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marybethgriggs > The Other Side of the Mask > 34 Chapter 34: Cat's Out of the Bag
I tell them, unwavering, "Yes."

I guess I gave too many hints to cover up, but it's fine because they'd find out soon enough anyways. I look away, guilty.

Mother speaks, "Don't worry, YingYue, you've had a sad past, but you're alright now. We'll protect you, no matter what. Don't take this upon yourself."

I give them a sad smile and nod. They give me a warm hug and wish me goodnight.

I cuddle into my bed and start to cry. I wanted to hide this hideous past, this disgraceful choice I made. If I really didn't want to do it, I could've left the village with my parents, I could've studied harder and found a way to escape! I could've… but it is all over now because I've already committed the sin. I am truly grateful for mother and father's concern, but I treasure my family here. I don't want them caught in my mess. I'm sorry mother, father.

I finally sleep, with my face wet with sour tears. I wake up with red eyes the next morning.

"Oh my god, your highness, what happened?"

The maids and Xing scurry across the room worried and scared. They dab my face with a wet towel and prepare a soothing bath. The bath warms me and washes away my worries and pain. I put on a light dress for breakfast. Xing helps with my 'natural makeup'.

I arrive at the light, refreshing breakfast. Luckily, it isn't very greasy, and so I eat with ease. KaiZhen, XiaoLong, and TianYu sit across from me, chatting. I ignore everyone and submerge myself in my thoughts. Occasionally, I look around. XiaoLong, TianYu, and KaiZhen are chattering, and the parents are chattering. Sometimes, I see TianYu and KaiZhen's faces turn pink when they talk to each other. I smile to myself. Matchmade (XD).

After breakfast, I take a walk around the entire Eclipse Palace. I've read a couple interesting books in the library, but oh well, there isn't enough time. Mother and Father promised me to be able to borrow some books, since all four adults allowed it.

I walk across the grand courtyard. It's pretty nice. It's bigger than the garden, but doesn't have as many plants. Next, is the banquet halls and the wings. I don't have much interest in the luxury rooms, but stroll around anyways. There is one thing that catches my eye the most. There's a hot spring! I delightfully hop into the water of the hotspring with a towel. Since it was a hotspring for the ancient royal family, there is only one exclusive one. I tell Commander Yang to stand guard and tell anyone who comes that I'm inside. I tie my hair into a loose bun and soak myself into the hot spring. The towel becomes drenched, but warm. I put my face in the water.

"Ah!"

I look down at the water which has filled with brown and gold colors. Oops… the makeup… I quickly take an extra towel and wipe off the rest of my makeup.

Someone suddenly shouts out, "Who's there?"

It only took me a moment to realize it's XiaoLong. I must've invaded him in his bath.

"It's YingYue," I respond calmly.

Luckily, the bath is ridiculously big and we're as far as we could be.

"Wait, QiLing, is that you?"

" I said I'm Princess YingYue. The steam must've created some illusion."

I look away. His eyesight is sharp. I need to get out of here. One wrong move and I'm done for. I walk out of the bath, careful not to trip and not to show my face again. I walk into the private bathroom.

Zhe greets me, "Oh! Your makeup washed off!"

Zhe does my makeup, as I clean myself in a bathtub. After redressing, it was time for lunch. Lunch was nothing special honestly, except the fact that my parents made me play on the piano, which I've been practicing forEVER, and isn't even useful.

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