ALBR Chapter 1: Calm
The sun had barely risen yet there was a din outside. Long Junhao flipped over and continued trying to sleep.
“Sir, where are you going? This is a pond, come back…” The panicked cries of a young nurse wafted in.
“I am a fish, a mermaid. I want to return to the sea…”
“Sir, this isn’t the sea, really! I will bring you to find the true ocean, you… Ahhh!” A loud splash accompanied this alarmed shout.
“Somebody, a patient has fallen into the water…”
Long Junhao flipped over once again and continued dozing.
At this moment, there was a thunderous roar from nearby. “All troops listen to my command, retreat for now, we will fight again tomorrow!” Over the ruckus, there was also a screechy tune of a woman’s voice. “Life is short, beautiful memories pass by like a dream~”
Long Junhao frowned slightly but didn’t open his eyes.
“To think that my 800,000 strong army would have fallen to you! The heavens have defeated me!”
The melody continued to linger, “Let’s get intoxicated and watch the sun and moon revolve around~”
“So noisy…” Long Junhao muttered grumpily. He finally gave in and sat up. The same scene for the past one month greeted him and he sighed sorrowfully as he hugged his knees and pondered over his past month’s experiences.
He was a prince surrounded by riches, power, and beauties. Even if he enjoyed and made merry every day, nobody would dare go against him. His life had always been that free and unfettered. However, he could only blame himself for having tried to flirt with a lady of noble standing in front of the general in a bid to get his attention. Also, he shouldn’t have hid his identity in a bid to save face. Furthermore, he shouldn’t have tried to run away when the general had ordered subordinates to tie him up. And all the more he shouldn’t have gotten an extremely half-witted slave to steer the carriage!
Most importantly, he shouldn’t have fainted from fear as the carriage was speeding down the gentlest of slopes on a small mountain. When he woke up here, his body had already changed. His most profound memory at that time was everything being white. And then…he remembered flipping out.
Yes, when he had seen all the white objects, men in strange costumes and women clad inappropriately pointing and whispering at him, Long Junhao couldn’t help but explode with rage. Even more infuriating was a woman in gorgeous yet equally inappropriate clothes beside him. This woman had been gripping to him tightly and sobbing bitterly. “My son, you have finally woken up. I was so afraid, you are the only darling son I have wahhh…”
With a bulging vein on his forehead, Long Junhao had roared, “Presumptuous, how can a lowly peasant touch a prince like me? Get out of my sight!”
That woman had backed off and shuffled over to the man in strange black clothing standing silently at the side. With a pained expression, she asked, “Hubby, what did our baby just call me?”
That man silently turned over and spat out two words. “Lowly peasant.”
The lady immediately burst into tears.
Yet another vein bulged on Long Junhao’s forehead as he glared at the group of white clothed people pointing and whispering at the side. He could hear words such as “asylum”, “delusional”, “sedative”. What were those things?!
This was intolerable! He wanted to flip a table!
“What impudence! Are you slaves trying to revolt?! Kneel in front of your prince at once!”
Everyone was scared by his outburst quickly nodding as they took a step back. “Yes yes yes, you are the prince. May your highness have good health. So…your highness, could you take this medicine first?”
“…” Long Junhao wanted to flip another table. “I really am the prince!”
“Yes yes yes, you are the prince. I will strike anyone who says otherwise.”
“…Enough is enough…”
These exchanges repeated continuously in the first few days he was here and Long Junhao gradually gained an understanding of his environment.
Firstly, this was a place called an “asylum”. Furthermore, this place was slightly special. In their words, this place was of a high level compared to an ordinary asylum. Legend has it that this institution had been constructed for the director’s own lover. He had wanted to use some different means to treat his lover and the results were very good. His lover had fully recovered and he built this institute to give more people an opportunity to get well.
Also, as the institution had been constructed recently and expenses for this institution were extremely high, there were only four patients including him. That’s right, he had realized that there were only three others in similar circumstances as him besides all those clad in white. And out of those three…not a single one of them was normal. From what he had heard in his half awaken stupor just now, of those three, one had jumped into the pond, one had dreamed of fighting on the battlefield and the last one couldn’t stop singing even if the sky were to fall.
It was really lively indeed.
“Ah, your highness, you are awake?” His room door was gently opened at this time and a young nurse came in to place breakfast on the table. “Your highness, please enjoy your breakfast.”
Long Junhao raised an eyebrow. During this period, he had discovered that all of the people here served them abnormal people like masters. As long as a request wasn’t too far out of the question, these people will do everything they could to accede. Long Junhao remembered those doctors and nurses specially changing into so-called ‘ancient costumes’ in a bid to pander him. But he had flown into a rage at the sight of those incongruous clothing so they had switched back. However, the appellation of ‘your highness’ never changed.
Long Junhao glanced at her and calmly got off the bed to wash up before eating his breakfast apathetically.
