‘I don’t know why your imperial father favors your ninth brother’s wife more than your second wife,’ Consort Mu said.
‘That’s right!’ Pei Zhang said. ‘Imperial father even visited ninth brother’s wife and gave her two of his trusted imperial guards. I don’t know who imperial father is weary of.’
‘Who else can it be but us?’ Consort Mu asked. ‘I wanted to send our spies to your ninth brother’s manor but because of your imperial father, I can’t anymore. It doesn’t matter who wants to harm Yan Shi Ning. If anything happens to Yan Shi Ning while she’s pregnant, your imperial father won’t spare us.’
‘What do we do?’ Pei Zhang asked. ‘Do we stand by and watch her give birth?’
‘What else is there?’ Consort Mu asked.
‘Mother…’ Pei Zhang said.
‘Pei Zhang, don’t worry,’ Consort Mu said. ‘I have a way to deal with Yan Shi Ning.’
While Consort Mu and Pei Zhang were scheming, the bullied palace maid Xiao Nu was sobbing in a corner of the palace gardens. Her face was burning from the hot tea. She wanted to find a soothing cream but she knew no one would give her the cream because they feared Pei Zhang would punish them. Besides, she was too beautiful and the other palace maids were jealous of her and happy her face was scorched.
Xiao Nu cried for half a day and finally someone pitied her and gave her the soothing cream. It took away the stinging pain but she knew her face would scar.
Wang Fu Mu was walking through the gardens but stopped after he heard someone sobbing pitifully.
‘Who do you serve?’ Wang Fu Mu asked.
Xiao Nu stopped crying, stood and bowed to Wang Fu Mu.
‘Official Wang, I’m Xiao Nu and I serve Consort Mu,’ Xiao Nu said.
Wang Fu Mu’s eyes brightened. ‘What happened? Who did this to your face?’
‘Official Wang, it’s my fault… I was careless,’ Xiao Nu said.
Wang Fu Mu didn’t believe Xiao Nu. ‘Do you know what happens if you disturb the peace in the palace by crying to amuse yourself?’
‘I… I wouldn’t dare… I…’ Xiao Nu stuttered.
‘Hurry and speak clearly!’ Wang Fu Mu said.
Xiao Nu sobbed, Wang Fu Mu coaxed her and finally she confessed Pei Zhang threw hot tea on her face.
‘I understand,’ Wang Fu Mu said. ‘Go find Gentleman Ting Zi. I’ll send someone to him and he’ll give you a remedy that won’t leave scars.’
Xiao Nu was deeply grateful, she continuously bowed to Wang Fu Mu.
‘In the future be more careful,’ Wang Fu Mu said and left.
Wang Fu Mu smiled while walking toward the emperor’s chamber. Wang Fu Mu survived in the palace for years and he knew small and big connections were both valuable. The emperor made it hard for Pei Zhang and Pei Jin to spy on each other. So any hole in Pei Zhang’s defence would benefit Pei Jin. Wang Fu Mu anticipated Xiao Nu would be useful in the future.
North of the imperial city, Pei Jin and Yan Shi Ning travelled in a horse carriage and they happily viewed the sights of warmer landscapes.
Pei Jin knew Yan Shi Ning hated the cold winter so he asked his father to let him take Yan Shi Ning to a villa north of the imperial city for her to bathe in hot springs and avoid the cold winter. His father consented and also gave Yan Shi Ning two of his father’s most trusted imperial guards.
Pei Jin covered Yan Shi Ning’s body with a thick fur cape and he fed her mandarin segments.
‘Shi Ning, you only know how to eat and sleep,’ Pei Jin teased. ‘Shi Ning, you need to move a little.’
‘Pei Jin, aren’t you the one who wants me to act weak?’ Yan Shi Ning asked. ‘So of course I need to eat and sleep.’
‘If you didn’t act weak then you wouldn’t be allowed to go to the Feng Zhao villa,’ Pei Jin said. ‘Your father-in-law rarely allows anyone to visit the Feng Zhao villa. I’ve heard it was a beautiful place but I’ve never been there before. Your father-in-law is worried about your weak condition so of course we need to use this opportunity to visit the Feng Zhao villa.’
