Chapter 12: Yan Jing.
As both women shared their thoughts about the powerful Queen Dowager Chu, they noticed Chu YunShang exiting the royal palace with a group of hand-maidens in tow. It was until now that Yan Luan saw the face of the woman who had always ganged up with Yan Fei to bully her.
Even though she had managed to steal a peek at Chu Yan Shang while greeting the Queen Dowager Chu, it had only been a side view, and she knew instinctively that this woman was pretty. But now that she could observe this woman clearly, she realized that Chu YanShang’s beauty was no less than Yan Fei’s, the only difference was that Chu YanShang emitted an aura of confidence and pride due to the extreme pampering she had received while Yan Fei was the unwelcome illegitimate child.
“Yo, WengZhu’s attire is really striking today, isn’t that the design of the Yan country?” She voiced out her disdain for Yan Luan with sharp criticisms.
It was a known fact that the countries Qi and Yan were not on good terms and that both Imperial Princess Yong Kang and Yan Luan seemed to love these Quju that hailed from Yan Kingdom. Which was why Chu YunShang would not give up the chance to chide her so, but to her surprise, Yan Luan spared her not even a glance while leaving gracefully with Jiang FuYuan in tow.
Leaving her behind, ignored. Her beautiful face screwing up in a horrible scowl while her eyes burned with rage.
“Haha! You were really cool back there, ignoring and leaving her there, I bet she would die from rage if she could!” Jiang FuYuan, who could no longer contain her laughter, burst out laughing as soon as they were far enough from Chu YunShang.
“Hmph! If it wasn’t for her, Yan Luan wouldn’t had died and we…” Yan Luan frowned slightly as she realized that standing around complaining about what had already happened was useless, “Forget it… Let’s visit the imperial garden, I heard that it’s amazing.”
“Give me a second, I just remembered that I need to inform my mother about this,” Jiang FuYuan froze suddenly before picking up her skirt and running off wildly, “Go on ahead first, I’ll catch up to you soon!”
Yan Luan giggled softly as she watched her best friend ran, it was anything but elegant. Her own mother had caught her running like this many times, and each time she was disciplined without mercy.
She made her way slowly to the imperial garden, her eyes widened in amazement when she saw the blooming flowers, which held so much enticement for someone who had loved flowers for her entire life. Quickly tipping the servant who led her here, she rushed quickly towards the entrance of the imperial garden, stopping only when she heard some noises together with the loud men’s laughter.
Hiding herself swiftly under a pear tree, she noticed that a group of noble young masters were playing a game, which looked exactly like Beer Pong, hosted by Emperor QiLing. Golden bottles were placed on the ground while the nobles would attempt to throw pebbles into the bottles, if they miss their mark, everyone would burst out in laughter while forcing the loser to drink.
Even though she had heard about Beer Pong from her previous life, it was actually her first time watching it live. The main trick to win this game is the aiming and the strength used by the player, it may sound easy but it was actually a difficult game.
Losing her interest in the game, she turned around to leave, stopping when a deep alluring voice sounded, “Change the bottle and pass me a pebble.”
Yan Luan froze in her tracks upon listening to that voice, she was not only a muscle-con, she was also a full-fledged voice-con. The intensity of it and the hoarse manly voice was exactly what she loved. But unfortunately, it was impossible to sneak a peek at the owner of that voice from where she stood, as she could only vaguely see a tall and well-built figure standing right next to Emperor QiLing.
I bet he’s extremely handsome…
Yan Luan held her breath as the bottle was changed, pricking up her ear to listen to the result of the sexy-voiced man.
She sucked in a tight breath as she heard his outstanding results, while the group of nobles froze in shock and awe. “Haha! As expected of my cousin, so strong!” Emperor QiLing laughed heartily as he clapped his hands together in delight.
“It’s nothing.” The voice replied calmly.
Cousin!? Emperor QiLing’s only cousins are her two brothers! Yan Luan felt like her heart paused as she heard his words, she moved back in a rush, intending to escape quickly, only to feel a sharp gaze staring at her direction.
