Chapter 1: Prelude (序幕)
Blood. It covered the sheets of the huge king sized bed set at the middle of the large bedchamber. A body laid in the middle of it covered in that blood. A girl. A young girl of only twenty three years of age was now dead.
She hadn't been that way at first when her younger brother had came to see her. He had just came to her bedchamber to let her know that a carriage was being sent over to pick her up after breakfast was done for the morning. It was to take her directly to the imperial palace. Where she was to meet with her betrothed. Emperor Wu. Wu Yi Fan.
He had entered the bedchamber to tell her all of this only to find her sitting up in her bed crying her eyes out. Her long black tresses fell over her shoulders in waves above the white of her laced night robe. A knife, or maybe it was a blade. He wasn't so sure, was fisted in her hands. So much so that she had ended up cutting in to the palms of her hands with it without her knowledge of doing so.
As her brother began stepping closer to her bed, she started to apologize in soft murmurs as she gazed down at the blade still held by her own hands. Yet, he could still hear a bit of what she was trying to tell him. She did not want to marry their Emperor. For he was not the one already inside of her heart.
She did not care that her parents wanted this for her. Or that her marriage to the Emperor would give the family high honor amongst their peers and to their family name. She did not want to be an Empress or have high status for the rest of her existence. Especially if she could not be happy with the man she most truly loved. One of Emperor Wu's three Generals commanding over his extremely large army. General Xue Shu Yin.
She brought the knife to her neck once her brother was standing directly next to her bed. She slowly whispered out his name then quickly slashed her own throat after the words had left from in between her rose colored parted lips. Her body fell back against the pillows arranged behind her head. Her long hair flowing about her in a pool of black and blood. So much blood escaped from her newly crafted neck wound making a mess of the bed sheets.
At the mere sight of it all, an expression of horror crossed over on Huang Zi Tao's face at the sight laid out before him. His elder sister, Huang Yue Shi, had just killed herself. In front of him. His eyes alone. She had only just been crying her eyes out at the prospect of being sent away to marry their Emperor. A few words of anguish slipping past her lips before she had suddenly whipped up a blade and slit her own throat with it.
Now he stood over her casket a few mere hours later peering down at her seemingly peaceful sleeping face. She was beautiful. A vision of rare beauty in her favorite petal pink robe with intricate Chinese symbols spelling her name in the design that she was currently wearing.
General Xue, his sister's lover and the man she had intended to marry, standing at his side. He had arrived to their home to pick up Yue Shi and take her to the palace under the Emperor's orders himself. Even though the man knew of the General's feelings for her. Silence surrounded them for a while. Neither of them speaking a word until Zitao's parents walked up beside them.
It was Zitao's father that spoke first ebbing away the silence they both had created before their arrival, "After talking everything over with one another, we have decided to not tell the Emperor of Yue Shi's fate."
"What! But why? He deserves to know! You've put off his meeting with her for tomorrow! She's dead! You have to tell him the honorable truth!" Zitao exclaimed with shock hitching in his loud volume as he stared at his parents like they weren't born of this planet. He couldn't believe what he was actually hearing! Lying to the Emperor was not a joke! Especially when he can have their entire family executed for treason. They were treading on very dangerous ground.
His mother interjected with clear distaste at what her son was even suggesting, "And lose face within all of China! I think not!"
"Is that all you really care about? Your daughter is dead! She killed herself because of your selfishness!" General Xue hissed deciding to stand up for his dead lover since she could no longer do it for herself.
"No! She killed herself because of your selfishness! I warned you to stay away from Yue Shi countless times, but you still chose to ignore me and now look what has happened. If her death is anyone's fault, it's yours!" Master Huang gnashed back to the General with his anger increasing little by little. After all, if his beloved daughter had never met the man standing before them, then none of that would've never even happened in the first place. She would not be dead, but happily married off to their Emperor without a hitch.
General Xue gave out an enraged huff before departing from the Huangs household no longer wanting to be apart of their nonsense, "You know what! I'm glad that she decided to take her own life because she won't be able to be controlled by either of you any longer!"
"Now that the cause of our problem is gone, we can finally talk in private as a family." Lady Huang beamed delighted to be rid of the reason her only daughter had killed herself for as they turned their attentions upon Zitao once again.
"About what? Because I no longer see us as a family." Zitao sneered understandably disgusted with his parents moving away from his sister's casket when he began marching his way out of the chamber they were in.
"Huang Zi Tao! Bite your tongue and come back here right this instant!" Master Huang growled with his Wife interceding him to speak as well, "You will listen to what me and your father have to say or you will never see the light of day again, young man!"
"What! What do you want from me now that you could not get from my own poor deceased older sister?" Zitao glowered back to them as he ceased walking to confront his parents once more with their next set of words completely flabbergasting him,
"For you to actually marry the Emperor as her replacement..."
Chapter 2: Emperor Wu (吴皇帝)
The morning after Yue Shi's much apparent suicide, Zitao was slowly pacing the floor of his bedchamber. His mind was on the brink of turmoil as he awaited the arrival of his mother and a few of her own personal servants to come to his bedchamber. They were all going to help him transform in to a flawless young lady worth presenting to his majesty the Emperor.
How laughable was that? Him, a flawless young lady! It was practically insane. A dangerous game they were playing at. A treasonous crime against the crown that could cause the downfall of their entire house. Yet his parents cared nothing of that.
They could be executed for what they were making him do. Him, foremost of all. Especially since he was the actual person involved that was going to marry the most powerful man of their empire. Their Emperor for heaven's sake!
While he was completely lost in his mounting thoughts, his mother and her servants finally arrived to his bedchamber. His mother was ordering them about as two of her other servants entered the chamber as well placing beautiful Chinese silk robes of all colors in front of him. His mother with her crow-like vision scowled at him picking the few colors that agreed with his tannish looking skin tone from the large pile.
Afterwards, his mother had set her other servants to work on drawing up his bath. Every scent in it was meant to woo a perfect body of the opposite sex. After all, he was to meet with the Emperor today and he had to be presentable before the eyes of his majesty at all times. In his mother's own words.
Once the tub was filled up, two servants helped him out of his robes as if he were a delicate little budding flower. His cheeks burned red with his anger as he sunk in to the fray of the waters and they started helping him wash himself off immediately afterwards. Immediately after that, they began to wash his long black tresses that are way longer than his sister's used to be. His mother now paced his bedchamber floor giving him instructions on what he has to do when he finally meets with their Emperor.
His mind wanders off a bit and he has half the mind to ignore everything she is telling him. However, in view of that, he knew better than to do that for his own sake. His mother's words are the only thing that will be able to help keep him alive for a little while longer until he is eventually found out. Or decides to tell the death sentencing truth. By then he should at least have a backup escape plan if he can make it out of the palace without being seen by the royal guards, that is.
He stood up from the bath water dripping wet after he is done with his bath. The servants help him out of the tub as well and begin to dry him off from head to toe as his mother picked out a robe for him to wear. They help him in to his undergarments in the usual manner, then the robe that was chosen for him.
It was a pretty shade of blue that made him appear fresh and innocent, though, at the same time seem not be sheltered from the world like all mothers wanted their beautiful young daughters to seem like. It insinuated his once non-visible curves perfectly. It had been the perfect choice for him. On his mother's part that is. In this case, they made over his face in a light shade of make up and brushed his long tresses, perfectly styling it to his mother's specific demands.
A repetition of boisterous knocks upon his bedchamber doors broke him from staring at his reflection in the floor-length mirror that had been placed in front of him less than a few seconds ago. His mother hurried over to open the doors herself and his father stepped inside glaring at his back. The man didn't have to say anything for him to know that it was time. That they were about to depart for the Emperor's palace. His father's harsh expression of utter disgust told him all that he needed to know.
His gaze fell back on the beautiful and elegant young lady staring back at him in the mirror. He could barely even recognize himself anymore as one of the servants began to place a pretty gossamer made blue veil over his head. In lieu of this, she covered his face with it, easily hiding his face beneath the sheer blue fabric. Two of his father's men servants came in to his bedchamber grabbing the large chest his mother had the rest of his robe selections thrown in to. He watched as they carried it out of the chamber, his eyes aside from that, glanced around his bedchamber with a quick nostalgic sweep since it will no longer be his dwellings.
Nonetheless, he took in a very deep breath inhaling his newfound resolve. He then reminded himself on the exhale that what he was doing was for his deceased older sister, not his greedy power hungry parents. In accordance with that, he gathered his wits about him before he moved away from the mirror in order to leave the bedchamber that he no longer held any claim over.
He stepped past his father at the doorway glaring angrily back at him and his mother for even wanting him to do this. His father only snarled at him and his mother gave out a mocking laugh. Oh, how he despised them! They were rotten people and he was ashamed to be called their son- daughter.
However, they left the Huang estate as a family with just two female servants leaving with them, taking the long journey to the imperial palace. The very same palace where Zitao's future will forever be changed. Maybe for the better or maybe for the worse. Who knows? Only time can tell that future.
It was not very long before they arrived to the palace. It was massive in size. An image from a dream. Or maybe it was Zitao's own personal nightmare standing tall before his very eyes. Although he wasn't so sure about that at this moment.
An imperial guard walked up to the carriage to help him out of the contraption that had brought him to his unfortunate future. The man gently took his hand as he stepped out of it, his mother following suit behind him and then his father did the same afterwards. He ignored his mother's nagging and fussing over him after the guard had released his hold on him to continue to admire his new home.
That was until they were greeted by the sight of General Xue. Zitao happily greeted him as he excused the guard from his duty holding out his arm for Zitao to take. To which he did, and the man led him inside the large palace doors ignoring Master Huang and Lady Huang's presence all together.
General Xue led him to the Royal throne room whispering words of encouragement to the slightly trembling form beside him. Zitao took them happily since his parents never thought to do that through all their haste to marry him off to their Emperor. He gulp down the saliva that had been clogging his throat when they finally entered the throne room.
His eyes widened when he spots the man he was to marry sitting upon his throne. He was the most beautiful creature Zitao had ever laid his eyes upon before. With dark chocolate brown hair, dark glistening brown eyes, a perfect size nose, soft looking lips that may be rougher when kissed, and not to forget that tall build and those rather large sized hands of his.
He felt as if the man's dark piercing eyes were seemingly running right through him, sending frightening chills up and down his spine. Especially when they suddenly lingered on his linked arm with General Xue in a dark scowl. He instantaneously let go of his hold on the General just as the man stood up from his throne, commanding eyes never once leaving his own.
Zitao's heartbeat sped up at the mere sight of him walking in his direction. The man he was to trick in to marriage. The Emperor of China. His Emperor. Wu Yi Fan.
This gorgeous specimen of a man did not deserve the lie his family was forcing him to spin. He deserved to know the truth. A chance to find an actual Bride worth making his Empress.
He wanted to tell him the truth, but he knew what would happen if he did. His family would be in ruin. Most likely banished from the lands. Or all of his family members executed along with himself.
No. He couldn't tell him the truth. At least not now. He would wait to tell him until after their fates were sealed together in the union of marriage.
When they were in close proximity to one another, Zitao froze up and peered down at his feet with an embarrassed blush dusting over his cheeks. To which the Emperor reached out a hand gripping his chin in his hold without lifting up his veil, easily forcing him to lift his head up once again. He said nothing as those cold calculating eyes finally locked with his own up close.
A deep growl of approval leaving from the man's closed mouth until he opened them to speak three little words that Zitao was not prepared to hear just yet,
"Tomorrow, we wed..."
Chapter 3: Imperial Marriage (皇家婚姻)
Lady Huang cheerfully ordered about the servants of the Emperor's palace along with the two they had brought with them to get Zitao prepared for his special day. Considering the fact that he will be marrying the unsuspecting Emperor. A man that he did not forget could kill them all for what his parents were forcing him to do.
Unlike his overexcited mother who was too busy worrying about useless wedding preparations. While he, on the other hand, was trying to figure out a way to get the marriage called off. As a consequence of that, his overworking brain was coming up blank- with nothing at all.
He sat upon the bed in a massive size chamber that the Emperor had prepared for his arrival beforehand. He was still lost deep in his thoughts when the doors to his chamber burst forth and in walked Xi Lu Han. One of the most beautiful males that Zitao had ever had the privilege to know in his young life.
Luhan could go for a girl way more than he ever could. Besides that fact, Luhan was living in the palace because of his father's new position within the court. So with a soft smile, Zitao stood up from the bed to properly greet the beautiful young male standing before him since he was his sister's most beloved friend after all.
Luhan beamed at the sight of his friend's younger brother dressed as a beautiful young lady, "Why if it isn't little Taozi all grown up and looking so very pretty."
