Chapter 1

 

"What's your name?"

 

After a round of examining, smelling, and questioning, the doctor finally made a diagnosis: Xiao Wangye suffered a head injury after he fell into a lotus pond, was overwhelmed with fright, and he temporarily suffered amnesia. [Xiao here means young or little, Wangye is how you call a wang/prince, can be translated as ‘Your Highness’.]

At the moment, Xiao Wangye did not remember anything. While sipping porridge, he asked the servant who was attending him.

 

"Wangye, this slave is Xiao Dong. Xiao Dong who has been serving you since very young age." Xiao Dong's eyes were red, and his eyes looked like about to burst into tears.

 

"Enough, enough, I can't even remember my own name, how can I remember if you were Xiao Dong or Xiao Xi?" Xiao Wangye waved impatiently.

 

He heard from Liu Bo that he was named Dongfang Hao Ye, was the sixth prince of Wen Kingdom, the most favored youngest son of the Late Emperor and the Empress Dowager, also he currently was the nation's favorite young prince— Jing qinwang [Jing (靜 means calm, quiet) is a title given to him, while qinwang is his rank which means Prince of the Highest Rank/First Rank].

 

Xiao Dong said, "Wangye, it's the Dong of the word 'winter' [dongtian], not the Dong of east." [Dong is east, and Xi is west. Xiao Wangye mistook his name as East, so he said Xiao Xi (West).]

 

Dongfang Hao Ye nodded indifferently, drained the bowl of porridge with a grunt and reached out, "Another bowl!"

 

Red-eyed Xiao Dong continued to serve him porridge.


 

Dongfang Hao Ye lay on the bed and rubbed his painful forehead, his mind was blank. The strange thing was, though he obviously did not remember anything, he didn’t feel uneasy. On the contrary, there was a kind of relaxed feeling. This house also brought a faint sense of familiarity, it seemed that he did live here before.

 

"Wangye, Xiao Wangye." Xiao Dong, who went out to cook porridge, ran in empty-handed.

 

"Why so panicked?" What about his porridge? Dongfang Hao Ye was not happy.

 

"Wangye, wangfei has come back."

 

"Wangfei? What Wangfei?"

 

"Of course it's your Wangfei."

 

What? He had a wangfei? Had he married? [Wangfei is legitimate/main wife of a prince, can be translated as Princess Consort]

 

Dongfang Hao Ye was astonished, then shook his head. He remembered that many people of Wen Country married early, and it was very common to be married at the age of fifteen or sixteen. It was not surprising that he, a 19-years-old prince, already had a wife.

 

Huh? How did he know that he was 19 years old this year? No one told him just now. Xiao Wangye looked up thoughtfully.

 

"Wangye, Wangfei must be so worried of you, to come back here after just arriving at Ming Country." Xiao Dong said.

 

Ming Country was another major country adjacent to the Wen Country. Located in the north of Wen, it was a powerful and prosperous country, its strength should not be underestimated. But.. why did his wangfei go to Ming?

 

Xiao Wangye was doubtful, "Is she a Ming people?" [she (她) and he (他) are similarly pronounced 'tā' ]

 

"Yeah. Wangye, you don't remember but wangfei's marriage represents the two countries' diplomatic relation, it was a really sensational event of that year."

 

That year? How many years had they been married?

 

"What kind of person is she? Is she very influential figure in Ming?"

 

"Yeah. Wangfei came from Beitang wangfu [‘fu’ means residence/manor, ‘wangfu’ = princely manor]."

 

Beitang wangfu? This name brought somekind of an impression, but vague.

 

While the prince was thinking, Xiao Dong suddenly said, "Wangye, Wangfei has arrived."

 

Xiao Wangye was startled. So fast? He was not ready yet.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye hurriedly sat upright, fixed his two-days worth of messy bed-hair, neatened the quilt, fastened his robes, and felt a little nervous.

 

Although she was already his wife, must have seen him so many times and slept with him many times too, but because he couldn't remember any, for Dongfang Hao Ye, this was the first meeting ever. He must leave a good impression.

 

Thump! Thump thump! Thump thump thump! Dongfang Hao Ye's heart beat faster and faster.

