His highness's Allure - Chap 125
After Shen Shijiu closed the door, he continued to stand in front of it, and didn’t look back.
He had shut the door in Wei Yiren’s face as if it were the most natural thing in the world, but he had suddenly become a bit shy.
“Why are you standing so far away?”
Pei Zheng saw that small man standing stiffly at the door, and laughed, “Come here.”
Shen Shijiu shifted a few steps, and walked backwards toward him, still refusing to look at Pei Zheng.
Pei Zheng’s robe was wet and cold. It felt very uncomfortable having it stuck to his skin, but in truth, his limbs had already regained mobility.
Shen Shijiu obediently turned around. His eyes accidentally darted toward Pei Zheng’s sagging collar, and he hurriedly lowered his head.
Pei Zheng chuckled, “Where did all of your confidence go?”
His fingers lifted the small man’s chin, forcing him to meet his gaze, “Now you know how to be shy?”
Shen Shijiu looked at Pei Zheng, who was completely soaked. He had been blessed with sword-shaped brows and shining eyes, and was undeniable handsome. Now, his hair was a bit messy, and it was dripping with water. His face was a bit paler, and his lips had reddened from the heat of the room…
Shen Shijiu silently swallowed his saliva. His little heart was thumping violently, and his earlobes were slowly heating up.
Pei Zheng pressed a finger against Shen Shijiu’s lips, “There’s no one else here.”
“You… you should hurry and change out of your wet clothes, otherwise… otherwise you’ll get sick.”
Pei Zheng obediently reached over to strip off his robe. But the moment he lifted his arm, his brows knitted slightly.
Shen Shijiu was observant, and noticed this peculiarity. He held Pei Zheng by the arm and asked, “Pei-gege, what’s wrong?”
“My arm is too weak. Can you help me?”
“Okay.” Shen Shijiu nodded, “How can I help you?”
Pei Zheng put his arm down and took half a step forward.
“Help me take off my clothes.”
Shen Shijiu was obviously a bit hesitant. But it wasn’t because of anything else; it was simply because he was too shy. Pei Zheng had already spotted his little red earlobes.
“Forget it, I’ll take them off myself in a bit.”
Pei Zheng pretended to be disappointed. He turned, walked to a table at the side and sat down, “But, if I wear these wet clothes for too long, I’ll get sick.”
After he finished speaking, as if on cue, he coughed twice.
Shen Shijiu clenched his little fists, and looked up at Pei Zheng as though he had made up his mind, “Pei-gege, I’ll help you change right now! I can!”
Shen Shijiu walked to the table, and stood in front of Pei Zheng, before he reached out to help him take off his black outer robe.
Pei Zheng cooperatively lifted his left hand.
Pei Zheng then cooperatively lifted his right hand.
Pei Zheng obediently stood up.
Shen Shijiu helped him untie his sash. His arms looped around the other’s waist, as though he were giving him a hug.
Pei Zheng stood there, enjoying himself. Those soft little hands roamed all over his body; why did he feel like those servants had never been so intimate when they helped him dress?
His outer robe was taken off. It was such a cold day, but Pei Zheng had only worn a thin white inner robe underneath. Now that it was completely soaked, the curves of his body could be seen faintly through the clothing.
Shen Shijiu immediately stopped. He couldn’t find an appropriate place to put his hands, and didn’t know how to proceed.
Pei Zheng suddenly grabbed his hand, spread his palm open, and slowly placed it on his own chest.
Separated by a thin underrobe, Shen Shijiu could feel the slightly warm skin underneath, as well as the thudding of Pei Zheng’s heart. Each beat was brief, yet full of strength.
Shen Shijiu’s fingers moved, and Pei Zheng let go of him.
“Pei-gege, is your arm okay now?”
“No.” Pei Zheng’s face didn’t change at all when he lied, “I still feel a little cold.”
Shen Shijiu hurriedly began to take off his inner robe, “Then I’ll help you take this one off too.”
As he spoke, he untied the lace at Pei Zheng’s hip.
Shen Shijiu took a deep breath. Then, he lifted the lapel over Pei Zheng’s collarbone, before he quickly stripped off the rest of the robe.
The muscles and textures of Pei Zheng’s figure were clearly visible now. Since he usually wore a robe, no one could really tell, but the body beneath it was full of explosive power.
