Ch 246 Final – First Half
The last bit of color drained from Xia Yuqing’s face. She had never imagined that this would be her final fate. She either will vanish into the annals of history, leaving no trace, or return to the modern world. But returning to the modern world… when she had just crossed over, she had thought countless times about going back. But now… to go back to that place that was originally hers and treat everything here as a fantastical dream? How could she consider it as just a dream?!
Xia Yuqing swallowed a mouthful of saliva, her voice dry as she asked, “If that’s the case, how much time do I have left? How much longer can I stay in this world?”
“What?” Little Shuyan didn’t hear clearly and asked with some confusion.
“How long do I have to live, and how long can I stay in this world?” Xia Yuqing stared at Little Shuyan’s eyes and asked deliberately, one word at a time.
Little Shuyan fell silent for a while and then gave a certain time, “Half a year. Four years make one cycle, and the stars rotate. Approximately… you have half a year left.”
“Half a year…” Xia Yuqing murmured. Four years made one cycle, and when she first crossed over, it was summer. Now it was the end of winter. Considering the time, it was indeed four years.
Little Shuyan looked at Xia Yuqing’s appearance and hesitated for a moment, then decided to be frank.
“However… you probably won’t make it until then because…” Little Shuyan paused, meeting Xia Yuqing’s gaze that was full of questions and sighed, “The divine punishment… has already begun.”
Xia Yuqing’s mind was blank, but fragments of information started coming together.
“I overheard a few eunuchs from Qianqing Palace saying that there’s been a snow disaster in the northwest border these days. Many crops were frozen to death. Moreover, there was a drought in the northeast border this summer…”
“The lack of harvest is one thing, but what’s important is… I heard that many people died in the northwest due to the snow disaster, and there are rumors of an epidemic spreading there.”
The recent news she had received seemed to trigger something. The gears in her mind suddenly began turning.
Feng Tingye’s business, the increasingly serious atmosphere in the court, and the gradual unease within the palace that she hadn’t noticed before…
Ye Shuyan looked at Xia Yuqing’s expression, understanding that she had already heard something.
“Looks like you’ve already heard something,” he said knowingly.
Xia Yuqing clenched her fist and remained silent, her lips tightly pursed, feeling somewhat unsteady.
A hint of hesitation flashed in Ye Shuyan’s eyes, but he quickly suppressed it. “You don’t have to believe me. Time will prove everything. Even if Xie Country survives this epidemic, the divine punishment will still be there. As long as you’re alive, Xie Country won’t have peace.”
Xia Yuqing suddenly raised her head and sneered, “So, you won’t give up unless you force me to death! Just like you used the same argument to force my mother to death in the past. Do you still want to use the same argument to force my child to death in the future?”
Ye Shuyan was startled by the hostility suddenly emanating from Xia Yuqing. He hesitated for a moment before explaining, “Inheritance for males comes from their father’s lineage, while females inherit from their mother’s lineage. So, that child… will only be affected if she marries the ruler of the Four Kingdoms.”
This kind of discrimination, where females were not allowed to inherit the throne, was simply ridiculous. Is this some kind of joke?
Xia Yuqing’s face darkened. One of the two in Big Brother’s family would undoubtedly become the future emperor of Xia Country. The child of Yin Gongzi and the little physician could also become the future emperor of Xue Country. And in the future, there were still Xiao Xi and General He’s child…
The thought that her second baby might face the same fate as her made Xia Yuqing’s blood boil, and her eyes turned red as she stared fiercely at Ye Shuyan. “I will break this so-called destiny. If you dare to touch my child, I won’t spare you even if I become a ghost!”
Ye Shuyan’s eyes narrowed slightly, surprised that this seemingly weak and timid girl, who often hid behind Feng Tingye, would say such words with determination.
What Ye Shuyan didn’t know was that no matter who they were, once their bottom line was touched, even if they were little cats and dogs that only knew to depend on their master, when pushed to the limit, they would reveal their claws and fangs. Especially for humans, once something important that they wanted to protect was threatened, they would rapidly grow and do things they might not have done before.
