A Step into the Past Chapter 20

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Book 2 Chap 7 – Ladies of the forbidden palace

If it was the old Xiang Shaolong, once he meets a beauty, he’ll try ways and means to get her and have some fun. But now beauties are aplenty, and extremely submissive as well. However, too much of anything is never good, and having too many women will increase his burden and worries as well. No one would be able to handle all these. Seeing the pretty maids look at him with thirst and desire, he only wants to find a quiet place to be alone. But in this era where even for a trip to the toilet, there’ll be a pretty maid attending, it’s even more difficult than ascending heaven to find a place without women. He’s slowly coming to understand why women here can click so easily. The key point is in communication. In the modern era, they only need to exchange phone numbers and would be able to contact each other anytime. But in this ancient time, manual labor is needed to send letters, and it’s only something available to people of a certain standing. After meeting once, they usually will not have the chance to meet again. That’s why when the Baiyi lady Yiniang saw him, she ran after him to find an opportunity to have some fun. Or else their fate may just be the end. It’s the same with these palace maids. It’s not that Xiang Shaolong does not want to satisfy them, but one Lady Ya is more than enough for him to handle, so how can he help the other women?

When he was bathing in the luxurious bath, all the 8 palace maids in Lady Ya’s palace came out in full force, all stripped naked to serve him in the pool and to ma.s.sage his body. For someone so flirtatious like Xiang Shaolong, he dared not overstep the boundaries this time, afraid that he will not be able to handle the outcome of the situation. The maids keep pouring boiling water into the pool and the hot steam rose, making the bathroom like an enclosed sauna. Chunying and the rest of the maids have helped him bath before, but they at least wore something, not like these palace maids who were totally undressed. Obviously life in the palace is a lot more licentious and ridiculous than the world outside.

But undeniably, Xiang Shaolong is thoroughly enjoying himself right now and totally relaxed. He’s relieved that without his initiation, these 8 beautiful, heated women all dared not be overly enticing with him. But it’s unavoidable that they are using the opportunity to use their bodies to b.u.mp and rub against him. The Zhao people has never seen someone with Xiang Shaolong’s looks and physique.

After the bath, Xiang Shaolong laid on a bed next to the pool and allowed 8 pairs of dainty hands to apply fragrant oils on him and ma.s.sage him, making him so comfortable he can’t even keep his eyes open. With a life like this, what else can a man ask for.

Footsteps were heard, Lady Ya came next to the bed and helped him sit up, reaching out her hand to touch his dark and thick shoulder-length hair and said with a smile, “They are maids I chose specially from my residence, and all are smart, obedient and pretty. They, as well as me, will be serving you during the journey. Give them a little something to satisfy them! They will work even harder!” The faces of the 8 ladies blushed and they lowered their head and smiled shyly. Anyone could have seen that they are extremely willing, praying for it in fact. Xiang Shaolong almost wanted to give Lady Ya a good smacking on her bottom. Maybe giving free reins to l.u.s.t is a common and normal occurrence in the palace, but the military training he received has taught him the importance and need for self-control. He mumbled a reply and pretended to fall asleep. What else can he do? Lady Ya lowered her head and whispered in his ear, “You just have to lie down and enjoy, you don’t even have to lift a finger.” Xiang Shaolong secretly lamented that won’t he become a s.e.x toy for the 8 women instead. He could not accept this so he did not reply her and fell asleep after a while.

When he woke up, it was quiet. Lamps had been lighted in the bath and the surroundings were serene. He thought that all the women had left and was just getting up when a dainty voice cried out, “Master is awake!” 2 pretty maids immediately came over to help him dress. Xiang Shaolong saw the longing and hope on the 2 women’s face and he asked, “What are elder sisters’ names.” The extremely voluptuous one giggled and said, “Master you are making us feel bad, I am Xiaozhao, she is Xiaomei, we’re both Lady’s personal maids.” Xiaomei complimented, “Master has really good physique, we have never served any men who is more well built than you.” By then Xiaozhao had came up to him to help him with the complicated b.u.t.tons, her bosom heaving. Xiang Shaolong is after all used to flirting, so he can’t help but touch her. Xiaozhao’s body trembled and leaned softly on his body, crying softly, “Master!” Xiaomei plastered her body tightly against his back, her body temperature fiery hot.

