"He thought the mute didn't love him. He... en, he was sick and wouldn't live for long."
Editor(s): juurensha, namio
Three shichen earlier. Nightfall, Songbai Residence.
Since the moment Feng Qianjun saw his elder brother, his hands had been trembling uncontrollably.
"Dage," Feng Qianjun said, trying his best to control his own trembling voice. "I... I'm here."
"Oh? How was your trip?" Feng Qianyi was still as before, sitting in his wooden wheelchair, his manner easy and casual as he sipped his tea. He had been apart from his younger brother for no more than half a year, and had just returned from a trip to Jiankang before the year started.
Feng Qianjun only stared at his elder brother in a daze. Slightly baffled, Feng Qianyi knitted his brows and asked, "What's the matter?"
Feng Qianjun immediately shook his head and took a deep breath before saying, "During this period of six months, the matter of restoring the country..."
Somewhat confused, Feng Qianyi just looked at him.
Feng Qianjun had planned to say a lot of things, but the moment he truly faced his elder brother, nothing actually came out. Because their parents had passed away early on, the relationship between Feng Qianjun and his elder brother was truly close; from childhood and until he grew up, there was nothing that he could hide from him.
Feng Qianyi could only feel that his younger brother had been acting a little strange today, but he couldn't pinpoint exactly what was off about him.
"...The matter of restoring the country, is it still going well?" Feng Qianjun asked, his smile containing a hint of sadness.
Feng Qianyi was silent, not giving any reply. He took another sip of his tea before putting a cup in front of his younger brother, which Feng Qianjun then took.
"That's not something you should be concerned about," Feng Qianyi replied. "What took you so long?"
Thinking about it for a moment, Feng Qianjun said, "Because of the chaos of war in Xiangyang, the road became difficult to travel."
Feng Qianyi still had a slight doubt. "Did you bring Senluo Wanxiang?"
Feng Qianjun untied the scabbard and put Senluo Wanxiang on the table. Drawing it out, Feng Qianyi first took a look at sabre before returning it to the scabbard.
"Since you're here," Feng Qianyi said, "Just stay ba. This sabre is a precious heirloom of our family, I'll safe-keep it in your stead."
Feng Qianjun: "......"
Feng Qianjun wanted to open his mouth, yet he couldn't find any excuse. Since his elder brother wanted to hold onto the Senluo Sabre, what was there to be done? If he said any word of rebuttal, it would undoubtedly raise his guard. Though, when he thought about it, the key to controlling the divine weapons had long since been lost. Nevertheless, back then, in the ruins of the Exorcism Department inside the Yin Yang Mirror, Chen Xing had still found some ancient records. Even if Feng Qianyi held onto it, he couldn't use it either, so there shouldn't be any trouble leaving it with him for the time being.
Feng Qianjun could only say, "All right."
Then, Feng Qianyi casually said, "In a few more days, Dage will bring you to meet a friend. You must be tired from your journey, so go take a rest first. Someone, take the Second Master to have a rest."
Left with no other choice, Feng Qianjun could only go take a bath and change his clothes. As he was about to leave, he took a glance toward the closed door, only to see, from the gap of the door, Feng Qianyi once again drawing the Senluo Sabre. Lowering his head, he gazed at the blade of the sabre in silence.
The next day, Weiyang Palace.
When Chen Xing woke up after hearing some bustle, his entire person was wrapped around Xiang Shu's body. Xiang Shu, on the other hand, was motionless; the sound of his breathing was controlled, and his whole body was stiff.
Chen Xing: !!!"
Chen Xing also dared not to move; this posture was really too ambiguous. When he had been sleeping, he had actually involuntarily leaned over to Xiang Shu's side. Using his arm as a pillow, Chen Xing hugged Xiang Shu's neck, burying his head between his shoulder and neck with one of his legs propped over his body, all while Xiang Shu's arms were both spread out —— this was how Chen Xing coiled himself into him.
Chen Xing: "......"
