Sunday, July 7, 2019

Spring Once More ch44

Translator: ayszhang
Editor: Marcia
Beta reader: Dairytea

Spring Once More chapter 44
(Traditional Chinese cover scanned by Dairytea)

Chapter Forty-four

Master Su smiles at me in the walkway before the main hall of the Su manor.
“Did you sleep well last night at the residence, Your Highness?”
My face twitches, and I flash a row of teeth.
The breath starts from my diaphragm, but on its way it gets jammed at the chest and tripped up at the throat. By the time it makes its way out of the mouth, it sounds a little weak.
God damn all those blabbermouth servants!
I came back to Su manor with Fu Qingshu after telling the chancellor there were matters to deal with. Just as I entered the front gates, Xiao-Quan leapt up from his cot and bowed.
“Did you sleep well at the temporary residence, Milord?”
I replied “well” and continued on my way, but I heard the servant mutter under his breath. “Looks like Xiao-Shun was telling the truth.”
Normally, I’d have ignored the useless comments they make behind my back, but this time I turned around and demanded an explanation.
“What did he say?”
He fell to his knees, but his eyes gleamed with some other intention.
Xiao-Shun went back to the residence to serve Your Lordship after delivering your message to us, but he returned before two hours had passed, saying that he wasn’t needed since the employee that Chancellor Liu arranged for Your Highness was better at the job.”
Fu Qingshu knocked his fan on his palm twice and let out an airy laugh. It wasn’t difficult to imagine what the servant told the whole manor last night going from corner to corner: “His Highness is having the time of his life with that boy in his arms.”
In the front yard, we ran into Zhong-shu who glanced nervously at my face while bowing slightly. “Did you sleep well last night at the residence, Milord?”
“Well, quite well.”
Then we ran into Master Su in front of the main hall. I can let the others’ questions slide, but when Master Su asks, I can’t help but feel like hiding my face.
Fu Qingshu lets out another airy laugh.
I clear my throat. “Master Su, good seeing you here. I need your help.”
In fact, the reason I look for him is almost always for help, but today it feels hard to ask.
The young marquess turns into the walkway towards his room.
“It would be wiser to speak in a more private place,” I said.
Master Su brings me to the library and shuts the door.
“It’s nothing too serious,” I begin. “This morning, the chancellor had over a yuanwai[1] by the name of Jiang who requested that I pen something for his restaurant.”[2]
And now you see the reason I had to get Su Yanzhi to come with me: he can forge the prince’s writing. He can do it so well that even the prince’s own mother can’t tell the difference. Basically, I’m fucked without him.
Master Su’s brows furrow. “And you agreed to it?”
“Not really.” I scratch my nose. “I said I’d see if I have time. If I felt like it, I’d write something. I mean, is there some significance behind this inscription?”
“Right you are, Master Ma,” he answers. “Sir Jiang and Lu Ting of Yangzhou are the largest merchants in the Liangjiang region. The annual tribute tea has been supplied by Jiang’s plantation on Mount Huang since my brother passed away. Dozens of acres of the Su tea fields were bought up by the Jiangs. I doubt anyone else has a chance to head the chamber.”
I laugh nervously. “If I’d written it, would that have meant I gave him my support for the position?”
Fuck! What a sneaky bastard! So what if I ate a feast made by the chefs of his restaurant? What balls to come and ask me for the head position! In his goddamn dreams!
“Fortunately, you deflected the request well,” he continues. “Just pretend he had never asked.” Then he eyes me as if he wanted to say something else but swallows his words.
“Master Su, if you’re not straightforward with me, then there’d be nobody for me to speak freely with.”
“Has the chancellor gifted any other persons or things?”
“No. Just the two meals. And this boy he stuck in my room. I tried to get him to leave, but he told me he’d get in trouble with the chancellor. I thought he was pitiful and let him sleep on the floor for the night. I think it was a good deed. He slept on the floor, and I slept in the bed. Nothing happened, really.”
