Chapter 1206: Repaying debts


The one and only Qinwang that Long Feiye conferred was none other than Gu Qishao!

Actually, Long Feiye was planning to make Ning Cheng a Northern Li king, but the man went back on their promise and was still missing to this day. He respected the man for his choice to leave that way. They only had private debts between them now.

As Pill Fiend Valley was located in an area historically called Yu (豫),[1] Long Feiye’s official title for Gu Qishao was Qinwang Yu.

Han Yunxi was surprised by this as well. She only silently chuckled that Gu Qishao couldn’t have a free an easy life anymore. If anything important happened in the imperial court, or the palace needed its Qinwang to present at some social gathering, Gu Qishao had no place to run!

Gu Beiyue was also caught unawares. His thoughts differed form Han Yunxi’s and he approved of Long Feiye’s actions. Little Qi had paid too dearly over the past two years. He had fought a battle without gunpowder against Bai Yanqing that was no less crueler than any way. None of the civil or military officials here would ever know the price Gu Qishao paid, but Long Feiye didn’t forget. Little Qi deserved such honor and glory!

Although Gu Qishao wasn’t present to hear the conferment, the matter was as good as set with the edict!

--

Currently, Gu Qishao was researching a certain new type of teatime snack in the kitchens of a certain manor. He had missed Rui’er’s one-month anniversary present and decided to build up a tea plantation as his one year old birthday gift. He was extremely busy and had no interest in Long Feiye’s court affairs. 

Whether or not he had any reactions to his new status was a story for another day.

--

After the formalities ended, Long Feiye led the crowd to the western suburbs of Yunning where an altar had just been erected. There he prayed to the Heavens to officially end the coronation ceremony. When they retuned to Yunning Palace, it was already evening. Long Feiye gave a banquet to all officials of third-rank or higher. The whole affair lasted until late night.

Han Yunxi was extremely tied, but never stopped missing little Rui’er. These past few days she’d been busy preparing for the ceremony and didn’t have much time to spend with her son. Now all the dust had settled. Long Feiye would likely continue to be busy as he was now emperor, but she should have more free time for a while as empress. There were no wars she had to oversee during an era of peace.

Han Yunxi entered the rooms and told the servant girl inside, “Have Zhao mama carry Rui’er here. I want to spend time with him tonight.”

But Long Feiye stopped her coldly. “No need. All of you withdraw, there’s no need to serve us tonight.”

Han Yunxi felt something was amiss. Did Long Feiye have something important to tell her? She sat down and personally brewed some tea as she waited for him to join her. As soon as he drew close, she rose to hug him and murmured, “Whatever you need to say, save it for later. Let me hug you first.”

Her arms circled around his waist as she buried her head against his warm chest, inhaling his special scent. She’d wanted to embrace him in the hall during daytime but had held back until this moment.

She said, “Long Feiye, today...I was very surprised. It was like...like this was the real day I officially married you.”

Long Feiye lightly stroked her hair before planting a soft kiss on her forehead, smiling wordlessly.

Han Yunxi grinned. “What do you think would have happened back then if I never got off my sedan chair?”

“Didn’t you get off in the end?” Long Feiye retorted.

Actually, he and Han Yunxi were both perfectly clear: if Han Yunxi hadn’t gotten off, there would only be two paths before them. First, Han Yunxi would have been trapped inside the carriage and died on the Duke of Qin’s doorstep. Alternatively, she would have been carried back to the Han Estate and be sentenced to death for defying an imperial marriage decree.

Emperor Tianhui was only giving Long Feiye a warning back then and wouldn’t have really forced him to marry. No matter how the emperor and Long Feiye interacted, Han Yunxi would end up as the unluckiest party to shoulder all the guilt and blame. However, the entire capital was taken aback when Han Yunxi came out on her own.

Han Yunxi circled her arms around Long Feiye’s neck and looked up at him. He met her gaze and grew serious. “Yunxi, it’s all my fault. Thank goodness you got off. I...wouldn’t be able to afford the consequences of missing you.”

“I wouldn’t have, either,” Han Yunxi said, before stepping on her tiptoes to pull Long Feiye down for a ferocious kiss. That single missed kick to the sedan chair door could have cost them an entire lifetime. Thinking of it now left fear in their hearts.

Their kiss deepened as their figures entwined. After busying themselves for so long, it had been ages since they shared a really good kiss while tangled up with each other. Now they were reluctant to let go. In the end, it was Long Feiye who released Han Yunxi first. Actually, he was always the first one to let g. Otherwise, Han Yunxi would never be able to extricate herself. No matter who initiated first, he always ended up leading them both. 

Han Yunxi was a bit flummoxed after such a long kissing session. Her cheeks flushed red like a young girl’s instead of an already married woman. She released Long Feiye, knowing him all too well to not sense the flames and desire in his kiss. They still had to talk proper business first, especially since Long Feiye had his first morning court session tomorrow. She couldn’t be some female fatale who delayed his work.

She turned to pour some tea in hopes of waking herself up. But Long Feiye actually hugged her from behind and rested a smooth chin against her shoulders. “How did you know I had something to talk to you about?”

“Why else would you send everyone else away? And refuse to see your precious son?” Han Yunxi responded.

In the past, neither of them were used to having servants in attendance overnight. But after birthing little Rui’er, even a peerless, undefeated couple like them couldn’t guarantee to quell his cries in the night without help. 

Seeing Long Feiye remain silent, Han Yunxi grew puzzled. She asked, “Unless you have nothing to discuss?”

Long Feiye must have a heap of things to do tomorrow. The Six Ministries had just been established and there were plenty of policies up for discussion so he could make the final call. Even Han Yunxi had her to-do list pending in the future. For example, someone in the military might bring up the issue of military pay. It was required during wartime, but peacetime soldiers needed silver to support them too! Perhaps the Ministry of Revenue would suggest reducing the budget of aid to Northern Li, or the Ministry of Works would ask the Ministry of Revenue for money to build up the imperial palace.

These problems couldn’t be solved in one or two meetings, but Long Feiye knew what he was doing. The clear and hidden struggles of the imperial court would begin tonight. So many people were preparing for tomorrow’s morning assembly! How could Long Feiye have nothing to talk about? Even if he didn’t find her, he should at least find Gu Beiyue.

At last, Long Feiye opened his mouth. “There’s something important. Very important…”

Han Yunxi suddenly felt something was off and wanted to turn around, but Long Feiye only pulled her close. She stopped moving, but before she could question him, Long Feiye planted a trail of kisses from her neck to her earlobe. He murmured softly, “I’ve repaid my debt, so shouldn’t you repay yours?”

“I owe you?” Han Yunxi was momentarily clueless. What kind of debt do I owe him? No way, right?

Long Feiye chuckled. “I paid you in the morning, so you can pay me tonight. You’ve owed me for years, but since you didn’t collect interest on my debt, I’ll do the same for you.”

In the morning, he had made up for all the steps he missed back in the past, while their wedding night back then was…

Han Yunxi finally understood what he meant and didn’t know whether to cry or laugh. “Long Feiye, you even remember debts like these?!” she exclaimed.

She owed him a bridal night in the wedding chambers! Instead, she had originally passed a pitiful night sleeping in his study. Now that she thought back, this guy had been abominable! If anything, he should have been the one sleeping in his study instead!

Long Feiye laughed loudly before sweeping her off her feet and striding to the large hot springs in the rear of their palace. It was approaching mid-autumn so the nights were icy cool. This was the perfect season for a hot spring soak. After Han Yunxi was stripped of her clothes and soaked in the water, she finally understood why he’d dismissed all the servants. The water rose to her chest in a mix of mist and fog. Under the moonlight, her snow-white skin seemed especially charming. What captivated Long Feiye’s eyes most of all were her pretty collarbones. 

In the end, he lost all restraint and pushed her against the edge, extremely gentle and tender…

Although he said he wouldn’t charge interest, he was simply a wolf and tiger both. He didn’t spare her in the hot springs and took even more advantages when they went back to their rooms. In the end, Han Yunxi was left sprawling exhausted on the bed with no desire to move an inch.

She muttered, “Feiye, where did that drop of blood on the handkerchief come from that year?”

“It was a drop of blood from my fingertip,” Long Feiye replied. “Right, this debt needs to be paid too.”

Han Yunxi was too groggy to remember that she’d already paid him back that year by curing his poison. By the time Long Feiye flipped her under him again, she gave him a pitiful look on the verge of tears. “The days are long ahead of us, still long. Can’t we take it slowly? If you oversleep tomorrow and miss the morning court, I’ll be the main offender.”

Long Feiye’s enthusiastic response was a prelude to a storm. Han Yunxi finally realized she’d been tricked. The next morning, she was still sleeping away when Long Feiye went to morning assembly. As she predicted, there was a whole heap of things to deal with, all of them important. After the assembly ended, Long Feiye went with a huge crowd of courtiers into the imperial study and stayed there until late night.

Han Yunxi knew he was busy, so she had Zhao mama prepare some soup. She personally delivered it to him and set it aside while she listened in. The royal harem didn’t involve itself in politics, but Han Yunxi’s master military command token meant no one dared to object too much. 

When she arrived, Gu Beiyue had just brought up Long Tianmo. When Tianan’s imperial capital had risen in revolt, the Long Tianmo under house arrest had been sent to the government prisons. To this day, he was still locked inside. Gu Beiyue cherished Long Tianmo’s talent for governing and was pleading his case. 

Long Feiye approved, but didn’t confer any titles on the man. He only said, “If he has the desire to participate in the imperial examinations and enter the palace that way, Zhen[2] won’t mistreat him!”

Han Yunxi felt that made sense. Long Tianmo was the crown prince of the previous dynasty, so if he had the strength and will to be an official, Long Feiye was generous enough to accept. If he had no desire for such things, Long Feiye didn’t have to extend him any special treatment, either. 

Just like that, Long Feiye began his path to managing a country. Han Yunxi split her time between Rui’er and her husband, their days busy but happy. The Tang Clan’s assassination weapons became exclusive weapons of the imperial court. Tang Zijin and the head elders were all busy with construction work of the permanent capital city and palace. Tang Li remained witless, leaving the matters of the Tang Clan to fall on Lady Tang’s shoulders. Everyday, Ning Jing took her husband and daughter out to play. The family of three lived in the mountain forests of the Tang Clan, where they had planted daisies. She had yet to give up and would tell Tang Li stories about the past daily.

Gu Qishao was still fiddling with his tea plantation for Rui’er’s one-year-old birthday present. 

Mu Linger returned to Medicine City and truly took control of the Mu Clan. She began publicly soliciting disciples. Gu Beiyue said he would take all powers of Medical and Medicine City under imperial jurisdiction within three years as a unified whole to create an official drug administration. Mu Linger’s actions were all part of cooperating with his plan. Occasionally, she would remember her Qi gege, but her thoughts remained calm. But sometimes she would think of Jin Zi too and wonder why he bother showing up in her mind?

Jin Zi returned to Northern Li to control the Black Clan and tiger army. The Ning Clan troops increased their respect of him under Deputy General Chen, who was handpicked by Ning Cheng before he left. They didn’t have much complaints about the situation in Northern Li. Because they didn’t rebel, the people of Myriad Merchant Hall didn’t dare object openly, either. They began to show off their skills in business, hoping one day to reinvigorate Cloud Realm Trade Consortium to a point where it could compete with the Jiangnan Trade Consortium one day.

To this day, Ning Cheng had yet to show his face and his whereabouts remained unknown.

Baili Mingxiang remained in the Baili Navy adrift out at sea and became its naval doctor.

As for Gu Beiyue, he bought a house in Yunning and ordered people to bring Qin Min over. The two remained respectful partners who rarely interacted. Lil Thing didn’t bother Qin Min and spent its days running between the Grand Tutor’s Estate and the palace. It frequently played with little Rui’er, but ran away as soon as Long Feiye drew near.

The various civil and military officials in court had already begun competing against each other for fame and power, but there wasn’t much gain to be won in the aftermath of a Cloud Realm wrecked by war. Everyone kept the power struggles within reasonable limits and dedicated their efforts to rebuilding the country.

With peace on four sides, the emperor and empress’s hearts united, plenty of projects to set up and establish, and the courtiers all joining forces, the Great Qin Empire would definitely lead to another prosperous era for Cloud Realm Continent!


1. Yu (豫) - a word that means “live in ease and comfort, pleased, delighted.” It seems to suit GQS’s personality well! In modern terms, it’s also another name for Henan Province in China, located in the south.

2. Zhen (朕) - the imperial We. At last, we see it in use in the story again, this time with our male lead. Congratulations, Emperor Xuanyuan Ye.

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Holy guacamole, we did it. 

1206 chapters translated over a total of 1342 days. (Heheh you can see where I slacked off). Since November 19, 2016, this journey I took with PGC has been at times amazing, annoying, agonizing, and always, always at the back of my mind.

It's been almost 4 and a half years since I started this series! I remember stockpiling over 100 chapters before the first release went live. I remember making up GIFs to lighten the mood during the early days (we got sooooo much LFY hate on Disqus comments, haha). I remember staying up late nights to rush finish a release, or going AWOL for weeks because a particular story arc frustrated me to no end.

And now we're here.

The End, sort of.

There are still plenty (read: 164) of extras to translate, but this is the part where we pause at the summit of the translation mountain to look back at how far we've come, squinting juuust enough to ignore all the typos we amassed on the way.

Thank you readers, for joining me on this journey.

Thank you sponsors, for speeding us along.

Thank you to the likes of sithkazar, who made PGC's incredibly complex Relationship Chart as a work of love, and snu snu sect general volare graphic artist Yuuko, who's done so many commemorative graphics for chapterversaries.

It's been a wonderful ride. For better or, ahem, "worse," let's keep on rolling to the very, very end. Next up is the first of the extras, which starts with Tang Li and Ning Jing's story!