After Becoming the Hero's Ex-fiancée - Chapter 28
The Transient Realm (2.1)
In the festive newlyweds’ room, Zheng Wan clenched her fists tightly and waited nervously for Cui Wang’s answer.
Although chances were slim, maybe… she could still strike the lottery?
“After we get out, I can make you the crown princess again.”
Cui Wang’s answer was completely out of Zheng Wan’s expectations; she did not expect…
His proposition meant that she had failed.
Her engagement with the crown Prince had just been annulled the day before, and here she was, professing her love to him. On the surface, his offer to mend the broken engagement seemed to be for her sake, when in fact, he was affirming her fickle and vain nature—
In other words, he did not believe that she was truly in love with him.
“State– State Preceptor, if you don’t like me, just say so. Why push me away to someone else?”
Cui Wang cast his eyes downward; his gaze seemed sarcastic and mocking.
“Someone else? The day before, the two of you were still engaged to be married.”
Zheng Wan squeezed his sleeves tightly. She seemed to be annoyed, but also proud. “If I, Zheng Wan, must marry, I want to marry a hero who can save me from danger, j-just like… State Preceptor did earlier. I don’t care if you are a wanderer or a blade of grass.
“In addition, the crown prince was the one who had abandoned me. N-no matter what, I will never be betrothed to him again.”
With affection in one eye, and stubbornness in the other, she held her head high huffily.
Cui Wang looked at her.
“But I am not willing to, don’t want to, don’t wish to.”
With three consecutive ‘no’s, he conveyed his determination to refuse.
The light in Zheng Wan’s eyes dimmed instantly, but she regained her strength in a moment. She clenched her fists to encourage herself, and asked, “Is it because the State Preceptor doesn’t find Wan’niang beautiful enough?”
“If you think so, then so be it.”
Without waiting for Zheng Wan’s response, Cui Wang stepped back, widening the distance between them. He turned his head to look at the painting, and said, “It has changed.”
“What has changed?”
Zheng Wan was still immersed in the heartfelt blow she had just received, looking wane and weary.
The one thing she was most proud of was her appearance, but she had been put down repeatedly in this aspect in front of this son of the Cui clan of Boling. Before she had the time to adjust her mood, she turned reflexively to what Cui Wang was looking at—all the indignation she had been feeling flew away in an instant.
The painting hanging on the wall has changed!
The couple who had been bowing to each other just a moment ago, was now beside a table. There was only a short bit left of the dragon and phoenix candles; the couple’s arms were intertwined, each drinking from a nuptial wine cup simultaneously. They seemed to be…
…full of affection.
She instantly turned around to look at the Puppet Mirror enshrined between the dragon and phoenix candles, and was astonished yet again:
“This has changed too!”
The mirror had started to play a scene of her and Cui Wang drinking nuptial wine together. She wasn’t sure if it was only her imagination, but Zheng Wan suddenly felt that the dragon and phoenix candles on the table were burning faster.
Cui Wang’s lips were pressed tightly into a flat line, revealing his opposition; nevertheless, he still explained:
“The shadow play is not over.”
“State Preceptor, do you mean that… we still have to continue acting?”
Cui Wang nodded.
For some reason, Zheng Wan felt that the temperature around her had suddenly dropped by a lot. She couldn’t help rubbing her shoulders:
“It’s so cold.”
It was cold, no doubt, but she was in a rather good mood.
This transient realm was turning out to be a blessed place for her; things were going in the direction she wanted.
Didn’t Cui Wang dislike her, and constantly rejected her?
But he still had to act out this play with her like a marionette. It would be even better if this shadow play had a consummation scene. If it did, she wondered if the young Sword Sovereign would sacrifice that pure and noble body of his for the sake of breaking out of this realm.
……By that time, he wouldn’t be able to shake off his responsibility even if he wanted to.
Zheng Wan’s heart was full of inappropriate thoughts, but her face bore the expression of an aggrieved young wife; she went over to the table with reddened eyes, mustered her courage and filled the nuptial wine cup, then sat down.
Cui Wang moved faster than her. He had already filled his cup, and was waiting for her with one arm outstretched.
The wide sleeves of the red mangpao fell upon the edge of the table, looking charming in the candlelight.
Zheng Wan looked at him and slowly reached out her arm, wrapping it around his right arm like a vine.
Beneath the flesh of the man’s arm were bones of steel and iron. Both of their clothes were extremely thin and when pressed together, she could feel Cui Wang’s robust and stretched tendons. Touching them felt like touching velvety cold iron.
She glanced faintly at him:
“State Preceptor, Wan’niang can drink this nuptial wine; I won’t hold you responsible either. Just look at me and tell me honestly, is Wan’niang really ugly?”
Father once said when he was drunk that he fell in love with Mother when their eyes met in a crowd; she would try this method out today.