Shen Shijiu didn’t dare to look at the half-naked Pei Zheng, and stuttered, “I-I’ll get… some clean clothes…”
As he spoke, he turned and was about to run off, but the corner of his clothing was grabbed before he could. A little tug was enough to pull him backward, and the small man fell right into Pei Zheng’s embrace.
“Throwing yourself into my arms?” Pei Zheng chuckled, with one hand supporting the small man by the waist.
“You’re the one who grabbed me, Pei-gege…”
Pei Zheng leaned toward his ear, and his lips brushed that small, red earlobe, “If I didn’t pull you back, would you know where the clothes are? Hm?”
“I… I…” Shen Shijiu’s little brain had long since melted into a mound of paste. He continued to stutter for a long while, but he was unable to say anything other than “I”.
“Also, you haven’t taken off my pants yet.”
Shen Shijiu’s fair cheeks instantly reddened. His flushed skin could be seen even with a mask on, so the face beneath it must have been so red that it was about to start dripping blood.
Pei Zheng’s eyes were full of cheerfulness. He pulled the stupefied Shen Shijiu back to the table to sit, and couldn’t resist pinching his squishy cheek.
“Why are you so cute?”
Then, Pei Zheng walked over to the side of the bed where his clothes were, before he dressed himself neatly.
Shen Shijiu obediently sat at the table. His elbows rested on the table, and his hands were cupping his cheeks. His breaths were quick and successive as he tried to calm the chaotic thudding of his little heart.
The truth was that Shen Shijiu knew nothing about the matters of the bedroom, but some things came instinctively. Even if he hadn’t experienced it before, he would still blush, his heart would still throb, and he would still become uncontrollably dizzy.
At this moment, there was a knock at the door, and Wei Yiren’s voice sounded.
“Lord Pei, Lord Pei?”
Pei Zheng was still tying his sash in an unhurried manner, and didn’t plan on answering the door.
Shen Shijiu slowly shuffled toward the door and opened it.
The sweet smile on Wei Yiren’s face immediately morphed, “Why are you here? Where’s Lord Pei?”
“His Lordship is putting on his clothes,” The blush on Shen Shijiu’s face still hadn’t completely dissipated. His beautiful eyes were clear and shining, as though he had just done something naughty.
“Then I’ll wait for His Lordship to come out before I say it.”
“Just tell me, I’ll tell His Lordship.”
Upon hearing these words, Wei Yiren was even more unwilling to talk to him.
Pei Zheng happened to come out of the room at this moment, and stood right behind Shen Shijiu, leaving only a small space between them.
“Do you need something?”
A cold, distant tone.
Wei Yiren clutched her sleeves. Pei Zheng wasn’t nearly this frigid when he spoke with Shen Shijiu.
“I do.” She purposely shot a glance at Shen Shijiu, to signal that it wasn’t something that could be said while someone else was present.
“He’s with me. Speak.”
He was one of Lord Pei’s men? Wei Yiren found it rather strange; wasn’t he with General Zhao?
But she still explained the purpose of her visit.
“Lord Pei, we are going to the villa in the heart of the lake today. You must be very careful.”
Pei Zheng raised his brows. He could tell at a single glance that this Wei Yiren liked him, but what did she mean by this?
Wei Yiren saw Pei Zheng’s complicated gaze. She was afraid that he didn’t believe her, and became a bit anxious, “Lord Pei, I would never lie to you. I don’t know the specifics of it either, but it’s better to believe it, isn’t it? Please believe me, I would never harm you…”
She hadn’t finished speaking when she saw Lord Wei walking toward them from one end of the corridor.
While Pei Zheng and Shen Shijiu were in the room, the others had already boarded the pleasure-boat.
“Yiren, what are you doing here? Your mother’s been looking for you everywhere, hurry up and go!”
Wei Yiren bowed her head and obediently walked away.
Lord Wei cupped his hands toward Pei Zheng, “Lord Pei, today’s mishaps were due to this lower official’s poor planning, which must have caused you quite the scare. It was all this lower official’s fault, may Lord Pei chastise this lower official.” Pei Zheng’s gaze shifted slightly, and he glanced toward Wei Yiren, who was leaving.
“How is General Zhao?”
“General Zhao has also returned to his room to rest. There shouldn’t be any issues.”
“Then what about that little servant?”
