Chapter 921: Gu Beiyue has disappeared

When Han Yunxi offered up 700 million, Jia Dai’s expression filled with astonishment. However, his heart was unruffled. His Highness had long told him about this sum. By contrast, the head elder appeared calm while waves surged in his heart. Although Myriad Merchant Hall could afford such a sum, the risk was far too high. If Uncle Cheng hadn’t mentioned Ning Cheng, he would never agree to it.

“Since Lady Han has offered such a heavenly high price, I expect you must like these gardens very much. If that’s the case, then this old man might as well go back on my promise to the other buyer,” Jia Dai had gained the advantage in all this, but still sighed as if with regret.

While raging in his heart, the head elder expressed his views as well. “As that’s the case, I respectfully ask this sir to let my lady review the title deeds.” He had to be on guard against the likes of Jia Dai, who could sell to two people at once!

Since they had decided to buy the properties, they would have to get the deed in their hands in case the situation changed again. Moreover, time was pressing for the new casino. They had to seize the chance before all of Three-Way Black Market’s gamblers scattered to attract them back again. If this dragged on, they would have to think of new ways to bring them back. 

Jia Dai quickly went to fetch the deed and gave it to Han Yunxi for review. She determined that it was correct. He then asked, “Lady Han, if there’s no problems with this deed, then shall we…”

The head elder cut him off. “Master Jia, 700 million is no small sum. I don’t know whether we can pay you half first and save the other half for a later date?”

He put it so nicely, but in short, he was trying to “buy on credit.” Jia Dai’s face immediately darkened at the thought. He snatched the deed from Han Yunxi’s hands and said icily, “Sirs and madam, this surnamed Jia doesn’t sell on credit!”

The head elder’s face flushed between shades of white and red. Whether it was Cloud Realm Trade Consortium or Myriad Merchant Hall, no one had ever flung such words at him! This was simply humiliation! He suddenly felt like “the tiger who left its mountain haunts to be bullied by the dogs on flat land.” Before he could speak, Uncle Cheng was already chiming in unhappily.

“Master Jia, what do you mean by this? Afraid that we can’t afford the price?”

Because he spoke, Han Yunxi kept her mouth shut. She never expected Uncle Cheng to be more impatient than she was! But that made sense--if he wanted to get his commission fee, he’d do his best to get this deal done. Ice flashed through her eyes as she watched, unmoved.

“If you could afford the price, why pay halves at all?” Jia Dai mocked and shot a meaningful look towards Han Yunxi. “I thought Lady Han was a generous patron, but never expected...hehe, if you’re only planning to pay me half the price, then I’m sorry! May you all go back instead.”

“Master Jia must have misunderstood!” the head elder blurted out. “I mean to say that we’ll pay half the price first to set the deal in stone. Today and tomorrow, my master will take a walk through the properties and make sure there are no major issues. Then we’ll pay the remaining half.” 

The head elder managed to build a platform from which he and Han Yunxi could gracefully exit the stage while implying that they were willing to pay full price. Gradually, Jia Dai’s complexion resumed its original kindly and affable glow. 

“If that’s the case, then it’s easy to do! No need to pay the advance price either, this old man will bring you to tour the gardens right away.”

Han Yunxi murmured to the head elder, “This is the only way left. Send someone to prepare the money while we tour the properties. It’ll be good for them to discuss remodeling details too. From what I’ve seen so far, we won’t have to do much reconstruction.”

The head elder’s heart was full of helplessness. He felt that things were progressing far too fast, which made him flustered. But if he didn’t move now, it’d be even harder to make a comeback after someone else grabbed the property first. 

“Princess, this subordinate took a good look just then as well. The various courtyards we passed on the way don’t need any remodeling work. As long as we cart over the gambling house things here, we can start right away,” he murmured back.

“That’s good, then. This courtyard is big, so we can use the ones in front first for the business. We can take our time discussing the remodeling details,” Han Yunxi muttered back. That was exactly the head elder’s meaning as well. The last thing he wanted to do was to miss out on the immediate business opportunity.

Just like that, Han Yunxi’s group toured all of South Jue Gardens with Jia Dai’s servants until night fell. The actual layout of the property was even more attractive than the one in the blueprints. It needed very little remodelling beyond a few minor fixes. The head elder had tried his best to find any major flaws so he could haggle prices further with Jia Dai, but the property had been preserved very well. He had no chance.

After eating dinner, Jia Dai warmly welcomed them to stay the night. Tomorrow, they would visit the West Jade Gardens, which was half a day’s travel away. 

“Princess, let’s settle down for now. If we return to Myriad Merchant Hall, we’ll have to travel four more hours tomorrow,” the head elder coaxed.

After some hesitation, Han Yunxi said, “We won’t return to Myriad Merchant Hall, but we’re not staying here, either. Uncle Cheng, go tell Master Jia that we’re short on time. We’ll travel to West Jade Gardens tonight and rest there briefly tomorrow morning, then tour the property.”

“Princess, you have to look after your health!” the head elder exclaimed in concern.

“It’s fine. I can sleep in the carriage,” Han Yunxi insisted. She didn’t want to delay any longer with the thought of Long Feiye’s desolate eyes in her mind. She’d rather get her accounts settled with Bai Yanqing as soon as possible.

Uncle Cheng was anxious too. One more day he failed to shut Manager Jin’s mouth was another day of worry for him. He immediately sought out Jia Dai and told him the details. The man agreed and went to arrange for the carriages. But once everything was done, Xu Donglin suddenly appeared out of thin air.

“Long time no see, Master Jia,” Xu Donglin remarked as he leaned against a wall, hugging his sword.

Jia Dai was surprised to see him. “His Highness has come as well?”

