Chapter 70 – Clandestine Exploit
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"Why don't you name it?" The Emperor asked looking at Lei Xing.

Lei Xing pursed her lips, looked up with a smiled plastered on her face, "Giving my poor set of skills, I wouldn't be able to choose a fitting name for such a masterpiece. I would hate to ruin its magnificence with a poor name, so it will be better for Your majesty to choose the name." She finished with a curt bow of her head and looked back down at her book.

The Emperor frowned and looked at her for a while, then let out a sigh and picked up one of his memorials. 

The two sat down in the study both concentrating on their own affairs. As the hours passed, Lei Xing was growing increasingly bored and consequently, increasingly sleepy.

...I'm starting to think I've developed a problem. Haven't I slept enough for one day? -_-)'...No, it's not my fault, boring is boring...and when things are boring and there's nothing much to do, sleep is natural. It's just the way of life...

She covered her mouth in a yawn and caught the Emperor looking her way mid-yawn. She instinctively immediately closed her mouth and quickly looked back down. After a short while, she covertly cast a contemptuous glance at the Emperor, who was sitting upright, diligently writing something.

...How are you not tired? If you're having a blast, how about relocating? T_T)...

Lei Xing lightly sighed, bored and tired out out of her mind.

"Tired?" The Emperor narrowing his eyes at her with a slight smile.

"No, not at all." Lei Xing then nervously laughed, "I was just concerned...for you?"

"I'm used to it." The Emperor lightly replied.

"Ah, I see...I won't disturb you then. Continue." Lei Xing said with a strained smile and put her head back down.

...You're used to it? I used to be used to it too, back when I actually had shit to do...and a phone, a computer, and internet to keep me occupied all night...Nowadays I have regressed to fit the times -_-)...

Lei Xing looked over the page of the book she had been on for almost thirty minutes now.

...Now I remember why I never finished this book, there was always something more interesting to do...When I go out, I should invest in some more entertaining reads...I'm sure they should have some novels of interest here and there...

Lei Xing mentally added another item to her list for purchase as she discreetly yawned again.

As time continued to go by, Lei Xing was getting increasingly tired, so she rested her head on the desk on an arm and put the book up in front of her face and continued to read like that. 

Eventually, after flipping a few pages, she fell asleep. As Lei Xing did not make any movements for a long while, the Emperor looked at her and then continued on with what he was doing.

 After a long while passed, the Emperor then got up and walked up to Lei Xing. After seeing that she was fast asleep, he lightly pulled the book from her hand and looked it over to see what she was reading, and lightly smiled. 

...Art of War...Interesting choice...

Then he frowned when he saw the Imperial library seal on it, narrowed his eyes at her sleeping face and then quietly dropped the book on the table.

...I will deal with this later...

Then he turned and walked to the doors and quietly opened them. The servants outside quickly came forward and were about to open their mouths, when he motioned for them to be quiet and waved them off. He then left the doors open and went back inside and bent down beside Lei Xing and very slowly and gently lifted her head off the table while supporting her shoulders. Lei Xing knit her brows and flinched a little, and he immediately froze mid-lift and waited until she relaxed again, then continued the process. 

Eventually, he managed to have her leaning on his chest with her head on his shoulder without waking her up. She groaned a little as he moved slightly to pick her up, so he stopped and then he started lightly patting her head to help her relax. Once he saw that she had relaxed again, he waited like that for a little while to be sure, then he gently moved and picked her up and left the study with slow and steady steps. 

When he arrived back at the room, he gently settled her down on the bed with the help of the servant. As soon as she hit the bed, she subconsciously snuggled into the blanket, pulling it closer with a small smile. The Emperor stood there watching her actions with a small smile. After she settled back into calm sleep, he then got into the bed beside her and spent some time staring blankly at her face. He used the back of a finger to lightly stroke her cheek, Lei Xing frowned and wrinkled her brow and he immediately removed his finger and closed his eyes. When he did not hear her wake up, he then opened his eyes and let out a silent sigh of relief. Then he frowned and blinked as he realized the oddness of his behavior.

