By the time Jin came back, it seemed like he was the last one that his group was waiting for. The others were already dressed in their performance costumes. He shared eye contact with Fei, who gave him a worried look as he entered the room.

”Ill head out and change as fast as I can. Ill be back real quick. ” Just as he grabbed his costume from a table full of props, Reyna stopped him.

”Jin. ”

Jin looked up, greeted by a troubled Reyna. On her hand was the costume for tonights main dancer. Jin then realized something and looked around for Leyya. She wasn in the room.

”You have to take Leyyas place for tonights performance. ” She handed him the costume.

Jin just stared at her, surprised. ”Wait, wheres Leyya? ” Looking around, she was nowhere in sight. Dormund, who was always around her, has disappeared too.

Reyna sighed as she pinched her nose bridge. ”Leyya came back early with a panicked Dormund. Apparently, she had eaten something in one of the food stalls outside and came back with a sick stomach. I don think she can perform this round. ”

”Dormund? ”

”I sent him to look after Leyya. So this performance, its only going to be the eight of us. Youll be the new lead. You know her parts anyway, right? ”

Jin nodded. Reyna shoved him the pants he was going to use, coupled with other jewelry to go with it. Since the main dancer turned from a girl to a guy, it seemed like Reyna had to do some mix and match with the gold they had in stock.

”Hurry. We don have much time. ”

With Reynas worried voice, Jin went and dressed up speedily before they were finally escorted to the scene. The scene was grand, with golden light spilling from the inside of the ballroom.

Inside, red cloth formed waves on the ceiling. It looked like drakes* soaring in the sky. Lanterns and chandeliers hid behind and amongst the red, making them glow under its luminescence.

The ends of the red cloth hung next to each balconys door, which lined the walls from one side to its opposite.

On the floor was sandstone inlaid with gold and casted with resin. It turned glossy under all the light.

It truly was a party for the upper echelons of Phacans kingdom. Jin and the rest were instructed to simply stand by the sidelines, though they were free to move around the edge of the partys ballroom until their time came.

Reyna went off somewhere to confirm the details of their performance, whereas Seraphine and one of the new girls headed off in the opposite direction. The rest wandered as well on their own, lurking at the corner of the party.

Jin, Fei, and Rheb stood with the other members at the side of the room.

Fei grabbed Jin and Rhebs pants and tugged slightly at them, pointing to a table nearby. The table was filled with appetizers and intricate delicacies of different types. She drooled.

”Hey, look at that! Do you think we can get some of those? ” Fei whispered to them while staring at the food.

”Well, I mean they did say we were free to do anything as long as we didn gather attention or leave the sidelines. ” He cocked an eyebrow. ”You want to get some? ”

With that, Fei dragged Jin and Rheb towards the buffet table. The two other members that were leftover followed suit, seeing that they had nothing else to do. Might as well pass time with food, right?

On the other side of the room, two golden eyes were glued to Jin. The person had a frown on his face, slightly intimidating the person who came up to greet him. It was Carsus.

He watched Jin walk towards the buffet table, not listening to the faltering words of the person in front of him. He had a dark look on his face, and the person he was talking to quickened his speech and made a decision to promptly escape after greeting the King of Phacan.

Finally having the annoying pest leave, Carsus looked for Ilmond who was busy greeting the other guests nearby. Ilmond had just finished talking to another envoy himself before he managed to look up and catch his kings gaze. With that, Ilmond shot a professional smile to the other envoys before excusing himself and making his way to Carsus.

Nobody knew what Carsus said, but people only saw the chancellor wordlessly nod after Carsus finished talking. Ilmond, the chancellor, then walked somewhere else.

Meanwhile, the topic of conversation was cluelessly chatting and taking little bites from the table beside them.

Jin was busy listening to his friends bicker back and forth about how much the other person could eat. Somewhere in the middle, it turned into an eating competition. They were not supposed to be attracting attention before the start of the show but somehow, there were already weirded glances that were being thrown their way.

Jin distanced himself from the two troublemakers (namely Fei and Rheb), and stood with the two other members wordlessly. He was enjoying the show before he heard someone calling to him.

The hand that was holding a kanafeh* paused mid-air as he turned his head to meet two black eyes peering behind glasses.

Ilmond spoke as curtly as ever. ”His highness is calling for you. ”

Jin narrowed his eyes and tilted his head. His highness was calling for him? Why?

He searched the room and saw someone directly staring at him from the other side. Carsus was wearing official attire this time, unlike his laid-back appearance when he just wore robes. He had his hair slicked back too, revealing his handsome and sharp features.

Carsus top consisted of something coat-like, rimmed with a Ming-styled* collar that was heavily decorated with golden embroidery. It was white and fitted; it highlighted his shoulder frame and hugged his torso, before falling down a fourth away from his ankles. Under the coat, a peek of red silk could be seen lining the inside.

The bottoms consisted of white formal pants that came as a set with the top. Completing the look was an official robe that was draped upon one of his shoulders–golden embroidery, red silk linings and all.

Jin just stared back at Carsus, who has become more handsome in formal attire. He then looked back at Ilmond and nodded.

”Ill be there. ”

Ilmond stared at Jins departing back and finally broke into a strange expression. He pondered on something, then silently shook his head and went back to work: greeting the guests in the ballroom.

