Gu Beiyue’s letter exposed all of Bai Yanqing’s doings. He had met with disaster that day at the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds because the dark-robed assassin was none other than Bai Yanqing himself. The entire assassination plot was a trap from beginnning to end! Bai Yanqing forced Gu Beiyue off a cliff, but had long hidden more killers in ambush down below. They captured the man and carried him off as soon as he fell.
Although it seemed like Gu Beiyue had fallen off a cliff, he was actually kidnapped. Thus, nobody could find him no matter how hard they tried. Bai Yanqing was also Jun Yixie’s master, the same old fox they’d been trying to ferret out all this time. Moreover, he hailed from the main bloodline of the Poison Sect and was very possibly Han Yunxi’s birth father, Lady Tianxin’s lover. Everything that the man had did was to sow discord between East and West Qin. By increasing their hatred and raising a war, he stood to reap the rewards from the aftermath.
After kidnapping Gu Beiyue, Bai Yanqing trapped him in a restricted area away from the world. He even pretended to be Gu Beiyue’s lifesaver. He told Gu Beiyue that he was from the Wind Clan and that he’d been keeping an eye on Long Feiye for a long time. He had long discovered Long Feiye’s identity, but he’d done all this for the sake of today, when he could join hands with the Di Clan and use the Northern Li cavalry to destroy the last of East Qin’s forces and get West qin’s revenge.
He told Gu Beiyue that he had publicized Han Yunxi’s identity, and that the girl had clearly recognized Long Feiye’s cunning tricks. By now she should have allied with Ning Cheng to raise up her dynasty’s flags. He even told him that the Northern Li cavalry would support Ning Cheng’s forces very soon. In less than a year, the East Qin imperial clan would be annihilated.
How could Bai Yanqing have expected that Gu Beiyue had long known about Long Feiye’s status as the East Qin descendant and Han Yunxi’s identity as the West Qin heir? Moreover, he was even standing on the same side as Long Feiye. Since Bai Yanqing had lied to Gu Beiyue, he met his plot with one of his own. While treating his wounds, he silently got in touch with Chu Tianyin and got a summary of the truth. Then he looked into all of Bai Yanqing’s schemes. He told Bai Yanqing that as long as the man found him medicine to recover his internal energy, he would be willing to rally Medical City’s forces to keep Long Feiye in check.
The last line in his letter read: The princess hasn’t seen those other letters yet. May Your Highness think thrice.
The short, brief sentence was filled with endless helplessness in spite of himself, yet suffused with firm determination. Long Feiye understood it all.
Han Yunxi had yet to read his letters, know the truth, or understand his real heart.
How could he give up now?
In the past, he had thought to use Gu Beiyue’s hands to deliver the truth of his heart into her own. But now Gu Beiyue was using his hands to deliver the same true heart into Han Yunxi’s own!
Long Feiye had wanted to meet Han Yunxi in person anyways, but Gu Beiyue’s letter cemented his convictions. Since she was personally leading an expedition, he would wait for her to arrive!
Long Feiye opened up Chu Tianyin’s letter next, which simply said he’d do whatever Gu Beiyue said as long as Long Feiye released his father and uncle. His heart was filled with emotions. Back then, Gu Beiyue was the one to come up with the idea of Chu Tianyin’s surrender. If Gu Beiyue was a man with aspirations to revive West Qin, hen Cloud Realm Continent might have changed long ago! Despite his weak and sickly frame, he could prop up a piece of clear skies for Han Yunxi!
“Baili Yuanlong, send orders to stop the fighting!” Long Feiye said coldly.
Baili Yuanlong was greatly alarmed. He thought he heard wrong. “Your Highness, you said...what did you say?”
“Stop the fighting and send an envoy. Your lordship wants to hold talks with Han Yunxi!” Long Feiye said seriously.
