Chapter 5: Another Meaning
“The Crown Prince has asked you to come in,” the court lady told Li Hua, who walked in.
She kept her gaze low and she stopped in the middle of the chamber.
“Eunuch Lishi, give us some privacy,” Xiaoming urged, who promptly left the chamber.
Li Hua tightly pressed her right hands fingers on her left ones and the skin turned paler. It was the first time the Crown Prince summoned her and her nervousness was increasing with each passing second.
Xiaoming outstretched his hand. “Forward your right hand,” Xiaoming said in his gentle voice.
“Pardon me, Your Royal Highness” Li Hua was confused to hear the Crown Prince.
“Your right hand, Li Hua,” Xiaoming repeated his words.
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Li Hua forwarded her hand when Xiaoming pushed the long sleeve of her dress up. “You injured your hand,” she heard him say.
He had a tiny circular box that had a white ointment in it- the expensive medicine that only royals could use. He took a small portion of it in his fingers when Li Hua immediately pulled her hand back.
“It is healed, Your Royal Highness,” Li Hua answered. She could not understand why Xiaoming was showing concern towards her.
“Are you going against the command of the Crown Prince” Xiaoming threatened her and asked her to bring her hand forward again.
Li Hua worked accordingly with the command of the Crown Prince and forwarded her right hand. Xiaoming gently grasped it. He removed the handkerchief that she had tied around her hand.
She felt a little strange because it was a crime to even touch the Crown Prince let alone hold his hand.
Xiaoming applied the ointment in a circular motion over Li Huas palm. “You have soft hands,” Xiaoming deduced. “The wound is deep. It might get an infection if not treated well,” he added.
Li Hua had heard from her fellow palace servants that the Crown Prince was a calm and gentle person. People loved him because he was ready to help them anytime.
“Who did this to you” Xiaomings sudden question brought her out of those thoughts and she peered at him.
“Your Royal Highness, I was picking the broken pieces of porcelain cups. While doing so, my hand got cut,” Li Hua told the half-truth.
“Hmm. Why dont you work for me” Xiaoming asked her.
“Pardon me, Your Highness” She was confused to hear the Crown Prince.
“I want you to work in my manor as my personal attendant. I will talk to my mother regarding this,” Xiaoming asserted.
Li Hua was not able to understand what to reply to in this situation. She had worked hard to enter the Queens manor and she could not leave that. Not until she would find the true culprit behind her todays state.
However, more than the Queen, the Crown Prince was involved in the Kingdoms work. It would be nice if she got close to him. She could find the culprit behind the mass murder of not only her family but also the Shui family.
Indeed, Xu Family was charged with treason, but till now she was unable to find the reason.
“I will be glad if the Crown Prince allows me to work for him,” Li Hua accepted his offer.
Xiaoming smiled and put her sleeve down. “Keep it with you,” he handed the ointment box to her. “I will talk to my mother regarding your transfer to my manor,” he stated.
“I cannot keep it, Your Highness,” Li Hua said.
“The servants might take another meaning of it,” Li Hua replied.
“Let them take another meaning,” Xiaoming affirmed while Li Hua gaped at his response. However, she did not put much thought into it. “You may leave,” he motioned his hand in the air.
Li Hua bowed and came out of the chamber. Eunuch Lishi looked at her with skepticism when she quickly left the place. She stopped near the pillar and looked at her hand.
“Why does His Highness want me to work as his personal attendant” She murmured.
A low scream escaped her mouth when she was pulled behind the pillar and pinned on it. She widened her eyes to see Lóng Wei, who had pulled her.
“Your Highness.” She was puzzled and at the same time, a little scared because if anyone would see her, then she would be punished severely.
“Why did you go alone to the Crown Princes chamber” Lóng Wei queried her and found the handkerchief was no longer around her palm. He let go of his grip on her shoulders and checked her right palm.
Lóng Wei chuckled. “I was right,” he murmured when Li Hua pulled her hand away.
“Your Highness, you cannot do this. I will be punished if-” she paused as Lóng Wei hushed her.
“Dont tell me what I can do,” he said in a menacing tone, which intimidated Li Hua a little when she felt a sudden pain in her palm. She frowned and looked into his eyes, which were reading every emotion of hers.
“Its hurting,” she said in a low voice.
Lóng Wei let go of her hand and said, “the one who gave you this scar, has to bear the same pain or even more.” His finger brushed against her skin as he tucked the hair strands behind her ear.
“What does His Highness mean” Li Hua asked. She recalled all sorts of rumors about the Youngest Prince. The reason he was locked in the Cold Palace was that he brutally thrashed the son of the Prime Minister, then burned a residence that belonged to the first Concubines brother, and many other incidents.
Indeed, earlier she did not focus much on him, but the way Lóng Wei approached her, somewhere made her worry.
“You are smart enough to know what I mean,” Lóng Wei said and patted her head before leaving.
That gentle pat reminded her of Feng Lao. Her eyes filled with tears and she took a deep breath.
I cannot let myself fall weak, she told herself before walking away.
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