The crowd gasped and cried out. Before she could react, a slim arm tugged at her elbow and pulled her away, throwing her down from the platform.
Tossed into the air like a bundle, Qin Yining’s red wedding robes fluttered in the air as her veil floated down to the ground. Her eyes couldn’t immediately adjust to the bright light and could only vaguely make out a familiar figure on the back of a black steed with his arms outstretched.
Dazed, it seemed to take forever to fall through the air. In fact, it felt like she was sinking into the abyss. Instead, she fell into a warm and strong embrace. A familiar, refreshing fragrance enveloped her.
“My darling, my darling, I’ve finally found you!” Warm lips touched her forehead as a pair of strong arms encircled her, hugging her tightly.
“You…” Qin Yining sat sidestaddle in front of Pang Xiao, a hand clutching his arm as she raised her head to look at him.
He’d lost a great deal of weight and his facial contours were much sharper than before. Framed under long, sword-like brows, his phoenix eyes were shot through with blood. Complete with rough stubble on his chin, he looked absolutely weary and beaten down.
However, his eyes were incredibly bright, and her image reflected in his pitch-black pupils. When their eyes met, Qin Yining’s vision went blurry from tears.
It was really him!
He’d found her in the desert!
Cao Yuqing had been lying low in the crowd until she spotted an opportunity to pass Qin Yining to Pang Xiao. Task accomplished, she wielded her soft sword and charged forward on her horse, leading Liao Zhibing and the Elite Tigers against Zhou Meng and his officials.
Born and bred in Xiyue, Zhou Meng had never experienced any hardship or fighting in his life. He’d never seen such formidable cavalry before! Each of the enemy was like a tiger from the mountains, all of them brandishing swords and charging with ferocious roars. The monsters were here to eat the people!
Zhou Meng’s grandeur evaporated as he stumbled back from terror, falling off the platform with a shriek. Fortunately, there were a number of guards below the stage who hastily reached out to catch him. They frantically dragged him back towards the palace gates.
“Protect the prince, protect the prince!” Soldiers who’d never experienced true battle before knew only to pull Zhou Meng and the other officials back to the palace gates in a bolt for safety.
The Xiyue broke and ran, scattering off into the distance like the receding tides. Quite a few slipped and fell to be trampled on by the others, with many more losing their shoes as they frantically pelted off.
“Here you were, acting like some kind of hero while forcing my dear Yi to marry you. What wonderfully amazing trash!” Cao Yuqing sat primly on her horse and watched them slam the place doors shut in a panic before turning to look at the backs of the fleeing Xiyue. A sneer curled her lips as she resheathed her soft sword.
“Isn’t that right! He needs to take a look at his reflection in a load of his piss first!” The young man next to Cao Yiqing pulled down the black bandana covering his face and shook off the sand and dust on it. It was Huzi!
Qin Yining was still dazed and gripped by shock. Pang Xiao had come to save her? He’d travelled through the desolated desert to come save her?
Pang Xiao drew her in and reverently placed another kiss on her forehead, his stubble prickly as it rubbed against her skin. “My dear, I’m here.”
Sound and feeling were slowly returning to Qin Yining. Stiffly moving her neck forward, she slowly placed her head on his shoulder, like a traveller finally returning to their loved one’s embrace after an arduous journey. She was like a little pet who’d finally found their owner after being bullied outside.
Her hands reached toward Pang Xiao’s shoulders in an equally slow trajectory and her face turned toward his chest. One muffled sob sounded before her tears finally came flooding out.
Pang Xiao hugged her tightly, his eyes reddening as he listened to her sobs build up into weeping. He buried his face in her shoulder and gently patted her back.
“It’s alright now, don’t cry. It’s all my fault, I shouldn’t have lost you. Don’t cry… look at how much weight you’ve lost, you must’ve gone through so much. It’s all my fault…”
When she had no one she could lean on, Qin Yining had had to be stronger than anyone else. She didn’t cower even in the face of certain death. This was because she was so clear of what she should do that even when things looked dire, she could pick the correct path with logic and reason, even if it meant descending into the abyss.
Now that Pang Xiao was here, she finally had a loved one and someone to depend on again. She no longer had to bear everything on her shoulders alone. Strained heartstrings suddenly relaxed and the light of a long awaited dawn finally touched her. She clung to him for dear life as all strength left her limbs, the only recourse left to her was to bury herself in his chest and wail her accumulated grievances.
All the feelings and stress she’d bottled up from recent times finally burst through the dam. Now that she had an embrace she could trust, it was finally safe to give full vent to her feelings.
The fifty-man troop of Elite Tigers was covered in sand and their lips dry and cracked. But they sat ramrod straight on their horses, not even drooping after going a long time without food. Smiles crossed their faces and mirth filled their eyes as they watched their respected prince grip their sobbing princess consort in a tight hug.
Tears welled up in Huzi’s eyes before he hastily wiped them away with a sleeve.
Cao Yuqing was also very gratified and dimpled at Liao Zhibing beside her. “Brother Liao, we owe all of this to you this time. Without your tracing bug, I don’t know what we would’ve done.”
Liao Zhibing waved a hand with a smile. “I’m glad I could help our alliance head. However, it’s not good to stay here for long, the people above the walls are all watching us. How about we find a place where we can set up camp?”
REJOICE, CELEBRATE, BE GLAD FOR PANG XIAO IS HERE!!!
Zhou Meng you lily-livered POS man.