“His Highness is still at the black markets. I’m only here to tell you one thing: the princess has gotten used to riding His Highness’s carriage. You’ll have to prepare a comfortable one. If you jolt the princess too much…”

Jia Dai was already nodding his head before Xu Donglin could finish. “I understand, I understand! I’ve already instructed the servants at West Jade Gardens to prepare a room in Brightmoon Hall.”

Only then did Xu Donglin disappear in satisfaction. Like that, Han Yunxi’s retinue made their way to the property overnight while Long Feiye met with Chu Tianyin at East Origin Hall.

“I spent massive effort to figure out a way to make that goshawk lead the way. But by the time I got there, the man was long gone,” Chu Tianyin intoned. 

Over the past few days, he had ignored the greater chessboard and the movements of the Western Zhou emperor in transferring troops to search wholeheartedly for Gu Beiyue. He had kept the hawk that Gu Beiyue used to send his first message. Although he didn’t know who raised the bird, he had used all sorts of ways--including finding someone skilled in animal language--to successfully train the bird to lead him back to its origins. But by the time he found the mountain gorge, the courtyard within it was long emptied out.

“Could you tell when they left?” Long Feiye asked.

“At least a month ago. They must have changed locations,” Chu Tianyin said.

Long Feiye didn’t hide anything back, but told Chu Tianyin the details of everything that happened at Blacktower. The man’s forehead creased with each detail in the narrative. “In other words, it’s very possible that Bai Yanqing’s hidden near the Three-Way Black Market?”

“I’ve already sent men to investigate possible hiding spots. Unfortunately, there’s been no news yet,” Long Feiye replied. “What do you think about this whole thing with Ning Cheng?” he added.

Chu Tianyin utterly despised Ning Cheng, but when faced with such a direct question, he avoided it altogether. “Long Feiye, my Chu Clan has no right to meddle in the affairs of East and West Qin anymore. I’m not interested, either! I only hope you can keep to your word and release the two elders of my clan.” 

Chu Tianyin was quite broadminded. As traitors, the Chu Clan had no right to call themselves part of the West Qin faction anymore. Moreover, he was clear that the East Qin faction would never truly accept them, either. He only hoped that Beiyue was safe, and that his father and uncle could gain their freedoms. This was the only thing he could do for the Chu Clan now.

Long Feiye enjoyed Chu Tianyin’s stance on things. He said, “I heard that the Western Zhou emperor’s been transferring troops nonstop recently. Is he planning to revoke your military power?”

Chu Tianyin gave a cold snort. “That’ll depend on whether he’s capable!”

“Very good. Don’t worry about Gu Beiyue. Just lead your West Qin soldiers well. Your lordship won’t treat your father or uncle shabbily, either,” Long Feiye replied.

“You mean to say…you’re really going to declare war against Northern Li?” Chu Tianyin asked curiously.

“Whether it’s Northern Li or Jun Yixie, this battle is unavoidable! It has nothing to do with East or West Qin,” Long Feiye said icily. 

Although East and West Qin were the biggest sources of trouble now, he saw beyond that to ever farther realms. His heart was big, encompassing not only Northern Li but the Wintercrow Clan located in the snowy mountains behind them. All of them were within his eyes.

The only thing he’d done was delay his plans temporarily for the sake of one woman.

Chu Tianyin hesitated before asking, “Long Feiye, I want to pay a visit to my father.”

Long Feiye looked at him without a trace of mercy. “You won’t be able to see either man until everything is finished.”

Chu Tianyin withdrew expressionless, but he was inwardly mocking himself. Just what was he doing back there? How could he forget what kind of man Long Feiye was? Although he was working with him, that didn’t mean Long Feiye would grow softhearted! He was simply asking for humiliation! 

After Long Feiye took care of his various tasks, it was already the middle of the night. He soaked in a bath before preparing to head for Myriad Merchant Hall, only to remember the shadow guards had told him Han Yunxi was on her way to West Jade Gardens tonight. If he rushed there now, it’d already be late morning by the time he arrived. He recalled Han Yunxi’s clumsy attempts at taking the lead last night, then her exhausted form sprawled on the bed that morning, and couldn’t help but laugh. An attractive smile framed his lips. 

He wasn’t going to be able to sleep tonight, so he strolled into the courtyard and ran into Baili Mingxiang, who was practicing her martial arts. 

“Your Highness,” Baili Mingxiang quickly backed out of the way and gave a bow.

“Mm,” Long Feiye replied before walking past her and out the gates.

Baili Mingxiang was too afraid to peek at his face just then, but now she hastily looked up, wishing to etch the memory of his back into her mind. Once he vanished, she turned around and gripped the sword in her hands, then threw herself into practicing again.

--

While everyone was preparing to capture Bai Yanqing, the man himself had been hiding himself while nursing grievous wounds. He finally made it to his mountain gorge in the end. With his consummate poison skills and expert martial arts, he really had no need to duck and hide, but he’d wracked his brains to separate Han Yunxi and Long Feiye for that very reason. Han Yunxi could even the odds with him with poisons, while Long Feiye had better martial arts. The two of them combined were simply his natural enemy. 

He wasn’t stupid enough to face them head on, so he decided to abandon his plans and regroup. He would bring along Gu Beiyue with him to Northern Li.

However, he’d hardly entered the house when he realized...the room was in disorder, and Gu Beiyue was gone!

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Ruyi's Thoughts

The last chapter I owe for the 31 days of August, rawwwwr! And just when things are getting good too, hehe. Will work on those sponsored releases later this week. 

Do ya like the new PayPal button GIF? What about September's playlist? Leave me your thoughts and comments <3 <3

And woohoo! Looks like GQS's saved GBY in the end, right? Right?!