Chapter 21: Your touch burns me
Lóng Wei reached his manor with Li Hua. He reclined on the lounge while pinching the skin between his brows. Li Hua lit the candles and put them on the table when she heard him say, “I dont like the chamber illuminated with so many candles. One candle is enough.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” Li Hua answered and blew off the other four candles on the stand. She asked Lóng Wei if she should bring dinner for him.
Li Hua turned to go to the royal kitchen when Lóng Wei asked her if she readied the bathhouse.
“Forgive me, Your Highness, I have not. I will do it now,” Li Hua stated. She didnt remember Lóng Wei telling her to prepare the bathhouse for him. She silently walked out of the chamber and after twenty minutes, she returned, informing the Sixth Prince that the bathhouse was ready to use.
Lóng Wei rose to his feet and walked to the washroom with Li Hua. She was frightened because it was her first time serving a Prince, helping him in the bath. Though, she did hope that Lóng Wei would send her out. But why would he do that She was a mere servant, who had to follow her duties, irrespective of her choice.
When Lóng Wei outstretched his arms, she walked to him and opened the knots on the dress after the sash. Without making any eye contact with the Sixth Prince, she slowly pulled down the robe from down his shoulders and went behind his back. She slowly pulled it off and put it into the basket.
She again came to the front and opened the knots on Zhongyi (the inner clothing usually of white color) near the left side of the chest. She was careful that her fingers would not touch his skin in any way. Her eyes fell on the strange birthmark that he had just above his left chest.
She found a birthmark of pinkish color and was somewhat intrigued by it. Taking her eyes off it, she stepped away and put this inner clothing in the basket.
She twiddled with her fingers as she was supposed to remove the pants. How she was supposed to do that. She gulped in anxiety.
“Stay back,” she heard Lóng Wei, who had removed his pants. He entered the bathtub and dived into the water. Coming out, he wiped his face and rested his elbows on the bathtub.
Li Hua picked the pants from the floor and put them in the basket. She was supposed to put the scents into the water, but she was too frightened to go near the bathtub.
She turned to look at the shelf and found many essences in the porcelain bottles. She picked one and gradually walked towards the bathtub while keeping her eyes glued to the floor.
She opened the lid of the essence and poured a few drops into the water. For an unknown reason, she thought that the Sixth Prince had his eyes fixed on hers. She tightly pressed the bottle because of the nervousness.
“Arent you taught to serve the royals” Lóng Weis question made her tenser.
“Forgive me, Your Highness, but I never served a Prince,” Li Hua said. She wondered if he would punish her for answering that way.
“But you are trained to do everything. In the palace, those things happen which you can never imagine,” Lóng Wei stated and finally Li Hua made contact with her eyes. Her throat had already gone dry because of that statement.
“You were lucky among many young maidens that you got the entry in the Queens Manor,” Lóng Wei asserted. He was right. Li Hua was lucky that she got the Queens Manor instead of any of the Princes manor.
“Pour the water,” Lóng Wei said and averted his gaze. Li Hua quickly put the essence back in its place and picked the wooden hemispherical water carrier. She filled it with water, forgetting to check if it was too hot, and gradually poured it on his shoulders.
Lóng Wei felt the water was too hot. “It will burn me,” he said. Immediately, Li Hua checked the water and found it was too hot. She found his shoulder had turned red and she apologized to him.
“I apologize for my mistake. I did not intend to do that, Your Highness. I forgot to check its hotness,” she mumbled.
She ended up stroking the skin where it was red. Lóng Wei caught her wrist and she looked at him.
“Your Highness,” she murmured when Lóng Wei turned to her. She lowered her head, preventing her eyes from seeing the Sixth Prince. She pulled her hand back but found Lóng Wei had held it tightly.
“Are you supposed to play like this” Lóng Wei asked her.
“No, Your Highness,” she shook her head.
“Your touch burns me more,” Lóng Wei said in his deep tone. Li Hua clutched the edge of her dress tightly and found her heart beating exceptionally faster than usual. She was definitely intimidated by that statement.
He let go of her wrist upon finding her scared and asked her to finish the work soon. She used the bath bean shower gel but was hesitant to apply it to him. After that statement came out, she was scared to touch him.
“You can leave,” Lóng Wei told her. “This is the last time I am letting you leave like this. Prepare your head because next time, I dont want you to hesitate because soon we will have a bathing ritual,” he stated and told her to leave the shower gel box.
Li Hua was surprised that Lóng Wei let her go. She was indeed too scared to do that. But what did he mean by a bathing ritual She tilted her head in amusement.
“Leave before I change my mind,” Lóng Wei said. Li Hua stood up and dashed out of the bathhouse.
She rested her palm on her chest. “That was too scary. However, the Sixth Prince was considerate of me,” she murmured. She recalled what happened in the Hall of Justice. For her, Lóng Wei harmed Jingfei. He wasnt supposed to do that for a servant.
Li Hua decided to talk to the Sixth Prince regarding this. She went to the royal kitchen and brought the dinner to the chamber.
Setting the table, she waited for Lóng Wei to come, who soon arrived at the chamber. She pulled out the chair for him on which Lóng Wei settled. He told her to sit as well.
“You wont eat with the servants anymore. Have your meals with me,” Lóng Wei said as he picked the rice grains from the chopsticks.
Li Hua nodded and silently started to eat.
“Did you practice well” Lóng Wei asked her.
“I did, but I could not target the aim,” Li Hua answered and put the rice in her mouth. She chewed them and heard him say,
“You will soon learn to aim,” Lóng Wei answered.
“Your Highness, may I ask something” Li Hua gathered her courage to speak.
“You can ask anything any time,” Lóng Wei permitted her.
“Why did His Highness replace the cream Was it because of me” Li Hua queried and gulped. She expected him not to say that it was because of her.
Lóng Wei tilted his head to peer at her.
“She harmed my person despite my warning,” Lóng Wei replied.
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“And why did His Highness strangle the First Princess” Li Hua knitted her brows together. Who was the concubine with whom Jingfei compared her She wanted to know and she was also curious about what Jingfei exactly said that made Lóng Wei angry.
“When we become closer, then I will tell you,” Lóng Wei said.
“Why does His Highness think we can get close” Li Hua asked. She realized that Lóng Wei indeed had feelings for her, but why She didnt want him to like her because that would only be a hindrance in her path to revenge.
“Because I like you,” Lóng Wei answered.
Li Hua widened her eyes. She did not know the Sixth Prince would be this straightforward. It was only the first day. It was an accident that she stumbled upon his path.
“Since I like you, I will get close to you, so you will. Then, I will share my secrets with you,” Lóng Wei affirmed.
“His Highness cannot like a servant,” Li Hua stated without thinking that it might offend Lóng Wei.
“I can like whoever I want to like, Li Hua,” Lóng Wei affirmed. “Dont worry. Only you can be my official wife. You are the apple of my eyes,” Lóng Wei confessed.