Her fingers had not yet reached him when suddenly, someone harshly berated them .
The two people abruptly halted . Zhangsun Wuchen’s composed appearance turned flustered to the extent that, at that moment, she did not dare look back in the direction from which the voice came . Prince Xueya was also shocked and peered beyond the Crown Princess’ shoulders to the end of the courtyard .
Under the moonlight, that red dress was akin to blood as it glared .
However, within the winds and beneath the moon, that blood froze into ice along with that person’s eyes which had become icy .
Jin Bihui didn’t know how long she had stood there . But at the moment, the always energetic and lively her had a gaze as cold as ice and snow . She suddenly came over and slapped away the Crown Princess’ hand that was frozen in midair, “You are not allowed to touch him! —This is…this is my husband!”
She struck hard and with a snap, Zhangsun Wuchen’s arm was smacked away so strongly to the point her entire body staggered .
“Wuchen,” Prince Xueya hurried to support her frail body, yet Zhangsun Wuchen refused quite stubbornly . She avoided his support and stumbled on her own to regain her footing . There was already a red and swollen patch on her arm . She bit her lip . Her serene and unhurried expression completely vanished . For a long time, she seemed to have summoned a great deal of courage before she turned and looked at Jin Bihui, who was standing off to the side .
—Why is she here? Why does she happen to be in the courtyard this late at night?
Her red clothes blossomed like a rose under the cold moon . Of Jin Bihui’s laughing, cursing, and self-assured faces, for the first time, she had this look that could not be described with words . She gazed at the two, and the corners of her mouth moved as if there were a trace of a smile, but also as if she were sad .
“Bihui…” She paused and didn’t know what to say in this situation . However, Prince Xueya was the first to come back to his senses and knew that he had to say something . Finally, he said with some difficulty, “You may be misunderstanding something . ”
Those words, for a split second, made Yan Bai feel almost just like a despicable villain .
“Shut up . ” Jin Bihui looked at him coldly as if she wanted to see directly into his heart, “The more you say, the more I despise you — Don’t think that you are the only one who can despise others! What, what this be considered? ……” Her voice was uncharacteristically frigid at first, even a little stupefied due to shock, yet halfway through her opening words, her tone gradually became more agitated .
She watched Zhangsun Wuchen and suddenly nodded a few times, “Elder Sister, you really are a good match for him — the way you are is exactly the type he likes…”
She spoke while gritting her teeth . Yan Bai noticed her hand tightly clasped the dagger at her waist . He was immediately alarmed and quickly took a step forward to block in front of Zhangsun Wuchen’s body, “Madam, calm down first . Let’s properly discuss it, okay?”
“Calm? Calm, what calm!” Hearing this line from her husband, abruptly, Jin Bihui instead genuinely became furious and pointed at the Crown Princess beside her, “You like her, right? Then what’s there to talk about! I’ll let you know, I—” There was a dazzling light in the red-clothed woman’s eyes and after a pause, she said with her trembling voice, “I don’t want you anymore!”
As if afraid that her husband would say something else, before Yan Bai could open his mouth, she promptly said these words . However, such a stubborn woman, as she said these words, she still had a crying voice .
“Yan Bai, I don’t want you anymore! —Who would cherish this?” Jin Bihui raised her head to speak with gritted teeth while clenching her fists . Yet, the grief from her bruised pride was still difficult to hide and appeared in her bright eyes . She didn’t look at them again and turned to go back to her room, “You guys, you guys do whatever you want! Tomorrow, I will return to Yang Country . ”
“Sister-in-law!” Unexpectedly, the Crown Princess, who had been silent, finally spoke . And without speaking, she suddenly picked up her skirt garments and knelt down in the courtyard! Prince Xueya was startled and subconsciously wished to stop her, but when he thought of something, his gesture slowed .
Jin Bihui’s footsteps stopped . Her fingers trembled slightly, and only after a long time, she said quietly, “Don’t worry . I won’t tell your husband . ”
“Not for that! —Sister-in-law, if it will ease your anger, then it’s fine to kill me . But… I beg you, don’t leave Seventh Brother . Don’t leave Ye City!” Within the moonlight, Zhangsun Wuchen kneeled beside the veranda . She was such an elegant and indifferent woman, but her snow-white dress was pressed against the filthy soil . She appeared to have completely abandoned grace or dignity and pleaded in a soft voice, “I beg you, please don’t return to Yang Country — He did not do anything . It is my fault for having improper intentions . ”
Seeing her act like this, Prince Xueya felt as if his heart was going to be forcefully torn apart — Wuchen had always been refined and quiet since she was a child . All of the nobility in Li Country greatly admired her . And yet, she’s disregarding it all now? This was more painful than killing her, yet she was not doing it for herself but for the future of the entire Ye City and army .
Crown Prince Chengde and he were formidable men with the blood of Li Country’s Yan Clan which flowed through their veins . But, he was incapable of protecting Li Country, incapable of protecting Ye City — and now, he was even incapable of protecting Wuchen?
For an instant, his heart felt like cold ashes . Exactly what was the purpose of such grueling struggles?
He tried to help Wuchen up, but she remained motionless, and with white clothes covering her whole body she kneeled in the moonlight . Her eyes held the profound meaning of enduring humiliation for an important task . She shook her head at him, indicating that he should give in and acknowledge his mistake .
“What will it take for you to stay, Bihui? Just say one condition, I guarantee that it will be done no matter what — Just stop making it more difficult for the Crown Princess . ” Yan Bai sighed and dimly said, “In reality, there’s really nothing between us . ”
Jin Bihui stood under the veranda . She originally wanted to walk away with a cold snort, yet for some reason, in her heart, she also felt pained and complicated . Each footstep seemed to weigh a thousand pounds and she couldn’t move forward at all .
