The rain was unrelenting as it flooded the entire forest. The chilling cold, almost sadistic as it latched onto him and never let go.
His body was trembling, his lips tinted with blue. The once healthy light caramel skin now unusually pale. His lush eyelashes trembled as he tried to sleep.
He couldn’t request any help from Ace otherwise people would grow curious, how someone injured and left in the rain and cold didn’t look the least affected.
Ming-hua’s silver eyes opened, not even groggy in the slightest, as he had not even slept properly, he sighed and brought his legs up to his chest and cradled himself.
His eyes glided shut. He noticed he had lost faith in himself. So, what if they grew curious? That’s their problem, not his. If they question him, he will just say he is well versed in the medical field.
The sun was rising, bringing light and a little warmth to the once gloomy and cold land.
His clothes and hair were soaked, as if he had been swimming. He leaned his head on knees as he contemplated his next move.
A sigh left his mouth as he tried to steady himself on his feet, only to be greeted by a sharp pain in his ankle.
“-Ssss” He sucked in a breath as he gripped the tree for support.
His fragile form trembled, he was hungry, wet, cold and injured. But he knew someone like the Emperor or his guards would not care. His heart stabbed with pain.
No. No. I am not weak. I am not someone that lets other people walk on top of me. He gritted his teeth. -But for completing this mission I have to endure it. However, dead men tell no tails... His lips arose into a diabolic smile. There won’t be a problem if I burrow a few things from some guards that won’t even be missed, right?
He staggered towards the tent farthest away from the Emperors. He listened in and noticed there was no sound other than snoring.
“Perfect” he purred under his breath.
He sneaked into the tent, silencing his footsteps with great skill. He approached the sleeping guards like a lion waiting for the perfect moment to pounce his prey.
His silver eyes narrowed with malicious excitement, these were some of the guards that had humiliated him, belittled him. Why? Because in their eyes he was a commoner? His eyes darkened even further as he now stood beside their sleeping forms.
He brought out his short sword, smothered his mouth with his hand and glided his sword across his neck.
Blood flew furiously out of his neck, as the guard’s eyes flew open and widened in shock as he took his last breath.
Ming-hua smirked in satisfaction Ahh that look of disbelief truly makes him shiver with satisfaction. He moved onto the guard sleeping next to him and did the same, relishing in the way they died, not believing the commoner would dare act against them, for they were the Emperors guards and acting against them was acting against their master. But their arrogance had been their downfall.
They hadn’t noticed that inside Ming-hua resided a beast that they should not have provoked.
After Ming-hua hummed with satisfaction at his work, he walked around the tent taking everything useful, clean inner clothes, towels, food and a wooden ancient first aid box.
He hummed in approval as he took out the bandages and bandaged his ankle. He then took out more bandages and bandaged his arm, so that he could use them later for reserve.
He bought a 80% increased healing pill from system shop, throwing it into his mouth and relishing in the way it numbed the pain from his body. But for now, he had to deal with these corpses. He needed to make it look like they went out into the forest and were chased by enemy assassins.
Ace, do you remember the symbol that the enemy men wore on their chests.
[Yes Master, would you like me to replicate the symbol?]
Yeah, it would be ideal to plant it somewhere and make it look like they had accidently left it in a hurry after dealing with the guards and taking a few items.
[Understood, Master.] Ace replied monotonously, yet there was a hint of malicious satisfaction. He had hated the way his master had been treated yet was unable to voice his concerns as he never had before, but now he can finally help his master.
Ming-hua received the replicated enemy badge and planted it in the corner of the tent. He placed everything back to normal, making sure it didn’t look like they were missing too many items.
Walking back to his tree, his lips lifted into a satisfied smile. Silver eyes flashed with mirth, as they narrowed in contemplation.
He will follow behind the Emperor for now, but when his mission is over he will leave. But not before leaving them all a present. Hmm...yes, that is what he will do. He will make the Emperor feel for him, he will make him start to feel guilty for everything while he acts like a Mary sue. The more the Emperor hurts him the more he will only hurt himself in the end. He chuckled darkly under his breath.
It seems it’s time to kill with kindness. He reorganized his features, resuming his expressionless mask before he franticly fan towards the Emperors tent.
Pulling open the fold he ran inside, to be greeted by the sight of the Emperor languidly sitting up in bed, reaching for his sword. His robes were parted, showing his glorious and mouthwatering stature, hair was enticingly spread out, as he elegantly stood up, holding his sword in his hand.
His dark purple eyes roamed Ming-hua’s figure, lingering a little on his forehead and the bottom of his robes, trying to see his ankle, an unknown light flashing through his eyes.