Seeing Ye Shuyan’s lack of response, Xia Yuqing tightened her grip on her hands. “Is it because of this that Cui Er has repeatedly rejected my eldest brother, because she is from the Yue Clan?”
“No,” Ye Shuyan’s eyes slightly chilled as he coldly replied, “She can only be considered half a member of the Yue Clan. She doesn’t have the blood of the Yue Clan running through her veins, so the Yue Clan’s methods cannot be applied to her.”
“Then why…” Could it be that she really doesn’t like Eldest Brother? But her reactions towards him clearly show otherwise.
“She is an orphan I picked up and specially trained to be your bodyguard. Her existence is solely for obedience. Her life belonged to me before she came to your side, and after coming to your side, it belongs to you as her master. She has never belonged to herself, and being emotional will only hinder her and make her lose the value she should have. Her life is not her own, and she cannot give that man what he wants.”
“Value? You actually measure Cui Er’s worth like that. Hahaha…” Xia Yuqing stared at Ye Shuyan’s indifferent eyes and felt that she was not doing well. How could she have been so blind before, thinking that this person in front of her was a cute young boy? Judging people solely by their appearances was indeed a way to fall flat!
“Ye Shuyan…” Xia Yuqing stared at Ye Shuyan with a smile that wasn’t really a smile, her eyes filled with sarcasm. She spoke slowly, her words echoing in the quiet side hall, “Do you… really have a heart?”
“Ye Shuyan, do you really have a heart?” Xia Yuqing’s soft murmuring lingered in Ye Shuyan’s ears, causing him to furrow his eyebrows, as if he had been greatly startled, his whole body trembling.
“Foster Father…” Ying Yue stepped out from behind Ye Shuyan, approaching with a gentle smile. He spoke lightly, “Father, did you talk to the Empress of Ye Country?”
Ye Shuyan turned to glance at Ying Yue but didn’t answer his question. Instead, he asked, “Did you involve the Shadow Pavilion?”
Ying Yue’s expression changed slightly as he lightly chuckled, “Foster Father, I only used a group of people from Yueying.”
In other words, I only used my own group of subordinates, so technically, it’s not an overstep.
Ye Shuyan looked deeply at Ying Yue and coolly said, “Don’t do unnecessary things.”
Ying Yue’s expression slightly darkened as he smiled softly, “Foster Father, didn’t you say earlier that it would be better to nip the matter with the Bixuan Veauty in the bud? Why do you…?”
Ye Shuyan glanced at Ying Yue and let out a light sigh, “Before, her life was still in my hands, and I had the right to manage her. But now that she has found a new master, her life is no longer under my control. I don’t need to bother with these messy affairs anymore; it depends on her own fate.”
As he spoke, Ye Shuyan seemed to recall something and hesitated for a moment before turning to Ying Yue and adding, “By the way, Yue Er, that child is not called Bixuan anymore, she’s called Cui Er. You better remember that.”
Ying Yue’s pupils suddenly shrank, staying stunned for a moment before he expressed some indignation, “Foster Father really favors that little girl. Even the Bixuan Beauty who followed her has received your special favor. It’s quite a face-saving act. However, since Father likes that little girl so much, why did you tell her the whole story and let her find her own death?”
Before Ying Yue could finish his words, Ye Shuyan’s gaze had shifted to him, his face darkening. “The honor and grace, rise and fall of the Yue Clan are above all else.”
“Hmph…” Ying Yue looked at Ye Shuyan’s cold little face and inexplicably felt a trace of complicated emotions in his heart.
“Has Foster Father told her that the so-called heavenly calamity should have ended after the death of the previous dynasty’s Empress? Her mother didn’t need to die from the start. It was someone who imposed the guilt that originally belonged to the Yue Clan on her grandmother’s head, leading to the tragedy of their lineage continuing to this day and beyond. And in the near future, her child may very well endure the suffering she is experiencing today?”
