Chapter 1: Wedding Festivities
Red candles flickering around the surroundings, soft and delicate fragrance, and the sound of festive drumbeats in the distance…
Ye Jiayao slowly opened her gritty eyes to the sight of crimson celebratory curtains. She immediately scrambled to sit up, the hairs on the back of her neck standing up, as if she was startled awake from a nightmare. She looked at the ancient surroundings and hesitantly bit into her fair wrist.
So, this was not a dream. She really has… time-traveled.
The host was supposed to marry to Ji Nan prefectural magistrate’s eldest son, Wei Liujiang. No one knew that halfway through the journey, she would get kidnapped to Hei Feng Gang and would be forced to enter the bandits’ nest to become the wife of the third-in-charge.
She has already seen the first-in-charge and second-in-charge. The first-in-charge looked like a typical villain with his shady eyes and smile. Ye Jiayao could tell with one look that he was treacherous. The second-in-charge looked brawny, practically the reincarnation of Li Lu, so she deduced that the third-in-charge would probably be just more of the same type.
“F*ck!”?she thought angrily. Running into this kind of situation as soon she woke up was just asking for her to die again, isn’t it?
No. She has to find a way to escape.
She got off the bed where she was lying down, but as soon as her feet touched the ground, she heard laughter coming from outside.
“Third brother! First brother said to get you a pretty wife, and I have kept my word! The chick in there is definitely fine and I heard that she is from a wealthy family. You would be satisfied for sure!”
“Thank you, second brother,” a slightly intoxicated yet gentle voice that does not fit in with the crowd of coarse voices, answered.
“The first night is short and every moment is worth thousands of gold. Third-in-charge has to enjoy himself,” someone said in an obscene tone.
“Third-in-charge, you have to make sure that your wife is unable to get out of bed for at least three days and three nights!” someone uttered loudly.
Everyone burst into laughter.
Upon hearing that, Ye Jiayao turned pale. They were all a bunch of lewd wolves! Heaven must have been blind if they haven’t been struck by lightning yet. Instead, they sent her – the girl who has been reincarnated through time with such difficulty – to this wolf pit.
Hearing the sound of the door unlocking, Ye Jiayao immediately jumped back on the bed and played possum. However, as soon as she lied down, she realized that her idea sucked. She should’ve hidden under the bed and made them think that the bride had run off. Surely, they would go searching for her everywhere and she would get the chance to escape. Now though, it was too late for regrets. The door has already opened and closed.
Opportunity often appears in a split second- once you miss it, it’s gone.
The footsteps were soft, almost inaudible, but she could feel that he was coming closer because she could smell the alcohol. As though she held a herd of rabbits in her chest, she pulled her bridal gown together nervously.
Xia Chunyu stood by the bed, looking at his bride from above. His eyes were as dark as ink, resembling two bottomless pools void of emotions. Yet, his heart was not calm.
He just came back from below the mountains when he got dragged to change into his wedding gown by the brothers from the stockade. They pulled him to the hall to drink congratulatory wine and announced that they have kidnapped a wife for him.
Was this yet another test? Was this woman a spy planted at his side? Why would the first-in-charge and second-in-charge get him a wife when they themselves have yet to get married?
Hei Feng Gang has assembled more than 3000 bandits to rob the government, disturb the civilians, and basically not shrink away from any crimes and become Qi Lu’s malignant tumor. The bandits relied on their strategic mountain typography. They also had men guarding the mountain pass to block at least 10,000 enemies from entering.
The court has tried several times to bring them down but all of their attempts resulted in failure, as well as the loss of a large number of their men and horses. He was sent here on a secret mission to enter the mountains as a bandit and find a way to defeat them. He had done all he could to get the bandits to trust him. He has handed in the pledge of allegiance and has made outstanding contributions to the stockade. However, despite all these, the mistrustful first-in-charge was still wary of him, continuously trying to catch him in any incriminating act.
As he looked down at his bride, her eyes slightly closed, her finely-arched brows, jade-like nose, and cherry lips, he has to admit that?even though she was a little pale, she made a fine beauty.
Outside the door, there was a slight disturbance that made Xia Chunyu sneer slightly. Since they wanted to watch a show, then he should cooperate in playing pretend. Luckily, this woman has the looks.
Ye Jiayao was at a loss. Should she continue to play dead or should she fight back? She reckoned she was no match for him. She might even have to suffer several blows which really made the whole situation just a lose-lose for her.
After a moment of rustling, the blanket was lifted, followed by a masculine body leaning in.
Ye Jiayao was unable to keep up with the pretense anymore. She climbed away from him and pulled a hairpin from her hair, pointing it at her jugular – she’d rather die than submit to him. “Don’t come any closer or I will kill myself!”
However, once she got a good look at the man, she fell into a daze.
There was actually a handsome bandit?
The man was lying on his side, the perfect picture of languid grace, his head resting on one hand, smiling. His almond-shaped eyes that were lusciously glistening under the influence of alcohol dazzled Ye Jiayao. His well-defined lips were slightly raised in a small smile, and the overall image was just beautiful – he was a beautiful man.
Ye Jia Yao swallowed, forgetting?her resolution. In her past life, she was an ardent fan of the appearance club. Her friends have to be good-looking, the actors in the movies and dramas she watched have to be good-looking, and she was even wishing to marry a good-looking man. Sadly, she died before her wish was able to come true. It didn’t occur to her that heaven would bless her with such a handsome bandit after time-traveling in the past.
