Cheng'er thought it over for a long time before she finally deigned to reply Yujin. "I don't want to kill him anymore!"
Yujin looked at her in disbelief before Cheng'er grinned devilishly and told her everything that had happened at Liubei Trade Consortium.
"You can still smile? If he had gone late, your whole life would be over," Yujin said seriously.
"If he went late, I'd leave a letter in blood and smash my head to death in that room," Cheng'er replied.
"What letter of blood?" Yujin asked curiously.
Cheng'er had long considered this problem. "Basically it'd be asking him to help collect my corpse. Otherwise, I'd haunt him even as a ghost. This way he wouldn't forget me for a lifetime."
Yujin arched a brow at her as she gained a deeper understanding of her malevolent nature. "Hey, you really don't want to go home and acknowledge your relatives?"
Cheng'er didn't care. "There's no place for me even if I go back. Moreover, I haven't settled my debts with Ah-Cheng yet."
Back then Le Zheng didn't want to abduct her, but her extremely talented elder sister and only got her by mistake. This information was recorded in detail in Le Zheng's secret files. She felt he had to have left them for a reason, but she wasn't sure what. The Mysterious Continent was a world where power was the most important thing. In bigger clans, it didn't matter whether you were born from the first wife or concubine. What took precedent was talent. A waste like her would only make a fool of herself if she went back.
She knew which clan she hailed from but never planned to inquire about any news about them. She had long steeled her heart not to find her family.
"Haven't you finished with him? You still want to go back and seek death? If he has the ability to deal with Le Zheng, can you threaten him with anything?" Yujin asked.
"I don't care, Liubei Trade Consortium's silver has to have my share," Cheng'er's eyes spun slowly back and forth as she thought up another evil idea. She knew Ah-Cheng would deal with Le Zheng during this time, so she had to intervene no matter what. Otherwise, there would be no reason for him to split up the silver later.
That night, Cheng'er tossed and turned as she thought without being able to sleep. She pulled Yujin up early next morning to accompany her back to Pingyang City.
Ning Cheng had indeed made a move the very night Cheng'er was sent away. With Steward Ma already dead and Le Zheng planning to see him the next day for Lele's corpse, he couldn't hide anything. Thus, he laid his hands on Le Zheng that very night. He made an excuse of finding Le Zheng to discuss matters and stayed in his rooms until late night. By the time his dagger stabbed through the man's heart, Le Zheng's guards were still standing on the sidelines. They didn't have time to react before they were killed too.
He had to thank Cheng'er. If she hadn't ran away and made Le Zheng put him in charge of hunting her down, he could never get access to professional killers so quickly. He gave the key he left to Steward Ma to the killer Xiongfei and entered into a contract with him. As long as Xiongfei helped him kill Le Zheng, he could become the second head of Liubei Trade Consortium. While escorting its sales and purchases, he could enjoy half of its wealth. Such a temptation couldn't be afforded by every employer, so Xiongfei immediately agreed.
Ning Cheng was a businessman who never did deals with losses. He gave up half his wealth to Xiongfei, but it wasn't as simple as just killing Le Zheng. After staying in the Mysterious Continent for awhile, he knew that he needed strength to have a stable foothold. Working with Xiongfei was to pave the road for the future.
Perhaps Xiongfei's mercenary group wasn't the best choice, but at the very least it was the best among the powers he could contact at the moment.
The day after Le Zheng died, Ning Cheng told the entire Liubei Trade Consortium that he perished from illness. Those who were smart naturally understood what had happened while the dumber ones would dispute the claim. Faced with this, Ning Cheng's methods frightened everyone. When he was hunting down Cheng'er, he eliminated her faction. Two-thirds of the rest were his people, while the remaining one-third were part of Le Zheng's inner circle. Within that one-third, only a dozen or so remained if one deducted the smarter among the bunch.
Ning Cheng used another day to expose the corruption of those dozen or so members with full evidence. This move not only prevented them from taking any more silver, but also forced them to pay back what they embezzled before they could leave. Otherwise, they could only continue working at the consortium to pay off their debts. Thus, it cleaned up more than a dozen opponents and gave a loud warning to the rest. Everyone in Liubei Trade Consortium knew that Ning Cheng was formidable and highly respected him for it. But after this incident, they also began to view him with awe.
It took only three days for the change of ownership in Liubei Trade Consortium. To outsiders, it seemed that nothing had happened at all since everything remained calm. As for Cheng'er, she didn't hear news of Le Zheng's death by illness until she reached Pingyang City. She stared at the tightly shut doors of the consortium and was confused!
A while later, she muttered, "His speed is…way too fast, right!"
Yujin emerged from the shadows and couldn't help reminding her, "Cheng'er, don't mess with that man anymore."
"I'm uncomfortable all over if I don't mess with him!" Cheng'er cried. She hadn't felt it so keenly in the past, but now that she knew Ah-Cheng was hiding so deeply, she just wanted to provoke him even more.
Why? Cheng'er didn't know either. She looked back at Yujin and asked, Jin, am I courting death?"
