Chapter 68 – Sleepover
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It was actually Eunuch Li's idea for the Emperor to come have dinner with Lei Xing. The Emperor had asked after Lei Xing and was informed she woke up a short while ago and should be getting ready for dinner now. Then Eunuch Li then advised that a meal together was a great stepping stone forward and so, the Emperor immediately made his way here, just in time for dinner. 

Sat at Lei Xing's dinner table, the Emperor happily picked up the chopsticks and went to start eating. He glanced at Lei Xing who was sitting on his left with a strained smile watching him. He then placed the bowl of chicken soup in front of her. Lei Xing moved back and blinked at it. The emperor then covertly glanced at Eunuch Li who nodded in approval, then he went and placed the spoon in the bowl and smiled at Lei Xing, then went back to eating himself. 

Lei Xing slowly picked up the spoon and sipped the soup, while skeptically eyeing at him.

...At least, it seems you still have a conscience...Just waltzed in here like you own the place to hijack my dinner...I guess he technically owns the place but still -_-)...

A second set of rice and vegetables was quickly brought in, they even brought extra and Lei Xing was able to fully enjoy her meal, despite the uninvited guest. After they were done with dinner, the two moved to sit on the side. 

Lei Xing sat down eating her usual small bowl of berries, occasionally casting suspicious glances at the Emperor on the side, he was sitting down and picking at his own bowl of berries facing forward. 

...Why are you here? You're not going to state your business?... Okay, I guess I'll ask then -_-)...

Lei Xing hesitantly began, "Your majesty...how may I help you? Do yo-" Then she stopped when the Emperor turned to her with raised eyebrows and a completely bewildered expression, like what she was making no sense at all. Then he looked forward and popped a berry in his mouth and behaved like he did not even hear the question. 

Lei Xing blinked and knit her brows. Before she could process what was going on with the Emperor, Eunuch Li came back into the room walked up to them with a smile and then said to the Emperor, "Your majesty, your bath is ready."

The Emperor went, "En." and then proceeded to leave the room with Eunuch Li following, leaving Lei Xing frozen holding a berry to her mouth watching their departure.

Lei Xing blinked a few times, and popped the berry in her mouth, slowly chewed on it.

...Bath. Bath where? Here? No, no...Yes...You can't just waltz in here and hijack my palace...Actually, he can...But why?!... Okay, I'm not an idiot! So I can understand that maybe -  but I'm injured!... Okay, I guess a quickly fading bruise on my neck and a sore shoulder does not preclude one from THAT...but...

Lei Xing dropped the plate of berries, got up and started pacing around. 

...Okay, I don't care...I actually don't care, so it should be fine...Well, ye- No. I don't care but, bu - But it'll be my first time...in Ever!... But does it matter? No, it's not like I was saving it or anything, I don't care and technically, it's not even mine now...And it's not like it'll kill me or anything -_-)'...Yeah, so it doesn't matter...

Lei Xing came to a conclusion, stopped pacing and sat down and folded her arms and crossed her legs.

...Yep, it doesn't matter...It shouldn't matter, especially given the situation...So I can - we ca-...

Lei Xing's eyes went wide as she came to a more startling realization.

...Bigger problem, CONTRACEPTION. I need contraception. This, I definitely care about - a whole lot!... I do not want to have a baby, never wanted one, don't want one!...

Lei Xing frowned, got up and started pacing again.

...Of course, I may have had some fantasy of at some point in my life, of maybe meeting someone I liked enough and considered potentially being open to maybe contemplating and compromising on one, JUST ONE because it is a painful, PAINFUL process that I have never had ANY interest in whatsoever! Also, kids are work... In fact, I had prepared to live myself SOLO until this unexpected interruption...and I refuse, REFUSE to have a child in a situation that I am unhappy in!...

Lei Xing then stopped and was looking around the room in thought. She spotted the 'Art of War book' that she had dumped on her desk on the other side. She stared at it for a while, and then got an idea and quickly went to sit behind the table and opened the book, focusing on it.

