DO YOU STILL REMEMBER ME?
Song Lijun glared at his eldest brother for agreeing to Bai Ruohan’s request. Then, his eyes landed on the masked Jin Rongqiu, worried that the other might start talking about their encounter in the pleasure house once they are sitting together.
“Since the Crown Prince has already agreed, this king doesn’t see any problem with it. Gongye and his friend can help themselves,” King Song Min finally answered after pondering for a while. He has to admit, forging a strong friendship with the War God of Yilian would give them a lot of benefits. After all, the Bai family is one of the great pillars of Ruanyu. It was said that half of Ruanyu’s military strength came from the Bai family. If there is a case of a power struggle, whoever Bai family supported will surely win the war.
Seeing that they were given permission, Bai Ruohan shamelessly grinned at Jin Rongqiu before he pulled the other to accompany him in changing seats. While they were walking, the whole banquet was full of whispers. In fact, the whispers were so loud that some didn’t even bother to lower their voices.
Song Lijun felt his heart became restless and he gently massaged his forehead. “My dear brothers, this is different from what you told me earlier…” Song Lijun hissed out to his brothers.
“It can’t be helped. The other side had openly requested it. If we reject the request, doesn’t that mean we didn’t give them any face?” Song Liren replied helplessly. “It is only for tonight. Little Jun, persevere!”
Song Lijun sighed and stared at the two incoming guests. Soon, they were all seated on the same table and the banquet continued as normal. At least, as normal as it can be. Song Lijun could feel all the eyes rests on their table despite there was a performance at the centre of the hall.
Bai Ruohan chatted with the three princes, leaving Song Lijun to drink his wine quietly. Because they were talking about politics, Song Lijun is unable to join the discussion since his current identity is ‘Song Lijing’. So, he can only enjoy the meal alone while drinking down his depression. He had lost count on how much he had drunk but when he was about to pour himself another cup, a hand grabbed his wrist, stopping his action.
“The princess is already drinking a lot. It won’t be good for her health to drink more,” that familiar, baritone voice travelled into Song Lijun’s ear, making his whole body freeze.
“That…” Song Lijun’s body started to shake nervously. “How did the lord come about to sit beside me?” he asked. His eyes went to his right and saw that his three brothers were fully engaged with Bai Ruohan. No. It is two brothers fully engaged in discussion with Bai Ruohan while his third brother dreamily stared at Bai Ruohan’s figure. ‘Distracted?! You three are traitors! You said you won’t let me suffer tonight but what is this, ah?! Am I not in danger right now?’
“Call me brother Qiu,” Jin Rongqiu said, his eyes narrowing. He didn’t like it when the other called him by such title. He felt as if the other is putting some distance between them and it made his heart uncomfortable.
Song Lijun swallowed a mouthful of saliva as he stared at Jin Rongqiu with disbelief. “This… lo-”
“Brother Qiu,” Jin Rongqiu corrected Song Lijun. His eyes were staring directly at Song Lijun, the emotion within was warm and tender, with a slight hint of a silent plea.
Seeing this, Song Lijun felt as if those eyes could see right through his soul but at the same time, he was also mesmerized by the other’s eyes. “Brother… Qiu…” Song Lijun has yet to realize it himself but the word had already escaped his lips.
When Jin Rongqiu heard this, a satisfied smile painted his face. The happiness in his eyes also couldn’t be hidden. “En. That’s better,” Jin Rongqiu whispered in a soft, gentle tone. ‘And next time, hopefully, I could hear the word husband from your lips.’
Jin Rongqiu’s eyes trailed down to Song Lijun’s lips, and he can’t help but remember their first meeting, especially the kiss they shared. His lips suddenly felt dry and he had to drink his wine to moisten it. “Does the princess remember me?” Jin Rongqiu asked for a while.
“I haven’t gotten out of the palace, so where would I meet with brother Qiu before?” Song Lijun tried to lie his way out. He had hoped that it was only his imagination but it seemed that Jin Rongqiu did realize that it was him.
“About a month ago, by chance, we met at Flower Pavilion and we even shared-”
Jin Rongqiu didn’t get to finish his sentence because Song Lijun quickly covered his mouth with his hand. “Don’t say it, don’t say it! I remember!” Song Lijun said in a hushed tone, face red but it was unclear if it was from embarrassment or the wine. He then looked back at his three brothers who were still distracted by Bai Ruohan. After making sure that they didn’t hear his and Jin Rongqiu’s conversation, Song Lijun let out a relieved sigh.
But his relief came too early. Something warm and wet slid against his palm and he quickly pulled his hand away with a yelp. Placing them close to his chest, Song Lijun stared at Jin Rongqiu, whose tongue is currently licking his lower lips as if nothing had happened.
“I won’t say anymore. But does the princess remembers what she said at that time? If we are to meet again, we shouldn’t act as strangers… but the princess is clearly treating me as strangers,” Jin Rongqiu said with a hurt tone.
“I-… At that time, I didn’t know your identity…” Song Lijun murmured as he looked down, avoiding Jin Rongqiu’s gaze. “And I was in my disguise… I thought when we next met, it would still be me in my disguise, not… this.”
“But meeting like this is also not bad,” Jin Rongqiu said.
‘Not bad your mother! You try wearing woman’s clothing then say that again!’ Song Lijun couldn’t help but curse out Jin Rongqiu. He had almost said it out loud and he had to bite his lips to stop himself from doing so.
“Is ‘Jing Yuan’ a fake identity you created for yourself when you go out of the palace?” Jin Rongqiu asked.
Song Lijun meekly nodded his head. ‘And this identity before you is also not me, ah!’ he added in his heart.
“Then, in the future, you can use this identity to go out of the palace in Ruanyu. I will show you all the good spot in the city,” Jin Rongqiu said with a smile.
“I… don’t think that will be possible,” Song Lijun replied.
“Why? Because you are promised to the emperor?” Jin Rongqiu asked.
‘Because the one to follow you is my sister and not me!’ Song Lijun answered in his heart, but he just nods his head to answer Jin Rongqiu.
“Then, as long as I become the Emperor of Ruanyu, this matter will cease to be a problem, right?” Jin Rongqiu has a confident smile on his face as he said this.
Song Lijun, on the other hand, shot his head up and stared at Jin Rongqiu with wide eyes. His lips parted in disbelief as he tried to come up with something to say. But no words left his lips.
‘Heavens above! Don’t tell me this man would dare to raise a rebellion for a woman just as eldest brother said before! What kind of crazy conversation is this?!’
Written by: Lin Xiaolong
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