Luan Xin had no idea that the person they were talking about was right in the room next door. Thus he only laughed. “What? Are you being jealous? In that case, I’m very, very perturbed by the fact that Yu Huang Rong is going to marry soon. If I could do anything to stop this, then I would certainly do so.”
Yu Huang Rong rubbed his temple. Alright, he could be happy that he knew this guy so well. This was obviously the tone Luan Xin had always used when making fun of someone. He wasn’t serious about this. Thankfully. Otherwise … He really wouldn’t know what to do.
He didn’t want to have to choose between the person he loved and his best friend. Although he hadn’t said so the other day, he had obviously also missed this friend of his. Sure, in the heat of battle, the person he had thought of most often had been Zhang Shi Lan but that didn’t mean that Luan Xin didn’t have a place in his heart.
The two of them had grown up together, shared everything and even saved each other’s lives several times. He had promised to become a General for the day when Luan Xin would ascend the throne, he had promised to guard his empire for him. That kind of person couldn’t be forgotten that easily.
But … he had never thought of him in any other way. Luan Xin had only ever been his best friend, one of their Chen country’s princes, its crown prince even, and his future emperor. Now hearing that Luan Xin had had different thoughts about him … He really didn’t know what to make of that. How come he had never noticed?
Next door, She Ning gave a sigh. “Don’t kid around. Aren’t you friends?”
Luan Xin chuckled. “Sure we are. But that doesn’t mean I can’t hope for something more. Ah, to be like in previous years where we would spend every single day together, being trapped in my study reading all those boring books, going out to learn sword arts together and ride over the great plains, taking off our robes when we jumped butt-naked into the stream to cool ourselves down … Ah, the good old days.”
She Ning cracked his eyes open and looked at his so-called lover. “And here I thought I didn’t have a reason to be jealous. Your imagination is quite good though.”
Luan Xin laughed and the rustling of fabric sounded when he rolled to the side, snuggling up against She Ning’s chest. “You never know. If he suddenly finds out what a good person I am and makes a move on me, I might reconsider this. So you better treat me very well so I won’t get any ideas. Otherwise …”
“Otherwise what?” She Ning’s was voice lowered to a dark grumbling. It was hard to say whether he was displeased or giving up.
Luan Xin paused before he gave a sigh. “Aiya, don’t be like this. I didn’t mean it like that. Didn’t we already talk about this? That matter with Yu Huang Rong is long past. There’s no reason to think about it any longer. It’s just you now.”
She Ning didn’t answer.
Luan Xin sighed again. “You and a harem of twenty women. But you’re the most important.”
She Ning gave a low murmur but didn’t say anything else. It seemed that the subject was finished for him.
Outside of the room, Yu Huang Rong furrowed his brows. Now that the first shock had worn off, it was obvious that something wasn’t quite right with the situation. Even though he had kept quiet, that She Ning should have been able to notice that he was here. Even if he didn’t notice him at the beginning, he obviously hadn’t been tired enough after the deed to rest his senses to the point where he wouldn’t have heard him rush to the door.
So … Why would he bring this matter up and say these things even if he knew that the person they were talking about was next door? Could it be that he had wanted him to hear?
Yu Huang Rong looked at the door with a complicated expression. What did he want with this? Was it to make sure that he knew of their relationship? But then just finishing things this Luan Xin over there would’ve been enough. After all, there was no way to misjudge what had just happened between them.
Then what could it be? It should have to do with what he had said afterward. Otherwise, there would’ve been no need for that conversation. So did that mean this was about Luan Xin’s feelings? But why would he want him to know about those?
Yu Huang Rong narrowed his eyes but he couldn’t fathom that guy’s thoughts. If there was any reason for this, then he couldn’t see it. He felt that this only made things more complicated. Before he had known, wasn’t it just him being happy with Zhang Shi Lan and Luan Xin being happy with that She Ning? Why would he want to change anything about that?
