Why had the crowd collectively gasped?
Because high on the stage, Long Feiye had suddenly turned, circled his arm around Han Yunxi’s waist, and pulled her close. His other hand had lifted her chin before he planted an aggressive kiss on her lips. Han Yunxi was first caught off-guard, but didn’t struggle. She quickly circled her hands around Long Feiye’s waist and accepted his kiss before returning it forcefully with her own. This only led him to grow even more wanton and deepen the kiss, which grew more and more passionate until the two of them had neglected the rest of the crowd like air.
If this was any other day, Han Yunxi would have shied from such taboos. But she’d long forgotten everything else to vigorously return Long Feiye’s kiss, afraid that he’d think it wasn’t enough, found it wanting, or unworthy to his demands. As waves of gasps followed their actions, Han Yunxi and Long Feiye held on tightly to each other and kissed as if they were on fire. The sentimental sight was poignant beyond words. They controlled the world while the world watched on, but this time they’d left it behind and only had sights for each other.
They had become each other’s world.
The Cloud Realm Trade Consortium elders could only gape, including Third Elder. After living for so many years, they had never seen such an audacious display. Just what were those two doing?!
Baili Qiyu was beginning to grow perturbed. In his impression, His Highness was someone who acted so unrestrained. He leaned towards the conservative. Had Han Yunxi led him astray?
The only person not looking at the stage at this moment was Mu Qingwu. He was staring at his feet instead. Although it should be the couple onstage who felt bashful, Mu Qingwu’s ears had gone completely red from the sight. He didn’t dare to spare the stage another glance. Fortunately, nobody was paying attention to him, or else Mu Qingwu’s pure innocence would be the next big joke of Hundred Poisons Sect. Just how much determination did it take him to run through the streets with his top bared for Mu Liuyue all those years ago?
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi ended up kissing for a long, long time until they couldn’t even breathe. But Long Feiye only released her long enough for them to catch their breaths before they began kissing in earnest again. If this went on, Han Yunxi was afraid that a certain someone would lose his self-control. Fortunately, he eventually stopped. After releasing Han Yunxi’s lips, he pressed her to his chest before facing the crowd, which instantly grew silent.
A man of action rarely liked to waste words. His deeds just then had told everyone--especially the East and West Qin factions--that he was determined to have Han Yunxi as his woman. Naturally, the alliance between East and West Qin was a certainty as well.
Baili Qiyu was thoroughly silenced, while the elders of Cloud Realm Trade Consortium were still recovering their senses--especially Third Elder, who was still staring blankly onstage. He seemed to have forgotten his entire purpose for coming here. Long Feiye had no time to waste. He was about to take Han Yunxi with him when a man dressed in military attire emerged from the crowd behind the Cloud Realm Trade Consortium elders.
This was none other than Ning Cheng’s most trusted Deputy General Xue.
He was quite conspicuous in his armor emblazoned with “Di” in the front. Although no one recognized him on sight, they knew he was representing the Ning Clan troops.
“Your Royal Highness, neither this soldier nor the Ning Clan troops accept Bai Yanqing’s testimony! This soldier invites Your Royal Highness to make clear distinctions between private feelings and national affairs. By no means should your personal sentiments be confused with matters of reviving the dynasty. Don’t be tricked by others into losing West Qin face.”
What a blunt statement!
Everyone soon quieted down. Han Yunxi’s eyes flashed with a complex expression as she studied Deputy General Xue. She always knew that the true trouble laid not with Cloud Realm Trade Consortium, but the Ning Clan troops. Merchants valued profits, while soldiers valued loyalty. The Council of Elders were old foxes that could size up the situation and judge when to advance or retreat, but the Ning Clan troops wouldn’t compromise so easily. Since Deputy General Xue had already stepped out, it was likely he wouldn’t bow to her status as princess anymore. The Ning Clan troops had only ever followed Ning Cheng, not herself.
Han Yunxi was right. Deputy General Xue’s next words were extremely rude.
He said, “Long Feiye, why didn’t you bring Bai Yanqing down the mountain instead of killing him outright?! Were you harboring a guilty conscience? Afraid that he’d speak the truth? You weren’t killing him to silence him, were you?”
Actually, everyone else had entertained similar doubts, but none of them felt that Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had any reason to act that way. The enmity between East and West Qin were their own as well! Because of this, the two of them had even parted ways in the past. How could they join forces so easily after that? Wouldn’t they just be fooling themselves and the rest of the world? They were the ones who wanted revenge, not the world at large. At most, they were only spectators watching the show.
“Your Royal Highness, don’t turn your back on the West Qin Dynasty or the Di Clan’s loyal devotion!”
“Your Royal Highness, you mustn’t fall for Long Feiye’s lies! He’s been using you this entire time, can’t you tell?”
“Your Royal Highness, just what did Bai Yanqing say? You should know your heart; ask if your conscience is clear!”
Stirred into action, the various elders chimed in with their views to coax her as well. Han Yunxi never expected things to go easy, but she always thought the trade consortium and army would question her in private, not call her out in public!
Were they planning to rebel at this rate?
If she insisted on joining hands with Long Feiye today, the would the Ning Clan troops really revolt?
What would Ning Cheng do if he was here?