Chen Xing could only pretend to still be sleeping as he slowly turned his body over and little by little, separated himself from Xiang Shu's body. Then, at last, Xiang Shu finally let out a sigh of relief. He got up in the blink of an eye and climbed off the bed.
A eunuch came over bringing new clothes. Obviously, because of the Great Chanyu's return yesterday night, the tailors had made them as fast as possible that very night based on the measurements of Xiang Shu’s old clothes. There were also pieces of jewelry as well as the Sixteen Hus' signet ring engraved with the ruler's seal inside the case. Hearing the sound, like a swarm of bees, people from the outside entered the room to serve Xiang Shu. According to the custom of the Hus, they smoothed out both of his sideburns, keeping several dozens of tiny braids that were then pulled up to the back of his head. He also put on a white jade ring and wore three plumes on his hair in place of the Great Chanyu's feathered crown.
Cheng Xing got up. Although he was still dressed in the Han style as before, what was delivered to him was actually the clothing of the Hus, but it wasn't like Chen Xing took any offense either way. The back part of the Hu clothing was pressed against the skin, which made his waist look very straight. It was completely different from those wide robes and big sleeves of the Hans. Instead, it gave a special kind of handsome, carefree appearance.
In addition to this, Fu Jian also gave their dog a small sheepskin jacket with an extra silver collar.
"Fu Jian went as far as to prepare you a set of rings?" Chen Xing actually felt a bit curious.
Standing in front of a mirror, Xiang Shu was being served by the eunuchs. As his clothes were arranged, he raised his eyebrows questioningly. Suddenly, Chen Xing understood that this set of rings was the Great Chanyu's symbol of authority, and that perhaps, Fu Jian had also prepared them for his own use.
Afterward, a eunuch put three rings with precious gems inlaid on each of them on Xiang Shu in succession. When Xiang Shu saw that Chen Xing was scrutinizing them, he simply took one ring and passed it to him. Chen Xing was about to decline, but on second thought, he decided to take it.
"These rings, what are their significance?" Chen Xing lowered his head. Xiang Shu's hand was big. That ring, which was supposed to be on his little finger, happened to fit on Chen Xing's ring finger —— it was a turquoise ring engraved with trees and many kinds of animals on top of it.
"To start and end the war, to control trade and commerce as well as territorial division, and to bestow life or death to people," Xiang Shu replied casually, "They're all the Great Chanyu's power. The one in your hand means the right over life or death."
When the eunuchs saw that Xiang Shu had unexpectedly given one of the Great Chanyu's rings to Chen Xing, they immediately wanted to open their mouths. However, since they didn't know what exactly they should say, they could only give a meaningful glance toward each other. Xiang Shu, on the other hand, had already turned around and left the screen. He sat down on a couch, and several people hurriedly brought over a small table and served him milk tea. Chen Xing saw that on the couch outside the screen, unlike the last time, there was a small seat arranged for him. At this, he threw a look at Xiang Shu.
"Sit ah." Xiang Shu couldn't understand. "What do you want for breakfast?"
Chen Xing was slightly overwhelmed by this favor. And thus, he went to the couch and sat down together with Xiang Shu, drinking milk tea before starting to have breakfast.
As soon as the door was opened, all kinds of Hu people waiting outside the room poured in. Speaking in Tiele, Xiongnu, Xianbei, Rouran, and many other languages, they one after another began saying, "The Four Seas and the prairies are all the Great Chanyu's land, and all of the people under the sky are all the Great Chanyu's people......" and started kowtowing.
Chen Xing was scared shitless by the worship, thinking to himself, It'd be better if you don't ba. It's all fine if you pay respect to Xiang Shu, but kowtowing to me as well, this is too embarrassing. He couldn't help but look at Xiang Shu again. Xiang Shu, like before, was wearing a navy blue brocade robe with the Sixteen Hus of the Ancient Chi Le Covenant's totem that looked very bright under the sunlight. His head was full of jet-black tiny braids. A dark-gold, soaring dragon belt was wrapped around his waist, and on his feet were black-lacquered boots made of deerskin. Crossing his legs, both of his eyes seemingly shone in the dark just like the light of the star, while his face was showing a cold, stern look as the two rings embedded with precious gems on his fingers reflected the sunlight.
