Once Li Yun opened her eyes gently, she was stunned by the surrounding scenery.
There was a pavilion near the lake, which was decorated with red fencing and green plank, while the corridor leading to the pavilion was sinuous and exquisite. At the same time, the warm breeze was blowing those exuberant plants and blooming flowers. What a luxury and beautiful scene! In particular, those flowers that planted by the fence were of extremely rare and precious species, and those pairs of jade-like mandarin ducks and red-crowned cranes in the lake were even rarer as they almost became extinct in modern times. There were also other elaborate treasures, like the artificial hills, carved stones, and various works of art in the pavilion.
She couldn’t help but be stunned at the moment, thinking could there be any place like this in today’s age of chemical technology? Even the Suzhou gardens and those royal gardens in Beijing were not as good as this one.
When she was in a daze, there was a girl chattering indignantly by her ears.
“Miss, you should teach those arrogant women a lesson! Who are you? Now they actually dare to hit you in today’s gathering of appreciating poems regardless of Her Majesty. They are simply anarchic!”
“As your servant, may I have a word? Miss, you have indulged those women more than before. If you go on like this, His Highness will be seduced by those mean girls sooner or later!”
“Just now His Highness clearly saw that you were bullied, but he turned a blind eye and just left. It’s really annoying.”
“I think you should let His Highness be aware that you are the person he is going to marry. If you do not take action, everyone would dare to take advantage of you.”
“Miss, why don’t you speak for such a long time? Have you heard my words?”
The irritating sound ruined Li Yun’s mood enjoying the eye-catching scenery. She turned her head towards the direction of the voice, then saw a little girl dressed in a costume as a maid standing next to her.
The girl was about twelve or thirteen years old, moving a cattail leaf fan. Her eyes were obviously angry, and her tender face was full of sorrow. Noticing Li Yun’s being absent-minded, the girl was a bit amazed.
Li Yun looked at her unsatisfactorily, getting more absent-minded.
The girl was stunned for a moment. After a while, with tension and uncertainty, the girl asked, “Miss, are… are you not feeling well?”
Li Yun didn’t speak. Her misty eyes gradually got a focus. Suddenly, her eyes became bright and looked straight at the girl.
“Mi…” The girl trembled due to Li Yun’s gaze, and the hand waving the fan immediately stopped. She stepped back and squatted on the ground. Her knees touched the ground and slammed. Her voice quavered, “Miss, forgive me. I was too angry just now. I shouldn’t discuss His Highness.”
His Highness? Li Yun was confused. Were they acting? Who dares to tease her? She looked at the girl, pouting. The obsidian on the ground exuded black and clear light, which was very eye-catching under the sun. Her eyes fell on the blood of the girl’s forehead, and her mind changed rapidly.
But if they were acting, why were there no lights and staff? If they were acting, the girl who was bleeding was too hard-working. If she did not stanch the bleeding and wrap her bloody forehead, it would definitely get worse. Were there people who had to harm themselves in order to earn a living?
If they were not acting, then where was she?
“Miss, please forgive me this time! I’ll never say that again.” begged the girl, who started kowtowing again since Li Yun did not respond. Her forehead hit the obsidian and made a crisp sound. After only a few times, there was bright red blood stained the obsidian; black against red, making the obsidian glowing brighter than before.
Li Yun stared at the bright red blood on the obsidian, then her pupil constricted. Suddenly, she raised her head and looked up along the sunlight that shone on the ground. The glare of the noonday sun bathed the earth with dazzling sunlight, everything was tinted gold. Li Yun just took a look and then turned her sight back to the girl who was kowtowing constantly.
“Please, Miss…” The girl seemed not to feel the pain on her forehead but kept kowtowing and begging for mercy.
“You… stand up first,” said Li Yun. Her voice was dull but young, mixed with confusion. With only a few words, she found her voice sweet and melodious, and it would sound like a warbler if without that dullness. It was a strange voice which she was not familiar with. But when she looked herself over, she was stunned again.
She was also in an ancient silk dress. This lilac dress was made of silks and satins, embroidered with large crabapple flowers. The flowers and leaves were as vivid as the real ones but not complicatedly-fabricated. The stitchwork was subtle and the embroidery threads glowed, apparently, it was weaved by high-class embroiders. The dress reached down to her feet and was adorned with a gold border, which was weaved with real gold threads.
Looking away, she was sitting on a stone chair made of white jade, her hand leaning against the stone table made of the same material. Her hands were petite and white and so were her arms; around her wrist was a jade bangle, which was smooth and crystal clear and verdant light shone from it. It was obviously invaluable. The jade beads of chai (a type of hairpin in ancient China) and the pendant of golden buyao (a type of hairpin in ancient China; the pedant will shake or sway as the person who wears it takes steps, bu means steps, while yao means shaking or swaying) were hanging from her both sides, which were also delicate and valuable.
Seeing her clothing, Li Yun’s mind went blank again when she was just sober a little.
“Miss, have you forgiven me?” The girl suddenly raised her head and looked at Li Yun with surprise. But when she found Li Yun wasn’t looking at her, the surprised expression on her face was frozen. She lowered her head and said timidly in a low voice, “Unless you spare me, or I dare not get up.”
Hearing the words, Li Yun clenched her hands unconsciously and then looked up to the girl kneeling in front of her again.