Lord Wei froze. He really hadn’t given that servant who had fallen into the water a second thought, “There… should have been arrangements made for him as well.”
“Should have?” Pei Zheng laughed, “He was saved by General Zhao himself, did you think that he was just some normal person?”
Lord Wei gawked for a moment, before he suddenly understood. His expression became one of extreme embarrassment.
“Th-this lower official understands, I will send someone to check immediately. Lord Pei, rest well. It will probably take around two hours to arrive at the villa, so this lower official won’t disturb you any longer.”
After he finished speaking, Lord Wei left with a complicated look on his face.
Pei Zheng retreated back into the room. He grabbed the back of Shen Shijiu’s collar, and was about to pull him inside.
But Shen Shijiu grabbed the door frame, and looked at Pei Zheng as he said, “Pei-gege, you’re fine now, aren’t you? Then, can I visit A-Yue? He just fell into the water, and he even fainted, I’m really worried about him…”
When Pei Zheng heard this, not only did he not let go, but his grip tightened, “Who said I’m fine? I’m not.”
Shen Shijiu stared at him with a bit of disbelief, “But you clearly have a lot of energy…”
Pei Zheng stared back at him, “Let go.”
Shen Shijiu stubbornly held onto the door, “Pei-gege! I really do want to visit A-Yue! I’ll just go and take a quick look at him, and then I’ll come right back, okay?!”
Pei Zheng actually let go of him.
Shen Shijiu thought Pei Zheng had consented to it, so he joyfully let go of the door frame, and was about to run out of the corridor.
But before he could take a step, an arm suddenly grabbed him by the waist and lifted him up. Pei Zheng gently carried the small man back into the room before closing the door.
Shen Shijiu was being hugged by the waist, and his feet were dangling above the floor. After a period of dizziness, he collapsed onto the little bed.
He was just about to sit up when Pei Zheng also turned over and got on the bed. His hands were pressed against the mattress on either side of Shen Shijiu, and his body hovered above the small man’s, pinning him in place.
“Pei-gege, didn’t you just agree to let me go?”
“Did I say that I agreed?”
Shen Shijiu pouted in aggrievement; it seemed as though he hadn’t.
“Pei-gege, I don’t know if A-Yue’s awake yet. He’s really pitiful, he doesn’t have a single relative. I’m his Shi-gege, I told him I would be his best friend. I’m worried about him, I want to visit him…”
Shen Shijiu spoke in a soft voice, and his eyes were full of sincerity as he looked at Pei Zheng.
Pei Zheng’s heart melted at his gaze. He reached out and gently grasped the small man’s chin.
“I know. But you must believe me, he will be fine. And now, he will definitely be well taken care of. So, don’t disturb his rest for now, okay?”
Shen Shijiu believed Pei Zheng, but it was obvious that he was still uneasy.
“But, those people don’t care about A-Yue at all, will someone bully A-Yue…”
“They won’t. Zhao Litang will protect him.”
Shen Shijiu’s face scrunched up, “General Zhao wouldn’t. He’s so mean to A-Yue, he’s not kind to him like he is to other people. A-Yue is so nice, but General Zhao is always trying to drive him away.”
The corners of Pei Zheng’s lips rose when he heard this childish complaint. He couldn’t resist lowering his head and nudging the tip of Shen Shijiu’s nose with his own.
“You, you’re such a silly goose.”
Shen Shijiu’s face flushed, and he muttered, “I’m not a silly goose, I’m a smart goose.”
This was the first time he had heard someone praise themselves in this manner. Pei Zheng’s smile widened, and the darkness and gloominess in his eyes disappeared, leaving only a shining river of stars.
“Pei-gege…” Shen Shijiu stared at him unblinkingly, and reached out to touch his brows.
“You’re really pretty.”
Pei Zheng pulled his hand over and placed a kiss on his lips.
This little fool liked pretty people, otherwise he wouldn’t have developed a crush on Pei Zheng the moment they met. Pei Zheng knew this; he would have to use his beauty to entice this little fool.
“… Have I met you before?”
Pei Zheng suddenly froze.
“When was ‘before’?”
Shen Shijiu thought for a bit, “Wuu, Pei-gege, did you know? My head is empty.”
