Lei Xing and Xiao Ting were currently seated on the second floor of a theatre house having a break. Xiao Ting was closely paying attention to the drama unfolding below, while Lei XIng seemed to be in deep thought, after she left Doctor Luo's she had gone to three other pharmacies but the doctors there weren't able to help her much on the topic of poisons, she wanted to know what simple methods there were to test for poison, other than the silver testing method, the doctors didn't seem to know another way. Lei Xing sighed...
The silver testing method was the only method that seems known here...after seeing and reading about this silver testing method in dramas and novels, I was curious and so googled it and found that it is actually not as reliable as they make it seem, something about the silver only reacting if the poison is sulfur based or something like that....bottom line is, it is not reliable, I am sure there are plenty poisonous things that are not sulfur based.....you could probably kill someone with anything if you're creative enough...Ahhh, I really don't want to go...
"How romantic..." Xiao Ting said as she sighed watching the drama on stage, it was about an emperor falling in love with a maid and then making her his empress disregarding everything and anyone for her and "living" only for her, even executing nobles who criticized his choice....
"I assure you living the reality of that life is not nearly as romantic..." Lei Xing said flatly, looking disinterested at the stage, "Is it that easy to be the empress even with the emperor's "love"? and if he really "lived" only for her, to even disregard his people and execute them isn't that simply being stupid...I'm sure their happy ever after did not last long...."
"Jiejie, you don't understand because you've never been in love..." Xiao Ting protested puffing her cheeks.
"...and have you?" Lei Xing raised an eyebrow at her, smirking.
"...no..." Xiao Ting said quietly, looking down and blushing. Lei Xing laughed and drank her tea.
"Jiejie, I am sure you will fall in love soon...and me too...everyone wants an all-encompassing love like this!" Xiao Ting perked up and smiled as she watched the emperor protecting his love.
Lei Xing glanced at the stage and the emperor was currently in the middle of killing off his concubines who had insulted his new empress, "I am not interested in a foolish love like that."
"Jiejie I am sure..."
"Xiao Ting, how can you tell someone loves you?" Lei Xing asked as she twirled the tea in her cup.
"huh?...by their words and actions." She answered after thinking for a while.
"Words and actions?" Lei Xing raised an eyebrow and cast Xiao Ting a questioning gaze.
"Yes, they will treat you well and speak affectionate words to you." Xiao Ting explained.
"hmm...those concubines, the emperor just killed off do you think he loved them?"
"No, of course not...otherwise, how could he bear to kill them?"
"Really? but I assure you he must have previously treated them well and spoken affectionate words to them in the past, so by your definition he loved them."
"That...that...is..." Xiao Ting mind suddenly became confused.
"Now do you understand why I saw a love like this is foolish, what you call all-encompassing is an irrational oblivious love...a love like this should not be endearing to you, but should terrify you instead...just like how he forgot all the others he once "loved" and discarded those he should have treasured all because he one day met a new love, even his own mother was not spared...You should be worried of him doing the same to you when one day he meets another new love... especially when it comes to someone like an emperor who has so many "loves", understand?"
...I have never believed in such an obscure such as love, even in the future where men weren't legally allowed multiple women, they still cheated and kept mistresses, even some of the most beautiful love stories still encountered this problem, not to talk about a man from this time period, even less so an emperor...I've always thought I had no need for such useless emotions that would cause me unnecessary angst and worry...frankly, I had prepared myself to live a single unattached life and in my 25 years I had barely had any such relationships, I simply was never interested...
"Jiejie..." Xiao Ting looked at Lei Xing, sniffed and tears started to fall...
"What are you crying for now?" Lei Xing frowned exasperated...
"...you've changed." Lei Xing's mouth twitched, she got carried away and talked too much forgetting to reign in her thoughts so as not to seem too different from the norm. She had actually been avoiding all the family members since she got better and they all respected her privacy thinking she was anxiously practicing for the concubine selection...they all did, except Xiao Ting who like a loyal puppy would come to disturb her at least once a day and hang around until Lei Xing got tired and sent her away.
I had gotten too comfortable around this girl...her puppy-like behavior to me reminds me of my younger brother, I must admit I do miss him and so must have been projecting onto her and so went on an enlightening tangent I often went on with him...