Perhaps he’d have the same views as the army and trade consortium. After all, both of them were absolutely loyal to Ning Cheng. Was the Di Clan going to force their sovereign to abdicate in public view?
Or threaten her? So that she had to choose between the Di Clan and Long Feiye?
Despite her misgivings, Han Yunxi still replied calmly, “Deputy General Xue, what do you take this princess for? How could this princess use personal sentiments to forget about national enmity? This princess was a victim as well after the destruction of the West Qin imperial clan. Since childhood, I’ve lodged under another’s roof and lived relying on their charity. I suffered wrongs at the Han estate and wasted 20 years of my life before learning of my origins. This princess remembers it all. If not for the unrest those years, this princess would never have to suffer so much, much less stand here being questioned by all you men! I’m telling you now, the hatred of my clan is the hatred of the West Qin Dynasty! Are you humiliating this princess by suspecting me like this? You’re simply shaming the West Qin imperial clan! What right do you have to doubt this princess? What are your motives?”
Admittedly, Han Yunxi had lied about the “truth,” but her stance now was sincere. The Di Clan spoke repeatedly about how they supported and pledged loyalty to the West Qin imperial clan, but besides Fifth Elder in Myriad Merchant Hall, who amongst their number was truly faithful to their princess? Sovereigns and vassals in these times were like generals and soldiers. The right thing to do was wholly submit to orders, but how was the Di Clan acting like any vassal ought?
Compared to Long Feiye’s control over the East Qin faction, Han Yunxi didn’t feel like a princess at al. She was more akin to a lost royal orphan.
“Deputy General Xue, this princess hasn’t forgotten her grudge. I’ve simply recognized my real enemy! If this princess hadn’t found out the truth today, I would continue to be instigated by others. In return, East and West Qin would never see a day of peace.”
As she spoke, Han Yunxi looked towards the crowd. “Dare I ask, if East and West Qin never found peace, would Cloud Realm Continent find any either? Would the people pass their days in harmony?”
Her words were sonorous and full of strength, lacking any guilty conscience. As she saw it, the past was the past. No matter the person or nation, one had to look forward. Rather than stubbornly cling to old grudges, it was better to live well in the present and create a better future.
People who spent their lives living in the past weren’t purveyors of peace. Broadly speaking, gratitude and grudges, right and wrong were all judged by the same standards: whether or not they brought Cloud Realm Continent peace. The land was one body to begin with and originally belonged to the Great Qin Empire. Only those with motives in mind would seek to stir up trouble and national enmity; the people didn’t care for such things as long as their lives were long-lived and content. With such beliefs powering her words, Han Yunxi looked nothing but calm and self-assured!
Very soon, a cheer rose from the crowd. Mu Qingwu had long lifted his head as well, his lips drawn into a smile. Besides the deeply hidden love he felt for Han Yunxi, there was nothing for admiration. Her words had reached into his very heart! As a military man, he always thought that the true essence of protecting a country didn’t lie with hatred, but the people’s peaceful days. Too many people used the excuse of “defending the country and its peace” to raise war flags when it was only their own self-interests on the line.
Mu Qingwu had clashed with his father many times on the issue and was thoroughly schooled in return. He’d disappointed his father countless more times, but still persisted in his own beliefs. To hear the woman he admired speak such principles today changed his admiration to something closer to worship.
Just like how he worshipped Long Feiye, his respect for Han Yunxi grew a few notches more today. Long Feiye looked at Han Yunxi with some surprise before holding her tighter to express his agreement on her views. She was not only righteous, but intelligent. Once she elevated the conversation to the state of Cloud Realm Continent’s peace, Deputy General Xue would only appear heartless and unjust if he argued any further.
But Deputy General Xue refused to submit all the same. He cupped his hands with a curt “Goodbye!” before turning to leave. The other deputy generals quickly followed after him, along with the Cloud Realm Trade Consortium elders--who didn’t even bother bidding Han Yunxi farewell.
Looking at their retreating backs, Long Feiye murmured, “The Di Clan will definitely rebel!”
Complex feelings flickered past Han Yunxi’s eyes. The Di Clan’s strength equared to that of the entire West Qin faction. If they rebelled, wouldn’t the lands be thrown into chaos?
“I won’t be courteous,” Long Feiye said coldly.
He didn’t even need to waste a single soldier to deal with the Di Clan. It’d be all too easy to cut off their source of revenue considering Myriad Merchant Hall’s current straits. Once they had no money, the Di Clan could last at most a year.
“Long Feiye, no matter what, we can’t waste time on the Di Clan. Jun Yixie and the Northern Li emperor have their eyes on us!” Han Yunxi declared.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
If PGC had a faithful drama adaptation then you bet your beans that kiss scene would've been a perfect ending to a episode haha.
I thought I forgot someone from the West Qin faction...turns out it was their military forces, hehe. I wonder how Medical and Medicine City's taking the news? There's got to be some surprise involved...actually, do they know that Gu Beiyue's back yet? The news was that he'd gone into seclusion, but hopefully someone told the head elder there the truth!
Anyways, wonder how this will affect Ning Cheng's situation with Jun Yixie now. And Bai Yanqing's death! That's gotta hit him hard...