His highness's Allure - Chap 136
Together, the three of them walked along a path out of the Ghost Valley.
This exit was close to the Imperial City, so the three of them quickly arrived at the entrance of the city.
It seemed like there had been trouble in the city; the security had tightened, and there were swarms of soldiers guarding the gate. Anyone who passed through the gates would have to be questioned.
Shen Huan wasn’t nervous herself; she was much more concerned about Pei Zheng.
The three lined up in the queue to enter the city.
Shen Huan turned her head and lectured the other two.
“Remember, don’t say anything. If they start to ask questions, I’ll answer them, got it?”
Shen Shijiu nodded enthusiastically, “Got it, Shifu!”
Pei Zheng stood at the side and said nothing.
Shen Huan walked in front. When the three came to the city gate, they were stopped.
“You lot, where are you from? What have you come to the city for?”
Shen Huan smiled, ‘Sir, we’re from a town near the Imperial City. We heard that a famous doctor has opened a clinic here, cough cough cough…”
Shen Huan coughed violently a few times, and that guard stepped aside, his face full of disgust.
“Cough cough cough, my nephew came with me to find medicine in the city.”
That guard glanced at the cute, quiet Shen Shijiu and nodded.
“Gogogo, don’t block the people behind you.”
“Thank you, sir.”
Shen Huan hurriedly walked toward the city entrance, and Shen Shijiu followed closely.
“You, wait a moment!”
That guard stopped Pei Zheng, who was at the side, and stared at him carefully.
“You’re with the two of them?”
That guard obviously didn’t believe it. The mask on Pei Zheng’s face couldn’t have been more generic and ordinary, but his deep-rooted cold aura could still emerge from his figure and eyes.
At a single glance, one could tell that he was no ordinary person.
This alarmed Shen Huan. She hurriedly turned back and reached over to pat Pei Zheng’s shoulder.
“Aiya, this stupid fool, what are you standing here for, keep up!”
Pei Zheng glanced at Shen Huan. Shen Huan hurriedly shot him a glare, but Pei Zheng ignored it, and walked toward where Shen Shijiu was standing.
That guard became a bit anxious, “Oi oi oi, did I let you leave?! Stop right there!”
“Sir, sir, please listen to me,” Shen Huan pulled that guard to the side, and stuffed a few silver ingots into his cuff.
“That boy is my oldest nephew, he has a bit of a problem up here.” Shen Huan pointed at her head, “You mustn’t lower yourself to his level. Just think of this silver as a little gift, cough cough cough, hurry up and take it.”
That guard looked away, afraid that Shen Huan’s spit would fly onto his face. He took the silver, and even continued the act, “So that’s how it is. Then you should keep an eye on him, don’t let him run around and act crazy. You’re lucky it was me today. If it were anyone else, they’d probably be frightened by him.”
“Yes, yes, yes, sir, you’re right.”
“Also, it must not be easy for you either. You’re sick but you still have to drag two oil bottles1 with you. I’ll tell you a secret,” That guard lowered his voice, his tone mysterious, “This Imperial City of ours isn’t very peaceful today. I’ve heard that a few dangerous people have entered the city, it wouldn’t hurt to be a bit more careful.”
Shen Huan’s face was full of shock, “Then what should we do? I must rely on you, sir, to keep strict watch over the city gates. You must apprehend them as soon as possible.”
After they finally entered the city, the three headed toward Jiang Yubai’s clinic.
The stalls lining the main street had decreased; the pedestrians that filled the space in the past all came and left quickly, and from time to time, a group of patrolling imperial guards marched past.
Shen Huan said, “Earlier, that guard said that dangerous people had entered the city. Could they be from the same lot who are out to kill you?”
She glanced at Pei hzeng.
“It’s not impossible.”
When they arrived at Jiang Yubai’s clinic, they discovered that the gate was shut.
The three entered the clinic through the back gate, and saw Jiang Yubai lying back in a rocking chair, basking in the sun.
When Jiang Yubai saw the three who wad snuck in through the back gate, he was startled.
“Who are you?! How did you get in?!”
Shen Huan rasped, “We’re robbers. Hurry up and give us your money, or we’ll kill you to shut you up.”
Shen Shijiu called out in a soft, sweet voice, “Doctor Jiang.”
Jiang Yubai immediately recognized his voice, so naturally, he recognized Shen Huan as well.
