Warning: The following content contains triggers for self-harm. Please proceed with caution.
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Li Xueyue gulped. What was she supposed to say in this situation? "I… didn't know Wen Jinkai was involved with uhm, Minghua."
"It's alright, I'm also to blame. I should've told you about this earlier." Duchess Wang Qixing sighed, her voice heavy with regret. "I didn't tell you about his involvement with her partially because you seemed happy by his presence. I wanted the best for you and your wellbeing. It was the first time you had ever expressed interest in a man, I didn't want to deter you."
Li Xueyue nodded, though she was unable to fully grasp the Duchess's perspective. "I understand where you were coming from. I should've known it wasn't my place to keep their friendship together."
Duchess Wang Qixing shook her head. "You don't have to blame yourself for what happens between them. Friends come and go."
Li Xueyue couldn't respond. She didn't have any close friends in the first place. Ning Huabing hadn't reached out in days now, and Xueyue was beginning to think the woman bailed on her.
Li Xueyue wanted to show the diary to her mother. Now was a perfect time, since Duchess Wang Qixing finally opened up about Minghua, but there was so much Xueyue hadn't read… There was still so much that she wanted to know about and the book could provide answers.
"Oh my, do you hear that?" Duchess Wang Qixing perked up. "I think one of the twins has returned home."
Li Xueyue looked up, her eyes lingered on the spot where her diary was hidden.
"Let's go and greet them, shall we?"
Li Xueyue bit her bottom lip and said, "S-sure."
Duchess Wang Qixing was perplexed by Xueyue's nervousness but decided to brush it off. "I suppose it might be Wenmin. Maybe training ended early today."
"Yeah." Li Xueyue forced a smile on her face and accompanied Duchess Wang Qixing out of the room.
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It was indeed Li Wenmin who came home, sweaty from a long day of training. His mother rushed him off to a bath, holding her nose while she instructed him. He whined it was too early for one, but was nonetheless dragged away by the Duchess.
After greeting Li Wenmin, Xueyue headed back to her room. "I'm going to finish reading it all today," she declared to herself, holding the diary tightly in her hands.
"And then I'll give it to Chen-ge. He will know what to do," she wondered out loud, approaching her door and locking it to prevent anyone from walking in on her while she is reading the diary.
"Here goes nothing," she muttered, flipping it to the entry she had left off at. The only problem was, there were three entries left and the timing was months apart. What happened?
I hate it here. I'm so terrified, diary. I didn't mean to do it. I swear I didn't! I didn't mean to lead him on, I didn��t even think he had feelings for me! It's repulsive to think that he would harbor these types of emotions towards me to the point where he begged the Emperor for my hand.
Wen Jinkai must've known of this. Is that why he's been distant towards me? He's very close friends with the Fourth Prince. Afterall, Wen Jinkai was the one guarding Wang Longhe in Hechen. I can't believe this. Can you?
My cousin, the Fourth Prince was in love with me. You heard that right, my COUSIN! I've stopped referring to Jinkai as my lover. At this point, I don't even know what we are. Is he even my lover at this point?
He didn't do anything to stop Wang Longhe from speaking to the Emperor. He allowed all of this to happen. Did he know my cousin was in love with me the entire time?
I'm so confused. So, so confused.'
Li Xueyue's jaw dropped open in shock. What. The. Hell. "Oh my god." She closed the diary shut in disbelief, unable to get over what she had just read.
Wang Longhe was in love with Li Minghua?
Everything was messier than she initially thought. "I have to read on," she breathed out, flipping the diary open. The second last entry was a few weeks after the previous one.
'I want to kill myself.'
Li Xueyue felt her heart drop to the pit of her stomach. It was the only line in the entry. Urgently, she flipped to the next page.
'He doesn't love me. If he did, he wouldn't have done this. If he did, he wouldn't have listened to her. If he did, he wouldn't have moved into his own sleeping quarters.
I can't do this anymore.
Not after his silence.
No one loves me here. Not even Royal Uncle. He doesn't know the Empress abhors me. She can't stomach the thought of me.
Every day I spend in this Palace is a living hell. No one dares to lay a hand on me, but their words hurt more.
Wang Longhe tried to make an advance on me. Wen Jinkai saw it and he just left.
That damn coward. He valued his friendship over me, ME! His woman.
No one loves me in this Palace.
Their love isn't genuine.
I hate it here.
Do you want to know why I've been talking to you less and less, diary? It's because I feel like you are going to become the tool that creates my memoir. I don't want you to be the defining factor of my life. I'm going to keep you away from here, far from this Palace.
I will sneak out tonight, into the main manor of my parent's house in the Capital. And then, I will go back to Hechen. They won't be able to keep me here.
I will kill myself if they do.
My life is meaningless. I am meaningless. I will never be able to get married to another man. I am tied down to Wen Jinkai. I am no longer a virgin.
I am a used product.
I don't want you to rot in the Capital, diary. It mustn't happen. No one shall know what happened in the Palace.
No one shall know that the Fourth Prince of Wuyi was in love with me, while I stupidly fell in love with the great Commander of Wuyi.
If I ever make it back to Hechen, I do not know how I will heal from this. I do not know a better solution than death. It is the only way I can repent for the shame I brought upon myself.
I just wish for a painless death, but then again, I am numb. I do not feel pain anymore. I blame no one but myself.
The Empress was right. I am nothing but a wretched bitch desperate for love. I got ahead of myself, thinking I can rebel against her, but I was wrong. The Empress is high and mighty. She is cunning and cruel, whilst I was foolish and young.'
Li Xueyue let out a shaky breath as she closed the book. "I must show this to Chenyang when he returns home," she decided on the spot, jumping up from her chair and clutching the diary close to her.
For now, she needed to keep the diary somewhere safe and secluded until she had the chance to see Li Chenyang. Slipping the diary back into its secret spot, Li Xueyue unlocked her door and stepped outside.
Li Xueyue instantly headed towards the stable, where she desperately craved horseback riding. She needed it, after such a long and troublesome day.
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