Had Han Yunxi revealed anything? She did it long ago---everything, in fact.
“No, you suspect me?” Han Yunxi asked seriously.
Seeing her look so unhappy, Gu Qishao immediately waved his hands. “No, no! I just...just… Say, why does that girl want to come here of all things?”
“Probably to consult with you on matters of medicine. I gave her an ancient medical text that she might be having trouble understanding,” Han Yunxi guessed.
“Ancient medical text?” Gu Qishao questioned.
“From the Pill King. It’s really old; I can’t even understand some of the words!” Han Yunxi said as she led the conversation on a tangent.
Gu Qishao was no fool, but everything had its natural foe and she was his. He would always be happy and foolish before her. “Oh,” he said simply, accepting everything she said.
Han Yunxi’s tone was sincere. “Old fiend, that Ling’er girl’s still my little sister of sorts and the current backbone of Pill Fiend Pharmacy. She’s also the last hope for the Mu Clan. You have to teach her well, alright?”
Gu Qishao nodded without a second thought. “Don’t worry!”
“When she comes, have a good discussion with her about Lady Lianxin’s affairs,” Han Yunxi instructed next.
Gu Qishao nodded again.
“Then we’ll be off first,” Han Yunxi said.
Gu Qishao nodded again. It was only after Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were long gone in their carriage that he recovered his wits and chased after them. “Hey, where are you guys going? When are you coming back?”
How was he supposed to stop worrying if he didn’t know where she’d be?
This time it was Long Feiye who replied. “To enjoy the flowers on a spring outing!”
Gu Qishao stood in the middle of the road without moving. After a long time, he finally shrugged his shoulders and turned back with a dazzling smile once again. He raised his head to look at the bright blue skies, suddenly realizing that it was spring now. This was the best time of year for sightseeing.
Enjoy the flowers on a spring outing… He couldn’t help but think back to the scent of the mountains. It’d been ages since he’d gone back.
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi arrived at the Tang Clan on the day before Aunt Ru’s scheduled meeting with Cloud Realm Trade Consortium. The clan had vast expanses of land that included the entire Reclining Dragon Range. Three famous mountains dominated the chain: Sky, Earth, and Divine Dragon Peak. The range also include two mountain basins and a stream. Divine Dragon Peak was the main mountain of the Reclining Dragon Range and the residence of the clan head. Various disciples lived in the other two peaks and the two basins. The main entrance to the Tang Clan was located at the base of Reclining Dragon Range and currently surrounded by Cloud Realm Trade Consortium’s men.
Long Feiye took Han Yunxi by the back mountains and cross a ravine to head directly for Divine Dragon Peak. No one discovered them on the way, a testament to Long Feiye’s familiarity with the Tang Clan’s grounds. Divine Dragon Peak was extremely steep, almost comparable to Mount Hua. A single path led up the mountain that had an almost vertical grade to the slope at times, making it practically impossible to gain a proper footing.
One could only climb with their hands and feet. Because it was so steep and had no safety features at all, only experts could manage the climb. Han Yunxi observed the mountain and saw that it’d be hard for any expert to try. If anyone tried to attack them from atop the peak, the consequences would be unthinkable.
But Long Feiye brought her along without using any martial arts skills or lightness techniques. As soon as they stepped on the path made out of planks, it activated a switch hidden beneath the wood. They ended up treading on air and nearly falling straight down. Han Yunxi clutched Long Feiye tightly and asked, “Is it a trap?” After all, she had to guard against Aunt Ru now that they’d arrived.
“No, don’t be afraid.” Long Feiye held her firmly and flew forwards until they reached a gaping hole in the earth. Here, Han Yunxi saw something that resembled an elevator in the center---at least in design. But this so-called “elevator” was powered by people, not electricity.
No wonder the Tang Clan’s known for their weapons. They can even craft something like this. The wooden plank path outside must be used to confuse their enemies instead, Han Yunxi thought to herself. There’s probably plenty of outstanding mechanisms and assassination weapons hidden on this mountain. The Tang Clan’s always been low-profile and mysterious; it’s no wonder they’re an unrivaled force!
After they borrowed the “elevator” to descend effortlessly into the mountain, Aunt Ru came to greet them on foot. Within the Tang Clan, she was the one in control
“Feiye, you’ve finally returned!” Aunt Ru smiled warmly. Just like their first meeting, she pretended Han Yunxi didn’t exist at all. But Long Feiye would hardly acknowledge anyone who ignored his wife, so he simply took Han Yunxi by the hand and headed for the Tang Clan gates.
“Feiye, you’re grown up now. Such rudeness!” Aunt Ru scolded.
Unfortunately, Long Feiye continued to ignore her. What could Aunt Ru do? Despite being a senior in the family, she and the entire Tang Clan--even clan head Tang Zijin--were still required to treat the man with utmost respect. They had walked a long ways off while she stared after them. Finally, a strange smile crept upon her lips as she began to plot.
With Long Feiye here, Han Yunxi put Aunt Ru at the back of her head. She was busy paying attention to every aspect of the mountain as they walked. She discovered that the largest hall was Divine Dragon Hall atop Divine Dragon Peak, the main headquarters of the Tang Clan. However, its doors were shut and the side entrances locked tight. Nobody seemed to be living inside. Han Yunxi didn’t stop to wonder why, but figured it was simply an ancestral hall used solely for sacrificial purposes.
