119 Large Inheirtance
A long silence ensued between the two of them. The only noise was the rustle of leaves and two rapidly thudding hearts.
They tried on many occasions to speak, but it always resulted in awkward mumbling or mouths that opened and closed.
Finally, after what felt like forever, Yu Zhen cleared his throat. "You'll catch a chill from being outside for too long."
"Right." Li Xueyue awkwardly nodded her head. The sun was setting behind him, casting an orange hue over their figures.
Yu Zhen offered her a gentle smile and an understanding nod. "Have a good night, Sunshine." He started his horse and right when Xiao Lizi brushed past Xueyue, she spoke up.
"Will we see each other again?"
Yu Zhen paused his horse until they were side by side, but he was facing the path leading out of the Li Manor grounds and she was facing the entrance of the Li Manor.
"What happened to desperately praying you'd never see me again?" Yu Zhen teased, quirking a brow.
Li Xueyue could feel the blush taint her cheeks. "I was asking to see if my prayers were going to be heard."
Yu Zhen let out a loud laughter, startling Xiao Lizi who snorted in protest and stomped the ground.
Li Xueyue snuck a glance at him and had another discovery about him. When he laughed, his eyes were the shape of crescent moons. He didn't have deep smile lines, but she hoped it would form with her around.
"I'm sorry to inform you, but your prayers are ignored." With that said, he rode off, leaving her stunned and amused by his response.
Li Xueyue turned back fast enough to see Xiao Lizi disappearing into the distance. It was no wonder that he reached her house before her, despite him having a late start. Xiao Lizi was easily swifter than Heiyue, an invisible blur whizzing past someone.
��You've got competition," Li Xueyue mused, patting Heiyue's mane. He responded by snorting in disbelief.
"Let's get you brushed and fed, buddy," she said. Heiyue responded by taking both of them towards the expansive back fields of the manor. Once they reached the stables, she handed him off to the stable boy.
"It's almost been six weeks, make sure to have his horse shoe adjusted," Li Xueyue instructed just as she approached the spot where Heiyue's food was usually stored.
"Understood, Young Miss." The stable boy bowed his head.
Li Xueyue searched until she found his favorite treat and tossed it in Heiyue's direction. He caught it with his mouth, happily munching away.
"I'll see you later, Heiyue." Li Xueyue nodded to her horse, giving it a firm pat before disappearing into the house.
By the time she made it to her room, she was utterly exhausted. She simply collapsed onto one of the couches in her room, her body slumped. She slipped one arm over her eyes, blowing out a tired sigh. It was a long day and it hadn't even ended yet.
She had only rested for a brief five minutes when the door to her room was slammed open. She internally groaned. The poor thing. How many times was it roughly shoved open like that? She was surprised the door hadn't cracked by now!
"Xiao Yue, Xiao Yue!" Li Wenmin yapped, strolling into her room with the energy of a puppy. "There's so many presents in the foyer room! One of the maidservants said it's all for you. Who is it from?"
He closed the door behind him, leaving the servants and guards outside.
When he saw her arm slung over her face, he thought she was sound asleep. "Xiao Yue, are you asleep?" he skeptically asked, tip-toeing to her motionless form on the couch.
A devious grin lit up his face when she didn't respond. It was time for her to experience the good ole Li family prank: Face drawing during nap times!
Li Chenyang had always fallen victim to this trick due to his love for sleeping. It was Li Wenmin's way of getting back at his brother for all of the food comments.
Li Wenmin quietly made his way to her writing desk where he saw a piece of parchment already laid out. Both of his brows shot up when he saw the words, "Plans for ruin."
Whose ruin? He picked up the piece of parchment, a crinkling sound echoing in the room. He tensed, turning around in time to see Li Xueyue sit up.
"Wen-ge? What are you doing?"
Li Wenmin responded by turning around, holding up the piece of parchment. "What's this?"