Yujin replied expressionlessly, "You're selling yourself cheap."
Cheng'er wasn't angry at all and nodded earnestly. "Completely accurate!"
Then she quieted down as her usual dandy expression grew tender. A while later, she spoke again. "Jin, I've heard a saying before."
"Mm?" Yujin was curious.
There weren't many sayings that Cheng'er acknowledged, but the latter only said, "They say liking someone is selling yourself cheap."
Yujin's mouth twitched. She didn't even know how to answer that. When it came to matters of love and affection, she didn't understand a thing. After studying Cheng'er for a while, she asked a deeper question. "Cheng'er, you couldn't get the money, so now you want the man?"
Cheng'er gave that some thought before she giggled. "I gave the best years of my life to Liubei Trade Consortium. I can't very well leave empty-handed, right? Yujin, take me inside. If I succeed, I'll be able to pay you back."
Yujin had no way to send Cheng'er inside at all because the first thing Ning Cheng did after taking charge of Liubei Trade Consortium was to ask Xiongfei to find a group of top assassins to guard ts headquarters while Xiongfei himself protected Ning Cheng closely. Yujin had escaped while Cheng'er was thrown out. She fell in front of the gates and was in so much pain she couldn't even straighten her back.
At this time, Ning Cheng was doing a final search of Le Zheng's rooms. He had already found the secret files that Cheng'er mentioned but only found four. Cheng'er's own files were already gone. He thought that she must have taken hers away on the night she determined to kill Le Zheng. Of the four remaining files, one indeed belonged to Jin Zi. Ning Cheng kept that one on himself for protection and destroyed the other three.
That was because he couldn't afford to offend any of those three families. Once the files were publicized, Liubei Trade Consortium and himself would vanish off the face of Mysterious Continent. As for Jin Zi's file, he planned to find someone he could completely trust to deliver it to Northern Li across the Ice Sea after busying himself this period.
His final search still didn't yield any information about Le Zheng's life. He had been hoping that the man would contact his original family so there were traces to check, but now he hoped the man had cut off contact completely. Otherwise, he'd be in trouble if they came knocking at his door. All hopes aside, Ning Cheng was a prudent man. He had already started to think of ways to hand Liubei Trade Consortium to a powerful figure and withdraw completely so no one could find the person called "Ah-Cheng." After all, he didn't enter the consortium for the sake of money, but Jin Zi's origins. Now that the truth was out, he was too lazy to bother paying attention to such miscellaneous things.
The Mysterious Continent was full of wineries and none of Long Feiye's spies. He could live recklessly and unrestrained. Over the past few years, he had refused to let Liubei Trade Consortium involve itself in the wine industry so as to leave himself a backdoor. He even found a place to open his own winery already.
Ning Cheng left the rooms and Xiongfei came to meet him. "Ah-Cheng, guess who's at the door."
"Who?" Ning Cheng was lost.
"Cheng'er, that previous Eldest Miss Le," Xiongfei stated.
"Don't let her in," Ning Cheng instructed coldly.
But who knew that one hour later, Cheng'er was in and at his door when Ning Cheng was preparing to sleep. She knocked on the door furiously. "Ah-Cheng, open up! I just want to ask you one thing. Do you still want our child?! Do you? If you don't, I'll get rid of the baby right now."
That's right, Cheng'er was shouting at the door about whether Ning Cheng wanted their baby. Both the guards at the gates and the ones concealed in the shadows were frightened by her claims. After all, Le Zheng had been setting these two up for years and they'd traded barbs frequently. No one was sure about their real relationship. Some assumed that they were superficially peaceful and fought to the death in private; others claimed Lele delivered herself up and had long been Ah-Cheng's woman…in any case, there were many different opinions.
Even Xiongfei's team of assassins weren't clear about the truth. They only knew Ah-Cheng had saved Cheng'er from Steward Ma. No matter what, Ah-Cheng still had some trace of feeling for the girl. Thus, as soon as Cheng'er claimed she was pregnant, they felt the pair had got along in the past before they broke up. Cheng'er had no other way but to use her unborn child as collateral.
Who would dare to touch Ah-Cheng's flesh and blood? They had to let her in.
Ning Cheng had a headache as soon as he heard Cheng'er's nonsensical words. He rubbed his temples while going to open the door. As soon as it did, Cheng'er quieted down while the onlookers ducked out of sight. She gave him a currying smile, but Ning Cheng simply dragged her into the room and slammed the door shut.
Author Jie Mo: After the Ning Cheng extras, it'll be the 10-Year Agreement arc. Beiyue's ending will be in the big epilogue.
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ehh...cheng'er is a little annoying. there are feisty girls sure, and brainless ones, and feisty + brainless ones, but her mix of traits is kinda all over the place. she's sometimes smart but oftentimes stupid and childish at best...
please don't pair her with ning cheng author, he deserves so much more if anything. even a quiet calm type like qin min would be a better combo, i think. this cheng'er...is too loud... (=_=)