Xiaolian and Wang Li Jie are left alone sitting together in the kitchen, Xiaolian is clutching her dress and her knuckles are white, the thought of going back to her lonely residence is terrifying. Her mind keeps recalling the death of her family and the demonic flames, for some reason she can’t get the images out of her mind. Maybe if I tell Wang Li Jie he will sympathize then let me go with him to the Capitol.
“Your Highn…Li Jie” she softly whispers while staring into his deep purple eyes, “I don’t want to go back to the Butterfly Wing Residence”, Xiaolian rests her hand on his white brocade sleeve imploring him to reconsider. “I have been having nightmares of the Demon army that swarmed into our home that year.”
He gently takes her slender hand in his large warm palm, “Don’t be afraid, I will send several guards back with you in addition to your personal guards that are in place there.”
She shakes her head a tear sliding down her cheek, “I don’t want to leave you.”
When he hears those words coming from her pink lips he was momentarily swept in by how seductive her pouty mouth looks as she pleads with him. He had to stabilize his breath, combined with the sight of her watery azure blue eyes his emotions can barely be controlled., He wants to pull her into his embrace. It reminds him of her pleading look wanting him to kiss her when she was under Quan Zhen’s influence.
The light green dress she is wearing accentuates her creamy white skin and her tender fingers squeezing his arm is making his heart beat rapidly. It is for her own good though, she will forget about this as soon as I remove the dream state. It feels so real right now he wants to possess her.
He cups her chin in his hands and tilts her face close to his. He leans down to kiss her tempting pink his lips wanting to taste her sweetness. She instinctively closes her eyes, her long eyelashes fluttering in anticipation. she can feel his hot breath on her cheek. Wang Li Jie can’t resist her peerless beauty any longer..suddenly something shatters next to them.
“Your Highness, begging your forgiveness!” Huang Howan begins bowing in an apologetic manner, ” I was going to brew tea for you..”
Huang Hua can see the rage on Wang Li Jie’s face, black lines on his forehead appear, he stands up and steps forward,
Afraid e will strike her daughter Huang Hua steps between them.“Please Your Highness it was my fault I bumped into her arm, it was so clumsy of me!”
He stills his anger, this old woman has cared for him since he was a baby, but her daughter can be very annoying. He wants to send Huang Howan flying right now.
He instructs Huang Hua“I called you here because we are leaving tomorrow for Mystical Lotus Star Kingdom. I will need you to organize everything by dawn. Have Yang Chang stop at the village at the bottom of the mountain then distribute the remaining food, no reason to attempt to transport it. Give the villagers the extra bedding and whatever else you think they might want.”
Xiaolian is sitting there watching him change in front of her, this Wang Li Jie is very scary, his aura is so oppressive she felt the wind sucked out of those two women in front of him. Then he ordered them with a meticulous manner to being considerate of the villagers. He is such a contradictory person, I never fully can grasp all the aspects of his personality.
She shakes her head then touches her cheek, it is still hot from his closeness. If we had continued that intimate moment, would he relent allowing me to accompany him to the Capitol? He is the only man who has been a constant in my life. Since I arrived at The Ice Palace feelings have been stirring inside me, my heart was beating frantically when Wang Li Jie took my face in his strong warm hands. His distinctive scent of ambergris gives me a sense of security when I breathe it in, leaning into his strong broad chest always makes me feel loved and protected. Am I in love with Li Jie?
But different faces keep popping up in her dreams, men she doesn’t know yet their faces are very vivid and there is a sense of familiarity. This feeling of confusion has plagued her, even when Wang Li Jie bent down to kiss her she was reminded of someone else but couldn’t discern who it was. Maybe she could ask Wang Li Jie for some medicine to clear her head to rid her of these nightmares.
The one that appeared when she was dreaming in the bath earlier was a handsome young man dressed in a black robe with a red sash. The only imperfection on his enchanting face was a scar on his cheek, his ink black hair was tied up with a a black hairpin and a bright red feather.
He was laughing while splashing her with water from a stream. She was holding a fox, singing a song when he began teasing her, then Jiang Bai startled her awake with his sudden appearance .
Wang Li Jie thinks she looks very cute and shy. “What are you thinking about Xiaolian? You have a strange faraway look in your eyes,” W
She blushes at the thought of him about to kiss her. “Nothing.”
He takes XiXi’s hand to help her stand up, “Huang Hua make sure those servant girls Lan An and Gu Ning come to Zhang Xiaolian’s room to pack her clothes she will be returning to her own residence.”
Huang Hua quickly says, “I will assist Miss Zhang to assure everything is done well.”
“Wang Li Jie, I like Lan An could you spare her to come with me to the Butterfly Wing Residence.”
“Of course”, maybe if I give her this servant she will be happy.
“Oh and Yang Chang I could use a good cook, he helped me in the kitchen, I liked his dishes”
Wang Li Jie doesn’t mind giving her any servant she wants, “Anyone else?”
Wang Li Jie’s pampering tone is making Huang Howan’s skin crawl.
