I Hate Myself for Wanting to Live

The cold wind whistled as the horse headed south, with a dark scarf casually wrapped around her head.
A section of the scarf fluttered in the wind, tucked into her collar as she moved.

Meanwhile, under the moonlit plains, a person and a horse could be seen, with Ming Qin appearing somewhat anxious.

The objective of the mission was to rendezvous with her brother Cao Yun in Min, who had gone to Nan Yue, and then bring back a coded letter to the capital through two separate routes.
Ming Qin had learned from Cao Yun’s message that the situation seemed very bleak before she left the capital, and her senior sister’s grave expression only confirmed her fears.

However, despite everyone’s worried expressions, Ming Qin felt inwardly at peace.

Although she had never fully grasped the intricacies of the mission, Ming Qin was fortunate enough to avoid concerning herself with matters she couldn’t comprehend.

Her intelligence was undeniable, so as long as she followed her master’s orders and completed the mission, success was guaranteed.

However, on the scheduled day, there was a delay in catching sight of her senior brother and the pigeons that usually carried messages.

After a sleepless day of riding, the path led to a dense, eerie forest.

Ming Qin halted her horse, straining to hear the faint sounds of shouting and the clanging of metal.

She concealed her horse in the shadows and used her agility to vanish into the woods.

Ming Qin moved stealthily and cautiously towards the source of the noise, her footsteps silent on the fallen leaves, while her nose picked up the scent of blood.
She ventured through the dark forest, attempting to recognize the smell that was present.

As the odor of blood grew stronger, she lowered her voice and shouted out for her senior brother, “Senior Brother, Senior Brother, Brother Ah Yun.”

A stifled grunt responded from behind a large tree, prompting Ming Qin to hasten over and clear away the branches and leaves littering the ground.

She discovered Cao Yun, who was cowering behind the tree with blood dribbling from the corners of his mouth.
Ming Qin checked his breathing, removed a first-aid pill from her sleeve, and put it in Cao Yun’s mouth.
She then removed his clothing and exposed a deep wound on his waist, which she sprinkled with powder until the white flesh became visible.

After several breaths, Cao Yun’s previously blackened face recovered some of its color as he strained to open his eyes and weakly uttered, “Coded letter, belt.”

With his strength almost depleted, Cao Yun managed to utter a few words, “Crown Prince Gu, east, warriors… take the letter and go.”

Ming Qin interrupted him, saying, “I refuse.
I won’t go alone.”

Cao Yun furrowed his brows, looking somewhat helpless at his obstinate younger sister.
“There are over fifty warriors… You’re agile and swift.”

“Master ordered both of us to split up and return to the capital,” Ming Qin looked directly at Cao Yun and spoke bluntly, “Both of us will return to the capital.” She placed her hand on Cao Yun’s chest and used her abilities to alleviate his internal injuries.

Cao Yun attempted to dodge, but he was powerless to resist.

Ming Qin had a smile on her lips and her hand kept moving as she said, “Senior brother is quite talkative today.
Ming Ming used to be as shy as gold.”

After a brief moment, Ming Qin stopped and left all the jars of medicine that she had kept close to her body with Cao Yun.
She then removed her outer garment and put on a man’s hooded robe, placing the coded letter in the cloth pouch around her waist.

“I will lead them away,” Ming Qin twisted her wrist and told Cao Yun where she had tethered her horse, “When the sun rises, Senior Brother will head north and travel the water route once we enter the land of Min.”

Before Cao Yun could speak, Ming Qin placed the coat she had taken off over him and covered him with leaves and dead branches.

Ming Qin’s tone was filled with relief as she said, “Then, senior brother, I will see you in the capital,” before she disappeared into the forest with her catlike steps.

As she deftly navigated through the trees, the smile on Ming Qin’s face faded into a serious expression.

Luring the pursuers away was a dangerous task, but if she succeeded, she could increase her senior brother’s chances of survival.

If they both managed to escape safely, that would be ideal.
However, even if her senior brother did not make it to the capital, she still had the coded message in her possession.

In the worst-case scenario, she was prepared to chew and swallow the letter before she died, so that her senior brother, who was familiar with the situation, could provide Master with information about Nan Yue upon reaching the capital.

Ming Qin inhaled deeply, summoning her inner energy, and focused on the task at hand.

It was a straightforward mission: to outwit the pursuers and safeguard the coded letter.

To herself, she repeated these words like a mantra, almost as if it would help her to concentrate better.
With determination etched on her face, she deliberately stomped on the ground, purposely making noise to attract the attention of her opponents.

With a cracking sound, the tea cup in Murong Yan’s hand shattered inside the Hidden Moon Tower in the capital.

