The ride was silent, the sound of pebbles being crushed under the carriage wheels the only sound.
The throbbing pain in his temples contaminated his senses. His head felt like it was going to burst. Although the bleeding had stopped, the damage was definitely still there.
He would have asked Ace for a pill or two to sort him out if it wasn’t for the great lord sitting in front of him, staring him down like a hawk.
He sighed and looked up into those deep bottomless eyes.
“Yes? Do you need something?”
The man simply sat there silently, as if he hadn’t heard the question and it wasn’t worth his time. He continued to stare him down. Before he reached out and slid a handkerchief from under his sleeve and threw it onto the floor.
“You dirtied my carriage floor.” He stated monotonously, before smoothing down his sleeve elegantly and picking up his cup once again.
Ming-hua was momentarily stunned. “...”
So instead of giving a handkerchief so he can sort himself out he threw it onto the floor.
He had never felt so low. This was how royalty had treated all below them. He felt less than an animal. That instead of himself, his carriage was more important.
He took a few deep breaths to sooth the burning in his chest. For some reason it hurt him when the person before him treated him like dirt. He didn’t understand why.
“If you want it clean. Clean it up yourself.” He expressionlessly replied. He was not going to lower himself to this guy. No matter if he’s a God or an Emperor.
The man’s bottomless purple eyes flashed with an indescribable emotion before it was gone. A humorless and dark chuckle rumbled through his chest. He gently placed his cup down on the table and reached over to forcefully grab Ming-hua’s chin.
He gazed intensely into his eyes, neither of them looked away, as a sign of backing down.
Upon noticing that the mere toy he picked up had the gall to challenge him face to face an anger rose in his chest. Had he fallen so low that even a mere commoner can disrespect him?
His purple bottomless eyes darkened, as his grip tightened on his chin “Watch yourself, We have no need for a pathetic boy such as yourself wasting Our time and grating on Our nerves.” He voiced out, a voice full of deep loathing.
Ming-hua ignored the burning pain in his chest. Why did his words hurt so much? No matter what, He refused to look weak.
He abruptly released him as if his touch burnt and brought out another hanker chief to thoroughly wipe his hands.
Ming-hua’s eyes narrowed and darkened as if a beast was swirling within them, waiting to come out. He steadied his breathing and restored his appearance to normal.
He and this person just didn’t mix. The man’s ego was too big. He snickered inwardly well obviously... he’s an emperor, it got to his head.
He hadn’t realized his thoughts had leaked into his expression, showing his deep mocking in his eyes.
Longwei Jun’s eyes narrowed as he saw the flash of mocking in his expression. He raised his hand and clicked his fingers, summoning one of his guards.
“Yes Master” the guard graciously replied, while staring holes into Ming-hua’s form with great resentment and disgust.
He whispered something into his guard ear which even Ming-hua could not hear.
He noticed it wasn’t something good when the guard’s expression lit up in malicious excitement and he smugly looked at Ming-hua’s bloodied form.
“Understood Master, I will send word.” And he excitedly left.
Ace, what happened?
[Master, he intends to punish you by putting you into his concubines’ courters. The concubines are like animals in a den. They will do whatever they can to humiliate you and put you down. He also assigned you the closest courters to his, thus showing his ‘favor and affection’ for you even though he has assigned you to serve the concubines, take care of them, in other words like a servant.]
In other words, he’s turning people against me by acting like he ‘favors’ me. While I’m forced to serve them.
[Yes. He intends to humiliate you until you’ve learnt your lesson. There will be a lot for the women to say about a man who stole the affection of the emperor. They will most likely spread rumors and ruin you, and frame you for things. They will make your life hell because they have the ability to... as your mistress.]
He inwardly rolled his eyes. So, he’s turning everyone against me so that I would have to come to him in the end and beg him to believe me when I am being framed by some concubines and can’t take being a servant anymore.
Oh lord, does he really think I am that weak? That a few words from some whores who only know how to warm his bed will break me. He lowered his head to hide his humorous smile.
This Emperor really does belittle people
[He most likely thinks that you won’t be able to survive in the palace as it is not a place where someone who has no clue about scheming can survive. He probably thinks it will shatter your will and make you more reliant and dependent on him and more...obedient.]
So, he’s trying to tame me like some pet.
Oh... he knows nothing yet. But since it’s like this will I still have to win the concubine selection?
[Yes Master, although he placed you in the den of concubines you still are technically not a concubine as you haven’t won the selection.]
Okay, he sighed as he rested his head back, looking through the carriage window at the luscious green scenery that looked ethereal.
He couldn’t help the small smile that surfaced on his face as he thought about how Austin would always take him to places surrounded by nature. He closed his eyes, relishing in the memory, remembering those loving golden eyes and that warm strong embrace, not realizing a pair of cold purple eyes steadied on his face, flashing with a hint of curiosity
Although he knew he treated the boy horribly, he needed to know his place. He had to admit that saying he didn’t care when he got injured was false.
He had never cared for anyone before, he had never felt anything, yet looking deep into those eyes as blood flowed down his face made his heart slightly tinge with guilt, not enough to make him actually care though.
