Chapter 231: Sweet nothings, so not domineering
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had come to a tacit understanding about what they did just then, so both of them were feeling awkward. When Tang Li asked his question, the atmosphere turned even stranger. Of course, the reticent Long Feiye wouldn't answer such a question. Meanwhile, Han Yunxi kept her head bowed as she expressionlessly treated his poison, pretending that she hadn't heard a thing.
Tang Li stroked his jaw as he glanced at them before he seemed to get a clue. He chuckled softly and didn't say a thing. Though he'd shut his mouth now, his words had already caused a wave that couldn't be stopped. Long Feiye's state of mind was unclear, but Han Yunxi's heart was long doing flip-flops in chaos.
Why did he fool around with her? Because he had nothing else to do? Because of boredom? Or was he just in a good mood today?
Even if that was the case, there was no need to act this way! In Han Yunxi's memories-in fact, in everyone's memory-Tianning's Duke of Qin was nothing if not cold. Forget about jokes or fooling around, he didn't even know how to smile. Or perhaps this was an aspect of Long Feiye rarely known to anyone, and she'd just never realized it? In any case, Han Yunxi couldn't find a reason. As she lost herself in thought, her attention slipped while treating him with the needles. Suddenly, Long Feiye's hand shook as fresh blood poured from his wound.
"Ah...!" It wasn't Long Feiye, but Han Yunxi who cried out in alarm. She'd stuck the needle in the wrong acupoint!
"Sorry about that, I know it hurts a lot..."
A misstep in acupoints was more painful than a knife cutting away at the heart. The agony was nearly unbearable. As a doctor herself, Han Yunxi knew this very well.
"I didn't mean to. I know it hurts a lot, but...but it'll be better soon. Just endure it for a while."
She'd always been self-confident in her skills at expelling poisons via needles. This had to be her most flustered performance in both lives, right? It was nothing like a doctor at all. Bracing herself, she looked over and happened to meet Long Feiye looking right back. He didn't say it hurt, much less blame her. All he did was look at her coldly before turning his head aside. From this angle, one could tell he was creasing his eyebrows on that handsome face. The pain had to be substantial for him to make such an expression. Truly, Han Yunxi was plagued with a guilty conscience. She didn't know what to say to his coldness, but only continued to treat him. Soon enough, though, her attention wandered again.
Should she interrogate him?
'Long Feiye, was it fun to fool around with me?'
'Long Feiye, serves you right for getting bitten!'
'Long Feiye, you're already this old. Aren't you tired of things like this?'
'Long Feiye, you have to apologize or else I won't treat your poison!'
All sorts of bold questions swirled around in her head. If this was any other time, she'd still have the guts to question him, but this time was too awkward. As soon as she recalled Long Feiye 'fooling around' with her just then, she didn't dare to ask. In fact, she didn't even want to meet his eyes.
She really was stuck!
In the midst of her conflicted thoughts, Han Yunxi missed an acupoint again. This time, it wasn't red blood that poured out, but the black blood that stopped flowing. She actually didn't notice until Tang Li spoke up. "Did you get rid of all the poisoned blood so soon?"
"Ah?" Han Yunxi looked over, but didn't wait for Tang Li to reply before looking back at Long Feiye's injury. Only then did she realize her big mistake!
She cursed herself in her heart. Afraid to waste any more words, she ducked her head down and busied herself with changing the needles. Long Feiye didn't react, but his chilly face had turned a few shades paler. Soon enough, Han Yunxi finally succeeded in ridding Long Feiye's hand of all the poison. She sealed the injury with medicine and carefully wrapped it up. By now, Tang Li had walked over to peek at Long Feiye's injury while stroking his chin. Leisurely he said, "Long Feiye, this must be your first time getting bitten by a woman..."
When neither of them reacted to his words, Tang Li added carelessly, "You let her bite you on purpose, right?"
At this, Han Yunxi's hands binding the bandage suddenly tightened the knot abruptly over the injury!
"Hn!" Long Feiye gave an involuntary groan as he finally looked over. But it seemed he wanted to pretend nothing had happened, because he avoided meeting Han Yunxi's eyes. Instead, he narrowed them at Tang Li and asked coldly, "Where's Long Tianmo?"
As soon as Han Yunxi had left the justice courts, he'd tailed them the whole way to protect her in secret. When the black-robed assassins kidnapped Long Tianmo and Qinwang Rong gave chase, Tang Li had covertly followed them. After Luo Zuishan was taken away, he'd wanted to send someone after him too, but Gu Qishao had revealed himself instead. Long Tianmo and Luo Zuishan were both important parts of the doctors' consultation this time, but as long as Han Yunxi was still there, he wouldn't allow any of his men to reveal themselves. How could Jun Yixie's scheme to lure the enemy away from his base escape his eyes?
Long Feiye's question reminded Tang Li that he'd rushed over with urgent news. "Jun Yixie took him away. Mother, his poison arts are too tough, I couldn't best him!" he replied in a rush.
"He's after Long Tianmo?" Long Feiye found this unexpected.