Sitting across from her was a young man with dark hair, wearing a golden crown adorned with large pearls and a jade hairpin etched with a dragon.
He donned a red Confucian robe embroidered with dark blue clouds, and the white lining was meticulously stitched with nine golden silk dragons, indicating that it was no ordinary garment.

Despite the woman’s obvious anger, the man seemed unfazed and gazed at her while resting his cheeks on his hand, his eyes slightly narrowed.
“It’s been months since we last met, yet you’re still as beautiful as ever,” he said in a pleasant tone.

With a clattering sound, the man dodged the tea cup, causing it to hit the bookshelf behind him and break into pieces.

Since Murong Yan seemed reluctant to speak, the man straightened his lapel and gazed out of the window at the distant, bare branches of the trees.
Slowly and deliberately, he spoke, “It is winter and the barbarians are invading the borders.
I must meet with the officials tomorrow to discuss the distribution of food and provisions to the north.”

She responded with a sarcastic smile, “Your Highness not only dresses vulgarly but also has a despicable character.”

Prince Murong Xiao did not seem angry, but instead he looked down at his sleeves and asked with mock innocence, “Is it really that bad? I only wore it because I thought my sister likes red the most.”

Not wanting to engage in false accusations with him, Murong Yan asked in a bored tone, “Why is Your Highness here?”

“I thought it had been a long time since I saw my sister, so I came to visit,” Murong Xiao said with a lighthearted tone.
He then added, “The other day, some people from the capital were disrespectful and bothered my sister, so I took care of them personally.” His smile didn’t reach his eyes and instead revealed a chilling shade.

“Is that so?”

Murong Yan showed no interest in what he said, finding the man’s presence irritating.
She impatiently said, “In that case, Your Highness, the Crown Prince, can now leave.”

Upon hearing her words, Murong Xiao’s face immediately darkened, his expression becoming cold and sullen.

Slowly approaching Murong Yan, the man kneeled down and gently placed his cheek on the couch, while his hands caressed the woman’s thighs through the fox fur.

But when his touch reached her hollow right leg, Murong Xiao’s eyes turned red with madness and obsession.

Despite the sensation in her skull, Murong Yan maintained a calm expression and said, “Let go.”

Murong Yan drew a hairpin from her hair and pressed it against her neck, causing a green silk stream to fall.
“Your Highness the Prince!” she exclaimed, hoping to get his attention.

Murong Xiao finally lifted his gaze to meet hers.

As he looked at the red scratches on Murong Yan’s neck, a grim smile formed on his lips.
“You wouldn’t dare,” he said coldly.

With beads of blood rolling down her snow-white neck, leaving a striking red mark, Murong Yan pressed her wrist hard and challenged, “Try?” She looked at the corner of the man’s tightly closed mouth and smiled coldly.

After staring at each other for a while, Murong Xiao slowly withdrew his hand and stood up.
He leisurely straightened his collar, adjusted his crown, and then smiled as if nothing had happened, “I will come to see my sister again.”

“No need,” Murong Yan said, but the man left without a word, not looking back.

The entourage waiting for him hurried to approach, but the prince’s face was now gloomy as if a blizzard was blowing, a stark contrast to his cheerful mood when he had arrived upstairs.

The leader of the prince’s inner circle approached and whispered in his ear, “Your Highness, news has arrived from the south.”

Upon hearing this, Murong Xiao’s expression softened slightly, “Sending someone to the East was not in vain.
Finally, good news today.” He quickly removed his outer robe and got into the waiting carriage, “I need to change my clothes.”

The young attendant was confused, “But Your Highness, these clothes were selected by you…” but stopped speaking abruptly upon noticing the warning looks from the others.

Fortunately, Murong Xiao, who remained expressionless, seemed to not have heard the young attendant’s comment.
Instead, he muttered emptily to himself, “It’s too ugly.
It’s too ugly.”

“She doesn’t like it.”

After the carriage had left and the locks on the door of the Hidden Moon Tower were reattached, Murong Yan let out a sigh of relief and dropped her forced composure.

She trembled, causing the hairpin to slip out of her hand.
She touched the goosebumps on her arm, then leaned to the side and dry-heaved.
Despite not having eaten for an entire day, she couldn’t manage to stop.

Finally, when she felt her stomach cramping and cold sweat streaming down her back, she paused.

A trickle of clear stomach fluid was still dripping from the corner of her mouth.
Murong Yan wrapped her arms around herself, her hands shaking uncontrollably.

She despised him for being repulsive.

Hated herself for it.

She loathed herself for being too overwhelmed with terror to speak up.

For lacking the bravery to even clean her own neck, and for entertaining even the slightest desire to survive.

She hated herself.

For wanting to live.

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