Cheng Yujin raised her brows slightly, as if she had just heard a bad joke, “Right after the maid came reporting, Your Highness immediately returned. Do I still need to ask?”
Li Chengjing held back his anger and tried to be as calm as possible: “That maid leaked secret information without authorization and spread false news. She should be punished. Where is she?”
“Stop it.” Cheng Yujin finally couldn’t bear it anymore. She broke free from Li Chengjing’s hold, took a step back, raised her head, and stared into his eyes, “What does Your Highness want to do? If the maid is punished, who else would dare to pass any news to me after today?”
Li Chengjing was holding back his anger, “Her behavior is against the palace rules. Not only she leaked secret information, but she also provoked our relationship. If she is not punished severely, the discipline in the palace will crumble down.”
“Is her behavior against the rules of the palace, or is it against your rules?” Cheng Yujin suddenly raised her voice accusingly. She stared at Li Chengjing sharply; her eyes frosty, “In the past, the palace servants always told me about Your Highness’s itinerary, but you never said a word about it. Now that she secretly passed your intention of accepting a side consort to me, you finally broke in anger. What does Your Highness mean by this?”
Li Chengjing took a deep breath, stepped forward to hold her shoulders, and said, “I never have this kind of intention. When we first got engaged, you thought I had taken fancy to your beauty and wanted to take you as my concubine. Not long after we got married, in order to appease the Empress, you once had the intention of accepting women for me. And now, with only a few words from a servant, you suspect that I want to take a side consort? In your heart, you never trust me, don’t you?”
Cheng Yujin’s eyes suddenly glistened with tears. She turned her head sharply and shook Li Chengjing’s hand with all her strength, but she couldn’t break free no matter what. After struggling to no avail, she turned around and glared fiercely: “Let me go.”
Li Chengjing ignored Cheng Yujin’s plea and still stared straight into her eyes, as if wanting to pry open her heart, “Why don’t you answer my question? After two years of marriage, have you ever trusted me? Have you ever been moved?”
They had been married for two full years, during which they had never quarreled, not even having a cold war or disagreement. Others passed this an enviable story, praising the Crown Prince and Crown Princess for their gentleness, rationality, and love, having never quarreled with one another. However, when the fairy tale was finally shattered, this turned out to be their first and only quarrel since they married.
Cheng Yujin and Li Chengjing were both cautious and rational, and it was not in their nature to make loud noises over disagreements. But it didn’t mean there was no dissatisfaction between them, only that they both kept suppressing and repressing it, and once it broke out, the result was fatal.
Cheng Yujin was cold-hearted by nature, and self-interest always came first to her. At the beginning of their marriage, Li Chengjing thought it didn’t matter. He felt that it was enough as long as she was by his side. But it turned out that he, like another human, was selfish and greedy. His feelings for Cheng Yujin couldn’t be more clear, and in response, Cheng Yujin always gave him her utmost support and meticulous, gentle care. As a wife, Cheng Yujin was so perfect that Li Chengjing couldn’t help but wonder if she would still be such a perfect wife if her husband were not him. If the one she married was someone else, would she also treat the other man with the same gentleness and meticulous care as she did to him?
Li Chengjing tried to dismiss this thought, but once the idea formed, there was no way to make it never exist. It was very rare for him to be this confused. Li Chengjing kept telling himself to be content, that his current life was already very happy. He had Cheng Yujin and their children by his side, and his was such a harmonious and loving family that was the envy of everyone. This was perfect enough, so what more did he expect?
However, Cheng Yujin’s passive acceptance of side consort today finally ignited the suspicion Li Chengjing had long been suppressing deep within his heart. Cheng Yujin heard that he was about to take the daughter of General Dong as a side consort, yet she didn’t raise a single protest. For her, what exactly was he? They had been getting along day and night for two years, but had she ever put him in her heart?
The issue of side consort was just a small spark that ignited the fuse. The root of the dispute lay in their doubt about each other’s feelings. This was an extremely dangerous hidden danger, yet none of them ever brought this topic to light and instead continued getting along harmoniously with each other. In the past, there seemed to be no contradiction between them, until everything finally blew up today.
Hearing Li Chengjing’s accusation, tears welled up in Cheng Yujin’s eyes, “What do you mean? Why are you blaming me now?”
Seeing Cheng Yujin crying, Li Chengjing was startled and subconsciously loosened the strength in his hands. But Cheng Yujin didn’t notice it. She tried her best to endure, but tears still fell from her eyes, “What right do you have to accuse me? Does it make a difference? Could it be that His Highness the Crown Prince also thinks that I should keep both my body and mind clean for you, only having you in my heart, and love you with all my being, all while you are surrounding yourself with countless consorts and concubines? Li Chengjing, even my father, looked down as a good-for-nothing prodigal as he is, has never made such a demand from her wife and concubines.”
Indescribable emotions surged within Li Chengjing’s heart, and he said helplessly, “You are comparing me to Cheng Yuanxian again?”
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