Wángyé (王爷) – Brother of the Emperor. Referring to Jing Cheng.
Róng Qīnwáng (荣亲王) - Prince (of the first Rank) Rong. Jing Cheng's current title.
Róng Wángfēi (荣王妃) – Wife of Prince Rong. Referring to Su Yang.
Róng (荣) – Glory/honour
Fūjūn (夫君) – Husband
The Prince's escaped fiancée (Arc 2-6)
Candlelight flickered and danced on the walls of the large, barren room, as Su Yang was forced to lean against Jing Cheng’s shoulder. He didn't expect that this icicle of a man would actually have such a warm body temperature.
He soon realized, it wasn’t that Jing Cheng’s body was particularly warm, it was his own body that was growing progressively colder.
It felt like he had been tossed out into a screaming blizzard, his body invaded by a deep, biting chill. His limbs grew stiff from cold, the rush of his blood seemed to slow down, and frost even began forming on his eyelashes.
——There’s something wrong with this chain!
What does Jing Cheng intend to do? Kill him? Or slowly torture him to death?
Terror seized Su Yang’s heart. One couldn’t blame him for being frightened, Jing Cheng carried with him the heavy aura of death and bloodlust, the number of lives he has taken with his own hands number in the hundreds if not the thousands. If this man really means him ill, he wouldn’t even have the chance to struggle.
As he wept in his heart, his body began shivering uncontrollably. Like an upset child, he whined softly: ” Fūjūn, Yu-er is very cold…..”
Su Yang excelled at using every advantage this body has to offer; he pitched his voice a little higher, making it sound sweet and clear and brimming with a youthful timbre.
With Tao Ziyu’s sweet voice, his way of speaking in short sentences, and the occasional spoiled tone, it brought out the soft tenderness of a child.
“So cold, am I dying…..”
The word 'Fūjūn' was laced with a hint of distress, sounding sweetly pleading as it left his lips, his cheek rubbed gently against Jing Cheng’s shoulder. His exquisitely lovely face was a little panicked, the delicate curve of his petal-like lips slowly losing colour, turning pale as well .
Faced with this sight, even a heart made of stone would be moved to pity.
The cold blooded Wángyé merely stroked Su Yang’s head, and said, “Don’t be afraid, winter is coming, I will send for some quilts to be delivered over tomorrow.”
Su Yang: “…….”
Do you really take me for a fool! Spring has obviously only just arrived!
But he could only nod his head, beaming happily.
Jing Cheng paused, then added: “If you’re really afraid of the cold, I have a way.”
There was a barely discernible suggestion of an underlying meaning to his words, but Su Yang, who was in a state of hyper awareness, picked up on it immediately. He shook his head quickly. “Not cold anymore, just hungry, I want to eat pear blossom tarts, Granny Wu’s pear blossom tarts are the best!”
Jing Cheng agreed with a simple ‘Alright’. He threw a quick glance out the window, then said to Su Yang: “The pear blossom tarts will arrive soon, but let me have a taste of you first.”
Whatever Su Yang had been about to say to that, was sealed away by Jing Cheng’s lips.
As their lips and tongues met, a deliciously sweet taste filled his senses. Jing Cheng did not hold back in plundering Su Yang’s mouth, the weak whimper which escaped the boy only served to fuel his desire, giving rise to an unprecedented sense of excitement in his heart.
This taste was a hundred times sweeter than he had imagined, he never thought he would be this addicted from one kiss alone, nor for this feeling to be triggered by this boy who didn’t know how to respond.
This weak, delicate and beautiful little puppy has far exceeded the value of a pet.
He is very satisfied.
Su Yang hung his head, nibbling slowly at a pear blossom tart like a little mouse. He was afraid of finishing too quickly, lest Jing Cheng decided to continue where he left off and kissed him again.
The taste of the pear blossom tart was familiar to him, it was evidently made by Granny Wu. Turns out Mo-Lin palace hall was never really unguarded, it was simply that the guards all remained in well concealed places, ever ready and waiting to dispatch Jing Cheng’s orders.
He was feeling depressed to the extreme. If he had obediently stayed within the side palace hall tonight to wait for the Wángyé to come to him, would he have still been chained up like this?
Speaking of which, there was something peculiar about the whole thing. After Jing Cheng was finally done kissing him, the unbearably icy chill in his body was miraculously suppressed, like it had fled into hiding upon encountering some terrifying monster.
He quietly turned on the system screen, and chose to exchange for information.
Reminder: Cost for purchasing information is 50 experience points, please confirm or cancel.
Su Yang selected confirm, and a 3D image of the silver chain popped up in front of him.
Material : The millennium old magnetite found within the depths of the deep layers of Tianshan snow, polished over the years by the extreme cold of the Tianshan mountain peak, it is the coldest and most Yin item in the known world, an extremely rare find, nothing is known to be capable of destroying it.
Function : Its coldness can invade the body to the marrow, slowing down the passage of time of the body, and the body will eventually lose mobility.
Origin : Forged hundreds of years ago by a snow tribe living in Tianshan.
Weakness : The effects will be immediately dispelled by the Tiāngāng’s Qi1.
Pros : A tough and durable item, useful for keeping things cold in the summer.
Cons : If you lose the key, you’re done for.
Xuán suǒ (玄索) – black/mysterious thick rope.
Yīn (阴) – the female principal, opposite of Yang. Usually refers to negativity, darkness, shadows, etc.
