“Your Highness speaks very rightly.” Li Guanwen cast a touching look at Pang Xiao. “Your Highness is the one who looks after His Majesty in the end. This servant serves next to His Majesty all day and understands his painstaking toils the best. Don’t worry, Your Highness, I will do my best to serve His Majesty well.”
“There is nothing for this prince to worry over with Overseer Li at the emperor’s side. I’ll be off now.” Pang Xiao raised a polite cupped fist to Li Guanwen and left with large strides.
The eunuch remained in place, sending the prince off with his eyes before returning to the imperial study with a smile. He casually relayed Pang Xiao’s concern of the emperor.
Li Qitian flashed a quick smile when he heard. He didn’t seem to take it to heart, and certainly didn’t view it seriously.
By the time Pang Xiao returned to his manor with Huzi, Qin Yining had already received word that she was to join the relief mission.
The news had come too quickly, making her pause with confusion. But when Li Qitian’s little plots and schemes were revealed, she quickly grasped the web of connections.
Since it was an imperial decree, there was nothing to be done about it. Besides, it suited her just fine to accompany her husband. If the emperor hadn’t sent her, she would’ve found a way to disguise herself and stay by Pang Xiao’s side anyways. It wasn’t because she couldn’t bear to part so soon after the wedding, but that there was no way this mission was anything as simple as just emergency relief.
Qin Yining summoned Jiyun and whispered orders. “Pay a visit to Steward Zhong and tell him that I’d like to use the spices that I had him buy from Missus Liao a while back. Ask him to arrange a meeting between the two of us. Also make a trip back home and tell my father that I’d like to see Madame Cao.”
A serious expression snapped onto Jiyun’s face and she swiftly set off to carry out her orders.
Having stood by the door for a while, Pang Xiao heard everything his wife said. He drew close with a smile. “What spices would you like? We have a lot of seasonings and bait in the storehouses. I’ll have them deliver it all to you later.”
The princess consort tweaked Pang Xiao’s earlobes with amusement when she heard his words. His earlobes were full and well rounded—a sign of good fortune, and they were surprisingly soft!
The touch of them was addicting. “I don’t want any spices. Do you know about Azure Justice?”
Pang Xiao wrapped his arm around her waist and buried his face into her shoulder. He responded tenderly, “Of course.”
“Missus Liao is from the alliance. She’s my contact with the various hallmasters.”
“My darling, are you…”
“You know I’m the alliance head of Azure Justice, right? Great Yan is no more, so most of the members have reentered the yellow registers. They are now reformed citizens of Great Zhou. But the leaders of Azure Justice will only be viewed as traitors and troublemakers, no matter who sits on the throne. Thus, none of them are named in the yellow registers and they don’t have any legal status. They don’t dare show themselves and can only conduct a bit of business on the Tartar border.”
The prince was enormously touched that his darling would reveal her trump card to him, holding absolutely nothing back. Setting aside how capable she was, this degree of trust and sincerity was highly moving.
He felt like he was immersed in a pool of warm water, and that water was his beloved’s embrace.
He nuzzled her cheek with his and blew into her ear. “Do you have some arrangements in mind, given that you’ve called upon Azure Justice?”
Aroused by his actions, Qin Yining burrowed into his arms and panted softly. “I’m just taking precautious because I think something’s up with this trip. The emperor must have something else planned, and it has to do with the treasure.
“The men accompanying you this time are all Dragon Riders. With the emperor’s paranoia, he won’t let you command the troops by yourself. He’ll arrange for an enormous plant within the men and have him work with you. That’ll be his way of controlling you.
“That would also be too passive for us. I don’t want you to be exposed to their blades.”
Pang Xiao flashed a gratified grin. “My wife is so smart and capable that I don’t want to be a prince anymore. I just want to be a stay-at-home husband and spend my days flirting and taking advantage of you. I’ll depend on you for everything. Wouldn’t that be just wonderful!”
Qin Yining could hear the tones of seriousness within his voice. She understood that it wasn’t her husband not being ambitious, but that he was too tired.
“We’ll have that chance in the future. At that time, we’ll move to someplace where no one will disturb us and live that kind of life.”
“So I can take advantage of you however I wish?” Once again very touched, Pang Xiao couldn’t help but tease his wife.
A bright blush developed at that rejoinder, and Qin Yining twisted her husband’s ear. “We’re talking about serious matters now! Why be like this.”
Seeing that even the nape of her neck was bright red, the prince relented with a smile. “Alright, alright, I’ll stop teasing you. I understand your desire to contact Azure Justice. The Madame Cao of your father’s guard must be your once-auntie.”
“Mmhmm. You probably already know that she’s the leader of the Silver Masks. Daxue and the others who serve me are all Silver Masks too. I’d like those from Azure Justice and Silver Masks to aid us from the shadows. You and your Elite Tigers will likely be under heavy surveillance from the Dragon Riders. It would be too passive to have no one you can rely on.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Alright, bring it you annoying Li Qitian! We're ready for you!
And! Updates were a bit slow lately because... I finished SOTR two days ago. (!!!!) Finally not juggling two novels (for all of a week XD)!