Fanfic: A Cypress in Winter – Chapter 5 (Ice Fantasy - 幻城)
Warning: Not Safe For Work. Sexy Times Ahead!
Let’s hope my 12 yo doesn’t figure out how to get into my Google Docs Account.
Chapter 5Written By UnicornSlippers
Non-Written Consultation by Mr UnicornSlippers
Editing by SakiVI and Panda
As the royal guard fed and watered the horses before their journey, Song Bai watched Ying Kong Shi speaking quietly with Granny and his unruffled companion, dazzling light and shadow dark heads bent together in deep conversation. She was ecstatic that the young ruler had agreed to help their entourage, but the swiftness with which he had changed his mind made her suspicious. What had made him suddenly reverse course, and why had he looked at her so strangely when he had touched her arm? She studied him as he spoke with the old woman, his hands moving with excited gestures. This was the most animated she had seen him since he had first materialized in the forest.
The Ice Tribe King was undoubtedly very young, not much more than a boy. He appeared to be around her age, just past maturity, and she was curious how he had ascended the throne so early into adulthood. He was tall and lean, his slender frame dressed from head to toe in white, intricate designs worked into the expensive-looking material with silver thread. His hair was the color of snow, the sides pulled up and arranged in elaborate braids down the back, the rest cascading over his shoulders in a silky river of frosted ivory. He did not wear a crown, which is why she did not initially recognize him as a Tribe King, but instead wore simple headpiece of intertwined silver and a single elegant sapphire that rested on his forehead. His vivid blue eyes matched the jewel in both color and intensity. Although he looked entirely exotic to Song Bai, and was the complete opposite to the rugged and handsome Xun Ru, she could appreciate that Ying Kong Shi was striking and quite beautiful.
“Xun Ru…” Song Bai thought as she heaved a sigh. “Another problem I have to deal with.” Although it was mid-day in Snow Fog Forest, it had been night in her realm when they had passed through the gate, and they had been riding for the better part of a full day. She was tired and hungry, and she had no desire to argue with Xun Ru right now. Regrettably, his objectionable behavior with the Ice Tribe King had to be addressed before they continued to Snow Blade City. She called him over, steeling herself for the conflict.
“Explain your disrespectful behavior,” she said in a clipped, impatient tone.
The jovial smile was back as Xun Ru studied her carefully. “Angry again, are we?” he asked, letting his eyes slide over her body, lingering a little too long over the swell of her breasts under the fabric of her riding kirtle.
Song Bai bristled. Sometimes she wondered if his uncouth bravado was, at least in part, an act to persuade others to underestimate him. She knew better.
“Of course I’m angry,” she said tightly. “You did not show proper respect to Ice Tribe and you threatened the life of their King, though we are trespassing on their land. Your actions put our entire party at risk.”
“Your father told me to protect you and your sisters, and I intend to carry out my orders,” Xun Ru said mildly, but she sensed beneath his calm the eddy of anger and irritation. He was probably still chafed from his encounter with Ying Kong Shi, she thought. He shrugged and turned to walk away but Song Bai grabbed him by the shoulder and spun him around to face her.
“I am in charge now, not my father,” she said, a commanding edge to her voice. “You will ride at the back of the party until we reach Snow Blade City. You will not speak to me or my sisters, or to any of the members of the Ice Tribe, and you will stay out of the way. Do you understand me, Xun Ru?”
Xun Ru took a step towards her, grabbing her wrist and pulling her close to him. He bent his head and brushed his lips against ear. Her body went rigid as she felt mixed wave of outrage and yearning wash over her. She looked over his shoulder to see if anyone was watching them, but the rest of the group were all occupied with other activities.
He whispered quietly, his hot breath caressing her cheek, “Nice try, Song Bai, but I have my orders. I will protect you regardless of your feelings on the matter.” He released her with a little shove and chuckled, giving her a wink before he turned and started walking back towards the horses.
Brilliant rays of bright sunlight streamed through frozen branches, and the tall trunks of the sleeping trees were like the pillars of a primeval cathedral stretching into the dim distance of the forest. Two of the royal guards had given up their horses to the Ice Tribe King and his adviser, and Song Bai shivered as she rode in the cool, immobile air next to them. She was still furious with Xun Ru, but she didn’t have the energy to pursue a more exposed confrontation with him in front of the assembled group. It would have to wait until they reached Snow Blade City, but she was resolute that Xun Ru would be sorry that he had crossed her today.
Song Bai tried to talk to Ying Kong Shi during their ride, asking him about the history of Ice Tribe and how he had come to be their ruler, but it was like talking to a block of chilled stone. He showed little interest, giving her impassive, one word responses, if he answered her at all. She finally gave up and turned her attention to the King’s adviser, who had introduced himself as Xing Jiu. He was much friendlier and more than willing to answer her myriad of questions. Granny had chosen to remain behind in Snow Fog forest, apparently content to wander among the trees and mutter to herself.
