Chapter 296: She'll never be it
As soon as he got the news from the City of Daughters, Tang Li had rushed to report it to Long Feiye. Once the bounty posters had been posted up, they'd received more news than posters from all over the place. Tang Li had already filtered through many of the false ones, or else Long Feiye would definitely be led astray by them in his current frenzied state.
Actually, Tang Li had been conflicted for a while over whether to tell him at all. If Han Yunxi really disappeared just like this, it might be good news for Long Feiye. He narrowly went to investigate the rumor himself, but since he didn't know what he'd do if he actually found the woman, he decided to tell Long Feiye in the end. Once Long Feiye emerged from his room, he hastened to speak up.
"Someone caught a glimpse of Han Yunxi at the City of Daughters, the news can't be wrong!"
Long Feiye shut the door behind him and asked coldly, "City of Daughters?"
"That's right, the person who delivered the message delivered this as well." Tang Li handed over a jade hairpin, the exact same one that Han Yunxi often wore in her hair. Long Feiye gave a light snort as his eyes briefly flashed with cold killing intent. Who else could it be but Gu Qishao who had spread the false information with her real hairpin? If Lil Thing hadn't exposed Han Yunxi's whereabouts, he really would've run off to the City of Daughters for a look. Undoubtedly, there was an ambush lying in wait there for him!
Gu Qishao, you should worry about your own life rather than trying to take your lordship's!
"Someone come, send out orders to close up all businesses within Tianning Country's borders that have connections with the Tender Fragrance Teahouse. Freeze all of Gu Qishao's assets in all the banks, and kill him without mercy on sight!" Long Feiye commanded coldly.
"Yes!" the hidden guards obeyed before leaving to do their jobs.
Tang Li realized that something was wrong and said in surprise, "You found Han Yunxi?" What else would make Long Feiye so calmly recognize the jade hairpin as part of false information? Long Feiye didn't speak, which only cemented Tang Li's speculations. He wanted to push open the doors to Long Feiye's room, but was stopped.
"Don't bother her. Ever." Long Feiye's tone was mild as he spoke, but his gaze was firm.
Tang Li slowly lowered his hands, his eyebrows furrowed. He couldn't understand the meaning behind Long Feiye's words. Long Feiye didn't bother explaining either, but flew onto the roof to lie down with his arms crossed beneath his head. Tang Li hurried after him and asked, "What do you mean by 'forever?' Are you planning to keep that woman forever by your side?"
Long Feiye didn't answer, but stared at the sky full of stars with his dark, deep pupils.
"Big bro! She has an 80 to 90 percent chance of being West Qin's imperial orphan!" Tang Li reminded him again.
Long Feiye told Tang Li about everything the Mu Clan and Mu Xin, before giving a firm resolution. "Han Yunxi is a descendent of the Poison Sect. Her mother was a woman of the Mu Clan, and her father a remnant of that same Poison Sect. She has no relation whatsoever to the West Qin imperial family."
Tang Li was caught off guard, not expecting Han Yunxi to have connections with the Poison Sect. "But even if she's a descendent of the Poison Clan, it doesn't erase the fact that she's also the orphan of the West Qin imperial clan. The Shadow Clan would never protect the wrong person!" Tang Li was convinced as well.
After some thought, he added, "It's not right to say that Lady Tianxin was Mu Xin just because of a single embroidered 'Xin' (). Even if Mu Xin was Lady Tianxin, the rumors of her affair with a Poison Sect member was only gossip at most. That might not be even true. Instead, the Shadow Clan's protection is proof we witnessed with our own eyes!"
When Tang Li saw that Long Feiye looked absolutely indifferent, he further added, "Big Bro, even if she is a descendent of the Poison Sect, I suspect they had connections with the West Qin imperial clan as well. Otherwise, why would that Shadow Clan guy be so familiar with the Poison Sect's Sky Pit?" Tang Li's words were very logical. With Long Feiye's meticulous personality, how couldn't he understand such words?
Gu Qishao and Han Yunxi had uncovered a secret in Mute Granny, so perhaps she held a completely different story from what they knew so far.
In response, Long Feiye simply said coldly, "If I say she isn't, then she isn't. She'll never be it!"
"You!" Tang Li grew depressed. He finally understood that Long Feiye was planning to hide Han Yunxi's connection to the West Qin imperial clan forever. Whether or not she had such a connection, he would suppress the facts and keep her by his side.
But how could that be possible?
Even if Tang Li agreed, the rest of the Tang Clan wouldn't, especially Aunt Ru! If they took 10,000 steps back and somehow got the Tang Clan to compromise with the coverup, what about the Shadow Clan? How were they supposed to hide anything when the Shadow Clan had already gone knocking on their doors?
What did an orphan of an imperial clan represent? The bloodline of the clan, and the possibility of its dynasty reviving once again! And what if Han Yunxi discovered her own lineage one day? What would she think then?
Tang Li shook his head in disbelief. "Big bro, Aunt Wan wouldn't agree, either."
His Aunt Wan was none other than Long Feiye's mufei, Aunt Ru's elder sister Tang Yiwan.1
The living might not agree, but now he was dragging in the dead as well?
Just how much nerve did Long Feiye have? How many difficult decisions did he have to make over the past few days in his frenzied state? And yet all he did was keep silent, his thoughts unknown to all beyond himself.
"Big bro, isn't it just a woman? Why do you have to be so serious about her?" Tang Li kept trying to persuade him. He never thought that Long Feiye would have a day where he would fall by a woman's hands. That's right, she's only a woman!
It was a long time before Long Feiye replied in a mild tone, "But your lordship is serious about her."
