Lele had followed Le Zheng for so many years and knew his temper better than anyone else in Liubei Trade Consortium—certainly better than Ning Cheng. She knew that once she fell into his hands, it wouldn't be a simple matter of death! After all, she wasn't his biological daughter. She was panicked enough to seek death, but didn't know why she forced a smile. Perhaps she didn't want to show weakness in front of this man.
Ever since he mixed into Liubei Trade Consortium and earned Le Zheng's admiration, she was on a collision course with him. From the moment Le Zheng wanted her to marry him, they begin to fight officially. Although she was a woman, she had never lost to any man. All members of Liubei Trade Consortium were male and many wanted to wed her, but they were all stomped beneath her feet. Only this man had not only failed to get crushed, but had trampled on her multiple times. This time she was truly underfoot. She admitted that she lost, but so what? She wasn't going to let him laugh at her!
"If you're reluctant, then marry me. We'll kill Le Zheng together and split up his treasure. How's that?" Lele asked smilingly.
Ning Cheng replied, "It will be more interesting to meet your godfather after you wake up again."
His words were akin to lynching her. She thoroughly lost her cool and stiffened on the bed, unable to move. Ning Cheng called over a guard and instructed, "Tie her up and send her to the boss's room."
He had already made it to the door when he looked back. It had to be said that in this moment, Cheng'er had the mistaken impression that Ah-Cheng almost seemed to regret it and was going to let her go. But he only said coldly, "That's right, I forgot to tell you. Batu burned down Carefree Joy. That killer of yours was surrounded by multiple attackers and shouldn't be able to make it."
When he finished, he left without hesitation. Cheng'er only gaped as she lost all energy. By the time she was sent to Le Zheng's room, she saw Ah-Cheng standing by the doorway while playing with two unique keys in his hands. She immediately flared up at the sight and wished she could bite him right there.
Abominable! Absolutely abominable!
The guard threw her harshly to the ground. Soon enough, Le Zheng walked out. Cheng'er's head was bowed; she didn't dare to look at him. She knew that she had to be docile now, or else she'd die more miserably.
Like that night, Le Zheng was extremely quiet. But unlike that night, his eyes had no more tears. He loomed over her and demanded coldly, "Why?"
Cheng'er didn't answer.
"Lele, didn't this old man treat you well enough? I could give you anything you wanted, why did you do this?!" Le Zheng snarled.
Cheng'er still didn't answer.
Le Zheng suddenly strode over and kicked her in the shoulder, forcing her to her knees.
"Ungrateful thing! After all these years, I would've been better off raising a dog!"
At last, his words enraged Cheng'er. She looked up and said, word for word, "Boss Le, fostering a child you trafficked isn't kindness, but hypocrisy!"
Le Zheng was shocked. "Lele, you…"
"My name isn't Lele! I'm Cheng'er!" Cheng'er cried. "I've seen all your slave sale contracts!"
Le Zheng's eyes grew fierce as he looked at Cheng'er. He remained silent for a while before he declared, "Then, you should die!"
Ning Cheng's gaze grew complex. Before he could speak, Le Zheng cried, "Steward Ma, I leave it to you!"
Cheng'er was shocked before cold sweat drenched her back. All the female death inmates who fell into Steward Ma's hands were famously bullied and humiliated.
Cheng'er subconsciously glanced towards Ning Cheng with eyes full of fear and pleading.
That's right. She looked down on him the most, but now she was begging him silently. He was her only option. Ning Cheng only met her gaze a moment before ruthlessly looking away. Cheng'er's eyes immediately turned red. For some reason, she stopped panicking but felt misery take its place. It felt as if something was pressing on her chest, making it hard to breathe.
She was unresigned, but also…lost.
Steward Ma was overjoyed. If not for consideration of Le Zheng's emotions, he would have laughed out loud. Even in his dreams, he never expected to get Eldest Miss Le one day! This was something that'd make him smile even while sleeping!
"Master, don't worry. Those who betray you will suffer a fate worse than death with me!" Steward Ma strode forward and threw Cheng'er over his shoulders to take her away. Cheng'er looked up to see Le Zheng turned and enter his rooms with Ah-Cheng following behind him. She had never shed tears even when acting, but seeing Ning Cheng vanish beyond the doors, teardrops fell from her eyes in silence…
Ning Cheng stayed a while in Le Zheng's rooms before coming out. He slowly left the courtyard, but ran straight for Steward Ma's rooms when he was out. With a bang, he slammed opened the door, only to see Cheng'er wrapped up in bedcovers like a frightened animal while curled up on the bed. Steward Ma only had his pants on and stood at the foot of the bed, covered in scratch marks. No part of his skin was left untouched as he bled nonstop.
Ning Cheng was dumbfounded…
Steward Ma was equally stunned by his arrival.
Ning Cheng took the chance to shut the door. Seeing this, Steward Ma grew more suspicious. "Master Cheng, you…still have business?"
Ning Cheng said, "Looks like it's a little wildcat, not easy to tame!"
