Li Wenmin gently patted Xueyue's head in hopes of reassuring her. His cold gaze couldn't help but melt into a warm puddle at the sight of her face. Did she have to look like a bunny when she was scared? Her doe-eyes were growing so wide, darting back and forth, it was beginning to amuse him.
The mirth disappeared from Li Wenmin's eyes when Wang Longhe opened his mouth to speak again.
"This is the city that my father owns and rules over. Why can't I be here?" Wang Longhe retorted, crossing his arms with a relaxed smirk.
When he noticed Li Wenmin was occupied with a human-sized porcelain doll, he couldn't help his curious eyes from wandering to her. It trailed to her clothes and then her face. A low smile spread on his lips. Finally, he had leverage over them. Any young girl in this country could be chosen by him to become his wife, so long as she was from a reputable family.
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When Li Wenmin noticed the heavy gaze on Xueyue, he immediately tucked her behind him. Li Chenyang was quick on his feet, and soon, two bodies were blocking his view.
Wang Longhe raised a brow at their protective behavior. It nearly amused him. He had never seen the twins so possessive over something. "Who's the girl?" he provoked, tilting his head in false curiosity.
"Why do you care?" Li Chenyang crossed his arm.
Wang Longhe smirked. "What? A guy can't admire a young woman's beauty?" he taunted.
Tilting his head, he said, "I'm royalty, I can do whatever I want. For example, taking the girl home and locking her within the Prayer Halls."
Li Wenmin's face turned deadly. "You dare—"
"Both of you are nothing but weaklings who can't resist the invincible power of a royal decree." Wang Longhe leisurely shrugged. He behaved as if he hadn't just offended two out of five of the Great Sons of Wuyi.
Xueyue stiffened at the fourth prince's words, her grip on Li Wenmin tightening. She frightfully asked herself, 'Was he really going to take me...?' She shook the thoughts from her head. 'No no, I should trust Li Wenmin and Li Chenyang!'
"You were born from such a lowly mother, I almost forgot you were royalty." Li Chenyang chuckled, clicking his tongue in amusement.
Wang Longhe scowled.
Wang Longhe's eyes darkened and he took a dangerous step closer. "Don't test me, you bastard," he seethed, his eyes flashing with anger.
"Or else what?" Li Wenmin taunted, a wicked smile on his face. His hand itched for his sword, but Xueyue was behind him and he couldn't afford to hurt her if she tried to grab for the weapon in an attempt to stop him.
Li Wenmin and Li Chenyang might've created a human wall, but their stances were not impenetrable. Wang Longhe was still able to see Xueyue. At first, he was intrigued by her. She had instantly caught his attention when she stepped foot into the capital with the twins.
His curiosity only grew after seeing her grateful exchanges with the food-sellers. When he saw her daunting spirit, he wanted to get to know her. One minute she was fierce, the next minute she was hiding behind her knights. It was very amusing to him, so much so, his eyes flashed when she took a hesitant glance his way.
"If you don't want blood to shed this early in the afternoon, keep your eyes to yourself," Li Chenyang snarled, his hand reaching for the sword on his hips.
Wang Longhe suddenly laughed. It echoed through the streets, filled with hatred and disgust. There was no warmth in his laughter, and that scared Xueyue. "It seems my predictions were indeed correct. You fools finally have a weakness."
Li Wenmin unscathed his sword and instantly, the Li guards revealed their weapons. At the same time, Wang Longhe's guards drew their swords.
Not wanting blood to shed, Xueyue blindly reached for a sleeve to grab onto. She couldn't afford to offend the imperial family any longer.
'What if the duke couldn't protect his sons and they're really sentenced to death?!'
When Xueyue had thought she grabbed Li Wenmin, she was actually holding onto Li Chenyang.
Li Chenyang was surprised to feel a light weight on his sleeves and when he glanced down, he finally realized her pale expression.
"W-we can't offend the royal family—"
"The Li Family can afford to offend any family." His voice was gruff, but it was sincere and truthful.
Xueyue felt her brows pull together in confusion. 'Was that even possible?' she thought to herself.
When Li Chenyang realized the high tension in the air and the people's whisperings, he knew blood might really shed. This argument must end.
If his mother was to find out about the brawl, he would be in for a long lecture. Neither boys wanted to relive the experience of their mother's lecture that starts at sunrise and ends at sunset.
Seizing the opportunity of Xueyue as a momentary distraction, Li Chenyang quietly told Li Wenmin, "We don't have time to spare with insignificant bugs. They'll never be able to match our pace."
Xueyue quickly bobbed her head at Li Chenyang's words. "Let's go home, okay?" she urged them.
"The famed Li twins are scared of a little bit of child play? You couldn't even save your little sister from my clutches—" Wang Longhe couldn't finish his taunting when Li Wenmin's sword flew dangerously close to his neck.
It all happened within the blink of an eye, but Li Wenmin was standing in front of Wang Longhe, holding a sword to his throat. "Another word and I'll cut you," he hissed, the metal sword gleaming in the sun.
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