Chapter 1299: [Linger] Obstinate

Mu Linger, if forcing you can wake you up from that hopeless, endless obsession, then I'm willing to be the villain! I'll accept you hating me forever!

Jin Zi's desperate kisses fell on Mu Linger's face and body. As he kissed her, he began to tear off her clothes. 

He cherished her so much, but never thought he would go this far. The crazy undressing, the furious kisses, mixed with her bitter tears, drowned out her whimpers time and again. He left her bare and pressed her body tightly against his own. The sight of her teary face made him want to penetrate her right then and there, stabbing her hard enough to wake her into her senses.

But he didn't. He lifted her chin and kissed away the tears by her eyes, forcing her to see him clearly.

"Mu Linger, look at me!"

"Look at who I am! I want you to marry me! Look clearly!"

Even if he was going to force her or push her, he wanted to tell her he'd marry her first. He pushed aside all the hurtful remarks he'd made in the past.

"Mu Linger, I don't want some clean woman, I just want you!"

"Our accounts are both cleared, so count this as me owing you!"

As he spoke, her soft body against him provoked him into restlessness, but he still held on stubbornly to make things clear. 

Mu Linger, you probably have no idea how much Jin Zi treasures you. I want to marry you openly and properly, but that's impossible now.[1]

Just who was forcing whom? 

Just who owed whom?

Mu Linger, did Jin Zi owe you or Gu Qishao in the last life? Why am I so tormented in this one?

"Mu Linger, do you hear me?"

"Mu Linger, look at who I am!"

Jin Zi still wanted to speak, but Mu Linger suddenly pulled his head down to kiss him on the lips. She had never done this before, so her movements were clumsy, but it was enough to push him past his limits so that he lost all resistance. The stimulus was driving him crazy. Even so, he endured, stubborn as a child to await her answer. He pushed her aside and said loudly, "Have you remembered my words?"

Mu Linger cupped his face, her words choked up. "Jin Zi, say them again. I want to hear it one more time."

Jin Zi was stunned. He was so obstinate about wanting her answer, but her clearheaded request caught him off guard. He looked at her, unable to speak for a long time. She quietly waited.

Even if one couldn't love, one could be loved! 

As long as someone was willing. As long as someone didn't care that she once loved someone else.

"Jin Zi, I'll accept it as long as you don't suffer," Mu Linger spoke from the bottom of her heart.

At this point, everything that Jin Zi ever wanted to say—marriage included—was reduced to one sentence.

Jin Zi replied helplessly, "Mu Linger, I like you."

After that, he buried his head to kiss her intimately, kissing all about her that was wonderful and beautiful. Her body was like her person, so, so good.

The moment he mercilessly penetrated inside her, she said, "Jin Zi, I'm sorry."

It wasn't clear whether he heard, or whether he understood what she meant if he did. But he stopped atop her body and forced back the impulse to push, soothing the pain of her first time with kisses until she stopped quavering before resuming his journey. He thrusted in her again and again to reach climax repeatedly, wishing he could penetrate into her very soul just to see if it had his name.

By the time he lost all energy and sprawled across her body, the whole world seemed to quiet down.

One thought of Heaven, and one of Hell.

One thought of staying forever, and one of eternal farewell.

One thought of love, and one of pain.

Whose thoughts were all-consuming, who refused to back down?

Who changed a single thought to gain a life for a lifetime?

The first thought before dawn was "let's never meet again," the last thought after dawn was "I'll marry you."

The hardest debt to pay off in this world was the one of love.

Would they be happier if they didn't like or obsess over others? If they didn't care about the past or future? 

Seeing her suffer, he chose to let go. This was love.

Seeing him suffer, she chose to compromise. This was also love.

There was no first or second in love, only now and later, long or short. 

After a long time of silence, Jin Zi finally murmured, "Mu Linger, is this a dream or not?"

"It's not." Mu Linger was very sure.

"Why?" Jin Zi asked.

"Because I've never dreamed about you," Mu Linger said honestly.

But Jin Zi was quite calm. "It could be my dream. I always dream about you."

"You've had these kinds of dreams?" Mu Linger asked seriously.

Jin Zi gave a start before he laughed out loud. "No, not these kinds."

Mu Linger exhaled and Jin Zi's tone grew soft. "Does it still hurt?"

She blushed and turned away before finally admitting, "Not anymore."

As he fell silent, she quickly added, "You're even sick, but still…"

"All thanks to your medicine," he finished as soon as she trailed off. 

Both of them seemed to fear the other's silence. After some hesitation, she asked, "Jin Zi, we…now that we're like this, will I have a child?"

"Do you want a child?" Jin Zi asked.

"I do." Mu Linger had always been the docile type. When she saw big sister Ning Jing getting pregnant, she wanted children too.

"Whose child do you want?" Jin Zi asked.

Mu Linger hesitated. Back in Tiger's Prison, she constantly pestered Ning Jing with questions and thought multiple times of carrying Qi gege's child. Before she could reply, Jin Zi just laughed. "Gu Qishao's? Sorry, you won't have a chance from now on."

