In Xiangxiu Inn.


Hua Ziqing was relishing the aroma of freshly-brewed tea as he waited in one of the rooms. However, he seemed unsatisfied about its quality as he put the tea cup down and his brows creased.


The man in the mask was right behind him, yet the latter was able to hide his presence so well that one would find it difficult to discern that there was anybody else in the room.


“Master, though it was Yun Ruofeng who caused Liang Yong’s death, wouldn’t we be put at a disadvantage if he blames it on us instead?”


The man’s voice was low and raspy as he spoke through the mask.


“I know what to do.” Hua Ziqing answered as he spotted Yun Ruofeng approaching.


“Prince Qing, aren’t you early? Have you had your meal?” 


“Prince Yun, you’re too kind. As the host, I shouldn’t be late.” Hua Ziqing answered calmly, naturally suspicious of Yun Ruofeng’s intentions.


I won’t make a move if the enemy doesn’t. The two shared this singular thought as their eyes met.


“Prince Qing, let’s not beat around the bush. Shall we get to the point?” Yun Ruofeng asked, hoping for Hua Ziqing to take the bait.


Hua Ziqing’s expression remained gentle as usual. “There are rumours abound in Xiliu. Your intentions are rather obvious, Prince Yun.”


“Oh?” Yun Ruofeng looked suspicious. “This Prince doesn’t really understand what Prince Qing is saying. Would you mind explaining what you meant?”


Without further ado, Hua Ziqing got straight to the point. “Prince Yun, we both know each others’ aims. How about we establish a partnership from now on?”


A cold glint flashed in Yun Ruofeng’s eyes. “In that case, I’d like to know if Prince Qing was involved in the death of one of my guards recently.”


“There’s no need to get hung up on those details. Does it really matter anyway, Prince Yun?” Hua Ziqing sounded like he didn’t have a care in the world.


At this, Yun Ruofeng laughed. “Prince Qing, you have yet to prove your sincerity. If that’s the case, is there even a need for our discussion to continue?”


Hua Ziqing chuckled inwardly. How cunning. He’s trying to get me to give him some sort of guarantee.


“Prince Yun, I’ll help you get Su Xi-er and you help me take over Xiliu. How about it?” He decided to be as direct as possible.


Yun Ruofeng knew that Hua Ziqing was definitely interested in a partnership, but what the latter had suggested was ambiguous.


“Prince Qing, I have never wanted Su Xi-er. It’s Ning Rulan.” Yun Ruofeng spoke coldly.


Hua Ziqing scoffed at him. “Prince Yun, it’s good to know your limits.”


“It seems that Prince Qing’s aims do not coincide with mine. I should take my leave then.” Yun Ruofeng decided to present a threat, even though such a move would reveal his own weakness as well. It doesn’t matter anyway, ‘hurting 1000 of the enemy but sacrificing 800 of your own’; he’s the one who has more to lose right now.


Hua Ziqing clenched his fist and said, “Why the hurry, Prince Yun? We’ll need time if you wish for Su Xi-er to turn back into Ning Rulan.”


“This Prince doesn’t have the luxury of time. We’ll talk if the matter is settled tonight at the fireworks banquet.” Yun Ruofeng tried to drive Hua Ziqing into a corner as quickly as he could to avoid giving him any room to breathe. He knew that the latter would tear him to pieces if given the chance.


Hua Ziqing seemed a little irked at this. “Prince Yun, aren’t you going too far?”


“Is Prince Qing unable to settle such a simple matter?” Yun Ruofeng retorted.


As soon as the word left his mouth, the masked man behind Hua Ziqing came forward as if to threaten Yun Ruofeng. However, Yun Ling immediately appeared to meet him.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon