186 Sealed Fate
When Li Chenyang returned home and caught word that Yu Zhen and Li Xueyue were alone in the training field, he rushed down the hallways—he had never run as fast as he did today.
Who the hell left them alone in the first place?! Training new techniques? With a man as brazen and shameless as Yu Zhen? As if!
Li Chenyang bolted down the corridors until he reached the quiet and dark corridor that led to the training field. It was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, except, a figure emerged in the distance.
Li Chenyang halted in his tracks upon seeing the rigid figure of Yu Zhen who strutted like he was plotting the destruction of Wuyi. Even from a distance, Li Chenyang could feel the anger radiate off of the Commander.
An enemy's loss was his win, and Yu Zhen's frustration was Li Chenyang's happiness.
Li Chenyang almost smiled victoriously upon seeing how pissed Yu Zhen was. Oh ho, was the great Commander finally cracking?
He paused and shook his head. No, it wasn't the right time to focus on personal grudges. He needed to investigate the reason for Yu Zhen's furious footpace. He walked as if he was on his way to murder the Emperor of Wuyi.
"Where are you going?" Li Chenyang immediately asked when Yu Zhen was closer to him.
Yu Zhen ignored the Minister and stormed past him, only for Li Chenyang to harshly grab his wrist.
"I asked you a question."
Yu Zhen's hand itched to grab his sword. How nice it would be to slice this man's hand off. What gave him the right to touch him? Not even the other Princes of Hanjian had the guts to lay a finger on him without permission.
Yu Zhen flicked his wrist and threw off Li Chenyang's grip.
Despite feeling irritated at this tantrum-throwing Commander, Li Chenyang forced a tight-lipped smile on his face. Fine, he'll just ask Xueyue what happened.
"Where's my sister?"
Yu Zhen threw him a scathing glower at the mention of Li Xueyue. She was the first and only woman to acquire his heart, only to trample upon it. He knew he shouldn't have come to Wuyi in the first place. What was he expecting when he left his post in the military just to meet the candidate who talked her way out?
Li Chenyang rolled his eyes in response. "Whatever. I'll find her myself." He crossed his arms and added, "I'm glad I advised her to think about this relationship carefully. Obviously, you have a horrible temper."
Yu Zhen's entire body stiffened. If it was even possible, his violent eyes became even crueler.
"What did you just say?" His voice was eerily calm in ways that sent shivers down Li Chenyang's back.
It was one of the rare moments that Li Chenyang feared for his life. He stared at Yu Zhen in bewilderment.
"Tch, nevermind. I'm wasting too much time on you." Li Chenyang snorted. He only took one step forward when he heard the familiar clink of an unsheathing sword. His eyes widened.
He turned around and was instantly met with the lethally sharp sword pointed directly at his throat.
Li Chenyang cursed in his mind for his lack of any weapon. He was not a soldier like Li Wenmin. Moreover, there was no need to carry a weapon around, especially in his own house. Besides, who allowed this Commander to walk around with that sword in the first place?! Guests were always confiscated of any visible weapons.
"Say that one more time," Yu Zhen seethed, his hands shook with anger. "You told Li Xueyue to do what?"
Li Chenyang scoffed. "That's what got you so riled up?"
Yu Zhen advanced forward until Li Chenyang was taking cautious steps back. Eventually, the Minister had nowhere to go, back against the wall, his throat stretched to avoid the tip of the sword.
"Our parents also advised the same thing." Li Chenyang mused, "Unlike you, we actually care about her wellbeing. She has plans to accomplish in Wuyi—"
"What are these plans?"
Li Chenyang's gaze narrowed. He bit his tongue. He had said too much. "They're none of your concern—" he paused when the sword grazed his neck, a single drop of blood trailing down his throat.
"What are you going to do? Kill me?" Li Chenyang let out a bark of laughter, not caring he was a second away from instant death. "You think the Li Family will let you walk out of here alive?"
"I don't care." Yu Zhen chuckled. "Your life means nothing to me if I mean nothing to her."
"How pitiful." Li Chenyang mockingly laughed yet again. "This is precisely why I refuse to fall in love. Look at what it has made of you. I heard you're the most level-headed and intelligent Prince of your clan, as well as a sharp-minded Commander whose strategy nearly brought Wuyi to its knees."
Li Chenyang scanned Yu Zhen from head to toe, his lips curled in disgust. "And now you're nothing but a stubborn boy chasing a young maiden. How pathetic."
Yu Zhen did not care for provocations like this. If he did, he would've long lost his position in Hanjian.
Before he had solidified his ruthless reputation, there were many who taunted him, believing he would never grow as powerful as he was today. Of course, all of those people were dead, but not before they experienced the worst torture of their lives. None of them even got a proper burial. Their bodies were fed to pigs and the pork was fed to their remaining families. Even when they didn't want to consume it, the food was shoved down their throats.
It was a ruthless move that made him many enemies, but also many supporters. They knew the strength of the Second Prince and they knew the lengths he would take against rebels. Fear creates loyalty, but fear also loses it.
Yu Zhen had his own methods of keeping his men loyal. Some were cruel. Some were not. It depended on who they were.
"Li Xueyue will never go with you," Li Chenyang spat out. "Not unless I can help it."
Yu Zhen decided he had enough of this blabbering Minister. Yu Zhen retracted his sword and knew if he was going to make this man shut up, he'd have to knock him unconscious.
"You think I want to hurt my sister?" Li Chenyang suddenly said, his voice softening at the thought of Xueyue.
At this, Yu Zhen paused. What the hell was this insolent fool talking about?
"Let me ask you something, Second Prince," he said the title like it was a joke, his lips drawing into a political smile.
Li Chenyang lazily leaned against the wall. He crossed one leg over the other and cocked his head.
"How many women are interested in you?"
"An eye for an eye," Yu Zhen coldly said. "You want answers? Fine, I'll give it to you."
Li Chenyang's gaze narrowed suspiciously.
"In return, you're going to answer my questions."
It was a reasonable proposal, but Li Chenyang was skeptical of these questions. "If they're confidential, I won't answer."
"Your questions are already personal, yet I'm still answering them. Am I not?"
Li Chenyang scowled. This man spoke like they were doing some shady business deal. "I never said you had to answer them."
Yu Zhen didn't respond. He simply belittled Li Chenyang with his gaze.
After a long, dreary silence, Li Chenyang finally spoke up. "The questions can't be something that can harm the Li Family or Xueyue."
"Deal," Yu Zhen deadpanned. Something flickered in the corner of his eyes, and he slightly shifted his gaze to realize what it was. In the far distance, he saw Li Xueyue.
Yu Zhen had sworn to himself he wouldn't look back. But he did. And instantly, he regretted it. She was in tears. He could see it from afar. Unbearable pain spread throughout his entire body. It was excruciating and he felt like his soul was being ripped from him. Just the sight of her crying form was enough for him to lose his mind.
Yu Zhen grinded his teeth and tore his gaze away from her. He could not bear to look at her another second longer. He wanted to, but couldn't. It would ruin his pride and ego.
All she had to do was reach out to him, to chase him like how he chased her. All she had to do was grab his sleeve and tell him to stay. And he would. For a lifetime. All she had to do was ask. But she didn't, and now their fate was sealed.