Yu Zhen's grip tightened upon the scroll, so tightly that his knuckles turned white. If Li Xueyue possessed a man's name on this scroll, it meant she found him—the man who was the cause of her nightmares. The remaining monster in her life. The one that he would take his sweet time slaying, but would not be the last monster she'd meet.
Yu Zhen read on. He continued doing so until he understood the content of the scroll. Marquis Qin Weizhang had swore upon his life that he would present Li Xueyue with a weapon shaped like a crescent?
His brows came together in confusion. Was there even a blade like that? He could not picture it, and he was an avid collector of many, many weapons. Yu Zhen even had a dedicated room to store all of the exotic and rare weapons he had come across.
He was so puzzled that his rage was momentarily forgotten. But then it came back, in stronger waves than before. There was a fingerprint under his name, no doubt, belonging to Marquis Qin. Which meant…
"This little fool!" Yu Zhen gritted his teeth, knowing exactly how she obtained it. She had encountered the demon that lived under her bed but didn't even bother telling him. On top of that, she had risked her safety to meet him.
Yu Zhen resisted the urge to throw the scroll to the ground. Li Xueyue just loved to get herself into trouble, did she not? He stormed towards the bed, deciding to wake her up. His hand hovered over her shoulder, as hesitation flashed in his eyes.
Li Xueyue was sleeping too soundly. Her nose had adorably twitched before she abruptly sneezed.
Yu Zhen's fingers curled into fists. He tried to be rational. There must be a reason why she kept this a secret from him. His jaw tightened.
Yu Zhen reached towards the bed again, wanting to wake her up. But his hands moved on his own and brought the blanket up to her chin. Instead of shaking her awake, he proceeded to ensure she was comfortable. He brushed the hair away from her face even though his fingers were trembling with rage.
"Are you that worried I would kill him without hesitation?" he growled, irritated that she had kept this hidden from him. The one man that his hands itched to kill. The one bastard that should go into the Underworld screaming for mercy, only to realize, the Eighteen Levels  of Torture was mercy.
Yu Zhen's gaze landed upon her face, docile and harmless. Even in her sleep, she was beautiful. He loved her, so much so that he was willing to overlook this scroll.
He breathed in through his nose and let out a sigh through it. She would always have a way with him, didn't she? Likewise, he also always had a way with her.
"A secret this will remain," he gritted out, holding the scroll to her face.
Yu Zhen walked back to the bookshelf and slipped the item back in place. He did not know why she was so foolish to ignore his help. But she must've had her reasons. She must have. Or else, she wouldn't have risked losing his trust.
Without another word, Yu Zhen slipped out of the bedroom. He planned on entertaining Xiao Juzi for a little bit. Or maybe for a while, until his anger was soothed by his attention-seeking pet.
- - - - -
Li Xueyue woke up to a cold bed. She sat up, puzzled at the cause of it. Had she slept until the afternoon? Was that why Yu Zhen was not here? But when she looked out the window and saw the sky was the palest shade of blue, Li Xueyue knew the sun was just rising. Which meant he was gone since midnight.
"That's strange…" she trailed off with a bewildered voice.
Li Xueyue patted the space beside her. Noticing it was colder than ice, she could not help but frown. "Where could he have gone off to?"
"What could have distracted him?" Li Xueyue slipped one leg out of the bed, then the next, before nearly collapsing onto the ground. She let out a shaky breath, surprised that her legs had wobbled.
"Why am I not surprised?" Li Xueyue groaned out as she sat upon the edge of the bed, kicking her legs awake. The morning or night after was always the hardest. Next time, she would remind him to curb his hunger, for not everyone can withstand his stamina—her included.
After a minute or so, Li Xueyue finally stood up. She pushed the windows open, and then walked towards their enormous closet on the far end of the room. It was full to the brim with their clothes. She vaguely remembered a conversation they had before she had fallen asleep, that he planned on emptying an entire room to store all of her accessories and clothes.
Li Xueyue was confused as to why, until she realized it was an excuse for him to buy her more things. But she had fallen asleep on his chest and she couldn't even recall if she had denied his suggestion or not.
"Did he leave shortly after I entered a slumber?" Li Xueyue asked herself before putting on at least three layers of clothes. Autumn was in full swing, and winter was approaching. She didn't think that Hanjian's summer would be swelching hot, and their winters biting cold.
"Wuyi's weather was a lot kinder," she thought to herself.
Li Xueyue couldn't help but fondly smile at the memory of the twins. During winter, when the snow was thick on the grounds, they used to build strange things with it. Sometimes, it would be snowballs to throw with, or even little snow bunnies on the ground.
"I miss them…" Li Xueyue wistfully sighed, knowing it would be selfish of her to return back to Wuyi. She hadn't even been married to Yu Zhen for more than a year. If she returned this quickly, people would think there was trouble in paradise or something stupid like that.
"But maybe, Wen-ge can visit me, if he isn't too busy…" Li Xueyue forced herself to stop thinking such thoughts. He must've been busy working hard to rise through the ranks so that he could be a Commander.
Li Xueyue wondered what Li Minghua was up to. In the letters that Li Xueyue had frequently sent to her family, they rarely talked about Li Minghua. But there were snippets that spoke about her rekindled relationship with Wen Jinkai, and the two had never been happier.
Li Xueyue could not help but smile. Even though they had both given her mischief, she still viewed them as friends. It was great that they would have their happily ever after.
"Well, time to fetch mine," she thought out loud, deciding to search for Yu Zhen.
Li Xueyue stepped outside of their bedroom, but this time, the guards did not stop her, for they did not know where the Crown Prince had gone off to. However, a few followed after her wordlessly after greeting her.
"Hmm…he's not in his private study," Li Xueyue concluded when she found the room was empty. There were not many places in mind where he could be. Thinking he could be at the training grounds, she trekked there. But he was nowhere to be found.
"This is so strange." Li Xueyue sighed whilst folding her arms. She boredly walked back to their estate, disappointed that her search was futile.
But then she saw him, standing in front of the estate's main entrance. A grin broke out, as she prepared herself to call out to him. However, hesitation sank in. There was a dark glower on his face, his lips twisted into a deep scowl.
"Well, that isn't good," Li Xueyue wryly said, knowing what was to come.
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