Then that person standing next to them could only be-
“Pei Zheng! So you aren’t dead!”
Pei Zheng lifted his eyelids and glanced at Jiang Yubai.
Jiang Yubai ran over and circled Pei Zheng a few times.
“Tsk, tsk tsk, so it’s true. I heard from Cheng Feng that you were seriously injured, but you look just fine now, you really are lucky.”
Shen Huan felt rather proud, “Aren’t you going to acknowledge the person who treated him?”
Jiang Yubai said, “Yes, yes, yes, with the renowned Ghost Doctor’s help, is there any wound that can’t be healed?”
Shen Huan cupped her hands, “Not at all, not at all.”
Jiang Yubai cupped his hands as well, “I apologize for my rudeness.”
The two politely declined and apologized to each other for a long while. Shen Shijiu stood at the side, watching as Shen Huan and Jiang Yubai exchanged bows.
Someone walked out of the building. After he spotted Pei Zheng, he quickly walked over.
Pei Zheng nodded, and the two of them walked over to one side to talk.
After Shen Huan and Jiang Yubai were finished gabbing with one another, Pei Zheng had already explained everything to Cheng Feng.
Cheng Feng left the clinic and returned to the Prime Minister’s Manor. Then, he headed to the palace to deliver a letter from Pei Zheng.
And Shen Huan found the herb that she was looking for in Jiang Yubai’s clinic.
The three were about to leave, when Jiang Yubai grabbed Shen Shijiu.
“Master Shen, let me ask you a question.”
Shen Huan said, “Please.”
“Could I come with you to the Ghost Valley?”
Shen Huan shook her head, “Of course not. Outsiders are not permitted to enter the Ghost Valley.”
Jiang Yubai pointed at Pei Zheng, “Then what about him? He’s an outsider too, why is he allowed to come with you?”
Shen Huan was helpless, “I didn’t let him in, he found his way inside himself. If you can enter the valley yourself, I don’t have any objections.”
Jiang Yubai rolled his eyes. He wasn’t nearly as skilled as Pei Zheng.
The three left the clinic and headed back to the Ghost Valley the same way they came.
As they were leaving, the guard who Shen Huan had bribed inquired concernedly about her condition, which only frightened her.
Only when they finally returned to the bamboo hut did Shen Huan finally sigh in relief. She quickly threw herself back into developing her recipe.
However, Pei Zheng didn’t pester Shen Shijiu. Instead, he stood in silence at the riverbank, and appeared to be deep in thought.
Shen Shijiu had searched everywhere for Pei Zheng. After he saw that he was near the riverbank, he ran over.
“Pei-gege, why are you here? I was looking all over for you.”
Pei Zheng’s gaze was heavy, “Looking for me?”
Shen Shijiu nodded, “Shifu said it’s time to change your dressings.”
The two returned to the bamboo hut.
Shen Shijiu walked over, arms full of medicine bottles. He treated the wound on Pei Zheng’s shoulder first, before he applied ointment over the rest of his injuries.
After he finished applying the ointment, Shen Huan called for Shen Shijiu so she could give him a few instructions.
Pei Zheng stood up and walked out of the room.
Shen Huan hadn’t closed the door to her quarters; it was so messy in there that it looked like someone had robbed the place.
Pei Zheng walked inside, carefully avoiding all the junk scattered about.
Shen Huan was slouched over in a corner of the room; who knew what she was searching for. When she heard the footsteps behind her, she thought that Shen Shijiu had come in.
“Little disciple, did you find it? I can’t find it here, I remember putting that ointment into a box, where did it go?”
The person behind her didn’t reply for a long while. Shen Huan found this strange, and glanced back.
The person standing behind her wasn’t Shen Shijiu, but Pei Zheng.
Pei Zheng was holding a book, and was focused on reading.
Shen Huan said, “Lord Pei, why are you here? I thought you were my little disciple. My room is so messy, be careful not to trip.”
Pei Zheng didn’t say anything. Instead, his brow creased slightly.
Shen Huan found his reaction to be rather strange. She lifted her head and looked toward Pei Zheng.
With a mere glance, she saw that the book Pei Zheng was holding was the same one that contained information on male pregnancy in the foreign tribe.
“Lord Pei! Th-th-th-that book is full of nonsense, you mustn’t believe a word of it!”
But before she finished speaking, Pei Zheng closed the book.
So that’s how it is.
Pei Zheng suddenly smiled at Shen Huan, before he turned and walked out of the room.
