Chapter 543: Accompany His Highness Duke of Qin for a meal Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Han Yunxi blinked at the sight of the chopsticks but didn’t move. Because of that, Long Feiye waited patiently. The ten dishes and one soup had come fresh from the kitchen, so they were all piping hot. Soon enough, the stench of vinegar had filled the air in the rooms.
“Eat it while it’s hot,” Long Feiye intoned simply.
“I ate my fill downstairs just then, so how about…how about Your Highness eat on your own?” Han Yunxi tried kissing up to him.
In the past, she’d always call him ‘Your Highness’ unless she grew serious or angry, but recently she’d been hailing his title with a more guilty, timid air.
“Your lordship, eating by myself?” Long Feiye asked with amusement. Han Yunxi maintained her smile despite lacking the guts to answer him.
“Are you sure you don’t want any?” Long Feiye asked next, his tone calm and even. But the threatening scent of vinegar was unmistakable around them. Han Yunxi was close to tears. When she fed him vinegar pastries in the past, she’d disguised the flavor so one couldn’t tell until they bit into the pastry. It was a hidden scheme, but this table full of sour dishes was an open plot against her. She hid her plan because she was sulking, while he revealed, plain and simple, that his lordship was extremely displeased!
Seeing Han Yunxi remain silent, Long Feiye didn’t force the issue. He put back the chopsticks and ladled out a bowl full of hot and sour soup before slowly giving it a taste.
Is he letting me off just like that? Han Yunxi thought she had been over thinking things. She looked down and picked up her own chopsticks. Her favorite desserts were all sweet things, while her preferred style of cooking was Cantonese cuisine, which preserved much of the original flavors of the ingredients. Faced with a table full of sour dishes, she had no idea what to eat. In the end, she went for the dish closest to her, which contained the old chicken meat cooked in vinegar. This was different from the chicken soups that Long Feiye had told Zhao mama to cook her in the past. It was a stir-fried dish that actually looked rather appetizing if one could ignore its powerful sour scent.
Long Feiye glanced at her with wrinkled brows, but didn’t say a word. Han Yunxi picked up a piece with her chopsticks before giving it a whiff. Her stomach turned at the overpoweringly sour smell. Long Feiye’s brows furrowed even further at the sight, but he still kept quiet.
Han Yunxi wore a mournful expression. Although she was terribly reluctant, she still forced herself to eat that strip of chicken. It was all right when she had first tasted it—although her tastebuds were screaming in protest—but after a few bites, her teeth began to rebel as well. The sour, acidic flavors were overpowering. Han Yunxi felt more nauseous the more she chewed, feeling that she was eating something that had gone off. She wish she could swallow the piece and be done with it, but failed after multiple attempts. The flavor was simply too much for her. She decided to pair it with some rice, only to find that it didn’t even exist on the table!
Where’s the rice to go with the dishes? Sobsob… Right now, her mind was just ringing with one thought. She wasn’t thinking of spitting it up or crying, but… Your Highness Duke of Qin, chenqie knows her wrongs!
She gave Long Feiye a pathetic look, only to find him staring at her with a dark expression. Han Yunxi resigned herself to her fate and silently hung her head, but Long Feiye suddenly raged at her, “Hurry up and spit it out! Stupid woman!”
Graced with a pardon, Han Yunxi quickly spat out the chicken. Before she could speak, Long Feiye had already poured her a cup of warm water with the order, “Rinse!”
Although his voice was brusque and stern and his face ferocious, Han Yunxi suddenly smiled at the sight of him. Her mouth was still stinging from the vinegar, but her heart felt as sweet as honey.
“Oh,” she said obediently and rinsed her mouth. Long Feiye never stopped furrowing his brows as he looked at her, as if supervising her work.
When Han Yunxi finished rinsing, he handed over a bowl of soup and ordered coldly, “Drink this.”
Han Yunxi only did as she was told, but she only took a small sip before looking at him with shining eyes. Heavens, why does this taste so good?