As Song Bai and Xing Jiu chattered cheerfully to one another, Shi listened to their conversation intently, his outwardly detached behavior belying his interest in the woman and the lotus shaped birthmark on her shoulder. She was a noisy little thing, thought Shi, and he wondered fleetingly why all women were so troublesome and perplexing. He also noticed that Xing Jiu kept talking about Lan Shang, describing the Mermaid Queen to Song Bai and extolling her virtues every moment he had an opportunity to slip her name into the conversation.
Shi might be inexperienced with women, but he wasn’t stupid. Xing Jiu had been away from the palace for a decade, but he kept in frequent contact with Granny and Lan Shang using his Dream Cube. Several months ago, he suddenly started talking incessantly about Lan Shang, and Shi deduced that his nightly visits to her dreams had turned into more than just the regular Snow Blade City gossip session. It mattered little to Shi, as long as Xing Jiu didn’t let his nightly carnal activities interfere with their search for the Blood Red Lotus. That was another reason he was annoyed with Xing Jiu. Shi had suspected that the real reason his adviser had wanted to come home so badly was to visit his lover in person, not to discuss Mao Jiang’s ambitious pursuits with the Ice Tribe council.
They finally arrived in Snow Blade City at dusk, just as Shi had predicted. As they rode up to the portcullis, Shi felt a burst of nerves flower in his stomach. He had not returned to the palace in ten years, not even to attend his own coronation, and he was unsure of the reception he would receive. For once, he was glad that he hadn’t used a teleportation spell to transport them all to Snow Blade City. If there was anything worse than showing up with a group of feral-looking immortals from another realm, it was showing up with a group of vomiting feral-looking immortals from another realm.
The last time he tried to actively rule the Ice Tribe, it had gone spectacularly awry. In the end, they had crowned him out of fear, not out of the respect that was due him as an Ice Tribe Prince, raised among them since birth. They had saved their love and adulation for Ka Suo, and reserved their superstitions and prejudice for Shi. “It doesn’t matter,” Shi thought bleakly. “Ka Suo was the best of us. He was the most selfless and kind. He deserves their admiration.” Shi only hoped that since his brother was dead and he was now the Ice Tribe King, he would not encounter any resistance upon his return to the palace.
Shi’s concerns proved to be unfounded, as Xing Jiu had been clever enough to send word ahead to Lan Shang of their return, and all of the preparations has been made for Ice Tribe to properly celebrate the return of their King. He was was greeted in the palace courtyard with great deference and fanfare, the four ceremonial fires burning in each direction, and the frozen ground strewn with frosted camellia petals and cherry blossoms. Servants and soldiers lined up in greeting outside the palace gate and Snow Blade City residents waved and cheered beyond. Shi could hardly believe what he was seeing, and he swallowed hard around the lump forming in his throat. He wished his brother by his side right now, alive and able to experience this with him.
Shi dismounted and signaled to the Head of Household Servants, Wu Zan, to approach. “These women are my honored guests,” Shi said as he swept his hand towards Song Bai and her sisters. “Take them to clean up and rest, and then find out what they eat and prepare a meal. Give the two older women rooms in the west section of the palace, but put the younger one near my rooms, in Mirage Hall.”
“Of course, your Highness,” said Wu Zan, bowing deeply. “As you wish.”
Shi turned towards the rest of the gathered party and studied Xun Ru for a long moment. “The Earth Tribe royal guard can be housed with the Ice Tribe soldiers in the barracks. Xun Ru, is it? You can join them. Your services as personal guard are no longer needed.”
Shi turned to leave, but Xun Ru bridled and stood his ground. “I have my orders. I will be accompanying these women to the palace.” Shi stiffened and turned back towards Xun Ru, his patience worn razor thin by this slow-witted fool’s lack of royal etiquette. Song Bai stepped between them, looking fierce and determined.
“Xun Ru, go with the royal guard and get them settled in for the night. I will come to speak with you in the morning, after we have all rested. Do it and do not argue with me.”
Xun Ru opened his mouth to argue, but at a signal from Shi, a dozen Ice Tribe guards appeared and formed a tight circle around their group, gleaming silver pikes lifted and all pointing at Xun Ru.
“Xun Ru… “ Song Bai said again, the warning clear in her voice as she shook her head at him, eyes pleading with him to let this go. Xun Ru scowled at Shi, hatred sparking between them like a wild electrical storm, but he finally relaxed his stance and nodded.
“Withdraw.” The King commanded. The Ice Tribe guard lowered their pikes and melted back into the crowd without a sound.. Shi offered his arm to Song Bai, which she accepted, and she began to move with him towards the palace. She turned briefly and shot Xun Ru one last rueful look before she focused her attention again on Ying Kong Shi and walked away, motioning to her sisters to follow and abandoning him to a cold barracks with strangers beneath his rank.
Xun Ru could only stare dumbstruck as the three women disappeared into the palace. Don’t argue? No longer needed? And the way Song Bai had looked at that arrogant albino brat as they walked away… With a roar of fury, Xun Ru launched a kick into the first object he could find, sending a basin burning with ceremonial fires clanging down the steps of the palace while servants scrambled out of the way.
