Ch.24 Toasted Wine and Punished Wine

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The night was silent as the sea.

Four guards followed behind Rong Zhi, who was carrying a tray; on the tray was a flagon and a white jade cup. The five walked into Distant Dwelling.

And the guards at the entrance didn’t halt them.

At this time, Huan Yuan had not yet went to sleep; he was sitting under a light with a book in his hand. He appeared to be reading, but his gaze was unfocused, and his thoughts elsewhere. The sound of the door being pushed open woke him, and he turned to see Rong Zhi walking in with a smile on his face. Huan Yuan’s heart sank, instantly becoming as cold as the night.

Rong Zhi had a lazy and causal smile on his face, and his gaze was elegant and gentle. But Huan Yuan knew, this person rarely had any expression other than that leisure one. Although he had never seen for himself, he could imagine, even when this person was killing people, he would not show the brutality of bloodshed.

Then, what was he planning to do now?

His gaze landing on the tray Rong Zhi carried, Huan Yuan had a guess in his heart, and his expression also became cautious: “It’s so late now. Master Rong coming to Distant Dwelling, is there something to instruct Huan Yuan?”

Rong Zhi smiled slightly, and said, “Bright people don’t speak dark words. Huan Yuan, I don’t want to waste time getting to the point in front of you; drink this cup of mine, and I’ll leave.”

Huan Yuan put the book down, and answered faintly: “What if I’m not willing to?”

Rong Zhi laughed, “What do you think I brought all these people here for?” What he meant was, if Huan Yuan wouldn’t cooperate and drink this toasted wine, he would only let people force him to drink punished wine.

It’s not a matter of him willing to or not.

Huan Yuan moved his gaze to the flagon. As if knowing what he was thinking, Rong Zhi said lazily, “Don’t worry. I’m not here to kill you, but I have other purposes of making you drink this wine. Make your decision quickly, Huan Yuan.”

Knowing that he had no other choice, Huan Yuan took the cup and held it steady for a servant to fill it, then without any hesitation, lifted his head and swallowed the wine in one gulp. The wine had a slight sweet taste, but when it passed through his throat there was a faint bitter taste too. He knew some other ingredient was added to the wine, but he didn’t know what.

Rong Zhi smiled: he could understand Huan Yuan’s attitude. Although this person had exceptional talent, due to his field of vision and experiences being limited, he couldn’t help having some scholarly temper that he couldn’t put down. Even if he blatantly knew that this cup of wine was poisoned, to not lose face, he would still voluntarily drink it.

After he drank the wine, Huan Yuan didn’t feel anything different in his body. There wasn’t the excruciating pain he expected, nor was there dizziness. While he was still confused, Rong Zhi had already left with the people he brought.

In this room, Huan Yuan was confused and puzzled; in that room, Chu Yu had a peaceful but dreamless sleep.

*****************

The next morning, after waking up, Chu Yu dressed herself and prepared to go outside. But the moment she pushed the door open, she saw Rong Zhi standing outside, about to raise his hand to knock on the door.

“Good morning, Princess.” He smiled, his gaze loose as clouds, as if the unhappy parting yesterday was only an illusion.

Chu Yu was also happy to pretend nothing happened. Even though she wanted to interrogate him about why he sent men onto her bed, she was pretty sure that Rong Zhi did lots of these before, so she couldn’t say anything. She just smiled and nodded.

The two walked shoulder to shoulder. Rong Zhi asked casually, “Princess, are you going to go find Huan Yuan?”

After keeping silent for some time, Chu Yu nodded: “Yes, I am going to take him out.” She also understood, that it would be very hard to improve her poetic talent in a short time, so no matter if it works or not, since Rong Zhi suggested it, she will try to bring Huan Yuan along. At the same time, this was a chance for her to attempt building a friendly relationship with Huan Yuan.

She didn’t want to forever be looked at hostilely, nor was she willing to get rid of the origin of the hostility. So she could only find a way to get rid of the hostility.

Rong Zhi looked at Chu Yu’s male garments and laughed lightly, “The way the princess is now, if walked on the streets, will probably be very admired by many people.”

Hearing his words, Chu Yu remembered her experience from three days ago, and she instantly paled. But she was going to go attend a poetry banquet, and she can’t just go in women’s clothing or dress raggedly.

Rong Zhi seemed confident with a plan: “If the princess doesn’t dislike the idea, I can make some slight modifications for the princess.”

