Two days after the banquet, I was sitting on the top floor of a very famous restaurant in the capital with my best friend Mo Zhen 10yr, the only child of the Right Prime Minister and of course by default Su Rao. For the past two days, I was hiding in my room and refused to me anyone under the guise of being ill. Had it not been for Su Rao breaking into my palace and kidnapping me I would still be in my room now. He wanted to catch up with me and wanted to know more about what happened during the celebrations and about the envoys. He was not at the banquet because he caught a cold and could not leave the room without getting nausea.
" I don't really know. I left pretty early and was too tired to pay attention to anything" I held the teacup up to my mouth and blew at it before draining it.
Mo Zhen whined. " oh come on! You got to know something. Did you talk to any of the envoys?"
"No" I flatly said and pour myself another cup. I drained that too and stood up to leave. " I'm leaving and thank-you for the tea."
"Hey wait-"Mo Zhen tried to stop me, but Su Rao got in front of him and blocked his way.
Now he decided to do his job. I grimaced. Ahhhhh where was Su Rao when I needed him the most in the third life? He was too busy galavanting with Feng Hing that he abandoned his duties to protect me. As a result, I was ambushed on the way back from the palace and was easily killed by Feng Hong's assassins. I sigh and thought to myself. Seriously. Why are the closest men to me are always the one who caused my downfall? I had finished walking down the stairs and was about to step out of the door when I bump into someone.
Shit. Why is he here? After two days of avoidance, I was finally faced to face with Feng Hong once again. I place a smile on my face and gave him a greeting.
"Greeting to you your highness and sorry for bumping into you. I can see that you are here sightseeing with your siblings. I won't bother you anymore and will be taking my leave now. I am sorry for this disrespectful gesture but I must be on my way for I have very important business to attend to. May you and the rest of your Highnesses have a great day."
I gave the envoys a quick greeting and left before they got a chance to say anything. Started to walk the opposite direction of the palace and did some window shopping. I went into a jewelry store to buy something of the 1st princess, Yu Ling 5yr the Emperor 's last child. All of us Ling siblings share the same mother and father so our bond was very strong. But sadly it was not strong enough to keep me from being betrayed by my brothers.
" Xiao Lingggggg!!!!"
Ah. It's Mo Zhen again. Damn. He managed to find me so fast. Mo Zhen quickly came behind me and gave me a hug from behind.
" How can you be so mean and leave me all alone when I was being kind enough to take you out?!"
I shrugged off his hug and went back to my task of inspecting the jewelry in front of me and retort him.
" You mean when you trespassed into my palace and dragged me out? I had already amused you enough. Now leave me be. I am quite busy."
Mo Zhen gave me a hard stare. "Is something wrong? You haven't been acting yourself lately. Is it because of the envoys? Did they do something to you? If they did then I got your back. I won't let anything bad happen to you."
I froze up when I heard the last two sentences. If they did then I got your back. I won't let anything bad happen to you. Flashbacks of my2nd life came back. Mo Zhen had colluded with Feng Hong to kill me. During one of our journey together, Mo Zhen stabbed me in the back and left me for dead. Such irony to hear such words from him now. I quickly regain my composer and answered him.
"I am fine. Normal people would also be annoyed when their friend decided to kidnap while they are recuperating from an illness. I am just a little tired."
Mo Zhen gave me a small smile and answered back "Sorry. I had heard from your bothers that you had been a bit depressed since the banquet so they told me to come by and cheer you up."
I inspected the hairpins in front of me and saw one with a small bird filled with blue gems on a red gem inlaid begonia branch. This will be perfect for Xiao Ling. I told the owner to pack it for me and paid the price for it and I turned around to Mo Zhen.
" I thank you for your kindness but I am fine. I am still trying to get over the cold I caught a few days ago. Come on its getting late now and I have to get back to the palace."
Mo Zhen gave me a skeptical smile. " If you say so. Then I will be leaving first I'll see you again in two days." with that Mo Zhen left the store and went back to his residence. The owner gave me the box that contains my hairpin and so I left the store with Su Rao following right behind me. On the way back to the palace we met the envoys who were also on their way back to the palace.
Damn it. Is fate seriously playing this game right now? I put my best smile and greeted them.
