Chapter 453: Are you closing the distance to me? Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
The door slowly shut, leaving Baili Mingxiang excluded from their world and back in her own. She felt a faint trace of loneliness in her heart, as if she was the only one left on this Earth. His Highness Duke of Qin’s words were still echoing in her ears.
It’s going to hurt, so don’t hold back. If it’s painful, just cry out.
There were men who comforted you in times of helplessness, pain, and trouble with the words, ‘Don’t cry, I’m here.’
That wasn’t any measure of comfort at all.
Then there were men who told you, ‘Go ahead and cry, I’m here.’
That was true support.
A worthy man was patient and gentle enough to protect you, to let you rant and cry to your heart’s content. Men without those qualities would only find your crying annoying. But…but I’m someone who won’t ever see his irritated side. All through her poisoned days and her crushing defeat at the Illusory Sea Lake, she’d never dared to cry, but only smiled through it all.
Is this my fate?
Standing there with her back to the door, she could still hear the indistinct sounds of movement inside. Baili Mingxiang wanted to linger a little bit longer, but soon she ruthlessly crushed that thought to walk away. She’d already told herself to change her heart. No looking, no listening. Maybe that’ll teach me to give up my feelings for good?
Baili Mingxiang was so tense and disappointed with herself that she forgot all about the winged phoenix birthmark at the base of esteemed wangfei’s spine. Despite the whirlwind of feelings she felt, the two people inside the room remained ignorant to it all. Perhaps this was the case with most unrequited love stories.
Inside the room, Long Feiye stared at Han Yunxi’s broken skin with knitted brows. He’d yet to make a move. Han Yunxi waited and waited but didn’t feel any pain. Finally she asked with some doubt lacing her voice, “Your Highness, what’s wrong?”
“Lie still!” Long Feiye barked in return.
Han Yunxi really had no idea what was the matter. He’s not usually the type to waste time, so what’s he dawdling for now? Actually, the medicine was already on Long Feiye’s finger, which was hovering over the wound. Han Yunxi just couldn’t see it from her angle. She wasn’t even afraid of the pain, but he was worried in her place. He was currently trying to figure out a way to minimize the agony she’d likely experience.
Eventually, Han Yunxi couldn’t take it anymore and stole a peek back, only to see Long Feiye’s extremely serious, silent face. Everyone said that women looked the best when they were concentrating, but it was really men who looked particularly handsome. Han Yunxi lost herself in Long Feiye’s face before she unconsciously muttered, “Your Highness…”
The moon hung high in the late night sky over her soft canopy bed. Han Yunxi’s ebony tresses trailed down her back and around her jade-like shoulders, her dudou only adding to the seductive sight she unwittingly presented to his eyes. Han Yunxi didn’t realize that her bashful appearance and soft voice only added to her sexiness. Meanwhile, Long Feiye’s whole focus was on her injury. He didn’t respond or even lift his eyes, but had fixated his eyes at the spot on her back as he murmured again, “It’s going to hurt a lot.”
Han Yunxi was too lovestruck to notice what he was saying. This man might not be the talkative type, but she was perfectly satisfied just from staring at his face. Long Feiye hadn’t noticed her staring and prepared himself to accomplish some colossal feat. He carefully lowered his finger to apply the medicine to the wound. Immediately, Han Yunxi sucked in a cold breath and bit her lip as she instinctively curled up.
She couldn’t see her back, so she had no idea just how much of the scab Baili Mingxiang had scraped away by accident. She thought it would only sting at most, but it was actually a sharp, stabbing pain. The cooling medicine not only failed to soothe the injury, it made it feel like her skin had caught fire instead! Long Feiye knitted his brows as his hands caught Han Yunxi by her waist.
“Don’t move, I’ll blow on it for you.”
Now, Han Yunxi really stopped moving as her body stiffened in response to his unexpected words. Long Feiye’s warm, gentle palms were pressly tightly against her slim and supple waist. Nothing separated the coarse skin of his palms from the fine marble of her skin, and the mixture of rough and soft, hot and cold were like thunder meeting fire. An inexplicable numbness stole over Han Yunxi’s body as she involuntarily trembled in place. Only now did she realize that her upper body was all but exposed to this man besides the dudou.
Heavens, how did things end up like this?!
Seeing the goosebumps rise on Han Yunxi’s skin, Long Feiye assumed she was having trouble bearing the pain. He leaned down until he was almost lying on top of her and lightly blew puffs of air at her injury. “It’s fine now, it’ll stop hurting after a bit.”
The scene was enough to send heartbeats racing and faces blushing! Fortunately, Lil Thing had ran off to the Gu Estate again, or else it’d probably fall off the rafters in shock at the sight. Such an intimate sight wasn’t fit for outsiders to see!
Long Feiye’s scorching hot breaths fluttered against her back like invisible fingers dancing on her skin. The hazy candlelight flickered and seem to cast her fair white skin in rosy hues as red as a sunset glow. Han Yunxi forgot all about the pain as her mind grew blank under the constant sensory stimulation. His constant puffs of breath were starting to become unbearable.
“Your Highness, don’t…” Han Yunxi wanted to cry out. But Long Feiye was too focused on her injuries to notice her discomfort. If Han Yunxi could see him now, she’d definitely ache at the acute distress in his eyes.
