Chapter 1284: [YeXi] Clean

Faced with Mu Linger's merciless reply, Jin Zi's answer was even crueler. 

"What's this 'like?' I just want a clean woman, that's all."

Mu Linger had calmed down, but these words rekindled her rage! Need a clean woman? Am I just a slighter cleaner woman than those unclean women in the world? What does he take me for?

Mu Linger turned around in a huff and rushed to Jin Zi, swinging her fist at his left eye!

"Ah!" Not expecting her to actually attack, Jin Zi was caught off-guard. He cradled his eyes in pain. It felt like she'd crushed his eyeball! Aren't women supposed to slap you when they attack? This brat actually used her fist!

Mu Linger was mad with fury. After her first punch, her second was right behind. Luckily, this time Jin Zi caught her before she hit. 

"If you blind me, you'll have to wait on me for the rest of your life!" he said icily.

"I'm not only going to blind you, but cripple you! I'll gladly marry you! And I'm happy to serve you for a lifetime!" As she spoke, she viciously stomped on Jin Zi's foot.

"Ah…!" Jin Zi let go in pain and sat down to clutch his foot in agony! Where did this brat get so strong? Is she using strength from the beginning of time? It really freakin' hurts!

Mu Linger suddenly picked up a chair and lifted it above her. She was going to smash it on his head! Jin Zi was stunned, but his expressed jolted Mu Linger as well. Her eyes shifted back and forth between Jin Zi's head and the chair in her hands. Seeing this, Jin Zi's face finally showed traces of fear while Mu Linger's anger intensified. After going back and forth a few times, Mu Linger suddenly tossed the chair aside. She had scared herself too.

Why was she so impulsive? Had she lost her mind? She stroked her chest and calmed down before arching her eyebrows at Jin Zi in disdain. "Apologies, this girl isn't clean anymore. Think carefully about whether you want to marry me. Then tell me afterwards! Goodbye!"

She gracefully turned to leave, but Jin Zi lost it before she took a single step. 

He really lost his temper!

"Mu Linger, hold it right there!" Jin Zi roared. 

Mu Linger snorted. She didn't fear him and took a step. 

"Mu Linger, I dare you to take another step!" Jin Zi hollered.

This time Mu Linger's foot stiffened and even her heartbeat stuttered. Jin Zi simply sounded too ferocious. Her first reaction was to flee, but Jin Zi had already ended up in front of her. His eye was already swelling up and the socket was black and blue like a panda. If this was any other day, Mu Linger would laugh, but now she only felt scared at the sight. That was because his frosty eyes were filled with monstrous flames of anger! 

She subconsciously backed up. To tell the truth, she actually hid a flicker of fear for the man before her, though she didn't know why she was afraid. Jin Zi looked at her coldly and let her retreat until her back hit the edge of the table. Once she was stuck, he advanced.

"You, you…" Mu Linger tensed up. "You owe me money, you, you…why are you still so fierce?"

Jin Zi suddenly drew close enough until they were almost nose to nose. Mu Linger grew dazed. This feeling was all too familiar. But Jin Zi didn't do anything else besides immediately backing away and moving to her side. Mu Linger's heart pounded as he stood in silence. Abruptly, the tent grew quiet. 

After a long time, Jin Zi suddenly punched the tabletop with a cold laugh. "Mu Linger, whose child are you pregnant with this time?"

Mu Linger looked over and saw his perfect profile radiating an appealing anger. This was even more familiar to her. Back at the tiger prison, he'd lost his temper with a punch as well, though it was against the wall. 

He'd said, "Mu Linger, why can't you cherish yourself more? How am I supposed to treasure you like this?" Back then she'd panicked and said she was pregnant with Qi gege's child until he discovered the truth. 

For some reason, looking at Jin Zi's angry profile made Mu Linger recall her memories despite her fears. From the Three-Way Black Market to Northern Li's Tianhe City, she had faked her pregnancy while he cared for her the entire trip. Although he wasn't exactly attentive, he always responded to her requests. Any soup she named, any food she wanted, he found back for her, even if it was in the middle of nowhere. 

Mu Linger had no idea why she was recalling these things now. She hadn't thought of them in the past two years and assumed she'd forgotten. Unable to control her memories, she gazed at his icy, furious face and felt sorrowful. An inexplicable pain rose in her heart, though she couldn't figure out why or for whom she was hurting. 

After a while of silence, Jin Zi turned and walked past from the other side, not sparing her a look or saying anything else as he left the tent. Outside, Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were still waiting. Long Feiye had no interest in Jin Zi's private affairs and was here on business. Seeing Jin Zi, he said coldly, "If you want to resign from your post, leave now. If you're staying, make preparations to accompany Zhen to that secret passage!"

