Fu Yin had once again been summoned to Lu Qi’s study room. He had just sent out two letters of high importance and could finally relax. He wanted her to massage his legs. She hesitated before beginning to massage his legs. As she saw him close his eyes comfortably, she could not help but think of her mother and used more strength.
Lu Qi opened his eyes and frowned. “What did your family used to do?” How were her hands so strong?
“They had a business…” Fu Yin subconsciously replied.
“What kind of business?” Lu Qi continued to ask.
“We sold…” Fu Yin did not dare to tell the truth. “...calligraphy items.”
“No wonder you know how to draw. You are considered a lady of a merchant. How did you end up selling yourself to the Duke Chen Residence?”
“Our business went bankrupt and we owed a lot of money. My parents could not take it and abandoned me. I went to my distant uncle for help but my aunt said I was unlucky. She scolded and hit me everyday. Eventually, she sold me.” Fu Yin made something up.
Lu Qi assessed Fu Yin for a moment before pulling his legs back. “Have you never helped anyone massage their legs before? It is not comfortable at all.”
Fu Yin took the chance to leave. “If Young Master has no other orders for me…”
“I have.” Lu Qi did not let her leave. “Sing a song for me.”
“I don’t know how to sing.” She was born fortunate and never had to worry about clothes or food. She also never had to sell the arts to survive.
Lu Qi wanted to laugh. “You are clumsy at serving tea, don’t know how to massage, don’t know how to sing. You are incredibly useless except for one thing. You know how to draw. Go and draw then.”
“Draw what?” Fu Yin did not refuse.
“Mmhm, draw me.” Lu Qi proudly pointed at himself. “You drew me in secret, now I am giving you the chance to draw me properly. You should be grateful.”
Fu Yin looked at how Lu Qi posed in a manner that he thought was handsome as she nervously picked up her brush. As she drew, he commented. He would suddenly say that he wanted to look powerful and in another moment, he would comment that his eyes were not big enough. She fumed and drew huge exaggerated eyes for him.
Lu Qi closed in on her, forcing her to the corner of the room. Both his arms locked her in, making it impossible for her to escape. “You did that on purpose?”
She glared at him with eyes that looked like a rabbit’s. “When did I…”
“Your eyes are so big and so bright…” Unknowingly, Lu Qi became absorbed and shifted closer. Fu Yin was frightened but could not avoid him.
Lu Qi grabbed onto Fu Yin’s chin and said in a seducing voice. “Please me and you can get anything you want.”
Lu Qi was about to get intimate with Fu Yin when Fu Yin pushed him away roughly. She ran to her room. He was furious before slowly becoming interested. She clearly admired him but chose to remain shy like a rabbit. She was so cute that it made his heart tickle. He did not mind slowly pursuing her.
The Royal Palace was gloomy. A single lamp shone on a small paper boat. Fu Rou placed her palms together as she prayed.
Two lives were lost in silence. Many people in the palace were pitiful people that had their family relationships cut off. The least she could do would be to light a lamp for them to show them that there was someone that remembered them and wished them to have a smooth road ahead.
“Li Chun’er from Jiangling County.”
Fu Rou was startled as she turned back. She saw Prince Zhou walk up. Prince Zhou said, “If you want to pray for the deceased, you should at least know their name.”
“How did you know…” Fu Rou only managed to ask half of her question before she chuckled bitterly, “I always forget that Your Highness has a huge network in the palace. There is nothing that you don’t know.”
“I typically do not care about trivial matters. However, since this is related to you, I can’t help but be slightly concerned.” Prince Zhou did not mind telling the truth. “Are you feeling sad?”
“Yes. I never thought that it would end like this.” In a normal common household, this would be a trivial and insignificant issue. But in the Royal Family’s household, it was worth someone’s life.
“Li Chun’er also never thought that using white arsenic to poison rats would cause her to lose her life.” Prince Zhou pursed his lips. His tone was surprisingly cold. “Don’t you find it interesting?”
Fu Rou was horrified. “It is so tragic. How can it be interesting?”
“By interesting, I am referring to how unpredictable human life can be. Just like this, a person’s fate has been completely changed. Right from the beginning, you would never have imagined things to end like this.” To be born in the Royal family is actually a kind of sorrow. “When I was young, I once fell into a pond and almost drowned. Did you know who saved me?”
Fu Rou shook her head.
“The Crown Prince.” He would remember this for life.
