Chapter 81: The Vow Meant Nothing More
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Hearing her utter the words “Xia Ling,” an ounce of pain flashed in Pei Ziheng’s eyes. Yet, he recovered his cold demeanor almost immediately. “Ye Xingling, I’ve said it already, you will pay the price for what you’ve done.”
“But,” She looked at him sorrowfully. “if that wasn’t selling herself, what else could that be.”
Uncertainty and curiousness rose inside her, she hoped so badly that he would give her a different reply. In that instance, Xia Ling had decided, if he mentioned “love,” she would reveal her identity and return to him at once.
But he thought she was being sarcastic.
“Ye Xingling, you really are unrepentant.” He uttered every word through clenched teeth before cuffing her hands to the bed. “I will make sure you never utter a word of insult about Xia Ling ever again.”
He let go of her and walked towards a cabinet, where he reached for something.
She widened her eyes as she saw a glass tube half-filled with a dark green liquid.
Pei Ziheng held it before her, softly speaking, “After drinking this, you’ll never be able to speak bad of anyone in your life. You’ve offended the wrong person this time. Won’t it be fair for you to become a mute?”
As he caressed her lips with his fingertip, she started to shiver in fear.
She shrank herself back as much as she could as she tried to get further away from it. In the dim light, the dark colored liquid looked sinister and evil, as if it was specially concocted by a witch in hell as if there was no way of recovery once it was swallowed — it was not just being unable to speak, the scarier part was being unable to sing ever again. Although she had said that the entertainment industry was not something to die for, singing was a separate matter, it was the only thing she loved. If she lost her voice, what point was there left in living…
Xia Ling gazed at him, as her eyes fogged up in tears. Pei Ziheng, I’ve already lost you. If I lose my voice, what else have I left?
Pei Ziheng took his time to remove the lid and a strong medicinal odor gushed out, causing Xia Ling to gag reflexively. She tilted her head backward, her voice shaking. “Pei Ziheng, please don’t do this… I’ve really never insulted Xia Ling, really! Why, why do you believe Xia Yu’s nonsense but not a single word of mine!”
He stopped in thought for a moment before tilting her head forward.
“Ye Xingling,” He squinted at her. “Xia Yu is her biological sister, what are you?”
Every word he uttered felt like a hammer against her heart. This was the second time tonight he had said to her, Ye Xingling, what are you? So, without Xia Ling’s name and skin, she was nothing to him.
Pei Ziheng, what exactly do you love?
She recalled a year they went traveling. At the peak of a mountain, he had held her hand as they made a vow to be “of one heart” forever more. The lock was clasped together and she looked up at him, asking: Ziheng, do you really think that we can be together again in our next life? His voice was absolutely gentle and tender as he told her, Yes, Xiao Ling, we will be together for all of our lives, forever.
Back then, she had stroked the lock. But, what if you can’t find me?
He turned her towards him and looked into her eyes. Xiao Ling, in our next life, I will definitely be able to find you. No matter what you may look like or where you may be, I will recognize you at first glance and bring you back.
In the mist, his eyes were oh so gentle.
Yet tonight, as she appeared right before him, he had asked time and again: Ye Xingling, what are you?
She suddenly felt her jaw hurt, jerking her back to reality.
Pei Ziheng had held her mouth open with one hand as he emptied the contents of the tube into her mouth.
It was bitter, stinging her insides as it made its way down her throat. Terrified, she struggled deliriously, attempting to free herself from his grip. Yet, his entire body weight was on her, leaving her with no chance of escape. The button on his steel grey vest was pressing against her, with only the thin layer of silk between them. It hurt a lot, but that hurt was nothing compared to having the medicine forced down her throat.
Despite her efforts, every drop of the liquid ended up in her mouth.
Pei Ziheng was still holding her jaw open. Only when he was sure that all of it had been swallowed completely did he release his grip slowly and hurl the bottle to the ground.
Xia Ling coughed uncontrollably, even her chest had begun to hurt, but not a single drop of that medicine was coughed out. She tried gagging at the edge of the bed, but both of her hands were cuffed to the bed and there was only so much she could bend over. Metal clanged against metal as she tugged at it with all her might, her wrist beginning to sting.
Pei Ziheng watched her struggle in silence. When she was running out of energy, he gently spoke, “Not a bad experience, did you like it?” He was smiling again. The dim light cast a looming shadow against the mattress. In the night, it looked like a dying prey struggling against an enormous demon.
Xia Ling opened her mouth to speak before realizing that it had already taken effect. She could make sounds, but even with all her might not a single word could be uttered. She could not accept it and wrestled once again, coughing, gasping, giving her all until she had nothing left.
Pei Ziheng looked towards her skin beneath the nightgown, his gaze deepening.
He raised his arms slowly and began removing his clothes, undoing every button on his vest.
It hit her as she realized what he was about to do. Panicked, she had turned pale and was curling up, hoping to be as small as possible…
He casually set his vest on the backrest of a chair and proceeded to remove his shirt ever so slowly. As the first few buttons were undone, his firm muscles began to show.
All this time, his sight never left her body, his burning desire unmasked.
She felt ashamed, afraid, and angry all at once. Though she had been touched by him many times before, this time was different. This time, he saw her as a stranger, nothing more than a tool to satisfy his desires.
She struggled once more, on the verge of losing her mind. She tugged harder and her wrists hurt more as it began to bleed, but the more pain she derived, the harder she went…
He stopped unbuttoning his shirt and walked towards her.
“Now you’re scared, eh?” Bending over, he spoke tenderly. “If you have the guts to insult someone else, why don’t you have the guts to give it a shot yourself, sleeping with men and being a cheap and shameless woman… You should have tasted it, shouldn’t you?”