Was Bai Yuqiao still alive? Blacktower was already in ruins by now.
Ning Cheng gave a cold snort. “She’s dead!”
“Then I’ll count the debt on your shoulders. Exchange it with your life!” Bai Yanqing’s gaze grew fierce as he focused on Ning Cheng, completely ignoring the two other “strangers” on the sidelines.
It had to be said that this was Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s first time being so thoroughly underestimated.
“One man’s deeds are one man’s responsibility!” Ning Cheng ignored the couple as well as he raised his chin and looked coldly at Bai Yanqing. “Bai Yanqing, you and I are both clan heads. Do you dare to toss your poison arts aside and fight me in a one-on-one duel?”
Ning Cheng’s plan could count as a failure, so his biggest ace now was the Pear Blossom Rain needles. No matter how despicable he got, he had to find the best chance to assassinate Bai Yanqing. Otherwise, the old man would find him no end of trouble afterwards.
“Duel?” Bai Yanqing laughed coldly, but he actually agreed. “Alright, then!”
Seeing the two of them about to fight, Han Yunxi immediately stopped them with a cold voice. “Ning Cheng, to the side! Bai Yanqing’s life is mine!”
She had used her real voice, which startled both Ning Cheng and Bai Yanqing into looking back.
Bai Yanqing had always assumed that Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were lovers turned enemies, but Ning Cheng could guess at a glance that the masked man was Long Feiye.
“Princess, what’s happened to your legs? Did Long Feiye do something to you?” Ning Cheng raged.
Long Feiye tore off his mask with an icy face as he answered him. “What do I to her is none of your concern!”
Ning Cheng was furious, but in the end he didn’t move. He hadn’t lost his wits to the point of arguing with Long Feiye in front of Bai Yanqing. Bai Yanqing only saw Long Feiye holding Han Yunxi in disbelief. Why are the two of them still together? Why?
He used up all that effort and all those schemes to make them into hated foes! How could they…
“The East Qin crown prince and West Qin princess are actually in love with each other. Haha, that’s hilarious!” Bai Yanqing laughed out loud. He looked towards Ning Cheng and laughed even louder. “Ning Clan Head, do you see this? The Di Clan paid such a huge price for the sake of reviving West Qin, and yet its princess still made up with the East Qin crown prince!”
Ning Cheng’s unpleasant expression turned even gloomier at his words.
“Ning Cheng, you spent so much effort to ambush this old man. But that person doesn’t appreciate a whit of it! Oh that’s right, has Han Yunxi come to help Long Feiye kill me?” As Bai Yanqing spoke, he gave Ning Cheng a disdainful look. Each and every one of his words were calculated for his ears. He strode over and sighed. “Ning Clan Head, you couldn’t have betrayed the West Qin like this old man, could you?”
“I did not!” Ning Cheng fumed. That was the one thing he couldn’t bear.
“Then why is the West Qin princess nestled in the East Qin prince’s embrace instead of helping you? Hehe, you should know that she’s the only person in the world who can contend against this old man!” Bai Yanqing stated.
Ning Cheng had no retorts, but he had already lowered his head to stand there like a punished child waiting for a scolding. But where was he wrong? Just what were his mistakes?
“Ning Cheng, you’re too pathetic. This old man won’t cause you any troubles, either. You should go back! Haha! A smile erases all debts, why are you still fussing over this?”
Under Bai Yanqing’s mocking tone, Ning Cheng remained unmoving even as his right hand clenched into a fist. Was he really fussing over nothing? Was he the only one who cared?
Three generations of the the Di Clan had all worried over the same thing! He asked himself whether he was truly dedicated to the cause reviving the nation. He had taken upon this task when he was in his teens and spent his entire life living for this goal, suffering all the while. Was he doing all this because he wanted to?
The answer he gave himself was ‘Yes!’ Since childhood, he had read up on West Qin’s history and worshipped its royal clan. He yearned for its days as a nation and looked forward to the day when his personally commanded troops could end up protecting its own country!
The Di Clan was home, while West Qin was a country. Hearth and nation made up his everything. All those lonely years fighting battles had only been possible with his faith in his homeland carrying him through. Who could take it otherwise? But today he was standing here alone, being mocked by Bai Yanqing. He sneered not just at him, but the entire Di Clan. Was it really Bai Yanqing’s disdain? No! This was the mockery that Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s actions had resulted against him.
That’s right. Even the royals aren’t worrying about this, so why should I? Moreover, both Long Feiye and Han Yunxi hadn’t abandoned their duties or selfishly abandoned their responsibilities. No matter how much it pained their hearts, they had already made preparations to meet on the battlefield and said they wouldn’t spare the other party.
Finally, Han Yunxi lost her temper. “Bai Yanqing,” she said sternly, “You shut up. What right do you have to judge the Di Clan? You traitor!”
Bai Yanqing only laughed wildly. “Traitor? Han Yunxi, you’re the traitor here--West Qin’s biggest betrayer! Can you face West Qin’s ancestors while hugging your enemy like that? Heheh, I don’t think even the East Qin ancestors would accept you!”
Long Feiye’s eyes were ice. He didn’t have the patience to waste words with Bai Yanqing and was long ready to attack. Rather than discussion, he preferred to shut the man’s mouth. But Bai Yanqing quickly sensed the killing intent from his sword and backed away with a scoff. “East Qin crown prince, you can convince Han Yunxi, but not the entire world!”
