Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Under the covers, Chu WuQing could feel the man’s large palm against his protective cocoon. The others fingers slid down his form, from the top of his head to his neck and then his spine, all the way down to that private place below. Even with the layer of silk covered between them, he could still feel it acutely.
“My dear disciple,” The man’s lips pressed against the top of his head, and the scent of songmo permeated throughout the silk quilt. “Shifu is going to start opening it up now, down that path.”
Chu WuQing trembled, feeling like his consciousness was slowly blurring away and fading. It was as if his very soul was merging with the young earl of this world. His fingers clenched his quilts shut tightly.
But the other’s strength was far greater than his own. The first ray of sunlight shone in, and then his entire head was exposed.
Due to being buried under the sheets for too long, pink blossoms were dusting his pale skin. His tears had yet to dry, gazing at Chu YunShu’s nearing face with fear and hatred as his lashes trembled.
“St-stay back!” He yelled, “I’ll expose your true colours to father!”
“Oh? And what are my true colours?” Chu YunShu’s laughter grew gentle, fingers brushing against his student’s round cheeks and whispering quietly against his ear, “Forcing you to use medicine?”
The soft laugh that fell on Chu WuQing’s ears magnified his fear, but he was too weak to fight back.
The man’s lips were far too close to his skin. Just the slightest movement and he would touch his cheek and ear, causing him to not even dare to snap back. All he could do was widen his eyes, glaring angrily. The corner of his eyes ached, causing tears to spring up again.
There was a sudden chill against his face, and something slimy licked his cheek.
“You shouldn’t shed tears so easily. Why are you crying, WuQing?” Chu YunShu sighed, “As your teacher, your father gave you to me hoping to train you out of your spoiled habits. I can’t let you do as you want.”
The man licked up his cheek to his lashes.
“There… now the tears are all gone.”
Chu WuQing was enraged, but he didn’t dare voice it. He tried to stop the tears in his eyes from falling. His eyes were red, from both anger and disgust.
Chu WuShu’s slender fingers pried the covers off of Chu WuQing mercilessly. Having been lying on bed, Chu WuQing wore nothing but a white inner robe.
The summer was hot, so the inner robes were made of translucent Chanyi gauze.
His messy hair dipped into his half-open collar, and his pale jade-like form was just barely visible.
Chu YunShu’s eyes were full of gentle concern, the medicinal salve in his hands. “Are you going to undress and let me help you, or do you want your teacher, I to undress you for you?”
His voice was exceedingly gentle, yet he clearly wasn’t allowing a third choice.
“I-I’ll put it on myself…” Chu WuQing ground out, but before he could even finish speaking, the man grabbed his waist and flipped him over, face down onto the desk.
The medicine Chu YunShu provided worked fast, but the humiliation of having it applied was something Chu WuQing would never forget.
“This is so perverted… even worse than that last dream. This Chu YunShu is treating me like his woman.” Chu WuQing pretended to be studying, mumbling to himself, “Could it be that because I humiliated his second personality, I started dreaming of Chu YunShu taking revenge for his second personality by trying to toy with me?”
Six days had passed since Chu YunShu had helped him put on the salve. While Chu YunShu was present, his consciousness would grow murky, making him feel as if he really was just the young earl.
These past days, he had attempted to cultivate, but he couldn’t feel a sliver of spiritual energy. He was completely mortal.
“What do I do? Did Lin Yi experience such trials before? How did he get past them?” Chu WuQing sighed. He couldn’t cultivate, and there were no spirit stones he could use to create an array. He couldn’t even lift a bucket of water, never mind wield a sword. He had no clue on where to begin with breaking through the illusion array. If he had known this would happen, he wouldn’t have bothered with the ranking prize, just getting through the Trial of Sword Path and leaving as soon as he obtained the Divine Source. Wasn’t that better?
“WuQing! What’re you doing?” A strict older-sounding voice sounded out.
Chu WuQing felt sweat bead on his head, immediately straightening himself out and focusing on his books. Though the original little earl was spoiled by his grandmother, his father was extremely strict.
“Chu-xiansheng has barely left three days, and you’ve slacked off so much already. I should hire a few new teachers to discipline you,” Chengen Earl said with a frown.
“No need!” Chu WuQing’s heart jumped.
The day before yesterday, an order had come from the palace, summoning Chu YunShu back to be the teacher of the crown prince and the other princes who were over ten years old. This had finally given him the chance to contemplate how he was to break through the illusion array. If the other really got him a whole bunch of teachers to watch him and make sure he was studying all the time, then wouldn’t he be trapped here forever!?
Under the fierce gaze of the ChengEn Earl, Chu WuQing hurriedly tried to save the situation, “My teacher for a day is my teacher forever. I can’t bear to be parted from Chu-xiansheng. If Chu-xiansheng could be the one to teach me, then I might be able to become a Xiucai 1 next year. I can’t forget the lessons Chu-xiansheng has blessed me with. If I were to switch teachers, it would be like betraying my mentor, and my guilt would make it even harder for me to focus.”
“Is that so?” ChengEn Earl stroked his goatee. “I don’t believe a word you just said!”
Chu WuQing bowed in respect, “I’m not lying. Xiansheng has only left for three days, and I’ve lost my appetite in my yearning. How would I manage to focus like this?” That’s right. He couldn’t even manage to stomach his congee, harried over trying to break out of the illusion array.
As for Chu YunShu? Even if he said he wanted the other to teach him, there was no way the ChengEn Earl would dare try and fight the emperor for a mere teacher.
