Li Xueyue was grateful for her veil, or else her befuddled expression would've given everything away.
Li Xueyue forced herself to remain calm. She wanted to say so much to Duke Li Taojun, to demand answers from him. Why did he rape Viscountess Mu Yihua?
'Why didn't he… ever contact me?' Li Xueyue stared at her fingers. Was she truly that unworthy of love that even her birth father didn't want her?
A wave of emotions slammed into her. The taunting words of Viscount Bai Sheng flashed in her mind. "You should be grateful I took you in! There is no one in this world who will love an unruly and filthy illegitimate daughter like yourself! No one!"
Li Xueyue struggled to breathe. Her throat tightened and her lungs burned. She refused to delve in the past, but she had no choice. Every waking night, Li Xueyue was reminded of the insults and abuse she endured.
"Go ahead and spill my father's secrets," Li Wenmin boldly said. "But who will believe you? The second you spill his, he will spill yours. And trust me, yours were a lot worse than my father's."
"That is where you're wrong, boy." Duke Li Taojun clicked his tongue. "The secrets I possess will be enough to ruin the Li family name for the rest of your life. Once word gets out of what your father is planning, a seven-generation extermination will be the least of your worries."
"What are you talking about?" Li Wenmin seethed, narrowing his eyes. He knew his uncle was insinuating about treason—something that had never once crossed his mind.
"Well, you should worry about the torture your parents will have to endure. No one will be able to hold back the Shadow Guards who will ambush your family and rob you of all hopes and aspirations. And when that happens, I will wait for the pleas from your kneeling father."
"The day my father kneels to you is when snow falls in summer," Li Wenmin seethed, his fingers itched to grab his sword. He wanted to slay this man right then and there.
"How pitiful your mother will be… Such a beautiful woman, but for her crimes, she would be violated in the worst ways possible."
In a split second, Li Wenmin unsheathed his sword. At the blink of an eye, he had grabbed his uncle by the throat, the tip of his sword pressing against the fragile flesh. "Keep my mother out of your mouth. I will not hesitate to kill you."
"Pft, hahaha!" Duke Li Taojun let out a crazy laughter, his eyes filled with manic. "GO ahead! Kill me! I have nothing else to live for!"
Li Wenmin glowered.
Duke Li Taojun pressed his throat closer to the sword, begging for the taste of metal through his mouth. He would gladly die a martyr. His death would be the catalyst that sparked the Royal Family's hatred towards the Li Family.
"Kill me you coward! Do it. Hurry up now! What are you waiting for?!" Duke Li Taojun barked, jabbing and shoving at his nephew. "Just kill me already! Take me out of my misery."
Li Wenmin's grip tightened on his sword. He would love to risk it all and dive this sword right through his uncle's neck. Twice, his uncles have betrayed him. Twice, they've acted on their own motives whilst ignoring the issues at hand. Both of them were present in the Palace when Li Minghua resided there. And neither of these scums offered her a helping hand.
Yes. The death of Li Taojun would surely avenge Minghua. She would've wanted this.
Li Wenmin lifted his hand and was prepared to dive the blade straight through Li Taojun. Except, someone instantly grabbed him by the arm, their grip strong, but not enough to overpower the General.
Loud gasps could be heard. Clothes shuffled and legs kneeled, for the Second Prince of Wuyi had made his presence known.
"Unhand my mentor, General Li Wenmin."
Li Xueyue was blown away by the unexpected entrance of the Second Prince. She knew nothing of him except that he was sick and was always in his room. She never expected this pale beauty in front of her was the Second Prince.
His complexion was unnaturally pale. His build, unexpectedly, wasn't muscular, nor was he extremely skinny. He was decently toned, but what stood out about him was his undeniable resemblance to the Empress. If she was envisioned in a male body, it would be the Second Prince right here.
Li Xueyue was surprised that no one had ever talked about how handsome the Second Prince was. Of course, that was none of her business and she immediately averted her eyes. She took a cautious step backward, adjusting her position.
If he hadn't stepped in, she would've blown her cover. She was initially prepared to stop Li Wenmin from making the biggest mistake of his life.
"I knew that the servant of yours was no simple one. How dare she not kneel before the Second Prince?!" Duke Li Taojun said, pointing a livid finger at the only standing maidservant.