...What am I doing?...

The Emperor frowned at her face for a while, then sighed and closed his eyes to sleep.

**

Lei Xing opened her eyes sometime in the afternoon, surprised to find herself on the bed. 

...Did I sleepwalk? I don't sleepwalk -_-)'...

When she got up and Xiao Ruo came into the room, she asked how she got there and was informed that the Emperor carried her in. Lei Xing immediately frowned, "Did he s-?"

...Nevermind, it's pointless to ask and it doesn't matter whether he was here or not...

Xiao Ruo looked at Lei Xing with a questioning expression waiting for her to finish. Lei Xing then sighed, "Nevermind. Please prepare my bath and tell Ah Jin to get ready as well, I'm going out immediately after."

...Let's deal with the important stuff first...Yesterday was lucky, tomorrow may not be so...

"Your highness, you can't. The Emperor sent someone to invite you over to the royal study. He was even considerate and said we should not wake you up and you should come whenever you're ready." Xiao Ruo informed with a smile.

Lei Xing was feeling irritated with her smile and dismissively said, "Fine, go ready the bath then." Xiao Ruo quickly bowed and left still with that stupid smile on her face. Lei Xing sighed.

...What does he want now? Honestly, you're messing with my schedule. I have a life too you know -_-)'...

Lei Xing took her sweet time to get ready and eat, and then made her way to the royal study. When she arrived, Eunuch Li had her wait by the doors because the Emperor was currently in a meeting and then went in himself to inform the Emperor that she had arrived. After a few moments, Eunuch Li came out and smiled at her, "The Emperor will be free shortly." 

Lei Xing gave a half-smile in response.

...Yeah, can't wait -_-)...

After a short while passed, the doors opened again and a few ministers came out led by Lei Xing's father and Prime minister Zhao. When they saw her, they bowed in greeting and Lei Xing equally bowed towards her father. Her father looked at her and then asked, "I heard you got injured, how are you feeling?"

Lei Xing smiled politely and replied, "Very well."

Her father then nodded, "That is good, you should be more mindful. Hurry in, the Emperor should not be kept waiting." Lei Xing nodded and gave a slight bow again and went inside. 

After she left, Prime minister Zhao scoffed in Defense minister Lei's direction and strutted off. Defense minister Lei shook his head and started walking as well with the rest of the group following behind. The information that the Emperor has been focusing solely on the Defense minister's daughter was no secret, and that he even personally took care of her after her accident. At this point, it was clear to all who the Empress position will belong to, although there was still some doubt on the issue, since the Zou princess's arrival may change the situation. 

Lei Xing walked into the room, to find the Emperor standing on the side, looking down at a table. He looked towards Lei Xing and waved her over with a smile. Lei Xing cautiously approached, glancing up at the lakeside painting behind him and lightly frowned as the memory of Doctor Lou's howling laughter at her mind-reading power theory flashed in her mind.

...I feel the urge to burn that thing -_-)...

When she got to the Emperor's side, he motioned for her to look down on the table. She complied and looked down to see a beautiful embroidery piece of a pink peony's growth from a bud to a gorgeous blossoming flower circling around the sheet, with a big fully blossomed blue peony in the center.

...Okay, it's great so...Don't tell me you called me here to appraise that? As I am sure you aware, my "poor skills" cannot comprehend that -_-)...

Lei Xing looked up at the Emperor, to find him looking at her with an expectant face, apparently waiting for her response. Therefore, she commented, "It's beautiful."

"That's all?" The Emperor asked narrowing his eyes.

Lei Xing knit her brows in confusion, looked down again and then back at him and added, "It's exquisite...?"

"Hmm..." The Emperor responded, frowning down at the embroidery piece. Lei Xing also looked down at it again in confusion.

...Is there something I'm missing here?...

The embroidery piece here is the one Lei Xing "gifted" to the late Empress as a birthday present in the past...Yeah, she's failing this superbly already 😅...Also, it seems someone's still bitter 😂

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