“Long Feiye, let’s never part, alright?” Han Yunxi asked seriously. No matter the reason, she never wanted to leave him again, nor could she ever.
“Who bullied you? Speak!” Long Feiye was more concerned with that.
Who else could bully Han Yunxi like this? She was almost to the point of tears. If she didn’t fear Long Feiye interrogating him for the truth, she would have buried her face in his chest and had a good cry. But what was the point? She wasn’t the one who had suffered such miseries. It was no use even if she cried herself blind. She could only hold him tightly and feel his existence in her arms.
Thank goodness, thank goodness he’d survived. Thank goodness he’d grown stronger instead.
Seeing Han Yunxi’s eyes grow red, Long Feiye turned incensed. His voice changed into ice. “Just what’s going on? Who bullied you? Explain yourself!”
“That’s not it!” Han Yunxi pushed his hand aside and buried her face in his chest. “I just miss you, that’s all. I miss you…”
Han Yunxi wastn’t a clingy type, nor would she act like a spoiled child without reason. Seeing her like this made Long Feiye both anxious and angry. He bent down to cup her face and asked patiently, “Be good, tell me what happened?”
Han Yunxi shook her head and hugged him again like death. No matter how Long Feiye tugged, she refused to budge. Without a choice, he was about to ask Xu Donglin for answers when Han Yunxi let go of him to muffle his mouth.
“Long Feiye, I want to bear your children--a dozen of them, alright?” she asked.
Long Feiye gave a start, then broke into an irresistible smile. Of course that’s alright! But he had to figure out what was going on with this woman first.
“Why? All of a sudden…” his smile grew bitter. “Just what happened to you?”
“I...I saw Ning Jing and Tang Li and I felt miserable,” Han Yunxi could only use that excuse.
Tonight, all of Tang Li’s words had been reported to him by Xu Donglin. The man’s actions had surprised Long Feiye. He predicted that Tang Li would go against the Tang Clan elders as soon as he got his hands on Ning Jing again.
“Why so miserable?” Long Feiye didn’t understand the female heart, but he believed Han Yunxi’s words. Unhappily, he added, “Don’t worry, you won’t lose or get lost.”
“I’ll bear you children, alright?” Han Yunxi asked.
Long Feiye had never seen Han Yunxi so serious before. His lips quirked up in yet another grin as he nodded without hesitation. “As long as you’re willing!” But of course, he didn’t forget to add, “Let’s wait...until after we come back.”
Han Yunxi could hear the apprehension in his words. But she simply blurted out, “I want some right now!”
Long Feiye was mildly startled before he examined her with interest. Did she really understood what he wanted? Sensing his ambiguous gaze, Han Yunxi immediately flushed as she realized she’d spoken too soon. “I didn’t mean--”
“You’re certain you want some...right now?” Long Feiye interrupted.
“No, I’m not…” Han Yunxi couldn’t explain herself.
Long Feiye purposely slowed down his words. “Sure, as long as...you’re willing!”
Han Yunxi was both embarrassed and annoyed. She tried to defend herself. “I’m talking about children! I want children! Not…”
Long Feiye finally broke into laughter as he stroked her hair. “If you don’t want that...how are you supposed to have any children?”
Han Yunxi’s face flushed redder as she was left with no retort. Really, she’d thoroughly lost to him! But thanks to that, her gloomy mood was brightened by this mix of tears, laughter, and anger.
How could this be?
She was the one who ached for him and wanted to give him a hug, but in the end he was the one comforting her and making her smile. Long Feiye...just how do I love you so that I can protect you as well?
Fortunately, Long Feiye dropped his questions, or else Han Yunxi wouldn’t know what to say next. She might as well have dug a pit and buried herself in it.
At nightfall, the group stopped by a small brook at the base of the mountain. Uncle Gao found a large tree and stopped the carriage there before starting up a fire. Xu Donglin went to catch some wild game, while Baili Mingxiang helped to cook the meat. Long Feiye carried Han Yunxi to the stream to change her dressings. The two guards watched with fear from the sidelines, uncertain as to when their poison would react. They only hoped for the princess to offer them the antidote soon.
“How are you planning to deal with those two guards?” Long Feiye murmured. His meaning was that killing them was the best solution since they already knew too much.
Han Yunxi beckoned for the two guards to come. They ran over and respectfully fell to their knees with bowed heads.
“What did the head elder instruct you to do?” Han Yunxi asked.
“The head elder told us subordinates to truthfully report back the situation here. He also told us to protect Your Royal Highness, and to not…” the guard shot Long Feiye a glance, afraid to continue further.
“To not what?” Long Feiye spoke up next. His icy tones sent the guard into a terrible fright as both men grew mute.
“Will you talk or not?” Long Feiye’s warning was enough to spur them into action.
One guard shivered before he finally managed to speak. “To not...to not let the East Qin crown prince approach the princess a single step.”
See Long Feiye’s black face, Han Yunxi secretly grinned to herself. She wanted to warn the two guards, but Long Feiye simply said, “You’ve seen it yourselves, it was the West Qin princess who called for this crown prince.”
