19 Blame the Girl
Taking Yuxi by the hand, he stormed towards the awaiting carriage. He gently held her hand, careful to not hurt her. But his foot were roughly stomping the ground.
Weihao felt his anger boil with each passing second he spend with Suying. Every inch of Weihao's soul despised Suying and the hatred was mutual. It started with a light rivalry between best friends, but then it led to the unraveling of dark secrets that eventually tore the friendship apart.
He suddenly felt a heavy tug on his hand. Turning around in confusion, the temperature around him dropped. His anger was barely holding on, and Suying just had to touch his Mei-mei.
Suying had grabbed Yuxi's hand by force and when she tried to yank it back, he tightened his hold. "Wait, take this horse-"
"I don't want your horse." Yuxi immediately interjected with a frown.
She jerked her hand in hopes he'd understand the message. But he didn't, and continued to freely touch her.
"Your horse is weak and useless." Suying repeated, a dark scowl on his face. Why can't she understand the blatant facts?
"I'm also weak and useless. I can barely lift a sword without straining my weight. I'm useless in the sense that I can't do anything right...When most girls my age are skilled in dancing and the arts, I'm learning skills unsuitable for a lady."
"I will grow with my horse. There is no need to start off with one so powerful and strong. There is no sense of loyalty in a horse you didn't raise."
"Thank you, Young Master Han for your thought and consideration. But I will politely decline this gift and that is my final opinion." Yuxi roughly pried her wrist away from Suying. There was a fire in her eyes, it burned and terrified Suying.
Yuxi was furious with him.
He had roughly grabbed the hand of a lady and refused to let go. Society would pardon him, but it will blame the girl for leading him on. He had unwillingly damaged her reputation.
Suying stared at her retreating form. He was stunned at her powerful words. Were girls her age supposed to be that intelligent?
The onlookers couldn't help, but silently praise the small child. She was only eight, but spoke like a girl twice her age.
Weihao squeezed Yuxi's hand with pride and happiness. He was beyond pleased to see she had not only rejected the gift, put also placed the brat in his place.
Weihao silently glowered at Suying's intentions.
By buying her the most expensive horse, purposely touching her, grabbing her without permission, and publicly declaring it a present, he had forcefully put Yuxi in the center of attention.
It was public courtship and by doing so, Yuxi's reputation might be dragged in the mud. Weihao knew Suying was seizing the opportunity of the onlooker's attention as a weapon to force Yuxi into accepting the gift. If she didn't, she'd look bad. He was the heir to the Han fortune and his family was the most powerful in Leijing. It was unwise to go against his wishes.
Weihao was glad Yuxi was smart enough to see past his ploys. Her rejection was humble and polite, garnering the respect of many people.
The onlookers didn't know who Yuxi was.
In the city of Leijing, there was only two extremely prominent and wealthy family: the Han and the Chen. The people didn't remember such a elegant, pure, and small lady.
No one knew her origins or her surname, but one glance at the protective Weihao and the lured Suying, they knew she was a lady of importance. The only question was, who was her parents?
Yuxi released Weihao's hands and walked towards her horse. "Come now, little Chestnut. Let's go home." She softly beckoned, her voice barely above a whisper.
"Mei-mei you have to be careful-" Weihao's sentence died down when he saw how obedient the horse had become.
Yuxi was beginning to pat the horse's head and running a hand over its mane. When her finger traced a whip mark, the horse snorted and lightly stomped the ground. It was warning her to not overstep the boundaries.
"Let's go home." Yuxi whispered.
She gently ran her hand from the horse's forehead, to it's mane, and then to its reins. By slowly and carefully handling the horse, she proved she had no ill intentions.
Unlike the people that had roughly or suddenly grabbed the horse's reins, Yuxi did it slowly and with permission.
Yuxi had a light smile on her face when the horse didn't jerk her head away.
Guiding the horse in the direction of the carriage, she handed the reins to her servants.
"Please be extremely gentle and careful with her, she gets scared easily. If she doesn't want to walk, don't roughly tug or pull her. Leave her be, until she wants to walk again." Yuxi instructed the servants.
"Understood, Lady Yuxi." Bowing low, the servants began to guide the horse away.
"Oh, and it's just Yuxi. There's no need to add a title in front of me." Yuxi whispered to the servants.
The servants exchanged nervous glances. Not daring to disobey her orders or publicly address their Young Miss without a title, the servants bowed and hurriedly excused themselves.
Yuxi wasn't used to formal titles. From being locked away for so long, her soul had lost all touches of proper etiquette. She had forgotten the rules of society and its hierarchy.
She was simply too naive and kind. This realization settled deeply within Suying and Weihao, who suddenly felt an urge to shelter her innocence from the greedy hands of society.