Circling around Divine Dragon Hall about five to six hundred meters away was a walled courtyard filled with various residences. Tang Li lived here as well. Despite having a modest-sized house, his status as the young clan head was still obvious. The interior was luxurious and rich, with bright red walls, green-tiled roofs, and white brick floors. Moreover, all of the furniture inside was plated with gold! If a house like this was in the city, it’d be a sight to see. Unfortunately, its presence amongst the green mountains only made it a jarring sight.
She never expected Tang Li’s style to lean towards the extravagant after seeing him dressed like a divine Immortal in his snow white robes. The sight made her feel unwell all over. Meanwhile, the servants inside noticed the couple and fell to their knees in terror.
“Greetings to Your Highness Duke of Qin!”
“This is wangfei,” Long Feiye introduced coldly.
All of the servants were caught off-guard. But soon enough, they were paying their respects to Han Yunxi as well. “Greetings to esteemed wangfei.”
“Where is your young clan head?” Long Feiye asked icily.
“The young clan head...he...he’s been lying in bed for an entire day,” one of the guards said timidly.
“What’s going on?” Han Yunxi asked urgently.
Long Feiye seemed to know exactly what was the matter, because he simply pulled her into the rooms. There they saw Tang Li sprawled on the bed, looking utterly depressed. “Father, even if you beat me to death, I still won’t go and live with the wife’s family!”
“You won’t die from a mere spanking,” Long Feiye muttered.
Tang Li immediately turned towards them and made to rise, but it split open the wounds on his behind and sent him collapsing back onto the bed in pain.
“Big bro, save me…” he grieved.
Han Yunxi suddenly had an urge to go and slap him on the butt. Of course, it was only a thought she kept to herself.
But Long Feiye simply strode over and slapped his butt in earnest, making Tang Li shriek like a butchered pig. “Ahhh...ahhhhhh!”
Han Yunxi only shook her head. His personality is like a child’s. How is Ning Jing supposed to be interested in a guy like this? Ning Jing was a strong and driven woman, so shouldn’t she find a man to match?
Tang Li didn’t shut up until Long Feiye muffled his mouth with his hand. “What’s Cang Qiuzi’s stance on the situation?” he asked coldly.
“You’re asking him? Heheh, this fellow doesn’t understand a thing besides causing more trouble,” Tang Zijin’s voice carried in from the doorway.
Tang Li just rolled his eyes and continued hanging his head in despair. In his father’s heart, he was nothing more than a tool. Did it even matter whether or not he understood what was going on?
Unlike Aunt Ru, Tang Zijin still acknowledged Han Yunxi with a nod as he stepped into the room. It could count as a greeting. In return, Han Yunxi also greeted him the same way.
“Feiye, come to the tea room. Cloud Realm Trade Consortium will send over its delegation tomorrow. There are some things we need to discuss,” Tang Zijin said.
“We can talk about them here. Tang Li should listen as well.” Long Feiye didn’t care whether Tang Zijin agreed, but simply took a seat by the boy’s side. Han Yunxi quickly followed suit.
Tang Li might have been staring at the floor, but his lips had split into a grin. As long as big brother Long was here, he would be safe. It had been that way since they were both children.
“Who is the consortium sending over?” Long Feiye asked.
“Uncertain. It’s very possible that it’ll be Ning Cheng himself,” Tang Zijin replied.
Between Cang Qiuzi and the Tang Clan, which side would Ning Cheng choose to offend and support? What would he think of the friendship between Tang Li and Long Feiye? These were all questions on Long Feiye’s mind.
“Feiye, try to talk some sense into that stinking brat. He refuses to marry into the wife’s family, but insists on taking the girl into our clan instead. This...hehe, this old man really is…” Before Tang Zijin could finish, a sharp female voice interrupted.
“So what if he doesn’t want to go to the wife’s family? Is there anything wrong with that? Tang Zijin, do you know what you’re doing? What’s your justification for forcing your son to marry into another clan?”
“Tang Zijin, I’m telling you now, if you keep pressuring my Li’er, I’ll fight you to the death!”
A charming and graceful matron entered the room, holding an embroidered handkerchief in one hand as she sobbed in sporadic spurts. She didn’t care who was in the room, but made a beeline straight for Tang Li and burst into tears.
“My Li’er, why is your life so hard?! How could you have such a heartless father? Sobsob...why is my life so wretched, to have such a worthless husband? Son, ah, if the two of us can’t life another day past tomorrow, let’s leap off Divine Dragon Peak together. We’ll be mother and son again in our next life and forget about your callous father!”
Han Yunxi could only watched stunned. Though she’d heard how Tang Li’s mother doted on the man, she never expected her to act like this. What a vicious tongue! Tang Zijin’s beard was sticking up in indignation from the tirade. He couldn’t help being henpecked, but refused to budge a step.
“What does a married woman know of such things?” he raged. “Don’t weep and wail here, you’re being a disgrace! Someone come, take her ladyship away.”
“Mother, save me!” Mother!” Tang Li shouted.
“Tang Zijin, I’m telling you now, if I leave this room today then I’ll….I’ll….hmph, don’t you regret it!” Lady Tang cried before pushing aside the servants and rushing outside herself!
Tang Li was shocked. He scrambled to his feet, ignoring the pain to chase after her. Tang Zijin was shaken as well, because he quickly followed suit. Inside the room, Han Yunxi couldn’t help but feel that things were a mess. Long Feiye was long used to the chaos and only asked in amusement, “Who do you think Cloud Realm Trade Consortium will send?”
Tomorrow was a meeting of minds to negotiate, after all. Depending on who they sent, the difficult of the talks would change as well...