Though his curiosity was afire, he couldn’t show it outwardly. After all, that woman was his good friend’s concubine and it would not do for him to overstep boundaries.
Temporarily flustered, he quickly suppressed such thoughts with a smile. “I never thought that Brother Long’s house would possess such a talented woman. What a blessing.” He didn’t mention the poem and the girl, indifferently pretending that it’d never happened.
However, Long Heng the lover of conspiracies, couldn’t help but think that there was more than met the eye here. After sending Song Jiaoyue off, he rapped on the table. Why did it seem that the ‘crazy’ woman was getting a little restless these days? Even though he clearly knew that she was a woman in his harem, he still hesitated for a time before heading over alone.
The Winter Garden was really too remote. He didn’t see anyone on his way there. When he arrived, there wasn’t even a guard at the door. He had heard that all the residences had been allotted old granny servants and pageboys. Why had they only overlooked this residence?
Logically speaking, his mother shouldn’t have made such a mistake. However, what he didn’t know was that the old madame had indeed dispatched the people. But afraid that they would be a hindrance to her plans, Bai Xiangxiu had refused and sent them back on grounds of her being afflicted with craziness, claiming she was too scared by outsiders.
Since there was no one guarding the door and he was the master of the entire complex, there should be no problem if he went in! ...Right? Long Heng lingered outside for a while before he finally still slipped in. The situation inside caused him to wrinkle his brows. It was dirty, messy, and messily scattered paper everywhere on the ground. There was even ink drying in splotches on the floor.
The occupant of this place sat at her table, her hair wild as if she was pondering something deeply. A little maid was kneeling on the floor, wiping away it little by little, speaking with an aggrieved tone. “I already told you not to place the inkpot by the table’s edge, mistress, now look, the entire floor’s covered with ink…”
Wait, why are there men’s shoes here? It’s so late, how can there be a man here? Xiaoshi slowly raised her head and saw an abnormally cold and handsome visage before her. She immediately dropped to her knees. “This.., this humble maid greets Your Highness...”
“Highness? What highness? Xiaoshi, you need to stop playing around. Even if the king himself was here, this poem, I would still have to…” Her words meandered off as she realized that there really was a man standing in front of her. She rapped her own skull and rubbed her eyes. “Xiaoshi, call for the physician again. I’m hallucinating, what do I do?”
Xiaoshi was nearly in tears from fright. Her mistress really had driven her silly with all the poems. A real, live body was clearly standing right in front of her—how was it a hallucination? Meanwhile, Long Heng was rendered completely speechless. Did he appear so much like an illusion? Or was it that she had actually been longing for his arrival? Thinking thus, his heart softened as he spoke, “Is this how you serve your mistress? Why is this place so dirty and messy?”
Whether or not a man loved a woman, he would naturally feel happy if she thought of him. He continued looking at her. She really didn’t give off the feeling of a woman who would scheme for his attention. Even if she did so, the thought didn’t seem to bother him too much.
“Your Highness, it really is the highness? Ah…” Bai Xiangxiu was not really a talented person, and had been furiously wracking her brain for poems. She finally came to her senses, a tragic cry spilling from her lips as she realized she hadn’t paid her greetings to the prince. At least, these formalities were something she had already learnt. But perhaps because she was too flustered, she stumbled over the chair she’d been sitting on. She crashed to the ground in a hapless heap, sweat forming from the sharp pain that shot through her. She stuttered slightly, “Gree… gree… greetings to Your Highness?”
It’s like that, right?! Having spent all this time the past few days thinking of a way to seduce the male supporting character, as well as brainstorming verses, her brainpower had really been pushed to the maximum. She couldn’t help but admire transmigrating seniors. Had they known that they were going to cross worlds? They were all able to plagiarize and steal poems so easily! But for her, even thinking of poems was already causing her mind to explode. She really didn’t understand this turn of events. The attempted seduction of the male supporting actor hadn’t shown any results, so why had the male lead come?
Actually, Long Heng’s earlier thoughts had already vanished like smoke in the wind. For one, the state of this woman was good enough evidence to conclude that she wasn’t in a particularly clear state of mind. Second, given how messy and chaotic this room was, randomly taking a piece of paper to wrap a present was also not an impossibility. He picked up a piece of paper, seeing the full contents of that poem. The corners of his mouth twitched involuntarily. Was she using this poem to practice her handwriting? She’d written it so many times!
This was actually a correct guess. Bai Xiangxiu was indeed practicing her handwriting while trying to recall poems! However, when Long Heng saw the woman’s knees trembling as she silently endured the pain from her muscles, he had to say, “Get up!”
Bai Xiangxiu wanted to cry but didn’t have the tears to do so. She remained kneeling, not moving an inch, raising her head to glance at Long Heng before lowering it again. That small expression of hers caused Long Heng’s heart to spasm. Had he done something wrong to her, to see such resentment in her eyes?
“What, you want this prince to help you up?” His personality was cold. Even though he felt that the woman before him deserved pity and love, he had no idea how to react. He’d thought that she would lower her head and beg for forgiveness or something. Wasn’t that the usual reaction for most women? But, just who was Bai Xiangxiu eh? Someone who busied herself with flowers and the plants, never using her brain! Even if she knew how to act docilely, she was completely frozen before the male lead.
Putting it nicely, this reaction was one of simple fear. Putting it bluntly, she’d lost her wits from fright. Lowering her head, she answered in an aggrieved voice. “In response to Your Highness, it is not that this concubine doesn’t want to get up. It’s that… I can’t. My legs seem to be numb.”
“...” Long Heng was once more rendered speechless. How was this woman this frail? Earlier, when she saw someone beaten to death, she’d been sick for over two months! And now, she’d lost the ability to get up after kneeling for a short bit? Resignation suddenly washed over him as he ordered Xiaoshi, “Help your mistress up.”
Xiaoshi hurriedly went over, but because she exerted too much force, she actually lifted Bai Xiangxiu up by her waist. Long Heng’s heart softened again. This woman really was too light. Even a little maid could lift her up. Was she as light as a feather?
He suddenly heard Xiaoshi cry out in shock. “Mistress Xiu, Mistress Xiu, what’s happened to you?”She shook the figure that had already grown limp in her embrace, watching it flop around.
“What is it?” Long Heng was stunned. Looking at that hanging head within the maid’s embrace, it seemed like she’d... fainted? What, really? Yes, she’s frail, but to this extent?! Just simply kneeling was enough to make her faint?
“Well? what are you standing there for? Go find a physician!” He stepped over quickly, gathering Bai Xiangxiu in his embrace. He’d been thinking of hugging her earlier, who knew that his wish would come true so quickly? It was only, she really was light. Not only light, she was also very soft. Not only soft, she was also very fragrant.! How did she pose any threat at all like this? It seemed that all the bones within her body could break even if he just exerted the tiniest amount of force.
The sight of the prince carrying her mistress momentarily stunned Xiaoshi, but she quickly came to her senses and ran for a physician.
Long Heng placed the lady on her bed in the inner chamber. The bedroom wasn’t too spacious. It only had enough space for him to turn around. It was small to the point of being pitiful. The bed wasn’t very big, but there was still a large portion of space left after she was laid down on it. Were women’s bodies so small? He covered her body with his, discovering that he completely enveloped her.
His body couldn’t help but grow warm, being especially aroused by that enchanting face of hers. But by the same token, the memories of the battlefield also surfaced. He broke out in a cold sweat as he hurriedly sat up, wrinkling his brows. Indeed, all beautiful woman are a scourge. She was too dangerous. He didn’t want to look at her anymore, so he took his leave from the Winter Garden, a shadow his only company on the way back.
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