A complicated look flickered past Ning Cheng’s eyes before he demanded, “What’s going on?”
“To report master, they discovered an assassin by Yanling Palace. It was only one person, but their martial arts skills are expert!” the guard replied.
Ning Cheng turned towards Bai Yanqing, who was looking straight at him. He smiled coldly and said, “Must be another one sent by Long Feiye to kidnap the princess again. Why is he so convinced that the princess is by my side?”
He used the “again” for Ning An’s sake so she knew he was doing it on purpose for Bai Yanqing to hear. After bringing the princess back, this was the first time they’d encountered any assassins charging in. It remained to be seen whether they were really aiming for the princess.
Ning An quickly added, “Clan Head, it’s obvious that the princess isn’t in the palace. How about you issue a proclamation declaring the truth? Suppose Long Feiye spreads news some day to slander us? The people of the world wouldn’t know the details. They might even assume we really kidnapped the princess!”
Bai Yanqing smiled. “That’s a bad way of putting things. Even if the princess was in the Ning Clan’s hands, they’d be rescuing her. Where does the concept of kidnapping come in? Long Feiye can’t smear the Ning Clan.”
Ning An broke into a bitter smile. “Uncle Bai, gossip is a fearful thing! Long Feiye has his ways to win over human hearts! If the people of the world believed him and we still don’t fly out the West Qin flags, then we’d be cursed for putting the princess under house arrest while harboring evil intentions!”
Bai Yanqing chuckled. “Too anxious, too anxious. Why not fly out the flags first? Place the symbol of the imperial jade seal on them instead, it’ll definitely convince the masses.”
Ning Cheng immediately rejected the idea with a chilly face. “The vertical banners with the imperial jade seal are the prerogative of the imperial clan. Neither the Di or Wind Clan have the right to hang them! Uncle Bai, this clan head will just pretend not to have heard those words. By no means should you make such irresponsible remarks again!”
Bai Yanqing had no way to retort. If he did, then it’d be gross disrespect towards the West Qin imperial clan. A cold laugh filled his heart. Sooner or later, that brat Ning Cheng will fall to his ideals of “loyalty” one day.
Hidden within the secret chamber, Han Yunxi heard their words loud and clear. If she wasn’t wrong, then Ning Cheng wasn’t just any wolf, but one who was as sly as a fox! The unexpected appearance of the assassin was used to his and Ning An’s advantage. His words now would only convince Bai Yanqing further that the West Qin princess wasn’t in Ning Cheng’s hands.
The first step to exposing Bai Yanqing’s plots was to make him trust them! After all, Ning Cheng was more impatient than anyone else to hand up the West Qin battle flags. Bai Yanqing would never believe he could remain so prudent on such an issue without cause. The saying went that those who lost something precious could gain something more valuable in return!
Just as Han Yunxi exhaled in relief, a horrified cry made her heart stop.
“Master, master, the assassin is that Little Qi from Medical City. He’s killing his way here!”
Han Yunxi’s first thought was to rush out to meet him and run away together so he could bring her to Long Feiye. Her body reacted before her brain and dashed to the stone door before Ning Cheng’s words stopped her in her tracks.
Ning Cheng said, “He came just in time. This clan head will let him search as he likes! It’s better than having Medical City misunderstand our Di Clan for disrespecting the princess!”
Despite all of these sudden upheavals, Ning Cheng could still maintain his composure. Han Yunxi silently leaned against the door and shut her eyes. She told herself, “Calm down!”
Once she left the room, Bai Yanqing would see through Ning Cheng’s lies and waste not only their previous efforts, but lead to extremely frightening consequences. Bai Yanqing just said that Jun Yixie would be bringing over 100,000 horses. In other words, Bai Yanqing had enough troops in his hands to go south and destroy Ning Cheng and Long Feiye both! No matter whether she was the West Qin princess or Han Yunxi herself, she had to remain calm. As the princess, she had to protect Ning Cheng; as Han Yunxi, she had to protect Long Feiye.
Both of them were facing the same enemy, the Wind Clan!
Moreover, how would Ning Cheng see her if she just charged out like this? He would definitely see through her ulterior motives. How could a single Gu Qishao face off against the thousands of assassins hidden within the palace? Neither she nor Gu Qishao would be able to escape. In truth, Han Yunxi wasn’t calm at all. More than anything else right now, she desperately wanted to see Long Feiye, but she grit her teeth and endured it.
If the love between two sides was everlasting, what difference would dawn to dusk make?
But Long Feiye, do you have feelings? Have you grown any?
Gu Qishao’s come, but where are you, Long Feiye?
Han Yunxi shut her eyes with a weary expression. She had to yield to Ning Cheng now to avoid rousing his suspicions, then figure out a way to make him delay hanging up the official flags. She also had to figure out a scheme to expose the Wind Clan while hiding the presence of the dark-robed assassin that used Celestial Mountain sword arts. She needed to take a risk and do some machinations with one of Long Zun’s retainers so she could send out the question she insisted on asking.
How could she be anything but tired?
Who else in this world could she really trust?
Gu Beiyue? When had the protection of the Shadow Clan began? Was it during their first meeting at the Skypit, or even earlier than that?
Gu Qishao? He had been so insistent at Pill Fiend Valley, but in the end he had lied to her about Mute Granny anyways, right?
Despite her exhaustion, Han Yunxi remained standing straight without falling down--if only because she wasn’t the West Qin princess, but herself! She wanted the truth and an explanation. Only then could she choose without regret!
