Li Imperial Palace
" Since the empress passed away, our emperor lost the motivation to live. He's always locked in his room and never sees anyone. Empress Dowager and Princess Li Mei took care of imperial affairs". Said the concubine.
" How long has it been since he last stepped out of his room?", Ying Yue asked Chu Hua.
" It's been 5 years!", Concubine Chu Hua responded.
"5 years? It can't be! How could he? That explains everything. That explains why I haven't seen him since I started working here", said Ying Yue.
Li Imperial Study
" Your highness, Ying Yue left this letter to be given to you". The imperial advisor handed the envelope to the princess.
" Thanks, Advisor Dong Cong! You're dismissed!" The princess took the envelope from the imperial advisor's hand.
Advisor Dong Cong stepped out of the imperial study.
The princess opened the envelope and read what was written inside.
"We need to talk Princess. It's very important. Things need to be clarified. ``
What does she want to talk about? I hope she didn't find out anything! No! No, I need to calm down. That's impossible!
" Yue, wake up! Time for breakfast!" The officer tried waking up his sister but in vain.
I didn't want to wake up, to be honest. After all the things I've learned yesterday, I didn't have the motivation to do anything. I only wanted to sleep and nothing else. Nothing else mattered to me at the moment, but my anger. My anger was so intense that if I had the emperor in front of me, I wouldn't be able to control myself, was I thinking.
" Let me sleep a bit longer! I'll eat breakfast later!" I said half awake.
" 5 minutes! I'll come back in 5 minutes unless you join me before then". He stepped out of her room.
( I don't want to get up. I don't want to eat. I don't want to do anything, but my brother will worry if I don't show up for breakfast. I need to act like my usual self. I can do this! I can do this!)
20 minutes later
After we finished eating breakfast, my brother thanked me for what I've done the previous day. I played the one who didn't know what he was saying just so I could see his reaction.
"What are you thanking me for? I didn't do anything", Ying Yue told him.
"Of course you did! You cooked me such a delicious meal yesterday". Ying Jie answered.
The food I cooked for him yesterday? Has he eaten it? It wasn't edible, so how did he manage to eat it all? I wasn't in my right state of mind when I cooked dinner for him last night.
"About that, I'm sorry! The food was way too salty. You shouldn't have eaten it. I had planned to throw it away today", Ying Yue told him with a tone of disappointment in her voice.
" Throw it away? You're kidding, right? Food shouldn't be wasted! It was salty but delicious. Did something happen yesterday?" asked Ying Jie.
" Nothing happened yesterday! I just made a mistake by putting too much salt. It was a mistake! It was my mistake!" Ying Yue replied sadly.
" It's not about the food. You never make mistakes. To make such a mistake, you probably weren't paying attention while you were cooking yesterday. Your mind was elsewhere during the whole process. I'm your brother and I know when something's wrong with you. I'm able to notice your change of behavior. Tell me what happened! Don't conceal everything inside of you! It might help to talk about it".
" What about you? You don't seem like your usual self today either! There's no use trying to hide it!"
" You got me! We can't hide anything from each other, can we? Let's do this! I'll tell you what's bothering me and you'll tell me what happened yesterday. Deal?"
My big brother and I decided to have an open talk with each other.
" I'll start! First of all, thank you!" Said Ying Jie in a sudden tone.
" You're thanking me again?"
" You called the police station yesterday and talked to commissioner Beiyang, am I right?" He inquired with a grin.
" I don't know what you're talking about, brother! I never called the police station".
" Whatever! Anyway, thank you! Thanks to you, I was able to regain my composure". He said gratefully.
" I told you I have nothing to do with it".
" I know! I know! You were right about the masked thief! He returned the jewelry he stole as I was chasing him".
" That's great, but why aren't you happy about it?" I inquired.
" How can I be happy? His motive wasn't to steal but to find someone". He said irritated.
" Find someone? I was right about that too, I see! Have you found out who he was looking for?" I inquired in an interrogative tone.
" No, I haven't found out anything. He refused to conceal anything to me, but-----------" He was unable to finish his statement for some reason.
" He knows us!" He said in an anxious tone.
"What exactly do you mean?" I asked my brother.
" I wasn't that surprised when he said he knew a lot about me, but what surprised me was when he asked about you". He added further.
