He had been too careless. How could he have such idiotic and absurd thoughts in spite of everything?
When Wei Luo had whispered into his ears "because you like me", he had lost his ability to think rationally. From last night to today, her sweet smile had lingered in his memory. This had been the first time that she smiled at him, but she had wanted to use her hairpin to kill him. The sharp blade had pierced his chest. He was filled with hate for her, but in the end, he still let her go.
Li Song tightly held the wooden armrest. The blue veins on the back of his hand were bursting out and he almost broke the wood into pieces.
He had repeatedly been absent-minded during this conversation. Even Elder Princess Gao Yang had seen that his behavior was unusual. After calling his name a few times, she asked, "Song-er, what are you thinking about? I asked you how did you get injured. Why won't you answer me?"
Li Song's injury was on his chest. As long as it was bandaged, no one would be able to tell how he was injured or how badly he was injured. He quietly said, "I was injured by an animal during the hunting competition. It's only a small injury. Don't be worried, mother.”
Elder Princess Gao Yang looked at him skeptically and worriedly asked, "Is it really not serious? Your face doesn't look good."
He shook head and said it wasn't serious. Taking advantage of the fact that they weren't too suspicious yet, he endured the pain, and changed the topic, "Where's Xiang-er? Why isn’t she here to see me?”
Elder Princess Gao Yang said, "She shut herself in her room since she returned from Xun Mountain. I knocked on her door several times, but she still won't come out." Her eyebrows furrowed in the end as she said in displeasure, "I don't know what that girl is thinking.
What could she be thinking? It could only be that she had injured a person, felt guilty, but was worried that her parents would punish her, and was afraid to see anyone.
Li Song had always loved Li Xiang dearly and couldn't bear to see her suffer the slightest grievance. However, he thought that she had gone too far this time. Because her family had always spoiled her, she had grown up to have an arrogant and unruly temperament. Even if Wei Luo had framed her, she still shouldn't have tried to kill Wei Chang Hong.
Li Song thought for a moment before telling the past two days of events to Prince Ru Yang (Li Zhi Liang) and Elder Princess Gao Yang (Zhao Xuan). His voice was mild as he spoke, but Li Zhi Liang and Zhao Xuan's eyes became wider and wider. In the end, she asked in an incredulous tone, ".... House Wei’s sixth young master's injury was caused by Xiang-er?"
Li Song nodded.
Elder Princess Gao Yang was utterly shocked. If she hadn't heard this from Li Song, she wouldn't have believed this no matter what. Her daughter that she had raised in the palm of her hand was usually pure and cute. How could she do such a vicious thing? She murmured, "How could Xiang-er do such a thing? She... She…"
Elder Princess Gao Yang kept saying "She..." for a long time, but in the end, she couldn’t finish her sentence.
Fortunately, Li Zhi Liang's mind was clear. He held his wife that was on the verge of collapsing and said to the servant girl outside, "Ask Miss to come here!"
Soon after, Li Xiang appeared in front of the door. She was wearing a white silk top and an olive green crepe skirt. For the most part, Li Xiang had already guessed the reason she was told to come here. There wasn't the slightest amount of fear or guilt on her face. Instead, there was only a smile. She arrived in front of Elder Princess Gao Yang and asked a question while already knowing the answer, "Mother, why did call me here? I already said I wasn't feeling well."
Elder Princess Gao Yang settled her mind. She sat in her beech chair and tried to calmly ask, "Xiang-er, tell me the truth. Did you have something to do with Wei Chang Hong's injury?"
The smile on Li Xiang's face froze. She immediately looked at Li Song, "Did older brother tell you?"
Elder Princess Gao Yang's voice became stricter, "Just tell me yes or no!"
Contrary to expectations, Li Xiang was very candid. Her eyebrows were raised and with a demeanor of willing to accept the consequences of her actions, she said, "I was the one who shot him. Does it matter?"
Li Xiang had injured someone. Instead of having a regretful heart, she acted as if what she had done was right. Her action made Elder Princess Gao Yang feel angry and disappointed, "How could you..." As she said these words, she felt her vision go black. She had to calm down for a long time before she recovered her senses. She had heard about Li Xiang and Wei Luo's dispute. The matter wasn't too big or too small. At most, their families wouldn't be joined together by marriage. But now the matter was completely different. Li Xiang had injured Chang Hong. Not only had they offended House Wei, if the matter became public, this would greatly damage Li Xiang's reputation and would make it difficult for her to get married! How could this child be so foolish?