The two guards hastily shook their heads while waving their hands. “No, no, no, we subordinates didn’t see a thing.”
“Your Royal Highness and the East Qin crown prince traveled in separate carriages while we subordinates accompanied the princess at all times. The East Qin crown prince didn’t approach the princess a single step!”
“Are you sure?” Long Feiye asked.
The two guards nodded in fear, “Sure, for certain! That’s how it went! We’ll report it truthfully to the head elder!”
These guards weren’t complete idiots. With Long Feiye’s warning, Han Yunxi didn’t have to instruct them at all. Very soon, one of them whistled for a hawk and under Long Feiye’s gaze, wrote a “truthful” account for the head elder. Han Yunxi tossed them the antidote and said, “Remember to ask me for antidote again in two days, or else…”
She trailed off on purpose until the two guards were left ashen-white. Once they were set, the couple grew more casual for the rest of the trip. Meanwhile, the head elder’s last lingering doubts were dispelled as well. After an hour of rest, the group resumed its travels. Long Feiye had already deployed men to Hundred Poisons Sect, so they didn’t have time to delay. Before they set off, he couldn’t resist remarking, “I thought you wouldn’t deal with those guards so fast.”
Han Yunxi didn’t try to puzzle out his meaning, but simply replied, “I was impatient.”
Long Feiye never expected her to be so blunt. He arched a brow and felt that something was still off. Thankfully, Han Yunxi snuggled up to him next to peer at the map in his hands, successfully distracting him. As she studied the picture, she chatted with him without mentioning a word of how she’d learned about his past. In his embrace, she felt content and eventually fell asleep.
That night, they traveled over the mountain and kept heading southwest, never knowing that two others were climbing the same peak and traveling northeast. The two groups passed by each other while remaining completely oblivious.
And that second group was made up of none other than Gu Qishao and Gu Beiyue.
Gu Qishao was the only man in the world apart from the Long Feiye x Han Yunxi tag-team who could kill Bai Yanqing’s poison guards and survive. That night, the moon shone bright as it enveloped the forest. Gu Qishao and Gu Beiyue were both galloping on horseback through the woods. One was dressed in bewitching red robes with fluttering wide sleeves that waved wildly in the wind: wanton, reckless, and filled with joy! One was dressed in snow-white robes like a celestial, gentle as water. Even the scarlet hues of his companion couldn’t affect him, ever serene like an April spring breeze capable of placating the world. Their figures were like twin dragons entwining themselves through the trees as they travelled along the narrow pathways.
By the dawn’s first light, they came to a stop at the base of the mountain.
“Doctor Gu, here!” Gu Qishao tossed over a canteen. Despite galloping all night, there was no trace of exhaustion on his features. Under the sunlight, he looked as energetic as ever.
Accepting the canteen, Gu Beiyue drank a few sips and smiled. “You can just call me Beiyue.”
“Forget it, I should just call you Gū Yue (孤月). Your surname’s not Gu (顾) to begin with,” Gu Qishao arched a brow.
Thanks to Gu Beiyue’s secret letter, he had searched through all of the suspicious mountain gorges until finding the man and rescuing him. The whole way back, Gu Beiyue had told him the truth about his alliance with Long Feiye. Gu Qishao had yet to express his views on the issue, while the last two days and nights had been spent galloping all the way here. Thank goodness he had long cured Gu Beiyue’s poison, or else the man would never have lasted.
“A name is only something to call one by, so do as you like,” Gu Beiyue didn’t mind. His complexion was much better after recovering from the poison. Despite being able to call for a break in the last two days, he remained silent and accompanied Gu Qishao to the end. Galloping away was a type of catharsis as well. Some people needed things like that to get rid of their heartaches. He wouldn’t forget the beautiful, brilliant smile that Gu Qishao had worn upon seeing him, nor how his eyes had dimmed after Gu Beiyue had finished telling him the truth.
The moment they met, Gu Qishao had be splattered in blood as he declared, “Doctor Gu, come with me. We’ll save Poison lass together! We’ll help her revive her dynasty and conquer the world!”
And yet he hadn’t spoken a word until now after the reality was laid bare. Gu Beiyue couldn’t figure out Gu Qishao’s stance on the East vs West Qin conflict, or whether he even trusted Long Feiye. But he had to be disappointed.
Gu Qishao thought things over a bit before waving his hand impatiently. “Forget it, forget it! Since Poison lass calls you Doctor Gu, I’ll just follow what she does!”
He looked towards the north and yawned. “The Three-Way Black Market is right up ahead. We’ll be there in a day’s time.”
Gu Beiyue only remarked, “Qishao, if the princess chooses to believe the East Qin crown prince, then you…”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Don't forget to vote in the bonus chapters strawpoll (link in announcement post)! I'll leave it up for a week or so while I, ahem, stockpile... ^-^;;
Think I still owe you all a chapter before I'm caught up with normal releases again, so hang tight~