Chapter 349: Never going back
Tang Li's hair was in a mess, his wedding robes ragged and shabby. He didn't even have time to catch his breath before Long Feiye had taken him out of the Duke of Qin's estate.
"Wait a..." All right, I should catch my breath first before I speak. He had escaped in the middle of his wedding procession and traveled here according to Long Feiye's directions. The trip had been safe up to the point he fell into an ambush-not from the Tang Clan, but the bride's side. Father had told him that his bride came from a powerful family, but he'd never taken it to heart. He hadn't even looked into the bride's background or what her status was. Even now, he was still fuzzy about the details. After that ambush, however, he was genuinely curious about his to-be wife.
The ambush had been too tough!
50 first-rate experts had swarmed them, overwhelming Long Feiye's men. He'd only managed to escape after using up all the ammunition from his Pear Blossom Rain Needles. For the past few days, he'd been too busy to eat, drink, or even sleep. All he knew was fleeing as fast as he could so they couldn't catch up. He was still wary when he entered Tianning's capital, only relaxing his guard once he reached the Duke of Qin's estate.
After taking a few breaths, Tang Li prepared to speak. But then his vision suddenly grew dark before he simply fainted away. He wasn't weak, but to run the entire distance between the Tang Clan and Tianning's capital city was simply something pushing the borderline of his capabilities! When Long Feiye saw Tang Li lose consciousness, he creased his brows as he muttered.
Despite his displeasure, Long Feiye still took Tang Li back personally and arranged him in a guesthouse. The last message that Tang Li had sent via carrier pigeon was that he'd met with an ambush along the way. However, he'd left out any details. Long Feiye had been worried when he didn't hear any more news over the next few days. He'd long sent out guards to investigate, but they hadn't returned before Tang Li arrived in person, without a wound on his body. Long Feiye had stopped worrying then. No matter how great the cost, it was worth it as long as Tang Li successfully escaped from his marriage.
Tang Li finally woke up when the sun was high in the sky. The first person he saw was Long Feiye leaning by the window, drinking a cup of tea. Still drowsy, he asked, "Big bro, am I dreaming?"
"Where's the Pear Blossom Rain Needles?" Long Feiye asked coldly. He'd searched Tang Li himself, but hadn't found the weapon anywhere.
Tang Li felt extremely wronged. "Big bro, don't you even care about what I went through?"
"Didn't you escape in the end?" Long Feiye retorted, deadpan.
"Aren't you curious to know how I escaped?" Tang Li asked next.
"It's fine as long as you fled successfully," Long Feiye said, as chilly as ever. Because he'd received no further messages, it was clear that all his guards had been killed. Who else but Tang Zijin and Aunt Ru could successfully ambush Tang Li and kill off all his guards? He never had an interest in anything related to the Tang Clan, especially when that pair was involved. He only looked at the results.
Naturally, Tang Li understood Long Feiye's personality as well, which is why he conceded faintly, "Big bro, it wasn't my father and Aunt Ru who had ambushed me, but someone from the bride's side! There were 50 top level experts, and I had to use all of my hidden weapons before I successfully escaped!"
Long Feiye finally glanced over, interested. "The bride's side?"
"Neither father nor Aunt Ru had thought of the road you arranged for me. I have no idea how the bride's side found out. Moreover, we didn't meet by accident-they were lying in wait ahead of time!"
"What are their origins?" Long Feiye asked.
"I don't know. I wanted to ask you about that!" Tang Li had no choice but to admit.
Long Feiye shot him a stern look, too lazy to say any more. If the bridegroom didn't even care about his own bride, then why should he? All right. In truth, neither of the duo had placed much thought on Tang Li's wedding at all. No matter who he was supposed to marry, Tang Li would try to escape anyways. This time though, because the bride's side was so formidable, Long Feiye would naturally send scouts to sound them out.
"Where is the Pear Blossom Rain Needles?" Long Feiye was more concerned about that.
"Didn't I say...that I used up all the hidden weapons I had?" Tang Li replied timidly.
"Including the Pear Blossom Rain Needles?" Long Feiye was caught off guard yet again.
Tang Li didn't know why Long Feiye had insisted he bring along the Pear Blossom Rain Needles, but he knew his cousin had probably wanted to use it. Judging by his current reaction, though, that didn't seem too important anymore.
"It looks like your wife-to-be has formidable origins," Long Feiye was now truly curious.
Since he already had another Serpent Fruit on hand, he wasn't worried about Gu Qi Sha threatening him with the other one. He himself was more than enough to deal with the man. The reason he had wanted Tang Li to come along as well was so they could finish him off in one move. Still, he could take his time playing around with Pill Fiend without the Pear Blossom Rain Needles on hand.
Tang Li was greatly relieved when Long Feiye didn't press the issue any further. If Tang Zijin and Aunt Ru knew that Tang Li had used up all the needles from the Tang Clan's #2 assassination weapon to escape his impending marriage, they'd probably lash him to death. He silently made a promise to never go back there. It was too horrific!
"Could it be people from the mercenary cities?" Long Feiye asked. The City of Daughters and Carefree City were both cities with mercenaries for hire. They didn't tolerate any slights. Despite the fact that Tang Zijin wanted to draw them to their side, Long Feiye had always refused.
