It had to be said that Ning Jing’s mask had created a mess of complications. No one in Myriad Merchant Hall had ever seen Tang Li and didn’t recognize him as the family son-in-law. But all of them knew Ning Jing. She had planned to hide her identity to remain unrecognized, but who knew they’d run into Ning Cheng in the gambling house? Ning Cheng picked out Tang LI instantly, so whatever she did now would be pointless.
All this trouble started because of her face mask. If it didn’t exist, then Ning Cheng wouldn’t suspect Ning Jing of anything, but now he did.
“This subordinate had no way to speak with Miss Jing personally. However, Miss Jing should have understood this subordinate’s meaning. She should continue bringing the Tang Clan Head back to the gambling house,” the head elder replied.
“She has to understand!” Ning Cheng said coldly.
“But if the Tang Clan Head insists on not gamlbing, this subordinate may not be able to keep them,” the head elder expressed his difficulties.
Tang Li had won 500 million, so he could literally wash his hands in a golden basin now without having to gamble. This meant that all of Uncle Cheng’s efforts had done nothing to bewitch his hearts. He was still sober.
“Even if he doesn’t gamble, he has to stay,” Ning Cheng said aggressively. This time, he was determined to get ahold of Bai Yanqing in Blacktower. That would allow him to proceed with Han Yunxi’s previous plan, which was to use him to threaten Jun Yixie and control his battle horses. Then he could restart the war with East Qin. He admitted that he was impatient, if only because Han Yunxi had fallen into Long Feiye’s hands. If the news was published accidentally, or released by Long Feiye on purpose with ulterior motives, then West Qin would lose all face. Their soldiers’ hearts would turn cold. From a personal standpoint, he simply wanted to see that woman sooner.
“You only need a chance to pass on my words to Ning Jing. Leave the rest of her!” Ning Cheng insisted. “Tell Ning Jing that she should do everything she needs to in the black markets. There’s no need to return to the Tang Clan afterwards, I’ll give her everything in Cloud Realm Trade Consortium.”
Hearing this, the head elder elder exhaled. Having their ever familiar Miss Jing deal with Tang Li was better sending an ignorant old man against him. No one was better at dealing with a husband than his wife. He trusted that Miss Jing won’t disappoint them.
“This subordinate understands. I’ll get it done immediately,” the head elder left while rejoicing. After that was done, Ning Cheng brought Bai Yuqiao and left the Three-Way Black Market with Gu Qishao none the wiser. They traveled overnight in the direction of Blacktower. Meanwhile, Ning Jing and Tang Li were in a tearoom on Myriad Merchant Hall grounds. Only a few servant girls waited upon them, but Ning Jing knew plenty of guards stood guard outside and more eyes were watching them from the shadows. She and Tang LI didn’t even get to exchange the chips for silver drafts before the head elder arrived. He pretended to recognize Tang Li as the Tang Clan Head--Cloud Realm Trade Consortium’s son-in-law.
With the head elder’s move--obviously under Ning Cheng’s orders--Ning Jing knew they couldn’t escape. She had no choice but to unmask herself and reveal her identity. Tang Li too, was shrewd enough to guess that Ning Cheng wouldn’t let them go. In the silent room, the two came to a tacit understanding. Ning Jing wanted to speak multiple times, but didn’t know how to start. In the end, it was Tang Li who spoke first. “Will we be able to leave once they get an agreement to an arms trade?”
“Yes. Will you agree?” Ning Jing knew it was impossible, but she couldn’t help but hold out hope.
Tang Li immediately rejected the idea. “Impossible!”
Ning Jing only wore a cold smile mentally as she remained expressionless. “Then what now?”
“We’ll wait and see!” Tang Li said easily, happy to sit and watch.
Ning Jing finally lost her temper, but she kept her rage bottled up. Instead she asked, “How long are you planning to wait?”
“Until the end of the world, probably. In any case, with money and someone to stay by my side, it’s enough,” Tang LI said freely.
Although it should have been a moving statement, Ning Jing understood all too well that this was a joke. She finally lost it and shouted, “I want! To leave this damned place!”
“Then you think up something on your own. In any case, I can’t do anything against your family,” Tang LI shrugged his shoulders.
Just then, his statement had been half serious, half joking. To stay like this for the rest of his life wasn’t so bad. There were less worries, at any rate. Ning Jing didn’t speak, but silently laughed at her own naivety. How could she depend on Tang Li to help them escape? He was no more than fish meat on the chopping block now. She could only rely on herself!
It had to be a way that wouldn’t raise Ning Cheng’s suspicions while letting her flee. Her eyes burned as she stared at Tang Li, who didn’t notice until he felt his hairs starting to stand on end.
“Jing Jing, what are you thinking about?” he asked timidly.
