Chapter 18: Never afraid of the Consequences
Li Huas fingers were bruised after practicing for a long. Why was the Sixth Prince adamant to make her learn it She wiped the sweat from her forehead from the back of her sleeve. Again, she put the arrow on the bow.
Her hands started to tremble. The scorching, harsh summer heat had tired her out. Luckily, Lóng Wei let her have breakfast with him, or she would have fainted by now. Her vision started to blur, and she shook her head.
At that moment, she recalled Feng Laos words.
One must not overstress himself while training. Indeed, surpassing your limits is emphasized. But if you are unable to get a result, then you need to stop.
Li Hua put her hands down and sat down on the patio. She took deep breaths. “I cannot do it anymore,” she murmured. She lay on it and looked at the lanterns hanging above her head.
Some letters were carved outside the lanterns surface.
“All your wishes come true,” she read the words written on the lantern.
“You become what you think,” she read from another lantern, and a chuckle escaped her mouth. She did not agree with this. Your fate would decide what you would become. It was not in your hands. She had planned a whole life with Feng Lao. She taught herself well how to be a virtuous wife.
She heard the footsteps and turned to look, if Lóng Wei had returned. She walked inside the chamber and walked out to the front yard when she saw the Queen coming in her direction.
She immediately lowered her head and joined her hands near the belly.
The Queen stopped in front of Li Hua, and the servants halted at a foot distance from her. Zhu Liling found out that the Sixth Prince was not in the manor. She remembered that Lóng Wei mostly sat outside in the swing when he would be present in the manor. She asked Li Hua.
“His Highness did not mention where he was heading to. However, His Highness said that he would return in the evening,” Li Hua answered humbly.
“The Crown Princes image was tarnished today. You should have stopped the Crown Prince when he offered to put ointment on your palm. Because of a palace maid, the Crown Prince was scolded and humiliated,” Zhu Liling scolded Li Hua, who stayed quiet.
“I need answers, Li Hua. Did you in any way go close to the Crown Prince” Zhu Liling demanded answers from Li Hua.
“This palace maid never tried to go close to the Crown Prince, Your Majesty. Thats a grave crime, which this palace maid will never commit,” Li Hua stood firm for her character. She was nervous inside out. What if the Queen punished her for betraying her! Li Hua had been with the Queen for two months, and never once was she punished.
Queen Liling knew that the King had already ended the matter, so she decided not to stretch it. What if Lóng Wei would go to the King to complain about her Her main reason to visit the Sixth Princes manor was to check what was going on in his head. Since he was not present in the manor, there was no use arguing with a mere palace maid.
Eunuch-in-waiting, Wu Lianying, came forward and whispered near the Queens ear. She widened her eyes. “Princess Jingfei fainted.” Zhu Liling was shocked to hear it. She turned to leave and tilted her head to say, “Li Hua, because you served me well, thats why I left you unpunished.”
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Li Hua bowed further. “Thank you, Your Majesty, for your kind generosity,” she said. The Queen left for the First Princesss manor, followed by her servants.
After the Queen and her servants left, Li Hua stood straight and looked towards the grand door. She knitted her brows and looked at her hands. Li Hua went back to the open yard to practice. She still had to answer Lóng Wei when he would return. She did not want to anger him because he was far more dangerous than anyone in the palace.
He was not only outspoken but brave too. He was never afraid of the consequences. Moreover, his decision-making ability was remarkable. No matter how bad the situation would turn, Lóng Wei knew how to turn it right. He knew how to change the direction of the wind.
She picked the bow and arrow once more, ready to aim where the Sixth Prince had told her to. Li Hua recalled her fathers words, Xu Huang Li, with that. She was ten years old at that time and happened to enter her fathers study, who was reading the famous book by Philosopher Lu Qiao.
“Li Hua, do you know who is considered the strongest man” Xu Huang Li asked the young Li Hua.
“Father, in my opinion, who knows how to fight but at the same time is compassionate. A big heart is also the symbol of strength,” Li Hua answered her father.
“Li Hua, everyone thinks that, but according to Philosopher Lu Qiao, the strongest is the one who knows how to handle the toughest of the situations. Suppose you get attacked by enemies, your strength doesnt matter. But your presence of mind does,” Xu Huang Li stated. Young Li Hua hardly understood the words of her father at that time.
After so many years, she finally got to see a person who could be considered the strongest among all.
The arrow left the bow, and this time it reached near the lowest portion of the tree. She smiled and found it to be a big achievement. But her task was to hit the target above those two arrows which Lóng Wei had hit.
She continued to practice until the early evening. She had given up and decided to give an explanation to Lóng Wei behind her failure. After collecting all the arrows, she put them in the quiver. She went towards the tree and tried to take out the arrows when got cut on her fingers.
“Ahhh,” she winced in pain and pulled her hand back. “How could these be fixed so strongly into the bark” she wondered and walked away. Putting the bow and quiver at their places, she came inside the chamber. She looked towards the door and wondered why the Sixth Prince had not returned.
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