The hunt will last for three days, and the contestant will only stay at the forest to gather preys in that following days. Only in the last day of the hunt that they were allowed to go back with their preys, and finally proceed to distinguish the winner.
During these days, without any hindrance, Qiao Chen stayed at his tent and also accompany the Emperor. Both Bai Menxiang and Wen Yang returned to participate in the hunt. This grant Qiao Chen an opportunity to clean up his mess and traces of his future plans.
His smiled deepened when his slender fingers opened the seal letters, delivered by the pigeon, as he read the contents of it. His faint guffaw lowly echoed as his fingertips held the corner of his lips, stifling the incoming smile.
It seems like his plans takes place the way he wants it to be. It almost made him believe that this mission was half-done. But it isn't.
"Young master, the Emperor will visit the tent."Qi Lan attentive voice sounded.
Suddenly, the usual joyful face of Qiao Chen turned violent. But only for a short moment as he rises from the soft mattress. Immediately, the gauzy and thin night fabric clung into the corner of his body, displaying sexiness and temptation. His hair fell like a waterfall in his back as his bare feet walk towards the entrance. A limited smile formed into his lips and the letters he was holding instantly crashed into dust. In the end, the calmness of his face reconstruct.
"His majesty has arrived!" A Eunuch announced.
Qiao Chen was already waiting and was sitting in one of the chair. When he heard this announcement, his calm face emitted surprise joy.
"Your majesty..."Qiao Chen bowed.
The stern look on the Emperor's face immediately soften, "Xiao Chen..."he then turned his head to the servants and guards who followed him. The others understood his look and right away retreated, leaving only the two of them.
Qiao Chen happily guided the Emperor to the table and proceed to pour some wine, while consistently displayed his rehearsed countenance.
The Emperor's lustful eyes remained on the thin and seductive body of the sparrow. Under the dim night, the moonlight faintly illuminated in the juvenile's skin making him appeared paler and exquisite. With a thin and gauzy fabric covering the surface, like a lovely moon in the endless sky. Very tempting and magnificent.
A low and proud chuckled escaped in the Emperor's lips whilst he drank the wine prepared by the latter, and uttered, "Good wine!"
Qiao Chen calmly smile and sat beside the Emperor, "This wine was brewed by one of the country's excellent winemaker, it was almost limited and Xiao Chen luckily bought it in the sudden circumstances." Then he poured again.
The Emperor looked at him with interest, "Oh? Is it bought by Xiao Chen?"
Qiao Chen shyly nodded and consistently poured the wine on the Emperor.
The Emperor almost believed it. His amusement turned violent as he observed the expression of the beautiful sparrow. A suspicion gradually rose on his heart. In fact, he removed the spies and secret guards that he commanded to guide Qiao Chen. But he was not naive to begin with, there were still few of shadow guard spying on the beautiful sparrow. And...buying this wine...without leaving the palace and even didn't order someone to buy this. His pupils ardently darkened.
Something was really going on with his lovely sparrow.
It seems like he was very kind these days and almost unguarded in whole...truly, he was a beautiful and rare treasure. But to the Emperor, they were only accessories...a pet that will obey his command. The more obedient the pet was, the more he was satisfied.
His eyes hid the dangerous light floating in the surface of his eyes, "Did Qiao Chen enjoy the hunt?"
Qiao Chen paused, then sincerely smiled and responded, "The hunt was very peaceful and fun due to the fact that Xiao Chen can accompany the Emperor."
The grasp on the cup tightened and even the veins on the Emperor's arms violently clenched. But he still maintained his smitten look, "I see..." This compliments and sincere countenance almost made the Emperor filled with joy. But instead, suspicion only worsened in his heart.
Qiao Chen was betraying him?
Thinking about that made his mind go insane. It was like a suffocating invisible net that will tighten from time to time. Exactly, Qiao Chen indeed was his most favor sparrow. But those who betray him will only have one end.
He smiled with expectations. It is true that even the most holy existence can be tempted by an unknown severe temptation. And what temptation tempted Qiao Chen... The Emperor smirked wickedly, "I see."
Qiao Chen watched the unusual expression of the Emperor with a shallow smile.
