Casual Conversation

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"What're you rooting for, Lord Chanshin?" I inquired.

He sucked a deep lung full of air, then flashed me one of his warm simpers. His expression was tame, and this was the most relaxed I have seen him since my arrival here at the palace. "Don't mind what I said. It was just a wishful thinking."

I loosened a breath. "Do all adults talk this way, my brother is always vague." But of course, each time Yuanji said something, he held a few information back. That's just the way he is, Yuanji always had an agenda beneath his sleeves that I found whatever he said less than trustworthy, especially after what happened.

Except he's my brother, and those agendas were always for my family's best interests. He is to be the future lord of the house of Yi that it only made sense for him to be cunning.

Prince Wang Jian was the same way, but I don't really expect much from him. He seemed so reclusive, cold, and it'll be hard for me to get know him.

I'm suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to leave the palace. I don't know how long I can tolerate staying here.

Lord Chua Chanshin chuckled, "you make me sound like I'm an old man. I'm barely passed my mid-twenties."

"I meant no offense." I said, "Jingam was around your age."

"Who's Jingam?" He asked curiously.

"The lord I was supposed to marry," I replied.

"Oh, the poor headless man?" He muttered carelessly.

I scowled at him, aghast. "He was to be my husband!"

"Did you love him?"

My face slackened, my thoughts went bland asking myself the same question. The truth was, I never truly cared for him romantically, it was all platonic. I thought I could love him eventually just like mother and father did with each other. "Why do you ask?"

He shrugged. "I'm taking notes."

"Of what?"

He laughed, and I never knew such a man so skilled at killing humans and demons to be so carefree. Is this what women saw in him? "You are too innocent, He Lian. And that's a good thing. I'm glad I found and rescued you at the market."

"You planning on something I don't know about, Lord Chanshin?" I contested.

"Nope, not really. I do have something in mind though." He admitted.

I found my curiosity rattled but he already knew that that's why he eagerly jumped up to his feet and held his hand out for me to grab. "Come little lady from the house of Yi, let's go back inside the palace, the prince is waiting for me."

"What's that got to do with me?" I held on to my hand unwilling to let him have it.

"I've been tasked to be your personal bodyguard while you're here. Where you go, I must go."

"What if I want to stay here?!" I retorted.

"I'm also the prince's personal guard. This was commanded by his father, his highness himself. So, that means, I must be by his side at all times as well."

"You can't be at two places at once, how are you going to fix that?"

"Easy, I will drag you with me every time."

I snorted. "He doesn't need you by his side, the prince is scary enough by himself."

"Do you find the prince scary?"

I hesitated. "I-I do."

"Then, it'll do you well to get to know him."

"I don't really want to."

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