Chapter 356 - I'll Never Abandon You
Li Meirong's eyes were full of emotion as she affectionately stroked Snowball's fur. "In the end, Snowball is the only one for me." She murmured to the little fox spirit, picking him up and burying her face deep into his dense, soft fur. It tickled her nose but also comforted her heart as well.
"Master finally understands." Snowball huffed loudly, his tail still twitching.
Xiao An Fei, meanwhile, rolled her eyes towards the ceiling. 'Would that Her Ladyship know who she is coddling on her lap…'
"What happened to the candles?" Li Meirong suddenly asked, looking left and right. It was dark, but she could still perceive Xiao An Fei's alarmed expression.
"Oh… ah! It must have been a strong gust of wind. I will light them again in a moment, My Lady," Xiao An Fei said, backing as far away from the fox spirit as she possibly could.
Li Meirong waved a hand to dismiss her. "There's no need. I should go to sleep soon anyway. Tomorrow I have to wake up early for the tournament," she said as she squeezed Snowball to her side and settled more comfortably on the bed, stifling a yawn.
"Wise decision, My Lady. Sleep well. I will come to wake you as soon as the sun rises!" Xiao An Fei announced as she quickly stepped back towards the doorway. Li Meirong's answer brightened up Xiao An Fei's expression in an instant. 'Her Ladyship is my dearest savior! Please take care of His Lordship's awful temper so I may yet live to see another day!'
Faster than Li Meirong could blink, Xiao An Fei disappeared from sight.
'I didn't even get a chance to bid Xiao An Fei goodnight. She must have been in a hurry to finally leave,' thought Li Meirong, staring at the door with a pondering look on her face.
Meanwhile, Snowball crawled his way up the mattress and rested his paws on his favorite pair of soft pillows. Leaning forward, he reached with his small snout to give the milk white neck displayed before him a few tender licks, thus successfully seizing his wife's attention once more.
As soon as Li Meirong felt Snowball's warm and slightly rough tongue lapping at her neck, she gasped in surprise and glanced affectionately at the Celestial Fox God in disguise.
"For Snowball, there is only one important person. Li Meirong." The fox spirit locked eyes with Li Meirong and stated in a serious tone.
Hearing those words, Li Meirong felt like her heart was suffused with honey. She hugged Snowball to her chest once again, amazed by how attached she had become to the little cub in such a short amount of time.
"Don't worry Snowball, I will never abandon you." She breathed out the words over the top of the fox spirit's head, remembering the Wise Sage's warning.
The coldness in the room dissipated at once.
Snowball affectionately nuzzled his head against Li Meirong's chin. "Snowball will join Master tomorrow," he added in a matter-of-fact tone that left no room for argument.
Slightly amused by the fox spirit's overly affectionate attitude, Li Meirong snickered, giving the fox spirit a light peck on his silvery forehead in return. "Alright, alright," she said. Pausing a moment, she hastily grabbed each side of the fox spirit's furry cheeks, giving him a stern look. "But you're not allowed to fight."
Slack jawed, the Fox Lord carried a look of disbelief on his furry face. 'Do I look that incompetent?' he mused quietly.
Li Meirong settled down with Snowball at her side. She was blissfully unaware of the fox cub in her arms shapeshifting into the form of a man as soon as she entered a deep sleep. His strong arms embraced her throughout the night.
A few hours after dawn broke upon the horizon, Bai Qingyue transformed back into 'Snowball'. His fox eyes filled with an endless amount of tenderness as he gazed at the woman who had slept soundly in his arms all night.
No matter how often he gazed upon Li Meirong, he could not seem to look his fill of her small, oval face. He could not bear to rouse her from her deep slumber, despite knowing the rest of the tournament's participants would have been awake for several hours already. His wife truly enjoyed her sleep, it seemed.
A short, pointed cough alerted Bai Qingyue to the presence of one of his subjects standing by the bed.
"My Lord, if you do not wake Her Ladyship, she will not arrive on time," Xiao An Hua pointedly remarked, having observed the Sovereign Lord's smitten expression. She could no longer remain silent and watch from the side, as Bai Qingyue had not moved nor said a word for what seemed like half a day.
If this continued, then Li Meirong would definitely sleep through the entire tournament!
"And so, what of it? Why would that be a problem?" Bai Qingyue's tone was haughty as he caressed Li Meirong's cheek with one paw, soft pads lightly tracing along the burn scars on her skin. The scars sent daggers into his soul, clear evidence and a constant reminder of his failure to protect his wife.
These scars were his fault; he had not been there when she needed him most.
Her disfigurement was due to his incompetence. He, unlike his father, had never bothered to seek out his fated partner. Having a wife had always seemed too much of a burden to bother himself with, and so he had not searched for this supposed 'soulmate'.
Before meeting Li Meirong, Bai Qingyue had not minded the engagement his mother wished to impose upon him. He had been willing to marry for the sake of the clan, as long as his spouse understood her boundaries and knew to keep well out of his way.
Those had been his thoughts back then, at least.
None of that mattered now, as from the moment he saw Li Meirong, he knew she was his. The moment he saw her, he had known he would do anything to possess her.
If that meant stealing her away from everything she knew and locking her away from the world, then he would. If it meant giving up his title, then he would hand it over without hesitation. Even if it meant falling from grace and becoming a devil, he was willing to endure. He would personally descend to the netherworld and barge through the gates of the damned if that was what he had to do to keep her.
None but Bai Qingyue knew his deep thoughts. His sharp golden eyes swirled with a cacophony of emotion.