Chapter 1208: [TangNing] A good omen

Tang Zijin and the elders were all at the capital city and had even allocated a few workers from the Tang Clan recently to join them in fixing up the imperial city and secret passages and switches of the palace. Not just anyone could do the task--moreover, they only took trustworthy candidates. There was no word on how the architects and switch masters would be dealt with after the construction, but just the sheer length of time it took to build everything meant it’d be very easy to leak out the blueprints.

Thus, Tang Zijin could only rely on other members of the Tang Clan to complete the work. There weren’t many workers left behind as a result. If the Tang Clan was only responsible for providing hidden weapons to the imperial court, then Lady Tang could take care of things. After all, there was a surplus of such weapons in storage. Moreover, they were only providing the most common types, which didn’t require much effort or time to manufacture.

But recently, Han Yunxi had given orders that all weapons of the military were to be provided for by the Tang Clan in the future! It was a ploy to kill three birds with one stone.

First, this would support the Tang Clan and raise its status in Great Qin while suppressing the Baili Clan. This way the Baili famiy wouldn’t look down on the Tang Clan for not being an original noble family. Next, fertile water should be kept in one’s own fields. It took money to buy weapons! Every step from amassing raw materials to manufacturing them was liable to be embezzled if the military factions were left to their own devices. If Han Yunxi made each faction responsible for their own weapons, wouldn’t they find an excuse to ask her for more funds everyday? If everything was unified under the Tang Clan, then it’d just be the clan asking for silver. As Long Feiye’s cousin, Tang Li hadn’t been conferred a title as king. Because of this, he could take over the manufacturing of weapons of war without arousing suspicion. The business of weapons was many times higher than the actual salary and power of a titled king. Finally, it could help Ning Jing.

When Long Feiye sent Tang Zijin to construct the capital, Han Yunxi had kept her eyes on the entire process. She knew exactly how many people had been sent from the Tang Clan. With its current strength, it wouldn’t be easy to make so many weapons. However, Ning Jing was in charge of the arms trade route in Coud Realm Trade Consortium. Although it had been ages since she took charge, she was well versed in the business of manufacturing and trading weapons. If the Tang Clan had no other options, they would definitely ask her, the clan head’s wife, for help.

There were two aspects to pay attention to for weapons manufacturing. One was armament reserves. Outside of watime, one needed a certain quantity of weapons in reserve in case of a sudden battle. Next was research of new weapons. The Tang Clan could more or else take a breather here, but some areas couldn’t wait, such as the palace guards and their weapons.

Lady Tang had fallen ill because she was worried over this matter. The Tang Clan’s ability to manufacture weapons could only just manage this work. However, with Tang Zijin, the elders, and a large number of their craftsmen gone, Lady Tang was forced to take charge for the first time ever. She had never been responsible for such things, so what could she do? A bunch of subordinates had gotten fleeced purchasing raw materials just a few days away. Leaving aside the wasted silver, they had also wasted time. Moreover, the workers in charge of the military weapons were in a slacking mood. Two teams had even gone on vacation yesterday.

Lady Tang couldn’t possibly manage so many things, but neither did she want to tire out her husband and make him rush about both sides. She had kept the whole affair hidden from him and could only ask Ning Jing for help. She knew the girl could take care of things. However, Ning Jing needed to win the Tang Clan’s trust first! Frankly speaking, she had to help Tang Li bear a son so he could have a heir to his name. 

No one would believe that she, a daughter of the Di Clan, could ever be wholeheartedly devoted to a husband who had lost his wits without thinking twice. However, they could be convinced that she’d give her all for her own son. To put it plainly, everyone had already given up on the insane Tang Li and pinned their hopes on his future son for the Tang Clan.

Looking at Lady Tang’s serious expression, Ning Jing’s heart ached, but she couldn’t tell her the truth. She didn’t dare. All of the people in the Tang Clan were watching, including this very Old Madame. They wanted to know whether she was still willing to bear Tang Li a son while he was a brain-addled idiot. 

Nobody realized this wasn’t a matter of preference, but impossibility!

Ning Jing hadn’t asked anything after bringing Tang Li back, but she could guess the situation of the Tang Clan now. Lady Tang had said these words today because she couldn’t hold out any longer and needed her help. Ning Jing looked towards Tang Li and bluntly ignored the bitterness in her heart as she accepted the medicine. 

“Mother,” she murmured in a low voice, “I’ll do my best.”

Lady Tang was thrilled. “A’Li...has made you suffer.”

“It’s not suffering. Mother, how about this for the weapons? You tell me what’s going on and I’ll come up with ideas. Then you can implement them yourself?” Ning Jing asked.

Lady Tang was of this exact opinion. “Good, good! Excellent!”

“Then mother, rest for now. It’s been a year since I’ve taken charge of the arms trade, so I’ll need to understand the current situation first,” Ning Jing said lightly.

Lady Tang was in a much better mood. Even her complexion improved. 