The last day of the hunt has arrived. Several nobles has already spread and scattered in the decorated area of the forest. Dressed with exquisite clothes and flashy fabrics, that's symbolized their wealth and position in the country. Qiao Chen, together with the rest of the sparrow, sat beside the Emperor.
Qiao Chen covered his red lips with a bamboo colored fun as his eyes exudes expectancy and hideous schemes as it bored towards the young men who present their preys on the front. Some Eunuch was assigned to give score in each of the contestant as they examine the animals that was caught by the hunters.
Slowly, some young men appeared the same time and present their prey. Some were covered with wounds and dirt.
The Emperor rested his cheeks on one of his arms and observed the faces of the crowd with keen interest. His uncommon behavior causes the individuals to be mindful at their actions. It was not novice to them that the Emperor was observant in this event...even them...they also cannot hide to be vigilant if some unexpected event will come. Like assassination or any unforeseen ambush.
Qiao Chen almost let out a mocking giggle by seeing the Emperor like this. His slender and pale fingers faintly brushed the corner of his lips.
It seems like the Emperor was getting paranoid...how tragic.
Then, two beautiful sparrows with their preys the same time arrived. The animals they caught was almost the same in number, they immediately obtained the attention of the crowd. One was beautiful and elegant while the other was innocent looking yet fierce, both riding their horses and presenting proudly their preys. It was an amazing visual.
"It seems like, the hunt competition this time has a tough contestant..."Qiao Chen heard his sister commented.
"Xiao Yu is right, ." The Emperor grinned.
Qiao Yu blushed and lowered her head, "Your majesty..."
"Both Wen Yang and Menxiang caught the same numbers of preys, both was really excellent in this aspect." Another sparrow declared.
"Then this competition will be more fun, ah." All of them looked at Qiao Chen with conflicted expression.
Qiao Chen again flipped his fan and hid the half of his face and never intended to correct their improper thoughts.
The fact that all the sparrow gave confuse look on the Qiao Chen was because his words and tone both contrasted. He was complimenting,, yet his voice sounded like he was not satisfied by the two performance of the sparrow. And this... was not to pair with the sparrow's personalities. Although, they compete for the favor of the Emperor but when it comes to others, all of them was allies and should've the same mindsets.
The score come out and like the prediction, both of them gained the same result.
Bai Menxiang sneered and glared at Wen Yang. Before he called his servants and left the ground.
Wen Yang on the other hand did not pay attention to him and instead turned his eyes to Qiao Chen and gave a faint ridiculous smile as he walked away.
Then, a man with a handsome feature caught the eyes of the crowd. His horse was running slow and elegant, with several preys that was resting on the side. His limited smile gave off an idea of a graceful prince. He then jumped out from his horse and present his preys in the front. The Eunuch hurriedly check and gave a score.
The result... he now obtained the highest score in present.
Yong An smiled from the crowd and turned his eyes to the Emperor. His lips pursed then he looked away. But before that, he felt someone was staring at him, in the end, he returned his gaze to the Emperor and saw a beautiful man, smiling at him. He can't help but to feel stunned.
During the hunt, Wen Yang said that one of the most favored sparrow of Emperor was willing to help them, in exchange for his freedom in the future. He also knows that the sparrow's identity was very infamous, as being the most pampered sparrow of the Emperor. Yong An, in the past, did not bother examining anyone related to the Emperor's sparrow. It only changed when he met Wen Yang and fell for him. But now... with a proper examination, he can't help to feel like... this sparrow's appearance was very exquisite. He was lost in his thought, but immediately returned to his usual posture.
This ambitious ambience was perceivable in the Emperor's eyes. His eyes pierce deeply at the young prince and then followed his line of sight... that finally landed on the sparrow beside him. His expression turned ugly.
Afterwards, some of the young man who also exited the forest did not manage to surpass the score of Yong An.
Almost majority of the hunters has already exited the forest. Some nobles worriedly look for their contenders, ... it was not new to them, if someone will die during the hunt... but it was unfortunate.
"The fourth prince was still inside? It's a pity." A sparrow frowned.
