Mu Linger had no idea that Manager Jin was heading north to meet with Ning Cheng. Seeing him stunned, she figured there was a chance and quickly added more details. “Manager Jin, you should know what Myriad Merchant Hall means to the Di Clan! I’m not tricking you. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Ning Jing too! My big sis helped Myriad Merchant Hall subdue the mess at the auction halls and gambling houses. Those elders have all been convinced by her deeds!”
Manager Jin’s gaze grew complicated. If Han Yunxi was in control of Myriad Merchant Hall, then what about Ning Cheng? If a gap existed between those two, then the Di Clan would definitely defer to Ning Cheng. He was the clan head, after all. Manager Jin didn’t tell Uncle Cheng about this. After they checked over all the cloth strips and verified there was none missing, they continued traveling overnight towards Northern Li’s Sky River City. Yet the very next day, they heard news from the town that East and West Qin had formed an alliance!
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were joining hands to deal with the Wind Clan’s Bai Family and the Hundred Poisons Sect. They wanted the Wind Clan to explain just who was at fault for the original civil war, East or West Qin. It was even the Di Clan’s Myriad Merchant Hall’s Council of Elders who had publicized the news. Only then did Manager Jin believe Mu Linger’s words.
“Ning Cheng must know about this too,” Manager Jin probed.
“Heheh, Han Yunxi is simply making things difficult for herself! Don’t you worry, Ning Cheng would never yield to her again!” Uncle Cheng said coldly.
Mu Linger and Ning Jing were confined in the carriage and failed to hear the news. But if Ning Jing did, she might have been very happy. Myriad Merchant Hall’s news spread across Cloud Realm Continent, so Jun Yixie got wind of it long ago.
Slam! He threw a secret missive in front of Ning Cheng that told of Cloud Realm Trade Consortium’s elders and the Ning Clan troops’ deputy generals all rushing their way to Hundred Poisons Sect. Ning Cheng flipped through the contents before saying coldly, “Isn’t that just perfect? They’ll help you get rid of Bai Yanqing.”
At this, Jun Yixie clenched his fists until his knuckles cracked. He wouldn’t allow anyone to get in between him and his master’s affairs. Bai Yuqiao might fear him, but Ning Cheng didn’t. He only gave a cold snort. “Jun Yixie, you should be rejoicing that Bai Yanqing didn’t come to Northern Li. Otherwise, you’d be even more pathetic now!”
“Enough!” Jun Yixie overturned the letters on the table and roared, “Ning Cheng, Han Yunxi’s assumed control of your Di Clan’s treasury. How are you supposed to work with me now?” That was his main point of concern.
But Ning Cheng was unaffected. “In the Di Clan, it’s always the clan head’s words that count!”
“Haven’t you already smoothed things over? Why didn’t the Council of Elders consuilt with you about something so drastic?” Jun Yixie drew close to demand.
Ning Cheng slowly pushed him away. “Jun Yixie, I was kidnapped by Bai Yuqiao. As long as they investigated the remains of Blacktower, they’ll guess as much too! Do you think they’ll believe a single letter without confirming my safety first?”
Jun Yixie seemed to realize something as his expression shifted.
Coldly, Ning Cheng continued. “Jun Yixie, if 30,000 battle horses head south, the Di Clan will definitely believe that I’m safe and sound. They would rather listen to Han Yunxi right now than a letter with dubious origins! Don’t you even think of gaining a single rice bucket from that.”
“You’re threatening me!” Jun Yixie snarled.
“Yes!” Ning Cheng admitted it openly.
“Don’t forget your life is in my hands!” Jun Yixie raged.
“You could always kill me,” Ning Cheng looked indifferent. Of course, with Jun Yixie’s personality, the man would have killed him long ago if he was capable of such a thing.
“Heheh, kill you? I can’t afford to do that! Your life is worth at least a billion,” In other words, Jun Yixie meant to use Ning Cheng to exchange for the Di Clan.
“If you think it’s worth it, why don’t you give it a try?” Ning Cheng was as steady as Mt. Tai.
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye’s alliance was a big help to him, because the cooperation between East and West Qin would force Jun Yixie to a corner like a trapped dog. His letter to Uncle Cheng had been written precisely because he knew the man usually had objections against Han Yunxi. Again and again, he’d tried to coax him to turn his back on the West Qin Dynasty. After Han Yunxi injured his eye, he’d written a single sentence with enough meaning to elicit Uncle Cheng’s guesses. If he gambled right, then Uncle Cheng wouldn’t tell anyone in the Di Clan of his whereabouts and come to find him in person, just so he could coax him into allying with Jun Yixie. With Uncle Cheng here to put on an act in his place, it would be easy enough to win Jun Yixie’s trust.
Jun Yixie was truly panicking now. He narrowed his eyes at Ning Cheng while the man simply sat down and stated, “I don’t mind telling you this, but Han Yunxi and Long Feiye still have lingering feelings. That woman has long abandoned the idea of reviving the dynasty and even the East-West enmity between the two countries won’t stop her. Instead, it’s Myriad Merchant Hall’s Council of Elders that’s been led by their noses! Jun Yixie, you don’t have much time. Think it over carefully!”
Jun Yixie finally understood. Ning Cheng was playing a game of chess against him with the entire Di Clan. If he could yield 30,000 battle horses, then Ning Cheng would show himself and assume control of the Di Clan; otherwise, he would rather hand the clan over to Han Yunxi than cooperate. In the end, Ning Cheng wanted those horses first before giving him soldiers’ pay and provisions. Their original plan of money for horses had already put Jun Yixie on guard, but he never expected things would change so drastically in the span of a few days. Just how did Han Yunxi control the Council of Elders in Myriad Merchant Hall? And how did she get the Di Clan to agree to her alliance with Long Feiye?
