Yitian's shoulder was shaken violently until she was pulled from sleep. Her arm covered her eyes, rubbing awaying the dust of slumber as she rose her body.
The burnt sky indicated that the sun had begun to fall, and the empty seat in front of her told of her brother's silent departure. She felt a little disappointed that he left without waking her, but by the time she had turned her head to answer the village man, a smile had forced itself onto her frozen cheeks.
"Miss," the butcher cried, falling to grasp her hands. The older man's tan face crumbled with sorrow and fright as he begged on his knees."He's here! He's here again!"
Mr. Han, the butcher, was referring to Lord Bing, the governor of this land. Once a month, the aristocrat man would wander from his elegant manor to the slums of this village to extract taxes. And though doing so was common practice, Yitian had become aware that the sum he was demanding for was, simply put, outrageous.
Every governor was given a pension by the royal family to overlook their land, with the purpose of taxes to pay back the royal family. However, it was not unusual to occasionally find that a governor was charging the villagers more taxes in order to keep some money for themselves.
Yitian sighed while standing in the middle of a dirt road. The setting sun's heat illuminated her dark hair from behind her, and her sharp gaze settled on the silhouette which dared to mock her.
"Look how shameless you all are," Lord Bing called out with a boisterous laugh. His hand would come up and again to stroke the peppered hairs of his beard. "Even dogs know how to protect their owners when cornered, and yet you're cowering behind a little girl to protect you!"
Indeed, the villagers had been using Yitian as a shield. Upon hearing these words which cut deep, they attempted to march forward, but the "little girl" merely put her arm out to stop them.
"Don't be encouraged by what he says. Stay here. I need to have a word with him." She looked back up.
"Miss… That would be dangerous…"
"It will be fine," she assured. In life, Yitian was afraid of nothing but time. And in the broad face of time-- an innocent evil that consumed without fault, Lord Bing was like an ant stealing crumbs underneath her feet.
Approaching until she stood only a yard away from the older aristocrat, her nose, with the smallest of smirks playing below, rose into the air. A glint flashed across her dark pupil. "Lord Bing, I hope that even without an introduction, you should know who I am and why I'm here."
"How arrogant. I see this is how the Li Manor brings up their children."
"Yes," she solemnly replied. "And seeing how your parents had brought you up, I'm sure most can agree that the Li manor did well."
"I will make this simple for the both of us. I am quite sleepy, you see, and plan to act on it as soon as possible. If you deny me of my rest, I will get mad, and angering me will be no good." Yitian smiled. The childlike expression on her face was unbefitting of the scary atmosphere that surrounded her.
Lord Bing did not know what the young girl would demand, but he understood now that he could not judge her on her age. His eyes unconsciously darted around for anything that he could use as a weapon.
Seeing this, Li Yitian only grinned wider.
Ah, so when cornered, the mouse was trying to scratch the cat. That was fine by her. If her prey wanted to dance before supper, then Yitian would surely entertain.
"I will say this once only so listen closely. Today onward, I am the lord of this land."
What? He instantly connected gazes with her again, his eyes wide with surprise. Then slowly, his lips started to part until he was laughing as if he heard the best joke.
"To think I was almost fooled by you!" Fingers rubbing away tears from the corners of his eyes, he took a step closer. His face suddenly went dark and the laughter that had been bouncing off the walls went silent immediately. "A stupid child such as you shouldn't cross the line with me, dear. If you run back home with your mouth shut, I'll overlook this incident once, considering who your father is."
"I believe I told you I will not repeat myself-"
A shadow colored Yitian's eye, and she could only guess what it was, as she watched the lord's heavy hand raise above his head. "Today, I will teach you your place!"
I'm sorry. I know this is extremely short, especially after I have not posted for a long time. I was hit with the big, ole' depression and had a hard time connecting with the story. I didn't know how to proceed, but slowly by slowly, I'll push myself so I can confidently share with you the wonders I have planned! Thank you all for your support! <3
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