Chapter 859: Feeling played

Baili Yuanlong looked at the master he’d served for years and felt stifled in his heart. He had a stomach full of words to persuade him, but he didn’t know where to start or how to convince him. Long Feiye had already said that he wouldn’t yield a step on account of Han Yunxi at the battlefield. While speaking so openly of love, he could be ruthless enough to cross swords with her in open hostilities. Who could complain after that? Who could still remain unsatisfied?

Baili Yuanlong understood his master’s temper all too well. Since he said it was so, he’d never change his words! Perhaps someone else would try to coax Long Feiye further, saying how he needed to consider the bloodline of the East Qin Dynasty, or how he not only had to restore the nation, but produce descendants for the royal line. How could he selfishly choose Han Yunxi for such a task? Even if he did, he couldn’t let her birth the heirs to the East Qin Dynasty. Moreover, as the West Qin princess, Han Yunxi couldn’t let herself bear children for East Qin!

Sons were the continuation of the royal line, an extremely important task. But Baili Yuanlong didn’t mention a word. No matter how stupid he was, he understood His Highness’s meaning just then very well. Regardless of who won between East and West Qin, he still wanted Han Yunxi unless he died. 

In other words, he could meet Han Yunxi on the battlefield for East Qin’s sake, but after the war was over, they couldn’t force him to avoid Han Yunxi. Otherwise, he’d rather choose death.

This was the ultimate death! 

Baili Yuanlong stood stunned for a while before he finally asked, “Your Highness, just what’s so good about Han Yunxi?”

“Everything,” Long Feiye replied simply. 

“Your Highness, you’re so deeply in love, but what about Han Yunxi herself?” Baili Yuanlong asked next.

Long Feiye smiled. “If we meet on the battlefield, don’t you think she’ll go soft on this crown prince, either.”

Baili Yuanlong looked at his master’s smile and felt his own iron heart began to melt and ache. At this moment, he didn’t just see his master’s stern and icy nobility, but the helpless, wan, and sallow crease between his brows, too. Long Feiye’s shoulders had long carried the heavy burden of East Qin’s revival since he was but a weak, small child. For nearly two decades, he’d bore the weight of his duty without relaxing for a second. Even the strongest heart would grow weary and exhausted!

And yet, those twenty years were nothing compared to the pallid face he showed now. It came from the helpless knowledge that he couldn’t abandon his duty, from the fact that he worried over one woman. Despite this, his eyes were steady and firm. It was a determination that came from one fully willing to shoulder the burden!

What else could Baili Yuanlong say? What else could he do? How could he really be willing to retire and leave the battlefield? Even less would he tell the masses of His Highness and Han Yunxi’s love. Who would he tell? If the soldiers knew, he’d have more trouble than His Highness dealing with them. As the general, he was supposed to clean up the mess for His Highness!

Not only did he have to keep his lips sealed, but also help them maintain their secret. Suppose His Highness decided to tell the troops the truth on impulse? He’d have to exhort him to keep things under wraps! At the same time Baili Yuanlong ached for his master, he realized he’d been thoroughly played. 

He remained silent while wallowing in dejection! After a while, he finally deigned to speak again. “Your Highness, no matter what, there’s one thing this soldier needs to remind you of!”

Long Feiye looked over and Baili Yuanlong grew serious. “How about sending someone to give medicine to the West Qin princess?”

Delivering drugs to her after such favoritism would ensure she didn’t bear a son. Long Feiye only pretended not to hear a word. Once again, Baili Yuanlong coaxed, “Your Highness, although this soldier can pretend to be deaf and dumb, if she really gets pregnant now, the consequences would be unthinkable!”

Long Feiye still didn’t speak. When Baili Yuanlong sought to coax him again, he looked up with icy eyes. “Why don’t you try and see!”

“Your Highness!” as a man, Baili Yuanlong was on the verge of tears. But when he saw Long Feiye’s hands form into fists, he shut up. He comforted himself with the fact that His Highness still had the drive to revive East Qin and meet Han Yunxi on the battlefield. That was enough. He could only count things one step at a time and take care of issues that came his way. 

A complicated looked passed through Long Feiye’s eyes before he called for a shadow guard and gave him instructions in low tones. The guard then went to Han Yunxi’s tent By suppressing Baili Yuanlong, Han Yunxi regained more freedom while things grew more open, natural, and normal between them. For now, this was all he could do for her sake, since he couldn’t truly lose the soldiers’ support or their hearts. 

Both master and subordinate remained silent in the expansive barracks. It wasn’t until night fell and the bonfires lit that a soldier came to remind them that the banquet was about to begin. Baili Yuanlong rose from his thoughts and said, “This soldier has no right to interfere with Your Highness’s private affairs, but I hope that Your Highness will consider the big picture. By no means should a personal matter lose the heart of the soldiers.”

“I know,” Long Feiye replied simply.

The struggle between them this time had ended up with Baili Yuanlong giving ground. Even without Long Feiye’s words, he knew what to do next. Soon enough, the bonfire banquet would begin. Baili Yuanlong left to take care of related matters. This wasn’t just a banquet for Long Feiye to meet his soldiers and celebrate with them. There was also a good show lying in wait. Long Feiye usually disliked such events, much less eating with others at the same table. If not for the fact that they’d discovered a spy amongst their ranks a few days ago, he would have left with Han Yunxi much earlier. It was a thorny problem dealing with Jun Yixie’s power in Northern Li, so they needed to transfer strength from various factions and play their move without rushing. But when it came to capturing Bai Yanqing himself, only he and Han Yunxi were required to cooperate. 

