Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
Edited by ONI_Ghost
Beta read by OEE
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Naturally, Luo Xiao was unaware of any of this. While Jiang Yao was talking with his shadow guards and the housekeeper, Luo Xiao found his way towards the gardens of the enormous palace.
Despite the palace itself being extraordinary, the gardens were even more so extravagant and luxurious.
It was as if he had stepped into a field of flowers and small, perfectly trimmed delicate trees. Colorful bees and majestic butterflies flew from flower to flower, while small tame beasts poked their heads out from the bushes occasionally. Luo Xiao saw a beautiful snake with rainbow scales appear momentarily before slithering back into the forest of flowers.
There were scents of all sorts, each more fragrant than the last which overlapped with each other forming a beautiful symphony of fragrances. None of which were too overpowering or faint: each one complemented the others.
There were small winding paths through the field of flowers paved with wood tiles, and occasionally, one could see a servant or two going around tending to the plants.
Luo Xiao took a deep breath, trying to take in as many of the scents as he could, but there were far too many. As he stepped onto one of the wood-tiled paths and entered the gardens, his face lit up with curiosity and excitement.
By the time Jiang Yao found him, Luo Xiao was deep in the gardens with his eyes closed as he enjoyed the aroma of the millions of flowers. Watching the youth walk around peacefully, Jiang Yao gently smiled before quietly following him with his hands clasped behind his back.
For a few minutes, he only silently observed the other, following him without making a sound, but he got bored of that rather quickly. He wanted to see Luo Xiao’s surprised face after all.
With a sly glint in his eyes, Jiang Yao stealthy leaned over from behind, and his lips barely moved next to Luo Xiao’s ear. “Hey there, Xiaoxiao.”
Absolutely shocked, Luo Xiao screeched, jumping away from Jiang Yao in the fastest manner possible, though he didn’t get very far. Jiang Yao’s arm had instantaneously grabbed Luo Xiao’s and pulled him back.
“You seem to like my gardens, Xiaoxiao,” Jiang Yao smiled at the surprised Luo Xiao with a warm gaze.
Luo Xiao simply stared at him, eyes wide with surprise. It took him a few seconds to finally breathe out his thoughts, “Why’d you do that?!”
Laughing, Jiang Yao leaned in and his lips gently touched Luo Xiao’s forehead. “I love seeing you like this, my dear Xiaoxiao…”
His words produced an even faster reaction than his greeting, with Luo Xiao’s cheeks warming up showing his embarrassment.
“You are still as shy as ever,” Jiang Yao whispered into his ear as he observed every single change in Luo Xiao’s expression. He enjoyed the increasingly red hue that was appearing on his face.
“It’s because you’re so close,” Luo Xiao muttered with a low voice. It was impossible for him not to be embarrassed. When Jiang Yao was this close to him, it was impossible for him to forget his own emotions.
As if Jiang Yao could determine the thoughts of Luo Xiao, he grinned at the young man in his arms, and he couldn’t help but widen his smile.
The arms surrounding Luo Xiao tightened, and Jiang Yao felt that if he used just an ounce of his strength, he would snap his waist and break the weak but attractive man within his arms.
Luo Xiao was pressed against Jiang Yao’s chest, his hands trying to separate the two of them as his heart was incapable of handling their close proximity. However, Jiang Yao had no intention of releasing Luo Xiao. His eyes which had been filled with mirth observed the red face of the young man within his arms. Then he quickly glanced at his lips and he couldn’t think of anything else.
He wanted nothing more than to cover the lips of the young man in his arms, and he did just that.
When Luo Xiao was weakly trying to free himself, he felt a shadow looming over him, coming closer and closer, and he looked up only to see Jiang Yao’s face right next to his.
Jiang Yao had closed his eyes as he pressed his lips onto Luo Xiao’s. Although they had kissed many times, most of those kisses had been very gentle and soft, not very deep but instead fleeting. Whereas this time Jiang Yao had no intention of having a fleeting kiss with Luo Xiao.
His lips were smoldering hot as they pressed hard against Luo Xiao’s lips, and with an overbearing attitude he slowly savored the taste of Luo Xiao. The more he tasted, the less he wanted to let go: he wanted more.
He started nibbling on Luo Xiao’s lips, biting slightly hard and when Luo Xiao opened his mouth to yelp in pain, he felt a tongue invade his mouth. Luo Xiao’s heart beat rapidly, and his strength quickly vanished from his body. If it wasn’t for Jiang Yao holding him up, he was afraid that he would have collapsed on the ground.
Jiang Yao had plunged his tongue into Luo Xiao’s mouth. His kiss was domineering and overwhelming making Luo Xiao’s mind turn to mush. He was unable to tell which direction the sun rose from or even spell his own name.
Jiang Yao wanted more, and his overbearing attitude gave Luo Xiao no chance to defend himself. As a result, he was being led by Jiang Yao, and his tongue intertwined with Jiang Yao’s dancing within their mouths.
Jiang Yao finally had more than just a fleeting kiss, but he wanted even more. He felt that the weak boy within his arms was unable to continue kissing. He was almost without any breath left, so Jiang Yao regretfully withdrew with a final lick of Luo Xiao’s lips.
