Did Xiang Shu also care about him?
Editor(s): namio, juurensha
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The next morning, Xie An was standing by the side of the creek, stretching out his arms and legs, when he saw Xiang Shu come out to wash his face.
“You didn’t sleep the entire night?” Xie An asked.
Xiang Shu didn’t respond. Xie An asked again, “How did the Great Chanyu know there was a village here?”
“I’ve come here before.” Xiang Shu wrung the towel, squeezing out the bone-chillingly cold water. He thought for a bit before saying, “Last time, it was just behind the mountain where I got captured by you Jin people and taken to the prison in Xiangyang.”
Xie An hurried to say, “I’m really very sorry about that. Do you still remember the commander’s name? This time when we return, he will definitely be severely punished.”
“They’re all dead,” Xiang Shu said. “Back then, if Chen Xing hadn’t saved me, I would also have died. I never expected that today I would put my life on the line for you Han people; I guess this also counts as karma.”
Xie An smiled a little abashedly, but just as he was about to find something to say, Xiang Shu went back into the house and placed the icy cold towel on Chen Xing’s face. In an instant, Chen Xing shouted loudly and quickly sat up.
“Time to go,” Xiang Shu took a look at Chen Xing as he spoke.
In the seventh year of the Taiyuan era, the first day of the second month, the Great Jin diplomatic envoy group had travelled an enormous distance, crossing over mountains and rivers as they moved along a stretch of road which should only have taken half a month but had taken them almost 20 days, before, after much suffering, they finally arrived in Luoyang.
If Chang’an could be described as a tenacious great tree that sprang from the desolate plains, then Luoyang was even more so a huge stone tablet smeared in blood that held up the foundations of the world.
Luoyang had already been fully constructed in the time of the Xia dynasty, as recorded in the historical annals, and its history could be traced back to almost 2500 years ago. Shang, Zhou, Han, Wei, Jin, all five of those dynasties had designated this place as their capital. As the capital, it had been purged by the flames of war several times; what was burnt was burnt, what was destroyed had been destroyed, but still it established the fate of the Divine Land. The tablet was mottled with large scrawled words, filled with a historical record of the rise and fall of dynasties and emperors written in the blood of the common people, giving voice to the wild storms and the blood and tears of dynasties changing.
No matter how many prosperous eras the human realm underwent, in the end they would be blown away by the rain and the wind. But this stone tablet always stood tall in the direct center of the land, as if it was another Mt. Buzhou, standing witness to countless wars and countless songs of grief.
Back then, after the Disaster of Yongjia that involved the Sima clan, Luoyang had almost been flattened. After the Murong family took over governance of the city and established the Great Yan country, the original census of the citizens living there did not even reach 80,000 households. And afterwards, when Wang Meng led his troops down south, the steel cavalry of the Di people and the Xianbei people fought fiercely against each other, but thankfully under the leadership of Chen Xing’s eldest shixiong who had seen only a few battles, the Di tribe didn’t invade the city, rather letting the Hu and Han residents go. After ten years of recovery, Luoyang had slowly swelled its numbers back to 200,000 households.
The residential estates, the city walls, and even the palace all bore traces of scars from fire. Back then the Murong family was so poor that they had to borrow money from the Feng family to govern their country, so naturally they had no money to repair the entire city. And it was also exactly because of this that Feng Qianyi had struck up an alliance with Princess Qinghe.
The instant they entered Luoyang, they saw tens of thousands of disused old estates, streets that criss crossed each other, houses scattered like pieces on a chessboard or stars in the sky, all surrounding the central, sprawling yet chilly Ziwei Palace in a protective arrangement. It was as if the palace was wrapped in a dense cloud of resentment, and under the light of the noonday spring sun, there came a bleak feeling of some unchangeable fate.
“At last we’ve come back --” Xie An sighed as he entered the city.
This was the familiar Luoyang that countless people in the south had spoken of in legends, and it was the capital of the founding emperor of the Great Jin dynasty. Being able to see this ancient capital, those Jin officials who had been born and raised in Jiangnan couldn’t help but be silent for a long time. Xie An’s eyes filled with tears as he led the envoy squad in bowing three times towards the direction of the Ziwei Palace as they stood outside the city gates.