“His Highness, the Crown Prince?” Seeing how frigid the brothers were to each other, Fu Rou did not expect this. “He saved your life?”
Prince Zhou’s gaze became distant. “That was when we were young. At that time, I still called him Elder Brother and he called me Third Brother. When he saw me fall into the water, he did not hesitate to jump into the water to save me. He almost drowned as well. Sometimes I think that if I had drowned then, he would have remembered me as his obedient and cute third brother and not the Prince Zhou that is forever posing problems for him.”
“Then why…” Fu Rou could not understand.
“Because of what Master Yuan said.” His life changed completely since then.
“The Master Yuan that is renowned for physiognomy and received His Majesty’s recognition?” Fu Rou remembered him.
“Yes, that person. He looked at me and said that my fate was noble beyond belief.” Prince Zhou wanted to laugh. “Noble beyond belief. To the Royal family, these words are fatal! From that day onwards, I unknowingly became the Crown Prince’s opponent. He was no longer my Elder Brother and I was no longer the Third Brother he would risk his life to protect. Fu Siyan, you feel pain because of that palace maid’s death. But do you know the true pain?” It is to be blood related yet ruthless.
Fu Rou looked at the paper boat that was slowly sinking into the water. “I thought Your Highness was here to comfort me. However, the more you speak, the more heavy I feel.”
“Fu Siyan, your feelings are all on Sheng Chumu. I will lose out if I comfort you. I won’t be able to get my deposit back.” Prince Zhou smiled slightly. He was the one that wanted her comfort. “I am just treating you as my verbal bin. Whenever I don’t feel comfortable, I will dump all my troubles on you. That way, I will feel more at ease.”
“On what basis are you to treat me as your verbal bin?”
“You feel wronged? Then that’s easy. Ditch Sheng Chumu and come with me. I promise that I will never bother you with my troubles anymore. If you have troubles, I will even cheer you up and help you solve them.”
Fu Rou was speechless and turned to leave. However, Prince Zhou held her back. She anxiously turned around. “What are you doing?”
He asked, “Did you know when I started admiring you?” Fu Rou shook her head.
“It was when you helped Official Situ in the Eastern Palace. After that, the Crown Princess approached you in the Imperial Garden and asked you why you helped Official Situ. You then replied to her with one sentence. You were not that kind of person and will not help with that kind of thing.” Prince Zhou remembered everything.
“That is nothing. I am simply stating the truth.”
“You are wilful and are not willing to be changed by the world. However, this world has a lot of temptations and a lot of obstacles. When facing temptations and obstacles, it is extremely extremely difficult to remain like oneself from the start to the end. Therefore, there are many that cannot persist and will unknowingly lose themselves. They will do things that they would never do in the past.”
Prince Zhou’s gaze deepened. “Continue being yourself. Although you may seem rigid and indiscreet by refusing to be changed by the world, I like you. I really really like you.” He finally confessed.
The Palace was as deep as the ocean. So was the Lu family. On this night, the Duke Chen Residence was eerie.
Fu Yin was walking in the garden by herself. The wind felt cold through the thin clothes she was wearing. Ling Long had suddenly complained of a stomach ache and angrily chased her out, demanding that she find Housekeeper Wu.
Her surroundings were pitch black, with only a few lanterns swaying in the corridor. The candles in the lantern suddenly extinguished, making it even more strange. She was cowardly and her footsteps quickened. She wanted to quickly get through the garden. Suddenly, she felt herself brush past a black figure. The black figure pounced on her and covered her mouth, pulling her along into a junk room.
The moonlight illuminated that person’s face. Fu Yin starred in fright. It was Lu Hanxing. She cried out and struggled, realising that she had fallen into a trap.
Lu Hanxing smiled evilly, his gaze was like a wolf. “Don’t be scared, beautiful lady. Tonight, I will show you what bliss is like--”
Shashashasha! Lu Hanxing heard a noise from outside the door and could not help but be startled.
A moment later, a cat meowed.
Disappointment flashed through Fu Yin’s eyes. She could not move under Lu Hanxing’s grip and could not stop him from tearing apart her lapel and taking advantage of her snow-white neck. At this moment, Fu Yin took the chance to bite Lu Hanxing with all her might and managed to free herself as she ran to the window and shouted for help.
Lu Hanxing pulled her back and slapped her, causing her to fall to the ground. “Bitch. You will only behave when I am harsh on you. See how I will punish you!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter