Xiao Dong tried hard to keep a neutral expression when he turned to Shao Hai. He closed the door silently and extended his hand. “You’ve seen now so let’s go back. I guess you’ll be stopping doing this pointless thing from now on, won’t you?”
Shao Hai furrowed his brows but still took the hand and let Xiao Dong pull him to his feet. “I don’t understand this. Why is he doing this?” He slowly shuffled down the corridor next to Xiao Dong and then stopped at the top of the stairs. Ah, now he’d still have to go all the way back. Maybe he should just ask Jing Yi if he could stay with him for tonight? Since they would marry in the future anyway, it shouldn’t be too much to spend one night together in the same bed, should it? Actually, didn’t most rooms have two beds? He could just take the other one if Jing Yi felt it would be too intimate to lie cramped together in one. He wouldn’t mind that as long as they were in the same room …
Xiao Dong looked back and furrowed his brows when he saw Shao Hai’s longing gaze toward the room of his king’s beloved. He grabbed his arm and pulled him closer. “What are you doing? Come on now. It’s already late. If you don’t go back now and can’t get out of bed tomorrow and the Elder catches you, it’ll be your own fault. Don’t say I haven’t warned you.”
Shao Hai grumbled but still walked down the stairs. Most likely, Xiao Dong would make a fuss if he said that he wanted to stay with Jing Yi. Then, he’d get to sleep even later and he could already hardly stand anymore.
He gave a drawn-out sigh and held onto the railing of the stairs, walking down one step at a time. He still huffed and puffed when he was only halfway down. Ah, he shouldn’t have trained so much. But how come he still hadn’t gotten stronger? It had been weeks already since he started to train like this. Shouldn’t he have gotten some muscles? And how come Xiao Dong was doing alright? He had also trained with him. Shouldn’t he be really tired too?
“Life isn’t fair. Why are you so much better than me?”
“I don’t waste my time with useless thoughts. Come on now. You just have to get through some hours of training tomorrow and as soon as the Elder made his round, you can go and sleep. Isn’t that good too?”
Shao Hai grumbled. “Then how do I get through those few hours?” They finally reached the last step of the staircase and Shao Hai sat down, sighing. “Is this what my father feels like? He always complained that his bones were hurting. I thought he was just joking but I feel like my bones are hurting too now.”
Xiao Dong wanted to scoff but held back at the last moment. Wait a minute … Wasn’t this a good opportunity to cultivate some feelings between them? He awkwardly cleared his throat and crouched down in front of Shao Hai. “Well, if your bones are hurting so much, then you can get on. I’ll carry you back.”
Shao Hai harrumphed. “What’s with you? You think I can’t walk on my own?!”
Xiao Dong incredulously turned back to look at him. Come again? Hadn’t he just wanted to help? And this always worked in those plays he had seen! Why was Shao Hai angry instead?
Well, even though Shao Hai was angry, that anger at least gave him the strength to force himself back to his feet and shuffle out of the building on his own two legs, slowly making his way back to where they lived.
As if he’d let that bastard carry him! If he did, he’d never live it down. Most likely, Xiao Dong would every day mention something like ‘Oh, do you still remember the day when we found that your great plan hadn’t worked and that Jing Yi was washing his senior martial brothers’ clothes in the middle of the night and you were so tired because of all the training that I actually had to carry you back home?’ No, thanks, but he’d pass up on having to hear that for all eternity.
In the end, the two boys still made their way back even though Shao Hai was already swaying on his feet. He fell onto his bed and could only mumble. “We have to find a way to make Jing Yi stop this. If making him watch my training doesn’t work, then we’ll have to find another way. Can you think of something?”
Xiao Dong scoffed and got into his own bed. “You still haven’t had enough? I told you it was pointless and look what it got you! Now, you’re actually thinking about it again. Don’t you feel tired at all?”
“Then sleep!” Xiao Dong turned away and Shao Hai only mumbled another few words before he turned to the other side too and the two of them finally fell asleep.
Meanwhile, Jing Yi continued to sit in his room and wash the clothes that had been given to him. He only finished sometime in the middle of the night before he finally went to sleep.
He still felt that he was doing the right thing. His senior martial brothers were counting on him. Just because Shao Hai needed his help too, he couldn’t neglect the tasks that they had given him. After all, they were doing this for his own good! Still, he couldn’t deny that he was feeling quite tired. If he could, he would like to sleep at least an hour or two longer.
Well, maybe Shao Hai would soon be so good that he wouldn’t need his help anymore. With how much he had trained in the last few weeks, it certainly seemed possible. Mn, he really should learn from Shao Hai and do more things in the future. With that thought, Jing Yi finally fell asleep as well.
Thus another night went by and when the three boys got up the next day, Shao Hai didn’t run over to Jing Yi again. He definitely couldn’t make things even more troublesome for his friend. No, he had to think of another plan. There had to be a way that to make Jing Yi finally stop doing all this pointless work without making him feel bad!