Long Fei Li looked at her sulking appearance. She had exclaimed she was in pain, but he could tell she wasn’t being completely honest as there was a look of helplessness in her eye. Seeing her like this made him reminiscent of her past mischievousness but when he caught himself having such thoughts he was embarrassed and let out a soft sigh. He said, “Speak, it’s fine as long as I agree isn’t it.”
“I know where the descendant of the Bai family is hiding. I’ll take you to go find him.”
A flash fleeted across Long Fei Li’s eyes as his hand reached out to caress her face. “Are you really Minister Nian’s daughter?”
Seeing he had doubts, Xuan Ji tilted her head to look up at him. Smiling, she asked, “If I’m not Minister Nian’s daughter then who do you think I am?”
Long Fei Li’s hand suddenly reached into her robes, giving her a start. But his fingers merely stroked the cinnabar mole on her chest which was a mere inch away from her wounds. Xuan Ji closed her eyes as she felt his cool fingers on her skin, his touch especially careful as to not hurt her.
“Once at Imperial Father’s birthday feast, all the ministers came to offer felicitations, and your mother, as a lady of the first-rank, also came along and brought you with her to the palace. I’ve met you before and have seen this birthmark of yours.”
Curious, Xuan Ji laughingly asked, “You must’ve been only a couple of years old then, how did you catch a glimpse of such an intimate area on this young lady? Such a pervert.”
(t/n she knew he was young then b/c he ascended the throne when he was 7 so this event must have happened before he was 7yrs old.)
Long Fei Li raised a brow and said with a smile, “So what if I looked, in any case, you’re still my woman, sooner or later. At that time, you were about 3-4 years old and your nanny had brought you to the royal garden to play. I had grown bored during the banquet and had sneaked away with a few other princes and had seen you there.”
He paused as if recalling something and glanced at her.
With her curiosity piqued, Xuan Ji pressed him to quickly tell her.
“You had wet your pants,” he stated with a light chuckle.
Following the initial shock, Xuan Ji’s expression fell dark. Indignantly, she said, “You slander me.”
Smiling, Long Fei Li replied, “A gentleman never lies.”
Xuan Ji blushed with embarrassment and said, “No wonder you detest me. It turns out in the past I’ve repulsed you.”
Thinking about it, she was annoyed yet found it somewhat funny and couldn’t help but laugh aloud. She didn’t expect Xuan Ji to have such a fateful encounter with this man.
But the instant she laughed, her wounds throbbed painfully and she gritted her teeth.
Seeing the traces of smile in her eyes, Long Fei Li’s heart couldn’t help but skip a beat. He reached out and cradled the back of her head, her hair scattering across his arm as he leaned in to press his lips against her forehead, whispering, “That was in the past.”
Xuan Ji did not shy away. The warm and tender touch of his kiss made her heart swell with wistfulness for she knew deep down that things between them could never return to how it used to be. She thought that she shouldn’t upset him too much, should he learn what she was planning, her chances of escaping would be gone for life.
His fingers played with strands of her hair as he faintly said, “At that time, you made a mess and your nanny didn’t bring an extra set of clothes. It was third brother who took off his outer robes and gave it to you.”
Astounded, Xuan Ji asked, “Zining? That pervert?”
Long Fei Li nodded and said, “Seventh brother and tenth brother were also present.”
“I completely undressed and changed there?” Xuan Ji’s face was a vision of darkness.
“Long Fei Li, let’s talk about something else.”
He glanced at her, his eyes deep with thought.
“You were a little child then, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. But now, only I am allowed to see your body.”
Turning away, Xuan Ji avoided his deep gaze.
Does she really know where the descendants of the Bai family are, Long Fei Li wondered. She seemed to have many secrets, but what bothered him most was….she was pulling away from him!
Long Fei Li’s hand balled into a fist as he tried to suppress the anger pricking at his heart. He pulled her into his arms and warmly asked, “In exchange, what do you want?”
“A fire at the city gates can bring disaster to even the fish in the moat1. I feel that one day, you will want to take my life again,” Xuan Ji said.
(t/n 1. Idiom for innocent bystanders caught in the crossfires)
Triggered by her words, the anger that he tried to keep in check flared as he exclaimed, “I won’t!”
Xuan Ji did not argue as she stared at the top of the bed indifferently and said, “Before what happened at Bixia palace, I thought so too.”
Her voice was cold and distant, causing both fear and anger to swell in his heart. But he could do nothing as she was so weak and fragile. Just looking at the white bandage across her chest
pricked his eyes. He could only coldly smile and asked, “So what do you want me to do?”
“Long Fei Li, I want you to give me an imperial edict proclaiming that no matter what mistakes I make in the future, you will not touch a single servant in Fengjiu Palace!”
Xuan Ji suddenly turned back to meet his gaze with her bright eyes.
Her complexion was pale, but her eyes were lit with obstinacy. As he recalled what happened 2 nights ago when she fell into his arms full of blood, he thought he had nearly lost her. He couldn’t help the fear that seized his heart seeing her so listless. He liked it most when she was like this, headstrong and spirited. He gave a firm nod and said in a deep voice, “Alright, you have my word.”
Xuanji couldn’t help but cover her mouth and smile. If it wasn’t for the pain, she would’ve jumped with joy. An imperial edict that could saveguard the servants of Fengjiu Palace, she finally got it!
She could escape the palace without worry at last!
She just never imagined that the prophecy written in that small journal was what’s going to help her escape.
The handsome, blue-eyed man said that the journal was a record of someone’s life, that is to say, someone had recorded these events when it had already taken place. Exactly who among them did this journal originally belong to?
Looking back after thousands of years, did she escape from the palace first, or did this journal come first? The chicken or the egg, which one came first? After pondering over this issue for some time, she still didn’t know which was the cause and which was the result.
Lost in thought, she didn’t come to her senses until she felt the soft touch of his hand on her cheeks. She asked, “So when shall we leave the palace?”
Long Fei Li looked at her for a moment, then asked, “You not only know where the descendant of the Bai family is hiding but also his name?”
Startled, she realized she had carelessly spoken. She didn’t expect Long Fei Li to catch on to such a fine detail.
Trying to remain collected, she replied, “I know where he’s hiding, what’s so strange about me knowing his name?”
Long Fei Li smiled and didn’t say anything. After a long silence, he faintly asked, “Why must we leave the palace to find him? Tell me his whereabouts and I’ll send people to look for him.”