387 It Doesn“t Matter
The second Prince Zhaoyuan was gone, Yu Zhen swiveled Li Xueyue around. A large smile rested upon his flawless features.
He stroked her cheek, brushing away the stray strands of hair. She had gone through a scuffle, but he still found her beautiful, dirt and all.
"I shouldn't have worried so much." Yu Zhen neatly tucked her hair behind her ears. He knew she was self-conscious about her appearance. He would do anything that would put her at ease.
"You've sparred with me before." Li Xueyue laughed, touching his hand.
Everyone was watching them, and she became self-conscious about their behavior. Was it truly alright for them to be like this in public? Obviously, Yu Zhen didn't seem to mind, but what about the others?
Li Xueyue knew it was better not to pay so much attention to this, but women had to be mindful of their reputation, or else…
"That was different. We fought fair and square, but the foreign Princess liked to play dirty." Yu Zhen adjusted the collar of her clothes.
Despite her rolling on the ground, her clothes weren't as dirty as he thought.
"Now come, let's get you cleaned up." Yu Zhen grabbed her hand and led her away from the venue.
Li Xueyue nodded wordlessly. For a brief second, she couldn't help but look at their entwined hands. It was nice to see him so carefree about their relationship in public. He didn't hesitate to show her off.
"People were already impressed by your archery skills. Your victory in the sword fighting competition impressed them further. I'm sure by now they are all convinced by your strength and capabilities," Yu Zhen informed her.
Li Xueyue could hear the pride in his voice, and her heart skipped a beat. Hopefully, this would put a stop to all the stupid rumors about Wuyi's people.
She abhorred how people judged her based on her background. It blinded them to her true capability. One shouldn't determine a person's nature by their country of birth.
She tightened her hold on the treaty scroll. "Who should I give this to?"
Yu Zhen looked down at what she was referring to.
Li Xueyue tilted her head, surprised by his words. Shouldn't something as important as this be given to the Emperor? Since he was the one making decisions for the country?
She turned her attention to Yu Zhen, wondering if he was going to serve as a messenger. But something about his regal walk and powerful presence told her otherwise.
Yu Zhen was in control of making decisions for Hanjian. The Emperor was no longer in charge despite the title he possessed.
Whether or not the Emperor willingly relinquished his power, this country now belonged to Yu Zhen. Every major decision would go through Yu Zhen and no one else.
"Are you a ruler behind the curtains?" Li Xueyue asked. Though it was more of a joke. He peered at her, an amused smile breaking out.
"My father did the same."
Yu Zhen nodded. "I predicted as much. The coincidences were simply too hard to ignore."
Li Xueyue supposed he was right. Wuyi only flourished after her father returned back to the Capital. Originally, Wuyi was struggling, but it was mainly because it lacked a Prime Minister.
"I miss them," she suddenly said.
Yu Zhen glanced at her again. He already knew who she was referring to. It had been weeks since she had last seen her family.
Li Xueyue was all alone on foreign soil. She had little to no friends, but her responsibilities were here, in Hanjian.
"Would you like to visit them?" he gently asked.
All she needed was to say the word, and he'd arrange for her to return to Wuyi. Her happiness meant more to him—regardless of the consequences.
Yu Zhen would not mind staying in Hanjian to hold down the fort. He would dispel each and every rumor that dared to surface. Ruling with an iron fist would be too kind a description for him.
"I'm not sure," Li Xueyue admitted.
"What do you mean?"
"Visiting my family too often will make it look like I am unhappy in my marriage," Li Xueyue explained.
Yu Zhen disliked that mindset. Daughters were meant to forever reside in their husband's homes.
If he ever had daughters, he would surely request for them to return home often. Even if they were to wed royalty, he would still want to see them often.
"At the least, we can arrange for your siblings to come."
Li Xueyue smiled at his words. "I've been writing letters to them frequently too. Both of my brothers are busy. They don't even have time to find a wife."
Yu Zhen wasn't surprised. With the sudden usurp of the throne, the Li Family must've been scrambling to ensure they had a good succession plan.
Yu Zhen had caught wind that Li Chenyang was now a Crown Prince. The young man was raised to become a Minister, not a Prince. The last-minute training and preparations must've been rigorous.
"It will be fine," Li Xueyue whispered. "Just writing to them is enough for me."
"When all of this mess brews over, we will pay them a visit. As many times as you please."
Li Xueyue smiled at his words. "I would like that very much."
- - - - -
"No, are you crazy?" Li Xueyue groaned as she shoved Yu Zhen in the direction of the door. At the very least, he could have waited behind the changing screen!
"We're husband and wife," he deadpanned. Amusement danced in his eyes. His face, on the other hand, was filled with disbelief.
It was fun to rile her up. Teasing her had always been a hobby of his, especially when her expressions were so entertaining.
"It doesn't matter!" Li Xueyue continued to push him away. She wanted to wipe that darn smirk off of his face!
"I've already seen and explored everything."
At his words, the handmaidens severely blushed. They lowered their heads further, hiding their smiles. A few nudged each other with hope-filled eyes. Perhaps an heir wouldn't be a far-fetched thought from now on.
By now, many people knew of the Crown Prince's affection for his wife. Not many royalties slept together in the same bed, much less, every day. He was never seen with a concubine, and he didn't look like he had the thought of entertaining one.
"That doesn't justify anything." Li Xueyue finally managed to push him beyond the changing screen. He had given in to her feeble actions, walking off on his own accord.
"I would've thoroughly enjoyed the show."
Li Xueyue rolled her eyes. She gestured for the handmaidens to start undressing her.
"I'm sure you would have."
"Even more than the ones in the morning."
Li Xueyue was left speechless. How could someone be so shameless?! She could already picture his smile. It would be tiny, almost like a smirk. That was how he looked like whenever he was able to fluster her.
"I wish I can say the same."
Li Xueyue was met with his stunned silence. She snickered at his reaction, knowing it must've aggravated him.
Not a second later, the screen was parted open by him. She let out a horrified shriek, her first reaction was to cover her exposed chest.
"Everyone get out."
Li Xueyue gaped at him. The servants hurriedly rushed out of the room, shutting the doors behind them.
"I'm tired," she whispered, taking hesitant steps backward. He stalked towards her with narrowed eyes.
"Well, you shouldn't have been a tease."