The moon gave off a light that shone so brightly in the winter night. The cold gust of wind harshly caressing the warm bodies huddled together to pass the extremely cold weather.
Inside an underground dungeon, a moaning noise could be heard as if a wounded beast was sending off some sort of a signal. However, unlike a wounded beast that could still brandish its claws to any predator, this creature has no means to protect itself from harm.
Inside a cell with a strange and nauseating smell, a creature was laying on its back, its eyes were looking at the small window with bars to see the moon coldly looking down on it and yet, the moon somehow gives off a warm feeling inside its heart.
If one could look closely, the creature lying on its back was not a beast but a human. A woman.
With her limbs cut off and a body full of bruises and scars, no one would believe that she was still alive even after every torture she's been. Naturally, the person who captured her does not want to let her die so easily.
Not when the purpose of her confinement was to make her feel endless pain. Xiaofei laughed in her heart. Seeing the several mice surrounding her and gnawing her flesh and bones, made her realize that humans and animals were all the same.
For one's own survival, they could eat anything. Even those who were still alive and breathing.
However, being in this repetitive cycle of torture, the feeling of pain was gone and only hatred and helplessness were left.
And now, death was approaching.
She couldn't believe that the man she loved and sacrificed everything would betray her like this after achieving his goal.
The handsome and gentle face of Yu Fangzhu was burned inside her mind. The moving smile and sinister smile overlapping each other and creating a disgusting image of him.
How could she be so stupid? Letting that vile man play with her and ruin everything she had.
But to think about it again, nothing was hers in the first place anyway.
The family who said that would stay and protect her turned their backs on her and colluded with her enemy to push her down to her lowest for wealth and fame. The friends she helped throughout the time laughed at her and mocked her, nodding their heads when malicious rumors were spread about her.
And the man she loved faked his love for her, used her feelings for his own gain and she was that foolish woman who gave up everything and did everything for him, not knowing that he was only using her love to fool her.
It was not that she didn't know.
It was because Xiaofei chose to close her eyes, cover her ears and mouth for fear of losing him, and because she loved him.
And after everything she did, Yu Fangzhu finally lost interest in her and when she was of no use to him, he threw her aside and made her into his and those people's main attraction for their own entertainment.
A single tear fell from the edge of her eyes as the memories that she thought was precious to her now became the biggest joke and mistake in her life.
Xiaofei laughed at her own situation as tears streamed down her scarred face.
She was once proud of her own beauty and used it for her benefit. Her face was her weapon since being poor was a crime in this cruel world, the commoners were familiar. Not being able to have the wealth like the nobles, you'll be treated as nothing but a thing.
Unless one has talent or beauty and maybe even both then, that would be the only thing that could make you different from the pile of pebbles.
Having a peerless beauty even when she came from a poor background, many men both from her village and from the capital would stop and look at her. They would try so hard to win her heart and bring her into their homes.
Unfortunately, Xiaofei, who was born with her beauty, was also filled with pride and ambition. She wanted to soar high up and latch on the richest man, to live in brocade and good food.
Luckily, she was able to attain what she wanted.
After marrying Yu Fangzhu, the Fourth Prince of the Zheng Empire, she lived in the arms of gold and flowers. Many envied her but when she fell from that high mountain. Everyone didn't stop at anything and pointed their hands to her while laughing at her stupidity.
The beautiful face she was so proud of that everyone admired was gone. Both of her cheeks were burned with a hot iron and her limbs were cut off.
Footsteps were heard from afar and gradually coming closer. It stopped in front of her cell, but Xiaofei was too tired and lazy to even turn her head to look at that person as she already knew who it was just from hearing his foot steps.
"This Prince hoped you are doing well." And just as she thought, Yu Fangzhu has come just like every other day to check on her.
He was there watching when her limbs were cut off, smiling and drinking the highest quality of wine with a woman on his lap. The faces full of mockery, disgust, and joy seeing her scream and begging for mercy.
Yu Fangzhu's eyes flashed when he saw her unsightly figure and suddenly he pulled out a handkerchief from his sleeve and covered his nose with it, disgusted by the nauseating smell permeating everywhere inside that cell.
Xiaofei didn't answer and continued to stare at the moon like she always does for the past several days and received a cold stare from Yu Fangzu.
She knew that Yu Fangzhu didn't like being ignored in the slightest, he loves to be the center of attraction to be admired by everyone. And with Xiaofei looking up at the small window, he was dissatisfied.
Maybe he was still used to seeing Xiaofei looking at him with full admiration and inspiration that this aloof personality irritates him.
"Guards! Block that window and make sure not a single light from outside comes inside this rotten cell!". He shouted.
The guard behind him was stunned but grinned as he did what he was told to do.When the light from the outside was gone, Xiaofei sighed in disappointment and closed her eyes.
"Are you now willing to tell me where you hid it?" He asked but he never dared to come near and touch the steel bars of the cell.
Of course, Yu Fangzhu wasn't there to see her. He wanted to know where Xiaofei hid the box she stole from his mother, the favored Concubine Xian, who passed away a few months ago.
It was not a mystery why he didn't throw her away after being useless to him. He needed her for the box she stole. He needed that box.
He naturally didn't want to waste his time and effort if he knew where that box is, but unfortunately, Xiaofei hid it too well and won't tell him even after the endless torture and pain.
Xiaofei didn't show any emotion in her face but within her heart, she was mourning for her loss.
"Xiaofei!" Yu Fangzhu shouted angrily. His face contorted in an ugly way as he finally lost his patience .
"Must be hard for you to remember my name, Yu Fangzhu." Xiaofei finally spoke, as she spoke of Yu Fangzhu's name, it was filled with venom, and adding with the fact that her vocal cords were destroyed, her voice sounded awful.
Seeing that she was willing to talk to him, Yu Fangzhu responded, "Just tell me where you hid it and I'll let you be buried with an intact body."
His tone dripped with iciness with no warmth, unlike what he showed to her in the past.
Xiaofei almost laughed at him but refused to open her mouth again. Not wanting to waste her words and energy to him, noticing that he was still muddled. How could he thought that without her limbs and with her disfigured face it could be considered as 'intact'.
No matter how much these people wanted to prolong her pain and life for their entertainment and purpose, her battered and tortured body couldn't keep up with it any longer and death was coming.
And she knew it.
Her breathing was slowly decreasing and the crushing pain in her chest was growing as she opened her soul to welcome death.
"Finally, I can close my eyes and be free."
September 05, 2020.
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