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Near Jade Lake, Chu Moxin took advantage of a moment while Yao Mowan was distracted to splash Fluffy with water, causing Fluffy to run away.
“Were you born in the year of the rat?” Yao Mowan had been repeatedly trying to convince herself ever since leaving Changle Palace that no matter how naughty Chu Moxin was, he was still just a child and furthermore, a child that had lost his mother from a young age. It was also because of this that she had chosen to take deep breaths instead of explode when she woke up this morning to find that Jewel’s whiskers and fur had been cut off by Chu Moxin.
“This prince was born in the year of the tiger! What about it?” Chu Moxin went to walk next to Yao Mowan. The wide grin on his face made it impossible for people to harden their hearts and scold him.
“You seem to dislike this consort’s pets a lot!” Yao Mowan was very certain of this.
“Because they’re always hanging around you!” replied Chu Moxin.
“Haven’t you insisted on always hanging around this consort these past few days?” Yao Mowan shot back.
“How is this prince the same? You should be honored that this prince is hanging around you! If it weren’t for the fact that you’re Big Sister Moxin’s younger sister, this prince wouldn’t pay any attention to you!” Chu Moxin abruptly got up with a cold expression and threw away the tree branch he was holding to storm off angrily.
Yao Mowan stood frozen in place. It was a long time before she finally came back to her senses. She found Chu Moxin’s sudden anger baffling and unreasonable, but it still gave her a headache.
At dinner, for once Ye Junqing saw Yao Mowan sitting there listlessly.
“No appetite?” asked Ye Junqing out of good intentions.
“Chu Moxin might really be angry this time.” Yao Mowan sighed, then set down her bowl with a troubled expression.
“Actually, this prince really doesn’t understand. How did two people who were like fire and water suddenly manage to get along so well? It’s unbelievable!” Although Ye Junqing didn’t think so himself, his tone contained clear jealousy.
“Didn’t Mowan and Prince use to be like fire and water as well?” Yao Mowan was just trying to say that anything was possible in this world, but things didn’t turn out as she had predicted.
“It took almost a year for our relationship to turn into that of friendship, but it only took Chu Moxin three days. It seems that this prince truly is shamefully inferior,” said Ye Junqing coldly as he got up to leave.
Before one wave even settled, another wave had arisen. Yao Mowan suddenly wondered if her intelligence had dropped. What exactly did she say to make Chu Moxin and Ye Junqing so angry?
“Ting Yue, was there a problem with this consort’s words? Did you notice anything?” Yao Mowan looked towards Ting Yue to ask for help.
“Your Highness… Esteemed Prince seems to be jealous of Austere Prince,” replied Ting Yue cautiously.
“Really?” Yao Mowan looked towards Ting Yue in surprise. A faint feeling flashed through her heart. It’d be good if he was jealous. At the very least, that meant Yao Moxin wasn’t the only person he cared about anymore. However, she understood very well that no matter what, there would only be one person Ye Junqing cared about.
That night, Yao Mowan invited Ye Junqing to the cold palace’s garden using Yao Moxin as the reason.
The bright moonlight caused the stars in the night to become dim. As Yao Mowan stood in front of the cold palace, her heart seemed to slowly freeze. Despite the passage of time, the events of that night still plagued her dreams. Countless nights she would start awake by Ye Hongyi’s side, her face covered with tears. She had felt the urge to just stab a knife into Ye Hongyi’s neck and just end all of this countless times, but she had endured it. What was there hard about death? What was hard was when life was worse than death!
“What is it that you want to tell me about Moxin?” When Yao Mowan heard Ye Junqing’s voice, she reflexively lifted her sleeve to wipe away her tears.
“It’s something regarding Moxin’s younger sister,” said Yao Mowan with a smile. However, her joke didn’t make Ye Junqing ease up at all.
“You should be aware of what this prince cares about the most, so you shouldn’t joke with the person this prince cares about most.” Ye Junqing abruptly turned around when he saw that teasing smile hovering around Yao Mowan’s lips.
