‘Widow Li sent me to receive one thousand silver taels,’ the young beggar said.
Princess Kang Hua’s eyes were on the verge of falling out. For the last few days a different young beggar delivered copies of the same two letters and demanded one thousand taels each morning. Each morning she was furious, anxious and helpless. She sent a servant to follow the young beggars but the servant would always report the same bad news, the young beggars would disappear amongst the crowded imperial city.
Princess Kang Hua’s fears ate her silver taels and her health, she fell ill.
Yan Shi Ting didn’t understand why her mother who was always healthy was suddenly ill.
That day the owner of Lady Su’s dressmaker’s shop, Gentleman Su visited the Yan Manor and showed Yan Shi Ting new fabrics and dress samples.
‘Lady Yan, I personally came here to show you the new fabrics that ninth prince’s wife doesn’t own,’ Gentleman Su said.
Yan Shi Ting knew Gentleman Su wanted to gain her favor. She was frustrated to death that Gentleman Su used to show the worthless Yan Shi Ning new fabrics and dresses before her. She was going to be the crown prince’s wife, how could she lose to Yan Shi Ning who was married to an unfavored prince?
‘I’ll buy all the new fabrics you brought here this morning,’ Yan Shi Ting said. ‘Wait here, I’ll go get a paper note to pay you.’
Yan Shi Ting walked to her mother’s room and asked her mother for one thousand silver taels.
‘Shi Ting, you have enough dresses for you to wear after your wedding,’ Princess Kang Hua said. ‘Why do you need to buy more new fabrics?’
‘Mother, I love the new fabrics,’ Yan Shi Ting sulked.
Princess Kang Hua lost most of her silver taels but she couldn’t tell her daughter the truth. ‘Shi Ting, be reasonable!’
Yan Shi Ting was used to getting everything she wanted so her mother’s refusal hurt her ears. ‘Mother, it’s only fabrics. Why did you say I’m being unreasonable? These past few days you have been acting strange. Last time the owner of the jade shop visited, you said I could buy as many jade bracelets that I wanted. Mother, if you’re not going to let me spend the silver taels then who are you saving the silver taels for?’
Princess Kang Hua slapped her daughter’s cheek. ‘Shi Ting, close your mouth!’
Yan Shi Ting touched her sore cheek and cried, no one had ever hit her before.
‘Mother, you hit me!’ Yan Shi Ting shrieked and ran out of her mother’s chamber.
‘Princess, what happened?’ old nursemaid asked. ‘Why did you hit second mistress?’
‘What do I do now?’ Princess Kang Hua asked.
‘Princess, wake up,’ old nursemaid said. ‘You can’t fall like this.’
‘That’s right,’ Princess Kang Hua muttered. ‘I can’t fall like this… I didn’t do anything wrong! It’s all their fault! Why should I be scared of them?’
‘Princess, that’s right,’ old nursemaid said. ‘You shouldn’t be scared of them.’
Princess Kang Hua felt her usual cold arrogance returned.
Gentleman Su acted disappointed Yan Shi Ting changed her mind and didn’t want to buy the new fabrics. But on the way to Pei Jin’s manor, his grin was wider than the new fabrics next to him.
At Pei Jin’s manor, Gentleman Su discussed Princess Kang Hua’s situation with Pei Jin and Bei Dou.
‘It appears Princess Kang Hua is a pauper,’ Gentleman Su said. ‘She’s paranoid and in a depressed state. Earlier I saw Lady Yan ran out of Princess Kang Hua’s chamber crying. Xiao Jin, indeed you know how to use another person’s dagger to slowly cut flesh off.’
‘I didn’t do anything,’ Pei Jin said innocently.
Gentleman Su laughed. ‘You’re right. You didn’t do anything. You only found some young beggars to do it for you. Today one of the young beggars asked me why I didn’t ask them to do it three times a day. Morning, afternoon and evening instead of once a day.’
‘Once a day is enough,’ Pei Jin said. ‘Anymore I fear Princess Kang Hua can’t cope. I need her alive for the crown prince and Yan Shi Ting’s wedding day. It’s more amusing to see her slowly rot.’
‘Luckily I haven’t done anything to offend you,’ Gentleman Su said. ‘Otherwise I wouldn’t know I was dying slowly.’
‘Of course you have offended me,’ Pei Jin said. ‘Each time you send a new dress here, you raise the price.’
