didn’t explain things clearly, involving Young Master Zhong. But this time, it’s different. Think about it. Just now in the palace, Heir had already pulled a tantrum. If we brought you back when he’s at the height of his temper, what… what do you think would happen to you?”
With a blank expression, Zhong Wan thought, What… what would he do to me?
Once he’s furious, would he tie me to the bed and then do this or that?
The tips of his ears bloomed crimson. For a moment, he truly wanted to try running away.
“I won’t attempt to leave. I still have questions for him.” He coughed, scanning his surroundings. “Where should I wait for him? The study?”
“Other people cannot enter Heir’s study,” said Steward Feng, making things up. “Just wait in Heir’s inner chamber.”
Still exhausted mentally, Zhong Wan stared at Steward Feng. “Did you also leave a bathtub in the room with flower petals?”
Steward Feng’s old face flushed. “Of course not! Then… Young Master Zhong, will you be using the side room from the past?”
Distracted, Zhong Wan said, “It’s still there?”
“Naturally. I will escort you.”
After Steward Feng led Zhong Wan to the room he had used in the past, he left. A light sigh escaped Zhong Wan’s lips.
The side room seemed exactly the same as it had in the past. For a moment, Zhong Wan thought he had returned to seven years ago.
The only thing different was the addition of a little servant girl who lit the lamp. She appeared around twelve to thirteen years old.
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.
Itbcu Qjc rwlifv. “Gb sbe kjla eqbc Tbecu Uglcmf Te?”
Ktf ilaaif rfgnjca ulgi rtbbx tfg tfjv. Vtf rffwfv ilxf rtf vlvc’a vjgf ab rqfjx.
“Tbe’gf vlrwlrrfv. P vbc’a cffv jcsbcf jaafcvlcu ab wf.”
Dea atf ilaaif rfgnjca ulgi vlvc’a vjgf ab ifjnf, rajcvlcu ys atf rlvf bo atf vfrx.
Zhong Wan was at a loss. With this girl around, he couldn’t lie down, forced to sit up straight and try to find a topic to talk about. “How long have you worked in this estate?”
After a long time, the little servant girl softly said, “Five years.”
“Oh. Then I’ve never seen you back then.” Zhong Wan nodded. “I… lived in this estate for a while in the past. Back then, you were probably just four or five years old.”
The little servant girl looked at Zhong Wan with a timid gaze.
He couldn’t kick her out or hold a conversation with her. In passing, Zhong Wan grabbed a book to read. Right after reading two pages, he caught sight of the little servant girl slowly approaching the desk.
Zhong Wan continued to read, taking note of her from his peripheral vision.
Thinking Zhong Wan would not notice, the little servant girl opened a small incense burner as her hands trembled
Zhong Wan flipped another page.
The sound of the page suddenly turning frightened the little servant girl to the point of pulling back her hands. She didn’t dare to move from place.
Zhong Wan suspected that Steward Feng instructed this girl to do something. The child didn’t have much courage and wasn’t clever. She had not finished what she was supposed to do before he entered the room.
He still didn’t speak, reading and flipping through the pages of the book.
A while later, the little servant girl once again approached the desk, lightly opening the box of incense. Trembling with fear, she grabbed a large handfull of sleeping incense.
Zhong Wan was speechless.
At such a young age, she was so merciless.
It was unknown what kind of instructions the little servant girl had received. After she thought for a moment, she grabbed another handful of incense sticks and inserted them into the incense burner. Since there were so many, it almost seemed to have put out the coal. As her hand shook, she closed the lid of the incense burner and then moved to stand at the side.
The sleeping incense burned strongly, releasing a thick smoke.
Zhong Wan couldn’t help but sneeze.
It scared the little servant girl so much that she trembled like a chick.
“You’re dismissed.” Zhong Wan was so angry that he no longer felt angry. “I’m tired. A little girl like you shouldn’t be watching me sleep, right?”
She had already completed her task. In the first place, she did not dare to stay here any longer. She bowed and retreated as if a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.
Zhong Wan rose to his feet, not knowing whether he should laugh or cry as he stared at the little incense burner. Back in those years, when the young Yu She had forced him to fall asleep, he had only used three to five pieces of sleeping incense. Steward Feng, this old thing, was too ruthless. This incense burner was filled to the brim with sleeping incense… Wasn’t it to knock him out?