Only then did Han Yunxi take another look in the bowl and saw that it was a thick but translucent, jelly-like soup. It was distinguished by seven different colors made up by its ingredients: shredded crab meat, egg strips, green vegetables, enoki mushrooms, tofu, sausages and carrot strips. When she took another sip, she tasted the smooth and stimulating flavors of vinegar and pepper mixing together. The soup was thick, but it didn’t hide the fresh flavors of the items within. The slight hint of spice within the sour helped.
How could this soup taste so good? I can’t stop drinking it.
Long Feiye sat back in his seat to resume drinking the soup. Only then did Han Yunxi realize that he had been drinking the soup even before she started trying out the dishes. If she had just eaten the same things he was eating, she would’ve been fine. Why did she pick that old chicken of all things to try?
I was such an idiot! She stared speechlessly at Long Feiye, who glanced at her and said coldly, “Aren’t you going to drink it while it’s still hot?”
Han Yunxi only stared at him. Just then, she’d been smiling so sweetly it ached, but now she couldn’t smile at all. Her entire heart was palpitating from nervousness again!
“What are you spacing out for? Why aren’t you drinking it?” Long Feiye said unhappily. The weather’s cold, so it’s better to drink soup while it’s hot.
Han Yunxi still stared at him without a word. Having enough of her foolish ways, Long Feiye’s expression darkened. He was about to speak when Han Yunxi suddenly burst out, “Long Feiye, I love you so much!”
Long Feiye’s soup bowl clattered against the table, spilling its contents everywhere. He quickly shot to his feet, feeling completely awkward before he coughed a couple of times. But the next thing he knew, his soup bowl rolled off the table and fell with a clash on the ground.
Han Yunxi’s lips rose up into a curve as Long Feiye coughed some more. It was quite obvious that he’d lost his presence of mind, but it only lasted a second. Soon enough, he sat back down as before. Han Yunxi looked at him again and declared, “Long Feiye, I love you very much!”
She looked like she was teasing him, but she was absolutely serious. He had grand aspirations for the world, big enough to aim for the entire continent. But towards her, his heart was very, very fine—small enough to be summed up in a single bowl of soup, a piece of jewelry, a simple action or a single sentence.
“Long Feiye, I really love you.” She stared into his deep eyes, determined to wrangle a reply from him.
He only looked as stern as ever before finally intoning, “Your lordship has known since long ago.” So speaking, he pushed another bowl of soup before her, clearly planning to shut her up. How could someone with such a chilly personality easily admit to their feelings? If Han Yunxi kept pushing, he’d probably lose himself again.
How could it be so easy to make the Duke of Qin talk about ‘love?’
Han Yunxi was clearer than anyone about his true personality. She was already snickering inwardly over the fact that she couldn’t push him too far. She wouldn’t dare try any further. Full satisfied, she settled down to enjoy her seven-hued soup. Soon enough, the waiter arrived with rice. When he opened the door to the rooms, Chu Xifeng and Tang Li caught the overpowering whiff of vinegar coming from within.
The two men stared at each other for a while before Tang Li spoke up first. “How many months in?”
Chu Xifeng strove to think back. From what he understood, both his master and mistress had been too busy to sleep recently. When would they have time to procreate?
Moreover, His Highness Duke of Qin doted on his wife. How could he allow Han Yunxi to travel about if she really was pregnant?
“I don’t think that’s quite possible,” Chu Xifeng replied seriously.
“Then why are they eating so many sour things?” Tang Li asked, not understanding.
Chu Xifeng didn’t know either. Thus, he thought even harder until he recalled something. There was that one night when His Highness Duke of Qin viciously kicked him for rushing into Jiangnan’s Plum Blossom Sea.
“Could it be that they did it that night?” Chu Xifeng muttered to himself.
“Which night?” Tang Li had no idea what he meant. From what he knew, Long Feiye wouldn’t want a child this soon. He had enough cares looking after a weak point like Han Yunxi.