I stress the last sentence and stick out my chest confidently.
At last, Master Su shows his usual smile. It’s like the sun has come out from behind the clouds. “Brother Ma, I know it’s inconvenient for you. Just remember not to accept anything else from them.”
Brother Ma, I know it’s inconvenient for you. I can’t describe how warm that makes me feel. I grab him by the shoulder.
“As long as you believe me, Master Su, I don’t care if nobody else does!”
Now that I’m close, I can really see the fineness of his features. I can almost feel it in the tips of my hair from my head to my arms. I can almost feel it in my veins.
I can’t deny that the cut sleeve prince cuts it pretty well!
I wonder what it felt like when the little prince held Master Su so many years ago...
That tiny shred of evil desire from two nights ago pops up again. My stomach tightens as my eyes lock onto his. A buzz of electricity runs through me.
Oh Uncle Marx, I think I’ve become a perv!
I let go of Master Su shoulders and suppress the feelings threatening to boil over, all while putting on a friendly face.
“M-Master Su, I have to give Xiao-Shun some orders. See you later.”
Oh Sister Guanyin! Hallelujah!
When you don’t need Xiao-Shun, he’s everywhere you look. When you need him, he’s nowhere to be found.
I’ve been thinking. See, Chancellor Liu is a sly fox, but I’m just a new fish in the pond. He’d trap me before I could find any dirt on him. I decided to stay at Su manor instead of the villa just to err on the side of caution. I want to get the servant boy to deliver the message, but after making a few laps around and finding no sign of Xiao-Shun or Xiao-Quan, I run into Pei Qixuan in the small double-ended parlour.
His eyes curve in a smile, and I expect him to ask me if I slept well last night. But he surprises me with his utterance.
Xiao-Shun and Xiao-Quan have left to buy lunch.”
The “well” I prepared gets swallowed back into my gut.
He continues, fanning himself, “Yesterday Xiao-Quan bought ‘three treasures’ duck from Tianwaitian, and it was quite good. I asked them to buy it again, so you may try it.”
This ‘three treasures’ duck turns out to have a really unique taste, and I’m impressed.
“Master Pei, you’ve got great taste.” Of course, I give the two servants some praise too, and everyone is happy.
After the meal, a bunch of dark clouds float overhead, and a chilly wind starts blowing. The two servants have gone to their quarters for a nap, while I just can’t seem to fall asleep. A thunder crack, a lightning strike, and then a man pops into my room. I’m in a good mood because of the delicious duck at lunchtime, so I smile at the intruder behind the candlelight.
“You haven’t fallen asleep either?”
If I took a second to reflect, I would know I just did something extremely idiotic.
Pei Qixuan latches the door and folds his arms, smiling back. “Did you sleep well last night, Your Highness?”
Wind, rain, lightning and thunder.
And the bird and the bees.
He lunges at me and latches onto me with his lips. Of course, I don’t want to engage his oral offence. As we scuffle, the light goes out, and our clothes start coming undone. After some more scuffling, I realize I’m actually retaliating with my own munches. As the attacks continue, the fervour builds and builds.
Pei Qixuan is actually quite skilled, touching and licking in just the right way. The prince’s body isn’t very loyal to the revolution and very soon starts operating beyond my control. My own control slips in no time, too. Once that’s gone, we find ourselves in bed then…then our clothes are gone, too.
Then, well, then I have got to admit that it feels good when he moans and pants while clinging to my back. I know it’s an old saw, but it feels so good I can’t stop myself.
But you know, the saddest thing is that when he sinks his teeth into my shoulder, I think to myself: this isn’t bad at all.

[1] A generic name for an official position that is bought and not appointed.
[2] Tizi is a common way of commemorating or establishing status by having a famous person pen (in this case, more accurately, brush) a message, usually four-character expressions or a poem. This is most often on a placard hung at a doorway or on a wall.

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ayszhang: Aaaaaand he's out of the closet :)

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