Mark it with another stamp?
Long Feiye didn’t have any written contracts with her, so what was all this nonsense about a stamp? Unless, she actually wanted him to write it down on paper and stamp it afterwards?
“You don’t believe your lordship?” he asked.
Han Yunxi shook her head. “I will after you give me another stamp.”
Long Feiye was quite crestfallen. In a cold voice, he said, “If you don’t believe me, it won’t matter how many words I write on a sheet of paper.”
Han Yunxi knew he’d misunderstood her, so she simply stared at him and smiled. Mood ruined, Long Feiye was in no frame of mind to continue the conversation. He turned to leave, but Han Yunxi made no moves to stop him. It was only after he’d left her in the dust that she called out. “Long Feiye, are you sure you won’t give me that stamp? Then I’ll find someone else to take responsibility.”
A threat. She’s taking advantage of this to threaten me!
Immediately, Long Feiye retraced his steps and came back to stare at her with narrowed eyes. Despite his stormy expression, the warning that came to his lips petered out into a compromise instead. “Give me brush and ink.”
He didn’t know how, but he’d somehow lost the power to lose his temper when he was facing her.
Finally, Han Yunxi burst into giggles, thoroughly amused.
“What are you laughing about?” Long Feiye couldn’t help but feel stupid.
Han Yunxi beckoned him close with a finger and he obediently scooted forward. Then she stood on her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck. Although they’d only done this a handful of times, Long Feiye was very familiar with the move. He had no idea what this woman was thinking, but promptly wrapped his own hands around her waist to prevent her from regretting the action and running away. One looked up while the other looked down, their noses just inches apart. He could smell the lovely scent of flowers coming off her body, while she felt his breaths turn marked and heated.
“What are you laughing about?” Long Feiye repeated while tilting his head to nuzzle her nose with his own. He subconsciously brushed his lips against hers, the movement teasingly cold yet devilish. She knew exactly what he wanted to do.
“You’re so hopelessly stupid,” she couldn’t help but laugh again.
This has to be the first woman in the world to call me stupid! He lifted her chin in response.
“Heheh, how is your lordship stupid?”
She suddenly pulled his hands away and tiptoed as high as she could to give him a heavy kiss on the lips. “A stamp! If you dare to cheat me in the future, I’ll make you regret it for a lifetime!”
A stamp...so you can stamp things like this, too?
He never expected this woman to have such a ‘wicked’ side. He laughed out loud and exclaimed, “Not enough!”
She laughed as well, knowing he wanted more.
Long Feiye, it’s been so long since I’ve kissed you. Yunxi missed it.
Long Feiye was about to kiss her when Han Yunxi stole another one from him. Her lips closed over his cold ones, gently warming them up. Surprised but pleased, Long Feiye discovered that he loved it when she took the lead on things, even though he disliked forward women. He was going to let her do as she pleased and enjoy her warmth, but soon lost all handle on the situation as he deepened the kiss himself. His tongue even slipped between her lips to tease her.
Han Yunxi responded in turn, and the two entered an intense fit of kissing with tongues and teeth clashing together. Neither of them could get enough, as if something was eternally missing. Long Feiye held Han Yunxi so tightly that she was all but plastered against him. He was ready to take her right there and then! But in the end, he was still the first to let go.
The second he did, Han Yunxi felt a flash of disappointment, but she hid it well. Right now her face was still flushed, as were the tips of her ears. But this was a different woman from the innocent maiden who was left dazed by his kisses just a couple of years earlier. She kissed him whenever she wanted, honestly and calmly. He was her husband, so it was all a matter of course!
She might not always question him, but that didn’t mean she didn’t want to know or that she didn’t care. That was just her personality--straightforward and direct. She didn’t feel a need to ask for things that were already rightfully hers. Begging for something that didn’t belong to her was just pointless! She’d rather not have those things at all!
Long Feiye, why do you call your birth mother ‘mufei’ as well? What kind of man was your father in the Tang Clan? Did he hold the rank of kingship somewhere as well?
Long Feiye, just how many secrets are hiding in Celestial Mountain?
I can give you all the time you need, but you mustn’t lie to me, not even a single sentence, alright?
The wind picked up. Long Feiye wrapped his arms around Han Yunxi and drew her firmly into his cloak. The two of them stared at the other mountains in the distance, lost in their own thoughts. Han Yunxi was a deep and intelligent woman, this he knew. He could feel how she’d changed towards him over the past few years as well.
He had grown up learning to hate the vapid stares of lovesick girls, but sometimes he wished Han Yunxi was nothing more than one of those women: someone who’d stare dazedly at him forever, a girl who could turn timid and nervous and stupid in his presence. Unfortunately, she rarely acted like that nowadays, not since the last big argument involving Gu Qishao.
Her transformation made him feel as if he was losing control. He feared that she’d only grow more and more distant from him until he couldn’t catch her anymore.
He was afraid that Han Yunxi wouldn’t love him as much as she did before. She was so smart, so why did she never question his motives or suspect him about Celestial Mountain or the Tang Clan? He hated suspicious women who questioned everything, but she would even be an exception there.
If possible, he’d like to control and understand everything about her. If she never asked, did this mean she didn’t actually care about those things?
As the wind grew stronger, he held her ever tighter…
Aunt Ru didn’t understand Han Yunxi at all. She tried to provoke her with her questions, but Han Yunxi still didn’t ask Long Feiye about a thing. Aunt Ru understood even less about Long Feiye’s special treatment of Han Yunxi. Even if he couldn’t answer all of his wife’s questions, he still hoped that Han Yunxi would care about everything related to him!
