Lu Liangwei threw him a look over her shoulder. “Why were you so fierce just now? You scared Long Xuan off.”

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“Was I?” Long Yang arched an eyebrow.

“Yes, very.” Lu Liangwei nodded firmly.

Long Yang stroked her long hair and looked askance at her. “Are you upset that I was fierce to him?”

“…” Lu Liangwei could practically smell his jealousy.

“You think too much.” She rolled her eyes at him.

Long Yang merely responded with a silent purse of his lips.

His sudden silence and the vastness of his dark eyes made it difficult for Lu Liangwei to gauge his thoughts, but she had been together with him long enough to know that he was not his usual self.

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He was clearly hiding something.

“What’s the matter?” She poked his arm.

“Nothing.” Long Yang released his hold on her, took her hand, and led her to the stone table.

After they sat down at the table, Lu Liangwei climbed into his lap and pressed a finger to his taut face. “You’re lying. You definitely have something on your mind.”

Gazing at the girl’s lovely face, Long Yang let out a sigh, grabbed her wandering finger, and said in a low voice, “Weiwei, I’m sorry you had to go through all that suffering.”

Lu Liangwei stared at him closely, then suddenly pouted. “You want to ask me what I went through while I was gone, don’t you?”

Long Yang’s heart thumped. He had been itching to ask her that from the start, but he eventually avoided bringing it up for fear that it would upset her.

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When he did not reply, Lu Liangwei’s face clouded over in realization. “Long Yang, are you bothered by it?”

Long Yang frowned and gazed at her in puzzlement. “By what?”

Lu Liangwei pursed her lips. “You think something happened between me and Long Chi during the time he kidnapped me, don’t you?”

Long Yang’s handsome face turned grim. “What nonsense is that? Why would I think that way?”

“Nonsense, huh? But your expression tells me that’s exactly what you’re thinking,” Lu Liangwei muttered glumly.

She knew that this world was extremely unfair to women.

For any noble house’s daughter, being kidnapped by a man meant losing her purity, even if she returned home unscathed. Moreover, her family may even resort to drowning her just to protect its reputation.

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Some women would even crumble under the weight of all the rumors and end up taking their own lives.

The Emperor had always been good to her, but it was undeniable that she had been kidnapped for quite some time.

Would he behave just like those pedantic, conservative men?

Would he think that she had lost her purity, and that she was a disgrace to the imperial family?

Her eyes dimmed at the thought.

She had never thought about all this when she had fallen into Long Chi’s hands. Finding a way to escape and return to her family had been the only thing on her mind.

When she reunited with Long Yang, she was so overwhelmed with joy that this problem did not occur to her either.

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However, Long Yang’s reaction just now suddenly triggered a sense of danger in her.

“I’ve never done anything unfaithful to you.” Despite her discomfort, she lifted her gaze and fixed it upon him. “But I refuse to die just for the sake of protecting the imperial family’s reputation. If you find me disgusting, you can depose me.”

Long Yang’s face was frighteningly stern, and his forehead was tightly creased. He gripped her shoulders and said indignantly, “What’re you even talking about? When have I ever found you disgusting or thought of you that way? If I did, why would I be here in the Yan Kingdom?”

Lu Liangwei merely bit her lip and stared back at him with red eyes.

Long Yang tilted her chin upward, his voice softening at the sight of her hurt expression. “Weiwei, I’ve never thought about you that way, so stop worrying yourself over that. Besides, no outsider knows that you went missing, and I’d never hurt you for the sake of some silly reputation.”

Thank you for reading on

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