Chen Xing said, "This is a fated arrangement, it’s not up to you whether you want to be a Protector or not. See? Because of a strange combination of circumstances, you’re destined to investigate this matter with me......y-you-you......what are you trying to do again?! Try hitting me again and see?!"
Xiang Shu stood up, and Chen Xing backed up right away and thought, even rabbits would bite when they get anxious. Yet Xiang Shu did not threaten him at all. When he walked to stand in front of Chen Xing, he cast a sidelong look at Chen Xing.
"Guwang hates being deceived the most," Xiang Shu said coldly, "As long as you do not deceive me, you will be able to keep your life."
When he heard the words "Guwang," Chen Xing suddenly realized a serious problem that he has never noticed before — Xiang Shu was the Great Chanyu, that is, he was the King beyond the Great Wall and was theoretically on equal footing with the Central Plains’ overlord, Fu Jian. Perhaps it was because he had formed the habit after they were constantly on the move the whole way here, but Chen Xing had never treated Xiangshu as the Great Chanyu, and he didn’t pay attention to what he says in front of him either, unlike with Fu Jian. Now that he thought about it, this guy was a man of his word.
But Chen Xing could not help but try to gain an advantage with words.
"If you hit me again, once I get my mana back......" Chen Xing said bitterly, "I will definitely take revenge, and I'll kill you then!" After he spoke, he immediately backed up a little; if Xiang Shu tried to hit him, he would start yelling and run back to the imperial study to beg Fu Jian for help.
"I’ll wait." Xiang Shu only said this coldly, He waited for Chen Xing to catch up and frowned, "You’re still not leaving?"
Chen Xing felt doubtful for a moment, then snapped out of his stupor. Xiang Shu wanted to investigate the matter related to the Exorcism Department, so he would follow along while keeping a certain distance. Chen Xing saw Xiang Shu turn out of the garden and arrive in front of the palace hall.
"Great Chanyu has arrived." The guards by the door quickly reported to the one inside.
This place was Princess Qinghe’s sleeping chambers. They saw Princess Qinghe sitting down in an indolent manner, and there were several Xianbei girls beside her who appeared both quiet and elegant -- they should be the daughters of aristocratic Xianbei families. As soon as they saw Xiang Shu, all the girls suddenly laughed and stood up one after another to greet him.
"Don’t harbour any wishful thinking," Princess Qinghe was smiling enigmatically as she said, "All of you, sit down. The Great Chanyu likes men."
Xiang Shu, "......"
Chen Xing cast a skeptical glance at Xiang Shu. "Oh, really? Is that true?"
Princess Qinghe explained to the ones on both her right and left, "Has no one heard of the marriage proposals the other day?"
Xiang Shu took a deep breath. He didn’t want to harp on this with Princess Qinghe any further, otherwise it would just make matters worse. He asked in a deep voice, "Where is he?"
Princess Qinghe said, "I’ve already called him over. Great Chanyu, sit down and drink some tea first ba. Tianchi, serve your Great Chanyu for awhile."
So Chen Xing could only sit down and pour some tea for Xiang Shu. Princess Qinghe said, "Tianchi?"
Chen Xing has always felt that this gang of Hus liked to joke around and would tease him when they had nothing better to do. He was extremely wary of Princess Qinghe, and he didn’t know if Xiang Shu came here to ask Qinghe for help in finding someone or to assist in their investigation.
"Yes." Chen Xing replied.
Princess Qinghe said, smiling, "Have you agreed to the marriage proposed by His Majesty?"
Chen Xing said calmly, "I didn’t."
Princess Qinghe said, "Oh? Why not? Please pardon me, us Xianbei people have always been this direct."
The other girls laughed as they stared at Chen Xing.
The corners of Chen Xing’s mouth twitched. He replied, "There are no feelings between us."
Princess Qinghe said, "But feelings can be slowly nurtured ma."
Chen Xing replied, "But we’d still have to wait until it’s nurtured before mentioning marriage ba."
Chen Xing was now quite calm about accepting marriage between two men, and thought he could only use other excuses to shut the mouths of this bunch of Hus who disregarded laws and morality and liked to watch rites and music end up in ruins.
Another girl smiled at Qinghe and said, "He has long since had someone, so Yan Ge shouldn’t hold onto too much hope. If it were me, I would definitely marry the Great Chanyu too."