Zitao scowled back with a soft playful glare, "Well, it's nice to see you too, Luhan."
"Where is Yue Shi? I thought that she is the one who is supposed to be marrying the Emperor?" Luhan said finally asking about his sister's whereabouts with a frown growing in place over his beautiful features when he peered in the direction of Zitao's mother warily.
Zitao said whilst tilting his head towards the still open chamber doors emphasizing the words 'in private' as he does, "Let's have a nice little chat in private. I heard that the palace gardens are wondrous places to behold."
"Okay, sure. A nice little chat while we walk should be wonderful this time of day." Luhan agreed easily catching on to the hint of Zitao's words.
The two left the bedchamber while Lady Huang continued to reprimand and order around the poor servants under her wings. Zitao followed quietly behind Luhan as he led them inside the palace's inner gardens. They walked over to a well secluded bench hidden beneath a large vibrant willow tree.
Zitao began to speak only once he was sure they were alone and away from any prying eyes, "What I am about to say to you could untimately cause your family's downfall or even your deaths. Do you understand me, Luhan?"
Luhan whispered back to him in a worried voice because he'd never seen Tao so scared like that of all the years he's known him, "I do, I understand you..."
Zitao spoke again, voice both callous and hard, yet his eyes held such unspoken sadness within them, "Y-yue Shi, she committed suicide over a day ago because she couldn't go through with marrying a man she wasn't in love with. And my parents forced me to take her place in order for them to not lose face within all of China."
"What! That is just too cruel! To the both of you, I meant. But what about Shu Yin? How does he feel about all of this? Does he even know the truth of Yue Shi's demise?" Luhan screeched in anger after letting Zitao's words sink in to his brain, a deep frown grazing over his forehead.
Zitao sighed out his retort, "Yes, he was there when we buried her. I feel so bad for the poor fellow. To lose the love of his life because of unfortunate greed from her own parents who are supposed to love and cherish her even after she is wed. I even feel sorry for myself."
"If you get caught, the Emperor just might kill you himself." Luhan grimaced on his own sigh. Zitao's situation could not get any worse than that.
"Oh, wow. I never even thought of that outcome. I guess that would be better than to have a public execution if I do managed to get myself caught." Zitao chuckled in a very dark way, hating the dangerous situation his parents had placed him in even more.
Luhan asked, "Well, what will you do when the time comes for the both of you to consummate your marriage?"
Zitao sighed again with dejection filling his voice, "I don't know. The Emperor seems like the kind of man who likes to demonstrate his control over others. He will most likely want to undress me himself."
"So a body decoy is completely out of the question." Luhan chuckled snarkingly.
"I'm afraid so." Zitao huffed out, puffing up his cheeks with his annoyance at everything that is happening to him because of his title hungry parents.
"Maybe you could feign your woman's time to stall him for a few days?" Luhan suggested, finally coming up with a plausible excuse for Zitao's wedding night with their Emperor.
"That could work! But how does a few days help my situation?" Zitao sulked, realizing that a few days can't prolong the inevitable. The Emperor still would desire to consummate their union through the bed of marriage like any other Husband and Wife would.
Luhan murmured back warily, "I don't know. But I'm sure we can figure it all out by then."
Zitao sighed for thousandth time since they first started talking together, "I sure hope so."
A few hours later, Zitao sat back inside of the bedchamber prepared for him. Blaring night had finally fallen over the silent sky. His parents had been escorted by palace servants to their own bedchamber leaving him alone in his quiet solitude.
He let out a dejected sigh. For tomorrow he would marry the Emperor, a feat greater than most. A dangerous game. One he was displeased that he had to even play. This was worse than a simple game of chest.
He got in to bed slipping under the soft silk of his bedsheets wrapping them around his lithe form. He needed to rest now because tomorrow his mother was going to work his nerves right to his core before he married their Emperor just because she wants everything to go her way. As if tomorrow wasn't his big day- worse nightmare- at all.
Forcing his eyes closed, Zitao finally drifted off to sleep. The doors to his bedchamber fell open and in walked the Emperor. He came to see his blushing Bride before they were to be kept separated in the morning to prepare for the wedding. He walked over to the bed in which his sleeping Bride occupied.
He stood over the bed for a moment to study Zitao's beautiful slumbering features as he slept. The younger looked like a Faerie straight from out of a Faerie tale with his long ebon hair spread out about him and his pretty pink lips formed in a slight pout while he slept. To the Emperor, he was a beautifully rare sight to behold.
He sat down on the bed next to Zitao's sleeping form only slightly dipping the bed with his movement. He placed a gentle hand upon his slumbering Bride's tender cheek. Contrarily, he leaned over him, pressing a sweet lingering kiss upon the younger's soft lips, adding a gentle press to Zitao's forehead.
He had to practically force himself away from the sleeping beauty before he did something that he might regret later on. He stood up from his place on the bed, walking over to the bedchamber doors leaving the younger's bedchamber. A warm smile gracing over his lips as he made his way back to his own palace bed quarters for the night.
Morning sunlight slowly gleamed over Zitao's bedchamber effectively waking him up just as his mother excitedly burst forth through his doors. With a grumble, he sat up in bed glaring at her when his father and Luhan arrived a few minutes behind her. She fussed at him about still being in bed on such an important day for their family. For himself.
So he got out of bed and a bath was drawn up for him by one of the servants. His father took that chance to drag his nagging mother out of the chamber as Luhan began to help him out of his night garments. He got in to the tub with Luhan helping to wash his body off as well. Afterwards, he got out of the tub with his servants hurriedly drying him off, then they helped him dress in his wedding robes. Which were white and made of the finest Chinese silks at his mother's order of course.
Luhan beamed with excitement, "You are getting married to the Emperor all of China! Can you really believe that, Taozi?"
Zitao unhappily scowled out in return, "Yes, and it's a death sentence. He's going to kill me when he learns the truth of what I am, Luhan."
"Let's not speak of this right now. Your main focus should be on surviving your wedding first." Luhan said gently scolding his future Empress, watching Zitao get his hair fixed up for his big day with their Emperor by his servants.
"Yeah, one death sentence at a time." Zitao huffed out on a sigh as his servants finish styling his hair and placed his veil on him covering his entire upper half and face in sheer white.
Luhan exclaimed while teasing him, "My goodness! You look like a Fearie's dream threw up all over you!"
Zitao retorted with the sharp roll of his eyes, "I don't know if I should take that as a compliment or an insult to my person."
"I think, it's a little bit of both." Luhan giggled, latching his arms with Zitao's just as a very handsome man neither of them have ever seen before entered Zitao's bedchamber interrupting their conversation when he spoke, "Ah, Young Master Luhan? Lady Taozi? It's time."
"Here goes, all or nothing..." Zitao whispered as all three of them left his bedchamber.
The handsome man, that they now knew was General Oh Se Hun better known as Shixun, led them to the great hall where the wedding was to take place. It was massive in size and already filled with many guests. Most, he could assume were from neighboring countries. Although he was not really sure of that. He blushed when all eyes in the hall fell upon him as he made his way down the path to his currently unknown future.
At the center all of that stood the Emperor dressed handsomely in red and gold as was tradition in China. He was a gorgeous sight to behold in Zitao's eyes. A radiant being that he and his family were so dangerously lying to. He tried to ignore that thought by the time he finally stood at the Emperor's side.
He let out a soft squeak when the powerful man took his small hand in his own just as the Head Monk of the palace's private temple began the ceremony. He felt the Emperor gently squeeze his hand when the Monk married them. He only released him when it came time to kiss his beautiful blushing Bride. The kiss, a silent whisper of things to come. After that, they were proudly announced Husband and Wife before their people.
Chapter 4: Truth Unveiled (真相揭幕)
Wu Yi Fan. The Emperor of mainland China. Sat beside his beautiful new Bride. Loud boisterous laughter filled up the atmosphere of the large great hall as they celebrated their newly crafted union with their proud people.
His dark gaze fell upon his blushing angel as she silently beamed at the entertainment happening to celebrate their marriage with a nervous glint in her eyes. A sight he'd seen on many Brides before her. He could not help, but stare at her. His beautiful Bride clapping her soft hands to the steady drum beat of the music being played for them.
She was a pure vision of loveliness. With her long flowing black tresses pinned up in a traditional imperial wedding hair style, thick ebon lashes covering pretty brown doe eyes, a nicely made nose, and soft alluring strawberry colored full lips. And by the feel of her body, he could kind of tell that she was slender in build with a perfect set of child birthing hips to bring forth China's next heir to the throne in to the world.
All in all, she was the perfect catch for any man and he could not wait to officially place his permanent claim upon her tonight when they would finally get the chance to be alone. He waited a few hours later in to the night to put an end to the celebrations. His newly acquired Wife stood up from her place next to him with a traditional bow to first there guests then to him. Then she left the hall led by two of her ladies-in-waiting and followed by two female servants who carried the ends of her wedding robes for her.
All watched as she graciously left the great hall to prepare for the night ahead like all the women in her shoes before her. At his Wife's exit, Yifan stood up as well making a celebratory toast with their people before he retreated from the great hall as well. He made his way to his own quarters to prepare for their wedding night. Then he was led to the bedchamber that he will now properly share with his new Wife for the rest of their existence.
Upon entering the bedchamber, he found his new Bride standing at one of the windows located closest to his bed. She was staring out of it with her hands perched gently upon the window's sill. Her black tresses falling down her back in long soft waves elegantly complimenting the silvery white colored nightrobe that she currently had on for their first night together.
The bedchamber doors slammed shut behind him with a resounding click of the lock gathering his Bride's attentions on to him with a soft uttered yelp of surprise slipping past her pretty mouth. He watched as she wrapped a protective arm around her body while she eyed him warily clearly not ready for the night up ahead of them. Her expression evidently showing him that she was not sure how to handle their current situation just yet.
Yifan spoke first, breaking the air of silence surrounding the both of them, "Do not be frightened of me. I will not bring harm to you, my honorable Wife."
Zitao whispered in a soft volume, shame and humiliation slowly filling up his entire being when he does, "I, I'm sorry..."
"Why do you apologize for doing nothing at all?" Yifan asked a bit confused by his new Bride's choice in words.
"Because I have done something. Something that might cause the end of my entire line..." Zitao countered with another airy whisper. To which he had the confused Emperor's mind wandering. He could not understand what the terrible thing was that could cause the execution of his Wife's entire family to be called forth by the archaic laws of their land.
"What did you do, Taozi?" Yifan hissed, eyes burning dark with his mounting confusion. He had a feeling that he would not like the direction their conversation was heading in.
"I lied. To you. To the entire empire." Zitao sighed turning his back on the upset leader of their great empire. He didn't want to see the anger and betrayal coming in to focus on his handsome face. He was not ready for that. Yet. Nor would he ever be.
"What did you lie about?" Yifan probed wanting to know the secret that the younger had been withholding from him since the very moment they had first met. Hopefully the secret was not something along the lines of being with another man just before this promised first night together. He doesn't know how well he will be able to take that kind of betrayal. Probably not well at all.
"My identity." was the only reply he had gotten in return. At that, he let out a deeply held in sigh of relief from his body. He was glad that was not the case and in light of that, his curiousity was now at its highest peak.
"I do not understand. What do you mean by that?" Yifan questioned her some more, head tilting a bit to the side with his still lingering confusion.
"My name is not Taozi. I- I'm not- I was not-" Zitao spoke again stammering a lot in the end from sheer nervousness. He was scared. Terrified. What if the Emperor really did decide to kill him with his own two hands instead of a public execution? He wouldn't be able to see anyone before he died. With a public execution, at least he would have the chance to say his good-byes to his friends. His family dying right at his side.
"Calm yourself down, my angel. Take a deep breath, then tell me the truth when you are ready to speak on it once again." Yifan said noticing the little mini meltdown his Wife was starting to have after she had began to tell him the truth. He finally walked over to her placing his large hands on either side of her slightly hunched over shoulders trying to get her to calm back down a little bit. Then he placed them firmly around her waist.
"No! I need, I need to tell you this now before this goes any farther than it was intended to." Zitao snapped quickly turning around in the elder man's arms as he locked gazes with him. The Emperor's hold on him never ceasing as he does.
Yifan encouraged her to finish what she had started with the younger easily complying with him, "Go on then. Tell me what is bothering you on such a wondrous day as this one when we should be celebrating our union at this very moment."
Zitao let it all flow out after that, completetly telling the man that will soon be known as his short lived Husband, "Huang Zi Tao is my birth name. And as you probably have already guessed, I was not your true intended. My older sister Yue Shi was. But unfortunately, her love for another man caused her to end her own life the day before she was supposed to come here to your palace and marry you. Yet my parents didn't even care about that. Their only concern was whether or not her sudden death before she could marry you would have caused them to lose face within all of China. So as a last resort to save face, they forced me to take my deceased elder sister's place as your Bride. They had me cleansed from the very top of my head to the very tips of my toes until I could pass..."