“Ah! I’ve been found out!” She cried out in a panic and she lifted her skirt up high before running towards the alleyway.
Never in her dreams could she had expected to meet Yan Jing so quickly, though it was a regret that she didn’t get to see his handsome face, it was fortunate that she was able to escape.
Before she could catch her breath, deep footsteps sounded behind her while she turned her head around in dismay.
Her gaze landed on the pair of gold-laced leather shoes before moving upwards slowly, noticing the extremely well-made noble attire which was sewn with a four-clawed golden dragon, while an exquisite scarlet gem hanged from his waist.
Yan Luan’s eyes widened in awe when her gaze finally landed on his face.
According to the history she knew, Emperor QiWu was extremely tall and handsome, he was the dream of every single woman in the country, regardless of age. Looking at him now, Yan Luan gulped in total agreement, The history book does not lie!
“Ah Luan, I saw you hiding just now, why did you run?” Yan Jing’s deep voice sounded near her ear as leaned towards her, his voice, lacking the dominance from before, was emitting an uncontrollable urge to pamper her.
Unlike the cold-faced Yan Dao, Yan Jing’s smile was gentle and warm, filled with the elegance of a true noble from a prestigious house, he looked nothing like the rough army hooligans she had imagined him to be. Yan Luan stared into his eyes intently, gazing at the eyes which looked so similar to Yan Dao’s eyes, both filled with an un-containable thirst for bloodshed and rage.
“B…big brother…” She greeted him shakily while her legs trembled weakly under her skirt, his aura was too much for her to handle and it scares her, even though he was smiling so gently.
“Ah Luan, what’s wrong?” Yan Jing asked worriedly as he took a few steps closer to her, his gaze landing upon her exposed chest unnoticeably, “Don’t you always jump into my embrace each time you meet me? Why are you so well-behaved now?”
“Uh, I’m a big girl now, mother said that I am not allowed to be too clingy to my two brothers,” Yan Luan giggled dryly as she moved backward slightly, only to freeze in panic as her hand leaned against the tree bark, which was blocking her escape. She stared at him in fear as he moved towards her slowly while her long lashes trembled alluringly.
As if not realizing his sister’s fear, Yan Jing stood right in front of her, his huge figure looming over hers, causing her to gape in awe as she noticed their extreme difference in height while his heart-stopping manly scent filled her senses fully, I’m only as tall as his chest!
Suddenly, Yan Jing reached out his hand towards the direction of her chest.
“Big brother!” Yan Luan cried out in shock while she shut her eyes tightly together, trembling in fear.
A deep chuckle sounded near her ear as a petal landed on her exposed shoulders, “My Ah Luan is getting more timid as time goes by.”
Yan Luan opened her eyes slowly as her brother chuckled teasingly, her pale face flushed scarlet red as she noticed the pink petal between his fingers, Oh, so he was removing the petal from my shoulders… She sighed in relief as she realized her mistake.
But she must admit, those slender fingers looked so beautiful!
Meanwhile, the beautiful fingers reached out towards her face before pinching her chin softly, lifting her head up.
“What is Ah Luan afraid of, hm?” He asked teasingly, his voice tinted with a strange danger while his breath smelled faintly like alcohol. His face was right in front of hers as he stared intently into her eyes, before grabbing ahold of her shoulders and pulling her into a tight embrace.
His palms landed firmly on her while her eyes widened in shock.
Characters mentioned in this chapter:
Yan Luan – Title “Mi Yang Weng Zhu”, the daughter of the imperial princess
Yan Jing – Eldest brother of Yan Luan
Yan Dao – Second brother of Yan Luan
Imperial Princess – Title “Princess Yong Kang”, favorite sister of the current emperor
Chu YanShang – Title “Xian Zhu”, daughter of Lord Chu, pampered and loved by the queen dowager
Jiang FuYuan – the other girl who had drowned together with Yan Luan on the day of the feast.
Queen Dowager Chu – birth mother of Emperor QiLing and sister of Lord Chu. She treats the emperor as her puppet and ruled the kingdom behind the scenes.
Emperor QiLing – current emperor, the nephew of Princess Yong Kang.