Ning Jing left the room and saw Tang Li holding little Tang Tang while waiting for her outside the doors. Little Tang Tang was very docile and never fussed in her father’s arms. Ning Jing looked at the father and daughter. She didn’t take Tang Li’s hand as usual, but lowered her head and walked ahead. Tang Li caught up to her within a few steps. He was clearly agitated as he reached for Ning Jing’s hand and clutched it tight.

At this moment, Ning Jing could’t stop the tears from streaming down her face. But they fell so silently that no one noticed. She kept her head bowed as she returned to their courtyard full of daisies. Once she reached the bedroom, she decisively stepped in and shut the door. Tang Li was left staring at the closed room while little Tang Tang looked equally lost. 

“Mother,” she said in a childish voice. “Mother…”

Sensing something wrong, the servant girl hurried over to coax the little girl by taking her away to play. It was easy to distract such young children, but Tang Li remained standing blankly in front of the door.

Ning Jing was crying! She was hiding behind the door as she muffled her mouth to weep. She didn’t know what to do anymore. She regretted not taking Tang Li and little Tang Tang away sooner to fly far away. Why had she returned?

Ning Jing kept crying until someone knocked on the door--Tang Li. She wiped away her tears and forced herself to calm down, but didn’t reply. 

Tang Li’s knocks grew louder and more frantic. In the end, he was pounding against the wood. Ning Jing was forced to open the door and scolded him. “What are you doing?”

Tang Li looked at her puffy eyes and didn’t speak. Used to his silence and expressionless face, Ning Jing simply turned around, but Tang Li abruptly blurted out, “Jing Jing, who bullied you?”

Alarmed, Ning Jing whirled back just as Tang Li added, “If you’re not happy, let’s leave.”

His expression was still dull, but this was the first time he’d said such words! When she was sad or unhappy in the past, he typically did nothing but stare at her and stay by her side! The tears Ning Jing tried so hard to stop poured out again as she threw herself in Tang Li’s arms.

“You bulllied me, Tang Li! It was all you! All you!”

Sadness and joy mixed in her heart as Ning Jing finally saw a hint of hope amidst her despair. 

“Me?” Tang Li muttered to himself. “I...I....”

Ning Jing grew nervous as she looked at him. “Yes, you. You bullied me.”

“Me?” Tang Li seemed to be thinking as he knitted his brows.

Ning Jing was even more nervous. After all, Tang Li had never looked so concentrated over the past few moments besides the times he mumbled “Jing Jing” to himself. Nothing else mattered to him. She was afraid to move as she waited with taut nerves. 

Unfortunately, all Tang Li did was repeat “me” a few times before devolving to his usual pattern. “Jing Jing, I miss Jing Jing…”

“Tang Li, think it over carefully! Who are you?!” Ning Jing said loudly.

Tang LI didn’t react. Ning Jing steeled her heart and pulled him down to kiss him on the lips. As usual, Tang Li didn’t react. He was like a block of wood that allowed Ning JIng to do as she wished. The stubborn Ning Jing dragged him inside the room, threw Lady Tang’s medicine outside, and slammed the door shut. 

Inside, Tang Li remained wooden as he looked blankly at Ning Jing without a reaction. Ning Jing gritted her teeth and began to take off her clothes. By the time she was standing naked in front of Tang Li, she clearly saw his expression change--to one of amazement, and the intense stare she knew so well from him.

“Jing Jing…” he began muttering again as he stepped towards her.

“Tang Li, who am I? Who are you? Speak!” Ning Jing said loudly.

Tang Li ignored her. His gaze seemed fixated on her body and its beauty. This was the first time Ning Jing had seen such vitality in his gaze, so much it stunned her. His stare right now was identical to his original self!

“Tang Li…” she murmured, desperately wishing that he could tell her everything was alright now.

Instead, Tang Li suddenly picked her up and headed for the bed. When he started kissing her, Ning Jing almost believed this man had returned to his senses and knew who they were. Everything was so familiar. The habits of the past hadn’t changed at all. He could still torment her to the edge of death and back. In the end, he laid across her as always, refusing to get up. Ning Jing didn’t chase him off, but quietly hugged him and asked, “Tang Li, do you like me?”

“I like,” he immediately answered.

“Do you know who I am?” Ning Jing asked next.

“Jing Jing,” he replied.

“Do you know who Jing Jing is to you?” Ning Jing pressed on.

“Wife,” Tang Li said.

“What is a ‘wife?’” Ning Jing asked.

Abruptly, Tang Li looked lost and shook his head. 

After this time, Tang Li had an additional change. Whenever they went to bed at night, he had the habit of turning over and wanting her. Ning Jing didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, much less how to tell Doctor Gu about this development. Did this count as a good omen?

Ning Jing had promised to try her best and get pregnant, so Lady Tang began telling her about all of the weapons manufacturing details so she could give ideas. Mother and daughter-in-law now had one more task in common besides helping Tang Li recover. With Ning Jing supporting her, Lady Tang could now handle matters with skill.

In a flash, the end of the year was upon them, and Tang Zijin was set to return…

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Oof, my feels. I'm wishing the best for Tang Li and Ning Jing, but I can see it's going to be a rocky road ahead...