"As your older sister?" was all that the Emperor could utter out after hearing Taozi's- Zitao's confession. He was even more confused now than he was before.
"No. As a girl..." Zitao replied with a soft wry smile. The words 'it was finally out' kept playing inside of his mind like a hard mantra. He finally felt complete. Even if he were killed right there by his own Emperor's hands. He no longer cared. Because he was freed of their lies.
Though, right then, the most unexpected thing happened. Yifan laughed. The Emperor had burst forth in laughter with Zitao not understanding if the man thought what he'd just said was a joke or what. He was wholly baffled by his Emperor's unexplainable behavior. It left him feeling confused. He didn't find a word of what he'd just told him to be funny at all. Their situation was a very serious matter that now had to be dealt with.
Zitao frowned at the cackling elder, "I- I don't understand. Why are you laughing?"
Yifan retorted on a broken laugh, "Be- because, I knew that this day would come. I just didn't know when."
"I don't get what you mean." Zitao stated, grimacing back at him. He could not understand what Yifan meant by saying that he knew that this day would come. It just didn't make any sense to him.
"I only meant that this same situation has been happening in my family for over a century now." Yifan began speaking properly once he got his laughter back under his control again.
Noble families in the past have done what Zitao's had in to order to gain power with the empire if their sons were pretty enough to pretend to be a girl. Of course the men of his family had always found out the truth via the imperial wedding night. They however do not have their newly acquired spouse executed to save the royal family's face within China. Now the conception and birth of the heir to the throne was a whole other matter all together.
"You mean to tell me that I'm not the only male to be married in to the royal family?" Zitao gasped out with bewilderment at his Emperor's shock inducing words. He could not believe what he was hearing!
"Yes." was all the elder said, a fond glint lingering in his eyes as he stared down at Zitao.
"B-but how? All of them conceived to give birth to the new heir to our empire. It can't be possible! It just can't be!" Zitao asked with a colorful blush dusting his cheeks at the weight of his own words. He couldn't comprehend the idea of two men lying together to create another human being that would one day rule all of China.
"Oh, but it is, Zitao. Just give me the chance to show you." Yifan insisted bending his neck a bit to capture his Wife's lips with his own in a chaste kiss. He nipped his Bride's bottom asking for entry inside of his warm cavern and the younger easily complied, opening his mouth with a soft gasp of surprise. Considering the fact that he had never kissed anyone before this night.
Once his tongue was inside, Yifan slowly mapped out the contours of Zitao's soft mouth, pressing his body even closer to his own. It was a few minutes later when he released his mouth so that they may be able to inhale air back in to their now painfully gasping lungs. His gaze lingering over his Wife's beautifully flush face as he blushed a deep shade of red beneath it, a slyly placed smirk teasing the younger as much as he would allow.
"I can guess that was your first time kissing someone like that?" Yifan quizzically stated with an approving chuckle that sent thrilling shivers up and down Zitao's spine.
"Y-yes." came Zitao's sweetly shy stammered reply back to his patiently waiting Husband.
Yifan asked, cupping underneath the younger's chin when he spoke, "Would you like me to show you more, Taozi?"
Zitao begged, voice soft like a joyuous whisper, "Yes, Yifan. Yes, I would like you to show me more of what you know..."
Chapter 5: Lost Chastity (失落的贞节)
Moonlight glimmering down through the open window in the large bedchamber glinting upon the direct center of it. Only soft moans and airy panting could be heard throughout the chamber as Zitao laid helplessly beneath his Emperor. Hair spread out about them. His hand digging in to the elder man's broad shoulders while Yifan suckled against the soft skin of his neck and shoulders on both sides until he was breathless beneath his kisses.
Both of their robes were in an complete disarray. Zitao's own robe hiked up to his thighs with Yifan situated in between them and falling off his shoulders at Yifan's demand of him. Yifan's robe seated at his hips as he'd removed his top half to allow his Wife free range of his own flesh. His washboard abs on full display whilst he possessively marked him when he remembered how close the younger had been with General Xue.
His kisses turned to nips helping along Zitao's yelps of pleasured pain the harder he pressed his mouth against him. He slowly traveled down his Wife's shoulders towards his chest quickly seeking out a perked nipple and taking it in to the hot warmth of his mouth. The younger mewled at the action beneath him, immersing a hand up in to the Emperor's own head of long brown locks.
He groaned at the feel of it tightening in the younger's grasp licking over the little nub currently in his mouth before he switched over to do the same to the other one until both peaks with too sensitive too the touch. Zitao flinched away when he tried to tug one back in to his own. He leaned back a bit satisfied with the outcome of his work. Not yet seeing the whole thing until his Wife would be a mess of limbs underneath him by the end of the night.
That was his only goal. To completely wreck his innocent little Wife until the younger had the word mine engraved in to his everything. And he would succeed. There was no doubt about that. The younger was already sinking under his spell. It wouldn't be long now! Huang Zi Tao would be officially his in all sense of the word!
He pulled back from his Wife a bit more reaching between them to grab at the ties still holding the younger's robe in place. He gently tugged at the strips of fabric finally pulling the ties free giving Zitao's body full exposure before his eager eyes. Zitao has a much slender form with the most beautiful tan to his skin. His eager pink tipped cock an average size as it curled up against his lower belly leaking a trail of precum from the slit at it's tip. A deep hungry growl rumbled low in his throat as he took in the pure untainted sight of him, all pretty and flushed for his eyes alone. To see.
Zitao wantonly mewled at the sound of it, trying to pull Yifan's much larger body back down to his as he embeded his nails in the flesh of his back and shoulder. At that, Yifan bent his head down once again tightly gripping one of his own hands in to the younger's long ebon tresses. To which he roughly pulled Zitao's head back exposing his natural tanned neck before his eyes once more.
At the sight of it, he stuck out his tongue licking a long thick stripe from the base of Zitao's throat to tip of his chin, sending a shiver of delight throughout Zitao's entire body as he does. Then he pulls back again watching the rise and fall of Zitao's chest as he tries to retain air back in to his desperate lungs. Their eyes meeting in the middle after he does.
Zitao softly whispered his name on a shaky breath, "Y-yifan..."
Yifan cooed, trying to sooth him because he knew how scared and at the same instant excited the younger was to be finally joined with him, "Shh, I know. Just follow my lead, my angel. I've got you. Alright?"
"I-I do. Please Yifan, I need you." Zitao begged, stammering a bit over his words again when he speaks.
"I know, baby but we're going to take things slow until both you and your body have the word mine engraved in to your soul and every inch of your flesh that is still bare of my mark. Now just lie back for me, okay." Yifan cooed again as he slid his hand through the younger's hair one last time before removing it altogether.
He leaned off the bed, grabbing a jar of a honey colored thick oozy liquid. Straightening back out over Zitao, he opened the jar with the younger's questioning gaze locked on to what he was doing. He, at that point, tilted the jar spilling the contents inside on to his fingers before placing the jar down next to him on the bed.
Trusting Yifan and his words completely, Zitao laid back against the bed feeling the Emperor's hands now gripping his thighs. Nervously, he observed the elder's smooth movements as he slowly slid his liquid covered hand in between his thighs. Moving forward a bit, his hand glides over Zitao's tight puckered entrance. He knows that Zitao is a virgin. No one has to tell him. It was blatantly obvious. The younger has never been with another man or woman before.
Focusing solely on his main goal at the moment, Yitan placed one of his sticky long nailed fingers on the slightly twitching heat. Without regard to drawing back, he began to slowly rub the furled bundle of nerves in a slow experimental circle, giving the younger a much better chance to get used to the unusual sensation. Especially if he didn't like it the feeling.
He would most likely stop and put off their joining for another time. Nevertheless, whether Zitao wanted to do it or not, they would have to consummate their marriage sooner rather than later. The next heir to China's throne had to be concieved soon. For now though, he would just wait until the younger was ready to cross that line with him.
Painstakingly, he pressed his glazed finger within him as gently as he could. The younger's heat contracted around it and at the feel of that, Zitao felt a little weird and uncomfortable. Although, despite this, he still managed through it on soft whimpers. Yifan groaned at the sound of them. He couldn't wait to taste him after he would finish prepping him that is. And that is exactly what he did after he slid down his body placing his face at his slightly loosened and slicked up entrance.
He leaned forward, mouth placed over his heat with Zitao gasping out in shock beneath him. His legs over both of the Emperor's shoulders as he tried to cover up his reactions to the ministrations happening to his most sensitive region with the back of his hand. Pressing his lips against his wet opening. His tongue pushing in after making a few expermental licks against the throbbing pink rim.
Zitao let out little moans and gasps every time the Emperor lapped within him. His tongue dives deep in to the heated flesh stroking all of the younger's nerve endings perfectly until he's a drooling mess clutching on to his pillow underneath his head with his every pleasured scream. Soon Yifan can feel the younger fluttering around his tongue alerting his senses that he is close so he pulled away removing his tongue from his Wife's clenching heat.
"You're doing so good for me, my love. It won't be long before we are joined together now." Yifan proudly praised him and Zitao whimpered airily back in response as he aligned his body over his.
"Y-yifan!" an airy rasp of his name let out the moment the Emperor's cock is pressed against his entrance before he pushed it inside of him.
At that same moment, Zitao is clutching at his back with finger nails deeply embedded in to the skin of his back when he finally sunk within him so deep and full, that it aches. It aches so good that tears are welling up in his eyes just the way Yifan wants them to. They are joined together and it's perfect! Nothing else can ever compare to this moment in time.
He only begans to move when Zitao restricts so perfectly around his girth and his legs are securely wrapped around his waist. He slowly pulls out, then painstakingly pushes back in trying to minimize his Wife's pain and discomfort as much as he can. It's a tediously slow thing and Zitao is becoming more and more annoyed by it the further Yifan keeps at it.
He is not a delicate flower that will fall apart the moment his Husband decides to go a little rough on him okay! So he does something about it by pulling the elder in hard by the hips and Yifan is at a lost for words after he does even though he gets it and slowly began to pick up the pace. Soon the younger male is crying out beneath him with every press against his prostate with the Emperor grunting harshly in his ears with his every thrust. It's sexy and breathtaking and he wants more of it. They both do.
It isn't long before the younger's end is fast approaching. Yifan can tell except he's not ready for this to end just yet so he pulls out in order to flip his Wife on to his stomach. He lifts him to his knees pressing his ass out a little more before he is on him again and Zitao doesn't complain. He just takes it like his Emperor wants him too.
They moved together again with soft and airy whimpers and moans escaping through the atmosphere of the bedchamber from the younger's parted lips starting up once again. Yifan's grunts and groans from once again in response to them. Through all of that, he manages to keep the head of his cock from Zitao's prostate in order to keep things going until neither of them can take anymore.
His thrusts became harder and faster, more purposeful with their meaning and clear desire. He wants to make the younger beg for it to end- for them to finish- for them to come, joined together. And Zitao does and it's perfectly beautiful. So beautiful that he completely comes apart with his name panting in between his soft pillowed lips after he finally presses over his prostate. It's enticing and only for him to see and hear. Alone.
Yifan maneuvers Zitao's body the way he wants it once again this time placing the younger on his side. His own much larger form aligning and pressing right up against his Wife's body. The head of his cock was now sliding against him. It was huge in girth and long aside from this, proportionate to the Emperor's body.
He brought his mouth down over the side of his Wife's neck licking a stripe from his shoulder to his chin when he began to sink his hard maleness back in to Zitao's heat, inch by inch until he was buried deep to the root. He bit deep in to Zitao's neck trying to help distract his Wife from the pain he knew that he must of been currently feeling once again.
"Y-Yifan!" He let out a cry when Yifan finally began to move within him. His body was withering beneath the Emperor's with every stroke that his cock made against his once virginal walls. His mind was now almost completely consumed and clouded by his every motion.
Yifan lifts up Zitao's right leg pressing it up to his chest to switch a better angle searching out his Wife's secret place like a mad man as he pace began to take a more vicious route. And when he did manage to find it again, Zitao gasped and shuddered against him with the silent call of his name, a smirk now fully in place over his lips as he happily attacks that spot. Over and over again, pushing his Wife to the edge when he does.
Zitao could feel it, his end rushing over him. And he wanted it so bad, in spite of this he wanted to cum with Yifan, so he forced himself to hold back. He begged the Emperor to let him see his face and the Emperor complied to him. He moved to lay him upon his back once more with the Emperor right in between his thighs. He wrapped his arms around his neck when he did so with his legs.