Han Yunxi, hold on!
Outside the secret room, Ning Cheng had already gone to meet Gu Qishao before he killed his way in. Ning An chased after him, purposely ignoring Bai Yanqing and Bai Yuqiao who followed after the duo. As soon as Gu Qishao saw Ning Cheng, he unsheathed his sword, which Ning Cheng met in turn.
“Hand over Han Yunxi, or else this old man will slaughter your entire palace!” Gu Qishao’s rage dashed to the skies after completely losing his cool.
“Han Yunxi isn’t in my hands!” Ning Cheng refused to budge. “If you want to slaughter my palace, then ask the sword in my hands first!”
Gu Qishao laughed coldly. “Your little sister Ning Jing personally admitted it. You were the one who brought Han Yunxi out of Medical City!”
Ning An grew alarmed. “What have you guys done to Jing’er?”
Ning Cheng was startled as well. He had left Ning Jing while she was still in the middle of a cold war with Tang Li. What happened between them afterwards? Gu Qishao simply ignored Ning An’s question. He didn’t care what kind of relationship existed between Long Feiye and the Tang Clan or Ning Jing and Tang Li. All he wanted was Han Yunxi.
A thorny thistle seed shot out from his sword to land at Ning Cheng’s feet. Ning Cheng didn’t even have time to escape before he was trapped within the wildly growing vines. Gu Qishao’s wide red robes billowed about him in the wind as he shot seeds left and right, dancing in the air.
“Hand over Han Yunxi or else this old man will tear you to pieces!” Gu Qishao warned. The sinister light from his eyes was more horrific than the time he’d faced Gu Yuntian.
Ning Cheng stood in place but didn’t panic. As before, he remained imposing and threatening. “Gu Qishao,” he said icily, “Long Feiye will be laughing by the time you kill me! Haven’t you thought of how Long Feiye could have left Han Yunxi by her side before finding out her identity?”
“This old man doesn’t care! This old man just wants Han Yunxi!” Gu Qishao raged.
“I don’t have her! Kill me or scrape me, do as you like!” Ning Cheng said frostily.
Throughout the whole process, Bai Yanqing’s eyes never left Ning Cheng’s face.
“Uncle Bai, it looks like he really doesn’t have her,” Bai Yuqiao murmured.
“Mm,” Bai Yanqing muttered back.
“Then who kidnapped her?” Bai Yuqiao asked.
“It’s strange. For now, the situation is uncertain,” Bai Yanqing replied.
Gu Qishao did as he promised. Under his control, the thorny vines quickly tightened around Ning Cheng, making Ning An’s heart ache. She quickly issued orders. “Someone come, bring over the Pear Blossom Rain Needle!”
Ning Cheng had exerted massive amounts of efforts to figure out how to use the weapon, but he hadn’t tried it once because he was saving the weapon to kill Long Feiye personally on the battlefield.
“You can’t!” Ning Cheng forbade her.
“You’ll die”! Ning An was getting desperate.
Ning Cheng laughed out loud. “Gu Qishao, think it over carefully! Even you’re going to be used by Long Feiye?”
It wasn’t clear what Gu Qishao thought, but he was looking at Ning Cheng like a madman. At this moment, the guards arrived with Mu Linger in custody. As it turned out, she didn’t manage to catch up with Gu Qishao after entering the palace and ended up looking for him. But how could her trifling martial arts skills keep her undiscovered?
Ning An rejoiced. Without hesitation, she pulled out one of the guards’ swords and pointed it at Mu Linger’s heart. “Gu Qishao, release Ning Cheng or else I’ll kill her this instant,” she threatened.
Mu Linger wanted to speak, but grew stiff and silent at her words. She stared straight at her Qi gege, mute. Originally, Mu Linger feared Long Feiye. But now she hated him to the core! In her eyes, Qi gege had been used by Long Feiye! Long Feiye was clearly guarding Medical City himself, but goaded Gu Qishao into action with a single line until he rushed here sleepless and restless.
Why didn’t Qi gege listen to her words?
Han Yunxi was the West Qin princess, which made her Ning Cheng’s master. How could she be in danger here? Why didn’t Qi gege find out the truth first before taking a stand?
Love turned people blind.
Hadn’t she been blind the same way? Although she lost track of Qi gege, she stupidly searched for him all over the palace instead of leaving first, hoping that she could help him find his person.
Qi gege, Linger’s life or death has finally fallen to a single thought from you.
She waited for him to decide whether she’d live or die.
Gu Qishao ignored Ning An’s warning completely to fixate on Ning Cheng. It wasn’t that he was stupid enough to listen to Long Feiye, but that Ning Cheng was the most likely culprit to kidnap Han Yunxi in this world. He even exposed himself intentionally. If Han Yunxi really was in his hands, she should have ran out long ago to meet him, right?
There were only two possibilities remaining. Either Han Yunxi really wasn’t here, or she was under house arrest. Like the Nether Clan, the Di Clan must have motives of their own!
Everyone assumed that Gu Qishao had gone insane, but he was clearer than any of them here. He was sounding Ning Cheng out!
Blood poured from the thorny vines--that of Ning Cheng’s own. Ning An couldn’t take it anymore. “Gu Qishao, you better not regret it!”
As she spoke, she aimed the sword viciously towards Mu Linger’s stomach. Mu Linger had forced herself to be brave to the point of tears, so she ignored the incoming weapon to stare lovingly at her Qi gege…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This month on PGC: nothing but drama, drama, drama! Haha~