Aunt Ru’s in big trouble?
Han Yunxi dropped her hand, but Long Feiye was still sitting there with eyes shut as if he was still asleep. She laughed silently, knowing that it meant he didn’t even care--and that he’d only been pretending to be sleeping before.
She let Chu Xifeng ramble on as he pleased while she leaned against Long Feiye and looked up at him. His clear-shaven chin had grown wisps of stubble overnight, a very manly sight. From this angle, the image oozed sex appeal. The minute whiskers were spiky to the touch, but not painful. She rubbed them softly with her fingers in amusement until his Adam’s apple started moving visibly in an attempt to control himself.
“Ticklish, isn’t it?” she laughed.
What could Long Feiye say? This woman was getting bolder by the day, a sharp contrast to the shy, embarrassed girl of before. But despite everything, she was still so delicate and tender! She had no idea that she was simply playing with fire!
He didn’t know when it had happened, but he’d grown extremely sensitive to her touch. Seriously, this was going to kill him, but he couldn’t even find a way out…
Chu Xifeng was still shouting outside the door. “Your Highness, esteemed wangfei, are you inside? Aunt Ru’s in trouble! Big trouble!”
“Your Highness, if you’re inside, please reply to this subordinate!”
Chu Xifeng had clearly saw His Highness enter the room and while standing on hallway duty the whole time without budging an inch. He and esteemed wangfei had to be indoors, so why weren’t his shouts getting any attention? In the past, a single cry would be enough to get him an answer.
Naturally, he had no idea how many intimate moments he and Zhao mama had ruined for their masters in the past, nor how much the pair had changed to being utterly indifferent to their interruptions now.
Could something have happened? Finding the whole situation fishy, Chu Xifeng narrowly avoided charging into the room outright. Fortunately, he recalled how Long Feiye had all but kicked him clear into the trees back at Plum Blossom Sea. He stepped back from the door and told himself that nothing terrible would’ve happened if His Highness Duke of Qin was present. Then he started guessing at what his masters could be doing in broad daylight in that room. What was so important that neither of them could stop?
A very ambiguous smile grew on his smile as he considered the possibilities. But the thought was quickly dashed. Aunt Ru was in trouble, but he still hadn’t given his report!
“Aunt Ru beat Duanmu Yao until she was crippled! Your Highness, esteemed wangfei, can you hear me?”
“Masters, Aunt Ru crippled Duanmu Yao! Utterly crippled her!”
Long Feiye’s eyes flew open from his cozy perch inside the room, while Han Yunxi grew alarmed. “How could this be?”
She should be rejoicing over the fact that Duanmu Yao had been disabled, but she had enough sense to realize the consequences of this outcome. “This is bad!”
Tang Li had gone to apologize, so why did Aunt Ru cause even more trouble? She even crippled the girl? Now Tang Zijin’s proclamation had been all for naught.
“What happened?” Long Feiye demanded coldly.
“This subordinate isn’t clear, either. Just then, a flying messenger pigeon gave me the message. Tang Li and the rest are on their way back,” Chu Xifeng reported honestly.
Both Han Yunxi and Long Feiye quickly washed up and cleaned before emerging from the door. She was the first to ask, “What do you mean by ‘crippled?’”
Chu Xifeng shook his head. “The letter only said she’d beat her crippled, nothing more.”
“Hurry up and find out!” Long Feiye said unhappily.
Chu Xifeng immediately left. At the sight of Long Feiye’s stern expression, Han Yunxi purposely put on a sour face. “You’re that anxious to find out?”
Long Feiye immediately turned serious. “Tang Li will be in a lot of trouble!”
“What else?” Han Yunxi asked, still acting jealous. This man loved to eat vinegar, but didn’t seem to like others do the same thing. She wasn’t really miffed over this, but she tended to turn childish whenever Duanmu Yao was involved. On some level, she liked acting willful just to see that icy, taciturn man turn anxious and try to explain.
Aye, Long Feiye, ah, Long Feiye. Why didn’t I get to meet you before Duanmu Yao did? If I’d known you earlier, I definitely wouldn’t let you have a junior sister like her!
“I’m afraid that Duanmu Yao might have come prepared,” Long Feiye was still dead serious.
Hearing this, Han Yunxi sensed the severity of the situation. “Are you saying...she purposely got injured?”
Long Feiye nodded. Cang Qiuzi had probably pushed Duanmu Yao for the express purpose of penalizing Tang Li. But the girl was no fool, so instead of thrashing Tang Li and offending Cloud Realm Trade Consortium, she’d resorted to putting on an act to get injured by the Tang Clan instead. This way, the Tang Clan would become a matter of gossip once again, while Cang Qiuzi would have ever more pretext to pressure them. Duanmu Yao herself would have a chance to stay out of the mess without assuming responsibility for anything that happened afterwards.
“How sinister,” Han Yunxi remarked. “Did Aunt Ru used hidden weapons? I wonder if she aimed for the hands or the feet?”
What kind of assassination weapons were capable of crippling a person? Usually, they either poisoned or killed their targets instead.
Long Feiye wasn’t interested in how Duanmu Yao was crippled as much as other matters. “There’s no reason for Aunt Ru to act so recklessly.”
When faced with Han Yunxi, Aunt Ru made sure to put up a front of being deliberately provocative, but in Long Feiye’s experience, she was at heart a shrewd and subtle woman. Even if Duanmu Yao had plotted this ahead of time, Aunt Ru shouldn’t have fallen so easily for the trap.
As they deliberated, Chu Xifeng reappeared with more updates. “Your Highness, Duanmu Yao injured her dantian. Aunt Ru’s needle hit her right on the acupoint...it’s a terribly serious situation. We’ll need to wait for the clan head to arrive to hear the rest of the details, but they’re already on their way.”
