31 Chapter 31 Preparing for the Wedding 1
One month before the wedding when Madame Lin arrived at the capital, Lin Xulian's torturous days started. She is literally sitting in pins and needles. Everyday, first thing in the morning, Xulian would be dragged by her mother out of bed towards the outer room to embroider her wedding veil. And what made everything worse is her Mei jiejie teaming up with her mother in making her a "proper lady". Their lessons will start from early in the morning up to later in the afternoon. If before she could use her pitiful puppy eyes to her Mei jiejie to be linient with her, with the presence of her mother this move wouldn't work. She even received a lot of beatings.
One morning while Xulian is embroidering her veil and being pricked by the needle for the nth time, a porcelain bottle suddenly appeared in front of her. When she followed the hand holding the bottle of medicine, she was greeted with Rui's warm and doting smile. "Miss Xulian, apply some medicine and take a rest for a bit."
"Thank you big brother Rui." Xulian took the medicine and applied it to her fingers. She first looked around to make sure her mother isn't around then put her needles and threads down.
"Miss Xulian, can I ask you something?" Xulian just nods towards him urging Rui to continue. "Are you going to be happy marrying Feng Jun Yi?"
"It's not really about being happy with the marriage, but I'm definitely happy about the herbs and other things he's giving me. One day I would travel the world healing people and providing medicine that could cure the most difficult to treat illnesses. Gathering as much knowledge and money as possible, these goals will be easier to achieve, don't you think so brother?" Xulian said with a sparkling determination and passion in her eyes.
"But don't you want love in marriage?" Rui paused for a bit but chose to continue asking the question he was most afraid to ask. "Or are you already inlove with the emperor?" after finishing his question, Rui held his breath and braced himself for her answer.
"Love is what mother and father have. Giving each other a doting smile, respecting and commiting to just each other. Feng Jun Yi and I doesn't have those. For me it's for the benefit of my future goal. I really don't know exactly why he wanted to marry me. Maybe for the mercenary or my medical skills, but I'll make sure he won't be able to abuse us. Besides, mother found love at 28. I am still 16. I still have a lot of time." Xulian said leisurely.
Even though Xulian reassured him, Rui is still skeptical. He is a man and for him Xulian is a perfect woman and it's impossible not to love her. He couldn't hell but see Feng Jun Yi as a threat. Realizing this, Rui decided to up his game and have some bit of courage. "Miss Xulian, can I ask you a favor?"
"What is it big brother?" Xulian said while massaging her aching wrist from embroidering.
"Can-can I also call you Lian'er?" Rui discovered that Feng Jun Yi calls her Lian'er. He can't let himself fall behind. Even though she said there is no love between them, he can't risk it even if it's just a simple endearment.
Xulian looked at Rui in confusion. She tilted her head then said. "The truth is, I'm actually confused why you keep calling me Miss Xulian, big brother."
Rui's face turned red like a tomato in embarrassment. He can't possibly say that he was too shy to call her intimately that's why he chose to call her the way others call her. He also refused to call her sister since he knew his heart wanted more. So he chose the most convincing explanation he could think of. "I really don't remember and just got used to it later on." He then smiled innocently at her.
Xulian just shrug her shoulders. "Ok, I would like it better actually. We are family after all." She then sweetly smiled at Rui. This smile made his heart momentarily stop then pound hard in his chest.
"Lian'er, just remember that big brother will always be beside you." Rui then bravely held Xulian's hand. He is so nervous about his bold action that his hands are trembling but he tried his best to control it.
"I know. Thank you big brother. I'll be counting on you until you find your own happiness then." Xulian freed her hand from Rui's grasp that made him disappointed. But he never expected that Xulian would suddenly approach and give him a hug. He felt like he's been struck by lightning. He turned rigid as stone and his face is so hot that he could tell that it is beet red.
While they are immersed in their hugs, Xulian and Rui heard someone coughed at the entrance. When they turn around, they saw Madame Lin and Yin Mei. Rui abruptly stood up and jumped a few meters away from Xulian seeing his foster mother. He felt like he was caught doing something naughty and became giddy.
"M-m-mother! That was…ummm…I'm just…ahh!…I need to go! I have to look for father and big brother! Yes! That's it! I'll see you around mother." Rui quickly run off. He looked like he's being chased. Although Madame Lin knows about his feelings towards Xulian, hugging her is still overboard. Even though saying that it was purely a brotherly hug in Xulian's part, but to him there is actual romantic feelings so he can't help but be embarrassed.
On the other hand, Yin Mei witnessed everything and couldn't help but be alarmed. She could clearly see that this big brother have romantic feelings towards their future empress. The servants in the manor only knew that Rui is Xulian and Huang's brother. But seeing the scene earlier, Yin Mei had a bad feeling and thought that things isn't that simple. 'I have to tell about this to his majesty. This brother is a possible threat to his majesty's marital life.'