As soon as they entered the palace, Xing Jiu approached Shi and Song Bai. “If your Highness no longer has use for me this evening, I would like to retire for the night,” he said while bowing his head in respect. Shi smiled wryly, knowing exactly where Xing Jiu would be retiring. The man was literally vibrating with anticipation.
“You may go,” Shi said, watching Xing Jiu’s poorly contained excitement with interest. “Get some rest. We will have a busy day tomorrow.”
“Certainly, your Highness. Sleep well, and it was a delight to meet you, Princess Song Bai.” Xing Jiu bowed again and exited the hall swiftly, Shi’s soft laughter trailing after him as he went in search of Lan Shang, Queen of the Mermaid Tribe and his lover these past few months. They had been friends for many years, but recently it had grown into something more intimate, and he was aching to touch her in more than just his dreams. He found her in her room, gazing out the window at the assembled crowd below in the courtyard.
Xing Jiu came up behind Lan Shang and kissed her on the shoulder, and she let out a soft gasp of surprise as his full lips pressed against her delicate skin. He lifted his head and his tongue darted behind her ear, causing her to lean back against his chest with a low moan. He took her jaw gently and turned her elegant her face to his, staring deeply into her large, chestnut brown eyes. Her breath was coming fast, and he leaned in to open his mouth on hers. He was gentle, teasing her lips open with his tongue. As their kiss deepened, he maneuvered her over to the fur draped bed, pressing her back against the cushions as his hands cupped her breasts, kneading them as she panted into his mouth.
He broke the kiss and Lan Shang only had a moment to gasp breathlessly before he was sliding down her body and hiking up her gown, pushing the fabric aside so that he could press wet, rough kisses against her stomach and hips. He coaxed her legs apart with his mouth, his arms encircling her thighs and locking her down as she whimpered, exposed and bare. Lan Shang’s fingers gripped Xing Jiu’s long, silken hair as his hot breath punctuated a soft chuckle just over her sensitive flesh. She looked down and his dark-cinnamon colored eyes, filled with lust and hunger, were staring back at her. His smile dropped, but his eyes remained fixed on hers as he slowly closed his lips around her vulnerable bud. Pleasure crept up her abdomen and then her spine, finally exiting her body in the form of a quiet, guttural moan. She felt his arms tighten around her legs again, pulling them gently apart as they had clamped down on either side of his head in her ecstasy, and his lips suddenly left her.
"Keep your legs down, Lan Shang, I want to hear you," Xing Jiu said in a husky voice.
His lips returned abruptly to her swollen pearl, and his arms held her down as he gave a hard suck, forcing the hypersensitive nub tightly into his mouth. She felt the pressure not just between her legs, but rocketing through her taut nipples and deep inside her abdomen. Lan Shang’s breath began to come in gasps and squeals, her back attempting to arch, but his iron grip pinned her prisoner to his mouth. The tip of his tongue probed upwards repeatedly over her nub, and when she thought she could stand no more, he began probing her lips, teasing her with licking and biting according to the pitch of her moans.
By the time his tongue invaded her, her entire body was on fire. It plunged past the engorged tissue at her rim and probed hard upwards, pressing against something that took her breath away. His face pressed hard against her, and his arms finally released her enough to allow her to grind against him.
Xing Jiu was grunting hard and moaning into her, his tongue whipsawing in and out, crushing against that liquid point of pleasure deep inside. Lan Shang’s hands and thighs gripped his head, and she lost herself in the rhythm of his tongue, riding him as she cried out her desire. Every muscle was tensed as she bore down hard with her stomach, and the fire spread hot into her abdomen to meet with the roaring surge between her legs. She felt his tongue struggling, still buried inside of her as her desperate orgasm clenched her tight on him, her hips pumping as a raw scream exploded from her lungs, ebbing into a pumping wail as her orgasm was prolonged nearly to the point of pain. As the last shudder took her, he gently withdrew, pressing his lips to her thigh in a final wet kiss and he lifted his head, grinning like a fool.
Still feeling very pleased with himself, Xing Jiu moved up Lan Shang’s body, hovering over her as his mouth closed on hers once more. He wanted her to taste how he had claimed her, and he pushed his tongue deep inside her mouth, urging her to experience the intoxicating flavor of her own body. As they kissed, she pushed off his jacket and started to fumble with the buttons on his pants, the material straining from his sizable erection. Just then, there was a soft knock at the door.
Xing Jiu lifted his head for a moment, listening, but was met with silence. Lan Shang giggled and continued to work at tugging his pants off. The knock sounded again. “What is it?!” he yelled, his voice sounding uncharacteristically loud and impatient. The door opened with a long, low creak and a servant slipped in, eyes trained carefully on the floor.
“My apologies, your Grace,” she said, her timid voice barely above a whisper. “The King would like to speak with you now in Mirage Hall. He said it was important and not to delay.”
Why did the King want to speak with him at this hour, and after they had said goodnight just a short while ago? Xing Jiu exhaled in frustration. It didn’t matter. He was the royal adviser and it was his duty to attend to the Ice Tribe King. Xing Jiu rolled off of Lan Shang and started to put his clothes back on as he silently cursed every lifetime that Shi had ever lived, including the one as a sword fairy.