It’d only been an instant, but Long Feiye was already gone. Han Yunxi had been too busy wiping off the water to listen for any splash. She looked towards the spring, but saw multiple ripples. It wasn’t clear whether they were from Long Feiye diving in, or the wind blowing across its surface.
She couldn’t be sure of anything else, either.
But since she was soaking in here naked, she was certain that Long Feiye wouldn’t just vanish without a word. With his personality, he’d be petty and jealous even if he hated her guts, and demand that she show propriety.
That fellow must be fooling around with me.
Han Yunxi didn’t panic. After being so ferociously punished by him two times, her bones were about to collapse, and her body was extremely sore from the waist down. While talking with him in the carriage, she’d forgotten about her pains, but soaking in the springs had made her relax and notice her own discomfort. She raised her arm and checked: as expected, the cinnabar gecko mark was now long gone. It was a vital mark for unmarried girls that would affect their happiness for the rest of their lives, yet to her it’d been an object of dissent.
Its disappearance formally marked her as Long Feiye’s woman.
Han Yunxi felt fully satisfied. She turned around and made to sprawl by the spring’s edge before slowly closing her eyes. Although she wanted to rest, the images from last night kept rising unbidden to her mind. All of them highlighted how wicked he had been.
She couldn’t help but grin, then break into secret, mischievous laughter.
Suddenly, there was a splash as a tall, dark figure emerged from the water behind her. Han Yunxi wasn’t surprised at all, but simply remained sprawling there lazily. Who else could it be but Long Feiye? His exquisite body was covered in water droplets, his bronze chest and back covered in multiple lines of scars. Rather than make him look savage, it gave him an unspeakable wild, sexy aura.
He hugged Han Yunxi from behind and buried his head in the hollow of her shoulder as he murmured, “You didn’t look for me even though I was gone?”
Han Yunxi still had her eyes closed. “Didn’t you end up showing yourself?”
In other words, she didn’t need to search for him to obediently reveal himself. At this, the hands around her waist squeezed tight.
“That hurts!” she complained coquettishly. She hadn’t recovered yet, so it was actually painful!
He immediately let go, but remained holding her gently. After a while, he murmured, “Last night…”
Han Yunxi’s eyes flew open, but Long Feiye paused for a stretch of time before he asked, “Does it still hurt?”
She didn’t answer.
“Hm?” he pressed.
Han Yunxi was ready to bury her face underwater. Long Feiye, let’s not ask about the naughty things we already, did, alright?
Seeing her mute, he grew anxious. “It still hurts?”
It wasn’t that he didn’t know about sexual intercourse, but that it wasn’t a routine. How could he have any experience? Even if he controlled the entire continent or the whole world, he could never grasp this woman’s impulses. How could youthful vigor know the strength of its own virility?
“Does it hurt a lot? Let me have a look?” Long Feiye grew serious.
Immediately, Han Yunxi’s face flushed all the way to the tips of her ears. Long Feiye, you bastard! Are you sure you’re not teasing me?
That’s really, really enough!
Han Yunxi had to turn around and speak. “I’m lying to you, it’s long stopped hurting.” If she told the truth, who knows what kind of shocking thing he might try instead. She really couldn’t take any more. But Han Yunxi soon realized that even her lies brought her discomfort...because Long Feiye was soon pressing her against the edge as he drew close…
If last night was him punishing her, then today he was serving and submitting himself to her. Unlike last night’s rough ferocity, Long Feiye was exceptionally gentle today. After tasting her, he knew better how to handle this woman now. The water reached to their chests, so all of his actions were hidden beneath. His large hand played with all of her sensitive spots, teasing Han Yunxi into submission. He didn’t care at all about being tricked as he subconsciously invited her to reciprocate.
Only when she let out an uncontrollable cry of “Ye” did he fiercely start loving her again, not stopping for a long, long time…
The fresh chill of early autumn mixed with the stillness of the woods to frame the mist-covered figures moving indistinctly in the water and sending waves in their wake…
Before Han Yunxi lost consciousness, she finally understood that a gentle Long Feiye was even more unbearable than a ferocious one, and even less able to stop once he started. Aside from their first time, Han Yunxi had no more chances to get distracted, much less a chance to smile dazedly. She felt like she was about to die from sheer happiness…
In her hazy mind, she could hear Long Feiye speak. “It’s cooler by the edge. Come to the center, that’s where the warm water is.”
Then he held her close and brought her to the center of the spring, where the warmth of the water contrasted with the cool breeze to make her very comfortable. She leaned against him, her body limp, as she lost herself in a stupor. The soreness of her body gradually faded away with her exhaustion.
By the time she woke up, she was already clean and tidily dressed on the carriage. Long Feiye was sitting next to her in black robes, carefully studying his secret missives again. How could such a man exist? He was like a wolf or tiger, but also cool and calm. In a trance, Han Yunxi’s mind went to the past again. It was as if last night’s events never happened. But the scent and marks he’d left on her body were proof of the deed.
