“It’s nothing.” Baoyi got up, took a breath to calm down, and assumed the demeanour a shadow guard should have. “Shizi, shuxia has recovered and can continue to be shizi’s life preserving charm.”
Zhou Shizi looked at her with suspicion.
For the past few days, their relationship had eased up and they had become closer than just master and servant but Baoyi’s current attitude seemed to have returned to how it was before the injury.
“You went to the waterside pavilion just now?”
Baoyi replied coldly: “Yes.”
Making mental links about Baoyi’s change in attitude, Zhou Shizi had a hunch. Recalling the banquet, he had only forced Lu Qingluo to put on a show with him in front of the Third Prince when she also started fuming suddenly. Zhou Shizi couldn’t help his urge to tease her.
He’d never intended to keep this from her but because he’d paid attention to Lu Qingluo these few days, there were many rumours in the household that she would’ve heard about sooner or later.
“You’ve seen it?”
Baoyi replied with indifference and hostility: “Yes, shuxia had gone to report. It wasn’t my intention to disturb Shizi and Qingluo Guniang.”
“Yes, thanks to Shizi’s care for the past few days, I’ve been able to rest for many days. I had wanted to thank Shizi personally but accidentally disturbed Shizi’s private affairs. I seek Shizi’s forgiveness.”
The manner of speaking that deliberately puts a distance between them, that indifferent attitude, Zhou Shizi’s gaze gradually grew cold.
It was clearly an extremely normal attitude, yet every word and sentence incited his fury.
Zhou Yunxi sauntered in front of Baoyi and looked at her as he towered above her. With his tone filled with overtones of a warning: “Thirteen, don’t think that just because I dote on you, you can forget your status.”
If we say that she was just acting out of annoyance just now, Zhou Shizi’s words caused a discomfort to rise in Baoyi’s heart.
Yeah, even if he looked like someone she knew, he was also a soul that was deep-rooted in this world. How could someone like Zhou Yunxi have another level of respect for an insignificant shadow guard?
Even if there was, it’ll only be a moment of interest. She came to this world to look for answers, not to play emotional games with him.
Baoyi forced her heart to calm down before opening her eyes: “If this is Shizi’s favour, please take it back. Shuxia is just an insignificant shadow guard and can’t accept Shizi’s kindness.”
The light in Zhou Shizi’s eyes dimmed and he suddenly grabbed Baoyi’s chin between his fingers, saying adamantly: “Since when were you allowed to give me orders?”
Zhou Shizi couldn’t understand, everything was clearly fine before, why is this sweet little mouth popping out words that he didn’t like to hear today!
Baoyi took a step back and with all the self-control she had, she lowered her head and said: “Yes, shuxia’s life belongs to Shizi and Shizi can take it away at any time. Shuxia’s person also belongs to Shizi and if Shizi is interested, it doesn’t matter if you take it. As for the other things, it’s useless to Shizi, just let shuxia keep it.”
Zhou Shizi had a sinister look in his eye and the temperature in the room seemed to drop to a point where it could chill people to the bone.
“What if I must have it?”
“What?” Baoyi was startled.
“I want your life, I want your person and I want every other thing.” Zhou Shizi declared his dominion with absolute certainty.
Faced with this declaration, Baoyi smiled.
It was different from her usual smiles to curry favour or smug smiles. Her smile had a trace of helplessness, as if she were tolerating a foolish child.
Smiling, Baoyi unbuttoned her collar to reveal a beautiful neck before undoing another button to reveal fine and smooth collarbones.
Her movements were slow but rhythmic, her long sleeved fingers lingered at the third button, as she drew circles before finally putting it down to look at Zhou Shizi’s ashen complexion.
“Shizi, don’t be angry anymore. See, these are all you can ask for. If you cared for it, you would’ve taken it already. As for the rest, pardon my impudence but as long as I don’t want to give it, you won’t get it.”
Seizing what’s his by any possible means, was something Zhou Shizi was good at. Unfortunately, a person’s heart cannot be forced. Baoyi isn’t Lu Qingluo. She knew what she wanted and what she didn’t want.
Come, let’s make it clear from the beginning. It’s meaningless to beat about the bush.
There were many ways to complete her mission and playing with emotions was the method she hated the most. Of course, she could deceive him but she didn’t want to and felt that it was beneath her to do so.
Zhou Yunxi looked at Baoyi who seemed like a stranger, his gaze serene and deep. His thirteen had always treated him with respect and obedience. Although she sometimes showed a little temper, she always knew her limits. However, today’s Baoyi was like a cat with raised hackles, revealing its claws and teeth towards him and ruthlessly scraping its claws on his heart.
