30 Glares of Envy
Xueyue was startled when the horse suddenly kicked its front legs.
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But her reflexes were faster than the horse.
The minute she realized her hands were still tangled within the leather reins, she immediately hopped on the horse seconds before it raced forward.
"Woah!" Xueyue was astonished when the horse suddenly leaned over the wooden fences with immense strength.
With the wind tugging on her hair and the forces pushing her back, Xueyue had no choice but to obey the horse's desire to run.
"Damn it!" Chenyang cursed.
He quickly ran to the closest horse he could grab and hopped on.
"Chenyang, don't just leave me here!" Wenmin whined, running to grab another horse.
But before he could hop onto a horse to join the action, the stable boy immediately stopped him.
"Sir, You need to pay for the other horse that your friend hopped onto!" The stable boy exclaimed.
Wenmin groaned in annoyance.
While he settled the price with the stable boy, Chenyang was trying to catch up to Xueyue's midnight horse.
"S-slow down!" Xueyue yelped when the horse leaped over another hurdle. Soon, it ran towards the trading ports.
She gasped when the horse began to face straight towards a fruit cart being pushed by an elderly woman.
"No, don't!" Xueyue shouted as she grabbed the reins and tried to tug the horse in the other direction.
Her heart raced and broke at the idea of harming an innocent civilian.
"Heiyue, please!" She didn't know where the name came from, but it smoothly rolled out of her tongue.
Suddenly the horse jerked its head. Seconds before it collided with the woman, it took a sharp turn in the direction of the port docks.
Xueyue knew if the horse continued to run, it would go straight into the ocean. Her Heiyue would die!
"Heiyue, listen to me. At this rate, you won't be able to escape! You're only running faster towards Death's Door." Xueyue tried her best to keep her voice soft and coercing, even though the horse couldn't understand her.
Xueyue saw the approaching docks just a few meters ahead. Her heart raced with fear. Winter had just ended and spring was starting, which meant the water would be freezing cold.
No horse or human could last very long in the icy water. They could both die!
"I know you don't like to be roughly handled or forced into these uncomfortable reins, and I'm really sorry for what I'm about to do now!"
Xueyue took in a deep breath and roughly jerked the reins. It forced the horse to slow down, but that didn't stop Heiyue from running.
Sitting taller on the horse so that she was more in control, she yanked the horse backwards again.
Seconds before the horse ran over the port, it suddenly stopped.
Xueyue breathed in and out as she tried to calm her heart.
Releasing a snort, Heiyue stomped on the wooden deck. It creaked and rattled with the intense force.
Xueyue bend down and lightly rubbed the horse's neck.
"I'm sorry, it must've hurt..." Xueyue quietly whispered. She felt heavy guilt for handling the horse so roughly.
Xueyue gently rubbed and massaged the horse's face, hoping to sooth and ease the pain.
She leaned closer to the horse. "Can you take me back to the horse ring?"
The horse neighed and roughly stomped the wooden deck which lead a tremor through Xueyue's heart.
She sighed, knowing Heiyue was rejecting her request.
"You won't be sold again, I promise."
The horse tilted its head to the side as if thinking about the idea of returning her.
"I've already named you, I won't let you go." Xueyue added on, gently running her hand through the horse's mane.
After careful consideration, the horse began to walk back to the ring. Xueyue smiled at his compliance.
Xueyue could feel the hundreds of pairs of eyes on her.
A few were admiring her for being able to ride a horse without reins and the others were shocked that such a tiny girl could tame a horse three times her size.
Which noble family's daughter was this? To have a talented and skilled daughter with bright beauty, the family must've been blessed!
"Xueyue!" Chenyang immediately caught up to her. His face was red from urging the horse to run so fast and there was a look of panic and freight on his face.
He helped her off the horse and pulled her within arm's length.
Xueyue tilted her head in confusion when his eyes began to scrutinize every part of her body, as if he was searching for something.
"You crazy girl! How can you run off like that! Why didn't you hop off?!" Chenyang began to scold, his voice raising higher and higher.
He was beginning to garner the attention of a crowd.
The young women were in awe at how handsome the boy was.
He was tall, well-built, and his face was extremely handsome. Added with his mysterious and chilling aura, the women felt themselves drawn towards him.
"Do you understand you could've gotten hurt?! What if you fell into the ocean?" He continued to lecture Xueyue, his face growing dark with anger.
"How am I supposed to explain to Wenmin if you drown? What will I tell mother and father? What will I tell myself-" He stopped rambling when Xueyue suddenly hugged him.
He stood frozen, his arms hanging limp to his sides.
"I'm perfectly fine." Xueyue's voice came out muffled in his robes.
She thought he would push her away and even yell at her for touching him, so when his arms came around her, she was surprised.
Chenyang lightly patted her head, suddenly feeling guilty for yelling at her.
He didn't know why he felt so worried to see her standing so close to the port. Perhaps it was because he has already lost a sister and didn't want to lose another.
"You fool." He muttered before hugging her tighter to him.
When he noticed the people's stare, he immediately turned his back to them so that Xueyue's precious face was covered. And because her face was tucked against his chest, she didn't see the glares filled with envy and displeasure.