In the army base today, she had already witnessed the miserable condition of Ye City — Of course, as a result of living in Yang Country’s capital and being accustomed to having ample food and clothing, Jin Family’s Miss seldom saw such a situation — If no food truly arrived after three days… Late winter was approaching and the city had run out of ammunition and provisions . Perhaps they might really turn to cannibalism as they’ve said . At that time, suffering from both internal and external difficulties, Crown Prince Chengde’s army which had painstakingly lasted until today would also likely be annihilated .
She finally knew exactly why Yan Bai was so ashamed and humiliated to marry into the Jin Family .
—She had known all along that he was forced to do so yet never comprehended that the real situation had compelled him to this extent .
In truth, she also knew that a person like Prince Xueya would not like the kind of bandit like herself — Yet, why did her father betroth herself to him? And why did she agree to it?
The brothers at sea believed in destiny, but she was consistently cruel and obstinate . Yet, thinking about it, if she believed in destiny instead, she wouldn’t have to think about so many complicated and unanswerable questions anymore, right? —For example, marrying Yan Bai . That was precisely her destiny .
“You don’t need to be like this — the rations will be delivered to Ye City as arranged in three days . ” Eventually, she sighed . Her mouth curved upward as she tried to smile, but it still looked stiff, “Don’t forget . I vowed to those people: if within three days it does not arrive, I’ll cut off my head… I’m still young, I don’t plan to die this way . ”
Prince Xueya and the Crown Princess looked up in momentary surprise . They could not believe that this woman, who had always been fierce, was so easily calmed down . Jin Bihui smiled, yet gradually, her eyes filled with tears — for twenty-five years, she had met many people, yet none of them were to her liking . But this time, she married an excellent man .
Over the past few days, she had begun to slowly understand his heart and character — indeed, he was very different from those men who wanted to join the Jin Family in the past because of their greed for wealth and power .
—Yet, even so, although this man had entered the Jin Family, his heart had not been brought along with him .
She could not tolerate it .
“The night is cold, so let’s go back to the house and then slowly talk about it, okay?” Seeing that the tension had eased, Prince Xueya gave a small sigh and approached his new wife . Jin Bihui had been surprisingly quiet the whole time . She didn’t even shout or make a scene as they walked away together .
After walking out of the courtyard, however, Jin Bihui suddenly looked over at him and hatefully said, “Yan Bai, I really…really want to hit you!” At that instant, her eyes contained a sharp glint just like a leopardess . Prince Xueya was stunned, yet in a flash, there was a bitter smile on his face — That’s the reaction she should have, right?
However, he didn’t have any other way to retreat and could only continue . He whispered, “Alright, it’s my fault, so do not hesitate to vent your anger out on me . But, please don’t void the matter of transporting supplies and reinforcements, okay?”
“That’s your condition for joining the family, wasn’t it?” Jin Bihui suddenly laughed, “You went to so much trouble and endured so much anger to marry a Terrifying Tigress back . Wasn’t it for that? —It’s a pity . As it happened, in a moment of carelessness, I accidentally ran into a secret love affair, forcefully making this information fall into my hands . ”
Yan Bai’s expression surprisingly remained calm, and he looked down at his wife with a complex look on his handsome face . He said as if sighing, “So, I promise I will never meet Crown Princess Zhangsun again . I will treat you well . ”
His hand landed on her shoulder and took her into his arms, despite her anger . Jin Bihui glowered at him, but the strength of such a gentle hand was astonishing . She stumbled and before she could struggle, she fell into his arms . Reaching out, she tried to push her husband away in anger, but the hand on her shoulder was as steady as steel .
Prince Xueya held her and looked out the window at the cold moon . However, he had a complex and painful appearance, “Okay… I’ll never meet her again . Perhaps, perhaps we can still be happy together . ”
That was the first time her new husband embraced her . Yet, tears welled up in her eyes .
For the first time, Jin Bihui realized that he was so thin, completely different from how he appeared to be, bright and handsome . The collar bone protruded from his shoulder and even pressed against her face enough to hurt . Or maybe, it was the burden from many years that thinned his spirit .
“Let go! Don’t humiliate me!” Gritting her teeth, there was a cruel and untamed look in Jin Bihui’s eyes . Her head was pressed hard against him and rested on his shoulder . Every word she uttered brought air that blew his hair, but her voice was powerful and could not be refuted . “In the situation just now, there was no opportunity to humiliate you, no?”
Somewhat astonished, Prince Xueya looked down at his new wife, and Jin Bihui glared at him ferociously . However, the look in her eyes was not in the usual way, rather the complexity was bottomless . In that split second, as if he felt some inviolable power, his hand subconsciously loosened .
Jin Bihui’s head was suddenly lifted from his shoulder . The moonlight from outside the window illuminated her beautiful face, and her long, thick eyelashes cast dense shadows in her eyes . Her voice was suddenly not as spirited and lively as usual, but carried a deep sigh, “Yan Bai, I’ve actually always admired your magnanimity and tolerance . You’re a good person, so no matter what, I don’t want to embarrass you too much… but…”
She paused and turned to look out the window, where, under the cold moon, there seemed to be snow falling slowly .
“You scorn me in your heart, don’t you?” Jin Bihui smiled suddenly, yet her eyes were cold and harsh . Then, she turned her head, looking fixedly at her husband and nodded, “Yes, I was born of lowly descent, unable to read or write, and bad-tempered — But do you think I don’t have a brain? …You look down on me… You’ve always looked down on me! How could I marry someone like this? —That’s why…”
Her mouth opened stubbornly, but tears gradually emerged within her eyes . She said unyieldingly, “I don’t want you anymore!”