Book 1 Chapter 12 – Love at the Maple Tree Valley
Xiang Shaolong and 150 warriors accompanied the Wu father and daughter and left via the north gate, galloping into the large plains.
Wu Tingfang was in high spirits and rode way ahead. Wu Yingyuan was concerned that something would happen to his daughter and was about to order his warriors to give chase when Xiang Shaolong saw this as an opportunity. It seems that Wu Tingfang is deliberately creating a chance for him, and immediately volunteered himself and went after her.
The two horses ran wildly for more than 10 miles one behind the other, and came to a valley before Wu Tingfang slowed down. By now the two horses were puffing from the run.
Xiang Shaolong went next to her and turned his head around. Wu Yingyuan and the rest were long gone.
Wu Tingfang laughed daintily, “No need to look! This is a shortcut that only I know. They won’t be coming here.”
Xiang Shaolong need no further instructions, and just turned around, picked her up and hugged her. Ignoring her weak pretests, he started kissing her neck, and finished up with a hard and hot kiss on her soft little mouth.
Wu Tingfang’s reaction was passionate, obviously it’s the first time she experienced this and can’t get enough of it.
By the time they got tired from kissing, they have already left the valley.
Wu Tingfang laid her head on her shoulder, looked at him and said shyly, “You’re really bold, no other man has dared to be as rude to me as you.”
Xiang Shaolong pretended to be serious as he replied, “No, no! I’m just a coward!”
Wu Tingfang knows that he still remembers the other day she called him a coward. She laughed and said "Tingfang knew right away that you're not a person who easily obey anyone, grandfather is the same."
Xiang Shaolong shockingly said “Even what you think is right or wrong, don’t tell it to anyone else, if it gets to master’s ear my life will be in danger”.
Wu Tingfang laughs and sits straight up, steering the horse to stop and says “Look there! Crossing the valley ahead and over a small hill you’ll be able to see the gate to the pasture. In the valley there’s a small beautiful river, running through the pasture, why don’t we go there and have fun while father isn’t here yet?”
Xiang Shaolong already calculated that in this era if he can capture a girl’s heart she will be braver than any girl in the 21st century. He’s happy inside because he defeated Lian Jin, laughs and says “Anyone who doesn’t want to have fun with you is stupid and crazy!” He steered the horse into the valley after he said.
It’s beginning of fall season, the whole valley is filled with leaves, beautiful like heaven on earth, a small river’s current running from a rock and created a small pond.
Wu Tingfang is still childish, she happily jumps down from the horse and runs to the river bank.
Xiang Shaolong runs after her hugged her belly, his hands takes her belt off.
Wu Tingfang shocked, catches his hands and asks “What are you doing?”
Xiang Shaolong laughs and says “The water is clear like this, don’t you want to swim?”
Wu Tingfang lowers her head and says “I can’t! If my hair gets wet father will definitely find out about us and would not forgive us.”
Xiang Shaolong says “We can just swim in shallow water only. I guarantee your hair won’t get wet.”
Wu Tingfang flushed, releases her hand and whispers “All right! Don’t let my hair get wet, you think I don’t know what you want to do?"
Xiang Shaolong is happy, thinking to himself a beauty like this, even if he dies he won’t let go, his hands begin their actions and taking her clothes off.
Xiang Shaolong laughed, “I remember now there’s no dry cloth to wipe my body, and it’s inappropriate. Why not I seek compensation from you now, listen to how refreshing the waterfall sounds.”
Wu Tingfang was about to listen closely when Xiang Shaolong kissed her hard, his hands willfully and rudely roaming her naked body.
How can she remember to listen to the sound of the waterfall? The intoxicating feeling earlier has not fully receded and it began crashing towards her again. Amidst her urgent moaning, her limbs unconsciously wrapped tightly around this man who has captured her heart.
Xiang Shaolong may be a flirtatious man, but he’s not lecherous. It’s just that he knows that a girl like Wu Tingfang who has just experienced romance is especially fickle and pliable. If he did not strike while the iron is hot and claim her for himself first, maybe when she sees the handsome Lian Jin, she will turn onto his embrace again.
But if he takes her for the first time, he will become the first man in her life, and even Lian Jin will find it difficult to rock their intimate relationship when that happens.
And with Lian Jin’s intelligence, it’s not difficult to realize that this beauty has already given him her most precious chastity, and this is the blow that he wants to give Lian Jin. No matter how nonchalant Lian Jin is, this matter involves a man’s pride and attraction, so that fellow will surely be unable to take it.
And his have to achieve his goal of attacking Lian Jin.
If the Wu family were to find out about this matter, it’s no big deal as well. As long as he can defeat Lian Jin, the King of Zhao will certainly look at him differently and the Wu family would not dare to do anything to him. Maybe even Lady Ya will protect him as well.
