The Young Miss of House of Yi

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The next time Yuanji was summoned into Lord Changi's estate, my brother came up with a reason to drag me along, and it was a reason that my parents would favor.

He wanted to show me off to Jingam, the son of Lord Changi. Jingam is the same age as Yuangi, eighteen. At eighteen, there's plenty of age gap between us, and I doubt that I could make an eighteen-year-old guy attracted to a twelve-year-old girl, no matter how pretty, graceful, talented they led me to believe I am.

"But I thought men your age likes older women?" I told Yuanji as I walked behind him to the carriage waiting for us in the courtyard.

The servants readied the luggage for our trip. It's a trip that's supposed to last an entire week, but the piles of bags looked like we're moving in permanently. We packed a lot, Yuanji ordered the servants to pack all my nicest gowns and shoes with mother and father's permission.

Our parents said yes immediately. Yuanji had always been the pride of the Yi family, and they're even prouder that Yuanji planned on convincing the Lord of the Chanji clan to reconsider the union between Changi and Yi instead of the imperial family.

I think my parents are dreaming and Yuanji is way over his head. Nothing he could say is going to change a mind of an ambitious man. Lord Changi secured a royal match for his son, and it would be stupid to back away from that. 

"Where do you even hear things like that?" Yuanji murmured. "You've been spying around the servant's conversations again, He Lian? You know, you're not supposed to do that."

I hurried behind him, Yuanji's long strides are equivalent to many of mine. "I haven't had anyone to talk to ever since elder sister left. I get bored sometimes."

He exhaled and looked down at me. "Don't mother keep you busy with tutors, and dance instructors?"

"Yes, but I already know everything I'm supposed to know."

"Do you, now?" He said amused.

"Yup! Nothing more they could teach me I don't already know."

A servant opened the door to the carriage for us while Yuanji helped me up. I wore layers of fur and coat during this chilly winter season, and it's hard for me to move with all this extra weight on me.

"So, I could expect you to impress Jingam with your intricate knowledge and many skills when I finally introduce you to him, then?" Yuanji dropped his eyes and gave me serious look.

My mouth dropped suddenly, overwhelmed with anxiety. I wouldn't know the first thing about speaking to a man, much less having a smart conversation with an adult man. Yuanji never spoke how Jingam looked like before, but now I'm nervous. What if he's handsome? What if he's immaculately handsome? And what if he left me speechless?  

I imagined his face and blushed.

"Well?" Yuanji stirred me away from my trance.

I blinked away my daydream. "I feel like a merchandise!"

"What're you talking about?" His thick set of eyebrows furrowed, Yuanji spoke to me confused.

"You're only taking me with you so you can sell me. I'm telling you right now, that Lordling Jingam is already sold!... And to an imperial princess at that!"

He grinned. "Trust me, He Lian. I know what I'm doing and you're going to thank me later when I convince him to marry you instead."

"But that's only if you change his father's mind."

"Or Jingam's mind." He shrugged. "I'm sure he can reason with his father. "He's the only son, I'm sure Lord Changi is also concerned about his son's happiness."

"We're talking about the same Lord Changi, right? The one who already turned down mother and father's proposal?"

Yuanji put his hand on his face and dragged it down, he could already tell it's going to be a long ride with me with him. The stress on his face showed and we haven't even left the courtyard yet. "Do me a favor, He Lian."

"Yeah?"

"Be quiet for a little while." He closed his eyes and leaned his head on the side while I turned my attention to the view outside as the carriage began to roll out of our courtyard.

" He closed his eyes and leaned his head on the side while I turned my attention to the view outside as the carriage began to roll out of our courtyard

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It was a very long two days ride and by the time we arrived at Changi's manor, my little body felt like it's been beaten up. I was sore and aching from my stiff muscles stuck on that carriage for two days. My head pounded, I was cold and thirsty and in terrible need to pee. I haven't traveled this long in a while. The last time I did was the oldest sister's wedding to prince Wang Jian in the south, but that was worth it because they made me feel like a real princess. At least while it lasted.

The carriage halted as we entered the gated manor of The House of Changi. Guards guided the carriage while servants waited in line outside.

The door opened, and a woman's face peeked in the crack, she must be one of the maidservants. "Good afternoon, lord Yuanji. How was your trip?" She asked politely.

Yuanji stepped out of the carriage, couldn't wait to stretch his stiff muscles. He elongated his arms and back, then regarded the maidservant with a smile. "It was a good trip. Long but it's good."

"Yes, we were informed of your coming by Lord Changi." Said the woman.

"Ah yes, where is he? For I must report to him immediately."

"He's in his studies, young lord." The woman answered and I was astonished at the manners they're treating my brother at this manner. It's as if this is his own home and he's the future lord of this clan.

"He Lian," Yuanji called.

My head poked out slowly, scanning the scenery around me. The manor was designed to withstand harsher weather than ours, it was bigger and yet darker. I looked at each of the servants and familiarized myself with their faces until my eyes landed on the same maidservant. 

She watched me, her brown eyes widened with surprise. Based on the maidservant's expression, she had not expected Yuanji's little sister joining his journey. "You brought the young miss with you, master."

"Yes." Yuanji gestured for me to step out and I did so at his command, taking the space by his side. He placed his hand on my shoulder and smiled. "This is my little sister, He Lian. The flower of the house of Yi. I took her with me so she wouldn't get lonely. As you know, the rest of my sibling had already left the manor and it is just me and He Lian that's left." Yuanji explained. 

"Yes, master." The maidservant nodded. "I shall prepare a nice hot bath and a meal for the young miss."

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