Lose at sunrise and gain at sunset (Chinese saying).
After sunset, HBAG Chapter Seventy-Two contains mature content.
‘Mistress, Xiao Tu and young master is back!’ Xiao Zai announced.
Pei Jin was playing chess with Bei Dou. After Pei Jin heard Yan Shi Ning was back, he threw the chess piece and ran outside.
Bei Dou looked like he didn’t care but his legs ran fast.
The moment Yan Shi Ning carried her son and stepped out of the horse carriage, she saw everyone crowded together at the front of the manor. But her eyes solely focused on Pei Jin who stood at the centre.
Pei Jin and Yan Shi Ning felt each day they were separated was like being separated for three autumns.
Yan Shi Ning wanted to run and hug Pei Jin. But Pei Jin ran to her and hugged her first.
‘Our son!’ Yan Shi Ning warned.
Pei Xiao Niao was squashed between his parents, his head ached and he cried loudly.
Pei Jin loosened his hold around Yan Shi Ning’s waist and assessed their son.
‘Why is he this ugly?’ Pei Jin asked.
‘Even if he is this ugly he’s still your son!’ Yan Shi Ning said.
Pei Xiao Niao was insulted by his father and cried louder.
That evening everyone held a reunion banquet. After the banquet Pei Jin asked a guard to watch over Pei Xiao Niao in the nursery. Then Pei Jin dragged Yan Shi Ning to their chamber, locked the door and kissed her against the door.
Pei Jin tasted the sweet wine on Yan Shi Ning’s tongue. His hands slid down her dress and rubbed her plump breasts that were round and soft as soybeans. He felt like he could squeeze all the milk out of her breasts. He had been starved for too long so all his blood flowed between his legs.
Yan Shi Ning’s body was responsive to Pei Jin’s teasing, her body instinctively recognised his body. Her body turned limp the moment his hands touched her breasts. After he spread her legs wide apart, she couldn’t stand steady.
‘Not here,’ Yan Shi Ning said.
Yan Shi Ning thought Pei Jin wanted to eat her at the door where other people could easily hear them.
Pei Jin carried Yan Shi Ning and kissed her lips on the way to the bed. He laid her on the bed and quickly took off their clothes. Afterward he pinned her to the bed and entered inside her.
A hard body and a soft body connected and their moans and groans mixed together in the chamber.
Pei Jin held Yan Shi Ning’s waist and pounded in and out of her body. ‘Did you miss me?’
Yan Shi Ning clutched Pei Jin’s neck, raised her head and kissed him. She closed her eyes above her flushed red cheeks. ‘How can I not miss you?’
Pei Jin wasn’t satisfied with Yan Shi Ning’s answer and punished her by thrusting hard and deep into her.
Pei Jin wanted to eat Yan Shi Ning ferociously that night to compensate for all the nights they were separated. She cooperated with him. They were entrapped inside their haze of desire. Her body peaked many times and each time her body trembled, she begged for mercy. After the haze slowly melted, she felt muscle pain and didn’t have energy to move even her fingers and toes.
In contrast Pei Jin’s desire was insatiable. After he saw Yan Shi Ning opened her eyes, he kissed her lips.
‘No…’ Yan Shi Ning pleaded.
Pei Jin smiled innocently. ‘What do I do about this?’
Pei Jin pulled Yan Shi Ning’s hand to rub his hard erection and she cried for mercy.
‘I’m teasing you,’ Pei Jin lied. ‘Let’s bathe together first.’
After a long time, half of the water inside the bath tub was splashed outside of the bath tub and Yan Shi Ning laid limp against Pei Jin’s chest.
‘Go see your son!’ Yan Shi Ning surrendered.
Yan Shi Ning napped but was awoken by Pei Xiao Niao’s loud cry. She opened her eyes and saw Pei Jin was carrying Pei Xiao Niao and sitting on a chair. Pei Jin looked frustrated and Pei Xiao Niao cried loudly.
Yan Shi Ning sat on the bed. ‘What happened?’
‘I only wanted to hold him but I didn’t expect he would cry,’ Pei Jin said. ‘So I coaxed him to sleep… then this little scoundrel cried in his sleep!’
Yan Shi Ning picked up Pei Xiao Niao from Pei Jin’s arms and coaxed him to sleep for a while but he didn’t stop crying. So she took off her undergarments and breastfed Pei Xiao Niao.
Pei Xiao Niao stopped crying after he could smell milk. He suckled his mother’s nipple and drank milk.