Yifan pushed back in with Zitao pulling his head down for an open mouthed kiss. He was pressing against his Wife's prostate again with each slam of his hips, causing him to shake and shiver with the nature of their joining. When their mouths parted again, he started thrusting in to him hard, making Zitao mewl out his name like a soft mantra.
Yet, soon enough, in the right span of time, Yifan's movements became more erratic and with one last thrust, both of their bodies seized up on them. The Emperor on top, his Wife beneath him. Their orgasms suddenly splashing from the head of Zitao's cock resting against his lower belly, yet spurting at the same time deep within him from Yifan's pulsating maleness. Both now spent from their joining.
The atmosphere of the bedchamber sounded in deep pants of breath as Yifan fell to Zitao's side. He pulled in to his embrace only to find that his Wife had already fallen in to sleep. He gave a light chuckle when he pecked his forehead tucking him properly under his arm. His thoughts now swirling in his mind right before he joined his Wife in sleep. He could not have been more blessed in his life than to be have been given the chance for his Wife to stay at his side for the rest of their existence.
Chapter 6: Crowned Empress (皇冠女皇)
Spread about his king sized bed, Yifan looked back upon his life before Zitao came in to the picture. As a child everything was just given to him. Always. He never had to earn it. It was merely his right of birth. And as the heir to an entire Empire, he was expected to learn how to just take what was his. As a result, when it came down to his own choice in a Bride, things weren't always so simple.
For one, a ruler such as himself, he had to choose a Bride carefully. All while considering the facts and consequences of his selection and it may affect the whole Empire. Of course, in saying that, it meant that whoever he chose for his Wife had to benefit the empire as well. Which also meant that he could create many allies and make numerous enemies. Or simply do both. It would never really be a win-win situation and it placed him in a pugnacious position within the Empire. He had to outwit and outsmart and outmanoeuvre the opposition.
Truth be told, Yifan had his pick of any woman that he'd desire. He was no virgin. Zitao can attest to that very fact! He just didn't take many lovers. When he did, he felt as if he just wasting his physique and seminal fluid with the women he laid with because in the end he would not be with them forever. He knew that eventally he'd have to take a Wife, so falling in love with a woman that held no importance for his position as Emperor was without question and beyond well-founded doubt.
His mind traveled back to the time when women of important families were simply given to him in the middle of the night. Inside of his bedchambers. Barely dressed in the robes that they were often given to wear. Their fathers, hoping- awaiting- for a sired heir, for this reason he took measures in great length to make sure no woman that ever laid within his bed or he in theirs, brought forth an illegitimate lowborn child.
Yifan had needed to marry fast. Especially when he considered Lady Yu Rin of the Bao family. Her father had been trying to get him to marry his daughter since before he ever thought he'd ascend his father's throne. They were too power hungry for the throne as his father had foretold him. A match between them will simply not do.
For that exact reason, Yifan avoided the idea of marriage altogether until Shi Xun, his bestfriend and one of his three war Generals suggested that he make his own political match to stop any other future offer of marriage from coming in to existence.
Particularly a match from a family that did not try to outwardly or inwardly gain favor with his majesty. That is how the Huang family's household had been chosen above all the rest. They had been the perfect choice. Or so he had thought until he'd found out that one of his Generals had been in love with the Huang's only daughter.
Yifan felt for General Xue, the poor soul that had fallen in love with her, but alas, he needed the match more than other. So he excluded the General's feelings and interdicted him completely from the equation for the good of the empire. Therefore as the Emperor of all of China, Yifan decided to continue on with his marital plans.
He would marry Huang Yue Shi as planned. Or so he'd thought, on the contrary, by then, his intended Bride had already taken her very own life and then had been replaced by her beautiful younger brother. To which, he had not found the truth about such occurrences until their eventual wedding night. And he knew that if this had not been happening to his family for so many generations already, he would have abided by the law of the land.
The Huang family's title would have been strickened and thence the entire family would have been arrested, then consequently sentenced to death. Execution by decapitation. Zitao's parents would be first, afterwards Zitao himself. They would torture him first foremost, then subsequently cut off his genitalia just to prove a point to his people so they would never try something like that ever again. And then they would behead him in the very same robes he'd disguised himself as a girl in when they first had met one another. He felt bad for Zitao, his family's honor among China meant more to his parents than his very own life.
It was an amazing thing for Zitao that Yifan's father foretold him that this precise day would happen to him some day. And he personally thanked the gods that it did, because he was proud to have Zitao standing at his side. He wouldn't change gaining him for the entire world even though it was at the cost of the younger male's very own elder sister. In fact, if Zitao were to be angry about their present situation, that selfish girl and their very own parents would be where the blame would lie for their sudden union. Even though, he, himself was completely okay with all of that.
Zitao sat in the rose scented bath prepared for him in his own bedchambers. A mere three days have past since his marriage to the Emperor had become official. And today was his coronation. He was to become Empress of all of China.
It was a great feat. One that he feared he was not yet prepared for. He was terrified. Freaking out on the inside.
The entire empire thought he was a girl. A woman. Their future Empress. He had to continuously play that part until the day he departed from this world. And he had no clue on how to actually be a woman! Or how to artfully act like one!
His fears were mounting up. He was terrified of failing his Emperor and his sister. He wanted to make the both of them proud of him. He just had to. Failure was just not an option!
His mind was reeling in his fear. He needed to find someone that could help teach him how to continue to extrude the mannerisms of a woman for the allotted amount of time he would need to do so. And he needed to find someone fast. Someone particularly inclined with the Emperor's family's marital situations. And it most definitely had to be a woman or he was surely doomed!
One of his servants entered the bedchamber he'd been asigned to before he was married their Emperor, only after he'd already gotten himself out of the bath. He was not to move in to Yifan's bedchamber until after he was made the Empress of China. He dried himself off then slipped his naked flesh in to his bedrobe before seating himself upon his own bed.
The girl bowed before him and he studied her for a good while, crossing his legs as he fixed his bedrobe in a proper manner as womanly as he could muster himself to do so. Thus he spoke to her, then sent her off with an insult and the annoyed wave of his hand, "Have one of the Emperor's servants tell him of his needed presence with his Wife. Before her coronation. Now go. Your face brings me night terrors when I take sight of it in the daylight, pay no mind to the night. And don't dally around, my present situation is a very serious matter that needs the Emperor's standpoint on it."
He watched as the girl scurried from of his bedchamber to do his bidding. He stood up at her departure walking up to his floor-length bedchamber mirror. His gaze locked on to his figure and how curvaceous it seemed as of late.
He glanced down at his still naked body slowly opening his robe never noticing his Emperor ever approaching him until rather large hands were gathered at his svelte hips. Zitao glanced up in a slow seductive manner placing his much smaller hands over Yifan's own. A sweet smile grazing his soft pink alluring lips.
The Emperor placed his chin in the crook of his Wife's neck feeling him softly tremble beneath him as the younger male drew his robe nigh to himself. Their hands pressed together tight as he moved them from Zitao's hips to his flat made stomach. His head moving to kiss the spot his chin had once been before he forcefully turned the younger male in his embrace bringing up one of his hands to gently touch a soft-skinned cheek in the palm of his hand.
"Is this your way of trying to pacify me when you have an inkling that I might be angry?" Zitao whispered gazing in to his Emperor's soft adoring eyes.
"No, but is it working?" Yifan quirked an eyebrow up at him in return, question a playful murmur.
"If you have to ask me that at all, then you already know what my answer is." Zitao said with a voice full of playful sarcasm, wrapping his arms around his Emperor's neck.
Yifan gladly teased him back, "Okay, fine. How may I be of service to you, my darling Wife?"
Zitao sighed as Yifan slowly snaked his arms around his slender waist, "I need someone well-qualified and certifiable to help me with the semblance of my feminine disposition."
Yifan whispered, ducking his head down to brush his lips against his Wife's, "Is that all, my heart?"
Zitao moved his face away from the Emperor's as he laughed at him, pressing gentle kisses all around the elder's face, "Substantially, I don't think that you can help me get in to my traditionalistic ceremonial robes, now do I?"
"No, only for when it is the befittingly necessary time to remove your robes from off of your soft pliant little body once we are completely alone." Yifan retorted taking Zitao's face back in to his hold after releasing the younger's waist from his grasp.
"Utterances such as that can get Your Majesty in to so much trouble." Zitao gasped out in between the kisses suddenly and rapidly being set against his own mouth by his very distracting Husband.
Yifan teased in a playful manner as he began moving away from his Wife's lips, leaving little love bites along the side of his uncovered neck, "But I like the brand of trouble that I may incur from my said utterances."
Zitao chortled in return, his mirth clear within his eyes, "Do you now?"
"Yes. Yes in fact, I do." Yifan murmured against his neck, slipping the robe that he was wearing down a bit in order to expose some of his shoulder to his open lips. He felt Zitao let out a breathy gasp beneath him when he sunk his teeth in to the curve of his neck and shoulder.
"Wait- wait! Stop Yifan! We can't- we can't do this now!" Zitao mewled out as he tried to push his Husband away from him whilst the elder attacked every inch of skin his mouth came in to contact with.
"And why the hell can't we do this now, Taozi? You are my Wife and I want you- want to be inside of you, right here, right now!" Yifan hissed in a breathless volume while forcing his Wife to take all that he was offering to him.
"Because, I still have to get ready for my coronation. That is why, Your Majesty, has to wait until after I am crowned Empress to lay claim to that which so belongs to him." Zitao said after he managed to push enough distance in between the ruttish Emperor and himself.
"I love the way you eloquently word things. It's so contagiously corrupting. Makes me want to ravish you even more." Yifan praised as he tried to pressed a kiss to his Wife's alluring pink lips.
"Yifan, no! Please, stop! I promise to make it up to you later, when we are alone. Just let me get ready for the second most important event in my life." Zitao yelped, impatience starting to slowly slide its way within his voice. The Emperor's flattery getting him nowhere at the moment and he had sneakily moved the man towards the bedchamber doors, during their tenuous scuffle. He opened the doors without the Emperor's notice with gracious ease.
Yifan ceased his movements, taking his Wife's words in before he spoke again, "Only, if you tell me what the first most important event in your life was."
Zitao gave a soft indistinct utterance back to him before pushing him out of his bedchamber, "Marrying you..."
He closed the doors in his Emperor's face with a sweet chuckle. And once he knew that his perverse Husband had left, he called his servants to retrieve Luhan so that he may help him get ready for his enthronement. He walked over to their shared bed and sat down upon it. Luhan arrived a few short minutes later fixing his own robes back in to perfect order.
Zitao amusingly titillated him, loving the shyly abashed blush emerging over Luhan's porcelain colored cheeks, "I see that you've had a fascinating run-in with our seraphic General Oh?"
Luhan sulked with an unamused pout upon his pink lips, calling his friend with a formal honorific, "And, I can say the same for Your Majesty, now shut up and let's get you ready for your most prominent day, young lady!"
"Yea-yeah, haha, you are so funny sometimes, Luhan!" Zitao sulked right back, sticking out his tongue at Luhan in turn.
"And you love me for it." Luhan gave a soft laugh out in an easy retort before he began to help Zitao get ready for his second big day. And it didn't take long for Zitao be prepared.
On this day he wore imperial red and gold unlike the blue robes he wore on the day he first met his Husband in. He stood in front of his mirror admiring his womanlike outward visual aspect. Luhan simply outdid himself. He looked like flawless imperfection. A golden veil on his head instead of the only blue one he'd wore on the day he'd met Yifan for the very first time.
Zitao left his bedchamber with Luhan at his side, his hand resting upon Luhan's forearm, heading towards the Enthroning Antechamber of their monolithic capacious made palace. Two of his own personal servants stood at his tail end holding on to the hem of his imperial robes. They halted their crusade at the very mouth of chamber.
The Antechamber was filled up with people from all across the lands, including the various palace officials with their still eligible daughters whom had been Empress prospects before him standing at their sides glaring heatedly at him with ill will and elucidated hostility. In time, he ignored them all, when his eyes trailed down the long illustrious walkway towards his Husband and their all mighty Emperor, their eyes connected.
He, at long last, was about to become the Empress of all of China. At just the mere idea of that, he felt nervous butterflies bubble up inside of the pit of his stomach. Nevertheless, once the Emperor raised both of his hands out towards his person, he commenced his walk down the path provided. Luhan and his servants no longer helping him along anymore.
When he stood before his Emperor and their people, he pledged his life to their entire Empire as was custom of every new addition to the Imperial bloodline. He dropped to his knees when it was time for the Emperor to coronate him. He bowed his head and put his hands in his lap just as Yifan settled the jeweled headdress upon his head.