"Yeluosa." Without even properly looking at those people in the hall, Xiang Shu casually opened his mouth and said that before sipping his milk tea once more.
Chen Xing soaked a deep-fried sangza in a silver bowl containing cow's milk and used a spoon embedded with a precious gem to scoop it out and eat it. He couldn't help but look at the rest of the people; they were all peeking at Chen Xing, stealing a glance at that ring on his finger.
"Yeluosa means 'be at ease' in the Tiele language," Xiang Shu casually said, paying no heed as he finished his breakfast. He then raised his eyebrows, signaling people to say what they wanted to say.
Thus, the Hus first began to ask Xiang Shu about when he had arrived, but without even waiting for him to answer, they started to denounce Fu Jian in succession.
Chen Xing felt uncomfortable, as if he were sitting on pins and needles, and couldn't help but steal a glance at Xiang Shu. His mind was full of that scene from when he woke up early in the morning. That body under the Great Chanyu’s royal garment was incomparably warm, and the scent of his body made him feel at ease and comfortable. He had felt that Xiang Shu was very good-looking since the first time around, and now that they were closer, he always couldn't help but want to take a peek at him.
Xiang Shu, from the corner of his eye, also shot a glance at him, though he didn't say anything in return. The words from these old-fashioned Hu veterans had slightly agitated him, and he could only nod his head to indicate that he was aware of the situation.
"After Wang Meng's death," someone said in Xiongnu, "Fu Jian became more and more fond of grandiose deeds. In spite of people trying to dissuade him, he insisted on recruiting more troops to launch an expedition against the Jin, and that Han named Wang Ziye is also adding fuel to the fire. That bunch of Han people is now running amok in the court all day long..."
When Chen Xing saw that someone had begun to talk about the Hans while also shooting him a glance, he added a sentence in Xiongnu, "He's no match for the South."
Stunned, Xiang Shu looked at Chen Xing.
In a split second, all of the people inside the room felt stupid. They didn't expect that Chen Xing could actually understand what they were saying!
Chen Xing was nervous that the conversation would soon change subject to why he was there. So, instead of making it awkward, he made it clear that he could speak the Hu language in advance, as to avoid this group of people saying something they shouldn't say.
Chen Xing added, "Although the number of troops of the South's Beifu Army isn't that many, the Hans use the Yangtze River as a natural stronghold; it's not something that he can break through in a matter of seconds. Why did Wang Meng, before meeting his death, warn Fu Jian again and again that he shouldn't attack the Jin for the rest of his life? He must've had his reasons."
Xiang Shu's expression was a complete bafflement. It was because the Xiongnu language spoken by Chen Xing wasn't the common speech in Chi Le Chuan, but rather, it was the dialect of the ancient Xiongnu people.
In Tiele language, Xiang Shu said, "A person who is bent on going their own way cannot be persuaded by anyone."
This was a famous saying of the Tiele people. Chen Xing had heard it the last time he went to Chi Le Chuan, and he still remembered it until now.
Xiang Shu also didn't say another word. Everyone quieted down and soon began to propose that if Xiang Shu was unwilling to overthrow Fu Jian, could he at least lead the remaining Hus of Chang'an back?
Xiang Shu said, "The road to Chi Le Chuan isn't blocked. Anyone who wishes to leave can just leave. It's up to you." Saying so, he stood up, got off the couch, and actually walked out in front of the crowd. He turned his head back toward Chen Xing and whistled at the dog. Chen Xing returned to his senses and caught up with the dog. "Where to?"
Xiang Shu didn't provide an answer, and that was how those Hu people were left behind in the resting hall.