Li Xueyue's eyes widened. Did she really leave that out on her desk? Usually, she would burn the paper when she was finished with it, or else it would be dangerous.
"It's nothing major, Wen-ge." Li Xueyue got off the couch and headed his way, grabbing the piece of paper, but he held it high above her, purposely teasing her height.
"Doesn't seem unimportant to me," Li Wenmin commented, grabbing the piece of paper in both hands and turning his back to her. "Seems like you were unproductive the entire day. There's only three words on it."
"Well, I'm not that good at planning."
"Who are you trying to destroy?" Li Wenmin asked before handing the paper to her grabbing hands.
"Don't worry about it."
"Is it the Bai Family?" Li Wenmin abruptly questioned.
She tensed, her face turning blank. "I've been meaning to ask you this, but how much do you and Chen-ge know about my past?"
"Enough to understand your desire to ruin their legacy."
"I'm not trying to ruin their legacy," Li Xueyue mumbled, walking towards the table in her room, Li Wenmin following behind her.
"Did you know you have a half brother? He's barely over the age of two," Li Wenmin explained.
Li Xueyue sulked in her chair, resting her chin on a propped up arm while Li Wenmin continued to reprimand her.
"If you try to ruin them, what shall happen to that kid?"
He held up a hand. "All I'm saying is, a child should not pay for the sins of their parents."
"I never planned to hurt my younger half-brother. He's innocent." Li Xueyue sighed. "I just want my revenge."
"Sometimes, it's best to let go of the past, or else it'll drag down your future," Li Wenmin whispered, placing a comforting hand over hers. "Are you sure you want to continue pursuing this?"
Li Xueyue slipped her hand from underneath his. "I can't let go of a past that's already affecting my present and future self."
"Is it the nightmares you've been getting every night?" Li Wenmin muttered, staring directly at her. He could see the exhaustion on her face, the dark circles and bags underneath her eyes. She always struggled to sleep and when she did, it was only a wink.
"They've traumatized me in more ways than one," Li Xueyue mumbled.
"There are safer ways of curing it."
Li Xueyue didn't respond. She looked anywhere but him.
"You're not going to change your mind?"
"I won't hurt the child." Li Xueyue sighed while intertwining her fingers together.
She didn't think Li Wenmin would ever be her voice of reason. She expected the person to give her a lecture was Li Chenyang, but he simply supported her vengeance. If he opposed it, he never showed signs of it.
"When you succeed in ruining the people involved in hurting you, what shall happen to that child?" Li Wenmin asked.
"Viscount Bai has a large inheritance set for him. The child will be fine as long as he doesn't rashly waste it."
"And who shall take care of him?" Li Wenmin sniped, pointing out the obvious flaws in her plans.
"His mother," she deadpanned.
"You're not going to ruin her?" Li Wenmin was surprised by this. He didn't know she felt this way towards her mother. He thought Xueyue would want everyone to be condemned to hell.
"I can't bring myself to blame her for being a bystander. She had her reasons."
Li Xueyue wished she didn't have this kind of conscience. She understood why her mother had to do what she did. As a woman, Viscountess Mu Yihua had to do everything she could to guarantee her survival, even if it was at the expense of her daughter. But that didn't mean Li Xueyue would ever forgive her mother's lack of actions.
"Which means your target is Bai Tianai and your father—"
"He's not my father," Li Xueyue bit out, her eyes set ablaze.
"What?" Li Wenmin breathed out in shock. This part was definitely left out from his parent's explanation! "What do you mean?"
"If I tell you, you'll think less of me." Li Xueyue groaned, covering her face.
"I promise I won't," Li Wenmin firmly said, grabbing her wrist and tugging it down. "I'm more understanding than most people, Xiao Yue. As long as you're truthful."
Li Xueyue examined his face. From the understanding as seen by his upturned eyebrows to his reassuring smile, he was the epitome of a man who planned to keep his word. Besides, he had never lied to her before.
Finally, she admitted, "I'm an illegitimate child."