It had been ages since he saw her, but she’d grown by leaps and bounds!
Hand over the horses first, then get pay and provisions… Jun Yixie thought to himself while weighing his options. Whether or not he could afford the risk, Ning Cheng’s attitude, and just how much was truth or falsehood all went through his head. He didn’t reply the man immediately, but only declared coldly, “Just wait! I’ll think it over carefully!”
Once Jun Yixie left the tent, he saw Bai Yuqiao approaching him. The sight of her annoyed him to no end, thanks to all of the details she’d told him about their master. But still he asked icily, “Has Su Xiaoyu confessed?”
“Not yet. That girl’s got a hard mouth,” Bai Yuqiao admitted. She had interrogated Su Xiaoyu multiple times for the whereabouts of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion.
“There’s plenty of torture tools at the horse farms. What now, you still can’t get any answers?” Jun Yixie asked.
“Senior brother, if we kill her, then we won’t get any answers at all. Moreover, Han Yunxi treats everyone by her side well. That girl’s followed her for so long that she can count as a hostage too,” Bai Yuqiao analyzed carefully. This was reminding Jun Yixie that if his deal with Ning Cheng fell through, they could still work something out using Su Xiaoyu. Right now, his mind was in a mess, so he simply flicked his sleeves and stalked off.
Bai Yuqiao watched his retreating form and began to worry. Now that Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were linking hands to challenge Hundred Poisons Sect, would her senior brother impulsively rush over to help in the heat of the moment? Han Yunxi’s poison skills were consummate and mysterious, enough to put her on par with master. Long Feiye’s martial arts skills were probably the top in all of Cloud Realm Continent. The two of them together meant their master would have no chance of winning, thus putting Hundred Poisons Sect in danger. Master was so crafty that he might never show his face, while senior brother held deep feelings for Hundred Poisons Sect. If master didn’t show up and senior brother did, then wouldn’t that mean…
Bai Yuqiao didn’t dare to finish that thought. She told herself to keep an eye on him in the coming days no matter what so he wouldn’t do something he’d regret. She prepared to follow after him when a soldier suddenly ran over. “Miss Yu’er, something’s happened to the prisoner in the cell!”
“What’s going on?” Bai Yuqiao grew alarmed.
“The servant delivering the meals didn’t pay attention, so that girl slammed her head on the ground. The doctor’s already rushing over to save her!” the soldier said,
“Damn it!” Bai Yuqiao immediately headed for the prisoners. Su Xiaoyu was lying there unconscious when she arrived, while the doctor was busy treating the wound on her head. After being kidnapped, Su Xiaoyu had refused to say a word or drink a sip and was simply waiting for death. Bai Yuqiao was not only helpless before her actions, but had to take extra pains to make sure she didn’t kill herself. She just didn’t understand: why would a young girl like this be so stubborn and ruthless? Did she really not fear death?
Once the doctor finished treating the wound, Bai Yuqiao dismissed everyone and stood guard over Su Xiaoyu herself. She began to wonder just what would it take for the girl to betray Han Yunxi. She had already sent people to investigate her background. If they could figure out her origins and find her family, then that might be enough to blackmail her. Unfortunately, there had been no clues yet.
An orphan was like a person without shoes. They wouldn’t fear anyone with shoes. Bai Yuqiao understood that kind of fearless apathy all too well, because she was an orphan too. As long as she was clothed and fed, she had no worries or cares, which meant she had no fears when it came to risking everything. To Su Xiaoyu, Han Yunxi meant as much to her as her senior brother did to herself. That was the sole thing they worried over, the only person they’d sacrifice everything for. Thinking up to here, Bai Yuqiao couldn’t help but wonder. Suppose…
Suppose, one day, she found her missing little sister? Would that little sister replace senior brother in her heart?
But instead of continuing that train of thought, she summoned a guard to continue watch. “Keep a good eye on her. If anything else happens, your life is forfeit!” After that, she went to her senior brother’s tent. Since last night, she’d been secretly hiding outside to keep watch overnight.
There were seven days until Han Yunxi and Long Feiye’s appointed attack on Hundred Poisons Sect, which meant Bai Yuqiao was in for a long watch. Currently, the couple were still traveling overnight to their destination. Myriad Merchant Hall had already spread news of their alliance, while they had already sent a letter of challenge to Hundred Poisons Sect.
All was ready except for the last crucial step!
“Long Feiye, do you think Bai Yanqing’s already brought Gu Beiyue to Hundred Poisons Sect?” Han Yunxi asked with interested. She’d rather they were there this instant so she could have a real fight with Long Feiye by her side. They’d defeat Bai Yanqing utterly!
Long Feiye lazily raised his hand and stroked her head. He was in a good mood as he chuckled, “If he plays the same trick again, will you fall for it?”
Last time at Tianning’s imperial palace, she and Ning Cheng had trapped Bai Yanqing. But her heart wasn’t ruthless enough to take the last step, and relented when Bai Yanqing used Gu Beiyue to threaten her. When comparing aces, the one with the steadier heart won. Han Yunxi had never lost except to Bai Yanqing.
“I won’t be tricked if you’re there,” Han Yunxi said. She trusted Long Feiye to be vicious enough to stand his ground. She already trusted him to be different from Ning Cheng, who wanted to sacrifice Gu Beiyue.
She was rather looking forward to the moment Long Feiye faced off against Bai Yanqing.
Long Feiye laughed out loud and said, “Han Yunxi, I’ll tell you a bit a good news. Want to hear?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter