Long Feiye watched in silence as Tang Li carried Ning Jing off the carriage. He didn’t look at Tang Li’s face, but merely at his back and movements. The sight almost fooled him into thinking that Tang Li was faking his insanity. Despite losing his wits, Tang Li still acted like a husband in front of Ning Jing.
When Ning Jing got her bearings, she took Tang Li’s hand and said, “That’s His Highness, your big brother. He’s not our enemy.”
Tang Li looked back at Long Feiye but didn’t react or speak. However, the hostility from his eyes were gone. Although he remained mute to everyone, he still understood Ning Jing’s words, which meant he was willing to listen to them. That was a good sign.
“Let’s go back,” Long Feiye intoned.
Ning Jing didn’t go back to the carriage, but took Tang Li with her to follow Long Feiye on foot. She hooked her hands around his arms and made him walk next to Long Feiye. Tang Li wasn’t afraid, but his expression remained blank as he stared straight ahead. The entire journey was made in silence until Long Feiye stopped at one point. Ning Jing stopped with him, but Tang Li kept walking.
It wasn’t that he didn’t notice, he simply didn’t care enough to join them. When Ning Jing moved to call out, Long Feiye raised a hand to stop her. Like this, they finished the rest of the journey walking behind Tang Li. He wasn’t trying to fool himself; the sight of Tang Li’s familiar back simply set his heavy heart more at ease.
While Long Feiye was wholly focused on Tang Li, Han Yunxi was more fixated with Ning Jing by the time the couple appeared before her. More specifically, she was checking out her teeth.
Technically speaking, men weren’t allowed in Han Yunxi’s quarters, but Tang Li was an exception. Han Yunxi was dressed in custom-made, loose fitting robes that covered her figure decently as she sat leaning against her chaise. Ning Jing and Tang Li were sitting in front of her while she studied the former’s teeth.
“I’ll have another check-up in three months, and then there’ll be no problems,” Ning Jing said honestly.
Han Yunxi checked her here and there before breaking into a grin. “Ning Jing, try smiling.”
Ning Jing had been serious, but seeing Han Yunxi’s playful expression made her laugh out loud, revealing rows of neat teeth. Han Yunxi instantly grew serious. “You’re beautiful again, really!”
Ning Jing fell silent. When she saw that Han Yunxi was still smiling, she smiled back with confidence. “Yes, beautiful again. I don’t need to dress up as a man in the future anymore.”
With Tang Li a witless fool, Ning Jing had grown stronger.
Zhao mama came in with little Rui’er next, but Tang Li didn’t react. Instad, Ning Jing was enamored with the baby but didn’t dare ask to hold him.
“He should call you auntie, right?” Han Yunxi asked doubtfully.
Zhao mama didn’t dare to answer. Tang Li was His Highness’s cousin, making Ning Jing their cousin-in-law. When it came to matters of seniority, the little master by rights should call them uncle and aunt. But if you took status into the equation, this wasn’t mandatory.
Han Yunxi didn’t maintain too many rules of etiquette. She chuckled and said, “Come, let auntie hold you a bit.”
Long Feiye sat at the nearby tea table and didn’t comment. Ning Jing carried took little Rui’er and held him. The baby wasn’t afraid of strangers at all, but even broke into a grin. Excited, Ning Jing cried, “Look, you guys! He’s smiling! He smiled!”
“Aiya, he really did. The little master is a brave one and not afraid of strangers,” Zhao mama chuckled.
Han Yunxi seemed to think of something and glanced at Long Feiye, only to catch him staring at his precious son. The chuckling Zhao mama was completely oblivious to the fact that she’d said the wrong thing.
Ning Jing held the baby for a while before remarking, “Little Tang Tang is one year older than him, so that makes her the big sister.”
“Ning Jing, you two might as well stay here. Let Lady Tang send over little Tang Tang,” Han Yunxi suggested.
Ning Jing only smiled and didn’t answer. Han Yunxi had no idea what she was planning, but she didn’t probe. She scooted closer to stare at Tang Li, who had yet to move or react. He treated her like air. Without a word, Han Yunxi kept staring. Ning Jing had written to them about every detail of Tang Li’s changes, so she was clear on his condition.
It was promising that Tang Li reacted to Ning Jing’s words. Maybe as time passed, he would start reacting to Long Feiye, herself, and other familiar faces, then gradually come to himself. She personally went to take out the Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain. After getting pregnant, she had packed away all of her ornaments and hidden weapons except for the bracelet from Long Feiye.
Although the Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain was a gift from Long Feiye as well, he had asked Tang Li to design it for him. Han Yunxi purposely took out a few parts from the weapon before handing it to Tang Li. Before she could speak, Tang Li’s blank look rested on the item. The slight change made everyone tense. Ning Jing was feeling very excited, but swallowed her words when she saw Han Yunxi signal her with a look.
Tang Li accepted the Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain and gave it a glance before declaring, “It’s broken.”
It had been ages since they’d heard that voice! Over the past few months, Tang Li hadn’t said anything else besides the same old lines--missing peace and quiet, wanting peace and quiet…
“How is it broken? Tang Li, tell me, what’s broken?” Ning Jing’s voice was hoarse.
Tang Li didn’t answer, but opened up the Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain and looked at its insides. “It’s missing two thin threads.” Those were the items that Han Yunxi had taken out on purpose!
Although Tang LI’s insanity had robbed him of all memories of the people he knew, he could still see through the weapons he’d designed at a glance. Ning Jing looked at Han Yunxi, extremely moved. Han Yunxi was affected as well. Even Long Feiye sitting on the sidelines couldn’t help but walk over silently.
Once again, Ning Jing asked in a small, careful voice, “Then, can we fix it?”
“Yes!” Tang Li was certain. His blank look turned serious in an instant.
“How do we fix it?” Long Feiye asked next.
But Tang Li stopped talking. Anxious, Ning Jing repeated, “A’Li, how do we fix this?”
Tang Li said no more as he started fiddling around with the Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain. When Long Feiye wanted to ask more questions, Han Yunxi stopped him and murmured, “Let’s do this. Have the Tang Clan send over all the weapons that Tang Li personally designed.”
Many victims of mental trauma who forgot everything and lost their wits nevertheless retained knowledge of their specialties and masteries. At the very least, they wouldn’t reject what thy knew. Perhaps they could tackle Tang Li’s problem from this angle to speed up Ning Jing’s attempts to call him to his senses.
“Alright!” Long Feiye immediately went to organize the details. He had Chu Xifeng command the Tang Clan to deliver the goods while digging up a pile of assassination weapons from who knows were, all personally made and manufactured by Tang Li. Some of them were things Han Yunxi had never seen before.
When the items were placed in front of Tang Li, his eyes lit up. Ning Jing was both excited and saddened by the sight. She teased, “I bet even my daughter and I aren’t worth this pile of scrap metal in his eyes!”
“Try a little harder to wake him up. Ask him who’s more important, the scrap metal or you and your daughter?” Han Yunxi smiled.
“As long as he comes to his senses, it’s fine even if my daughter and I aren’t the most important ones,” Ning Jing looked at Han Yunxi, afraid that she didn’t believe her. “Really! I don’t care!”
Han Yunxi wanted to give Ning Jing a hug, but ended up patting her on the shoulder. She knew that Ning Jing was different from Mu Linger. Ning Jing would cheer up with a simple pat on the shoulders while Mu Linger needed a hug and a good cry.
Originally, Han Yunxi wanted to ask Ning Jing whether Mu Linger and Lady Tang could send little Tang Tang over, but she had already mentioned the baby before without much reaction from its mother. Now it’d be awkward to bring it up again.
If little Tang Tang came, so would Lady Tang. She was fine, but what about the rest of the Tang Clan? Could Ning Jing still stay peacefully with Tang Li after that?
Long Feiye ordered men to set up a little tent in a quiet section behind Rear Camp, and Tang Li and Ning Jing moved in. Caught up with his weapons, Tang Li kept dismantling and assembling them nonstop. Ning Jing was clueless on these things, so she couldn’t ask the right questions at first. Unexpectedly, Tang Li would actually teach her how to design them without being prompted. A few days later, he began to speak more and more often. Unfortunately, he only talked to Ning Jing and no one else. The multiple times that Long Feiye dropped by, he was completely ignored.
While Ning Jing was talking about weapons with Tang Li, she’d slip in a sudden question here and there, like “A’Li, do you know who I am?”
Tang Li would only shake his head. He had no idea this woman was the “peace and quiet” so often on his lips, much less that she was his wife. Every time, Ning Jing would tell him, “I’m Jing Jing, Ning Jing.”
And Tang Li would nod, but that was all. The next time Ning Jing asked him, his replies remained unchanged. Despite this, Ning Jing remained calm and gentle no matter what he said. She was privately miserable, but avoided it as much as she could. These days in the camp, she had the habit of seeking out Han Yunxi.
She never complained or cried, but found Han Yunxi to chat or tease little Rui’er to improve her mood. As Han Yunxi had a companion for her confinement period now, she felt less bored than before. Time seemed to pass even faster instead. During the day when Ning Jing was around, Long Feiye rarely came by to spend time with Han Yunxi and Rui’er. He was busy dealing with the Northern Li plague and the medical coalition sent to help them.
Besides that, he finally gave in one day and went to the rear mountains of Rear Camp alone. Chu Xifeng had long gotten an account of Gu Beiyue’s whereabouts, so Long Feiye easily tracked down the little house.
It was currently approaching evening. The forests and plains had all bloomed into flowers in the spring, giving a sense of vitality to the dusk. But Long Feiye saw nothing but death from a distance!
Gu Qishao was sitting by himself on the doorstep, his entire body wrapped up in black robes. Only his head was showing, but it was bowed down towards the ground. Under the canopy of twilight, he looked like an old, dying man.
Long Feiye stood there for a long time, neither leaving nor approaching…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I felt a little sorry for LFY in this chapter. Ignored by his son, ignored by his brother...he's the most unpopular man of the moment, haha!