"No matter who they are, I'm never going back," Tang Li got off the bed, his face serious. "Big bro, I've thought everything through. In the future I'll just follow along with you."
After that life and death struggle, Tang Li hated his father all the more. He didn't want Tang Li to get married so he could have a grandchild sooner, but just so the Tang Clan could fulfill his wild ambitions. When Long Feiye didn't answer, Tang Li lowered his voice and murmured, "Big bro, I'll suppress the Shadow Clan's matters with you!"
All this time, Long Feiye had been keeping Han Yunxi by his side while suppressing rumors of the Shadow Clan on the other so nobody would know. Furthermore, he'd been constantly looking into news regarding the rest of the Seven Noble Families. Tang Li was clearer on his intentions than anyone else. Long Feiye wanted the strength of the Poison Sect while wiping out any relations Han Yunxi had to the West Qin imperial clan!
Long Feiye still didn't speak, but only moved to look coldly at Tang Li, who felt cheered by the sight. His elder cousin had been like this ever since they were young. As long as Long Feiye didn't speak up, it was the same as a tacit agreement. Soon enough, Han Yunxi herself got wind of the news and came over. Tang Li felt more and more comforted by the sight of her. He even wished he could snag a girl of his own to like, all the better to piss off his father to death.
"The wedding escape was a success?" Han Yunxi grinned. It was Zhao mama who'd told her the news.
Tang Li had no idea what had happened between Long Feiye and this woman while he was gone. He only 'mm'd' in assent, his reply prudent and cautious.
"Your Highness, even tearing down ten temples during peacetime isn't as bad a ruining a single marriage," Han Yunxi said playfully. She could guess that Long Feiye had saved Tang Li somehow.
"His wedding isn't even as significant as tearing down one temple," Long Feiye said coldly.
"Who was he going to marry?" Han Yunxi asked curiously.
"Ask him," Long Feiye said, frigid as always.
Tang Li grew doubtful. He felt like there was something else between this couple now. Long Feiye hadn't changed much from his chilly self, but Han Yunxi seemed much more relaxed. He remembered how she'd always been somewhat nervous around Long Feiye and never joked around. Even if she had important things to discuss, she never wasted words with Long Feiye. The two of them had always seemed to exist in separate worlds, but now it looked like their worlds had merged a bit.
Tang Li was full of questions. Just what had he missed?
"Hey, who were you going to marry?" Han Yunxi asked again.
Tang Li aptly dodged the questions, "Don't bring up things like weddings to this gentleman's face!"
Since Han Yunxi was there, nobody brought up the issue of going to Pill Fiend Valley. At night, Long Feiye left for the place alone. He arrived in Gu Qi Sha's courtyard a few days later, but unexpectedly, Gu Qi Sha wasn't home.
"Your lordship will wait," Long Feiye said, scaring the steward into shutting the doors. His Highness Duke of Qin was aggressive to begin with, but old Pill Fiend had a venomous tongue that could instantly set off the man's temper. Even the old steward thought that Pill Fiend was simply seeking death! Fortunately, Pill Fiend had the Serpent Fruit on hand, or else the consequences might be unimaginable.
Long Feiye actually ended up waiting for real. With such a venerable guest at his house, the old steward didn't tarry and sent a messenger pigeon to Gu Qi Sha right away. The man himself showed up the very next day. As usual, he was dressed in black robes and wore a strange looking smile.
"Heheh, Your Highness Duke of Qin, have you thought things through? Did you come just so this old man could kick you?"
After fighting two bouts, Gu Qi Sha had even split the Serpent Fruit in half to threaten Long Feiye. This was all for the chance to kick the man! Long Feiye hadn't even replied when Gu Qi Sha laughed again.
"Your Highness Duke of Qin, the Serpent Fruit's already been split in two. Which half would you like now?"
Everyone present knew that the Serpent Fruit would only be useful when used as a whole! Gu Qi Sha was provoking him outright! Long Feiye's eyes glittered coldly with his rage, nearly freezing the poor steward to death with fright. But Gu Qi Sha was smiling as resplendently as ever. "Of course, if Your Highness Duke of Qin allows this old man to kick you twice, then I'll...award you both pieces as the prize!"
The old steward shivered involuntarily at these words. Was his master and the Duke of Qin absolutely irreconcilable? Did they have some sort of massive grudge? Otherwise, what was the need for such humiliating demands?
Finally, Long Feiye opened his mouth. "Two kicks, is it?"
"If Your Highness Duke of Qin prefers three or four kicks instead, that's fine too," Gu Qi Sha was very generous.
Long Feiye didn't answer, but suddenly took to the skies. One of his legs flashed swiftly towards Gu Qi Sha, his momentum so fierce that the very air rippled! Gu Qi Sha was on his guard after he'd fought him twice. He kept retreating until he landed on top of his door. He still had enough time to escape, but Gu Qi Sha simply stayed still and took half of the Serpent Fruit out of his sleeves. He grew serious. "If Your Highness Duke of Qin would consider letting me kick you four times..."
He didn't finish, but prepared to split his half-slice in two again to make quarters...