Late at night beneath a crescent moon, the positions of Manager Jin and Mu Linger left little to the imagination. Yet neither of them noticed anything strange about it. Manager Jin’s hand on Mu Linger’s stomach confirmed his guess that she wasn’t pregnant at all! Meanwhile, Mu Linger was too horrified to think about what to do next. Heavens, she’d been discovered! Now what?
“Your pregnancy was a sham!” Manager Jin stared intently at Mu Linger.
By now, Mu Linger had given up on struggling. She turned away and wanted to cry! All she knew was that she was in trouble--big trouble! Ning Jing told her before, Uncle Cheng was dissatisfied with the Di Clan’s loyalty to West Qin, while Manager Jin desperately wanted his freedom. Neither of them were trustworthy, so the secret of her pregnancy had to be kept to the very end!
Seeing Mu Linger not replying, Manager Jin growled, “Say something!”
His voice was a mixture of anger and anxiety. Mu Linger didn’t hear the last part and only thought he was mad. She thought back to their trip from Three-Way Black Market to Skyriver City and realized she’d been lying to him from day one. Although this man had a bad temper, he still granted all her requests. Whatever she wanted to eat, drink, or use, he’d get it for her no matter how difficult it was. Now that he’d found out her pregnancy was faked, then he’d realized all her requests on the road had no basis too. Even Mu Linger had to admit this went beyond mere trickery into toying someone else.
Manager Jin leaned forward, his hair falling into his face. From this angle, Mu Linger could finally see his twin eyes. She suddenly discovered that his gaze didn’t hold fury, but…
Whatever it was, she couldn’t tell, but no man had ever looked at her with such eyes. She began to focus on his irises and started to suspect that she was simply Manager Jin’s prey!
That’s right, prey!
Manager Jin was like a cheetah in the night, trapping and questioning her. At any second, he could bite down and eat her whole! Mu Linger finally awoke to her senses and punched at him. “Let me go, pervert!”
Her weak fist was immediately caught by Manager Jin’s hands. Before she could beat him with her other one, he grabbed it too. Mu Linger’s gaze shifted from Manager Jin’s face downwards until she realized he was pinning her down.
“Ahhhh!” Mu Linger shrieked!
Manager Jin had no choice but to release her hands and muffled her again. Mu Linger struggled fiercely, kicking and scratching, but Manager Jin kept one hand over her mouth while the other clutched her shoulder to keep her from getting up.
“Be quiet! If you lure other people here, I won’t care what happens to you!” Manager Jin warned. Like a curse, it instantly stilled Mu Linger.
If they lured Uncle Cheng here, or the guards outside, then her fake pregnancy would be completely exposed. Mu Linger didn’t dare to thrash about, allowing Manager Jin to ungag her. Her eyes drooped at their bodies pressed together, not daring to say a word. Instead, she motioned with her hands for him to get off.
Manager Jin immediately shifted, allowing Mu Linger to exhale in relief. She stood up as well, but before she could steady herself, Manager Jin abruptly grabbed her and pulled her back down again. Mu Linger lost balance completely as she crashed into him. Their faces met centimeters from each other’s, their lips very close.
Alarmed, Mu Linger exclaimed, “You--”
Before she could finish, Manager Jin suddenly placed a hand on the back of her head and pulled her down. With that, their lips met, drowning Mu Linger’s exclamation against Manager Jin’s lips. Mu Linger’s mind blanked. She could process nothing beyond the warmth and slightly damp sensation against her mouth. It was an indescribable sensation.
Is this what kissing feels like?
Before Mu Linger could figure it out, Manager Jin suddenly turned aside, leaving her to bury her chest against his neck. She stiffened and didn’t move, her lips still parted slightly.
“Someone’s coming from the front courtyard. It should be Uncle Cheng, so you better stay still,” Manager Jin muttered.
Alarmed and at a loss, the terror-stricken Mu Linger grew unwell all over. Her first instinct was to stand up, but Manager Jin pressed against her back with a cold voice, “Don’t move!”
Scared, Mu Linger laid still across Manager Jin’s chest and didn’t stir. Like that, the two of them hid safely in the shrubbery until Mu Linger also heard the footsteps walking towards their direction. Her heart rate sped up as her body froze. Manager Jin knitted his brows, his expression severe. He held tighter to Mu Linger so she wouldn’t be so tense.
The footsteps ceased abruptly before their owner quickly headed to the right. Soon enough, there was no more sound. A long time passed and the silence remained, but Mu Linger was still afraid to move. When more time passed without a sound, she relaxed slightly and murmured next to Manager Jin’s ear, “Is Uncle Cheng gone?”
The faint scent of orchids floated by his ear, causing Manager Jin to give a start. Still, he quickly recovered and murmured, “I’m not sure. Don’t make any noise yet.”
Mu Linger was very docile and remained with her head buried against Manager Jin’s neck. Time trickled by slowly until she gradually relaxed. Soon enough, she realized she was sprawled against a man who was hugging her with his arms. She couldn’t help but recall their “kiss,” although she wasn’t sure if it counted as one. By degrees, she began to grow perturbed, awkward, and uneasy. Ever since she was young, no men had ever hugged her besides her father and Qi gege a couple of times. She couldn’t tell where the difference lay, but being hugged by Manager Jin felt completely different than being hugged by Qi gege.
