The two people spying on Long Feiye and Han Yunxi leaving the city were none other than Tang Li and Ning Jing. They had arrived two days ago, just in time to witness everything that had happened yesterday. Ning Jing had been so shocked that her jaw dropped. Only now did she realize how much she’d underestimated Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s capabilities. Meanwhile, Tang Li was feeling antsy after watching such an impressive show. How, how---how come I couldn’t get involved!?
Although he spent his days with Ning Jing, he could still get news of Long Feiye and Han Yunxi. He knew what had happened to Grand Concubine Yi, and that the couple would come to the City of Daughters. Thus, he purposely changed their tour route to create a coincidence for them to meet. When he saw Long Feiye fighting with Lady Leng Yue, then Han Yunxi dismissing the jianghu faction, he couldn’t help but wish he could be standing by Long Feiye’s side to bask in their might. Unfortunately, he couldn’t. He had to pretend they didn’t have much of a past at all.
If possible, he’d follow them all the way to Celestial Mountain, but in the end he’d urged Ning Jing to leave together after the couple settled into the city last night. Instead, Ning Jing said she wanted to see the outcome of the event. Only after the carriage went out of sight did she turn back to Tang Li. “Tang Li, how come they’re leaving just like that? Where are they going?”
“How should I know?” Tang Li asked as he took her hand. “Come on, I’ll take you to get something good to eat.”
Ning Jing immediately shook herself free with a glare. “Try and touch me again!”
She and Tang Li had agreed on three rules before setting out. Number one was that they weren’t to touch. Tang Li let her fume as she willed as he grinned broadly. “I was just impatient, that’s all. I forgot in the heat of the moment.”
Ning Jing examined him with a cold smile. “What are you so impatient about?”
“I’m worried you’ll be hungry! Or that you’ll hurt your stomach from not eating warm food for so long!” Tang Li said seriously as he stared into her eyes. “Jing’er, if your body’s exhausted from our trip this time, I’ll never live this down in my lifetime as your husband.”
Ning Jing had enough of his mouth. “Who let you call me Jing’er? You’re not allowed!”
“Then, shall your husband call you Jing Jing?” Tang Li asked sincerely.
In reality, Ning Jing was actually starving, but she didn’t need to eat as long as Tang Li talked. He was capable of filling her stomach with hot air! Tang Li just grinned as he saw Ning Jing’s face turn green with fury. Although his duty was to subdue this woman within a year and gain the arms trade in her hands, it was quite fun to anger her once in a while.
“Tang Li, can’t you stop saying ‘your husband’ this, ‘your husband’ that, every time you open your mouth? Doesn’t it get annoying?” Ning Jing demanded.
Every time Tang Li talked, she was sure to find plenty of fault with him.
“Well, but I’m your husband.” Tang Li looked at Ning Jing with a pitiful expression. He even blinked a few times to act cute.
Goosebumps immediately rose on Ning Jing’s skin. When she saw that Tang Li was going to keep talking, she quickly changed the topic, “Aren’t you on good personal terms with Long Feiye? Don’t you know where they’re going?”
“Me and him…” Tang Li wavered on the revelation, leaving Ning Jing nervous. She seriously wanted to figure out the true relationship between those two men. But Tang Li only left her hanging without finishing the sentence.
“You and him, what?” Ning Jing asked. With her usual intelligence, it would have been obvious to tell that Tang Li was only stringing her along. But besides sleeping, she’d been stuck with the man 24/7 in the past few days. Sometimes Tang Li would even spend the night sitting on her roof to guard her from danger. This man had almost driven her to insanity by now, so she’d lost her usual cool and intelligence.
“Me and him...haiz,” Tang Li sighed helplessly.
Ning Jing grew tenser as she waited for his answer. She even subconsciously scooted closer to him. Seeing her so anxious, Tang Li couldn’t help but burst out laughing. Who knew that such a capable and keen-witted woman could have a cute side too?
Finally, Ning Jing realized that she’d been played. Her face fell as she stood up to stalk away, too lazy to even leave a retort. Wasn’t this exactly what Tang Li wanted?
This slut wants to investigate my relationship with Long Feiye? Heheh, I’ll whet her appetite before tossing her a lie.
Ning Jing strode to the place where they’d tied their horses and rejoiced when she saw that Tang Li was still some distance away. She jumped onto the horse herself, then sliced through the reins of the other one before kicking it soundly on the behind. Startled, Tang Li’s horse galloped off.
He said we’d go on a honeymoon tour for a month. Well, it counts even if I tour by myself, right? I’ll abandon him so I can look around at the surrounding arms trade routes.
Hehe, see ya, Tang Li!
Ning Jing lashed her whip and urged her horse on through the woods. By the time Tang Li caught up, she was almost out of sight. He saw the remains of the reins on the ground and figured out what had happened. With a cold laugh, he muttered, “Little slut!”
He checked the surrounding terrain before using his lightness techniques to catch up with her easily. But rather than pull Ning Jing off her horse, he slowed himself down and pretended to huff and puff for breath as he chased her.
