Chapter 534.1: Currying Favor

Zhou Meng was entranced by Qin Yining’s beautiful features. When she gave thanks, her red lips had parted slightly and she’d looked away bashfully, simply too seductive a sight!

If only he could just marry her right then and there! Just thinking about obtaining her, blowing out the red candles, and tossing and turning all night beneath the bridal chamber curtains...

A hot current spread throughout his body and Zhou Meng crossed his legs, worried about exposing his indecency. “Is there anything else you aren’t accustomed to here? If you ever want something, just tell this prince directly.” 

He then looked at Lu Heng, Uncle Alham, and the rest standing behind Qin Yining, his gaze benevolent like he was gazing upon charity cases. “Your clansmen may also make requests. I will arrange them according to my discretion.” 

The particular mix of arrogance and condescension especially grated on the ear, but Qin Yining continued to remain calm and collected. “Your Grace’s prior arrangements were already more than enough. There is nothing we lack.” 

“We’re all one big happy family here, so if there’s anything you want, don’t be afraid to name it. Don’t do yourself a misfavor, hmm?” Zhou Meng dragged the last word out and involuntarily leaned closer to her.  

Qin Yining lowered her head, hiding the disgust in her eyes as she nodded. 

It felt like his own heart was tickled by the long, silky locks sliding across her shoulders when she nodded. Zhou Meng ached to pull her into his embrace and pour his love onto her. 

However, thoughts of his identity were still foremost in his mind. He shouldn’t act too hastily in front of outsiders. The oasis was his domain, and the Xiyue had vainly searched for a way out of the uninhabited area of the desert for over a hundred years with no results. Even if Qin Yining’s group wanted to leave, there’d be nowhere to go. They were all stuck here for a lifetime—he’d eventually get his beauty!

The days ahead were long!

Furthermore, the beauty had already warmed up a lot more to him compared to her chilly attitude when they’d first met. That was probably because she relaxed after seeing her people again, right? 

A multitude of thoughts swirled around in Zhou Meng’s brain, but only a moment passed in reality. He sat back down and struck up an idle conversation with Qin Yining. They appeared to be chatting about random nonsense, but every sentence fished for information about her. He wanted to know why their group had entered the desert, why they had so many provisions with them, and how they’d passed through the no man’s land to find this place. 

Qin Yining was vigilant in her replies, putting careful thought behind every word and skirting around actual answers every time. After nearly an hour of chatting, not only did Zhou Meng not receive a single piece of useful information, but instead revealed quite a bit about his family and the Xiyue. Furthermore, he was completely satisfied with Qin Yining’s answers, continuing to chat with increasing enthusiasm. 

Qin Yining’s health still hadn’t made a full recovery. After a long round of battling wits, she grew exhausted and intentionally hinted she was tired. 

Wanting to curry favour with the beauty and better their relationship, Zhou Meng couldn’t bear to let Qin Yining feel unwell. He immediately summoned an imperial physician to assess the goddess’ condition.

Qin Yining grew even more impatient when she saw that he still wouldn’t leave. Those listening behind them were annoyed as well, but everyone kept a firm grip on their emotions. Nobody dared to act impulsively. 

While they were waiting for the imperial physician to arrive, a maid’s shout suddenly sounded outside. “Your Grace, the fourth princess consort is about to enter labor. The imperial physician says the situation is very dangerous and urges you to take a look.” 

Zhou Meng’s face changed and he paid close attention to Qin Yining’s expression, not knowing whether to sigh with relief or disappointment when the goddess didn’t appear angry or jealous. 

“Send for the imperial physician if there’s a problem. There’s no point in coming to me. What would a prince know about delivering a baby?” 

“Giving birth is a tremendous event for a woman. Isn’t the fourth princess consort your wife?” Qin Yining frowned, the connotations clear.

She was faulting Zhou Meng for being heartless. His own woman was about to enter labor, yet here he was, dallying around with a new fancy. Even when the imperial physician said the situation was dangerous, he still didn’t care enough for a look.

Zhou Meng naturally picked up on the remonstration and hastened to explain, not wanting Qin Yining to get the wrong impression that he didn’t care about his women. 

“It’s also because I’m very busy and have to meet with a lot of chancellors later. With that being said, beau-Miss Pang, I shall make a visit since you say so. I will send the imperial physician later to you as well. You must make sure to take your medicine and rest properly. This prince will come visit you when there’s time, mm?”

Qin Yining had long had enough. Good gods, you’re finally leaving! I don’t think I could’ve refrained from getting violent if you’d stayed any longer!

“Our respectful farewells to Your Grace,” she curtsied. Lu Heng and Alham also took the lead in a salute.

Zhou Meng looked back with every step, reluctance dogging his heels as he left. 

When he was far away, Qin Yining could finally release a sigh of relief.  There were still Xiyue maids in the hall, so they couldn’t talk freely. However, she could also feel everybody heave similar sighs of relief as well. She called over the maid who had helped her bathe earlier. “Is the forth princess the prince’s imperial consort?”

The maid trembled in fear when she heard the question. The prince evidently wanted to marry the goddess. What would they do if the goddess heard the truth, grew jealous, and refused to marry him? Would the goddess just leave with all the food?

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