Seeing the tiny smile on the crown prince's lips, Xue Yu-Yan felt strange. "Xue, you are appalling me?" Sheng Li raised his brow with inquisitiveness.
Xue Yu-Yan immediately lowered her eyes. "I do not dare to. I said that I will end my life because it will have no meaning if I cannot be beside you. Since the age of 14, I have accepted his highness as my husband. But, his highness married someone else. I am just angry at myself for not getting a hold of you, your highness. Forgive me if I sounded rude to you," Xue Yu-Yan pronounced, keeping her gaze down.
Sheng Li kept staring at her for a while, trying to understand why Xue was behaving like that. Indeed, somewhere the crown prince was hurt too when he found out about Xue's truth whom he admired always, but he could not risk the throne by marrying Xue Yu-Yan. The crown prince had declared in front of his majesty that he would not marry any other woman and be loyal to one woman only.
"Xue, do not put hope on me. I will not marry you. Things have changed. Soon you will be the woman of the first brother and I want you to accept that too," Sheng Li in a haughty tone stated when he saw tears were pouring down Xue Yu-Yan's eyes.
"What happened to the promise which the crown prince gave to me the day he was marrying the crown princess? I understood his highness decision but, I am not satisfied with his highness decision that's why I have decided to take my life. I cannot see myself being touched by a man other than his highness." Xue Yu-Yan stressed her last words and lifted her eyes.
"Xue, stop threatening me. I have killed many women with my own hands. So, it will not be going to matter to me a bit if you lose your life for this ridiculous reason. Indeed, I loved you but I stopped those feelings for you the day I was informed that you will be the noble consort of the first brother. Do not let me open my mouth because it is going to hurt you. I admired you a lot so, for that sake, I am not opening my mouth. Hope Miss Xue understood me." Sheng Li had a stern expression on his face.
"How can his highness stop his love for me just because of the alliance with the first brother?" Xue Yu-Yan looked at Sheng Li skeptically.
Sheng Li snickered. "Because for me love comes second. Hope this has cleared your answers- A gesture is more than enough to the Wise." Sheng Li turned and walked away.
Xue Yu-Yan knitted her brows. "What does his highness mean by that? Love comes second?" Xue Yu-Yan was confused when the court lady Huo came there. "Milady, what are you doing here? You may not come here as it is the crown prince's…"
Xue Yu-Yan stopped the court lady by showing her hand. "I do not want to listen. Where do I have to go?" Xue Yu-Yan asked lady Huo as she wiped the tears from the back of her palm.
"Please follow me, Milady," Lady Huo politely spoke, and the two left from there.
In Empress Manor, the crown princess could be seen doing needlework on a silk cloth. The Empress was seated beside her while court Lady Xu was standing behind the crown princess.
"Crown princess, what are you doing? Look, what have you made?" Empress Wei, with a slight laugh, said as she took the silk cloth and the needle from the crown princess.
"Forgive me, your majesty. I always lacked in sewing and the needlework," Ying Lili furrowed her brows with an embarrassment.
"Crown princess does not need to apologize. It seems the crown princess is specially trained for the military stuff in her home," Empress Wei proclaimed. "How will the crown princess be going to make the needlework on the overcoat for the crown prince? The crown prince's birthday is in two days," Empress Wei expressed her concern.
"Your majesty, I will learn. I grasp things fast," Ying Lili assured the Empress. Frowns could be seen on the crown princess's face, which showed that she was still unsure about that, but for the Empress's sake, she said those words.
"Crown princess, I would love to see that. Court Lady Xu, please help the crown princess in making the pattern using the needle. If possible, stay in the sewing workshop tonight," Empress Wei suggested.
"Is there a workshop for that as well?" Ying Lili, with an inquisitiveness, asked when she found the Empress was staring at her. "Forgive me, your majesty. I was just curious," Ying Lili in a low voice spoke.
"There is a workshop for sewing the clothes for the regal people of the Palace, your highness," Court Lady Xu politely told the crown princess who gave a nod. "Your majesty, please forgive her highness for her clumsiness and forgive this court lady as well for not teaching her highness about all this." Court Lady Xu had bowed her head.
"It is okay. Crown princess, just spend your time tonight in the workshop. The crown prince's birthday is the biggest event in the Han Kingdom and if he will not receive a handmade gift from his wife, it will not be good. The pattern is big so, her highness has to work on it on her own. Court Lady Xu, only instruct the crown princess, but keep in mind not to let any worker help her there," Empress Wei commanded.
"Yes, your majesty." Court lady Xu accepted the command, giving a ninety degrees bow.
"You may leave, crown princess," Empress Wei asserted. Ying Lili stood up from the seat and bowed before the Empress.
"Crown princess must know that the first Prince is going to marry the prime minister's daughter. The event will start in a while so, come there as well," Empress Wei proclaimed.
"Yes, your majesty," Ying Lili stated and left the chamber.
Ying Lili was walking towards Zhenzhu Inn when something came into Ying Lili's mind so she spoke," Court lady Xu, will you tell me something?"
"Her highness does not need permission for asking any question from me," Court Lady Xu asserted softly.
"What had happened to the crown prince's mother?" Ying Lili asked.
Court Lady Xu did not expect the question from the crown princess. "Did his highness not tell her highness?" Court Lady Xu asked. Ying Lili shook her head in refusal.
"His highness' mother died after a prolonged illness. His majesty was in the war at that time. We all did every possible thing to save her. The medicinal herbs were brought from Kun Lun Shan mountains but she could not be saved and left every one of us behind," Court Lady Xu said with a touch of melancholy.
Ying Lili halted at her place as her expressions darkened. "Court lady, what happened to the crown prince then?"
"His highness was a child that time. He could not even speak properly. The empress gave him the motherly love but his highness always missed his mother's presence," Court Lady Xu replied.
"What kind of child the crown prince was?" Ying Lili looked at Court Lady Xu for the answer.
"His highness was a calm child. He had isolated himself from the other princes. When his majesty returned, the sight of the crown prince ripped his majesty's heart into many pieces. His majesty had taken the crown prince with him when he again went to war. But, when the crown prince returned after two years to the palace again he had changed completely," Court Lady Xu answered the query of the crown princess.
"He must have felt alone," Ying Lili murmured.