Chapter 1174: As long as you’re happy

How would Han Yunxi deal with the Northern Li issue? She wanted to know Long Feiye’s views, which was why she asked him in the first place. After reading through multiple missives, all of which urged Long Feiye to let Ning Cheng fight and take the country in one shot, she even saw a few that suggested they conquer Wintercrow Country too.

Han Yunxi disagreed with these views. It was no different than blatant aggression in her eyes. After all, Wintercrow Country had never involved itself with the other countries of Cloud Realm Continent. Even back in the days of the Great Qin Empire, it had remained independent. 

To raise troops against the non-aggressive northern frontiers of Northern Li for a little piece of land there didn’t meet her approval. She didn’t want Long Feiye to act that way either, so she simply shelved those letters without bringing it up and memorized their senders’ names.

Besides the extremists clamoring to conquer Wintercrow Country, the other missives were all pertinent to the topic at hand. Of course, only their written words were pertinent. All of them were hiding ulterior motives in the dark, especially the Baili faction writers.

Seeing Han Yunxi remain silent, Long Feiye arched a brow. “Do you not want to say, or…”

Han Yunxi smiled. “It’s just difficult to talk. After all...I’m from West Qin.”

Long Feiye broke into a grin. Han Yunxi’s words had gotten straight to the point! The letters urging him to advance primarily came from two factions: the Baili Army and the south central region’s military. The Baili military represented the Baili Clan and perhaps all of East Qin’s old cohorts, while the south central region covered the main clans and warlords’ interests.

The Baili Army had already grasped Han Yunxi’s methods and wouldn’t dare to blame her outright, so they pushed the fault onto Ning Cheng. They not only vied with the Ning Clan troops, but also wanted to take over the northern expedition so as to weaken the Ning Clan troops and even destroy them. Meanwhile, the south central faction did nothing but point out Han Yunxi. Long Feiye’s main stronghold was concentrated in the south, so it was only with their help that he gathered power and wealth in the past.

While Long Feiye was offering them benefits, they smoothed the road for him. Both sides used each other. Once upon a time, they had hoped Long Feiye could ascend the throne and replace Emperor Tianhui to rule Tianning. They also wanted to marry their daughters to him or send them to the court to gain even more power and wealth and raise their status. 

After all, it was easier to become an official or do business when you had an insider in the royal court.

Unfortunately, none of them calculated that Long Feiye would be the descendant of East Qin and was planning to conquer the entire continent, not just Tianning. The south central region military lacked the brutality and strength of the western region generals, the sheer power of the Baili faction, and the battle prowess of the Ning Clan troops. In terms of military strength, they made up Long Feiye’s weakest link. They couldn’t afford to face off against any of the other factions, so they wouldn’t pick a fight with them. Instead, they set their goals on the position of “empress” and “consort.” 

In their eyes, Han Yunxi was the biggest target because she was Long Feiye’s only woman. The south central contingent was extremely sharp. They stood firmly on the Baili factio’s side to coax Long Feiye while suppressing the Ning Clan troops, old cohorts of West Qin. Meanwhile, they were made endless suggestions on the location of the future capital city, the ascension to the throne, establishing the kingdom and its courtiers, and other such important matters.

All in all, Long Feiye was on the verge of becoming Cloud Realm Continent’s ruler so everyone was fixated on the spot of their female master, Han Yunxi, and the Ning Clan backing her. Although Han Yunxi was very capable, she was nothing but a woman in their eyes. Moreover, the only source of support she truly “owned” was the Di Clan’s Ning family. 

Before the chessboard finished its game, those with ambition would still have hopes of winning. After all, it’d be much harder to make their move after Long Feiye chose his empress. To put it simply, the south central contingent had underestimated Han Yunxi’s worth in Long Feiye’s heart and was being used by the Baili faction to let Ning Cheng suffer. 

Thankfully, Long Feiye had asked Han Yunxi for her views. Fortunately, Han Yunxi had seen right through them. By stating she was from “West Qin,” she had outlined all of the relationships.

Compared to the Baili faction and south central contingent, Han Yunxi was more partial to the western frontier generals. They didn’t harbor such vast ambitions. 

What would those generals feel if they knew they had left a good impression on the continent’s future empress?

Long Feiye looked at Han Yunxi with a helpless smile and stopped asking for her opinions. He simply said, “I’ll leave you to deal with all missives related to Northern Li in the future, alright?”

Although there were many letters on the subject, the majority were all asking after the same thing. They wanted Ning Cheng to be cannon fodder, the Ning Clan troops dead at the frontlines, the Baili faction to lead the charge. Long Feiye trusted Han Yunxi’s current energy levels were enough to deal with the lot. Of course, if she couldn’t handle it, he could simply allow her to send orders directly to trash any similar requests in the future!

Leaving aside private considerations, Long Feiye truly believed it was best to stop fighting fo now. He didn’t want to read any more letters coaxing him to advance into Northern Li.

A surprised Han Yunxi stared at him for a long time before muttering, “Long Feiye, you’re so capricious!”

Long Feiye had already started on the rest of his letters. He didn’t look up, but replied carelessly, “It’s fine as long as you’re happy.”

Han Yunxi’s gaze turned sly. “Aren’t you afraid I’ll be biased?”

Immediately, Long Feiye looked up with a stern tone. “Who do you want to favor?”

“You!” Han Yunxi replied without hesitation.

