Lady Ge Beining couldn't be more irritated to call him with such a formal title—a Marquis. She still remembered the days he'd follow her around, when she was but a young child, and he'd tease her as a friendly uncle.
Back then, he was still a lowly Earl whose wealth came from being a merchant. Now, he had the favor of the dying Emperor.
"Oh dear, an unfortunate event? What could be troubling that pretty little head of yours, Lady Ge?" Marquis Qin asked with a slow smile, revealing his yellow teeth.
"I-I wouldn't dream of bothering you with my problems," Lady Ge Beining stuttered out. She cursed herself for coming off as weak. It wasn't her specialty and having to act in front of him was such a waste of her talent and time. He must've enjoyed the sight of her, demure and timid.
Lady Ge Beining wondered how old and senile he must've become to be this delusional.
"Well, Lady Ge," he chuckled, taking a step closer to her. His eyes raked from her breast to her face, his tongue darting out. What a sight for the sore eyes…
"You came to me with a small issue before, and I've helped you, haven't I? My resources were strained to get you that—"
"Of course, you've been very helpful, Marquis Qin. I truly appreciate that, from the bottom of my feeble heart." Lady Ge Beining placed a hand upon her heart to show that she was genuine. But the small action only brought more attention to her breasts.
No doubt, he drank in the sight of her. Just being in her presence with her flowery, feminine scent was enough to drive him insane. She was so close, but never enough for him to get a hold of.
"But I can't forever rely on your help, Marquis Qin. You have always been a guiding uncle in my presence… I do not want to burden you." Lady Ge Beining forced another smile.
She took a step back, and dipped into a slight bow. "I believe time is fleeting me, for the Empress might grow impatient at my tardiness."
"The Empress…?" Marquis Qin tore his gaze away from her bountiful assets.
Marquis Qin would buy out a Kingdom just to spend one night with a fruit as sweet as Lady Ge Beining. It was precisely why he took pains to fulfill the first ever thing that she had requested from him, and damned, did she have a greedy hand.
She was insistent of acquiring something from the one country he couldn't easily trade in. But now that there was a treaty, he was finally able to get his hands on the item for her.
"Yes, she has been urgently calling for my presence for a while now. I'm afraid I do not have the time to entertain you today, Marquis Qin."
"Please, I was just jesting with you about the title. I preferred it when you called me Uncle Qin. You were such an adorable child…" he trailed off, suddenly reminiscing the days she would sit upon his lap and smile up at him, with those naive little eyes of hers.
Lady Ge Beining gritted her teeth. She wished she had never met this slimy man. He had watched her grow up into a lady, and now he viewed her as a woman. Uncle?
Hah! It would be a cold day in Diyu before she would ever call him such a thing. Especially when she was more than a "junior" in his eyes.
Nonetheless, she maintained her image and widened her smile. The more she hated someone, the larger her smile.
"I would never insult you in such a manner, Marquis Qin. You are a well-respected aristocrat, how could a lowly woman like myself call you something as familiar as 'Uncle'?" she said.
At her joke, Marquis Qin loudly laughed. He patted his belly and wiped a tear away. Lowly woman? She was one of the most beloved women of this country, the jewel of the Empress's eyes, and so much more.
Any man would kowtow to Heavens every morning and night just to marry her.
"You are always excellent at jokes like this," Marquis Qin marveled.
Lady Ge Beining let out a small laugh. "As much as I would love to make more, Marquis Qin, it is time for me to depart."
Marquis Qin dully nodded his head. He was in no rush to keep her in front of him. He was a loyal servant of the Emperor, and could come and go as he pleased. The reason? He was one out of the two suppliers of the Emperor's rare medicine.
"Of course, of course," he readily said.
Lady Ge Beining lowered into a bow yet again. "Have a good day, Marquis Qin."
"Oh, it is certainly a good day, whenever I lay eyes upon you, Lady Ge."
- - - - -
Li Xueyue shivered. Something felt different in the air…she couldn't pinpoint it. But her fight or flight senses were activated. Her heart lurched as her fingers trembled. Even her stomach churned uncomfortably.
"Is it too cold in here, Crown Princess?" Xiao Hua whispered from beside her. As of right now, she was the only maidservant allowed inside of the bedroom.
Xiao Hua didn't even know why. She was grateful for the opportunity, but terrified of making a mistake.
Xiao Hua lifted her head from the hairstyling. She looked around the room, deciding that more clothes wouldn't suffice. It would be better to cut off what was causing this problem in the first place.
"Please excuse me…" she whispered, before slipping away to close the window. Out of sheer paranoia, Xiao Hua locked it too, but then unlocked it. Was she being too paranoid? No, no.
Xiao Hua locked the windows again. She stepped away for a single second, only to hesitate. Not a second later, she walked back to the window to make sure that it was locked.
"Is there a problem?" Li Xueyue asked, after hearing the lock click in and out of the catch so many times. She turned her chin in time to see Xiao Hua shyly smile to the ground, her tiny shoulders caving in.
"I apologize, Crown Princess… T-the window was locked, but I thought it wasn't, so I went to a check if it was still working fine."
Li Xueyue found this amusing. She softly smiled and nodded her head. "Did it pass your tests?" she asked, highly entertained when Xiao Hua's headshot up. Her eyes widened before she rapidly nodded her head, like a toddler eager to show compliance.
"Yes, Crown Princess." Xiao Hua hurriedly walked back to her master. With shaky hands, she began braiding her master's hair for a simplistic style, since the Crown Princess seemed to be a fan of such things.
"Crown Princess, your skin is very fair…it is as pure as snow, and your lips so naturally rosy." Xiao Hua complimented.
Li Xueyue chuckled. "I've never heard that before."
Xiao Hua almost seemed horrified at the revelation. Her mouth dropped open in shock, her eyes naively widening.
"B-but you're so beautiful…" she mumbled to herself. "How can no one praise your beauty?"
Li Xueyue half-heartedly laughed. It was because there were always other women that outshined her. First it was Bai Tianai…and now��well, she didn't want to think about the "now".
"This is quite a beautiful hairstyle," Li Xueyue praised.
She touched her finished hairdo, which was braided down her shoulders, resting upon her chest. Tiny hair clips were placed into it, made of pearls and opal, making it look as if snow was sprinkled upon her.
"You look like a Fairy of Winter, Princess," Xiao Hua eagerly explained. It was the concept she was going for. Pure and innocent, like the Crown Princess's smiles. Or so, she had naively believed.
"Well, it would certainly explain the white and blue," Li Xueyue mused, referring to her intricately designed hanfu.
Xiao Hua nodded her head out of joy. She had rarely gotten a compliment from anyone before, much less from someone as highly ranked as the Crown Princess. Her heart swelled in joy.
"Perhaps tomorrow," she shyly whispered. "A Fairy of Spring?"
Li Xueyue raised a brow. How many times had she been dressed in pastel clothes now? But nonetheless, she nodded her head.
Li Xueyue noticed Xiao Hua had a better understanding of her personal taste. And who knows? Maybe Xiao Hua would surprise her.
"Now," Li Xueyue said as she rose to her feet.
Xiao Hua instantly took a step back, but kept a keen, watchful eye over the Crown Princess. She didn't want to treat the Princess as if she was a sick and frail patient—which was exactly what the other maidservants wanted to do.
Li Xueyue glanced in the direction of the closed doors. "We shall spare the lives of the Empress's maidservants, and accept this invitation to see her."
Please go to https://www.qzxyzy.com/The-Rise-of-Xueyue/
to read the latest chapters for free