Chapter 74: Pleading
November 8, 2022Merchie
Qi Changyi’s cheeks were in excruciating pain after being pinched so hard.
He quietly sucked in two, quick breaths.
“Brother Pei, can you tell Royal Father not to send Brother Tang to such a dangerous place”
“What will you do if I say no” Pei Zheng suddenly let go, before flicking his little face to the side.
Tears welled up in the corners of Qi Changyi’s eyes, and his hands latched onto Pei Zheng’s lapel.
Pei Zheng suppressed the rage in his heart with great effort, and said coldly, “So he’s the reason you’re begging me right now”
He leaned close, and whispered in the small man’s ear, “Then you should know how you’re supposed to beg.”
Qi Changyi shuddered violently, before hurriedly lowering his head, “I…I…”
Pei Zheng leaned back against the side of the bed.
His eyes were pinned on the small man, and he didn’t say a word.
Qi Changyi finally mustered his courage and made up his mind.
He closed his eyes, and suddenly leaned toward Pei Zheng’s lips before he pressed his own luscious red mouth upon the other’s.
Those scarlet lips were sloppy and inexperienced; his soft, sweet tongue stretched out, and tried to probe its way into Pei Zheng’s mouth, but the other man’s jaw seemed to be locked shut.
The small man tried and failed several times to stick his tongue into Pei Zheng’s mouth, and aggrieved tears began to fall from his eyes.
He wiped his tears, before leaning into Pei Zheng’s neck and gently licking his bulging Adam’s apple, his trembling eyelashes beaded with crystalline droplets.
When he saw that Pei Zheng still hadn’t shown any reaction, Qi Changyi traced the robe over the other’s chest and his little hand burrowed under Pei Zheng’s lapel.
That small palm was tentative and nervous in its motions; Qi Changyi didn’t know what he was supposed to do, so he simply pressed lightly against the skin beneath his hand.
His other hand reached down and tried to undo the elaborately-tied cord on Pei Zheng’s waist.
But after struggling with it for a long while, he still couldn’t untie it, and the small man was so anxious that tears began to drip out once again.
His hand was suddenly clasped, and his fair, delicate chin was grabbed.
He raised his head.
“Is this all you can do” Pei Zheng’s mouth hooked into a semicircle.
Immediately, he flipped the small man over and pressed him onto the bed; he now had the upper hand.
Pei Zheng lowered his tall, broad body onto that petite frame.
With one hand, he pulled open the small man’s robes, revealing his smooth, white skin.
He reached out and rubbed it with force, leaving a few red marks.
His movements were rough, without the slightest hint of tenderness.
Then, Pei Zheng lowered his head and sealed the small man’s mouth with a punitive, forceful kiss.
He thought of how this little prince would only dare to be so forward with him for the sake of someone else, and struggled to calm the anger in his heart.
The person beneath him had been kissed to the point of dazedness.
While he was still confused, Pei Zheng suddenly stopped touching him, grabbing his chin and forcing the small man to look at him.
The little prince’s vision was already blurry with tears.
His eyes were watery, and his lips were slightly parted as he gasped for breath.
“Who am I’
“Don’t ever let me hear you say another man’s name again, do you understand me”
Qi Changyi looked at him with teary eyes and whimpered softly.
Pei Zheng’s grip strengthened, leaving red fingerprints on that little chin.
“I…I understand…Brother Pei…”
Pei Zheng snorted coldly, and let go.
He rolled over and got off the bed.
Without sparing the small man another glance, he turned and walked out the door.
The moment the door closed, the half-naked little prince lying on the bed hurriedly grabbed the thin blanket and wrapped it around himself.
Then, he curled into a ball underneath it, his tears streaming soundlessly.
He didn’t know how long he had cried before he fell into a deep sleep.
He didn’t even eat dinner, only drinking his medicine, before shrinking back underneath the quilt.
Li Yu was slightly puzzled.
His Highness had been so energetic and full of life during the day, how could he have become so muddled and tired in just a few hours
The next day, Jiang Yubai came by to check Qi Changyi’s pulse.
