Chapter 138: Ninth World (3)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Edited by Sulo
Imperial Counsellor Bai had a lot of worries as he walked back home. Right after he got into the house, before he could even catch a breather, he was met with his dear son’s fiery gaze. Immediately, he sighed in his heart, and thought he would eventually have to let him go.
He glared at his dear son for a second. Imperial Counsellor Bai held the teacup Bai Duan handed to him, he pursed his lips, then finally said after a long time, “The lady you like, I have found information on her.”
Bai Duan had long guessed that from the way Imperial Counsellor Bai acted, but he was still very excited to hear that news, “Then, who exactly is she?”
“Who is she? She is a princess!” Imperial Counsellor Bai opened his mouth a bit angrily. He really couldn’t tell if he should be proud of his son having a great taste and somehow fall in love with a princess, or to be annoyed about his son falling for a lady with such a strong background, “She is His Majesty’s second daughter!”
Regarding this truth, Bai Duan was also shocked. Yet, his worries were very different from Imperial Counsellor Bai’s, “The princess? Then will His Majesty… agree to let the princess marry me?”
“You don’t have to worry about that though,” Imperial Counsellor Bai sighed. Bai Duan didn’t like socializing with people, so he naturally did not know about the inner workings of the court. ‘The Second Princess’ might sound like a pretty noble title, but in fact, was a pitiable one, “I want to know if you are ready to be the princess’s groom. Once you become her groom, you will not be able to become a court official.”
Imperial Counsellor Bai’s tone was heavy, but Bai Duan didn’t care about that at all. He took a peek at his father, then tried softening his words and said, “Actually, I… am not too interested… in being a court official…”
Imperial Counsellor Bai sighed, he always knew that his dear son lacked ambition, and he also hated the in-fighting in the court. His dear son studied hard, took the examination at a young age, all to satisfy his own father’s wishes and hopes.
“So, rather than being an official in the court, you’d rather marry the lady you like?” Imperial Counsellor Bai frowned slightly.
“… Sorry, father,” Bai Duan hung his head low.
“Nevermind, I guess,” Imperial Counsellor Bai shook his head, “You’re just a JunRen right now, the chance of you obtaining better results is low. If you try becoming an official by being a JunRen, I will have to go around and dig a tiny post out somewhere for you. Moreover, chances are you will be assigned to a distant location, somewhere that most people would not want to go. Our household might not be very rich, but you have been pampered by me from the day you were born, so you might not be able to take it anyways,” he murmured. Even Imperial Counsellor Bai himself didn’t know if he was complaining about his son or comforting himself. At last, he waved his hand, “I won’t interfere with what you choose. You think about it, when you have come to a conclusion, I will give my reply to the first princess.”
Bai Duan agreed, then he turned around and headed for his own room. However, both Imperial Counsellor Bai and Bai Duan knew clearly, no matter how long Bai Duan thought about this, his answer would not change.
As such, Imperial Counsellor Bai applied to meet with the First Princess again the very next day. He carefully expressed Bai Duan’s will to marry the Second Princess.
The First Princess was very happy, she immediately agreed to help the two out. So, after five days, Imperial Counsellor Bai and Bai Duan received news from the First Princess. In the letter, she praised the blooming red flowers on the west-side of the castle.
Both Imperial Counsellor Bai and Bai Duan immediately understood what that meant, “………”
Bai Duan who never cared about his appearance from the moment he was born, carefully tidied himself up from head to toe for the first time, detailedly matched his clothes and accessories; making sure that there are no mistakes and ensuring that he would look even more handsome.
It had to be said that Bai Duan’s efforts were not wasted. At least, when he opened the door and stepped foot into the counsellors’ office, the other counsellors who were already used to Bai Duan’s appearance were all shocked beyond words. Even the maids in the court who had honed their skills of not showing emotion, were shocked. When Imperial Counsellor Bai first saw his own son, he also froze for a bit, he sighed in his heart, “What a pretty and polite looking man.”
Being able to have a son with such a handsome face was quite a thing to be proud of. He was quite sure that if his dear son were to be serious, even the First Princess would fall for him in an instant.
“Father, is something the matter?” Noticing Imperial Counsellor Bai’s gaze and his odd smile, Bai Duan was a bit worried as he lowered his head to check himself again. Although he knew that he had a handsome face, as this was his first time (?) seeing his crush, he hoped that he would get her respect and praise.
“No, nothing is wrong. You look great!” Imperial Counsellor Bai raised his hand to pat his dear son’s shoulder. He smiled and said, “It would seem that as your father, I will have to start preparing for your wedding. You’re getting married to royalty, we cannot do anything wrong!”
Understanding what Imperial Counsellor Bai meant, Bai Duan’s cheeks were painted with a brush of redness. He was very excited, making him look especially lively and emphasizing his good looks even more.
Looking at his own son and remembering the realistic statue his son made, even though Imperial Counsellor Bai loved his country and the Emperor to a great extent, he had to think that…. his own son was much more beautiful than the Second Princess.
How should he put it, but something just felt off. →_→
Bai Duan had no idea of Imperial Counsellor Bai’s internal thoughts. After knowing that he looked perfect, he brought his crazily beating heart to the forest with the blooming red flowers. Then he ran into a female attendant at the entrance of the forest.
Even the attendant lost her focus when she saw Bai Duan. However, she retained her training and reacted quickly afterwards. She bowed then asked, “May I ask if this is Honourable Bai?”