...While I am aware that we are technically "married", despite my lack of consent but there's nothing I can do about that, apparently...And I can't avoid him forever, without potentially suffering dire consequences...But we are not doing that tonight! And not until I get some contraception - How did I not think about this before? Well, I wasn't planning on staying in the palace long term...Ohhh, I'm so stupid T_T)...

Lei Xing sat there seemingly intently focusing reading the book, while her mind was racing. Xiao Ruo and Ah Jin watched her, looked at each other and sighed. They were already used to Lei Xing's antics and thought that perhaps she was nervous about being with the Emperor. 

After a while, the Emperor returned and Lei Xing cast a quick glance up as he walked in, and then focused back on the book.

...Even brought your pajamas and all -_-)...

After helping the Emperor get nicely settled in, the servants left the room leaving the two alone. One of them sitting on the bed staring at the other, and the other one with her head buried deep in a book. Lei Xing covertly cast a glance towards the Emperor's direction.

...Is he waiting for me? Of course he is, I am not coming! T_T)...What if he insists? What can I do then?... But it's not like I can just go, "Hey, we can - but, you can't *** - so don't, because I don't want to get pregnant" or  "Can I get pre-contraception -" Or is it post? How does it work here?... Either way, I can't have that conversation. One of the main points of a freaking harem is to have a multitude of children...so, definitely will not go over well...And if he insists? I don't know, bite the dust and pray to Heaven, maybe? T_T)...

After a while of the Emperor just sitting on the bed observing Lei Xing, who made no moves to approach him. He asked, "Aren't you coming to bed?"

Lei Xing looked up with a strained smile, "Ah, I have been sleeping all day, so the thought of a bed right now is nauseating. I am sure you are very tired, so go ahead and sleep first. I am just going to read here for a while."

The Emperor narrowed his eyes at her for a bit, and her smile became even more strained. Then he snorted and rolled into the bed. Lei Xing looked down and let out a silent sigh of relief.

...It worked?... Hm, who knew, he's actually quite a reasonable person or a stupid one, but I say reasonable...Haha I think I may have been thinking too much, he really could have just come here to sleep...You know, he loaned me his bed yesterday, so I loan him mine today...Perhaps? No, that's stupid -_-)...Let's just be glad he doesn't care T_T)...

After a long while passed, Lei Xing relaxed and was reassured nothing was going to happen tonight, and actually started reading the book to pass the time. She was very awake, she had slept most of the day away and was sure she could read all night, or at least for most of it. At worst, she could sleep for a while on the desk. 

All of sudden, the Emperor suddenly rolled out the bed and sat on the side. Lei Xing looked up at him in surprise and asked, "You're not asleep?" The bed had been perfectly still for a long time so she had thought he was asleep already.

...So you've just been laying there staring at the ceiling? For that long?...

The Emperor was unable to sleep and so had just been observing Lei Xing the whole time, and eventually got bored and got up. He glanced around the room and then looked at Lei Xing and said, "It's a bit hard to sleep in this situation."

Lei Xing glanced around the room as well and then looked at him looking at her, she gulped and went, "Oh, the lights! I will go read in my study and have them turned off." 

Then she quickly got up, picked up the book and made her way to the doors. Just as she stepped out the doors, she noticed the Emperor next to her, he smirked at her and announced, "We are going to the study." Then walked ahead, leaving Lei Xing rooted to the spot in confusion. 

The servants around them also looked at each other in confusion as they thought the two of them inside had gone to sleep already given how much time had passed. 

After a few steps, the Emperor stopped and turned back to Lei Xing who was still standing in there and said, "Come along."

Lei Xing hesitantly took the steps forward while scratching her head in confusion. When she reached the Emperor, he then motioned for her to lead the way still smirking. Lei Xing skeptically looked at him and then begrudgingly led the way.

...Well, I guess the study is better than the room...

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