A Qin official came to receive them, and accompanying him were several major bankers from the Xifeng Bank. The handwritten missive from the Jin emperor Sima Yao had, not too long ago, been sent to Luoyang, and from Luoyang it was dispatched on fast horses driven with whips to Chang’an, where it instantly drew the competing speculations of everyone in the Great Qin court. The northern emperor Fu Jian sat on his throne in Chang’an, and customarily the diplomatic envoy squad should have headed towards Guanzhong, but no one expected them to arrive instead in Luoyang, which was, in name, under Murong Chong’s control.
This was also the first step in Xie An’s plan. After they had discussed it thoroughly in the Jin court, they finally chose to go to Luoyang to enter into diplomatic talks. Originally they wanted to test out Fu Jian and draw him out of the main battlefield of Chang’an, meeting in a third location that was neither Jiankang nor Chang’an.
But Fu Jian in the end didn’t give any sort of reply, instead letting Sima Yao’s missive and proposal go wholly unanswered.
“His Majesty has yet to come to a decision if he is willing to travel to Luoyang, and since everyone has traveled so far to get here, then please…” That Qin official was named Helian Shuang, and as he glanced at Xiang Shu and Chen Xing for a brief moment, he felt that the two of them looked a little familiar.
Xiang Shu had switched his outfit to a Han martial official’s uniform, and he wore a silver mask that covered the left half of his face. The eyebrow on the revealed right side of his face had been slightly trimmed, making him look even more heroic than before. No matter what, the official had no way to connect the former Great Chanyu of the ancient pact with this warrior. He then took a second look at Chen Xing, who had assumed the role of a secretary as he stood behind Xie An. Chen Xing had combed his hair up and tucked it into a hat, and compared to the youth who had entered Chang’an at 16, he had grown up somewhat in these years. Helian Shuang had been born in the Xiongnu tribe, and when Xiang Shu first broke into the palace, he only saw him once in a great hurry; there was no way he would recognize Chen Xing at all.
“Shall we move to the officials’ inn?” Helian Shuang’s Han language pronunciations were very precise, and he made an “after you” hand gesture. The Luoyang bank manager of the Xifeng Bank was even more reverent as he said, “The inn is currently under the management of Xifeng, everyone please come with me… what is this horse cart?” And saying this, he curiously shot a look at that horse cart that had been covered with a metal outer skin.
Xie An smiled. “This is the greeting gift that our Majesty is sending to the Heavenly Emperor Fu, and when His Majesty arrives, naturally it will be opened.”
Helian Shuang didn’t ask anymore, and he smiled as he said, “Then please, everyone, make yourself at home.”
“No need, no need,” Xie An said. “Helian-daren doesn’t need to worry about us. It’s rare that we can return to our homeland in the north, and we were hoping to see the sights of Luoyang.”
Xie An’s pseudonym was “Xie Wei”, and either way, very few people in the north had ever seen him, so he had no need to put on makeup or a mask, following along just as he was behind Helian Shuang as they travelled on foot through Tongtuo Avenue. But Helian Shuang said, “Xie-daren must have be joking, the Luoyang of today is already my Great Qin’s emperor’s territory.”
“I misspoke, I misspoke,” Xie An hurried to smile.
Helian Shuang said, “If everyone gathered here is willing to immigrate to my Great Qin, it’s a pretty good choice. Our majesty the Heavenly King holds scholars in the highest esteem.”
Chen Xing thought in his heart: they’re trying this again. They passed by Tongtuo Avenue, only to see the two sides of the road paved with glittering gold and an endless stream of businessmen and merchants like those in Chang’an, but in the end it still lacked something - it didn’t have any buzz.
Many of the merchants in Luoyang only provided services to the Xianbei royal family, and through them the aristocratic families of the Five Barbarian tribes; normal citizens wouldn’t be able to afford shopping here.
“Everyone may rest here first.” Helian Shuang brought the ten plus people of the diplomatic envoy group to the Songbai Residence in Luoyang, before saying, “Tonight Prefect Murong will host a banquet to welcome everyone. At the third ke of the you hour, carriages will come for you.”
Everyone was covered in the dust of the road from their journey, and so they all went to rest. Just as they were preparing to change into bathrobes to go bathe, Feng Qianjun said, “I don’t want to see Murong Chong so we can prevent complicating this issue any further. If any officials in Luoyang were to recognize me…”
“Here, listen to my plan!” Though Xie An had no martial skills to speak of, he still had some good insights, and at this point he said, “Qianjun, after night falls, if you could please go around within the city and investigate. It’d be best if you could, through reconnaissance, figure out a way to notify Murong Chong and ask him to see us in private after the evening banquet.”