The gold made diadem sat magnificently against the backdrop of his beauteous long black hair. He stood up straight once again, allowing Yifan to pull him in close to his own body. A soft gentle smile curled its way across his lips as the Emperor leaned in ghosting his lips over the soft skin of his left cheek, then they were quickly parted and the skin reddened there at the realization that others had seen what his Husband had just done to him after everyone began to felicitate and praise their conspicuously new Empress.
Chapter 7: Noble Etiquette (贵族礼仪)
Empress Zitao graciously sat upon the throne inside of his own throne room. It was smaller in size when compared to the Emperor's own throne room and only for the Empress to receive and greet her own personal guests at the palace. And it would be his first time using it since he hadn't really had any guests come to see him just yet.
It lead back to the bedchamber he had given at his arrival to the palace. Although he still shares a chamber with the Emperor from time to time. Only if Yifan is not too busy with court affairs to lie in bed beside him.
He was elegantly dressed in one of the many imperial robes that the Emperor had made for him. It was indigo in color and made of the riches silks the royal funds could buy. Some of his long ebon hair was up in a modest bun with the rest flowing down his shoulders and back. Save for only a decorative hair pin sticking out of his bun.
It was an austere unostentatious alabaster marble sculpted Chinese Dragon caught in mid flight. It was a gift from the Emperor. Given to him after his coronation. It was his most prized possession and he wore it proudly within his hair all the time. When he was not wearing his diadem of course. Even if it did not match any of his other robes!
He was patiently awaiting for news on his Husband's part on whether or not he had found someone to help him as he previously requested he did. He was an immense nervous flutter as he continued to wait, that he didn't notice when the Emperor had finally entered the miniscule throne room. Forgoing the proclaiming of his arrival there entirely.
He anxiously played with the tips of his fingers, afraid that he may bite them in his wait of him. He was an intense mess of worry, that it was sight that almost made the leering Emperor laugh. Almost.
"May I obtain, Your Majesty's attention?" a familiar voice abruptly cut through Zitao's anxiousness causing his attention wane from himself, looking up. The Emperor stood before him in all his glory. Robes of gold and black adorning his build. His own long hair up as was unsual for him on daily basis unless they were in bed together of course.
"Yifan. You're finally here." Zitao blithely beamed with all of his constant worry dissipating at the Emperor's arrival to his throne room. He stood up from his throne running contently towards his Husband.
"I am here. And so is she," Yifan agreed with a smile of his own, opening his arms wide enough for his Wife to happily run in to them before addressing Zitao's main concern at that moment, introducing someone he wanted him to meet, "May I present to you, Princess Liu Yi Fei, one of my favorite cousins."
Princess Liu Yi Fei stepped in to the throne room at the call of her name, jade green colored robes softly flowing about her as she moves, along with her lengthy caramel brown locks. Her voice a mere comely whisper when she spoke with a proper and polite bow to both the Emperor and the Empress, "Your Majesty flatters me too much. It is an honor to meet my cousin's soulmate."
Zitao said in warm welcome of her, "No, I'm afraid the honor is all mine, Princess Yifei."
"Well, I should let you two get started on your lessons. I would advise that you not do them here for the sake of both prying eyes and ears, My Highnesses," Yifan declared, then he addressed his cousin's lodging accommodations, "Luhan will come show you to your quarters when you are done, Yifei."
Zitao acceded as they both bowed in farewell of their Emperor right before he left the throne room, "We will see you another time then, Your Majesty."
Once the Emperor is gone, Zitao and the Princess follow in his footsteps upon his advice and leave the throne room as well. They head over to the Empress's own private residence and begin their secret lessons with no further delay. Yifei starts to educate him with the most important things that he needs to know above all else when it comes down to being and acting the part of a woman.
She taught him every little quirk and manner a woman postures in the face of the male specimen. The main lesson to which he can lean upon when all else fails him later on in his position and status or his feeble tenuous life. The next lesson on the Princess's mind for him would be on how to manage the royal household with the right conduct under their up-to-the-minute curriculum.
Afterwards, Luhan makes his way over to the Empress's private residence to retrieve Princess Yifei to do as his Emperor instructed of him, pale yellow robes swaying with his every move. The Princess bows to the Empress with Luhan doing the same behind her back then she turned to leave the bedchamber. Luhan gives Zitao a big thumbs up in clear support of him and his lessons since he could not do so earlier, because he was otherwise occupied with his own tryst with General Oh. Notwithstanding, he headed out right after her, hearing Zitao sighing deeply after him, knowing well what the other had been up to with one of his Husband's favored men.
It only takes a few weeks more for Yifei to gloriously take to her new role within the palace at the Empress's side. The palace staff liked and adored her. The Empress and Luhan agree to that notion as well, since he spends alot of time with them now at the Emperor's request- also know as his royal command. Let's just call it a miniscule punishment for his fraternizing with General Oh so much lately that the Emperor took notice of it.
Oh, his poor Shixun! He feels so bad for him right now. Especially since he got the short end of the stick with way Yifan has him running about the training yard with him muttering something about sexual restraint beneath his breath. Whatever the heck that means!
Luhan presently sat inside of the Empress's dwellings watching all of his training with the Princess transpire whilst sitting upon the Empress's bed. He gets a in few laughs every time Zitao muddles everything up and in consequence of that, he gets angrily chased around the bedchamber for it. Yifei shakes her head at their childish antics, standing by the bed.
The doors to Zitao's bedchambers open up and a maid steps inside with a gracious bow, formality in her voice when she softly speaks, "Your Majesty, please return to your receiving throne room with me. You have an unforeseen guest awaiting to be greeted by you."
"Is that so?" Zitao asked the maid with a perfect ebon eyebrow quirked up in both clear annoyance and confusion, because he was disjointed as to why he would have a guest visit the palace already. Besides that fact, he hardly knew anyone outside of his own parents and his new royal family members to do such a thing. So that could only lead to one thing.
Yifei stated, grabbing Luhan by the arm after she rushed to his side, forcing him to come with so that they could both make their escape from the Empress, because she could feel the ire radiating from out of all of Zitao pores, "And so with that our lesson ends. Let's go Luhan, the Empress has a visitant to welcome-"
Zitao whispered, his voice steely with his knifelike vexation, "No, that simply won't do. The two of you are going to help me take in my uninvited visitor. Let's go!"
After he was done speaking to her, the maid bowed to him once again before showing her back to him to begin walking out of the bedchamber to head towards the Empress's throne room. Zitao followed after the girl with Yifei and Luhan striding close behind him in dread of what the infuriated Empress may do to his new palace arrival. They could only hope that it wouldn't be murder above all else.
When they came upon the throne room, the maid moved from out of the Empress's path and Zitao stepped in to the throne room with the grace of a provoked serpent. So with their own cautious movements, Yifei and Luhan both silently trudged together behind him. Both taciturnly watching the Empress take his place upon his throne in a sway of expensive imperial fabric.
Once he is comfortable and both Luhan and Yifei are standing at either side of him, he motions for the maid to ask his guest to enter the throne room. The maid bows to the Empress once more before leaving the throne room to do what was ordered of her. A few minutes later, a woman that Zitao knew better than all others, entered the throne room with an air of boastfulness about her.
His mother wore new purple colored robes made of the most expensive silks and her long graying brown locks were place in a neat upon with many beautiful jeweled made gold hair accessories and hair pins. She actually looked the part of an Empress's biological mother, in looks as well. Much to Zitao's dissatisfaction or he would've denied being her child altogether.
Since his marriage to the Emperor, his parents' head had swelled in size. Especially so, in his opinion, since his own mother refused to even bow to him as was required of his new lot in life. Zitao scowled deeply at this knowledge. Oh, no, he would have that attitude affecting his home or everyone would think that they could walk all over him. And that just simply will not do.
Zitao's mother finally spoke, though only to try and discourteously order the Princess to do her bidding, "Girl! Go retrieve us some tea, now. I'm a bit parched from my long journey here."
Yifei frowned at the woman's words of order. Who did this woman think she was? She was a Princess and the Emperor's cousin by birth alone. She about to say something towards that subject, but alas, Zitao's body language stopped her from doing so. She could distinctly see the Empress's anger raging out once again. She peered at the silent Luhan to find him louring at the woman as well and gazed back at the ill-mannered old bird one final time.
"Did you not hear me girl? Tea now! Or I will make sure you are whipped for your insolence!" Zitao's mother hissed to the disrespected Princess, voice filled with her clear disdain this time around, before she went on to scold the Empress as well, "My goodness gracious, Taozi! How are ever going garner respect from your servants when they won't even obey your own parents. I know that I have raised better than that! You need to put down a firm hand to unruly people like her."
"Enough! How dare you come to my home, my inner sanctum, and try to tell my subjects what to do!" Zitao bellowed with indignation when he stood up from his seat on his throne. He glared in a dark manner back at his grimacing mother. Not caring if he was being seen as an unfilial son- daughter in that instance. His mother had disrespected his home and was simply not to be tolerated or she might think that it was still okay for her to continuously do it.
Lady Huang yelped and Zitao let out a ill-natured chortle at the notion of that, "I-I was just trying to help you out, Taozi."
Zitao spat back in retort, eyes dangerous with his unknown intentions, on his part that is, "No, you weren't! You were just trying to help yourself. And I do not need your help, nor would I ever, I only need you to apologize to this girl."
Lady Huang jeered out in response, "Why should I? She's only one of your lowly born servants!"
Zitao smirked in a knowing manner, his derision of her apparent, "That's where you are wrong, Mother. This girl is Princess Liu Yi Fei, the Emperor's most favored cousin and my cousin-in-law."
They all watched as his mother's expression changed from furious to appalled and then to ashamed, all in one go. Right after that, she whilst she dropped to her knees before them, bowing out her futile apology to the enraged Princess, "I ask for your forgiveness of my ill-mannered and ill-advised behavior, Princess Liu."
The Princess seethed, though with compliance she left the throne room in a smooth flourish of jade green silk, that Zitao had nothing against because he felt the exact same way, except there is guilt, shame, disgrace, and embarrassment tact on to it since the woman was regrettably his mother, "You are not forgiven. I will retain my cousin's advice on a fitting punishment for you, Lady Huang."
Lady Huang spoke again, addressing the person of the other attendee still standing inside of the throne room with them, "And what about the person standing on your other side, Your Majesty?"
"Do you not recognize him, Mother? He was Yue Shi's very bestfriend after all." Zitao mocked her, waving Luhan over to his side as they all continued to regard his mother in a cold callous disposition.
Lady Huang whispered Luhan's name as Yue Shi flashed through her mind, "Xi Lu Han..."
Luhan glowered, an annoyed lit to his voice, after hearing his name from her lips, "Still the same as ever, Lady Huang. No, I change my mind. I think that you are much worse than you used to be when I first met you with Yue Shi standing by my side."
Lady Huang scoffed with a greatly miffed sneer, "And who are you to judge me? You are as close to a servant as they get!"
"Silence! I will no longer tolerate anymore disrespect of my people coming from in-between your scheming lips, Lady Huang." Zitao declared to his mother, an arrant expression displayed his displeasure and discontent with her behavior, before he ordered her to leave the inner walls of his home, "You will leave this palace this very instant, until I have decided on what I want to do to with you."
Another maid came in to the throne room to disrupt their already ending conversation with a soft nervous yet quizzical whisper of, "Your Majesty?"
Zitao turned his attentions upon the frightful girl, waving her over to him in order to ignore his mother altogether. Considering the fact that he knew that she wanted to protest the easy dismissal of her person, all the same, he had no further intentions of ever letting her do so. She was lucky enough to be let go unscathed, or he might've had her nicely flogged like a low born servant, for her careless attitude and behavior.
The maid hands a small scroll of paper over to him and he thanks her for it, also commanding her to drag his stormy mother out of his throne room with her when she leaves as well, once he does. They watch as the maid does as is ordered of her, dragging the storming lady out of the throne room behind her when she leaves it. A smile of tremendous satisfaction fell over both of their lips, once the self-seeking self-serving egotistical hag is officially gone from their sights.
Despite that, Zitao's smile becomes a disdainful grimace all the same, because his father has asked him to help him obtain a higher position within the Emperor's court. In his blind anger, Zitao balls up the letter and breezes in an array of indigo colored silk out of the throne room, leaving poor Luhan confused in his wake.
Irritation unfolds throughout his body and sneaks its way in to his voice when he finally decides to speak after angrily pacing the floor of his bedchamber in silence for a good long while, "First my mother comes over to my palace uninvited acting like my abode belonged to her alone. Now my father thinks he can just ask for high favors from me as if I was nothing but a political tool to him."
