In fact, with Wei Chongrong’s status as Wang Qin’s Shizi, there weren’t many people who dared to flood him with wine openly even at an occasion like a wedding banquet.
However, his grandfather emperor was too virile and gave him two young uncles when he was in his sixties. Wei Hao, who was young, had a high seniority and was afraid the world wouldn’t be chaotic enough. He wouldn’t let go of such a good opportunity and wouldn’t rest until Wei Chongrong was cooked.
With Wei Hao leading, Wei Ruo and Wei Ying(1) were unlikely to show their soft side. If they swarmed up, Wei Chongrong was going to be out of luck. When he thought of his situation, Wei Chongrong couldn’t help but frown. Little Monkey was going to pretend to be drunk, should he follow his example?
Sure enough, after worshipping heaven and earth, the wedding reception officially began, and Wei Hao took the lead in finding Wei Chongrong and asking him to drink three cups to honour him. Wei Hao was an elder. He gave Wei Chongrong a toast and Wei Chongrong had no way to refuse. He could only deal with whatever came.
What Wei Chongrong didn’t expect was that after Wei Hao, the next person waiting to pour him wine turned out to be Wei Yang.
Wei Yang held the cup with both hands, raised it high and said softly, “Rongrong, happy wedding, may you be together for a hundred years.” After saying this, he drank it all in one go. He had never been close to Wei Chongrong, and would come to his wedding banquet today half because of Jun Hua and half because of Wei Hao’s coercion.
Wei Chongrong was a bit dumbfounded. He didn’t know what to say for a moment. Wei Yang called him “Rongrong” and congratulated him. It was amazing.
In the first years after his rebirth, Wei Chongrong had a strong grudge against Wei Yang and even thought about killing him, but he only thought about it and didn’t put it into practice. Later, the witchcraft scourge didn’t happen, Wei Ming’s Crown Prince position was safe, and Wei Yang, like Wei Hao, was an ordinary little prince, and not even as favoured as Wei Hao, so Wei Chongrong gradually left him behind. Now for Wei Yang, it was absolutely impossible to pose any threat to Wei Chongrong, the same way as it was impossible for Wei Chongrong to retaliate against a child who didn’t know anything. It was better for everyone just to keep their distance.
Under Wei Chongrong’s deliberate avoidance, over the past ten years or so, he and Wei Yang had very few opportunities to meet, and the only times they did meet were during the palace banquets, where many imperial relatives gathered together. The number of times they came into contact with each other was zero, let alone having any kind of friendship.
On the contrary, Jun Hua, who had accompanied Wei Hao and Wei Yang to study for two years, was better acquainted with Wei Yang than Wei Chongrong.
After a tiny pause, Wei Chongrong thanked Wei Yang and raised his cup to finish his drink. Wei Yang smiled shyly and went to talk to Jun Hua. This nephew’s eyes were so serious that Wei Yang was a bit afraid of him and didn’t dare to speak too loudly. It was better to avoid him.
On the contrary, Wei Hao, seeing that Wei Chongrong had only drunk one cup of wine, immediately stepped in and said that it was unfair and it should be three cups as well. Wei Chongrong didn’t want to argue, and thinking that he only had two young uncles, he honestly drank two more cups to pacify Wei Hao.
After three rounds of drinking, Jun Hua felt bad and fell back on Wei Chongrong, holding his forehead. Wei Chongrong understood and immediately picked him up, saying that he would send Jun Hua to their bedroom to rest and would come back later to drink with everyone.
Everyone was surprised Jun Hua played such a trick so openly. Wei Hao muttered: “His drinking can’t be so bad.” Meanwhile, Wei Chongrong hugged Jun Hua and at a lightning speed disappeared from the main hall where the banquet was set.
In the bridal chamber, Jun Hua immediately opened his eyes, jumped out of Wei Chongrong’s arms and said repeatedly: “So close, so close, fortunately, I reacted quickly enough, if I let them continue, I would have been really drunk…” The number of the Wei family’s relatives was too huge.
Wei Chongrong poured a cup of herbal tea and drank it down in one gulp, enviously saying, “Little Monkey, you’ve escaped a disaster. I still have to go back to deal with Ah Ruo, Ah Ying and the others.” It was a good thing that his cousins weren’t yet married; he would always have the chance to retaliate in the future.
Jun Hua sat down on the bed carelessly, grabbed the dried fruit and nuts scattered on the brocade quilt and ate them. As he ate, he asked, “Brother Rong, you won’t have to be carried back, will you?” When his father and daddy got married, his father had to be carried into the bridal chamber.
Wei Chongrong laughed and said, “Of course not. Little Monkey, take it easy, don’t finish all the snacks on the bed, they are to invite blessings. If you’re really hungry, I’ll tell the kitchen to make you something to eat and bring it to you right away.”
Jun Hua shook his legs and said uncaringly, “I know, isn’t it just to ‘have a baby early’? If I eat everything, it might be more effective.” Whether it was hunger or what, but Jun Hua felt that the dried fruits today were extra sweet.
Seeing this, Wei Chongrong simply ignored Jun Hua and ordered someone to make him something to eat, then went back to the main hall.
It was probably during his absence that Wei Zhao had a talk with the people. Anyway, when Wei Ruo, Wei Ying and others saw Wei Chongrong again, their momentum was obviously not as strong as before. Wei Hao and Wei Yang were simply called to Wei Zhao’s side, unable to attack Wei Chongrong again.