Chen Xing watched Feng Qianjun a little worriedly. He was afraid that since his emotions hadn’t been very stable recently, or even worse, if in a while Xiao Shan said something that he shouldn’t during the banquet, that people would become suspicious. However, Xie An had already thought of that first, and he continued, “This Xiongnu prince, little brother Xiao Shan, I’ll have to trouble you to accompany Feng Qianjun this time.”
Chen Xing thought, thank the heavens and earth, that’s a really smart idea, this way the situation of Xiao Shan causing problems during the banquet can be successfully averted. Since they had just arrived in Luoyang, they were wholly ignorant of the situation here, and the Feng family had originally arranged for quite a few assassins in this area who they needed to get in contact with. With Xiao Shan there, at least it would be a little safer.
“Okay,” Xiao Shan said immediately. “I’m going.”
“Even if you aren’t going to the banquet, you still have to bathe!” Chen Xing immediately dragged Xiao Shan back, tossing him into the bathing pool. Only after scrubbing him once over did he let him leave.
Feng Qianjun had also left after a simple bath, leaving Chen Xing and Xiang Shu soaking in the water, the two of them staring silently at each other as they were lost in their own thoughts.
Ever since that day when they had had a long discussion in that dilapidated village, Xiang Shu spoke even less than he had before, and day after day he sank further into silence. Several times, Chen Xing had wanted to find him to clear things up, but Xiang Shu just nodded, as if he was too lazy to speak. But once in a while, as Chen Xing was riding his horse along the road, when he turned his head back to look for Xiang Shu, he found that Xiang Shu was always watching him. Every time this had happened, Xiang Shu had always sensed it instinctively, as if he didn’t want Chen Xing to become aware of the thoughts in his own heart, so he spurred his horse on to the very front of the group instead.
“In a bit, do you think Murong Chong will recognize us?” Chen Xing asked.
“He’s not a fool,” Xiang Shu said. “Even now, you still think that Hu people are all idiots?”
Chen Xing said, “Can’t you be a little gentler? Do you have to be so purposefully antagonistic towards me every time?”
Along the journey, it was as if Xiang Shu had some unresolved conflict with Chen Xing. Everyone felt it. Feng Qianjun had taken Xiao Shan away first, while Xie An, Huan Yi, and the others hadn’t come into the bathing pool yet, so they could have a space to interact privately.
Xiang Shu didn’t respond. He merely crossed his legs as he sat on the side of the bathing pool, lifting his head to look at the ceiling, which was shrouded within the thick mist.
Through the mist, Chen Xing watched Xiang Shu. He thought that his physique without any clothes on looked even better than when he had his clothes on, and instantly he gave up on any intent to argue with him, instead mustering up a smile as he said, “The words I said that day, I’ve thought them through clearly. I’ve decided to take your suggestion.”
“En,” Xiang Shu said mildly. “My proposition to seek death.”
Chen Xing said, “It’s very worth it, but Xiang Shu… I have something I’d like to tell you.”
Xiang Shu furrowed his brows as he shot a glance towards Chen Xing, who said, “I’ve always felt that my luck has been good, so perhaps in the end my death may not be for certain? But if you think that I’ll lose my life in the final battle, then shouldn’t you be a little nicer towards me now?”
Xiang Shu: “…”
Chen Xing continued, “Or else, after everything has ended, if I’m not around anymore, in the future when you think of our time together when we were always arguing, wouldn’t that forever be a sore point in your heart?”
Xiang Shu sucked in a deep breath, as if there was anger that had been suppressed for a very long time in his chest that had nowhere to go, and Chen Xing said dutifully, “Either way, I’ll be gone, so I won’t know anything; the person who’d feel guilty is you. Of course, if you don’t mind, then pretend like I never said these words to you.”
Xiang Shu: “Why are you always able to speak so calmly about your own death?”
Chen Xing smiled. “Because Shifu once said, of all the living beings on this earth, who doesn’t die? When you’re living, live well, and isn’t focusing on the present much better?”
