The Distant Prince

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I came back to consciousness with a quilted blanket spread across my legs, feeling the dampness in between and around the back of my legs. I smelled urine and I remembered pissing myself out of terror before I passed out.

Instantly embarrassed, my cheeks heated as I tried moving about quietly, hoping the prince would not notice.

"Your sister left a few minutes ago. I gave her consent to come to see you anytime she wished without my permission." Murmured the prince as soon as he sensed my movement. "She might visit you in your chamber in the middle of the night, or anywhere in the palace where it is dark."

I held still, my fists clamped on the quilted blanked tightly. "That's not my sister. That thing...that creature is something else. She may look like my sister, but that's not my sister." My voice was a low groan. I dare not look at him. Anger, denial, and betrayal resonated in my voice.

"Ying Yue cares for you or else she wouldn't have bothered. Please don't speak so hastily of your sister. The only thing that changed about her is her appearance. She's still the same sweet and tender sister you grew up knowing."

"No, my sister is human. That thing is a demon." I shot the prince an accusing glare. When he told me her story must be told in episodes, I hardly expected to see my sister turned into a demon. "What happened?!"

His jaws tightened and every muscle in his body tensed, I saw the hesitation, the guilt in him even when he chose not to speak of it. "That's merely the consequence of living in the underworld."

"What?!... What're you talking about? How can a living mortal even survive in the underworld?"

"Ying Yue share the soul of her lover." He answered.

I knew there's a lot I don't know, and this world seemed new to me. People talked words of folly about the southern kingdom of Wang but I never understood the reality of it until I saw my own sister.

The prince let out a long exhale. "You should take a bath, He Lian. You can't let yourself soak in your own piss for a long time."

I turned red, I had forgotten about the dampness in my dress, and the dried pee on my legs. I stood up - disoriented for a moment until prince Wang Jian called for a servant waiting from the other side of the door.

A girl skittered quickly inside.

"Help lady He Lian to a nice bath." Ordered the prince.

"Yes, my prince." Squeaked the young maidservant nervously and went on her way to me. She bowed her head and gestured her hand, "this way mistress." 

I thought I heard laughter when I walked out of the courtyard

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I thought I heard laughter when I walked out of the courtyard. New clothes and freshly out of the bath, I smelled of fragrant oil and flowers. I searched for the rude laughter, gliding my eyes upon the yard when they landed on lord Chua Chanshin. He laid sprawled on the grass, so casually that I hardly noticed him on the ground.

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