Li Wenmin peered at her. It wasn't hard to tell she regretted everything she did.
Li Xueyue wished she wasn't stubborn and foolish. What exactly did she want with her life? Her plans revolved around the Bai Family and their downfall. Along the way, she had forgotten about her goals and aspirations and simply wanted to live a simple and happy life with her family. She had already gotten her wish. Now what?
What was she even going to do after obtaining the Bai business? Yes, it would be great if she could generate profits from it, and maybe even sustain the business for a few generations, thereby ensuring her family would continue to be wealthy and comfortable in the years ahead.
"Xiao Yue, it's not too late," Li Wenmin finally said.
"What do you mean?"
Li Wenmin swallowed. "We can still find Yu Zhen. I'll drag him to your room if I have to. It's not too late to confess you regret your words, that you want him back."
Li Xueyue shook her head. "No, I won't do that to him. He's in the process of moving on. I was the one who broke his heart. How could I ask for it back? That'll be horrible of me."
Li Xueyue closed her book, placing it beside her. It was opened for the past hour but it wasn't like she read a single line.
"I'm so selfish, Wen-ge," she admitted. "Before Yu Zhen, there was Wen Jinkai. I disliked that Wen Jinkai wanted a harem. I found him to be borderline manipulative and too unstable. When he couldn't give me clear answers about his feelings and intentions towards me, I got impatient and decided to put a stop to whatever was between us."
"Then comes Yu Zhen who was clear with his intentions and showered me with love and adoration—it was all I ever wanted. Compared to Wen Jinkai, Yu Zhen gave me everything I wanted in a relationship but I rejected him. Do you see how ironic this situation is?"
Li Wenmin realized she was blaming herself. And to some extent, it was understandable. She was the one who did this to herself. Nonetheless, he couldn't help but feel guilty. All along, the entire family emphasized her voice was important. They had advised what they thought was the best for her, but it turned out that it wasn't the case.
"Then, what are we going to do now?" Li Wenmin asked, "You can't wither away in this room."
"You've been neglecting training too. It's time to stop collecting dust in here," Li Wenmin said, grabbing her hand. "Let's do something to take your mind off of these things. For example, why don't we practice archery? You're amazing at it."
Li Xueyue was torn. This room was comforting to her. It separated her from the outside world.
"Come on," Li Wenmin pestered. "Outside air would be good for you. Maybe we can even go hunting in the forest. I'm sure Heiyue would like that."
Li Xueyue eventually gave in. Quirking a small smile, she said, "Alright then. Let's go."
Li Wenmin brightened at her words. "Great! Hurry and get dressed. I'll wait for you by the stables."
Li Xueyue nodded.
Li Wenmin exited the room and turned to her handmaidens outside. "Get her dressed for training."
The handmaidens bowed. "Yes, Young Master."
- - - - -
"That was quick," Li Wenmin commented when she strolled to the stables.
"Mmhm," she hummed.
At the sharp sound of his master, Heiyue instantly let out an impatient neigh. He raised his front legs and began to stomp on the door. Impatiently, he paced in circles in his stable, waiting eagerly for her.
His ears twitched at the sound of something unclicking. A soft hand caressed his mane, familiar and gentle. He instantly responded by leaning towards the touch.
"Such a baby," Li Xueyue whispered before giving her horse a final pat. She slipped the sugar cube out of her pocket and tossed it into his mouth.
Heiyue caught it in one fell swoop, happily crunching away at the delicious treat. He nudged her for more and she gave him a slice of carrot.
"You spoil your horse so much," Li Wenmin huffed. He walked towards his stallion, a thoroughbred meant for speed.
"Says the one who's feeding his horse an apple." Li Xueyue chortled, taking a step back while the stable boy fastened everything in place. Once all was done, she effortlessly climbed onto the saddle, reins in hand.
"It's a healthy treat."
"Sure it is."
Li Wenmin stuck his tongue out at her. He hopped onto his horse and the two began riding out of the stable.
The servants approached them with the archery equipment.
Li Xueyue nodded in satisfaction upon seeing it was her favorite archery bow. She stretched the string, testing its tension. Since the bow was properly taken care of, there wasn't anything to complain about.
"Are we hunting today? Or just archery practices?"
"We can take a stroll in the forest."
"Sounds like a plan to me," Li Xueyue agreed.
- - - - -
"No fair, that was my shot!" Li Wenmin complained fifteen minutes into the gallop through the forest. He angrily glowered at his younger sister who had stolen the shot.
Li Xueyue rolled her eyes. "You should've shot your arrow faster then," she said whilst getting off of the horse.
Li Xueyue approached the direction she shot the arrow at. Heiyue confusedly walked in circles, befuddled about where she could've gone to.
"Just a second, Heiyue," Li Xueyue called back, though she wasn't too sure if he understood her or not.
Sometimes she found it interesting that Heiyue responded to her only. She knew his loss of eyesight forced him to rely on his other senses, but his hearing was simply incredible. The smallest snap of a twig in the distance was enough to alert him.
"Xiao Yue, your horse is stupid." Li Wenmin groaned when he saw the horse follow in her direction, only to bump into a tree.
"Heiyue is not stupid." Li Xueyue scowled whilst searching for the animal she had shot her arrows at. That's strange. She was sure it went in this direction.
"He can't see, so it's hard for him to know the directions without me." She glanced back and let out a small whistle.
In an instant, Heiyue jolted and effortlessly galloped in her direction.
"Look, he responds to me perfectly well." Li Xueyue mused, "He's so smart that he understands my commands."
Li Wenmin let out a wistful sigh. He was still jealous of how well-built and powerful the horse was. In the two and half years that went by, Heiyue had undergone a drastic transformation. Originally, he was a matted, skinny, and abused horse, but look at him now. He was effortlessly one of the fastest horses in the country.
Li Wenmin had never seen such a deadly combination of stealth and strength. Quite honestly, he was jealous. What Heiyue lacked in sight, he made it up with his intelligence and hearing.
"That's so strange, Wen-ge. I can't find my prey." Li Xueyue crossed her arms. "I'm pretty sure I shot in this direction. Less than five minutes have passed since I shot it. There's no way a predator would've stolen the prey from me without any of us seeing it."
Li Wenmin barely had a second to turn his horse in her direction before he heard her scream. His heart lurched in his chest.
"What happened?! Xiao Yue?!" he called out, noticing she was suddenly nowhere to be found.
Li Wenmin pressed his foot into his horse which peddled her forward. "Xiao Yue?!"
Li Wenmin urged his horse in the direction she had wandered off to, his heart racing faster than he could blink.
"W-Wen-ge…" Li Xueyue wailed out, pressing a horrified hand to her mouth.
Li Wenmin's jaw dropped open in shock. Standing in front of them, teeth bearing was none other than a bloodthirsty tiger.
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