Chapter 10: To noble family women
Lóng Wei and Li Hua reached the manor. Two plum trees in the courtyard on which red-headed birds were sitting and chirping. A swing was placed in the middle of them, slightly ahead of those trees.
A small pond was at the center of the courtyard. Its water was so clear that one could see the fishes inside them. Unlike the other manors, the Sixth Princes manor was peaceful.
“You dont need to sleep in the servants quarters anymore.” Li Hua heard Lóng Wei, who had halted at his place. She also stopped and wondered what he meant by that.
“What does His Highness mean” Li Hua asked, twiddling with her fingers.
“You will be in my manor every time. Later in the evening, you can bring your belongings here,” Lóng Wei cleared her doubts.
Li Hua was wary of Lóng Weis intentions toward her. The way he protected her, fought for her, and then brought a legal verdict from the King was giving her a second thought.
Her eyes were still fixed on Lóng Weis right hand. She wanted to check it once to make sure it would not bleed anymore. She also wanted to thank him for preventing her from getting a hit.
“Your Highness, I am grateful for your help. Shall I call the Royal Physician for His Highness” Li Hua first expressed her gratitude to Lóng Wei and then showed her concern towards his injured hand.
“Why shall I see the Royal Physician” Lóng Wei asked her.
“Umm... His Highnesss hand, its injured,” Li Hua replied and lifted her head to meet his gaze. Lóng Wei lifted his hand and looked at it. He chuckled because he didnt even feel the pain.
“Do you know how to dress the wound Do it for me.” Lóng Wei forwarded his hand.
Li Hua flickered her eyes and lowered them. “It is not my work, Your Highness. I will call the Royal Physician,” she stated.
“Then, leave it,” Lóng Wei said and put his hand down. He picked the flower petal from over her head.
“Pear blossom,” Lóng Wei said, and hearing the meaning of her name from Lóng Weis mouth, she peered into his eyes again. She thought he did not formally study, unlike the other princes. The fellow palace maids had gossiped many times about the Sixth Prince. They said that Lóng Wei refused to study and even troubled the royal teachers, who were appointed for him.
His hand glided down and it traced the sides of her left face. His calloused index finger stopped under Li Huas chin. “Li Hua name is given to noble family women,” Lóng Wei stated.
Li Hua gulped and tightly pressed her fingers with the other hands thumb. No one ever put thought to her name. During the appointment as a palace maid, the chief palace lady had asked her, but then she didnt mind it.
“How did you enter the Palace” Lóng Wei modified his question.
Li Hua lowered her eyes. “Your Highness, my grandmother gave me this name. Because of my beautiful features, I was perceived as a girl from a noble family. So, she ended up giving me this name,” Li Hua gave an explanation to the Sixth Prince. He forced her to look into his eyes.
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“You are indeed beautiful despite belonging to the servant class. Now, answer the second question,” Lóng Wei demanded and looked at her plump, rosy lips.
“I am more interested in knowing why you entered this Palace. I believe many eyes will be on you, especially the men from the noble class, and I wont exclude the Royal family.” Lóng Weis deep gaze bore her soul and it somewhere intimidated her.
“Money,” Li Hua replied. “My family is buried under a huge debt, Your Highness. I remember someone from the town telling me that the palace maids are paid well. So, I applied to be the Palace maid,” she, after putting a careful thought, answered him.
“Which town do you belong to” Lóng Wei promptly asked her.
“Xinshu-” Li Hua paused as she was not supposed to talk about her real town. “The village near Xinshui town,” she immediately corrected her mistake.
Lóng Wei studied her eyes once again and then let go of her chin. Li Hua felt relieved.
“Xinshui town is a chief town of the Kingdom. Lets visit it someday,” Lóng Wei stated.
“Pardon me, Your Highness” Li Hua was perplexed. Why would he visit the town with her
“Bring breakfast for me. I am hungry,” Lóng Wei stated and walked away. He ascended the stairs and walked inside the door to his chamber.
Li Hua heaved a sigh of relief because she thought she had almost gotten caught. Lóng Wei was way more observant than she had thought. She went to the royal kitchen, where she found the maids gossiping about her.
