It was getting late, so Xiao Wangye sent Yan-daren out of the mansion. As they were about to part ways, he earnestly warned Yan-daren: “Although I really want to see Yan-gege, Yan-gege still shouldn’t come over too often. I’m afraid that what I’ve said today could implicate you.”
Yan-daren rubbed Xiao Wangye’s head. “Wangye can rest assured. I won’t go overboard.”
Xiao Wangye’s eyes followed Yan-daren’s back as he slowly left, emotions surging in his heart. He knew that telling everything to Yan-daren today was equivalent to putting his life in his hands.
Yan-daren entered the palace when he was less than ten, and he grew up with the Emperor. Be it affection or status, he had no reason to stay on Xiao Wangye’s side.
Xiao Wangye had thought about these things, yet he still entrusted himself to Yan-daren without a second thought. He thought to himself that, even if one day he would suffer from this, he would not regret it.
The cold wind suddenly picked up, and the view of Yan-daren’s back disappeared after he turned a corner. Xiao Wangye tightened the snug fox fur coat on his body and turned back alone to the cold mansion.
On the winter solstice, heavy snow fell over the capital, dying the entire city white overnight.
When Yan-daren came, Xiao Wangye and several servant girls were having a snowball fight in the courtyard. Xiao Wangye was hit by a snowball, and he giggled at Yan-daren who had just entered.
Yan-daren stepped forward and brushed away the hoarfrost forming on Xiao Wangye’s eyebrows. Xiao Wangye asked happily, “Does Yan-gege want to play together?”
“I’m not playing.”
Xiao Wangye’s face collapsed in disappointment
Yan-daren asked in turn, “But right now, the Yan Residence is wrapping jiaozi1饺子 – Jiaozi are a kind of Chinese dumpling, commonly eaten in China and other parts of East Asia. They are one of the major dishes eaten during the Chinese New Year and year-round in the northern provinces. Though considered part of Chinese cuisine, jiaozi are popular in other parts of East Asia and in the Western World. (Wikipedia). Would Wangye like to come with me?”
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Xiao Wangye’s eyes lit up again in an instant. He was about to nod in agreement when he suddenly remembered the several guards stationed in front of the door.
Yan-daren understood Xiao Wangye’s concerns, so he walked to the door and talked to the guards. The guards threw a glance at Xiao Wangye and quickly retreated.
Xiao Wangye followed Yan-daren and swaggered out of the mansion.
Xiao Wangye couldn’t believe it, and he asked curiously, “Yan-gege, how did you make them give way?
“Wangye, could it be you’ve forgotten what the position of this lowly official is?”
Realization dawned on Xiao Wangye. Only then did he realize that he was actually depending on a thigh2“To hold/cling to someone’s thigh” means to depend on someone strong or to have a backing..
The people of the Yan Residence were sitting in a circle in the hall and wrapping jiaozi. Seeing Xiao Wangye coming, they stood up one after another to salute.
Xiao Wangye had never cared about these courtesies and hurriedly told them to sit. Then he found a seat next to Yan-daren and sat with them.
Xiao Wangye had grown this big, but it was his first time wrapping jiazi himself. Although he had learned the movements by imitation, the stuffing would still come out a bit.
Yan-daren couldn’t see it go on. He went around behind Xiao Wangye, grabbed his hands from behind, and taught him hand in hand.
Xiao Wangye’s whole body was surrounded by Yan-daren’s arm, and their cheeks were practically next to each other. Breathing in his scent, Xiao Wangye’s heart skipped a beat, and the jiaozi he made turned even more unpresentable.
Yan-daren sighed slightly and whispered in Xiao Wangye’s ear, “Xiao Jiu is so stupid.”
Xiao Wangye didn’t refute, ears turning red as he obediently nodded in admission.
After eating jiaozi, Yan-daren sent Xiao Wangye back home.
Xiao Wangye drank some wine during dinner, so his face was currently rosy. He was having fun walking in the snow, his feet going deep then going shallow. His mood seemed especially good.
Yan-daren followed him with his hands behind his back and quietly watched him play.
Xiao Wangye suddenly stood still and turned to smile at Yan-daren.
“Xiao Jiu likes snow?” asked Yan-daren.
Xiao Wangye vigorously nodded his head. “Like, I like snow.” Then he looked up at Yan-daren and said in a solemn yet slightly bashful tone, “I like you more.”
The fingertips behind Yan-daren’s back trembled lightly, and his heart tingled.
“Yan-gege, do you like me?”
Xiao Wangye’s little face tilted a bit. The moonlight turned into a clear spring that gently flowed into his eyes. Yan-daren looked into his eyes and suddenly felt he was possessed by the devil. He couldn’t control his hands as they pulled Xiao Wangye over.
He tugged the person towards him, then lowered his head, dropping a soft kiss on his lips.