He pointed at his head, “Shifu said that my memories from the past are all gone, I don’t remember what my name was, and I don’t know who I was, and I don’t know why I fell off that cliff. Whenever I think about the stuff from the past, my head hurts, so shifu didn’t let me think about it…”
“But I’ve always felt like I’ve met you before, I just can’t recall it… Pei-gege, do you remember? Have you met me before?”
Pei Zheng’s breathing became a bit disordered as he clutched Shen Shijiu’s hand. His eyes were veiled by a certain emotion that covered up that silver glow.
“Then, do you want to remember your past?”
Shen Shijiu thought for a moment, “Wuu, truthfully, right now, I don’t really want to. Because I have shifu now, and Pei-gege, and A-Yue. If you guys are here, I don’t want to remember. But you guys always have to be here.”
Pei Zheng laid on his side and pulled the small man into his arms.
“I’m here, I’ll always be here.”
I’ll never let you be alone again.
And at this moment, the pleasure-boat slowly came to halt, and had already sailed into the dock at the villa.
Everyone was joyful and excited as they all got off the boat.
This villa occupied an entire island; it was very large. The decorations and furniture weren’t of lesser quality than those in the dignitaries’ mansions in the Imperial City, and the scenery was much more beautiful.
The owner of the villa was a woman. She was Lord Qian’s younger sister, so naturally, she was also part of the Empress’s faction. She had brought several of the villa’s servants with her, and stood at the dock to welcome everyone.
The group conversed among themselves for a long while, until everyone had gotten off the pleasure-boat.
Pei Zheng and Shen Shijiu were the last to get off, right behind Zhao Litang.
After Shen Shijiu saw Zhao Litang, he called softly, “General Zhao!”
Zhao Litang stopped.
Shen Shijiu leaned over and asked, “General Zhao, have you seen A-Yue?”
Unexpectedly, Zhao Litang’s expression turned ugly, and he said coldly, “I haven’t.”
Shen Shijiu “oh”d, and didn’t inquire further.
Zhao Litang walked away; only Wu Quan trailed behind him.
“Shi…” Yue Nu’s voice sounded from the side. Shen Shijiu looked over, and saw Yue Nu being supported by Shen Huan, his face white as paper.
Shen Shijiu walked to Yue Nu’s other side and held him by the arm.
“Shifu, what’s wrong with A-Yue? Is he okay?”
Shen Huan said in a comforting tone, “My little disciple, don’t worry, he’s okay, he’s just got a bit of a cold. It’s a good thing that he was able to warm up for a while. In a bit, I’ll make some medicinal soup for him to drink, and he’ll be fine.”
After she finished speaking, Shen Huan caught a glimpse of Pei Zheng’s unkind gaze, though Pei Zheng’s eyes had never been kind.
“Aiya, our little A-Yue isn’t like those two. Your body is as strong as a monster’s; you fell into freezing cold water, but you seem just fine. Our little A-Yue should be well taken care of, otherwise there won’t be anyone to feel sorry for you when you’ve been tormented to death.”
Shen Huan had purposely allowed Pei Zheng to hear these words. She didn’t know what the hell Pei Zheng and Zhao Litang were trying to do, dragging the innocent A-Yue into their conflict. Shen Huan was defending Yue Nu against this injustice.
“Shifu, I feel bad, I feel bad for A-Yue…”
Shen Shijiu gripped Yue Nu’s ice-cold hand. That hand had once been covered in chilblains, but they had already been treated by Shen Shijiu.
Yue Nu was too weak, and couldn’t say a thing. But when he heard Shen Shijiu’s words, his eyes warmed up, and he felt the urge to cry.
Shen Huan saw how frigid Pei Zheng looked, and thought that, even if she vented anger on Yue Nu’s behalf, although Yue Nu wasn’t stupid, he wasn’t much better than her little disciple. He was always so careful, and he made every move with caution. Didn’t that make him the perfect person to bully?
No wonder General Zhao always scared him to tears.
They walked off the dock, and entered the gate of the villa.
The majestic white jade gate had the words “Liuyun Villa” engraved upon it.
Mistress Qian led everyone inside. They first had to pass through a dense forest, before they could reach the various buildings.
But due to the cold weather, the trees in the forest were all bare, creating a sad, desolate sight.
But unexpectedly, after they walked through the forest, another scene appeared in front of them.
Those exquisite, elegant pavilions were scattered all over the villa, with a myriad of winding corridors linking them together. The trees and flowers here hadn’t withered yet; they were still lush. The scene resembled a colorful summer’s day.