Mu Linger had been looking away, but turned back to stare into his eyes at these words. Jin zi's smile faltered before he looked away instead. He backed off her body and resumed his icy personality. "Mu Linger, no matter who you like, there's no turning back now."

Mu Linger kept staring wordlessly at him until he finished dressing and left the tent. 

The wild beasts had scared off all the herdsmen to hiding in random places. They ended up staying here for five full days. Mu Linger boiled medicine for three days in a row to feed Jin Zi. Since he was already fit, he recovered quickly. Neither of them did anything and stayed in separate tents during the day. At night, he always found her so he could sleep while holding her, but did no more bullying. 

On the sixth day, Jin Zi was fully recovered. Mu Linger said, "I want to wait for the Jade Butterflies on the snowy mountains."

Jin Zi summoned Big White without a word to take her back. He left some silver behind for the herdsmen and took away the sheepskin that had served as their bed. The two of them ended up moving into the stone house at the snowy mountains. Neither of them ever brought up Gu Qishao again or the question of who liked whom. He assumed she'd be quiet while she assumed he'd be cold, but somehow the two of them still ended up quarreling for no reason all the time. Despite this, their fierce arguments were very self-aware and never delved into issues of love a bit. 

Jin Zi took over the job of washing dishes and their three meals a day, including gathering ingredients for their food. Even with limited supplies, he could make up something new for every meal. She studied the Snow Jade Wormwood while he mixed with his pack of tigers and occasionally found her game in the mountains. That he'd make into hot soup and bring it to her side, forcing her to stop work and drink it all up.

She had been looking forward to spring and the Jade Butterflies, but gradually started wishing the winter could last a little longer. 

It turned out that one could still be very happy without comparing what was "true" love.

It turned out one could still live well even when arguing with someone who made her angry everyday.

In the end, spring still came and with it the flock of Jade Butterflies. Mu Linger watched in a daze from her house. "It's so, so beautiful!" she exclaimed.

Jin Zi walked over and stared at the sight from behind her back before suddenly embracing her. She was slightly stunned, but quickly relaxed. Besides that first night when they slept together, he never touched her wantonly during the day. Even at night, all he did was wrap an arm around her waist to sleep. 

He hadn't forced her once after the first time.

So what was up today?

Actually, Mu Linger was already used to his hugs after experiencing it nightly. She quickly redirected her attention to the fluttering butterflies outside. But soon she heard Jin Zi's mellow tones by her ear.

"Linger, let the Jade Butterflies be our matchmaker. Can you marry me?"

He took out a gold card. Mu Linger thought it was her own, but soon realized it was a different one. 

He said, "This is my only gold card, which can be considered the bride price. There's not much money on it, but it can be advanced with Kangan Private Bank. I'm willing to spend the rest of my life paying off your debts."

His name was Jin Zi. Even his bride price offering was so tacky, but Mu Linger was touched to the point of tears. Were the two of them destined to be owing each other debts for a lifetime? 

Mu Linger accepted the card and said, "I'll wed you."

After the snow melted, Jin Zi and Mu Linger went down the mountain and returned to Northern Li's military camp. He planned a grand wedding for her while Tang Li kept his promise to send Mu Linger a generous dowry. Han Yunxi also gave Mu Linger her own dowry with the specifications of a princess. Jin Zi himself wrote all the invitations and didn't leave out Gu Qishao's, which was personally delivered to Pill Fiend Valley. Who knew if they managed to pass it on to Gu Qishao himself?

In any case, the wedding ceremony was held a month later and everyone except Gu Qishao showed up. No one knew how Mu Linger ended up with Jin Zi and none of them dared to mention Gu Qishao's name. 

But Jin Zi simply asked Long Feiye, "Your Majesty, why has the Prince of Yu[2] not arrived?"

Long Feiye replied, "He won't go to anyone's wedding but his own."

Tang Li couldn't help guffawing. "That's right, he didn't even show up to Grand Tutor Gu's wedding!"

Mu Linger suddenly turned around and the crowd fell silent. Jin Zi didn't shy away but said, "It's not that I didn't invite him, but that he didn't give us face."

Everyone was stunned, but Mu Linger only said, "Qi gege is a cheapskate. He gave Grand Tutor Gu a gift but didn't give me anything!"

Now the crowd was truly shocked. Although they'd been avoiding the name "Gu Qishao," these two people didn't seem to care? 

What in the world had happened between them?

At that moment, Xu Dongling flew in with a long brocade box in his hands. "Your Excellency Jin Zi, His Highness Prince of Yu sent men to deliver your congratulatory gift!"

The sight of the gift made Han Yunxi, Mu Linger, Gu Beiyue, and Qin Min all wear complex expressions. What a familiar brocade box![3]

1. Reminder that Mu Linger ruined her own name when she claimed to be carrying Gu Qishao's child, so her reputation's not so great…

2. 豫亲王 - Yu qinwang - After LFY ascended the throne, Gu Qishao was crowned qinwang, or prince of the first rank, technically making him the second highest-ranked royal after the emperor and empress.

3. The last time GQS gave them at a wedding they turned out to be snusnu books, ahem.

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Ruyi's Thoughts

hehe, what do you think is in the box this time?