The people of the Yue Clan could peer into the heavens and see the cosmic patterns, but they were not allowed to use this knowledge to change the fate of the world or intervene in the conflicts among the four nations. Otherwise, they would bring about irreversible calamities, and the entire Yue Clan would suffer a dreadful disaster.
However, Ye Shuyan shifted the catastrophe that should have befallen the Yue Clan onto that child, leading to a never-ending cycle of calamities for her descendants.
“I will break this so-called destiny from here. If you dare to touch my child, even if I become a ghost, I will not spare you!”
“Ye Shuyan, do you really have a heart?”
Xia Yuqing’s resentful words echoed in Ye Shuyan’s ears, causing his expressionless face to crack: “Enough, Yue Er, you meddle too much in affairs that are not your concern, and you should not be saying these things now. When I told you all this before, it wasn’t for you to use it against me at this moment. Just focus on your own duties and refrain from doing anything unnecessary. Otherwise…”
Ye Shuyan snorted coldly and didn’t care about Ying Yue’s reaction. He turned around and left.
As Ye Shuyan walked away, Ying Yue felt a pang of sadness, as if he were a rabbit thrown to the wolves.
“If… if one day, I also do something I shouldn’t, just like my elder sister did back then, will you deal with me the same way?” His low and hoarse voice echoed in the empty room, revealing an indescribable struggle. Unfortunately, there was no response.
That night, Feng Tingye surprisingly hurriedly arrived at Xia Yuqing’s sleeping quarters when it was almost midnight. However, unlike before, Xia Yuqing, who should have been asleep by this time, was awake this time. As Feng Tingye lifted the blanket and laid down, Xia Yuqing quickly rolled into his arms, wrapping her arms around his waist.
Feng Tingye was startled, stiffening for a moment, but then relaxed when he caught the familiar scent of the person in his arms. He pulled her closer, asking softly, “Why aren’t you sleeping after so late?”
Xia Yuqing’s hand on Feng Tingye’s waist tightened slightly, and she mumbled, “Can’t sleep. It’s been so many days since I saw you. I wanted to wait for you to come back and sleep together…”
Feng Tingye was taken aback, but the smile on his lips deepened, “Since you miss me so much, then now…”
Feng Tingye tried to pull the person who clung to him like an octopus off him, but he heard Xia Yuqing let out an urgent cry, “Don’t!”
Feng Tingye froze, and his eyebrows furrowed in an instant. “Ai Fei?”
Xia Yuqing seemed to realize her own improper behavior and quickly tried to remedy the situation. “I… I meant to say… it’s so dark outside, and we can’t see clearly if we’re apart. Let’s not look at each other. Let me hold you for a while, just for a while.”
Feng Tingye’s eyes narrowed slightly, and he tentatively asked, “Darling, did something happen today?”
Xia Yuqing, buried in Feng Tingye’s arms, stiffened uncontrollably upon hearing his question.
After a moment of silence, she let out a slightly guilty chuckle, “Yes… something did happen. Today, I took Cui Er to my elder brother’s place, intending to complete that trick of luring him with a pretense of escape. But when we arrived, we saw him and his senior sister in a real intimate situation. They were really together! Can you believe it? I tried to help him, but he just can’t change his ways and even seduced his senior sister. He’s truly despicable! I used to think of him as my senior brother, wanting to match him with Cui Er. But that scoundrel disappointed me at a crucial moment! It’s just so infuriating!”
Despite Xia Yuqing’s effort to sound outraged, her tone betrayed hints of perfunctoriness and weariness.
Feng Tingye’s eyes flashed slightly, knowing that the reason for Xia Yuqing’s strange behavior today was definitely not as simple as she claimed. She was obviously trying to change the subject to deceive him.
Recognizing this, Feng Tingye didn’t press her further. Instead, he smiled faintly and replied to her words, “So, my Ai Fei is worried that I might not resist temptation like your elder brother and find another woman outside?”
His casual joke unintentionally pricked a nerve in Xia Yuqing. Her grip on Feng Tingye’s waist tightened again, and she forced a smile, saying, “Yes, Your Majesty, you are so handsome, charming, and captivating. Every girl in Ye Country would have her eyes on you. I’m naturally worried.”
Feng Tingye chuckled, “Then my Ai Fei must keep a close eye on me. Otherwise, who knows, one day, I might be kidnapped.”
“Mm,” Xia Yuqing softly responded, hugging Feng Tingye’s waist tightly without saying anything more. She wanted to stay by his side and watch over him, but unfortunately, she might not have that chance.
After she disappeared, would the man she was holding now belong to someone else? He was the Emperor, and not remarrying after her disappearance was already rare. But once she was gone, how could he possibly remain chaste for her?
Clearly… Clearly, they had avoided the scheming Prince Rui, defeated the vengeful Chang Princess, and dealt with the malicious Imperial Concubbine Rujia together. Yet, in the end, they were defeated by fate! She was unwilling, truly so unwilling!
Xia Yuqing buried her face in Feng Tingye’s arms, and in the cool darkness of the night, a glistening tear quietly fell from her eyes and landed on Feng Tingye’s clothes, disappearing without a trace in an instant.
Unbeknownst to Xia Yuqing, after she completely fell asleep, the man holding her slowly opened his eyes. His slender fingers delicately traced her reddened eye sockets, and a distinct coldness flickered in his eyes.
The next morning, when Xia Yuqing woke up, as expected, Feng Tingye had already left the palace. She touched the cool bed beside her and stared at the ceiling for a while. She then curled up into a ball, as if only in this way could she absorb a little warmth.
Meanwhile, in the study, Feng Tingye looked down at Xiao Shunzi with a cold voice, asking, “Did you find out everything?”
Xia Shuzi’s face turned slightly pale, but he still tried to maintain his composure. He took a deep breath and said, “I found out. Yesterday, Her Majesty did indeed go to the Shangshu Residence with Miss Cui Er. Later, Miss Cui Er and Miss Lu Rui followed in a hurry and returned not long after. Soon after, Her Majesty also returned. Then…”
“And then?” Feng Tingye narrowed his eyes, knowing that the key to the matter was likely in this “and then.”
“Then Young Master Ye visited Her Majesty in the palace and said that he had something to discuss with her.”
Upon hearing Ye Shuyan’s name, Feng Tingye’s expression turned even uglier. “What did they talk about?”
“Her Majesty sent everyone away, so no one knows what they talked about. However… after Young Master Ye left, Her Majesty seemed a bit unusual. I heard that she locked herself in the inner hall yesterday evening and instructed not to be disturbed.”
Xia Shuzi looked at the growing hostility on Feng Tingye’s face and continued, trembling.
With a loud bang, the sandalwood table in the study suddenly shattered into pieces. The huge sound, accompanied by a strong pressure, frightened everyone in the room, and they knelt down, trembling.
Before anyone could beg for mercy, a black figure jumped in from the window and knelt in front of Feng Tingye, saying, “Your Majesty.”
“Those old ministers somehow got hold of the divination from the Qintian Observatory. At the moment, things are a bit…”
The killing intent in Feng Tingye’s eyes surged again. “Those old guys have been idle for too long. They’ve forgotten my thunderous methods when Prince Rui betrayed me. Now, they even dare to touch my people. It’s time to give them something to do.”
Outside the window, the rolling dark clouds blocked the dazzling sunlight, bringing a sense of eerie ominousness and foreshadowing, an unpredictable storm.
“On the 47th time, on the 47th time…” Accompanied by a faint sigh, the palace maids and eunuchs hiding on all sides of the courtyard began to discuss in hushed voices.
“The Empress has sighed 47 times today. People say that if you sigh too much, you will age quickly.”
“Nonsense! The Empress is only in her early twenties. How could she be considered old?”
“I was just saying it casually! The Empress can’t continue sighing like this. It’s heartbreaking! What on earth happened?”
“Indeed, her sighs are making me lose the energy to do anything. I heard that yesterday, the Empress took Miss Cui Er and others to the Xu Residence and accidentally ran into the Young Master Su. He was with that girl he has been frequently bringing to the palace… doing that thing…”
“That thing? What thing?”
