As long as Baili Yuqi thanked Han Yunxi and admitted his father’s wrongs on his behalf, then she could add in a few good words for the father and daughter pair for Long Feiye. With her coaxing, Long Feiye would have a platform to step off this stage and leave Baili Yuanlong and Baili Mingxiang with a lighter punishment!
Han Yunxi looked at the kowtowing Baili Yuqi and felt like kicking him hard. Do all soldiers have brains like him? They can’t think outside the box at all!
Long Feiye hadn’t abandoned their East Qin army’s dignity or honor by forcing them to thank the “West Qin princess,” nor did he require them to bow their heads before the entire army. All Baili Yuqi had to do was admit his wrongs privately to “Han Yunxi” inside this tent and say a thank you. Was it impossible?
If one side could express gratitude and admit their mistakes, the other could compromise and coax Long Feiye. The the two sides would be even. They would avoid the issue of suspecting each other based on status and look towards the big picture. Was it really so bad to put on an act of civility instead?
But instead, Baili Yuqi had completely ignored her existence and made things more awkward. It’d be strange if Long Feiye didn’t lose his temper! Han Yunxi could sense it getting out of control beneath his appearances. Long Feiye’s hand was already raising itself slowly from the table as he prepared to speak, but Han Yunxi pressed it back down.
For Long Feiye’s sake, let me stay calm one more time.
If she hadn’t come to his camp as the “West Qin princess,” he wouldn’t be facing so much trouble now. A calculating gleamed flashed through her eyes before she said, “Your Highness, since you asked Yunxi, then Yunxi will just tell it as it is, alright?”
“Speak.” Now even Long Feiye had no idea what she was planning. Baili Yuqi glared over again, his eyes filled with unease.
“Your Highness, Yunxi personally thinks that neither General Baili nor Mingxiang were wrong. Although General Baili didn’t immediately pass out the antidote, that was only because he wanted to be prudent. After all, it was given by me, the ‘West Qin’ princess. If it was poison, then all of East Qin’s soldiers would have been annihilated, and he’d be the biggest criminal of all!”
Both Baili Yuqi and Long Feiye were surprised by her words. Whose tune was she singing now?
Han Yunxi continued to coax. “In the snake den, General Baili and Mingxiang may have disobeyed orders, but their intentions were sincere. Ask any loyal soldier whether they’d be willing to escape without a care for their master’s safety? Yunxi personally believes that Baili Yuanlong would rather defy orders to enter the den with Your Highness and fight together. His bravery is commendable! Your Highness must not only avoid punishing the general, but reward him instead!”
However logic flowed, it came from words strung together from people’s mouths. There were very few absolute rights and wrongs in the world, but plenty that came from arguments and debates. Han Yunxi spurned her mouth for spinning such an eloquent yarn, but she resolved to keep talking. “As chenqie sees it, award General Baili with ten shadow guards. They can help treat his wounds and protect him from dangers.”
Baili Yuqi was stunned. He always expected Han Yunxi to take her personal revenge by driving his father and His Highness apart, but never thought she’d say such things! By disobeying orders twice, his father was already prepared to accept his punishment! Yet Long Feiye seemed to get the knack of her words as his lips drew into a smile. He only gestured for Han Yunxi to continue.
“As for Baili Mingxiang, she made the greatest contributions. If she hadn’t risked her life to call for reinforcements, it’s impossible to imagine what might have happened in the snake den afterwards. Yunxi believes that Your Highness should confer Mingxiang with a military rank and make a record of her achievements.”
Baili Yuqi’s eyes were wide with astonishment by the time she finished. Long Feiye almost laughed out loud, but controlled himself.
“Alright, everything will be as you said!” he agreed easily as if Han Yunxi was calling all the shots. He issued orders right then according to Han Yunxi’s suggestions, only highlighting the Baili pair’s achievements while hiding the actual events at the snake den. This also concealed the fact that the father and daughter pair had disobeyed him twice. The soldiers in the army were already happy to eliminate the danger of the snake then, but now they could celebrate the Baili pair’s awards as well. Thanks to her contributions, Baili Mingxiang was raised to the rank of sergeant, becoming East Qin’s first ever female soldier.
Baili Yuqi couldn’t figure out what Han Yunxi meant by all this. He practically ran back to Baili Yuanlong’s tent. By now, the general had regained consciousness under the shadow guards’ treatment and received news of the awards conferred to him and his daughter. Both of them were shocked and stunned.
“Father, what is Han Yunxi planning to do?” Baili Yuqi asked urgently.
Baili Yuanlong remained silent. He couldn’t help but recall how Han Yunxi had lost control because of His Highness back in the snake den. Ever since he’d awakened, he had been blaming himself and recalling the words His Highness had spoken to him that night. He finally realized that he could stubbornly refuse to trust Han Yunxi, but he had to believe in His Highness’s choices and judgement. Everything with the antidotes and the snake den proved that Han Yunxi was of one heart with His Highness. Baili Yuanlong couldn’t help but sigh internally. It’d be so much better if that woman wasn’t the West Qin princess!
“Father, what does she mean?” Baili Yuqi was still anxious.
Baili Yuanlong only smiled helplessly. “Hehe, it’s a pity she’s not a man. But it’s lucky as well!”