 

Strange, what was he so nervous about? It wasn't that he an innocent unmarried man nor it an arranged marriage meeting. She was his wangfei! Wangfei! Obviously she was his wife, so why was he so nervous about meeting his own wife?

 

Dongfang Hao Ye tried to comfort himself. But though he said that, didn't know why he couldn't control the tension in his heart, and his hand was sweating. It was so strange.

 

While he was struggling to calm down, a faint cooling scent slowly floated in, a silhouette of a tall and graceful figure passed behind the screen and slowly walked in.

 

Wow- a beauty! Was Dongfang Hao Ye's first thought as his eyes widened.

 

Huh? Wait? Somehow... This person looked like a man, a very beautiful man! Was Dongfang Hao Ye's second thought as his eyes widened even more.

 

"Greetings, Wangfei!" Did Xiao Dong bow to that man just now?

 

Heavens! His wangfei was a man! This was his third thought.

 

“I heard you accidentally fell into the lotus pond, were unconscious for two days, and the condition was serious, but now it seems that there's nothing wrong.” Beitang Yao Yue said lightly when he came next to the bed and looked at him.

 

What cold tone he had.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye was a disappointed, but he thought this man's slightly knitted eyebrows were pretty and couldn't help staring at him.

 

"What's wrong? Why are you looking at me like that?"

 

Xiao Dong, standing at the side, said, "Answering to Wangfei, Wangye has lost his memory."

 

"What? Lost his memory?" Beitang Yao Yue was shocked. On the way back home, hearing that Dongfang Hao Ye had an accident he rushed home at full speed only to hear that he had awaken and there was no big concern. But he actually had amnesia?

 

Dongfang Hao Ye felt a little complicated, this person was stunningly beautiful.

 

He had a pair of raised eyebrows, his coloring all the proper color and looked so much better than those women who wore make up. His dark eyes were as bright as stars, deep and serene; the nose was straight, showing a firm and determined character; and that bright-red and soft lovely pair of lips...

 

Xiao Wangye gulped.

 

But, no matter how beautiful he was and how attractive, he was still a man!

 

Xiao Wangye lost his memory but not his common sense. He could still recognize, this person in front of him was definitely a man. Dongfang Hao Ye looked at the man's flat chest and was very sure that he was not a woman in disguise, he had no faked attributes.

 

"What are you looking at?" Beitang Yao Yue saw his peculiar gaze and frowned.

 

"That..." Dongfang Hao Ye licked his lips and thought that he should say something, "Are you my wangfei?"

 

"Correct."

 

"Are we legally married?"

 

"Yes."

 

"After exchanging betrothal gifts we reported it to be recorded in the imperial family register?"

 

"Of course." Beitang Yao Yue's cold voice had a touch of impatience.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye was speechless. He looked at him again carefully, from top to bottom, from right to left.

 

He thought.. he didn't think he liked men. Why would he marry him? No wonder his marriage was a sensation, a man marrying another man. But with a face like this...

 

Dongfang Hao Ye thought to himself, then cautiously said, "Beloved wife?"

 

"Cough cough..." Beitang Yao Yue was caught off guard, startled by the nickname, he coughed out and gave a glance.

 

"... Wife?"

 

Beitang Yao Yue waved his wrist, the tea cup and the saucer hit each other with a clink.

 

"... Ma, Madam?"

 

Thud! Beitang Yao Yue placed the teacup on the table, before Xiao Wangye managed to call him with commoner’s nicknames for wives, he hurriedly said, "Yao Yue! Beitang Yao Yue!"

 

Ah! So his name was Beitang Yao Yue, what pretty name.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye hesitated, "Yao Yue, so... Why did I marry you?"

 

Yao Yue watched him, "You really don't remember anything?"

 

Dongfang Hao Ye noticed his odd expression. He glanced at him, though he lost his memory he still had vague understanding of human nature, he guessed maybe...

 

"Political alliances!"

 

"What?" Xiao Wangye was stupefied he blurted, "Not because I coveted your beauty?"

 

"Coveting. My. Beauty?" Beitang Yao Yue repeated his words with a glare.