Since Jun Yixie had schemed to lure him away, Long Feiye had met him with a counter-scheme. As long as Jun Yixie didn't show up personally, then Tang Li would be enough to face off against the black-robed assassins and easily rescue Long Tianmo. Instead, Jun Yixie hadn't chased after Long Feiye, but turned back to protect Long Tianmo instead. It had to be said that Long Tianmo falling into his hands would cause a lot of trouble.
"Your lordship has rather underestimated him," Long Feiye said, unhappy at a missed move in this chess game.
"This guy's got mysterious connections. I haven't investigated to the source even after all that time in Northern Li," Tang Li said seriously.
Han Yunxi listened silently on one side and basically grasped the whole picture. She was about to ask a question when a black-robed bodyguard rushed over urgently with a terrified air. "Your Highness, Jun Yixie had men send word to say..." Though he was frantic, he still hesitated, afraid to say the rest.
"Are you seeking death? Hurry up and say it!" Tang Li was impatient.
The guard glanced at Han Yunxi before continuing, "Jun Yixie had men send word to say, to say he wanted Your Highness to exchange esteemed wangfei for His Highness Crown Prince..."
At this, Long Feiye suddenly stared straight at the guard, his icy gaze enough to send chills down his back. The guard felt like he had committed some sort of colossal sin. Han Yunxi wasn't surprised. Jun Yixie had tried to kidnap all those people just to target her. The medical academy's consultation had nothing to do with him. If she was used as an exchange for Long Tianmo, the consultation could still continue. Luo Zuishan could prove that she and Gu Beiyue were innocent, thus absolving the Duke of Qin's estate as well.
Moreover, once news of this reached Emperor Tianhui's ears, Long Feiye could use it to wash his hands of her and get into His Majesty's good graces. It wasn't that Han Yunxi looked down on Long Feiye's skills, but that the principles dictated a wise man submit to changing times. A hero wasn't necessarily one who flaunted their superiority, especially since Tianning was still under Emperor Tianhui's reign. Long Feiye was a duke at most.
Han Yunxi was still considering the complicated relationships when Long Feiye asked coldly, "When and where?"
"Three days later at noon in the Suspended Temple1. When the deadline passes..."
"The person will...be silenced," the guard's voice was trembling.
Kill Tianning's crown prince?
Tang Li's face paled a few shades as he looked towards Long Feiye. He wanted to speak up but stopped. Jun Yixie was being too impudent, wasn't he? With Long Feiye's personality, he'd definitely try to save the person instead of rescuing them. He'd try to protect Han Yunxi as well as save Long Tianmo. But if Jun Yixie hadn't made ample preparations, he'd definitely wouldn't dare to make such an offer. As the passive party, Long Feiye lacked the advantage of control over the situation. It was very possible he'd fall into peril and never come back.
Han Yunxi understood such implications as well. When she saw Long Feiye's icy profile, she didn't hesitate to speak up. "Make the switch. When it's done, you guys can leave, I have my own ways to deal with him."
But as soon as she spoke, Long Feiye looked overly with a chilly gaze and said angrily, "Han Yunxi, do you think your lordship came here for nothing?"
He'd finally managed to save this woman, but she was delivering herself to the enemy now? Wouldn't that waste all of his efforts? What kind of man did she think he was? Would he casually give away a woman under his name? Or perhaps, she took his act at the justice courts as the truth?
Han Yunxi was left speechless by his anger. She sensed that something was off in the atmosphere, but Tang Li quickly stepped in as mediator. "Of course we have to go. When the time comes, you two can team up to face off against Jun Yixie and leave the rest to me."
But Long Feiye simply tossed him two words. "Not going."
"What?" Even Tang Li was frightened by his reply. After all, once Long Tianmo died, Emperor Tianhui would raise no end of fuss. Han Yunxi was stuck in a daze, wondering if she'd heard wrong. Long Feiye's next words left her even more muddle-headed.
He ordered the guard, "Go tell Jun Yixie that your lordship won't make the trade even if he has the skills to give me all of Northern Li in exchange."
He didn't need to trade for what he wanted, nor would he ever give away something he possessed. After finishing his frosty command, Long Feiye turned to leave, but Han Yunxi was left stunned in place, feeling at a loss. Could someone tell her if his words counted as aggressive sweet nothings? A country versus a woman, this man had actually answered in such a way.
But...but who could tell her why she still felt like a distant stranger whenever she saw his retreating back?
It felt like that icy kiss from the past represented many things and yet nothing at all.
Han Yunxi stood there like an idiot until Long Feiye had walked quite a distance away. Still, he turned back and said coldly, "Han Yunxi, you're still not leaving?"
"Leaving where?" Han Yunxi asked without thinking.
"I already told you just then. Still not leaving?" Long Feiye urged impatiently.
Mm, just then when he was teasing her, he said he'd take her to Medical City.
So he hadn't forgotten what happened just then after all!
Though Han Yunxi was still a little confused, she couldn't help a smile. There was no need to ask him about what happened in the justice courts. No matter what, it was good that he came. She quickly caught up to him until they were walking side-by-side. Not long afterwards, Long Feiye pulled her into his arms and took to the skies, heading in the direction of Medical City.
Three days later, Jun Yixie's waiting came to naught at the Suspended Temple!
1. Suspended Temple () - Xuankong Si, in which xuankong means "hang in the air."