Though it didn’t seem like Long Feiye had used any strength, 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 seem 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 this time was different. Rather than the silly airhead of the past, she was more sincere and true to self 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 views to share on the man. 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!
Actually, 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 extended to others. He himself 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, He really does it whenever he wants!
Silence fell upon the vast hall. Long Feiye was leaning in his chair, Han Yunxi riding atop him. Actually, he’d pinned her there with his arms, bending down to meet her upraised head with his lips. His kisses against her lips 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 this time they were obviously rough. 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 kissing her stormily anew. After an indeterminate amount of time, he finally felt satisfied and let her go, allowing her to lean against her chest. Han Yunxi’s mouth gasped for breath as fought for breath again.
Every time she was bullied, she always told herself that there wouldn’t be a second time and to not provoke this man again, but she would always forget and eat her words. Actually, despite her quick breaths, his heartbeats were even quicker as she rested against his chest. She could clearly hear it pounding with her ears. After resting for a while, he finally managed to asked in a cold 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 after 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 any 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 onto each other. Whether it was teasing each other or acting wicked, both of them always tacitly agreed to the moves of the other!
A long time later, Han Yunxi finally spoke up. “Long Feiye, the more I looked at that Ning fellow back then, the stranger I found him! We probably have to take 30 percent off of our guess.”
Long Feiye had raised the 50 percent chance to 70 percent of Great General Ning being part of the Di Clan thanks to the fourth imperial son’s visit and words. Now Han Yunxi had reduced it back to 40 percent.
“Are you sure?” Long Feiye asked.
“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?”
“Continue it!” Long Feiye said 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, but only asked, “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 lose, 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 IQ points.
Long Feiye’s mouth twitched minutely. Actually, he was already very 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 could give up already! But this woman still persisted even after her views were shaked! It’s really tiring competing with this woman’s intelligence!
As soon as he thought of that furry little rat, he felt fidgety and irritable…
But no matter the chances, everything was still up for guesses right now. Until the truth came out, none of them could be considered victor or 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! Actually, 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 when 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 replied an affirmative to the alliance with added thanks to the Duke of Qin. He hoped to see the day that Long Feiye took Tianning’s throne and reunite its split factions into a whole again. 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 and said 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. But hardly any time had passed since he was hoping fervently for an alliance to pass? He was a high and mighty sovereign, but he’d fallen to such depths 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 one 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 premature-born son. Witch Aunt had 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 weakening her health. Still, her pain and suffering made her all the more determined to get her 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 actually incapable of personally caring for the child, which she left to the hands of Head Elder Ling and Lady Lianxin. Neither of them revealed their true identities to the empress, but spent their days wearing white face veils. One purported to be a divine doctor of the jianghu while the other masqueraded as a servant girl.
Today, the two of them were study 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 sake of the snow mountains’ medicinal and poison plants. Medicine City’s requested the medical academy to issue orders to all doctors to stop business with 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...