He arranged for Baili Mingxiang to act out a part on Celestial Mountain’s Nine Xuan Hall for the spies to see so he could lure the old fox. But he never expected the man to hardly stir, much less show his face. From Medical City to the barracks, he had made a point of keeping Baili Mingxiang within the area of the main barracks and spread rumors that she was the first female in the Baili Clan to set foot on military grounds. In fact, she was supposedly giving up marriage to join the army. Many of the populace had thoughts on this news. If the old fox was interested in her, he would have heard by now too. Then he’d suspect even further that Baili Mingxiang was in the military for the purpose of dual cultivation.

But there had been no signs from the old fox until a few days ago. He had planned for Han Yunxi to leave the camp while finding different clues to lead him to the old fox’s lair. Instead, that afternoon he and Baili Yuanlong received a secret message on the drill grounds. The shadow guards had found a spy hidden within the city! He personally went to track down the clues and found out that the old fox had his eye on the Qiqiao bonfire banquet!

One hour later, Long Feiye walked out of the main tent after changing into military uniform. His white robes were covered with golden armor, his posture straight as a noble god! Even the shadow guards were seeing him dressed up like this for the first time and couldn’t help but feel awed. Long Feiye stared straight ahead, where the bonfire was burning steadily. Most of the soldiers were already in their seats along with Baili Mingxiang. He looked into the distance where the soldiers were housed and saw another fire burning towards the sky. The scene was grand and magnificent with all of the soldiers awaiting his arrival. 

Baili Yuanlong quickly arrived. Seeing His Highness in dignified military attire dispelled much of the haze in his heart. With His Highness personally leading the troops, we’ll win no matter who or when we’re fighting!

“Your Highness!” Baili Yuanlong made a respectful bow.

Long Feiye only nodded.

“Your Highness, everything’s ready. Shall we go over?” Baili Yuanlong murmured in a low voice.

“Wait.” Long Feiye kept looking towards Baili Mingxiang. Baili Yuanlong followed his gaze and didn’t see anything strange. Just who was His Highness waiting for? He already said that everything was ready--which included not only this banquet, but the plan they’d set in place!

Is he waiting for Han Yunxi?

Although he could pretend to be deaf and dumb, he said that Long Feiye shouldn’t affect the soldiers! His Highness is about to join the soldiers at their barracks, is he planning on bringing Han Yunxi as well? The East Qin soldiers are all looking forward to a glimpse of the the crown prince’s face. If he really takes their enemy Han Yunxi over there, it’d not only affect their morale, but simply insult them!

How unbearable was this? As Baili Yuanlong prepared to speak, Long Feiye suddenly withdrew his gaze. “Let’s go.”

--

As soon as Long Feiye arrived at the soldiers’ barracks, the lively scene grew even more heated. There were 30 separate bonfires burning away as all of the soldiers cheered. The East Qin crown prince was their aspirations, hopes, and future. Long Feiye weaved through the crowds before standing by the centermost bonfire. He drank with the men and stirred up their excitement once again. Baili Yuanlong stood by him with hot tears flashing by his eyes. He was moved, yet bitter and grieved as well. He wanted to say something, but after repeated hesitation, kept quiet. Instead, he downed multiple goblets of wine!

It seemed to be a form of penance, but it wasn’t clear whether Baili Yuanlong was feeling back about how he’d treated His Highness, or sorry for all of the loyal and bright-faced soldiers. Dressed in white robes and golden armor, Long Feiye’s face was as cold as ever, commanding respect despite his lack of rage, venerate and honored beyond measure. He stood in the middle of everyone and raised a toast to all four corners. Every time he lifted his cup, the entire scene would fall quiet until he drank his fill, then respond with the crowd cleaning their cups in turn. During the entire process, Long Feiye didn’t say a word. It was only after the toasts were done that he intoned, “As long as you don’t let my East Qin down, this crown prince won’t let you down either!”

At this, the crowd fell on their knees to pay respects, their cries reverberating through the air! 

By now, Han Yunxi had long been dressed up appropriately and was sitting amongst the army. The soldiers’ hot-blooded enthusiasm surrounded her on all sides as something called duty surged in her heart. It was an emotion that had nothing to do with East or West Qin, but simply personal responsibility. She wasn’t the true West Qin princess, and her responsibility to West Qin came simply from inheriting this status as “princess,” and the Ning siblings’ personal sacrifices. Tonight, surrounded by cries of support on all sides, she finally sensed the magnitude of such a duty and understood just how much Long Feiye was bearing on his shoulders. 

And how much he’d done for her sake.

A long time later, Long Feiye finally returned to the bonfire by the main barracks. He stood outside the circle of fire as his gaze drifted towards Baili Mingxiang again. Baili Yuanlong followed his eyes and soon discovered a stranger that he’d never seen before.

That person…

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Ruyi's Thoughts

I fell in love with another doll so now I'm bringing him home (sans the wig + funky clothes). Look look, isn't he pretty? I can't figure out which PGC character he fits, though...maybe one of my original characters will do instead, haha~ 

He's the type you just want to bully, don't you think? Might be the lips, hmm...

Pictures:

And a mini comparison with Long Feiye doll below: 

Cough cough, not gonna lie I definitely have a Type. And so yes, now you know what your translator spends part of her ad revenue dollars on! Hahaha...I can't help it I love pretty boys ahhh~