Yu Zhen was too concerned about Li Xueyue's behavior to realize the sorrow that hung over him. He approached her, clasping their hands together. They had just lost what could've been their first child…but there would be many more to come, and he was hopeful.
It felt strange. He was always a pessimist, much like her. But at times like this, he was forced to adapt so that she doesn't go down the rabbit hole.
"You've yet to tell me how you feel," Yu Zhen said.
Li Xueyue wasn't paying attention to him. Her eyes were fixated on the doors, waiting for it to open. Once Xu Jiaqi gave her explanation, Li Xueyue would deem the appropriate punishment.
"My unruly wife," he called out, teasing her. His taunts always provoked a reaction from her. He was certain that it would work.
But she didn't even hear him. Distraught danced in her eyes, as she nibbled on her bottom lip. She was with him, but consciously, she was elsewhere.
"Sunshine," he deadpanned.
Li Xueyue continued glaring at the door. She didn't want to explain to him. All she wanted to do was hit something or someone. The revelation of what happened to her made her so furious that it overcame the sorrow of her loss.
Her fingers curled into a fist. She would make everyone pay. All of them. No matter what happens, no matter the consequences.
Li Xueyue knew it wasn't her fault. She was mindful of the risk of being poisoned, mindful of taking good care of her body. But external forces were out of her control. These thoughts continuously ran through her mind, ringing like temple bells. But no matter how many times she tried to convince herself that she did nothing wrong, a part of her blamed no one but herself.
"Li Xueyue," he snapped, finally capturing her attention.
"I'm sorry," was the first thing she said.
Yu Zhen forced himself to be more patient with her. They had both suffered a tremendous loss, and neither of them were prepared for it.
"Why do you want to see that wench?" Yu Zhen demanded.
"Why not?" she argued, glaring up at him. What? Was he too reluctant to see his favorite servant harmed?
Li Xueyue grimaced at her impulsiveness. 'Since when did I have such ugly thoughts?' she asked herself.
"You have to be logical, Little Hamster—"
"Logical?" she hissed. "I am completely sane right now."
"I didn't say you were crazy. I am merely reminding you that this might not be the best way to deal with Xu Jiaqi."
Li Xueyue scoffed. She took a step back, shaking her head in disbelief. Without knowing it, her hand had touched her stomach, almost as if there was more than one person that was offended by his words.
His gaze immediately averted to her hand, lying upon the flat belly. His glower softened. "Sunshine, do not jump to conclusions so quickly."
She dug her fingers into her palms. Her attention landed upon the maidservants in the room. They kept their heads low, not daring to make eye contact.
"Everyone is excused," she stated.
Li Xueyue barely kept her voice in control. It was difficult not to sound frustrated with them when she was angry at the world.
They looked up, confused, and bewildered by her request. The maidservants shuffled their feet but hesitated to leave. Nonetheless, they slowly departed the room, one by one, closing the door behind them.
Silence engulfed the room. The tension was so thick, it could be sliced by a knife.
Yu Zhen tried to reason with her again—even when his mood was worsening. But at times like this, what could he do? Anger and screams would do nothing to help.
"You have to tell me the reason you're summoning Xu Jiaqi. I will support everything you do, Sunshine."
Guilt began to nibble at Li Xueyue's broken heart. Yu Zhen was always so understanding and patient���but all she did was take, take, and take. Her eyes watered as she looked away.
There was too much remorse consuming at her. First, it was the loss of the child. Second, it was her temperament and how Yu Zhen always got the short end of the stick.
Li Xueyue pressed her lips together. Perhaps she truly was losing her mind. Her heart ached too much for her to respond to him.
"Well?" he pressed on.
Li Xueyue hugged her stomach, only to drop her hands a second later. Prior to the miscarriage, she didn't feel anything there. But now that their child was gone… it felt even more empty.
"Am I talking to my wife or a wall?"
Li Xueyue's head shot up. His words were offensive, but his tone wasn't. Yet again, he was attempting to lighten up the mood.
"Perhaps both, for my wife is as flat as the wall."
Li Xueyue couldn't even laugh or get angry. All she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and sleep. What kept her standing was the motivation to take vengeance.
"You're breaking my heart here. At least chuckle at my joke, even if it was a forced one." Yu Zhen approached her. He hesitatingly grabbed her shoulders. Finally, she stood still for him.
"It would do you well to rest." Yu Zhen's arm slithered to her back, pushing her close to him.
"The confrontation can wait. Your health matters more." Yu Zhen stroked the side of her face. She flinched, her lips trembling.
Yu Zhen was caught off guard. She acted as if he had struck her. At this, his patience began to shrivel.
Li Xueyue saw the irritation flash in his eyes. She placed a trembling hand upon his chest. "D-don't be so kind to me after what I did—"
"What did you do?"
"..." Li Xueyue lowered her head. She could do nothing but think about what had happened in the bathhouse. The thought plagued her mind, but her tongue refused to move. She couldn't even utter the loss.
"Lose our child?" he finished for her.
At his blunt words, Li Xueyue shoved him away, but his grip was strong. "How can you just—"
"This is not like you," Yu Zhen growled. He grabbed her chin, pinching it tightly as he forced her to look up.
"Remember who you are, Li Xueyue. Remember the battles you've fought to reach where you stand. Fumbled thoughts and trembling lips is not your nature. You are much stronger than that, and you know it."
His words felt like a slap to the face. She glowered up at him. "Am I not allowed to feel these emotions? Am I not allowed to wallow in sorrow when we have experienced such a loss?!"
"I am not trying to dictate your emotions. I am merely preventing yourself from spiraling into madness."
Li Xueyue frowned a bit. Was she going crazy? She didn't think so. "I just want to go back to bed and sleep for days on end… I don't want to see the real world for a while."
Yu Zhen stroked the back of her head affectionately. "If that is what you truly desire, I do not blame you."
Li Xueyue weakly smiled. "But not now."
Yu Zhen frowned. "Tell me what must be done. I will do it for you. Do not dirty your hands like this."
Li Xueyue's smile slowly slipped away. Hesitation arose in her eyes, much like the walls being built around her.
"My hands are already covered in blood."
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