As he walked over the king suddenly stood up and the entire room hushed down.
"Welcome everyone." The king began.
"As all of you know this year's games started out very successfully and I would like to personally congratulate the candidate from East Asia, Miss Wei Mingxia! She was able to take first place for both of the game she participated in today!" The crowd stirred and a loud applause broke out.
Mingxia could only smile politely and waited for the applause to end. Luckily the king spoke again and everyone's attention was back on him again.
"To congratulate her, I would like to present her with a special gift." RIght on cue two servants pushed a cart with a box covered with a piece of fabric over to him. Very slowly, the king lifted the cloth to reveal a golden necklace with a giant emerald on it. The audience gasped and the other female competitors turned and looked at Mingxia. Mingxia kept on a poker face and waited for the servants to bring the necklace to her. Xing took it for Mingxia and did her best to not look at the necklace too many times.
The quiet girl from earlier had a sour face and she dug her nails into her dress. When the audience finally calmed down and went back to dancing, eating and gossiping, the quiet girl stood up and prepared to leave quietly. Mingxia noticed this and got up.
"Mingxia-" "Shhh." Mingxia stopped Xing from talking and smiled.
The quiet girl made it halfway down a flight of stairs when she noticed that someone was following her. She whipped her head around to see MIngxia.
"Why are you here?" She asked.
Mingxia's expression didn't change. "That's the question I want to ask you, why are you here?"
The quiet girl didn't know what to answer back, she didn't if she should hate this girl or not.
Seeing that the quiet girl isn't going to answer her, Mingxia slowly walked closer to her until there were only two steps between them.
"I asked why are you here?" Mingxia whispered and leaned forward. "What was your goal?"
The quiet girl suddenly looked dazed. "Revenge." She whispered.
Mingxia smiled and straightened her back. "And you failed."
"That's because you ruined it!" The quiet girl snapped and couldn't be quiet anymore.
Mingxia raised her eyebrows. "Did I? Or are you just bad at it?"
The quiet girl took a step back. "What?"
Mingxia took a deep breath. "Number one, you say that you want revenge but what use is it if you are going to be killed because of it? Had I not intervened, you will not be here right now. Did you think you would be able to kill a princess when the king was right there?"
The quiet girl was baffled. "But, I planned everything. Everything would have been perfect if you didn-" "Stop!" Mingxia suddenly became serious.
"Did you think you're plan could of worked. You messed up your plan the moment you release that arrow! Yes, you would of succeeded your goal but you would be dead!"
"But-but. This is the Games. Any royalty that participate know that there will be a possibility of them getting killed." The quiet girl reasoned.
Mingxia let out a smirk. "Do you believe everything they tell you? Sure, to the public the king would have to say that it would be an accident but do you think he would let you off so easily? All he has to do is to order his secret soldiers to go to you house at night and kill you. With a snap of his fingers, you be killed very easily. What's the point of revenge when you can't live to enjoy the benefits and satisfaction of it?"
The quiet girl widened her eyes and Mingxia let out a breath. She turned around to leave but the quiet girl stopped her.
"Why did you tell me that?" Mingxia stopped and turned around again. "Perhaps, it's because I see a little of myself in you?" This was the truth, the first time Mingxia saw this girl she saw the hatred in the girl's eyes. This gaze looked so similar because Mingxia also had those eyes in moment when she realized who Zong Ching really was.
"I'm Lan Qi." The quiet girl smiled and held out her hands. She doesn't know why but she just felt like she could trust this girl in front of her.
Mingxia stretched her hand out and shook Lan Qi's hand. "I'm Mingxia, Wei Mingxia."
Mingxia sat back down in her seat and Lan Qi sat back down in hers. Xing poured Mingxia a cup of orange blossom tea but before Mingxia could enjoy it someone else disturbed her peace time.
"Mingxia." A simple call of her name was able to make her heart to beat faster.
Zong QIu smiled. "Is it alright if we go out to talk on the balcony?"
Mingxia nodded and the pair walked out.
"Soo, what's the big deal?" Mingxia asked.
Zong QIu chuckled. "Oh nothing. Just wanted to have a friendly conversation with you."
Mingxia raised her eyebrows but she couldn't stop herself from smiling.
"Here." She took out the box she had in her robes. Zong Qiu looked surprised but in fact he wasn't.
"What's this?" Instead of answering, Mingxia practically threw the box into his hands.
Zong Qiu chuckled again and opened the box to take out the ebony fan. He opened the fan and admired the design on it. Seeing how pleased he was with her gift, Mingxia leaned on the balcony and looked up at the moon.
"You know you could've chosen something else right?" Zong Qiu began. "But why did you chose this?"
Mingxia tapped her chin with her finger as if she was considering how to answer back. "Hmm. Most likely, because I don't like the feeling of owing someone."
After hearing this response, Zong Qiu set the fan back in the box and handed the box to her.
"What?" Mingxia took a step back.
Zong Qiu threw the box back into Mingxia's arms and opened his own fan. "Why are you giving it back to me?" Mingxia asked.
"Hmm. Most likely because I like the feeling of having someone who owes me." For this answer, Mingxia could only laugh.
"Oh come on, I owe you for helping me so much so it is only reasonable for me to repay all the favor. Here." Mingxia handed the box to him again but he refused to take it.
"If that's the case then, I want you to continue to be in debt to me." "Eh?" Mingxia couldn't believe that he could be so stubborn, she also noticed how he was getting closer to her and she tried her best to walk away from him but Zong Qiu grabbed her wrist and wrapped an arm around her waist.
"What are you doing?" Mingxia fidgeted in his arms and successfully got out of his embrace.
"I want you to continue to be in my debt until the debt is so great that you would have to use your entire lifetime to repay me." Zong Qiu whispered into her ears.
"What? You've got to be kidding me." But Zong Qiu was not and Mingxia knew that she could do nothing to change his mind.
She let out a sigh. "Fine. Then view this as a gift from me then."
She held up the box again and this time Zong Qiu took it.
"Why are you helping me?" This question had been on Mingxia's mind since the first time Zong Qiu saved her.
"You're interesting." Zong Qiu answered simply.
"Interesting?" Mingxia found it hard to believe this answer.
Zong Qiu nodded.
"So, all this was because you found me interesting. Had I not been interesting, would you have left in that lake?"
Zong Qiu took a moment to consider.
"Not exactly." He answered softly.
Not satisfied with the answer, Mingxia leaned against the balcony again. Silence fell upon them and the two stood there staring at each other.
"Qiu. If someone told you that they died once and came back alive ten years earlier. Would you believe that?"
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