After blowing on her for a bit, Long Feiye asked in a serious and earnest voice, “Is it better now?”
“Mhmm,” Han Yunxi mumbled from the depths of her pillow.
She couldn’t see anything, but she felt him withdraw from her back and she silently exhaled. Soon afterwards, she felt him release her waist and was finally able to relax. But suddenly, Long Feiye began to stroke her shoulders, his fingers tracing the skin around her burns in a mixture of tenderness and teasing that toyed with her senses. In truth, he wasn’t caressing or tempting her at all, but showing his care.
His eyebrows were knitted in worry as he murmured, “The medicine’s all done, shall I bandage you next?”
When he treated his own injuries, he only took care to apply the medicine and bind it tightly. As long as he wasn’t bleeding or infected, he didn’t care how he did it. But he couldn’t allow any carelessness when faced with Han Yunxi’s skin.
A little flustered, Han Yunxi murmured back, “Your Highness, dealing with chenqie’s injuries is a rather complicated issue. Why don’t I have Mingxiang bandage me instead? She knows how.”
“No need, your lordship will learn,” Long Feiye replied.
“It really is very complicated…” Han Yunxi felt herself left in a difficult position.
“How complicated?” Long Feiye asked stubbornly.
Because her injuries were burns, taking care of the wounds was truly a complex process. Actually, the quickest way for her to heal would be to apply medicine and let it sit without binding up the injuries at all. The body’s natural recovery process would allow new skin to grow over the old in three to four days. But because Han Yunxi couldn’t bear to sit still, she had instructed Baili Mingxiang to bind her injuries up tight. Back injuries were rather complicated to bandage.
Now, Han Yunxi was faced with two tough choices! If she told Long Feiye there was no need for bandages, that stubborn fellow would make sure she did nothing but lie in the bed for days. If she taught Long Feiye how to bind her injuries, he would have to tie the bandage around her front as well, thus exposing her chest. Han Yunxi had found the entire process awkward even when it just involved two women!
After some internal conflict, Han Yunxi said seriously, “Your Highness, why don’t I just bandage myself?” She prepared to sit up as she spoke, only for Long Feiye to press her head back down with an exceedingly gentle motion.
“Your lordship knows how to do it!”
“Your Highness, if you bind it too tightly it’ll harm the burns, but if you do it too loosely the bandages won’t stay in place at all. It’s better if I do it myself so I know how much strength to use,” Han Yunxi explained desperately.
Long Feiye simply made sure she was lying on her pillow before speaking in a threatening tone, “Just you try moving again!”
Han Yunxi wanted to cry, but she had no tears to shed. In the end she couldn’t help but whisper, “Idiot, you can’t bandage my wounds if I’m not allowed to move.”
Long Feiye heard her speak, but not clearly. He released her and asked, “What did you say?”
“Nothing…” Han Yunxi replied resentfully.
Long Feiye made sure to add in another warning. “Don’t move!”
Han Yunxi grit her teeth and adopted a tense expression as if she was heading for the execution grounds. Long Feiye made a diagonal cut across a square-shaped piece of white gauze, creating a triangle. Then he measured the fabric against her back and applied medicine to two sections on the bandage.
Finally, he said, “Sit up.”
He was going to make a triangular wrap—in other words, Long Feiye was doing a professional bandage job despite not being a medical professional. Because Han Yunxi’s injuries were on her back as well as quite big, this was the best method to ensure a snug binding. Han Yunxi might have been surprised by his knowledge at any other time, but now she was too nervous to pay it any attention. A simple slip of a dudou doesn’t cover much at all.
She could bear baring her back and shoulders, but now… Long Feiye, are you sure about this?
Still entangled in her thoughts, Han Yunxi didn’t move an inch. Long Feiye was serious as ever as he prepared the bandage before glancing over. “Does it still hurt?”
Han Yunxi still didn’t move, much less look at him. Seeing this, Long Feiye only felt more distressed and crouched down by her side. Even his voice grew softer. “It still hurts, doesn’t it?”
Finally, Han Yunxi began to see the ache in his eyes. She quickly shook her head to deny his claims.
“Then sit up so I can bandage you properly.”
Han Yunxi knit her brows at him, not knowing what to do. In Long Feiye’s eyes, she was simply being coquettish. It was the first time any woman had treated him like that, and the culprit happened to be Han Yunxi. Long Feiye’s lips subconsciously drew up into a smile as his voice became doting. “Be good, I’ll help you up.”
His voice was enough to make Han Yunxi’s heart melt. She clearly hadn’t done a single thing, but why…why do I suddenly feel so much closer to this man? It’s like the distance between us has shrunk!
Long Feiye, are you closing the distance between right now?
Over the past six months, she’d never felt such intimacy from him no matter how close he’d drawn to her. This was the first time, but Han Yunxi could hardly dare to believe it. Before Long Feiye simply picked her up, she recovered enough to quickly move into a sitting position, pulling up the covers enough to cover her chest. Her clear, limpid eyes were wide and bright, her gaze mixed with traces of alarm and shyness that seemed to blame him with her look.
Doesn’t he know it’s already horribly embarrassing for me to lie here half-naked, much less to sit up in front of him?
He’s been turning a blind eye to everything, so is he actually dense, or just pretending? Or maybe he’s been acting wickedly from the start!