The sincerely passionate look in Uncle Alham's eyes moved Qin Yining greatly.
"Uncle Alham, I mean that we shouldn't alarm the tribe yet. My comrade here can sense Second Master Lu's general direction, so let’s go and check on him first. As for the camp, how about we leave the brothers in charge here while you come with us?"
Qin Yining took a few things into consideration: if she didn't bring someone from the Minuo tribe, one misstep would have the others suspecting her of running away as well. There would be nothing to gain from such an outcome. She had spent so much time with the tribe that she’d come to greatly respect their sincerity and passion. She would never leave without saying goodbye. Since she had no such intentions, she naturally had to prevent others from misunderstanding her.
Uncle Alham didn't consider quite as much, merely saying, "Then let me take a couple of brothers who don't have loose lips. We'll say we're going scouting and quietly leave on horseback while Harbhara and his brother stay to manage the camp. We just have to come back as soon as possible."
"Uncle Alham is correct. Let us do as you say, then." Qin Yining smiled and nodded in assent.
Uncle Alham made his arrangements and found two more tribesmen to accompany them, then joined Qin Yining and the others, setting off on horseback in the direction that Liao Zhibing pointed out.
When Lu Heng blearily blinked awake, he found himself wrapped up like a large bundle and slung over someone's shoulder. The bony part of said person's shoulder pressed painfully against his stomach, especially when they were running; the angle at which his head was hanging almost made him vomit.
"You..." Lu Heng coughed twice and sobered up instantly. "Feilian, Feying! Where are you taking me?"
"You’re awake, Second Master." Feilian—the one carrying him—huffed and puffed as he ran, his heavy breaths spewing from his mouth in white clouds.
Feiying had already carried Lu Heng for some distance, so he’d regained some of his strength. "Don't panic, Second Master," he replied. "We're only bringing you home. What good will it do for you to stay with those savages? Life is far better being a young master at home!"
Lu Heng shook his heavy head, forcing himself to stay alert. "You drugged with my water?" he hissed in rebuke.
"Don't be angry, Second Master, we're doing this for your own good. Look at how you've been living these past few days, eating raw meat and drinking blood like a refuge. At home, you can live in comfort with good food and drinks, and servants at your beck and call when you go out. You won’t be hunted down like this! We're doing this with your best interests at heart."
Lu Heng gnashed his teeth. Despite his foggy head, he instantly deduced his current plight and where these two were really from.
"You now follow my second uncle?"
Feiying and Feilian's expressions froze for a good moment before Feiying finally replied, "Don't say that, Second Master. No matter who we follow, aren't we all a part of the Lu family? Be it you or the second elder master, everything we do is for the sake of the family."
"As if you really are acting in the family's interests." Lu Heng's chest tightened from his ill mood and he nearly coughed up blood out of anger.
He trusted them so much and had viewed them as his own brothers over the past few days. He’d been in awe of their sense of loyalty and support, seeing as they’d gone through such great lengths to track him down under such grueling circumstances—but they were only doing so to take him to his second uncle!
Indeed, his second uncle was now the master of the Lu clan. As outsiders who were loyal followers of the eldest branch, Feilian and Feiying had to show proof of their devotion if they were to continue surviving in the Lu family. Otherwise, what reason did the new patriarch have to believe they wouldn't betray him?
By handing Lu Heng over to his second uncle, his uncle could make him the scapegoat for all of the crimes that put the Lus at a disadvantage. With him taking the fall, his second uncle could then secure his position as patriarch with legitimate reasons. He could even curry favor with His Majesty and become part of the emperor's personal faction.
What a thoroughly thought-out scheme!
He’d been foolish to let his emotions affect his judgment, leading him to trust the wrong people!
He greatly regretted his inclinations; why had he ever given them his trust so easily?
And now, he had been spirited away without a trace. Not wanting to alarm the tribe, the two traveled entirely on foot without taking even a horse.
If Qin Yining and the rest of the tribe thought he’d run away to save his own hide out of fear, what would he do then?
Lu Heng had never been a coward only interested in saving his own neck! Not only had Feiying and Feilian turned against their own master for their own good, but they trampled over his reputation and trustworthiness in the process!
Hanging upside down in a furious and panicked fit had him seeing stars and breathing with great difficulty. As he pounded hard against Feilian's shoulder blades, Feiying noticed something off with Lu Heng's expression.
"Hurry, put the second master down and let him catch his breath. We can’t let him suffocate to death." he urged hastily. "There will be no talking our way out if that happens."
"Alright!" Feilian stopped amidst a small patch of trees, propping Lu Heng with his back against a tree as if he were a sack of rice. He swiped at his sweaty brow and put his hands on his hips while he panted, "I'm beat!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter
..these guys.. drugged their own master?!