Chen Xing used Tiele language to continue the latter half of the proverb said by Xiang Shu, smiling as he said, "A person who is bent on going their own way cannot be persuaded by anyone, just like how a horse pursued by a fierce wolf cannot be pulled back. To become a sovereign who will be remembered throughout the ages, unifying the North and the South, he must have the mindset of that fierce wolf."
Xiang Shu didn't ask where Chen Xing had learned Tiele and Xiongnu. Instead, he seriously asked, "I thought a Han wouldn't want to learn our Tiele language."
Chen Xing had a bit of guilty conscience. He said while smiling, "There are many kinds of Han people, just like how there are also many kinds of Hu people."
In a deep voice, Xiang Shu said, "You Han people, even after another thousand or two thousand years have passed, shouldn't be able to forget this blood feud and deep hatred either ba."
Chen Xing thought for a moment before saying, "You're unlike the rest. Did you ask me to come out just now to ask about this?"
"Go inform Jiantou to tell your Mounted Regular Attendant," Xiang Shu stopped walking and said to an imperial guard, "to come and drive a carriage for the Great Chanyu."
And so, Tuoba Yan came over. As the leader of Fu Jian's imperial guard squadron, the Mounted Regular Attendant, his official rank was the Fourth Lower Rank; when seeing him, ordinary officials all had to be polite and call him "Tuoba-daren." However, Xiang Shu, whose status was almost on an equal footing with Fu Jian, had opened his mouth. Even Fu Jian didn't know where exactly Tuoba Yan had offended Xiang Shu, but, in order to get the Purple Scroll, now was exactly the best time to build a good relationship with Xiang Shu.
"This is... no need ba," Chen Xing said.
Tuoba Yan was actually very open-minded. After giving Xiang Shu a salute, he proceeded to have people prepare Fu Jian's carriage and said, "Great Chanyu, please."
Chen Xing realized that Xiang Shu might've misunderstood and thought that Tuoba Yan was his childhood bosom friend, but he didn't know how to explain it either. Moreover, Xiang Shu naturally would also keep his mouth shut and omit to mention it. "Where do you want to go?"
The last time he was here, he was so busy that he couldn't do anything else; he had wanted to work but was met with an assassination instead. This time around, he could finally have a taste of Chang'an local customs and traditions.
"I want to get off the carriage and go for a walk," Chen Xing said. "Let's go to the market? It'd be better to let Tuoba-daren go back first ba."
The moment the two men got off the carriage, Xiang Shu signaled Tuoba Yan.
"Take this dog for a walk," Xiang Shu said to Tuoba Yan. "Don't let it run away or get lost."
Chen Xing: "......"
In one night, news of the esteemed Great Chanyu's arrival had already spread through the whole city of Chang'an. Today, Fu Jian's imperial carriage had left the palace, making the Hus inside Chang'an try their best to outdo each other to come and see Xiang Shu. Along their way, many people stood on both sides of the road, and one after another, they saluted him. At first, Xiang Shu would also reply them with "Yeluosa," but as time went by, he got tired of saying it and just simply ignored them.
More and more people packed the streets, and there were also quite a lot of Han people who came out and strived to catch a glimpse of Xiang Shu's elegant bearing. As a result, Chen Xing became unhappy. He looked at Xiang Shu several times before looking at the surroundings, his mood starting to turn sour.
The two people: "......"
Xiang Shu: "Just pretend they don't exist. Where do you want to go? I also haven't been to Chang'an for a long time."
Chen Xing pulled Xiang Shu toward the place where the Han people gathered. Not a moment later, Tuoba Yan actually understood without being told anything and ordered the group of imperial guards to come over and block the road so as to not let people look at them —— since the Great Chanyu didn't like to be seen by others, there should be fewer people. After a while, by the time they had reached the Han district, the onlookers surrounding them gradually went away, only leaving some young men and women who couldn't help but steal several glances at Xiang Shu.
Chen Xing had just wanted to stroll around, but he then saw some stalls hanging bracelets, although they weren't the moonshell bracelets from the Autumn Deity Festival and were merely normal ornaments. He stopped to take a look, Xiang Shu standing behind him with hands behind his back.
