338 Saving That Stamina
Yu Zhen instantly approached Li Xueyue, ignoring his sister. He grasped both of Xueyue's hands and squeezed it whilst looking over her carefully. No one dared to abuse the Crown Princess, but it was better safe than sorry. Seeing as there weren't any visible injuries on her, he nodded in satisfaction.
"You look lovely," Yu Zhen complimented under his breath so that only she heard it.
He watched in amusement as she blinked in surprise. She peered up at him with slightly parted lips. She always looked at him like that as if she was astonished by the sight of him. He wondered why.
"I should be saying that," Li Xueyue responded.
"Lovely isn't a word to describe me," he mused, chuckling when she bit her bottom lip and averted her gaze.
Yu Zhen wondered if this was also 'a calculated move'. He couldn't help but think of that phrase each time she did something. But he had a feeling that everything she showed him was natural and not forced.
"What did I tell you about biting your lips?" Yu Zhen stated as he grabbed her chin and lifted it up.
Li Xueyue released her lip but it was too late. He had leaned in and pressed a quick kiss upon her lips. Her eyes widened in surprise and she instantly glanced around, knowing there were people present. But they were equally as shocked as her.
Yu Lingluo was the most obvious one, her jaw dropped so wide, flies could fly in. She rapidly blinked and rubbed her eyes, not believing what she saw.
"I...you… he…" she stuttered, unable to say something. It was the first time in her life that she had seen her cold-hearted brother kiss someone.
Hu Dengxiao, on the other hand, smirked in response and glanced away, as he attempted to hide his reaction.
Li Xueyue could only cover her mouth in disbelief and flush in embarrassment. Yu Zhen obviously didn't understand her panic as he leaned in for more. She smacked a hand over his lips, pushing his head away.
Her heart skipped when he grabbed her wrist. Staring deeply into her eyes, he kissed her palm before moving to her fingertips. She yanked her hand back, but his grip tightened.
Mischief glinted in his hardened gaze. His lips curled into a sly smirk.
"Gosh, you're making me miss my wife and it's only morning," Wu Xiang spoke up, hoping to break the silence. He fanned himself and tried to steer away from the lovebirds. The atmosphere around them was too intense for him.
"And don't do this in front of children. Look at our Third Princess, she's pale with horror," he added on.
Li Xueyue nodded in agreement, despite not knowing him. "I-I agree with the man in white," she concurred.
Yu Zhen snapped his head to the side, glaring at his friend. Wu Xiang might as well have been a foe.
"I'm occupied. Get out," Yu Zhen snarled.
Wu Xiang loudly laughed. "Occupied with what? Don't scare your wife so early on." He held up his hands in defense when the Crown Prince narrowed his gaze.
Wu Xiang snickered at how frustrated the Crown Prince seemed. "The wedding is in two days, have some patience."
"I hope your will is prepared," Yu Zhen hissed.
"You'll need it after I'm done with you," Yu Zhen declared.
Wu Xiang raised a brow. "You should save that stamina for the wedding night—" He narrowingly dodged the dagger aimed at his head.
Wu Xiang let out a huff and continued fanning himself as if his life hadn't flashed before his eyes. "Ever so violent, my dear Crown Prince."
Nonetheless, he peered over his shoulders. Behind him, a sharp dagger was wedged into a tall pillar. He chuckled, highly entertained by the Crown Prince's irritation.
He felt a curious stare landing upon him. Wu Xiang's lips curled at the sight of her. It seemed she was the crazy woman who demanded the Crown Prince's audience.
Wu Xiang hadn't forgotten what happened that day. It was the middle of the night, and she wanted to see him.
He wondered what they were doing all alone in a room—hopefully, not ruining her reputation.
"Crown Princess," he greeted with a polite bow of his head.
Wu Xiang observed her carefully. It seemed the gossip betrayed the truth. She was as beautiful as the rumors stated, but no one spoke of her eyes—clear as day, sharp as daggers, all of her thoughts were reflected within it.
The Crown Princess seemed so naive and innocent—like a baby deer walking in the forest on shaky legs. She'd make a good picture in the background.
"My name is Wu Xiang. In the future, I will be the Chancellor guiding your brute of a husband," he said.
Wu Xiang closed his fan and winked. "If you're bored with the Crown Prince, I can—"
He sharply turned his body, narrowingly missing another knife that was aimed at his heart.
"—introduce you to my wife," he concluded.
Wu Xiang flashed the Crown Prince an arrogant smile. "What did you think I was going to say?"
"You better hug your children tighter tonight," Yu Zhen growled. "It'll be the last time they see their father."
Wu Xiang chuckled, despite the quiver in his eyes. Sometimes… he couldn't tell if the Crown Prince was joking or not. This time, it seemed particularly serious.
To his pleasant surprise, the Crown Prince wrapped a possessive arm around the Crown Princess's waist. It was an action that Wu Xiang had nearly missed but didn't.
Wu Xiang raised a brow, a knowing look flashing upon his face. His gaze met Yu Zhen's briefly. Then he lowered his eyes and smiled towards the ground. He had finally understood what kept the Crown Prince in Wuyi.
"Women are repulsed by violent men, Your Highness," Wu Xiang said with a slight chirp to his voice. He was highly entertained today, especially after riling up the Crown Prince.
"Isn't that right, Princess?" Wu Xiang added on, directly staring at Li Xueyue. He expected her to fluster under his intense gaze, but she didn't. He was caught off guard when she lifted a brow.
"Your sources have lied to you, Wu Xiang," she retorted.
Wu Xiang was taken aback but he quickly composed himself, revealing a cunning smile. That was strange. Women in Wuyi were as weak as a willow branch. They swayed in the wind, a beautiful sight to behold, but useless in every aspect.
"I see we're on a titleless basis, Princess," Wu Xiang pointed out. "Then, do you mind if I call you by your name?"
Wu Xiang was surprised yet again. "What—"
"As a matter of fact, you should address me by Crown Princess."
Wu Xiang paused. He stared at her with disbelief. Perhaps she truly was crazy. Where did she learn to have such confidence? But then she slowly smiled as her laughter filled the room. It tickled his ears, like music.
"It was a joke," she mused. "You look like a deer struck by arrows.��
Wu Xiang let out a small laugh, knowing he had just been played like a fiddle by her. It was rare for him to be startled by a woman, especially by meek little girls from Wuyi.
He was no stranger to the way women behave in that country. They were docile and ignorant, knowing nothing but the arts. He had never once encountered a female soldier from Wuyi, nor seen any women in power there.
"Very funny, Princess," Wu Xiang said.
He watched as she innocently batted her lashes as if she hadn't put him in an uncomfortable situation, just as he had done to her with his questions.
The Crown Princess had surpassed his expectations. But he was the more easygoing person of the bunch.
Wu Xiang wondered if the Crown Princess would be able to withstand the glare of multiple men, twice her size, and triple her strength. If not, she'd get eaten alive at the Round Table discussion.