Chapter 145: Ninth World (10)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Edited by Sulo
It was hard to cope with the expectant Imperial Counsellor Bai, so when Bai Duan and his ‘wife’ finished the task of serving tea, they were very relieved. Then, all that was left was for them to return to the palace and bow to the Emperor in gratitude three days later. Ehh, maybe the Enchantress would be there too.
Walking silently all the way to the courtyard of the house, Bai Duan was at a loss for a while and didn’t know what to do next. According to his fantasies before the wedding, he and Cao YuYing would be enjoying their time together as a pair of newly-weds right now. He would go out with his ‘newly married wife’ to enjoy the view of flowers and outings, and make up for the regrets ‘she’ had faced while being locked away in the deep palace. Maybe the both of them would stay in the house quietly, whisper softly and confidently into each other’s ears, or even kiss and do things.
Bai Duan turned his head and looked carefully at Cao YuYing. He said in a low voice, “Go back to your room and have some rest. I’ll go to my study.”
“I’ll go with you,” Cao YuYing said in a hurry.
“No need,” Bai Duan shook his head in a determined voice. “I want to be alone.”
Cao YuYing of course knew that Bai Duan wanted to be alone to think about the relationship between the two, but of course he didn’t dare to let his little lover think about this alone. What would he do if he was pushed into a corner! He had a deep understanding of the stubbornness of his little lover. Once the other party made a decision, it would be difficult to turn it around again!
Cao YuYing understood that his lover was still lenient to him, so this time, he had to continue using his kindness. As long as he hung around in front of Bai Duan and tried to be coquettish with his lover, Bai Duan wouldn’t have the heart to reject him — he just wouldn’t be able to bring himself to. Before Bai Duan could decide to draw a line with him, Cao YuYing would try his best to clear the other side’s anger!
“I’ll be with you,” Cao YuYing’s attitude was more resolute than Bai Duan’s. Standing beside Bai Duan, he seemed to prefer to die rather than stay away from Bai Duan for even half a step.
Bai Duan and Cao YuYing had a standoff for a long time, but they had to come to a compromise eventually. After all, Bai Duan had promised to protect the identity of Cao YuYing as a ‘fake princess’ and build up a ‘false image’ of being the princess’s husband. Now that they were in the courtyard with many eyes watching, Bai Duan couldn’t forcibly push the other person away by force, nor put on an ugly face.
Cao YuYing relied on Bai Duan’s gentleness. Bai Duan cared more than Cao YuYing did over his real identity being exposed — so the one who lost this time was obvious.
“… Do whatever you want,” Bai Duan replied harshly, then took Cao YuYing to his study — as long as he returned to the room and closed the door, he wouldn’t have to be wary of being watched by the people around him, and force himself to ‘be kind’ to Cao YuYing. So comforting himself, Bai Duan’s steps turned more urgent. However, he did not think that just as he opened the door of the study, he and Cao YuYing’s gazes would be glued to the wooden statue placed in a prominent position of his desk beside the door.
All of a sudden, Bai Duan twitched the corner of his mouth.
He wanted to get rid of the wood statue quickly, but Cao YuYing was faster than him.
Being three or two steps faster than Bai Duan, he was already at the desk, Cao YuYing reached out his hand and picked the wood carving up. He couldn’t help rubbing it, “This is… You carved a statue of me?”
Bai Duan’s wood carving technique was a natural talent, the skill was already there when the two met for the first time. Cao YuYing still remembered the wooden mink he was given at that time. Even after Cao YuYing left that world, he kept it with him with great care.
Compared to the mink, the wooden figure was obviously full of more profound feelings, not only were the lines more delicate, Cao YuYing could even feel the love, joy and nostalgia that Bai Duan unconsciously infused in it — obviously, it had always been loved as a treasure by its owner, Bai Duan had been holding it in his hands and thinking about Cao YuYing.
Cao YuYing couldn’t help but want to embrace his little lover in his arms and caress him. He held the statue carefully as he smiled at Bai Duan, “It’s a beautiful statue!”
Bai Duan’s face was slightly red, he didn’t know whether it was because he was praised by his sweetheart or because his inner feelings were exposed to the world without warning. Bai Duan snatched the wood carving from Cao YuYing’s hands, feeling a bit at a loss.
He was so ashamed and annoyed that he wanted to throw away the extremely untimely wood carving on the ground, and then use this to show Cao YuYing his place. Yet in his heart, he was full of reluctance to give up, and he was not willing to treat his precious treasure in such a rough and cold way.
In the end, Bai Duan did not throw away the wood carving, but took out a brocade box and put it into it.