Wei Chongrong was lucky to escape, and quickly cast a grateful glance at Wei Zhao. It seemed that he didn’t have to pretend to be drunk anymore.
Half a shichen later, Wei Chongrong returned to the bridal chamber, his pace steady and his eyes clear. Jun Hua had finished off the red dates, peanuts and other things on the bed and was sitting at the table drinking porridge. When he saw Wei Chongrong enter, he raised her eyes and smiled at him, “Brother Rong!”
Wei Chongrong walked over to the table and sat down, saying, “Little Monkey, I’m hungry too.” The wedding banquet was extremely rich, but he hadn’t eaten a single bite of food from the beginning to the end because he had been caught up in all the drinking. He was so hungry his belly stuck to his back.
Jun Hua generously pushed the bowl of porridge in front of him over and smiled: “Brother Rong, here you are.”
Wei Chongrong didn’t move his hand but only gestured to Jun Hua with his eyes. Jun Hua had no choice but to pick up the spoon and feed him, while muttering, “Do you have to be so lazy? We’ve just worshipped heaven and earth, and you’ve started to order me around.” But while he said that, the movements of his hands were gentle.
Wei Chongrong smiled without saying a word and ate with gusto. It was strange that he and Jun Hua had grown up together, but their tastes were very different. Jun Hua was addicted to sweet and spicy, and Wei Chongrong didn’t like either. Every time they ate together, they basically ate their own food.
The osmanthus porridge that Jun Hua was eating was made with extra sugar at Wei Chongrong’s request. Normally, Wei Chongrong wouldn’t even taste it. But today was different. Wei Chongrong was in a good mood. It didn’t matter what he ate, as long as he could have enough water.
After Wei Chongrong drank half a bowl of porridge, Jun Hua knew that he hadn’t had enough, so he stood up and said, “Brother Rong, what else do you want to eat, I will ask the kitchen to make it for you.” The porridge was so sweet, it was hard for Wei Chongrong to eat it, but he had eaten it all.
Wei Chongrong shook his head and said seriously, “I don’t want to eat anything, I just want to eat you.”
Jun Hua froze in place, with a dumbfounded expression on his face. After a moment, he reacted and a blush coloured his face: “Brother Rong, it’s not dark yet…” Jun Hua lowered his head in embarrassment before he finished his sentence, feeling that his words sounded a bit passive.
“Who said we must wait for darkness, Little Monkey? Don’t you know that a moment of spring is worth a thousand gold?”
Before Jun Hua could look up, he felt his body being lifted up in the air. He smiled, reached out, wrapped his arms around Wei Chongrong’s neck and whispered, “I know.” He couldn’t help but feel nervous when he thought of what was going to happen next.
Wei Chongrong carried Jun Hua to the bed and leaned down to kiss him on the lips, while reaching out to pull down the bed curtain to hide the spring scenery inside.
The next day, at dawn, Wei Chongrong opened his eyes and looked at Jun Hua curled up in a ball beside him. The corners of his lips curved upwards in a gentle arc. It seemed that he had been a bit unrestrained last night, exhausting his Little Monkey to such an extent that he refused to hug him in his sleep.
Wei Chongrong leaned down and kissed the corner of Jun Hua’s lips before getting up and going to the washing room to freshen up. He hummed a little tune happily as he washed. Little Monkey was so interesting, obviously shy, yet very active; he couldn’t help but love it.
Wei Chongrong had not yet finished freshening up when he heard Jun Hua’s alarmed cry from outside. He didn’t know what had happened and rushed out quickly, asking repeatedly, “Little Monkey, what’s wrong with you?” What could have happened in their bedroom all of a sudden?
He saw Jun Hua sitting on the bed, looking down at the purple marks on his naked body, his eyes full of confusion.
Wei Chongrong thought Jun Hua was being shy and teased, “Little Monkey, we are all family now, what is there to be embarrassed about…”
Jun Hua raised his head abruptly, but the movement was too violent and obviously involved a certain place, so he couldn’t help but frown. Then he said in surprise, “Ah Yin, this is…” The change came too suddenly and was too bizarre. His mind was in a mess and he simply didn’t know what to say.
Wei Chongrong thought of the dream he had the night before and his face changed. Could it be that…
…it was more than just a dream?
“Ah Yin?” Seeing Wei Chongrong’s hesitation, Jun Hua called him softly again.
Wei Chongrong forced himself to calm down and said in a deep voice, “You are Huaixi, aren’t you? Tell me, what year is it?”
“…The 19th year of Taiping.” Although Wei Ruo had replaced Wei Yang, the change of the era had to wait until next year.
In a flash, Jun Hua also understood what was wrong. Yi Yin was already dead, he died in the 16th year of Taiping, how could he see him?
“I’m dreaming, aren’t I?” The same dream he had had many times, but this time it was the most real.
Wei Chongrong shivered, an indescribable chill sweeping through his body. He had understood everything.
This person was also Jun Hua, the Jun Hua who had given so much for him in his previous life. But where was Little Monkey, where did his Little Monkey go?…
- Wei Ying, dear author, who is Wei Ying (don’t mix him with Wei Yang). I’m sure we’ve never met this guy. The only guess I have is: remember there was that Ping County Wang? And in the chapter about lantern riddles it was said he had a son of Wei Chongrong’s age. I think Wei Ying is that son. Probably.