Han Yunxi’s sudden reaction left Ning Cheng very doubtful. He was in no rush to explain, but only lowered his head to look at her hand, which was tightly gripping his sleeve.
Han Yunxi’s heart was about to leap out of her chest. How could she bother to care about his staring now? She anxiously asked, “What did you just say? Who knows the whereabouts of the Shadow Clan? Where are they?”
Ning Cheng didn’t speak, only looked at her hand.
Han Yunxi immediately let go. “Hurry and speak!”
She was the princess, her master. After she made her vow, he had resumed his respectful manner, but he seemed to have forgotten it in this instant. He allowed her to panic while slowly settling back into his seat. “Princess, why are you so anxious to know about the Shadow Clan’s whereabouts? What, has your conscience finally returned?”
This woman wasn’t anything like this when Ning Jing had been crying about the Shadow Clan’s fate. Only then did Han Yunxi realized her loss of control resulted from a misunderstanding. She almost forgot. Although Tang Li knew of Gu Beiyue’s identity and how he’d fallen off the cliff, Ning Jing had no clue. Thus, neither did Ning Cheng.
Just then, Ning Cheng had mentioned news of the Shadow Clan. He didn’t necessarily mean Gu Beiyue, but clues to the identity of the descendant of the Shadow Clan. Besides Long Feiye’s men, who else knew of Gu Beiyue’s identity? Han Yunxi quickly thought of Chu Tianyin.
Could it be that the Chu Clan’s betraying Long Feiye so soon?
Han Yunxi exhaled and pretended to look unhappy. “Enough with the sneering, it’s time to tell me what’s up, right? Who knows the whereabouts of the Shadow Clan? Where is its descendant?”
“Your Royal Highness, the Di and Shadow Clan have the same hearts. You can’t be biased towards one over the other,” Ning Cheng teased.
Han Yunxi was anxious to know the answer, but she didn’t fall for Ning Cheng’s goading. She came straight to the point with a cold snort. “Ning Cheng, the Shadow Clan wouldn’t offend me like this! This debt, this wang--”
Before she could call herself wangfei again, she quickly changed her tone. “I’ll get it back one day!” If she called herself wangfei one more time, Ning Cheng would probably never trust her words again. But she really couldn’t accept calling herself “princess,” so just “I” would have to do.
Ning Cheng had no words to retort. Feeling resentful, he explained without Han Yunxi pressing the issue. “Someone once used the whereabouts of the Shadow Clan to trade for Your Royal Highness’s life. If Your Royal Highness wants to know the details, you should meet her in person.”
Chu Qingge? Han Yunxi finally remembered that woman. She didn’t ask any more, because she knew that Ning Cheng wasn’t just bringing her to the Tianning capital to dig into the Shadow Clan’s whereabouts, but to use this chance to stage a coup and raise West Qin’s battle banners.
By then, Long Feiye would have found out about her whereabouts. How would he view her then? How was she ever going to ask him her question? How would she ever get his reply?
Han Yunxi was disconsolate. She didn’t have time or a way out of this. All she could do was take things step by step. Actually, Ning Cheng had received news recently that Long Feiye didn’t acknowledge Han Yunxi’s status as West Qin princess. Moreover, he’d sent orders to investigate the person who started the rumors. Bai Yanqing received the news at the same time from the military barracks and had the same thought as Ning Cheng.
“Lass, this is the disaster of a pretty woman, understand?” Bai Yanqing said with a smile.
Bai Yuqiao shook her head. “Master, the Duke of Qin is only trying to calm the hearts of his troops, that’s all. How could he really feel anything for the West Qin princess?”
“Shall we make a bet?” Bai Yanqing asked in a good mood.
“Alright!” Bai Yuqiao agreed instantly. “I bet that the Duke of Qin has no feelings for Han Yunxi.”
“Heheh, just wait. The Lustbite energy will prove that your master is right!” Bai Yanqing crowed.
“Master, what’s Lustbite energy?” Bai Yuqiao didn’t understand. This was the first time he’d brought it up with her. Now he explained it in depth until she was gaping from the extent of her master’s machinations. He had hidden many things from senior brother.
“Master, this disciple doesn’t understand. How could arch enemies fall in love with each other? If it was your enemy, master, would you love her too?” Bai Yuqiao asked earnestly.
Bai Yanqing’s sunny eyes instantly darkened. He didn’t answer Bai Yuqiao’s question for a long time. Afraid that she’d made him unhappy, Bai Yuqiao changed the topic. “Master, will Ning Cheng believe our tricks? He’s not easy to deal with!”
“He will. At least, he will within these few months!” Bai Yanqing was certain. He had already told Bai Yuqiao that he’d pretend to be one of Jun Yixie’s subordinates when Ning Cheng and Han Yunxi came to meet her. Jun Yixie could cooperate with Ning Cheng under the guise of a Wind Clan descendant, thus hiding his status as a Black Clan heir temporarily.
“Master, why are we hiding senior brother’s identity?” Bai Yuqiao probed. From what she understood, the Black Clan used to be loyal to East Qin, but they changed sides after West Qin fell and joined hands with the Di and Wind Clans to destroy their ex-masters.
“This is for your senior brother’s own good. Even if you don’t understand, he will!” Bai Yanqing’s tone grew stern, so Bai Yuqiao didn’t dare to pursue the matter any further.
“You still haven’t found the whereabouts of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion yet?” Bai Yanqing asked next.