Seeing that Zhao Xuan's face didn't look right, Li Xiang immediately went forward to support her, considerately poured her a cup of tea, and brought the tea to her. "Mother, don't be angry. I heard people say that Wei Chang Hong is okay now. He was only injured a little bit. Who doesn't get hurt during hunting?" After saying this, she looked at Li Song, "Besides, older brother will take responsibility for me. What do I have to worry about?"
Li Song didn't reply and turned his face away from her.
Li Xiang didn't think further of his action. She continued saying words to coax Elder Princess Gao Yang. She was born with a clever mouth. As long as she wanted, she would be able to put someone at ease. In addition, Zhao Xuan had always loved her dearly. Even if Zhao Xuan was angry, she wouldn't give Li Xiang to House Wei to punish. As she placated Zhao Xuang, she logically explained her reasoning, "I didn't like Wei Chang Hong to begin with. It's daddy and mommy that insisted on matching us together. The relationship between our two families isn't good and Wei Luo is sinister and cunning. If I marry into their family, wouldn’t I only be waiting to be suffer grievances? Is daddy and mommy willing for me to be bullied by their family every day? Isn't the current situation better now? This marriage doesn’t need to happen anymore..."
Although Wei Chang Hong was older than her by a year, she considered him beneath her notice.
She liked valiant Liang Yu instead of a wimpy kid that followed his older sister every day. Wei Chang Hong's eyes only had his older sister. The woman that married him would have to compete with this sister-in-law for his affection. That would truly be a lifetime of bad luck.
Elder Princess Gao Yang pointed at her, "So you injured him because of this? How do you want other people to describe you? Shrewish and malicious? Or cruel and brutal? Do you still want your reputation?"
Li Xiang acted spoiled by lying down and rubbing against her leg. "Mommy, I know I was wrong... It's Wei Luo's fault for scheming against me. I only did it because I was too angry at the time, so I didn't control myself." In the end, she didn't dare to say how Wei Luo had schemed against her and could only ambiguously conceal it. "Besides, I have older brother. Older brother, how did you resolve the matter?”
Li Song didn't answer her. The injury in his chest was too deep. Yesterday, he had only wrapped up the injury with bandages on Xun Mountain. Now, the injury ached terribly. He clenched his fist, held in his pain, and said, "I'm tired. I'm leaving first to go to my room to rest for a bit."
After he said, he didn't wait for their response. He turned around and left.
Li Xiang froze for a moment. She thought that he was only in a bad mood. She caught up with him and called out, "Older brother!"
Li Song didn't stop his steps. Every step was extremely slow.
Li Xiang finally caught up to him at a vermillion-lacquered verandah. She walked in front of him and anxiously asked, "Older brother, are you mad at me..."
Before she finished her words, she saw blood coming out of his chest. She froze for a moment. Her eyes opened wider as she asked, "You're injured? When did you get injured? Weren't you still fine when the hunting competition ended..." She suddenly thought of something. She angrily looked up and asked, "Was it Wei Chang Hong? Or was it Wei Luo? Did they do this?"
Li Song only felt distraught with anxiety. He had a headache on top of his injury aching, so his face didn't look good. His tone was harsh as he said, "Li Xiang, I shouldered the blame for your actions yesterday. If you continue to be so willful in the future, I won't help you next time." He clutched his chest, pushed away Li Xiang, and hoarsely said, "During this time, obediently stay at home. Don't show your face in public until people stop discussing this matter."
Li Xiang stood in place and watched his back as he walked further away. Unable to restrain her emotions, she gritted her teeth. Who knew if she had listened to him words and whether or not she would follow them?
Elder Princess Gao Yang loved her daughter too much and also hearing that Li Xiang knew that she was wrong, so she couldn't bear to punish Li Xiang harshly. In the end, she only punished Li Xiang with kneeling in front of Buddha for six hours and copying scriptures a hundred times before counting the matter as settled. As for the marriage with House Wei, it definitely wouldn’t be able to happen. Not only would the marriage not happen, she was afraid that their resentment would be difficult to resolve.
(T/N:Li Xiang is extremely hateful and she should be punished for her actions. But, I agree about her assessment of Chang Hong. I wouldn’t want marry a person whose only interest is obsessing and fawning over his older sister, especially in a time period when women didn't have many rights. Imagine being married to a man that’s sole focus in life is following his older sister. Chang Hong is only 13 years old now, so I hope he grows out of this phase later in the story.)