Still, even if Aunt Ru hadn’t stirred the waters, there was still an invisible chasm between them both. Perhaps it was the final stride in their 100 steps to meet in the middle. The taste of their kiss still lingered on Han Yunxi’s lips as stood in silence. Abruptly, she turned to lean against Long Feiye’s chest.
“What is it?” he asked.
“I’m a little tired,” Han Yunxi said faintly.
Without a word, Long Feiye picked her up princess style to go back and rest. But how was she supposed to fall asleep with him sitting right on the edge of the bed? She hated over thinking things and preferred to let things take their course, but her heart just couldn’t calm down today. Closing her eyes, she let her consciousness drift into the poison storage system so she could cultivate in earnest instead.
The first rank of the poison storage system unlocked poisoning storing capabilities, giving her the freedom to take and store toxic substances--even those that challenged the laws of Heaven and Earth. She had already mastered this rank and was on her way to unlock the second. Rank Two would build up her resistance. Once mastered, she’d be able to absorb any offensive poisons launched her way.
Han Yunxi hadn’t thought as far as mastering the third rank, too. First and foremost, the difficulty of breaking through to the second rank was ten times that of Rank One. It would already be good enough if she passed, to say nothing of Rank Three. Moreover, that rank focused on offensive takeover skills and gave her freedom to take whatever poison she wanted. Han Yunxi didn’t like the nature of the skill, nor did she need it. Thus, her current goals were to only unlock two ranks.
When Han Yunxi’s consciousness entered her poison storage system, it really seemed like she’d fallen asleep. Long Feiye tucked her in before silently leaving the room. Taking advantage of the fact that Aunt Ru was out, he decided to pay a visit to his late mufei. Lady Tang had lured his aunt away on purpose as a covert way to encourage the visit.
He had forgotten how many years had passed since he’d paid respects. Everything about her seem to freeze in the moment of her suicide. The Tang Clan wasn’t part of the Seven Noble Families, but they served as the equivalent of the Shadow Clan to the East Qin Dynasty in secret. Careful investigation would reveal that their standing was far lower than that of a similar clan--the Baili. However, because mufei had earned imperial father’s favor and given birth to him, the members of the Tang Clan had stronger clout to speak against him compared to the Baili.
The Tang Clan was most famous for its assassination weapons, but they also had a secret specialty in poisons. Like the Hundred Poisons Sect, their poison skills hailed from the original Poison Sect as well. Because they lacked a leader to head the division, their poison skill had gradually atrophied in the fall of the Poison Sect. His mufei was the former head of the poison division. She knew that those who possessed the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion were capable of claiming the entire world, so she’d dedicated her life to tracking it down. Her aspiration was to help imperial father revive the East Qin again. Unfortunately, imperial father passed away from sickness long before she got her hands on the poison.
Instead, she placed all of her hopes of her son. Imperial father’s ambitions and her own long-cherished wish, the grudges of the imperial clan and the wish of the Tang Clan to be nobility themselves--were all placed upon his shoulders.
She gave him his identity as the East Qin imperial prince, then helped him enter Celestial Mountain to learn martial arts. She created the Beauty’s Blood for his sake and arranged every step of his journey. In the end, she told him that she missed imperial father, that everything was now in his hands, that he had to live for her and imperial father’s sake to complete the goals that both of them had failed to achieve. Then she took out a dagger and ended her life right before his eyes.
He had never understood the concept of “love.”
In that second, he finally did--and found it utterly selfish!
Long Feiye silently stepped into the woods. Though his steps were aimless and wandering, they eventually led him to the back of Divine Dragon Peak. His mother, Tang Yiwan, was buried in a cliffside cave on this side of the mountain. Actually, it was a dual burial site, because his imperial father was resting here as well. For the sake of hiding his identity, there wasn’t even a marker to indicate his grave. Only his mother had a single tombstone erected in her name.
Long Feiye leaped off the cliff to land in front of the cave, standing with his hands behind his back. He remained in front of the grave for a long time, but there was no trace of sorrow or pain on his face. He only looked expressionless. Now that his shoulders were capable of carrying everything they’d left him as well as his own dreams, he felt no rage when confronted with their resting places.
His icy eyes seemed merciless in this instant. He wasn’t a man who enjoyed reminiscing about the past, nor did he cherish old times for nostalgia’s sake. Standing there in silence, all he thought about was the future to come.
A long, long time later, he finally made three formal bows and muttered, “Imperial father, mother empress, I’m determined to have the West Qin princess! Her name is Han Yunxi.”
He paused for a while, then added. “This summer, erchen will take her to Celestial Mountain.”
After that, he turned and left. A little more than a month remained before summer would arrive…
Han Yunxi was still sleeping by the time Long Feiye returned. He resumed his seat on the edge of the bed as if nothing had happened at all. But as it turned out, Han Yunxi ended up sleeping until the very next day. When she woke up, the first thing she saw was Long Feiye leaning by the side of her bed, now fast asleep himself.
She studied his face carefully and saw traces of exhaustion there. With a pang in her heart, she brushed her fingers against his slightly scruffy chin. But the next second, Chu Xifeng’s anxious cries sounded through the doors.
“Your Highness, bad news! Aunt Ru’s in big trouble!”
1. Tang Yiwan (唐意婉) - Yi means “idea, meaning, thought, wish, desire,” Wan means “graceful, tactful.”
2. erchen (儿臣) - a formal way of referring to oneself as ‘your son,’ usually used by members of royalty when speaking to their parents.