Shen Shijiu was walking in, holding a small box in his arms. He crashed right into Pei Zheng.
Pei Zheng reached out and steadied him, and his eyes unconsciously drifted downward.
Shen Shijiu was still clutching that box, “Whew, good thing I didn’t fall.”
Pei Zheng plucked the box out of his hands and passed it backward.
Shen Shijiu hurriedly shouted, “Shifu!”
Shen Huan quickly ran over and took the box.
Pei Zheng grabbed Shen Shijiu and left the room.
After they returned to Shen Shijiu’s room, Pei Zheng pulled Shen Shijiu to sit on the bed. Shen Shijiu was confused, and was about to stand up, but Pei Zheng held him by the shoulder and made him sit back down.
Pei Zheng bent down, so that he and Shen Shijiu were looking into each other’s eyes.
“Earlier, did I bump into you?”
Shen Shijiu shook his head, “No.”
Pei Zheng looked him up and down, before he asked worriedly, “You’re not in pain, or feeling uncomfortable anywhere?”
Shen Shijiu shook his head again, “I’m really not, Pei-gege. I’m not uncomfortable anywhere.”
Pei Zheng squeezed his hand, “All right.”
Then, Pei Zheng continued to stare at him, motionless; this went on for quite a while.
Shen Shijiu was a bit uncomfortable and shifted his body, “Pei-gege, actually, I still have other things to do.”
“What kind of things?” Pei Zheng asked.
But Shen Shijiu mumbled under his breath for a while, unable to say anything of substance.
Pei Zheng lifted the small man’s head, “What’s wrong? Is there anything you can’t tell me?”
Shen Shijiu shook his head, “No, that’s not it, Sh-Shifu just wants me to go to the warm river…”
Shen Shijiu blushed, “… to go to the warm river to bathe….”
Shen Huan really did ask Shen Shijiu to bathe in the warm river first. For the past few days, she had been developing a recipe for a medicinal bath that would improve Shen Shijiu’s health.
While he was pregnant, a man’s body was extremely delicate; the slightest mishap could lead to miscarriage, and the baby would be unable to survive. It would also have lasting negative effects on one’s body, so taking care of the fetus early on was crucial.
Shen Huan had never encountered this kind of condition before, so she could only rely on herself to figure everything out; she had spent great efforts to develop the formula for this medicinal bath. She told Shen Shijiu to bathe in the warm river until he was shiny and clean, before he would soak in the medicinal bath.
Pei Zheng asked, “Bathe? By yourself?”
Shen Shijiu nodded, “I can do it, I’ve always bathed by myself.”
But Pei Zheng was worried about him bathing alone, so he still went with him.
Shen Shijiu stood at the riverbank, and took of his outer robe. But then, he noticed that Pei Zheng was behind him, standing still and staring at him.
This made him feel a bit embarrassed.
“Pei-gege, could you… stop looking at me?”
Pei Zheng’s eyes narrowed, “What? You’ve always been fine with it before, now you’re not?”
“I-I…” Shen Shijiu’s voice was extremely quiet, “Back then, it was nighttime.”
Pei Zheng grinned. He knew that Shen Shijiu was shy, so he tilted his body to the side, “All right, I won’t look.”
Shen Shijiu stared at Pei Zheng; only when he turned all the way around did Shen Shijiu finally feel at ease. He carefully stripped off his inner robe, before he slowly walked into the warm river.
The river water instantly enveloped his entire body, a warm current melting into his bones. The small man sank into the water. Only his little head peeked out of the water as he sighed in contentment.
The water wasn’t deep, and the riverbed was made up of soft, loose mud. The temperature of the river was a little higher than that of his skin, so soaking in the water felt very comfortable, especially in winter.
The little man stretched out his lotus root-colored arm, splashing around as he played in the water. He didn’t notice the figure that was gradually approaching from behind him.
Pei Zheng walked toward the riverbank, Through the clear river water, he could see the tender skin that had turned rosy from the heat, a patch of white carrying a hint of red, bright and lovely.
His throat bobbed as he reached out, and was about to lift the inky black hair that was stuck to the small man’s back.
But Shen Shijiu seemed to have felt something; he suddenly turned to face Pei Zheng, and the water droplets on his hair splashed onto Pei Zheng’s robe.
