Trap and Kill
“Was that really wise?” Angelina asked.
Veirya, holding onto a parchment, was unable to shake of the puzzling feeling. Brows contracted, she questioned, “She. Didn’t lie to me? Why. Is this parchment. Three thousand gold coins?”
“I guess it’s a trading method? Think about it: Dongqing doesn’t come back with much cash on him ever. He keeps a parchment on him when he works,” simplified Angelina, arms crossed. “What I want to ask is, Veirya, do you really think it was wise to do that? I’m certain Lin Dongqing can resolve the issue. That thing must be important to you, though, right? Are you just going to sell it off? And it’s three thousand gold coins…”
“It’s fine. He is. More important than it is. I want to. Be together with him. So it doesn’t matter. If I sell my medal. It was. From Her Majesty.”
The lady-in-waiting didn’t insist after her offer was rejected. She, instead, asked if Veirya like to sell her medal. Veirya’s medal was her most treasured possession because it was what she received in exchange for her past. She suffered wounds for the medal, and it was also a representation of her efforts with Lucia and others. It, therefore, represented her friendships and valiant courage. Though she never had anything she particularly cared about, the medal was something she’d rather give her life up for than abandon.
As soon as she heard her house and the North would be auctioned, Veirya sold her most treasured item, a medal that represented her past and glory, without a batting an eye. She threw away her greatest sense of honour and glorious past without any hesitation for she had found something she cherished more.
“Don’t be so hasty to leave, my Dongqing. I have already prepared for so long. Could you really heartlessly abandon me a second time?” Sisi shouted from behind, refusing to let me go.
Sisi’s heterochromia eyes were wet with tears. Her pink lips gently quavered. She fought to stop herself from crying. As with last time, I was going to leave her again. Last time, I promised to stay by her side but then left and abandoned her.
“I can’t love you, Sisi.” I stabbed my nails into my palm and took in a breath of air. Voice soft, I explained, “Veirya has occupied my heart for too long. She’s always the only one on my mind. I can’t squeeze another person in. I only want to be together with Veirya. If loved you first, I’d stay, but I love Veirya now.”
“Why, though, can’t I look at Sisi?” I asked myself as I verbalised my response and averted my line of sight.
Nothing could be seen outside. Nothing could be heard. It was as though Sisi and I were the only ones left in the world.
Sisi sobbed, “Please, Dongqing. Don’t just abandon me. I’m begging you. Can you leave me with a decent memory? Can you let me dream again? Please, Dongqing, please. Can you let me have a dream?”
I didn’t know if Sisi was asking for a hug or what. Nevertheless, my feet began to take me to her. I had abandoned her once; I didn’t want to abandon her a second time. I didn’t want to see her broken-hearted expression a second time. I couldn’t provide her with a perfect future. Still, I could give her a dream.
I pulled Sisi into my arms. She fastened her arms around my waist and leaned no my chest. She administrated the entire empire, controlled all of the empire’s vassals and won battle after battle on the frontlines. At the end of the day, nevertheless, she was still a twenty year old girl who craved love, was sensitive, weak and hoped to have an embrace. She happened to believe I should be the one to offer my embrace.
“Dongqing, dance a dance with me,” requested Sisi from my dreams, raising her head off my chest. “At an imperial family member’s wedding ceremony, we must have the imperial family members dance with their lover. I know that my wedding with you is unlikely to proceed now. However, my heart and memory still wants to dance the dance, at the very least. Dongqng, dance with me. Nobody will see or know. Just the two of us. Our two-person wedding. After this, I won’t get involved with what you want to do. You aren’t a bird that I can trap in a cage. Every time you spread your wings, you shine the light of freedom.”
I lightly took a step back and took Sisi’s hand. I knew I was bad at dancing, and she clearly knew. What we did didn’t qualify as a dance for there was no music, audience or prepared dance steps. We slowly spun circles on the slippery floor, and that was it. It wasn’t a wedding ceremony or dance. It was just Sisi’s dream as a young girl.
I didn’t think Sisi still had any designs judging from innocence she radiate. She wasn’t a Queen in the moment but a girl who loved to dream. After that dance, I knew that Sisi and I would no longer have any implicating connections. I would return to my North and propose to Veirya.
I had to say the words no matter what. I wanted to marry Veirya, have our own house, children and lead a peaceful life together. I wasn’t going to get into such a situation again. I swore to not ruin our life again. I promised myself to never be so arrogant again.
“Dongqing, you know…” In a tender voice and with a smile, Sisi asserted, “Do you know who I am? I am the Queen of this empire. The entire empire is under my rule. So, you know that they’re all my vassals. The entire imperial palace is mine. The entire imperial city is mine. The entire empire is mine.”
I tilted my head, wondering, “What meaning lies behind her words? I know that Sisi is an expert actress, but is she acting now, as well? I can’t tell. Is she still acting by any chance?”
“Therefore, Dongqing, you’ve always overlooked one thing. The North was never yours or Veirya’s but mine.”
Sisi got out of my arms. She pranced along the smooth marble floor, a bright smile blooming on her face. She smugly whipped her pretty dress then extended forth her hand, yet stepped back. Joyous, she jeered, “So, it’s easy for me to auction my land. As long as they have my written decree and stamp, they have everything they need to proceed. You would know that a fast messenger can deliver my will to the North within a day and a half. I also told the merchants that I was auctioning the North in the command I wrote. So, what are you going to do?”
I quickly snapped out of my shocked reaction and showed a clean pair of heels, yelling in my mind, “What am I doing?! What am I doing?! Why don’t I learn Sisi’s character?! I’ve been fooled again! She’s not someone who easily quits! Everything she did was to stall! She’s stronger than I think by far! She won’t ever give up! I have to get back now! I have to run back now! I’ve only repaid my debt, though! I still don’t have money! The merchants have to start over from scratch but so do I!
“Those merchants would sell their damn pots just to get revenge on me. They’ll take the North even if it’s just desolate land, torment my family and leave me homeless! What do I do?! If they’ve already set out, what do I do?!”
“Go on, Dongqing,” remarked Sisi, watching on as she chuckled eerily. “Let me see what your love for Veirya is. They say that love can pass through life and death and time. Now then, show me that it’s true.”
I rushed out the main hall and the palace doors.
I thought, “I still have a chance! I still have a chance! Achilles avoided losses thanks to my letter, so he’ll lend me money. I can make it all back if I have ten thousand. The rest of them couldn’t possibly spend ten thousand to compete with me. We’re now all trapped beasts! This is going to be about who bleeds out first!”
Someone crashed into me as I turned the corner. Before I could apologise, I was floored. I fell on my back on the street of the imperial capital after I felt a sensation akin to someone viciously punching me in the gut. I tried to sit up. Alas, my core wouldn’t support me. It felt as though it was being torn. I struggled to stand up, only to discover I was spurting blood from my gut.
I tried to get up and run; however, I took another bullet to my back. The imperial capital’s denizens probably heard my harrowing scream, but nobody came to help.
The individual with the gun threw the handgun to the side and skedaddled. The imperial palace’s guards dumped me in a secluded corner.
“They say that love can pass through life and death and time. Now then, show me that it’s true. If I can’t have him, let him die in the cage, then,” Sisi inwardly opined.
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