Chapter 474: Han Yunxi says one thing and means another Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Wouldn’t pass up the chance?
Han Yunxi simply laughed coldly in her head. Ouyang Ningnuo sounded so generous with his words, but the businesses in Zhangsun Zelin’s hands was far more valuable than any trade in simple medicinal ingredients. Ouyang Ningnuo had collected a vast amount of properties and industries over the years simply by swallowing them up for himself. Without a doubt, he was taking advantage of their dilemma to swallow half of Sky Domain Black Market this time as well. Such wild ambition is truly fitting for the chairman of Cloud Realm Continent’s Trade Consortium. But why is he so certain that Long Feiye is able to win over Zhangsun Zelin?
Long Feiye was interested in the answer as well. “Your lordship is capable of subjugating Zhangsun Zelin?”
Ouyang Ningnuo didn’t elaborate, but simply grinned. “If Your Highness agrees to the terms, let’s put them down in writing. It won’t be too late for this one to get into the details later.”
He was a businessman, alright, prudent and shrewd to the extreme!
Long Feiye was no merchant, but either way he wouldn’t lose to Ouyang Ningnuo. He resumed his seat and said, “What are you planning to write?”
Ouyang Ningnuo grew serious. “This one shall help Your Highness eliminate Zhangsun Zelin as well as facilitate cooperation between Medicine City and Pill Fiend Pharmacy. This one will also refrain from participating in the selling and buying of ingredients themselves, regardless of whether the business turns a profit. In turn, Your Highness will refrain from involving yourselves in Zhangsun Zelin’s other businesses as well, how’s that?”
Han Yunxi was still thinking it over when Long Feiye simply agreed without much thought, “Alright!”
As if sensing her unease, he gave her a reassuring glance, causing Han Yunxi to smile. “Doing business with my family’s Highness is most comforting, seeing how you cut to the chase so quickly.” Han Yunxi’s words were meant to mock Ouyang Ningnuo for his dawdling ways, but everyone else only paid attention to the ‘my family’s’ coming from her mouth.
Even Long Feiye cast her a surprised glance. The phrasing had come so naturally from Han Yunxi that she didn't even realize what she had just said. Gu Qi Sha’s eyes were filled with discontent, his pupils as dark as the blackest night. Gu Beiyue simply pretended that he was invisible and continued to drink tea with his head bowed. Ouyang Ningnuo was left at a loss. He remembered that Han Yunxi had previously revealed her cinnabar gecko mark on her arm back on Fishery Island. This husband and wife pair shouldn’t be intimate at all, but why were they so lovey-dovey now? Just then, Long Feiye had even been stroking her hair and she’d taken his hand. Now she’s declaring her affection for him outright?
When Han Yunxi saw everyone’s odd looks, she felt unnerved and cast a questioning glance at Long Feiye. He didn’t say a word, but went to stroke her hair again. Those soft, gentle movements were filled with doting love as she stared at him innocently. It really was a serene and beautiful sight.
Gu Qi Sha couldn’t take it anymore, and shouted out the door. “Servant, bring the brushes, paper, and inkstone over here!”
Ouyang Ningnuo finally recovered his senses, but Long Feiye was still playing with Han Yunxi’s hair. She quite enjoyed the feel of his fingers and let him do as he pleased. Gu Qi Sha’s eyes flashed with loathing as he privately swore. Long Feiye, you better not fall into this old fellow’s hands one day!
Long Feiye was so quick and decisive with his choice that it left Ouyang Ningnuo feeling uneasy instead. Still, he couldn’t find any weak points in the the terms he’d proposed himself. After the writing tools had arrived, Long Feiye and Ouyang Ningnuo signed a written agreement right on the site. When Long Feiye finished affixing the paper with his personal seal, he casually handed over the stamp to Han Yunxi for safekeeping and said coldly, “Ouyang Ningnuo, can you keep talking now?”
Ouyang Ningnuo wore an enigmatic smile as he slowly poured Long Feiye a cup of tea. “Your Highness Duke of Qin, this business deal most assuredly won’t cause you to suffer any losses. This one received very reliable news that Zhangsun Zelin got a large shipment last month of…”
When he reached this point, Ouyang Ningnuo dropped his voice into a whisper and muttered, “Gunpowder!”