“It might not be that particular night. They spent more than a few days at the Plum Blossom Sea,” Chu Xifeng muttered next. He and Tang Li ended up discussing the state of Han Yunxi’s stomach instead and completely forgot about eating dinner themselves.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi had long ate and drank her fill in the room. Long Feiye had returned to his usual self as well, almost as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened to him. But Han Yunxi would remember the flavor of this seven-hued soup for the rest of her life, while Long Feiye would never forget the three times she had said ‘I love you.’
“Tomorrow is the discussion with Wang Gong regarding Medicine City and Pill Fiend Pharmacy’s future cooperation. Chu Xifeng can send Mu Linger back to South Ning while we…” Long Feiye trailed off, before continuing, “While we take a trip to Celestial Mountain!”
Han Yunxi was surprised. She assumed that Long Feiye would go back to South Ning with her. “Has something…happened over at Celestial Mountain?” she asked doubtfully. She’d been curious about the place for awhile, because Duanmu Yao should be up there.
“Didn’t I tell you before? This is the perfect season to see Celestial Mountain. If we wait any longer, we’ll have to postpone it until next year,” Long Feiye explained.
The Celestial Mountain mountain chain was located in a northwestern region of Cloud Realm Continent east of Western Zhou and Medical City. Its elevation was quite high and its seven peaks were frequently covered in snow. Most of the snows fell between winter and spring, making it hard to climb or descend the mountain. Even the disciples of the Celestial Mountain Sword Sect rarely left the mountain unless it was an emergency.
Naturally, Han Yunxi hadn’t forgotten the conditions of the bet she’d won long ago, which was to visit the mountain.
“Alright! Let’s go tomorrow!” she said happily. There were many things that she never pressed or chased after. As long as Long Feiye was willing to tell her about them slowly, it was still very nice. This time, they would probably get to see Long Feiye’s master at the mountain, too. Anyone who could teach Long Feiye such formidable martial arts skills deserved respect. Han Yunxi was looking forward to meeting him.
She scooted closer and murmured, “Long Feiye, it looks like I have no relations with the West Qin imperial clan after all.” She had wanted to tell him this for ages, but it was inconvenient with Gu Qishao around. Her mother was from Medicine City while her father was of the Poison Sect. Neither of them had any relation with West Qin’s imperial clan. That Shadow Clan man must’ve really been after Lil Thing in the end.
Long Feiye’s hands visibly tightened around his armrest, but Han Yunxi didn’t notice. He tersely nodded his head, “Hn!”
Han Yunxi sighed. “Aye, it’s a shame. I was thinking it’d be nice if I had West Qin’s power to support you!”
Long Feiye lightly played with the strands of her hair, thinking to himself. Han Yunxi, if you knew your lordship was the crown prince of East Qin Dynasty, would you still think the same way?
Medicine City’s matters had finally come to an end. Tonight, the two of them went to sleep early while sharing a bed. Han Yunxi laid nestled in the crook of Long Feiye’s arm and drifted off into blissful slumber. She had no idea that Long Feiye stayed up all night thinking of various things. There were many preparations to finish before he could bring her up to Celestial Mountain.
Early next morning, the two of time discussed many medicine-related issues with Wang Gong, including quantity and prices. Han Yunxi also went on another trip to the Medicine Forest to bid farewell to the Pill King. On the way back, Han Yunxi and Long Feiye stopped by the former poison pond. She had originally used the water to strike back at Jun Yixie, but never thought that they’d get back at him so soon with Medicine City, or that she’d learn so much about Perplexing Butterfly Illusion here. They really hadn’t come to this city in vain.
As Long Feiye looked at the empty pond, he remarked, “It’s quite fortunate that you managed to harvest some poison pond water in time.” A entire pond full of poison plants had all but disappeared. If Han Yunxi hadn’t grabbed a sample, where would they find such water now?
Han Yunxi only laughed secretly into her sleeve. She was about to reply when her vision went black and she fainted away…