“If that is truly so, then that’s good.” The ChengEn Earl nodded to himself and said, “When court was dismissed today, your cousin brought up having you accompany him into the palace as his study partner, returning to study under Chu-daren. Originally, afraid you would not be used to life in the palace, and would lose face with your poor ability only able to place last in everything, I didn’t dare agree. But since you have finally managed to pull yourself together, I’ll send my reply to the crown prince now, despite whatever face I might lose, and have you sent into the palace as soon as possible.”
Glancing at Chu YunShu at the front, and then the eunuchs and palace maids, as well as his cousins, the royal princes, Chu WuQing breathed a sigh of relief.
No matter what, Chu YunShu wouldn’t dare do anything in the royal study.
“Each of you, write a copy of the Preface to the Lanting Poetry Anthology and hand it in,” Chu YunShu ordered.
Though they were cultivators, wealthy clans like the Chu Clan would naturally teach their disciples qin, chess, literature and art. After living two lifetimes, Chu WuQing’s handwriting was naturally powerful and full of style and emotion.
He tucked his sleeve back, raising his brush, his form like drifting clouds and flowing water. He merely stood there and hadn’t even started writing, yet it was like a sight of winter plum and snow. The afternoon sun shone upon him, casting a halo of gentle light around him and making him look like an ethereal mirage…
As if he would be carried away by the wind at any moment.
The crown prince drew in a sharp breath. He knew his little cousin was comely. Every time the other went out, all those girls would come after him just to look at him, tossing him trinkets and fruit.
But he didn’t realise just how beautiful the other was until now.
In the past, his little cousin’s beauty was a superficial thing of skin and flesh, but now there was an indescribable aura about him. Something deeper that made it hard to look away.
Lin Feng Zhilan 2 , clean and pure like a tree of jade. In the past, he couldn’t imagine what kind of person could be described as such, but now he understood… because neither of these phrases were worthy of being used to describe his younger cousin.
The crown prince couldn’t help but look at Chu WuQing’s hands. His hands looked like they were made to hold the brush. His fingers were slender, each inch of skin and flesh perfect, not too thin or thick, just… perfection.
His proud bones like the branches of plum trees, ice and snow as his skin.
Just holding the brush, it was like there was no way he’d write anything but elegant, eloquent chapters of words.
Everyone couldn’t help but look at the paper as the tip of the brush pressed against it.
His strokes were like the soaring forms of dragons and phoenixes, gracefully scrawling across the paper in a swift, flowing motion – and once he finished, he left behind a chicken scratch scrawl of inelegant chaos… there were even three incorrectly written characters.
The crown prince… his mouth gaped in disbelief. His own writing hadn’t even been that ugly when he first started learning!
“Dear cousin… you…” The crown prince just couldn’t wrap his head around it.
“Hahahaha! Cousin, if I gave your calligraphy to show father, father will never scold me for my ugly handwriting again!” The youngest sixth prince laughed. “Don’t worry, if you keep practicing for another ten or twenty years, I’m sure you’ll be able to catch up to my level!”
Chu WuQing’s expression was dark as a storm. This wasn’t his handwriting, it was the handwriting of the original young earl. Goddamn that Chu YunShu. It had to be his influence again!
Unsurprisingly, a familiar form soon arrived in front of his desk.
With the arrival of their teacher, the laughter and cheer all died down. None of them dared to act out in front of this royal tutor who had once been in a position of great power, only to leave voluntarily without any repercussions.
Their father, the emperor, definitely wouldn’t stand up for them, only punish them further.
In addition, while Chu-xiansheng was no longer in a position of power, over half the non-military officials had studied under him.
Amongst the scholars outside the court, Chu-xiansheng was their role model and idol, the elite amongst elites.
Zhuangyuan at fourteen, entering the court at twenty, lead advisor at twenty-three, retiring before he reached thirty and returning back to his hometown only to be called back not a year later by the emperor himself, but not returning to politics again.
Who knows how many arrogant and celebrated intellectuals and scholars were enthralled with his talent and disdain for politics, power and prestige, and wrote poems about him.
The princes all looked away quietly, practicing their handwriting without complaint.
“Sir,” Chu WuQing plastered a respectful mask on, “I’ll do my best.”
Yet, Chu YunShu dipped his fingers into a cup of tea and wrote two invisible words, “Disgusting pervert.”
Chu WuQing’s face burned red. He was mocking his fake act. Last time he had called the other all sorts of names, but now he had called him sir.
Hmph. Chu WuQing glared up at the other provokingly… That’s right, you disgusting pervert. No matter where, you’re still a disgusting pervert. This was the royal study. Do you think I’m still afraid of a lowly, disgusting pervert like you here?
Refusing to write any more, Chu WuQing slammed his brush down and sat down.
“WuQing, you’ll never improve like this.” Chu YunShu’s gaze sharpened, but his strict voice was filled with gentle care of an elder and teacher.
The other’s wide palm covered Chu WuQing’s slender fingers, grabbing his disobedient student’s hand from behind and forcing him to pick the pen up again.
It happened so fast, Chu WuQing didn’t have any time to react!
His body fell into the other man’s embrace, trapped and imprisoned against him and breathing in the other’s Songmo scent.
“My dear disciple.” The man whispered against his ear, chuckling. His breath brushed against Chu WuQing’s round little ear. “Let me teach you how to write ‘disgusting pervert’.”
- Lin refers to the Qilin and Feng is referring to the Chinese Phoenix. Put together, they refer to someone pure, with high morals. Zhilan refers to a beautiful person with a graceful aura.