She lost a bit of her initial manner as she contemplated her situation. In the light of things, it seemed as though it wasn’t that unacceptable to give herself to this handsome man if she really was unable to escape.
Peipeipei! Ye Jiayao are you out of your mind? No matter how good-looking he is, he is still a bandit!?Ye Jiayao despised herself for getting caught up on his good looks and unconsciously tightened her grip on the hairpin. She resumed her previous stance and stared at him with wide-eyes.
Xia Chunyu observed the changes in her emotions that were clearly shown in her eyes. It went back and forth between determination and contemplation. To him, it seemed like that there was an element of acting going on. If she was indeed from an honorable family, she would’ve treated her innocence as her life and wouldn’t have wavered. She might be just some inexperienced chick from some unknown brothel.
With his eyebrows raised, the man smiled maliciously. “A strong character, I like.”
“Let me go or else my father will call the constables to catch all of you.” Ye Jiayao bluffed, pointing the hairpin closer to her neck until it touched her skin.
The man sneered, “Call the constables? What kind of place do you think Hei Feng Gang is? Don’t mention the authorities ever, not even if it is the army themselves. Once the Dragon-breaking Stone is released, tens and thousands of men and horses won’t be able to attack us. I suggest you save your energy and just obey me – while I’m still interested in you. If you annoy me, I will send you to the brothers in the stockade. I’m sure they will be more than happy to take you off my hands.”
Although he said it frivolously, the threat was mighty. Ye Jiayao was afraid of his last statement. She has entered the wolf’s nest and was unable to escape. If she was really thrown to those beasts, she might not even have her bones left after it was all said and done.
She was not like the host with such a strong character; banging the wall or hanging herself to preserve her honor. She was a modern woman, keeping her life was the most important thing to her. She has to consider how to mitigate the effects of her situation.
Therefore, she put her hairpin down and stammered, “It’s not like I can’t adapt to the situation, but I am still a daughter of a decent family. If you want me to submit to you, I won’t be able to get over myself very easily. Besides, after a day of shock and fear, plus knocking into a pillar, my body is not in a good condition, my head is still actually spinning. I’m afraid I won’t able to serve you if you don’t allow me to take a little time to rest.”
As long as she could avoid tonight, her father would be able to come up with a plan to save her.
Xia Chunyu was a little surprised that she would say something like that. Was it a delaying tactic or to make him loosen the reins a bit?
“You knocked into a pillar? Where are you hurt? Let me take a look.”
Ye Jia Yao hesitated for a moment but spurred into action when she saw him raise his eyebrows with annoyance. She moved over slightly, pointing to the left side of her head, “Yeah, here, there’s a huge bump.”
She lowered her head, her jet-black hair tumbled down silkily, carrying a faint fragrance as it swept past the back of his hands. It was like being drawn on by the tip of a feather; like a dragonfly skipping the surface of the pond. Xia Chunyu raised the ends of his lips mockingly at himself, how long has it been since he last touched a woman? It has been almost half a year since he has arrived at Hei Feng Gang.
He stretched his hand out and felt that there was indeed a bump. She was not lying.
“Ouch!” Ye Jiayao exclaimed, exaggeratedly inhaling a mouthful of cold air to appear even more sickly.
He grasped her shoulder and lightly guided her into his embrace, snatching the hairpin away from her hand at the same time. The hairpin fell with a??tingto some unknown corner, broken. He turned to lie on top of her, a hand propped beside her head to confine her underneath him. With the back of his hand, he caressed her delicate cheek, eyes full of concentration and devotion as though he was looking at a precious treasure.
His voice low and slightly hoarse, with a hint of temptation, he said, “You don’t have to wait on me. For tonight, I’ll wait on you.”
Ye Jiayao quivered, feeling her scalp go numb. This man was a superb actor. He certainly knew how to entice a woman.?If he had lived in the modern day, he would definitely become the sensation of South Asia, all those long-legged oppas would have to make way. It was a pity he was born at this time and he only ended up as a handsome bandit.
“How… how can I … you are the 3rd-in-charge,” Ye Jiayao stuttered.
“I am willing to serve you tonight,” he said, lowering his head.
Ye Jiayao saw his handsome face approaching closer, his breath filled with the fragrance of fine wine. His clothes smelled of hibiscus, and together with the intoxicating scent of alcohol, it created a special flavor, stimulating her senses to sharpen.
Right before their lips were about to meet, an icy cold hand appeared between them.
“Wait, can you… rinse your mouth? I… I can’t stand the smell of alcohol… I’ll vomit,” Ye Jiayao said quick-wittedly, knowing that no one would wish for the other party to vomit during an intimate moment.
Xia Chunyu’s pupils darkened with a tinge of awkwardness and anger. How dare she resent the smell of alcohol on him? There has never been a single woman who despised him.
He eased up from her and left the bed. He walked to the roundtable and busied himself with the teapot.
Ye Jiayao was in disbelief. How was he being so obedient?
The next moment, she changed her mind.
Xia Chunyu lifted the teapot and put it down again. He turned around and brought the wine pot over, drinking it in front of Ye Jiayao. Ye Jiayao suppressed the urge to roll her eyes. What a narrow-minded man, a waste of such elegance and presence.
In the next beat, she knew that she has thought wrong.??Again?.
The man’s kiss caught her off guard as he forced her mouth apart overbearingly, passing the strong liquid from his mouth into hers.