In the balcony of the visitor's courtyard, Lin Xulian is sitting eyes closed and crossed legged while circulating her internal energy throughout her body. After completing a series of cycle, she opened her eyes and sighed heavily. It's been more than a week since Xing Guang treated the Gu inside her body but her strength still hasn't returned. 'I acquired greater damage than I anticipated.' She thought.
Lin Xulian is starting to get impatient. After learning about her real enemy and the involvement of the Gu poison in all these mess, she cannot stop but worry about the Gonglu country's palace especially her friends and self-claimed siblings. This includes Feng Jun Yi despite the pain and rejection she felt from him. After all, he was still a good husband and friend to her since the beginning.
She wanted to get herself treated fast because the longer she waits, the greater the damage they could bring towards the country. There is also a possibility that Xing Baihe already had other victims. It's either her friends or worst the emperor. If that's the case, then the empire is already at risk. But right now, she has another matter to deal with first. And that is how to tell her big brother Rui about her solo journey.
Right at that moment, Rui went out of his own chamber and saw Lin Xulian in the balcony. He immediately approached her seeing that she is done meditating. "Lian'er, how are you feeling?"
Lin Xulian whip her head towards Rui's direction and thought she should tell him now even though her body is not fully prepared yet. At least she could start convincing him from this day onwards. "Much better. Big brother, I have something to tell you."
She managed to catch Rui's attention and curiosity. "Go ahead. What it is?"
"You see; the eldest prince wasn't able to completely cure me. My only hope is to find the Gu clan and use his name to ask for help. But the thing is, I have to do it alone. It means from now on, I have to continue this journey by myself." Lin Xulian said cautiously while gauging her brother's reaction.
Alarmed and reluctant, Rui's expression changed. "You know I wouldn't allow it right? Not just me, even father, mother and big brother Huang would never agree to that arrangement. It's too dangerous for you." Aside from that, Rui would not agree because it means that he won't have the chance to develop their relationship.
"I know, but I have no choice. It's the condition I need to comply to be completely cured. Also I won't go until I'm able enough anyway. Big brother I need this." Lin Xulian pleadingly said.
"Tell me why then I'll think about it." Rui said but he knows he doesn't really need to think further; the answer is still no. He cannot let her go and face dangers alone. And also because of a personal reason.
"All I can say is that I'm going to the place where we originally planned to." Lin Xulian said in a low voice, just enough for Rui to hear. "Things are complicated and there are other enemy's we don't know. We cannot let our guard down. I cannot completely divulge every detail because of some circumstances. All I ask is for you to trust me brother."
Sensing her seriousness, Rui didn't falter. Instead, his unwillingness intensified. "Knowing that there are more unknown dangers lurking, the more reason I cannot let you go alone."
"But brother...can you at least think about it? Trust me, if I could I would choose to go with you. But there are things to consider." Lin Xulian compromised.
"I'll think about it. But I doubt I would change my mind." Rui then left Lin Xulian alone. He knows he is being close minded. Although he is worried, he trusts Lin Xulian and is confident that she can protect herself once her body fully recovers. He also understands that there are things that she cannot reveal even to him. But he is thinking about his chance to develop their relationship that he cannot bear to slip by. And he knows he is being selfish.
****** In the training grounds inside the eldest prince's manor, Xing Tanxing is having her regular morning exercise with a spear. She is wearing a plain dark blue male training robes. No one can argue that her skill, if not on par, it's even better than most of the guards inside the manor. The men who trains along with her cannot stop but take a peek at their beautiful and valiant princess. But all of them cannot help but shake their heads with their thoughts. 'It's a pity she prefers women.'
After aimlessly wandering and mulling about the conversation he had with Lin Xulian, Rui unknowingly reached the training ground. Suddenly his attention was caught by a woman in male robes who looks enthralling while displaying her skills with the spear. She looked like she is dancing with the spear as her partner.
"Do you think her highness have a special relationship with one of those visitors?" Rui overheard one of the guards resting by the side of the training grounds.
"But they are men. Everyone knows that her highness prefers women so that's unlikely." Replied the other.
"That's true but the little one is somewhat special. He looked like a girl with a girlish stature. The princess even came with him inside the carriage when they arrived. And I also heard from the servants that she enters his private chambers every night. Sometimes they can even hear her laughing and giggling." The first guard said in a low voice.
"For real?! Does that mean the princess also considers men that looks like a girl? That make sense though."
'She likes women. And she knows Lian'er is a woman. Does that mean she is a love rival?!' Rui thought in alarm.