Luhan breathed deeply and heavily, crossing his arm over his chest with his mutual contempt for Zitao's parents, "I understand that you're peeved with them at the moment, but aren't you forgetting something?"
He had arrived to the Empress's bedchambers to find out what had caused Zitao's eccentric behavior back in the throne room after Zitao had read the letter given to him by the maid to which had left him there alone a bit earlier. The angered Empress had hereupon given Luhan the chance to read over the letter from his supposed father. And Luhan was now in the same boat with the Empress.
They really should've seen this coming from a mile away a long while ago. In fact this whole marriage was a political gain for both Zitao's family and their most beloved Empress and Emperor. Was it not?
Zitao asked, dropping his arms away from his chest before he turned away to walk towards his bed to take a seat upon it, "And what could that possibly be?"
Luhan further explained his point to the still fuming Empress, "There is the little certain known fact, that you are indeed, a political tool. For your marriage to the Emperor was not a spur of the moment decision. Yifan had to consider all aspects of the Empire's position in order to best proceed with a beneficial union."
Zitao hissed, an annoyed pout crossing over his pursed lips, "Oh, shut up, Lulu! You sound just like the Emperor!"
Yifan uttered, gratified with what Luhan had just said to his sorely disgruntled Empress, "And what an adept yet amusively profound sound he does make, my sweet Wife."
"Y-yifan!" Zitao yelped with fright, jumping up in to the air at the sound of his own Husband's voice. To which, the Emperor found completely endearing.
Yifan replied, underlying sarcasm within his tone as he stepped within the bedchamber, "If I do recall, that is my name. Is it not?"
"It is as Your Majesty says it is." Luhan answered with a formal bow in proper greeting when the Emperor peered in his direction.
"You are excused for now, Luhan. I think that General Oh awaits for your presence at the training grounds. If I'm not mistaken." Yifan stated, granting Luhan departure of his Wife's bedchamber.
"Thank you, Your Majesty." Luhan thanked the Emperor with another courteous bow before playfully teasing Zitao on his leave of the bedchamber, "I will see you later then, my Empress. Have fun!"
"So, I'm guessing that you have heard a small bit of our little conversation just now?" Zitao asked, probing the other a little bit to validate his assumption.
"Do you question my unfeigned need of you. My avowed want of you, My undying love for you. For us, Taozi?" Yifan inquired, a clear scowl etched over his facial features as he scrutinized his Empress's complete and honest trust of him.
"Really, Your Majesty? Throwing out a inquiry instead of an answer?" Zitao retorted uneasily, trying to shake off the Emperor's questioning of him, because he honestly felt as if he were being backed in to a corner by Yifan's words.
"I am not the one stalling in that sense. Now am I?" Yifan riposted, his frown only deepening the longer he spoke with his Empress.
Zitao finally answered the question that Yifan actually wanted to hear his response to, "No. I could never put in to question your unfeigned need, avowed want, and undying love for me. Ever."
Yifan voiced, filled with great satisfaction, "Good. Now tell me the reason for my Empress's unusual furor."
Zitao huffed out a cute distressed whine, as Yifan lasciviously encased him within his hold without any warning, pressing their bodies in a near perfect mold, "It's my ill-conceived idiotic parents!"
Yifan murmured whilst he outstretched a hand to grasp the ends of the ties attached to Zitao's robes in order for him to slowly pull them free, loosening up the garment bit by little bit, "Do not fret, my love. I will do what I desire with your greed riddled parents. You only need to focus all of your lovely attentions on to me."
Zitao finally asked in a stammer of words, a beautiful embarrassed cherry red blush coloring his cheeks as he does, "Y-yifan, w-what are you d-do-ing?"
"Having another gratifying taste of my lovely breathtaking Wife." The Emperor simply uttered in a delicate whisper of words, dipping Zitao down enough so that he can better see his steadily reddening face before he slowly began caressing his lips against his Empress's own slightly parted ones, in a soft passionate breath stealing kiss.
Chapter 8: Green Tea (绿茶)
Morning sunlight filtered through the large bedchamber, slowly awakening the only person still asleep upon the king sized bed in an illumination of light. A thick pool of black tresses surrounding their soft pliant form whilst they slept. Painstakingly, they drifted awake, little by little, until sleep could hold on to them no more.
A soft yawn mewled through the atmosphere of the bedchamber. As long delicate sylphlike limbs draped in white fabric stretched out wide against the silk sheets of the bed. Ready to start the day.
A soft airy chuckle sounds in the otherwise silent bedchamber, before a palace handmaid begins to speak to the form still entangled within the bed's warm sheets, ducked down in a genteel bow as she does, "Good morning, Your Majesty."
"What are you doing here this early in the morning, girl?" Zitao's voiced in a tone of complete annoyance as he took in the pretty appearance of the female servant still bowing before his bed with a perfectly quirked quizzical brow. The word girl, spat out like an insult, because it was an insult.
The handmaid replied graciously after posing out of her bow, "His Highness, the Emperor sent me, Your Majesty."
"Where is his Highness, and why did he send you to me when he knows that I like to sleep in until the afternoon or until the time Luhan comes here to assist me with my day?" Zitao questioned the girl when he finally sat up in his bed with his long ebon hair easily flowing with his quick movements, an expression of his displeasure in place over his face.
At the moment, he was not gratified with his husb- no the Emperor. The man knew his entire routine and that he does not like it to ever be changed without his expressed and explicit consent. Even so, the Emperor had still took the opportunity to do as he pleased with his person much to the Empress's displeasure of course.
"His highness, said that the person who usually assists you would be preoccupied with a little personal matter of their own this morning and that I am to take his place until you meet with Princess Liu in the evening." the handmaid said the Emperor's deference and vigilance in answer when she was allotted the chance to speak again. To which Zitao glared at that.
Slowly his eyes crawled over the handmaiden's appearance in clear aggravation and irritation. Especially once he took in the unflattering maid's garbs upon the girl's body. He wanted to have it changed almost immediately because it did not suit his world view of what the people of the palace should bear resemblance to. Although, he knew that he had to get the Emperor on board with the idea first before he can actually proceed with that endeavour.
These thoughts flowed within his head whilst he inquired her person, after his eyes finally landed upon the small scroll of paper that was held tight within the girl's grasp, "And what is that within your hold, girl?"
"Oh, this? This a new breakfast regimen for Your Majesty! His highness has ordered that you eat this food only after y-you're-" the girl rejoined with a slight stammering to her voice and a faint blush dusting her cheeks, unable to finish what she had been saying much to her Empress's growing impatience.
Zitao hissed with clear exasperation contained within his voice when he spoke once again, "Well, spit it out, girl! After what?"
The handmaid bashfully murmured, reaching out her hand in order for the Empress to remove the scroll from within her hold, her childish blush still in place as she does, "Y-you're p-private time with h-his Highness."
Zitao enquired with a perfect eyebow quirked up to re-emphasize his point as he finally stood up from his place upon his bed in befuddlement, "My private time? With Yifan?"
The handmaid promptly added in response, explaining the Emperor's simple wish to the baffled Empress before she watched in silence as her majesty read over the scroll, "His Highness, also said that these foods will help you to regain your strength back after such exhaustingly personal activities. He specially made the tea for you all on his own before he left your bedchamber this morning, Your Majesty."
Zitao's eyes fell to the little table that sat a good meter away from the bed where a tray of what appeared to be the tea that she was talking about which set next to his breakfast, after he looked away from the scroll still within his hands. He asked with mystification at what the Emperor might've actually done for him in such a personal gesture of sorts, "Tell me what kind of tea is it that his Majesty has personally made for me."
The handmaid answered her majesty with much honesty and brightness that it sorf of overwhelmed him whilst he was under her presence, so much so that he could clearly see and almost feel the admiration and honor that she held for their great imperial ruler, "A special blend of the green variety. All of the rulers of the Emperor's family make it for their significant others since the Wus first acceded the throne. It is a great honor that the Emperor has chosen you to specifically make this tea for, Your Majesty."
Zitao muttered airily with a delicate frown creasing his forehead before he began walking over to the table, "I don't understand. Why is it such a great honor for him to do that just for me? I'm really not that special at all."
The handmaid continued to merrily explain everything to her majesty as he now stood by the table that held his breakfast upon it, "Because it means that you are the only one for him, even if there is another addition to the palace harem, for the sake of marriage alone. You are his everything. You are his life. And that is what makes you special, Your Majesty."
Zitao finally gave out a warm smile right back to her before he spoke again, after the girl had finished her explanation of their majestic Emperor's actions to him, "Tell his Majesty when you report back to him, that I broke my fast and drunk of the tea that he so benevolently made just for me in great reward and that I will see him tonight within his own bedchamber."
The handmaid beamed before mirthfully hurrying off to do as what was ordered of her after a proper bow that is bestowed to all members of the current ruling Royal family and their nobility, "As you will it to be, Your Majesty."
After the girl has left his bedchamber, Zitao sat down at the table, picking up the small tea cup slowly bringing the thermal liquid up to his nose. He takes a few whiffs of it and is startled to find out that the aroma of the tea is a bit robust. In preference to that, he merely takes a few gentle sips of the tea to discover that it has a very gentle and sweet floral taste to it as well. And after assessing the hot beverage, he ascertains that he quite likes the way it tastes just fine. A sweet warmhearted tender smile graces his once frowning lips at the mere thought of his significant other's simplistic considerateness.
Afterwards, he drank all of it down before taking his time with eating his breakfast. He had a busy schedule to keep up with if he were to see the Emperor later tonight as he had promised him he would. And by the time he was finish with everything, the handmaid had returned to his bedchamber. This time she held a newly crafted robe for him to wear for the day.
She began to hand them over to him just as he outstretched a hand to grap at the smoothly made silk fabric. The robes were pink in color of the carnation variety. It was very beautiful and the color of it complimented his skin tone, apart from that, he frowned at his sudden need for it because he already had a lot of robes to wear. So he asked her for an answer as to why he was being given a brand new one, "What is this new robe meant for?"
The handmaid stated as the Emperor blithely had told her to do so after she had relayed the Empress's news to him, "His Highness sent it over as a gift for Your Majesty to wear for the day. His highness also said that the color would be perfectly complimentary to the tone of your skin, so he really wants you to wear it in order for him to see how wondrously grand you shall look once it is on your Royal person."
Zitao sighed outwardly with a bashful blush coloring his cheeks at the Emperor's most embarrassing words spilling from in between one of their servants' own lips, "Why do I even ask these things? Fine, have my bath drawn for me after it is brought to my bedchambers. Then you may leave from my side; I will wash myself off by my lonesome this morning."
The handmaid replied with a slight frown upon her face, in contrast to that, bowed in proper respect to her Empress before leaving the bedchamber altogether, "As Your Majesty wishes."
Zitao watched as his servant left his bedchamber to do what was ordered of her. A few minutes later, a few more female attendants came in to the bedchamber to clear off the table of his breakfast and morning tea remnants. Immediately after this, two of the palace's many male servants came in to remove the table from within the bedchamber in order to replace it with a large bathing vessel.
Slowly and painstakingly, they brought hot water in to the bedchamber to fill up the vessel in order for their Empress to take his bath. Once that was all done, everyone left the Empress to himself as was ordered of them. Zitao stood at the side of the bathing vessel watching the steam tapering up from the hot water within it.
His gaze flickered at the thermal water whilst he slowly began to remove his night robe from off his naked form until the alabaster white material became a pile at his feet, his long ebon tresses cascading down his unclothed back. After that, he carefully and cautiously stepped inside of the vaporizing vessel. He sank within the depths of the water until he was completely submerged in it.
He stayed submersed for as long as he lungs would permit him, his hair a black mass above him. As a consequence, he abruptly burst forth from its depths in a coughing fit as his lungs fought to take any bit of oxygen that it could inside of it. And once he got himself back under his control once again, he began to gently and tenderly wash himself off.
When he was done, Zitao stood up in the tub, water cascading down the bare length of his body. He dried himself off in the proper manner, getting dressed in the pretty carnation pink robe right afterwards. His hair, a wet mass of black flowing against his back as he stands there letting the Emperor's gruff voice crawl all over him, "Like a lotus flower in full bloom, beautiful and strong. Flawless in it's integrality."
Zitao chuckled in response whilst Yifan finally stood behind him, only after the Emperor had entered the bedchamber, "Oh, really now! Because I know for a fact that such a Chinese proverb as that one has more to say to it than that, my dearest Husband."
Yifan chortled out in easy reply as he wrapped him up in a warm fluff towel securely around his naked form, "Condensing it down to the parts that express my most inner thoughts of my Wife is not a crime. Now is it?"
Zitao mirthfully teased, turning around in his Husband's embrace once he spoke to him again, "It's a crime of your own making, my beloved Husband."