Cao YuYing looked at the wood carving being put away reluctantly, and with a little regret in his tone, “Why do you want to put it away?”
“Well,” Bai Duan said in a cold voice, “I don’t like it anymore, so I won’t put it here for it to come into my gaze.”
“You don’t like it, but I like it…” Cao YuYing stared, “Will you give it to me?”
Bai Duan raised his head, then rolled his eyes at Cao YuYing. He locked the brocade box neatly, and then stuffed it into the cabinet where other sculptures were kept, “You wish!”
Cao YuYing, who was completely hated the moment he exposed his real gender, “…………”
——To this day, Cao YuYing had to admit that there was no reason why he would not think Bai Duan would treat him differently once his gender was revealed.
When he was mistaken for a woman or an omega before, Bai Duan was gentle and submissive to him in every way, and held him in the palm of his hand. However, whenever he approached Bai Duan as a man, his lover’s attitude would suddenly get tough, and it was normal for him to be mean from time to time.
Although it was very unpleasant to be mistaken for the other gender, Cao YuYing really enjoyed his lover’s considerate and gentle attitude, and he liked his lover’s active and shy pursuit even more — it was a dream to wake up with a smile!
It’s a pity that the thrill and fun was only temporary. Once exposed, what was waiting for him would be cruel punishment. Cao YuYing silently lit up an incense for himself in his heart. He continued to restrain himself and prayed for his lover to give him a chance to ‘reform’.
While Bai Duan read, he gently waved a fan to keep him cool; when Bai Duan wrote, he grinded the ink for him; when Bai Duan was thirsty, he made tea for him… Even though he didn’t say a word and was as quiet as a chicken, Cao YuYing tried his best to increase his sense of existence in front of Bai Duan.
As for Bai Duan… It was impossible to resist the silent invasion.
Despite his efforts to ignore Cao YuYing and read and write quietly, Bai Duan was becoming increasingly impatient. At the end, he had to give up on his resistance. He put down his pen, and turned to Cao YuYing, who had been staring at him.
Cao YuYing, who was finally ‘favored’ by his lover, was suddenly shocked.
“When you were combing my hair this morning, what did you want to tell me?” Bai Duan took a deep breath and felt that he had to have a straight-forward talk with Cao YuYing to find out the position of each other. “I have time now. Sit down and let’s talk slowly.”
Cao YuYing’s eyes brightened. He sat down on another chair beside his desk and organized his words slightly, “I know that you are angry because I cheated you, and that you even think that I was just using you to get out of the palace, right?”
Bai Duan pursed his lips, without retorting.
“I admit that I did deceive you, and to a certain extent, I’m sorry that I took advantage of you, but I’m not cheating on your feelings.” Looking at Bai Duan, Cao YuYing said sincerely, “Just as you fell in love with me at first sight, so did I. I love you even deeper than you think — otherwise, who else would make me willingly put on a wedding dress and marry someone as a woman?”
While he spoke, his eyebrows picked up, and naturally he had a proud demeanor. In those clothes, he was like a female Empress with incomparable dignity over thousands of people. But soon, Cao YuYing suddenly broke down again, with a sad tone, and said, “In order to marry you, I also embroidered the veil with my own hands, and really experienced the feeling of being a bride. God knows, before that, even though I pretend to be a woman, I have never embroidered anything!”
Bai Duan was stunned by Cao YuYing’s domineering manner for a moment, then he cried and laughed because of his subsequent grievances and complaints. But Bai Duan had to admit that Cao YuYing seemed to be speaking the truth.
When looking at Cao YuYing in a new light and making actual contact with him, Bai Duan realized the pride and arrogance in his opponent’s bones. Even though he always dressed as a woman, he was more proud and powerful than most men. Even Bai Duan, who has always been gentle in character, couldn’t imagine himself marrying another man in the guise of a woman while putting on a wedding dress. He just thought of it as a kind of humiliation — but even so, Cao YuYing, a noble dragon, had done it.
…If it’s just for using him to get out of the palace, was it necessary to achieve it this way?
Bai Duan hesitated, and Cao YuYing seemed to understand what he thought and answered his doubts, “In these recent years, within the palace, I have quietly established a force because of the fact that I have to remain hidden since my enemies are out in the open. It can keep me safe in the palace, but also help me escape from the palace.” Cao YuYing paused. “If I didn’t meet you, maybe it wouldn’t have been long before you would hear the news of the death of the Second Princess. In fact, before I met you, I was almost ready to feign death and escape.”
