33 Overly Worried Chenyang
Chenyang walked into the Manor by going through the hidden back entrance.
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None of the servants knew about it.
Only the Duke and Duchess knew of its existence, but Chenyang had accidentally stumbled upon it when he was doing deep exploration of the house.
It was meant to be a secret escape passage if there was an ambush or attack on the Manor.
And right now, when a war might brew between Shenzhou and Hanjian, it was essential.
Chenyang made a mental note to inform Wenmin and Xueyue of this secret passage.
He picked up his pace and walked straight towards Xueyue's room. Without warning or announcement from the maidservants outside, he walked into her room.
Startled at the intruder, Xueyue turned around.
A maidservant was fixing her hair when Chenyang abruptly walked in.
"This servant greets Young Master Li-" Chenyang doesn't spare the maidservant a second glance.
His determined steps walked straight towards Xueyue.
"Chenyang? What's wrong-," Xueyue doesn't finish her sentence when he brushed the maidservant aside.
"We're going horseback riding." He coldly told her as he began to take out the fancy hairpins in her hair.
Xueyue tilted her head in confusion.
But we just came back?
"But why?" She softly asked, watching him pull out the last hairpin.
Instantly, her silky black hair fell like a smooth waterfall.
Chenyang beckoned the freighted maidservant forward.
"Prepare her outfit for horseback riding." He commanded the shaking woman who instantly began to work.
When he saw Xueyue begin to open her mouth again, he pinched her cheeks.
"Ow!" She grumbled, rubbing it.
"Don't ask any questions, just follow my lead." Chenyang sighed.
He wasn't good at handling woman, that job belonged to his playful and flirtatious older brother, Wenmin. The boy was known to be a party-people and instantly, girls would flock to him because of his charming appearance and gentle personality.
Xueyue saw the distress in Chenyang's eyes and slowly nodded her head.
She didn't want to push the boundaries.
She knew it was an emergency if Chenyang himself came to escort her out of the Manor.
So she sat still and allowed her maidservant to pull her hair into a high ponytail. Within seconds, she was dressed in a well-fitted robe suitable for horseback riding.
"Did you fasten your saddles? What about the reins? Make sure the peddle is situated perfectly so that you can climb on with ease. Did you wear gloves? The leather is not good for your hands." Chenyang nagged on and on when Xueyue climbed onto Heiyue.
"Here, let me see if you did everything correctly." Chenyang worriedly said, as he guided his horse closer to her.
A bubble of laughter came from Xueyue when she realized how overthinking he was.
She never expected the cold and stony man to be such a worry-worm.
At the sound of laughter, he raised his head.
"It's not funny." He grumbled as he placed the gloves onto Xueyue's tiny hands.
"Why would I need gloves?" She hummed, watching him put on the white material with ease.
"It'll protect your hand from the sun and make sure your hand doesn't get rough with callous from holding the leather for so long." Chenyang tiredly explained, as he fastened the last string on the gloves.
Meanwhile, the servants all watched with their mouths hanging open.
They couldn't believe their nonchalant and women-hating Young Master would treat a girl so gently!
As a matter of fact, he even seemed to care for the girl, like he would to a little sister.
They had never seen Chenyang treat Lady Minghua with the same gentleness and respect.
This Li Xueyue was really good at picking the right cards...
The corner of Xueyue's lips curved upwards, and the smile reached her eyes.
"Thank you, Chen-ge." She softy said.
Chenyang's head snapped up at the title.
And when he saw the beautiful smile, he felt a strange clench in his heart.
Was this how it felt to have a beloved little sister?
"Chen-ge?" He quietly repeated, unsure if he heard correctly.
Xueyue bobbed her head. "It's my nickname for you. Do you like it?" Because her tone was soft, and her question so innocent, Chenyang saw it was a genuine question.
He saw the hopeful expression on her face, like a puppy waiting for her master's approval.
The corner of his lips tilted up in the smallest smile.
He ruffled her hair. "It's alright." He commented and kicked off his horse, leaving Xueyue with her mouth agape.
It's alright? IT'S ALRIGHT? Did she mishear? Did the cold and harsh Young Master finally approve of something she said and did?
"Hey! Wait up!" Xueyue called after him, a bright smile on her face.
She urged Heiyue forward with a light pat on the horse's legs.
Heiyue was more than gladly happy to finally ride on the grass again.
Giddily following the direction of Xueyue's gentle guidance, Heiyue sprinted into the field.
Although the horse couldn't see, her heightened hearing was able to pick up the sound of Chenyang's horse.
Chenyang was surprised when he heard the sound of approaching hooves.
He looked back and saw the steady shadow of a horse catching up to him with incredible speed.
How is that possible? The thin and weak horse could run this fast?
Not wanting to lose the race, Chenyang guided his horse to run faster.
Xueyue chased after him, giggles leaving her mouth.
Enjoying the refreshing wind that pulled at her hair, the warm sunlight on her skin, and the smell of nature, her bright eyes take in everything before her.
This happy feeling and senses were all that she wanted.
Forget about the fancy jewelries, the exquisite hairpins, and expensive silk hanfus, this was what she wanted all along!
Locked away in the Bai Manor, with nothing but the cold darkness as her surroundings, Xueyue never experienced the sun on her face.
Befriending the rats and counting the dust particles, Xueyue had forgotten what it was like to feel the wind in your hair and the warmth on your skin.
Lifting her hands up to experience everything nature had to offer, Xueyue closed her eyes with a serene expression on her face.