" You're saying the masked thief knows me?" I inquired surprisingly.
" That's right! I'm done! Now, it's your turn to speak!"
" Yesterday, I uncovered Li's family secret".
" Li's family secret?"
" Since the empress, Li Wei's mother's disappearance, the emperor hasn't shown his face for 5 years. Above all that, his son Li Wei never went out of the royal palace for 5 years. Yesterday, I managed to go out with him for the first time, and there it was. His smile was so beautiful. It was the first time I saw him smile like that". I started with my narration.
Ying Jie couldn't believe what he was hearing. The expression he's wearing right now was the same one I wore when I learned all this crap.
" He's so cruel! How could he do that to a child, to his son no less? What are you going to do now?"
" I haven't thought about that yet. I won't go to work today. I don't feel well".
She had it rough yesterday. It's best if she rests and thinks things through.
" I understand! I'll get going then! Will you be okay on your own?" He inquired anxiously.
" Don't worry about me, brother! I'll be fine! Work hard and don't forget to fight!" I said in a reassuring tone.
" I thought you didn't call the police station yesterday!" He refuted my statement.
" Shut up!" I looked away.
Li Imperial Palace
Prince Li Wei Pavillon
The following morning, the princess came to the young prince's quarters to search for Ying Yue, but she didn't seem to find her anywhere in the room.
" Good morning Wei! Is Ying Yue with you? I need to talk to her!"
Prince Li Wei(Scribble): She's not here yet!
" How come? She's late! Tell me something, Wei! What activities did you do yesterday?" The princess inquired to her nephew.
Prince Li Wei(Scribble): Yesterday, we went outside to breathe some fresh air. We saw the landscape. It was really fun!
"You went outside? That's great!" said Princess Li Mei in a worried tone.
Prince Li Wei(Scribble): Is something the matter, auntie? Why do you look terrified? What's going on?
" I'm fine, Wei! Don't worry! I'll be off now! Take care!"
Prince Li Wei(Scribble): Don't be sad, auntie! Smile!
Princess Li Mei exits Prince Li Wei's apartments.
In the hallway
" Ying Yue didn't come today! Why aren't you saying anything?" Concubine Chu Hua said exasperated.
" What do you want me to say or do? Do you want me to congratulate you, to hug you, to celebrate your victory?" Concubine Ah Lam inquired rather coldly and indifferently.
" What's wrong with you? Do you care about YingYue that much?"
" I don't care about her! I'm worried about Wei! Did you think about him before taking such a step? You hate Ying Yue, I can understand that. But how is it Wei's fault? What is his mistake in all this? Why must he suffer? You only thought about your benefit! You're selfish!" Inquired Concubine Ah Lam in a cold tone.
( What am I going to do now? What about, Wei? What will happen to him? Whatever I decide to do, I must think about Wei's wellbeing?)
Li Imperial Palace
Emperor Li Jun Pavillon
Princess Li Mei rushed out towards her brother's apartments. She knocked on the door and without hearing the edit from her brother, she entered the room hastily.
" Jun, it's terrible! I think Ying Yue discovered everything. What are we going to do?" She said in an alarming tone.
" What do you want me to do? There's nothing we can do! Let it be!" He said composedly.
How can you still act as if you don't care about everything I've told you. Brother, are you that insensitive? The princess was exasperated at her brother's behavior.
" How can you say that? It's your son we're talking about. You're his father!" She said angered.
" And so what? I don't care about this kid! I don't care what happens to him! Why should it be any of my concerns?"
" You've changed, Jun? You're weren't like this?" She wore a sad expression on her face.
" The events made me change. The pain changed me. Nothing matters anymore, not even that kid. Take care of him! I don't want to see him!" He said in an indifferent tone.
" Stop it! Someone might hear you".
While they were talking, they didn't notice that someone was listening to them.
Prince Li Wei
(I knew it! I'm unwanted here. No one loves me! I'll leave this place and everyone will be happy).
The next Chapter hits on September 17, 2020!!!
This chapter came rather late and I'm very sorry about that. I was adding some description into the chapter which took me a lot of time to do so as I'm not used in adding a description to my chapters. I hope you'll like the improvements I made in this chapter and that you will find it much easier to understand.