Tiāngāng (天罡) – The Ursa Major constellation, aka the Big Dipper. In the human body, it corresponds to the area of the heart. I’m seriously lost with this.
Qi (气) – can mean air, breath or vital energy
Su Yang: “…….”
Jing Cheng saw him go still, and asked: “What’s wrong, finished eating?”
Su Yang crammed the pastry into his mouth, he had come very close to blurting out: “You mustn’t lose the key! Protect the key at all costs!” He shook his head gently, and said, “Thirsty.”
Jing Cheng poured out a cup of warm tea for him. “This is a soothing tea, it will help you sleep.”
Having confirmed that the chain wouldn’t harm his body, Su Yang lost a little of the fear he had towards Jing Cheng. He accepted the tea and whispered his thanks.
Jing Cheng narrowed his eyes at him a little, and smiled faintly.
“This disease of yours, it really makes you much cuter, just like when you were a child.”
Back when the late Emperor had issued the decree for his marriage, Jing Cheng had initially been displeased. Although he had no intentions of vying for the throne, he resented the idea of other people meddling with the affairs of his own marriage, even if the person was his own father by blood.
Later on, during the banquet for the Mid-autumn festival, he chanced upon the then five year old Tao Ziyu, a tiny roly-poly child with bright, limpid eyes who wasn’t even fully articulate yet. And he suddenly thought, spending a lifetime together with this child may not actually be such a terrible idea.
Sadly, he had forgotten that people grow up, and how many could ever retain the innocence of their childhood?
The grown up Tao Ziyu was still lovely, but his temper grew more arrogant and despotic. He began to view Jing Cheng with a calculated look in his eyes, measuring the pros and cons of marrying him, and how best to obtain the greatest benefits and advantages from Jing Cheng.
Tao Ziyu was no genius by any stretch of the imagination, but he was crafty and clever where it suited him, and knew to maintain a polite and obedient demeanor when facing Jing Cheng,
To Jing Cheng, if Tao Ziyu was able to continue disguising his true feelings for a lifetime, that was alright with him.
He was willing to indulge him forever, as long as Tao Ziyu pretended to love him.
His mother, an imperial concubine, was born a lowly palace maid. Because she gave birth to a son for the late Emperor, she was conferred the title of Cái rén. In order to attract sympathy from the Emperor, she did not hesitate to feed her own son poison. When the matter was uncovered, she was accused of attempting to murder the Emperor’s child, and was executed with poison.
Note: cái rén (才人) – One of the ranks of imperial consorts. The ranking differs during different dynasties or reigns, but cái rén is usually on the lower/bottom rung. It literally means talented/capable person.
At that time, Jing Cheng was seven years old. He would never forget the woman who gave birth to him glaring at him with venomous hatred, cursing at him over and over again for an ill-omened jinx, for not having brought her any glory or splendor, but causing her downfall instead.
Jing Cheng didn’t know if he was really a bringer of ill luck, but in all his thirty years, he has never received love from anyone. So even if what he had was a mockery of love, he was willing to accept all of it.
But when he was grievously injured during the Northern Desert campaign, Tao Ziyu did not hesitate to cast him off. That was when he came to a realization.
What he needs is not love, but someone who would be by his side forever, who would neither be able to oppose nor betray him, someone who would accompany him till death.
On the day of his visit to the Minister of Revenue’s home, the Tao Ziyu who had turned into a simpleton evoked a strong desire in him to own and possess the boy.
—–Such a lovely and pleasing little creature, was now his. There was no escape for him, he must not be permitted to escape.
A chill suddenly ran up Su Yang’s spine. Thinking that it was caused by a return of the chain’s cold currents, he unconsciously shifted closer to lean against Jing Cheng with the intent of taking a breath from the Tiāngāng Qi to suppress the coldness again. As a result, his foot slipped and he ended up falling against Jing Cheng’s chest.
Su Yang: “…….”
Jing Cheng: “…….”
Su Yang: You may not believe me when I say this, but I did not have any intentions of that sort whatsoever!
Jing Cheng did not give him time to spout any nonsense, he seized Su Yang into his arms and kissed him fiercely.
On the second day, the Róng Qīnwáng arrived early to the Imperial court, looking refreshed. Throughout the session, he frequently gazed at the Emperor and the Crown Prince in a warm and friendly manner.
By the time it came to dismiss the court, the Emperor’s legs had gone soft, and he had to rely on the support of two eunuchs to avoid falling to the ground. The Crown Prince’s hand shook as his clutched at his fan, his forehead beaded with cold sweat and his robes clung damply to his body.
Father and son shared the same thought; foisting off the idiot son of the Tao family onto Jing Cheng has finally tipped him over the edge and roused him to a murderous fury!!
Today, the whole of Jianzhou city was buzzing with the latest news. The Róng Qīnwáng, owing to his dissatisfaction with the marriage arrangement decreed by the Imperial family, now harbored deep resentment towards the current Emperor and the Crown Prince. Who knows how the winds of change will blow in the future of Greater Ming.
The Róng Qīnwáng who was currently the subject of hot debate, thought: En, this marriage arrangement is actually pretty good. : )
As for the rumoured to be unfavoured Róng Wángfēi, because of too much “sucking” of the Tiāngāng’s Qi last night, he slept very sweetly.
Note: 1) The sentence goes 克星：天罡之气，可快速消退寒气. If anyone knows what the Tiāngāng (天罡) bit means, I’d really appreciate it.
The smiley face for Jing Cheng was there in the raws. Really. : )
Thanks for reading.