She silently walked to the royal chef. “The Sixth Prince has asked for breakfast,” Li Hua informed him, who instructed his assistant.
On the tray, a large bowl filled with rice noodles was put. Li Hua covered it with a lid and put the freshly prepared water chestnut cake pieces on a platter.
“It is strange that the Sixth Prince appointed a maid in his service,” the assistant royal chef Xiwan said, putting a tiny bamboo steamer that had dumplings in it.
“Even I am surprised with my appointment in the Sixth Princes manor,” Li Hua said. Xiwan smiled and gave her best wishes. Li Hua thanked him and left the royal kitchen.
She pushed the door and stepped in with a tray in her hand. “Your Highness, the meals are here,” she informed Lóng Wei, who had his back towards her. He placed the tray on the bed and put everything on the table.
Lóng Wei pulled out the chair for him and settled on it. She first tasted the food and upon getting the confirmation that the meals didnt contain any poison, she asked Lóng Wei to start.
“Did you eat” Lóng Wei asked her, and tilted his head to gaze at her.
“The breakfast period for the servants is over, Your Highness. I will take my lunch,” Li Hua answered when Lóng Wei pulled out the chair beside him.
“Sit,” Lóng Wei told her. Li Huas eyes grew big and she refused politely.
“You cannot refuse any of my commands,” Lóng Wei said. “Sit before my mood gets ruined,” he muttered.
“How can this servant-” she paused when found the glare of Lóng Wei at her.
Li Hua promptly moved to Lóng Weis right side and sat on the chair. Two months ago, she got to sit on such chairs. However, after the massacre of her family, her life turned upside down.
Lóng Wei handed the chopsticks to her with which she had tasted the food earlier.
He then picked the chopsticks for him and put the water chestnut cakes on the tray. “I dont like chestnut cakes. You are lucky that I cannot even get angry at you,” Lóng Wei said as he put some noodles on the platter.
“Your Highness, forgive me for my mistake,” Li Hua apologized.
He put the platter in front of her and asked her to eat.
“First, His Highness shall eat,” Li Hua said. She was still not able to understand the nature of Lóng Wei. What he was up to Why he was doing all this for her
Lóng Wei started to eat while Li Huas eyes got fixed on his right hands knuckles. “Why doesnt His Highness let me call the Royal Physician” Li Huas question made him stop eating.
He tilted his head and bore his gaze at her. She lowered them, thinking it would be rude to meet his gaze time and again.
“I dont allow anyone to touch me. If you are concerned for me, then you can dress it for me,” Lóng Wei said. Getting no response from Li Hua, he began eating again. “Eat your food before it gets cold,” he told her while chewing the noodles.
Li Hua started to eat too. Lóng Wei noticed the way she was eating food. “You eat like a noble lady.” His sudden statement made her cough. Lóng Wei picked up the water glass and brought it near her mouth.
“Dont stare at me. Drink it,” Lóng Wei told her. Li Hua sipped the water while the Sixth Prince caressed her back. Li Hua was never shown care by any man. It was too intimate and, at the same time, scary for her.
She leaned away and said, “I am fine, Your Highness. Thank you.”
Lóng Wei put the glass down on the table and opened the lid of the bamboo steamer. He started to eat a dumpling and put another on Li Huas platter, which still had noodles left on it.
“Eat the chestnut cakes,” Lóng Wei told her as he finished eating. He picked up the napkin and dabbed his mouth with it. He, then pushed the bowl away and rested his elbow on the tables surface. His head rested on his calloused hand as he peered at Li Hua.
He observed her every single expression and movement. He even noticed that her right hand was still in pain.
“If Princess Jingfeis hand gets a scar, she will never think of harming you,” Lóng Wei said out of the blue, and Li Hua stopped eating. She tilted her head to look at the Sixth Prince and saw a grim expression on his face.
“Your Highness, your words sound wrong,” Li Hua gathered her courage to speak those words. “It will bring more problems for this servant if His Highness keeps protecting me for no reason.” Li Hua did not want to remain ignorant of his words. She did not want to see her in the other way.
“Li Hua, you should not have grabbed my attention, then. I am your biggest trouble, whom you have to handle till your last breath,” Lóng Wei stated and smirked.
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