Using a private passageway, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi smoothly entered the very heart of the Three-Way Black Market and its most prosperous district. Han Yunxi sensed that Long Feiye must have power here. When she saw the words “East Origin Hall,” she couldn’t help but mutter under her breath, “Purple vapor from the east…”
She was sitting in her wheelchair as she looked back to catch Long Feiye’s face. He brushed her hairs aside and said nothing as he pushed her into the building. Very soon, Han Yunxi saw that the inside was lined with servants on both sides. All of them bowed in absolute respect, afraid to raise their heads. If Han Yunxi couldn’t tell the truth by now, she would be an idiot. Now she finally had an answer to one of her questions.
Long Feiye had never taken money from the Tianning imperial family or enjoyed an official royal salary. Moreover, his rewards had been few and far between after the previous emperor passed away. How could he ever have so many estates and properties in the richest and most prosperous jiangnan regions? Why did he have so many gold cards with no spending limits? Why were all of his gifts to her so extravagant and expensive?
As it turned out, the East Origin Hall was to blame.
Ever since the incident with buying grain at Tianning’s black markets, Han Yunxi had taken time to learn about the Three-Way Black Market. Of course, she’d heard about the East Origin Hall’s impressive name then. Its power and wealth here had long surpassed that of the age old Myriad Merchant Hall to become its most outstanding member. Yet she never would have guessed that Long Feiye was its master.
Whether it came to private or public riches, it was now obvious that Long Feiye was the wealthiest one!
Han Yunxi couldn’t help but look up at him again.
“What are you looking at?” Long Feiye asked.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were so well off?” Han Yunxi asked with a smile.
Long Feiye’s answer left Han Yunxi speechless.
“Were you afraid I’d only covet your money instead of loving you?” Han Yunxi joked.
Only Long Feiye would stay logical after a question like that. He asked, “Then do you covet it?”
“I do!” Han Yunxi nodded instantly.
Without a word, Long Feiye took out a key from his sleeve and handed it to Han Yunxi. “For you.”
Both Xu Donglin and Baili Mingxiang grew stunned from the sidelines. Although they both understood His Highness doted on the princess, they never thought it’d be so limitless! That key unlocked East Origin Hall’s largest warehouse. Before the East Qin Dynasty’s revived, that warehouse was akin to its national treasury! Over the past few years, it had supplemented the payments of the Tianning imperial court to support the Baili Navy’s limited allowance, as well as all other expenses.
Xu Donglin immediately thought of Tang Zijin, Aunt Ru, and General Baili’s stern faces. If they knew His Highness had done this, what would their expressions look like now?! Baili Mingxiang only peered at His Highness’s tall back with a complicated look. She had never expected his cold and chilly personality to love any woman without boundaries.
In the meantime, Long Feiye had long pushed Han Yunxi away from the duo. Han Yunxi studied the key before asking in a low voice, “Is this for the accountant’s office?”
“It’s for the warehouse. Keep it safe,” Long Feiye said breezily as if they were having small talk.
Han Yunxi had a fright. She quickly returned the key to him. “I don’t want it. Those are East Qin’s assets.”
She was already scared enough to have custody over the East Qin imperial seal, much less the key to its warehouse of wealth. If anything happened to the warehouse, the old officials from East Qin w ould have it on her head.
“Weren’t you coveting it?” Long Feiye arched a brow.
“Even coveting has its boundaries. I can’t take this, you keep it safe,” Han Yunxi said seriously. The East Qin imperial seal was in her hands until they dealt with the Wind Clan. She could return that to him then, but the key to the warehouse was different. So what if she had it? None of the things inside were hers, so this was an illegitimate conferral.
Han Yunxi grew serious. “Long Feiye, I can accept any personal item of yours, no matter how precious it is. But I don’t have the right to take East Qin’s things.”
Long Feiye didn’t think of all those details. If Han Yunxi liked it, she could have it. It had turned into a habit, but he knew what she meant as soon as she said those words. East Qin had left East Origin Hall in his hands as part of his assets. Under his command, its funds had grown to ten times that of the original. As long as he wanted, he could turn all of its public assets into private ones for personal use within a few days. But in truth, neither public nor private funds made a different in his case. Seeing Han Yunxi object, he didn’t explain much beyond accepting the key.
“You’ll have the right someday,” he said simply. “For now, just owe me.”
Han Yunxi turned back, feeling a little hurt. Unless the hatred between East and West Qin was just a misunderstanding that could be dissolved, how would she ever get the chance to have a right? Actually, she didn’t need his wealth at all as long as she had him. What could attract her more than his heart?
The exterior of the East Origin Hall was nothing special, but its interior was extremely luxurious and no less impressive than the lofty Myriad Merchant Hall. Long Feiye brought Han Yunxi to his sleeping quarters, which was hidden in the most peaceful, deepest depths of the East Origin Hall. Nobody could disturb them there. When Han Yunxi saw the hot springs in the back of the room, she dearly wanted to have a good soak. Unfortunately, her legs couldn’t come in contact with water. The two of them cleaned themselves up, washing off the dust and dirt from the carriage ride, and then Long Feiye promptly changed Han Yunxi’s dressing exactly on time.