“Eldest Sister once said that you had fate, but no destiny. Back then, if Prince hadn’t gone to save her while wearing Ye Hongyi’s mask, the following mistaken events wouldn’t have occurred.” Yao Mowan took a deep breath. This was the one thing she had been most unwilling to face. Had she not mistook him back then, would her life have turned out differently?
“She said that to you?” asked Ye Junqing, his voice trembling slightly.
“That’s right. She said that if she had known you were the one that saved her that night and that it hadn’t been Ye Hongyi, her choice would have been different.” Yao Mowan’s tone was light, but her heart ached faintly. She had never spoken these words to Ye Junqing.
“So she had always remember what happened that night…” Ye Junqing walked over to Yao Mowan with heavy steps. His voice was low as if something was stuck in his throat and making it hard for him to breathe.
“How could she forget when you saved her life?” Yao Mowan looked over at Ye Junqing. Memories of that night resurfaced again. A young girl longing for romance had been rescued by a hero. Everything started like that, but who would’ve imagined that the ending would turn out so tragic.
“It was this prince’s mistake… This prince shouldn’t have worn that mask! Why? Why had this prince been so dumb!?” Ye Junqing clenched his fists and angrily punched a tree in regret. The blood pooling near his nails was starkly visible underneath the moonlight.
“Mowan knew that this was how Prince would react. Prince, have you ever wondered why Eldest Sister didn’t leave Ye Hongyi after finding out that it was Prince that had rescued her?” Yao Mowan looked towards Ye Junqing with heartache, but she didn’t stop him because she understood that he needed to vent his feelings somehow.
“Why?” Ye Junqing abruptly lifted his eyes. His clear eyes shone with anticipation and hope. Yao Mowan knew what he was hoping for, but she couldn’t give it to him. Everything she said, even if it wasn’t all true, was necessary to stop Ye Junqing from clinging onto the past.
“Because, at that time, the one Eldest Sister had set her heart on… was Ye Hongyi. This was what Eldest Sister had told Mowan.” Yao Mowan spoke slowly, taking care to make her words extremely clear. She wanted to tell Ye Junqing that Yao Moxin had been aware of his feelings towards her, but she had given up on them.
“This prince knows that she loved Ye Hongyi with all her heart.” Ye Junqing’s eyes turned dim. He thought that Yao Mowan would tell him Yao Moxin had refused his feelings because she had already become someone else’s wife. If that had been the reason, perhaps he would’ve felt better.
“Mowan wonders, if Eldest Sister hadn’t appeared, how brilliant Prince’s life would’ve turned out to be?” A trace of bitterness floated up in Yao Mowan’s heart. If she hadn’t appeared, Ye Junqing definitely would’ve become emperor.
“If Moxin hadn’t appeared, this prince would’ve come to this world for nothing…” Just as Ye Junqing was sighing this, Yao Mowan suddenly walked up and covered his mouth with her hand while dragging him over to a corner to hide.
“You!” After getting over the shock, Ye Junqing started resisting, but Yao Mowan just shushed him.
“Shh! Someone’s coming!” Upon hearing this, Ye Junqing immediately fell silent and followed Yao Mowan’s line of sight to look over.
“That seems like…” Ye Junqing narrowed his eyes slightly.
“It’s Huan Caier.” Yao Mowan’s gaze became a little serious. Why was Huan Caier not in Moon Crossing Pavilion and instead came here in the middle of the night? It couldn’t be that she was meeting Huangfu Junxiu, right?
The worst guesses just happened to the be right ones. After a few minutes, Huangfu Junxiu appeared as Yao Mowan had expected.
“This one had come late, apologies, Your Highness Consort Chen.” The moonlight gave Huangfu Junxiu’s face a silver sheen that made him seem like an elegant deity that had descended from the sky. At this current moment, Huangfu Junxiu was giving a salute with his hands cupped.
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