Yan Shi Ning patted Pei Xiao Niao’s bottom and slowly coaxed him to sleep. She raised her head and feared for her life, Pei Jin was silently staring at her breasts.
Yan Shi Ning put Pei Xiao Niao back in his cot and returned to the bed.
‘In the future if you tease your son then you’re responsible for coaxing him to stop crying,’ Yan Shi Ning said. ‘Why did imperial father free me and your son?’
‘Imperial father’s heart grew compassion,’ Pei Jin said.
‘Why?’ Yan Shi Ning asked.
‘Shi Ning, do you want to know why seventh brother was willing to kill Dian Thi’s son?’ Pei Jin asked.
Yan Shi Ning’s eyes brightened.
‘Dian Thi’s son… isn’t seventh brother’s blood son,’ Pei Jin said.
‘What?’ Yan Shi Ning asked. ‘How did you find out?’
‘From a spy in the palace,’ Pei Jin said.
End of Chapter Seventy-Two
After Yan Shi Ning left, Yan Jing paced the calligraphy room.
A while later, Yan Shi Ting’s frown changed into a smile and she wanted to fly. She acted reluctant to receive the pair of jade bracelets from Yan Shi Ning, but she loved the jade bracelets.
Yan Jing strode into Yan Shi Ting’s chamber while she was admiring the jade bracelets.
Yan Shi Ting looked up at her father who appeared upset about something. ‘Father, what’s wrong?’
Yan Jing sat beside Yan Shi Ting. A maid was about to pour tea for him but he stopped the maid.
‘Pour me a bowl of water,’ Yan Jing said.
‘Father, why do you want to drink water?’ Yan Shi Ting asked. ‘This is rare tea, the empress gave it to me.’
Yan Jing held Yan Shi Ting’s hand and smiled at her while the maid poured water.
‘Shi Ting, you’re an adult now and about to be start your own family,’ Yan Jing said.
Suddenly Yan Shi Ting felt a sharp pain on her finger and retrieved her hand.
‘Father, what happened?’ Yan Shi Ting asked.
Yan Jing was satisfied a drop of blood fell into the bowl of water. ‘Nothing. I think this bowl is dirty. I’m going to exchange it for a clean bowl.’
Yan Jing didn’t wait for Yan Shi Ting’s reply, he carried the bowl of water outside.
In the courtyard Yan Jing pricked his finger and a drop of blood fell into the bowl of water. Indeed his blood and Yan Shi Ting’s blood didn’t merge and he flung the bowl of water onto the ground.
Yan Shi Ting was startled by the strange sounds of a broken bowl.
Yan Jing didn’t know how he left Yan Shi Ting’s courtyard. His legs felt heavy, his whole body felt cold and his hands were shaky. Princess Kang Hua deceived him for more than sixteen years!
Yan Jing remembered that year Yan Shi Ting was born.
‘Little sister Hua, is Shi Ting my blood daughter?’ Yan Jing asked. ‘Say it clearly!’
‘Big brother, what else do you want?’ Princess Kang Hua asked. ‘Aren’t you wearing the headgear you wanted? If you don’t believe me then I’ll die for you to see. How can you suspect I would deceive you about this? Look at Shi Ting, doesn’t she look like you? Look, her blood and your blood merged. What else do you want?’
Yan Jing’s heart was teared to pieces. He was a prime minister of a kingdom but his second wife and her daughter deceived him for more than sixteen years! He wore a headgear of a fool for more than sixteen years! Indeed it was a laughable situation.
A while later Yan Jing kicked down Princess Kang Hua’s door.
‘Everyone leave!’ Yan Jing ordered the frightened maids and servants while he looked coldly at Princess Kang Hua.
Princess Kang Hua was married to Yan Jing for many years. She knew if he was angry and didn’t want anyone to hear what he wanted to say to her then it was something shameful… her face whitened, perhaps Yan Jing received those two letters.
‘Everyone hurry and go outside!’ Princess Kang Hua ordered the maids and servants that were stalling inside the chamber.
After the maids and servants left, the atmosphere in the chamber was tensed and silent.
Princess Kang Hua refused to open her mouth first. She didn’t want to confess anything she wasn’t forced to.
Yan Jing was repulsed by Princess Kang Hua’s beautiful face. ‘Kang Hua, I haven’t mistreated you. Why did you deceive me to this extent?’
‘I… I… what did I lie to you about?’ Princess Kang Hua denied.
