Chapter 642: I'm only responsible for youOriginal and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
While everyone was celebrating, Aunt Ru couldn’t help but ask in a lukewarm tone, “Feiye, Li’er’s matters are finally settled. It’s been a while since you’ve paid respects to your mother, right?”
Her words silenced the entire room. Han Yunxi only knew that Long Feiye’s real mother was a member of the Tang Clan. He’d told her as much back in the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds, but she didn’t know anything beyond that. Aunt Ru’s words hit everyone in the heart, leaving them with mixed emotions.
Tang Zijin’s eyes flashed with a complicated expression. Before he could speak up, Long Feiye only asked coldly, “Who told you that Tang Li’s matters are over?”
“What kind of tone is that? Very good, so you’ve grown up and gotten used to your wings. Aunt Ru can’t order you about or speak sense into you anymore, is it?” Aunt Ru huffed.
Before Han Yunxi showed up, Feiye had always been nothing but polite to her and Tang Zijin. He’d never sounded so short. Even as she fretted at him now, her gaze was still on Han Yunxi. The latter had more or less guessed what kind of woman she was back at the Poison Sect. If she had to give a diagnosis, it was that Aunt Ru had an inflated sense of self-importance!
Long Feiye simply ignored her in favor of Tang Li. “Go and see what kind of people Cang Qiuzi sent down the mountain and apologize to them in person. And also, hurry up and publicize news of your wedding with Ning Jing, the faster the better!”
Aunt Ru had long accustomed herself ot Long Feiye’s cold demeanor. She laughed coldly to herself, trusting that her question just then was enough to elicit Han Yunxi’s curiosity. Feiye’s birth parents was a topic full of secrets. She believed that he’d never tell her everything no matter how much he doted on the woman.
But women were all too prone to suspicion and jealousy. The less they knew, the more they would suspect. Once they caught wind of a forbidden secret, the misunderstanding would only grow. With Feiye’s personality, he’d hate her for being nosy and pestering him with questions. So in the end, Aunt Ru was quite satisfied with her predicted outcomes in her head.
“Right. Quickly spread news of the wedding before Cloud Realm Trade Consortium has a chance to regret their words,” Tang Zijin was still preoccupied with Tang Li’s affairs at the moment. Ouyang Ning Nuo was easy to string along, but Ning Cheng and Ning Jing weren’t simple foes. If Ning Cheng refused the contract and insisted on meeting them personally, their efforts today would be in vain and attract even more trouble. Thus, they had to strike while the iron was hot and tell the world as soon as the Cloud Realm Trade Consortium delegation descended their mountain. Only then would the plan solidify in the way they wanted.
“Tang Clan Head, you should publicize the news yourself. It’ll be good if you take the chance to ‘reflect upon your conscience’ and give your son a thorough cursing as well to calm public backlash,” Han Yunxi said lightly.
Tang Zijin nodded. “Right, esteemed wangfei is smart.”
A flash of worry flitted past Aunt Ru’s eyes. She suddenly had the sense that Han Yunxi had bewitched Tang Zijin as well.
“Tang Clan Head, you cannot do those two things out of order. First, tell the world about the wedding, then have Tang Li ask for punishment for his crimes. This way, he’ll gain Cloud Realm Trade Consortium as an ally and possibly gain himself some mercy from Cang Qiuzi as well,” Han Yunxi continued.
She wasn’t trying to gain Tang Zijin’s good graces, but simply hoping that Tang Li could pass through his trials relatively unscathed. Tang Zijin might have faked his geniality with Han Yunxi, but his views towards her had more or less shifted after this incident. It’d be so much better if Han Yunxi had no ties with the Shadow Clan at all!
That very same day, Tang Zijin stepped out in the capacity of Tang Clan Head to give a public proclamation. First, he admitted his own wrongs as a father for failing to instruct Tang Li properly, then gave him a thorough verbal lashing. Finally, he explained that Tang Li had committed the incredibly idiotic act in the first place because he loved Ning Jing too much for his own good. Next, he announced that Tang Li and Celestial Mountain’s Cang Clan had a wedding agreement first, but that they’d have to force the other party to suffer a loss in the light of this disaster. He was willing to accept any form of punishment from the Cang Clan as compensation, but Tang Li had to take responsibility for Ning Jing no matter what!
Ouyang Ning Nuo hadn’t even reached Cloud Realm Trade Consortium before the proclamation spread far and wide. Within the span of a single day, the entire continent heard about the news.
Ning Cheng was still at morning assembly at Western Jing when the news hit him. His cold and handsome face instantly turned black, causing all the officials around him to shiver at the sight. They had no idea what could have offended this venerated Buddha amongst their ranks.
As soon as court adjourned, Ning Cheng coldly issued orders. “Tell Ning Nuo he has no need to return to Cloud Realm Trade Consortium and to report here instead! He can explain everything to Ning Jing himself!”
The orders had hardly gone out before Ning Jing herself arrived in a tiff to toss a letter on the table. “Big brother, let the one who agreed to give them children birth the children himself! In any case, it won’t be me!”
She had plotted to get Tang Li married into her family just so she could place him under house arrest. Now Ning Nuo had arranged it so that she not only had to marry into the Tang Clan, but birth them children as well! Why doesn’t he go die instead?!
If Ning Nuo was standing in front of her right now, she’d slap him across the face! Did he take a break from leading things so long tht he’d lost his wits? How did they even settle on such preposterous terms?
“The Tang Clan’s already spread the news. What else do you want to do?” Ning Cheng asked coldly.
Although he was unsatisfied with Ning Nuo’s contract terms, he was still satisfied with one thing: that Tang Zijin had disagreed to marrying his son into their clan. If the man had folded, then he would have started suspecting them for sure. Judging from the current circumstances, Tang Zijin and Long Feiye most likely weren’t friends, just as their investigations yielded.