“Jing Jing! Don’t abandon me, ah! Jing Jing, wait for your husband!”
“Jing Jing, these mountain roads are hard to travel! Don’t be stubborn, be good and come back.”
“Jing Jing, wait for me. Jing Jing...can’t you be a bit more docile?”
Ning Jing only paid attention to her front at first, but she and her horse had gotten tired after crossing through two mountains. Unbelievably, Tang Li had chased them the entire way. When she looked back, she realized that he wasn’t even using lightness techniques, just pursuing her on foot.
Seeing his familiar figure in the distance caused her icy gaze to grow complicated. If she kept going, she’d reach the road down the mountain. Tang Li certainly wouldn’t be able to keep up if she sped up afterwards. But Ning Jing decided to give up. Instead of galloping away, she waited and watched as Tang Li caught up.
Sitting astride her horse, she looked scornfully down at the man panting for breath. “Hey, are you going to keep pretending?!”
She had investigated Tang Li’s martial arts prowess before their wedding. He was holding back on purpose. Meanwhile, Tang Li rested a hand on the horse’s head, truly tired from his exertions. As he puffed for breath, he gave her a flattering grin. “Jing Jing, was it fun?”
His words seemed to hint that he was willing to pretend as long as it made her happy. Ning Jing stared at him and his forehead full of sweat, then at his rather ashen complexion. One of his hands was clutching his stomach. For some reason, she suddenly grew angry. Kicking aside the stirrups, she hit him in the face with her foot. “This isn’t fun!”
Perhaps Tang Li did it on purpose, but he didn’t manage to evade in time before Ning Jing’s shoe knocked him clear to the ground. Her heart gave a lurch. She thought he’d dodge for sure!
Meanwhile, Tang Li sprawled on the dirt with a hand cradling his face. He had never been hit in the face his entire life, much less with a woman’s foot. This was absolute humiliation! He stared at Ning Jing without moving, so quiet that one seemed to sense...his fury.
Despite her shock, Ning Jing remained calm. She allowed Tang Li to look without objections since he’d asked for it in the end. She hadn’t told him to chase after her for fun, nor was this amusing at all. She was already mentally bracing herself for him to flip out, but Tang Li simply laid there staring at her. She met his gaze squarely at first, but as time dragged on, he seemed to look angrier and angrier, turning her timid. Although she knew martial arts, her skills paled in comparison to his. Moreover, his body was full of hidden weapons. They were out in the middle of nowhere, so if he tried anything against her, she wouldn’t even be able to call for help!
Just what does he want to do?
What should I do?
Finally, Ning Jing opened her mouth. “Tang Li, you… You…”
“Don’t move!” Tang Li snapped out of the blue.
Scared by his outburst, Ning Jing froze. This was the first time he’d raised his voice at her. What a frightening and furious tone!
Tang Li took out countless assassination weapons, alarming Ning Jing even further. What’s this guy doing now? She was a merchant by trade, so she possessed ample skills to read the mood and advance or retreat as needed. She wouldn’t sell out her life for such a trifling thing. After all, she hadn’t just kicked his face, but his self-respect as a man!
“Tang Li, I was wr--”
Tang Li released his weapons like a flash of lightning towards Ning Jing before she ever finished speaking.
“Ahhhh!” Ning Jing screamed as she squeezed her eyes shut, assuming she’d die in the woods today. But instead of the death god’s embrace, it was Tang Li’s arms that wrapped around her instead. He soared into the air with her in his arms at the same time a massive python flew out to swallow Ning Jing’s horse whole. By the time Ning Jing opened her eyes, the giant snake was already lashing out at them with its tail, which was stuck full of Tang Li’s weapons.
Tang Li held onto Ning Jing tightly before kicking off a tree branch and flying far away to avoid the attack. Before the python could lash out again, its tail suddenly went weak and limp. It was obvious that the weapons buried into its flesh contained poison. But soon enough, the snake head came to attack them in its place, its bloody maw opened wide.
“Damnit!” Tang Li cursed. He sounded absolutely ferocious.
He assumed that the creature would slow down after eating the horse. That was why he’d aimed for its tail. But who knew its head could still move so quickly? Tang Li held Ning Jing with one hand while sending out flying weapons with the other. Despite its slow and stupid appearance, the python moved quite fast and avoided many of his attacks. Moreover, the poison effects on its tail soon wore off as well. It swung it at the pair, leaving Tang Li very busy indeed.
Tang Li’s weapons and poisons were meant to be used against human foes. They were rather lacking when it came to facing off against a giant python multiple times his size! Unless he found its weak point and attacked there, it’d be impossible to win the battle. But when a long-term struggle yielded no answers, Tang Li chose the next best solution: escape!
He was careful enough to bring Ning Jing past yet another mountain before stopping to rest. Once he set her down, he sat on the ground, nearly spent. After running past multiple mountains and fighting a tough battle, he really was exhausted.
Ning Jing looked at him ever so silently...Previous Chapter Next Chapter