XiXi laughs, “No..haha..you are too good to me” She hugs him spontaneously. Maybe some fresh faces will brighten up my residence, both Yang Chang and Lan An made a favorable impression on her when she was cooking.
He rests his chin on top of her head, he is wondering how he is going to place those two servants at Yun Tai’s, why do plans always have glitches!
“Huang Howan, go find Yang Chang and Lan An to come to the Weeping Willow Courtyard.. Huang Hua get Gu Ning to help you in the Starfire room.”
Huang Hua bows, waits for Huang Howan who is still staring at Xiaolian and Wang Li Jie. “Come daughter!”
“Yes mother”, she bows, “I was just admiring how beautiful Zhang Ziaolian looks in her floating cloud dress.”
“Thank you! If you like I can leave for you!”
“No need..” She stiffly bows again and haughtily strolls out the door. I have closets of dresses much better quality than that rag.
Huang Hua resists the urge to slap this ungrateful girl as they move down the hallway, can’t she see His Highness treasures that girl! “You better change your attitude if you want to keep your head. That girl will be the Empress of Mystical Lotus Star Kingdom!”
“What are we going to do about Gu Ning’s disappearance? There aren’t that many servant girls here, what if His Highness needs her for something?”
“It’s one night, don’t worry.”
Wang Li Jie takes Xiaolian’s hand, he is going to miss her when they need to part ways. They slowly walk out of the kitchen through the outer doors to The Weeping Willow Courtyard. He envelops her with warmth using his internal energy rather than retrieving a fur coat , he wants to feel her lithe body close to his for the time they have left together. He doesn’t have much longer to savor her unique beauty. Wang Li Jie is unable to take his eyes off her body imagining if they had continued in the Ice Flower Cave she would be his now.
Why did that bastard brother of mine have to return right now!
The Weeping Willow Courtyard is lit up with Night Pearls making the snowflake leaves on the ice trees glisten. There is a path of blue ice stones that leads to a small ice lake right beyond a jade covered gazebo. A full moon and a sky full of stars highlight the extraordinary beauty of the Courtyard and lake.
Xiaolian suddenly wants to tease Wang Li Jie. She wiggles her hand from his grip and runs across the snow. She turns and laughs “Li Jie how many girls have you brought here? This is very romantic!”
She bends over and makes a snowball and tosses it at him. Her aim is rather good and it hits him in the chest. His purple eyes have an unusual gleam he didn’t bother dodging the snowball. She is too cute right now running through the snow and playfully throwing the snow around.
“Girl what are you doing?” He is by her side in a flash and sweeps her up into his arms, ” Shall I melt the lake and toss you in?”
She has a frightened expression, “No..No..You wouldn’t!”
The ice covered lake thaws with a swirl of his hands, all the ice melts, the water becomes crystal blue shimmering water. He pretends to toss her into the lake.
She closes her eyes tight waiting to hit the water, but finds herself back hugged to his body after she flew up into the air.
He starts laughing when she pounds her tiny fists on his chest like a small bunny that wants to escape. “You..You..”
“Haha..I’m sorry I couldn’t resist.”
“Put me down!”
“ Let’s fly to the treetop.”
Without waiting for her answer he uses his qinggong to land on the top branch of a towering fir tree. He puts her on his lap and touches her windblown hair, it is so soft, then tucks it behind her ear.
“Wang Li Jie, it is almost as though I can reach up and grab a star.”
“Reach up and grab a star, I will hold you up.” He puts his hands around her tiny waist and lifts her into the air.
Xiaolian starts giggling, stretching her short slender arm up at a twinkling star directly above. Is it going to burn me? No Wang Li Jie would never hurt me. Her fingertips finally touch the tip of the star and it tumbles into her hand as he sets her down, it is icy cold and she begins to bauble it around in her palms She tosses the icy star to Wang Li Jie who is laughing at her hilarious antics, the branch is swaying while she is trying to stay balanced.
“I forgot to tell you these are ice stars that only hang in the sky above this Mystical Mountain. I will toss it back to you, quickly make a wish and fling it back into the sky. If the God of Moonlit Dreams catches it and it disappears your wish will come true! Are you ready?”
“Let me think of a wish!”
“You can’t wait too long if it melts you won’t have a dream for a year.”
“Hurry! Toss it back!”
She catches the sparkling frozen star from Wang Li Lie, immediately tosses it into the air, her beautiful blue eyes wide in anticipation.
In a brilliant flash of silver light it disappears. “Ahh..my wish will come true!” She throws her arms around Wang Li Jie’s neck lightly kisses his cheek.
“Haha..my wish just came true,” Wang Li Jie teases Xiaolian, “Give me your hands to warm them”
“Was that too cold for you?” He blows on her fingers. “ Silly girl, you were supposed to toss it as soon as you touched it!”
“Well, you forgot to tell me haha.”
Xiaolian sits on his lap snuggling into his warm strong chest on the highest branch of the fir tree. Both of them silently gazing at the sky, lost in their own thoughts and wishes.