Chapter 20 Chip?
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Had anyone told Huo Caiyu beforehand that he would one day be wiping the Emperor’s body on the dragon bed, he would have laughed it off as a joke.
Never could he have imagined that this day would actually come.
Li Jinyu seemed to be very scared, burying his head in Huo Caiyu’s arms and refusing to come out.
Huo Caiyu had no choice but to hold the Emperor with one hand and awkwardly wipe the water off his body with the other.
Despite the excellent quality and softness of the palace towels, it seemed that even the slightest pressure was enough to leave a noticeable red mark on Li Jinyu’s fair skin.
As Huo Caiyu gazed at the vivid red mark, he couldn’t help but experience a peculiar sensation in his heart.
There was a feeling of tenderness, and something else that he couldn’t quite put his finger on…
Huo Caiyu’s heart skipped a beat, suppressing the feeling that even he couldn’t name.
He could only handle the task carefully and gently.
Huo Caiyu had been practicing martial arts since childhood. At first, when he couldn’t control his strength, he had to use a metal brush holder to prevent himself from breaking the ordinary ones while studying. As he advanced in his training and gained better control, he no longer needed the metal brush holder and could write and read normally.
Despite this, Huo Caiyu had never done anything as delicate as this, even when he helped his mother with housework at home.
Especially in those crucial areas…
After wiping the water off Li Jinyu’s body, Huo Caiyu’s forehead was covered in a thin layer of sweat, and his breathing was slightly rapid. He felt more exhausted than he would have after engaging in a serious fight.
Huo Caiyu breathed a sigh of relief and gently patted Li Jinyu’s back. “Your Majesty? The water has been wiped dry. This official will leave now.”
He had planned to discuss matters related to the new policies with the Emperor, but given the current situation, it seemed unlikely that they would be able to have that conversation tonight.
As soon as Huo Caiyu made a move to leave, Li Jinyu looked up and tightened his grip on his arm. “No, you can’t go!”
He was in a state of heightened anxiety, and only Huo Caiyu’s presence, imbued with the Ziwei aura, could calm him down.
Huo Caiyu hesitated. “Your Majesty…”
“Zhen forbids you to leave!” Li Jinyu held Huo Caiyu’s neck tightly, his legs wrapped around his waist.
Huo Caiyu had never had such an intimate encounter with anyone before. He was taken aback when he saw Li Jinyu’s face so close to his, and could almost see the tears still clinging on his eyelashes. He held his breath, his whole body stiffening.
“Your Majesty, this slave—”
Just then, Chief Kang walked in, carrying a new imperial robe. He saw the Emperor and Huo Caiyu entwined together, their faces close together, as if they were about to…
He quickly closed his mouth, lowered his head, and set the robe down before hurriedly backing out of the room and closing the door behind him. He felt a flush of embarrassment and shame, knowing that he had seen something that he shouldn’t have.
Meanwhile, Huo Caiyu was held fast by Li Jinyu’s grip, the young Emperor still clinging to him even as he collapsed onto the dragon bed.
After being frightened earlier, Li Jinyu quickly succumbed to exhaustion and fell into a deep sleep as soon as Huo Caiyu covered him with a silk quilt. However, his hands continued to hold on tightly to him.
Huo Caiyu couldn’t undress. He lay next to the Emperor while holding him, gazing absently at the intricately embroidered dragon design on the bed drapes.
He had never envisioned a scenario where he would find himself in bed with the Emperor clasping onto him firmly.
Huo Caiyu couldn’t help but turn his head to look at the sleeping Li Jinyu.
Li Jinyu had tied up his long black hair before taking a bath, but in his agitation, he had unknowingly dislodged the hairpin holding the bun in place. As a result, his hair became drenched in the fragrant orchid bath. Although Huo Caiyu had aided him in wiping it, his hair remained damp and clumped together, resembling splotches of ink on the ornate dragon-patterned bed.
Huo Caiyu suddenly realized that His Majesty was actually quite good-looking.
The ink-like long hair complemented his fair complexion, and his facial features were so fine that they almost seemed too perfect to be real. The silk quilt covered his shoulders, and from Huo Caiyu’s perspective, he could see the clear line of his collarbone, adding to his ethereal beauty.
