Inside the secret room of the Hall of Mental Cultivation, the candles sizzled whenever a paper was being burned.
Two shadows formed in the wall. One was hunched on the desk and the other one was handing him paper from time to time.
The ashes inside the small burner piled and continued to increase. And so were the words being written on the book. Jinlong hands moved in a fast pace jotting whatever anomaly he could find.
On the other hand, outside, Consort De was wide awake lying on the large Kang bed. The gold twin dragon charcoal furnace burned providing warmth to the spacious room.
The curtains veiled her form from the Chief Eunuch's vision.
Her eyes traced along the carved cloud lines painted in gold in the surface of each post. Dragon heads was seen in every corner, their eyes as if alive radiating glows watching her every movements.
"What an irony…" Words that shouldn't been said were mumbled out loud. Her hands caressed the silk mattress where the Emperor should have laid down. It was cold contrary to heat the furnace was exuding.
So cold- He was so cold.
Morning at first light, Ning Lou was woken up by the jotting of the carriage.
Her eyes whipped opened. Waves of soreness struck every parts of her body as if she trampled by something.
"You're awake." Husky voice with a tinge of lighthearted touch landed on her ears. Her head spun to the source of the sound yet she could only see his fuzzy appearance.
"Brother Long?" Uncertain of the speaker's mood, she queried. Rubbing both of her eyes to wipe the indistinct vision lack of adjustment to the light had caused.
It's morning already?
The horses neighed which made Ning Lou paused in her movements.
"Are we outside?" In disbelief, she hasted her fingers and observed the interiors of the space she was currently in- or rather the carriage.
"You must've have briefed by Shen about our trip. Questions outside marital affairs cannot be uttered. Remember that we are a married couple going by the surname Su. You're the wife of the merchant from the south and have difficulty in getting pregnant and had to seek the temple's help to bear a child." Suddenly expending an informal tone one would use to converse with his loved ones made Ning Lou blinked and shifted in her seat.
He was talking in a close range. The warmth he was emitting affected Ning Lou a little. She snuck a glance at his visage but somehow the fleeting second turned to a minute.
Feeling her gaze filled with wonder, he satisfied her curious thought, "It's a skin."
As if a bomb, Ning Lou remembered her own situation. She started touching her face, trying to find if it is still intact.
Her little movements registered into Long's eyes. Chuckling darkly, he focus his sight on her and without a warning, he pulled the restless female to his arms providing no gaps in between.
Pinching her chin, some of the rouge on the woman's lips stained Long's thumb. "I really admired your courage. I was such a fool for falling into your trap." His dangerous confession suddenly took her breath away. The light in Brother Long's eyes was very familiar to her. It was the same light that shone over those men who've fallen under his bullets.
Long was satisfied of her look, like a little shivering lamb.
In a hushed tone, he lightly stroked her moist lips painted with red. This was the pair of lips that produce those heavenly sounds saving him from the dangerous predicament. And were also the ones that whimpered a pitiful ridiculous confession almost persuading him to believe. "Now Little Lady if I may ask who put you up through this?"
There was lumped stuck in her throat. Brother Long's eyes were clouded with dangerous fog.
"Brother Long had men at his disposal. To look into someone's background is just a matter of snapping your fingers. If I had a malicious intention towards you breaking my neck is also matter of seconds." The statement sapped her mental strength. There was a reason Long Feitian's was feared and it was because he was able to force truth in anyone's mouth through brutal means. His savage methods were both feared and revered in the lawless world. So rather than shoving him lies, it was better to initiate the truth.
Clear eyes that wasn't blemished by any ill intent, he hovered his palm over them, the long lashes sending tingles through his arms stirring a part of him. "You did right. Feeding me lies will only make me angry. And when I'm angry Little Lady you will wish that you never offended me."
His palm couldn't cover the light, but somehow it was restraining her from fully basking in relief. Brother Long, you did not change one bit.
"Why aren't you talking?" There was a sudden shift in the atmosphere. His sudden languidness was astonishing, choking her from speechlessness. The palm on her waist grazed her clothes with heat.
"Should I talk? Does blabbering will keep you from having suspicion?" She spouted some cheeky lines, drawing breaths in between.
Long retrieved the palm blocking her from sight after some thought and transferred it to the side of her face. "Indeed…" Amazed by her fearless attitude, he couldn't help but laughed genuinely. "You're an interesting woman." He dragged the statement while fondling the skin Chang'e especially made last night.
Despite that Chang'e impeccable craftsmanship, the facial skin had done her little justice. He still remembered that that man's bitter expression last night and his admit of defeat while grumbling incoherent mumblings as he returned to his room exasperated from all the preparations.
Something rippled within his eyes. His men didn't manage to find anything on her.
The wheels of the carriage stopped. A man in a servant's clothes came down beside the coachman and opened the carriage's door. Ye'wu was acting his role as the personal servant of the Su couple.
Lifting his sights to the people inside, he was shocked to see the scene of a loving couple.
Did the carriage get switch? Ye'wu asked himself while ogling at the two.
"Stared enough?" The question snapped his attention away and he quickly lowered his head after realizing his rude behavior.
"Husband please maintain proper etiquette." Ning Lou stared at him with two deep affectionate pools. A finger was placed in his chest. She was able to adapt to her role within a matter of seconds.
Jinlong was almost lured in by her immaculate act. A playful smile danced on his lips. Bringing his mouth to the side of her face, lips almost touching her earlobes, he whispered, "My wife is to be blamed for being too captivating."
Ning Lou smiled at him bashfully but her hairs stood at his remark.
His lips were smiling but his eyes were murky.