Chapter 124: Fainting from Anger
Qin Yining looked back from shock when she heard the familiar voice. The sight of Pang Xiao in a dazzling purple robe embroidered with python patterns, a cloak with a black fur collar flung around his shoulders, mounted majestically on the back of a gleaming, tall black horse greeted her eyes. He walked out of the crowd at the head of a dozen Valiant Tigers like he was parting the seas, the people on either side swiftly getting out of the way. The red flag with ‘Pang’ embroidered on it in black as well as the black Valiant Tigers flag with the golden tiger head on it was unfurled and waving proudly in the wind.
Qin Yining, Bingtang, and Songlan were guided off to the side by the tall men so that they cleared a path for the new group. Pang Xiao steered his horse forward and brandished a large bow in one hand, the cocky assurance of looking down on the entire world in his eyes.
“What, killing my mother-in-law just after we finished the peace talks? Go ask your emperor if he wants another war, mm?!” Pang Xiao’s voice was low and resonant. He didn’t put much force behind it, but it still carried nonetheless. His last ‘mm’ had dense threatening overtones, making everyone shake on the scene.
The crowd had been agitated outside of the Meridian Gate moments ago, but now deafening silence reigned in their wake. Only the sounds of flags cracking in the wind could be heard. The people backed off fearfully and cleared a large space. The men protecting Qin Yining melted into the crowd, like their mission had been completed.
A charming girl with two maids stood in front of a group of citizens, standing out like a crane amongst chickens. Pang Xiao looked at Qin Yining and flicked his eyebrow in a smile, then looked back at the official.
“Are you the Great Zhou Faithful Prince of the First Rank?” The official asked in a dry and raspy voice as he’d led his men up to Pang Xiao.
Pang Xiao answered with a crack of his whip. It sounded cleanly and grazed the official’s shoulder, making him cry out with pain.
“Who the hell are you to talk to this prince? Get your emperor out here!” Pang Xiao flipped off the horse and casually threw the bow and whip backwards. Huzi hastily made sure he caught them.
The official clutched his shoulder, blood streaming out of it and painfully sucked in air. He hastily had someone run to the palace with a report.
Meanwhile, Pang Xiao took quick strides over to Qin Yining. The citizens were all enraged by his boldness, but didn’t dare voice their indignation at his arrogance. They glared at Pang Xiao with looks concealing rage. Even if they had a trash emperor, Great Zhou couldn’t just come to their territory to bully them, alright!
However, the prince seemed to enjoy the looks. He arched an eyebrow at the official, scaring the latter so much that he scrambled backwards and fell to the ground in a heap. It was such a pathetic scene that no one could bear looking at him. The people felt that their officials were too weak and started conversing lowly.
Pang Xiao laughed delightfully and walked up to Qin Yining, taking off his cloak with the black fur collar to put it around Qin Yining.
“Look at how cold you are, you must have been terrified?” A smile could be heard from his tone as his eyes looked on with great care.
“I wouldn’t dare have Your Highness worry about me.” Qin Yining raised a hand to shrug off the cloak, but the prince’s large hand covered hers.
“You’re so worn out after coming back just a few days? It looks like I shouldn’t have let you come back.” Weichi old dog, how dare you bully my woman! She’s someone I can’t even bear to touch a hair of, look how she is just a few days after returning to the capital!
Qin Yining raised her eyes, involuntarily shuddering when she met the wildness and violence lingering in his eyes. She quickly struggled out of his grip and took two steps back, yanking off the cloak that still had traces of his warmth and threw it back to him.
“This little girl doesn’t remember when she’d become so familiar with Your Highness. Please keep an appropriate distance!”
Pang Xiao’s expression chilled after being rejected twice in a row. He’d whipped his horse to get here faster because he was afraid that she would suffer. Well she’s doing just fine! Look at how cold she was being to him; she hadn’t even smiled at him. What was she taking him for?! His brows were knit together tightly as frost surfaced in his gaze. He clamped down tightly on his temper as he glared at Qin Yining, his anger almost erupting.
