After Becoming the Hero's Ex-fiancée - Chapter 12
Trigger Warning: attempted sexual assault
It was a pair of eyes of extreme clarity—the blacks and whites were distinct, topped with eyelashes like raven feathers. One could not help but think of pearls from the ocean’s depths; the sunlight upon the vast meadows; and the bright, clear spring at the entrance of the immortals’ grotto.
Clear as water, brilliant as stars.
At that moment, Cui Wang almost thought that she had seen him, but soon dismissed the notion.
Beautiful as Zheng’s daughter was, she was only a mortal of flesh and blood, ordinary and insipid; how could see through his invisibility shield?
Even if she could, he couldn’t be bothered to pay any attention to it.
He was about to apply another soundproof shield when he heard the girl under the tree ask in crips tones, “Master, between you and that State Preceptor, which of you is stronger?”
Without waiting for a reply, she went on.
“In my opinion, it must be the Master who is stronger. Let me hire you to have a match with the State Preceptor, how about it?”
The corners of Cui Wang’s mouth curved; what a naïve and arrogant girl, just the same as before.
Zheng Wan stroked the rough bark of the crooked-necked tree and muttered to herself, “Master is righteous; he definitely wouldn’t condone the State Preceptor abusing his position and bullying those who are weaker.”
“My Zheng family had indeed done him wrong, but it’s not enough to deserve——”
“My lady, ah, my lady, why are you here? Hurry up and go to Lanze Court with this servant, Madam is looking for you!” The maidservant who had escorted them in was on the small path some distance away, looking left and right. When she spotted Zheng Wan, she rushed over in relieved delight.
Zheng Wan decided to stop for now, “I was feeling a little stuffy, so I decided to take a walk, and ended up here somehow.”
She had arranged for this person to be stationed at a distance just in case. If things hadn’t gone as planned, the maidservant was to make an appearance to help. Zheng Wan wouldn’t just feed herself to the gang of hungry, useless, lascivious dogs.
“My lady, you can’t roam around like that. It’s easy to get lost in this huge Plum Garden.”
The maidservant supported her and did not dare to look around. Before leaving, Zheng Wan glanced back at the quiet lake—the lotuses were still and the bamboo silent, as if the commotion just now did not happen.
But it did happen.
She gathered her feathered cloak around her, stepped onto the path, and left quietly.
Cui Wang listened indifferently; his countenance remained unchanged, he was neither compassionate nor empathetic. He closed his eyes for a while, and suddenly let out an “Eh”.
A breeze carried a pile of bloodstone fragments and presented it to him. However, what caught his attention was the wrecked character, “Cui”, within the shards.
These fragments were found at the spot where Zheng’s daughter threw herself into the lake just now.
Cui Wang silent for a long time. He took out a jade flute from his chest placket and played a delicate tune. At the sound of the melody, a little white-feathered kingfisher appeared.
He extracted a strand of divine consciousness; in an instant, the dazed little bird became bright. It flapped its wings, looked around, then flew off decisively.
Not far away, the wind began to rise, creating ripples in the quiet lake.
Luodai was in a panic.
She had only gone to fetch something from the carriage, but when she came back, the lady was gone. She was just about to send someone to search for her when the lady returned.
But she was quite a wretched sight; the collar of her feathered cloak was torn, and even the bloodstone tortoiseshell zan was missing. Rather than a walk in the gardens, it looked more like she had gotten into a fight.
“My lady, you… Why…”
Zheng Wan waved her hand, “It’s nothing. Quickly, come help me comb my hair.”
Although her handmaiden was not as skillful as the hairdresser, she had been specially trained in it before. She washed her hands and went to her mistress, who was seated in front of the dressing table.
The dressing room for the womenfolk of the imperial family; there was a bronze mirror and ivory comb meant for their use after changing clothes.
Luodai had only just begun smoothening out a lock of black hair when she heard her mistress issue an order to the maidservant escort.
“It’s stuffy, open the window for some air.”
Scented incense burned in the dressing room all year round, which did make the room stuffy.