 

Huh.. what an idiot! Of course marriage alliance between two countries was a common thing, why did he blurt out those embarrassing words!

 

Xiao Wangye was flustered, his face blushed red and his eyes flickered, suddenly he shouted, "Ow, my head hurts! My head is hurting." He held his head with both hands.

 

Of course it looked like he was exaggerating, but there was still a bit of truth, because thinking that his wangfei was a man indeed gave Xiao Wangye some headache.

 

"Is it real headache or fake headache?" Beitang Yao Yue saw him mournfully holding his head but his eyes were shifting around, he couldn't help but frown.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye burried his head under the quilt and sobbed, "Real headache, huhu..."

 

Beitang Yao Yue remembered he had a head injury and hesitated, “What's wrong? Is it really hurt?”

 

Dongfang Hao Ye opened the quilt, turned to stare at him with tearful eyes only to see his pretty, beautiful face in close proximity. He whined, "You don't care about me! Huhu..."

 

"No, it's not that." Beitang Yao Yue, hearing his accusation, was a bit ashamed and guilty.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye couldn't remember whether they got along before, but felt this was a rare opportunity and for some reason he wanted to be spoiled.

 

"Yao Yue, my head really hurts!" He said pitifully. When calling out those two words Yao Yue, his heart gave a little thump.

 

"What should I do?" The long, elegant eyebrows of Beitang Yao Yue were slightly knitted, "I'll go call people to prepare some medicine, alright?"

 

What? No! Xiao Wangye quickly grabbed his hand, "No need, no need. You just rub my head for me."

 

"What?" Beitang Yao Yue widened his eyes in surprise.

 

"Huhu.. you really don't care about me! You married me only for political purpose, you don't really like me, you married me unwillingly. Huhu.. I fell into a lotus pond and somehow cannot remember anything, but you don't care. Was I not good to you so you hate me and don't want to care for me? Huhu.. I cannot ask my own wife to help rub my head, my life is so hard, huhu..."

 

Dongfang Hao Ye tearfully blinked, complained endlessly, while peeping out with the corner of his eye to see Beitang Yao Yue's response.

 

"Alright, don't cry, I'll rub it for you!" Beitang Yao Yue's expression changed, finally his tone softened. Hauling him closer, he started massaging his forehead gently.

 

Xiao Wangye immediately pillowed his head on his lap and clung to his waist.

 

Smelling his elegant and refreshing scent, Xiao Wangye felt content, his heart filled with indescribable feeling. This feeling.. was unexpected.

 

He must've liked Beitang Yao Yue; must've really really liked him, otherwise what kind of feeling was this?

 

Yao Yue's hand was neither too light nor too strong. He was pressing on key points to help him relieve his headache.

 

Xiao Wangye dazedly thought, he thought and thought until he dozed off.

 

He could really sleep.. was the first feeling Dongfang Hao Ye had when he opened his eyes.

 

Was he a pig? He was in coma for two days and two nights, woke up for less than two shichens then slept again [one shichen is about two hours of modern times]. This feeling after sleeping for two days and again until morning the third day..  Xiao Wang Ye thought his head was all wood.

 

"Wangye, you woke up." Xiao Dong's voice came.

 

"What time is it now?"

 

"It's almost noon. You slept since yesterday evening, and if you were still sleeping right now Liu Bo was about to call the Royal Physician."

 

What Physician, just making a fuss.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye fought a yawn while lazily stretching his back. Letting Xiao Dong attend to him, he asked, "Where is Wangfei?"

 

"Wangfei returned to Fufeng Hall. In the morning he visited you once, seeing you had not got up he went back."

 

"Fufeng Hall?" So they slept in separate rooms... Didn't know why but Dongfang Hao Ye was a little disappointed.

 

"Oh, right. How old is wangfei this year?" He remembered paying too much attention to his beauty yesterday, he forgot to ask many things, now he quickly seized the moment to bombard Xiao Dong with questions.

 

"Wangfei is twenty and four years old, he is the third son of Beitang wangfu, entered this house in early of Fifth Month last year, he's been married to you for more than a year now." Xiao Dong answered cleverly.

