Chu Xifeng rushed inside. When he saw the hole, he grew senseless. No matter whether His Highness Duke of Qin wanted to protect this woman or not, they couldn’t afford to lose her! He finally realized his own dereliction of duty. Although he’d stationed shadow guards around the perimeter and all the windows, he didn’t bother guarding the roof! Moreover, the unusual fireworks hadn’t triggered his guard at all.
He slapped himself and cried, “I deserve to die!”
Xu Donglin went searching around the rooms before he found something that made him shout in fear again. “Ah...ahhh….boss!”
Chu Xifeng chased after him and saw the scene on the floor. It took, scared him witless. There laid Han Yunxi’s purple outer robes, torn to shreds.
“Boss, esteemed wangfei, she...she couldn’t have...she…” Xu Donglin couldn’t even speak straight.
Chu Xifeng immediately raged, “She isn’t esteemed wangfei. Hurry and search for her! I’ll go find Department Head Shen right now to order him to seal the city gates. You go and bring a team to search the perimeter! Quickly!”
“Boss, shouldn’t we send His Highness a message first?” Xu Donglin asked.
Chu Xifeng was nothing if not jittery. “I know.”
As the two men split up to do their tasks, Xu Donglin turned back at the last minute to give Chu Xifeng a reminder. “Boss, no matter who she is, His Highness is protecting her. That means she’s still our mistress!”
“Impossible”! Chu Xifeng snapped.
“Boss, His Highness’s letter is still in you hands,” Xu Donglin was earnest. “His Highness’s heart has esteemed wangfei. You’ve followed them longer than I have, so you should know even better.”
“His Highness is East Qin’s last hope. In the future, he’ll revive the East Qin Dynasty and become its emperor. How could he like West Qin’s princess? If he wants to revive the dynasty, then he has to get his revenge and destroy all remnants of West Qin first! Han Yunxi will be the first! Even if His Highness wants to protect her thoroughly, he probably has some other plan in mind! It’s absolutely not some private love affair!” Chu Xifeng was both furious and agitated. “Why aren’t you going to search yet? Hurry and go!”
Xu Donglin was scared quite badly and turned to flee the scene. Very soon, Department Head Shen ordered the four city gates of Medical City sealed. No matter the reason, even those with passes from the academy head or the elders weren’t allowed to leave. Very soon, the shadow and academy guards broke through the silence of Medical City’s night. No one had no idea what had happened, only that someone important had been kidnapped.
Tang Li and Ning Jing were in the midst of their cold war at the inn. Although they were sleeping on the same bed, they had passed multiple nights with their backs facing each other. The sound of rapid knocking on the door woke them up before the guards came in to search their rooms. They only left after finding nothing. Tang Li quickly heard the news from the innkeeper that they were searching for someone.
“What kind of important person would have moved all these people?” Tang Li asked.
“Dunno. If it’s not someone from the medical academy, then it must be a member of a prominent clan. They even sealed the city gates!” the innkeeper replied.
Ning Jing only listened from the doorway with an ashen expression. She knew that Ning Cheng must have kidnapped his target and taken her away, which meant that he had seen the phoenix birthmark. In other words, Han Yunxi truly was the West Qin princess!
The Di Clan had finally found its master! But no one expected it to be Han Yunxi! Ning Jing suddenly wanted to run over to see Ning Cheng. Heaven knows what his mood was right now! Tang Li turned back just in time to meet Ning Jing’s face. He glanced at her before heading for the exit. Ning Jing wasn’t planning to pay him any attention because his absence gave her the perfect chance to visit their master. But she suddenly recalled something and chased after him with a shout.
“Where are you going in the middle of the night?”
Tang Li ignored her. He had long wanted to leave. His first thought upon finding out Han Yunxi’s identity was to remember Mute Granny. Long Feiye had confined the old woman in the Hidden Enclosure, but he was the one who’d been guarding her. Back then, he had no idea what Long Feiye was doing locking Mute Granny up! Later on, Long Feiye and Mute Granny talked about something before she killed herself.
By now, Tang Li could be certain that Long Feiye had long known about Han Yunxi’s identity and had been hiding it on purpose. He not only concealed the truth from Han Yunxi, but everyone else, too. Mute Granny’s suicide must have come from something Long Feiye said. What Tang Li didn’t understand was who else could have discovered Han Yunxi’s identity in this world besides Long Feiye and Mute Granny. Was it Gu Beiyue?
His brain was quite chaotic. It was almost impossible for him to accept right away that his sister-in-law was the West Qin princess. However, it was also impossible for him to regard Han Yunxi as an enemy. He didn’t know why he was heading for the medical academy, but at least he could find an excuse to ask about the kidnapping this time. Tang Li paused briefly before continuing on his way. Ning Jing’s temper flared as she ran forward to block him.
“You’re still going to meet with Han Yunxi, aren’t you? It’s so late, but you still want to see her? Do you have any shame?”
She guessed that he was actually going to ask about the kidnapping, but she still feigned eating vinegar instead.
“So what if I am? Can you control what I do?” Tang Li retorted.
“I’m your wife, so why can’t I?” Ning Jing retorted. She already had no idea whether she was pretending or truly angry.
“Wife?” Tang Li laughed out loud. “Ning Jing, so you still know that you’re my wife? I thought you didn’t want to acknowledge this role even after we were married. Oh, that’s right. Only now did I, Tang Li, discover that my wife is one of the descendants of the Seven Noble Families! Haha!”