‘Pei Jin, you’re more of a schemer by the day,’ Yan Shi Ning said.
Pei Jin laughed like a fox. ‘What else can I do? I know you’re scared of being cold. When you were a little girl if it was a cold winter, you’ll stay in bed and didn’t want to go outside. So I’m scared you can’t endure the cold winter in the imperial city.’
Yan Shi Ning didn’t show Pei Jin that her heart was filled with sweetness. ‘Pei Jin, are you hiding something from me?’
‘Wife, everything your husband said was true,’ Pei Jin said.
Yan Shi Ning stared at Pei Jin’s eyes for a while and he confessed.
‘The truth is your father-in-law sent two of his imperial guards to follow us,’ Pei Jin said. ‘His purpose is to protect us and also spy on us. He’s scared I’ll secretly meet Huang Guo. That’s why he let us go to the Feng Zhao villa because he wants to separate me and Huang Guo. If we get to amuse ourselves sightseeing and also make him happy then of course I’ll grant his wish and keep my distance from Huang Guo.’
Pei Jin thought Yan Shi Ning wasn’t convinced he confessed everything. ‘Wife, I also want to go to the Feng Zhao villa to bathe together with you in the hot springs.’
Yan Shi Ning knew Pei Jin wanted to do it with her in the hot springs.
‘Pei Jin, wouldn’t us leaving the imperial city benefit seventh prince?’ Yan Shi Ning asked. ‘It’ll make it easier for him entice more court officials to his side.’
Pei Jin peeled another mandarin for Yan Shi Ning. ‘Wife, you don’t need to worry about seventh brother. Imperial father wants me to behave so I need to behave to let them slowly put their guards down. To me what’s most important is my wife and child are safe. Consort Mu and seventh brother are too cruel. So for now we need to hide somewhere safe.’
‘Are we truly not going to do anything?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
Yan Shi Ning was worried Pei Zhang’s second wife would give birth to a son and the emperor would make Pei Zhang the crown prince and kill everyone at Pei Jin’s manor.
‘Shi Ning, do you think we’re wearier of them or they’re wearier of our child?’ Pei Jin asked.
‘Of course they’re wearier,’ Yan Shi Ning said.
‘If they haven’t made a move then we don’t need to be impatient and make a move,’ Pei Jin said. ‘Consort Mu is a venomous snake hibernating in winter. We’ll be prepared to strike when they make a move. Also, seventh brother’s manor has always been stormy.’
‘Pei Jin, what are you implying?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
‘Seventh brother doesn’t care about beauty,’ Pei Jin said. ‘He only marries women from powerful families that are useful to him. Both his official wife and second wife are from powerful families. There’s a saying that a mountain cave can’t have two tigers unless one is a male and the other is a female. Seventh brother’s manor has two tigresses. His official wife is petty and jealous. His second wife’s heart isn’t good either. His official wife and second wife have opposed each other since the start. Of course his official wife isn’t going to let his pregnant second wife sit on her head. His official wife will do anything to protect her own child and position. His second wife isn’t going to stand idle, of course she’ll retaliate. Shi Ning, don’t let their harmonious act fool you. Inside seventh brother’s manor aren’t beautiful sceneries, no one can predict what will happen inside his manor… that’s why it’s best to have only one wife otherwise there’ll be no peace in the family.’
End of Chapter Sixty-Three
Fire looks threatening – so few get burned, water looks weak and soft, so many get drowned (Han Fei Tzu).
Twenty-nine looks like a harmless number. But HBAG – Chapter Twenty-Nine contains mature content.
Yan Shi Ning stirred in her sleep. She dreamt fingers were stroking inside her and moaned.
‘Little lion, you have a responsive body,’ Pei Jin teased and his fingers stroked faster inside Yan Shi Ning.
Yan Shi Ning’s hands clutched the blanket and she couldn’t stop moans from escaping her throat. Her body was close to the peak but suddenly the fingers stopped and her body was trapped between frustration and pleasure.
Yan Shi Ning opened her eyes and saw Pei Jin was smiling too brightly.
Pei Jin swept Yan Shi Ning’s sweaty hair away from her mouth. He kissed her lips and his fingers slowly stroke inside her. She bit her lips and anticipated the strange pleasurable sensation.