The Emperor narrowed his eyes and grinned, "It will indeed a pity."
Several nobles has already given up in their contestants. Unluckily, misfortune was set in their fate. Some already mourn in silence.
Just as the people have no hope for the survival of the left hunters, a sound of horse's footsteps echoed in the quiet ground. A young man with his left eye covered in black, imposing his dominant aura, appeared in their eyes. Their sight stopped on the prey that he caught. Eyes widened in shock with amusement.
It was lucky enough for the hunters, if they caught one tiger, they can already achieve high score. What's more, if they caught three at the same time!
The Eunuch rapidly examine the preys Yong Guan caught and gave the result in public, thus declared the winners of the hunt.
Fourth place belong to the two sparrows, that achieved the same score. The third place belongs to the young master of the Zhao family. The second place belongs to the second prince, Yong An. And the winner belongs to the fourth prince, Yong Guan.
Although, some were not satisfied by the result, they still congratulate the winners of the match. The Emperor gave his final words from the crowd before finally departing.
The prizes will be given in the banquet at the last day of the festival. So, all the winners were needed to attend at the event to get their prizes.
Qiao Chen looked at Yong Guan, and he was almost startled when he saw him, also looking at his directions. He gave his faint smile before finally followed the Emperor.
Unknowingly to him, Yong Guan's eyes stayed at his departing back.
To his surprise, the Emperor followed Qiao Chen in his tent. He forced himself to act like nothing was happening and happily served the Emperor. Only the latter's eyes darkened as it bore to him.
All of his life, the Emperor was not novice in the act of betrayals. Even the most loyal one can still betray his owner. But still, he can't help but to look at the beautiful sparrow in pity. Others who betrayed him will immediately punished and faced the retribution of death. And yet... he was not convinced that this dependent sparrow will betray him... a little hope remain in his heart.
Qiao Chen noticed the unusual face of the Emperor and asked, "Your majesty, is there a problem?"
A wave of vexation floated on the surface of the Emperor's eyes but instantly vanished, "Xiao Chen... the crown prince selection was getting near. Who do you think was suited in that title?"he responded and put the teacup closed to his lips as he observed the expression of the latter.
Qiao Chen put down his teacup and stared to the Emperor, seemingly thinking about his question. In the end, he lowered his eyes apparently looking detected as his slender fingers trembled, then he answered in the hoarse voice, "Y-Your majesty... do you want a sparrow to answer that question? A sparrow will only belong to the Emperor and asking such... a question... for me... none of them was suited because his majesty can only rule the country—"
"Don't try to bullshit me and answer my question!" The Emperor exploded in anger and throw the porcelain cup on the ground, causing several fragments to scattered. His eyes were emitting heavy and dark pressure as it crept on the sparrow.
Qiao Chen pale eyes trembled. He instantly bow down on the Emperor's feet and was followed by the two of his servants, pleaded, "Y-Your majesty..."
"Xiao Chen." The Emperor's voiced echoed with terror. He squatted and lifted the face of the latter and displayed his smile yet not smiling face, "Xiao Chen will only belong to the Emperor. Even if this Emperor die, you will bury with me!"
The Emperor forcibly kissed the lips of the sparrow and gave him no chance to retract. The taste of blood linger in each tongue as the kissed turned fierce and violent. The Emperor cupped the cheeks of Qiao Chen causing his lips to part, then the Emperor invaded his mouth with his tongue.
The kiss lasted for several minutes, before the Emperor was willing to end, creating a silver wire of saliva in their close lips.
The Emperor stared darkly at Qiao Chen, all the pampering he showered in this sparrow, already gone and dissipated, leaving only obsession.
"Xiao Chen can only be mine. Anyone who dare to covet Xiao Chen will die." then he walk away.
"Young Master!" his two servants supported him.
Qiao Chen's teary eyes only saw the back of the Emperor. The anger and disgust in his eyes was visible, but...slowly... his pursed lips turned into a wicked smile.
'That's right, get angry, be suspicious, be paranoid. Because those obsession will be the end of you.'
Qiao Chen eyes darkened as he wiped his lips, "Fucking dirty."
It's very late, forgive me ╥﹏╥