"Shh… It's alright grandfather's here. I'm here."
Xiaofei awakened from her current bawling state, she suddenly finally felt something was wrong, she was rendered speechless.
Who was this old man?
With tears still streaming down her eyes and hands trembling, Xiaofei lightly pushed herself away from the person patting her head.
Her confusion was not concealed in her eyes as she strangely looked at the stranger in front of her.
No. This person wasn't a stranger, not to her at least.
She hadn't bothered taking notice of who she was with and where she was. Her emotions exploded immediately after she opened her eyes.
In front of her, Lin Xiaomeng, the great general of the Zheng empire was sitting beside her. The strange thing was that he was acting so close to her as if she was someone he knew.
As far as she could remember, Xiaofei met Lin Xiaomeng during the Imperial family's banquet and because she was the Fourth Prince's favored concubine, she was able to sit in the same hall as these important people against all odds.
Lin Xiaomeng didn't know anything about her and they never spoke since his position was higher than a mere concubine in the Fourth Prince residence. He might have only seen her as part of the background when their eyes made contact.
Yu Fangzhu once told her that Lin Xiaomeng was someone they could never go against since he was a person that was special to the previous and founding emperor that even the current emperor would act amiably and respectfully.
Being the great general in the Zheng empire, Lin Xiaomeng was like a father-figure to every military official and naturally respected him. However, according to the rumors, behind his golden mantle, there was his useless granddaughter, Lin Xiaofei.
Lin Xiaofei was the pearl in Lin Xiaomeng's life because she was the daughter of Lin Yun, his precious daughter who died after giving birth to Lin Xiaofei. With the reputation of the Lin family, everyone expected that Lin Xiaofei would soar high.
However, Lin Xiaofei exceeded everyone's expectations. She was born beautiful but because of how crude, spoiled, and arrogant she was, the beautiful face she possesses was blocked by her vile deeds and distorted it.
Bullying young noble ladies of the same age as her, creating troubles for both the Lin the family and the victim, squandering the money inside the treasure room of the Lin family. Everyone could only shake their heads and speak badly of her.
Hence, Lin Xiaofei's reputation was a great contrast to the reputation of the great general Lin family.
Before, Xiaofei hated this young lady only because they shared the same name. Both were beautiful but one was talented and admired by many while the other was a stupid girl hated by everyone.
It was unknown if Lin Xiaofei's reckless actions were the effect of the divorce of her parents and the death of her mother but no matter what, her personality would always make one disgusted with her.
However, it was still the Lin family who loved her.
After her mother's death, the Lin family took Lin Xiaofei from the Zhou family, her paternal family, and changed her surname from Zhou to Lin. It was rare for an unmarried young lady from a prestigious family to suddenly change her surname, but because Lin Xiaomeng personally talked with the emperor who permitted her to change surnames, no one dared to say anything.
But the rumors that spread about her became more unsightly. Not only does she have an ugly personality, Lin Xiaofei was also called as an unfilial child for abandoning her paternal family.
After turning 13, Lin Xiaofei mysteriously disappeared from the public's eyes. No one knew what was the reason but numerous rumors were said. One of them was Lin Xiaofei did something shameful and was punished by the Lin family by going to the Ping Sang Temple.
Another, Lin Xiaofei had an accident and was disfigured that one wouldn't dare go out. However, these rumors were baseless but many believed that Lin Xiaofei's face was disfigured and had no face to show to the public. And since Lin Xiaofei did a lot of shameful things in the past and if one didn't have the beauty she was once proud of, it would be better to die than live.
Xiaofei frowned after lightly pulling herself away from Lin Xiaomeng, "What is General Lin doing here?"
Lin Xiaomeng was surprised when he saw the little girl distancing herself from him but got displeased by how she addressed him like he was some acquaintance, "Little brat. What do you think you are doing? Is this how you act when your grandfather is comforting you?"
Xiaofei stared wide-eyed at him. She didn't understand why he would suddenly call himself her grandfather, when her grandparents died way back before she even got to use her feet to walk.
The frown on Lin Xiaomeng became prominent after seeing her reaction.
"What do you mean by that? General Lin must have mistaken me as someone else. Your granddaughter has to be inside your Lin residence and not --" Suddenly, Xiaofei couldn't continue her words as she realized that something was wrong.
She had been too preoccupied with bawling and bursting out her bottled emotions that she didn't bother with her surroundings as she had thought that she had died and ended up somewhere else. But upon closer look, the room she was in was decorated with furnishings that only a high-class noble family would have.
"This…" Xiaofei sucked in a mouthful of cold air as if she was dosed with ice-cold water.
She wasn't stupid to not understand what was going on, but she was also hesitating to confirm it because it was a completely unbelievable thing to happen.
Suddenly, with great effort, Xiaofei abruptly stood up and looked around every cabinet she could find to look for a mirror and when she finally found one, she saw her white fragile hands trembling, not because of excitement but fear.
Lin Xiaomeng looked at her strange behavior. Especially, when she suddenly fell completely silent soon after making a mess.
"Fei'er! Come and sit here. You're still not well!" Lin Xiaomeng's voice was drowned out from how loud her heartbeat sounded.
Xiaofei stared at the mirror and saw a strange yet familiar face. Small pointed nose, red lips, and white teeth. Long eyelashes that flutter as she blinks like a cicada's wings and double eyelid eyes that charms anyone who stares back at it.
Suddenly, Xiaofei remembered the first time she laid her eyes on that young lady arrogantly standing next to General Lin on the imperial banquet, Lin Xiaofei.
The mirror in her hand flashes a beam of light as it tumbles down when Xiaofei lets go of it. Glass crashing sound was soon heard in the blanket of silence as pieces of the mirror lay broken on the floor.
And the reality that Xiaofei refuses to confirm and accept was laid before her eyes.