“Yes!” The little maid stomped her feet, blushing and anxious. “You know, the intimate activities between men and women!”
The group of maids suddenly understood, and each of them blushed.
“I can’t believe Young Master Su would…”
“Exactly! Young Master Su was so persistent in pursuing Miss Cui Er not long ago, and now he…”
“Yeah, that’s why they say men always get tired of the old and crave the new. Poor Miss Cui Er, such a beautiful and charming girl, and yet…”
“True! No wonder Miss Cui Er looked so upset when she returned yesterday. She must be really heartbroken.”
“Of course! The Empress is always so fond of Miss Cui Er and the others. How could she not feel sorry for her when she sees Miss Cui Er like that?”
“Yes, yes. I thought Grand Tutor’s treatment of Lady Li Yuan was despicable enough, but who knew there could be someone worse than him? Young Master Su not only cheats on two women but also does it so openly. It’s really infuriating.”
“He’s only publicly cheating on two women. Who knows what he does in secret? I heard that Young Master Su was quite the playboy before. His traces can be found in almost every brothel. There might be more than just two women involved.”
“Really? He doesn’t look like that kind of person at all!”
“You? You’re still so young. How could you understand the wickedness of the world? Nowadays, there’s not a single good man. Even someone as good as Miss Cui Er is not cherished by him. He deserves to be single for the rest of his life.”
“That’s right, not a single good man!”
“Not a single good man!” The group of maids chattered away, passionately discussing the matter.
The little eunuchs standing behind them watched the maidens, who were full of righteous indignation and resentment, feeling embarrassed. Fortunately, from a certain perspective, they were no longer considered men, otherwise, they would have been beaten up by these angry women. But, well, it’s not really something to be proud of. Oops…
In this tranquil and spacious courtyard, away from the hustle and bustle of the world, there was a semi-mature banyan tree with its sprawling branches forming a giant crown-shaped flower. It provided a perfect place for relaxation, allowing people to sit on its thick branches without worrying about falling and getting hurt.
Today, this peaceful spot welcomed two unexpected guests.
Seated on the tree trunk, Xia Yuqing leisurely swung her legs, cradling a drowsy Xiao Hei in her arms.
She gently scratched the black cat’s neck, prompting it to emit a contented purr, “Meow…”
Xia Yuqing looked at Xiao Hei with mixed feelings in her eyes. “Xiao Hei, you’re his pet, so you probably knew about those things, right?”
Xiao Hei, enjoying Xia Yuqing’s caress, suddenly stiffened upon hearing her words. Its bright cat eyes widened, revealing a hint of surprise and fear.
Seeing its reaction, Xia Yuqing’s eyes glinted with understanding. She patted the cat’s huddled body and teasingly said, “Yesterday, you were eavesdropping outside, weren’t you? If you didn’t look so small, I would’ve thought you were an expert in cultivation, not just an ordinary little demon!”
Xiao Hei grumbled a few times, arching its body against Xia Yuqing’s hand, acting cute and coquettish.
Normally, Xia Yuqing would be overjoyed to see such an adorable sight and play with it to her heart’s content. However, at this moment, she was not in the mood.
Looking at Xiao Hei’s antics, she sighed once again, her eyes full of complexity.
In the midst of their standoff, a round little creature appeared, breaking the tense atmosphere.
Having just finished breakfast, Xiao Bai strolled elegantly into its dedicated courtyard, ready to take a leisurely sunbath on the tree trunk. What a pleasant dog’s life, indeed!
But when it arrived at the courtyard gate, it found an unusual crowd gathered around its usually quiet place. Its big, watery eyes showed confusion. Why were so many people in its courtyard today?
Carrying all its doubts, Xiao Bai stepped into the courtyard, only to be surprised that its usual exclusive throne had been occupied!
“Woof, woof, woof…” Xiao Bai barked fiercely as it approached Xia Yuqing and Xiao Hei. How dare you occupy my throne? Get off!
