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51 The Prisoner And I



BAI SHEN HONG

EMPEROR HUIZHONG

THE DUNGEON

The dungeon stunk of everything bad and unimaginable. Bai Shen Hong cringed at every step he took inside, if only not for his curiosity, he wouldn't be there in the first place. But again didn't they say curiosity killed the cat?

Nevertheless, he had to find out who this woman who was causing havoc in his life was. She had been found in many impermissible areas, had suspicious association with General Feng then also, she was too skilled and knowledgeable for a palace maid. It wouldn't be far fetched to assume that she was a spy, here to tail his territory.

"Your Majesty…" The palace guard respectfully bowed.

Shen Hong stopped before him and Luo Meng who was behind holding his black coat came forward to courteously speak for him. "Is everything ready?"

"Yeh… yeh it is. She has fallen asleep, I don't think she could tell that there was anything in the porridge. It was disguised by a burnt taste."

Huizhong looked inside the prison through the barred gate. In the middle of the prison, Little Fox was splayed on the floor. Like she was attempting to crawl towards the cell gate when she lost strength.

"Kind greetings to his majesty, the mighty dragon!" The Head of the Dungeon kowtowed into the passageway. "Forgive this servant for not being there to welcome his Highness as your servants were busy preparing the antidote." He held a bowl that had brown smoked leaves.

"Good. You may get her ready."

"Yes, your Majesty." The Head of the Dungeon handed over the bowl to the dungeon guard.

"No," Shen Hong abruptly forbid. "Luo Meng will deal with her, not him." The thought of just anyone touching her didn't quite sit well with him.

"Here to serve his majesty." Luo Meng handed the coat to the dungeon guard and opened the prison gate to attend to her.

As Luo Meng carried her over to a seated position against the wall, Shen Hong observed her unharmed body. "Why has she not been interrogated yet? Doesn't interrogation take place the day after arrest."

"That your majesty…"

So she was being protected. He wasn't being fanatical by not underestimating her after all. "Who is protecting her?"

Shen Hong watched the Dungeon Head's hands fiddle and faddle nervously.

"Speak up."

"General Feng."

Huizhong's eyebrows lifted. The twins had mentioned having seen General Feng and her together before. Could it be that what he denied was true? That General Feng was messing with a woman that belonged to him as the emperor or maybe they were cohorting together? It was uncanny that he kind of wished the latter to be true.

"Forgive this servant your Majesty... but all this servant can do is listen to orders." The Head of the Dungeon whimpered.

Shen Hong admonished this behaviour. "Because you lack a backbone, today will be your last day serving the palace."


"Your Majesty…" The Head of the Dungeon threw himself on the ground. It was such a high cost to pay with his job, no warning had been given but he couldn't voice his sorrow or opinion as that would be diminishing the one who was considered wise.

"His Majesty is benevolent and wise." The man painfully commended his emperor's wishes.

Huizhong took his black coat and followed in. Luo Meng was waving the leaves' scent to wear off the drug from Little Fox's system.

Shen Hong looked around at the clean cell that was most presentable than the other parts of the dungeon he had walked through. "Did you clean this place?"

"Yes, honoring his majesty." The Dungeon Head proudly admitted.

Probably he assumed that this would help get his job back, what a fool. Little Fox was going to easily realise their trickery now. If she was the witty spy he presumed her to be, this was a big skunk in the room she would smell. But then if she was just an innocent palace maid there was nothing to worry about was there?

"You shouldn't have but you may all leave." Bai Shen Hong chose not to chastise his subjects. Sneaking him in and assisting with his personal endeavours were not part of their job description. "Luo Meng, you will wait for me outside."

Luo Meng nodded and walked out having his usual guarded posture.

This was the second time of having Little Fox powerless before the 'Grand General', no one to defend her against the monster he was. She was so vulnerable and worn out by the darkness of the place, that would not let her be the sunshine she was. The soft passage lamp-light kissed her soft delicate features that probably many men had lost their sanity over. Sleeping before him, was she like a sleeping angel that was a nonpareil in beauty.

Equanimity was plastered across her face, although she wasn't in the greatest of conditions. Who could lie peaceful in such a place except one whose life was a torture? One who didn't really have a place they could call home. Was this the case for her?

Oh he had so many questions but whenever they were together one thing always led to another and he never got to ask enough. Like what if she was related to Elora, maybe that is why they had the same aura? Or worse yet, what if she was Elora?

