Soon after, the Emperor ordered the all concubines except the imperial concubine and Ming-hua to return to their palaces.
As the concubines shuffled to leave, Longwei glanced down at the ethereal male whose expression was hidden behind his hair.
Although his intention was to humiliate him, he didn’t know why he felt a stabbing pain in his chest, making it somewhat difficult to breath as he watched his form become engulfed in the endless ridicule.
He gripped the throne’ armrest. This is for the best, he and the male will not have any lingering attachments, if even there were some. He will be a servant and with his standing he should be satisfied as such he thought to himself, attempting to calm the stinging in his chest.
Everything was normal, that’s right, nothing has changed, he is the emperor who can use whoever he wants like chess pieces. He comforted himself as he suppressed the pain in his chest.
He diverted his attention to the imperial concubine next to him “You may serve Zhen tonight, be prepared my beloved”
The Imperial concubine’s face lit up in joy as her cheeks bashfully flushed an alluring red. She innocently lowered her eyes, fluttering her black lush lashes “Y-yes your majesty”
Longwei was no fool, he knew all his concubines were women with two faces and ruthless, but he had no intention of loving any of them anyway, to him they were simply to be used for his satisfaction in bed.
He should be happy, that even without devoting himself to anyone he is still in power, yet the pain in his chest simply intensified, as if trying to punish him for each time he tried to do something that would hurt the young male before him.
He withdrew his eyes from the hardly concealed smug expression that lined the imperial concubines face and looked at the young male who was no longer kneeling in respect and was instead looking straight at him with a pair of deep silver eyes.
He felt exposed, as if those eyes could see into his soul. His brows slightly furrowed and his dark enchanting eyes narrowed.
“Escort him to his palace, he will resume his work tomorrow”
“Yes, your majesty” Steward Wei bowed and proceeded to push Ming-hua along. The fellow eunuch and maids knew that they did not have to respect or care about the male no matter how ethereal he looked.
They saw the way he was ridiculed and noted that no matter what they do to him they won’t be punished. Finally, they had someone lower than themselves that they could control, they thought with satisfaction.
They all knew his majesty’s temperament, it was clear that by ‘favoring’ him he was actually doing the exact opposite. It was clear to everyone that the Emperor wanted the male to suffer. Who are they to refuse to do their emperors bidding?
Ming-hua remained expressionless, cold steely eyes not portraying a single flash of emotion as every maid, eunuch and guard passed him with ridiculing eyes as they whispered.
Yet the internal pain only intensified as he knew his lover would be sleeping with another woman tonight, even after he met him, he still did not care enough.
After being pushed into his palace, the maids snickered at him before they left. They had no intention of staying any longer with someone who is clearly being targeted by the Emperor. The goal in the harem is to side with those who are in favor and powerful, not someone who is already halfway into the grave.
When he was all alone in the palace, his face broke into a dark smile, full of blood thirst and mania, yet his sad and heartbroken silver eyes betrayed him.
He walked towards his luxurious bed and sat down, facing the bronze mirror as he gazed at his pathetic and bloodied form.
[Yes Master...] Ace wished there was a way he could comfort his master, yet he was simply a being who had already forgotten everything about himself. He did not know if he used to be someone, since after being with his host he was beginning to feel emotions.
I want to know before hand, is there a poison that I can purchase that I can put in the palaces water supply? A poison that would ensure none are able to find an antidote and also makes one suffer intense pain.
[...Yes Master, there is. Would you like to purchase it?]
Yes, but keep it in the storage for now.
[Understood, Master... if I may ask... do you intend to poison the maids and eunuch as well?]
A breath-taking smile broke out on his face, and his eyes sparkled with excitement Why of course
Ace shuddered, though rather than it being with fright, it was with malicious excitement. No matter how cruel his master may seem to others, he knows the thoughts and feelings of his master, and to him he will never be someone who is a monster.
Ming-hua lazily plopped his head onto the bed, playing with his long black hair, don’t you think such disgusting people should be removed? Besides, the concubines, maids and eunuch use a different water supply from the Emperor, therefore no matter what happens as long as their dear Emperor isn’t harmed isn’t everything all good?
The sky became dark and the wind became chilly.
Inside a luxurious palace, the candle light illuminated 2 figures who were surrounded by an ambiguous air. The Emperor stood in front of his imperial concubine in his bottom robe, his robe loosely tied as it revealed his enticing figure, he lowered his gaze onto the female before him, as she bashfully sat on the bed and waited for his majesty to come and take her like usual.