Yu Huang Rong paused at that thought. Could it be that he was wrong with what he presupposed? Could it be that while he was happy with Zhang Shi Lan now, Luan Xin wasn’t that happy? Did he feel that this relationship with She Ning wasn’t enough?
He had sounded pretty satisfied and with what he had said … He also didn’t believe that Luan Xin was the type of person that would make a move on just anybody. No, if there weren’t feelings involved, then he would hold back. After all, nobody would be able to refuse the emperor without having to fear the consequences. Thus he would always make sure that the other party was interested as well.
In that case, the relationship between the two of them should be pretty good. Even if Luan Xin had had feelings for him, they had already dried up and now he was serious about She Ning.
So why bother? Was She Ning afraid that the matter between him and Zhang Shi Lan would hurt Luan Xin because it would remind him of what was previously? Well, that would make sense. Then maybe he shouldn’t ask him for help all the time? But Luan Xin had said that he would help and they were friends.
Yu Huang Rong sighed. Whatever it was, he couldn’t figure it out. Maybe he should ask him when he came back the next time. As for now … He turned to the door and opened it to quietly leave. He had already heard what he was supposed to hear so there was no reason to linger. If he did, it would just be more awkward if Luan Xin found out that he had heard what was going on.
Before Yu Huang Rong could step through the door, a hoarse yell sounded from the other side and then the door leading from Luan Xin’s bedroom to the study flew open and a man dressed in black rushed out, holding a sword in one hand.
Yu Huang Rong stared at him dumbfounded. This guy … Wasn’t it enough to bring the matter up so that he would hear? Why did he have to announce that he had come here this loudly?
While Yu Huang Rong stared in shock, clothes rustled on the other side of the door and finally, Luan Xin appeared in the doorway, looking at the person on the other side with wide eyes.
“Ah … Yu Huang Rong?” His face was tinged red and he glanced at She Ning as if to make sure that what he saw was true.
She Ning narrowed his eyes. “How long have you been here? What were you doing?”
Yu Huang Rong’s lips twitched. This guy fucking knew since when he had been here! Could he stop pretending to be innocent?!
He really wanted to bring up that She Ning had known all along but looking at Luan Xin, he couldn’t bring himself to do so. If what he had understood was true, then this friend of his had had an unrequited crush on him for a long time before he finally found somebody else in She Ning.
Since he was happy now, then he should give him his blessing and not make any trouble in the relationship. It was good that he had found somebody he could spend his time with and confide in. Having such a partner was the best for somebody in his position.
“Long enough. And I came to have a chat.”
Luan Xin’s face reddened even further when he heard Yu Huang Rong’s answer. “You … wouldn’t have listened in, would you?”
Yu Huang Rong raised his brows in response. “Listened in on the conversation just now or listened in on what you did before? Honestly, I’m kind of amazed that the two of you were able to talk about another man so calmly right after doing that. I should make a mental note to myself not to do that after I’ve married Shi Lan.”
“You …” Luan Xin wanted to protest but finally shut up and then shook his head. “I should just go back to bed.”
Yu Huang Rong laughed. “Do you want to go alone or do you want to take him with you? Because if it’s the latter, then wait a moment. I still need his help.”
Luan Xin raised his brows, the color of his face slowly returning to normal. “So that was what you meant when you said you wanted to have a chat. I should’ve known you didn’t have good intentions!” He harrumphed and then waved. “Very well, then you borrow him for a while. I’ll go and lie down.” He stepped back into the room and then smashed the door shut. Hmph, he’d better not get involved with these two any longer. One was worse than the other.
Back in the study, She Ning raised his brows at Yu Huang Rong. “So what was it that you wanted?”
Yu Huang Rong’s smile collapsed and he furrowed his brows at the other man. “Why don’t you tell me first what this little act just now was supposed to mean? Luan Xin is my friend. If you have any second thoughts about the relationship with him, you better be careful in the future. I won’t stand for it if you hurt him!”
She Ning smiled for the first time since Yu Huang Rong had met him. “That’s what I wanted to hear. So now, what is it that you want?”