He eyed the bowls and plates. These people had some unknown means to stick the bowls and plates to the table tightly the moment they were placed and they wouldn’t come off no matter how hard the table shook. Other items in the room were also fastened in place and there was a soft and furry layer on them. Long Junhao knew that this was to stop them from hurting themselves when they lost control.
Long Junhao pursed his lips and started to eat. He could adapt easily and he had already learned to use all these items after some detailed guidance from the nurses and doctors. While this place was a far cry from his original life, he had to admit that it was rather comfortable at the very least. Of course, the premise was only if he could ignore those three abnormal creatures.
But during this period, he felt that he had really become—calm.
Long Junhao sipped milk from the cup made of a special material while pondering sorrowfully. At that moment, the room door was kicked open with a loud bang. Long Junhao was startled and choked on his milk. The arrival strode in vigorously and knelt on the ground. “My emperor, my eight hundred thousand strong army has been…defeated by the rebels! I have let down the great trust of your royal highness. Your subject deserves to die!”
“Cough cough…” Long Junhao hacked violently due to choking on the milk and had no time to deal with this person at the moment.
“My emperor…” That person seemed oblivious to the situation and continued to howl in despair. He closed his eyes lightly and a teardrop trickled out. “I am…dyi…aarghh!” He was violently kicked by a furious Long Junhao before he could finish and crashed to the ground.
“Stop spouting nonsense here!” Long Junhao got off his bed in a pique of rage and stomped a few more times before placing his feet on this person’s shoulders and looking down from above. “How dare you still have the face to come see your emperor after suffering a crushing defeat?”
“Your royal highness!” That person cried out in despair. “My loyalty to your majesty cannot be put in words…I, I…” A rosy blush appeared on his face, “My love for the emperor will…will never change…”
Long Junhao’s face twitched. However, doctors and nurses that had received news had rushed in and hurriedly rescued the person from beneath his feet. Long Junhao glared at them icily and said with an air of majesty. “Take him out, off with his head!”
Everyone was scared by his intimidating bearing and bowed at once. “At once your highness.” Following this, the man was immediately dragged out while wailing grievously. “No——I’ve been treated unfairly——this is injusti——”
Long Junhao’s face twitched when he saw the spilt milk all over himself. I am calm, calm…my ass! How the f*ck can I stay calm here?!
The nurse that had been here from the start glided over. “My prince, when did you ascend the throne?”
“…” Long Junhao turned his head to stare at her before calmly spitting out, “Just.”
This institution was on a hillside and was exquisitely designed. It had a European style exterior but its interior was more towards an Eastern style. The few rooms each had a courtyard and the walkways linking them were made of lavish wooden floorboards with purple vines crept around the banisters. There were cherry blossoms and peach trees all over the institution and it was a magnificent sight to behold every autumn. There was an even larger space in the middle of the courtyards with lush grass, exercise equipment, and a large lotus pond.
As Long Junhao stepped out, he saw someone being fished out from the pond, placed on a stretcher and carried towards the inside. As they rushed passed him, Long Junhao could still hear bits and pieces—
“I am really a mermaid, I want to return to the ocean. You people will be struck with ill luck by forcefully keeping me here. It’s true…”
The bunch of doctors and nurses immediately echoed, “Yes yes yes, you are a mermaid. We are bringing you to find your prince. Your beloved prince…”
“Bullsh*t, I don’t love him! I dumped him the moment he two-timed. I am in love with someone else now! Someone else! Stop uttering nonsense!”
“…Yes yes yes, we lack common sense…” The doctors and nurses replied feebly, “So who is it you currently love?”
“I’m in love with the witch at the bottom of the ocean. I want to find her! Do you all understand you are splitting us star-crossed lovers apart?”
The group stiffened. “…Actually, the witch has long been banished from the ocean by your king-father. She is now living on land.”
“What?! For real?! Why do I not know that?”
“It’s true…You just don’t know it yet. We only heard the news recently. We are bringing you to find her. It’s alright, we are bringing you to her.”
“Then…Then I shall reluctantly believe you all this once.”
Everyone immediately chimed, “Thank you boss.”
“Watch your words, it’s mermaid! Mermaid!”
Everyone bowed once again. “Yes, thank you Boss Mermaid.”
“…Ah, that’s more like it.”
Long Junhao facepalmed and thought to himself. This person clearly had a poker face yet he could indulge in fantasies all day long.
The melody in the distance continued to linger, “I am like a startled bird circling an empty branch. Who wishes for the old sparrow to return to its nest? A bosom friend crosses paths again today! A slow song that lasts thousands of years~….”
The voice was bleak and heartfelt. Long Junhao looked towards a small pavilion built above the pond. A beauty with waist-length hair sung was singing with such sadness. The female voice was imitated to perfection. If not for the unbuttoned shirt revealing a totally flat chest, Long Junhao would have really thought that he was a lady.
That man seemed to sense Long Junhao’s gaze. He inclined his head slightly and waved before continuing to sing in his female voice. “If love is difficult in this life, you may wish to be attached in your next life…”
“I wish…” Long Junhao resigned to his fate with a sigh and walked in that direction. Another long day had just begun.