“Bargain first," Xiang Shu said, "Guwang didn’t bring any money."
Chen Xing "hahahahahaha"-ed; he knew that Xiang Shu must've brought some money and was just teasing him.
"I don't want to buy it," Chen Xing replied. "I just suddenly thought of a story."
Xiang Shu: "?"
Side by side, the two of them slowly walked around the market.
Chen Xing thought for a long time before finally saying, "Our Jiangnan has a festival called the Deity Day. On that day, there's this tradition where two people who mutually like each other will buy two bracelets attached with moonshells and give them to each other."
Xiang Shu: "Hm."
Chen Xing inclined his head to look at Xiang Shu. "There were these two people who must have mutually liked each other. When they were strolling down the street, they saw these bracelets and bought them...Yet, even after one of them waited for a long time, the other person was hesitant and didn't give the bracelet to them. Later on, the first person asked, 'Who are you going to give it to?', to which the man didn't give any reply and put away his own bracelet instead."
Xiang Shu: "?"
Chen Xing wondered, "Xiang Shu, why do you think that man didn't say a thing ne?"
Xiang Shu's face was full of questions. He mulled over it before saying, "A mute?"
Chen Xing: "......"
Chen Xing laughed so hard to the point where his entire stomach hurt and he had to lean on the side of the road, but Xiang Shu just couldn't understand why.
Chen Xing explained it once more. Xiang Shu asked, "Who paid?"
Chen Xing said, "The mute did."
Xiang Shu questioned, "Doesn't that mean it already had been given? The money was all the mute's."
"Oh." Chen Xing was suddenly enlightened. "It's like that ah."
Xiang Shu added, "Maybe the mute's heart was also not content. Why didn't the person in front of him do it first?"
"Ah," Chen Xing laughed and said, "I understand. What you mean is, the mute was waiting for the other person to give it to him first, and was fighting against himself in his heart?"
Xiang Shu simply made a gesture with his hands indicating that he couldn't say for sure; how do you even comprehend love?
Chen Xing said once more, "But why didn't the mute give it ne? He clearly liked the other person."
Xiang Shu was resolute. "Wasn't that girl just relying..."
Chen Xing interjected, "A man. He was a youth, a young man who didn't know anything ba."
Xiang Shu let out an "oh" and thought for a while before replying again, "That young man was just relying on the mute's love for him, so he waited until the mute couldn't resist giving it to him first. The mute, however, had already shown his sincerity by buying the bracelets, so isn't that a sign enough already? Liking is a matter for two people, why should he bully people like this?”
"Where did that come from?" Chen Xing suddenly got a little angry. "That young man just simply didn't know before! He also liked that mute!"
"Then why didn't he say it?" Xiang Shu felt slightly baffled. How come when they were talking about other people's matters, Chen Xing suddenly got angry? This man was simply baffling.
"He thought the mute didn't love him." Chen Xing thought for a while. "He... en, he was sick and wouldn't live for long."
Xiang Shu knitted his brows. "How come more and more messy circumstances are getting added? Why didn't you make these all clear beforehand?"
Chen Xing: "The matter of two people's feelings, what part can I say clearly? Forget it!"
Chen Xing was infuriated at Xiang Shu. Xiang Shu, however, was completely puzzled and asked, "What's the matter?"
He had originally been fine, but all of a sudden, he turned hostile. Is this kid sick?
Xiang Shu immediately caught up and sized him up. "You..."
"I'm not sick!" Chen Xing immediately clarified. "That young man isn't me, I just heard about this matter before."
"Then why are you angry?" Xiang Shu asked.
Chen Xing immediately answered, "Am I? I'm not angry ah. Oh, we're here. It'd be better to wait for Feng-dage to come out and meet us ba?"
Xiang Shu: "......"