Qin Yining tensed all over from the glare. It felt like a wild fox had fixed her in his sights. She had no doubt that Pang Xiao could break her neck at any second, but she couldn’t back down. Although she was grateful that he’d saved her a few times, she was also immensely infuriated by the random, impertinent nonsense he’d sprouted. Her name was even tied to his now! With that paranoid emperor, if he clapped a title of ‘traitor’ onto Qin Huaiyuan, then the Qins would follow in the Suns footsteps. So how would she dare express any hint of acceptance of the situation? Besides, their relationship had always been of Pang Xiao imposing his will on her and taking what he would!
She pursed her lips and glared back at him with all the strength in her body, like she was staring down a lecher offending her. Pang Xiao’s anger faded as he looked down at her skinny, palm-sized face. She was still very weak, but here she was firmly sticking her neck out and going toe-to-toe with him. He walked up again and put his cloak around her with a dark expression, tying a bow at her neck.
“I’ll take you back with me immediately if you keep turning me down like this!” He spat out through grit teeth.
His voice wasn’t loud, but the crowd around them heard it clearly. Besides, he was dressed in such a dazzling shade of purple, the python figures catching the sunlight in a splendid design. Barely repressed fury was apparent on his handsome features, and he’d bent down his tall body to accommodate her height. Those hands who were more accustomed to wielding weapons and reaping life were carefully securing a cloak around a little girl.
The scene was too beautiful and also too bizarre. The buzz of conversation grew even louder.
“You!” Qin Yining felt under the spotlight with all the gazes being sent her way. Her wan face grew even paler and her lips started trembling.
“What you?! This prince has a temper as well! Don’t challenge my bottom line just because you think you have a pretty face!”
What the hell is he talking about?! She was a clean and pure girl and had never seduced him, but she’d never be able to claim innocence after those words! Qin Yining’s head spun from anger and the scene darkened before her eyes. She hadn’t slept all night and had spent the days in anxiety and anger. Now that the first of her monthly courses were upon us, her self-professed tough-as-nails body actually softened into a dead faint with all of this hammering away at her.
“What’s wrong!” Pang Xiao was incredibly startled by this sudden development and quickly caught her. His large hand patted her cool cheeks and felt her slightly chilled forehead. He turned frantically to Bingtang. “What’s wrong with your mistress?”
Bingtang glared furiously at Pang Xiao and cursed lowly. “How dare you ask after you made her so angry that she fainted!”
Pang Xiao looked at the person leaning against his shoulder with some guilt. Her face appeared even more pale when framed by the black fur collar of the cloak and the vivid purple of his robes. Her long lashes projected long shadows beneath her eyes. She seemed so soft and docile at the moment that his entire heart softened. His anger was a thing of the past now. I shouldn’t have been mean to her just now.
The scattered sounds of carriages sounded at this moment. Pang Xiao carefully picked up Qin Yining and placed her on the army blanket that Huzi had laid on the ground, handing her over to Bingtang’s care. He turned with his hands behind his back to await the newcomer.
An emperor dressed in golden robes was hurrying over, surrounded by servants, his empress, crown prince, and Qin Huaiyuan. The sight stunned the crowds. A single word from a prince of Great Zhou had been enough to actually summon the imperial family? They were incredibly disappointed by still had to kneel and cry out, “Long live the emperor!”
The emperor had no eyes for anyone else. He was focused on the young man with an aura as sharp as a newly unsheathed sword. The young man’s eyes were like knives, slicing all over him. Even with his tall and strong body, the emperor shrank into himself a few degrees when in front of Pang Xiao.
“This must be the Great Yan emperor? This prince greets you.” Pang Xiao raised a cupped fist salute, the very epitome of a careless greeting.
The emperor however, didn’t mind at all and smiled back. “The Faithful Prince of First Rank’s magnificent name is known throughout the lands. Even We have heard of it in the capital. To see you in the flesh verifies such rumors. What brings Your Highness to the Great Yan capital?”
Pang Xiao snorted derisively. “With a successful peace talk, Great Zhou and Yan are friends again. I’d thought that given a lack of war between the two in the future, we should build cordial relations. But who knew I’d see such a grand spectacle as soon as I’d set foot into the capital? Dare I ask if the Great Yan emperor is dissatisfied with the negotiations, which is why you’re executing the wife of the chief negotiator from your nation?”
Beads of cold sweat dotted the emperor’s forehead after such arrogant and direct words.
Pang Xiao: I think I made the bunny mad… Wuwuwu…
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