455 Little Mouse
Li Xueyue was fully aware that Yu Zhen was aggravated to no avail. She saw the flames dancing in his eyes and whenever their gazes met, her body would heat with anticipation. It was always like this. One look was enough for her to yearn for him, and one touch was enough for her to plea for more.
What exactly was he doing to her poor soul? She wondered if he knew, just how much he affected her.
She had unknowingly placed her heart in his palms. He had the ability to shatter her into nothingness. And when it happens, her heart would never recover. She would never be able to pick up the broken pieces, like she had done so in the past.
Yu Zhen had completely bewitched her, so much so that she would never be able to run from him.
"Instead of idly standing here, I know where else you can be idly—"
But before he could finish his sentence, she clamped both of her hands over his mouth, glaring at him with a warning.
She didn't have to see his lips to know his smirk had deepened. He was entertained by her reaction, as he did with the majority of their teasing.
"We shouldn't delay seeing the Imperial Physician," Li Xueyue mumbled. "The earlier we see him, the more time you will have to do your duties."
Yu Zhen quirked a brow at her words. He pulled her hands away from his mouth and chuckled. His laughter was deep and warm, tickling her heart.
"The only duty I will do is you, Sunshine."
Li Xueyue groaned at his words. She could never win against his teasing, could she? "Must you be so aggravating?"
"Must you be so tempting?" Yu Zhen muttered.
"I'm just behaving as I usually do," she slowly said whilst shooting him a dirty look.
"That's the problem," he said.
"You're the problem," she retorted.
"Says the one who enjoys torturing me in broad daylight."
Li Xueyue gasped at him. "I don't know what you're talking about," she deadpanned.
"I'm sure you don't," he scoffed.
Li Xueyue's lips twitched. She knew exactly what he was talking about, but it was just so fun to see him losing his control. He always enjoyed taunting her in bed. What was wrong in taunting him in broad daylight? It was her only opportunity to tempt him, as he did to her.
But before she could even respond, a servant came rushing down the hallways. She turned her head, confused by what the rush was for. To her surprise, the servant stopped before them and lowered himself to a deep bow.
Li Xueyue had never seen this servant before. All of her servants were female, and the only male servants around her were castrated Eunuchs.
Li Xueyue was fairly certain that this servant was not one of Yu Zhen's men, since she had memorized a few of their faces by now.
"Your Highness," the servant addressed the Crown Prince, before turning to his wife. "Crown Princess," he rushed out.
"Pardon this lowly servant's insolence, but I bear good news that will please your eyes, Crown Princess," he explained in a low, controlled voice that quivered towards the end of his speech.
Li Xueyue noticed he was visibly shaking. Without a doubt, it was because of Yu Zhen's dark glower. His face twisted into a deep scowl.
"What is it?" Yu Zhen barked out in a tone that nearly resembled a growl.
The servant flinched back. If it wasn't for the fact that his head was bowed to the grounds, and his eyes glued to it, he would've squeaked in fear.
It was difficult to look at the Crown Prince, even if he was one of the most handsome men in the entire Kingdom. Being in his presence was too suffocating, for the air around him was always thick and vicious.
"I-I bear message from—"
"Yu Zhen," Li Xueyue suddenly said and forced a light laugh. "You're scaring him."
Yu Zhen was not buying her diversion. He trained his eyes on the servant, analyzing every single detail to this man. The servant was not dressed in the usual attire worn by the palace workers, which meant he served someone outside of the Imperial Palace. But who?
"Why don't you head back to our estate first?" she offered. "You can have the Imperial Physician brought there and I will join you shortly afterwards."
Yu Zhen's gaze snapped to her. She wasn't fooling anyone, especially with her poor acting today. He centered his sight on her interlocked fingers. He recalled this was a small habit of hers whenever she was nervous.
It seems his Wangfei was withholding another secret from him. One became two. It would not take long for two to become four, then eight, until there was a mountain of unsaid truths separating them.
Did she truly want that?
"Please?" she whispered to him.
"You're going to tell me everything later," he growled.
Yu Zhen sent a scathing glare towards the servant before storming off with his men silently trailing after him. He ground his teeth and turned the corner, turning his chin for the slightest bit. He was able to see the small exchange that had occurred.
The servant had passed along a yellow envelope, the color of chrysanthemum. It was his favorite color because it reminded him of her. She was always warm and cheerful, fully concealing her deceit and jealousy.
"Find out which aristocratic family uses yellow as their signature color," he instructed a servant near him.
The servant was dressed in full black from head to toe, concealing everything but his face, like the rest of the Crown Prince's men. They often wore masks to hide their features, but since they had been in the presence of the Crown Prince's Wangfei, the servants were instructed to walk around without it.
"Right away, Your Highness." The servant stepped backward, and disappeared into the distance.
Yu Zhen continued walking onwards, knowing his men would never fail him.
- - - - -
Li Xueyue did not need to examine the family crest imprinted on the letter. She already knew where it came from. She glanced down at the letter with great disinterest.
"Next time you interrupt my time with the Crown Prince, you won't be able to walk away alive," Li Xueyue stated. It wasn't a threat, but a warning to him. This was the basic rule and he had deliberately broken it.
"T-this foolish servant apologizes, Crown Princess," the servant whispered with his head bent and his tail tucked in between his legs. He looked like he was on the verge of collapsing.
Li Xueyue glanced at him. He was twice her size, but seemed so small. She could not show him compassion, even if he was so well-behaved. He had narrowingly escaped death just now.
Without saying anything else, she opened the envelope and slipped out the neatly folded parchment. The handwriting was beautiful. Without a doubt, this person had great penmanship, which was something the older generation had always practiced to perfection, but not something the youth cared for. She pressed her lips together.
It was a miracle that such a horrid man had the ability to write this neat.
'Dearest Crown Princess,
I hope this letter finds you well. Since your time is more precious than the pearls found in the depths of the ocean, I shall keep my message short. As promised, your wish for a crescent moon dagger is fulfilled. If you have time to spare, please grace me with your presence.
Li Xueyue narrowed her eyes. What was the point of hiding his identity when no one but her would read this letter? She glanced at the servant. It seemed the Marquis was a paranoid man.
Nonetheless, Li Xueyue tucked the parchment back in the envelope. "Inform your Master that tomorrow is fine."
The servant bobbed his head so hard, she wondered if it gave him a headache.
"Understood, Crown Princess. M-may you have a blessed day!"
Li Xueyue scrutinized him a little bit more. This servant's cowardice resembled the Marquis. When her eyes lingered on his ash-colored clothes, her lips curved downwards. With this much wealth, the Marquis couldn't even afford to dress his people better?
Li Xueyue kept her thoughts to herself. "You're excused."
The servant cupped his hands and bowed. Not a second later, he scurried off, like a little mouse being chased by a lion.