Even though he was asleep, Li Jinyu’s eyebrows were slightly furrowed, as if he couldn’t rest peacefully in his dreams.
But his hand was tightly gripping Huo Caiyu’s clothes, and his whole body was pressed against him in a position of infinite trust.
Huo Caiyu inexplicably felt that the Emperor’s gentle appearance was particularly… tempting.
He felt like his head might be spinning.
Huo Caiyu quickly averted his gaze and focused on the patterns above the bed, silently reciting the scriptures of the saints he had read.
However, the person beside him was emitting an unmistakable heat, and his arms and legs were wrapped around him, making it impossible for him to concentrate.
The shock awakened Huo Caiyu’s rationality.
His Majesty had a fever?
Huo Caiyu diagnosed Li Jinyu’s condition as a combination of fear and catching a cold that led to wind-cold symptoms. He called for Chief Kang, who was waiting outside the door, to fetch an imperial physicain.
Chief Kang walked in covering his eyes, thinking that His Majesty and Young Master Huo had some “special needs”. However, when he learned that the Emperor was running a fever, he was overcome with panic and immediately set off to fetch an imperial physician.
By the time the imperial physician arrived, Huo Caiyu had already wrapped Li Jinyu’s whole body in the silk quilt. For some reason, he subconsciously did not want anyone else to see the Emperor’s state, even the physician.
The physician’s diagnosis was the same as Huo Caiyu’s. Given that it involved the dragon’s body, he did not dare delay and quickly prepared a decoction to send over.
Due to the incident where a physician was bribed to poison him, Huo Caiyu was wary of the physicians at the Imperial Institute of Medicine. He first took the decoction, smelled it and tasted it to make sure it was safe, before giving it to Li Jinyu to drink.
Li Jinyu was feverish and drowsy, and his head was a bit fuzzy, like a big child who couldn’t understand what people were saying. However, it was miraculous that when Huo Caiyu coaxed him to open his mouth and drink the medicine, Li Jinyu obediently listened.
But after taking a sip, he refused to drink any more, saying with a strong nasal voice, as if throwing a tantrum, “It’s bitter!”
Huo Caiyu’s hand holding the medicine trembled slightly as he tentatively said, “Your Majesty needs to drink more to reduce the fever.”
“Your Majesty will have some sweet candy after finishing the medicine.”
Li Jinyu leaned against Huo Caiyu’s chest and drank the medicine in small sips.
After finally feeding a bowl of medicine, Huo Caiyu breathed a sigh of relief, and wiped the sweat from his forehead with one hand.
As he turned his head, Chief Kang and the imperial physician were both standing by the dragon bed, with their eyes focused on their own breath and pretending to be blind.
Huo Caiyu was too busy to think about what they were thinking and said, “Many thanks to Imperial Physician.”
“This inferior official is just doing his duty.” The imperial physician finally raised his head and coughed. “His Majesty has sweated all night after taking the medicine and should recover by tomorrow. This inferior official will be waiting in the outer hall, please call out if His Majesty needs anything.”
Li Jinyu buried himself in Huo Caiyu’s arms and grumbled discontentedly, “Where are the candies?”
Chief Lang quickly brought over the candies they had called for earlier.
Huo Caiyu picked up one and held it to Li Jinyu’s lips. Before he could speak, Li Jinyu took a bite.
He only felt a slight softness quickly roll away from his fingers as they touched his hard teeth, without even feeling the pain. Only a slight hint of sweetness remained on his fingertips.
Huo Caiyu was stunned for a moment before he realized what happened. He wanted to wipe his fingers but couldn’t find any soft cloth or paper, so he just held his hand up, and watched the satisfied Emperor lie down again, munching on the candy.
His clothes were wet from Li Jinyu’s previous splashing, and Li Jinyu had been clinging to him so tightly that he didn’t even have a chance to change his clothes.
However, as His Majesty was now feverish, Huo Caiyu couldn’t hold him in wet clothes while he slept.