Xiang Shaolong might as well hig the 2 women and after kissing them each on the mouth, asked, “Where is Lady?” The 2 women were frightened and hurriedly continued helping him dress. Xiaozhao said with fear, “I deserve death, Lady has ordered that we bring you to her as soon as you’re awake.” Xiang Shaolong was ecstatic, knoeing that for now he need not fear being hara.s.sed by them to make love, but since he’s started, he might as well grope them a little more. Until they were moaning continuously did he follow them out.

Lady Ya was waiting for him quietly at the dining table and when she saw him, she knelt down on the rug and smiling sweetly, welcomed him to his seat like a wife serving her husband. They sat next to each other on one side of the table while the maids continuously served food and wine. Lady Ya poured wine for him and said with a laugh, “After living for so many years, this is the first time Ya’er feels the happiness of a sense of belonging. When I was sitting here waiting for you earlier, I don’t feel that time pa.s.ses terribly at all, there was not an instant of emptiness or boredom, because I know you are by my side.”

Xiaozhao and the rest of the maids split into 2 groups and knelt on both sides of the entrance, 8 pairs of eyes kept glancing at Xiang Shaolong. After casting a look at the 8 women, Lady Ya said with a hidden smile, “Ya’er belongs to you! So they have also become your personal property, if you’re interested, just have fun with them in front of Ya’er.” She covered her mouth and continued, “Xiang Lang is not like other men at all, if it was someone else, Ya’er and the rest of them won’t be so neatly dressed anymore.” Xiang Shaolong laughed secretly to himself, when it comes to immorality, a modern man like him who is used to the binds of responsibility and rules really cannot be compared to them. But if he’s had too much to drink, he won’t know what he will do once he has loosened up under the influence of alcohol.

After Lady Ya waved the 8 maids away, she fell into his arms and said, “Imperial brother and Lian Po both regards you highly, and this will surly incur Zhao Mu’s wrath. Especially he sent men over earlier to summon me but I rejected him sternly. This will certainly increase his hatred. Although you are of use to him now, he will not show his true colors so soon, but he will ultimately try to set a trap for you, and if anything happens, Imperial brother will certainly help him and not you.” Xiang Shaolong thought to himself that he will not let him off either. How can he when he thinks of Shu’er’s death. Lady Ya saw his expression darkened and thought that he was worried about Zhao Mu, so she said, “Zhao Mu has 2 lackeys under him, one is the physician Guo Kai, the other is General Le Cheng, one a scholar and one a warrior, but they are both formidable and devious people. They’re not in Handan right now, but if you meet them in future, you must deal with them carefully.”

Xiang Shaolong remembered Emperor Qin and hurried ask, “What is the heir of the state of Qin, Ying Zheng like?” Lady Ya looked unhappy and said coldly, “This person is good looking, and taller and bigger than the average Qin person, but he’s as timid as a mouse, afraid of everything. It’ll be difficult for him to have any great accomplishments, and he only knows how to enjoy himself with women all day.” Xiang Shaolong exclaimed hoa.r.s.ely, “What? How can he be such a person?” Lady Ya straightened up and asked curiously, “Why do you seem to be so interested in him?” Xiang Shaolong’s mind was in a mess, Emperor Qin has always been his hope and dream. No matter what, he is still a soldier loyal to his country, so naturally he felt loyalty towards this great conqueror who created China with his hands. But if Emperor Qin is a person who is only interested in women and will not have much accomplishment, won’t he have lost his only hope and goal.

But history would not be so ridiculously wrong. It must be because Emperor Qin is trying to lie to the Zhaos and pretended to be like that. Yes! That must be it. Once he thought of this explanation, he relaxed and replied, “The state of Qin is so strong now, that’s why I am especially interested in them!” Lady Ya’s suspicions were not aroused and said, “The Qins are the most barbaric. Only they can murder thousands of soldiers, and treat women ruthlessly and raped them, so everyone is afraid once they hear the Qin soldiers are coming. They would rather die than end up in their hands.”

Xiang Shaolong can’t help but ask, “Is Ying Zheng strong physically?” Lady Ya reached out and touched his broad chest and said with a flirtatious smile, “He’s a long shot away compared to you. If someone were to tell me that he just died, I would not be surprised at all. For someone like him who keeps having fun with women all the time, it’s a miracle he can survive until now. He starts panting after climbing just a few steps of stairs.” She continued with a sigh, “But the blame is not entirely his, firstly his mother Zhao Ji dotes on him overly. The worst thing is that Zhao Mu and his men deliberately lured him into indulging in wine and women, teaching him to drink and be merry at the age of 11, and kept on sending him beauties from the various states. How can an innocent child resist all these.” This time Xiang Shaolong was really dumbfounded. Something like health can never be faked. Could it be that history is wrong, Ying Zheng is not Emperor Qin.

