Chapter 498: A summons, His Highness personally arrives Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Chu Xifeng might have complaints against esteemed wangfei, but he was very clear that His Highness would never give up on that woman. Of course, he hoped that the two could make up soon so His Highness would stop being such an ice-cube face all the time and scaring all his subordinates. When esteemed wangfei was at the estate, everyone was much more relaxed. No matter how angry His Highness became, esteemed wangfei could fix everything with just a few words. Right now everyone was careful and timid, including himself.
If he could use Emperor Tianhui’s summons as an excuse to bring esteemed wangfei back, she should come even if he said it was due to His Highness’s orders, right?
Seeing that Long Feiye hadn’t yet replied, Chu Xifeng tried again. “Your Highness, shall this subordinate go?”
That was when Baili Mingxiang decided to speak up. “Your Highness, why don’t you enter the imperial palace from the north gates? That way, you can pick up esteemed wangfei on the way?”
The Duke of Qin’s estate was located near the southern palace gates, while the Han estate was closer to the north. If they brought Han Yunxi here, they would use the south gates, but if they picked her up along the way, they’d used the north gates. The distance either way was the same, so the crucial point laid in whether Han Yunxi was coming or Long Feiye going. Baili Mingxiang was a woman herself, so she understood females much better than Chu Xifeng. Her heart paid more attention to details as well. She figured that His Highness Duke of Qin and esteemed wangfei were suffering from such a big conflict that the latter would never agree to come unless His Highness personally picked her up. Any woman who went back to her maternal home was sure to have given up fully in their heart. If not, then they were simply waiting for their husband to bring them back.
If His Highness Duke of Qin could personally pick her up, everything would be different. Couldn’t all troubles be forgiven then? Baili Mingxiang’s suggestion enlightened Chu Xifeng and Zhao mama as well. Chu Xifeng gave a snort, certain that Long Feiye would refuse, but His Highness Duke of Qin only said mildly, “Mm, then you come along too.”
Me? Come along?
Baili Mingxiang’s heart was startled by the overwhelming favor from her superior. If Zhao mama hadn’t shoved her forward, she probably wouldn’t have reacted.
His Highness wants me to come along!
Her heart was already pounding before she caught up to him. His Highness Duke of Qin was already some ways off before Baili Mingxiang thought to chase after him. She was much too afraid to get too close, but kept at least three steps behind him. After mounting the carriage, Baili Mingxiang proactively chose to sit right next to the driver, feeling apprehensive on the entire trip to the Han estate. When the carriage stopped, the cold voice inside said, “Go call her out.”
“Yes.” Of course Baili Mingxiang knew that Long Feiye had brought her here in order to coax esteemed wangfei. She hesitated, then gathered up her courage to ask, “Your Highness, we’re already at the gates. Why don’t—”
“What’s with the superfluous words? Still not going in?” Long Feiye reprimanded her harshly.
Baili Mingxiang’s heart nearly jumped out of her chest, but she turned to walk awa….no, she turned to run away. Currently, Han Yunxi was changing the dressing on her wound. After Xu Donglin told her that all was still at the Duke of Qin’s, she felt more at ease. She figured that Long Feiye was acting like a tiger guarding his lair by not reacting at all to the commotion in the capital. As long as he didn’t budge, she didn’t have to worry, either. She hated getting involved in Tianning politics anyways.
When Han Yunxi saw Baili Mingxiang arrive, she was quite calm. She had assumed that she was here to coax her back to the estate. “You’ve come at just the right now. I need an extra pair of hands right now,” Han Yunxi said mildly.
Baili Mingxiang was greatly distressed by the mess of blood and flesh on her mistress’s shoulder, and quickly helped to take care of it with some gauze. “Esteemed wangfei, why didn’t you find little Chen Xiang to help?”
Han Yunxi didn’t even want to see Lady Helian, much less little Chen Xiang. Those people all did nothing but persuade her to go home when she took her maternal estate as a refuge. It felt like they were only trying to chase her away. Han Yunxi didn’t speak, but instead she laid lazily on the bed as she enjoyed Baili Mingxiang’s care. Baili Mingxiang bandaged up the wound as she said, “Esteemed wangfei, shall we go back?”
Han Yunxi pretended not to hear her, so Baili Mingxiang tried again, “Esteemed wangfei, what if it’s His Highness who sent this servant here to pick you up?” That wasn’t altogether true.
‘His Highness sent this servant here to pick you up’ and ‘His Highness sent this servant here to pick you up to go to the palace’ had two completely different meanings. No matter what, Han Yunxi felt better after hearing the words. Still, she refused to speak. Baili Mingxiang was in no rush. She carefully finished dressing the wound, noting how deep it was. The opening still hadn’t closed up, so it took some effort to bandage it properly.
A long time later, Baili Mingxiang had finally finished. Afraid that His Highness would grow impatient from waiting so long, she said quickly, “Esteemed wangfei, shall this servant help you clean up your things?”
“No need,” Han Yunxi rejected.
“Esteemed wangfei, husband and wife argue at the head of the bed and make up by the foot of the bed. His Highness has already yielded a step, so why don’t you just come along with this servant?” Baili Mingxiang persuaded her mistress patiently.
Han Yunxi couldn’t help but scoff at Balili Mingxiang’s words. This counts as yielding a step? Does he believe in my innocence? As soon as Chu Xifeng went to tattle, that guy ran over in the middle of the night. Can’t he come on his own right now?