He only discovered how serious after she had left. For the first time, Tang Li saw a hint of helplessness in his eyes, and couldn't help but break out into soundless laughter. He too, felt at a loss. He'd always admired and worshipped Long Feiye, but now that the man himself was helpless, how could he persuade him otherwise?
"Forget it, forget it! Maybe it's safest to keep her by your side."
The majority of the Great Qin Empire's Seven Noble Families leaned towards the West Qin Dynasty. The rest adopted a moderate stance. Once more of these clans learned of Han Yunxi's existence, the consequences would be unthinkable.
A long while later, Long Feiye sat up, his tone icy. "Tang Li, find a way to lure out that white-robed man...and kill him!"
The only way to make sure no one knew the truth was to kill all of its witnesses.
Tang Li nodded. "I understand."
Long Feiye spent the entire night on the roof by himself, his solitary figure looking desolate in the darkness. The stars gradually dimmed, and the moon sank in place of the rising sun. Despite this, it felt like many years had passed during their exchange. Han Yunxi had been waiting in the room for Long Feiye the whole time. She knew that Tang Li had come to report of her sightings, and that the news was fake to begin with. Originally, she thought that Long Feiye would take care of it quickly and return. Unfortunately, she ended up waiting until she nodded off, then woke back up, the cycle repeating multiple times without her seeing any sign of him. In the end, she was finally too tired to keep waiting and fell asleep for good.
Early next morning, Han Yunxi woke up to the sound of knocking on the door and sleepily opened her eyes. But the first thing she saw was Long Feiye's handsome face!
Heavens, when did he come back? How long has he been staring at me?
Long Feiye shifted away, a little embarrassed. He pretended nothing had happened while Han Yunxi nervously touched her mouth to make sure she wasn't drooling. Only then did she feel relieved.
"Your Highness, the Wang Clan's fourth young master has requested to meet you for some business," the guard reported from outside.
"Have him wait downstairs," Long Feiye replied icily. He wasn't in a rush to leave, but washed up and called for breakfast first. He and Han Yunxi finished the meal together before he told her, "Clean up and prepare to go back. I'll wait for you downstairs."
Han Yunxi docilely nodded her head. She didn't take the Wang gentleman's request for a visit to heart at all. But by the time she was ready and left the room, she saw Long Feiye and a white-robed gentleman sitting at a table downstairs. The white-robed gentleman had a refined and cultivated air to him, with the aura of a scholar that put people at ease. Long Feiye and the Wang Clan had good relations, but she'd only seen Wang Gong before. Why did this fourth young master show up? Though Han Yunxi was curious, she wasn't all that interested. She was about to go down when she saw the fourth young master rise to his feet and hand over a gold car into Long Feiye's hands.
That gold card...looks so familiar! Didn't she leave it behind in Medical City? How did it end up in Fourth Young Master Wang's hands? Did he pick it up? If he did, he should just spend it. Why bother returning it?
Han Yunxi's mouth twitched as she went downstairs at an agonizingly slow pace. By now, Long Feiye had stood up as well. Wang Shuchen hastened to get back up after he'd sat down again. Today he'd come for two reasons: to return the gold card and ask about what to do with Chu Qingge. Having her sit and wait like an idiot indefinitely wasn't a solution. Long Feiye had already learned of the selling business with Lil Thing, so Wang Shuchen skipped the details and said with a smile, "Your Highness, Miss Chu is still waiting in the Association's office. Perhaps you should go pay a visit?"
"Have her wait." Long Feiye turned to leave as soon as he accepted the gold card, leaving Wang Shuchen to stand there looking stunned. Should I have her wait, or not?
When Long Feiye saw Han Yunxi still standing by the stairs, he waved at her. "Still not coming over?"
Han Yunxi walked over with her heart pounding. As expected, Long Feiye's first action was to give her the gold card and ask, "You don't want it?"
"When did I lose it, I didn't even know..." Han Yunxi feigned ignorance.
Long Feiye's eyes flickered with a helpless look. This woman, she really was a fool. She didn't even know she'd raised a poison beast that could eat and swallow her gold card. Of course, he wouldn't tell her the truth. Otherwise, how was he supposed to find her in the future if she went missing again?
Long Feiye's face looked expressionless as he stuffed the card into Han Yunxi's sleeve. "Keep it safe, or else I'll have you pay me back double the next time you lose it!"
Unfortunately, his hand bumped against Lil Thing, who was hiding in Han Yunxi's sleeve to sleep again. Long Feiye dragged Lil Thing out by its tail and didn't spare it another glance before tossing it outside. "Don't let him stick so close to you in the future."
Han Yunxi was too busy to worry about Lil Thing this time. When he'd brought up 'pay me back,' she immediately took out the gold card and placed it securely in her medical pouch. This card had no spending limit, so how was she supposed to pay him back? And even double?! Long Feiye was so ruthless!
Long Feiye's eyes flickered with satisfaction when he saw that Han Yunxi had stored the card carefully away. Then he led her along to the exit. Wang Shuchen saw everything from his table but only found the entire scene inconceivable. He didn't expect His Highness Duke of Qin to have found Qin Wangfei already. He really wanted to meet Qin Wangfei and see what kind of woman she was, to drive the Duke of Qin so crazy that he stuck up bounty posters all over the world. Of course, he quickly recovered his wits. It would be better to figure out how to deal with Chu Qingge instead...
1. Tang Yiwan () - Tang is a surname that means "exaggerative, boastful," Yi means "wish, desire, intention, meaning," and Wan is "gentle, gracious, beautiful, elegant."