“Nothing,” Ning Jing shifted her gaze and looked towards the door. She had a way! If she abandoned Tang Li and escaped on her own, there was still a chance for success. Her original plan was to leave Tang Li anyways. Why did her brain turn funny and thought of taking Tang Li away with her? She could deal with everything else after she escaped first. If anything happened, she could sent a letter to the Tang Clan to tell them of his movements. The rest could depend on his own luck.
In any case, Ning Cheng wouldn’t do more than torment Tang Li a bit before getting his weapons. He wouldn’t go far enough to kill the man. Thinking up to here, Ning Jing completely relaxed. Day or night, business in the black markets never stopped. The bustle of the gambling houses, the calls of the auction hals, and the cries of merchants all mixed together in a neverending din.
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had long left on their journey, while Ning Cheng and Bai Yuqiao were gone as well. Gu Qishao was still submerged in the gambling house, lost in the fun. He had dragged Ning Cheng here for a rest stop because he didn’t want to head for Blacktower so early. He wanted confirmation on Ning Cheng’s side and was willing to stay at the gambling table because he was sure the man would be helpless before Bai Yuqiao without him. Naturally, he’d seen the girl trying to drive a wedge between him and Ning Cheng the whole way here, but he was sure the man wasn’t idiotic enough to trust Bai Yuqiao. Even now, he was already on his tenth round against Manager Jin. All of them had been tied games, and each of the numbers they’d rolled had been ones!
Gu Qishao’s gold card was still lying in the middle of the gambling table because he’d yet to lose it.
“Heavens, it’s another tie!”
“Too supernatural. This is already the 11th time, they’re so formidable!”
“I never thought this gentleman had such hidden depths. He must have lost on purpose before. Tsk tsk, doesn’t he mind the loss of those hundred millions?”
Discussion was rife around them, but Gu Qishao’s eyes just narrowed into a dangerous line as he stared at Manager Jin. It was the first time Manager Jin had been so provoked, so he was less calm than before. His face was all antagonism as he stared back, but he maintained a veneer of professionalism as he said, “Sir will you continue?”
“Of course!” Gu Qishao said as he slammed the table. The dice in the bowl scattered about its insides, making clear clinking noises. Manager Jin’s lips rose into a disdainful curve as he stroked his bowl with his hand. His dice also scattered to fall neatly into place. Without a doubt, his movements were much more elegant and brilliant than Gu Qishao’s, since he didn’t have to slam the table to get the same results. Seeing this, Gu Qishao’s gaze chilled further. The two of them were even competing in fine details now, a testament to their animosity.
Mu Linger had started out feeling fearful, but relaxed after seeing Qi gege’s gambling skills. She sat by his side and cheered for every one of his actions. Although she had a favorable impression of Manager Jin at the start, now she saw him as her enemy. None of his actions had a single redeeming feature in her eyes.
Qi gege’s enemy was hers, too!
The 12th round was about to begin. After shaking his dice this time, Gu Qishao simply set them on the table without doing anything else. Manager Jin looked down on him for slamming the table, was it? Then he’d slam it to the end. With a whump, his bowl jumped up into the air with the dice clinking within. But everything landed neatly without a crack or anything falling over. Gu Qishao’s slam wasn’t just for show.
He leaned back languidly in his chair and propped his feet on the table while continuing to hit its surface. The bowl hopped and jumped with his movements, the dice following along. It had to be said that his indolent, sexy, noble and unrestrained air attracted the admiration of countless females, even though his mask hid his devastating looks. Mu Linger’s attention shifted from the gambling table to him instead. She was smiling like a fool, her heart filled with joy and affection.
Since Gu Qishao was playing like that, Manager Jin naturally followed along. He was still siting upright and proper, one hand resting on the armrest while his other patted the table. Although his movements were less fancy than Gu Qishao’s he too sent his bowl jumping up and down on the table. As he patted the surface, he looked at Gu Qishao, who met his gaze. But occasionally, he would dart a glance at Mu Linger. His good brother Ning Cheng had told him that it’d be best to get Mu Linger while holding up Gu Qishao. Manager Jin had never lost a battle when it came to attracting women. In the black markets, multiple intelligent, wealthy, and beautiful females had fallen at his hands. Although he’d yet to see through Gu Qishao after ten or so rounds, he could read Mu Linger thoroughly now. She didn’t show her face, but her movements sold her out long ago.
Manager Jin was certain that this was a simple, straightforward, and free-speaking girl without a scheming bone in her body. In his eyes, she was less a woman and more a girl. He couldn’t help but laugh to himself--how come Ning Cheng couldn’t even manage a little girl like this? When he saw her cheer for Gu Qishao again, his eyes grew disdainful. He gave the table a sound thwap, sending his porcelain bowl flying straight at Mu Linger.
Everyone was so caught up in the excitement that they never expected this turn of events. Mu Linger was too surprised to dodge, yet…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This is still yesterday's owed chapter ahem. Catching up, catching up~!