By the time Mu Linger ran back, Fifth Elder was already coaxing Han Yunxi. “Princess, don’t let him sow discord!”
“Fifth Elder, since it’s Manager Jin sowing discord, then let’s not mention this again once we get back,” Han Yunxi instructed.
Mu Linger didn’t completely understand, but she didn’t dare to ask in public. Back at Myriad Merchant Hall, she waited until Fifth Elder was gone before telling Han Yunxi all about the fabricated letter and how Ning Cheng had used Manager Jin to keep Gu Qishao here while he went off on his own. Having long suspected as much, Han Yunxi only nodded.
“Han Yunxi, did Ning Cheng capture Bai Yanqing? Where is he? You better not let him off, he’s too wicked! Everyone in the world knows he’s loyal to West Qin, but who knew he’d do something like that?”
“Han Yunxi, why are you here? How did you injure your legs?”
“Han Yunxi, Ning Cheng’s--”
Han Yunxi cut Mu Linger off and told her everything. She was shocked and stared at her in disbelief, before stammering out, “Han Yunxi, you really have the gall? You love Long Feiye that much, huh…”
If she didn’t love him deeply, how could they yield on the basis of their national enmity? Or even give each other a chance? Han Yunxi didn’t speak. She couldn’t help but think that even if she hadn’t transmigrated here, she’d still love Long Feiye bravely as the true West Qin princess.
Aside from her shock, Mu Linger suddenly felt sad. If Qi gege knows the truth, he’ll be very depressed.
How much must she love Qi gege, to feel sad at the thought of him turning gloomy?
“Linger, I sent someone to Blacktower to look for Gu Qishao. Before he comes back, don’t run about and be careful,” Han Yunxi instructed.
“Alright!” Mu Linger nodded. She stood for awhile wanting to say more, but not knowing where to start. The two of them remained silent until she felt awkward and said, “Han Yunxi, it’s getting late. I’ll help you wash up and change your dressings. You should rest early. Who knows? Maybe Qi gege will be back by the time we wake up.”
Han Yunxi was in the middle of her thoughts when Mu Linger interrupted. She immediately refused. “No need. I have servant girls in my room and there’s still some things to do before I sleep. You should go rest first.”
She wanted to meet with Tang Li alone. Moreover, Manager Jin was supposed to come within two hours with the East Valley Private Bank’s account books. She couldn’t set her cares at rest until they were in her hands. Although the bank’s wealth couldn’t compare to the Di Clan, it was still a sizable sum. With this money, Myriad Merchant Hall would be in a better spot after the disasters at the auction and gambling houses.
Once I have this money, the other elders in Myriad Merchant Hall should more or less change their views about me. Only then can I start getting involved in the mess at the auction and gambling houses.
Her appointment with Long Feiye was in ten days’ time. She’d been lucky enough to grab the East Valley Private Bank on her first day, so this made Han Yunxi believe that she might not need to part from Long Feiye long after all.
If this was any other time, Mu Linger would definitely find an excuse to stay with Han Yunxi, but as she had something important to do, she quickly said her goodbyes. But instead of going to her rooms to rest, she made a beeline for East Origin Hall’s auction hall! A limitless gold card had no spending limits, but it had an expiration date all the same. Once the owner of the card lost everything and couldn’t return the costs, the card would be cancelled by the bank. Before Manager Jin lost it all, Mu Linger was going to spend money like water so he could taste the flavor of being kicked in the ass! See if he dared to join hands with Ning Cheng to house arrest her again.
By the time Mu Linger arrived at the East Origin Hall’s auction house, Han Yunxi had already entered Tang Li’s prison cell. He looked at her doubtfully in silence while Han Yunxi patiently wheeled herself inside.
“If you keep looking, see if I don’t tell your brother!” she said as she drew close.
“You...you…” Tang Li licked his lips before he finally managed, “What happened to your legs?”
“Broken, but they’re almost healed,” Han Yunxi was quite comforted by the fact that Tang Li had asked after her wellbeing first and foremost.
“Oh,” Tang Li said simply, before he asked, “Han Yunxi, don’t you hate my big brother?”
The head elder had told Ning Jing what happened to Ning Cheng when Tang Li was listening on the side. He wasn’t sure about anything else except the fact that his brother had stubbornly brought this woman to his side for protection now.
“Why should I hate him?” Han Yunxi rolled her eyes at him.
“You’re the West Qin princess and he’s the East Qin crown prince. You don’t hate him?” Tang Li asked.
“If he doesn’t hate me, why should I hate him?” Han Yunxi retorted.
“Can’t you hate him even if he doesn’t hate you?” Tang Li suddenly laughed out loud. “How simple.”
“It was simple from the start,” Han Yunxi retorted. “Do you think there’s anything complicated?”
Tang Li’s eyes flashed with bitterness before he changed the topic. “Han Yunxi, then what are you doing here now? The Di Clan would even let you here?”
“Will you believe what I say?” Han Yunxi asked.
“If my big brother trusts you, could I not?” Tang Li challenged.
Han Yunxi grew serious. “Then Tang Li, do you hate me?”
Tang Li immediately shook his head before quickly nodding instead. But as Han Yunxi knitted her brows, he shook his head again. Han Yunxi shoved him. “So capricious, are you still a man?”
