“No, no! The great khan absolutely mustn’t think that. It’s all our fault for letting thieves sneak through a gap in our defenses. How can mighty khan say that the gods are no longer favoring us?”
“Indeed, noble khan. There must be some trail to the stolen supplies. This servant will immediately take people to investigate and we will find where they’ve gone to! They will not disappear without a trace!”
Now Siqin nodded along. “This khan is relieved upon hearing that. I also believe our nation is still under the gods’ care and that no witchcraft is involved in this. The supplies would not have just disappeared like this.”
As the officials walked out the palace, a cold wind blew over them. The gust suddenly brought awareness of the sweat soaking their backs and that a chill ran throughout their bodies.
Utkin Khan was truly a formidable khan! He didn’t fly into a rage, but just a few of his sentences were even more frightening than the former khan’s full-blown fury.
Even though Utkin Khan wasn’t in a clear temper, they still felt a tremble shake the very depths of their soul. This was the true pressure of a monarch.
Pang Xiao soon received a messenger pigeon, detailing that a significant shipment of Tatar army provisions had vanished without a trace. Siqin’s men were all currently trying to track down the supplies, making it likely for the war to be postponed.
His heart shook when he read the message. Although he had no proof or evidence, nor had he seen it with his own eyes, he was firmly convinced that this had something to do with his beloved Qin Yining.
Siqin was a very capable leader. After rising to power, not only did he treat all of his councilors well, but he even decreased the taxes on the common people and greatly improved the livelihood of slaves. These days, all of the Tatar held Utkin Khan in great esteem.
The cohesion of the Tatars had propelled the nation to its highest peak in the past fifty years.
They wished to start a war to take revenge for Anari, so it was unlikely that people would be tempted to rob the army’s provisions. Siqin would’ve also set up a squadron of elite guards to transport the provisions, so ordinary bandits would find no success.
Thus, Pang Xiao was sure that the theft had been a premeditated strike.
His wife also had the biggest motive in doing this. Delaying the war would greatly relieve the burden on Great Zhou and at the same time, reduce the pressure on him.
He had never been one to doubt Qin Yining’s intelligence or ability. Just knowing that she was still alive had already filled many days with joy. Now knowing that she even had the power left to undertake such a great operation elevated the prince to the clouds.
Pang Xiao quietly went to visit Qin Huaiyuan, whose face broke into a wide smile when he heard the news.
“That chit! Here I was worrying about all the hardships she must’ve gone through outside while she’s off robbing the Tatar army provisions! At least I don’t have to worry about her going hungry now.”
Pang Xiao chuckled along for a bit before going silent, his worries returning.
“What if I’ve guessed wrong and it wasn’t my darling’s doing? Then she might still be starving. It’s also much colder in Tatar territory compared to the capital. Darling Yi grew up in the south so I’m really worried that she won’t be used to it.”
Qin Huaiyan couldn’t help a chuckle as he listened to Pang Xiao fret.
“Don’t worry, I can guarantee that really was my daughter's work. I received a message today from Née Cao on the Tatar frontier. Although she didn’t confirm the news about Daughter Yi and Lu Heng killing Anari, she said they’ve already left the Tatar capital with the Minuo tribe and is currently being pursued by Siqin’s men.”
“The Minuo tribe? It used to be one of Tartar’s strongest tribes. However, there’s apparently not that many healthy, young men left in the tribe after Anari Khan’s persecution.”
“Indeed, it is that tribe. No regime is perfect, there will always be holes that need to be closed. Nowadays, Utkin Khan is highly esteemed amongst his people. He took advantage of Anari Khan’s misdeeds to make himself appear especially benevolent.”
Pang Xiao fell silent.
Siqin’s meticulous planning and methods were truly frightening. He’d started plotting from the day he approached Anari. Even when he helped the late khan seize power, he was just laying the road for his own future. His sinister and methodical schemes were absolutely terrifying.
Pang Xiao couldn’t help but compare the situation to himself.
His wife was a very intelligent and resourceful person, but would only ever help and not harm him. Even when trapped in a dangerous situation, she didn’t forget to lead people and raid Siqin’s supply train to relieve some of his pressure. That didn’t even mention the invaluable help she’d provided at the earthquake disaster zone!
Pang Xiao felt like his heart had been doused with honey.
But the more he felt like this, the more uncontrollable longing nibbled at his mind. If possible, Pang Xiao really wished that Qin Yining could just always stay by his side, where she would remain safe and sound. It was fine if she couldn’t help him, as long as she could safely keep him company.
“With Siqin’s cunningness, it’s very dangerous for my darling to be in Tatar territory.” Pang Xiao frowned, worry locking his features, “If it was possible, I would’ve personally charged into Tatar territory to bring her back myself.”
Qin Huaiyan patted Pang Xiao’s shoulder comfortingly. “Don’t be too worried, things haven’t reached that stage yet. Daughter Yi’s with the Minuo. Even though we still don’t know the details, we can ascertain she is safe for the time being. We currently have a strained relationship with the Tatars, so if you rush in impetuously, it would be no joking matter if the crime of treason is pinned to your head. Don’t forget, your life no longer impacts just yourself.”
Pang Xiao could only smile ruefully. It was because he knew that he still had responsibilities that he couldn’t shirk that all he could do was wait helplessly for news. Otherwise, he would’ve charged into Tatar territory long ago to find her.
While the father and son in-law pair were worrying about Qin Yining, the person in question was jumping with joy and wrapping Cao Yuqing in a tight hug.
“Auntie Cao! You’re safe! Oh, thank goodness!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Omgomg it's Cao Yuqing!!! I've missed her so!