Yifan irrefutably agreed as his Empress wrapped his arms around his neck, bringing their faces ust a little closer together, "Without question and beyond a shadow of a doubt..."
Zitao took the chance to press his lips against the Emperor's own, before he could close in the distance between them himself. His mouth parted to allow Yifan entree in to it. To which, Yifan easily took plunder of it with his Empress gasping prettily beneath the onslaught for it.
When they finally managed to part from one another, Yifan reached up a hand to caress the plush kissed reddened and swollen bottom lip of Zitao's mouth with the outward sweep of his thumb. Their gazes lock in unspoken lust and deep-seated trust. He dopily grinned like big idiot that he was when he realized that Zitao had truly given his all to him and he couldn't wait for what the future may hold for them.
Which reminded him of the special tea that he had made for Zitao earlier that morning. Although, his Empress brought the subject of the tea up way before he could do so himself. His voice a shy soft whisper as he thanked him for it once again, "Thank you for making me the tea this morning. It certainly helped soothed me along with the food, after we had such rigorous congress the preceding night."
Yifan could easily red the flush skin of his Wife's cheeks as a blush. His grin fell in to an easy smile once he spoke again, "I'm glad that it has helped you to such a great extent. I will continue to make it for you every morning. We must keep this body of yours fit for repoduction purposes, must we not?"
Zitao gave the Emperor notice of what he had already declared, there were two points of that statement that he felt that needed to be addressed, a perfect black eyebrow quirked up in conveyance of his words when he speaks, "Only someone such as youself can bring forth such preferential words to the forefront of our meager conversation, Your Majesty."
Yifan teasingly lectured him for it in return, after Zitao had pushed himself away from him, "I do not think that our conversation is correlative to the use of the word meager, my angelical Empress."
Zitao said, beginning to illuminate his next point to his Husband as they stood a few feet apart from one another, "And yet, that moves me in to the direction of my other issue at the moment, darling Husband."
Yifan quizzically probed his Wife for answers, seeing as the other male had not taken a liking to what he had previous said, because he wanted smooth things back over before the situation becomes sour between them, ruining their wondrous beginning, "And will you tell me what this said issue is? If you do not mind that I ask, of course?"
Zitao inquired, whilst he glowering at his Husband with brown eyes full of blaring uncertainty, "What precisely does the tea that you made for me have to do with keeping me fit for repoduction purposes, Wu Yi Fan?"
Yifan clarified with much ease, in order for him to properly soothed and appease his Wife's steadily raising ire, "The tea is called Prosperous Offspring Tea. It is made from the leaves of a rare flower that can stimulate pregnancy or makes gestation possible within the male specimen. This type of tea is generally quite expensive to make, but heirs of the Royal family are well worth every teal. The tea leaves can also be eaten after infusion."
Zitao expressed frostily with a disappointed lour over his face, "Such a cold answer for such a matter of extraordinary importance, Your Majesty."
Yifan requested answer within his response, "In what way would you rather I had said it in, my Empress?"
"I don't exactly know, I just did not expect you to say it so callously as you have." Zitao disparaged, a grimace staining his features this time around while he stared at the other male.
"I am sorry, if my deliverance of said words made you upset, my love, because that was not my intention." Yifan apologized almost imploringly to keep his Empress greatly pacified. He then took hold of his person, pulling him in to his arms once again.
"Well then, if that is the case, then your apology is wholeheartedly accepted." Zitao smiled brilliantly as he gazed in to his Husband eyes, when their faces were more than a mere breath away.
"No, I do not think that my apology was sincere enough. Yes, I will make it up to you with unconditional and enthusiastic devotion..." Yifan murmured against his Wife's lips right before he pressed his own to them in soul-stirring breathless kiss. He lifted him up in to his arms whilst they still kissed.
Carrying his Wife bridal style over to the bed behind them, Yifan placed him down upon the bed, breaking all contact between their lips. He sat down beside him, gently lifting up the edge of his robe, exposing the flesh of legs and thighs before his prying eyes before he released the silken fabric. Tantalizingly biting his bottom lip, Zitao grabbed his hand in his own, threading their fingers together.
Smiling that magical smile of his at him, the Empress pulled him closer to him, forcing him to crash on top of him. To which, he shyly smashed his lips to Yifan's own. His lips moved against the Emperor's, coaxing him to kiss him back. Not that Yifan wouldn't do so upon his own. In fact, Yifan loved the fact that Zitao had switched their roles up just a bit this morning.
Zitao snaked his hands through his Husband's silk-like brown hair, bringing his body even closer to his own when he does. He was seated on top of him, his thighs straddling his lower half just enough to allow him access to the Emperor's hardening cock as he continues to torment him with a shower full of his fire blazing kisses.
He felt fervent all over his body. He wanted Yifan so very badly, like he had never desired another being before this moment, in this lifetime. And he has never ever felt this way before. It completely confounded him. It was sweltering.
Pulling apart from him as Yifan panted for air underneath his Wife's lithesome form, Zitao loosened the ties of his own robe, letting it fall open to reveal his chest and perfectly flat stomach to his Emperor's wandering eyes. Aside from this, he started to carelessly rip off his Husband's sky blue colored robe. Piece by piece to Yifan clear mystification of the situation. That fabric floating in the air around them like unwanted debris.
Once his robe is gone from his upper body, Zitao trailed kisses from Yifan's face all the way down to his abs, stopping at were his maleness hid beneath the now badly tattered robe. Yifan let out an aroused gasp when he placed his hand below it to gently stroke and caress his steadily pulsating semi-erect manhood as his lips found his once again in another kiss. A rush of pleasure flooded through him as Zitao kept doing what he was doing to him.
Parting from his lips once again, Zitao peered down in to his eyes as removed he hand from his Husband's lower body. Pre-emission having already wet the palm of his when he had touched him. Then he slid his robe from off his own shoulders and threw it on to the edge of the bed behind himself, letting his Husband's his eyes soak in his naked flesh as a whole. The Empress's own arousal already wet with uncontolled want and unfulfilled desire.
Zitao finally revealed his Husband's throbbing cock to his very own eyes, after he had pushed the ruined robe from off of his lap. Seductively licking his lips, he aligned his own twitching puckered entrance with the dripping bulbous head of the Emperor's cock with Yifan's hands gripping on to his hips. Slowly yet gently as ever, he pressed his unprepared heat down against it.
At the feeling, pain shot through Zitao and he let out a soft whimper as his inner walls were stretched by his Husband's girth. The faint smell of his blood entered the surrounding air. He knew for a fact that he had been torn down there, just a bit. Though, he had refused to ceased in his movements until his Husband's shaft was fully seated inside of her. All the way down to its base.
At this, Yifan frowned his disapproval. He was not happy with what Zitao had just done to himself using his own flesh. He was about call the whole thing off when he began to painstakingly rock his hips above him, mewling in pain every time he moves.
It was a slow painful time for Zitao at first, but then it got better the faster he moved hips above him. He placed both of his palms against Yifan's hard bared chest. Eventually the pain began to melt away, until all he felt was unadulterated pleasure and unwavering heat within his core. He eagerly bounced upon the Emperor's lap with unending moans and mewls of pleasance, slipping pass his luscious open mouth.
Soon, Yifan was clouded by his own grunts and groans of pleasure as well. And with every pump of his Wife's hips that he gave him, he was on his edge. Their joined bodies and speeding tempo, leading way to their eventual end. It was safe to assume that the Empress never ever made it to the Emperor's own bedchambers that night as he had previously promised him he would. Nor did he attend his lessons with Princess Liu for that matter.
Zitao continues to take the tea that the Emperor specially makes just for him every morning. To which, they then enjoy each other's company straight afterwards. Every single night if the Emperor is not swamped over with his work and other duties. And over the last few weeks, he begins to feel sick more and more each day.
He doesn't think much of it, until he takes notice of the slight swell of his lower belly one night after taking a much needed bath. After which, he hurriedly gets himself dried and dressed before he rushes from out of his bedchamber to see the Emperor by his lonesome. And he tells him of the possibility that he may be with child. To which, the Emperor is not so surprised. At All.
Chapter 9: Assassination Attempt (暗杀尝试)
The Empress giggles with mirth as he read over the letter from the Emperor. They were to hold another wedding between them tonight. A small private ceremony with the Empress wearing the appropriate colors of red and gold this time around since he will no longer be in morning for his elder sister's death. At the moment, the Emperor was busy addressing their Ministers so he would not be able to see him until later tonight.
A few minutes later, a maid came in to the Empress's chambers with a serving receptacle lined in his newly acquired wedding attire, properly presenting it before him. With a prideful smile, the Empress reached out a hand to gently touch over and caress the garments he will dawn tonight. Happily, Zitao receives the royal garbs from the maid, immediately dismissing her so that she may retrieve Luhan and Princess Yifei for him at once.
Soon after that the two came rushing in his chambers eyes full of curiosity and wonderment. He told them news and excitedly showed them the garments in which he was to wear. And unbenownst to the overexcited trio, the Emperor was in a heated disputation with his very own Ministers.
They wanted him to allow another woman in to his harem. And the one that they all chose to backup and support was none other than Minister Bao's daughter, Lady Bao Yu Rin. This situation is exactly what he was trying to advoid when he had first chose Lady Huang Yue Shi to be his Wife, but he ended up with Lady Huang Taozi in her stead. It was a fact that the Emperor did not allow the Empress to learn or acknowledge in the slightest degree.
He didn't want to give the Bao family anymore leeway than they already had. And from what he has already heard of Lady Yu Rin, he does not like. He does not need a selfish, manipulative, power hungry, spoiled brat by his side when he already has the gentle, kind, sweet, and selfless Taozi proudly standing right there. Besides that fact, Taozi is all that he will ever need in this life.
Nevertheless, Yifan had to appease his flock somehow and so the Emperor gives in to their demand. So as a consequence, it is not to be known to the public until an whole week later. No one was allowed to tell the Empress of this new developement or they would surely suffer death directly at the Emperor's very own hands. All were dismissed from his sight except for Minister Bao himself. Yifan wanted to talk to him about his clearly underhanded approach to getting what he wanted in the end. Alone.
In the meantime, Lady Bao Yu Rin had already entered the palace with her father. She had done so in order to visit the Empress alone and in person herself. And she was on her way to greet her highness in that exact instance in the right order.
Her personal maid, Luxin was trailing properly behind her as she made her way to the Empress's wing of the palace. A gentle smile formulates against her lips and a glint of what's to come fills her dark eyes as she does so. She will not miss her chance to greet the Mother of their magnanimous Empire. If only to see the only woman that remains within their beloved Emperor's heart this rare one time.
Soon she is announced before the confused and mightily befuddled Empress. To which, she aristocratically enters the Empress's personal throne chamber, walking lightly in to the chamber to stand in front of her highness. She then properly greets her Empress with a decorous polite bow in clear respect of her highness, "Bao Yu Rin greets the Empress."
"Do not stand on ceremony, Lady Bao. May I ask why it is that you came to meet me today of all days?" Empress Zitao spoke finally addressing the girl standing in front of her, Luhan and Princess Yifei both standing at either side of him, after they had giggled over praized the hairpins and the diadem that the Emperor also had sent over in preparation of their do-over wedding. As he was not expecting in any unknown guests to arrive to his personal quarters.
"Well, you see, my father came in to the palace today to discuss certain things with the Emperor. So, I in turn pleaded with him to allow me to come here with him. And I thought that it would be rather rude to enter the palace without properly greeting, Your Majesty." Yurin explained with a thin planted on smile. A smile that that Zitao could see straight through.
From just one look at the girl, he knew that this girl was not to be trusted. Just like her father, Minister Bao, was not to be trusted. He may not really know the girl or her father, despite this he knew people. And people talk.
So of course he knew that this little witchling was once almost chosen to be Yifan's Bride before his dearly departed older sister ever became a thought bubble inside of his mind's eye. And from the looks of things, Zitao knew that the girl was still a budding option for the Emperor now as well. He was no fool about that truth.
Zitao said in retort, carefully eying the girl with a regal glare filled of suspicion, whilst she motioned for Luhan to step forward and do as he asked, "Such a filial child of the Empire must be rewarded for her kindness. Luhan, take Lady Bao to receive her reward please."
"Yu Rin graciously thanks her Majesty for such an honor." Yurin bows once again with her arms and elbows bent in the right manner in order for her to except such high prize from her Empress. Luhan now leads both Lady Bao and her maid out of the Empress's throne chambers to do what has asked of him. And when they are surely gone, Yifei openly speaks as the Empress's cousin-in-law can, "You need to be vigilant with the likes of her, Taozi."