But the little prince remained curled up beneath the quilt, refusing to meet with anyone; only a section of his smooth, jade-white arm was exposed.
Jiang Yubai didn’t think much of it, and took his pulse.
“Your pulse is a little unstable today, did you not sleep well last night”
As he spoke, Jiang Yubai was about to pull the blanket away.
The small man immediately yelped in surprise and wrapped himself even tighter.
“Imperial Physician Jiang…I-I just slept a little later than usual last night, it’s nothing serious…”
Qi Changyi was extremely worried that if Jiang Yubai lifted the blanket, he would see the marks on his chin and neck.
“Your pulse has remained stable over the past few days, so there shouldn’t be any severe issues.
You’ll be fine as long as you don’t get overstimulated by anything else.
Your Highness, I’ll be returning to the palace today.
I don’t know how much work will be piled up for me once I get back to the Imperial Hospital.”
The small man underneath the blanket finally peeked out and looked at Jiang Yubai.
“Imperial Physician Jiang, you’re going back”
I will visit you again when I have time.
Even when I’m gone, you still have to be good and take your medicine, and take good care of yourself until you’re fully recovered, you hear me”
“I know, Imperial Physician Jiang.”
Jiang Yubai told Li Yu about a few things concerning the small man’s condition when he suddenly thought of something.
He turned back to Qi Changyi, “Your Highness, do you know where Lord Pei went”
The little prince shook his head from under the blanket.
Jiang Yubai said, “I’ve heard the manor’s servants saying that apparently, Pei Zheng has something to take care of, and will be gone for a few days.
I had thought that you would be the first person he would tell about something like this.”
“Brother Pei, he didn’t say anything about that to me…” The small man’s voice became quieter and quieter.
“All right, Your Highness, you don’t need to worry about it.
If he didn’t tell you, it must not be important.
I’ll be leaving now.”
“Imperial Physician Jiang, be careful on your way back.”
Li Yu escorted Jiang Yubai outside.
Then, he closed the door and returned to the side of the bed.
“Your Highness, what’s wrong Why don’t you want to come out from under the blanket Are you cold”
Under the quilt, QI Changyi earlobes flushed red, and he shook his head.
He gingerly pulled the blanket down slightly, and the rest of his little face popped out; the long, conspicuous finger-shaped marks on his chin were revealed as well.
Li Yu was slightly shocked, “Your Highness, how did this happen Was, was it Lord Pei’s doing”
Qi Changyi didn’t say anything, instead slowly nodding his head.
Li Yu said, “Your Highness, what happened between you and Lord Pei”
Li Yu suddenly thought of what the Fourth Prince had said when he came to visit, and hurriedly asked, “Your Highness, did you…ask Lord Pei something that you shouldn’t have, which made Lord Pei unhappy”
Qi Changyi didn’t answer, but Li Yu understood immediately.
“Your Highness, this servant will tell you the truth.
The Fourth Prince feels injustice over being neglected by His Majesty, but came here under the guise of visiting you to spout all this nonsense, perhaps to ease his own mind.”
“Xiao Yuzi, don’t talk about Fourth Brother like that…”
“Your Highness, there are some things that you may not understand, but this servant does.
The Fourth Prince understands that the relationship between you and Lord Pei is far from ordinary.
Think back to when we still lived in the palace: when something happened to you, when did he ever come to visit He’s only interested in you now because you are under Lord Pei’s protection.”
These words made Qi Changyi fall into a state of deep pondering, and he didn’t say anything for a long while.
Li Yu saw this as well, and didn’t say anything more.
In the afternoon, a maid came by to deliver something.
Li Yu opened the door, and was surprised to see the housekeeper of the Prime Minister’s Manor standing behind that maid.
“Yu-gonggong.” The housekeeper greeted Li Yu, “Has His Highness been well”
“What is the purpose of your visit today, Chamberlain” Li Yu asked.
“It’s nothing urgent…”
Qi Changyi heard the two conversing, and invited the old housekeeper inside.