He was startled by Pei Zheng, who had suddenly appeared behind him. Shen Shijiu yelped in surprise, before he suddenly ducked down, submerging half of his little face in the water; only his eyes peeked out, his lashes fluttering.
“Pei-gege, why did you come over?”
Pei Zheng lifted the soaked hem of his robe, “If I didn’t come over, who would you splash?”
Shen Shijiu was a bit embarrassed, “Sorry, Pei-gege, I didn’t know you were behind me. I got your clothes all wet, so you should hurry and take them off.”
“Take them off?” Pei Zheng raised his brows, “Mark your words.”
With a flick of his fingers, he undid his sash, before he slowly stripped off his wet outer robe.
When Shen Shijiu saw this, he quickly covered his eyes, “Pei-gege, what are you doing? I wasn’t telling you to take them off right here, I was saying that you should go back inside and change.”
“Oh, so that’s what you meant.”
Pei Zheng smiled, “But I’ve already taken them off, so there’s no point in putting them back on.”
He smiled, and was about to peel off the inner robe stuck to his skin. At this moment, Shen Shijiu actually turned away, and his voice rose a bit.
“Pei-gege, d-don’t be like this, if you don’t have any clothes on, I-I-I won’t look at you.”
Pei Zheng’s fingers paused, and he looked at the small man in the center of the river with his back to him. In the end, he agreed to compromise, “All right, all right, I’ll listen to you, okay?”
Only then did Shen Shijiu feel at ease, and his eyes curved as he smiled, “That’s right, that’s what you should do.”
As he spoke, he turned back around, but he crashed right into someone’s chest. There was only a thin inner robe separating the tip of his nose from the skin on Pei Zheng’s chest.
Pei Zheng really had listened to him and hadn’t taken off his inner robe; he simply walked into the warm river with his clothes on.
Shen Shijiu lifted his head and looked up at Pei Zheng, and saw that the other was looking down at him as well. A pair of arms slowly wrapped around his waist, and Shen Shijiu could hardly stand properly, “P-Pei-gege, w-why did you come in too? Do you need to bathe as well?”
Pei Zheng smiled lightly, “Mm, I’m accompanying you. What? Are you going to refuse me?”
Shen Shijiu bit his lip. He shook his head, before nodding.
Pei Zheng inquired, “Then I’ll ask again, would you like me to accompany you?”
Before Shen Shijiu could reply, Pei Zheng squeezed his little chin, and gently tapped it with his fingers.
Then, Pei Zheng smiled, affection rippling through the gloomy corners of his eyes, “Oh, you want me to, don’t you?”
Shen Shijiu looked up in dissatisfaction and was about to explain himself, “But you’re the one who-”
The rest of his words were sealed in his lips.
The water flowed around their bodies. The pair standing in the center of the river were kissing with fervor.
Shen Shijiu was robbed of his breath while being surrounded by a layer of steam. His legs instantly became wobbly, and he couldn’t stand properly. His body collapsed limply and slowly slipped underwater.
Pei Zheng also slowly slid downward, and the water flowed over the tops of their heads.
The surface of the river was calm and tranquil. The pair in the river were tightly entangled in each other’s arms. The single breath that they exchanged through their lips was everything they could want or need.
When it was over, Pei Zheng grabbed the small man’s waist and scooped him out of the river.
The small man gasped for breath. His lips were a brilliant red, and he was so muddled that he didn’t even know why he had come here in the first place.
Pei Zheng offered to help him wash up. His fingers traced that smooth delicate skin, gently rubbing and pinching; there wasn’t anything on the small man’s body that needed to be washed. He was like a freshly peeled egg, pale and pearly.
Shen Shijiu soaked for a long while, until he became a bit dizzy. He leaned into Pei Zheng’s chest, and allowed the other to wash his body.
After they finished bathing, Pei Zheng had already touched most of Shen Shijiu’s body, so he carried the small man onto riverbank. Then, he carefully dressed him and escorted him back inside.
Shen Huan had almost finished preparing the medicinal bath; there was enough warm water, all she needed now was for Shen Shijiu to get into the tub.
But Shen Shijiu had just finished soaking in the warm river. His limbs were numb, and he didn’t have a shred of energy left.
“Shifu, do I have to? I’m not sick, why do I have to take a medicinal bath?”
Shen Huan couldn’t tell him outright, so she could only console him, “My good disciple, you don’t have to be sick to take a medicinal bath. Your master just noticed that you’ve been eating too little lately, your master is afraid your body won’t be able to handle it, which is why I need to do this to improve your health.”