Ming-hua franticly took in a deep breath as if trying to calm his raging heart, keeping his face expressionless “The guards... I heard something going on, inside one of the guard’s tents and I went to have a look...” His silver eyes flashed with a solemn light, “-but when I got there the guards were already dead.”
The Emperor stood tall and elegant, as he took in the information. His grip on his sword slight tightened and he summoned his personal guards. The 3 immediately understood and went to investigate. Ming-hua lowered his head, hiding his expression with his silky black hair as he clutched his arm, as if trying to bear with the guilt.
Longwei’s brows slightly furrowed as he observed his form. He felt a tinge of guilt, yet again, he didn’t know why.
This boy had made him feel something again...
The fact was once again thrown in his face, his flawless jaw clenched as he voiced out with deep irritation “Leave”.
Ming-hua’s form stilled as he smiled sardonically behind his hair, yet he outwardly jumped and quickly retreated out of the tent.
Once far away from the tent, his lips lifted into an enchanting smile.
Hey, Ace, Ive realized that being kind, being passive and letting people get their way will only fuel their arrogance and hurt you in the end. That’s why, I think its alright for one to be cruel, don’t you think? He rested against the tree, his arms behind his head.
[I agree with Master, being lenient and kind in this type of world will not benefit one if they are against people of such nature.]
His eyes fluttered shut, as he took in a deep breath as if to brace himself.
The sun shone down on his form, warming his cold and fragile body. Birds chirped in the distance, creating a peaceful and beautiful moment.
Ace...I hope you can answer me honestly, is there any chance that the man I loved followed me here? Is there a chance that... he is Longwei?
[...] Ace was silent.
Ming-hua gritted his teeth, waiting for the answer.
Ace finally responded in a low, monotonous voice as if still contemplating.
[Master, although the chance is extremely low, there is a possibility. I have also noticed that they both have the same aura and bearing, therefore I believe despite the chance being nearly impossible... there may have been a miracle.]
Ming-hua brought his hands to his face, rubbing his eyes, hiding the relief and happiness that made his eyes tinge red. His lips lifted into a loving smile. He was brought out of his happiness by those cold dark purple eyes that observed his form in the sunlight.
The cold eyes took in the way his hair long hair flew in the air, and how it shone under the sun, the way his enchanting silver eyes seemed to melt with happiness, love and relief and that beautiful smile that could warm even his frozen heart.
His heart jumped, and he visibly frowned. His dark purple phoenix eyes narrowed in confusion as he reached out his hand and clutched his chest, looking up once again to notice those once warm and loving eyes now stone cold, and expressionless. His jaw clenched. Who was he thinking of when he smiled so lovingly? Why did it annoy him to see the difference in how he looked at him?
Ming-hua observed the Emperor as he stood there looking at him with a complicated emotion flashing through his eyes.
Although he knew his love had followed him, his current situation and the person he was now greatly saddened him. Thinking of the way he had been treated his silver eyes showed indescribable sadness as he gazed into those cold ones.
The man he loved had now become an Emperor, someone who had thousands of concubines and had slept with plenty of them.
The pain in his chest intensified, but before he could expose his sad expression to the one he refused to be weak in front of, he casually lowered his head and closed his eyes.
After a few hours, a few carriages arrived, and they were once again able to journey to the Iren country.
Ming-hua spent his time resting in the carriage, his body was already damaged from the start and became even worse with the treatment he received. Thankfully, he had collected enough food to last him his travel.
He ignored those intense eyes that lingered on his form as he slept. For his time as a servant he was going to need as much rest as he could get.
He dozed off into a deep sleep as they were nearing the Iren Country.
Unaware that the pair of fathomless eyes narrowed in contemplation as he elegantly reached out his flawless hand, raising his finger and letting it glide across Ming-hua’s soft cheeks. His thumb reached up to stroke his cheek bone, and his heart tightened with an unusual warmth once again.
He withdrew his hand with a complicated gaze, looking at his hand and feeling the unusual warmth that seemed to spread from his fingers.
He was unable to deny that he had begun to feel something for the boy before him. He sighed and clicked his fingers.
“Yes Master” the guard replied as he immediately bowed down in respect.
“Investigate everything” he solemnly voiced out. He once again redirected his bottomless gaze towards the sleeping beauty in front of him, not understanding why he felt sad and guilty at the name that flowed through those lush red lips.
“Austin...” Ming-hua whispered in his sleep.
“Understood master,” the guard replied as he looked at Ming-hua with confusion and slight lingering disgust, why had his master cared enough to investigate? No matter how he felt, he could do nothing but swallow his protests leave.
