YOUR HIGHNESS, ARE YOU STILL WEARING MAKE UP?
After the banquet is over, Song Lijun head directly to Yonghe palace in a small fit. When he saw the two guards standing by the entrance, he glared at them before opening his mouth to speak: “Have you found my sister?”
“Your Highness…” the two guards’ expression became nervous as they glanced at each other. Each of them did not want to answer Song Lijun’s inquiry.
Seeing the nervousness of the two guards, Song Lijun understood. “Still haven’t found her?! Useless! I’ll go and find her myself!”
Just as the words left Song Lijun’s lips, a hand landed on his shoulder. Turning around, he saw his eldest brother with a smile plastered on his face. Seeing the smile, Song Lijun suddenly felt that his suffering for the night has yet to end. It turned out to be true when he heard his brother spoke up.
“Xiao Jun, ah! Big brother will have to trouble you for a while longer and hope you’ll continue to disguise as Xiao Jing.
Song Lijun only stared at Song Liren with a deadpan expression, before he rejected the other with a single word: “No.”
“No. The deal was just for the banquet! The banquet is now over and so does my role!” Song Lijun said with determination. “Now, I will just go look for sister Jing myself since all of your men are useless.”
“It is not that they are useless…”
“How much time has passed since we found out that sister Jing went missing? And they still haven’t found her. If that is not useless, then I don’t know what is!”
Not bothering to wait for his brother’s reply, Song Lijun left Yonghe palace and back to his own residence. As soon as he arrived, An Liu came over and welcomed him with a smile on his face.
“Your Highness, welcome ba-” the smile on An Liu disappeared the moment he saw Song Lijun’s get-up. “Princess…?” he asked with slight hesitation.
“What princess?!” Song Lijun hissed at his servant. “It’s only me.”
“Your Highness? But didn’t you wear a different outfit before?”
“Don’t remind me…” Song Lijun let out a heavy sigh before he went into his personal quarter. There, he removed his make-up and changed into his disguise. Despite removing the rouge on his lips, the redness still remains. Staring at his reflection on the bronze mirror, Song Lijun couldn’t help but purse his lips.
“Just where did big brother Fan get this rouge from?!” he grumbled under his breath as he tried to wipe his lips once more. He continued to do so until he saw that no matter how much he wiped, the redness didn’t disappear and his lips were starting to feel sore. “Forget it. Let’s just change out of this outfit.”
He only took a few moments to change into his disguise before meeting with An Liu again, who faithfully waited on him from the outside of his private quarters. The moment the servant saw his clothes, his eyes widened before he glanced around. Only after making sure no one is around did he speak.
“Your Highness… Please pardon this servant but,” An Liu hesitated as he lowered his head. “Have you already removed your make-up?” he asked in a lowered voice.
Song Lijun’s expression darkened the moment he heard An Liu’s question. Naturally, he understood why the servant thinks that he hasn’t removed the makeup. His lips were still stained with red from the rouge, while his cheek still has a hint of flush caused by the wine from the banquet.
Lifting a hand up to his face to cover them, Song Lijun let out a heavy sigh. “Is it that noticeable?” Song Lijun asked the servant.
An Liu looked up at Song Lijun’s face before nodding his head. “Your Highness should remove them first lest it causes confusions.”
“At first glance, Your Highness looks like Her Highness the princess. Even this servant mistook Your Highness’ identity at first.”
“If your Highness comes out like this, those people looking for Her Highness might mistake Your Highness’ identity. Then, they might drag you to Yonghe palace and…”
“Enough! One more word on Yonghe palace and I’ll castrate you!” Song Lijun threatened the other, stopping him from his rambling. Just remembering what happened at Yonghe palace was enough to make Song Lijun’s mood worsen.
“But Your Highness! This servant has already undergone purification before entering the palace!” An Liu replied jokingly. But when he saw that Song Lijun did not play along, he knew that he might’ve gone overboard.
Seeing that An Liu has finally stopped fooling around, Song Lijun finally let out a sigh. “In any case, you follow me to find the princess. She only escaped few hours before the banquet. She couldn’t have gotten that far,” Song Lijun said as he walked towards the exit.
An Liu quickly followed while making sure that he is only a few steps behind from Song Lijun. “Does Your Highness requires bodyguards? It is already late at night and with how things are recently, it is not safe to go out alone.”
“What do you mean?” Song Lijun paused in his step and turned around to face An Liu.
“The envoys from Ruanyu is staying at one of the palace’s courtyard. But who is to say that they will stay there for the whole night? The night is still young. Some of them might wander around being drunk,” An Liu reasoned. “And drunk men cannot see reason.”
Song Lijun’s mind went back to the time during the banquet. He remembered that despite the large amount of wine the envoys’ drinks, they did not have any hints of being tipsy, let alone drunk. While remembering the scene of the banquet, his mind couldn’t help but trail to one person whom he kept company most of the time.
Though the mask hid his face, from their conversation and voice alone, Song Lijun already knew who the other person is. ‘He didn’t even make an effort to hide his identity from me. Even threatening to raise a rebellion. Maybe behind that mask, he’s already drunk from all the wine!’
An Liu’s voice brought Song Lijun back from his thought. “It’s nothing. Don’t bother with the guards. Those envoys from Ruanyu are well disciplined. They won’t cause us any trouble,” Song Lijun told An Liu. “Plus, don’t I have you with me?”
“As happy this servant is with Your Highness’ compliment, if we do get into real trouble, this servant will not be able to protect Your Highness,” An Liu replied.
“Nonsense! Don’t think I don’t know. Since you are the servant that Royal Father had given to me, you must not be a simple servant. What’s more, you were given the surname An. It is only because of this that this prince dares to go out alone with only you as a company all these years,” Song Lijun said to An Liu before he continued to walk towards the exit again.
An Liu: …
‘But I am really just a simple servant, ah! Your Highness, I beg you… Don’t do anything dangerous!’ An Liu cried in his heart while silently followed Song Lijun from behind.
Written by: Lin Xiaolong
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