Just then Jin Zi had been raging at Ning Cheng and declaring he'd resign, but now he said, "I'll bring some men to the secret passage to lie in wait and catch them. The first shipment of salt should almost be there. This official will make preparations to head out tomorrow morning."

"Granted," Long Feiye said frostily.

When Jin Zi left, Han Yunxi ran into the tent. Long Feiye wasn't interested in gossip and simply went to a nearby farm to observe the situation of the common people. Inside the tent, Mu Linger woke up from her daze at the sight of Han Yunxi.

"Big sis!" she exclaimed in alarm.

Han Yunxi pretended to be ignorant and asked, "Don't you dislike Jin Zi? And you still came here to find him to play?" 

Mu Linger had yet to tell her the truth about her affairs and only said she didn't like Jin Zi, so she wouldn't marry him. If she wanted to act dumb, Han Yunxi was all too happy to play along. It was hard to be objective about family matters, but emotional matters were even more complex and capricious. Strictly speaking, it wasn't that feelings were fickle or that hearts changed, but that human hearts were too deep. Most of the time, it was difficult to decipher other people's feelings, to say nothing of your own.

Mu Linger felt miserable, but she still didn't want to talk. First, she was afraid that Han Yunxi would help her pay off her debt. Secondly, her own heart was in turmoil and her mind was in a mess. It would be impossible to explain things clearly right now.

She laughed and found an excuse instead. "I came to see the snowy mountains of Northern Li. Before, Jun Yixie colluded with the Mu Clan to plant medicinal plants there, but nobody bothered with them afterwards. I wanted to rush here before winter set in for a look, and maybe…" 

Although it was just a cursory excuse, Mu Linger suddenly realized she could plant and sell medicinal plants from the snowy mountains. Those were very valuable specimens! 

"Maybe I can make this business work!" Mu Linger grew excited as her sadness vanished like smoke. She truly was a person whose emotions came and went quickly. She could cry when she wanted, laughed when she needed. Now that she found a solution to pay back her debt, her mood became clear and bright. As long as she paid off the debt quickly, she would have no more interactions with Jin Zi. She couldn't afford to mess with him, so it'd be best to hide far, far away.

Han Yunxi was serious. "Those snowy mountains aren't easy to climb. I heard there's a lot of wolf packs up there and snow leopards too."

"No fear, I have a way!"

What else could it be but Jin Zi's big tiger? Jin Zi owed her so much money that he had to help her plant medicine atop the snow mountain, right? 

The reason Han Yunxi asked this question was because she thought of Jin Zi’s tiger. Now she looked doubtfully at Mu Linger without a word.

Many times, this little sister left her speechless…

“Big sis, why are you here? Brother-in-law is her too right? What about Rui’er?”

Han Yunxi only explained the salt smuggling in simple terms since anything too complex would be impossible for Mu Linger to understand. Nor would she be interested.

“In other words, Jin Zi is going to the secret passage with your guys tomorrow?” Mu Linger asked.

“You want to come too?” Han Yunxi replied.

Mu Linger instantly shook her head. “No, just asking. How long will you guys be gone?”

“About half a month if it’s short. Otherwise, at least a month,” Han Yunxi answered.

They had to find the passage first, then sit tight while collecting evidence. Long Feiye was patient enough to draw out a long line to catch all the smugglers at once while cleaning up the Jiangnan big clans. 

"Then I'll go back to Medicine City first and find some seeds to plant here," Mu Linger declared.

That night, Jin Zi set up a bonfire dinner and accompanied Long Feiye and Han Yunxi to eat. Because they had come in private, he didn't invite anyone else. Neither did the couple see Mu Linger when they arrived.

"Where's my family's Linger?" Han Yunxi asked on purpose. She could simply find Mu Linger herself, but she didn't.

"I'll go and invite her now, may Esteemed Empress wait a minute." Jin Zi found an attendant and instructed him in low tones before the man went to seek Mu Linger. 

When he found her, he said, "Miss Linger, His Excellency Jin is hosting a banquet and Esteemed Empress invites you to join in. His Excellency Jin sent this humble one to bring you over."

Mu Linger was actually starving. Although Jin Zi had arranged a tent for her, he didn't provide any food! Since this was a camp, there was no village or shops around. Only vast prairie grassland surrounded them, so she didn't even know where to look for food. She had no idea that her big sis and brother-in-law were right there when she had a tiff with Jin Zi that morning. She figured Jin Zi wouldn't dare act recklessly with them around.

Thus, she decisively went to the feast.

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Ruyi's Thoughts

lol the difference my motivation takes when i'm translating about characters i'm invested in oh boy