All the possibilities. What was reality?

He decided on seating away from her. Who knew what he could do to her if so close?

Not much time passed before she started stretching and was up. He tried to trick her but she didn't buy into his plans like he thought she would as the other times.

When she questioned why he was let in though a man, he wanted to use General Feng's name and maybe that would be the password to get her to open up but he did not use it. His attempt was already not the greatest with the conditions laid out already screaming 'trap, trap, trap'. If they-her and other spies-knew that he considerably knew much, they would scramble away like any prey, cover more of their tracks and be more careful.

Now he stood over her, looking down at the one person he had so far experienced difficulty in taming that any other. What was so special about Little Fox that she thought he couldn't have her? Even Elora had asked him to marry her within a few hours of meeting.

Little Fox recognised that it was him pretending to be a messenger the moment he shoved off his black coat, though he suspected that his voice was actually what sold him off.

"Grand General, you sly dog!" she rancoured in accusation.

And he laughed.

This riled up her anger towards him all the more as she yanked him away from his deadlock position. He was pushed back by a few steps not expecting her to fly her body onto him.

As he didn't see this coming, he lost balance and hit the floor with his back.

"Grand General, you unruly horse." Little Fox charged at him with numerous blows that he avoided by his raised elbows. "Locked because of you, I will teach you manners." She continued to hit him, some hurting while some were just a fleece cushioning him.

"Wait… wait, wait, wait." He laughed.

She continued to hit him.

"Unruly horse, sly dog, beast, pig … everything bad is what you are."

"Wait…" He finally got a hold of her hands to stop her.

"What?"

"Little fox why do you stink so much?" He covered his nose. She sat back looking quite taken back by his words and seemed a little surprised that he was not pushing her away from him.

She lifted her arm and sniffed herself.

And like a bull dog she broke loose, "Grand General! You unruly horse, today I will teach you manners!" She started pounding on him again and this time he felt the pain.

"Wait..." He struggled.

"Locked because of you and you tell me I stink? Mannerless!" She swathed. Her hair loosened because of her feistiness and he liked it. He wondered if she was this way in bed too.

It was not long before she stopped from exhaustion, breathing hard. He was breathing hard too. The weight of her on him felt good as it restrained the tiger within him from unleashing.

He had just insulted her and she was supposed to feel embarrassed and self conscious, that's what any normal woman would do, but instead she dissolved into laughter. "What did you expect? I have been in a dungeon for days." She held her stomach, trying to stop herself.

He grinned, his eyes crinkling. "We could easily solve that by removing those clothes."

"What?" She backed a little, pulling her uniform tightly to her.

He took the chance of her letting her guard down and rolled her over, gaining position over her, he now straddled her instead. She bleated, bolted by his unforeseen move and tried to wrestle him off.

He held her in place without effort and she relaxed. She already knew he was stronger, no use fighting him.

"We are alone." His fingers began to trace her collarbone suggestively.

"So?"

He didn't respond to this but intensely looked at her, expecting her to give a proper response. His dark eyes mesmerised with hers, probing her to say something.

"Whatever is going through that depraved mind of yours, forget it." She set the record straight.

"So no?"

"No."

"Then Grand General is leaving." He got up satisfied with the outcome of tonight. Another trial, a step closer to getting her in his bed next time.

"What? Where do you think you are going?" She caught his feet that as he took another step, he dragged her along with him.

"Going back to the drago…." he quickly corrected himself, "...home. To sleep. Alone." He wished that the last bit would have her feel bad and change her mind.

"Without me? You are not going without me." She held on tightly, bundling herself around his leg. And he looked down at her expectantly thinking she was changing his mind.

"You must get me back to Grand Consort Shu, besides you are the reason they locked me here." It was an emphasis that she had no intention to be anywhere near his bed.

He crouched down to her level and gave her a smile, one of mirthses that she thought he would easily let her go without her working for it. "You deserve to be here," he chuckled.

She pouted at him and scowled like an unhappy kid.

"Little Fox was disobedient at the camp, knocked out another palace maid and hit my men." He recited the report he had received about the events.

"But I wouldn't have done that if—"

"No. Take responsibility for your actions."

He watched her with a hooded gaze, his expression being one that challenged her.

She was now fuming and that was where he needed her to be because he also, was fuming due to her continuous rejections.

S.V