Chapter 26: Marry Lóng Wei
Li Hua looked towards the entrance and found it had already been over an hour. The breakfast she brought had already gotten cold. Li Hua fidgeted with her fingers, wondering when the Sixth Prince would return. She decided to go out and check on him.
She went towards the Greeting Hall when she encountered Xiwan, who was taking the meals for the Crown Prince. “Why are you here” Xiwan asked her.
“Huh What does Brother Xiwan mean” Li Hua queried him.
“The Sixth Prince is flogged badly. He is on the punishment ground. The Crown Prince will return in a few minutes, so I have brought meals for him,” Xiwan said and tilted his head to look at the servants behind him.
“What Why” Li Hua arched her brows.
“No one knows. I only heard Eunuch Lishi, but he didnt say much,” Xiwan replied. “I shall take my leave,” he said.
Li Hua stepped back while Xiwan left her sight. She hastened to the punishment ground and found the Princes on the platform while Lóng Wei was being flogged. She widened her eyes and heard the soldiers near the pillar that was the 65th flogging.
“I heard he saved a palace maid. He harmed the First Princess. When the King decided on the punishment for the Sixth Prince, he objected to it. No wonder, his mind is unpredictable. Who takes the punishment for a servant!” One of the soldiers said, and Li Hua overheard them.
The Sixth Prince might die, she thought and decided to intervene. It was because of her Lóng Wei harmed the First Princess. But the most terrible thing was the Princes were enjoying it. She gazed at Xiaomingz and wondered why he did not stop it. He was known as the Kindest among all. Then, why
“70,” she heard the loud voice of the flogger.
Li Hua lifted her long skirt a little and then ran towards the flogger to stop him. She did not know why she intervened at that moment.
“Isnt she Li Hua” Tianjie said and looked at his brothers. Xiaoming stepped forward and rested his hand on the handrail.
“Whats she doing here” Xiaoming murmured and furrowed his brows together.
Li Hua stood in front of the flogger and tightly shut her eyes. “Please, dont hit His Highness,” Li Hua said, outstretching both of her arms. Seeing her, the flogger stopped and looked towards the platform.
“Hey! Move away, else you will be beaten along with him,” Qiu Mu said in anger.
Lóng Wei had heard Li Huas soft voice and tilted his head to look at her. “Get aside,” he said in a hoarse voice. Li Hua shook her head.
“His Highness should not take the punishment for a servant,” Li Hua affirmed.
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“Why did she intervene This palace maid has the guts to do it,” Qiu Mu muttered, clutching his hands on the handrail. He turned to go down when Xiaoming stopped him.
“Li Hua, get away. The King has given the punishment to the Sixth Prince. Dont intervene in this,” Xiaoming loudly said.
Li Hua turned immediately and got on her knees. “I beg His Majesty to ask the flogger to stop. I am willing to take the punishment,” Li Hua said and lowered her head.
“Li Hua, leave the ground. Trust me,” Lóng Wei said. Though he was beaten so much, his voice didnt tremble. “Wait for me in the chamber,” he stated.
However, Li Hua did not move away. She herself did not know why she did that. She would be kicked out for this. Probably, she wanted to repay the kindness that Lóng Wei showed to her.
Monk Yuze and King Zedong were standing on the other side of the punishment ground. Yuze caressed his beard and smiled. “Your Majesty, has anyone ever tried to protect Prince Lóng Wei” he asked Qiu Zedong, who shook his head.
“Li Hua is protecting the Sixth Prince. Among all the people, she thought to plead with you. Did anyone of the Princes or the Princesses ever try to plead with His Majesty for their youngest brother A woman who has no status in front of the King and his family has stood firm to protect Prince Lóng Wei. She is the destined bride, who will change His Majestys son,” Yuze made the King understand.
“Throw her out of here,” Lóng Wei told the flogger with a stern tone, who grasped the arm of Li Hua. He pulled her up and asked the soldiers to take her away. Li Hua yanked her arm away from him, and in the event, she saw the King was standing on the other platform. She ran to him, and everyone looked in her direction, except Lóng Wei, who was unable to move much.
Qiu Zedong was astonished to see Li Hua coming to him.
She panted and quickly got on her knees. Her forehead touched the cold wooden floor beneath her. “Your Majesty, I beg for my master. Please forgive His Highness. The Sixth Prince will not be able to stand if he gets one hundred floggings,” Li Hua requested the King, who was amused to hear her.
The Princes on the other platform decided to come near the King.
“Why are you begging for the Sixth Prince Do you also have feelings for my son as he claims for you” Qiu Zedong asked her.
“No, Your Majesty. I can never have feelings for the Prince,” Li Hua said. “I am pleading because His Highness did it for me. I do not know why the Sixth Prince grew feelings for me, but it was my fault,” Li Hua asserted.
“I will not punish him if you agree to my one condition,” Qiu Zedong stated.
“I am ready to accept anything His Majesty will say,” Li Hua affirmed.
Qiu Zedong didnt say anything as he saw the Princes coming near them. They bowed before them when Qiu Mu said, he would throw out Li Hua for interfering in the punishment process.
The King moved his hand up, looking towards the flogger. “Stop!” Qiu Zedong in a loud voice.
The Princes got confused, and so were, Eunuch Gao Bing and the flogger.
“Royal Father, thirty floggings are still left,” Qiu Mu said. Yuze found how desperate the Second Prince was to make Lóng Wei sore with that beating.
The two soldiers unchained the shackles from Lóng Weis wrists and helped him in standing up. “Take the Prince to his chamber,” Qiu Zedong instructed them, and they acted on the Kings command.
Lóng Wei wasnt in a state to speak, so he just left.
Qiu Zedong looked at Li Hua, who was still on her knees.
“The Princes shall leave,” Qiu Zedong told them. Xiaoming wasnt ready to leave, but when his father raised his voice, he left.
“I took back the punishment because no one ever requested me not to punish him this harshly. Every time he made a mistake, everyone asked me to punish him to death. But Lóng Wei is my son. I am a brutal and tyrant King, but for my children, I am a soft person,” Qiu Zedong stated.
Li Hua listened silently to the King. She totally agreed with him that no one bothered to save Lóng Wei.
“Marry Lóng Wei and change him into the person that I want him to be. I want to see the changes in him in one month. Failing to do so, you will be beheaded,” Qiu Zedong pronounced while Li Hua widened her eyes.