“Yes, it’s me,” Bai Duan stared at her with eyes filled with fiery anticipation. Bai Duan’s focused and hot gaze made the attendant blush, she said, “This unworthy attendant was sent here by the First Princess to lead the way, please follow me in.”
“Thank you,” Bai Duan immediately replied. The polite way Bai Duan acted made the attendant’s heart skip a beat, yet she held her jumping heart back and led this man to another woman.
This forest had always been a favourite of the noble families. They often visited to look at the flowers or to invite guests and hold parties. Yet, Bai Duan seldom participated in these kinds of events, so he hadn’t been to this place much. Naturally, he didn’t know the beautiful scenery in this place either.
Following the attendant, Bai Duan quickly arrived at a river that went through the entire forest. Lifting his head up, he saw a decorated pavilion. Around the pavilion were light pink drapes that swayed along with the spring wind. Inside the pavilion, one could faintly make out the figure of an elegant lady. Outside the pavilion, numerous guards could be seen protecting the princess. Obviously, they were afraid that something might happen to the princess, so, in order to avoid any trouble, the guards were set there.
The pink-clothed attendant led Bai Duan to the front of the pavilion, then she stopped and said, “The one you are seeking is inside waiting for you.” After seeing Bai Duan nod, she walked back and left the space to Bai Duan and the one inside.
The guards and the attendant were quite far away, so unless they spoke very loudly, the people outside would not be able to hear them. Bai Duan was quite relieved by that, he coughed a little, then bowed to the princess. His tone was serious and polite, “Commoner Bai Duan is honoured to have met you.”
“Be at ease,” The person inside the pavilion opened her mouth slowly. Her voice was not as soft and bird-like as most girls, and instead, she had a rather low voice that was clean and crisp. Of course, in Bai Duan’s ears, she still sounded great.
Bai Duan straightened himself up. Under the covers of the drapes, Bai Duan stared at the female in the pavilion. He wished with all his might to be able to see through the drapes, to see the person who had been in his mind for such a long time with his own eyes.
As if the person inside sensed Bai Duan’s thoughts, she gave a light smile, then said, “Mr. Bai, so come in the pavilion.”
Hearing his crush’s invitation, Bai Duan froze up, he almost got hit retarded by her sudden words. He originally thought that it would have been quite lucky already if he could stand outside, then have a little chat with his crush. He never imagined that… he could go further than that?
His mind told him that doing this would be bad for his crush’s reputation, since they were both unmarried. Even if they were going to be married very soon (shy), they still had to follow the rules and stay at a distance from each other. However, just like when he was at the lotus pond, his feet moved on their own. When he came to, he had already lifted up the drapes under his crush’s encouragement, and found himself looking straight into the female’s eyes.
His heartbeat sped up, his movements became stiff, he could almost feel both of his legs moving forward at the same time. Bai Duan let the pink drapes fall behind him softly, blocking others gazes from outside. Inside the pavilion, under the covers of the pink drapes, Bai Duan felt as if he was in a pink world. In this world, there was no one but him and his crush; there were nothing else but them.
Under his crush’s gaze Bai Duan got more flustered and nervous. He wasn’t good at speaking to begin with, and at this moment, he really had no idea what he should say. Bai Duan only stood there quietly, feeling embarrassed and awkward.
The Second Princess had an amused smile on her face, she raised her hand, gesturing at Bai Duan to sit down, “Honorable Bai, you don’t have to be so nervous, sit down first.”
Bai Duan was like a mannequin, his movements were stiff. Only until he had sat down, did he feel a little more relaxed and noticed how stupid he must have looked just now. Bai Duan’s face turned red, his gaze towards his crush turned more careful, he could even feel his eyes getting watery, as he was extremely afraid that he would leave a bad impression on his crush with how stupid he was.
At that moment, Bai Duan didn’t notice at all, with how forward this princess seemed, she was nothing like someone who was not loved by her parents, or someone who had been bullied in the court. Of course even if he had noticed, he would have convinced himself that this was just the natural aura of a royalty… even if she had a pitiable past…
And would a princess with such a strong aura fall for someone like him? Someone who was not successful in anything, someone that was quiet and uninteresting?
Bai Duan was very worried, yet he did not know that his worries were all but unnecessary. His crush would not dislike him for his foolishness, instead, she was completely immersed with how cute he was being all ‘foolish’. How many years, how many worlds had it been when ‘she’ got to see this cute side of Bai Duan last time?
‘Her’ expression was still calm, not too close and not too distant. ‘She’ still held ‘her’ act of being a royalty. The Second Princess rubbed ‘her’ hands under the table, forcing the urge to pinch the cute cheeks down ‘her’ own throat. Just like how Bai Duan was afraid that he was overstepping, the Second Princess was also worried that ‘she’ would scare ‘her’ cute lover away. Bai Duan had lost his memories and was born into this world after all, so he was educated in this world’s etiquettes and followed its rules. Obviously, he would know more about how a girl should act than ‘she’ did.
In this world, Bai Duan was obviously taught excellently, to be polite and respectful by Imperial Counsellor Bai. When facing the other sex… he was especially gentle, respectful and protecting.
When ‘she’ thought about that, the Second Princess’s mouth twitched. ‘Her’ gaze towards Bai Duan turned a bit gloomy, ‘she’ still remembered the last time when Bai Duan was this nice and caring towards ‘her’. It was that goddamn omegaverse world, when they first met, ‘she’ looked like an omega, and in that world, an omega was something akin to a female.
So, in other words, ‘her’ little lover liked girls more?
This realization was truly… infuriating!