Chapter 72

On the second day, before dawn, in the midst of the misty atmosphere, Shen Fengyue was forcibly awakened by someone.

Shen Fengyue, “?”

“Empress Dowager, we should go back now, otherwise it won’t be good if His Majesty finds out.” The person said to him.

Shen Fengyue was still not fully awake, in a dazed state. Lord Shen saw him nod in front of him and then close his half-opened eyes and fall asleep again.

The daring Lord Shen reached out a finger and poked him in the face, but there was no response from the other party. At this time, the Empress Dowager was the least threatening, but time was urgent, and Lord Shen couldn’t afford to waste any more time or act as he pleased, regardless of his thoughts.

“Shall this minister carry the Empress Dowager on his back?”

The sleeping person did not say yes or no, so Lord Shen took it as a silent agreement and carefully carried the person on his back and left.

Due to the laziness of the Empress Dowager, the Shoukang Palace was late in lighting up, and the palace maids woke up later than those in other palaces. So Lord Shen had a smooth and safe journey and safely returned the Empress Dowager to his palace.

He put the person on the bed and tucked them tightly into the soft and fluffy bedding.

The person on the bed had long hair like a falling black cloud, scattered in the bright yellow bedding, with a slight flush on both cheeks, sleeping soundly, and a gentle curve at the corner of the mouth. The usually expressive person, when asleep, lost those rich expressions on their face, leaving only a peaceful beauty.

Lord Shen squatted on the ground, arms folded together, chin resting on top, quietly watching the person on the bed near the headboard. After watching for a while, when the time was almost up, he reluctantly stood up.

Before leaving, he left a light kiss on Shen Fengyue’s forehead,

“Returned the Empress Dowager back safely.”

Shen Fengyue had played wildly with Lord Shen last night, stayed up late, and was very exhausted, so he couldn’t get up from bed the next day. The people serving in the palace were anxious, afraid that the Empress Dowager was unwell, and even summoned the imperial physician early and waited outside the door.

Hong Mei tried to go in several times but was unpleasantly rebuked by Shen Fengyue and didn’t dare to go in rashly.

It wasn’t until mid-morning that the Empress Dowager woke up and summoned his attendants, and they finally breathed a sigh of relief.

When Shen Fengyue sat up and changed clothes on the bed, he felt something bulging in his waist pouch, which made him uncomfortable. He touched it with his hand, smooth, round, and very familiar to the touch. He roughly guessed what it was in his heart.

Coincidentally, at this time, Luo Xue brought him toiletries, and Shen Fengyue casually put the thing under the pillow.

After he finished washing up, the palace attendants left one by one, and when Shen Fengyue saw that there was no one around, he took out the thing from under the pillow. Upon closer inspection, it was indeed the matchmaking moonstone that Lord Shen had carved for him last night.

On the white and translucent stone, the character “Shen” was carved, and the bright red cinnabar was used to color it, creating a sharp contrast between red and white.

Shen Fengyue smiled and shook his head. He had clearly refused it yesterday, but Lord Shen didn’t make a fuss about it at the time, so he didn’t think much of it. He didn’t know when the other party had slipped it in.

He played with the small white stone in his hand for a while, and finally put it in a corner at the bottom of the dressing box before turning to tidy up the pillow.

After patting the pillow and smoothing out the wrinkles with his hands, Shen Fengyue let out a sigh of relief and calmed his restless mind, ready to walk out of the room.

But at the moment he reached for the door, he inexplicably turned back. He opened the small drawer at the bottom of the dressing box and took out the moonstone. He murmured to himself, “It’s carved quite nicely,” and hung it around his neck

Every day in the afternoon, Lord Shen would accompany the emperor to discuss and handle political affairs. After finishing their busy work on this day, the two sat down to drink tea and have some snacks.

Chu Xi held a cup of tea and took a big sip. The warm liquid flowed down his throat and into his heart, making him feel inexplicably comfortable. Moreover, most of the political affairs had been reviewed, so he was much more relaxed.

At the moment he put down the cup, he inadvertently caught sight of something hanging from Lord Shen’s waist. A red thread was threaded through a plain white stone. He didn’t have a jade pendant or sachet hanging from his waist, only this seemingly ordinary object, which showed how important and precious it was to him.