When they decided to split up before, Feng Qianjun made an agreement with them to come out to meet each other once a day to exchange information; even if they were hindered by something, they still had to find another way to get in touch. And although they had been blindly walking around, nevertheless, they reached the meeting place located in the Han district.
This was a music hall located in the north of the city. Although it was opened by a Han, on ordinary days, many Hus also came to enjoy music and get together. As soon as the Great Chanyu arrived, the Hus in the private rooms all came out one after another, bringing their wife and children to salute him. The shopkeeper also went to prepare them seats, and it took a good amount of time for them to sit down.
"Sounds so bad..." Listening to the tune, Chen Xing asked Xiang Shu, "Can you play any musical instruments?"
Xiang Shu was a bit absent-minded; when he heard what Chen Xing had said just now, a lot of things seemingly came to his mind. Yet everything was hazy, and he couldn't catch any of them.
Xiang Shu just nodded his head, but he became aware and quickly corrected himself, "I can't."
"I'm sure you can," Chen Xing said, "I saw you nod!"
Xiang Shu: "......"
Chen Xing called over the waiter and borrowed a guqin. He tuned the instrument before saying to Xiang Shu, "I once heard this piece of music. I don't know its origin, but it seems to be the tune from Saiwai... I don't know whether you recognize this?"
Xiang Shu, ever since the conversation in the market, had been lost in his thought all along. His eyebrows were slightly furrowed; he forgot to even look at Chen Xing and just faced the courtyard below the private room in a trance. When he heard Chen Xing begin to play, his expression suddenly changed as he looked at him.
Chen Xing had started playing "the Fusheng Melody," albeit intermittently. At that moment, the whole building turned quiet. Xiang Shu's knitted eyebrows gradually loosened, and he began to concentrate his gaze on Chen Xing. With an inquiring look in Chen Xing's eyes, he took a glance at Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu, however, didn't reply. He just got up and moved behind Chen Xing.
Chen Xing: "!!!"
Chen Xing's heart immediately went wild, only to see Xiang Shu's hand loop over his shoulder while his other hand went to the strings. He moved his hand to strum some of the strings as he embraced Chen Xing in this manner.
Xiang Shu's breath was within close proximity to his ear; the musical tune similar to moving clouds and flowing water became its company, linking the whole Fusheng Melody together.
"You can play guqin?" Chen Xing was shocked and tilted his head. The two people were extremely close to the point that they nearly kissed each other. An unnatural expression immediately appeared in Xiang Shu's face; he quickly let go of Chen Xing's hand and went back to his own seat on the other side.
"You can actually play guqin!" Chen Xing felt like an idiot; it was because Xiang Shu had never told him he could play a qin.
"What?" Xiang Shu felt annoyed.
Chen Xing: "I thought you would... the Qiang flute or something..."
"My mother is a Han," Xiang Shu told him in a very frivolous manner.
Chen Xing recalled those days when they used to interact with each other. From the beginning until the end, Xiang Shu had never shown any indication that he could play a guqin, and even let Chen Xing teach him when he had time. Everything was just an act! Chen Xing suddenly didn't know what to say.
"The Great Chanyu's melodies spread far and wide on Saiwai." From behind the compartment, a girl's smiling voice traveled. "Legend has it that even the wild geese passing by will all descend to the ground to listen to him play the Qiang flute."
Chen Xing: "......"
Princess Qinghe? Why is she here? Chen Xing frowned at once.
"That was because they were shot down by Guwang," Xiang Shu indifferently said.
For a moment, Chen Xing didn't know whether he should be amazed at Xiang Shu or in awe of Princess Qinghe instead. He only saw that the person sitting behind the screen turned out to be Princess Qinghe, whose eyes were bright and whose face was akin to spring waves. She came over to Xiang Shu and slightly gave a salute, to which Xiang Shu replied with a nod. Xiang Shu's eyes then fell on the Han man behind Qinghe.
Feng Qianyi —— once again, he saw him.
Chen Xing sized Feng Qianyi up, thinking internally, Fortunately, we didn't talk about exorcism matters here. Xiang Shu also didn't ask what those two were doing in this place and only did a double take at Feng Qianyi.