The girl was talking in the Xianbei language. Chen Xing had learned it from Yuwen Xin before so he understood it all, but in this sort of situation, he could only pretend to not understand it. It wasn’t appropriate to look at Xiang Shu’s expression either.
Princess Qinghe replied that girl in the Xianbei language too, "He can marry both~ If he’s able to sit in Wang Meng’s position, he could marry the Great Chanyu first, then marry Yan’er......."
Chen Xing, "......"
"Enough." Xiang Shu finally couldn’t continue listening any further.
At this time, someone finally came from outside, but Chen Xing heard a familiar voice.
"The commoner Feng Qianjun would like to pay respects to Your Royal Highness, Princess Qinghe."
Chen Xing, "!!!"
Chen Xing turned around immediately, but Xiang Shu only glanced at the door. They saw Feng Qianjun standing outside the threshold, afraid to come in. He bowed slightly, then stood with his hands tucked into his sleeves. Chen Xing glanced at him once and almost couldn’t recognise him, because today, Feng Qianjun had specially changed his clothes, which was a change from his usual Jianghu style. He wore a pitch-black cage crown and had even trimmed his eyebrows. He had gotten rid of his sabre, his complexion was as fair as polished jade, and he now appeared quite stately.
Chen Xing almost called out “Feng Dage” but was stopped with a look from Xiang Shu.
"Great Chanyu’s looking for you," Princess Qinghe casually laughed, "Come in ba."
"Let’s talk someplace else." Yet Xiang Shu got up and said, "We’ll leave now."
Princess Qinghe did not stop them, and only said, "His Majesty will be waiting for you to have dinner with him tonight, come back early."
Xiang Shu knew that there would be trouble when he heard that. Ever since he entered the palace, Fu Jian had refrained from mentioning the Golden Conferment of Purple Scroll and had just let him rest well, so Xiang Shu also did not take the initiative to talk about it. Now, Fu Jian presumably couldn’t hold back anymore and was finally asking for the purple scroll from him.
So Chen Xing and Xiang Shu got up to leave. Feng Qianjun looked up again and cast a glance towards the hall. Chen Xing suddenly realised that within Feng Qianjun’s eyes, he actually saw a little loneliness.
"Feng Dage?" Chen Xing whispered.
Feng Qianjun nodded, then left the palace with Chen Xing and Xiang Shu. All three of them did not speak for a moment. Chen Xing was thinking to himself. He scrutinised Xiang Shu and could not guess his motives, and he found it even stranger for Feng Qianjun to know Princess Qinghe. While harbouring many suspicions, they arrived at a deserted place outside the palace where a carriage was waiting for them.
Feng Qianjun took the initiative to say, "I heard about what happened last night. After knowing that the two of you were alright, I was going to ask someone to enter the palace today and make some enquiries, but the Great Chanyu summoned me first."
Chen Xing looked at Feng Qianjun, then at Xiang Shu. Xiang Shu still wore an inscrutable expression on his face and did not reveal even the slightest hint, so he could only ask Feng Qianjun, "Feng Dage, you actually know Princess Qinghe?"
Feng Qianjun explained, "Apart from operating banks, the Feng family supplies rarities to the royal family. Seven years ago, when I came to Chang’an, I got to know her because of a chance encounter. Great Chanyu, since you’re the one who asked me to come, please forgive me for speaking bluntly...... "
Xiang Shu interrupted Feng Qianjun, "It’s my fault for not being able to save your family’s coachman last night."
Feng Qianjun quickly waved and said, "The coachman has already received a generous burial, and a lot of money has been given in compensation too. No one wanted something like that to happen."
Hearing Xiang Shu with his lofty status care about the life and death of a coachman, Chen Xing felt that his opinion of Xiang Shu did change slightly.
"Let’s talk on the carriage ba." Feng Qianjun motioned, "Go to the Songbai residence?"
Chen Xing, "This carriage is too small......"
Feng Qianjun, "I didn’t know that both of you would be around. Well, just make do with this first and squeeze a little......"
Feng Qianjun’s carriage was extremely narrow. The three of them squeezed in, but Xiang Shu and Feng Qianjun had long legs, so it became so cramped that they couldn’t even move. Xiang Shu’s lips and nose were sticking to Chen Xing’s cheek, while Feng Qianjun’s arm was pressed against Chen Xing’s waist. Chen Xing could only half sit on both Xiang Shu’s and Feng Qianjun’s thighs that they had each contributed respectively.