“Those wretches are completely useless. This disciple already ordered them to bring Su Xiaoyu here secretly. I’ll interrogate her myself! Master doesn’t need to worry,” Bai Yuqiao reported.
“Be careful. Don’t expose any secrets!” Bai Yanqing reminded her sternly.
Bai Yanqing thought that he had a flawless plan in place, but had no idea that Han Yunxi had long seen through him, or that Long Feiye had his suspicions in place early on, too.
“Your Highness, if Gu Beiyue...dies, then how...do we explain things to esteemed wangfei?” Xu Donglin asked timidly.
After failing to find Han Yunxi at Apricot Woods, Xu Donglin had already accompanied His Highness to guard the gates for one day and one night. His Highness hadn’t said a word, so he felt the pressure to pick a topic to talk about.
“She’ll believe things after we uncover that old fox,” Long Feiye actually replied.
Back at Celestial Mountain, He Yilian’s sword skills had far surpassed anyone’s expectations. It was obvious that someone was guiding them behind the scenes. Who else could that expert be but the old fox? Even if he wasn’t the one who assassinated Gu Beiyue, it had to be someone related to the fox. Back when Cang Qiuzi allied with Jun Yixie, it was He Yilian who managed affairs. In other words, the Heretical Sword Sect was under that old fox’s control too.
“Your Highness, the old fox…” Before Xu Donglin could finish, a strong pressure fell upon them. Fortunately, Long Feiye pushed him aside before he could topple off the city gates. Long Feiye snatched a seed out of thin air--the same force that had exerted pressure upon them both. It was the seedling for a prickly vine.
“Long Feiye, this old man’s had it with you!” Gu Qishao had suddenly appeared atop the opposite corner of the gates, his splendid red robes billowing in the wind. He was pointing his sword straight at Long Feiye, his beautiful face filled with wrath!
As soon as he climbed out of the abyss, it was to hear the latest news from Luo Zuishan about the past few days. Han Yunxi was actually the West Qin heir and had gone missing! Before Luo Zuishan could finish, Gu Qishao had already gone to find Long Feiye.
Even the stupidest person could remember Mute Granny at a time like this!
“Long Feiye, you killed Mute Granny for the sake of hiding Han Yunxi’s identity! You’re so despicable!” Gu Qishao raged.
“I didn’t kill her!” Long Feiye said coldly.
“You kidnapped the woman and she died on your grounds. If she didn’t die because of you, then what was it? Long Feiye, do you take this old man as a fool?” Gu Qishao was furious. He could endure Long Feiye lying to Han Yunxi, but not him using her!
Long Feiye long found out that Han Yunxi was the West Qin princess, so all of his doting was just using her for his own gains! It’s nothing but exploitation! If no one had exposed the truth, then he would have used her to suppress the West Qin forces, wouldn’t him?
Gu Qishao’s accusations made Long Feiye fall silent. He might not have killed Mute Granny with his own hands, but that didn’t mean he didn’t play a part. Mute Granny was smart enough to understand his meaning back then. Han Yunxi’s secret could only stay secret if it was buried with the old woman.
“Did you kill Gu Beiyue?!” Gu Qishao seemed to be on fire, burning with pain and fury! He liked Poison lass so much, but he’d never really fought for her with Long Feiye because he knew how much she liked her husband.
Where was Poison lass now? Would that unrestrained, stubborn lass be crying? How sad must she be feeling right now?
“If I say I didn’t, would you believe me?” Long Feiye asked.
“I won’t!” Gu Qishao didn’t hesitate.
Long Feiye never liked to explain himself, nor was he any good at explanations. He tossed aside the seed in his hands and said coldly, “I’ve just received news that Ning Cheng took Han Yunxi to Tianning’s capital city.”
At his words, Gu Qishao immediately sheathed his sword and turned to leave. He was in such a rush that his anxiety completely replaced his anger.
“Master...you…. You lied to him?” Xu Donglin muttered.
Long Feiye simply sat back on the gates with hooded eyes. It had already been one day and one night. The four gates of Medical City and all of its secret passages were sealed shut while three teams of men and horses searched the premises. Although there was no proof that Ning Cheng had already slipped away, he had to take precautions in case that was the fact. If Ning Cheng had truly escaped with Han Yunxi, then he’d head for Tianning’s capital city. Last night, he had asked for help from Celestial Mountain and deployed some of its experts from the Abstinence Courtyard to stand guard at Tianning’s imperial city.
However, none of these people set his heart more at ease than sending Gu Qishao. Who else in this world would look for Han Yunxi like a madmen besides himself, Gu Qishao, and Gu Beiyue?
He would guard the gates for another day. If Ning Cheng still didn’t turn up, then he’d leave things to the guards here and head for Tianning’s capital himself.
Xu Donglin observed his master’s complexion and didn’t pursue the issue. Instead, he told the retainer on the side, “Go check on the status of the Tang Clan head.”
Yesterday, Tang Li had said that if Ning Jing didn’t confess to her crimes, he’d hang her up over the city gates. It wasn’t clear how much progress he’d made. Ning Jing was currently locked up in the same rooms where Han Yunxi had gone missing. Tang Li had dismissed all of the servants, leaving husband and wife alone inside.
The saying went that a husband and wife for a single night meant love for a hundred nights more. He was quite gentlemanly and didn’t torture her, but…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Gu Qishao... >_< Everyone's hurting, huh...