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Chapter 2 Reparations
In a state of disbelief, Jing Shao reached over to touch Mu Han Zhang's face. The slightly cool touch made his heart tremble, but feeling again carefully, he sensed a body temperature, a living body temperature. Using the candle light to look at him, except for his lower lip that had a trace of blood due to being bitten, that person looked as beautiful as he remembered, just with slightly softer features that made him appear as if he was in his early twenties.
How was this possible? Jing Shao thought about it for a long time before he ripped opened his upper robe to examine his chest. In the 18th year of the Hong Zheng era, he was shot near the heart with an arrow and it had almost killed him. But now, the scar was not there and his other injuries also did not exist, his skin was smooth, just slightly less muscled than he remembered.
Reaching, in the dark, to a small compartment near the bed, he pulled out the drawer and opened the blue account book inside. The last record was: Yanqing county exchanged 1000 liang of silver for 5000 liang of salt, Hong Zhen era year 13, 2nd lunar month, day 19.
Silently returning the book to its place, Jing Shao looked around uneasily. This was clearly his wedding chamber, he had returned to the night of his wedding in Spring, 13th year of the Hong Zheng era!
This was the year he drove out the Huns and returned victorious. He was the first among his siblings to display his abilities and his father had awarded him the status of Imperial Prince. No one dared to question his abilities.
The following year, the Empress incited his father to bestow him a marriage with the second son of the Grand Marquis of the North, tonight was the night they married.
This year he was only 19 years old, everything had yet to begin…
"Ha ha ha, the heavens did not abandon me! The gods really treat me well, ha ha ha…" After snapping out of his shock and making sure all of this was not just a dream, Jing Shao could not help laughing in delight.
"Nnng…" a moan from beside him interrupted Jing Shao's contented laughter. He quickly turned his head to look at the sleeping Mu Han Zhang, who was awakened by him, his slender eyelashes trembled, gradually opening to reveal a pair of beautiful eyes.
Who said everything hadn't started yet? It would have been better if the gods had let him be reborn a few hours earlier, then Jun Qing would not be hurt like this. Jing Shao mentally cursed while simultaneously extending his hand towards Mu Han Zhang, wanting to bundle him up into his arms. Unexpectedly, his hand had barely touched the other's body before the person abruptly slammed backwards to avoid him.
"Nnng…" The sudden movement had affected the wound down below. Mu Han Zhang's face paled immediately.
"Don't move!" Jing Shao held him down and felt the body under his palm tremble slightly. He couldn't help but frown, on the wedding night he felt that he had been wronged and therefore drank too much, and after some time, he could not remember what he did. He only remembered that on the second day, when they went to see the Emperor, the other had fainted upon entering the hall. Looking at the situation now, the other had always been strong and healthy, the injuries were probably not light.
Mu Han Zhang really did stop moving, only looking at Jing Shao with a pair of beautiful eyes that currently contained both humiliation and fear.
"You…" Jing Shao opened his mouth but did not know what to say. He could only turn around and pull the silk sash in front of the bed. After a while, a servant's voice answered from outside of the room.
"Prepare hot water, I want to bathe" he ordered in a clear voice. He waited until the servants left before turning around, still not knowing what to say, Jing Shao awkwardly scratched his head.
"Don't be afraid," Jing Shao thought for a moment before comforting softly, "That… I drank too much last night, I didn't really mean it…"
"Your highness, the hot water is ready, would you like for us to help you bathe?" A rather steady voiced asked. Jing Shao remembered that this was the main courtyard. Of course, on the wedding night, the hot would always prepared. The servants also asked this question for a reason, it is so that they do not enter and see that which should not be seen.
"No, you're all dismissed." Jing Shao said impatiently.
Mu Han Zhang heard what was said and sighed in relief. It was extremely disgraceful and humiliating for him to be under a man, and it was also an embarrassing situation for him, if he were to be seen by the servants…
"Nnng… What are you doing?" Mu Han Zhang was startled. The man actually opened his quilt and embraced him.
"Don't move," after opening the quilt, the consequences of his actions were clearly visible, leaving aside the innumerable marks of blue-violet imprints, the space between the two slender legs were full of turbid red and white liquid, the intimate parts were even worse off. Jing Shao knitted his brows even more, "I will take you to wash up."
Wash him? Mu Han Zhang looked at the man in front of him and could not figure him out. This person said that he wanted to bathe, was he helping him cover up the situation? But why? When he had been tormenting him a while ago, he could not sense even the slightest fraction of pity.
"I will go myself," Mu Han Zhang said coldly. After the statement was said, he suddenly felt that it was improper and lowered his voice, "I don't dare trouble your highness to take care of me."
Jing Shao saw his anger and forbearance, and could not help but smile slightly, he must have felt that he wasn't sincere enough. He had no choice but to suppress his smile, "Where do you have the strength? Since it is my wrong, I will just apologize to you." Although they were husband and wife, in this sort of household, a prince did not have to concede to nor wait on his prince consort, but the way Jing Shao did so, made it appear as if it was very normal. The both of them were men, he had also treated wounded soldiers in while in the military camps, he was confident he knew what he was doing.
Mu Han Zhang had failed to persuade him and therefor had no alternative but to let him come along.
Seeing that the person in his arms was no longer struggling, Jing Shao was satisfied with carrying him behind the screen, and despite still wearing his inner clothes, he stepped into the bath also.
