Phoenix's Requiem - Chapter 310: A Candlelit Night
Yun Ruoyan was brought directly to her and Li Mo’s nuptial chambers. Because it was simply Li Mo’s bedroom, a location Yun Ruoyan was quite familiar with, she felt some of her anxiety dissipate.
The Lin sisters smiled and giggled at her, then left. She sat alone on the bed, now draped in a rich, red fabric. Because she hadn’t eaten for the entire day, her stomach was grumbling.
Yun Ruoyan bore with her hunger for quite a while before finally succumbing to her temptations. There were a few trays of wedding pastries on the table, and she had just lifted the tray when a woman’s voice called out, “Ah! The bride can’t consume the food before her groom gets here!”
It was the matchmaker who had been plaguing her all day long—don’t do this, don’t do that, be careful of this, be careful of that… When Yun Ruoyan heard her voice, she reflexively covered up the tray of food before obediently sitting still, as though she were a doll.
“Good! That’s what a bride should be like!” she exclaimed. In truth, she was quite pleased with Yun Ruoyan’s performance that day: she only had to remind her of everything once before she was able to do everything perfectly.
“Where’s His Highness? When will he be heading over?”
“Ah, you have to be more patient, Miss Yun!” the matchmaker joked.
Yun Ruoyan couldn’t tell the matchmaker that it was because she was so hungry that she was waiting for Li Mo’s arrival so she could eat. After a long moment, there was finally some movement by the door—but it was Li Luo, not Li Mo. Li Luo had the matchmaker leave the room, then removed Yun Ruoyan’s veil.
Yun Ruoyan looked at Li Luo as though she were her savior. “Sister Li Luo, please bring me something to eat. I haven’t eaten for the entire day!”
Yun Ruoyan was so desperate she was almost about to cry. In order to look good in her clothes, Peony and Xi Lan had forced her to go on a temporary diet starting a few days ago. She had refrained from eating meat starting then, and after being starved for the entire day today…
Li Luo stilled after seeing Yun Ruoyan’s pitiful expression. Combined with her exquisite, delicate makeup, even she was struck by her emotional appeal despite being a woman.
But only a woman like Miss Yun would be fit to be my master’s consort, after all, she thought.
“His Highness knew you would be hungry, so he had me send you something to eat,” Li Luo replied, putting a tray of snacks that Yun Ruoyan regularly enjoyed in front of her. “His Highness said not to eat too much meat tonight, so please have some light refreshments to ease your hunger for the moment, Consort Yun. He might be slightly delayed.”
“Has the emperor not left yet?” Yun Ruoyan asked.
“He left in the morning,” Li Luo replied. “His Highness was stalled by your brother.”
Apparently, Yun Moxiao had drunk himself into a stupor in his rooms, and had arrived at the Slaughtering King’s manor in a drunken haze. He saw Li Mo quickly after his arrival and wouldn’t let go of him, claiming that, as his new brother-in-law, Li Mo had to please him before he would allow him to enter his nuptial chambers.
The court officials present, emboldened by Yun Moxiao’s actions, also did the same.
Li Mo, in surprisingly high spirits and knowing how much Yun Moxiao meant to Yun Ruoyan, acceded. Amidst the crowd’s raucous cheers, they began to down cup after cup of wine. In the end, Yun Moxiao had gotten entirely drunk. He began addressing Li Mo by name rather than title, warning him that if he were to treat his little sister poorly, he would raze his manor to the ground.
His slurred, drunken words so shocked the gathered officials that they all left, none daring to brave the consequences of Li Mo getting mad, finally leaving the Slaughtering King’s manor quiet once more.
“Li Luo, send him back personally,” Li Mo instructed.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Li Luo watched on as a few servants loaded Yun Moxiao into a carriage. After she got on the carriage with him, the driver drove them to the Yun manor.
Yun Moxiao slowly opened his eyes amidst the rhythmic swaying of the carriage to see Li Luo by his side, sitting quietly and hugging her knees. For some reason, Li Luo’s face seemed to radiate an almost imperceptible sadness.
“Li Luo,” Yun Moxiao called out.
“Hmm?” Li Luo turned to look at Yun Moxiao to see his twin eyes sparkling, as though he had all manner of words he wanted to communicate to her.
“Now that my sister’s married, I have to get married too. Won’t you marry me?” His drunken haze had emboldened him enough to ask the question that had been plaguing his mind. Another surge of alcohol-fuelled haze swept over his mind. Before he fell asleep, he could only grit out, “Li Luo, I’m serious! If you agree, you have to let me know tomorro—”
Yun Moxiao fell back asleep. 