Because of this his mood was greatly affected. He drank from Lady Ya’s hands 3 cups of strong wine successively, and also made Lady Ya drink a few cups. Lady Ya could not handle the stimulation of the alcohol and started to flirt. Xiang Shaolong’s mind is in a mess, so he can only use excitement to numb himself. He summoned the 8 ladies in and made all of them drink and be merry. He finally learnt what the royalty in Zhao did, and spent the most outrageous night, until he can’t even remember who he had intercourse with. Without Emperor Qin, would he have to stay like this in Zhao forever. Even if he can handle the conniving Zhao Mu’s traps, he’d still be killed by the Qin soldiers sooner or later! Since he obviously knows his future will be thus, how can he be happy today? At this point in time he glimpsed a little understanding as to why the royalty of the various states are wasting their lives like there’s tomorrow. Because no one knows if they will still have all their possessions tomorrow.

When he woke up the next day, he was energetic and lively, making Lady Ya and the other ladies who still needed their rest surprised at him. Xiang Shaolong secretly reprimanded himself for being so outrageous. He decided not to think about Emperor Qin first. After washing up, he went to one of the practice fields in the palace to train on his horse riding and archery. The other imperial soldiers were all in awe of him and were respectful. Of course, they wouldn’t dare to show it even if they’re unhappy with him, because everyone knows that he is now a popular person with the King of Zhao. His immediate superior, the Chief of Imperial Guards Zhao Fang came personally to bring him around the palace, explaining the rules and things to note, saying “Our job is mainly to be responsible for the safety of the interior and exterior of the 2 palaces. The outer palace has 4 halls, 9 buildings and 10 pavilions, it’s where his majesty receive his officials and work. The inner palace is separated into 3 portions, the main palace is the residence of his majesty and his concubines, the western palace is used to receive foreign emissaries while the eastern palace is the residence of the royalty. For now Shaolong can take a walk around, once you’re familiar with the surroundings, I will further explain to you the roles and responsibilities.” Xiang Shaolong knows that he is not aware that he’ll be leaving on a trip soon, but did not correct him. Right at this time the internal officer Ji Guang came to look for him and took him away to try on the armor made for him.

The armor is mainly to protect the chest and back, with belts intertwined at the shoulders, back and waist. It has a cape that looks like wings behind, and after he wore it everyone’s eyes gleamed. It’s the first time they have seen a person like him who looks like a heavenly warrior. The 10 over female workers in the armor room stared at him. Xiang Shaolong is already used to being stared at by women, and secretly laughed to himself that in the past, he was the one looking at women but now it’s women who are looking at him. This should be considered the world is changing, changing from the modern to the ancient era. He wore the helmet, on it’s tip there are 2 pieces of half curved armor joined together to become a round shaped top, followed by a rectangular armor with rounded edges weaved from the top, and there’s altogether 7 layers, the top layer pressing on the bottom layer. The shape of the armor protecting the forehead is more unique, fitting the shape of the face. The armor piece right in the middle of the forehead stretched straight down, protecting the protruding part between the brows. Maybe they’re afraid of being beheaded from the back, so the protection at the back of the neck is stronger. After wearing this imperial protector’s uniform, he thought it was fun and hurriedly walked out to patrol the area.

Another warrior of the same rank Cheng Xu volunteered himself to walk with him. They came to the building at the entrance of the main palace and after introducing Xiang Shaolong to the 10 odd guards there, he pulled him aside and said, “We’re all brothers now, there are some things I must tell you. Never go into the main palace alone, the more people accompanying you the better.” Xiang Shaolong was surprised and pressed for the reason.

Cheng Wei whispered, “Besides the servants in the main palace, the number of concubines and maids exceed 500, and they can be capable of anything when they’re bored. A robust and muscular man like you, they would not let you out once they see you, and that is no laughing matter.” Xiang Shaolong heaved a breath of relief, so that’s what it’s all about. He furrowed his brows and asked, “His Majesty does not bother about such matters?” Cheng Wei smiled bitterly with a hidden meaning, “His Majesty doesn’t even have time to bother with his own concubines, he won’t even bother about these matters. It’s better if one has family in the city, they can use the excuse of going home for a visit and take the opportunity to find someone for some fun. But ladies sent by other states are not even allowed to step out of the palace gates, so once they see men they will devour them.”