Steward Ma was a smart man and guessed his intentions as soon as he heard him. He quickly got dressed and said cheerfully, "Master Cheng, it's too strong. This humble one can't tame it, you better do it yourself."
Before Ning Cheng spoke, he added, "Don't worry. As long as that person's killed before tomorrow, the boss won't know a thing."
Ning Cheng tossed Steward Ma a key and muttered, "Half of Liubei's silver is yours."
Pleasantly surprised by the favor, Steward Ma didn't even know what to say. He all but snatched the key into his hands. This motion confirmed Ning Cheng's own guesses: to fully bribe this Steward Ma, he had to put down a heavy capital.
Steward Ma straightened out his clothes and left. Meanwhile, Cheng'er was still curled up with a face full of fear after witnessing the deal. Ning Cheng saw her state and couldn't help scorning her. "I thought you had some guts, but it's nothing more than this."
Cheng'er still didn't speak, looking at him in terror.
Ning Cheng leaned close and was about to ask whether she'd ever seen Jin Zi's slave sale record when she suddenly clawed at him and drew blood from the back of his hand. Not expecting this, Ning Cheng backed away and snapped, "Are you done pretending? If you don't want to die, then get down!"
Cheng'er didn't budge, staring at him with eyes full of hate. If her eyes were arrows, then Ning Cheng would've been pierced through with a thousand holes by now.
"I'll give you one last chance. If you don't come down and speak properly, I'll call back that surnamed Ma this instant," Ning Cheng's patience was limited. This was also his first time being scratched by a woman.
The "Ma" name clearly frightened Cheng'er. She stared at Ning Cheng before slowly sitting up. It wasn't until she reached the edge of the bed that she stuck out her toes, her jade-like feet a very pretty sight. Ning Cheng glanced at them before looking away until Cheng'er was off the bed, only to be stunned again.
He realized that Cheng'er was completely naked. When she was curled up, the sillk quilt could still cover her, but standing up meant it only concealed her body. Her long legs and jade-like arms were on full display. Ning Cheng looked aside and found the torn remains of her clothes. His gaze rested on them before creasing his brows.
Abruptly, Cheng'er began to curse. "Ah-Cheng you bastard! Kill me if you want, are you still a man? Why are you humiliating me?"
"I have no complaints if you want to kill or trick me because I lost! But I despise you for humiliating me like this!"
Ning Cheng turned back to see Cheng'er's face covered in tears. He froze and suddenly turned to leave. Cheng'er was afraid to go out, so she could only wait. She sat for ahiwl before rummaging through the cabinet for clothes and changed into a set of Steward Ma's robes. Then she sat on the bed waiting for Ning Cheng.
Gradually, she calmed down as well.
She couldn't help but wonder what the consequences would be if Ning Cheng had come any later?
Soon enough, Ning Cheng returned with a bag of things and tossed them at Cheng'er's feet. She looked at him and asked, "What is it?"
Ning Cheng didn't speak, so Cheng'er kicked it aside before she saw the contents and almost shriekd.
That…that…that was Steward Ma's head!
Ning Cheng lowered his head as he said in a heavy voice, "Sorry, I came late. You can leave."
Cheng'er stood up to look at him, then at the head, and suddenly understood. "Hey!" she exclaimed in alarm. "You, you…you…"
"Leave! After today, we're finished," Ning Cheng said icily.
But Cheng'er actually rushed in front of him and shoved him. "I'm still clean!" she cried loudly. "I wasn't…I'm still innocent! You, you…you…do you understand?"
She didn't even know how to explain it. Did this guy really think that Steward Ma had his way with her? Thus, he cut off the man's head and gave it to her to make reparations?
Ning Cheng had indeed misunderstood.
He wanted to kill Cheng'er's heart, but never intended to humiliate her as a woman. He didn't agree with Le Zheng's methods and wanted to rush over to save her from Steward Ma's hands while threatening her to reveal Jin Zi's origins. Since she had seen her own records, she must have seen Jin Zi's, too. He didn't expect Steward Ma to move so fast! Admittedly, he was at a loss when he thought Cheng'er had been bullied. Now he realized his own impulsiveness after looking at her. After all, killing Steward Ma would spell more trouble for himself.
Cheng'er looked at Ning Cheng in disbelief before she murmured, "Ah-Cheng, tsk tsk tsk, I didn't expect you to be a good guy!"
Ning Cheng recovered and exhaled. Too lazy to explain, he said coldly, "I have a question to ask you."
Cheng'er smiled. Although her tears had yet to dry, her expression was radiant. She said, "If you agree to let me go, I'll answer your question."
whew that felt like a roller coaster. NC's the kind of guy i could buy either letting Cheng'er get violated or rushing in to save her at the last minute. he was ruthless enough as the Ning Clan head after all.
altho i gotta wonder what's he doing chasing after Jin Zi's origins anyways? out of friendship? to escape the knotty companion that's LFY? to forget the regrets he had with losing HYX? perhaps all three...