Once in the water, Mu Han Zhang struggled from his embrace and went to rest on the edge of the bath. Jing Shao was not annoyed, he only stripped off his inner garments and washed his face to get rid of the discomfort of his hangover.
The prince's bath was very large, even with two men it was not crowded. Mu Han Zhang took a cloth towel and carefully cleaned the traces from his body. He secretly observed the movements of that man and saw him rubbing his temples. It seems that last night, he really did drink too much.
Jing Shao shook his head back and forth, trying to clear his mind. He could still feel the cold wind from the edge of the cliff at the sides of his ears. The hot water made everything feel a bit unrealistic, at that moment he stretched his hand to drag that person into his embrace. In his arms, the man's body immediately stiffened.
"I can wash myself…" Mu Han Zhang was shocked, he quickly caught the hand that was moving downwards.
"It's not convenient for you to wash yourself," Jing Shao said rather straightforwardly, "We're both men, what are you embarassed of?"
Mu Han Zhang was rendered speechless by his self-assured tone. He was just about to refuse when a finger suddenly entered his body, making him voice out a moan.
"Does it hurt?" Jing Shao saw that he had bitten his lower lip and took him into his arms, letting that person lean against him. "Don't bite yourself, it will be over soon. If it hurts, you can bite me." He stopped teasing him, quickly and gently drawing out all of the substance from inside. Mu Han Zhang did not bite him, only whimpering softly. When the things inside were all cleaned up, Jing Shao took a large piece of cloth and wrapped the person that was in his embrace. After quickly stuffing him onto the bed, he turned around to find the wound medication.
The sheets had been changed, Mu Han Zhang sat up and put on his inner shirt. He saw that that man was only wearing a thin shirt, his hair still dripping with water, standing in front of the cabinet barefoot, not knowing what to pick. The cleaning action was very gentle, and the look in his eyes did not seem like it was fake, this made Mu Han Zhang somewhat confused. However, if his highness did not treat him badly, the future days would be much better.
"Come, I will apply the medicine for you."
Presently, Mu Han Zhang was staring at that person's handsome face with wide eyes, thinking that everyone in the royal family was born attractive, but even among them the Prince of Cheng was particularly eye catching… wait a minute, applying medicine?!
"This… I will do it myself" he quickly took the small bottle out of Jing Shao's hand. Due to the steam in the bath, Jing Shao was not able to see Mu Han Zhang's bright red face, however they were now in a well-lit room. Everything could be seen clearly.
"We have already done the deed between husband and wife, what are you afraid of?" Seeing that person's place face getting redder, the corner of Jing Shao's lips could not help but curve upwards. Climbing onto the bed and taking advantage of his agility, he grabbed the bottle back.
Mu Han Zhang contended with him but eventually had to give up, instead taking the quilt to cover his head. Out of sight, out of mind!
Jing Shao was very pleased with himself. He spread open the slender legs and dug up a piece of the ointment and applied it, "this medicine was given to me by my father before I went out for battle. It's effects on stopping the bleeding and relieving pain is particularly good."
The cool and refreshing ointment did not cause any additional pain, only soothing the wound. Naturally, Mu Han Zhang knew how precious this type of medicine, that did not cause pain, was, "How can such a precious medicine be used in such a place?" Peeking from under the quilt he saw the tenderness in Jing Shao's eyes, his desperate heart was slightly comforted. Mu Han Zhang ridiculed himself, he was really pitiful, becoming happy with just a small amount of pity from others.
"It is this kind if place that requires the use of such fine medicine." Jing Shao applied the ointment and stared at the two smooth and round hills. Looking at it, he felt that it had a very nice shape…Forcing his eyes away from that beautiful place, he made an I-didn't-see-anything expression and covered it with the quilt. He settled himself onto the bed and took a bowl of sobering soup, sipping it little by little. It was not a good start, but he certainly would not make it worse.
"How can your highness sleep on the outside? Sleep on the inside." It was the wife's place to sleep on the outer side of the bed, so that she may serve her husband tea and dress him, this was a rule. If they slept like this, Mu Han Zhang was worried that Jing Shao would be late for the morning court. Mu Han Zhang shifted toward the side Jing Shao was at, indicating that he should move to the inner side. Who would have thought that even after he moved towards the edge, Jing Shao would not move?
"You are not a woman, why pay attention to those things?" Jing Shao smiled and took out another small bottle, scooping some of the transparent paste onto his fingertips. "This is a kind of medicine I obtained from the western regions. If applied onto small wounds, the next day it will be seven to eight parts healed. It's just that it will cause some pain, endure it." After that statement, he used his fingertip to spread the balm onto Mu Han Zhang's lower lip.
The pain felt similar to being pricked with a needle, making Mu Han Zhang raise his eyebrows. He wanted to reach out and press on it but was stopped by Jing Shao, "don't touch it, after a little while it will not hurt anymore." The hand held in his palm was long and smooth, extremely fine to the touch. This was the type of hand that wrote characters and drew paintings all year round, compared to his hands which wields the sword it was very different.
Mu Han Zhang endured the stinging feeling, seeing that that person was still holding his hand, he could not help but let out a small cough.
"Ahh, let's go to sleep." Jing Shao quickly let go of that person's hand, calling for the servants to extinguish the lights, he got under the quilt. After greeting the Empress tomorrow and attending the morning court, he could return and sleep for another two shichen.
"En." The person beside him did not say anything else except for that sound. Jing Shao did not see his redden ears.
[ Bitter Black Rabbit Time ]
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