Once again, that familiar, sad emotion appeared in Xiang Shu’s gaze as Chen Xing continued, speaking to himself, “And plus, there’s still a chance. As long as we haven’t reached the end, no one knows the results, isn’t that how it is? Compared to my life, what has me more worried is how we’re going to reasonably deliver the Dinghai Pearl into Wang Ziye’s hands…”
“I’ll help you ba,” Xiang Shu suddenly said.
Chen Xing, “?”
“Turn around.” Xiang Shu noticed that it was very difficult for Chen Xing to reach around and wipe his own shoulders. Chen Xing then turned around, his back to Xiang Shu, and Xiang Shu lifted up the cloth towel, helping him wipe his shoulders and back.
Chen Xing understood that Xiang Shu had accepted it, and perhaps this was for the best. Since they didn’t have much time left, why didn’t he properly cherish the present?
“Xiang Shu, are you…” Chen Xing said lightly.
Xiang Shu’s movements paused for a moment, but Chen Xing suddenly didn’t want to say anymore; what was there to say? Over these past few days, he had an increasing premonition that Xiang Shu seemed to care about him a little. When had he begun to have this kind of feeling? Was it because of the way in which Xiang Shu watched him? Or was it afterwards, when he thought over it again, that sentence of “You pretended you didn’t understand” that night?
“Am I what?” Xiang Shu’s voice was suddenly a little uneven.
Chen Xing’s heart began to beat violently. He finally started to realize that since one month ago during his coma after the sacrificial rites, he began to feel that Xiang Shu had changed. The two of them seemed to have many words they wanted to say, but they always stopped before saying them, like there was something constantly hindering Chen Xing.
In the beginning he was very dependent on Xiang Shu; he felt that Xiang Shu could accomplish any task in this world, no matter how difficult. But gradually he began to realize that Xiang Shu didn’t really listen to his commands, so in many situations, Chen Xing couldn’t force him and could only let him do as he wished. They were probably the least cooperative pair in the history of the Exorcism Department, and sometimes Chen Xing even suspected that in the end they might not be able to come through on this plan that had a hundred holes in it.
And because of this, when he faced Xiang Shu, he couldn’t help but want to push him and kick him and even beat him up, shouting and yelling loudly, letting out the gloomy energy in his chest. Why can’t you listen to me? But when he saw Xiang Shu in person, that pent up anger wouldn’t release itself, so he could only once in a while get mad at him with his words.
If he wasn’t destined to face this fate, perhaps their interactions would be a little different? Sometimes Chen Xing couldn’t help but imagine, if this was a world where mana was abundant and flourishing, then perhaps he would doggedly follow Xiang Shu, messing with him once in a while to see what he looked like when he was angry, and after messing with him, he would apologize and see the expression of not being able to do anything to himself.
But today everything wasn’t like that.
“Nothing,” Chen Xing responded. Maintaining this kind of relationship, for both of them, would be for the best ba.
One of Xiang Shu’s hands covered the nape of Chen Xing’s neck, and the other hand held a towel as he wiped Chen Xing’s shoulders.
“Remember that you promised me something,” Xiang Shu suddenly said.
Chen Xing responded, “I know you won’t ask me to do something beyond my capability.” He then heard Xiang Shu suck in a deep breath behind him, as if he wanted to say something, but once again he resisted the urge to do so.
“You think that I want you to do something beyond your capability?” Xiang Shu said mildly.
Chen Xing began to smile, but just as he was about to speak, outside Xie An’s voice called, “That… the two of you, are you done with your business? The appointed time that Murong Chong chose … um, this… though disturbing the two of you isn’t good, but…”
“Right away!” Chen Xing had also realized that they had spent too long bathing, and outside there were still quite a few people waiting. Xiang Shu could only get up and go change.
After Xie An and the rest hurriedly bathed, the carriage procession that Murong Chong had sent over had already arrived at the door of the inn. Chen Xing and Xiang Shu changed into a set of slightly more formal clothing. Xiang Shu put on the silver mask, but even then his tall and handsome physique couldn’t be hidden. It could even be said that the more he tried to hide, the more the truth was exposed. Chen Xing said, “Since he can recognize us, then isn’t this mask…”
“The mask is there to tell him that he shouldn’t rashly expose our identities,” Xiang Shu said mildly. “It’s not to hide from him, why are you this dumb?”
Chen Xing: “...”