‘Do you want to?’ Pei Jin asked and withdrew his fingers.
‘Umm…’ Yan Shi Ning murmured.
Pei Jin parted Yan Shi Ning’s legs wider and his hardness swiftly entered her.
‘Ah, ah!’ Yan Shi Ning cried out and gripped the blanket tighter.
Pei Jin’s hardness grind deep inside Yan Shi Ning’s most sensitive spot and felt her body tremble. His hands lifted her bottom and his hardness moved swiftly in and out of her body.
The bed rocked, the beaded curtains shook and the spring scent filled the chamber.
The loud grunts and the joining of naked flesh would make even a moon deity blush.
Yan Shi Ning’s body peaked many times under Pei Jin’s body. The louder she moaned the swifter his hardness moved in and out of her body.
Yan Shi Ning cried tears of pleasure and hers hands gripped Pei Jin’s arms.
‘Be gentle… it hurts!’ Yan Shi Ning pleaded.
Pei Jin’s hardness stilled inside Yan Shi Ning’s body. ‘Shi Ning, say my name.’
‘Pei Jin, Pei Jin, Pei Jin!’ Yan Shi Ning said.
Yan Shi Ning spoke louder each time she said Pei Jin’s name, because his hardness would withdraw and thrust harder inside her body each time she said his name.
‘Pei Jin! Be gentle… ah!’ Yan Shi Ning pleaded.
Pei Jin felt Yan Shi Ning’s body peaked again yet he hadn’t peaked once that night. He kissed her lips and coaxed her. ‘Shi Ning, be good. Bear the pain a little longer. If you stop me now then I’ll eat you until the morning.’
Pei Jin lifted Yan Shi Ning’s bottom higher and his hardness moved faster and deeper inside her body.
‘Ah… ah… Pei Jin, how much longer?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
‘Soon, Shi Ning wrapped your legs around my waist,’ Pei Jin said.
‘Ah… ah…’ Yan Shi Ning cried out.
‘Don’t move… umm… stay in that spot,’ Pei Jin said.
‘Ah… ah… you’re bullying me again,’ Yan Shi Ning said.
‘Be good,’ Pei Jin said. ‘In the future I won’t bully you again.’
‘Liar!’ Yan Shi Ning said.
‘Shi Ning, this time we’ll feel pleasure together,’ Pei Jin said.
No gaps were visible between Pei Jin and Yan Shi Ning’s joined bodies. She felt his semen flooded inside the deepest part of her body. She arched her body, felt that strange pleasurable sensation again, cried out loudly and fainted.
After Pei Jin’s body peaked, his body relaxed and he felt refreshed. He picked up the fallen blanket, hugged Yan Shi Ning and covered their bodies with the blanket. That night they both slept peacefully.
The following morning Yan Shi Ning woke up in pain. She didn’t have energy to even move a finger. She wondered what happened last night.
Yan Shi Ning looked at Pei Jin’s naked body that was hugging her naked body and knew what happened last night. He ate her last night! She shook her head and frowned… how did he get to eat her?
Yan Shi Ning remembered clearly at Fu Qing the MF Pei Jin hit her bottom. Afterward he pulled off her clothes and kissed her. Then she felt her body was hot and she willingly kissed and licked Pei Jin… but when did they return to the manor?
Yan Shi Ning blushed at the memories that flowed through her head. She couldn’t believe she kissed and licked the MF Pei Jin… she didn’t doubt he was going to mock her to death!
Yan Shi Ning felt she was an insane drunkard and lost her dignity.
Pei Jin woke up and saw Yan Shi Ning was pouting her lips. ‘Wife, what are you thinking about?’
‘It hurts!’ Yan Shi Ning said.
‘Where does it hurt?’ Pei Jin asked.
Pei Jin stood up naked in front of Yan Shi Ning and she pulled the blanket over her face.
‘It hurts everywhere!’ Yan Shi Ning said.
Pei Jin wore his clothes, walked outside and asked a maid to prepare a basin of water. Then he returned to the bed and massaged Yan Shi Ning’s body.
‘Who forced you to drink too much last night?’ Pei Jin asked.
