Chapter 23: In this dangerous place
Li Hua walked through the cobblestone path of her house. Everything was so quiet. It seemed no one was present in the residence.
She was scared of quietness and aloofness. She ran through the corridor of the residence but found no one.
“Father! Mother!” She called them out and ran down the stairs, holding the long skirt. Her feet stopped as she saw her fathers body lying on the ground in blood, surrounded by many dead bodies.
“Father,” she murmured, and tears streamed down her cheeks. She heard the clanking and turned to look, when she saw her elder brother was fighting with a masked man.
“Elder Brother,” she stepped forward when the sword pierced through her brothers body, and she screamed. She brought her hands to her ears and did not want to hear the sound of swords clanking. “Please, dont kill,” she murmured when a hand grabbed her arm.
“Li Hua,” the voice called her name softly.
She gradually opened her eyes and realized it was a nightmare. She could feel the tears on her cheeks and wiped them from the back of her palm.
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Ever since she lost her family, such nightmares had become prominent. She sobbed and tilted her head. To her surprise, Lóng Wei was standing tall in front of her.
“Your Highness.” She immediately sat up and wondered if he was the one who called out her name. Did he hear her screams If he had, then it would be tough for her to explain to him. She clutched the edge of the quilt tightly, pondering over Lóng Weis possible questions for her.
“Soon, the cleaner will come,” Lóng Wei said and locked his hands behind his back. Li Hua realized that Lóng Wei didnt hear anything, which meant she didnt scream. It was only a nightmare.
Li Hua got down from the chaise lounge and carried the quilt in her arms when Lóng Wei took it from her.
“Your Highness, I will do,” Li Hua said and walked behind Lóng Wei, who took the quilt to bed. He threw it on the mattress and turned to gaze at Li Hua.
“Forgive this servant for waking up late, Your Highness,” Li Hua said with guilt and lowered her head. Lóng Wei walked to her and stroked her hair.
Li Hua lifted her head to peer at him.
“I hope youll tell the truth soon because only I can help you,” Lóng Wei stated. Li Huas eyes grew bigger upon hearing the statement. He moved his hand down from her head and traced her face from the back of his pointer finger. “Whatever you have in your mind, you can share that with me. Except me, who will help you in this dangerous place,” Lóng Wei said with a tiny smile on his lips as he withdrew his hand back.
Li Hua pondered why he said so and lowered her eyes.
“I am heading to the Greeting Hall. Everyone is waiting for me,” he told her.
Li Hua could not believe that she had slept for so long. “Your Highness, could you please give me ten minutes I will freshen up and dress up soon,” Li Hua requested. She was surprised that Lóng Wei didnt scold or punish her for waking up so late.
“You need to take a bath and change clothes which will take at least half an hour,” Lóng Wei said. “Moreover, you are not needed in the greeting hall. Stay here. I will meet you at breakfast. Dont tell anyone that you woke up late,” he explained to her and left the chamber.
Li Hua found another side of Lóng Wei. He was considerate of people, or probably, he was considerate of her only. She ruled out that fact. Lóng Wei loved to play with people. The previous day, he might have done the same.
A prince can never like a servant, she told herself.
“Li Hua, dont go to the servants quarters.” Li Hua was shocked to see Lóng Wei back in the chamber. But he was near the door.
“You might get punished in my absence. Use my bathhouse. No one comes in my manor without my permission. The cleaner will come an hour late. You have enough time till then,” Lóng Wei stated and went away.
Li Hua bit her bottom lip. The Sixth Prince was concerned for her. The previous days talks of Lóng Weis started to roam in her head.
The only question that she had in her mind for him.
The five princes encountered each other in the corridor leading to the Greeting Hall. The two princesses also arrived, except the First Princess, who was told to rest in her chamber.
They all greeted the Crown Prince, who responded to their greetings.
“Sixth Brother will be punished today. I wonder what our Royal Father has thought about,” Third Prince Tianjie said and looked at Ai Fen. “How is the First Sister” he queried.
“I have not met the First Sister Yet, Third Brother,” Ai Fen answered.
“The First Sister is better than last night. She has accepted her mistake of using a bad word for the Sixth Brothers late mother,” Xiaoming answered.
“Forgive me, Crown Prince, but Brother Lóng Wei was angry because Li Hua was called a whore. The Sixth Brother never respected his mother, and he doesnt care if anyone uses a bad word against her. He only cares about a petty palace maid,” Qiu Mu said. His words felt provoking to Xiaoming, but he decided not to argue with the Second Prince.
“Every time the Sixth Brother returns from the cold palace, something big happens in the palace,” the Third Princess, Xiaolian, said.
“However, yesterdays incident wasnt expected of anyone. The Sixth Brother didnt even flinch to do such a heinous act,” Zhang Xi pronounced.
“We are no one to decide on this matter,” Xiaoming stated.
“The Crown Prince is wrong. Brother Lóng Wei killed his mother. Does the Crown Prince think he will not do the same with us He loses his senses any time, anywhere. We need to convince our Royal Father to find a permanent solution to this problem,” Qiu Mu affirmed, and the rest agreed with him.
“I have become so popular that in this pleasant morning, I am the topic to be discussed.” They all turned and found Lóng Wei coming in their direction.
Xiaoming didnt find Li Hua and wondered why she didnt accompany Lóng Wei.
“Sixth Brother, the First Sisters face is charred by those pimples. At least, show remorse for your acts,” Xiaolian scolded him.
“Sadly, I dont feel many emotions,” Lóng Wei said and walked past her. He didnt greet any of them and walked ahead.
“Mannerless!” Qiu Mu muttered.
The Crown Prince gestured to him not to say anything and walked ahead, followed by them.
Lóng Wei was astonished to see Yuze in the Greeting Hall, who was smiling at him. Lóng Wei furrowed his brows together and then turned to look at his father, who was patiently waiting for his arrival in the Greeting Hall.
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