Naturally Xiang Shaolong understands his meaning, the King of Zhao is not interested in women at all. He remembered Lady Ya’s 8 maids, and thought that they may be considered very gentle and refined. After chatting a little longer, he slipped back into Lady Ya’s palace. He’d just stepped into the boundaries of the eastern palace when 2 pretty palace maids ran after him, and kneeling down, said, “We have been waiting for Imperial Protector for more than half a day, Lady Ni would like to seek the audience of Imperial Protector.” Xiang Shaolong was in a fix, although Cheng Wei had warned him, he thought that the only dangerous area is the main palace, but he did not expect that the eastern palace is not a safe place either. He hardened his heart and said, “Hai! Please convey my apologies to Lady Ni, I have something important and am in a hurry to meet Lady Ya…” He walked as he spoke and hurriedly escaped. The 2 palace maids wanted to run after him but he is already a long distance away. Naturally on the way he met quite a few royal ladies, and seeing their flirtatious look, Xiang Shaolong was so frightened that he kept his eyes straight. Only when he reached the boundaries of Lady Ya’s palace did he heave a sigh of relief.

He had just stepped into the hall when he was received by 2 of the pretty maids who helped him remove his armor. Xiang Shaolong forgot their names and asked, “What are elder sisters’ names?” The 2 women had fun with him the whole of last night and knows that he’s an easy-going person. One of them rolled her eyes at him and pouted, “Master only remembers Xiaozhao and Xiaomei, I’ve already given you my body and yet you do not remember my name.” Xiang Shaolong thought to himself that he’s not even sure if he had any intercourse with her, so how could he possibly remember her name. He reached out his hand and patted her plumb bottom, asking with a laugh, “Satisfied last night?” The 2 girls nodded their heads shyly. Xiang Shaolong was ecstatic, secretly thinking that maybe in his muddle headed state he broke Tao Fang’s record of 7 women, and thought that he’s really quite good. It’s just that he never had the chance to try in the past!

The other woman replied, “She’s Xiaozi, I’m Xiaoyu, Master do not forget.” After Xiang Shaolong repeated their names twice, he asked, “Where is Lady?” Xiaoyu replied, “Lady is personally cooking for Master.” Xiaozi smiled, “We’ve served Lady for so many years, it’s the first time we saw her do this.” Xiang Shaolong thought that the food she comes out with would surely taste horrible. But he was touched, and when he thought of his wife and maids in the Wu family, he missed them. While he had women to accompany him here, they are all alone in an empty room, which is really unfair. Xiaoyu lowered her voice and said, “Third Princess came to visit Lady, she’s in the kitchen now as well. Besides Lady Ya, she’s the prettiest in the palace.” Xiang Shaolong was stunned. These palace ladies would really do anything for a man, and she actually came here to look for him.

He had no choice but to follow the 2 maids into the kitchen. He had just walked into the inner hall when Lady Ya and another beauty dressed in palace robes came out from the kitchen and came face to face with him. Xiang Shaolong’s eyes met with that beauty who cannot be any older than 17, and both pairs of eyes shone at the same time. This Third Princess looks very regal and dainty. Although she does not have Lady Ya’s devilish body, but she’s well proportioned and her movements graceful, like a precious flower, emitting an enchanting air amidst her quietness. When she saw Xiang Shaolong, she revealed a pretty smile, her expressive eyes seems to be greeting him. The sleeves of her clothes are very wide, dragging onto the ground, an exquisite and large shawl hung on her shoulders. Her hairstyle was exquisite and unique, with 2 string of flowers made from pearls and silk hanging down the side of her hair, making her look especially dainty and exquisite. A curved comb decorated the front of her hair, with 3 hairpieces on both her left and right sides, and in the middle of her forehead she dotted a red beauty spot.

What made Xiang Shaolong’s eyes brighten is that she’s not the **** he expected her to be. She was lively and sharp, with a captivating untainted, regal air about her. Standing next to the extremely beautiful Lady Ya, they look like the spring orchid and autumn chrysanthemum, each having its strong points. When she noticed Xiang Shaolong staring at her, her pretty face blushed and she lowered her head, but there was no look of unhappiness at all. The healthy fragrance of a young woman wafted into his nose and Xiang Shaolong can’t help but take a deep breath.