Li Xueyue immediately dropped onto her knees, bowing before the Second Prince. "T-this servant was wrong, I meant no harm, your Grace."
Li Wenmin stiffened, his pupils dilated. The Lis need not kneel for anyone—not even the Royal Family. Even if her identity was not revealed, he didn't care.
Li Wenmin bared his teeth and seethed, "Shut your trap you bastard!"
"Wenmin," the Second Prince gently chided, his voice soft and mellow. Ever the patient and understanding man, he placed a hand upon his cousin's shoulder. "Your uncle doesn't mean any harm."
"And you," Li Wenmin scowled, "Stop defending him! It's because of your pampering that he thinks he's high and mighty when he's less than the dirt underneath my shoes."
Second Prince Wang Jing shook his head. "He's my mentor, Wenmin. I have to shelter him, or else I would lose the means to strengthening myself."
Li Xueyue didn't expect him to sound so kind and gentle. She wondered if his lack of existence in the Palace sheltered him from the cruelty of this world. His tone was so pleasant and smooth that she thought he was telling a bedtime story to a child.
"If you can, I would appreciate it if you do not kill him yet," Second Prince Wang Jing muttered.
Li Wenmin threw him a scathing glare before shrugging off his hand. "Don't touch me," he snapped.
"Wenmin," Second Prince Wang Jing addressed. "I understand your anger. My mentor is a crazy man who does not fear death. If you kill him now, it will only satisfy his last wish."
Li Wenmin grounded his teeth. He pondered over his cousin's words before agreeing that he was right. If he kills Li Taojun, things would get too messy.
Li Wenmin would rather die than give in to Duke Li Taojun's fantasy of a meaningful death.
"Tch." He reluctantly slipped the sword back into his sheath. It was then he realized the Second Prince was only accompanied by a single servant.
She seemed out of breath as if she had known what was about to unfold. It wouldn't be a surprise if she had rushed to usher the Second Prince out here.
Li Wenmin glared at her. Like Li Xueyue, she was wearing a veil that covered the majority of her face, except her monolid eyes. There was nothing special about her appearance, but he found it odd that the Second Prince would walk around with only one servant. That is until their eyes met and he felt a sudden jolt in his body. It was as if he had stared into those eyes before.
"Who's this?" He nodded to the maidservant. He scowled upon seeing she had not averted her gaze. Her attention was glued to him, her eyes wide with shock.
"What the hell are you looking at?" Li Wenmin snapped.
She seemed even more astonished by his tone, flinching back, as if not believing he was this mean.
"Now, now, Wenmin," Second Prince Wang Jing stood protectively in front of his maidservant. "She's only a young maiden who doesn't know right from wrong. This is the first time she has ever seen a person violent enough to threaten the Emperor's watchdog."
"A maidservant who has never been scolded? I find that hard to believe."
Second Prince Wang Jing placed a hand upon Li Wenmin's shoulder. "She's very special to me. I've known her for a while now. She obeys no one but me. Please pardon her insolence, I will reprimand her when I retreat back to my residence."
"Whatever," Li Wenmin muttered, crossing his arms. "Just keep her in line. My servant was forced to kneel to you when she didn't even bow at my presence. I hardly think that's fair."
"Your servant…?" Second Prince Wang Jing shifted his attention to the only servant that stood out. "Oh, she's also wearing a veil. Such a coincidence. What imperfections is she trying to hide?"
"That's none of your business," Li Wenmin snapped, flicking off his cousin's hand.
Second Prince Wang Jing smiled at his grouchy cousin. He was already used to Li Wenmin's haughty nature. "I didn't mean to offend her. You see, my servant also has blemishes she wants to hide. Though, they're healing now."
"I don't care." Li Wenmin sighed, reaching down to grab Li Xueyue off her feet. It all happened so suddenly that he wasn't able to catch himself. Fuck. He had nearly blown her cover.
"You're so kind to your servant," Second Prince Wang Jing observed, his smile widened. He seemed genuinely pleased by Li Wenmin's treatment. "I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who pampers my favorite servants."
Li Wenmin rolled his eyes. "Just stay out of my way."
Please go to https://www.qzxyzy.com/The-Rise-of-Xueyue/
to read the latest chapters for free