th him whatever Second Master wants.”

The more he cursed himself, the easier it was, almost as if it was just as easy and common as eating a meal.
The heavens won’t believe it and Chen Miao Ping himself did not believe it.

But Xie Yu Zhi believed it.

Although the other said nothing, Chen Miao Ping could feel the pressure on his wrist lighten up and he couldn’t help but chuckle quietly.
He thought Xie Yu Zhi was too easily deceived.
With just a few sweet words, he was already coaxed into confusion.

Hearing the wood chime at night, one of the elder maids came forward and reminded them, 

“Second Master, Gu-Ye, time is up.”

Hearing this, Chen Miao Ping relaxed on the inside.
If they were to keep kneeling, even with the padding, his legs would become numb.
He placed his hand on Xie Yu Zhi’s waist and used a little force to pull him up.
He said with a low voice, 

“Let’s go, let us go back now.”

Xie Yu Zhi had never let anyone support him.
The last servant that dared to do this was immediately sold out of the estate.
But this time with Chen Miao Ping supporting him, one could not find a single disapproving expression on his face.

The head maids of Qu Feng Courtyard, Ren Dong and Fu Ling, were waiting for them just outside with lanterns in their hands.
Seeing them hold each other while coming back, they were first stunned and then happy as it must mean that they made up and were back together again.
They quickly went forward to walk on either side of the pair and lit the road back for them.

“Second Master, Gu-Ye, hot water has been prepared for bathing.
These maids will wait outside for your call to service your hair.”

Chen Miao Ping ordered them, 

“Remember to find some medicine to revive the blood circulation of Second Master’s legs.”

Fu Ling couldn’t help but smile.
Qu Feng Courtyard didn’t have much, but medicine for such a thing, they have the most, perhaps even more than the doctors at the Imperial Palace.
She bowed and said, 

“Yes Gu-Ye, this maid does not dare to forget about it and has already prepared some.”

Chen Miao Ping then retrieved his gaze and said to Xie Yu Zhi quietly, 

“Second Master does not like having others nearby while bathing, but one person is afterall not very convenient.
I will wait outside by the door.
If there’s anything you need, remember to call for me, hmm?”

His eyes were as clear as a beautifully crafted jade piece and the last word was spoken with such indulgence and gentleness that it made him look so alluring, so handsome and so attractive, as if all his love was pouring out at this very moment.
Ren Dong and Fu Ling were dripping with honey on the inside, thinking, how could there be such a charming and perfect man in this world?

Holding himself by the elbows, Xie Yu Zhi stepped into the room.
He paused and blinked at Chen Miao Ping’s words but didn’t turn to look at him.
He didn’t even move his head to reply, 

“If you are worried, then come along inside.”

This then immediately made Chen Miao Ping pause, and in response he turned around to close the doors behind them.

When they stepped into the inner section at the back of the room, he could see a bathtub carved out of white jade stationed in the middle with beautifully drawn artwork partitions on the side.
Faint steam was emitting upwards, making it hard to see through the room.
The entire atmosphere was as if they stepped into a fantasy world, into a paradise.

Xie Yu Zhi undid his waist belt and dropped it on one of the partitions.
He then took off his red outer robe, leaving only the black under robe on when he felt a cold breeze slide through his back.

His eyebrows immediately stiffened at the touch of a hand on his shoulder.
Reflexively grabbing onto the wrist of that hand, he flipped around and twisted his other hand to slide along to the body of the hand.

Chen Miao Ping subconsciously struggled and as Xie Yu Zhi was not in a stable position, they both fell into the water.

“Second Master, it is me.”

Chen Miao Ping popped out his head from the water noisily, making lots of splashes.
He could not swim, so he choked a few times and kept struggling until Xie Yu Zhi used with some force to grab his shoulder and pull him up.

Chen Miao Ping leaned on him to steady himself and patted his chest frantically from fear.
As if he had a smile in his voice, Chen Miao Ping said, 

“Second Master has good skills.”

Xie Yu Zhi’s clothes were soaked to the core and his inky black under robe was clinging onto his skin, contrasting sharply with his pale white skin.
With his lips as red as blood, he was beautiful in a weirdly terrifying way. 

Hearing Chen Miao Ping say that, the corners of his eyes squinted upwards and he asked him back, 

“Do I not have a name?”

Chen Miao Ping said, 

“I have called Second Master too many times that I am too used to that title.
It will be hard to change it so fast.”

Xie Yu Zhi nodded but didn’t speak, which could be considered as acceptance.
Upon this approval, Chen Miao Ping said, 

“Then Second Master please take the time to wash up.
Miao Ping will wait behind the partitions.”

He then turned around and was about to step out of the pool when he was suddenly pulled back by Xie Yu Zhi by his robe collar.
Another round of splashes and he could hear the other’s displeased voice saying,

“You fell into the pool with the clothes you are wearing now and your shoes aren’t even off.
And you want me to keep using the water in this bath?”