The ride lasted another hour, before the carriage stopped, waking Ming-hua from his deep slumber.
Yawning, he stretched like a kitten, as he rubbed his eyes with his small hands. His normally steely and expressionless face was now still tired and confused with sleep. He looked adorable as he once again looked around the carriage with watery tired silver eyes, only to be greeted with those cold dark purple ones that narrowed and flashed with amusement.
Ming-hua was now fully awake and he immediately turned his head away from that scorching amused gaze and resumed his expressionless mask.
They got off the carriage.
Ming-hua’s eyes flashed with astonishment as he took in the large palace, its designs golden, the dragons and royal symbols made the area seem ethereal. The cherry blossom trees around the palace fluttered in the wind, blowing a few beautiful petals past him.
The palace was so big that he didn’t think the amount of space could even be measured.
Around the Huge and golden palace were thousands of small palaces. Yet they were also luxurious.
Hmm... those must be the residences belonging to the concubines huh.
Disgusting he thought as he shook his head and followed behind the Emperor.
The Emperor had summoned all of his concubines. Ming-hua trailed behind him as he elegantly walked with his head held high. His clothes still bloody yet did nothing to reduce his charm.
They entered the huge golden palace, its golden interior design astonishingly flawless, gold was a material which was mainly used by the royal family, therefore the palace was mainly decorated with it.
They walked into a huge hall. In front of the hall was a large golden and luxurious throne. There were dragon symbols on the sides, as if representing a dragon god.
Ming-hua ignored the burning eyes of jealously and hate of the concubines as he walked behind the Emperor. The emperor went and languidly sat down on his throne, as Ming-hua stood on the same level as the concubines and bowed in respect.
These were the women that the person he loved had slept with after he followed him. Hate was not enough to describe the burning emotions in his chest. But he gritted his teeth and steadied his breathing as he stayed head lowered, in the form of respect.
“This young man will serve you as your servant, he is very valuable to Us. Make sure you take care of him. He will be assigned a palace which is closest to Us. During his stay he will prove his worth by serving you well. He will especially serve Our favored Imperial concubine Ning’er.” The low baritone voice flowed through the hall, dominating and demanding submission.
The imperial concubine smiled innocently and went to stand beside the emperor. The Emperor narrowed his eyes in satisfaction as he took her hand in his. Since there was no empress, her title and status was the highest in the harem.
Indeed, this is how his concubines should be. They all knew he would never love them and that they had to share him, yet they still looked at him with love. Indeed, women are better than the certain male he had been having unusual feelings about. He convinced himself as his gaze somewhat warmed as he stared at his beloved imperial concubine. He tried to get rid of his lingering feelings for the male by directing them towards his imperial concubine.
Ming-hua lowered his eyes, closed them and willed the stinging to go away. He took deep breaths, suppressing the agony he felt creeping into his heart.
The imperial concubine smugly looked down at the other concubines and the young exotic male who was even more beautiful than her.
She hated him as soon as she saw him, the only person allowed to walk with his majesty is her. How dare someone like him try to seduce their emperor with his looks. She inwardly snickered as she held his hand and looked into those eyes that somewhat warmed to her for the very first time.
Her innocent face was overtaken with a captivating blush as she saw the flash of warmth in his eyes. Never had the emperor looked at anyone in such warmth. Her heart was engulfed with joy. He had finally come to feel for her.
She suppressed her joy and looked down condescendingly at the exotic male.
“Who is this? Such dirty clothes, how dare such a male like you dirty his majesty’s floor with your clothes.”
“Apologies imperial concubine, this servant did not mean to” Ming-hua voiced out, his voice melodic and deep yet contained an unnoticeable resentment and promise of revenge.
The imperial concubine refused to let the matter go and continued to use her status and power to pressure the exotic servant. Ming-hua kept his head lowered and answered obediently each time.
The concubines behind him snickered and gossiped as they looked at his pathetic form. So what if you get the closest palace to his majesty? Your still our servant! they thought as they felt immense satisfaction.
Ming-hua, bearing the humiliation and embarrassment looked up into the emperor’s eyes, hoping to see the warmth that he had come to love, but saw they contained nothing as they stared at him intensely, not a single flash of emotion to show he cared.
His heart squeezed in immense pain and agony.
Ming-hua smiled sadly behind his long black hair, his eyes red lined. He closed his eyes and opened them, showing a deep, dark and calm pool of nothingness. Inside the steely silver resided a dark demon waiting to come out.
He would complete his mission and then he will make sure to kill every single concubine here. He chuckled darkly under his breath.
This is not my fault Longwei, it is yours.