 

Twenty four? Turned out he was older than himself.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye went to the side curtain near the window and opened the curtain to expose a large half-body-length mirror. The mirror was smooth and clear, unlike the bronze mirror of the Central Plains.

 

"Eh? Wangye, how do you know there is a Persian mirror there?" Xiao Dong was surprised, "Are you not amnesia?"

 

Xiao Wangye did not know why he knew, he just did it by reflex.

 

"It's a clear mirror," he praised as he began to look at himself up and down.

 

Hey, look, he was quite handsome too.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye looked at his reflection with satisfaction, his fine eyebrows were long and think, his eyes were big and round, and his nose was straight and pointed. Added with youthful and smooth face, he really was an outstanding young man.

 

He patted and pinched his cheeks, suddenly remembered his beautiful and handsome wangfei, and couldn't help imagining both of them standing together side-by-side.

 

Tsk! The more he thought, the more he felt like Beitang Yao Yue was the prince and he the wangfei instead.

 

Though Beitang Yao Yue said it was a political marriage, Dongfang Hao Ye still thought it odd. How many princes were there in this great Wen country? He was sure there was a few who were more influential than this Xiao Wangye. So why did the Third Son of Beitang family agreed to marry him?

 

Ah, no! Why did he belittle himself? This could not do!

 

Dongfang Hao Ye shifted the introspection. There should be many princesses in Ming Country, but they were not suitable for poiltical marriage, so he had to take in a man, a man who was older than him.

 

Yes, that must be it!

 

When Xiao Wangye's thought arrived here, Xiao Dong urged him, "Wangye, let's get ready. It's almost time to go to Zhenghao Hall for lunch."

 

"Alright. Xiao Dongzi, you lead the way." Dongfang Hao Ye replied and waved to Xiao Dong.

 

Out of the bedroom, Xiao Dong who walked in front of him and suddenly turned back and said, "Wangye, it's Xiao Dong, not Xiao Dongzi."

 

"What does it matter? I think this name is more suitable for you." Dongfang Hao Ye casually said, watching the scenery of the wangfu.

 

But this sounded like a name for a eunuch.. Xiao Dong was aggrieved but did not dare complain.

 

Entering the garden, they could see a wide and open space. There was a clear and calm lotus pond, and in the middle of it an exquisite pavilion.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye pointed at the front of him, "Xiao Dongzi, is this the lotus pond where I fell into?"

 

"Yes." Xiao Dong glanced at it then quickly pulled his sleeve.

 

"What are you doing?" Xiao Wangye looked at him strangely.

 

"Wangye, Steward Liu instructs us to not let you come within fifty feet from the lotus pond, otherwise we will be punished."

 

Fifty feet? Then must he fly from the garden? Dongfang Hao Ye glared, old fool Liu Bo!

 

"Don't take it seriously! Liu Bo must only be joking. Otherwise he wouldn't fill the pond."

 

"Aiya, Liu Bo was not joking." Xiao Dongzheng said, “I heard that when Liu Bo visited this morning, Wangfei said that this pond was the culprit that harmed Xiao Wangye, so be sure to fill it full.”

 

"What?" So, he ordered to fill it.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye went silent. The pond looked good, so beautiful. Now that it was a hot summer season, the heat was often unbearable. In the evening, he could go there and enjoy the wind carressing his hair, drink some wine, write some poems.. and make some love.

 

Wait, wait, wait! What was he thinking?

 

Dongfang Hao Ye blushed at his own imagination. He was a well-behaved prince with proper education, how could he have those vulgar thoughts? Xiao Wangye scolded himself.

However, thinking of the wonderful picture he just imagined, no! This pond should never be filled!

 

Xiao Wangye made up his mind and quickly went into the Zhenghao Hall with Xiao Dong. While walking, he didn't feel the way was unfamiliar, several times he almost walked in front of Xiao Dong.

 

Beitang Yao Yue had already waited at the table. He wore a moon-white brocade gown, the cuffs trimmed with simple laces, looking regal and elegant; his glossy black hair looked as soft as satin.

 

Under the bright sunshine, he looked even more dignified, his manner graceful. Did you see this, Xiao Wangye?

