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Manager Luo hadn’t gone to the auction hall alone, but brought two retainers with him. Currently, he was sitting in Myriad Merchant Hall’s largest private box overlooking its auction hall. He was waiting for the auction to finish before revealing himself in front of the crowds and announcing an end to their deal with Kangan Private Bank. From then on, they would refuse any loans from auction participants.
A single sentence like that would be enough to let everyone guess at the truth without further explanation. The more speculations ran rampant, the heavier losses Myriad Merchant Hall would suffer. No one was the type to “send charcoal in snowy weather” in the business world. They would only add flowers to the brocade–improve what was already good–or drop stones on a person in the well–hit them while they were down. Looking at the hubbub below him, Manager Luo waited patiently. The bids were already over and everyone was in the midst of celebrations.
He poked himself a few times and made to rise and step forward, but it was then that someone pressed a hand on his shoulder. Alarmed, he looked back and saw his two retainers kneeling on the ground. The man gripping his shoulder was disguised behind mask that hid half of his face, revealing a pair of handsome yet icy brows.
“Go back,” the man said before turning to vanish from sight.
Manager Luo recognized his master’s voice in a beat. He was bewildered, but didn’t dare delay. Immediately, he was rushing back to headquarters with his two men.
By the time Long Feiye returned to East Origin Hall, Han Yunxi and the rest were all waiting anxiously. No one could stop him at his speeds–with the exception of Gu Beiyue at full strength and possession of his shadow arts. However, neither he nor Long Feiye had found the miracle pill to recover his abilities yet.
Long Feiye had taken the letter with him, so they had no idea what Ning Cheng had written, or why he was in such a rush to stop Manager Luo. But since he did, that meant things had changed to a point where it superseded Kangan Private Bank showing their hand.
Seeing him return, Han Yunxi quickly asked, “Did you stop him?”
“Your Highness, has something happened in Northern Li?” Gu Beiyue asked tensely.
“I’ve stopped him.” Long Feiye took off his face mask and handed the letter to Han Yunxi. Gu Beiyue, Gu Qishao, and Tang Li all crowded around to read it. Their expressions ranged from astonished to more astonished! Ning Cheng had detailed everything in his letter, including Jun Yixie’s true identity, the facts of the East-West Qin split, his alliance terms with his enemy, Jun Yixie’s plan to fight the Northern Li emperor, Mu Linger and Ning Jing’s kidnapping process, and even the sister relationship between Su Xiaoyu and Bai Yuqiao. Everything was well written and detailed.
Ning Cheng’s letter was originally meant for Manager Luo so he could pass on the news to Long Feiye. Moreover, he had prudently cautioned the man to make sure the letter hadn’t been resealed before giving him his answer. Once everyone finished reading, they fell into a stunned silence. Too many things had been revealed at once, each of them more unexpected than the other. They needed time to digest the news.
“Long Feiye, this letter wasn’t tampered with, right?” Han Yunxi asked quickly.
“No, I’ve checked,” Long Feiye was certain.
Han Yunxi fell silent again. She looked blankly at the message, not knowing what to say. Ning Cheng hadn’t disappointed her! Even if he misunderstood her, he still persisted in his own beliefs. Not only did he not collude with Jun Yixie, he even found out all these truths from the man’s mouth and seized a grand opportunity!
Han Yunxi looked at Long Feiye and cried, “We were right!”
The Great Qin Empire really did break apart because of a misunderstanding. The Wind and Black Clans really had teamed up to instigate a war. Their suspicions were correct! Their actions at Hundred Poisons Sect were justified as well!
It was fine even if Bai Yanqing or Jun Yixie admitted to nothing publicly! With Ning Cheng vouching for them, it was already enough! Who would suspect his words? Not the Di Clan, at least. Nor would any other faction of East Qin have reason to suspect him! Even the people of the world would believe Ning Cheng’s testimony.
Long Feiye’s eyes were hooded as he remained quiet. He was still planning to seek out Bai Yanqing and interrogate him about the truth between the two nations, but who knew Ning Cheng would find out the secret first? Ning Cheng’s hatred for the East Qin faction was equal to his own grudge against West Qin.
At this moment, Tang Li suddenly asked, “Big bro, is that Ning Cheng fellow trustworthy? Why should we believe him? What if this is all part of his trap to trick us?”
“If he sent the letter to Manager Luo, it shows that Ning Jing trusts him, at least! Otherwise, she wouldn’t have told Ning Cheng the truth!” Han Yunxi retorted.
She had full faith in Ning Jing, so she’d told the woman all she knew, including Tang Li and Long Feiye’s true relationship and the matters of Kangan Private Bank.
“Tang Li, Ning Jing’s pregnant with your child! You have to trust in her judgment!” Han Yunxi added. Both of them held strong hopes for the reconciliation of East and West Qin.
Tang Li’s suspicions withered at the first mention of Ning Jing. If this was the past, he would still be guarded despite doting on the woman. But ever since Ning Jing had gotten pregnant, he’d turned defenseless against anything related to her. As long as she was involved, he’d trust her.
“If this is a trap, it won’t trick us for long. There’s no need for something so stupid either,” Long Feiye reasoned.