Long Feiye’s eyes flashed with amazement, while Han Yunxi was similarly stunned. After all, the explosive properties of gunpowder were extremely frightening in large quantities. All of Cloud Realm Continent had strict requirements to control its use and supply. The military powers of each country oversaw the manufacture of its gunpowder, even the ones used by civilians for fireworks. Zhangsun Zelin not only had a great quantity on hand, but was hiding them in Sky Domain Black Market as well.
Sky Domain Black Market isn’t far from Tianning’s capital city!
In the silence of the room, Ouyang Ningnuo maintained his slight smile, knowing that his intel held quite a bit of weight.
“Where did Zhangsun Zelin get so much gunpowder? Who is he planning to sell it to?” Han Yunxi muttered to herself, but quickly realized something was off about that train of thought. “Zhangsun Zelin isn’t selling the gunpowder at all. Someone’s using him to secretly transport gunpowder into Tianning via the black markets! And they picked a location close to the capital city on purpose!”
“It’s no wonder you’re esteemed wangfei, how very astute,” Ouyang Ningnuo praised Han Yunxi lavishly.
“Who is it?” Han Yunxi asked him seriously. Without a doubt, the motives of the smuggler has to be terrifying.
Ouyang Ningnuo wanted to keep his listeners in suspense a while longer, but Long Feiye simply disgustedly spat out, “The Chu Clan!”
“Your Highness Duke of Qin is brilliant! Heheh!” Ouyang Ningnuo silently admired the Duke of Qin deep in his heart. Although the man didn’t seem interested in palace politics or power struggles, Long Feiye still knew everything going on in Tianning’s courts! Few people would’ve guessed the Chu Clan without him bringing it up, but now that they knew the answer, they weren’t surprised by the culprit, either.
The three kingdoms of Cloud Realm Continent each had their military powers in charge of the respective gunpowder manufacture. The three divisions of the Tianning military consisted of the Mu Clan’s infantrymen, the Baili Clan’s navy, and the distant Ning Clan calvarymen stationed at the borders. None of the trio would risk bringing such vast quantities of gunpowder to Sky Domain Black Market.
Between Northern Li and Western Zhou, the Chu Clan from the latter held the highest suspicion. The Chu were a military clan to begin with; moreover, Chu Qingge had only married into Tianning recently. She was a representative of the Chu Clan who coveted the empress’s throne. Great General Mu might control all the foot soldiers in Tianning’s military, but Young General Mu Qingwu oversaw the 100,000 imperial guards stationed in the capital. The peace and safety of Tianning’s capital all rested in Mu Qingwu’s hands, but he was a man allied with the crown prince. If Emperor Tianhui ever came to grief one day, the power struggle to control the country would naturally start from the royal city. It was only natural that Chu Qingge would needed her own source of support when that happened.
It was quite ingenious for her to think of storing gunpowder in the black market at all. Of course, both Long Feiye and Han Yunxi could guess that her brains were hardly up to the task, so most likely her family was the one behind the arrangements. Han Yunxi suddenly recalled Su Xiaoyu and half wondered how Long Feiye was doing with his investigations. Still, this wasn’t the best place to ask, so she didn’t bring it up.
“Your Highness Duke of Qin, isn’t this a valuable piece of news from yours truly?” Ouyang Ningnuo was still smiling.
Long Feiye generously nodded his head. “Indeed, it’s very valuable!”
The black market was a complex web of powers with extensive connections. The palace had always turned a blind eye to its existence, unwilling to clash with it outright. But threatening the capital with secret personal stores of gunpowder was something completely different. Even if the relationships in the black market implicated countless people and affected even more, Emperor Tianhui would never tolerate such presumption without proof! The meeting concluded just like that. Ouyang Ningnuo’s intel wouldn’t be wrong at a time like this. Now all Han Yunxi and the rest needed were the proof!
After returning to the estate, Han Yunxi and Long Feiye immediately prepared to visit Sky Domain Black Market next. But when they reached the estate gates, they saw Gu Qi Sha sitting by the entrance.