Princess Qinghe said again, "Once numerous households in Chang'an heard that the Great Chanyu had entered the city, one after another, they entered the palace to seek an audience with their portraits in tow. But I didn't expect the Great Chanyu actually ran away here to have a tryst."
Still in an indifferent tone, Xiang Shu said, "You should return to the palace, Qinghe. If Jiantou can't see you, won't he send dispatch people everywhere to look for you?"
Princess Qinghe smiled. "He has Wang Ziye, so he definitely won't look for me. All right then, I'm going back."
And so, Princess Qinghe and Feng Qianyi took their leave and left the private room.
Chen Xing turned his head and looked at the color of the sky past the railing. Feng Qianjun still hadn't shown up; maybe, he made use of the time his elder brother wasn't home to start stealing the Yin Yang Mirror.
"Wait some more?" Chen Xing asked.
Xiang Shu suddenly said, "Guwang has something to do and needs to leave, you…"
Chen Xing asked, "What do you want to do? Of course I'm going with you! Who else is going to protect me?"
Xiang Shu seemingly had a bit of difficulty deciding. He simply said in the end, "Then you must follow my instructions, don't cause any trouble."
Obediently, Chen Xing said, "Okay!"
Xiang Shu got up and looked downstairs. Chen Xing still didn't know what he planned to do and just followed his gaze, looking around curiously. But then, Xiang Shu started to undress, unfastening his belt and taking off his clothes.
Chen Xing thought, How come he just stopped talking in the middle of the conversation and began to undress himself?!
Xiang Shu took off the outer robe on his upper body before fastening his belt again, showing the black garment he wore beneath and leaving the upper half of his outer robe dangle down. Afterward, he secured the long sleeves into a knot around his waist. This way, nobody could see that he was wearing royal garments. Moving on, he spread out his left hand and easily took off the rings before passing them all to Chen Xing, telling him to properly store them away. "Hold me," Xiang Shu said.
That's exactly what I want! What I yearn for!! Chen Xing thought to himself as he took the initiative to hug Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu: "......"
The two people looked at each other. Xiang Shu said, "Not around the waist..."
Chen Xing gave an "oh" before switching to hug Xiang Shu's neck instead. Holding Chen Xing in his arms, Xiang Shu turned around and ran several steps before jumping out of the 2nd floor of the music hall in the blink of an eye.
Chen Xing had just flown out of the 2nd floor, but he just felt light. Xiang Shu grabbed on the roof tile with one hand and carried him up, flying to the 3rd floor. His left foot briefly tread on the fence of the 3rd floor to gather the momentum, followed by his right foot kicking on the wooden pillar as he flew away without a sound. Carrying Chen Xing, he flipped over in the air and went up the eaves, and amidst the deep color of twilight, he chased after the direction of Feng Qianyi's departure.
This qinggong is simply awesome! Chen Xing said in his heart. Xiang Shu, with only one hand, had just dragged him up the building, but he actually didn't pay much attention to it.
"How on earth did you train your kungfu?" Chen Xing said in a low voice.
"Want to learn?" asked Xiang Shu casually. He then let go of Chen Xing and dragged him by the hand instead. The two slightly bent down as they focused their gazes on the carriage departing on the street.
Chen Xing: "Is your archery skill exceptional?"
Xiang Shu answered, "Quite okay ba."
Chen Xing: "Then, teach me mounted archery when you are free ba."
After shooting a glance at Chen Xing, he just took Chen Xing by the hand and moved at a lightning speed without giving a reply. Soon enough, they had already silently gone past the carriage and arrived in front of it. They only saw that when the carriage arrived at the northern corner of a street devoid of people, a man came up and got on the carriage.
The carriage then moved once again. After a while, that man got off the carriage and proceeded to turn around and leave.
Chen Xing suddenly remembered this matter and asked in a low voice, "You want to find out what Princess Qinghe and that man... were talking about?"