‘What offence?’ Gentleman Su asked. ‘My money is your money. Think of it as me helping invest your money. Look at the profits I’ve given you all these years. But you haven’t even thanked me once. Of course after you succeed, remember to let me become the treasurer. At that time it doesn’t matter how much money is in the palace, I’m certain I’ll help you double it.’
Pei Jin laughed. ‘Do you think it’s easy to be a treasurer?’
‘How hard can it be?’ Gentleman Su asked. ‘I think you’re father-in-law does have brain. What do you want me to do next? Do you want me to send gifts to the Yan Manor?’
‘For now let my father-in-law find out on his own,’ Pei Jin said.
‘I understand,’ Gentleman Su said. ‘I’ll choose a good day to show the accounting books of dresses, shoes and jewellery Lady Yan bought. It’s a large sum, Yan Jing wouldn’t have that many silver taels. He’ll ask me to look for Princess Kang Hua… she’ll ask me to look for Yan Jing and he’ll wonder why she’s a pauper. What about Lady Yan’s fake pregnancy?’
‘I want Yan Shi Ting’s pregnancy to be exposed in front of imperial father,’ Pei Jin said. ‘So I need to wait until the crown prince and Yan Shi Ting’s wedding day. But I haven’t thought of a way to expose her without leaving a trace.’
‘You can borrow someone else’s dagger,’ Bei Dou said.
‘Whose dagger?’ Pei Jin asked.
‘Xiao Dou is right,’ Gentleman Su said. ‘How can this news spread to seventh prince?’
One of Pei Jin’s guards, Xiao Ping entered Bei Dou’s chamber.
‘Ninth prince, I found out who owns Fu Qing,’ Xiao Ping said.
‘Who?’ Bei Dou asked.
‘Seventh prince,’ Xiao Ping said.
Pei Jin smiled and looked at Bei Dou. ‘Bei Dou, it appears tonight you’ll need to climb walls.’
Bei Dou’s goose bumps warned him that he would also be taking three warm baths that night.
Yan Shi Ning didn’t ask what Pei Jin did during the day. All she knew was the MF Pei Jin ate her in bed from night to dawn. Each morning she would wake up with a sore waist, back, neck and thighs. After a few nights rolling on the bed with him, she began to adjust to the different positions. But she hadn’t adjusted to waking up late in the mornings, neither did her temper. Because she overheard a new rumor spread throughout the imperial city, gentle ninth prince’s wife loves to sleep and doesn’t wake up until midday.
Yan Shi Ning thought her gentle lady image was ruined. How could a gentle lady wake up at midday? So that night she carried a blanket and pillow to sleep in a different chamber. But the following morning she woke up and saw the MF Pei Jin laid next to her. Afterward he ate her until midday.
Finally Yan Shi Ning couldn’t hold back her temper and gave Pei Jin three conditions if he wanted to sleep with her.
‘Only once a day?’ Pei Jin asked.
‘Yes,’ Yan Shi Ning said.
‘Each time no longer than half a shichen hour?’ Pei Jin asked.
‘Yes,’ Yan Shi Ning said.
Pei Jin held Yan Shi Ning’s shoulders and shook her body. ‘Wife, wake up. Don’t dream anymore.’
Yan Shi Ning felt pitiful, day or night there were red kiss marks all over her body.
Pei Jin pulled the blanket over his and Yan Shi Ning’s naked bodies. He watched her fall asleep. He knew she wanted a carefree life so he wanted to give her a carefree life. He was willing to silently help her chase away her shadows.
End of Chapter Thirty-Four
Yan Shi Ning sat on the bed and gripped her leg.
Pei Jin was smiling and licking his lips.
‘Big brother, are you certain you know what you’re doing?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
‘Be patient,’ Pei Jin said and continuously moved his hands.
Yan Shi Ning cried silent tears of pleasure and pain. Who could tell her when mouthy boy began learning to massage feet? Why did her feet need to be sacrificed?
Pei Jin finally let go of her tortured feet and she rolled over on the bed. She’d rather die than let him massage her feet again. His massaging skills were too deadly.
Pei Jin laughed. He stopped massaging Yan Shi Ning’s feet after he heard the wedding guests were far away from the chamber.
‘Wife, did you roll on the bed excitedly because you’re feeling impatient?’ Pei Jin teased. ‘Wait for a little while, your husband will satisfy you.’
Pei Jin smiled and he left the bed.