——Cao YuYing didn’t lie. If it wasn’t for Bai Duan, he would have feigned to leave the palace long after he had established the intelligence network within it and made plans to deal with the Enchantress. There was no way he would still stay in the Imperial Capital that was under the Enchantress’s control right? Would he expose himself to such danger?”
“You should know that with my troublesome identity, it’s the safest to leave the capital, to a place where the emperor is far away, and the land is vast.” Cao YuYing said softly.
Bai Duan’s silence also aquiencesed Cao YuYing’s words.
“But I didn’t because I met you. Because you are in the capital, I didn’t want to leave and have nothing to do with you. I’m more worried that you will one day follow your father’s arrangement, get married and have children, and have a happy family.” Cao YuYing reached out his hand and covered Bai Duan’s own carefully. Cao YuYing said softly, “I hope I can occupy the position beside you, even if it is as a ‘wife’, and then live in the same room, sleep in the same bed, and have an intimate relationship with you…”
Hearing several more and more ambiguous and lingering words, Bai Duan’s face suddenly turned red. He could not help thinking of his body entanglements with Cao YuYing last night.
Bai Duan could not let his focus be distorted by Cao YuYing’s true feelings, “Then you… You shouldn’t have lied to me… ”
“I really shouldn’t have.” Cao YuYing sincerely confessed, “But I was also afraid that if you only like the appearance of me in women’s clothes, then once you know that I am a man, you would take back your feelings for me. So, I made use of your ‘misunderstanding’ in a despicable way. I just wanted to make this happen as soon as possible so that when it’s done, you and I can become husband and wife, and you can’t leave me anymore…”
——If the first part was true, then this part was a lie to deceive people. If Bai Duan recovered his memory, he would surely know that gender was not the biggest obstacle between them.
However, after all these worlds, Cao YuYing did not know how many times he had fooled his lover with his amnesia. Plus the biggest bomb and bullet which also led to Bai Duan’s amnesia, was still there, there was so much to worry about. So, Cao YuYing had given up the struggle, he just wanted to get this over with.
Cao YuYing knew that his words were full of sophistry, but Bai Duan knew nothing about it. Bai Duan even brought himself into the other side’s perspective and understood his actions a little.
Bai Duan thought that even if he knew Cao YuYing was a man, he could not leave him alone, but would help him wholeheartedly, even at the price of his marriage. But Cao YuYing didn’t know this. After all, they had only seen each other twice. Even though they love each other, they haven’t established trust. Therefore, Cao YuYing resorted to such drastic means, though it was hard to forgive, it was also reasonable.
Bai Duan has always been understanding, and this trait was most vividly displayed when with his lover. But in spite of this, the previous knot formed by ‘using deception’ could not be easily relieved in a moment.
Bai Duan lowered his eyes and nodded softly, “I see, but even if I can forgive you, I still……” After a pause, he shook his head again.
Although he was secretly happy that his love for Cao YuYing was requieted, he who had been receiving traditional education for all his life, still couldn’t accept his marriage with a man, and didn’t know how to explain to his father and tell him that he had married a man. Of course, he also doubted how sincere Cao YuYing’s confession was.
“We… Or, as we said this morning, on the surface, we are husband and wife, but in fact…” Bai Duan looked up at Cao YuYing, “We can get along as friends.”
“Friends?!” Cao YuYing could feel the looseness in his lover’s heart, but he still tried to push himself anyway. Suddenly, he couldn’t bear it. “After last night, do you think we can still be friends?” As he spoke, he stood up and walked quickly to Bai Duan, holding his shoulder in one hand, and holding his chin in the other despite his lover’s struggle. “You and I are husband and wife, true to the word. No matter what misunderstanding and contradiction exists between you and me, in my heart, you are already my partner, my body and mind belongs to you, and yours belongs to me too!”
After that, he bowed his head down and cleft Bai Duan’s teeth open, gripping at his tongue, which was stiff with fright.
Although Bai Duan didn’t know how many times he was kissed by Cao YuYing last night, this was the first time Cao YuYing had kissed him while conscious, so his brain went blank. The Taoist contract between them, which had been gradually loosened, was also joyful and eager for the partner to get even more intimate.
When he got back to his senses, Bai Duan had already been moved from his seat to Cao YuYing’s legs. He found himself sitting on Cao YuYing’s lap, while panting against his chest. Then he was completely hugged by his ‘wife’ who was in women’s clothing.
Bai Duan with a wooden face, “…………”
——Although he knew that he was being held by a man, Bai Duan still felt his self-discipline and self-esteem as a man crumble when he saw the other’s clothing.