Some of our authors were asked to write a story based on one of their characters from their stories and with a chosen prompt word. Check out Yeyu today!
Yeyu’s Free Fiction
Characters: Shicai and Xuechi
To be honest, Shicai did not know how to feel about Xuechi’s current indoor confinement. Should he be gleeful this meant Xuechi would not be able to visit a whorehouse? Or….
“I can’t sleep without a woman at my side!” came in the complaint that had been annoying him all night.
A jade pillow flew over, and Shicai tilted his head to avoid being hit, letting the expensive rock clunk down on the floor and roll away.
“This is all your fault,” Xuechi went on for perhaps the fifth time already this night. “Don’t you think you’re a bit too old to be a tattletale?” Even without looking up, Shicai could feel the man glaring at him. “I can’t believe you got my father to ground me! I’m a grown man—this is absolutely ridiculous!”
Taking a deep breath, Shicai exhaled slowly. “How many times do you want me to repeat myself? The imperial doctor advised you should cut back on your… sexual escapades,” he explained yet again as he walked over to pick up the pillow. “I simply passed the suggestion on to your mother, and she convinced your father to ground you.”
Frankly, Shicai would have left this building if not for the fact that he was apparently the only person who dared to stop Xuechi from sneaking out of the Dugu Mansion. For some reason, all of Xuechi’s servants seemed so blindly loyal they would let him do anything he wished to do, regardless of whether he was actually hurting himself. Of course, Shicai could somewhat understand why they would admire an irresponsible pervert such as Xuechi.
As their boss, Xuechi was not only lenient on their mistakes but also generous when it came to gifts, and he never put on airs around them. His nature, in the end, was the reason Shicai could sit here and keep an eye on him without any consequences. After all, Xuechi was ranked higher than him in terms of his military position, and his adoptive father was also one of the most influential officials in the Court. Usually, nobility of his status should be quite arrogant and cruel, but Xuechi wasn’t like that.
Yet just speaking of this aspect alone, Xuechi truly reminded Shicai of a certain someone, despite the fact that their personalities were completely different. Although that dear friend had been the heir to the throne, he had never treated his subordinates like lesser humans and never punished them for acts that could be considered as an insult against him.
Shicai knew the similarities was the ultimate reason he was trying to take care of Xuechi, even though he knew the frivolous playboy did not appreciate his efforts.
Swallowing a sigh, he walked over to the large platform Xuechi was tossing and turning on, and he placed the pillow next to Xuechi’s head.
“Then you should at least let me drink jiu,” Xuechi whined. “I can’t live without alcohol.”
“No.” Shicai replied with a firm voice. “According to the doctor, you should also stop drinking so much.”
“You’re trying to take all the joy out of my life!” Xuechi bemoaned as he examined the beams above him. Then he turned to stare at Shicai with pleading, watery eyes. “Why do you have a personal vendetta against me, dear Shicai?”
Feeling his lower abdomen tighten when their gazes connected, Shicai looked away and did his best to kill the proposal that had been rolling around in his mind for half the night. After all, what he wanted to do would contradict his attempts to “correct” Xuechi’s promiscuous habits. “No matter what you think, I’m not trying to spite you.”
“But I’m serious about not being able to sleep without a lady’s company!” Xuechi shot back as he turned around so his back faced Shicai.
Irritating. Merely imagining Xuechi bedding other people was torturous enough, never mind letting it actually happen. Shicai would have been fine if he were to remain blissfully oblivious to all of Xuechi’s profligate activities, but at the moment he was a guest in the Dugu Household and was thus forced to face the reality.
Not to mention, the imperial doctor’s grave words still haunted Shicai. What had he meant by Xuechi having a lot of underlying issues no medicine could fix? Although Xuechi appeared energetic and healthy, the warning still deeply disturbed Shicai. He had already lost….
Substitute or not, he would rather Xuechi live longer.
With that thought, Shicai cleared his throat. “How about I sing a song for you?” Before Xuechi could object, Shicai sat down at the edge of his bed and then began to sing a tune from his distant memories. Although his mother had died giving birth to his younger brother, he had heard both his brother’s wet nurse and his step mother sing this hymn. Thus, when he had still been that person’s study mate, Shicai had used to sing this song to him too. That person had often had trouble sleeping as well, because too many things had occupied his young mind.
Unable to stop himself, Shicai reached over to stroke Xuechi’s head, and to his surprise, Xuechi did not brush his hand away.
The candles flickered gently, and the night became silent all of a sudden, with only Shicai’s voice filling the large building. After singing for a meal’s worth of time, Shicai stopped and waited for a while as he examined the man in front of him. From the look of Xuechi’s rhythmic breathing, it seemed as though he had finally gone to sleep.
Sorrow invaded Shicai’s chest, and he didn’t know why but he found it difficult to breathe. He really hoped… he really hoped time could stop, that this moment could pause, with Xuechi calmed down, behaving himself, and obedient.
He desperately wished nothing would change in the future.
Even if he and Xuechi would never be on the same political side, he wanted to at least continue to be friends of sorts, not enemies, with the man in front of him. Why did Xuechi always have to oppose his goals? He couldn’t understand and he found himself constantly hoping one day he could convince the man to get on the right path.
Sighing without a sound, Shicai knew how pointless his wishful thoughts were. He got up and headed for the door.
“Shicai,” Xuechi said, his voice almost inaudible, but still strong enough to stop Shicai from taking another step and glance back instead. Xuechi pulled his blankets tighter around himself. “You are a shoddy singer.” Yet, despite the insult, he did not continue to rant about wanting to sleep with a prostitute.
Lips curved into a slight smile, Shicai examined Xuechi for a little while more, savoring this rare moment of peace. “Good night,” he said softly, though he knew his words were meant for the person beneath that mask.