Without a doubt, he was trying to stall for time by insinuating that Long Feiye was using Han Yunxi. Finally, Ning Cheng looked up, his eyes struggling between sorrow and resentment. There was no need for any explanation between Long Feiye and Han Yunxi anymore, nor could anyone provoke them. Long Feiye simply unsheathed his sword, but Ning Cheng did so at the same time to block his blade.
“Ning Cheng, you’re more willing to believe Bai Yanqing than me?” Han Yunxi demanded.
Before she left as a human hostage with Long Feiye, she had told him that they needed to uncover the truth about the East Qin - West Qin conflict. They had analyzed the situation and found the Wind and Black Clans to be key players in a potential plot. The agreement was to clarify everything first so they could have a chance to salvage the situation. But why was Ning Cheng being so stubborn now? Why was he falling prey to Bai Yanqing’s words?
“Princess, it’s not that this subordinate doesn’t believe you, but like I said, Bai Yanqing’s life is mine,” It had been a long, long time since Ning Cheng had used such a chilly tone to speak to Han Yunxi.
“Princess” and “this subordinate” were respectful terms of address, but such a cold voice made one’s hairs stand on end. Before Long Feiye could retort, Han Yunxi spoke first. She had wanted to ask Ning Cheng anyways. “You want to kill Bai Yanqing? So you don’t want to save Gu Beiyue, is that right?”
“Right,” Ning Cheng admitted.
“On what grounds?” Han Yunxi all but shouted.
“Princess may not understand, but Gu Beiyue will,” Ning Cheng said frostily. The Shadow Clan was probably the Di Clan’s sole ally. He was certain that the Shadow Clan was even more willing to sacrifice itself for the sake of West Qin than the Di.
Han Yunxi truly had no idea what Gu Beiyue would choose, but unless she heard it with her own ears, she wouldn’t allow anyone else to judge in their place and sacrifice the man’s life. When she recalled that gentle white-robed man, that smile as warm as an April spring breeze, her heart ached!
“Ning Cheng, even if Gu Beiyue understands, you don’t have the right to choose for him!” Han Yunxi said icily. “Understanding and choosing have always been completely different things!”
Ning Cheng was about to argue when Han Yunxi asked, “And also, we agreed to give everyone a chance to salvage the situation. You’ve even used the red coat cannons, so what’s your meaning by this?”
Bai Yanqing didn’t understand her words, but Ning Cheng did. Even if Han Yunxi and Long Feiye’s reasoning was sound and there were suspicious elements in the original conflict, Ning Cheng still doubted it from the bottom of his heart. He didn’t want to waste time, much less let Han Yunxi drag things on until he fell into Long Feiye’s trap. His best choice now was to kill Bai Yanqing, threaten Jun Yixie, and join hands with Northern Li to continue the fight against East Qin.
Looking at Long Feiye, Ning Cheng replied, “I don’t trust the East Qin crown prince’s intentions.”
“Ning Cheng, you’ve thoroughly disappointed me!” Han Yunxi raged.
At this, Bai Yanqing abruptly seized Ning Cheng, who had been expecting it and immediately backed away. Bai Yanqing went to chase him, but Ning Cheng retreated very quickly. As he did, he withdrew the Pear Blossom Rain Needles from his sleeve and aimed it at Bai Yanqing. He stopped moving then and waited for Bai Yanqing to draw closer, while the old man was astonished to find the Tang Clan’s number two weapon in his hands. For a second, he didn’t know how to react.
But Han Yunxi was alarmed! She knew that weapon all too well, because it’d long been all used up. There was no threat to it anymore. Ning Cheng was in terrible danger. Currently, Bai Yanqing and Ning Cheng were very close. If Ning Cheng couldn’t kill the man, he’d be dead instead.
Without hesitation, Han Yunxi shot a poisoned arrow at Bai Yanqing. Unfortunately, he suddenly darted to the side, allowing her needle to strike Ning Cheng’s right eye. Simultaneously, Ning Cheng discovered that he couldn’t shoot a single needle out of the Pear Blossom Rain!
No one expected these series of events.
Bai Yanqing rolled away after his dodge and escaped. Of course he was going to run when it was Long Feiye and Han Yunxi combined against him. If he fell into Han Yunxi’s hands, he might be able to use Gu Beiyue as a bargaining chip, but Long Feiye would give him a death sentence even worse than Ning Cheng’s. Despite all his attempts to sow discord, he couldn’t figure out what was going on between Long Feiye and Han Yunxi now. He couldn’t believe that the duo was really working together after setting aside their mutual hostility.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi was still holding out her hand in the needle launching position. Ning Cheng’s right eye bled nonstop as he stared at her.
“Princess, is this the extent of your disappointment in me?”
To the point that you’d kill me?
Han Yunxi was about to explain when Long Feiye tightened his grip on her and flew off to the right, in hot pursuit of Bai Yanqing…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Anyone remember when Ning Cheng hadn't fallen in love yet and was just the kickbutt Ning Clan Head who sprawled in his seat at meetings?
Yeah, I kinda miss that guy...
Anyways, it looks like we've got another misunderstanding on our hands! At least PGC has the rep of working through them directly. Stay tuned today as I speed up releases to reach our 900 chapterversary! <3 <3