"Why am I the one sitting in the middle......"
Feng Qianjun, "Don’t tell me you want the Great Chanyu to sit on my lap?"
Xiang Shu, “......”
Chen Xing, "That’s strange, aren’t you always riding horses? Why are you taking the carriage today?"
Feng Qianjun, "Because I don’t want to mess up my hair."
Chen Xing, "Why?"
Feng Qianjun, "Don’t ask anymore, it's all just upsetting things."
The carriage passed Changkang North Road, and wobbled along the street that Xiang Shu and Chen Xing had returned through last night. Feng Qianjun said, "Who on earth ambushed the two of you last night? And how many of them were there? We have very limited information, and only you two were involved."
Xiang Shu was practically stuck to Chen Xing’s face as he coldly answered, "Don’t know, one person."
Feng Qianjun asked again, "When the guards on patrol arrived, only the corpse of my coachman remained. Why didn’t you continue fighting while waiting for reinforcements?"
Feng Qianjun knew that with Xiang Shu’s kind of status, he definitely wouldn’t kill a coachman and was almost certain that the two of them were attacked after leaving Songbai residence.
"Wait for the patrol guards?" Xiang Shu coldly said, "And let them lose their lives on the street too?"
Chen Xing thought, so that’s it. Did he suddenly escape last night because he didn’t want the guards on patrol to die?
Feng Qianjun felt puzzled, and looked at Chen Xing again. Chen Xing wondered for a long time before explaining, "The one who attacked us was a yao."
"Another yao?" Feng Qianjun was baffled, "Why are there always yaos wherever you go?"
"You think I want that?" Chen Xing said helplessly, "Also, aren’t you reversing the cause and effect?!"
Xiang Shu said, "I summoned you to the palace for another matter. Go underground now, and open the last warehouse door."
Chen Xing, “!!!”
Chen Xing had just mentioned it to Xiang Shu that morning, and Xiang Shu now made this tough request to Feng Qianjun. Feng Qianjun immediately said, "No way! I don’t have the right to go in, and I can’t get in either."
Xiang Shu, "Okay, then stop the carriage."
Chen Xing said at once, "What are you going to do?"
Chen Xing thought that Xiang Shu was going to storm in single-handedly and stab Feng Qianyi to death, then slaughter the entire Songbai residence, but he didn’t expect Xiang Shu to say, "In that case, there is no need for the Songbai residence to exist."
Feng Qianjun, "......"
The three of them were squeezed into a small carriage. Xiang Shu wanted to get up, but Chen Xing quickly shifted onto his body and pressed him down. Chen Xing sat in his embrace and tried smoothing things over, "Talk it out peacefully."
Xiang Shu, "A fatal disaster will befall the Feng family soon, yet they’re still being so conceited without any kind of self-awareness. They’ll die sooner or later, so I don’t mind sending your whole family off along the way."
Feng Qianjun, "!!!"
Feng Qianjun took a deep breath. Chen Xing was scared witless from just listening to him. Xiang Shu had said it straight out just like that! It was silent inside the carriage for a moment. Some words were lodged in Feng Qianjun’s throat, and he didn’t utter them for a long time. Finally, with a bit of frustration, he sighed, "I have tried to persuade my older brother more than once."
Xiang Shu, "That has nothing to do with me. Open the warehouse door."
Feng Qianjun said stiffly, "And if I don’t?"
Xiang Shu replied, "Then tonight, Guwang will mobilize the imperial guards to banish the Feng family from Chang’an. I’ve been tolerating you for a very long time, Feng Qianjun."
"Don’t, don’t," Chen Xing immediately said, "Don’t fight. At the very least, we’re friends who have gone through the hardships of living in the wild together. Uh...... Feng Dage, I really need...... Could you help me think of something? For......for you, that Sen Luo Wan Xiang......un...... "
Chen Xing glanced at the sabre Feng Qianjun carried around with him, the hidden meaning behind his words self-evident, once the mana of the world was restored, the Sen Luo sabre would turn into a magic weapon that rested in the hands of Feng Qianjun. It would be able to restrict his older brother, Feng Qianyi at the very least, and even if it couldn’t, he would still be able to use it for self-defence.
Feng Qianjun naturally understood Chen Xing’s hint and wondered in silence.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), kee.