After Lady Ya rolled her eyes at him, she introduced the two of them. Xiang Shaolong hurriedly paid his respects to this royalty. After Lady Ya invited Third Princess into the inner hall for a seat, she pulled Xiang Shaolong aside and whispered, “No matter how interested Zhao Qian seems to be in you, you must not destroy her virtue. Because this time she will follow the group and marry into the state of Wei to become the first wife of the Crown Prince. If the Weis find out that she’s not intact, they will reject her and you;ll be in great trouble then.” Xiang Shaolong felt that it’s really a pity. It doesn’t matter how many beauties he’s had, he still felt that this is an earth shattering pity. Lady Ya accompanied Xiang Shaolong into the hall and the Third Princess stood up, and avoiding Xiang Shaolong’s eyes, said quietly, “Lady, Zhao Qian is going back.” Xiang Shaolong thought to himself, it’s good that they meet less as well, or else it’d be terrible if they can’t bear with each other. This Zhao Qian gives one the feeling of being quiet but with good upbringing and inner beauty.

Lady Ya did not try to keep her, but just sent her straight to the door. When she returned she said with a smile, “Xiang Lang’s charm is really irresistible to us women, even Zhao Qian is not spared and she quickly ran away because of this. I really want to see if you have the ability to deal with the most famous beauty in Wei, Shi Cainu. (Shi = stone/ rock, Cainu = talented woman).” Xiang Shaolong was perplexed, “Shi Cainu?” Lady Ya pulled him to the seat and leaned over, putting her arms around his neck and said coquettishly, “Don’t think that her family name is Shi. It’s just that she’s extremely talented, having shocked the scholarly world at the age of 16. Although her beauty is enough to fell a country, but she’s never impressed with any men. She’s 20 this year yet she refuses to marry. She has rejected all the famous young masters seeking her favor from the various states. That’s why it’s rumored that she is a stone woman borne from heaven, and will not fall for any man.” The more difficult it is to obtain an item, the more precious it becomes, this has always been the case since ancient times. Xiang Shaolong’s interest was piqued and he asked, “Even if she’s unwilling to marry, but can she decide on this matter?”

Lady Ya laughed, “Tempted? She and the famous Qin beauty Widow Qing each have their ways. They’re famous for being able to maintain their chast.i.ty. Shi Cainu was able to keep herself safe because no one can be compared to her zither and scholarly skills, anyone who sees her will feel inferior. That’s why the King of Wei and Prince Xinling protects her, with these 2 huge mountains backing her, who would dare to force their way.” She continued with a smile, “Xiang Lang’s writing skills is unparalleled in the world, maybe you’ll have a chance to move her.” Xiang Shaolong secretly lamented his guilt and changed the topic, telling her about Lady Ni’s intention to meet him.

Lady Ya was stunned and sat up straight, looking at him unbelievably and said, “She will look for a man as well?” Xiang Shaolong said with embarra.s.sment, “Or maybe I misunderstood her intentions.” Lady Ya replied, “How can this be a misunderstanding. I think that this beauty after having kept herself chaste for her husband for 9 years, is finally feeling restless. Hai! It’s all your fault. You were so manly the other day at the duel, who would not fall for you. It’s just unimaginable that for someone so cultivated like Lady Ni, is no exception as well. She’s also the only one who will be bold enough to fight with me for you, because she is Imperial Brother’s most respected cousin, and I am her most favored sister.” She added with a coquettish smile, “Do you need me to help you spend a night with her, or maybe the both of us will accompany you?” Xiang Shaolong shook his head guardedly, “I don’t even know if she’s tall, short, fat or thin, what if you lied to me out of love and respect for her, then won’t I become a free gigolo.” Lady Ya was not familiar with his modern words ‘free gigolo’, and after thinking for a while, she chortled, leaning on his shoulder and panting, said “Ai! My imperial protector, how can I dare to lie to you? Won’t I be afraid of being reprimanded? Do you want me to take you there and check the goods out first? I also want to see her when she abandons her troubles.”