Han Yunxi hadn’t hit them while they were down, but granted them a favor instead. As things stood, he and his daughter owed her for her kindness again. Moreover, the prize she had suggested--ten shadow guards--were less of a reward and more of a way for Long Feiye’s men to keep watch over his each and every move, thus pinning him down. Conferring Mingxiang with a military rank meant that after she lured out Bai Yanqing and finished her mission, she would stay in the army instead of going back to their sides.
Han Yunxi, what an ingenious move! She’s certainly intelligent and rational enough. Perhaps even more than His Highness at times.
If she was a man, she might be His Highness’s strongest opponent.
Baili Yuanlong both esteemed and resented her. It had to be said that Han Yunxi’s solution was better for the bigger picture than avenging her personal wrongs by publicizing their crimes. But perhaps her way was the only method to spare him and Mingxiang. With His Highness’s temper, he’d sacrifice the bigger picture just to pay back a personal vendetta. Baili Yuanlong was at his wit’s end with Han Yunxi now, while Baili Mingxiang only stared forward blankly, unhappy about her new rank at all. She was already weakened from a night’s worth of struggle, so the news only made her sink deeper into despair. Soon enough, Xu Donglin arrived in person.
“Miss Mingxiang, His Highness has orders. You’re to pack up and go with him to the north tomorrow.”
Baili Mingxiang stirred briefly from her hopeless state. “North...where to?”
“His Highness naturally has arrangements. How can we subordinate have so many questions?” Xu Donglin retorted.
“Yes,” Baili Mingxiang nodded instantly. “Mingxiang obeys!”
At the same time, Long Feiye had already used his actions to praise Han Yunxi, leaving her lips a little swollen. She couldn’t do anything about him. Long Feiye’s thoughts matched that of Baili Yuanlong’s. “If you were a man, we’d definitely fight each other!”
“We’re already supposed to fight each other,” Han Yunxi pointed out.
Their time together was so wonderful that it was easy to imagine they could walk side-by-side with two hearts as one forever. It was simple to forget that they were supposed to meet on the battlefield someday. Seeing Long Feiye’s eyes dim, Han Yunxi switched the topic.
“How about giving Ning Cheng a heads up? This was meant to sow discord in the first place. If Bai Yanqing made a move in East Qin, who’s to say he won’t touch West Qin as well?”
“I’ve already sent a special envoy to inform them,” Long Feiye replied. Not only that, he required Ning Cheng to put up a false front so people would still believe Han Yunxi was at the West Qin camp.
Only then did Han Yunxi stop worrying. She glanced at a few letters in his hand and suddenly remembered something. “Gu Qishao still hasn’t replied me yet. Could something have happened to him?”
With Ning Cheng’s temper, it’d be strange if he didn’t compete with Gu Qishao to find Su Xiaoyu first. After all, Gu Qishao and Mu Linger were on his turf, so Han Yunxi couldn’t help but worry.
Long Feiye and Gu Qishao were lifelong enemies, so every time Han Yunxi brought him up, he grew disdainful. Coldly he said, “You shouldn’t miss him so much. Even if the sky falls down, he’ll be fine.”
Han Yunxi didn’t say much, but she privately thought that Xu Donglin should be sent to track down the exact whereabouts of her letter.
Because they’d delayed so long, their meal was already cold. Long Feiye had Zhao mama switch them for new dishes. The two of them sat facing each other while quietly eating their dinner without mentioning any serious topics. Han Yunxi helped pick out morsels for Long Feiye to eat and placed it on his rice, while he delivered morsels directly to her mouth. As night fell, an exhausted Han Yunxi fell asleep very early, but Long Feiye still had to work. Since they were leaving tomorrow, he had to finish up all his work first. Han Yunxi had already woken up from her doze when Long Feiye finally prepared to sleep. She was about to get up, but stopped as soon as she saw him enter and pretended to sleep again.
He didn’t hug her, afraid to aggravate her injury, but laid down by her side on the same pillow. He placed her hand on his stomach and held it there with his own. Han Yunxi waited for ages before she shifted gently. When Long Feiye didn’t react, she was certain he’d fallen asleep. She withdrew her hand and sat up, waiting a bit longer until she was sure he hadn’t moved. Then she carefully took his left hand and undid the gauze wrapping around her bite. The deep teeth marks in his skin had already shifted from red to a darker hue.
“Fool!” she wanted to laugh, but ached at the sight as well. Then she picked up the medicine she’d prepared secretly and gently began to apply it to his wound.
It was extremely quiet at the army barracks on an autumn night. Beneath the dim light, she was both careful and meticulous, moving like a thief afraid of making a stir and being caught. If this was any other time, applying medicine would be no big deal, but she needed to concentrate hard this time to finish the job. As she silently exhaled and prepared to re-bind the injury, Long Feiye suddenly spoke up.
“Han Yunxi, do you really like children?”
Scared to death, Han Yunxi’s heart nearly leaped out of her chest. She gave a flustered look to Long Feiye, who slowly opened his eyes and sat up. While wiping off the medicine on his hand, he asked again, “Do you prefer boys or girls? Hm?”
Han Yunxi stared at his hand with a serious tone. “It really will leave a scar! It’ll be ugly!”
Long Feiye admired the marks on his hand as he replied, “When I was young, Tang Li told me about a legend surrounding birthmarks. He said they’re actually bite marks from a lover in a past life. If…”
1. This reference comes to life in the Poison Genius Consort modern medical spinoff series written by the same author, although the story was later (partially) retconned as an All Just a Dream trope.
Here's #4 of the 7 missed PGC chapters I owe you guys this month!