Bai Tianai was curiously staring at the beautiful, yet oddly familiar woman that had just won the archery competition.
Before the Eunuch announced the woman's name, Bai Tianai was thinking of bringing the woman into her social circle and befriending her. Everyone had seen the way the infamous Li twins protected this tiny woman. Doted on by Minister Li Chenyang and protected by General Li Wenmin, every young woman felt incredibly envious of the mysterious girl.
Bai Tianai dug her fingers into her palm. 'She wasn't even that pretty, why were they so enamored on her? What made this normal-faced girl so special?! What did she have that they didn't?'
There were multiple women here who were dolled up in utter perfection, many of whom believed they were prettier than the mysterious young woman . Yet, none of them received as much attention as her.
They frowned at how much Li Chenyang was doting upon her. He was clearly worried about her condition, but she seemed too dazed to even hear his words.
A handful of women didn't understand why her complexion seemed so pale. Perhaps it was because she had finally realized the eyes that were watching her every move. Or because she wanted to make Li Chenyang worry and pamper over her more.
On the opposite hand, the men didn't share the same thoughts as a few women.
Seeing her shy away from the crowd and attention made her adoring. However, she looked too fierce for their liking when she was shooting the arrow. They thought she was too deadly for a woman. She would be hard to tame. An uncontrollable wife.
Many of their egos were wounded when they saw how good she was at archery. What would happen to their reputation if their own wife bested them in a sport suitable for men?
But that's their loss and not Xueyue's.
Her phoenix wings were already sniped off once, she would never allow that to happen again. Her heart was prepared to never love a man that would dare to restrict her wings from spreading...
"Did the Eunuch just say Xueyue?" Viscount Bai Sheng spoke up, his eyes scrutinizing the young woman in front of him. Aside from the similarity in names, he didn't see any resemblance. This Xueyue in front of him was beautiful and nothing like the worthless brat from two years ago. Was this a simple coincidence?
His eyes narrowed. If he remembered correctly, the little brat was also good at archery…
"You must be mistaken," Viscountess Bai Yihua whispered. "Our Xueyue—"
"Your Xueyue. Not mine." He snarled in displeasure.
Viscountess Bai Yihua blinked as her smile became strained. She glanced at her fingers and murmured, "This Li Xueyue is too different from our Bai Xueyue. B-besides, she died from that beating, remember?"
Slightly unconvinced, Viscount Bai Sheng stole another glance at the young woman standing in the archery ring.
Instead of hollowed cheeks, lifeless eyes, and sickly appearance, this girl had full-cheeks, glistening hazel eyes, and a bright aura exuding from her.
"Indeed, my wife, you're right..." Viscount Bai Sheng trailed off.
Li Xueyue was dressed in a well-fitted robe that was evidently crafted from hand-embroidered and one-in-the-world designs. With her posture and aura, everyone could tell she had a sheltered life filled with love.
Indeed, this Li Xueyue was not Bai Xueyue. Besides, it would be impossible to see that brat again, she had already died two years ago!
Viscountess Bai Yihua had a peaceful expression on her face, but she couldn't help but wince on the inside. She was Bai Xueyue's mother. Even if she did not love the child as much as she loved Bai Tianai, Xueyue was still her daughter. The mere mention of her daughter's death could do nothing but bring guilt and remorse to the Viscountess.
Bai Tianai felt her throat run dry at the sight of Li Xueyue. Two long years have passed and Xueyue might've matured, but she knew this Li Xueyue was the same Bai Xueyue, the same annoying sister that tried to outshine her...
Zheng Leiyu noticed Bai Tianai's intense stare. "Honey, what are you looking at?" he curiously asked.
Lifting her eyes, she batted her long lashes at him. "I was admiring that girl's horse, it's so lovely," she fluently lied.
Zheng Leiyu raised a brow at her words. Because he was so distracted by Tianai's little brother, Bai Yihao, he didn't hear the Eunuch's announcement of the woman's name.
Right when he directed his attention to Xueyue, Bai Tianai grabbed his hand and leaned her head onto his shoulders. Surprised at her sudden touch, Zheng Leiyu glanced at her.
His gaze softened at the tired expression on her face.
Bai Tianai abruptly raised her head, her eyes widening. "I'm sorry, I know you don't like it when I publicly—"
"No, it's alright. Just close your eyes and sleep on me, but only for today," Zheng Leiyu softly said, gently stroking her cheeks.
He disliked public displays of affection or intimacy. In his eyes, it made men look weak to be so wrapped up on a woman. He was, however, in a good mood today for some reason. Thus, he decided to wrap an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer.
Seeing him fully devote his attention to her, Bai Tianai hid her smile.
As long as he didn't focus his attention on Li Xueyue, she was content…
When Bai Tianai wasn't watching, Zheng Leiyu took a secretive look at the young woman.
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A tremor shook Zheng Leiyu's soul when he finally laid eyes on the woman in the archery ring. Why did she look so much like the little girl he used to know? Why did she look so much like Bai Xueyue?!
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