Yan Jing heard Princess Kang Hua’s lie and his head ached. ‘You still want to deceive me? Say it clearly, is Yan Shi Ting yours and your older cousin’s daughter? No, she isn’t a Yan! That bastard child doesn’t suit to be a Yan!’
Princess Kang Hua felt like there were coffins in all four directions. Indeed paper couldn’t defeat fire and her deceit was exposed.
‘You don’t need to deceive me anymore!’ Yan Jing said. ‘I know everything! Earlier I tested that bastard child’s blood and my blood. You can’t deceive me anymore. Kang Hua, I truly want to kill you. Because of you, I left my wife and daughter. But you treated me like a fool. You’re scum! Scum!’
Yan Jing swore and cried for a long time. Indeed he was an unpleasant sight.
Princess Kang Hua dug her fingernails into her palms and she looked at the angry man in front of her. Suddenly everything ended. The days and years of anxiety finally ended.
Princess Kang Hua straightened her back and looked coldly at Yan Jing. ‘What can you do?’
Princess Kang Hua realised it no longer mattered that Yan Jing knew the truth.
‘You dare to kill me?’ Princess Kang Hua asked. ‘Do you dare to tell everyone Shi Ting isn’t your blood daughter? Do you dare to tell everyone she is the daughter of your second wife rolling in bed with another man? Yan Jing, I know you well. You value pride, reputation and status of a prime minister. You wouldn’t cause yourself to lose dignity even if your true heart is ugly. In front of other people you would act dignified. Prime Minister Yan, isn’t he someone other people respect? What respect? You wouldn’t be prime minister if you didn’t marry me! You say that I’m scum. But between the two of us, who is more of a scum?’
Yan Jing’s face paled, he couldn’t refute Princess Kang Hua’s words.
Princess Kang Hua smiled coldly. ‘Even if Shi Ting is a bastard child and isn’t a Yan or even if you’re disgusted, you can only tell everyone she is your daughter! Don’t forget, the wedding is in three days. Yan Jing, that year because of your ambition you abandoned your wife and daughter. Today because you were deceived for more than sixteen years, can you abandon this marriage? Abandon the chance to be the future emperor’s grandfather?’
Yan Jing didn’t refute Princess Kang Hua’s words. He silently stared at her cold arrogant face and felt his heart rotted. It was true, he wouldn’t kill her or expose Yan Shi Ting’s identity. He was going to swallow his grievances otherwise another person would use it as an opportunity to steal his position.
Yan Jing felt defeated. ‘You’re right! I desire success and status. This is my retribution. Kang Hua, from today onward there is no marriage between us. I never want to see you again.’
Princess Kang Hua watched the man she loved for decades leave without looking back at her. She sat and the memories appeared in her head.
Princess Kang Hua remembered that year she was a young lady. Her young self saw Yan Jing for the first time, he rode a horse. Afterward she met him at the former prime minister’s manor and decided she wasn’t going to marry anyone else but him. She confessed to him but he rejected her because he had a wife. So she put lust herbs into his wine and he slept with her. The following morning she was certain he would take responsibility but he rejected her again and apologised to her.
Princess Kang Hua thought her young self was laughable. She was a princess and lowered herself to love that kind of man but he rejected her love! From that day she vowed she would do anything to hold onto the man she loved. So she lied to Yan Jing, ‘I’m pregnant. Big brother, if you don’t marry me then I’ll tell everyone about what you did. I’m a princess, I’m not going to accept being a second wife. You have to divorce your wife.’
Yan Jing rejected the young Princess Kang Hua again. He said he would rather die than divorce his wife and she was forced to accept being a second wife.
After Yan Jing married Princess Kang Hua, she thought her fake pregnancy would become a real pregnancy. But he rejected her again, ‘You’re pregnant, there’s no hurry.’
The newly wedded Princess Kang Hua anxiously watched a few days past then she thought of a plan and acted out her plan. She remembered that night was a sensual night but it wasn’t with the man she loved. So each time she remembered that night, her heart ached.
Princess Kang Hua’s memories faded and she absently walked around the gardens.
A leaf fell onto the ground. Princess Kang Hua picked it up, the leaf was brown like her heart. More than sixteen years of marriage disappeared in front of her. It ripped off her mask and ended her love. She smiled coldly and muttered to herself. ‘I still have Shi Ting! I have a daughter that will be empress! That’s enough! I wasn’t wrong! Everything happened because those people forced me!’
End of Chapter Thirty-Seven