Though it didn’t seem like Long Feiye had used any strength at all, Han Yunxi found herself unable to move while pressed against his chest. She didn’t need to come so close to smell the fumes of vinegar rising off him. She could smell him from a mile away!
“Answer your lordship’s question,” Long Feiye’s serious tone seemed to boom from his chest, his voice a little hoarse. The sound made the tips of Han Yunxi’s ears turn red. She wasn’t a stranger to his voice when it was like this. If this was the past, her mind would have gone blank already, but things were different now. As opposed to being the silly airhead from her past, she was more sincere and true to herself now.
“He’s already gone, but you still smell so sour!” Han Yunxi was still smiling.
Long Feiye’s unhappiness was written all over his face. “You’re not going to answer me...is that it?”
“You answer me first!” Han Yunxi’s voice was muffled against his chest, almost as if it could reach his heart.
“Yes!” Long Feiye admittedly openly, leaving Han Yunxi at a loss for words. She didn’t know what to say next.
“Big bro!” Tang Li’s voice drifted over as he and Chu Xifeng entered with wide strides. They had hidden in the shadows to watch Great General Ning off before backtracking to the rooms. Both of them had plenty of opportunities to make themselves known. But who knew they’d walk in on a private moment instead?
Tang Li subconsciously covered his mouth as he realized he had ruined the moment. Still, Long Feiye acted as if he hadn’t heard a thing despite how loud he’d spoken. Instead, it was Han Yunxi who tried to look at Tang Li, but found herself pinned motionless.
Both Tang Li and Chu Xifeng exchanged glances before tactfully withdrawing from the room. The moment they backed out of the door, they witnessed Long Feiye lifting Han Yunxi’s chin and giving her a furious kiss!
Truthfully, this wasn’t the first time. Tang Li remembered seeing this happen once in the past, while Chu Xifeng could remember multiple other instances. In any case, both of them had realized that while the Duke of Qin was a very conservative man, his requirements for reservation only applied to others. He acted completely on his impulses when it came to Han Yunxi!
Fortunately, Long Feiye’s coachman wasn’t present, or else he definitely would have chimed in with something blunt, like he really does it whenever he wants!
Silence fell upon the vast hall. Long Feiye was leaning in his chair, with Han Yunxi reclining against him. Actually, he’d pinned her there with his arms, bending down to meet her upturned head with his lips. His kisses were a mixture of passion and punishment, both demanding and rewarding her at the same time. Somewhere down the line, he had let go of her chin in favor of cradling the back of her head to draw her closer. Meanwhile, Han Yunxi had stopped pushing against his chest as well, wishing to draw closer in turn.
What vinegar? What questions? What jokes or serious tones? Everything melted away before the union of their restless lips. Sometimes his kisses were gentle, but at other times, they had a rough edge to them. His movements grew more and more heated like a beast, surging up almost too violently for her to take. In the midst of their tangle, he allowed her a few seconds to breathe before pressing their lips together once more. After an indeterminate amount of time, he finally felt satisfied and let her go, allowing her to lean against his?her chest. Han Yunxi’s mouth was gaping as she fought to reclaim her breath.
Every time she was bullied, she always told herself that there wouldn’t be a second time, that she wouldn’t provoke this man again, but she would always forget and eat her words. Actually, despite her quick breaths, her pulse was even quicker as she rested against his chest. She could clearly hear it pounding with her ears. After a few moments of restful silence, he inquired in an impartial tone, “Did you taste it?”
“What?” she asked automatically.
He creased his brows again before lifting her chin so she was staring at him. Arching one eyebrow, he asked, “Is it sour? Do you want another taste?”
So he was just giving me a taste of his jealousy?
She finally understood his meaning before her face turned scarlet. Slapping his hand away, she averted her gaze from him. How can he ask me such things with a straight face?!
Tsundere! She labeled him silently.
Does this count as subduing a woman, too? He would always wonder such things, as each kissing session left her breathless and exhausted. Perhaps it was because he held too many secrets, or perhaps it was because he couldn’t offer her anything more, but he still felt a sense of distance from Han Yunxi when he held her in his arms.
Han Yunxi, if the story of 100 steps really exists, how many steps does your lordship still need to take?
Neither of them spoke, their silence masking the thoughts in their heads as they held one another. Whether it was teasing each other or acting wicked, their motives always tacitly aligned!
A long time later, Han Yunxi finally spoke. “Long Feiye, the more I looked at that Ning fellow back there, the stranger I found him! We should deduct 30 percent from our guess.”
Long Feiye had raised the chance of Great General Ning being part of the Di Clan from 50 to 70 percent, thanks to the fourth imperial son’s visit and words. Now Han Yunxi was reducing it to 40 percent.
“Are you sure?” Long Feiye asked.
“I’m sure. He doesn’t look the part! Moreover, if he was really part of the Di Clan, he’s simply asking for death by proposing a three-way pincer attack against those forces!” Han Yunxi declared.
“Then are you still betting?” Long Feiye asked next.
Han Yunxi thought it over before asking, “What about you? Want to keep going?”