Lei Xing nervously laughed, "Nearly dying is a great life-changing event."
"Jiejie, I'm sorry...if not for me, you wouldn't have fallen in the lake. It was me who was being careless...if you hadn't reached out to catch me, you wouldn't have fallen in...Honestly, I always thought you hated me, you always seemed to be scolding me and seemed annoyed with me...I knew you were anxious about the concubine selection and was trying to cheer you up...instead I caused you to get hurt...I'm sorry..." Xiao Ting hung her head crying even more.
"It's okay, it's okay...I told you it was an enlightening event, also if I really hated you would I have tried to catch you?" Xiao Ting sheepily looked at Lei Xing and she continued, "No, of course not I would have just watched you fall...why would I put myself at risk to save you?...so I don't hate you, I may find you annoying but at the end of the day you are my younger sibling, how can I hate you?..." Lei Xing smiled at her warmly to reassure her...
...younger siblings are generally annoying, it is normal to have a love-hate relationship with them...a sensitive one like this can be even more irritating to deal with...
...seeing her like this, really reminded her of her younger brother trying hard to get her attention or working hard to cheer her up and messing up and being depressed and she had to then cheer him up instead, they had an 8-year gap between so he always saw her as an adult and the role model to follow, even their parents words did not have as much impact on him as hers did, he even wanted to go to law school mainly to follow her footsteps.
...my death must have devastated him...
"Jiejie..." Xiao Ting started to cry even more...
...Ahh, the thing I hate dealing with the most are emotional people, I really suck at consoling...I remember once when a customer at my job told me they were going to a funeral, my response was silence then an awkward "I hope everything works out"...yeah, I'm that bad...Of course, I am much better now, but I still dislike it terribly my brain gets confused...
Lei Xing sighed and said, "What are you still crying for?"
"Jiejie, I'm going to miss you...I won't be able to see you like this anymore...once you..."
Lei Xing cut her off, "I told you I'm going to fail..."
"but you never know...jiejie is so beautiful and so talented that..." Xiao Ting trailed off blushing.
Lei Xing sighed, "I have an assured failure." Xiao Ting looked at her puzzled.
"You said the competition is based on embroidery, literary skills and music right?"
"Yes, but jiejie, you are the most talented person I know, don't tell me that you are really going to fail on purpose? It's not..." Xiao Ting said with a worry-filled face.
"It's not that I plan to fail on purpose, it's just that I seem to have forgotten said talents..." Lei Xing said with a proud smile.
Xiao Ting looked at her in horror, "Jiejie, why didn't you say anything?! Uh...Uh, we should hurry home and tell father and mother, maybe hire some tutors...or call the doctor...I'm sure you can...no, you must..."
Xiao Ting started to stand up and Lei Xing held her down laughing, "Isn't it too late for that...anyway, it doesn't matter I have no interest in winning and frankly it's better this way..."
"but, but..." Xiao Ting was flustered and worried.
"Don't worry, I'm not so hopeless that I can't do anything...I will handle it well, the family wouldn't be blamed for anything, I will fail skillfully..." Lei Xing said smiling.
...more like bull**it my way through it...
Xiao Ting looked at her, unconvinced and her tears started to well up again. Lei Xing was exasperated.
"That's enough crying! Your father was a great general and is now the defense minister, your brother is also a great general and your family is made up of a long line of generals...why do you cry so easily?" Xiao Ting pouted and hung her head, Lei Xing was even more irritated, "You are the proud daughter of a general, buck up! Raise your head, wipe your eyes, smile, turn to the left and happily watch the show." Xiao Ting, like a robot, followed Lei Xing's commands. Lei Xing felt it funny, she laughed and said, "That's much better, why cry when it solves nothing...it's better to smile instead."
...why cry so others can ridicule you?...what use is the pity of onlookers?...no one can look down on you when you smile...
Xiao Ting looked at her sister thoughtfully and nodded to show that she understood, Lei Xing smiled at her and motioned with her head towards the stage, telling her to watch the stage, which currently had two men performing some comedic acts. Xiao Ting smiled, nodded and turned to the stage, but, she couldn't help but keep sneaking glances at her sister, who seemed to be enjoying the comedic acts and laughing along with the crowd.
...jiejie is really different...but, in a good way...