“Your Highness!” Baili Yuanlong was furious. “East Qin has nothing to say to them! What Your Highness should do most of all is find ways to quell the soldiers’ hearts before Han Yunxi and Ning Cheng arrive with their troops. Press on without stopping--if we move quickly, we can at least take half of Tianning! Your Highness, Gu Beiyue is still a descendant of the Shadow Clan. Chu Tianyin’s position is unclear, you mustn’t fall for his trap!”
Long Feiye told Baili Yuanlong all about Bai Yanqing’s schemes. “Jun Yixie has 30,000 battle horses with him right now. At the slowest pace, he’ll start heading north by next month. There’s still 60,000 more to come.” As Long Feiye spoke, he leaned forward with narrowed eyes and asked, word for word, “Baili Yuanlong, you should know better than anyone else the consequences of 100,000 cavalry forces moving south!”
Baili Yuanlong could only gape. At this moment, a scout arrived with a secret report from their Northern Li agents.
“Your Highness, Jun Yixie’s 30,000 horses have already entered the Northern Li borders. The Northern Li emperor is being guarded and hasn’t taken any action yet,” the scout reported.
Baili Yuanlong grew even more alarmed as he exclaimed, “Stop the fighting, we must cease all offensive temporarily! Your Highness, you must prevent the Northern Li cavalry from joining forces with the Ning Clan troops!”
Only now had Baili Yuanlong completely lost his cool. He didn’t care what kind of conflicts the Di Clan or Wind Clan held, nor anything about the Wind Clan’s ambitions. He only knew that once that Wind and Di Clans allied up, even if it was just a pretense, East Qin would be in serious danger. Most of the Seven Noble Clans had been loyal to West Qin, while only the Bai Clan were true East Qin adherents. When it came to the actual strength of their respective factions, East Qin was at a disadvantage.
That was why His Highness Duke of Qin had been keeping tabs on the whereabouts of the other Seven Noble Clans all these years. Who knew that the Wind Clan would end up controlling the most battleworthy cavalry of the continent?
“Tell Noble Consort Xiao that it’s time to make a move. And also, send her Helian Zuixiang and Han Yunyi,” Long Feiye said coldly.
Noble Consort Xiao was an agent he’d planted years ago at the Northern Li court. Now she was finally coming into use. It was about time for Helian Zuixiang to pay her debts as well. Her precious son Han Yunyi would definitely convince her to sell out Bai Yanqing and Jun Yixie.
After the shadow guard left, Long Feiye finally turned towards Baili Yuanlong. He didn’t even have to speak for the general to know his cue.
“Your Highness, this soldier will order the fighting to cease right away. I’ll send out the special envoy today as well,” Baili Yuanlong declared before striding off.
Under the current conditions, East Qin’s army had the advantage. The Ning Clan troops had suffered successive defeats, so a ceasefire now would lead both sides facing each other in a stalemate. As long as East Qin’s envoy could convince Han Yunxi and Ning Cheng of the Wind Clan’s machinations and Northern Li’s terrifying strength, then those two would be guarded against the Wind Clan as well. Thus, the Wind Clan would end up having to deal with the Di Clan and the Northern Li imperial court. No matter how many horses they had, they couldn’t seize the advantage right away. What was originally a faceoff between East and West Qin had now morphed into exposing the Wind Clan’s lies. With the change in circumstances, the Wind Clan became everyone’s target.
No matter how great the hatred, anyone could compromise when their own lives were at stake.
Baili Yuanlong and Long Feiye were both worried whether Han Yunxi and Ning Cheng would believe them at all. Wouldn’t they trust the Wind Clan more? And yet, neither the two of them or even Gu Beiyue had discovered the truth longer than Han Yunxi’s group. Moreover, they’d even found out the exact details of Jun Yixie’s battle horses from Bai Yanqing’s own mouth.
Currently, Han Yunxi was journeying en route while staring at the nine empty letters in her hands. While others longed for familiar places, she longed for a familiar person. Or perhaps, a familiar husband.
That’s right, Long Feiye was her husband, ah!
What was he doing right now?
Was he the same as ever, busy reading through his stack of reports even before he slept?