“Let us continue!” Long Feiye replied without hesitation.
Cloud Realm Trade Consortium had clearly gone to support the Nether Clan, so Great General Ning had no reason to go against them! After all, once Long Feiye settled things with Emperor Kang Cheng and transferred all his troops, the Chu Clan would collapse under the pressure!
“You’re that confident?” Han Yunxi asked.
Long Feiye didn’t answer. “Are you betting or not?”
“Can I take back my bet?” Han Yunxi asked.
Long Feiye nodded, leaving her in a conundrum! If she kept betting and lost, then Lil Thing would be sent back to the pharmacy. But if she won, Long Feiye would have to hug Lil Thing. She carefully considered her options before suddenly suspecting Long Feiye of playing her on purpose just so she could give up the gamble.
“I’ll continue!” Han Yunxi decided at last. It’s really tiring playing psychological warfare with this man, much less comparing IQ points.
Long Feiye’s mouth twitched minutely. Actually, he was already certain that Great General Ning was part of the Di Clan now. All the things he’d just said was just to confuse Han Yunxi so she would give up! Yet the woman still persisted even after her views were shaken! It’s really tiring to compete with this woman’s intelligence!
As soon as he thought of that furry little rat, he felt fidgety and irritable…
Bets and odds aside, everything was still up in the air. Until the truth came out, none of them could be considered a victor or a loser! The very same day, Long Feiye sent a message to Emperor Kang Cheng to propose an alliance and dispatch their troops together. At the same time, he gave a heads up to General Baili to prepare the troops to move north. In truth, his forces had already been ordered to secretly creep northwards before their trip to Western Zhou. The soldiers weren’t stationed very far from Western Zhou’s borders to begin with, so it wouldn’t be difficult to use them if they were needed.
The next day, Long Feiye received news that Great General Ning had already started moving his troops south from the forces under his two generals’ command. His cavalry forces remained where they were as a deterrent against Northern Li in the north.
One day after that, Emperor Kang Cheng accepted their request for an alliance, with added thanks to the Duke of Qin. He hoped to see the day that Long Feiye took Tianning’s throne, reuniting the split factions into one. At the same time, he promised that Western Zhou would be willing to continue the tradition of marriage alliances with Tianning after the Duke of Qin became emperor. All the better to defend against Northern Li! Besides that, Emperor Kang Cheng even brought up the issue of Empress Xue, claiming they had a way to rescue her. Thus, there was no need to harbor any reservations between the Western Zhou - Long Feiye - Great General Ning alliance.
When Long Feiye showed the missive to Han Yunxi, she only sighed. “Even the emperor’s lost his dignity?” Just recently, Emperor Kang Cheng had tactfully declined any proposals to ally against Northern Li. Hardly any time had passed, but now he was fervently hoping for an alliance? To think a high and mighty sovereign would sink so low, just to ingratiate himself with Long Feiye!
Han Yunxi glanced at Long Feiye and had the premonition that this man was going to throw all of Cloud Realm Continent into absolute chaos some day. While the generals of the three factions all secretly prepared their forces, the situation at the three prefectures on the east end of Western Zhou grew tense. At the same time, the atmosphere in Western Liang’s royal courts grew more desperate by the day. A few imperial princes had taken to hanging around Emperor Tianhui’s palace day after day, waiting in vain for a chance to meet with their father. Meanwhile, Chu Qingge had been replaced by one of the Chu Clan’s hidden agents to watch over Emperor Tianhui himself.
Currently, Chu Qingge was in charge of looking after her prematurely-born son. Witch Aunt helped find a few other replacement babies from other mothers just in case, all of whom had taken the same early labor-inducing medicine as Chu Qingge. If Chu Qingge had really given birth to a girl, her baby would’ve been switched for one of the backups. But she ended up having a son after all!
The labor-inducing medicine had caused massive damage to her body, making it not only impossible for her to give birth again, but also weakening her health. Still, her pain and suffering made her all the more determined to get revenge. Currently, her child was only a total of eight months old and needed vast amounts of medicine to keep him alive everyday. Chu Qingge was incapable of personally caring for the child, so he was left in the hands of Head Elder Ling and Lady Lianxin. Neither of them revealed their true identities to the empress and spent their days wearing white face veils. One was purported to be a divine doctor of the jianghu, while the other masqueraded as a servant girl.
Today, the two of them were studying Chu Qingge’s back from a distance without disturbing her.
“Head Elder, I heard that the Chu Clan won the support of Cloud Realm Trade Consortium,” Lady Lianxin murmured.
“So what?” Head Elder Ling replied, unconcerned with it all.
“Yesterday, Lianxin received news from the medical academy that Medicine City accused Cloud Realm Trade Consortium of colluding with Jun Yixie for the snow mountains’ medicinal and poisonous plants. Medicine City has issued a stop order for all business regarding the Consortium,” Lady Lianxin continued.
Head Elder Ling simply stared after Chu Qingge without saying a word. A complicated look flickered past Lady Lianxin’s eyes before she sneakily tugged on a corner of his robes, her voice turning coquettish...
Reuploaded with edits: 12/12/2020