Xiang Shaolong felt this was very inappropriate and said seriously, “Don’t be ridiculous, if you make use of me to make Lady Li embarra.s.sed, I will not let you off.” Lady Ya sat up straight and said aggrievedly, “I just wanted you to have more opportunities for fun before you leave for Wei!” Xiang Shaolong reached out and embraced her shoulder, giving her a very flirtatious and long kiss, and when Lady Ya totally melted, he said gently, “Don’t think that I am the same as other men, who will not be happy without beauties. I need to conserve my energy to do a good job for the journey to Wei, understand?” Lady Ya has become all languid from his kisses, and she mumbled her agreement while still lost in her senses. She snuggled into his arms, lying on his muscular chest. Right at this time Xiaozhao came to report that someone from the Wu family is looking for him. Xiang Shaolong stood up and Lady Ya immediately sat up and said, “I’m sorry, but I have been ordered by Imperial brother that I must listen in at the side.” She added with a smile, “But of course I will not reveal anything!”

Xiang Shaolong shrugged his shoulders, showing that he couldn’t care less. That beautiful move was enough to make Lady Ya and Xiaozhao’s eyes gleam, before they walked out. In actual fact his speech and movements are very different from the people of this era, and this gave him exceptional charm and debonair. It’s not a coincidence that the more handsome Lian Jin would actual lose to him so badly in the battle of love. He had just stepped into the hall when a fiery ball accompanied by a sweet fragrance ran into his arms and started crying. Of course it is the Wu family’s beauty Miss Tingfang.

Tao Fang stood in the middle of the hall and made a helpless action. There were 2 other warriors who were carrying his wooden sword and clothes. Lady Ya came next to the helpless Xiang Shaolong, reached out her hand to caress Wu Tingfang’s pretty hair, went to her ear and whispered something. These words are more effective than any miracle pills to stop crying. Wu Tingfang immediately stopped her wails and lifted her pretty face to Xiang Shaolong, her teary eyes looking at Lady Ya and exclaimed, “Really!” Lady Ya nodded her head, and holding this pretty and dainty thing, took her into the inner hall. Of course Xiang Shaolong has no idea what Lady Ya said, but he guessed that in order to live in harmony in future, Zhao Ya will naturally try to stay on Wu Tingfang’s good side. Anyone will know that if there are jealous fights, he will definitely stand on Wu Tingfang’s side.

Tao Fang instructed the warriors to put down the wooden sword and clothes and to leave the room. He gave Xiang Shaolong a questioning look and Xiang Shaolong hurriedly told him about his trip to Wei. Tao Fang’s brows furrowed deeply when he heard that and said softly, “Prince Xinling is exceptionally smart and has countless able men under him, he’s not someone easy to deal with. You have to be careful.” He paused and continued, “We have our own people in Wei as well, I’ll go back and make some arrangements to see how we can help you.” After they’ve agreed on the secret signal for the meeting, Lady Ya and a happy Wu Tingfang came out. Wu Tingfang waid with a smile, “Master Tao can go back on your own, and tell Sister Ting not to worry. Fang’er will stay here and take care of Xiang Lang.” It was as if a huge load was taken off his shoulder and after thanking Lady Ya, Tao Fang left happily. Obviously Wu Tingfang had been hara.s.sing him. Xiang Shaolong’s mood was greatly improved, naturally that night they were all engaged in loving acts, sandwiched between the 2 beauties Xhao Ya and Wu Tingfang, spending the warm and beautiful night together.

The next morning, with the help of Xiaozhao, he changed into his armor and helmet and went to the practice fields in high spirits to practice his horse riding and archery. The other imperial guards treated him like their new heroic idol, and because he has no airs about him, he’s on good relations with everyone. While he was galloping on his horse and he managed to shoot at the bull’s eyes at the same time, the field erupted in cheers. Suddenly everyone knelt down and when Xiang Shaolong looked, he hurriedly scrambled off his horse and knelt down as well. It turns out that the King of Zhao is here, and next to him was a pretty young lady, with eyebrows like the spring mountains and eyes like autumn’s water, clear and bright. However her composure was regal, with a n.o.ble air around her that will not tolerate any audacity. She is certainly different from Lady Ya’s flirtatious nature. After the King of Zhao supervised the men with their training, he summoned Xiang Shaolong and said happily, “Shaolong is practicing so diligently, I am much a.s.sured.”