Thirsty after eating so much, Yun Ruoyan noticed two flasks of liquid by the table. She poured a cup for herself and sniffed it warily. Her experience from her past life told her that nuptial chambers frequently boasted alcohol laced with an aphrodisiac, but this liquid smelled clean and sweet, neither the slight sourness of alcohol nor the unctuous sweetness of an aphrodisiac.
Yun Ruoyan drained her cup. The liquid was sweet, cool, and refreshing. While waiting for Li Mo, Yun Ruoyan had cup after cup, and she had drained both flasks by the time he arrived.
The door creaked open, revealing Li Mo, who had bathed and dressed in a new set of clothes, his hair still a little damp.
Yun Ruoyan raised her head and looked at him, then finished off the last dregs of liquid from her cup.
“Li Mo, you’re finally here!” Yun Ruoyan stood up and walked toward him, beaming. The headdress and elaborate dress she were wearing made her somewhat clumsy, but it didn’t detract from her otherworldly beauty.
Li Mo took a single step forward and held her tightly in his embrace. She inclined her head and smiled, her eyes hazy but full of affection. “Li Mo, why do you smell so good?” she asked, leaning against his chest. “I don’t recall you smelling so good before…”
“Yan’er?” Li Mo picked up the flasks on the table and shook them, only to realize that they were empty. “You drank all this wine?”
“Hmm?” Yun Ruoyan smiled and raised her head, glancing at the flask in Li Mo’s hand. “That’s right. Li Luo brought me a few snacks, and then I got thirsty. I was bored while waiting for you, so I just kept drinking it. What’s in these flasks, anyway? It tasted great!”
Li Mo thought back to a conversation with Li Qianhan a few days ago. Uncle, this is a new aphrodisiac-laced alcohol of my own design. It tastes better than what you’ll find out in the streets, and it’s even more potent!
At the time, he had ignored the flasks, but Li Qianhan had put them in his bedroom of his own accord.
Yun Ruoyan’s face slowly flushed, and it was only then that she realized that what she’d drunk seemed to have some problems.
“Li Mo, what exactly was in those flasks? Why do I keep wanting to drink more?”
Li Mo’s cheeks were tinged with red, because while Yun Ruoyan was talking, her petite, dainty hands had begun roaming his body, and she leaned forward on tiptoes to press her lips against his.
Li Mo’s lips were cool and refreshing, while Yun Ruoyan’s were burning hot.
“Something that’ll stop you from hurting during our first coupling,” Li Mo murmured, then swept Yun Ruoyan up and brought her to bed. At the same time, he began undressing her, removing veil and headdress, ribbon and sash and hairpin, her elaborate robe and all sorts of layers underneath.
He wanted to undress her quickly, but didn’t want to hurt Yun Ruoyan in the process.
“How bothersome it must be to wear so many layers,” he murmured. Yun Ruoyan heard a ripping sound: Li Mo had torn, intentionally or otherwise, the layer of garments underneath her robe but above her underclothes, revealing a thin strip of fair, snowy-white skin.
“Yan’er…” Li Mo deftly stripped off her underclothes, crooning all the while.
Yun Ruoyan felt as though she had been submerged in a warm ocean, waves of pleasure enveloping her and radiating from inside to outside, endlessly caressing her body. The waves grew larger and larger, threatening to submerge her in their depths.
Suddenly, Yun Ruoyan felt a little fearful, as though she might drown in the ocean that caressed her ever so warmly. Struggling, she opened her eyes to see Li Mo only inches from her face. His eyes were tightly closed, his forehead frowning, so Yun Ruoyan couldn’t tell how he was feeling.
“Li Mo,” she called out softly.
Li Mo slowly opened his eyes, an icy blue glow seeping out of his gaze. Before her eyes, he began to transform. His black hair slowly turned a silver-white, as did his brows; his gaze darker, more penetrating; his lips so red it seemed as though blood would drip from them at any moment.
“Yan’er.” Li Mo opened his bright lips and softly called out Yun Ruoyan’s name. “Don’t be afraid.”
Yun Ruoyan slowly shook her head. This wasn’t the first time she had seen his true form, but she had never seen the entire transformation so clearly. She was startled, but that feeling quickly receded in favor of admiration. That there could be such a beautiful man in this world…
1. It is clearly a good idea to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage while (1) drop-dead drunk, (2) in a carriage, and (3) while she’s just had her secret affection for Li Mo dashed to pieces.