T/N: Warning for slight shotacon.
Chapter 14 – One Year
In mid-September of Yun Tai’s fourth year, the northern barbarians went south and slaughtered a small town near the borders. When the news came, there was uproar in the court.
One after another, the imperial censors wrote a petition, saying that the northern barbarians violated their agreement, which was a provocation towards the Xuan Yuan Dynasty, therefore, they should return fire to show the might of their dynasty.
Before the witness of the court, Emperor Xuan Yuan Zhao Shen bestowed upon the crown prince the title of Generalissimo Zheng Bei*. He was to command the fifty thousand elite troops of the capital to go into battle. And he ordered the northern defense’s Zheng Yuan Hou and main army to cooperate and fight against the barbarians.
[*T/N: 征北大将军 zheng bei da jiang jun – 征北 zheng bei means “expedition north,” and 大将军 da jian jun is an “important general” or “generalissimo” which is above a regular 将军 jian jun “general”]
After morning court, in the Imperial Study Room, the emperor had some final words with the crown prince. “When you arrive at the north, don’t attack immediately. You need to scout out the real situation. The barbarians are cunning by nature, so be careful. Your maternal uncle will also support you. In this expedition, the military strength of the Xuan Yuan Dynasty prevails, but remember that you cannot underestimate the enemy.”
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“Yes, er’chen* will bear this in mind.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng replied.
[*T/N: 儿臣 er’chen – 儿 er is “child” and 臣 chen is a “state official or subject in dynastic China.” My closest English approximation would be “I, your child, this state official,” which is a mouthful, so I’m keeping it simple as “er’chen.” This is how XYHC addresses himself in front of his imperial father.]
“Have you made plans for the accompanying imperial physician yet? You should pay attention to your body, even if you’re going out to battle, you mustn’t disregard your health.” The emperor was still very concerned about the crown prince’s body.
“Please rest assured. Everything has been properly arranged. I also ask that Imperial Father take care of his own health. Er’chen is really not filial, always making Imperial Father worry.” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng knelt and bowed to his imperial father.
“All right now, get up, ba. Say goodbye to your imperial mother, she is also very worried about you.” The emperor helped the crown prince up.
“Yes. Excuse er’chen.”
Eleven p.m. Several figures flashed into the courtyard of the Royal Snack Kitchen. Xuan Yuan Han Cheng came to the door of Lin Jia Bao’s room. He gently opened the door and entered, leaving several secret guards in the courtyard.
His treasure was sleeping in the bed. The moonlight spilled in from outside the window. Looking at Lin Jia Bao bathed in the moonlight; his sleeping face so innocent and lovely, every time he saw it, the exhaustion and worries of the entire day would disappear.
Lin Jia Bao slept very deeply. His small mouth was pursed and the corner of it was tilted up slightly, as if he was having a sweet dream.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng bent down and kissed the spot between Lin Jia Bao’s eyebrows. He peppered a few light kisses on the small face. He kissed from the small dimples to the lips. Xuan Yuan Han Cheng was afraid to wake him up and dared not go deep. He could only use his lips and tongue to lightly lap at his treasure’s lips.
“Wu…” Lin Jia Bao seemed to feel the disturbance on his lips and turned his head to the side to continue his dream.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng looked at Lin Jia Bao’s exposed neck. Against the background of the moonlight, it looked a bit pale, but it was so tempting.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng couldn’t restrain himself and nibbled gently back and forth on the delicate neck.
Suddenly, a subtle sound came from the door. Xuan Yuan Han Cheng tucked the quilt snug against Lin Jia Bao and walked out on light feet.
“Lin momo, it’s you, ah…” Xuan Yuan Han Cheng looked towards Lin Jia Bao’s room door, and motioned for Lin momo to go with him to the courtyard.
“Your Royal Highness, An Zhu, he is still young, just over thirteen years old, you…” Lin momo returned late and saw that next to her room, the door to Lin Jia Bao’s room was slightly ajar, and she also saw the scene of the crown prince kissing An Zhu.
It was not the first time that she saw His Royal Highness in the courtyard late at night. From the start, when she was shocked, to now, when she got used to it, she could be considered to be quite calm and collected.
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Lin momo knew that His Royal highness had different designs on Lin An Zhu, although she didn’t know why he was so interested in such a small ger. But after interacting with Lin An Zhu for the past six months, she also fell in love with this hardworking and well-behaved child, so she couldn’t help reminding the crown prince of An Zhu’s young age.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng heard Lin momo’s protectiveness towards Lin Jia Bao, and said with satisfaction, “Lin momo, tomorrow I will going on campaign. I hope you will take good care of An Zhu.”
“Yes. Please rest assured, Your Royal Highness. There will be no mishaps.” Lin momo promised.
The next day, before the witness of all, Xuan Yuan Han Cheng rode his mount and led the fifty thousand troops out of the imperial capital.
When the army left the capital, Xuan Yuan Han Cheng took a deep look in the direction of the palace.
Therein lied his family, his treasure, and his responsibilities. In this battle, only victory was allowed, no defeat!