Everyone looked towards him. It didn’t matter whether Han Yunxi or Gu Beiyue believed it when the crux of the matter laid with Long Feiye. Ning Cheng’s letter could count as a plea for help for Long Feiye to aid, cooperate, and ally with him.
They waited for his answer.
Besides Han Yunxi, Long Feiye was antagonistic to all of West Qin, especially Ning Cheng, whom he considered an enemy. He had enough power to deal with the Di Clan and Jun Yixie’s attempts to overthrow the Northern Li emperor, so there was nothing that said he had to ally with the Di. All he really needed was time.
After some hesitation, Han Yunxi prepared to speak when Long Feiye muttered, “The Black Clan…that fellow Jun Yixie certainly hid himself deep!”
“Come ally with Ning Cheng. Let him fight against the Northern Li emperor!” Han Yunxi quickly chimed in.
Seeing this, Gu Beiyue joined in as well. “Fortunately, Your Highness was able to stop Manager Luo in time. Otherwise…”
Otherwise, once the agreement between Kangan Private Bank and Myriad Merchant Hall ended, Jun Yixie wouldn’t be able to get any money from Ning Cheng. It would not only put him and the Di Clan in danger, but Mu Linger and Ning Jing as well! Now everyone’s safety laid in the same boat. Whether or not it sunk all depended on Long Feiye’s choice. In fact, his decision had long been made when he went to stop Manager Luo.
“Long Feiye, no matter whether it’s East or West Qin, we need to find Bai Yanqing and Jun Yixie to pay back their debts to the Great Qin Empire!” Han Yunxi cried.
Finally, Long Feiye nodded. “The beginning of spring next year is a good time.”
If he and Ning Cheng’s alliance succeeded while keeping hidden from Jun Yixie, who could battle the Northern Li emperor for the next three months, then the next spring would see the East and West Qin armies moving up north. Their combined armies would be enough to scatter Jun Yixie and the Northern Li emperor’s forces. By then, the Di Clan would have long trained up their 30,000 battle horses. They could be used as the advance force to give Jun Yixie a sound face-slapping.
“Mm, it is a good time!” Han Yunxi rejoiced. Gu Beiyue’s heart also settled back into his chest. If not for this truth, Ning Cheng’s scheme against Jun Yixie, and the hostages in Skyriver City, Gu Beiyue would have feared Long Feiye rejecting Ning Cheng’s offer.
“Three months…that’s enough time to look around for the Fire and Metal of Ten-Thousand Poisons,” Gu Qishao muttered to himself.
If Long Feiye and Han Yunxi weren’t dealing with the Di Clan, they could place the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion and the Poison Sect back to the forefront of their to-do list.
“We can!” Long Feiye was certain. His side and the Di Clan would still have to engage in a couple of skirmishes for show, or else Jun Yixie would start suspecting Ning Cheng. But he could let his subordinates handle that without showing his face with Han Yunxi. They were still on guard against Bai Yanqing, so Long Feiye wouldn’t expose their whereabouts unless absolutely necessary.
“Big bro, that means we can only see Ning Jing next spring?” Tang Li grew anxious.
By contrast, Gu Qishao had stopped caring about Mu Linger once he knew she was out of danger.
Long Feiye looked askance at him. “Your brother-in-law will take good care of his nephew. Behave yourself!”
If Tang Li tried to force a rescue, he’d only fall into a trap. Now wasn’t the time to give Jun Yixie any more provocation. Once spring arrived, he would lead his troops personally north and finally clear all his outstanding debts with that man!
Han Yunxi was rather worried about Mu Linger and Su Xiaoyu. She never expected the latter to be Bai Yuqiao’s little sister, but she couldn’t be impulsive, either. Even without Ning Cheng’s tipoff, they would’ve guessed that Mu Linger and Ning Jing had been kidnapped to Skyriver City. However, Jun Yixie didn’t know this! He must be gloating right now that they had no idea the two women were in his hands. The more confident he felt, the more they had to stoke his smugness! Only then would it be easier for Ning Cheng to cook up his plans without being suspected.
Thanks to Ning Cheng’s letter, a silent business battle had been averted without a murmur. Han Yunxi wasn’t stupid enough to trust that a letter like this would convince the Myriad Merchant Hall’s Council of Elders. In any case, without Ning Cheng’s orders, the Di Clan couldn’t make any real moves on their own, nor would they dare. As long as they stayed put, everything would be safe. Ning Cheng’s silver drafts will definitely reach Myriad Merchant Hall eventually. Perhaps Ning Cheng himself could find a way to contact his hall in secret. Then the elders would naturally seek out Han Yunxi to oversee the proceedings and consult over how to cooperate with East Qin.
Right now, the most important thing was to wait.
Of course, they couldn’t be idle, either. There was the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion and the Poison Sect to deal with, as well as her dual cultivation with Long Feiye. Nothing could be delayed.
Really, they were very busy…
Han Yunxi was about to put away the envelope when Long Feiye spotted a line of words on the back of the letter. He knitted his brows and asked, “What’s that?”
Han Yuxi turned it over for a look and gave a start…
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