"Greeting to you your Highness. I am so sorry for the disrespect from earlier. I had a meeting that I needed to got and was running late. That was why I had been so rude to you. I hope that you can find it in your hearts to forgive me." I lowered my head and looked down at the ground trying very hard to avoid eye contact.
The 1st prince, Feng long took control of the situation and forgave me. "It was not that big of a deal for you to worry about. We understood that you were in a rush. How about this? If you can lead the way to the palace then all will be forgiven."
"Thank you for your kindness. Please follow me." I started to lead the way in the front with the Fengs right behind me. On the way there I started to reminisce all of the times Feng Hong started to fall in love we someone other than me and me trying to prevent it.
In the first life, the day after the banquet I had invited him on a sightseeing trip in the capital, on the way back to the palace we got lost so my first brother came to find us. You immediately took a liking to him and ignore me the whole trip back. Back then I was too naive to notice anything. I didn't notice anything until my brother killed me for you and the crown.
In the second life, I repeated the trip again, but this time we didn't get lost. We made it back to the palace and I had invited you for dinner. During that time Mo Zhen came over to visit and took a place at the table. The both of you became fast friends and were really close to each other. My heart grew heavy at the sight of your relationship but bared with it since the two of you were important to me. During the time of war, I left with Mo Zhen to go lead an army to protect your kingdom. We were victorious. On the last battle right after we won Mo Zhen stabbed me in the back. He killed me because I was in the way of your relationship. He left me on the battlefield for dead and went back home with all the glory and back to you.
In the third life, I was more cautious with my surroundings and distance myself from brother Cao and Mo Zhen. The day after our engagement was announced I had invited you on a trip to the royal family's hot spring. On the way there I got held back so you went ahead. I sent Su Rao to be your bodyguard in case of any problems. Who would of have thought that the two of you would start a relationship right off the bat and you sent assassins right after me.
In the fourth life, my heart was starting to break. I tried again to try to make you love me. I avoid your lovers in the past lives and gave Su Rao to my younger brother. I thought that I had gotten rid of the obstacles that were blocking you from loving me. I fought for the crown and I won. Xaoi Ming and you both became my right-hand men during the reign. The two of you worked closely with each other. That was probably a sign that I should of having paid attention too. I never thought that my own twin brother, my other half would betray me. The two of you plot together to get rid of me for the crown and poisoned me.
In the fifth and last life, I left the palace and gave you a chance to break the engagement. I moved into the Prince's Residence and avoided everyone excited 2nd brother and my sister. 2nd brother was worried about me avoiding everyone and moved in with me to keep me company. You also moved in because you were my fiancee. Unlike the pasts lives, I had learned my lessons but I had a small hope that 2nd brother would not betray me. He was my last hope to keep my faith in my brothers. Alas, even he was smitten with you. When you and my brother sought out to kill me, my heart had been so broken that it had turned to dust. You two gave me poisoned wine for a quick and painless death and right before I took the drink, I utter my last words to you and wish for your happiness.
Now that I think about it. I didn't retaliate violently against the love rivals. So why did they all acted so harshly against me? We had such a strong bond with each other. We grew up together and trusted each other so much. So why did they all killed me? Why did they hurt me to the depravity? Even though they had hurt me so much, I could have never bared to raise a hand at them.
With each and every life that had happened, I had gained new fears and hatred in return. I hated being touch because I was afraid that that touch would kill me. I can no longer stand looking into a mirror because I hated my face. I can't stand having someone standing behind me for the fear of being stabbed in the back. I most of all no longer have the ability to trust or love my loved ones and yet I could not come to hate them.
"Welcome back your Highness"
The guard at the front gate proclaimed. That broke me out of the past and sent me back to the present. I turned around and faced the envoys to give them my farewell.
" This is where we part ways. If you have any problems with returning to your residences than, please ask the guards that are stationed around here. Excuse me, please. But I have businesses to attend to."
The 1st princess gave me her thanks and sent me on my way. I walked past by the envoys, I took a quick glance at Feng Hong and left. I just wanted to see your reactions. And to my disappointment but it was something that I had expected, your facial expressions tell me that I had meant nothing to you.
I quickly went east to the Begonia Palace. The residence of the former empress and the current residence of the only princess in the Qi kingdom, Yu Ling.