Pei Yan’s cheeks were slightly warm; he looked away hurriedly.
Just then, a soft “Ah” came from behind the screen.

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“Um, can I trouble you to pass me that bra—uh, dudou1? I’d forgotten to take it.”

Pei Yan, “……”

His gaze fell silently on the table; there was a tray with a smoky pink dudou on it. 

Made of brocade, the thin dudou was embroidered with an image of mandarin ducks and lotus flowers.
The straps were not silk ribbons, but thin gold chains.

He was silent for a moment, then walked to the table.
His well-defined fingers picked up a thin gold chain, and the small triangular dudou lifted easily in the air.

Dok dok dok

He knocked on the screen three times and stretched out the dudou.

Immediately, a fair and delicate arm stretched out and speedily received the dudou.
The little lady inside even said a crisp “Thank you”.

Pei Yan’s Adam’s apple bobbed slightly, and he walked out without a word  

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The palace maids outside were all a little puzzled when they saw the crown prince come out again.

Pei Yan stood on the porch with his hands behind his back; his jade-like chin was slightly raised, like he was admiring the moon.

Bright moonlight spilled over his hair, his handsome features, and his dignified stature. 

A breeze sent his robes fluttering, making him look like an immortal. 

After Tao Ti put on her bedclothes, she waited for a long time, but no palace maids came in.
So, she went to the door herself. 

She raised her hand and opened the door gently.
The next second, she was frozen to the spot——

Mom, I-I’ve seen a fairy, ah, no, a god!!!

Perhaps because Tao Ti’s gaze was too intense, Pei Yan turned around slowly.

Struck with a sudden thought, Tao Ti instinctively raised her hand to touch her chin and nose.
Fortunately, there was no drooling or nosebleeds.

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“Your Highness, when did you get here? Why aren’t you sitting inside? Although it’s March now, the wind is still a little chilly, you have to be careful you don’t catch a cold.” Only after prattling such a long string of words did she realise that she seemed rather long-winded.
Would he find her annoying? 

Pei Yan spotted her vexation at a glance, and the corners of his lips lifted slightly.
“The moon is beautiful tonight.”

Tao Ti gathered her light purple outer robes around her, took two steps outside, and lifted her little head to look.
“It is quite round, huh?”

She was standing right next to him, close enough that Pei Yan’s nose was filled with the faint sweet fragrance of her body.

Unwittingly, he wondered, what was the soap she bathed with made of to be this fragrant?

Tao Ti looked at the moon and said casually, “Your Highness, have you had dinner?”

“Yes, I have,” said Pei Yan.
He then looked at her rather apologetically, “I was dealing with some affairs just now, so I didn’t come to dine with you, I hope you don’t mind.”

Tao Ti raised her two small hands and waved, “It all right, it all right, I don’t mind.
Go about your business, don’t mind me.
Just make sure you strike a proper balance between work and rest.”

Pei Yan’s warm gaze lingered on her two small, fair hands for a moment before he withdrew his gaze.
“Mm.”

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Suddenly, Tao Ti smelled an unpleasant medicinal smell.

She followed the direction of the medicinal smell and saw Pei Yan’s personal eunuch, Fu Xirui, walking over with a tray.
“Your Highness, it’s time for your medicine.”

The black medicinal decoction was served in a jade bowl.
It was steaming with heat and giving off a strong bitter taste.  

Even Tao Ti couldn’t help pursing her lips at the smell—was this stuff something for humans to drink?

Yet, she saw Pei Yan pick up the medicinal decoction calmly, then downd it in big gulps.

His brows did not even so much as crease during the entire process.

When the medicinal decoction was finished, Pei Yan used plain water to rinse his mouth simply.

Tao Ti asked Fu Xirui, “Why didn’t you prepare some sweets or candied fruit? It can help suppress the bitterness after the medicine’s drunk.”

Fu Xirui was slightly taken aback, “Umm…”

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Pei Yan returned the handkerchief he had used to wipe his mouth back on the tray and said dismissively, “I am not a child who’d cry when there are no sweets to eat after drinking medicine.”

Tao Ti frowned and whispered, “But this medicine really looks very bitter.
Besides, there’s no rule that states that adults can’t eat sweets, right?”

“One bowl in the early morning, one bowl before bed, every day of the year, all three hundred and sixty days.” A strained smile appeared on Pei Yan’s warm face.
“This bitter taste, I’m already used to it.”

Used to it.

These three simple words suddenly made Tao Ti’s chest a little stuffy.

After thinking about it, her voice softened unconsciously, “Then, I’ll prepare some candied fruit and sweets for you from now on, so you won’t have to suffer so much bitterness anymore.”

Hearing this, Pei Yan was momentarily taken aback, then, smiled genially at her.
“All right.” 

The ancients preached the importance of starting work at daybreak and resting at sunset.
The crown prince was in poor health, so his schedule was even more regulated. 

When it grew late, Tao Ti and Pei Yan shared a bed like they did last night.

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