Two hours later, when Chu Yu walked out of Snow Shower Garden, her appearance was greatly changed. Rong Zhi used some drugs to help her modify her appearance. This wasn’t disguise; all they did was darken the skin tone of her face, and made her less attractive, to ensure that she wouldn’t be chased due to her overly beautiful appearance.

Estimating that it was about time, Chu Yu went to go find Huan Yuan. At first, she worried about whether or not she could find him, but she had just approached Distant Dwelling when she crossed paths with her target. Huan Yuan and Liusang were walking towards her from a distance; Liusang was clutching Huan Yuan’s hand, looking very dependant.

The moment she saw Liusang, Chu Yu couldn’t help but curse that the Princess of Shanyin was a beast. Although she had already learned that the Princess of Shanyin didn’t really do anything to Liusang, but judging by the situation, it was very obvious that this princess wanted to play cultivating; raise and train a handsome youth for herself to use. Just having this thought was already very beastial.

Huan Yuan’s head was tilted, and seemed to be telling Liusang something; he only saw Chu Yu when they were already very close. His expression became a little stiff as he stood where he was, not walking forward  but not turning away or backing up either. Contrastingly, Liusang yelped and rushed up, hugging Chu Yu’s arm and exclaiming: “Princess, why are you wearing men’s clothing?” Liusang was only up to Chu Yu’s shoulders; he lifted his head, and as he said this, his big, watery, and shining eyes gazed at Chu Yu.

This pair of big eyes was so innocent and cute, that when Chu Yu saw it, her heart couldn’t help but soften; thinking about Liusang’s background, she pulled out her hugged arm and patted his shoulders comfortingly: “I want to go out for a walk, and it’s more convenient with these clothes on.”

She had just finished her words, when she saw Liusang’s eyes suddenly glow with bright radiance; he once again hugged Chu Yu’s arm, and snuggled up to Chu Yu and rubbed hard against her body: “Princess, I want to go out to play too, can you please take me with you?”

The tips of Liusang’s fine and soft black hair trembled slightly, his tender cheeks making people’s index fingers itch, really wanting to pinch it. Chu Yu wasn’t lustful; it’s just that she couldn’t help but be fond of things that are so like soft and furry little animals. She moved her fingers around a bit, suppressing her urge to start pinching: “Okay, I can take you with me, but you must remember, to call me Master outside. Don’t expose my identity.”

Of course, Liusang nodded his head violently. His wish being fulfilled, he happily hugged Chu Yu and rubbed again and again, like a cute little kitten. Being rubbed by his tender little face, Chu Yu’s heart started to itch, and she told herself that no wonder the Princess of Shanyin was destroying young sprouts; just by him rubbing her like this, if she was just a little more vulgar, she’d also not be able to resist……

Now that he himself was permitted to go outside, Liusang glanced at Huan Yuan, asking for a foot when given an inch: “Princess…… Master, can we take elder brother Huan with us? Please?”

Chu Yu had had this idea anyway, so she glanced at Huan Yuan; his eyes were looking at the ground, as if not caring at all. She smiled, “Okay.”

Hearing her words, Huan Yuan, who was cold and distant the whole time, couldn’t help but look up in shock. He looked at Chu Yu as if he couldn’t believe it; Chu Yu smiled at him, and he immediately fixed his expression, returning to his usual indifference.

“Princess.” It was Yue Jiefei who called her. Chu Yu shot a gaze at him, and he helplessly changed his address: “Master, Master Huan……” After all, Huan Yuan was the son of a rebel; if they took him outside like this, what if he ran away?

Chu Yu laughed, “With you by my side, what do I have to worry?” Taking Huan Yuan to the poetry banquet was Rong Zhi’s suggestion, drugging Huan Yuan was also Rong Zhi’s suggestion, but Chu Yu decided with her own conscience, to adopt the first suggestion but disregard the second.

Harming someone else’s body for her own desire was not a solution for Chu Yu, so she could only rely on her guard’s close protection.

Yue Jiefei didn’t say anything else.

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9 thoughts on “Ch.24 Toasted Wine and Punished Wine

  1. I feel like I’m muddling through a thick jungle because I have no idea what the plot of this story actually is. Aside from the central theme being the princess managing her harem of course. And who is the male mc? Rong Zhi right?

    Like

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