"Well, this was certainly worth the climb through the window." The First Prince cranked his neck to the side before massaging his tense shoulders. It had been a while since he had been through such a rough scuffle. The soldiers stationed by the walls near the window were quite the experts, but they weren't the elite forces personally trained by the Second Prince.
"Hmm…drawn muslin curtains around the bed," the First Prince remarked and stroked his chin, wondering when his younger brother had developed a preference for these things. It was a striking red that lightened up the dark, black wooden frame of the bed.
"Heh, I wonder what his expression would be if I wake him up right now." The First Prince mischievously crept closer to the bed, his lips curling into a devious smile. It was the only reason why he worked so hard to enter here undetected.
The First Prince had just returned from Nanhui, not more than an hour ago. It had been a while since he had seen his grouchy and stern younger brother.
"Hah, I wonder how his deep scowl even attracted his Wangfei." The First Prince was extremely curious about his sister-in-law. Many praised her beauty and intelligence, bragging and whispering that she would not be the forgotten wife of an outstanding Emperor.
"Too bad my brother is too heartless to even let a woman sleep in his bedroom, much less let her warm his bed long enough."
The First Prince eyed the bloody red curtains. A new quirk, perhaps? Or just a change of look? With a shrug of his shoulders, he decided to hurry up and pull the prank. It would be bad if the other soldiers patrolled the hallway and saw their unconscious comrades.
The First Prince was quite an excellent fighter if he must say so himself and according to his beloved mother. He had expectedly knocked the soldiers out cold without making too much noise. It was great that the wind was howling today, warning of a rainstorm and muffling the noises.
And without further ado, the First Prince yanked the curtains open. "Good morning, dear brother!" he hollered, knowing the man would be woken up by the noise.
But to the First Prince's absolute horror, it was not his younger brother lying on the bed, shirtless, and scary even in his sleep. Oh Heavens, it was quite the opposite.
The doors of the estate slammed open as soldiers rushed into the room upon hearing the commotion. But they could not enter the bedroom that was locked. It could only be unlocked from the inside or with a key that only the Crown Prince possessed.
"Crown Princess?!" one of the soldiers called out, his voice filled with panic. "Are you alright? Did something happen?"
"Sir!" another soldier called out. "W-we just found our men, unconscious, beside the window! I think someone trespassed into the bedroom."
"What?!" the first soldier roared in pure disbelief. "Who could've had the strength to knock out the Imperial Palace's guards?"
The First Prince gulped. He was worried about the commotion outside, and the soldiers who could break down these doors any moment now if the situation called for it. But this was not his biggest concern, it was something else.
"I am going to be a dead man by the next hour," he muttered under his breath, as the naked woman stirred in the bed.
"Oh heavens…" He glanced to the left and right, wondering if he should run out the same window he climbed in.
"Yu Zhen…?" she groggily whispered, turning her head to the side.
Li Xueyue was awoken by an irritable commotion. There were men screaming in the distance, probably outside of the bedroom. Who was coming in to disturb Yu Zhen so early in the morning? O was it still morning?
"I-I'm afraid not."
Li Xueyue's eyes snapped open. That was not Yu Zhen's voice. Blood drained from her face when she saw the strange man beside her bed. He was dressed in white clothes, with rolling clouds of gold.
She shakily brought the blankets up to her chest, sitting up with a blank mind. What was she supposed to say and think in this situation?
"Wait wait!" he suddenly said, realizing it was not the best idea to create even more panic. "Hear me out!"
Li Xueyue fumbled under the pillows, searching for a weapon, knowing Yu Zhen slept with a knife. She was going to slash this man's eyes out. She did not care who the hell the other was, but he was obviously asking for a death wish when he crept into the Crown Prince's estate.
Li Xueyue's fingers grazed something familiar, cold, and metallic. She instantly pulled out the dagger, the size of her forearm.
"Oh my god, you are a violent little thing," he muttered, jumping back in fear when she brandished the weapon, pointing it directly at him.
"Who the hell are you?" she growled out, clenching the blankets close to her.
If Li Xueyue would be forced to climb out of the bed, she would truly blind him before he could see anything. Despite her fierce determination, her heart was racing, lurching, and thundering inside her chest. She was frightened and in a deep panic about her current situation.
"Your husband's older brother, the First Prince," he quickly explained, holding up his palms in defense. "L-listen, I didn't know he slept with you or even allowed a woman to stay the night, so I thought about surprising him and—"
"Gladly!" the First Prince whispered, dashing towards the window, fleeing for his dear life before word of this gets out.
The First Prince made a mad dash out of the window, hopping over the wooden boards, before glancing left and right. He continued to run blindly for as long as his lungs would allow him to, and it brought him far, far away from the chaos.
"I barely ran away with my life," he huffed and puffed by a wall in the courtyard that was lengths away from the Second Prince's estate.
The First Prince gulped as he leaned against the wall, catching his breath. For a split second there, he thought it was his last day in this world. His younger brother might not have killed him yet, on the account of their mother, but this offense would have definitely drawn the line.
"What am I going to do? What am I going to say?" the First Prince shakily thought out loud. His harmless prank was going to harm his life. It was times like this that he wished he had brought Yu Lingluo along. It was usually when his mischief happened—with an equally mischievous little sister.
The First Prince could not help but smack his forehead, cursing and grumbling. "What a great way to meet my sister-in-law… I won't even be able to live long enough to see my future niece!"
The First Prince suddenly wished he did not return from Nanhui. The foreign land with its strange, and scantily-dressed women, would've been a much safer place than the Imperial Palace, where he was born and raised.
"How��exactly am I going to explain this to that crazy younger brother of mine?"
The First Prince squeezed his eyes shut and let out a long, heavy sigh, knowing his death was near. The only thing he could do now was to pray and beg the Heavens that the rumors of the Crown Princess's compassionate soul heart were true, for he would need all of the help he could get...
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