1 Departure

The current 206th regime is governed by King HeYuan and Queen MingHua. An oldest Princess was born, and a middle Princess then a younger one. But the youngest Princess turned out to be a boy.

"It can't be helped," said the King gloomily, "we can only raise him along the Princesses together. And what's to do next about it I'm sure I don't know."

Despite Feng XiaLin being born as a male, his parents doted on him silly. They treasured him like the other Princesses except he was more special because he was the youngest.

There really was nothing to be done. The years passed and the time came for the Princesses to be courted. Princes from different mountain peaks in Yin Fang continent gathered together and made their way to the Yun Ming mountain peak to seek their fortune and court the Princesses. Due to the dangers and beasts surrounding the Yun Ming mountain peak, only three out of hundreds made it to the Palace safely. But to their dismay, the youngest Princess turned out to be a Prince. Seeing that there is no more Princess to be courted, the last Prince, Gong ShenGe prepared himself to take his leave.

The oldest and the middle Princess found their match, but the Prince didn't. Seeing that the youngest visiting Prince walked outside the castle dejectedly, Feng XiaLin wasted no time and immediately made up his mind and went to chase Gong ShenGe. He then came out, dressed in traveling clothes, with his bag packed and sword by his side. He was a tall, handsome man with shiny ink blue hair tied into a ponytail that reached to his hips. He mounted his white horse like a proud warrior and said, "If you think that I'm just going to sit around and watch my elder sisters drown in their happiness, then you are greatly mistaken! I'm going to search for my happiness too!"

"My child, don't be hasty!" said the King.

"Impossible!" said the Queen.

"And why is that?" Feng XiaLin asked.

"Lin-er" his eldest sister, Feng ShuXi, chimed in calmly, "Can you even protect yourself outside of this peak?"

He responded as he straightened his back, "Don't belittle me. I'm a man."

Princess Feng LouMei reasoned out, "We know that you're a man, but you spent your entire eighteen years of life growing with us. Do you even know how to use a sword?"

Princess Feng ShuXi added, "That's right. Eighteen years of playing the Qin, harp and flute, painting, writing poetries, taking care of the chrysanthemum garden, grooming our stallions, braiding our hairs, and not to mention you're such a cry baby. Now, how are you going to use those skills to defend yourself? You're just going to attract perverts!"

The King added, "Lin-er, just stay in here. I will make an announcement and summon every Princess in the continent straight here to our peak. Sooner or later, you can also find your destined one."

"Father, you already know how dangerous the borders are. Out of those hundreds of Princes, only three managed to enter our mountain peak. Yet you still expect all of those fragile Princesses to battle those monsters just for my sake? If you do that, I bet only their torn sleeves will make it to our gates!" Feng XiaLin refuted.

Then Prince Gong ShenGe interjected, "Your highness, I guess the young Prince is right. He must seek his own fortune too."

King HeYuan, "Then if we do that, how can we be sure that we are not throwing his life away?"

Feng XiaLin grinned, and when he grins like that, it meant he was thinking of something troublesome. "I'm going with you" he said as he smiled towards Gong ShenGe expectantly, "let's find our own Princesses together even if we have to rescue them from monsters. And no one can stop us."

Cold sweat dripped from the other Prince's forehead as he nodded hesitantly with an "en".

With the exerted efforts, Feng XiaLin successfully coerced the King and the Queen to let him go. The two said their good-bye to his parents and made their way out.

They traveled into the cliff that serves as the boundary of the Yun Ming mountain peak. While on their way, they happened to see different types of beasts lurking around. At some point Feng XiaLin would draw his sword due to his vigilance, but Gong ShenGe would stop him saying that it is not necessary to attract their attention, especially that they were still traveling on a cliff.

They have been traveling for few hours now and the sun was already setting down. They stopped under a gigantic old oak tree to have a rest and have their meal as well. But being an inexperienced hunter that he was, Feng XiaLin was left behind like a faithful wife to guard their belongings.

"Stay here, I will hunt for our food. If anything happens, just whistle out loud. You know how to whistle right?" Gong ShenGe asked while smiling.

Feng XiaLin nodded stupidly. After the other prince left, Feng XiaLin attended to their bonfire. Reminiscing the times when he and his sisters were having a bonfire, he couldn't help himself but to get excited. The warmth would just remind him of those days. He gathered more woods from the other side and laid out some blankets for him and Gong ShenGe. When Gong ShenGe got back, he was astonished at the sight that greeted him.

"Oh, you're finally here! Come, sit!" Feng XiaLin cheered while patting the laid blanket at his side. Comfortable soft blankets are laid in between of the bonfire, while their belongings were neatly piled under the massive roots of the tree. Gong ShenGe couldn't help but to smile warmly and he sat down.

"Here, help me roast these. Don't forget to remove the feathers first." Gong ShenGe gave Feng XiaLin a pheasant and a stick.

"Oh, poor pheasant. I'm sorry this guy has to kill you. I hope you rest in peace in Heaven!" Feng XiaLin said in a pitiful tone. Gong ShenGe chuckled at his childish behavior. Out of curiosity, he gave Feng XiaLin a strong type of liquor that has no taste. Anyone would mistake it as water. He would definitely find out tonight how charming this beautiful Prince really is.

After they had their meal, Feng XiaLin went to sleep first. He doesn't know why but he suddenly felt disoriented and dizzy. Gong ShenGe noticed this and he asked in concern, "Feng XiaLin, are you alright? Does anything hurts?" he helped Feng XiaLin lie down on his blanket and put on another blanket over him.

Feng XiaLin groggily answered, "I'm fine. I'm just tired. Maybe I'll go to sleep first?"

"Is that so? Then rest well." he coaxed with a triumphant smile.

"Aren't you going to sleep yet?" Feng XiaLin asked weakly, unaware that his face has already flushed pink due to intoxication.

"I will. I'm just going to put these things away." Gong ShenGe answered as he threw all of the leftovers. After hastily throwing almost all of the things away, he hurriedly grabbed his blanket and laid it next to Feng XiaLin's blanket. After setting everything up, he excitedly laid down and turned his body to face the sleeping Feng XiaLin. Gong ShenGe's hands are trembling madly and were about to reach out to Feng XiaLin's face but Feng XiaLin suddenly opened his eyes.

"What are you doing?" Feng XiaLin asked in a daze while rubbing his eyes.

"Uh, I thought you were already asleep!" he answered nervously as he laughed with a 'he he'.

"I was about to," Feng XiaLin answered while smiling then he asked in a tired voice, "Why are you here? Why are you so close?"

"Oh right, I forgot to ask you. Can I sleep next to you? It's really cold tonight; it will feel better if we huddled together. Is that okay?" Gong ShenGe asked in a hopeful tone.

"Hmmm...it's fine...You...' before Feng XiaLin could even finish his sentence, he already fell asleep.

"Feng XiaLin? Feng XiaLin?" Gong ShenGe called out to no avail. Feng XiaLin didn't answer him as he's already asleep.

Seizing the opportunity, Gong ShenGe gulped a lump and mustered all his courage to reach out his hand to Feng XiaLin's face. This guy really has an alluring face even he's asleep! Gong ShenGe's trembling fingers slowly made contact to those flushed and warm cheeks. As if he's been electrocuted, he immediately retracted his hand. His heart thumped against his ribcage and the ringing in his ears intensified. He pursed his lips and leaned forward, he once again reaches out his hand and this time it went to Feng XiaLin's chin. He tilted it towards him as he inched himself closer to those cherry blossom colored lips.

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