Over the past half month, his exacting care combined with the medicines from Medical and Medicine Cities to help Han Yunxi recover faster than usual. She could already stand, but couldn’t walk just yet. Of course, Long Feiye didn’t allow her to stand at all. As long as she kept recovering like this, she should be fine in another half a month. A few more days of practice would help her recover her walking as well.
Fortunately, they’d been rushing here the past few days, or else Han Yunxi’s personality wouldn’t have let her sit still. She was now dressed in a loose lounge dress while sitting on the bed. As she saw Long Feiye approach her with medicine in hand, she quickly pulled up her dress to above her knees. She couldn’t bear it if he did it himself. Although she was exposing her knees, her injured shins could still attract one’s attention. Countless times, Long Feiye had pushed her down after applying medicine to eat her whole.
Still, he was quite rational before he turned into a wolf. He devoted himself uttering to changing her dressings, so much that Han Yunxi’s words would only be met with short replies instead of sentences. Tonight, there would be no chance for that, because Long Feiye had hardly finished when Xu Donglin called from outside.
“Your Highness, there’s a situation at Blacktower.”
“Come in,” Long Feiye said before moving to the outer rooms.
Xu Donglin came to report as soon as he entered. “Last night we lured the tiger away from its mountain. A shadow guard has already gotten in contact with Su Xiaoyu and told her everything.”
Long Feiye was very satisfied. “Deploy the forces immediately. Your lordship will be waiting for the hare to run into the tree this time!”
“Yes!” Xu Donglin acknowledged, before adding, “Su Xiaoyu asked the shadow guard to bring a message to the princess. She says….that she misses the princess.”
Han Yunxi’s eyes turned red at the words. It wasn’t sentimentality, but that she understood Su Xiaoyu’s personality all too well. Such a surly, unrestrained little girl would never say such emotional things. She was more likely to quarrel and make a fuss, so it was obvious that she’d suffered much. Although Long Feiye had arranged for a flawless trap, this time would be full of dangers. No matter what, Han Yunxi thought, they had to ensure Su Xiaoyu’s safety.
Actually, Xu Donglin had left out one piece of information. By the time the shadow guard found Su Xiaoyu, she was already on the verge of death. Whether she’d survive long enough for their rescue was uncertain. Within Blacktower, the tiny girl had been tied to a giant cross with her head drooping to one side. In the darkness, she was like an abandoned doll whose body emanated an aura of death. Yet her large eyes were shining with a stubborn light. Before the shadow guard arrived, she was already holding on obstinately to her last breath. Now that he had given her his master’s orders, she was going to complete her mission beautifully to repay the woman who had saved her life.
Abruptly, a splash of cold water drenched her in the darkness, soaking her completely. The water dripped down from her hair to trickle down her body and onto the floor. The falling droplets were clear in the silent space. This was an old trick by the guards. After using up all their torture techniques, they had no other ways to fool around, so they’d splash her with cold water every night. Then they’d open the windows and have the cold autumn wind blow against her until she caught a fever, fell ill, and suffered through the throes of illness. Only when she was about to die would they give her medicine to eat.
Every time this happened, she would remained with her head bowed, not reacting as they tormented her. They would quickly lose interest and leave, because any reactions would only bring about more suffering. But this time she raised her head and smiled wickedly. “Hey, I’ll give you guys a chance to make some contributions. How about it?”
Two guards appeared with shrewd looks.
“Stinkin’ lass, what’s wrong? Can’t take it anymore? Are you going to confess?”
“Cheap girl, you would have been fine if you confessed earlier! What’s the point of suffering so much? You’ve even dragged the two of us here to waste time with you!”
Su Xiaoyu laughed coldly. “Confess? If I confessed, would you still let me live?”
The two guards had seen their share of Su Xiaoyu’s experienced and shrewd ways, so they didn’t mince their words.
“Cheap girl, say what you want or fart all you like, or else...hehe!”
“I think she’s just fooling with us. She won’t cry until she sees her own coffin. Someone come, bring the whip!”
At this, Su Xiaoyu said coldly, “Tell your master to talk to me personally if he wants to know whether the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion is in Long Feiye or Han Yunxi’s hands! If this granny feels happy enough, I might even tell him how they broke through the poison!”
Both of the guards grew stunned at her words. They exchanged glances before ordering someone to look after her, then hurried off to deliver a letter.
Perplexing Butterfly Illusion was big news! Their master had been searching it for years without success. While they were delivering the message, Long Feiye was accompanying Han Yunxi in a stroll around the gambling house. The one in question was Myriad Merchant Hall’s biggest casino.
1. Tianning’s black markets - I got confused because the author wasn’t referring to them by name, but this incident is outlined in PGC’s 7th story arc from chapters 348-388, in “Two Schemers are Better than One.” The black market she’s referring to here would be the Sky Domain Black Market in chape 369!
Okay, whew! Long time no see guys! You can blame work and a little fanfic event I'm participating in for that, as well as *cough* FGO.
Anyways, looks like I owe 12 missed chapters of PGC so there should be double releases for a few days to compensate. Take care and I'll see you all soon!