Cheng Yujin pushed Li Chengjing’s hands angrily, “It’s still broad daylight outside. What do you think you are doing?”
“What if I want to?”
Cheng Yujin covered her neckline and moved her eyes around. Li Chengjing sighed and brushed a lock of Cheng Yujin’s hair that had fallen out of its place when she struggled just now, “I will never force you to do things you don’t want to. Do you have no trust in me?”
Cheng Yujin was silent. She was half lying on the large desk, with ink and scrolls scattered on the floor. Li Chengjing’s wide sleeves fell upon her, overlapping with her dress. He said to her: “My principle is to never go back on my words. Back then, you still didn’t believe me, so I made a declaration in front of the public to never take a concubine unless I was without a son at forty. Thanks to you, I am now a father, and with it goes there my reason to take a concubine. What else are you still worrying about?”
Cheng Yujin didn’t say a word, but her eyes were clearly evaluating his. Li Chengjing sighed and said, “It was my fault just now. I was so anxious and made you cry. I never have the intention of inserting a third person between us, and for the matter of General Dong, I have also clearly rejected this proposal.”
“Really.” Li Chengjing couldn’t help raising his eyebrows when he said this, “If it wasn’t for that palace maid who listened to only half of the conversation and hastily came to report to you, you wouldn’t have misunderstood me. This is my negligence. From now on, I will handle it properly so that the servants will never put you in such a situation again. Not now, and not in the future.”
After her emotions subsided, Cheng Yujin now felt a little embarrassed, “Did I really misunderstand you?”
“Yes, I am really wronged.”
Feeling guilty yet also funny, Cheng Yujin couldn’t hold back her laughter. With a smile, she pushed Li Chengjing gently, “Okay, okay. I indeed blamed you wrongly. My mistake. I promise to trust you more in the future, alright? Now, get aside. The children are about to wake up.”
“What’s the hurry?” Li Chengjing still didn’t move away and even propped himself with one hand, using his free hand to grab Cheng Yujin’s chin as his face slowly approached hers, “I asked you a question just now, and you haven’t answered it yet.”
Facing Li Chengjing’s persistence, Cheng Yujin reflexively tried to back off, accidentally pushing down a few remaining stuff on the desk in the process, “W-what?”
“You don’t remember?”
“You said so much just now, how can I know which one you are talking about?”
“Fine.” Li Chengjing nodded very gentlemanly and did not expose his wife’s clumsy lie, “Then we can stay like this until you remember.”
“Go away! The children are going to cry out soon. What if the servants came in and saw we like this? Where is your decorum!”
“With all the loud noises we made earlier, you think they are still ignorant? The notoriety has been gained, but I cannot get it for nothing, okay?”
Cheng Yujin blushed: “Shut up!”
Cheng Yujin bit her lips annoyedly as the red blush spread from her face to her neck. After holding back for a long time, she finally whispered in a low voice, “Yes.”
When Li Chengjing finally got the answer he was waiting for, his eyebrows were raised in surprise: “I have been waiting for so long, and you merely answer me with a single word?”
“Not satisfied?” Cheng Yujin angrily slapped Li Chengjing’s shoulder, “Too bad, but you have to take it. Don’t you dare ask for a foot after I gave you an inch.”
As the Crown Prince, it was Li Chengjing’s first time to be told, “You have to take it.” Feeling aggrieved, he let go of his hands, but immediately changed his mind again when Cheng Yujin was about to break free. Putting a palm around Cheng Yujin’s waist, he demanded, “You have wronged me so much today; shouldn’t you give me a compensation?”
Seeing Li Chengjing make a gesture with his lips, Cheng Yujin gave him an even angrier glare in response. Li Chengjing saw that the kiss was hopeless, so he lowered his head and simply pressed his lips against Cheng Yujin’s: “Cannot be helped then. I will take the compensation by myself.”
Cheng Yujin tried to hold back, but finally couldn’t help but burst out in laughter. She still tried to glare at Li Chengjing, but the scene of a shy beauty glaring with moist eyes only added fuel to the fire.
Li Chengjing chuckled. He stopped making it difficult for Cheng Yujin and finally let her go.
After Cheng Yujin slipped away like a fleeing rabbit, Li Chengjing looked at the messy study with a satisfied smile on his lips. Despite everything, Cheng Yujin finally gave him a clear answer to his previous question.
—After two years of marriage, have you ever been moved?
Although she just gave a small “Yes” in an almost inaudible voice, it was enough. With Cheng Yujin’s character, she wouldn’t have admitted it unless she was truly convinced.
In fact, he should have understood it from the beginning. When Cheng Yujin’s heard that he was about to accept a side consort, her first reaction was to get extremely angry. If she, as he initially believed, really had no feelings for him, she would have analyzed the Dong family’s forces rationally and objectively instead of getting angry at him.
Unfortunately, the two of them were too emotional at the time, so they both missed this obvious fact. Fortunately, however, today’s incident exposed the doubts buried in their hearts, allowing the seeds of suspicion to be confronted instead of festering over time and becoming a crack that slowly eroded their relationship.
Now that the couple had spoken, they both understood each other’s feelings better, which was a pleasant surprise.
As if fleeing, Cheng Yujin immediately ran to the side chambers to see her two children. Fortunately, the two babes were still sleeping soundly without signs of waking up.
Cheng Yujin was too embarrassed to call people in, so she personally shook the cradle gently as her mind drifted away slowly. For some reason, she felt like her face was still extremely hot.
Cheng Yujin’s mind wandered — without her even noticing it, had she actually been moved by Li Chengjing? She didn’t know how to define love, but she at least knew that this deep feeling and a strong desire to monopolize were different from friendship or familial love.
Cheng Yujin was engrossed in her thoughts and did not notice it when Lian Qiao and Du Ruo came in. The two servant girls did not know what conversation the Crown Prince and Crown Princess had in the study, but they were extremely relieved to see the two masters come out in a good mood. Naturally, the rest of the Eastern Palace servants also noticed the lightened mood and equally sighed in relief.
Mingqian started crying shortly after, staring at his legs as he howled. Cheng Yujin knew that he was wetting his bed again, and sure enough, after changing him into clean clothes and cool bedding, the baby fell asleep again.
After changing Li Mingqian, Cheng Yujin then wiped the hands and feet of her two children. Finished with her work, Cheng Yujin raised her head and noticed Li Chengjing’s absence. She turned to the waiting servants and asked, “Where’s His Highness?”
“Just now, a eunuch came delivering a letter, asking the Crown Prince to go to Qianqing Palace to meet the Emperor.”
Cheng Yujin nodded, took a fan from the side, and gently fanned the two children. For some reason, she was feeling uneasy. A palace maid stepped forward and took the fan in Cheng Yujin’s hand. After Cheng Yujin carefully gave instructions, she took her personal servant girls and left the children’s room. She had just taken two steps out when she suddenly stopped in place, “No, why did the Emperor call him to the Qianqing Palace? Didn’t His Majesty live in the Yinghua Palace these days?”
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