Longwei reached out his flawless hand and was about to stroke her cheek, when he was suddenly reminded of those steely breathtaking eyes and the warmth that lingered on his fingers from that person. His hand halted, and his brows slightly furrowed.
“Y-your majesty?” She called out bashfully, voice innocent and alluring.
He lowered his hand and gripped it into a fist. He couldn’t do it. He didn’t understand why he was unable to favor a concubine like he had many times in the past. Why was there such a feeling of dread and guilt in his chest, making it hard to breath when he thought about that person?
His dark fathomless eyes flashed with an unknown emotion before he walked over, picked up his outer robe and elegantly threw it on. His appearance slightly ruffled, only adding to his lazy and languid charm.
The imperial concubine was stunned, her bashful expression broke and she sat there mouth gaping. Never had the emperor refused her before. Why? Why had he looked so conflicted when he was about to touch her?
She gritted her teeth as her scorching gaze rested on the door that the emperor left from.
Nothing was different from usual yet why? Wh- her eyes widened as if she had come to a realization. ′It can’t be...′ her hands gripped the silk bed sheets.
No... it can’t be... but before everyone had ridiculed him yet his majesty did not do a thing, so it can’t be possible that he would care about him enough not to favor a woman... It can’t be.
After Ming-hua had bathed and changed into a simple white robe, he laid down on the bed. Minutes passed by and he had grown tired of simply staring at the luxurious ceiling and decided to go out and take a walk in the garden.
The moon shined down on the area, making the huge and beautiful garden seem otherworldly, he walked peacefully and slowly, closing his eyes as he took in the soothing yet cold chilly air that caressed his cheeks.
The cherry blossom trees and roses blew in the wind, as their petals flew and kissed his skin. He opened his eyes and looked up at the moon.
Who would have thought that after his lover had followed him he would forget about him and would become an Emperor who is scared of commitment and loving a man. A humorless laugh left his lips as he shook his head.
He remembered those golden warm eyes that resembled the sun, as they looked at him and held him captive. He remembered the man who was not afraid to show his love in front of other people. To that man, it did not matter what people thought as long as he loved him. Yet in this life it seemed to be the opposite.
It seems that although his soul belongs to the man he loved, their personalities are not completely the same.
His eyes narrowed in contemplation as he walked towards a cherry blossom tree and casually sat under it, hands behind his head.
As he engulfed himself in his memories, his favorite song came to mind. It was a slow, and sad song, full of longing. Austin always asked him why he liked such a sad song and why he always blasted it throughout the mansion every day. He would always smile and say that it’s his favorite song and would continue to torture him with it every day.
He smiled at the memory and brought out his flute from his storage space.
Taking a deep breath, he began to play the sad melody, full of love and longing. Tears gathered in his eyes as the notes became lower and full of tragedy. His hair blew in the wind, as the notes cracked with each tear that left his eyes.
But even so, he continued playing, as if a requiem of lost love.
Longwei hadn’t been able to suppress the unusual emotions in his chest, so he simply walked through the garden, under the moon to ease the pain.
He had abruptly halted, his elegant robe flowing in the wind, his black silky hair cascading around him as his fathomless deep eyes widened slightly, hearing the slow melody that floated into his ears.
It felt so familiar, as if he had heard it thousands of times, yet no matter how much he tried he couldn’t remember where from.
As if entranced, he slowly followed the melody. His eyes widened, his normally elegant and dominating form somewhat frigid as he looked upon the sad sight of the young male, playing the tragic melody, his eyes closed as tears dripped down his cheeks.
He felt as if the air had been knocked out of his lungs and he brought his hand up and gripped his chest.
What does he need to do to make this pain in his chest go away? Why won’t it leave? It almost seemed like a curse, as it made him feel things for a man who he would have originally never cared about.
His jaw clenched as he willed his eyes to move away from the tragic yet ethereal sight, but was unable to, as if spell bound he could only stand there, taking in the melody that made his heart beat.
When he noticed the young males’ eyelashes fluttering slowly open he froze.
Their eyes met.
The night was engulfed in silence, the wind blowing through trees the only sound as they both kept their eyes connected.
Ming-hua realized that neither one of them would talk first so he got up, patted his robe down and walked away.
