73 Is There a Problem?
Li Xueyue felt blood drain from her face. She was in too much disbelief to register how good-looking he was in his well-defined and sharp robes. 'Great, just great. You're ogling the man who kidnapped you into his room. Way too go, idiot!' she chided herself.
The man fixed his appearance, ran a hand through his hair and winked at her. She faked a gag which caused him to pinch her cheek again. She attempted to swat at him, but he had walked out of the black and white screen.
\"What a lovely intrusion.\" His tone was pleasant, but the dissatisfied glower on his face was not.
\"Lovely indeed.\" Emperor Fadong chuckled. He took a step inside and examined the Commander's large guest room. Four rooms had been joined into a gigantic one suitable for every need that a person could have.
\"I was simply passing by when I heard a ruckus outside. Your handmaidens were making a scene.\"
'My handmaidens?' The man resisted a smile that threatened to break out on his face. Her handmaidens were as feisty as her.
\"I apologize then.\"
\"No offense taken.\" Emperor Fadong's gaze lingered on the black screen for a brief moment before looking away. \"Now that you're properly dressed, why don't you join your friends in the throne room? The candidates are there.\"
The man curtly said, \"I'll be there soon.\"
Emperor Fadong slowly nodded with an inconspicuous smile. He took another step into the room, seemingly curious about the layout. The man tensed but kept his smile welcoming.
\"Is there a problem?\"
\"Yes, I'm looking for a young woman dressed in the colors of spring. You wouldn't happen to know where she snuck off?\"
The man's gaze sharpened. What a sneaky bastard this Emperor was. He knew she was deliberately delivered to him, whether it was through misguided directions or simply getting lost. And now, the Emperor was playing coy just to tease her reputation. If this was Hanjian, he would've demanded for the Emperor to leave, but he was a guest and that would be considered rude. Well, not as rude as a man willing to tarnish a woman's reputation.
\"Why would a woman be hiding in my room?\" He broke the tension by laughing, though it was cold and humorless.
Li Xueyue shivered at the intensity of his laugh. It was different from his previous one. Bitter and icy, she wondered if this was the real him.
\"Funny that you asked,\" Emperor Fadong said and raised a hairpin, twirling it as the dangling peach blossom spun into a mesmerizing pattern. \"I found this hairpin near the entrance. It suits the theme of spring, don't you think so?\"
At the mention of a hairpin, Li Xueyue's hands flew to her hair and sure enough, she felt a spot on her hair that had loosen. It was her hairpin.
\"I noticed the young lady was wearing it when I peered down at her from my throne.\"
The man struck his hand out, \"Hmm, would you let me see it?\"
Emperor Fadong placed the hairpin on the man's outstretched hands. Instantly, the man closed his hands around it and with brute strength, crushed the hairpin into two pieces before destroying the flower and center piece. He didn't care about the metal digging into his palm or the blood that threatened to drop.
\"Oh dear,\" the man feigned surprise. \"It's quite brittle.\"
Emperor Fadong's smile became strained, his eyes sharpened with irritation. He did not like losing at his own game. \"What is the meaning of this, Commander Yu Zhen?
\"I was testing the quality of the hairpin. Because it easily broke, I conclude this belongs to one of my maidservants.\"
\"You're destroying the evidence.\"
\"What evidence?\" Commander Yu Zhen raised a brow. A crafty smile sat on his lips.
Emperor Fadong narrowed his gaze in dissatisfaction. Of course this man was a Commander. He was sharp and had great situational awareness. Perhaps he shouldn't have welcomed him into the Palace.
The Emperor thought he could make a fool out of the finest Commander that Hanjian had ever witnessed. This man would go down in history books for many to marvel at.
Emperor Fadong reluctantly yielded when he said, \"That is destruction of property.\"
\"Is it?\" Commander Yu Zhen shook his head. \"It's merely a hairpin. When I identify which maidservant it belongs to, I will have a servant replace it.\"
His smile deepened when a slight sneer made its way to the Emperor's lips. The Emperor had lost.
\"If that is all, Emperor,\" Commander Yu Zhen spat out the word like it was poison, \"I'd like some peace and quiet before I finish dressing.\"
\"Oh? You're dressing yourself? That's quite unheard of.\"
\"Yes, men in Hanjian are raised to perform the basic tasks. We don't like being pampered fools who can't raise a finger.\"
A vein on the Emperor's forehead ticked. He was struggling to maintain his composure in front of this daunting and fearless man. It irked him to no avail that he could not lay a hand on Commander Yu Zhen who was the symbol of the two kingdoms' peace alliance.
\"I expect you to be in the throne room as promptly as possible. I don't want to keep your friends waiting.\"
\"They don't mind.\" Commander Yu Zhen chuckled. \"But for your sake, I'll be there soon.\"
Emperor Fadong's eyes narrowed into slits. He regretted siding with this man in the beginning of their day. Originally, he had planned to mock the Commander that a woman was in his room. It would be impolite for such an outstanding man to be fooling around on foreign soil. It would embarrass Hanjian who'd be forced to turn their backs on the Commander. Unfortunately for the Emperor, his plan miserably failed.
Where was that Li Xueyue? He had instructed the Empress to give directions leading straight to this part of the Palace.
Emperor Fadong sneered at himself and strutted out of the room, slamming the door behind him like a child.
Commander Yu Zhen's tense body loosened when the despicable man had left. He had only set foot in Wuyi because of the candidate that rejected her position.
Rumor had it, she was supposed to be his wife, but at the last minute, she had reportedly escaped the situation. He was, of course, offended and amused that someone had rejected the great position as the sole wife of a Commander.
In Hanjian, it was less popular to have more than two wives, but it was even more customary to only wed one. He was disgusted by the idea of sharing his heart with more than one person. What's the point of marrying a woman if he would cheat on her with another?
\"Are you going to hide behind there forever, Princess?\"
Li Xueyue stiffened at the title. 'Did he know who I was the whole time?!'