“Weren’t you leaving?” Han Yunxi asked, puzzled. Everyone had parted ways after the meeting, so she had assumed that this fellow had already gone back to Pill Fiend Valley.
Long Feiye simply pulled Han Yunxi towards the carriage without waiting for Gu Qi Sha’s reply, but the Pill Fiend simply hopped onto a horse himself. “Half of Pill Fiend Pharmacy belongs to this old fellow, so of course I have to be involved in its affairs!”
Aye, Han Yunxi might have taken half of Pill Fiend Valley by force, but was the deal a win or loss for her?
Long Feiye’s eyes flickered unhappily, but he didn’t speak. Ever since their last trip to Pill Fiend Valley, he’d grown far more tolerant of Gu Qi Sha. Han Yunxi could tell he was displeased, but she’d yet to understand that Long Feiye only tolerated certain things and figures when he was scheming against them---of course, herself being the exception. In any case, Gu Qi Sha ended up following Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s carriage on horseback as they left the capital city.
After traveling past the fields outside the city, the carriage had just entered the borders of the mountain woods when the sound of fighting broke out nearby. Both Long Feiye and Gu Qi Sha agreed on one thing: interfering with other people’s business was a waste of time. As a result, they simply ignored the noise and kept going. But soon enough, a clear voice rose out from the woods behind them.
“Are you ashamed, ganging up on a weak girl with five men? If you have any skills, come at me one by one and we’ll duke it out!”
“Stop the carriage!” Han Yunxi shouted. “Stop the carriage!”
Gu Qi Sha reined in his horse as well to look back just as a petite figure rolled out from the woods to land in the road. Five brawny man followed her soon after, each of them brandishing huge sabers in their hands. If anything, they looked like bandits. Very soon, they had surrounded the girl.
One of them bared a lecherous smile and said, “Come at you one by one? Sure. Brothers, who wants to top her first?”
“Pah! Disgusting!” the girl spat in the face of the man, who angrily raised his sword in response. The others followed his lead. They might look like bandits, but they were neither dumb or slow; their sabers were used in tandem and showcased their excellent martial arts. The girl knew martial arts too, but she was no match for five men at once. She could only dodge their blows and had no way to fight them directly. Very soon, the circle of men surrounding her closed in until she had no means to escape.
Meanwhile, Long Feiye had already raised the curtains of his carriage to peer outside, his eyes cold. Gu Qi Sha sat on his horse watching the scene as well, leaving Han Yunxi the only person to feel any urgency at all. She was rather frantic, because that girl was none other than Mu Linger!
“Your Highness, swords and sabers don’t have eyes. We have to save her, quick!” Han Yunxi was anxious enough to tug on Long Feiye’s sleeve. But Long Feiye only held two impressions towards Mu Linger. One, she had pushed Han Yunxi towards the rat swarm back during their time in the Skypit, and two, she had stopped their carriage on the way to Pill Fiend Valley to curse Han Yunxi out. He really didn’t want to save her at all.
Seeing Han Yunxi so panicky, Gu Qi Sha grew amused. “Lass, why don’t you give me some nice words? Then I’ll save her for you, how’s that?”
Han Yunxi simply rolled her eyes at him. She was able to ask Long Feiye again when Mu Linger suddenly fell to the ground, paralyzed and completely trapped. In Han Yunxi’s desperation, she suddenly recalled that she had plenty of hidden weapons herself. Immediately, she launched her Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain needles and hit the vital points of those five men. When Mu Linger saw her assailants drop to the ground one by one, she hastily dodged their wildly flailing weapons before realizing there were other people present.
When she cast a doubtful look over, she grew surprised. “Han Yunxi?” she muttered at the woman standing outside her carriage. Nearby, she saw Gu Qi Sha as well.
Han Yunxi’s expression showed nothing but disdain. She replied back coldly, “So it was you! If I had known earlier, I wouldn’t have saved you at all!”
As soon as Han Yunxi finished, she climbed back into her carriage. Although she and Mu Linger had a relationship that was hard to put into words, she couldn’t simply sit back and watch her die, right?
༺ Translator's Notes ༻
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