Xiao Hei, upon hearing Xiao Bai’s barks, forgot about its confrontation with Xia Yuqing and responded with a fierce hiss. Why should I get off? I’m not moving! What can you do about it?
The sight of the dog and cat facing off, with Xia Yuqing sitting in between, made the scene both funny and heartwarming. A peaceful and harmonious atmosphere seemed to settle in this tranquil courtyard despite the chaos that might have occurred.
“Woof, woof, woof… Roll down, roll down! This is my territory, I won’t tolerate your mischief here!”
“Meow…” Your territory? Who said it’s yours just because you said so? I haven’t seen any marks here claiming it’s yours.
“Woof, woof, woof… You! Who said there are no marks? I’ve marked this place by peeing nearby; this is my territory!”
“…” Xiao Hei glanced at Xiao Bai speechlessly, rolled his eyes to the sky, and turned away, ignoring the foolish dog.
Xiao Bai suddenly realized that he had said something embarrassing and blushed, but unfortunately, his thick white fur concealed his embarrassment, and no one noticed.
Seeing that he couldn’t win Xiao Hei over, Xiao Bai pitifully turned his gaze toward his owner, hoping she would stand up for him. Unfortunately, at this moment, Xia Yuqing was too busy to bother with their cat-dog quarrel. She calmly sorted out Xiao Hei’s fur, lost in her own thoughts.
Seeing no response from Xia Yuqing, Xiao Bai’s face darkened, he bared his teeth, and turned to run away.
The onlookers nearby, puzzled by Xiao Bai’s sudden aggressive behavior, exchanged glances of confusion. Why did Xiao Bai run in, bark a couple of times, and then run out again?
It didn’t take long for them to get their answer.
Like the wind, Xiao Bai returned with a new appearance, adorned with an outrageously pink bowtie on both its little round body and head. With its head held high, it walked confidently towards Xia Yuqing.
The onlookers who were whispering in the corner were stunned by Xiao Bai’s new look. They stared in disbelief at the little dog.
In response to their astonished and panicked gazes, Xiao Bai gave them a disdainful look. These mere mortals wouldn’t understand his extraordinary and unique dressing style. He was wearing the trendiest fashion in town, something ordinary people couldn’t comprehend!
Witnessing my extraordinary talents is a reward you’ve accumulated over several lifetimes. Yet, you fail to appreciate it. Ah, foolish mortals! Watch and learn, someone as wise and mighty as my owner will surely understand my uniqueness!
Xiao Bai swayed unsteadily and approached Xia Yuqing. He directly gave Xiao Hei, who was the first to notice him, a withering glare. What does this foolish dog want now?!
Xia Yuqing noticed the strange look on Xiao Hei’s face and looked down to find Xiao Bai in his pink outfit.
“Pfft…” Xia Yuqing’s face, which had been serious all morning, finally succumbed to a fatal blow and broke into laughter.
“The princess is smiling! The princess is smiling!” The onlookers outside saw Xia Yuqing finally reveal a smile, and they all cheered as if they had won the lottery.
Seeing Xia Yuqing smile at him, Xiao Bai became even more proud. He shot Xiao Hei a provocative look and, with all eyes on him, raised his head and started singing loudly.
“Howl…” A deafening scream pierced the sky, scaring away several flying birds in the sky and startling the unprepared onlookers.
“…” My goodness, how could even spectating be risky these days?! This terrifying voice is so frightening! But come to think of it, why does that sound seem familiar?
“…” That d*mn foolish dog! I must find a chance to make it lose its voice! Xiao Hei, who was curled up in Xia Yuqing’s arms and was just as unprepared to be thunderstruck, now had two mosquito-like eyes on his face.
“Ah, Xiao Bai, I never knew you could sing, and quite well at that! I give you a thumbs up!”
“…” The onlookers were stunned; they finally understood why that terrifying voice sounded familiar. They say, “Like owner, like pet”? There was one terrifying voice in the palace, now there’s another one. How will they survive this in the future?!