Chen Miao Ping replied, 

“Then Miao Ping will ask Second Master to please wait for a little bit while Miao Ping calls for the maids to change the water.”

Xie Yu Zhi lightly laughed, 

“I’m not in that much of a rush, what are you rushing for?”


And then dragging Chen Miao Ping by the collar, pulled him to stand in front of him.
His dark eyes stared at him before saying, 

“Today should have been a good day, but that worthless servant has displeased me, ruined what was supposed to be a good day.
You and I have bowed towards the sky and ground, drank the He Jin Wine1, but the one thing we have not gone through is the bridal chambers ceremony to complete our wedding night.”

And who said they were not rushing?

Chen Miao Ping slowly smiled and reached out to wrap his arms around Xie Yu Zhi’s waist.
He pushed the other towards the edge of the bathtub saying, 

“It is my fault that I made Second Master unhappy……”

His eyes were like the numerous cherry blossoms blooming in March, looking like his outpouring love radiated from his whole being.
His warm fingers stroked gently across Xie Yu Zhi’s eyebrows and then stopped by his lips, asking, 

“Then what if we complete our wedding rituals now?”

Xie Yu Zhi said, 

“That is natural of course.
If we don’t, how are we to be considered husband and wife?”

In the olden days, the people held rituals in higher regard, believing in myths, of specific days of luck.
All wedding rituals must be completed on the same day, and not even one step can be missed.

Chen Miao Ping has seen too many films and shows, almost as if they were etched into his mind, and he knew what he should do.
He smiled as he heard this and clutched Xie Yu Zhi’s chin.
Slowly moving down, he lightly kissed him, so gentle that it made their hairs curl as if they were just shocked.

Xie Yu Zhi normally was a headstrong individual, but at this time, he had no other thoughts clouding his mind.
At this moment, he could only hear the water splashing furiously as he tightened his arms around Chen Miao Ping’s neck in a deathly squeeze.
His eyes were lost in a daze and reddened, body shaking and shivering, clawing down his hands on Chen Miao Ping’s back, leaving a trail of marks behind.

Chen Miao Ping couldn’t help but take in a cold breath and bite hard on his lips in revenge, making those already blood red lips even redder.

The splashing and whooshing sounds of the water turned the temperature from steaming hot to just above cold.
Time passed slowly before the sounds inside finally slowed to a halt.
They were in there for so long that Ren Dong and Fu Lin’s legs had become so numb from standing outside in that period of time.

Chen Miao Ping held onto Xie Yu Zhi’s weakened body and made small hickeys one at a time on his pale white neck, 

“Is Second Master satisfied with the completion of this marriage ritual?”

Xie Yu Zhi did not respond and only grasped tightly on his shoulders, hoarsely saying, 

“Tonight we cannot fool around too long.
We have to pay our respects to my older sister at the imperial palace tomorrow.”

Older sister? Chen Miao Ping contemplated this for a while and then realized it should be that Imperial Noble Consort of Brightness.

He smiled and nodded his head, 

“Alright, then let me hold Second Master up.”


Xie Yu Zhi smiled with satisfaction from his response.
He was liking Chen Miao Ping the more he looked at him and thought that he did not pick his husband in error.
He pinched Chen Miao Ping’s chin and said, 

“You will soon be heading into Han Lin Academy2, which is all just chores for the administrative officials and scholars.
There’s no meaning to the work.
I’ll let my elder sister find you a better position tomorrow.”

Chen Miao Ping thought that his partner was most definitely the perfect match for him and was about to answer.
But before he could even say “alright”, his brain suddenly rang a warning and a mechanical voice spoke up,

[ Ding! ]

[ My dear host, oh I hope you are doing well.
You must know that troubles will come out of mouths and your action is about to go against the system’s rules.
The first time you will receive a warning, the second time will be a serious warning and the third time we will start to take away life points.
Please treasure this second chance at life.

[ The galaxy’s strongest self reliant system has been activated, and our ultimate mission is to be self sufficient, to be self reliant, and to always reject being a kept man.
My dear host, please use your own hard work and your own hands to create your own results, as that is the sweetest and most beautiful thing one could achieve! Let us become strong!!! ]

Chen Miao Ping: ……


*1  He Jin Wine (a wine that can be taken as “unite together”): There’s different variations in how the ritual is done, as is always with tradition, but it’s basically a marriage couple consuming a wine that’s bitter (made from a fruit called Calabash) on their wedding night (sometimes with special wine cups that are shaped like the fruit), to signal that they will share the happy and the bad, come together as one to go through any suffering. 

*2 Han Lin Academy: can be considered as Imperial Academy, in which it holds together a group of literary scholars/officials that compile literary works together, historical scrolls and so forth, or things relating to documentations and writing of the literary arts, sanctioned by the imperial palace

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