Yan Shi Ning glared at the scoundrel’s back and cursed him in her stomach.
Pei Jin hurriedly washed his face and brushed his hair. Then he returned to the bed and saw Yan Shi Ning hugged the blanket in the corner of the bed.
‘Wife, are you honestly going to sleep like this?’ Pei Jin asked.
Pei Jin wore his undergarments to bed and bared his chest. He grinned wide enough for his white teeth to be visible. It made Yan Shi Ning felt like words were not enough to reflect his handsomeness. But she wore her wedding dress and looked sternly at him.
Pei Jin laid on the bed and faced the tensed Yan Shi Ning. ‘Wife, aren’t you known for being gentle and docile? Then you must know what it means to be a wife. Come here, your husband wants you to serve him.’
Yan Shi Ning’s eyes shone daggers, she knew that mouthy boy wasn’t going to let the night pass without torturing her to death.
Pei Jin saw Yan Shi Ning’s angry eyes and his smile became brighter. He pulled her to his chest. ‘Come here. Let’s not waste a spring night.’
Pei Jin hugged Yan Shi Ning’s waist tightly and he could hear her deep breaths.
Yan Shi Ning’s body stiffened. A while later she regained her composure and pushed Pei Jin’s chest. But her hands felt scorched the moment she touched his bare chest and she quickly retrieved her hands.
Pei Jin caught Yan Shi Ning’s wrists. ‘If you want to touch then touch. A thousand times, you don’t need to be courteous.’
Yan Shi Ning’s teeth itched at the sight of Pei Jin’s lecherous smile, she lowered her head and wanted to bite his hand.
Pei Jin was prepared for Yan Shi Ning’s reaction. He pinned her wrists above her head, rolled over and pressed his body on top of hers. ‘Do you want to bite me again?’
Yan Shi Ning couldn’t move her hands, her legs were trapped and felt a heaviness on her stomach. In her weakened position under Pei Jin, her intuition warned her she was going to be eaten whole.
‘Why is it that I feel you would rather die than be submissive?’ Pei Jin asked. ‘What is it, don’t you want to do it together with me… if you truly don’t want to, you can tell me and I won’t force you. You can believe me, I’ll respect your decision.’
Yan Shi Ning struggled even more after she heard mouthy boy’s fake gentlemanly words. What respect? His hands were quickly taking off her dress. What believe in him? She didn’t get to blink before his face slid from her neck down to her waist.
Yan Shi Ning’s struggles didn’t free her so she used the gentle approach. ‘Then ninth prince, what are my choices?’
Pei Jin nodded. ‘You can choose the positions.’
Yan Shi Ning smiled and inwardly cursed the scoundrel.
Pei Jin had taken off Yan Shi Ning’s outer robe and he tossed it to the side. She only had thin white undergarments to shield her body. He shook his head. Last night she didn’t wear undergarments but wore them on their wedding day. He became suspicious why the little lion stopped struggling under his body.
Pei Jin didn’t feel like an amused cat when the mouse didn’t struggle. ‘Why are you suddenly submissive?’
Yan Shi Ning smiled. ‘I suddenly thought it doesn’t matter who I marry, everyone will have a first time. Whether dying early or dying later, is still dying. It’s better to die earlier to reincarnate earlier. Ninth prince, you can slowly enjoy using my body.’
Yan Shi Ning laid limply on the bed and she let the bandit pluck what he wanted. She realised he only tortured her for amusement. She wasn’t going to satisfy his amusement by continuing to struggle. It was better for her to cooperate with him since she couldn’t escape a fate between a husband and a wife.
Pei Jin saw Yan Shi Ning’s defiant look that showed she didn’t care what he did to her. He didn’t feel defeated and decided to use another approach to counteract her acting like a dead corpse. He smiled and his hands slowly moved.
Initially Yan Shi Ning didn’t care what Pei Jin said or did. She pretended she was dead and didn’t move. But after his hand slid under her undergarments, where his hand touched her skin, goose bumps would form against her will.
Pei Jin eyes swept over Yan Shi Ning’s eyelashes, her pursed lips and his hand slid lower. ‘Wife, if you’re prepared to sacrifice yourself then you don’t need to be nervous. Your husband will be gentle.’
