Chapter 16: Killing Without Batting An Eye
The woman that the male lead had let off was Lin Qianzi, and was currently cutting a sorry figure trying to hide from the pursuit of Prince Li’s people. However, it was clear that she had done her research on how to escape Prince Li’s complex. After jumping out of the water, she slipped into a wooden hut that she had set up and changed back into the clothes of a woman.
Once she turned back into a woman, the pursuers lost their target and began to mill around aimlessly. Things were progressing smoothly, but she felt rather depressed. Wasn’t that fiance of hers too violent? He had ordered a girl to be beaten to death. Although he had been born with a handsome appearance, he was pretending to be something he wasn’t and that frightened her. Also, the woman she had been talking to must have been his concubine. She hadn’t thought that she would be that beautiful. With such a beautiful concubine, would he even take a second look at her after marriage? Definitely not, she thought. After she finished changing into her female disguise, she returned home.
As she entered her courtyard, she was greeted by a snow white figure. Startled, she was about to leave when the white figure spoke, “Younger cousin, are you still going to run?”
“Uh, older cousin, how did you know it was me?” Lin Qianzi walked back, a sheepish smile on her face.
“How could I possibly mistake you? I told you that it’s not a good idea to provoke Prince Li, but you still went anyway. How was it? Are you satisfied with your fiance? Based on looks, he’s ranked amongst the top.” Ji Zhangshu was almost sneering as he spoke. He’d adored his younger cousin for many years, and hadn’t thought that his aunt would actually match her with that cold-hearted killer.
Distress showed on Lin Qianzi’s face before she threw herself into her older cousin’s arms, crying. “Cousin, that man… he’s really scary. He killed someone without batting an eye, he actually beat a girl to death with staves. And, and… the woman in his rear court is both beautiful and kind. He won’t even take a look at me. What should I do, what should I do? I don’t want to marry him, I don’t want to.”
Ji Zhangshu patted her head while his heart ached for her. He said tenderly, “I know, I’ll definitely help you.”
“Cousin, could you help me escape this marriage? I just want to hide for some time so I don’t have to marry him anymore.”
Her tears had soaked into his clothing, making Ji Zhangshu feel even more sorry for her. Helpless, he said, “Alright, I’ll do anything for you.”
Lin Qianzi nodded in gratitude before continuing to hide and cry in Ji Zhangshu’s arms. When she thought about Prince Li’s sharp gaze, she definitely felt uncomfortable all over.
Bai Xiangxiu was currently gardening outside her room. Recently, she had been planting things in the garden of her courtyard whenever she had the time. However, the weather was a little too cold, so she couldn’t plant too many things. After she was tired of fiddling with plants, she went back to talk to the cactus Huo’er. She then found a soft shoot growing out from Huo’er’s body. Was it about to branch off?
“Itchy, it’s really itchy…” Huo’er wasn’t used to the newly sprouted shoot, and kept complaining that it was itchy.
“Just hang in there. Once it grows bigger, you’ll have a companion.” Bai Xiangxiu felt that Huo’er’s voice had matured a little, but it was still a little child’s voice.
“Enduring. Huo’er is enduring. But Huo’er wants to feel the breeze, wants sunlight.” Huo’er always acted cute towards Bai Xiangxiu. She had no other choice but to move it to the windowsill and open the window so Huo’er could bask in the sunlight and the breeze. However, it was still cold out, so the moment she opened the window, the cold winds rushed in to bite her. Xiao Shi said, “Ah, Mistress Xiu, you can’t.You might catch a cold!”
“It’s alright, keep the window open for now. Close it later.” She went off to wash her hands after giving her orders.
These past few days had been rather tiring for her, so she just wanted to rest early. As a result, she was already in bed before the sun had set. Although, she hadn’t taken off her clothes, she was just resting while trying to remember if the book had ever mentioned the female lead secretly spying on Prince Li, Long Heng. However, after the female lead left, wasn’t it time for her to start her plans to escape marriage?
She remembered that today was the day the male and female leads’ marriage date was supposed to be decided. In the end, it would be March of the following year! But she would die in May of that year. She had to leave before May. Ruminating between plans and the novel’s progression, she grew a bit tired until Long Heng brought some people over.
He’d been a little happy when he’d heard this woman protecting his reputation today. As an appropriate response to the provocation from his fiancée, he thought of coming to her place to sit for a while. Of course, it wasn’t as simple as just sitting. He had brought gifts and even wanted to sleep over for a night before leaving. The idea of bringing gifts had been suggested to him by a pageboy by his side. Although he had felt a little awkward, spending a bit of effort on his first woman was something he felt he should do.
Who would have expected that he would be greeted by such a startling sight the moment he walked in? Xiao Shi was sprawled on the desk, sleeping, while Bai Xiangxiu was snoozing on the bed, fully dressed. Although the floor was clean, the window had been left open. He couldn’t help but frown at this carefree attitude. Although she was a concubine, she was also a master. Wasn’t she treating her servant too casually?
With annoyance in his heart, he commanded, “Close the window.”
His pageboy was outside and hurriedly went to close the window. However, because he was too hurried, he didn’t notice the cactus Huo’er and was brutally pricked on his palm. “Aiyah…” The servant didn’t know that this thing had such fearsome thorns and actually shouted in his fright.
Since he got pricked, the pageboy instinctively smacked poor Huo’er, who overbalanced and fell to the floor. The flower pot shattered into small pieces and it cried out in pain, “Mistress, save me…”
“What happened, what’s the matter? Save who?” Bai Xiangxiu woke up all of a sudden and ran out in a fright. She saw Huo’er thrown to the ground and a twinge of pain ran through her heart as she ran over to grab it.
“You, stop, that thing has thorns.” Long Heng saw that she had run out with two white, bare feet, sprinting without hesitation towards that strange plant. Seeing that she was about to grab it with her hands without caring whether or not she would get hurt, he hurriedly called out to stop her.
She froze at his words, turning slowly on the spot to face him. Confusion clear in her eyes, she took one look at him before kneeling with a thump, “Greetings to Your Highness.”
Why is the male lead here? Mr. Plotline, can you get any more off track?!
“Rise!” Long Heng was a little speechless at this woman’s actions. However, upon seeing that she wasn’t getting up but continuing to pick up the pieces of the flower pot, he couldn’t help but suffer a blow, am I really not as important as a weird little plant? Thus, he said, “That thing is so dangerous! Why not just throw it away!”
“You can’t! It’s also a life, you can’t just kill it like that.” Bai Xiangxiu grew agitated, and almost hugged the cactus protectively. Like a mother hen protecting her chicks, she stared at him guardedly.
Long Heng’s miniscule amount of burgeoning affection for her was completely erased in an instant. With a toss of his sleeves, he said, “Then just live with it for the rest of your life!” Hadn’t she just spoken up for him? Now she’s actually looking at me like that for that little plant. This woman is rather gutsy.
He walked away resentfully, perplexing Bai Xiangxiu and Xiao Shi. Even a long while after he’d left, they still thought they were dreaming.
“Mistress Xiu, did His Highness come over just now? Was I seeing things?”
“Probably, not?” What was up with the male lead? Or perhaps the story just hadn’t mentioned these things? It was because Long Heng had come and gone so suddenly that Bai Xiangxiu simply thought that the male lead had come to cause trouble and neglected any other possibilities.
Long Heng was currently depressed. His fiancee had actually boldly snuck into the mansion to eavesdrop on some nonsense and had even jumped into the water in front of so many men. This had completely undermined his dignity. Then he’d finally found a woman who would speak for him, but it was clear that he wasn’t even as important as the plant she was raising.