Am I supposed to go back just because he sent someone to pick me up? What happens after that? Will he still distrust me and refuse to explain where he went with Duanmu Yao?
Will he keep arguing with me? Or are we just going to drop the matter and pretend nothing happened at all?
She had already come to the Han Estate, so she wasn’t going back without solving those problems. It didn’t make any sense otherwise!
“Esteemed wangfei, then what will make you willing to go back with this servant?” Baili Mingxiang coaxed.
Han Yunxi simply tossed out, “Only if he comes in person.”
Baili Mingxiang had been waiting for these very words. She rejoiced and grabbed Han Yunxi by the hand. “Esteemed wangfei, quick, come with this servant!”
“What for?” Han Yunxi was clueless.
Baili Mingxiang didn’t explain, but simply dragged her outside until they reached the Han Estate gates. When Han Yunxi saw the resplendent carriage waiting outside, she froze in her tracks. This was the Duke of Qin’s most luxurious carriage. Who else could be use it by himself?
He really came on his own?
Seeing esteemed wangfei’s surprise and flash of delight, Baili Mingxiang’s heart finally sank back into her chest. She murmured under her breath, “Esteemed wangfei, you have to keep to your word now! His Majesty summoned you and His Highness into the palace. Once both of you leave, you can go home together.”
She didn’t directly bring up the imperial summons just so esteemed wangfei could fall into her snare. She wanted esteemed wangfei to think that His Highness really had come to pick up her, and was just going to the palace on the way. But even as smart as Baili Mingxiang was, she couldn’t pull the wool over Han Yunxi’s eyes. The latter knew what was up as soon as she heard about the summons into the palace.
If anything, Emperor Tianhui probably summoned her and Long Feiye to the palace, thus forcing this man to come pick her up. Still, she didn’t expose Baili Mingxiang on the spot, but only replied, “Mm.”
Baili Mingxiang was delighted. She knew Han Yunxi had a crabby, stubborn temper, but she was always quite soft-hearted when it came to His Highness. She was preparing to fan the flames once His Highness and esteemed wangfei left the palace together. If she could convince His Highness to yield another step, this problem might be resolved! Both mistress and servant were about to approach the carriage when Long Feiye’s urging came from inside.
“Are we leaving or not?”
This wasn’t the first time he’d come on his own. The last time he came to deliver her medical pouch alone as well! Here was already his second time yielding a step, yet this woman still wasn’t satisfied! He had waited nearly an hour inside this carriage! He almost thought that she wasn’t coming at all!
Han Yunxi paused. She hadn’t wanted to ask him anything, but now her heart chilled even more. So this is his attitude for picking me up? So impatient! Can’t he go in and check himself if he’s tired of waiting outside?
If Emperor Tianhui hadn’t summoned both of us, would he have bothered to come at all?
“Your Highness, just then esteemed wangfei was—” Baili Mingxiang broke off at Han Yunxi’s glare.
“Did he just come to take me into the palace with him?” Han Yunxi asked coldly.
Baili Mingxiang was put in a tight spot. But she braced herself and lied, “Esteemed wangfei, we’ll return to the estate as soon as we leave the palace. You know how His Highness’s temper works. His Highness barely slept while you were missing from the estate these past few days. Just look at his complexion now, it’s terrible!”
Han Yunxi wore a gloomy face as she stepped forward with a bow. “Chenqie greets Your Highness, I’ve made you wait overly long.”
“It’s good that you know, hurry and get in!” Long Feiye’s voice was filled with impatience.
If Han Yunxi didn’t know it was Emperor Tianhui’s summons, she probably would’ve flicked her sleeves and ignored him completely!
“Yes!” she entered the carriage in a horrible fit of temper. In the past, he used to help her on and off the carriage every time, but now he only sat in his seat. Even after Han Yunxi climbed in, he didn’t spare her a glance. She maintained her respectful attitude and sat in the farthest corner from him. The two of them seemed completely estranged, even more distant than when they had first met. As they started moving, the driver spurred the carriage onwards at a quick pace, afraid to delay any longer.
Baili Mingxiang couldn’t help but urge, “A little slower, the palace trip isn’t that urgent.”
There was some distance between the palace and the Han Estate, enough for her master and mistress to start talking. Baili Mingxiang never expected to overreach herself with her cleverness today, so her lips drew into a self-deprecating smile. Inside the carriage was an oppressive air that made even breathing difficult. There seemed to be a heavy weight hanging in the air between Long Feiye and Han Yunxi. Inexplicably, Han Yunxi glanced over and noticed that Long Feiye’s complexion really did look rather bad. In the end, she’d still taken Baili Mingxiang’s lies to heart.
Just what did he end up doing with Duanmu Yao? Did something happen at the Celestial Mountain Sword Sect? How did he spend the past few days? Did he really lose out on sleep?
When Long Feiye looked like he’d lift his head, Han Yunxi immediately ducked her own. He ended up fixing her form with an icy gaze before resting his eyes on her shoulder. Her clothes were neatly arranged in a way that made it impossible for him to see the state of her injury. Compared to Han Yunxi, his stare was free and unbridled. He quickly glanced over her quiet little face as if checking to see whether his long-lost treasure had been hurt. Despite this, he remained silent, and the pair didn’t speak the whole way to the palace gates.
It was now time to dismount the carriage…