Why is that?
Is it because Qi gege only hugged her briefly before letting go? He’d never held her for so long, or so tightly. She could clearly feel Manager Jin’s body against hers, as well as his body temperature. The more she thought, the more inappropriate Mu Linger felt about the situation. Still, there was no other choice. She could only blame herself for being too careless going out tonight. Everything was perfectly fine, so why take a stroll? Why not sleep properly to prevent this all?
While Mu Linger was growing restless, Manager Jin was staring at the starry night sky. His thoughts were unclear, but his icy, indifferent eyes were flickering with a sense of absentminded wandering.
They waited, and waited…
Finally, Mu Linger couldn’t take it anymore. “Is Uncle Cheng gone yet?” she asked.
Actually, Uncle Cheng had long left. Manager Jin didn’t answer, but simply asked back, “Mu Linger, why did you lie? Why fool me with your chasity on the line? Is this very fun for you?”
Mu Linger fell silent without a word.
“Answer me,” Manager Jin’s tone was still faint. But if Mu Linger had looked up at him now, she would have seen the serious, persistent gaze in his eyes.
Instead, she only realized that Uncle Cheng was gone and prepared to get up, but Manger Jin’s hands tightened around her waist, effectively trapping her in place.
“Answer me!” he said coldly.
“It was fun! There’s nothing else to it! Are you letting me go or not? Do you know what it means by ‘men and women should keep their distance?’ You’re bullying a girl!” Mu Linger looked up to glare at him. Silently, she resolved to help keep Ning Jing’s secret no matter what. Unfortunately, she had seriously underestimated Manager Jin’s intelligence.
“It’s Ning Jing who’s pregnant, isn’t it? She has Tang Li’s seed!” Manager Jin said.
Mu Linger was alarmed. “You...what are you going to do?”
But Manager Jin only cursed at her. “What do you take your own reputation for? Why ruin it?! How did your father and mother teach you? Aren’t you afraid that you’ll never be able to marry anyone in the future?!”
Mu Linger gave a start, but quickly replied in an earnest voice, “I only want to marry Qi gege anyways, so I’m not afraid!”
“You!” Manager Jin was both stifled and depressed.
“Let me go! Hurry up!” Mu Linger demanded.
Manager Jin suddenly fell silent and released her, but it was Mu Linger who ended up staring blankly back at him. Manager Jin moved her aside and stood up to leave, but Mu Linger quickly ran in front of him, spreading her arms to block his way. When he arched a brow at her, she grew uneasy and cried, “Just what are you going to do? Get to the point!”
Right now, she had no choice but to talk terms with him. Otherwise, he could reveal the truth to Uncle Cheng or the guards outside. No matter where he tattled, this secret was an ace in his sleeve. He could even use it to negotiate terms with Jun Yixie. The more she thought, the more flustered Mu Linger grew. In a panic, she realized that if Jun Yixie found out the truth, he would immediately suspect Ning Jing! Then all of Ning Cheng’s hard-earned ploys would come to waste! They would be doomed, too!
Manager Jin simply looked at her without a word.
“Y-you...whatever terms you want, just...just bring them up. I’ll do anything I can to make it possible. As long as you help me keep this secret!” Mu Linger declared.
“Any terms are possible?” Manager Jin smiled coldly.
“What kind of terms do you want?” Mu Linger was feeling a little stricken.
But Manager Jin only said, “How about sleeping with me for a night?”
The sound of Mu Linger’s palm against Manager Jin’s face rang out in the silent night garden.
“Don’t you dare! Disgusting!” Mu Linger cursed. Now she’d thoroughly seen through him.
Manager Jin’s face throbbed with pain. He pursed his lips without a word, then circled around Mu Linger to keep walking away. When she didn’t chase after him, he cupped his swollen cheek and smiled to himself.
Unexpectedly, she actually caught up after a while and said decisively, “Manager Jin, I agree. But you have to promise not to tell anyone about this, or else...or else you’ll never go back to Wintercrow Country and live as a slave again in your next life!”
Manager Jin’s expression dimmed at her words. He whirled back and stalked towards her. Scared by his vicious expression, she backed away until she was trapped by a wall. Yet Manager Jin kept advancing until his sly lips were only moments away from hers. Mu Linger’s heart seized before she looked away with eyes squeezed shut. “If you want to sleep together, then we’ll go to your room!”
Manager Jin’s eyes turned into ice as he raised a hand to slap her. But in the end, he only ended up hitting at air.
New ship new ship newshipnewship ahhhh
Hahaha oh my god for once the "accidental fall down and kiss" is actually set up in a useful way. I think this is my favorite "first kiss" in PGC so far! LFY had to force his and Tang Li and Ning Jing didn't have a pleasant time of theirs, either~ (Well ok, it was "pleasantly drug-induced," I guess.)