Zhong Wan covered his mouth and nose, coughing twice. He lifted the tea cup and poured it onto the incense burner. Then he turned around and lay down on the bed.
He did not know if Yu She would return tonight.
Zhong Wan couldn’t help but laugh. Thank goodness this was only sleeping incense. If it were an aphrodisiac, and he was alone in the room all night, he would have been ruined by that old thing….
He was most afraid of this kind of sleeping incense. After breathing in the fumes, he felt sleepy in mere moments. He rubbed at the center of his brows, mind growing hazy.
Zhong Wan still did not understand what was up with Yu She’s background.
First, let’s ignore Xuan Qiong’s hurtful words. Yu She had truly harmed an imperial prince. Yet he still didn’t get in trouble?
Just what was Emperor Chongan thinking?
Could it be… the aging Emperor Chongan had too many things to take into account, so didn’t dare to touch Yu She?
Zhong Wan drew his brows together a shade. Thought about Xuan Jing. Then he sighed, thinking that Emperor Chongan’s life truly wasn’t good.
He only had two sons remaining, with one more incompetent than the next.
Xuan Jing, this kind of stupid thing, was still in his own estate piecing back together the colored-glass lamp. Xuan Qiong… Zhong Wan had never interacted with him much before. But looking at the terrible mess he had caused today, he knew that in these past few years, Xuan Qiong did not improve at all.
Stepping into Emperor Chongan’s shoes, Zhong Wan felt his heart chill the more he thought of it.
If Yu She were truly the son of Emperor Chongan, then out of Xuan Jing and Xuan Qiong, who would the emperor pick? One would fear that in the future, both of them would not be able to fend off Yu She’s revolt.
However, there had to be someone to succeed the throne. Emperor Chongan was approaching sixty years old. Even if the previous emperors blessed him to have another son, Emperor Chongan could not hold on until the new prince came of age. Yet to reiterate, there had to be someone to succeed the throne. Zhong Wan turned over in bed sporting a headache… Did Emperor Chongan truly desire for Yu She to ascend the throne?
If that was true, then neither Xuan Jing nor Xuan Qiong could be left alive. If Yu She wanted this position, he definitely would not keep around these “perfectly legitimate” imperial princes.
The more Zhong Wan thought of it, the more anxious he grew. He started to feel concerned for Xuan Rui, who had taken the medicine. Xuan Rui had been ill for a few days. Today, with great difficulty they had obtained a chance to ask Emperor Chongan for them to return home. Yet, it just had to be ruined by Xuan Qiong’s annoying actions. Zhong Wan was furious to the point of grinding his teeth. The sleeping incense made his mind hazy and hard to use. After a while of worrying, he fell asleep. Xuan Jing and Xuan Qiong had already foreseen what would happen, so they had long since prepared to eliminate Yu She.
Zhong Wan slept poorly. In a daze, he felt as if he had returned to his youth, when he had fallen ill and Lin Si had taken care of him.
At that time, Zhong Wan had already spoken with Old Imperial Physician Liu, who then spread his message to Imperial Preceptor Shi. His worries vanished and his past self fell asleep. Every day, he had only been conscious for half an hour intermittently, but was unable to open his eyes.
He recalled Lin Si, this careless person, pouring the medicine down his throat. It reminded him of when they used to have water fights in Prince Ning’s estate, with Lin Si splashing the water directly at his face.
The Zhong Wan of the past used all his strength to hold back the bowl of medicine, and said to Lin Si through gritted teeth, “Go away…”
But by chance, this was heard by Yu She, who had been supressing his anger.
The young Yu She thought those words had been meant for him, face one moment green then one moment white, before he turned around and left.
Young Zhong Wan saw that he had been misunderstood, and was so angry he almost threw up blood. He rushed so much that he fell down the bed, knocking himself out.
Even in this moment of slumber, Zhong Wan thought of how to coax Yu She. He was incomparably anxious. He wanted to fight with Lin Si but didn’t have the energy.
Fortunately, Yu She seemed to have returned on his own later.
In the first place, Zhong Wan did not remember how Yu She had taken care of him back then. But in his dream, he seemed to have seen it. He watched as the young Yu She hugged his youth self helplessly. Used a small spoon to feed him medicine bit by bit. Every time he successfully fed him, he would take out a candy pouch from his placket, and place a candy in his mouth.
Then Zhong Wan saw his young self coughing and vomiting. Yu She pulled him close in an embrace and patted his pack. Then he rolled up his sleeves and had someone send a basin of water over, personally washing Zhong Wang’s body.
Zhong Wan also saw the young Yu She blush, fidgety. After hesitating for one hour, he approached the bed and lightly undressed Zhong Wan…
In his dream, Zhong Wan laughed softly.
He almost laughed himself awake. Still not sober, he felt as if there were someone sitting at the head of the bed.
Zhong Wan had slept on this bed in the past for more than half a year, and was very familiar with it. As such, he did not wake up with a start. The sleeping incense made him delirious. He wondered if he were starting an erotic dream in the middle of remembering moments in his youth.
The Yu She of that time hadn’t been that tall.
Zhong Wan faintly felt the person sitting at the bedside lean down a little, leaning very close to him. He heard the sound of friction between fabric. Felt the other party stroke his hair. Cold fingers ran through those locks, making Zhong Wan so comfortable that he narrowed his eyes.
Out of reflex, he leaned closer to the touch, rubbing his cheek on that person’s hand. The other party immediately pulled their hand back.
Zhong Wan frowned. A while later, he felt his clothes being undone little by little.
He acted on instinct to clutch at his clothes to keep them on, but someone lightly pressed his wrist onto the side of the pillow. The person didn’t use much strength, merely restricting Zhong Wan’s movement, not making him uncomfortable.
Zhong Wan was unable to rouse. He felt the person in his dream gradually undress him, then supported his lower back, removing his outer robe. They placed it to the side.
The other party then placed their hands on the collar of his inner garment. Those slender and long fingers hesitated as they touched the highest button. A while later, the hands left, leaving the button still buttoned.
In his dream, Zhong Wan was unsure whether he was rejoiceful or regretful. He faintly moved, thinking the dream was coming to an end. But in the next second…
The other party leaned down again, suddenly leaning very close to Zhong Wan. Zhong Wan felt the other party’s hair brushing his neck, cold to the touch.
The other person’s breath was close to his ears. All of a sudden, Zhong Wan felt aroused. Under his breath and still asleep, he said, “Ziyou…”
At that moment, the other party’s breathing grew rough and ragged. The sleeping incense’s potency finally hit him entirely. And Zhong Wan completely knocked out…
Early the next morning, Zhong Wan sat in bed, staring blankly at his outer robe on the foot of the bed.
He remembered in vivid detail that last night, he did not remove that article of clothing.
…How did it come off?
The clothes had even been folded. It was clear that he hadn’t removed them while still dreaming from discomfort.
He took a deep breath. Zhong Wan had a faint impression that he had lost something last night.
Outside, Steward Feng knocked on the door. Pushed the door open and entered. And he stole a glance at Zhong Wan, his gaze evasive.
A sliver of hope sprang from Zhong Wan’s heart. He strived his best to keep his tone natural as he asked, “Last night… did Young Prince Yu return to the estate?”
Steward Feng cautiously nodded. “Once he had returned, he came to where you were.”
Despair enveloped Zhong Wan.
He frantically tried to recall whether he had lost control of his mouth. If he called out a name he shouldn’t have called out, said something he shouldn’t have said.
Steward Feng carefully asked, “Young Master Zhong, does your honored self want… want…”
Voice trembling, Zhong Wan said, “I don’t want hot water!”
Steward Feng swallowed. “Alright, alright, you don’t want it. But… I’m worried about how quiet you are.”
“Why?” Zhong Wan was completely disheartened. “Should I be biting the covers and sobbing, ‘I’m so dirty, I’m so dirty,’ then?”
Thank you Anon for the two ko-fis!
Okay guys, I tried to make the dream sequence as clear as I could. Hopefully it’s not too confusing
Lmao at Zhong Wan thinking he was having a wet dream XD
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