“So what if they’ve spread the news?” Ning Jing’s eyes turned shrewd. “Big brother, why don’t we just kill Tang Li and shift the blame onto the Cang Clan? In the future, you can decide on your little sister’s marriage as before.” If she had to birth children, she’d give up on this union and murder Tang Li outright.
Ning Cheng looked at his sister before a cold smile rose to his lips. He liked her venomous heart, but the situation had progressed to a point where he wasn’t willing to let go of the Tang Clan’s big, fat thigh. He was looking forward to getting the Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain needles!
“Don’t underestimate a man like Cang Qiuzi,” Ning Cheng replied as he waved to dismiss her. Leaning lazily against the chair, he stretched his legs to rest against the table and adopted an indolent, domineering air.
“Big brother!” Ning Jing stomped her feet.
Ning Cheng didn’t spare her a glance. “Get out.”
“Big brother, no matter what, this thing--”
“From this day on, I’ll hold you responsible if Tang Li goes missing for even a second! Punishemnt will be dealt according to clan rules!” Ning Cheng warned her coldly.
The Di Clan only had one clan rule, and that was anyone who betrayed the leader was immediately cast out. All of Ning Jing’s efforts were to ensure that she could stay in the clan and serve the Di. Once she was banished, what would even be the point? Without a word, she stood in place until she finally turned away and left. Fine, I’ll accept the marriage. But whether or not I birth a son will be all up to Tang Li’s own skills!
Once she left, Ning Cheng pulled out an acupuncture needle from his hairpin. He toyed with the thing in his hands with interest. Without a doubt, the needle belonged to Han Yunxi, though it wasn’t clear where he’d picked it up from.
On the second day of Tang Zijin’s announcement, Tang Zijin’s investigations revealed that Cang Qiuzi hadn’t left Celestial Mountain at all. Although it was easier to climb down the mountain than go back up, the large snowstorms from last year had sealed off most of the trails. They were still buried underfoot, so Cang Qiuzi hadn’t risked them to get off the peak. Instead, he entrusted the matters of the cancelled wedding in Duanmu Yao’s hands, saying that she could represent the Cang Clan to decide in their place.
“Feiye, Cang Qiuzi is brazenly declaring his alliance with Duanmu Yao this way. Could it be an intentional show of force against you?” Tang Zijin asked seriously.
In terms of experience, martial arts, and prestige, Cang Qiuzi’s ranking was far below that of the sword sect’s sect master. However, he’d longed for the position himself for many years. Duanmu Yao was the favorite disciple of Celestial Mountain Sword Sect’s master, so if she and him teamed up, they’d be able to control half of the sect members already. Long Feiye would have no way to fight against them then.
With Tang Li’s impending marriage raising such a row, Cang Qiuzi’s public declaration of Duanmu Yao as his expy was obviously a way to tell Long Feiye that their relations weren’t shallow. It couldn’t be pure boasting without being a blatant threat as well.
Long Feiye nodded before turning to Tang Li. “Is Duanmu Yao eighteen years old yet?”
“Yes, she’s long turned eighteen!” Tang Li said earnestly. “You...what are you thinking?”
Han Yunxi’s ears immediately perked up at the question. Unfortunately, Long Feiye passed on answering to remark instead, “Go and ask for forgiveness. Be careful, because Cang Qiuzi isn’t just putting on a show of force. He wants get someone else to do the dirty work of killing in his place.”
Cang Qiuzi would only be publicly rebuked for being a petty, intolerant man if he punished Tang Li severely in light of the Tang Clan’s proclamation. But if he left the work to Duanmu Yao, then he could wash his hands clean of any responsibility for the consequences.
“This old man will come along!” Tang Zijin said, suddenly worrid.
Lady Tang rose to her feet as well. “Cang Qiuzi, that old scamp! He’s too treacherous, I’m going too!”
“It’s enough if just this old man goes. You don’t know martial arts, so what’s the use if you come along?” Tang Zijin chided unhappily.
“I know how to use hidden weapons!” Lady Tang said confidently. “I’ll bring along the Tang Clan’s strongest weapons. No matter how many men Celestial Mountain sends, I won’t be afraid!”
Tang Zijin still wanted to dissuade her, but Lady Tang simply took Aunt Ru by the hand and declard, “You come too. We can’t let them think the Tang Clan has no one to defend them against bullies!”
Aunt Ru seemed to be afraid of refusing Lady Tang, because she simply agreed without a second thought. Though Tang Zijin was unhappy at the results, he gave up on stopping them. Han Yunxi could tell that Lady Tang was dragging Aunt Ru in with her on purpose, but she couldn’t understand why. In any case, once the decision was made, Tang Li took off his clothes and tied a bunch of brambles on his back like the classical story of the man who went to apologize to his foe naked and thus attired. Then he headed down the mountain to meet with Duanmu Yao, who was staying at a local inn.
With three elders watching his back, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were quite assured that he’d be safe. Once they left, she took him by the hand and said, “Now that Duanmu Yao’s reached 18, her safety has nothing to do with you anymore, right?”
“Mm,” Long Feiye’s answer was decisive.
Thrilled, Han Yunxi took his other hand as well and pulled him to look at her. “Long Feiye, from now on…”
Before she finished, Long Feiye declared, “Your lordship will only be responsible for you!” As if afraid that Han Yunxi would doubt his words, he abruptly leaned down and kissed her on the lips.
Han Yunxi pursed them in return, wanting to be more serious and make demands, but all she ended up saying was, “Let’s mark it with another stamp.”
“What?” Long Feiye didn’t understand what she meant.
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