Pei Zheng stayed at the side the whole time, listening. There was nothing out of the ordinary about his expression.
But Shen Huan cautiously cast him a glance. Pei Zheng still hadn’t asked her about anything related to that matter, and Shen Huan found this to be quite strange.
Finally, Shen Shijiu was coaxed into the tub and began to soak in the steaming water. Shen Huan added a few more herbs into the tub; they would definitely be good for Shen Shijiu.
while Shen Shijiu was soaking in the tub, Pei Zheng said to Shen Huan in a low voice, “Master Shen, a moment, please.”
Shen Huan’s heart thumped, and she immediately knew what Pei Zheng wanted to talk about. Although she didn’t want to go at all, but under Pei Zheng’s repressive aura, she had no choice but to follow obediently.
“Master Shen, you don’t have anything to say?”
Pei Zheng asked, a shadow of a smile on his face.
It was this tone that made Shen Huan unconsciously clutch her sleeves for a long while; even the decorative cords on her cuffs had been torn off.
“N-no, why would I have anything to say?”
Pei Zheng said, “Since Master Shen has nothing to say, I have something to ask.”
“What is the purpose of that medicinal bath? Do not try to fool me with the same rhetoric that fooled him, just tell me the truth.”
Shen Huan’s hands were covered in cold sweat. She knew it, she knew that when Pei Zheng saw that book, he had connected its contents to everything that was going on.
Forget it. At this point, there was no use in hiding it anymore.
“Right. It’s exactly what you think, Lord Pei.”
Although he already had his own speculations, when he heard the truth, Pei Zheng still froze.
It was true. Everything in his mind was real. The small man was pregnant, he really did have that elusive bloodline of the foreign tribe. And he really was pregnant with his child.
Pei Zheng had no doubts; that child was definitely his.
Shen Huan thought for a bit, “A month or so. There’s no need to think about it, it was when we were still at the Prime Minister’s Manor.
Pei Zheng glanced at Shen Huan; how did she know what he was thinking?
It was a pity that Pei Zheng already knew it had happened at the Prime Minister’s Manor; he was just trying to figure out when, out of the many times they had done it together, it had happened.
Now that he thought about it, it had to be that time while he was drunk. That time… it had lasted for a long while.
Pei Zheng suddenly smiled, who knew what he was thinking. His eyes were full of tenderness.
Shen Huan was a bit stunned when she saw this, and she gawked at his sweet expression that resembled the blooming of spring.
“Lord Pei,” Shen Huan said, “There are some things that I should inform you about first.”
Shen Huan spoke of many things. It was nothing more than how to properly care for Shen Shijiu, given the special circumstances of his body.
This was the first time Pei Zheng had listened so diligently as someone spoke, and recorded every aspect that he needed to be careful of in his mind.
And at this moment, Shen Shijiu had almost finished soaking in the medicinal bath.
Shen Huan and Pei Zheng entered the room together, and both walked over to help the small man sitting in the tub up. In the end, they each grabbed one of his arms and lifted Shen Shijiu out of the tub.
Shen Shijiu was quite muddled; he glanced at his shifu, then at Pei Zheng. He felt that something was odd, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.
Shen Huan made a spread of delicious dishes again. Today, she was quite a bit more relaxed. She could finally sit and enjoy her food, as well as order Shen Shijiu to eat a balanced meal.
Not only did Pei Zheng ask Shen Shijiu to eat more alongside Shen Huan, he even placed a few more bites of food into Shen Shijiu’s already full bowl.
Shen Shijiu gazed at him, looking rather pitiful. He had hoped that he would agree to allow him to eat a bit less.
But the Pei Zheng of the present would only listen to Shen Huan on this matter, and strictly enforced Shen Huan’s orders.
Shen Huan could only obey his shifu and Pei-gege, and obediently ate a lot every meal.
In addition, Shen Huan made Shen Shijiu take several more medicinal baths, and would often give him a few nourishing medicines to drink.
After a period of great effort, Shen Shijiu’s physical condition finally resembled that of a normal pregnant woman’s. As long as he could maintain his good health, there wouldn’t be any issues later.
Thanks for reading~
1.拖油瓶 (tuō yóu píng): ‘dragging oil bottles’. In ancient times, dragging oil bottles referred to a woman taking her children from a previous marriage to her new husband’s family after she remarries.