Yan Shi Ning suppressed her anger. Since she didn’t stop Pei Jin’s hand, his hand movements became bolder. His hand stroked from her stomach to her waist and made her body trembled. She felt his hand detoured to her back and gently stroked from the top to the bottom of her back, it gave her a tingling sensation. Her body betrayed her will and curved upward closer to his body. But she continued to bite her lips and suppressed the sounds in her throat.
Yan Shi Ning refused to struggle and Pei Jin frowned. ‘Wife, since you’re not reacting to your husband’s efforts, it appears your husband needs to exert more energy.’
Pei Jin untied the bow of Yan Shi Ning’s undergarments. Her bare chest turned a little cold and she couldn’t stop her head from turning to watch her undergarments being tossed away. Immediately it felt like fire was burning her face. Her undergarments were removed, there was nothing shielding her body from his hand.
Yan Shi Ning panicked a little, raised her head and looked at Pei Jin’s smile that didn’t waver.
‘It’s not cold tonight,’ Pei Jin said. ‘You don’t need to wear clothes. It’s better to take it off to make you feel comfortable.’
Yan Shi Ning felt Pei Jin’s hand slid lower. Her undergarments were gone, where else could his hand move to? She gripped the flower petals on the bed. Unexpectedly his hand changed direction from her lower back to her waist. He held her waist and pulled her to his chest. There was no gap between their bodies. She felt something between his legs blossomed against her stomach and her heart almost escaped her body. But she didn’t get a chance to react, he lowered his head and pressed his lips on her lips.
In that moment Yan Shi Ning felt like her world was going to collapse. Everything darkened and her soul floated away from her body. The residue image left in her head was Pei Jin’s fiery eyes that didn’t hide his desire.
Yan Shi Ning felt Pei Jin’s lips gently nibbled her lips. A little while later his lips suckled her lips and his tongue invaded her mouth. His tongue felt soft against her tongue and soon she forgot to breathe. He took a deep breath and his hands tightened on her waist as though he wanted their bones to join. She anticipated the most beautiful part of the night… but suddenly he let go of her.
‘Wife, are you satisfied enough to lose your soul?’ Pei Jin asked and licked his lips.
Yan Shi Ning realised she forgot to breathe and quickly took deep breaths. She looked at Pei Jin’s clear eyes, the fiery desire had ebbed. She didn’t understand what happened. Did the fiery desire in his eyes exist before? But she was certain she saw it clearly. She took another deep breath, she was fooled by mouthy boy!
‘Did you think I was going to eat you?’ Pei Jin asked and pulled Yan Shi Ning closer to him.
The chaos in Yan Shi Ning’s heart continued to stir. She didn’t want to admit that she did believe Pei Jin was going to eat her.
‘Before I was only teasing you by giving you a scare,’ Pei Jin said. ‘Your husband is a gentleman, I’ve never forced anyone before. Besides, I promised you that I wouldn’t force you. You can relax, if you’re not willing then I won’t force myself on you.’
Yan Shi Ning didn’t know whether Pei Jin was sincere or fooling her.
Yan Shi Ning didn’t want to look at Pei Jin’s face anymore. She looked down carelessly and saw something between his legs was still blossoming. She quickly looked away. If he was only teasing her then it was suspicious for his body to react. She didn’t understand why his body reacted but he pushed her away. Was he truly controlling his desire? She looked suspiciously at his face that didn’t reveal anything but his fake gentle smile. Her head spun, she didn’t know which of the scoundrel’s words were honest and which words were lies.
Yan Shi Ning hugged the blanket and contemplated for half a day. She decided to believe Pei Jin was sincere he wouldn’t force her if she wasn’t willing. Although he owned a scoundrel’s mouth and a bandit’s hands, she knew he wasn’t someone who would force himself on another person. For the first time her impression of him improved a little.
Pei Jin saw Yan Shi Ning’s body relaxed and knew she believed him. His heart laughed loudly. Of course he wanted to eat her. He restrained himself because it was the wrong day to eat her. He needed to wait until her body recovered from the poison. When it was the right day to eat her, he would eat her thoroughly.
Pei Jin sighed. The heavens knew initially he intended to tease Yan Shi Ning for his amusement. Unexpectedly he was teasing fire and almost burned himself. If he didn’t possess extraordinary self-control then he would have eaten her. Last night in her chamber he thought he would be able to enjoy a beautiful wedding night. But when he returned to his manor, he was informed he had to endure an uncomfortable long wedding night. He glanced down at his little brother and his frustrations intensified.
End of Chapter Six