 

"You came." Beitang Yao Yue rose and approached him, "What happened? Why your face so red?"

 

"Huh? Oh, probably I was walking too fast." Xiao Wangye stammered while patting his chest.

 

"You don't need to worry, I can always wait for you." Beitang Yao Yue smiled and ushered him to sit at the table. On the table there was an array of delicious-looking dishes, of various colours, aromas and flavors, making his stomach growl.

 

"I think that your body has just healed, you shouldn't eat greasy food. So I ordered the kitchen to prepare some light meals that you usually like." Beitang Yao Yue said while scooping some vegetable dish for him.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye's heart throbbed, he immediately wolfed down the food.

 

Beitang Yao Yue said, "Eat slowly, no one will steal it from you."

 

Dongfang Hao Ye did not have spare time to reply, he was unconscious for two days and two nights, didn't even drink a drop of water, he woke up yesterday and only ate a bowl of porridge, and when Yao Yue came he slept again. His stomach had stucked to his back [means he was famished]. Now he must eat his fill.

 

"Here, drink some soup slowly." Beitang Yao Yue gave him a bowl of soup.

 

His wangfei was truly kind, he actually knew to prepare soup. Dongfang Hao Ye praised in his heart.

 

Of course Beitang Yao Yue did not personally prepare the soup, he only told the servants to prepare it, then to deliver it to Dongfang Hao Ye. Still, he was very satisfied.

 

He looked up at Yao Yue, then his eyes shifted away. The more he looked the more he liked Beitang Yao Yue, was it possible that he originally was a cut-sleeve? [cut-sleeve is euphemism for homosexuality.]

 

Xiao Wangye was too engrossed with his staring so he wasn't careful and had food stuck in throat, he coughed.

 

"Don't you eat too fast." Yao Yue frowned and helped him pat his back.

 

Xiao Wangye instantly felt feverish, his back was burning. He also did not know why he suddenly was so nervous, he could barely hold the bowl.

 

After the hearty meal, Xiao Wangye sat splayed on his chair. He patted his bulging belly and burped satisfyingly.

 

Beitang Yao Yue said, "I want to enter the Palace this afternoon, you should rest at home. If you need anything, just tell Liu Bo."

 

"Enter the Palace?" Dongfang Hao Ye abruptly moved, "I want to go too."

 

"What for?"

 

"Am I not the Sixth Prince? Is it strange if I want to see my brothers?"

 

Beitang Yao Yue sighed, "Wanting to see the Emperor is fine, but if you see him and cannot recognized him, then that is strange."

 

"How would I not recognize him?" Xiao Wangye was angry. Was he an idiot? The Emperor would be wearing a particular robe, how would he not know?

 

Beitang Yao Yue stared at him, "Will you know him? Do you even know that the Emperor is your own brother?"

 

Dongfang Hao Ye was stunned, ".. Is he my eldest brother?"

 

Beitang Yao Yue gently smiled, but in the end he did not take him.

 

Dongfang Hao Ye was depressed, after Beitang Yao Yue left he called Xiao Dong, "Xiao Dongzi, answer me, did I get along well with wangfei?"

 

Xiao Dong said, "Pretty well, yes."

 

Dongfang Hao Ye asked again, "Then we usually.. who made decisions?"

 

Xiao Dong's eyes widened in surprised, this question was not so easy to answer, after thinking for a long time he said vaguely, "Wangye and wangfei.. both made the decisions."

 

"Both of us?" What did that mean? Xiao Wangye did not understand, "Give me examples!"

 

"Um.. " Xiao Dong scratched his head, "For example, the property and affair inside the wangfu is handled by Wangfei and Liu Bo, Wangfei burdened the bigger half. Xiao Wangye, you.. you handled the imperial court events.. Aya, Xiao Dong is not clear of the details! Wangye, you asked Liu Bo yourself."

 

Xiao Wangye was irritated.

 

Listening to his words, clearly the matter of the house is handled by Yao Yue. No wonder he did not want to go to the Palace with him.

 

Xiao Wangye was angered, in his heart he swore, he would retrieve the prestige of his own family house! He must not let Beitang Yao Yue stand on his head!