Medical City was guarded so tightly, but how did Ning Cheng bring Han Yunxi away without a word? Actually, Ning Cheng had taken Han Yunxi away not long after she regained consciousness. Ning Jing’s repeated trips in the middle of the night were simply to sound out Tang Li’s intentions, that’s all.
Currently, Ning Cheng and Han Yunxi were on their way back to Tianning. She was nestled in the carriage while he drove the reins. Many guards accompanied them as a safeguard. Han Yunxi was deathly exhausted, but couldn’t fall asleep. She stuck her head out and asked, “Hey, just how did you get out of there?”
She had been led out of Medical City blindfolded. It was obvious that Ning Cheng still distrusted her. Ning Cheng simply whipped the horses with his eyes looking forward. Instead of answering her question, he asked back, “Has Your Royal Highness finished thinking things over?”
He wanted her to consider taking up the mantle of West Qin princess and assume responsibility for the revival of her country. Han Yunxi only laughed coldly and said, “Do I even have the right to choose?”
Ning Cheng finally turned around with a glare. Ever since she had compared the Di Clan with the Nether Clan, he had stopped acting respectful or reverent around her. Despite this, Han Yunxi felt that this side of him was more genuine.
“What are you so surly about? I never had the right to choose to begin with, so why make me decide at all? In any case, I have to come with you even if I don’t want to, isn’t that right?” The more she spoke, the colder Ning Cheng’s gaze grew. But Han Yunxi didn’t fear him at all. “Don’t tell me you’ll let me go now if I say I don’t agree?”
Finally, Ning Cheng’s gaze revealed hints of disappointment and disdain. “You can choose to refuse, but I won’t let you go…”
“I won’t force you any further,” Ning Cheng interrupted, “But I would kill you! Once you died, the Di Clan would have no more mission to fulfill. Everyone could happily live out their lives as they wanted!”
Han Yunxi gave a start as she realized this truly wasn’t a bad idea! Abruptly, Ning Cheng drew close, killing intent flashing in his eyes. He frightened Han Yunxi into a hasty retreat as he mouthed, word by word, his ruthless statement. “Your Royal Highness, this subordinate will ask you one last time: have you thought things through?”
Han Yunxi tugged her lips into a smile before she replied easily, “I have. I’ll agree with you guys…”
Although she hadn’t figured out how to tell Ning Cheng about the Wind Clan’s machinations, agreeing to work with them first was imperative. Otherwise, she’d never get her chance. Han Yunxi’s smile was lovely, but Ning Cheng didn’t smile back. Instead, he turned serious.
“Your Royal Highness, a word once spoken cannot be taken back even by a team of four horses. Please be more earnest.”
Han Yunxi withdrew her smile and turned serious. “Don’t worry. I’ll live up to my word.”
Ning Cheng was still unsatisfied. “May Your Royal Highness make a vow.”
“Alright, I vow that if I, Han Yunxi...”
“--if Your Royal Highness goes back on your words today, then Long Feiye will die an unnatural death!” Ning Cheng interrupted while she was still thinking over the details.
In a flash, Han Yunxi’s eyes glittered with ice. But she hid it well enough that even Ning Cheng couldn’t tell at close distance. Smiling once again, she said, “Ning Cheng, do you think I’m refusing you all because I like Long Feiye?”
“Is there any other reason?” Ning Cheng retorted. Although such an excuse chilled one’s heart, he still faced it straight on. He couldn’t figure out what other excuses Han Yunxi could have to hesitate on reviving the nation? Although she might not have known of her identity beforehand, but the blood of West Qin flowed through her veins. How could she be free of hate after finding out the truth?
A country was one’s permanent home. How could anyone not love their people, their homeland? How could they not hate the people who destroyed it all? Ning Cheng had no idea that Han Yunxi’s current soul had no relation with the West Qin bloodline at all. Thus, he didn’t understand.
In the end, he blamed everything on love. What else could dissolve hate, except love?
Han Yunxi slowly pushed Ning Cheng away. “Ning Cheng, my choice has nothing to do with Long Feiye or who I love. I want to live for myself, so that’s why I’m hesitating.”
It felt like something had bitten Ning Cheng’s heart. It didn’t hurt, but it gave him an indescribable feeling.
“Ning Cheng, if you had a choice, would you live for yourself and be yourself, instead of West Qin’s servant?” Han Yunxi asked.
Ning Cheng immediately avoided Han Yunxi’s eyes. “Your Royal Highness, neither of us have a choice. Please make the vow immediately.”
“Alright.” Han Yunxi raised a hand and proclaimed loudly. “I vow as the West Qin princess that if I go back on my words today, Long Feiye will die an unnatural death!”
She would always be Han Yunxi, while the one making the vow was the West Qin princess. That was how Han Yunxi consoled herself.
“Can you tell me how you escaped from Medical City now?” she asked.
“The poison meadows of the Poison Sect has a secret passage that leads directly out of Medical City,” Ning Cheng admitted.
“How did you know?” Han Yunxi was surprised.
“The leader of the Hundred Poisons Sect delivered the news,” Ning Cheng had received the message right after the one from the Wind Clan. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have escaped at all.
“Jun Yixie?” Han Yunxi asked doubtfully. From what she understood, that man was still with the Wintercrow Clan.
“No, it was Jun Yixie’s junior sister, a girl called Bai Yuqiao,” Ning Cheng explained. “The Hundred Poisons Sect started out as a branch of the Poison Sect. Once they discovered Your Royal Highness’s identity, they were willing to work in the service of the Poison Sect. They couldn’t get in contact with princess no matter how they tried. Later, when princess’s identity was exposed, they found this subordinate.”