He suddenly remembered Lu Qingluo.
Before Baoyi was injured, he had also thought of using false feelings to charm Lu Qingluo but that woman only had eyes for Zhou Yuncheng. If a woman places a man in her heart, she’ll become unfeeling and it won’t be possible to wrap her around his fingers, not to mention his false displays of affection.
So Zhou Yunxi gave up on that plan.
He reckoned that he did not envy Zhou Yuncheng, he also had people who treated him with sincerity, such as the former thirteen and the current Baoyi.
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Zhou Yunxi lowered his eyes and suddenly withdrew the vicious air that was emanating from his body. Amidst Baoyi’s surprise, he said: “What do I have to do before you’ll give it to me?”
Baoyi couldn’t understand: “What?”
“What do I have to do before you’ll be willing to give it to me?” Zhou Yunxi’s eyes were as tranquil as the surface of the lake at night but the firmness in his voice revealed that he will not be disobeyed: “You were the one who approached me first. The one who kept a distance was also you. Baoyi, I don’t know what you’re thinking but since you’ve already taken this step, there’s no retreating. Everything you have is in my hands now. I hope that you’ll give it to me willingly. Otherwise, I don’t mind taking it by force.”
He hmphed in disdain as he approached: “Don’t say that I can’t, I don’t like to hear this kind of words……you know me.”
“Can or cannot” doesn’t exist in Zhou Yunxi’s life, only “want or don’t want”.
Eight years of interdependence. Although the two were master and servant, they had a friendship that had gone through trials and tribulations. It wasn’t that he hadn’t thought about giving this loyal and devoted guniang a chance to leave but since she had taken the first step by teasing him, she should’ve prepared herself for a horrible death. If it were someone else, Zhou Yunxi wouldn’t have been this patient. In his eyes, he can just seize anything he wants. It’s precisely because it’s Baoyi that he had put up with it again and again. However, if him giving in has given her the misconception that she could back-track, then she was completely mistaken.
With some games, once it has started, don’t even think about quitting on a whim.
Baoyi was utterly dumbfounded by these words.
Wait, what does he mean by that?
This is going in the wrong direction!
Mr storyline, wake up! Mr storyline, are you still alive!
Baoyi had now calmed down and couldn’t help but to feel a bit of regret. Zhou Yunxi had a volatile temper and was notorious for his unpredictable moods. It’ll be silly if she went head to head with him.
“Shuxia was too impulsive, shizi please calm down, shuxia will now……”
Zhou Yunxi’s eyes sparkled: “You’re willing?”
As I was saying, willing to what? Can you speak clearly!
While Baoyi was at a loss on what to say, Zhou Yunxi lowered his head and sealed the mouth that was probably going to say more exasperating things. Taking advantage of Baoyi’s absent-mindedness, he poked with the tip of his tongue and immediately pried open her two thin lips. The unfamiliar breath engulfed her body and mind, an electric shock like feeling coming out of nowhere.
Baoyi’s eyes widened and she stood there woodenly, even forgetting to resist. That allowed that person’s lips and tongue to go to the next level impudently.
Zhou Yunxi was obviously very satisfied with this situation.
After the kiss, he didn’t let go of the small and bright red shadow guard. Instead, he leaned over and planted his wet lips on the edge of her ear and with a breathy voice that stirred her heart like it was a willow branch.
“Be my woman.”
After that day, Zhou Shizi didn’t appear in front of Baoyi for three days.
When Baoyi was a shadow guard, she had followed Zhou Yunxi constantly and now that he had suddenly disappeared for such a long time, she was slightly on edge. Even so, once she thought of Zhou Yunxi’s words that day, her heart began to beat erratically and she didn’t know how to face it.
She hadn’t expected things to turn out this way.
The thought of vying for Zhou Yunxi had crossed her mind but the current situation was clearly reversed. Zhou Yunxi actually had feelings for her and he even confessed!
Beyond the pleasant surprise, she had mixed feelings. She had thought that she would be in and out of this screenplay with no effort. It now seems like even grass has grown on Mr storyline’s grave alright? In the original novel, even when Zhou Yunxi was going after Lu Qingluo intensely, he had never expressed his feelings this bluntly, only demanding for it persistently.
From the beginning, something was already not quite right with this parallel space. In her perfect track record of her career as an executor, there had never been such a phenomenon.
As a person, Zhou Yunxi had an unsociable and eccentric character, an unpredictable temperament, even acting rather childish at times. However, his emotions were like wine, strong and intoxicating. Once he had given it out, he would never take it back, even if it caused him to be riddled with scars. With Zhou Yunxi’s words, this assignment was already ninety percent complete.
