Marquis Qin had never seen such audacity. She was just the daughter of a Viscount! Not only that, but the youngest and least favored. What gave her the guts to act like this? She had lied to the entire Kingdom, the entire Imperial Family of Hanjian, and all of those who bowed to a Viscount's daughter! Her offense was grave, but she carried herself with arrogance.
"How does it feel, Marquis?" the Crown Princess softly uttered. She set foot into the room carrying a lantern. She shimmered like a beacon of hope. In reality, she was the harbinger of death.
"To be at the mercy of a girl you once violated?" she harshly spat out.
Marquis Qin's eyes widened in disbelief. He was shaken with surprise, enough to be momentarily distracted from the agonizing pain that had driven him to madness.
"I heard your mansion was burned down, and what little remnants of treasure you had left was discarded."
W-what did she say?
"Your wives fled at midnight. Your servants disappeared. Your ships were burned."
Her beautiful lips twisted into a cruel smile. Amusement flashed in her eyes. "Decades of hard work—gone."
She snapped her fingers. "Just like that."
Li Xueyue relished in the stricken look on his face. He behaved as if the world had wronged him in every way possible. The light fled from his eyes as it watered. Oh dear, was he crying? But she was just starting!
"All of your wealth and joy perished so quickly," she said and giggled, covering her mouth before throwing him an incredulous look.
"N-no, t-this can't be! I-I have more money tucked away at a s-secret place you'll never find out!"
Li Xueyue shrugged her shoulders. "It'll remain a secret forever then since you'll never leave this place."
Blinded by rage, he instantly lunged for her. But he did not get very far. Bounded by chains of metal, he could do nothing but scream and roar.
"HOW DARE YOU!" he screamed at her, attempting to lift his arms to at least claw at her pretty dress.
But Marquis Qin only wailed louder. The pain in his hand had not subdued. It shot up his body, like flames dancing upon his flesh. He reeled his hands towards his chest, but that caused even more agony. Tears burned in his eyes as he hung his head in defeat, sobbing like a baby.
The pain was too much for him to handle. From the thousands of needles that seemed to stab his hands, to the wounds that festered and reopened with more blood. Everything was spiraling out of his control.
"It must feel fantastic," she retorted. "You went from villain to victim. How interesting."
Marquis Qin's head shot up at her words. His veins boiled with hatred for this wench. How exactly did she do it? How did she claw and climb up to this position?
He could've sworn the bitch was dead! He was told that she was dead when he paid a surprise visit to Viscount Bai Sheng's house one night!
That night, he wanted something to fondle with, especially after such a tiring journey to Wuyi. But the Viscount informed him that his youngest daughter ran away and died off in a forest or something.
Who the hell was this ghost standing in front of him with such confidence and haughty smiles?
"A-are you really V-Viscount Bai Sheng's—"
"Yes, I'm the little girl you molested," she spat out.
Marquis Qin's eyes widened in disbelief. He could not believe that sobbing mess of sweet cries became a confident woman of wealth and wits.
"Is t-this why you're doing t-this to me?!" he demanded, suddenly feeling fired up again. He refused to accept it. Refused to believe that one of his play toys out bested him like this. All because she opened her legs to the right man!
"B-because I ruined your youth, y-you ruined my fortune?!"
The Crown Princess batted her eyelashes. She tilted her head, her lips twisting to the side. She blinked and nodded, as if it was something so simple to understand.
"Yes. Is there a problem with that?"
Marquis Qin nearly spat out blood. Is there a problem with that? Is there a problem with that?! He wanted to yank her by the hair and smack her to the ground. This insufferable bitch!
Li Xueyue held up a finger and straightened up. Seeing his befuddled expression, glancing up at her as if she had lost her mind, forced her to stifle her laughter.
"Shouldn't you thank me?"
Marquis Qin blanched at the thought of thanking her. He would do anything but that. Bowing to her was already a disgrace, considering her true rank. He could not wrap his head around her thought process. Surely, she was insane!
"I spared your life."
Marquis Qin blinked. W-what? He lifted his head, his heart soaring high. Did she finally get some senses knocked into her? Was she going to let him walk out of here?
Just the thought of spending another night in this prison was enough to make his eyes water. His body trembled before the torture even started again. In this quiet cell, where the only sound was his agonizing groans, he was slowly starting to lose his mind.
No human interaction. No light. Barely enough food and water. It was a living hell.
Suddenly, something clanged onto the floor. He shrieked in fear and cowardly back away, his heart thundering against his chest. Through his blurry vision, and the dim lighting, he could make out the distinctive shape of a…knife?
Li Xueyue kicked the knife closer to him. She maintained her distance, her nose crinkled as if he was some sort of animal. She regarded him as such, especially lowlifes like him.
"Don't tell me you forgot?" she mused.
Marquis Qin's brows drew together. "What are y-you babbling about this time!"
The Crown Princess always spoke in circles. He despised it. Did she think she was so great, just because of her riddles? She was just a lowly woman!
"I didn't forget a-anything!" Marquis Qin screamed. He spat out a loud, infuriated curse at his own stammering. If he had not bitten his tongue yesterday from screaming so much, then he wouldn't be stuttering so much.
If only the poor thing knew, the same torment would occur again tonight. When his body would be stitched together and healed by a doctor, the horrendous torture would begin again.
"Oh, but you did."
Li Xueyue reached into her pocket and pulled out a pristine set of scrolls. She heard his loud exhale in disbelief. He threw his head back and squeezed his eyes shut, nearly admitting defeat. His legs went slack and he sank back onto the ground.
"Seeing as you failed your mission, it's time for you to face your punishment."
Marquis Qin could not bring himself to look at the scrolls, for he already knew what awaited his fate. The scrolls loudly unrolled. He flinched in fear.
"Self-disembowelment, just as you had promised."
Marquis Qin's heart sank to the ground, much like his faith in this world. With trembling eyes and shaky breath, he glanced down at the knife in front of him. He could not believe his eyes.
The knife that was going to be sinking into his flesh, the knife that was going to result in his death, was the very one he had spent half his fortune getting for her. The curved dagger shaped like a crescent moon.