Chapter 12: Over my Dead body
Lóng Weis words troubled Li Hua. The more she thought about it, the more complicated his character felt to her.
Li Hua, you should not have grabbed my attention, then. I am your biggest trouble, whom you have to handle till your last breath.
She shut her eyes as she placed the tray on the counter of the royal kitchen.
“You look troubled,” Xiwan, the assistant chef, said and handed a glass of water to Li Hua. His eyes fell on the chestnut cakes, so he asked her why she took them for the Sixth Prince.
“Brother Xiwan, I did not know that the Sixth Prince hates chestnut cakes,” Li Hua answered and drank the water.
“The Sixth Prince is allergic to chestnut cakes. You are lucky that he did not punish you,” Xiwan answered.
Li Hua placed the water glass on the counter and said, “The Sixth Prince should have punished me, but he did not. Isnt it strange Also, the way His Highness speaks to me forces me to take the second meaning.”
“Li Hua thinks that the Sixth Prince likes her,” Xiwan said, and Li Hua widened her eyes. “When you were with the Sixth Prince, I heard from the palace maids. The Sixth Prince fought for you with the First Princess. I have been working here for three years, but never once did I saw the Sixth Prince taking a stand for a palace maid,” he stated when he heard the announcement regarding the preparation of lunch.
“I shall leave. Stay strong, Li Hua,” Xiwan cheered her up. However, before leaving he handed her a bamboo basket full of fresh cherries. “His Highness likes cherries. Take the basket with you,” he said and walked away.
Li Hua picked up the bamboo basket and walked to the Sixth Princes manor.
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Lóng Wei was checking the dagger that he ordered the last time he was in the palace. “Why is she taking time to return” he murmured when the doors opened and a smile carved on his lips.
However, it soon disappeared as Gao Bing walked in. “Greetings to the Sixth Prince,” Gao Bing said and bowed half-heartedly. “His Majesty wants Li Hua to come to his manor,” he informed Lóng Wei, who immediately stood up from the chair.
“Why” he questioned him. Eunuch Gao Bing was terrified as he saw the dagger in Lóng Weis hands.
“The Crown Prince has come to the Kings manor. So, His Majesty has turned angry,” Gao Bing said what he had observed earlier.
Li Hua entered the chamber and saw Eunuch Gao Bing, who was glad to see her.
“The King wants to see you. Follow me,” Gao Bing told Li Hua and turned to walk out. He wanted to run away from Lóng Weis sight as soon as possible but halted when the dagger passed by his right cheek and hit the door ahead of him.
Li Hua was also startled to see what the Sixth Prince did. Her heartbeat raised in an instant.
Lóng Wei was dangerous. His mind was unpredictable.
Gao Bing found his knees getting weaker as he fell to the floor.
“Did I tell you to leave” Lóng Wei walked past them and took out the dagger that had pierced through the doors wood. He pulled it out and put it inside the sheath in his hand.
“I told you to handle it well, Gao Bing. You like to anger me, right” Lóng Wei came near Li Hua and looked inside the bamboo basket. She was intimidated by him, so she took a step back.
Eunuch Gao Bing started to cry. “Your Highness, I did everything you told me to. How could you scare this innocent Eunuch this way I-I thought my neck-” he paused and continued weeping.
“You messed up everything. You were not supposed to take this matter back to the King,” Lóng Wei affirmed and scratched the temple of his forehead.
“Your Highness, you can punish me later. First lets head to the Kings manor, Sixth Prince,” Lóng Wei said as he stopped crying and stood up.
“Why am I called to the Kings manor” Li Hua intervened in their conversation.
“Dont say anything in front of the King. Let me handle everything,” Lóng Wei told her and took the basket from her hand. He put it on the table and continued, “I wont let him take you.”
Eunuch Gao Bing was perplexed to hear him, and so was Li Hua.
Lóng Wei walked into the Kings chamber and found Qiu Mu and Jingfei were also present. Eunuch Gao Bing stood beside the seat of the King and lowered his head.
“Royal Father,” Lóng Wei bowed his head and, then stood straight.
Li Hua, who was behind the Sixth Prince, stepped forward and got on her knees. Her forehead touched the ground as she greeted the King.
“I heard what happened in the Orchid Pavilion. For a palace maid, the Crown Prince and the Sixth Prince are fighting with each other,” Qiu Zedong said, with a stern tone.
“According to the First Princess, you tried to seduce my two sons. Do you know how grave crime you have committed” Qiu Zedong questioned her in his hoarse voice.
“Royal Father, Li Hua never did that. Princess Jingfei inferred the wrong meaning,” Xiaoming said immediately after the King completed his words.
“Royal Father, ask Li Hua if she let the Crown Prince apply ointment on her hand or not. She even was holding the hands of the Sixth Prince not once but twice,” Jingfei stated, with a furious expression. She wanted Li Hua to get punished because of whom she got humiliated.
“Is it true” Qiu Zedong asked. “How dare a servant do this to the Princes” he shouted at Li Hua, who opened her mouth to apologize to the King.
“Royal Father, I let her touch my hand. Everyone runs away from me, but Li Hua did not. She has won my heart which no one has ever able to do,” Lóng Wei said and shifted his gaze to Jingfei.
Li Hua was surprised to hear his answer. She did nothing except show concern. She regretted getting into his eyes. What if they find out about her past She would die without knowing the truth. Her revenge would never be completed if something wrong happened today.
“Why are you jealous of Li Hua Since when did you start caring, who touched my hand or not” Lóng Weis tone turned informal.
“Sixth Brother, be respectful towards the First Sister,” Qiu Mu scolded Lóng Wei, who ignored his words.
“Prince Lóng Wei, I have not asked you to answer me. I am asking this palace maid because of whom my two sons are troubled,” Qiu Zedong stated. “Li Hua will be punished for her brazen mistake. She was not supposed to make my sons lose their mind,” he announced his decision.
Xiaoming widened his eyes and thought to protect Li Hua. He had not imagined that his father would punish an innocent person instead of solving his matter with Lóng Wei.
“Over my dead body,” Lóng Wei said loudly. “I dont know about the Crown Prince, but I indeed have lost my mind a long time ago,” Lóng Wei announced with a menacing look.
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