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Qinglian Chronicles Chapter 23

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—If the last chapter didn't scare you off; h.e.l.lo again! This chapter contains mention and discussion of mature subjects, but nothing explicit this time.—

By the time the drug's effects have been purged from my body, the sky had turned dark.

Jinzi washed his hands, fetching a basin of hot water to wipe my body off with. Every inch of me is tired, and I'm very much not able to be unashamed. I've had s.e.x before, but I never slept with them or bathed with them afterwards, no close physical or mental contact. The frequency of these trysts was also very low.

It's not that I have emotional germophobia or anything.

It's always been very easy for women to fall in love with men who sleep with them, especially on their first time. I wasn't exempt from this in the past, either.

Being intimate with each other is natural when making love. This kind of intimacy breeds attachment, monopolization, romance… it's really quite normal.

When I was still very young, I too believed in a few stupid words of undying love and sugar-coated flattery, handing my body and mind straight into the hands of an enemy. That feeling of being unable to protect yourself, losing reason, feeling manipulated and extremely easy to be injured is horrible…

Waiting eagerly for him, only to be left with the feeling that I'm not worth it. I actually invested so much in such a man, losing myself in the infatuation.

I don't hate him anymore. This is a lesson everyone has to learn and carry with them for a lifetime, and I learned for the future to curb my pa.s.sion.

Therefore, I no longer let men get too close to me. s.e.x is s.e.x, liking is liking, intimacy is intimacy. I won't stumble the same way twice.

Yet it's currently very difficult for me to open my mouth and rebuff Jinzi's gentle help. Is it because I've gone to ancient times, or because I've become a man? Or is it because the other party is him?

I know that I'm piteous and fond of Jinzi, but it still hasn't reached the level of genuine love. Besides, I'm not into self-flagellation, why would I want to fall in love with someone who hates me?

I refused to get out of bed to eat dinner and refused to eat dinner in bed, saying that I'm exhausted and am just going to go to sleep.

Jinzi said nothing. He went out once, came back a bit later, and laid down next to me.

I'm tired, but I can't sleep. Jinzi probably can't sleep either. He doesn't toss and turn, only being particularly quiet, and I can't hear that light and long breathing unique to masters of internal exercises when they're sleeping. Despite the silence, I can sense his tenseness.

I recall that Jinzi also smelled the ‘Harmony' incense. Even though he himself stated that it was no use on him and he could also use his internal force to drive it out, for it to not have even a single bit of influence on him isn't likely. I also remember that one time he was quite riled up when he thought of me. Even if the drug had no effect, he still helped me afterwards… that alone would be impossible to not generate l.u.s.t.

Is that the reason he's so restless right now, then?

A man's desire is harder to repress than a woman's – now that I've become a man, I have some understanding of this. Perhaps not physiologically so, but they're at least not used to having to control themselves.

I anxiously turned over twice. Jinzi ignored me.

I finally reached the end of my patience, sat up, tore off his covers, and moved his lower garments to the side.

Sure enough, the captain's standing at attention.

He looks at me in shock.

I grind my teeth, once again getting a swell of annoyance…

Coughing and retching over the side of the bed, I'm really wanting to get angry and point fingers at his uncouth behavior, but I did want to take initiative, after all. Though his behavior was a bit intense, I decide to let it slide.

He unexpectedly held my chin, lifting my face up. Holding his gaze for a moment, he gently wiped the foul substance from the corner of my mouth, then planted a hot, melting kiss on it.

Ok, his technique is pretty good, enthusiastic yet not without tenderness. I'll admit that I'd be lying if I said I wasn't moved.

As a matter of fact, I'm practically a bit enraptured.

However, seeing that he's closely observing my face following the kiss, my mood was abruptly wasted.

Despite the waste, when it comes to making love – just like being vegetarian and breaking a fast – you might not have difficulty enduring while being abstinent, but the day that ban is lifted, you feel that there's no need to suppress yourself anymore.

Jinzi and I being on the same bed could be said to be a favorable environment, and both of us being youthful and virile could be said to be adding fuel to the fire, so in the dead of night, when the wind is howling and moon is obscured, these liaisons where we comfort each other with our hands and mouths are not few and far between.

I'm a very good student, and my technique is becoming more and more refined under Jinzi's tutelage.

As a result, we switched out the two beds for just one. I began to grow accustomed to sleeping in Jinzi's arms, which is an unexpected benefit. His body is warm and st.u.r.dy and smooth and flexible, making him very comfortable to hold. I like acting like a reincarnated octopus and tangling up with him.