“Why should I hate you?” Tang Li shot back. “Even my big brother doesn’t hate you, so it’s no use even if I do!”
Han Yunxi laughed sardonically. “I really am benefiting from Long Feiye’s good graces!”
Tang Li rolled his eyes. “Where’s my big bro? He knows I’m here, so why hasn’t he come to save me yet? Just what are you two doing?!”
Instead of answering, Han Yunxi asked, “Tang Li, you hate Ning Jing?”
Abruptly, Tang Li lost his patience and waved her away. “Don’t run circles around me. If you’re not letting me go, then just leave! Please take a message to my big bro and tell him to send someone quick.”
Han Yunxi was about to speak when Tang Li interrupted again. “I’m telling you, the next time you come over, don’t bring up ‘Ning Jing,’ or else you might as well not come at all!”
Han Yunxi’s eyes grew crafty before she intoned, “Tang Li, you’re missing your ‘peace and quiet’ (静静 jing jing),
“I am not!” Tang Li suddenly grew angry as he denied it.
Han Yunxi gave a start before she burst into laughter. She had been wondering why he’d lacked hostility despite his blatant attitude beforehand. Tang Li didn’t even hate her as West Qin princess, so how could he despise Ning Jing, a Di Clan woman? She wasn’t sure of the other details, but Han Yunxi was convinced that the hatred between East and West Qin wasn’t firmly rooted in Tang Li’s heart. Otherwise, Tang Li wouldn’t be so chatty with her after knowing her identity. As long as Tang Li didn’t disdain Ning Jing’s origins, then she still had a fighting chance, didn’t she?
Although Ning Jing had said not to mention their affairs to Tang Li, Han Yunxi couldn’t help it. She couldn’t bear to see a stubborn girl like Ning Jing live a lonely, one-sided love and fight all alone. Love was too heavy a burden for one person to bear.
Seeing Han Yunxi grin, Tang Li only felt embarrassed. “Han Yunxi, are you leaving or not?”
“You said you’re not missing your ‘peace and quiet,’ so won’t you be bored if I leave? This prison cell is too quiet. Doesn’t it depress you?” Han Yunxi asked with a smile.
Tang Li lost his temper. “Leave! I want to be alone with peace and quiet!”
“You want to be alone?” Han Yunxi feigned ignorance as she asked curiously, “With ‘Jing Jing?’”
Finally, Tang Li exploded. He refused to answer Han Yunxi and simply pushed her towards the door before slamming it shut behind her! He only wanted to be alone with his peace and quiet, so this was really enough!
Before Han Yunxi could re-enter the cell, the jailkeeper ran over.
“Princess, Fifth Elder is waiting outside and says he needs to see you on urgent business,” he reported.
Han Yunxi had to set Tang Li aside for now and quickly departed. She saw Fifth Elder holding a set of keys in his hands with a respectful air by the exit.
“Your Royal Highness, all of the accounts have been organized at East Valley Private Bank and given to this subordinate. This is the keys to their warehouses. They have not lent any loans at the moment or expanded into other businesses, so their total loans as of tonight total to 56,330,000 taels,” Fifth Elder reported.
Han Yunxi only sighed with emotion internally. The most profitable business in this world really was the trade of money itself. Although only 56,330,000 taels were lent out, these were gaining interest rates daily at exorbitant percentages.
“And Manager Jin?” she asked.
“He sent someone to deliver these, he didn’t come himself,” Fifth Elder replied.
Was it inconvenient to see her because of his injuries, or was he simply afraid? Han Yunxi simply gave Fifth Elder the antidote as promised and added, “Assemble all of the elders tomorrow at noon. I’ll eat a meal with everyone and get to know the situation at the auction and gambling houses.”
Fifth Elder respectfully went to pass on her orders. In the end, Han Yunxi decided to leave the jail cells as well rather than pressuring Tang Li. He might as well spend some time to calm down. Since Ning Jing didn’t like her getting involved, she couldn’t meddle too much. As the dawn approached them, Han Yunxi finally began to feel traces of exhaustion. She stretched lazily and signaled the servant girls to send her to her room. She had to straighten herself up with a nap as soon as possible, because she needed her energy for a “bout” with the Council of Elders tomorrow!
Despite this, Han Yunxi found herself unable to fall asleep in her room. She called for a servant girl to prepare a hot soup and decided to simply soak in a bath so she could clear her thoughts regarding the auction and gambling houses. What were Golden Wing Hall’s motives? From what she understood, their business centered around the trade of medicinal ingredients. There was no overlap whatsoever with Myriad Merchant Hall! Why were they fighting them openly?
Once the servant girls prepared the soup, Han Yunxi dismissed them. By now, she could already stand up straight. If she disregarded the consequences, she could even walk a few steps. It wasn’t as hard to move as before. She slipped off her clothes and carefully eased herself into the bathtub while her legs dangled over the edge, nice and dry. Pinkish red Chinese roses floated on the water’s surface, sending a faint fragrance rising into the air. Han Yunxi relaxed completely and forgot about her cares until a familiar voice came from behind her…
1. Tang Li, you’re missing your ‘peace and quiet,’ right? - A clever word play in Chinese, because “peace and quiet” is written and pronounced identical to Jing Jing, Tang Li’s nickname for Ning Jing.