“What is the object hanging around your waist, Lord Shen?” He couldn’t help but ask curiously.

The side of the stone with the characters carved on it happened to be facing away from Chu Xi, so he didn’t see what was on it. Lord Shen subconsciously grasped the stone when he heard the question.

“Lord Shen?” His reaction was really interesting, and Chu Xi’s curiosity and interest grew stronger.

Lord Shen knew that he couldn’t get away without explaining to the emperor today, so he laughed and said, “It’s just something this subordinate obtained from a temple a few days ago. It’s said to bring peace and safety.”

Chu Xi didn’t believe it. Something that brings peace and safety couldn’t possibly be so well-protected.

The emperor clearly didn’t believe his nonsense, so Lord Shen had to confess the truth, “Your Majesty, please don’t tease me. This was given to me by my beloved yesterday. I treasure it very much.”

This statement was cleverly worded, as it explained the reason and made the emperor feel embarrassed to ask for it. Chu Xi was not interested in the symbolic token of affection that the Lord’s beloved had sent.

The topic was passed over, and Chu Xi talked to Lord Shen for a while before he said he had something else to do and left.

Shen Fengyue brought some snacks to see them today, but unfortunately, Lord Shen had already left.

Chu Xi was originally happy that Empress Dowager brought something to see him today, but he noticed that Shen Fengyue was absent-minded while eating, and his attention was clearly not there. After a moment of thought, he guessed what was going on and spoke in a tone that was neither warm nor cold, “Is Mother looking for Lord Shen? He left before the incense burned out.”

His voice brought Shen Fengyue back to reality, and he keenly sensed that his son was not in a good mood. He quickly said, “How could it be? I’m just looking around.”

“Mother seems to be getting too close to the Lord Shen.” Chu Xi swallowed what was in his mouth and casually picked up a grape, peeled it, and ate it while saying “This son doesn’t like it when Mother is like this. It makes me feel neglected.”

He had a hidden meaning in his words and a hint of reproach. Shen Fengyue was stunned and looked at him fixedly. He noticed that Chu Xi was still peeling a grape, and only after he finished peeling it did he raise his head and meet his gaze without saying a word.

Shen Fengyue looked at Chu Xi and inexplicably felt that something had quietly changed without him realizing it.

The child had been on the throne for some time now, and since sitting on the dragon throne, he had transformed like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. Apart from his unwavering filial piety towards him, many of his previous traits had faded away. He feared that in a little while, Chu Xi would be completely unrecognizable.

The imperial aura in the child was becoming increasingly apparent. He was the legitimate heir to the throne, a member of the noble class, and the royal majesty that belonged to him was innate.

Shen Fengyue was overwhelmed by the sudden emergence of his aura. He struggled to curl his lips and slowly said, “Your Majesty, you worry too much. I would never do such a thing.”

He had been watching Shen Fengyue all along. Upon hearing his words, his cold and ruthless expression instantly softened, and he smiled again as if everything that had just happened was an illusion.

“I know mother cares for me”

He used “I” instead of “We.”

After Chu Xi’s admonishment, Shen Fengyue began to contemplate his relationship with Lord Shen. He felt that they needed some time to cool down, so in the following days, in order to avoid suspicion, he stopped personally delivering dinner and would avoid Lord Shen when he saw him in the imperial garden.

Even a fool could tell that he was intentionally avoiding Lord Shen, so how could Lord Shen not know?

He had probably been avoiding him for about a week.

One night, after Shen Fengyue finished washing up, he was left with only a white undershirt. He blew out the candles in the room and was about to climb into bed when he felt someone already on the bed. Before he could scream, his mouth was covered, and he was suddenly pushed down onto the bed.

Moonlight shone through the open window, allowing Shen Fengyue to recognize the person through the light.

The moonlight illuminated a pair of eyes that were all too familiar, with narrow corners and deep, dark pupils.

– It was Lord Shen.

Recognizing the person, Shen Fengyue subconsciously looked toward the window and saw that it was indeed open. It seemed that Lord Shen had climbed in through the window again.