Chief Kang didn’t prepare any clothes for him, and Huo Caiyu didn’t plan to touch the dragon robe. He only took off his wet outer clothes and lay down in his undershirt.
With one less layer of clothing between them, the two became even more aware of each other’s body temperature.
The dazed Li Jinyu became even more attached to the cool big pillow next to him, desperately snuggling into Huo Caiyu’s arms, as if he wanted to curl up the whole person in his embrace.
Huo Caiyu felt His Majesty’s scorching body temperature, almost feeling like he was getting burned.
For the first time, Huo Caiyu slept with someone whom he had no relation with, and the feeling was particularly strange. Huo Caiyu opened his eyes and instinctively patted Li Jinyu’s back to soothe him to sleep.
Huo Caiyu, being a martial artist, was cautious about using excessive force, hence his movements were delicate and gentle, like a caress on Li Jinyu’s skin.
As time passed, Huo Caiyu himself began to feel drowsy, eventually drifting off to sleep while holding the Emperor.
The candles burned out, and daylight crept in.
It wasn’t until noon the next day when Li Jinyu woke up from his slumber.
Although his mind was a bit hazy last night, he remembered everything that had happened clearly.
Recalling his behavior last night, Li Jinyu wished he could bury himself underground.
What the heck!
He had clung onto the future Emperor all night long!
He even let Huo Caiyu feed him medicine!
And he even coquettishly asked Huo Caiyu for candy!!
Oh my god, he was so embarrassed!
Li Jinyu withdrew his arm from Huo Caiyu’s body and carefully pulled up the quilt, curling up his entire body inside.
Hoohoo, how should he face Huo Caiyu now?
What about his tyrant image?
Huo Caiyu had actually woken up a long time ago, but considering that the Emperor was still sleeping next to him, he didn’t move. Noticing Li Jinyu sneaking into the covers, Huo Caiyu inexplicably found the Emperor particularly adorable. There was a hint of laughter in his voice when he spoke, “Has Your Majesty woken up?”
Li Jinyu responded from under the covers with a muffled voice, “No.”
Huo Caiyu stretched his body and said, “Your Majesty should put on some clothes first.”
Since he had caught a cold last night from being exposed to the wind, it was better to put on clothes as soon as he woke up. Li Jinyu remained silent and stretched out a hand from under the covers.
Huo Caiyu got out of bed, picked up the inner garment that Chief Kang had prepared, and handed it over. The hand took the clothes and retreated back under the covers. There was some rustling from the covers for a while before Li Jinyu poked his head out again and looked at Huo Caiyu tentatively.
Although Huo Caiyu tried to keep a straight face, Li Jinyu still saw the hidden smile in his eyes. Li Jinyu wanted to hide his head back under the covers again.
But pretending to be an ostrich was useless. He forced his face to stay tense and cleared his throat. “Huo Aiqing has worked hard. Which eunuch served me last night? Bring him here…”
Intending to re-establish his image as a tyrant in front of Huo Caiyu, Li Jinyu wanted to order the execution of some people. Since Huo Caiyu would definitely intercede for them, he could just let them go afterwards.
However, before he could finish what he was going to say, Li Jinyu noticed the deep and murky blue under Huo Caiyu’s eyes, and he couldn’t bring himself to say it anymore.
He had slept comfortably last night while Huo Caiyu had been held by him all night, so he must not have slept well, right?
Anyway, Huo Caiyu had a long way to go in the palace, so it was better to let him rest for a while, and solidify his own image as a tyrant later.
Li Jinyu coughed and abruptly changed the subject, “Send Huo Aiqing to rest.”
Huo Caiyu was indeed a little tired, but not physically, but mentally.
He had wanted to ask Li Jinyu what he had seen last night that scared him so much, but he thought of the Emperor’s pale face and couldn’t bring himself to ask.
As for his original purpose last night… Huo Caiyu sighed inwardly.
He should handle it himself.
“Then this official will take his leave.”
After successfully seeing Huo Caiyu off, Li Jinyu breathed a long sigh of relief.
Turning over from the bed, Li Jinyu ignored Chief Kang’s advice to rest, and gave orders word by word, “Investigate who is keeping cats in the palace.”
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