But it was still freezing cold, so it was unclear how these plants were still in full bloom.
“Lord Pei, General Zhao,” Mistress Qian called, “This is the first time you two esteemed guests have come to my Liuyun Villa, so I ordered the servants to prepare the best pavilions for the two of you to stay in.”
She then said to the other five lords, “My Lords, you are all old acquaintances of my Liuyun Villa. The pavilions you usually stay in have already been prepared. Please make yourselves at home. We’ll be having a banquet in the evening.”
Everyone looked very cheery as they followed the servants and dispersed, heading off to the pavilions they were each staying in.
Zhao Litang walked up to Shen Huan and spoke with her for a moment. Shen Huan nodded, before she helped Yue Nu along and followed Zhao Litang.
Naturally, Shen Shijiu wanted to follow his shifu. But he thought of Pei Zheng, and turned around to look for him. Unexpectedly, Pei Zheng was already gone.
Shen Shijiu pouted and turned back around.
Zhao Litang was staying in a two-story building. When the door was pushed open, a charcoal fire was already blazing inside, and it was very warm.
“General Zhao, I’ve brought him here, so we’ll be leaving now.”
Shen Huan tossed Yue Nu at Zhao Litang, and was about to grab her little disciple and walk out.
“Wait, Master Shen!”
Zhao Litang supported the unsteady Yue Nu with one arm, “Is he really fine like this?”
Shen Huan waved her hand, “He’s fine, he’s fine. He won’t die. I’m going to decoct some medicine and deliver it later, he’ll get better once he drinks it.”
After she finished speaking, she slammed the door shut.
Shen Huan grabbed Shen Shijiu and immediately began to run.
“Sh-shifu! Where, are we going?!”
Shen Shijiu was panting as he ran.
Shen Huan beamed and said, “Let me tell you, Disciple! Do you know what I saw in that forest earlier?”
“I-I don’t! Shifu, run slower!”
Shen Huan stopped, “Milkwort1, there’s milkwort! I’ve been looking for it for so long, but I haven’t found any, I never thought I’d actually see it here!”
“Milkwort? What’s it for?”
Shen Huan looked at her little disciple, and pointed at his head, “It can help you regain your memory.”
“But shifu, don’t we have to make medicine for A-Yue?”
Shen Huan grabbed him and began to sprint again, “A cold isn’t as severe as your illness.”
The two continued to run. The forest was right in front of them, when several people who appeared to be attendants suddenly appeared and blocked their path.
“What are you two doing? You’re not allowed to enter this forest!”
Shen Huan asked impatiently, “What do you mean, we just came out of there. I’m just going in to look for something, I’ll be out really fast!”
But those attendants continued to block their way, preventing them from entering the forest.
“The mistress of the villa has ordered that only the guests she takes are allowed inside. No one else is allowed to enter. Otherwise, they will be punished accordingly!”
Upon hearing these words, Shen Huan didn’t insist on charging in. She stared at this group of strange attendants; who knew what she was thinking. Then, she dragged Shen Shijiu along and left.
Shen Huan went off alone to find a place to make medicine for Yue Nu, while Shen Shijiu inquired about Pei Zheng’s whereabouts, and came to the pavilion where Pei Zheng was staying.
This building was three stories high, and one could tell at a glance that it was the largest in the villa.
Shen Shijiu stood at the door and knocked quietly.
“Pei-gege, it’s Shi.”
There was no response.
Shen Shijiu knocked again, “Pei-gege, where are you? Pei-gege?’
The door suddenly opened. A smile appeared on Shen Shijiu’s face, but once he saw who was standing in front of him, it instantly vanished.
Wei Yiren was blocking the door. She stared disdainfully at Shen Shijiu, her expression carrying a hint of smugness.
“It’s you again, who were you calling for?”
“I-I was looking for His Lordship…”
Wei Yiren smiled mysteriously, “His Lordship is very busy right now. If you have something to say, you can tell me. I’ll pass it along to him.”
Shen Shijiu’s eyes dimmed, “I-it’s nothing.”
Thanks for reading~
1. 神砂草 (shén shā cǎo): apparently it’s a real plant, it’s also called 瓜子金, and its scientific name is polygala japonica Houtt. I will just refer to it by its family.