318 I Want To See Him
Li Xueyue ate as much as she could today. It reminded her of the good old days. She had never felt more full than this very moment.
Yu Zhen was ruthless. He ensured she took a bite out of each and every dish. Each time she finished taking a bite, he would place more food into her bowl.
It was an etiquette that was frowned upon in Hanjian, and even Yanxi nearly spoke up about it. But one glare from Yu Zhen was enough to silence her.
"I can't eat anymore," Li Xueyue complained when he lifted the spoon to her mouth.
"Just one more sip, Sunshine," Yu Zhen coaxed in a patient voice. She pouted but drank the soup anyway, her eyes widening in delight at the delicious taste.
She was adorable. Yu Zhen didn't think feeding someone was so interesting. He wondered if she realized her many expressions when eating.
Yu Zhen had gotten full just by watching her chew and the little actions that showed her excitement. Her raised eyebrows and the joy in her eyes were more than enough for him to know she enjoyed the food.
Yu Zhen had taken small bites here and there but didn't eat much. He wanted to make sure she had her fill first.
"Try the soup as well," Li Xueyue suggested in a more energetic voice.
She lifted the porcelain bowl in her hand. She carefully stirred the soup and blew on it, hoping to cool it down before lifting a spoonful to his lips.
"It's good," she eagerly said.
Yanxi didn't know what to do but panic. 'Princess, please! The etiquette of the palace states—'
Yu Zhen grabbed her wrist and eagerly drank the soup. He made sure there wasn't a single drop left.
Li Xueyue's face flushed at his expression. He seemed like he was hungry for more than just food.
"Just eat," she grumbled out, pushing his face away, earning a laugh from him.
Li Xueyue finally noticed her anxious maidservant. She was perplexed by the latter's expression. Did something happen? Was it her actions?
Li Xueyue glanced down at the spoon and bowl in her hands. Was she not allowed to do this…? She knew the proper etiquette in Wuyi, but maybe Hanjian was a lot different?
"What's running through your mind, my little overthinker?" Yu Zhen asked after finishing the food in his bowl. He took a sip of tea to wash the taste away.
"Are the rules in Hanjian different from Wuyi?" Li Xueyue questioned whilst placing the items down.
She intertwined her fingers together out of habit. She was caught off guard when he grabbed one of her hands and interlocked their fingers.
Li Xueyue raised her head and saw he didn't even realize what he had done. He was simply observing her. He stared at her as if nothing else mattered. As if she was the only person in this enormous palace.
"Quite frankly, it's a bit different, but not too much," Yu Zhen said.
Yu Zhen didn't want her to worry about these things but knew it would eventually affect her. Majority of their interactions that took place in this dining room were frowned upon, especially placing food into someone else's bowl, or spoon-feeding the Imperial Family.
Since it happened within closed doors and during their private time together, nothing would happen to her unless the Head Maidservant wanted to lose her head.
"What happens in here can't occur elsewhere," Yu Zhen explained. "But I don't want you to concern yourself with rules like this. Behave as you usually do."
"What if people speak badly of me then?"
"Then they will wake up without a tongue," Yu Zhen stated in a heartbeat.
"I'm beginning to think you're crazy," Li Xueyue mumbled under her breath.
Why was he always so… violent? She noticed the same trait in Wen Jinkai. Does joining the military desensitize them? It would explain their obsession with perfection.
"The earlier you realize, the better," Yu Zhen mused. One would expect him to be offended by her words, but it was the contrary. He was highly entertained by her lack of filter around him. It was refreshing.
With Li Xueyue, Yu Zhen felt like he could be himself. It was a comforting feeling, knowing he could take solace within her.
Li Xueyue bit her bottom lip but released it a second later when his eyes instantly snapped towards it. She lifted a teacup to her lips and took a sip of tea. She wanted to distract herself from his brooding eyes. They peered into her soul and left a permanent mark.
For some reason, a question came to her mind.
"My little brother, what happened to him?" she asked.
Li Xueyue purposely made it vague, so that Yanxi wouldn't understand what they were discussing. Even if Yanxi did, Li Xueyue doubted the woman would share what happened inside of this room with others.
"He's safe," Yu Zhen stated.
"But where is he?" Li Xueyue asked.
If there was one thing that she didn't want to happen, it was an innocent child being harmed. A child shouldn't pay for the sins of their parents. Li Xueyue knew that best.
"I don't hurt children," Yu Zhen answered her in a low, solemn voice.
Li Xueyue trusted him. She knew he would never do such an atrocious thing. "Is he in the Palace?" she questioned.
Yu Zhen peered at her. It would be best if she didn't see the little boy. What if she was hurt by the sight of him? The heir of the fallen Bai Family. The only remnant of the Bai Family resided in that small child who hadn't registered what happened.
"Can I see him?" Li Xueyue asked him.
He immediately shook his head. "No," he asserted.
"Why not?" Li Xueyue demanded. She couldn't help the unsettling feeling that brewed in her stomach. Did something actually happen to the child?
"When the incident occurred, he was gagged, blindfolded, and deafened. I made sure he didn't hear or see anything," Yu Zhen explained.
"Yes, but I still want to see him," Li Xueyue stated. "Just to have a peace of mind."
"Please?" she whispered.
Li Xueyue grabbed his other hand that had been propping up his right cheek. She held his hand and leaned towards him. He was watching her. She presented him with a pout.
"Please?" she asked again.
Yu Zhen raised a brow at her expression. Without warning, he kissed her on the lips. It was just a small peck, but enough for her to blink in surprise.
"Continue pouting, and I'll kiss you again," Yu Zhen stated.
Li Xueyue immediately fixed her expression. She leaned back a bit, but he came forward. He released their hands and curled a finger under her chin.
"Or I should just kiss you again," Yu Zhen murmured. Before she could say anything, he captured her lips in a quick kiss. He pulled back a second later. He smirked when she had leaned forward, obviously wanting more than that.
Finally, he said, "I'll take you there."
Li Xueyue instantly brightened at his words. A large smile broke out on her face and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders. His chest rumbled when he laughed in amusement.
Yu Zhen surprised her by lifting her out of her seat. Her little feet dangled off the ground when he tightly embraced her.
"You're very cute, I'll give you that," Yu Zhen mused. He settled her down onto her feet. He was surprised when she abruptly grabbed his hand and held it.
"I'm always cute," Li Xueyue retorted.
"Sure," Yu Zhen sarcastically said. She scrunched her nose out of irritation and let out a quiet, "Hmph!"
Yu Zhen chuckled a bit. She was more than cute. But he wouldn't tell her that. Her ego was big enough.