Xiang Shaolong thought to himself that he’s practicing so hard not because of you, but because his own life is at stake, but of course he won’t say that out. The King of Zhao said, “Come! Pay your respects to Lady Ni! She has a request to make of you!” Xiang Shaolong hurriedly paid his respects to Lady Ni, and by now he realizes that he has really misunderstood her. Such a regal lady, how can she possibly try to lure men publicly? The King of Zhao added, “Lady Ni told me that Shaolong had rejected her invitation once. Initially I was unhappy when I heard it, but I later guessed that Shaolong may have misunderstood Lady’s meaning, and thought it’s regarding matters between men and women. There’s no guilt in being ignorant, and I can see that for the sake of the mission, Shaolong is controlling yourself very well. Therefore not only will I not blame you, but I am very impressed with you.” Xiang Shaolong secretly felt guilty and thought to himself that if he’d known that he rejected Lady Ni’s invitation because his stamina is limited and he could not handle so many beauties, and also he does not know if Lady Ni is pretty or if her figure is good, would he still think the same. But on the surface he naturally sought forgiveness fearfully. The King of Zhao smiled at Lady Ni and said, “I’ll hand Shaolong over to you for now!” And he left with the accompaniment of the imperial guards.

Xiang Shaolong turned towards Lady Ni and she happened to be eyeing him. They eyes locked and Lady Ni’s pretty face blushed and she lowered her eyes and said gently, “Zhao Ni was rash, causing Mister to have the misunderstanding.” Xiang Shaolong saw that her skin was smooth and clear, and although she’s not as pretty as Zhao Ya, not as dainty as Wu Tingfang and not as fresh as Third Princess Zhao Qian, but she has another kind of alluring beauty catches one’s attention. And at this time he almost wished that it was not a misunderstanding. Lady Ni said, “There’s too many people here, would Mister please come to Zhao Ni’s residence for a chat, and meet my son.”

Xiang Shaolong thought that this matter must certainly involve her son. All the women in this era marry early, for all you know Lady Ni got married when she was 13 or 14, so although she looks like in her 20s, it’s nothing strange if she has a 10 year old son. A horse carriage came over and Lady No went into the carriage. Xiang Shaolong is aware of the difference in status so he went up his horse and followed behind the carriage. In a short while they reached the place where the 2 palace maids waited the other day to invite him. The carriage turned into a courtyard. They sat down in the hall while 4 maids served them. Lady Ni was a little distracted and after drinking a few sips of hot tea did she dared to look at him. She said quietly, “I’ve invited Mister here today because I have a request.” Xiang Shaolong saw that she dared not address him by his official t.i.tle, but addressed him respectfully as Mister, and had already made his guess. He looked at her pretty eyes and asked with a smile, “Has it got something to do with Little Master?” Lady Ni sighed, “It’s all because of this son. After my late husband perished in battle, all my hopes have been placed on him, but he’s stubborn by nature and does not know how to take care of himself, only interested in having fun all the time…” Xiang Shaolong smiled, “Don’t all children like to play?” Lady Ni’s face blushed and she said worriedly, “He does not play a typical child’s games, but has fun with the girls in the Palace.” Xiang Shaolong asked hoa.r.s.ely, “How old is he?” Lady Ni said embarra.s.singly, “He’ll be 14 end of the year.” Looking at the dumbstruck Xiang Shaolong, she said helplessly, “I have found him many famous teachers to teach him, but none can do anything to him. He’ll disappear in the blink of an eye. He’s only a little afraid of me, but all the servants around me are afraid of him, he… Hai! I don’t know what to say. Ai! The tea has turned cold.”

Xiang Shaolong was about to drink tea when a woman’s scream could be heard coming from the backyard. Lady Ni’s expression turned somber and she stood up and walked hurriedly towards the direction of the sound. Xiang Shaolong was afraid that she’ll be in danger and hurriedly went after her. He had just stepped into the room when he saw a stout looking boy pressing a pretty maid against the wall, her top pulled down, revealing her voluptuous chest. That boy was holding onto her hands tightly, his tiny mouth biting and sucking on her right breast, not caring if there are other people nearby. Although there were 3 maids at the side, no one dared to stop him. Lady Ni was furious and shouted, “Beast! Stop your hands right now!” Xiang Shaolong thought to himself that it’s more accurate say stop his mouth. That Little Master was shocked and released the pretty maid. He turned around and said nonchalantly, “Didn’t Mother went to look for his Majesty? It was Young Prince who told me.” After he spoke he turned his gaze to Xiang Shaolong, his look full of jeer and disrespect. The pretty maid went away crying with her clothes in disarray. Lady Ni was so furious she was speechless.

