Seeing Tao Ti standing frozen in place, Pei Yan explained in a low voice, “You might need to bear with this for a few days.
There are female officials sent by Imperial Father and the empress standing guard outside.
If we sleep in separate rooms now, there might be a fuss… But you can be rest assured, I won’t touch you.”
Then, he pointed to the bed.
“This bed is big enough, you sleep inside, and I’ll sleep outside, alright?”
He had already explained everything so patiently, and Tao Ti was not an unreasonable person.
Besides, if something really happened, in terms of looks, she would be the one who had struck the lottery, right!
Then, let’s… sleep.” Tao Ti lowered her head and walked to the bed.
She took off her shoes, then slowly crawled towards the inner edge of the bed.
Pei Yan looked sidelong at her; she was also only wearing thin nightclothes.
At the age of sixteen, her body had already matured, and her curves were graceful.
Her crawling posture revealed a fair, tender neck beneath her lapel, adding a touch of suggestive loveliness.
He looked away calmly; his handsome face was entirely inscrutable.
A moment later, he got up and extinguished two candles.
From the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of Tao Ti looking his way.
He explained, “I’m a very light sleeper, I can’t sleep well if it’s too bright.
If you are afraid of the dark, then I’ll light them agai…”
“Ah no need, I don’t like it too bright either.” Tao Ti found that he really took very good care of others.
No wonder the public’s impression of the crown prince was that he was sincere and gentle.
Looking at him now, it really seemed to be the case.
The candles were extinguished, and the bold red bed curtains that were embroidered with the scene of “A Hundred Children Playing” were slowly lowered.
When Pei Yan lay down, Tao Ti felt that the bed, which had originally seemed wide and spacious, seemed to have become small and cramped all of a sudden.
Her entire body was unconsciously tense, and even her breathing had become light and slow.
Although she knew he wouldn’t touch her, it would be a lie to say she wasn’t nervous about sharing a bed with a man for the first time in all the years she had been alive.
There was only silence behind the bed curtains; only the breathing of the two could be heard.
Tao Ti closed her eyes and tried to force herself to fall asleep quickly, but her nose caught a whiff of a faint fragrance.
Was this the smell of his body?
There was no bitter, astringent medicinal smell nor the unpleasant smell of illness.
The fragrance was very fresh, like a forest covered with snow, making one feel peaceful and calm.
Just like he was, gentle and tolerant; getting along with him was like basking in the spring breeze.
Gradually, Tao Ti fell into a deep sleep in this fragrance.
Having been through the day’s upheavals, she was truly tired.
The breathing near his ears became long and even; Pei Yan slowly opened his eyes and looked sideways.
The woman beside him was sleeping soundly.
Her raven black eyelashes were like a small fan, and her fair and soft cheeks still had a little baby fat on them.
Faint candlelight shone through the red bed curtains and scattered across her face, seeming to dye it with a later of scarlet rouge.
She looked really obedient when she was asleep.
However, when she was awake… she also seemed to be rather obedient?
After spending the night together, she was completely different from the rumours of her being “pretentious, unreasonable and unsociable” that were being spread outside.
Was she just acting?
The next day, the sky outside was tinged with a faint crab shell green.
Perhaps it was because she was unused to sleeping in an unfamiliar place, Tao Ti woke up very early.
But Pei Yan had woken up even earlier than she did.
When she got up, the space next to her had long been empty, and he was nowhere to be seen.
Not long after, a line of palace maids filed in to help her wash up and get dressed.
Compared to the bad attitudes of the palace maids last night, these palace maids were not cold, but they were not warm either.
Like a tool that was unable to feel any emotion, they came and went in silence.
Only the palace maid in charge of combing her hair, who was called Linglong, spoke a few words to her.
“Crown Princess, is this makeup and hairstyle all right?” Linglong asked.
At that, Tao Ti’s gaze fell upon the exquisite bronze mirror; when she saw the face of the person in the mirror, her eyes couldn’t help but light up.
The woman in the mirror had skin as white as snow and a complexion as beautiful as flowers; a small round face; a small, delicate nose; and full, rosy lips.
The most exquisite of all was that pair of eyes— they were dark as grapes, and when the eyelids were slightly lowered, they gave off a touch of tantalizing innocence and purity.
Presently, her hair was combed in a style that married palace noblewomen wore.
Accessorised with glittering gold jewellery, she looked like a doll that had been meticulously dressed up.
Seeing that Tao Ti was silent, Ling Long asked, “Crown Princess, is there something wrong?”
Tao Ti came back to herself and smiled at her.
“You have very skillful hands, I look very good like this.”
Linglong was momentarily taken aback at the crown princess’s bright and kind smile.
She said in a low voice, “It is good if the Crown Princess is satisfied.”
“By the way, where is His Highness?”
“His Highness is studying at Chongwen Hall at the moment, he should be back soon.”
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