He noticed as soon as she moved, and looked up to rub at her hair. “Awake?”
She nodded as she studied him, then herself. “I...this….”
Never mind, asking was unnecessary.
Who else but himself would he allow to dress her in the middle of nowhere? She only rejoiced that she’d fainted away instead of having to face him through the process. Although she dropped the question, Long Feiye still replied in earnest, a little unhappily, “I helped you get dressed. Han Yunxi, you’ve gotten thinner.”
She gave a start as her shyness was replaced with an ache in her chest. After a while, she said, “Ye, you’ve gotten thinner too.”
Both of them had thinned considerably since their last meeting. He didn’t answer, but put away his letters to brew a pot of tea. She glanced outside the window and saw that they had returned to that hill from yesterday. By now, it was approaching dusk. After indulging themselves, now was the time to talk business. Both of them carried heavy burdens on their shoulders and their people’s hopes for a lifetime. Leaving that aside, Gu Beiyue was still in Bai Yanqing’s hands. They couldn’t just sit by and do nothing.
Naturally, Long Feiye could take her away immediately and fly far away from here. She could follow him too, forever wandering the lands like a pair of immortals who’d never part. But both of them knew the other would never make such a choice. Moreover, she knew that his heart differed from Gu Qishao, who was always talking about bringing her to tour the world and its four corners with her. Long Feiye’s heart was much broader, because he didn’t belong to the jianghu, but the imperial court. With their hearts in unison, there was no need for superfluous words. Both of them knew they had matters to discuss before it’d be time to part again.
Han Yunxi waited, but after a long time had passed, Long Feiye still hadn’t said a word.
What was he supposed to tell her? That he’d definitely destroy Ning Cheng and the West Qin army? That he wouldn’t spare anyone from West Qin except herself?
What was she supposed to do as the West Qin princess? Look on blindly as the loyal soldiers of West Qin fought to the death while she indulged in sexual relations with him?
Because he hadn’t known what to do or found any solutions, he had tried to keep her identity under wraps this entire time. Eventually, Long Feiye said, “Yunxi, I can only give you one path.”
“Speak,” Han Yunxi was very calm.
“After falling into the abyss, the whereabouts of the West Qin princess went missing. You’re nothing more than my servant girl. If you agree, I’ll take you away right now,” Long Feiye said, before adding hastily, “I promise you, I’ll never take an empress or any concubines.”
“So after taking care of the Wind Clan, you’ll destroy the West Qin army?” Han Yunxi asked simply.
“Yes,” Long Feiye answered without hesitation. That was his only solution now: have Han Yunxi fake her death and keep her concealed by his side so the world’s people wouldn’t point their fingers at them.
“Ye, did you kill Mute Granny?” Han Yunxi needed clear answers.
“No,” Long Feiye denied, before explaining. “She committed suicide at the Hidden Enclosure. Like me, she didn’t want your identity to go public. And also, Gu Beiyue…” Long Feiye went on to explain the pact between him and Gu Beiyue, including the details of their cooperation and the fake mission to send Baili Mingxiang up Celestial Mountain to treat him, all to trick Bai Yanqing.
Han Yunxi was stunned to find out that it was the Lustbite Seal energy that had prevented her from being a consort in more than name. In turn, she told him how she’d exposed Bai Yanqing’s true colors. Both of them were frank and sincere in their words, but it still couldn’t resolve the obstacle between them.
If Long Feiye had told me everything earlier, Han Yunxi mused, Then I’d give up the West Qin princess title without a second thought to pick him. But now she knew she couldn’t do that, because her conscience wouldn’t let her. Although she wasn’t really the princess, she had her identity. It was a position that gave the Di Clan its hope. She couldn’t forget their sacrifices: Ning An, Ning Jing, and Ning Cheng. Right now, the man must still be trying to track her down.
She would feel sorry for the rest of her life if she abandoned them now.
And yet, hadn’t Long Feiye hidden the truth in the first place just so she wouldn’t have to feel responsible or weighed down by her conscience?
“Ye, it doesn’t matter that you were planning to hide things from me forever, but now...I can’t do it,” Han Yunxi said.
“Then you should go,” Long Feiye replied.
“I’m not leaving!” Han Yunxi blurted out.
Long Feiye could guess as much. If she really hated him, would she have let him bully her all of yesterday?
“I’m not leaving...I’m not...I don’t want to…” she muttered as she held him tight.
“Then don’t go,” Long Feiye hugged her back tightly. He was about to order Uncle Gao to leave when she stopped him.
“Ye, if I wasn’t the West Qin princess, could you stop being the East Qin crown prince?”
“Impossible,” Long Feiye replied without hesitation.
Han Yunxi broke into a bitter smile. Seeing this, Long Feiye’s expression mirrored her own. Just how were they supposed to rightfully stick together? Both of them looked at each other in silence.
At this moment, a shadow guard came to report. “Your Highness, Ning Cheng’s here and says he has to see you.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hey guys! Got wrapped up by work stuff yesterday so here I am a day late! Whew, let's move on now, shall we. uwu