Longwei stood, still expressionless, his form still frigid. He was shocked. He hadn’t expected him to just walk away without saying anything, almost as if him being here was irrelevant.
Anger and shock flashed past his demonic eyes. He hadn’t expected someone who was so obedient even when being humiliated earlier to simply disregard him, the Emperor.
Although it sparked unusual feelings in his chest, he couldn’t deny that this side of him was truly one of a kind. He had become so used to people with flowery words and greedy eyes wearing masks that he didn’t know there would be someone who never cared for his status, money and power.
He realized the boy was starting to occupy his mind and abruptly paused his line of thoughts when he remembered the real reason the boy was here. To be his toy.
Since I have already decided to make him my toy he will have to carry on being a toy. Especially since everyone in the palace already knows that I brought him here for that purpose, he solemnly thought as his eyes narrowed.
He sighed and walked back to his large palace, closing his eyes and attempting to sleep yet was unable to forget the hauntingly tragic melody, as if it had been imprinted into his soul.
Morning arrived and Ming-hua was woken by his maids to start his work as a servant for the imperial concubine.
He got dressed in the servant robe he was given. Although the robe was not bad, it was dull and uncomfortable.
Honestly, I know servants are treated like shit but at least give them a decent uniform he sneered inwardly.
After he dressed in his robes he was escorted to the hall, where the imperial concubine and the emperor were having breakfast.
He ignored the pair of intense eyes that bore into the side of his head as he stood obediently at the side, awaiting any orders, head lowered.
“You” the imperial concubine’s voice ordered. “You think you are high enough to not greet me and his majesty good morning and show respect?” she sneered. Ever since she had her doubts last night she couldn’t wipe the thought off her mind. That his majesty may have chosen a servant over her.
Her heart engulfed with anger as she sneered at him “I normally grant my servants names, but you do not deserve a name, for you are lower than everyone here. You are not a person, you are a servant. You will respect me and his majesty and remember your place, understood? Pathetic servant” she sneered, not caring about the emperor observing from opposite the table. She was sure that he would never take his side, as he clearly brought him here to make him suffer.
“Understood, Imperial concubine, this lowly and pathetic one is deeply sorry” he expressionlessly replied, voice monotone and devoid of emotion. He would not give people the satisfaction of seeing him react.
She gritted her teeth, does this mere servant think he is higher than her?
He glanced up at the emperor through his lashes and saw him sitting there, casually sipping his wine as he entwined his fingers with the concubines.
He took a deep breath, suppressing the pain.
“Sorry, your majesty, the servant is new, and I will be sure to teach him some manners. Should I make him kneel and kowtow as apology?” The imperial concubine coyly muttered to the emperor as she flushed and innocently lowered her eyes and bit her lips.
The emperor didn’t reply, as he simply sat there, his deep dark eyes flashed with irritation as he untangled their entwined fingers.
“It’s fine” he replied, yet his voice was cold and somewhat irritated.
The imperial concubine was still unable to tell the mood. “U-um your majesty, may I serve you tonight?” She asked bashfully.
“Zhen will favor you tonight” She blushed and continued to eat.
Ming-hua felt the demon in his eyes swirling, becoming darker and more sadistic. He had felt that since coming to this world he was slowly becoming someone he wasn’t before. He was slowly becoming crueler, darker.
Yet no matter what, he was unable to escape this outcome and change. For the person responsible was the emperor who he had to please to become an imperial concubine.
The emperor looked up into Ming-hua’s steely eyes and they continued to look at each other until the imperial concubine’s voice once again sounded in the hall.
Ming-hua diverted his eyes away from the dark ones.
His stomach growled as he looked at the food.
The emperor got up and to leave for his official business. He looked into his eyes once more before he left.
The imperial concubine continued to discipline Ming-hua throughout the day, making him do the hardest chores, making him do every chore and telling her other maids that they can rest, while he did all the work. She didn’t forget to put him down with her words every moment, she had used him as a punching bag, without the physical aspect.
Ming-hua’s demon raged, as if struggling against his sanity, he had to suppress the urge to boil her and strip of her flesh piece by piece.
As Ming-hua was completing his last chore, the imperial concubine entered the room and stood in front of him, glowering at him.
Ming-hua had wandered what she was planning to do until she abruptly started screaming and shouting, she started to ruffle up and tear at her own clothes as she shouted for help. She even made sure to scratch her own arms and face until it bled.
“Rape! Help!!” she screamed.