This is certainly dangerous, however, as I've now resumed my habit of sleeping naked. Jinzi is nearly ten years younger than me- er, Zhang Qinglian, and naturally is more liable to be impulsive than me.

If he's servicing me, I'll feel comfortable and inevitably have no complaints, but if I'm wanting to service him, it won't be so sweet as syrup for me; it's very easy to get worn out no matter if I'm using my mouth or hands, and they'll be sore and aching after the fact. But, if I think of how I'd otherwise have to contribute another body part, my att.i.tude towards it is much more positive.

In any case, my personal life can now be considered as having gained a relative stabilization and euphonious rhythm.

There isn't a whole lot of social interaction in my official business side of thing, perhaps because I'm at such a high position and there aren't many people qualified to ask things of me, and the people that do have enough weight, like Gu Yanzhi and Li Minguo, aren't likely to request anything.

That Liu Chunxi guy has actually started to run to my residence nearly every day, but his position is comparatively lower and he fears the imperial censor will accuse him of trying to climb the ranks by currying favor, so he dares not to overstep his status to invite me out.

The “human duck” incident has pretty much been handled according to my own line of thinking. Now that the Cui family's young master has been put on the wanted list, I'm still a bit anxious, always getting the feeling that it won't be so easy.

My G.o.dson was very busy with G.o.d-knows-what recently and hadn't been coming to garner my approval. I'm kind of worried that he's begun to have doubts and is planning to go turncoat, so I call for Tian Chun to secretly investigate his movements. He only found out something amusing: turns out my G.o.dson is henpecked. His frequent trips to Lan Guan's somehow became known to the lioness at home, and she actually got people to bust the place up, then dragged him by his ear all the way through the suburbs of Beijing to the main street of their house.

However, Lan Guan apparently has a very capable behind-the-scenes supporter. Following the busting-up, he surprisingly managed to move into the city, rent a lavish, newly-constructed building (naming it 'Everfragrant'), buy dozens of delicate boys, might as well have waved a big flag that said 'prost.i.tutes here', and started up his business. With its momentum, it nearly eclipses the three former most famous brothels in the capital.

I'm positive that my G.o.dson has a part in it.

It isn't known who Lan Guan's mysterious benefactor is in the end. Even Tian Chun and Zhu Xianxi's joint investigation yielded no clues.

Shao Min sent over a basket of fresh lychees rush-delivered from Lingnan yesterday, probably as a response gift. This is rather hard to come by in ancient times; though I'm no Yang Yuhuan, [1] I'm delighted from the bottom of my heart.

Things being like this, I've been sitting at home recently, and Jinzi has some free time, so sometimes I'll look over Jinfeng and Xiao Lu's cla.s.swork. That scholarly Luo Yaozu's writings are actually not bad, so it seems he's not as useless as I originally thought. Jinfeng and Xiao Lu respect him very much; Xiao Lu voices no complaints, and that crabby and annoying brat Jinfeng took him seriously as his s.h.i.+fu, which shocks me to no end.

However, so long as that bookworm is in my presence, he looks panicked, gets uncoordinated, and acts 100 different kinds of disgraceful. I'm not sure if he has very deep psychological damage after that one time with Zhang Qinglian or what.

Seeing that his handwriting was very pretty, I urged him to do secretarial work in his spare time, and informed the accountant to increase the amount he gets from teaching.

The condition of my residence's populace and economics is still unclear to me, so I decide upon a relatively slow day to carefully comb through the account books, take inventory of the storehouse, and figure out my income vs. my expenses. I'm not some business-dumb c.o.xcomb.

Also, calculating how much money you have in the most pleasant thing in the world.

Yet, just as I set off to do it, I received an invitation. It was from Mr. Royal Son-in-Law, inviting me to the ‘Taibai House' for a drink.

Strange thing is, he actually added a sentence to it – to ask me to not bring Yao Jinzi.

[1] Also known as Yang Guifei. Imperial concubine infamous for being extravagantly pampered and spoiled.
[-] The original t.i.tle for the chapter is 投我以桃李 报之以琼瑶, which is a modification of the Chinese idiom "toss me a peach, get back a plum". Now it's "toss me peaches and plums, get back Chiung Yao" – Chiung Yao being an extremely popular romance novelist in the East. Even further, 'peaches and plums' can refer to a generation of students. 'Returning the Favor' is so much more boring, but so much easier to explain…

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