Xiang Shaolong wondered why she was able to hold back her tears. At the same time he realized that this kid learned martial arts since young and is strong. He’s also on good terms with the Zhao prince, so naturally he does not fear anyone, and no one can or dares to discipline him. At such a young age and already he’s stained with the lecherous nature of the palace, what a pity. The Little Master looked at Xiang Shaolong from the corner of his eye and huffed, “So you are that Xiang Shaolong, why aren’t you kneeling upon seeing me.” Lady Ni roared, “Outrageous! From today onwards Mister Xiang will be your teacher, you should be the one kneeling.” The Little Master chortled and said, “This is where Mother is wrong, how can the formalities between a ruler and a subject be dismissed. After he’s paid his respects, I still have to see how capable he is before I decide if I want him to teach me.” Lady Ni was so furious she stamped her feet and was about to berate him when Xiang Shaolong said with a smile, “Lady please do not be upset, why don’t all of you leave for a moment and let me have some heart to heart talk with Little Master.”

The Little Master saw that Xiang Shaolong was all decked out in his armor and looked imposing and actually felt a little afraid. He smiled icily and said, “Who wants to talk to you.” He turned around and wanted to slip away from the back door, ignoring even Lady Ni’s calls. He was about to slip out when there was a gust of wind and the Little Master felt a coldness brush past his ear, a dagger flew past his cheek and embedded itself on the doorframe. Little Master’s legs weakened and he stopped. Lady Ni and the rest of the maids were all startled, their hands covering their mouths, thinking that if the dagger is a little way off, what would be the outcome? Little Master turned around pale faced, pointing at Xiang Shaolong and stammered, “Mother! He wants to kill me, apprehend him quickly.” Xiang Shaolong stared icily at him and said coldly, “What kind of capability is that, shut up immediately. When I come tomorrow morning and I don’t see you waiting at the study obediently, I’ll find you and give you a good thrashing no matter where you hide. Now go!” Little Master was so furious his face paled. He stamped his feet angrily and pointed at him hatefully, saying, “Fine! We shall see!” He turned around and went out the back door in the blink of an eye.

Xiang Shaolong is not bothered about a little lad like him at all, and took the opportunity to bid his farewell to Lady Ni. Lady No lowered her head and said quietly, “You have not drank that tea!” Xiang Shaolong thought to himself if the beauty is tempted. He smiled suavely and went to the door to retrieve the dagger Tao Fang gave him. He had an idea. When it comes to archery, there are a lot of people who are better than him, but what about flying daggers? There’s no one better than him. But it’s not convenient to carry daggers, but if he were to use the 5 inch steel nails he had used while in the special task force, he can easily carry a few hundred with him and it’s even more deadly. He made up his mind and decided to ask Guo Zhong’s men to make it immediately. He turned around and Lady Ni had just walked up behind him. The two came face to face in close distance, their eyes locked. Lady Ni uttered in alarm and moved 2 steps back, a little helpless. The most alluring thing to a man is when a chaste and mature beauty first feel the stirrings of her feelings. Xiang Shaolong is no exception, if not for the fact that there are other maids around, he’ll certainly flirt with her. But it’s not because he is deviously trying to lure her into bed, but he just wants to see her alluring, helpless look.

Lady Ni said, “Mister, this way!” Xiang Shaolong followed her back to the front hall and after drinking the hot tea that she personally changed for him, bid his farewell again. Lady Ni felt a real respect for him. All the men she’s ever met, besides close blood relatives like the King, all of them had designs on her once they see her. On one hand they love her beautiful body, and on the other hand they want to boast that they were able to conquer this chaste widow. She detests those lecherous faces, and only this heroic looking man in front of her cannot make her feel any loathing at all. The way he threw that dagger earlier, full of confidence and strength, is enough to touch her calm heart who has been sick of the opposite s.e.x for so long. Lady Ni can find no further excuse to retain him, and she personally sent him to the door, looking at him deeply and lightly sighed, “Mister please remember to come here early tomorrow, I will leave my little Pan’er to you.” Xiang Shaolong almost blurted out, “What about you?” but of course he dared not be so rude. He gave a small smile and said, “The way I teach children will not be like what you imagine, I hope Lady will be able to accept that, or you may fire me from my post any time.” Lady Ni said gladly, “As long as it’s Mister’s methods, I will accept them all. Ai! I was too anxious, and forgot to ask you the question about salary.” Xiang Shaolong chortled and walked out the door, his voice drifting back, “I’m doing this because of a mother’s love for her son, that would be my reward.”