Ming-hua stood shocked, he had a feeling he knew what she was doing but before he could leave the room it was too late.
The guards burst into the room, looking at the imperial concubines form with shock, as she screamed rape. They immediately focused their eyes on Ming-hua’s form and charged forward, eyes full of disgust and resentment, restraining him ruthlessly, forcing him onto the ground.
They dragged him to the hall, as the emperor came in. He had been notified immediately of what happened.
They grabbed his hair, forcing him to kneel. Yet the entire time, despite numerous wounds bleeding on his skin from the rough treatment, he hadn’t made a single expression.
The darkness inside seemed to urge to come out, to kill everyone in sight.
The emperor was languidly sat on his throne, he resembled a Persian cat, elegant and graceful, as he tapped his finger on his golden armrest in thought. His dark eyes narrowed in contemplation.
“Tell Us, what happened” his dominating voice echoed in the hall.
The guard immediately sprang into action and began describing how Ming-hua had assaulted and tried to rape the imperial concubine. How she screamed, and they came and restrained him.
The hall was engulfed in a deafening silence, as maids and eunuch began to whisper and look at Ming-hua as if looking at a disgusting animal.
The emperor simply sat there, languidly taking in the information as he settled his unnerving gaze on Ming-hua’s tattered form. His eyes flashed with an unnoticeable emotion.
After listening, Ming-hua was unable to stop the laugh that escaped his lips.
Every maid, eunuch and guard in the room looked at him in disgust.
“I have to say... to have such an unrefined imperial concubine is indeed very shocking... To accuse me of rape when I assure you I have never once thought of a woman in that way.” He smirked, eyes overflowing with mirth as he gazed up at the emperor, whose eyes were narrowed in thought.
After a few minutes of gazing into his silver eyes, he came to a decision.
“Bring her here. Zhen wants to hear the words from her mouth” the deep commanding voice sounded.
The guards, maids and eunuch were shocked, normally the emperor would sentence anyone who dared hurt the imperial concubine straight away without bothering to hear the lies of the other party, yet now he was making her tell her story herself. He was giving the male a chance.
Their eyes turned complicated as they gazed at the male who was being forcefully pushed onto the ground by 4 guards, roughly making him kneel.
The imperial concubine staggered pitifully into the hall, 2 maids holding her hands as if to comfort her. Her big wet doe eyes were red and puffy, and the wounds on her face were still bleeding.
The emperor’s eyes narrowed on her form without a hint of compassion, “Tell Us, what happened.”
The imperial concubine’s façade slightly faltered as she heard his words. Why wasn’t he punishing that servant already? Why was he asking her for the story? She gritted her teeth.
She clenched her hands, as if talking about it required a lot of courage and she began in a shaky voice.
“H-he, said that he hated me because of your majesty’s favor towards me, he said that he needed to put me in my place, h-he was jealous and then suddenly came towards me and st-started ripping up my clothes” she took in a deep breath as her lower lip trembled and her eyes watered “a-and then I called for help”
Ming-hua remained emotionless throughout her self-directed act. He thought he was shameless but now he met someone who was both disgusting and shameless.
The Emperor’s dark eyes roamed her face, as he finally closed them and sighed.
“Steward Wei” he called out.
“Yes your majesty” Steward Wei bowed respectfully.
“Confine the imperial concubine to the cold palace until I say she is free to go.”
Everyone’s eyes widened, and their mouths fell open. The imperial concubine’s façade shattered, and she stood there gaping like a fish.
“B-But your majesty...she is the victim... that disgusting boy tried to rape her...” Steward Wei stuttered out, shell-shocked.
“Although your eyes may be blind, mine are not.”
“We have always been lenient on the imperial concubine, but this time We intend to make a fair judgement. We have no intention of punishing someone who was framed.” He languidly tested his chin on his hand, as his silky black hair glided erotically down his luxurious white robe.
The imperial concubine was flustered “Y-Your majesty, I-I am truly not lying” her eyes watered “-he really did this to me and he tried t-”
“Enough.” The voice boomed. So dominating it send shivers down their spines, the hall was overwhelmed with an intense suffocating pressure.
His blood red lips lifted into a demonic smile and his phoenix eyes narrowed with mirth.
“Since when did you start to think you could question Us, Steward Wei. Unless you want to join her, We suggest you take her and get going.”
Steward Wei trembled as he became extremely pale in fright.