"Yes, Yifei. A girl like that is never to be trusted. Ever." Empress Zitao says in both consummate concession and agreeance with the Princess, dark eyes gleaming with despite in the wake of Lady Bao's arrival to the palace, because it was not just a simple matter in the slightest sense. No. Somethings never were.
Later that same night, Zitao was dressed in the traditionalistic crimson colored garbs made for their wedding do-over. His long black tresses flowed down his back as the golden diadem sat against his head, pinned in tight by the Dragon hairpin Yifan had previously given to him. He was shimmering from the gold made decorative embroidery of the flowy garments that he wore upon his form.
Gold Soaring Dragons making up the entire design as the Emperor had personally requested. Which had never been done before. As woman were not really allowed to wear the representation of Dragons, because of the meaning it held for the male specimen. And so in that aspect, Yifan wanted to Zitao to remember the strength that he held within himself, because was a male that would birth the future heir of their grand Empire.
At the notion of the Emperor had done for him, Zitao gave a red lipped smile for his lips were painted in lip rouge as apart of his regal makeup and attire. Luhan helped him placed the red veil over his head and diadem perfectly, whilst Princess Yifei helped him walk out to the area where their second wedding was to take place. In which was one of the many palace courtyards within the palace, which were of course dressed up in the appropriate red crafted decorations.
It was to be a very private ceremony with only General Shi Xun, Luhan, General Xue and Yifei in attendance besides the monk that married them the first time around. Straight after the ceremony, the Emperor and his Empress made love to praize their regnant union and they were soon to have.
The very next morning, wrapped up in Yifan's arms, Zitao's asks for permission to leave palace with Yifei and Luhan for a little while, because wanted to visit the capital's busy market place. At first, Yifan was not in agreeance with that plan, for this reason Zitao used all morning to convince him of it otherwise. The Emperor conceded when he finally came and Zitao whispered his love in his ears like a gentle caress, over and over again.
That was how the Empress, Yifei, and Luhan stood inside of the market place walking around dressed the like children of noble families. To which, they sort of, kind of actually were in retrospect. General Xue was appointed their watch dog, because the Emperor had Shi Xun out of the palace on a secret mission so he could not be with them or he would've been. If only to be by his beloved Luhan's side.
The small group explored the street stalls thoroughly with Zitao purchasing a few items here and there along the way. All in all, it was a fun day. Other than the General complaining about how childishly the Empress was acting in public. In which, Zitao rolled his eyes at that in an annoyed response.
However, in the end, it was the General himself that picked the place they would eat were the servers there were pretty females that batted their pretty-pretty eyes at the males of the table. Unbeknownst to them, Luhan was completely off limits to the female population and General Xue only wanted the company of their piping hot food. Not them.
Although, much of the day's surprise happened when two of the women put their hands on the General even though he ignored their advances, unlike Princess Yifei who the ran the wenches off from him like the man was hers. Nevertheless, the Princess made up some lame excuse about them being irritating and how they were just getting on her nerves so she ran them off. Still, Luhan and the Empress knew better of the lie.
It looked to them that Princess had a immense crush on General Xue. And the two of them slyly smirked in agreeance of that notion. Right after that they pretended to forget about it and eat their food since it would be the last thing they all did that day before they gladly headed back in to the palace.
Once they were done with their food, Zitao paid the bill for everyone since he had been the one to want to go out on this outting in the first place. Nonetheless, before they all tried to leave the busy establishment they had been eating at, what looks like it could've been a begger ran past the Empress stealing his money pouch from off the waist of the garments that he wore. And without much thought, he took after the thief. Even though, the money really didn't matter.
He kept after him down alleyways and long paths until they stood in what appeared to be an abondoned courtyard or restaurant space. Thief turned to face him all of a sudden with a leering grin in place upon his face when a group of six masked men dressed in all black abruptly and completely surrounded them. One of the masked men pulled out his sword and beheaded the thief before he ever had the chance to utter a single word.
And Zitao knew right then what had to be done a little bit too late, even before that very same man spoke to him, "Our master wants to the send the Empress their deepest regards."
The Empress watched in silence as the other assassins removed their hidden weapons likewise, surrounding him in a circle of death. Though, Zitao was ready for the first blow as he cought the blade with one of his awaiting hands. The blade deeply cut the palm of his hand and watched as his blood flowed from the newly formed wound. Still, Zitao took in the pain the same way he took in his wushu training, with ease, because this was a situation of both life and death.
He has a child he needs to protect. And protect his unborn child, he will. He can stake his own life on that fact alone. He threw forward the sword towards his attacker, sending him away from him for a few moments, before giving another one of the assassins a hard back kick to the groin. The man falls to the ground with grunt and the next person rushes in for the attack.
Zitao easily side steps him, knocking him in the throat with his good hand. While that man gasps out for air, another is on him in and repeat cycle until he is suddenly grabbed from behind by his own throat. His mouth is forced open to allow a liquid subtance in to it.
Consequently, his mouth was roughly closed in order to force him to swallow whatever he's been given down. He stomps his own foot hard upon the man's foot in turn, using his elbow to knock him back from off his person. It is in that moment that he manages to escape from them. Although, now looking back over everything that has happened, he knows that he was most likely poisoned and they let him go, because they knew that poison will do its job.
His heart is beating way too fast to be normal, even from a fight like the one he just had. So he ceases in his running gather himself back under his own control. And in the next moment he is spitting up blood, falling to his knees, hands grasping at his stomach as he tries to breathe through the sudden fulminately agonizing pain.
He was going to die. And so was his unborn child. He just knew it. He acknowledged that fact. He had no doubts about that. Contrarily, he would rather that they die by his own hand than his unknown enemy's. The assassins were moving behind him now, except for they were still a ways behind.
So in turn, Zitao painstakingly removed the Dragon hairpin that the Emperor gave from his hair, hurriedly stabbing it with harsh force in to his own stomach in order for him to put an end to his own life as well as their child. Yifan's warm smiling face a vision- mirage of his past. He coughs up even more blood with a small smile written across his own blood drenched face in response to the vision suddenly presented before him, careening over immediately after this in the end from the cold pain of death's grasp on to his side.
They were dying and no one could help them now. Slowly his eyes begn to drift close through the sharp ache of pain. He instantaneously falls in to blackness and decay. The sounds of hard and heavy footfalls surround him all of a sudden, before the clang of swinging swords chimed in the surrounding atmosphere, over and over again, until the footwork quickly dispersed away from him as if they had been chased off by someone else.
"Your Majesty!" an unfamilar male's voice calls out to him, in this case, unfortunately for them he cannot answer the strangers call. Although, he can still feel when he is bodily lifted in to the stranger's arms and carried off.
A gasp of shock and bewilderment it let out at the mere sight of the blood soaked unconscious Empress within unknown male's arms, after he had arrived back home with the Empress in tow, "Oh my Buddha! Is that our Empress, Yixing?"
Yixing expressed with a hard berating frown as he hurriedly placed their Empress down upon the patient bed for Dr. Kim to look after, "Don't ask questions with answers that should not be known. There are eyes and ears everywhere."
"She stabbed herself with her hairpin, but why?" Joonmyun said in question when he looked over the Empress's stomach wound first. With slow movements, he pulled the hairpin from out of his Empress's stomach. To which, Zitao grumbled in pain from the procedure. He properly took care of that wound and the wound on her hand as well, before moving on to the reason why the blood from the Empress's mouth was a darker tone of red from the wound he had already mended.
"Poison, I suspect. She didn't want to die on her any of her assassin's terms." Yixing said in answer when Joonmyun pointed out the difference to him, finding new awe in their Empress for how brave the Royal had been in the face of death. Their Empress was way braver than most military men he knew. They all be ashamed to know that their bravery didn't compare to that of the Mother of their Nation's own.
"But I don't understand. Why or who would want to do this to her." Joonmyun said in turn whilst figured out what type of poison had been used on the Royal, Yixing standing patiently at his side while he speedily worked his healing magic upon their Empress.
"Right now, that question cannot be answered for us. All we can do is help her Majesty and keep this entire ordeal a secret between the two of us." Yixing calmly declared, crossing his arms over his chest whilst observing Joonmyun as he quickly crafted the antidote to the Empress's poison.
Joonmyun asked in confusion, not understanding why Yixing wouldn't at least allow them to tell the Emperor about the Empress's current condition, "But what about the Emperor?"
Yixing simply retorted, giving an explanation on why they would not tell the Emperor anything about the Empress, "What about the Emperor? He cannot do anything for her Majesty at present. Not with the situation the way it is inside of the palace at this time. We can only do this much for the both of them right now."
Joonmyun finally concedes to Yixing's wishes, for once, as both peered down at the Royal still fighting for her life, "Okay, I understand. Let's try and save her life then, if that is all that can be done for her now."
After a few long hours later, Zitao awakens with a harsh painful gasp. Air zipping hotly down his dry throat and in to his blazing lungs. His eyes tries to adjust to the darkness of the bedchamber he is in whilst the chambers spin around his dizzy mind.
Confusion conflicts his member of what had actually happened to him and how he had gotten to where he was now. He moves his feet on the floor in slow movements, grunting in pain from the wound in his stomach. And instantly his fears begin mounting up in return as he places his hand over his wound, pressing his palm over it in mourning of the child he had lost.
Tears spring forth as that knowledge slowly corrodes him inside. Standing up, he wipes his tears away just as the chambers doors open and someone steps through. It's a young man and he is carrying a serving tray with what appears to be medicinal soup upon it.
"Oh, thank heavens, you are up! It was touch and go for awhile, but I thought for sure you would still be out of it for awhile, considering how much blood you have lost and all." Joonmyun exclaimed with elated relief at the first sign of their Empress moving about after awakening from a trying yet healing slumber, after he enters the room to find the Royal on her feet. A bit unsteadied, but on her feet nonetheless.
The Empress befuddledly asked, watching at the stranger placed the serving tray down upon the bed next to where he stood, "Who- who are you? Where am I? Where is this place?"
"So many questions already. Well, first, let's get some medicine in to your body and then I will answer any and all questions that you may have for me straight afterwards. I promise. So how does that sound?" Joonmyun said in response, helping the confounded Empress sit down upon the bed next to the serving tray on her unsteady feet. He then picked up the soup bowl and spoon in order to ladle up some of its contents in to it to feed his Empress.
"Fine, thank you. I can take it by myself." Zitao conceded, taking the soup bowl from the stranger when he was about to blow upon spoon after he had scoop some of it for him.
From that point alone, he only did so, because his stomach rumbled with upset and unsettled hunger. Besides that fact, he had not eaten anything since yesterday, before his money pouch had been stolen away from him by that poor misused begger turned hired thief. Which in turn, makes his stomach feel a little more anxious than he would actually like to be.
Joonmyun disclosed who he actually was in a truthful tone to his Empress while she slowly sipped some of her soup in her sore body, "First, I would like to say that you are very lucky to be alive. Like I have stated before, you were in a very bad way. So you can understand my surprise just a bit. Second, my name is Kim Joonmyun and I am a Royal Physician in the palace who mainly specializes in childbirth for the Royal family. And you are inside of my personal home with General Zhang."
"General Zhang?" Zitao quizzically said, drifting his thoughts from off the thief that landed him in this situation at the names being mentioned to him, because General Zhang was one of the Emperor's great three Generals.
Joonmyun said with a blissful in place against his lips as he spoke proudly of his darling General, his eyes shining like stars in the wake of his love, "Yes, the love of my life. One of the Emperor's big three. General Zhang Yi Xing."
"You said that you specialize in childbirth, so can you please tell me if I am still with child?" Zitao inquired on a soft mumur once he was done drinking in his soup, as worry for his child finally reached his mind now that he was thinking a little more clearly. The fear of losing his child more evident upon his expression when he moved his hands to cover his stomach where the stab wound he had made was.
Joonmyun exclaimed again, taking in this news information as his traveled to the Empress's protectively shielding hands over her stomach, "You're pregnant! How could I have missed that? Please let me check you over, Your Majesty?"
"Is it completely hopeless, Dr. Kim?" Zitao nervously questioned the doctor whilst Joonmyun quickly looked him over and checked his pulse.
Dark thoughts beginning pouring in to him while he faulted himself for the lose of his child. Whether it was to save them or end their lives, he was still the one to place them both in a immediate danger. He felt so stupid for leaving his entourage just run after a thief over money he didn't even need. He just hoped that Yifan would blame him to harsh for his stupidity.
Suddenly Joonmyun gave him a bright helpful smile as he spoke, brightening the darkness that was starting to cloud up his mind, "No, it is not. You are still with child. I am sure that this little Princeling will be a very strong Dragon Prince when he grows up. So just make sure to call me Dr. Zhang from now on, Your Majesty, as I will be officially taking care of you from now on."