Long Feiye assumed that Han Yunxi would turn down a few letters first before giving out orders, but she actually used his namesake right there and then to issue Ning Cheng military orders. The gist of it was that all matters pertaining to the fight for Northern Li would fall under Ning Cheng’s jurisdiction without question. 

By the time Han Yunxi finished the orders, Xu Donglin had arrived with Medical City’s letter. The contents stated that Gu Beiyue had already returned to the storehouse in the medical academy and extracted the poisonous medicine from the plague patients. There was no need for them to worry.

Although Long Feiye knew that was a lie, he still took the letter and studied its contents with care. 

“I’m going back,” Han Yunxi said afterwards. “Do you still want to drink old hen soup? I can have Zhao mama make some more?”

“You be the judge,” Long Feiye intoned.

When she left, his eyes dimmed as he furrowed his brows in thought. 

--

Very soon, Han Yunxi’s orders under Long Feiye’s name spread throughout the military, raising quite a few waves. Although the Baili and south central factions were both displeased, they didn’t dare defy a military edict. From then on, no one dared to send any more letters or interfere in Northern Li’s battle plans. Many more wondered what drove Long Feiye to give the orders. Had Han Yunxi been whispering words to him on their pillow?[1]

Heaven knows if they’d be depressed to death upon discovering the truth?

Ning Cheng was equally surprised upon receiving the orders. Currently, he was camped on Northern Li’s largest plain, the Xilin Grasslands. He had already planned out the deployment of his troops, stationed soldiers on three separate supply routes, and gathered enough rations to support them all. When the time came to attack, the three groups could move up north in tandem to attack the Northern Li emperor. By the start of next spring, the Northern Li emperor’s graineries would be just about spent. He could conquer the county within two months then!

“This must be the West Qin princess’s views, right?” Jin Zi smiled coldly.

“If it wasn’t Long Feiye’s intentions, would the order pass at all?” Ning Cheng retorted.

Jin Zi only patted him on the shoulders. “They’re the ones who’re a family.”

Ning Cheng knocked his hand aside and asked, “What do you mean?”

“When you take Northern Li next year, return my indenture agreement to me. Then let’s go to Wintercrow Country. You can help me investigate my origins while I help you with business deals, alright?” Jin Zi said instead. “Being a general’s no good compared to a wealthy merchant!”

“Does my Di Clan need your help to do business?” Ning Cheng scoffed.

“East Wu[2] has a flourishing business in the slave trade!” Jin Zi grinned.

“My Di Clan will deal in all kinds of business except the selling of human beings,” Ning Cheng tossed back and prepared to leave, but Jin Zi stopped him.

“What about battle horses? Long Feiye has all these soldiers under his command with designs against you. It’d be a pity if you don’t earn some silver off of them.”

“You seem to understand the situation very well,” Ning Cheng mocked.

“That’s all thanks to you. After getting dragged into these muddy waters, I’ve had no choice but to learn.” Jin Zi shrugged and sat on one side. 

Ning Cheng joined him and asked, “Honestly speaking, you still want to look into your origins?”

“Of course!” Jin Zi was all seriousness now.

Ning Cheng had coaxed him multiple times to just keep up the act and become the Black Clan’s surviving heir, but Jin Zi wasn’t interested. Ning Cheng had already calculated that Jin Zi was the only man capable of leading the Black Clan. If he wasn’t around and they became restless, he’d have no choice but to kill them to avoid future threats. Compared to that, he’d much preferred to keep the Black Clan’s strength for Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s use. After all, a battalion of beast warriors was a miraculous force. More importantly, these people were familiar with Northern Li and its grasslands.

But since Jin Zi had refused again and again, Ning Cheng didn’t bother coaxing him any further.

“Someone come, bring wine!” Ning Cheng smiled. “It’s been a while since I’ve gotten drunk. I won’t stop drinking until I do tonight!”

Drunk?

Jin Zi had been thwarted by Ning Cheng multiple times already. Every time he drank with Ning Cheng, it was always him who ended up unconscious multiple jugs later. Ning Cheng, in comparison, remained lively and clearheaded.

Despite his consecutive losses, Jin Zi was quick to join in. “Alright! No rest until we’re drunk tonight!”

Perhaps when he was drunk, he’d stop thinking of Mu Linger. He wouldn’t remember her pure, simpleminded, idiotic self, or her lips, or all the other little details…

Mu Linger, are you still chasing behind your Qi gege even now?

Mu Linger, it’s been so long. Have you ever thought of me or our one-year agreement?

--

Mu Linger was currently coaxing little Tang Tang to sleep in the Tang Clan. She had no idea how many times Jin Zi had drank himself drunk in the Northern Li grasslands, or what her Qi gege was suffering this very instant. In fact, she didn’t even know where he was.

She had always been waiting for Tang Li to bring Ning Jing back to the Tang Clan. Only then would she stop worrying over little Tang Tang and see Qi gege. She hadn’t even figured out what she’d do after that. She only wanted to meet him again…


1. Aka the famous “pillow talk” technique!

2. A city in Wintecrow country, mentioned in C965, 1093, and 1095.

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Ruyi's Thoughts

*shakes fist* This chapter is just full of people pining after people or positions they can't have, tsk tsk!

Anyways, I've started reading Supernatural Movie Actor App and it's quite good. Sure it's a BL, but the plot is interesting--a guy with a double personality joins a "horror movie acting game" to win his other self a separate body. There's plenty of creepy moments and mysteries to keep you entertained, so check it out if you're bored!