His eyes brows slightly furrowed in confusion, why would he care? About a male especially. As long as he can remember he has had plenty of females grace his bed and simply used them for his own benefit.
Yet the boy he knew nothing about somehow wormed his way inside, with his stubbornness, his strong will and those steely silver eyes that seemed to look into his soul. It grated on his nerves, how he had somehow made him react. Thus, he would do the same to him. He would place him in the concubine den and wait until those steely silver eyes show something other than nothing when they looked his way.
An hour later
Ming-hua was jolted out of his memories when the carriage suddenly stopped and sounds of commotion, swords clashing, and shouts flew into the carriage. He looked around cautiously and noticed a somewhat grey fume floating through the air. His eyes widened.
This... this is poison?
Using his fast reflexes, he jumped out the carriage. He hadn’t noticed Longwei besides him until he turned his head to scan his surroundings.
They looked into each other’s eyes for a moment before looking away. He was still somewhat dizzy and unstable.
Longwei gracefully and elegantly stood as he watched enemies rush towards him, weapons in hand.
He lazily drew his sword. It shone under the sunlight, making him seem ethereal. His luxurious robe flew in the wind as his long hair swayed with each precise and ruthless movement of his sword. His dark purple bottomless eyes shone with a bloodthirst as each strike splattered blood on his exquisite silver mask.
In a matter of a few seconds all the enemies were on the floor, dead.
Ming-hua was unable to look away, the sight was too demonic, yet it was so beautiful.
He noticed a few enemies coming his way, they must have assumed he was working with the emperor.
He felt his blood rushing through his veins, as his once dizzy sight became clear and tranquil. He could finally use that pent-up anger.
His black long hair shone in the sunlight as his red lush lips lifted into a demonic smile. His silver eyes narrowed, flashing with insanity and bloodthirst.
He lunged forward, bringing out his hidden short sword and thrust it into their bodies one by one, swiftly dodging and parrying their feeble attacks. Splashes of blood soaked his already bloodied white robes, yet only added to his charm, making him seem like a sinful devil.
He remembered to keep the last one alive and simply knocked him out.
Yawning like a kitten, he stretched his limbs, satisfied.
He turned around to be greeted by a pair of intense dark purple eyes deeply absorbing his every movement and expression.
His satisfied expression froze, and he looked down before resuming his expressionless mask.
The pair of purple eyes narrowed, darkness and endless emotions swirled within them.
Ming-hua was about to walk back to the carriage to escape the tense atmosphere when he spotted the broken and dissembled remains of what was the carriage.
Fuck. What now.
“We are camping in the forest now. The carriage is broken, and our great master has ordered that you must stay with us.” Guard 3 sneered in distaste as the words left his mouth. He was about to add another comment when he looked at Ming-hua’s bloodied sword, and the corpses around him. They all died swiftly and precisely, indicating strength and precision.
He looked at Ming-hua with a complicated gaze. He himself had barely killed two of the enemies after fighting them for minutes and this disgusting commoner killed 7 in a row with such precision. He felt his face grow hot in embarrassment. He was one of the emperor’s guards and a mere commoner accomplished so much while he was struggling trying to kill two men. His cheeks grew red as if he had been slapped and he quickly walked away.
Ming-hua snickered under his breath as he shook his head. Pathetic. Just being a guard dog of the emperor doesn’t make you superior.
Dark purple eyes were still intensely focused on him, he could feel them on the back of his head. He sighed and turned around, following the guards that were shouting at him to follow from a distance.
Walking over the dead bodies, he left them for the guards who had stood there mouth agape and eyes wide at his number of kills. Ignoring them, he walked towards the guards and followed behind the Emperor into the camp sight.
He saw the emperor being led into the biggest and most luxurious looking tent.
The wind blew harshly, making goosebumps arise on his skin. He shivered slightly, rubbing his arms.
Looking around he noticed there was no tent for him or anywhere he could sleep. So, he simply stood there, expressionless, hearing snickers and ridiculing comments around him.
His jaw clenched, as he was once again reminded he was not worth anything to that man and these people. He has no obligation to them. He had enough of the snickering and laughing and decided to simply sleep against a tree. Although it was about to rain, he had nowhere else he could go.
He turned around and walked towards the tree, casually and elegantly sitting down, putting his arms behind his head and closing his eyes. Picturing that familiar warmth and those warm golden eyes, to keep him warm.
The rain fell harshly, soaking everything in an instant. The guards snickered as they retreated to their tents.
His clothes and hair became drenched in an instant, as the cold and chilly rain infiltrated his clothes, making him shiver. Yet no matter what, he kept his eyes closed, remembering the warmth of that person. Imagining being in his embrace.
The rain dripped on his wounded head, making it sting. His ankle had become bluish.
He opened his eyes, only to see a pair of fathomless deep dark purple eyes watching him from inside the luxurious tent. He kept eye contact with him, until he saw him finally close the tent fold and leave him alone to bear the cold.
His heart stung with pain. A sad smile arose on his lips. Why does he care? Why does it hurt him so much? He doesn’t even know him, yet why does it make him feel like he was abandoned?