Chapter 281: Heartfelt Outpouring (I)
Qin Yining sat up straight and peered into the distance, her eyes flitting between a myriad of tents and soldiers to search for that familiar figure. Individual faces sharpened into clarity as the distance closed between the cart and the Great Zhou encampment.
She first saw a delighted Huzi and Jiyun, then a man in black war robes charge out of a central military tent, screeching to a halt behind Huzi. She couldn’t help but smile when she saw a foolishly happy expression dawn on the usually domineering and fiercely proud man.
Pang Xiao forced himself to stand still, to maintain his mature and dependable bearing, but his heart pounded from rampaging emotions like he’d gone berserk in a battlefield all day. No, perhaps he wouldn’t be so agitated even after storming the fields.
His darling’s smiling face, pretty as a flower, made it feel like someone was scratching at his heart. An answering grin spread over his face. If it weren’t for so many people around him and the need to maintain an authoritative bearing, he would’ve sprinted over a long time ago.
Firmly stomping down the glee and delight overflowing his heart, Pang Xiao walked up to meet the cart in a stoic, reserved manner.
The Valiant Tigers on either side of him may not have realized that something was off with their leader, but bodyservant Huzi had been chewing the insides of his cheeks for a while, holding back laughter.
Your Highness, you’re walking so very quickly!
Your Highness, is your fist clenched so tightly from nerves, or do you want to punch someone?
When the little eunuch driving the mule cart saw a tall, muscular, intimidating man striding over, he felt this must be demon Pang. He almost peed himself with fright and stiffly made the cart stop a long distance aways, jumping off to kneel to the side. He trembled like a leaf with his forehead on the ground.
How would Pang Xiao have any thought to spare for others? His eyes saw only Qin Yining right now. “You’re here.”
Qin Yining nodded with a smile and alighted from the cart, about to sink to the ground in the grand gesture of greeting. “Greetings to Your Highness.”
Pang Xiao wouldn’t stand for the slightest bit of abuse to her. He pulled her up to his side before her knees had even bent, taking out a red bean bracelet from his clothes. A red, knotted design adorned it, and he carefully tied the bracelet in an exquisite bow around her wrist again.
The girl tilted her head up to look at his intensely concentrating expression, warm mist gathering in her eyes.
Placing her plain hand in his large, tanned, and rough palms, Pang Xiao admired the sight for a moment before rubbing her head lovingly. “Let’s go, let’s chat when we’re inside.” He tugged her back to the tents.
Upon seeing their leader come back openly holding the beautiful girl’s hand, the Valiant Tigers parted ways with unspoken accord. Despite how coarsely and plainly she was dressed, the girl looked tender and fragile, her cheeks bursting with a shy blush. Closer peeks revealed that she was the one who’d come to the peace talks!
Some of them remembered a half-dressed prince in the middle of the night, planting his hands on his hips and arrogantly declaring, “You’ll be mine sooner or later!”
Several Elite Tigers recalled when the prince had led them into the Great Yan capital to raid the execution grounds at the Meridian Gate.
Their prince was a real man, a true man alright! What kind of woman couldn’t he get? Just look at this! The beauty had submitted to him!
“Whoo! Aw yeah! Your Highness is mighty! Your Highness is glorious!” Cheers and whistles started up half a beat later. The soldiers applauded loudly and catcalled, all of them in high spirits.
Pang Xiao didn’t stop them, and even smiled generously at some nearby lieutenants. “This is your princess consort. Come greet her when it’s our wedding.”
“Understood, Your Highness!” The lieutenants smiled and snapped off salutes. “We’ll make sure to come with a hefty red envelope!”
Pang Xiao laughed heartily and pulled Qin Yining into his tent.
The raucous crowd grew even louder. She could hear Huzi harry them away. “Go on, get! Go do whatever you’re supposed to be doing. Stop making trouble here. Have you finished everything that the prince has told you to do…”
She was so embarrassed that she wanted to find a hole to burrow into. Who knew what they would think was going on in the tent!
“What was all that just now! When did I say I was going to marry you!” She yanked her hand free and turned around, refusing to look at him. “I’m going to go lift the door curtain.”
“Wait.” Pang Xiao embraced her with heartache when he saw her thin frame. His lips landed on her earlobes, neck, and cheeks. “Who else are you going to marry if not me? I don’t care, everyone knows you’re mine. Your own emperor sent you to me, so no one from even Great Yan can object.”
Qin Yining was held fast in his embrace. His lips had slightly peeled from dryness; the friction on her sensitive ears and neck made her shiver. She twisted her body around. “Stop that, there’s people outside.”
“So this means I can do whatever I want when there’s no one around?” Pang Xiao started, then chuckled lowly. He blew hot air on her bright-red ears, making her bury her face in his shoulder.
“You’re awful.” Qin Yining’s face was crimson. “I’m not talking to you.”
“Not talking? Then we’ll do something else. You say I’m awful, so why don’t you check my mouth for me and see if it’s really that bad?”
Pang Xiao clutched her shoulders and lowered his head, seeking her lips. He pressed down urgently, sucking and tasting heatedly, probing for every sensitive spot within her lips.
It wasn’t their first kiss, but it was one of Pang Xiao’s most passionate.
Qin Yining was a floating leaf being tossed to and fro on enormous waves. She instinctively twined her slender arms around his strong neck, molding her soft body with his tensed and rigid frame. Pang Xiao ran his hands across her back, then hoisted her up by her bottom.
To prevent herself from falling, Qin Yining had to clamp her legs around his waist. But this position was really too mortifying! Since her lips were tyrannically preoccupied, she could only beat his shoulders out of chagrin and push him away forcefully.
Pang Xiao was delighted by the beating and refused to stop kissing her no matter how she hit him. He didn’t let go until her lips were slightly swollen, then pecked her twice more out of lingering desire.
Qin Yining panted with a reddened face, lowering her eyes and refusing to look at him. “Aren’t you going to let go of me yet?” she whispered.
Her voice was even more soft than usual. The beauty in his arms, and so adorably bashful at that, made Pang Xiao’s heart itch and desire rear his head. He really wanted to do what every fiber of his being wanted to do!
But in the end, he wasn’t that sort of person. Qin Yining was his treasure, and he didn’t condescend women like most men of the age did. His actions towards Qin Yining were powered with emotion, but also tempered by courtesy.
“Alright, we’ll really go too far if I keep holding you.” Pang Xiao placed her on his bed, remembering to tease her all the while. He kissed her on the forehead before sitting down next to her.
Qin Yining wordlessly shifted a bit away from him before responding, “I didn’t think you’d use that kind of method to rescue me. Aren’t you afraid that the emperor will hate you?”
“So what if he does? Am I scared of him?” Pang Xiao chuckled and pulled over her bracelet wearing hand. “This period has been tough on you. Jiyun and Bingtang’s told me everything. It’s all my fault that you’ve gone hungry and suffered like this.”
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