TLNote: unedited chapter. Two more chapters will follow over the weekend. This chapter contains two new names of old characters. If you get confused go check Sitkazhar’s character tree.
Chapter 96 The seventh test (2)
Seeing that Wanyan Kang was beside himself with joy, Su Mei couldn’t help but pour cold water on him. It’s just, not only did this cold water not dampen Wanyan Kang’s enthusiasm; instead it let him become more proud.
“This shows that I’m lucky! Sometimes, luck is also something to be proud off. Little Mei er1, do you understand?”
“Understand your butt!”
While the two were bickering, the people of Xi Qi also came down. This time, eight people left the knockout competition, namely Xi Qi’s Longze Jing Tian, Li Yun Qing, Bai Yi Yue Murong Qing Lian and Bei Zhou’s Murong Qi Qi, Su Mei, Wanyan Kang and Ruyi.
The result was somewhat unexpected for Jia Lan. Originally Jia Lan thought that only two to three people would pass. He didn’t expect that all of Xi Qi’s and Bei Zhou’s contestants passed. Since the disciples of Penglai Island were tested with the seven-level pagoda, only six people passed. It seemed that in this mainland, there are still hidden dragons and crouching tigers.
- Hidden dragons and crouching tigers: talented individuals in hiding
In the end, Helan Lian Yi, Long Duo and the others also came out of the pagoda. Seeing Murong Qi Qi and the others, Helan Lian Yi felt ashamed. He wanted to hid his face in his sleeves. Originally, he thought of coming to Bei Zhou to get the first place. He didn’t expect to lose face like this.
“Congratulations for passing the seven-level pagoda!”
Jia Lab smiled at the eight people.
“Looking forward to your performances in the finals.”
When Murong Qi Qi came back to Meixiang yuan2, it’s was already noon. Feng Cang let people prepare barbecue and hot wine to celebrate the victory of the knockout competition.
A group of people barbecued meat by a stove at Meixiang yuan in this cold weather and frozen ground. Because this time all contestants passed and also because Murong Qi Qi came back safely, Feng Cang’s mood was very good. He didn’t let Ji Xiang and Ruyi serve. He let them (JX&R) eat with them (FC&others). Plus, Su Mei, Su Yue, Wanyan Kang and Jin Mo, a group of people barbecued lively in the courtyard.
Smelling the smell of fresh deer meat, Murong Qi Qi got appetite. Propping her chin, she looked at those men who were busy rolling the deer meat on the grill. What Murong Qi Qi didn’t expect was that Feng Cang is an expert at grilling meat. He brushed honey on the deer leg and carefully flipped it. He carefully sprinkled all kind of spices evenly on the deer meat. Smelling it made people’s saliva almost drop out of their mouth.
After waiting for a long while, the deer leg was finally done. Feng Cang cut the most tender piece and put it in front of Murong Qi Qi. The others also started. At this time, someone suddenly came to report: “Wangye3, Yong er died. It’s suicide.”
Feng Cang’s hands didn’t stop. He cut the deer meat into small pieces and fed Murong Qi Qi.
“Answering wangye, princess has been claiming that she’s innocent. Later, Yong er committed suicide. Princess said that she (Y) felt guilty as a thief and committed suicide to escape punishment!”
Murong Qi Qi bit on the small pieces of deer meat. The red lips were stained with a thin layer of oil.
“Wangye, since princess is innocent, then let her out! After all, she is a princess. Locking her up for a whole night could be considered a punishment. Besides, today we won. Let’s forget this matter!”
Feng Cang dipped the deer meat in the spices and fed Murong Qi Qi.
“Do as wangfei’s4 wishes! Come, be good, eat one more bite!”
After Feng Cang ‘kidnapped’ Murong Qi Qi, Su Mei’s post has also been stolen by him.
In the past, it was Su Mei who made a variety of delicious desserts to feed Murong Qi Qi. However, now this glorious position has been forcefully occupied by Feng Cang.
Murong Qi Qi is very lazy. To her, eating is just an activity to maintain living. As long as she cam meet all the necessities of the body, she doesn’t have much desire for food.
In the past life, because she had too much missions, Murong Qi Qi often delayed eating. In order to maintain the nutrition of the body, she always took a variety of nutrients. It was also to maintain the balance of the body. Over time, it developed into the habit of being a picky eater. If the food is not to her taste, she would rather not eat it. She would take nutrients and not eat even a mouthful of the food.
Because Murong Qi Qi was an extremely picky eater, Su Mei would always think of ways to let Murong Qi Qi eat. She wanted to make her miss a bit ‘fatter’. Now this glorious task fell on Feng Cang’s shoulders. Feng Cang would think of ways to let Murong Qi Qi eat one more bite. The burden on Su Mei’s shoulder loosened a lot.
The taste of fresh grilled deer meat was very good. Besides, this deer was just caught this morning in the woods. It was a completely pure natural and pollution free food. Having Feng Cang as servant, Murong Qi Qi ate a lot in just a short moment. Her cheeks were filled with deer meat. They moved, making her look very cute.
“Come, eat one more bite!”
“No! I’m full!”
Murong Qi Qi felt that her belly was very full. She was about to wipe her mouth, but Feng Cang refused to give up.
“Be good, eat one more bite! Today, you used so much energy. Eat a bit more to fill your energy back!”
“If I eat more, I’ll become a small chubby pig!”
Murong Qi Qi pouted. People who practice martial arts request a strong yet light and graceful body. If the body becomes fat, the target will also become bigger. The reaction would also become slower. Then you will only become the object of attack to others. She doesn’t want to become a gun target.
“It doesn’t matter. It’s good to have more meat. Having more meat is a better feeling in the hands. Besides, you’re too thin. I like you more with curves!”
Wanyan Kang spouted wine on the table.
“Cousin brother, you shouldn’t be like this, ah. Even eating, you need to tease a woman by pretending to be displeased with her (flirt). Even my face became red! At any rate, you should’ve let me finish eating before flirting, ah! I worked very hard today!”
Wanyan Kang’s words made everyone laugh. Seeing Feng Cang pamper Murong Qi Qi like this, Su Mei and Su Yue felt very happy, happy that their miss found her soulmate.
“You, eat! Even one leg can’t block your mouth!”
Murong Qi Qi stood wiped her mouth and stood up.
“I’m full! You guys, continue to eat!”
Seeing that Murong Qi Qi only ate a piece of meat, Feng Cang was dissatisfied. Why is her appetite like that of a cat? She even eats less than a cat. How would it be alright if she continues like this?
“After eating this piece of meat, you can leave!”
It’s rare to see Feng Cang being ‘strict’ in front of Murong Qi Qi. The others stopped with what they were doing and looked smilingly at Murong Qi Qi’s and Feng Cang’s interaction. Who will win between Feng Cang and Murong Qi Qi?!
“I said I won’t eat, then I won’t eat!”
Murong Qi Qi glared at Feng Cang with her hands on her hips.
“I’m the wangfei! I’m the biggest here! I said I’m full, then it means I’m full! No one can force me!”
After saying that, Murong Qi Qi turned and returned to her room, leaving Feng Cang a magnificent back.
Seeing this, Jin Mo laughed out loud.
“Wangye, I see, you’ve turned into a henpecked male! In the future, in this residence, wangfei is the boss. You can only be number two!”
After Jin Mo said that, everyone laughed. That’s right, if Murong Qi Qi is the boss, then Feng Cang will become number two! However, even though they laughed at him, everyone was happy. First, it’s because Bei Zhou won the knockout competition. Second, it’s because Murong Qi Qi and Feng Cang relationship is good. These two reasons were already enough to make people very happy!
In the afternoon, people came to report that Wanyan Bao Zhu had been released. Murong Qi Qi revealed a strange smile.
Why would Yong er commit suicide without cause? Wanyan Bao Zhu certainly threatened her! It’s just that the two were kept separately. How did Wanyan Bao Zhu’s threat get to Yong er? It seemed that there is a hardcore fan of princess among the people who came this time. What will happen if everyone knows that the princess has been switched?
However, Murong Qi Qi couldn’t help but admire this fake Wanyan Bao Zhu. Yong er was the princess’s personal maid. She must know every move, every habit and every personal preference of the princess. Now, she found such a good opportunity to get rid of Yong er. It’s the same as getting rid of her obstacle. Very smart!
When Feng Cang entered, he saw Murong Qi Qi holding a hairpin and with a mysterious smile on her mouth.
He approached Murong Qi Qi and buried his head in her neck.
“Is there something fun? Tell me!”
Murong Qi Qi didn’t intend on keeping the matter of Wanyan Bao Zhu from Feng Cang. After all, this matter involved to Wu Ji Gong. Besides, according to Zhao Lang, the one behind Wu Ji Gong is crown prince Wanyan Hong. Although, now Murong Qi Qi still doesn’t know who Wanyan Bao Zhu is, but her (WBZ) relationship with Zhao Lang was not ordinary. Maybe, she also has something with Wanyan Hong.
Hearing Murong Qi Qi say that Wanyan Bao Zhu had long died and that this one is a fake, Feng Cang was very surprised. His handsome eyebrows furrowed.
“According to you, she may have some relation with Wanyan Hong?”
“Wangye, I mean use a long line to catch a big fish. Why don’t we pretend we don’t know anything and still treat her like the real princess; serving her well and be respectful when needed to see what they are planning in the end?!”
- Use a long line to catch a big fish: a long-term plan for major returns
What Murong Qi Qi said was what Feng Cang was thinking about. Seeing that this little wangfei had the same thoughts as him, Feng Cang was happy. He gently bit Murong Qi Qi’s ear.
“Alright! I’ll listen to you! Qing Qing, now is it time to talk about our matters? Should I call you Qing Qing or should I call you Lian gongzi5?”
Hearing ‘Lian gongzi’, Murong knew her identity had been exposed. She pretended to be angry. She turned and looked at Feng Cang.
“Who betrayed me? Is it senior brother Jin Mo?”
Feng Cang seemed sensitive towards the appellation ‘senior brother’. Friendship from the same place of teaching is the breeding ground for feelings. Senior brother and junior sister are the most vulnerable to the problem. Thinking till here, Feng Cang intended to ‘protect’ Murong Qi Qi very well in the future.
“Qing Qing truly made me very surprised! Only now do I know, my little wangfei is so powerful!”
Hearing Feng Cang praise her, Murong Qi Qi laughed very sweetly.
“Wangye, shouldn’t people always leave some cards hidden? Otherwise, if the person is clear as water in front of other, there will be no protectiveness. I don’t believe that wangye doesn’t also have any other identity……”
Murong Qi Qi was smart made Feng couldn’t help himself from biting her finger.
“Qing Qing is not good for a woman to be too smart. If she is too clever, men wouldn’t dare to love her! However, considering that you’re so smart, I’ll take you to avoid you go wreck others! I’m not Buddha; I don’t have the selflessness of releasing all living creatures from suffering. In this lifetime, I only need you……”
“So, does wangye means that you also have secrets?”
Murong Qi Qi didn’t lose her mind because of Feng Cang’s sweet speech and honeyed words. Instead, she grabbed Feng Cang’s intention of wanting to change the subject. She smilingly raised Feng Cang’s chin and whispered: “Don’t worry, I won’t inquire about wangye’s secret. Between a husband and a wife also needs private space, so the marriage can be long. Therefore, wangye can keep your secret. I have the patient to wait till you want to confess everything! Besides, slowly getting to know wangye’s other side is to my taste. I’m very happy to personally undo wangye’s mysterious veil! Like this, there’s more sense of accomplishment!”
Murong Qi Qi’s answer was somewhat unexpected to Feng Cang. If it was any ordinary person, he/she will certainly get to the bottom of it. Especially women, they always dig up new things to fill their own curiosity. However, Murong Qi Qi was very different.
Originally, Feng Cang wanted to confess everything. After hearing Murong Qi Qi’s last sentence, Feng Cang’s mood turned very better. Since she regarded him as a treasure and want to slowly dig and slowly find out everything, then he would let her. As long as she’s happy, everything is alright.
When Murong Qi Qi regarded Feng Cang as a treasure and want to personally explore; how would she know that in Feng Cang’s eyes, she’s also a huge treasure? Mysterious, full of temptation. Every time, she could bring people different surprises. He also liked to explore; constantly discovering her other side and also enjoy this process.
There were three days of rest after the knockout competition. All the contestants of Bei Zhou who were formed at last moment passed. This made the citizens of Yongzhou very happy. It happened that it was nearly new year. The citizens who were busy for the whole year were now resting at home. They did the lion dance and dragon dance on the streets to celebrate Bei Zhou got through the knockout competition.
In contrast to the happiness of Bei Zhou’s citizen, not long after, Helan Lian Yi went back to the house of embassy, he received a secret report from Nan Feng.
After seeing the content in the secret report, Helan Lian Yi froze there.
“The emperor died? Imperial noble concubine has gone crazy? The crown prince ascended the throne! His highness the prince has been imprisoned? How could this be?!”
When he left Nan Feng, it was Helan Min who personally sent him out of the palace. Although at that time, Helan Min felt somewhat uncomfortable, but it was a minor illness. The imperial physician also said that there was no problem. As for the emperor Ming Feng Jing, his body was indeed not so good. However, Helan Min already let the imperial physician use heavy medicine on him. He would’ve been able to stay alive for two or three more years. Why such a big change happened in just a mere month?
Helan Lian Yi didn’t believe the content of the secret report a bit. He suspected someone faked it. This letter was certainly forged! Until after Helan Lian Yi carefully checked the wax seal on the opening of the letter- it was indeed the orchid flower of Helan family- did Helan Lian Yi believe this letter was real.
Unimaginable! Wasn’t Min Yue Cheng in Xi Qi being a hostage? Why did he appear in Nan Feng? Who helped Ming Yue Cheng? Who was so daring (who had such a big gut)?
Time didn’t allow Helan Lian Yi to think about so many questions. He must mobilize his money at the sixteen states of You Yun and rush back to Nan Feng! Now, imperial noble consort’s only son Ming Yue Hui is still in the hands of Ming Yue Cheng. He must spend money to recruit soldiers and buy horses and form an alliance with the officials at court to deal with Ming Yue Cheng!
- To recruit soldiers and buy horse: to raise a large army
Ming Yue Hui is their Helan family’s hope to prosperity. Only if Ming Yue Hui becomes the emperor could their family’s interest be guaranteed. As for this Ming Yue Cheng, he is truly a pest. He has become a hostage for ten years already, but his ambition of a wolf hasn’t destroyed yet. He actually went back to court, controlled the situation and won the battle to turn over his luck. How could this be?!
Thinking till here, Helan Lian Yi linked the matter of Nan Feng’s emperor Ming Feng Jing dying and imperial noble consort Helan Min Yue’s craziness to Ming Yue Cheng. How did he return to the country? Why did he suddenly return to the country? And why did he return so coincidentally at the same time the emperor died? Could there still be Ming Yue Cheng’s people at court? All of these were done by Ming Yue Cheng?
Now Helan Lian Yi is very sure that these matters certainly have something to do with Ming Yue Cheng. Immediately after Long Duo packed, he bid farewell to Feng Cang. The two hurried out of the city.
Although it’s snowing and the road were difficult to ride on, but Helan Lian Yi knew clearly that this matter couldn’t end like this. It’s related to his interest. So, even if the weather was bad, he grabbed the time and hurried back to Nan Feng.
It’s just, when they got out of Yongzhou – they haven even rode ten miles- a group of people surrounded them. The ones at the lead were the man with a scar and the shorty.