‘Last night what did I do?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
‘Wife… last night you did too many things,’ Pei Jin teased.
‘Like what?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
‘You praised the crown prince’s looks,’ Pei Jin said.
Yan Shi Ning took deep breaths… she lost her gentle lady image.
‘Why didn’t you stop me?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
Pei Jin sighed helplessly. ‘Wife, don’t you remember? I did try to stop you but you were drunk.’
Yan Shi Ning listened to Pei Jin recounted what else happened and she wanted to mourn her lost gentle lady image.
‘I knew your real personality before you married me,’ Pei Jin said. ‘So if you lost your gentle lady image, it’s alright. You don’t need to act gentle anymore.’
Yan Shi Ning was too angry to speak. She knew if she lived together with Pei Jin there would be a day her real personality would be exposed.
Pei Jin saw Yan Shi Ning was angry from her head to her feet, it made him wanted to tease her more. ‘Also… it’s a pity you don’t remember. Last night, you were excessively aggressive and your gentle husband couldn’t cope.’
Pei Jin smiled at Yan Shi Ning and licked his lips.
Yan Shi Ning remembered how she kissed and licked Pei Jin. She rolled over and hid her embarrassed face on the pillow.
‘Wife, you don’t need to be embarrassed,’ Pei Jin said. ‘We’re married. But it appears your expectations are too high. In the future your husband will need to exert more energy. Why don’t we do it again now?’
Pei Jin’s hands stroked Yan Shi Ning’s back.
Yan Shi Ning raised her head, glared at Pei Jin and hid her embarrassed face on the pillow again.
A while later Yan Shi Ning got out of bed and bathed. Afterward her head still hurt and she wanted to go back to sleep. But she saw a maid carried out the stained blanket and she didn’t have anywhere to hide on the bed.
Pei Jin pulled Yan Shi Ning onto the bed and rubbed the herbal remedy between her thighs. Then they ate a morning meal together. After the meal, she slept while Pei Jin visited Bei Dou’s chamber.
Pei Jin recounted what happened at Fu Qing to Bei Dou.
‘Do you think it’s strange that even the crown prince was there?’ Pei Jin asked.
‘No, I think it’s strange your wife was there,’ Bei Dou said.
Pei Jin was speechless.
‘You dote on your wife too much,’ Bei Dou said.
‘Of course,’ Pei Jin said.
‘That’s not good,’ Bei Dou warned.
‘I think we should talk about something else that’s stranger,’ Pei Jin said.
Bei Dou was skeptically silent.
‘I know my boundaries,’ Pei Jin said.
‘Destruction under a beauty,’ Bei Dou said.
‘Elder Ma says that too,’ Pei Jin said.
‘Why did the crown prince go there?’ Bei Dou asked.
‘Perhaps he was too free and wanted new amusement,’ Pei Jin said. ‘When I saw him, he was calm like usual. I don’t think he’s involved.’
‘Then why did you go there?’ Bei Dou asked and gave Pei Jin a don’t-you-know-you’re-a-prince-too look.
‘That’s what’s strange,’ Pei Jin said. ‘You know I’m a cautious person. I wouldn’t go anywhere that’s dangerous.’
‘You suspect someone at Fu Qing?’ Bei Dou said.
‘In the past I ate in the middle terrace of Fu Qing and nothing strange happened,’ Pei Jin said. ‘I think it’s someone from the right terrace.’
‘Brothels usually use aphrodisiac fragrances,’ Bei Dou said.
‘Aphrodisiac fragrances are used in the middle terrace too,’ Pei Jin said. ‘I’ve breathed it in before and it didn’t affect me. I suspected it’s the wine but Fu Qing is a reputable place for food and wine so they wouldn’t tamper with the wine.’
‘Then what do you want?’ Bei Dou asked suspiciously.
‘I need to inconvenient Gentleman Bei to personally go there and investigate,’ Pei Jin requested.
‘No!’ Bei Dou refused and blushed.
‘You’re a healthy twenty-two year old man but you’re no different from a monk,’ Pei Jin provoked.
Bei Dou straightened his sleeves and left his chamber.
End of Chapter Twenty-Nine