The onlookers painfully thought that they could predict how miserable their lives would be from now on!
Xiao Bai, excited by Xia Yuqing’s praise, became even more enthusiastic. Indeed, only master understood him! To repay his owner’s favor, he decided to give another performance.
So, Xiao Bai happily sang another song, and the onlookers felt like they were on the verge of death, unable to escape from the torment. They cursed their fate for having to endure this.
As the song reached its climax, Xiao Bai became very excited, shaking its little butt and twisting its round body several times, causing Xia Yuqing to once again burst into laughter.
Watching Xiao Bai twisting and turning, Xia Yuqing couldn’t help but chuckle. She had only seen a mini pig doing a hula dance before, but she never expected to see a mini dog doing a grass skirt dance one day. It was truly an eye-opening experience!
After the dance, Xiao Bai was panting heavily, and most of the onlookers had collapsed. Only Xia Yuqing was still happily holding Xiao Hei in one hand and reaching out to pick up Xiao Bai with the other.
Xiao Bai immediately perked up like it was injected with chicken blood. Finally, its owner was holding it! Finally, its owner put down that black fellow and switched to holding Xiao Bai! Look, look, the owner still liked Xiao Bai the most, loved Xiao Bai the most. All the new favorites could step aside because Xiao Bai was the most cherished one, the most cherished one!
Before Xiao Bai could revel in its triumph for too long, it saw Xia Yuqing’s embrace moving away from it.
“Umm…” Xiao Bai’s big round eyes were filled with confusion as it saw Xia Yuqing directly placing it next to that black fellow. And then…
“Xiao Hei, look at how much weight my Xiao Bai has lost now. Not only is it graceful, but it can also sing and dance so well. It seems to be interested in you. It’s obvious that it’s interested in you. As they say, a woman looks more pleasing when she’s pleased with herself. You know what I mean. So, stop despising it and accept it.”
Black and white, cat and dog, stared at each other for a moment, then simultaneously let out a startled cry and started swatting at each other with their paws.
“Woof, woof, woof… This handsome and elegant master doesn’t need this jerk to woo!”
“Meow…” You foolish dog, I don’t even want to look at you for a second. If you want me to be your companion, maybe in the next life!
Xia Yuqing was taken aback by the intense standoff between the cat and the dog. She wanted to intervene but feared getting involved and becoming a victim of their claws. She could only stand there with a helpless expression.
As she watched the cat and the dog battle fiercely, a low call suddenly came from behind her, “Niang Niang.”
Xia Yuqing turned around and saw Cui Er looking somewhat disheartened behind her, hesitant to speak.
Just as Xia Yuqing was about to say something, Cui Er regained her usual calm demeanor and said softly, “Niang Niang, I’m fine. Please don’t worry about me. I’m doing well.”
Xia Yuqing was momentarily stunned, looking at the maidservants surrounding them, she finally realized that Cui Er and the others might have thought her unusual behavior was because of something related to Cui Er. She forced a bitter smile but remained composed on the surface.
“Cui Er, do you really have no feelings for my eldest senior brother? If that’s true, why did you react like that yesterday?”
Cui Er’s expression remained unchanged, and she calmly replied, “Yesterday, I was just startled by the suddenness of the situation. Any girl would be taken aback in such a situation, especially a girl like me who has no experience in such matters.”
Her words sounded convincing, as if everything was indeed just an unexpected incident. Of course, this would ignore the fact that she was clutching her hands tightly at her side, almost cutting off the circulation.
Xia Yuqing noticed every detail but showed no reaction. She then asked, “Is it because of Little Shuyan that you can’t accept my eldest senior brother?”
A shiver ran through Cui Er’s body, and a fleeting look of surprise flashed in her eyes.
Though it was only a moment, Xia Yuqing caught it, and she knew she had guessed right. Before she could say anything else, the sudden commotion outside interrupted them.
“What’s going on?” Xia Yuqing frowned and asked in a low voice.
“Reporting to Niang Niang, the unfaithful man has come and is currently seeking an audience outside!”
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