Han Yunxi only laughed coldly. “Humbly seeking a master isn’t the Hundred Poisons Sect’s style!”
Ning Cheng’s expression turned awkward. After all, he was one such person. Despite this, Han Yunxi only remained staring at him coldly. She was no kindly soul. She held her grudges and how Ning Cheng had torn her clothes. Even if she couldn’t kill him, she wouldn’t give him an easy time!
If Ning Cheng had wanted to verify the phoenix birthmark on her back, he could have kidnapped her first and found Ning Jing or a servant girl to check. She couldn’t figure out why he had to do it himself! It just proved that he was obscene!
Although he was in a hard spot, Ning Cheng was still angry. He said, “This subordinate said before that the Wind Clan has control of Northern Li’s calvary. Does Your Royal Highness remember?”
“Could it be that Jun Yixie is a descendant of the Wind Clan?” Han Yunxi asked urgently.
“Exactly!” Ning Cheng had no reason to hide what he himself believed.
“Jun Yixie…” Han Yunxi muttered to herself. But inside, she was cursing the man for being a liar!
If Jun Yixie really was a member of the Wind Clan, he wouldn’t have suffered so much that year at Fishery Island before his master saved him! He was no Wind Clan member, but his master was. Ning Cheng had been tricked! As expected, the Wind Clan had sinister designs at work!
“The Hundred Poisons Sect is a branch faction of the Poison Sect, but that was centuries ago. How could Jun Yixie and the rest know about the secret passage in the meadows?” Han Yunxi probed.
The man who did know the truth had to be Jun Yixie’s master, the descendant of the Poison Sect who...who might even be her own father.
“This subordinate didn’t dare to ask much. The Hundred Poisons Sect often has members going in and out of the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds, so it’s not unusual for them to be familiar with the grounds,” Ning Cheng reasoned.
Han Yunxi looked at Ning Cheng for a long time before she asked, “Ning Cheng, Jun Yixie is still with the Wintercrow Clan. Was it Bai Yuqiao who wrote you the letter?”
“Exactly,” Ning Cheng replied honestly. “Long before Long Feiye revealed his East Qin battle banners, Bai Yuqiao was on her way to the battlefield. She wrote a letter on the way and sent it straight into my hands. By now, she should have reached the warfields.”
“Bai Yuqiao has the power to act in place of Jun Yixie?” Han Yunxi asked.
Ning Cheng only nodded his head. Now Han Yunxi was lost. Ning Cheng was a prudent man, so why would he easily trust the Wind Clan? She continued to sound him out.
“You can ascertain that Jun Yixie’s a descendant of the Wind Clan from a simple letter? Moreover, why...are you so sure that the Wind Clan won’t become a second Nether Clan?”
Ning Cheng ordered his retainer to drive the carriage while he went inside to sit with Han Yunxi. He retrieved Bai Yuqiao’s personal letter from his sleeve for Han Yunxi to examine it for any particular details. The contents mentioned the Wind Clan’s utmost loyalty to the West Qin imperial clan and brought up the Hundred Poisons Sect, then the Northern Li calvary. However, it didn’t give blatant proof of Jun Yixie’s identity.
“Your Royal Highness, look at the back,” Ning Cheng reminded her.
Han Yunxi flipped the paper over and saw a seal stamped on the reverse side. The center read “West Qin,” while the surrounding patterns were a complicated network of lines that looked, upon closer examination, to be a coiled up dragon!
“Esteemed wangfei, this is the West Qin imperial seal. Back then, the finest craftsman in the world spent three years to carve it. No one can imitate this dragon!” Ning Cheng explained earnestly. “During the chaos of the past, the imperial clan left their seal in the Wind Clan’s safekeeping. Over the past few years, the Di and Nether Clans have both been looking for your whereabouts and the location of this jade seal.”
Han Yunxi never expected this item to exist, but this wasn’t the main point. She suppressed her voice and asked again, “Ning Cheng, how can you be sure that the Wind Clan would be a second Nether Clan?”
Ning Cheng was smart, so he should know that if the Wind Clan had thoughts of betrayal and acted for selfish interests, the Di Clan would be helpless to stop them. There were two reasons for this: first, the Wind Clan was skilled in tactical deployment of troops; secondly, the Wind Clan controlled the Northern Li calvary. Once the Di Clan’s front line and Long Feiye’s clashed and injured each other, the Wind Clan’s calvary forces could rush in and crush the Di Clan first.
“That’s why I ask that Your Royal Highness take back the imperial jade seal once we reach the baracks. Cloud Realm Trade Consortium currently controls the grain supplies for the Northern Li calvary. Even if the Wind Clan has thoughts of backstabbing us, they don’t have the power to act.” Ning Cheng had his own reservations, but he needed the Wind Clan’s support right now. Otherwise, he had no way to deal with East Qin’s massive strength.
Han Yunxi was more or less comforted by his precautions. As long as Ning Cheng was on his guard against the Wind Clan, then she would have a chance to convince him of her views on their schemes. Right now, she lacked concrete proof. It’s better to sit tight until we reach the battlefield. I can decide after I meet Bai Yuqiao.
“Your Royal Highness, it’s getting late. Please rest. Three days later, we’ll reach the Tianning capital. This subordinate will arrange for you to see someone; she can tell you news of the Shadow Clan.”
He was about to leave the carriage when Han Yunxi’s heart gave a jolt. She grabbed him and exclaimed, “What did you say?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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