It's been almost a month since Rui left the palace for a mission from the mercenary. He also spent some time in the An Valley to oversee the situation in the Jianghu. After Gong Weixie died, Rui participated in the competition for the position of the next Lord of the Jianghu. And as expected, he overpowered all his competitors easily.
But despite of the important role he is playing in the Jianghu, he still chose to stay in the Gonglu country and guard his beloved Lin Xulian. Although she doesn't really need one. What he's after is actually to make sure that no other men can approach Lin Xulian. Feng Jun Yi is an exception since he is legally her husband.
Although Lin Xulian is already married, Rui never lost hope because he knows that Lin Xulian doesn't love Feng Jun Yi. In fact, she doesn't even see him as a man. This gave him a sliver of hope that one day Lin Xulian will regain her freedom and he can openly express his love for her. He would even ask his father to denounce the position as his adopted son. He is willing to be known as an orphan as long as he can be with Lin Xulian.
The moment he arrived at the Phoenx Palace, he felt an ominous feeling. For some reason he felt a painful tug in his heart after seeing Feng Jun Yi leaving the palace with a tired look. He looked like he didn't have enough sleep. This is not the first time that he saw Feng Jun Yi leaving the Phoenix Palace this early in the morning.
He also knows that the two of them sleeps on the same bed every time the emperor stays at the Phoenix Palace. This didn't sit well with him and he clearly expressed his disapproval to Lin Xulian. But she managed to convince him to agree after reassuring him for the nth time that nothing will happen to her. And they would only sleep in the same room to show that the two of them are in good terms in front of the servants and palace officials.
But this time it looks like something is different. Especially after seeing how the servants looked at Feng Jun Yi's departing back and are secretly gossiping. They had no idea that Rui can actually hear them even from a distance.
"I think they did it again." Said one of the two servants.
"They definitely did. See how tired the emperor look?"
"They've been doing it quite a lot lately. The emperor also stayed here in the Phoenix Palace more often than he did all those four years."
"I think they are working harder this time so that the first prince and heir would be mothered by her majesty, the empress. You see, a princess will marry the emperor in more than a month from now. From an enemy country to boot. It would be a problem if she will be the mother of the future crowned prince."
"That made sense. No wonder even the emperor is risking his health."
"I think another reason is the emperor is enjoying the deed too much and would only feel the fatigue the next day." The second servant said with a giggle.
"Or maybe the empress is the one enjoying it and would always ask for another round." With this the two servants giggled like teenagers.
Meanwhile, after Rui heard their chatter, he felt his world crumbling. 'They did what? What do they mean? And what's with the heir and crowned prince? This is impossible!' Rui became angry that he could almost release a visible dark aura. His whole body is releasing a menacing killing intent.
The two servant felt chills on their back and they simultaneously look behind. Their eyes widen seeing Rui with a dark expression and they started to feel scared.
"The overprotective brother is back!" The first servant said in an alarmed whisper.
"Did he heard us? He looks so angry." The second servant whispered back.
"Who knows. He is still so far though. I think he didn't."
"Are you stupid? That man has a great martial art! They can hear even from miles away!"
"Seriously?! Then what should we do?"
"Of course we should run!"
"But he is still the empress's brother. Shouldn't we have to greet him?"
"Go ahead if you want to die." Then the servant left as soon as possible. The other servant also followed seeing how angry Rui is. She can't believe her eyes that the usually gentle looking Rui can look menacing when angry.
After the servants left, Rui stayed in place to calm himself down. 'I have to calm down. I should trust Lian'er. This is all a misunderstanding. Things can't change between her in Feng Jun Yi in just a mere month, could they?' Thinking up to this point, Rui couldn't stop the ache in his heart. But he still remained optimistic and shook his head. 'No, no. I shouldn't jump to conclusion. I have to look for Lian'er and confirm it myself.'
Rui immediately went to Lin Xulian's clinic but she wasn't there. He finds it unusual because she would usually be in her clinic early in the morning being an obsessed apothecary. He was about to leave when he saw Lin Xulian entering the clinic while still yawning and with slacked shoulders.
Seeing this, Rui's mind immediately replayed what the servants said earlier. (They definitely did. See how tired the emperor look?). 'Even Lian'er looks tired. Don't tell me they really…?' Rui thought.
"L-Lian'er? You look so tired. What happened?" He asked nervously.
"Big brother Rui?!" Lin Xulian got startled after hearing Rui's voice. She wasn't expecting him to come this early in the morning. "N-nothing. I just slept late last night." Lin Xulian said with a blush.
Seeing her flustered reaction, Rui felt like his head exploded. His body slowly turn cold and numb.