Looking at the man in his arms, Jiang Yao had to use all his self-control not to take him straight back to their bedroom and undress him, but he knew it was far too early for his little lover to reach this step. He could only sigh to himself before he bent down and scooped the dizzy young man into his arms as he started moving towards the palace. While moving, a satisfied smile could be seen his face as he glanced at the glazed-over eyes of Luo Xiao.
As he carried Luo Xiao like a princess towards the castle two shadows appeared at the spot just moments later, looking at one another with complex expressions in their eyes.
“Do you think that is the ‘Xiaoxiao’ his highness was talking about?” One of the shadow guards asked the other, and the other nodded his head with hesitation.
“I thought this human might just have been a pretend lover, but the truth seems to be quite different,” The shadow guard who spoke was called Mo Yi, his friend was Mo Er. The two of them were the strongest in the shadow guard and they were also the ones tasked with protecting this Xiaoxiao.
“Mo Yi, do you honestly think that His Highness would fall to like a weak human of the Sky Rank?” Mo Er asked with disdain in his voice. “It has to be a pretend lover, someone he has brought back to lure the Fourth Prince out.”
“I don’t think so,” Mo Yi said seriously as he looked at the back of Jiang Yao and the carried Luo Xiao who were slowly vanishing into the distance. “I know that he has had lovers in the past, but he has never treated any of them as he does this Xiaoxiao. Not to mention he even made us, his strongest shadow guards, guard him. If he was using him to lure out the Fourth Prince, would he really have gone to the trouble of protecting him?”
“I cannot accept that this child is what his highness likes!” Mo Er sneered, his eyes filling with disdain. “Not only is he a child, but he’s also a human, and weak one at that. In every aspect, he is unsuitable for his Highness!”
“His Highness decides his own matters,” Mo Yi said casually, “We have been given the order to protect this child so we will have to do anything in our power to do so.”
Mo Er still looked unhappy, but he didn’t say anything else. Instead, Mo Yi nodded his head with satisfaction when he saw Mo Er’s expression and together the two shadows vanished from their positions. Although no one could see them, they both followed Jiang Yao all the way to palace while staying in the shadows.
Luo Xiao didn’t awaken from his stupor before they reached Jiang Yao’s room, and when the door closed, his eyes widened in surprise, his face turning crimson like the setting sun.
“You… you… What did you do to me?” Luo Xiao asked indignantly. His face was filled with confusion and bashfulness.
“I kissed you,” Jiang Yao answered with a serious expression on his face. “Do you want to try once more?”
Hearing the question, Luo Xiao was completely taken aback, his eyes widened like two bronze bells and his breathing quickly became ragged.
“No… No thank you,” he muttered while lowered his eyes not daring to look at Jiang Yao anymore.
He wasn’t sad about the kiss, but Luo Xiao was still very young and pure. He was like a blank piece of paper which was being painted on by Jiang Yao, and he was still unable to fully admit to liking it.
Sensing Luo Xiao’s conflicting emotions, Jiang Yao said nothing but gently moved towards the bed and placed Luo Xiao onto it.
Outside the door, the two shadow guards positioned themselves. Although they had been ordered to protect Luo Xiao, they weren’t audacious enough to enter Jiang Yao’s personal chambers; in fact, no one had been allowed inside these chambers before, not even his previous lovers, but now they had been told by Housekeeper Chen that this young boy would be living there together with him.
They exchanged glances with one another and could see the shock within. Others might not know what it meant for Jiang Yao to let Luo Xiao live in his quarters, but the shadow guard clearly understood. This was the only place where Jiang Yao could relax. And as such, it meant that he fully trusted that Luo Xiao wouldn’t stab him in the back.
While Mo Yi and Mo Er were hiding in the shadows around the door, they suddenly heard rumors about the kiss out in the garden. There were certain servants and maids who had been in the garden at that time and had seen the kiss. Now the rumors were flowing all around the palace, but no one dared speak about it to anyone outside the palace.
These servants were very well aware that one could gossip within the palace, but rumors about their lord were not allowed to travel outside as it could cause problems for him. Even if they very much wanted to tell the world that their lord had found a lover, they knew better than to do so.
They had all been handpicked by Housekeeper Chen. The servants within the palace were a hundred percent loyal, and they also gained many benefits from being in the Seventh Prince’s palace; they would never cause him problems.
While the rumors about the kiss were being spread in the palace, and everyone started wondering about what Luo Xiao looked like to have taken the heart of their lord, Luo Xiao was slowly getting back his senses in the room, looking at Jiang Yao like a poor woman who had been taken advantage of by a lecherous man.
“Come here,” Jiang Yao said as he laid down on the bed, and beckoned for Luo Xiao to come closer. “We’re going to relax a little before it is time to eat dinner. We are going to do something exciting tomorrow, so for today, you should relax at home with me.”
“Do I have to sleep with you on the bed?” Luo Xiao asked with a low voice, but Jiang Yao just smiled brilliantly and looked at Luo Xiao, not even answering.
“We have slept together so many times. Don’t be shy, come into my arms and take a nap,” Jiang Yao said as if he was admonishing a small child, the smile on his lips growing bigger and bigger. He wasn’t going to lose the time he had to cuddle with Luo Xiao.