Chapter 7 – Phoenix (2)
After rushing back to her chamber, Ye Zhen reopened her palm to look again at the lifelike phoenix tattoo. She remembered her soul trapped in the palace for two years and finally, broke free when the jade pendant was torn in half. Lu Wushuang’s hands were scorched by the flame the stone emitted, so she quickly loosened her grasp causing the stone to hit the floor hard. This tattoo, in her deliberation, somehow had a connection with the jade pendant given by Mo Rongzhan.
Brushing these thoughts aside, she took ahold of her composure and accidentally caught her reflection in the mirror near her. She gave a frustrated at what she saw. Nowadays, nothing worries her more than her appearance.
In fact, her twin sister’s appearance was not exactly the same with hers Though they shared the same features, her sister’s skin, hair and physique were different. Ye Zhen was raised by a delicate woman in her boudoir since her childhood. Her skin was pearly white, seldom touched by the sunlight and her hair was well-kept, showered with scented oils frequently.
All the while, her sister Lu Yaoyao grew up in the border town without her freedom constrained. Aside from having sunbaked skin, her skin was much darker; blemishes from being under the sun for too long was an unpleasant sight. The illness left her only a few meat on her body; she looked scraggly and unhealthy.
Dark and thin, people would probably doubt she was connected, a twin even, to the former Wang Fei.
On the brighter side, this was an advantage. She doesn’t want anyone to know her relationship with the Ye family. Not yet. It is only when the enemy sees her twin sister in her person that she can act conveniently. For the past half month, she didn’t look like a person seeking revenge, only a dependent daughter and sister. She had already enjoyed the glory and wealth in her past life but even that couldn’t help her achieve her wants. How could she take revenge?
More than anything else, she wanted to see the people who have caused her family their miserable end, be trampled and crushed. But even with her current strength regained, she couldn’t do anything. Even laying a finger on them she couldn’t do!
One of the people who had wronged her was Mo Rongzhan, the most powerful figure in this era. How could she, a fragile young woman of fifteen, make him repay?
“Yao Yao?” came the voice of Lu Xiangzhi from outside her door.
Ye Zhen snapped out of her stupor and looked at herself in the mirror, but this time, she fixed a bright cheerful smile on her face, all the traces of hatred gone. She had to remind herself that in everyone’s eyes, she is not the Ye Zhen who was reborn out of resentment and most certainly, not the sweet girl of the Ye family. Instead, she is Lu Shiming’s adopted daughter and the Lu Family’s third miss.
She’s Lu Yaoyao whose nickname is Yao Yao, so Ye Zhen acted gaily just like her.
Ye Zhen took the initiative to welcome him. “Eldest Brother, why are you here?”
“You always called me eldest brother, but there are still three elder brothers ahead of me in our lineage.” Lu Xiangzhi looked at her sister who has recovered and fondly raised his hand to rub her head like he always did. “Today, one of our eldest brothers has been anointed as an imperial official. An assistant war minister!” Lu Xiangzhi informed, excitement in his tone. “Saying so, Grandma is going to throw a family dinner to celebrate. Mother asked me to pick you up.”
Lu Lingzhi! Ye Zhen’s eyes flickered with hatred and felt some self-mockery that after her rebirth, she found herself living in an enemy’s house and had the obligation of calling him eldest brother for the next months to come, or even for the rest of her life! Meeting Lu Lingzhi was the last thing she wanted to do.
“Eldest brother, I am afraid that I am still not feeling well.” Ye Zhen bowed her head and feigned being weak.
“Where are you still sick? Don’t talk nonsense! You must not think too much. You are the third miss of our family. How can you not attend the family dinner?”
Ye Zhen just laughed out and shrugged her shoulders, running out of excuses, “Fine.”
Noticing how her gown barely hanged on her bony shoulders, Lu Xiangzhi couldn’t help but comment on it, adding salt to the wound. “You’ve lost too much weight. Look at you! You’ll have to take care of yourself or else…” He grinned from ear to ear.
“Or else?” Ye Zhen challenged him to continue.
“You’ll forever look like a black monkey!” Lu Xiangzhi imitated behaviors of a monkey by rubbing his forehead and chin simultaneously.
“You are the monkey!” Ye Zhen rebutted. She knew from his sister’s memory that Lu Xiangzhi used to poke fun on Lu Yaoyao’s looks. But this was just his way of expressing his concerns, so she didn’t take his words at heart.