Chen Xing saw that Xiang Shu had begun to mock him and knew that Xiang Shu was no longer angry, so he smiled and helped Xiang Shu straighten his collar, saying, “Alright, alright, I was never smart to begin with, let’s go.”
The two of them got on one carriage, and Xiang Shu’s arms and legs were long so it was a little cramped. Chen Xing could only place his hand on Xiang Shu’s thigh, and thinking of the words they had spoken just now in the bathing room, and that feeling grew even stronger, stopping his mind from focusing on anything else. If Xiang Shu really had such intentions towards him… then in these last days of his life...
Chen Xing couldn’t resist turning his head to look at Xiang Shu, thinking in his heart, what if his own premonitions were real? Did Xiang Shu also care about him? He had always refused to believe it, or perhaps it was that he didn’t want to think about it like this, until Xiang Shu said that sentence. If he scooted up and kissed Xiang Shu on the lips right now, what would happen then?
Chen Xing looked at Xiang Shu wearing the mask, and suddenly his face grew a little hot.
Xiang Shu asked indifferently, “What are you looking at?”
Chen Xing shook his head and turned his head away.
Xiang Shu then lifted up a hand and placed it on his shoulder.
“We are entering the palace -- remove your swords,” a palace attendant called.
Xiang Shu unwillingly handed over the Acala Blade, saying, “Go back and tell your Prefect Murong that if he wants me to remove my sword, I’ll go back instead.”
A line of people were stopped in front of the entrance to the palace, and the palace attendant was about to open his mouth and reproach him when he saw Xiang Shu’s imposing manner and didn’t dare to slight him. Xie An, however, was very courteous and affable, and he smiled as he patted the palace attendant’s shoulder, saying, “Why don’t you report this to your prefect first?”
Not long after, someone came back with a message to let the accompanying warrior keep his greatsword. This message was only directed towards Xiang Shu, and it was then that they once again headed into the palace, entering the ceremonial hall. In the ceremonial hall, Murong Chong had laid out a banquet, and as Chen Xing entered into the hall, everyone took their seats according to the proper order. At the head was Xie An, behind him was Chen Xing, and Xiang Shu sat diagonally behind Chen Xing.
“Murong-daren has arrived --”
Everyone sat up and adjusted their lapels as Murong Chong, wearing a black cultivator’s robe walked in from the outside of the hall. Before coming, everyone had already gossiped about the number one handsome man of the north who was on par with Xie An’s grandson, Xie Hunqi; it was said that Murong Chong’s appearance was comparable to Pan An or Wei Jie’s, but in the instant they saw him in person, the group of scholars thought, heh, he’s alright, it’s not enough to be surprised about. He was about as good looking as Xiang Shu, and he was only a little bit better than Xiang Shu.
But after less than a second, everyone could only nod and agree that though their expectations were too high and they didn’t feel like they had “seen a fairy”, Murong Chong’s “world’s number one handsome man” was not in vain; after all, compared to their own people, none of them could beat Murong Chong.
“Everyone has traveled far to come here…” Murong Chong was a little absent-minded, and as soon as he saw Chen Xing and Xiang Shu behind him, his voice stopped.
Xiang Shu acted as if he was wholly unconcerned, only sitting there silently. The entire hall waited for Murong Chong to finish his sentence, yet at this time Murong Chong had stopped. His phoenix brows rose, his thin lips twitched slightly, and after a long while he said, “It must have been an arduous journey.”
Xie An and the others hurried to act modest as everyone stared at Murong Chong. Murong Chong stood there for a long while, as if he was mulling over something, and after a moment he walked to the main seat, sitting down in a cross-legged martial position. He knocked his finger against the table to call over an attendant, issuing a few commands in a low voice, and the attendant turned and left.
Chen Xing said amusedly, “Prefect-daren isn’t commanding his axe-wielders to go hide for an ambush, is he?”
Everyone began to chuckle, but Murong Chong froze for a moment before continuing, “No, how would I dare to display my slight skill against an expert?”
Helian Shuang was also present, and below the main seat were several of the officials of Luoyang, with Helian Shuang as their head. As Xie An took a look, he understood that Heliang Shuang was sent by Fu Jian to surveil Murong Chong, and he smiled as he said, “The prefect’s name is known far and wide, and really it isn’t false. My country’s majesty has long since heard of it.”
