Li Wenmin decided it was better to approach Xueyue than watch her from a distance like some creeper. "I'm going to go and talk to her."
He patted the grass and dirt off of his training pants and left before Li Chenyang could reply.
Li Xueyue was too immersed in archery to notice the man walking towards her. She was startled when someone tapped her on her right shoulder. Turning around, a broad chest came into her view and she was not surprised to see one of the twins.
The left side of his lips curled into a lopsided and friendly smile, "Hello, my name is Li Wenmin."
Xueyue stared at the easygoing man in front of her. His features were soft to the eyes, and there was a childish glint in his eyes. He was quite the looker, but she was too unfazed by appearances. Zheng Leiyu was one of the most beautiful men she had ever seen, but his ugly heart outshone his beauty.
"Li Wenmin, you bastard. Don't run off without me," Li Chenyang snarled with his fingers curled into impatient fists.
"If I'm a bastard, what does that make you? We were born at the same time," Li Wenmin scoffed.
Xueyue was briefly taken by surprise to see that they looked nothing like each other and yet they were twins. They shared similar thick eyebrows and thin lips, but Li Chenyang eyes were considerably darker. There was a slight scar near his right brow and his cheeks were more hollowed. Because his jaw was clenched with anger, it was ticking and sharp.
She had expected them to be identical and not fraternal twins. Upon closer inspection, she viewed Li Wenmin as the warm summer rays. Mirth danced in his eyes, sparkling with childish wonder. On the other hand, Li Chenyang was like the frigid winter wind. He behaved as if nothing in this world amused or entertained him.
Li Wenmin was the first to notice the awkward tension. He cleared his throat and clapped his hands to garner their attention. "You, my dear, must be Xueyue." He tapped his long finger on her button nose.
Xueyue was unsure of what to call him. He was older than her, which meant she should show some respect, but they were technically supposed to be on familiar terms. With a worried heart that she might offend him by directly calling him by his name, she finally decided to settle with a more respectable way of addressing him, "You've guessed correctly… Young Master Li."
Li Wenmin blinked in surprise. He ruffled Xueyue's hair, a friendly grin on his lips. "Drop the title, you can just call me Li Wenmin. Or even better, Wen-ge!" he mused.
Xueyue tilted her head to the side. Was he always this nice?
"And in return, I'll call you Xiao Yue!" He giddily clapped his hands.
"This iceberg beside me is my younger brother, Li Chenyang. I'm sure Mother, and Father have talked to you about us?"
Xueyue immediately noticed how chatty and bright Li Wenmin was. His hands would sometimes move animatedly when he talked, and he was extremely lively.
"It's a pleasure to meet both of you," she hesitantly responded.
When Li Chenyang crossed his arms and raised a brow, she nervously glanced at the floor.
Placing her right hand over her left and then shifting her hands to her right torso, Xueyue awkwardly curtsied.
"Whatever," Li Chenyang muttered before walking back towards the tree.
Xueyue felt her heart drop to her stomach. 'Did I offend him already?'
"Don't worry about my younger brother. He's always this grumpy," Li Wenmin quickly said.
"Did I offend him?" Xueyue quietly asked.
Li Wenmin tilted his head to see Li Chenyang walking back towards the willow tree. He slung an arm around Xueyue's shoulder and smiled. "Trust me, if you had offended him, he wouldn't have left you unscathed."
Li Chenyang proceeded to pull a book out of god knows where.
"Let's not worry about him." Li Wenmin guided Xueyue's attention away from the willow tree. "Instead, let's pay our attention to those arrows."
Xueyue lifted her eyes to look at the arrows she had recently shot.
He added on, "Will you teach me how to shoot like that?"
Surprised by his request, Xueyue's eyes flew towards him. 'He wanted me, a child, to teach him how to shoot an arrow?!' Sure, she was skilled in archery, but she doubted the adequacy of her skills to be a teacher. "I've never taught someone how to shoot an arrow. I don't think I'm eligible to teach you."
"Well, you won't know unless you try!"
"Uhm...." Xueyue awkwardly trailed off. 'Why was he so bright and optimistic? Should I try and be optimistic as well?'
Upon sensing her clear hesitation, Li Wenmin leaned closer to Xueyue. In a lowered voice, he whispered, "In return, I'll tell you how to win Li Chenyang over."
Xueyue's eyes brightened at the opportunity before her. She didn't want any unnecessary tension between her and Duchess Li's sons. It would lead to unwanted problems and conflicts that would eventually drive her farther away from her goal...
After thinking about it for a while, a small smile graced her lips.
Li Wenmin noticed how amusing her eyes were. When she was happy, it was a deep shade of hazel, rich like mahogany. Her eyes seemed to be her best features and in a few years, he'd finally understand why.
"Deal!" Xueyue happily said.
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Li Wenmin grinned as he struck a hand out for her to shake. "It's a deal then." They shook their hands in cooperation.
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