Xiang Shu hummed. Chen Xing then remembered that Xiang Shu had forgotten the past. He didn't know that Feng Qianyi was Feng Qianjun's elder brother, nor did he know that the Yin Yang Mirror was in the Feng family's possession! They hadn’t mentioned many things to Xiang Shu.
Before, Feng Qianyi and Princess Qinghe must've been conspiring in that place, and surely, there must be some information they had wanted to exchange. But, when Xiang Shu and Chen Xing went upstairs, they happened to bump into them. The two people didn't make any sound for a very long time, so presumably, they were dipping their fingers into the tea and using that to write characters on the table as a means to communicate.
But, as long as Xiang Shu had the intention to, he would surely discover the people behind the partition. As long as he titled his head back to look, Princess Qinghe's whereabouts would inevitably be exposed. So, instead of gambling that Xiang Shu wouldn't discover the two of them sitting beside him, she might as well take the initiative to come out and greet him, revealing herself as to not cause any suspicion.
Otherwise, if they bumped into each other later, it would look even stranger.
So, what were Princess Qinghe and Feng Qianyi talking about? In all likelihood, it must've been to convey an order. Therefore, after Feng Qianyi had left, he was very likely going to carry out a specific task. Sure enough, he dispatched a messenger.
Xiang Shu replied, "The Murong family wanting to plan a rebellion is not just a matter of one or two days."
That messenger left the street and moved quickly into an empty alley that hid a parked horse. When the messenger was about to turn over and mount his horse, a shadow flew down from the eaves and simply struck the man's nape with his palm, knocking him out.
Chen Xing climbed down to the ground and looked at the messenger with a heart full of alarm, while Xiang Shu hauled the man up before kicking him into the depths of the alley. That man was instantly woken up, his face brimming with shock as he looked at Xiang Shu and Chen Xing.
Chen Xing: "Do you want to hand him over to Fu Jian?"
Xiang Shu stood tall and straight, as if considering the matter. Chen Xing added, "If you hand him over to Fu Jian, Qinghe certainly... It's dangerous, you should think it through."
Xiang Shu just threw a look at Chen Xing but said nothing.
Chen Xing measured that messenger up and asked, "What did Feng Qianyi want you to do? If you explain, you might still be able to survive."
"Feng Qianyi?" Xiang Shu said as he knitted his brows.
At dusk, inside the Songbai Residence.
Feng Qianjun finally managed to get the shopkeeper of the Songbai Residence drunk and successfully stole the key to enter the underground warehouse.
"This amount of wine..."
Feng Qianjun drank until he got a headache. Had he known before, he would've prepared some knockout drugs. But if he did knock him out, the shopkeeper would definitely feel there was something fishy when he woke up. The only way to get the key, take out the Yin Yang Mirror, and then return it later, without raising any suspicions was to make him drunk first.
But this shopkeeper practically didn't succumb even after a thousand cups and wasted so much of his time.
He used the key to open the door leading to the gold vault. Holding a lamp in his hand, he went through the money vault and the silver vault in succession before finally reaching the gold vault in the deepest part of the warehouse. Once he arrived in front of the Tianji Lock, he fished out the blueprint given to him by Chen Xing and deciphered the Tianji Lock on the door of the secret room according to the drawing.
As a light "click!" sound echoed, Feng Qianjun pushed open the door to the secret room. He turned to take the lamp and directed it to illuminate the room.
But there was nothing inside at all. Unlike the first time he went here, everything in the room was all gone.
Feng Qianjun: "......"
"Xiaodi, are you trying to find this?" Feng Qianyi's voice sounded from behind him.
Feng Qianjun turned around at once. A loud rumble ensued —— the Yin Yang Mirror erupted out a huge amount of black qi that seemingly could overflow heaven, sucking Feng Qianjun inside!
XIANG SHU 2.0 GO GO GO, KEEP SPILLING XIANG SHU 1.0 SECRET AND EMBARRASS YOURSELF LATER
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Elestrea.