“I…” Ning Jing looked into Tang Li’s eyes with a serious look. “Tang Li, do you really see me as your wife?”
Tang Li avoided her. For some reason, he was afraid to meet her gaze. Circling around the woman, he prepared to leave. Ning Jing suddenly grabbed his hand. “Tang Li, I was wrong! I shouldn’t have hit you or suspected you. I was wrong.”
Tang Li, neither Medical City nor Cloud Realm Continent will be very peaceful. We should go back to the Tang Clan, the further the better, alright?
Ning Jing kept those words in her heart. Unfortunately, Tang Li wasn’t planning on leaving the city. He didn’t want to continue their cold war, so he said, “If you want to go back, I’ll send someone to send you back.”
So saying, he left without a second look, leaving Ning Jing to stand alone in the darkness. Once Tang Li’s form disappeared at the end of the lane, Ning Jing recovered her senses. Her shrewd eyes had dimmed and even showed signs of hurt.
What else could she do now that Tang Li was gone? All she could try was to seize her time to check on Ning Cheng. All of Medical City was looking for the kidnapping victim. Ning Cheng naturally had a hiding spot, so Han Yunxi was currently concealed deep within a secret residence. By the time she groggily woke up, it was already noon of the next day. She discovered that she was lying in bed beneath a silk quilt. Surprised, she gave a murmur and sat straight up, only to discovered that she was still wearing Ning Cheng’s outer robes from last night. No one had touched her inner robes.
“Princess, you’re awake!”
“Princess, drink some water first. Breakfast’s long been prepared.”
The two servant girls waiting on the side quickly came to serve her, but Han Yunxi simply knocked the cup of water aside and demanded, “Where’s Ning Cheng?”
At her words, the sound of Ning Cheng kneeling beyond a folding screen reached her ears. “Your subordinate, the Di Clan leader Ning Cheng, sends my greetings to princess. May the princess live thousands of thousands of years!”
He had kept watch outside the folding screen overnight after bringing her back. Han Yunxi almost didn’t realize that Ning Cheng was kneeling to her. She hastily got off the bed, wrapped her clothes around her, and rushed out to see him in the most formal of bows with his head against the floor.
Recalling the events from last night made Han Yunxi even more furious. “Lift your head,” she said coldly.
Ning Cheng immediately looked up, his eyes and strong features looking heroic and handsome. Han Yunxi studied him carefully before raising her hand to slap him across the face.
Pah! Her slap rang out in the empty rooms!
Ning Cheng gave a start as his respectful gaze turned cold. His face was burning with pain as the skin grew red, a clear sign of Han Yunxi’s strength. Han Yunxi had no fear in the face of Ning Cheng’s cold stare. She not only wanted to hit him, but kill him outright.
“Shameless!” she cursed him.
Ning Cheng finally realized that she was slapping him for last night and lowered his gaze. “What happened last night was this subordinate’s affront. May princess please mete punishment.”
Han Yunxi raised her hand for another slap, but Ning Cheng didn’t dodge. She wasn’t joking with him either--she really wanted to hit him. But since he was acting so respectful, she’d play with him until the end. She’d like to see how long he could take it. As she built up her strength for another strike, her eyes happened to brush past Ning Cheng’s left foot. She remembered the Blaze poison she’d gave him last night. By now, Ning Cheng’s skin should be covered in blisters, yet he was still wearing his boots. Wasn’t he in any pain?
Han Yunxi dropped her hand and walked behind him with interest.
“May princess mete punishment,” Ning Cheng said again.
“Take off your boot and let me see,” Han Yunxi said as she slowly sank into a seat.
With hooded eyes, Ning Cheng sat down and took off his boot without any expression. His movements were quick and smooth. Although the needle from last night was gone, his entire foot was swollen up like something had burned the skin. Multiple blisters graced the surface, some broken into a mess of blood and flesh. Because he’d taken off his boot so quickly, he burst through more blisters that oozed pus onto the ground.
The two servant girls felt their hearts ache at the sight, but Han Yunxi only enjoyed it with interest. “Alright,” she said. “Then I’ll punish you by crippling this foot. By tomorrow morning, poison would have seeped into the bones and crushed them.”
Ning Cheng’s eyes flickered with a complicated expression, but he remained silent with his head bowed.
“Ning Cheng, what do you think of this punishment?” Han Yunxi kept pretending. She wanted to force Ning Cheng to show his true colors!
How much nobler could the Di Clan’s Ning family be, compared to the Nether Clan’s Chu family?
“This subordinate deserves death for affronting the princess, but…” Ning Cheng finally looked up. “But can this subordinate pay back this debt in the future? Once this subordinate finishes assisting the princess in wiping out the humiliation dealt to our West Qin and recover everything, it won’t be late to punish me then! Even if the princess wants this subordinate’s life then, this subordinate will offer it willingly.”
Han Yunxi laughed coldly in her heart. If she wanted until West Qin revived, she’d be nothing more than a puppet in their hands. It’d be the same situation as Tianning’s child emperor and Empress Dowager Chu, who were ordered about by the Prince Regent Ning Cheng!
She slowly sipped her tea as she waved a hand. “This wangfei doesn’t sell on credit."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This is where we finally move on from duke and wangfei to prince and princess, methinks..hohoho.
I'm actually feeling a little sorry for Ning Cheng, he really is truly dedicated to the West Qin imperial clan...