He should have received news of her personally leading the expedition by now. What would he think of her now? If there was a chance to meet, how would he treat her then? She didn’t dare to think, because her thoughts would grow wild if she tried and take over her brain until they stole away her reason.
Long Feiye, do you remember saying that you owed me a formal marriage?
Long Feiye, do you remember I said that if you didn’t give it to me, I’d marry someone else?
They had traveled three days by carraige when Ning Cheng received news from his deputy general that East Qin had stopped aggressions. Moreover, the East Qin imperial prince, Long Feiye, had sent an envoy requesting to meet with the princess for talks. He gave the letter to Han Yunxi without a second thought.
Han Yunxi nearly shrieked when she read the contents. She never thought her chance would come before they even reached the battlefield. This should be the first time Long Feiye asked her out on a date! Did it count as one?
“Princess, as you predicted, Long Feiye received news of the battle horses,” Ning Cheng said.
Han Yunxi only read the letter without a word. Actually, no one else knew like her exactly how many spies Long Feiye had planted in Northern Li. With his abilities, he could simply put his all in the fight against the Ning Clan troops while using the Northern Li emperor to keep Jun Yixie in check on the side. It’d match his personality perfectly.
But now he actually wanted to talk with her in person. Was it really for the sake of the Northern Li horses? In the middle of her pleasant surprise, Han Yunxi felt upset as well. He was meeting with her under the status of the East Qin crown prince, which meant it’d be impossible for them to be alone. With so many members from both factions present, what could they ever talk about?
Her perturbed mood soon morphed into disappointment. Who knew how things were going in Medical City now? Had Department Head Shen seen the machinations she’d done to Long Zun’s retinue?
“Princess, shall we reply him? We can set the time and place?” Ning Cheng asked.
Recovering her senses, Han Yunxi hesitated before she said seriously, “Bring the brush and ink, I’ll write Long Feiye a letter!”
Ning Cheng hesitated. “Princess…”
“He can’t stop the fighting immediately, or else Bai Yanqing will use the chance against us. He’s earned the Northern Li emperor’s trust for so many years, so he has to have the skills. If East and West Qin suddenly stopped fighting, what would the Northern Li emperor think? Wouldn’t he grow guarded against us instead?” Han Yunxi reasoned.
Ning Cheng silently admired her. The princess had to be the first woman to use such meticulous care on major military matters. He personally gave her bush and ink as Han Yunxi penned the letter right in front of him. Naturally, she wrote nothing else beyond her own worries, suggesting that Long Feiye cease the fighting after their meeting. However, for the next few days they should just pretend to fight rather than take it seriously.
When Long Feiye received the letter and saw Han Yunxi’s handwriting, her careful prudence and attention to detail, he suddenly had a moment when he felt as if this woman wasn’t standing against him, but by his side as always, shoulder-to-shoulder as she planned for him. That was the woman he knew and admired as rational, calm, and wise!
Han Yunxi, you’re so intelligent, so why can’t you guess your lordship’s heart?
Perhaps Han Yunxi was asking the same question. Long Feiye, you’re even smarter than me, so why can’t you see through my heart?
Late at night a few days later, Han Yunxi arrived at a cliffside with Ning Cheng and a few other guards in attendance. On the opposite side of the cliff was an overhanging precipice . An old chain bridge connected the two sides, and standing on it gave one a clear view of the battlefield below. As soon as Han Yunxi’s group arrived, they saw a tall and haughty figure standing in the middle of the bridge. Torches lined both ends of the bridge, but the center was illuminated by only moonlight.
Han Yunxi recognized the man beneath the moonlight at first glance. Like a god of the night, he was exactly as her thoughts. This was Long Feiye, the person she hadn’t seen in months!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Back from the city and meeting with Priest and Kuu! Here's today's chapter. I see that we've gotten a lot of donations too, I'll get to those throughout the week <3.
6 chapters 'til snu snu and the queue is shrinking very quickly. The next couple of chapters are gonna be kinda hard to stomach (think painful confrontations and all that jazz), so hang in there and stay strong! >o<!