“Greetings to Your Highness.” The old housekeeper bowed.
Qi Changyi flashed a gentle smile.
The housekeeper said, “Your Highness, our Lord has been gone for the past few days on official business, and won’t be staying at the manor for the time being.
He specially ordered this old servant to deliver the news to you.
Our Lord also ordered us to take good care of you.
Also, our Lord said that if Your Highness wants to leave the manor, all you need to do is tell this old servant.”
“I can go out So Brother Pei won’t force me to stay inside anymore”
Qi Changyi’s little face finally brightened a little, and his eyes curved into slight crescents.
But when he decided he wanted to go out, he was stunned by the sight in front of him as he walked out of the little pavilion.
Waiting in front of the gate to the Prime Minister’s Manor, the old housekeeper was flanked by two other servants.
Behind them stood an orderly formation of seventeen or eighteen guards.
“Your Highness, let’s go.”
Qi Changyi nervously tugged at Li Yu’s sleeve, “Xiao Yuzi, there are so many people, I’m scared…”
Li Yu spoke in a comforting tone, “Your Highness, those people were sent by Lord Pei to protect you.
Don’t be scared, I’ll have a word with the housekeeper.”
Li Yu pulled the old housekeeper aside, and tried his best to persuade him to send some of the men away.
The old housekeeper looked reluctant, but he finally nodded and agreed to Li Yu’s request, and only had the two bodyguards with the best martial arts skills follow them.
“You both must keep an eye on His Highness.
If anything happens to him, you won’t be able to bear the consequences.”
The gate of the Prime Minister’s Manor opened, and a gust of bitterly cold wind rushed in.
Qi Changyi recoiled slightly, exhaled a puff of warm breath, sighing softly.
The streets of the Imperial City were full of people coming and going, and always bustling with life.
It was cold outside, but Qi Changyi hadn’t been out and about in so long, so he was filled with a strong sense of fresh excitement.
The street vendors were all hawking their wares and trinkets, but Qi Changyi didn’t seem to be interested in any of them.
It had been so long since the street light parade, yet there were still a few stalls selling lanterns.
Qi Changyi pulled Li Yu along to admire them.
“Young Master, if you like one, just tell me.
I’m selling them at low prices, but these were all expertly crafted.” The peddler saw that the visitor who came to his stall was dressed in exquisite robes, and had a beautiful face to match; he knew that he wasn’t just another ordinary customer.
But Qi Changyi looked around for a little bit, and the light in his eyes was slowly extinguished, “Forget it, Xiao Yuzi, let’s go.”
Li Yu knew that he hadn’t been able to find one that he liked, “Young Master, look, there are still a few more stalls over there, let’s go take a look.”
The two explored the street for a while, but after stopping by each of the various stalls selling lanterns, Qi Changyi still hadn’t found one that he was satisfied with.
“Your Highness, what kind of design are you looking for This servant will just have someone make one for you, why must you buy one from the city” Li Yu straightened Qi Changyi’s collar.
“It’s gone, I won’t be able to find it again, if it’s gone, it’s gone…”
Qi Changyi’s eyes slowly reddened as he spoke.
No matter how hard he looked, he would never be able to find another rabbit-lotus lantern.
“How can that be Your Highness, we’ll definitely find one.
Let’s keep exploring.
Don’t be sad, okay” Upon seeing that the corners of the little prince’s eyes were wet, Li Yu hurriedly began to console him.
Qi Changyi let out a muffled “mm”.
Although he was extremely disappointed, he still allowed Li Yu to pull him around to wander through the other streets.
Sure enough, they were still unable to find a lantern of that design.
They had been exploring for quite a while now, so Li Yu was slightly concerned about His Highness’s condition.
“Your Highness, why don’t we stop here for today.
You’ve only just recovered, this servant is worried that you’ll freeze.
The next time we come back to explore, we’ll continue looking for the things you want, okay”
Qi Changyi nodded obediently, and the group promptly returned to the Prime Minister’s Manor.