However, Baoyi couldn’t help but to think.
After this mission was complete, she had to report back. If Zhou Yunxi had already invested such deep feelings, how would he take her disappearance?
Having the person you love disappear suddenly, as if she had never existed in the world, was a kind of pain that she didn’t even want to imagine. She was suddenly in low spirits, as if long ago, buried deep in her memories, there was someone who suddenly appeared, then disappeared without a trace, easily emptying out her lifetime’s worth of emotions.
A dull pain started in her head, like a string that had been stretched taut. Baoyi quickly stopped her train of thoughts.
It happened again. Whenever she thought about the past, this strange pain will start. As if a part of her brain had been locked up, reacting adversely whenever she touched it.
Baoyi was absorbed in her own thoughts and before she knew it, she was at the garden. Hearing fragments of voices, she halted and looked ahead.
On the small slabstone pathway, Zhou Yunxi and Lu Qingluo were standing shoulder to shoulder, both facing the same direction as they conversed. They had good rapport, as if they had telepathy.
A talented man and a beautiful woman, a perfect match.
Annoyance welled up in Baoyi’s heart.
So much for saying that he liked her. She ends up terribly worried about it but he’s off flirting with the female lead. However, she soon realised that there was something wrong with the situation. The two were standing side by side as they faced the same direction. They didn’t appear to be chatting, more so that they were waiting for someone.
After a while, another figure could be seen coming from the direction they were facing. Lu Qingluo was suddenly very excited, not waiting for the person to approach but instead going over to greet him.
Once she saw who it was, Baoyi couldn’t help but to let out a “Oh” of surprise.
It’s actually Zhou Yuncheng!
Why is Zhou Yuncheng in the Duan Qinwang’s Palace!
Lu Qingluo had gone to greet him and hadn’t even spoken a word before Zhou Yuncheng embraced her. Zhou Yunxi frowned and gave the pair a look of disdain before turning around to see Baoyi who was frozen with a vacant look in her eyes.
After he’d gotten over his surprise, a helpless expression crossed his face before he shot a glare at Baoyi and walked away.
Baoyi sensibly kept up with his pace, throwing occasional glances at the good looking couple behind her.
After they were a distance away, Baoyi hurriedly asked the questions she had: “Shizi, what is going on? Why is the Third Dianxia here? He has taken the bait? I didn’t expect this, not at all, this Lu Qingluo is impressive!”
Then there’s Zhou Yunxi who’s an amazing teammate! In the twinkle of an eye, he had helped her to complete eighty percent of her mission.
“However, Lu Qingluo is loyal to Third Dianxia, so this isn’t a total lie. Third Dianxia is an extremely bright person and the both of you have been at odds for a long time. Shizi must be mindful that he might persuade Lu Qingluo to join him and trick you!”
Almost instinctively, without waiting for Zhou Shizi to say anything, Baoyi had already started planning for Zhou Yunxi.
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The author has something to say:
Does anyone think that Zhou Shizi’s feelings had come too quickly?
In fact, it’s not that quickly, because this isn’t the first time they’ve met. I’ve already made it quite obvious so everyone should’ve seen it coming. 0v0
This translation is brought to you by:
Iluska & Maelani Translations
Translator: Iluska & Sugakookie
Proofreader & Editor: Sugakookie
1. 属下 (shǔ xià) We previously translated this to ‘this subordinate’ but have decided that from this chapter onwards, we’ll use the pinyin for it because the grammatical awkwardness of ‘this subordinate’ is driving sugakookie crazy.↩
2. 咬牙切齿 (yǎo yá qiè chǐ) An idiom that means to gnash one’s teeth. In this case, it means to fume with rage between gritted teeth.↩
3. 居高临下 (jū gāo lín xià) An idiom that means to occupy a commanding position. Other meanings – Tower above↩
4. 强取豪夺 (qiáng qǔ háo duó) Meaning – To seize one’s belongings / rights by any possible means. (Editor’s note: Zhou Yunxi! Baoyi ain’t yours. Ya’ll not even official!)↩
5. 剧情君 (jù qíng jūn) Literal translation – 剧情 means storyline / plot ; 君 is an ancient title of address that can mean Mr / Sir.↩
6. 登堂入室 (dēng táng rù shì) It’s an idiom that means to go from the main room to the inner chamber. Usually used to refer to a student going to the next level of studies. In this context, it’s referring to Shizi reaching the next base with Baoyi.↩
7. 咦 (yí) Is used to show surprise, an english equivalent would be ‘Oh’.↩
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