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi exchanged glances. The latter might not know martial arts, but she understood that the dantian region was the center for circulating qi in the body. It was crucial for practitioners of internal energy, because any martial arts without that was just waving around one’s hands and feet. They had no idea how severe the injury was. If it was serious, then Duanmu Yao would truly be...rendered useless!
She had already lost her status as Western Zhou’s princess. How was she supposed to keep her position at Celestial Mountain if she lost all her martial arts, too?
Meanwhile, Long Feiye was considering the problem from another angle. He didn’t care a whit about Duanmu Yao’s future prospects as much as he was worried for his master. Without her martial arts, Duanmu Yao was still capable of winning over their master with words alone. Cang Qiuzi must have been willing to work with her for that very fact alone. Duanmu Yao held an important place in their master’s heart. If she was seriously hurt, then master might get involved in this mess as well.
He hadn’t even returned to Celestial Mountain before trouble started brewing at its very doors!
Long Feiye would have even suspected Aunt Ru of doing everything on purpose if it wasn’t the Tang Clan that she’d hurt most by her actions! As reason stood, Duanmu Yao had no motive to risk injuring her own dantian over something as trifling as this. They would still have to wait for Tang Zijin to arrive to get the full story.
Tang Zijin’s party arrived that very night. In the flurry of questions that followed, Han Yunxi and Long Feiye finally got the whole picture. Tang Li had gone to ask for a humble apology, but Duanmu Yao had raised difficulties until both sides were engaged in a verbal war. She was sharp-tongued girl and cursed Tang Li with all sorts of nasty names. Lady Tang lost her cool and made the first move; after that, the two sides devolved into an all out brawl.
Aunt Ru had already been thoroughly scalded by Tang Zijin on the return trip and was wearing an ugly expression. She refused to add another word into the story. Han Yunxi wasn’t stupid enough to grab a smoking gun, but Long Feiye got straight to the point.
“Of all the places you could have hit, why target her dantian? When my master took her in as a disciple all those years ago, it was precisely because she knew how to guard her dantian and cultivate the flow of her qi despite her young age.”
The sword sect elder doted on Duanmu Yao for other reasons too, but she was a talented youth to begin with as well.
“Her sword was about to stab me through the face. What was I suppose to do, wait for her to kill me?” Aunt Ru huffed back. Her words left everyone silent, Long Feiye included.
After a period of quiet, Aunt Ru finally calmed down enough to look at Tang Zijin, then Tang Li. “I’ll bear the burden for my own disasters. When the sword sect elder metes his punishment, I’ll go shoulder it myself.”
Like Cang Qiuzi, the head of Celestial Mountain Sword Sect was ignorant of the Tang Clan’s connections with Long Feiye. It would be impossible for Long Feiye to step out and explain the connections no matter how he tried.
“You’ll shoulder it yourself? How? Why didn’t you just kill Duanmu Yao directly so you could pay a life for a life? You’ve injured her dantian, so are you planning to give her a new one?” Tang Zijin was about to go mad with rage.
He cast a cold glance at Tang Li next, his eyes vicious enough to kill such an unfilial son and end everything once and for all. If Tang Li had been as obedient as he was before, he might be cradling grandchildren by now instead dealing with this pile of trouble. Neither Celestial Mountain nor Cloud Realm Trade Consortium were easy foes.
Aunt Ru was rendered speechless by Tang Zijin’s words.
“Alright already! What’s done is done. What’s the use if you snarl at Yiru any longer? As I see it, that wench deserves what she got! Who told her to curse Tang Li like that? She’s so young but has such a poisonous tongue. Isn’t she afraid of incurring retribution for her words?”
It was rare for Lady Tang to be standing on the same side as Aunt Ru. Now she turned to Long Feiye and added, “Feiye, it’s fortunate you never agreed to marry her. Otherwise, your mother would’ve risen straight from the grave in her rage!”
“Enough! What do you know? Your hair might be long, but your experience is still lacking!” Tang Zijin was about to go insane. He didn’t want to pay a single woman in this room any more attention. He too, looked at Long Feiye and asked, “Feiye, what do you think we should do now?”
“How badly was she hurt? Did she say anything?” Long Feiye asked.
“Nothing’s very clear. Aunt Ru used her Meteor Dart to inflict the wound. Duanmu Yao spat up mouthfuls of blood on the spot and said...and said that this wasn’t over. This old man wanted to explain, but that damned girl left too quickly, probably to treat her injury,” Tang Zijin replied.
“Meteor Dart…” Long Feiye muttered to himself. “How far away was she when she got hit?”
The Meteor Dart was an extremely fast weapon with a large damage scope. Being hit by that in close range would yield unthinkable consequences. Tang Zijin understood the weapon even better than Long Feiye did, but the situation had been too sudden and chaotic for him to catch what had happened before Duanmu Yao slipped away.
“About ten paces or so,” Aunt Ru said in a low voice.
Both Long Feiye and Tang Zijin exchanged looks. Ten paces would seriously injure Duanmu Yao.
After a period of silence, Long Feiye stated, “Make preparations to face off against Celestial Mountain. Furthermore, tell Cloud Realm Trade Consortium what happened immediately. Just say that Duanmu Yao was rude and insulted Ning Jing, while the Tang Clan hurt Duanmu Yao in a moment of carelessness.”
All they could do now was fight to gain Cloud Realm Trade Consortium’s support first while waiting to see what kind of trouble Duanmu Yao’s side would raise next.
Aunt Ru didn’t seem to have done the deed on purpose, but Duanmu Yao couldn’t have gone through such a massive risk just to threaten the Tang Clan, either. Han Yunxi couldn’t help but stare at Aunt Ru and wonder if everything really was just simple coincidence.
Just what were the chances?