If it was normally, Helan Lain Yi wouldn’t give these people money and would beat them. However, now it’s different from ordinary days. What he needs now is time. He can’t be delayed at this moment.
“Heroes, we’re merchants and are rushing home to pass the new year. Asking heroes to make things easy! This money is for heroes to eat and drink!”
Helan Lian Yi took out a silver pouch. He showed them that inside is full of gold. Then he threw the silver pouch at the shorty.
Being on business outside all the time, Helan Lian Yi was used to see bandits and robbers. Now, it’s end of the year. It’s the time were bandits would do evil things. So, Helan Lian Yi naturally regarded the man with the scar as the bandit leader and see their actions as ‘robbery’.
Seeing that Helan Lian Yi was still so naïve while death was near at hand, the shorty couldn’t help but laugh. He weighted the money in the pouch and then threw it back at Helan Lian Yi.
Helan Lian Yi was somewhat angry. The money in this pouch was enough for these people to live lavishly for a few years. They still think is not enough! Too greedy! It’s just that he has urgent matter and couldn’t be delayed on the road. Helan Lian Yi took out another silver pouch.
“Hero, this is all my money. Asking you to please make it easy! My old mother is sick at home. She’s still waiting for me to go home and take care of her. Asking heroes to be generous and let us go!”
Helan Lian Yi lied more smoothly than shitting. This l made the man with scar humph coldly.
“Young master Helan, didn’t your mother passe away a long time ago? How come you’ve gotten one more old mother now, ah? Could it be that young master Helan is illegitimate and not raised at home? That’s why your mother is still alive?”
“What did you say?!”
Although Helan Lian Yi wanted to settle this thing with money, but the other party clearly came looking for trouble. Helan Lian Yi didn’t intend to be so polite anymore. He pulled out his sword.
The man with the scar chuckled and gestured. Ten people surrounded Helan Lian Yi’s group.
Helan Lian Yi hasn’t understood the situation yet, when his head already fell on the ground. The blood sprinkled on the ground and instantly formed ice. Until death, Helan Lian Yi had his eyes open with a look full of disbelief. He didn’t understand who wanted to kill him. Why did they want to kill him?
After getting rid of Helan Lian Yi and Long Duo, the shorty found a garnet in the form a hand on Helan Lian Yi.
“Tie Xue, look, this must be the special access order!”
Tie Xue looked at the garnet carefully and then nodded.
“Let’s go! Let’s bring it to miss!”
At night, before going to bed, Su Yue served Murong Qi Qi when she lied down. Su Mei came in with a small box in her hand.
“You got the thing?”
Murong Qi Qi’s hair hung loose on her chest. Her small hand caught the box Su Mei handed over. When she opened a piece of purple garnet lay in the box.
“Miss, look, this color is really beautiful!”
Su Mei stood at a side happily.
“Tie Xue just sent it! He’s still waiting outside for miss’s order!”
Before, Murong Qi Qi only heard about the special access order. Today seeing it, she couldn’t help but take it out and played with it in her hand for a while.
“Su Mei, give this thing to Tie Xue. Let him take over all of Helan Lian Yi’s shops. As for Helan Lian Yi’s money at the money farm, transfer them immediately and guard them very well. In the future, these four Nan states is our territory.”
In a night, Nan Feng changed emperors. In a night, the four Nan stated and the business of Helan family also fell in the hands of other. It didn’t take long for this news to spread to Feng Cang.
“Wangye, who do you think have such ability? This subordinate let people investigate the situation of the four Nan states. They seemed to have seen Moyu’s people. Perhaps, Ming Yue Cheng was able to turn the table over because he got the support of Moyu. The things that happened to the emperor and imperial noble consort of Nan Feng is a bit too strange. The head of Moyu, Du Xiang Er, is an expert at using poisons……”
Nalan Xin stood respectfully next to Feng Cang.
Feng Cang laughed softly.
“Didn’t expect that Moyu will join hands with Ming Yue Cheng. It seemed that the goddaughter, who that old poison took in, is indeed a powerful character!”