The next morning, the sun was overwhelming bright and warm. The skies were incredibly blue, and the clouds looked extra fluffy. It was as if the storm never happened and the sky was always this calm.
But on the grounds, it was chaotic. There were branches everywhere and a lot of overturned crops and shops. Because Lanbei was such a prosperous city, the people worked very quickly. From the first hour that the sun had rised, the people immediately began to clean up their environment.
But, only the servants and the lower class people were working. The rich and wealthy stayed in their expansive Manors, enjoying their morning breakfast. It was the same in almost every family, except the outstanding Li family.
Duke Li was preparing to step outside of his Manor after enjoying a quick breakfast. He was within his room, getting clothed by the servants.
His cold gaze softened when it trailed to his glum wife. She was sitting by the window, and glancing out towards the distance. With her chin propped up by her arm, there was a sullen and gloomy look on her face.
Duke Li sighed at the melancholic state of his wife. In a soft and gentle voice, he said, "My dear wife, it's not good to cope yourself in your room..."
After the servants finished dressing him, he strolled towards his wife. Immediately wrapping an arm around her frail shoulders, he provided her warmth.
"Where are you going?" Her voice was hoarse and barely above a whisper. From crying all night long at the death of her daughter which occurred a few weeks ago, her voice was bound to be broken.
"The city is working very hard to clean up the streets. Our servants are also working very hard to clear the grounds of branches and knocked over trees. I'm going to check up on their progress." Duke Li said to his wife.
She doesn't look at him. instead, she continued to stare into the distance.
Duke Li felt his heart clench painfully at the painful sight of his dazed wife. The two were extremely heartbroken when their daughter's dead body was found in a lake. Someone had murdered their precious daughter who was only seventeen years old when she died.
Duke Li was slowly recovering, and he was doing it faster than his wife. Duchess Li was having an extremely hard time coping the death of her daughter. She had tenderly raised the child through her own hands.
When most noble ladies would pass their babies to a wet nurse or a nursemaid, Duchess Li didn't. She kept her only daughter close to her. When the baby cried at night, she was the first to respond. When the baby had wet or dirtied itself, she was the one to change her clothes. When the baby was hungry, she had breastfed it herself.
This was extremely rare for noble ladies of outstanding families and rank, but she didn't care. Duchess Li loved her daughter too much to let other woman handle her.
Duchess Li gave birth to two sons a few years after she gave birth to her daughter. She had healthy twins, who were currently nine years old. But a mother could never get over the death of her precious daughter. No mother could ever get over such a tragic and unknown death.
"I will come back very soon and then we can take a stroll in Lanbei. How does that sound?" Duke Li gently asked his wife. After a few unresponsive seconds, she slowly nodded her head.
"After our sons finish their morning lessons, they will also be joining us." Duke Li added on. His lovely wife slowly nodded her head. At the mention of her sons, her eyes had lightened the slightest bit.
Seeing her small responses pained Duke Li, but he had ran out of any other options of cheering her up. It seemed time would be the only way of healing her. Just when Duke Li bend down to press a soft kiss to his wife's cheeks, the thumping sound of a servant racing through the halls could be heard.
Duke Li stopped his kiss and raised his head towards the door. "Open it." He told the Eunuch waiting by the door. The Eunuch immediately nodded and slid the door open.
An out of breath girl stood outside the door. She immediately bowed low at the sight of Duke and Duchess Li.
"What is it?" Duke Li cut to the chase. His tone was calm, but had a slight touch of irritation. He hated being interrupted, especially when he was with his wife. But the matter must've been urgent for a servant to risk her life.
"A-at the edge of the forest, behind a tree, the body of an unconscious girl was found." The servant stuttered out between pants for air.
Duke Li raised a curious brow at her words. A girl was found at the edge of the forest? Why would a girl wander into the forest, especially when it was muddy and there was a storm the night before?
"It was the edge near the Li Manor, so the matter couldn't be ignored." The servant added on. She never dared to raise her head when she was addressing her Master. Instead, she kept it very low.
Duke Li sighed at the news. "I will be back, my dear." He said to his wife. She didn't say anything and continued to stare out the window. He cracked a dry smile and pressed a swift kiss to her cheeks.
He walked towards the servant and followed her out the door.
'It's going to be a tiring day ahead of us,' Duke Li thought to himself and indeed, just as he had predicted, the day would be long and strenuous...
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