Jin sauntered towards Carsus whose eyes didn leave him the moment he spotted him. Getting a clearer look at the man, Carsus dark expression was getting more prominent the closer he drew by. Jin knitted his brows. Did something happen to him? Did he get constipation too?

When Jin arrived before Carsus, he drew into a bow and formally greeted the king. ”Blessings to his highness, the rising sun of the kingdom. ”

However, before he could fully perform the bow, his arm was grabbed and abruptly pulled. Carsus didn wait for Jin to regain his footing and walked away with big strides. Jin had to stumble with difficulty before regaining his balance and matching his pace with the kings.

A door was situated near the main entrance of the ballroom. It was smaller and more inconspicuous, though it didn seem like it was off-limits to the people in the party. Carsus swung the door open and pulled Jin in tow.

All this time, Jin couldn say a single word and was just speechlessly dragged around.

”What are you doing?! ” As the door closed shut, Carsus slammed Jin against the wall, growling next to his ear. Jins stomach was pressed against wallpaper, and his back had Carsus leaning on it.

The room looked like a drawing room for when people in the party needed to take a break. It seemed like it was only him and the king inside.

Jin smiled with one of his signature trademark smiles, though Carsus probably couldn see it entirely. ”What do you mean, your majesty? ” He felt the person behind boring a hole through him with their eyes.

”I thought I told you not to take the spotlight for today. ” Carsus teeth were almost grinding against each other.

”Ah, that. You see…the main dancer for today got sick, so I had to replace her. As you would know, our group only has two main dancers. Since the other is sick, I had to step in. ”

Should I punish her later on? Jin heard a mutter from behind him.

”Didn you promise me that you wouldn be the lead for the banquet? ” Carsus asked him in a threatening voice. Jins attire was obviously more elaborate and eye-catching than the rest; it was an attire reserved only for the main dancer.

Jin, still pressed on the wall, paused to reflect. Come to think of it, didn Carsus say something like that in the bath yesterday? He only loosely nodded and didn take it too seriously. ”Ah…haha. I suppose so? ”

There was a silence that ensued, but the air in the room seemed to grow colder. Jin was left unaffected.

”Do you know what it means to break a promise made by a royal? ” Carsus whispered behind Jins ear. Jin arched his brow and wondered what he was going to do next. He was curious.

At the lack of response, Carsus pressed Jin tighter against the wall. From somewhere in his clothes, he brandished a metallic rod.

The rod was the item that Carsus asked Ilmond to get him, which was the same time he also asked Ilmond to bring Jin.

The rod was cold and as big as a running baton. Its edges were rounded, and looked completely new. The baton was supposed to be used for punishing criminals as they hit them with it. It was considered to be a lighter punishment, though some people still broke their bones from it. It was still metal, and metal was heavy.

Just then, Carsus lowered Jins garter and dipped a finger in him. Jin, who was taken by surprise, gasped.

”Wh-what are you- ”

Carsus, whose frown morphed into an evil smile, just whispered in Jins ear. ”Shhh. ”

Jin, whose bottom was suddenly exposed, was invaded. He was taken aback, but Carsus fingers were working quite well. Wasn it just yesterday when he said hed done it for the first time? Did he lie?

Then, not too far later, a cool sensation rested at the bottom of his opening, before pushing in completely. Jin was not completely ready as only his opening was loosened. His insides were still adjusting before something started plundering him from the inside-out.

His feet lost their strength and only Carsus upper body was supporting him from crumbling to the ground.

”Your highness! What are you doing!? ” Jin tried to wriggle free from the mans grasps, but the man was slightly stronger than him. Jin still had to dance soon. He couldn afford to mess around like this so close to the performance.

”Im giving you your punishment. ”

”You can ! I still have a performance! ”

Carsus watched as the man wriggled and writhed from his grasp. He was enjoying the scene. He pushed the rod in his hand all the way in Jin, then placed the garter back. Jin felt completely full as his insides were trying hard to accommodate the cool metal shoved in him.

”Well then, you
e just going to have to perform with it. ”

Carsus disobedient hands kneaded at Jins bottoms–specifically the place where his chrysanthemum was. Jin felt the thing inside him rub against his walls; it would slide down with its weight before Carsus hands pushed it back up again. Carsus slowly but firmly pushed into the crack of Jin, gradually earning him mewls and groans.

It filled him. He suppressed it, but he knew the familiar rising feeling of pleasure. It was big and thick, and it plundered him leisurely. He was growing insane.

”Aaahh… ”

Jin was trying hard to stand up with his own two feet. Doing so however made his walls contract, and he could feel the thing touching places it shouldn .

”Haaah… ”

Carsus placed his chin on Jins shoulder, saying with a teasing tone. ”Don be too loud now. You don want the others outside to hear you. ”

The door was still unlocked after all.

Hazily, Jin looked at Carsus with a glare. Doing so in the situation made him look quite seductive, though. He still had watery eyes as a residue from Carsus sudden metallic rod.

Without warning, there was a knock that resounded from the door.



*Kanafeh: A thin Middle-Eastern pastry; filled with cheese and syrup (or sugar)

*Hanfu collar (generally has these kinds of collar shapes):

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