Chen Xing looked measuredly at Murong Chong, knowing that he had already recognized the two of them, but as of today, compared with the situation when Princess Qinghe had lost her life, things were already completely different. Clearly Xiang Shu’s understanding of Murong Chong was extremely accurate: he didn’t want to get revenge, or at least, not right now.
“This life of mine has been burdened by my name,” Murong Chong said coolly. “Sometimes, being too famous isn’t a good thing.”
From the instant Murong Chong appeared, Chen Xing was thinking about the impression he had given himself. After mulling it over for a while, he found the most accurate word to describe it -- chilly.
Murong Chong and Xiang Shu were both handsome men, and though both were cold and distant, Xiang Shu still had the passions of a mortal and even a bit of warmth. Murong Chong, on the other hand, could only be described with the word “chilly”, and he was a little otherworldly. Perhaps after his sister died, for him, there was nothing else left in this world that could cause any sort of ripples in his heart.
Tonight’s banquet, to Xie An, was a very difficult problem. In trying to get on the Murong family’s good side, it would be easy to accidentally trespass on the Great Yan’s hatred towards the fall of their country, and complimenting that he was young and looked handsome would lead others to connect that with his relationship with Fu Jian. No matter what he said, it would be easy to prod the scabs that Murong Chong didn’t want to mention. After thinking it over for a long time, he said, very neatly, “Luoyang has so many things left to repair, but the citizens have already been settled in; the prefect’s care towards his citizens is very visible in that aspect.”
“It has nothing to do with me,” Murong Chong said, still a little absently as he shot a look towards Xiang Shu sitting behind Chen Xing. He continued easily, “It was all because of the hard work of Helian-daren and the various officials, I merely took credit for their efforts.”
And with this the conversation died again. Clearly Murong Chong didn’t want to engage in such superfluous discussions with them at all, and he had no interest to try and get on the good side of these Han people. Xie An thought for a moment before deciding to cut straight to the heart of things, and he asked, “What was the decision on His Majesty’s end?”
“I don’t know,” Murong Chong said coldly and calmly. “I’ve already sent someone to deliver the letter, and perhaps he’ll come… you’ve come, how’s your illness?”
Outside of the side door of the ceremonial hall, a person’s silhouette appeared. At first everyone thought it was Fu Jian and froze for a moment, before realizing that it was instead a 20 or so year old slim youth, and they were at a loss. The moment Chen Xing saw that person, he almost shouted out loud.
Compared to the last time they had hurriedly seen Tuoba Yan in Chi Le Chuan, he had grown even thinner. He was wearing very thick clothes, and his once-handsome face bore a weary expression. The black shadow in the center of his brows flickered in and out of existence, while his face was white bordering on grey, like a vessel of brass that had been carefully crafted but was now coated in dust, but the instant he saw Chen Xing, that long-lost smile once again appeared on his face.
“You guys have come,” Tuoba Yan smiled and said, before taking a seat. His eyes were as bright as they had been before, looking only at Chen Xing.
Xiang Shu: “....”
“You…” Chen Xing’s shock was almost insurmountable. Tuoba Yan appearing in Luoyang was nothing strange but rather a pleasant surprise, but in an instant the joy of reuniting with an old friend was instantly washed away by the realization that Tuoba Yan had caught an illness. Chen Xing wanted to ask him what was wrong, but Xiang Shu had already extended a finger, which gently poked Chen Xing’s shoulder.
Helian Shuang was already a little suspicious, and the Hu officials of Luoyang all stared at Chen Xing, so Chen Xing didn’t dare to speak anymore.
Tuoba Yan managed to smile a little as he said, “I got sick, so I came to Luoyang to recuperate. The prefect told me that some Han people had come, and I wanted to come and ask about what happened to one of my little brothers. His name is Chen Xing, and I heard that he went to Jiankang, I don’t know how he’s doing now.”
“He’s doing well,” Xiang Shu took the initiative and answered.
Tuoba Yan smiled. “Now, I’m no longer worried.”
Murong Chong said, “Eat something?”
Tuoba Yan suddenly picked up Murong Chong’s wine cup, saying to the gathered people, “A salute to you all.”
“You can’t drink wine,” Murong Chong frowned.
But Tuoba Yan had already drunk it, and after flashing the bottom of the wine cup, he nodded and said, “Please excuse me, I’m taking my leave first.”
moon: look who’s back!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), moon.