Lord Shen released his hand covering Shen Fengyue’s mouth, his eyes drooping with a hint of grievance, and his voice was full of coquetry. “Why is Empress Dowager avoiding me?”

“Get up first.” The position they were in was a bit dangerous.

Lord Shen didn’t do as he was told, only easing up a bit so as not to press too hard on him and cause any pain.

“Did I make you angry? If I did, just tell me and I’ll change,” he said again.

“I’m not angry, it’s just…” Shen Fengyue couldn’t come up with a reason and didn’t know what to say. He kept stumbling over his words until he let out a long sigh.

Lord Shen couldn’t make sense of his attitude, but he wanted to get to the bottom of it today and make everything clear between them.

The relationship between him and Shen Fengyue was like a thin sheet of paper, just waiting to be punctured so that light could shine through the holes and they could express their hearts to each other.

“Empress Dowager, there’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask you.” He pushed Shen Fengyue’s thighs apart with force, easily separating his legs. He knelt in between on the bed and took a few steps forward.

This action was extremely dangerous, and Shen Fengyue swallowed hard, his heart racing and almost bursting out of his chest. He was afraid and curled up his legs, shrinking backward until his back was against the headboard, with nowhere to retreat.

“You can…ask.”

Lord Shen reached out his long arm and pulled him forward from the headboard, dragging him back to his original position and firmly controlling him underneath him. He put his hands on both sides of Shen Fengyue’s face, supporting himself above him.

“What is my relationship with the Empress Dowager?”

He asked, not dragging things out when it came to matters of the heart. In the past, he was being considerate of Shen Fengyue’s timid attitude and had always acted that way to accommodate him.

Shen Fengyue was stunned by the question and remained silent for a long time before finally saying, “I…”. He didn’t finish his sentence.





After a long silence, Lord Shen couldn’t help but laugh angrily. He touched Shen Fengyue’s cheek with one hand and lowered his head, getting closer to him. “I only wanted to know the Empress Dowager’s thoughts. I know my actions were very abrupt, but if you don’t like it, I won’t force you. If you make it clear that you don’t want it, I will stay away and draw a clear boundary between us.”

“I won’t pester you,” he added at the end, his tone becoming more serious.

“I hope the Empress Dowager can give me a definite answer.”

Shen Fengyue was at a loss for words. He was still struggling with his sexuality, and his mind was full of thoughts about coming out of the closet.

Did he like girls or boys? He looked at Lord Shen, unsure of his feelings for this person. Sometimes, this person’s actions could touch his heartstrings and make his heart beat uncontrollably, unable to stop for a long time.

Come out, come out, come out, come out…

Lord Shen had been waiting for his answer, but he saw the person beneath him with a wandering gaze, lost in thought. After a moment of silence, his expression suddenly turned cold.

“I understand the Empress Dowager’s meaning. I won’t bother you anymore. Let’s part ways here.”

With that, he released the pressure on Shen Fengyue’s body, got off the bed, and was about to leave.

Come out, come out, come out, come out…

Fine, he would just come out. So what if he liked this person?!

Just as Shen Fengyue made a solemn decision, he suddenly sat up from the bed with such force that the sturdy bed made a groan.

He grabbed the departing person’s clothes and pulled him towards him. Shen Fengyue pecked him lightly on the cheek before stopping any further movements.

“This is my answer.”

Lord Shen’s ears turned red all of a sudden as he turned around to look at him.

“Empress Dowager, are you serious?”

Shen Fengyue glared at him and blew out a breath with a puffed cheek.

Yes, really, more real than gold! I really, really, really like you! I even came out for you, it’s all true!

The coldness on Lord Shen’s face disappeared completely, replaced by a gentle expression. He supported the back of Shen Fengyue’s head and planted a deep kiss on his lips.

Full of love and affection, the kiss was lingering.

After the kiss, he said, “I understand your intentions, Empress Dowager.”

It turned out that they were in tune with each other’s hearts.

This is called mutual affection and admiration.


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1 thought on “Chapter 72”

  1. I caught up with so many chapters after so long!! This might be one of my favorite arcs, it’s so tooth-achingly sweet!! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡


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