Xueyue wasn't sure how long she was trapped in a world of darkness. Everywhere she looked, she saw the boring sight of empty blackness.
Occasionally, she would feel something touch her lips and then trickle down her throat. She could hear muffled noises in the background, but when she chased after it, the voices suddenly stopped talking.
After a long time of walking in the darkness, Xueyue had finally saw a light at the end of her long path. With legs as fast as the wind, she ran towards the light. She was extremely happy at seeing something other than the boring world of black.
When Xueyue reached her hand into the light, she suddenly felt the light evade her vision. Painfully squeezing her eyes shut, Xueyue slowly peeled it open after a few fleeting seconds.
Her vision was extremely blurry, and her head was beginning to ache. Xueyue turned her head to the left and then to the right in confusion.
'Where am I? She questioned herself.
Xueyue noticed the soft and plush bed she was on. There was a heavy blanket strung over her body and she seemed to be tucked into bed.
Xueyue frowned. She tried to sit up from the bed, but cried out in pain instead. Glancing down at her arms, her eyes went wide when she saw it was wrapped in bandages. Her left arm was severely sore, but it wasn't excruciatingly painful.
Slowly, but surely, Xueyue was able to sit up in bed. She noticed the bowl of water besides her bed stand.
With one shaky hand, Xueyue reached for the enormous bowl of water. Because the bowl was on a table a few inches away from Xueyue, she didn't see the towel floating in it.
"Eeep!" Xueyue yelped when she nearly fell out of her bed. The bowl was too far for her hand to reach.
The sudden sound in the chilly and empty room was enough to startle the guards stationed outside. The guards exchanged nervous glances with each other. Was it their imagination? Had they truly heard something from within the room?
"D-do you think it's a ghost?" Whispered a nervous and young soldier. He had stayed up the night before reading horror novels and the idea of encountering a ghost was frightening.
The older guard rolled his eyes and smacked the young boy behind his head. "Of course not, you fool!" The older guard hissed at him.
"S-sir, can you check for me-" Before the young guard finished his sentence, the older man had already strolled into the room.
The sight he saw immediately dried his throat. Sitting in the bed was a child no more than the age of thirteen.
He was only a guard, and though he was a high-ranking one, he had never seen who was in the room. His job was to protect and watch over the door, and he did just that. While he was mesmerized by the woman before him, his junior most certainty wasn't.
The young guard's face went pale. I-i-it's a g-ghost!
The young guard's first thought when he saw her messy long, and silky hair was the image painted by the horror novel he was reading.
When the older guard had saw an innocent child seeking water, he saw the ghost of a child.
With a bandage wrapped around the girl's head, her hair covering half of her face, the signature white-nightgown, and the chilling moonlight falling upon her, the young guard thought he had encountered an evil spirit.
When the child raised her head at the sound of the door being open, the young guard felt his heart drop all the way down to his stomach. Aiyaya, t-the ghost actually moved!
"H-hello...?" Xueyue's throat was extremely hoarse from days of not drinking water.
The young guard felt his body stiffen at the voice. Goodness gracious, even her voice sounded frightening! 'Wuu wuu, I'm too young to die!' The younger guard wailed inside his head.
The older guard glanced down at his junior and smacked him in the head again. "You fool! Fix that overly imaginative brain of yours!" The older guard hissed at him.
"Because you're too scared to stand here any longer, go and fetch a servant! Tell them the girl is awake-" Before the older guard even finished his command, the younger guard had already sprinted down the halls.
The older guard glared at the retreating form of his junior. Out of all of the guards employed by Master Li, he just had to get the weakest of them all!
The older guard grumbled underneath his breath. It seemed like Lady Luck didn't shine on him...
"U-uhm..." Xueyue's hesitant and confused voice caught the guard's attention.
His eyes went wide, and he immediately knelled before the girl. He wasn't sure of her status, but seeing how Duke and Duchess Li would always visit her, he knew she was someone of high importance.
The older guard knew better than offending a person of higher rank than him. "This lowly servant apologizes for our disrespectful behavior!" The older guard immediately spoke up.
Xueyue was taken by surprise. She nervously licked her cracked lips and uncomfortable fidgeted in her spot.
She didn't expect heavily armored men to busts into the room, nor an older man to drop to his knees and bend his head in respect to her.
"I-it's alright?" Xueyue hesitantly whispered.
She winced at the horrible sound of her voice. It was so dry and broken from days of dehydration, her own voice sounded foreign to her.
"Where am I?" Xueyue whispered again. It put a heavy strain on her throat to speak, and she knew it wouldn't be wise to raise her voice higher than a soft whisper.
She prayed the guard heard her. He was wearing a heavy metal helmet, and she thought it might be hard for him to hear.
"Answering your question, you're currently residing within Duke and Duchess Li's Manor." The guard immediately responded. He slowly got up from his kneeling position and when he raised his head, his eyes went wide.
Upon closer inspection, he noticed a startling familiarity to her. "L-Lady Minghua?" He breathed out in shock.
Xueyue tilted her head in confusion. Lady Minghua? Who was that?
The guard blinked and rubbed his eyes. When he fixed it, he nearly cursed out loud. He thought he had seen Minghua, but upon second glance, it wasn't her.
'She's dead.' He inwardly repeated to himself.
'That's right...she's dead and buried seven feet deep into the ground.' He thought to himself.
Xueyue opened her mouth to ask another question when suddenly, her eyes grew wide and the realization came rolling in: she was at the famed Duke and Duchess Li's house!
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