All the running had also made Feiying short of breath. He lowered his head and glanced at Lu Heng, parked under a tree with closed eyes and trying to catch his breath.
“Second Master, are you alright?”
Lu Heng’s eyes didn’t open and his brows were tightly knit together. Lips colorless from overexertion, his chest heaved violently as he struggled to calm his breathing. His frustration and anger were as clear as day.
Feilian and Feiying shared a glance, apology flashing through their eyes. However, their determination far exceeded any of the hesitations they bore.
Since they already decided to pledge their allegiance to the second elder master, they had to prove their sincerity. How else would they be able to win his trust? Although this wasn’t quite fair to Lu Heng and they didn’t know what would happen after they returned to the second elder master, everyone was out for themselves in the end. There wasn’t room for them to think so much.
The two sat down on either side of Lu Heng to take a quick break. Feiying gulped down some water and wiped his mouth before speaking.
“Second Master, don’t be angry. At this point, it’s not like being angry will do anything. Besides, you have to return home sooner or later, right? We won’t make things difficult for you. As long as you do as we say and don’t make trouble along the way, everything will be fine when we can get home safely.”
“That’s right, Second Master, you don’t have to panic. Although the patriarch is now the second elder master, maybe he won’t do anything to you. After all, you’re an official son and a famous one of the Lu family. Even if the emperor wants to seize you for killing the khan, I believe that as family, the second elder master won’t hand you over. Really, there’s nothing to worry about at all.”
Lu Heng’s eyes were still shut tight, but the knuckles on his clenched fist whitened. “You guys can shut up now.”
“Hey!” Feiying laughed boisterously: “Can it be that the second master doesn’t want to hear the truth? But that’s right—it’s only natural that you, the grand and lofty second master, the one most spoiled by the old lord and heir to the patriarch position, wouldn’t want to hear the truth like this.”
“But that’s just how it is right now. If the worst case happens, you’ll be a prisoner when you return. What can you throw a tantrum about then? In prison, you’ll be in stocks and chains and token up daily by whips and buckets of cold water. What’s right and what’s wrong won’t matter then.”
“Feilian!” Feiying reprimanded Feilian for his increasingly outrageous words. “We’re just here to bring the second master back. A nobody like you can’t afford to meddle in any other matters. You can’t be rude to the second master!”
Feilian snorted softly in response, but after further thought, he decided not to continue speaking. If they upset the second master to the point of illness, that’d just be making trouble for themselves. They would be the ones to take care of him on the long journey ahead.
Originally on the cusp of flying into a rage, Lu Heng slowly calmed down when enough time passed. After recollecting himself, he began to analyze the situation.
He could already predict what would happen when he returned to the family. The second branch’s biggest worry was not being able to build a relationship with Li Qitian. With him being such a ready-made opportunity, would they just let it go?
Although Lu Heng didn’t fear death, he also wasn’t willing to die such a stupid and cowardly death. If there was really a day he had to face death, he hoped that his death would be impactful. He wanted it to have meaning, not like this, where he was fooled and dragged back by these two for offering to Li Qitian, who would then hand him off to the Tatars like tribute.
However, all he could do in the current situation was pretend to obediently follow these two and look for an opportunity to escape down the road. There just wasn’t another plan he could think of.
Fortunately, Lu Heng was rather familiar with the two’s temperaments. Making them relax their guard wouldn’t be too difficult.
The two didn’t know what to do when they saw their second master just sitting there with his eyes closed, continuing to ignore them.
“Let’s create some more distance from the camp,” suggested Feiying. “I’ll carry him this time.”
Feilian raised a brow. “Piggybacking him again? It’s not like the second master’s a child.”
Feiying internally mocked Feilian’s stupidity. Even if Lu Heng was stronger, would he use his true speed in a situation like this? Could they just let him slowly plod on and delay the whole journey? It was better to save themselves the trouble and take turns carrying him. When they arrived at Great Zhou, they could just hire a carriage, tie him up, and have their work just end there.
Feiying was elated at these plans and stooped down, forcing Lu Heng to get up. His colleague helped thrust Lu Heng on Feiying’s back so they could continue on their journey.
But the moment the two relaxed, a gust of wind suddenly whisked past them.
Feiying turned his head to see a silhouette flicker past. By the time he realized what happened, the weight on his back had disappeared.
“Ah!” Feiying said angrily, “What are you doing!”
When he clearly saw who had come, Feiying’s expression turned quite ugly. The one who’d come wasn’t a stranger, but Cao Yuqing.
In Feiying and Feilian’s impression, Cao Yuqing was just an old mama wholeheartedly devoted to serving Qin Yining.
Who would’ve thought that this seemingly delicate woman would be so powerful and easily pilfer their captive during their short break? It was no wonder that she dared to go out alone to find Qin Yining; with her skills, there was no need to worry.
Next, the sound of hooves sounded from the nearby forest, quickly bringing Qin Yining, Uncle Alham, the three from Azure Justice, and two Minuo tribesmen into view. They spurred their horses onward, slowing to a trot as they approached.
This time, Feilian and Feiying were truly shocked. Who would’ve fathomed that Qin Yining would actually bring people and pursue them?
“How’d you know I was here?” When Lu Heng saw Qin Yining, his dejected face broke out in a resolute grin.
Qin Yining blinked rapidly and didn’t mention the tracking bug that Liao Zhibing placed on him. “One of my people saw some shadows leave. Your tent was empty, so we decided to give chase. Are you alright, Second Master Lu?”
“I’m fine.” Lu Heng shook his head with a smile. His smile was obviously forced, so Qin Yining didn’t take it seriously. She also didn’t probe further, choosing instead to face Feiying and Feilian.
Cao Yuqing and Liao Zhibing flanked her on both sides, staring vigilantly at Feiying and Feilian.
The two bodyguards were in no mood to appreciate Qin Yining’s beauty as they watched her approach. There was an icy light in her eyes, like that of a wild animal’s. All they could think of was how they could safely escape.
Qin Yining stopped not far in front of them and looked down on them. “On whose orders have you come here on? Is it your second or third elder master? Or did you come yourselves, hoping to capture the second master for a reward?”
Hearing that, Lu Heng trembled with anger. Feiying and Feilian’s faces were also very unsightly.
“Don’t talk like you’re some righteous saint, what reward?” Feilian retorted. “We work for the emperor. Do you think we care about some reward when the emperor will bestow a fortune of glory and riches? If it wasn’t for my lord helping you when you were with the Tatars, would you be standing here in pristine condition? What are you strutting around for?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
These two.. deserve some painful punishment.
Did everyone have a good Mid Autumn Festival with plenty of mooncake? Apologies for my impromptu vacation am back with a vengeance and will do better!