Chu Liuchen was the crown prince when the late emperor was still alive. He was merely a few months old infants. That was when his uncle usurped the throne and scraped his status as the crown prince. He became Prince Chen, who was half locked up under house arrest in the South Court in the palace. This was why he was also known as the Crown Prince of South Court.
In the previous life, it was rumored that Prince Chen was an elegant gentleman, who was exceptionally good looking; yet there were others who claimed that Prince Chen was sensual and bloodthirsty. Regardless, Qin Wanru thought it was none of her business what kind of a person he was. In her previous life, she had only a glimpse of him from afar off.
That time, he was the high and mighty crown prince looking down at her like she was some kind of lowly creature.
At this moment, however, she had no choice but to face up to this younger Prince Chen.
She was thinking to herself that she would keep her distance from him as much as possible. Nevertheless, she had to perk up at this moment to reinstate her position.
She would never forget how after many years from now, on the day Prince Chen was restored to his throne, he would start to his hands on the candidates for his concubines. Within one day, the inner palace was blood-spattered. Those young girls who were filled with hope and expectations were killed one by one. With their corpses lying face up on the floor of the dormitory for the candidates, turning the building into a haunted hell.
To cover this up, all the people involved were killed and this added to the bloodshed at the dormitory building.
It was rumored that after a big percentage of the palace workers were eliminated, many parts of the palace became empty.
Qin Wanru was implicated at that time as well.
How could she not be terrified when she came face to face again with this same crown prince at this moment?
She should never offend this person in front of her. It would be wise to even hold on tightly to him as her backing, but she hesitated if she should really do that. Qin Yuru could not make up her mind as she was still stunned. All she did was to stare blankly at the youth before her.
"Do you know me?" asked Chu Liuchen as he looked at Qin Wanru from her head to her toes. He was all smiles and the bizarre look in his eyes a moment ago was literally non-existent, so much so that it made Qin Wanru wonder if she was seeing things just now.
The frail but handsome youth had curled his lips into a refreshing smile that he appeared to be an immortal who had just walked out of a painting, and none of the nice adjectives could be used to fully describe his beauty. His eyes, which appeared to be made up of broken pieces of precious stones, which were under his long, curly lashes was smiling as well. He indeed looked like a harmless, charming youth.
Qin Wanru would be totally taken in if she did not have the memory of him from her previous life.
"I don't, I shouldn't make you wait long for me since you are father's honorable guest!" said Qin Wanru respectfully, as she bowed her head in humility. However, she was holding her fists so tightly that her fingernails had dug into her palm. The pain which she inflicted herself with made her more alert so she could be reminded to maintain an amicable attitude towards this prince.
She was supposed to be a young virgin who had not been acquainted with Prince Chen as of this moment.
"You... have disturbed my rest!" Prince Chen was not trying to interrogate her but was merely stating a fact.
Qin Wanru could feel cold sweat going down her back. "Please forgive me, Prince Chen," she said cautiously.
"You have to be punished for disturbing me," Prince Chen fixed his gaze on Qin Wanru and said with a tone of voice that sounded as if it were Qin Wanru who intentionally stirred up trouble with Qin Yuru, thereby disturbed the prince. When in fact, he was the one who accidentally witnessed the drama between Qin Wanru and Qin Yuru.
"Please forgive me, Prince Chen!" Qin Wanru bowed her head lower and continued apologizing. She was keenly aware of the great difference in their status.
"I seldom forgive the sins of people!" said Prince Chen with a chuckle.
"Then... what should I do to receive forgiveness from you?"
"Let me think about it..."
"I will obey Prince Chen's order whatever it is," there was no way Qin Wanru dared to negotiate terms with the prince under such circumstance, as she knew her life was in his hands. However, since Prince Chen had spoken to her for a while by now, she was quite sure he did not intend to take her life.
As a person whose status as a crown prince was taken away from him, but took it back subsequently, he was certainly not kind and harmless character.
"Good! You are indeed a wise girl!" Prince Chen rubbed his palms together as his lips curled up into a sile again. "I heard that the Ningyuan Army General has a phoenix crystal lamp which was passed down to him from ancestors. It was supposed to be exceptionally pretty. If you're able to get me this lamp, I would spare your life."
Phoenix crystal lamp? Qin Wanru was taken aback for a moment as she happened to know that this phoenix crystal lamp was the family heirloom that had been passed down from generation to generation and it was currently with her grandmother. It was very precious to her and she had shown Qin Wanru only once, but that left a deep impression in her because she loved the lamp.
"That's... grandmother's favorite item," Qin Wanru said with hesitation.
"Are is your life not worth that much?" asked Prince Chen, raising his eyebrows. He looked intently at Qin Wanru's lowered head with interest and a little dismal all at the same time.
"I will surely get hold of the Phoenix crystal lamp for Prince Chen," replied Qin Wanru, gritting her teeth. His look of interest when was staring intently at Qin Wanru had inflicted her with great fear.
The look in his eyes should not belong to a prince who grew up in riches and comfort. It wreaked terror in Qin Wanru's heart and it made her understood immediately that if she failed to bring him the Phoenix crystal lamp, she would have to pay him with her life.
Qin Wanru was very certain of the credibility of his words, even though he had a seemingly gentle and kind smile.
"If that's the case, go get hold of that Phoenix crystal lamp now!" said Prince Chen as he waved her away and leaned back to indicate that he was letting her go.
"Yes!" Qin Wanru felt relieved and immediately got up to leave. Although meeting Prince Chen was entirely coincidental, she knew she had to be on her toes.
"Wait, did you inflict on yourself the injury on your arm?" the youth said with an elegant smile, but Qin Wanru could hear the malice in his voice. What was more malicious was that he held onto her arm where her wound was and pressed down hard on it, and instantly, blood could be seen to soak through the thin gauze of the bandage.
What a scoundrel!
This was the first thing that came to Qin Wanru's mind when the pain subsided. Was he not Prince Chen of the royal family who was supposed to behave elegantly with grace? Although this was a rare occasion, his childish mischief had nothing to do with how dangerous he was.
Moreover, Qin Wanru was in the body of a child!
"Prince Chen, you..." someone who seemed to be trying to stand up for her cried out.
"Such a frail-looking yet interesting character is hard to come by, who would be so daring to pierce herself on her arm... well done you!" Prince Chen's voice sounded near and far off at the same time. His voice sounded so graceful and natural yet the meaning of the words was so hostile. Just then, darkness befell Qin Wanru...