Once he thought about this, he knows that he is beginning to become more ruthless in order to reach his goals. But in this era where the strong is the leader, he has no other choice.
So with this mentality in mind, he used the gentlest and pleasing method to make this beautiful young lady lose her chastity to him. He followed up the act with tenderness and honeyed words to let her enjoy the sweetest pleasure a woman can get from a man.
When the two of them reached the big pasture that was miles wide, Wu Yingyuan’s men just started to show up from afar.
The person in charge of the pasture welcomed them warmly, especially when he saw the proud Grand Young Missy leaning against him daintily, he fawned even more towards Xiang Shaolong.
The big pasture is a huge piece of land surrounded by mountains and water on three sides, and the only flat piece of ground is in the east where a large river flowed horizontally across. The hanging bridge is the only way in and out, and with high walls on each side, making it look a country of its own.
There were 10 over camps of Zhao soldiers outside the pasture, obviously the uncountable number of horses, cows and goats in the pasture is the lifeline of Handan.
The 2 of them were looking around when Wu Yingyuan came over with his men. He lightly chided Wu Tingfang for a moment before turning to Xiang Shaolong and said, “Come! Let me bring Shaolong around!”
Xiang Shaolong was flattered and after changing his horse, he galloped into the pasture. Wu Tingfang was of course following him.
Wu Yingyuan recounted the joys and pains of running a pasture, showing that he is extremely experienced and insightful.
The 3 of them came to a little hill full of sheep in the end. Wu Tingfang’s inner child came out and she jumped off the horse to play with the sheep.
The two stood side by side on their horses, viewing the beautiful scenery of the majestic mountains.
Wu Yingyuan seems to remark offhandedly, “Fang’er seems to like Shaolong!”
Xiang Shaolong is unsure of his hidden meaning, and was awkwardly silent.
Wu Yingyuan smiled slightly and said, “That’s good too! I’ve never liked Lian Jin. This person is unfathomable and is in cahoots with Wu Hei. It’s just that Father trusts them, so there’s nothing I can do to them.”
Xiang Shaolong had a thought, Tao Fang must be Wu Yingyuan’s man, that’s why he trusted him as well and revealed his true feelings. He probed, “I heard Master Tao said, Master has the intention og marrying Grand Young Missy into the imperial family…”
Wu Yingyuan gave a cold snort and said, “My numerous arguments with Father is precisely because of this. Father is getting on in age, and cannot see clearly the situation now.”
Xiang Shaolong exclaimed in surprise, “Young Master!”
Wu Yingyuan looked at him, his eyes glaring and asked coldly, “Shaolong! Tell me honestly, where did you come from, what blood flows in your body.”
Xiang Shaolong knows that if he has to make up a story, he cannot hesitate and immediately replied, “Since Young Master thinks so highly of Shaolong, I dare not hide anything from you. Actually I am the offspring of a Qin man, who has wandered into the mountain regions, and a local woman. I did not even tell Master Tao about this.”
Because Wu Yingyuan already had such a thinking in his mind, he was not suspicious at all. He thought for a moment and asked, “If I were to give Fang’er to you, would you promise to love her well for the rest of your life?”
Xiang Shaolong was ecstatic, but immediately asked dejectedly, “But why would Master agree to it?”
Wu Yingyuan replied impatiently, “Forget about him first.”
Xiang Shaolong hurriedly made his promise.
The corners of Wu Yingyuan’s mouth curved up into a slight smile and he said joyfully, “I admire you not wholly because of your outstanding swordsmanship, or your outstanding reflexes and intelligence when dealing with the horse thieves. The most important matter is that you risked your own life and stayed behind to fight the thieves so that your comrades can leave safely. Such loyalty to your master and friends is what reassures me into giving Fang’er to you. This is a secret agreement for now, and besides Tao Fang, you must not let a 4th person know about this, and that includes Fang’er.”
Xiang Shaolong felt that he seems to have some plans in his mind, and needs his wits and swordsmanship, so he lowered his voice and asked, “If there’s anything Young Master needs Shaolong to do, just let me know.”
A look of surprise flashed past Wu Yingyuan’s eyes, and he complimented him, “Tao Fang was right about you, with your keen observation, you will certainly be someone famous in future.”
He paused for a moment before continuing, “Father is really getting old, and does not know that the situation is rapidly changing.”
He added, “Ever since the 3 states declared independence, the first to attack among the 3 states Zhao, Wei and Han is Marquis Wei. The Qin in the west, Qi in the east, Han and Chu in the south, Zhao in the north, none of them were spared from his attacks. Even Handan, this sturdy large city was captured by him for 2 years. If not for the state of Qi’s help, the Weis would not have retreated.”
That 3 months when Xiang Shaolong was with Yuan Zong they often talked about the affairs of the world, and is not as ignorant as when he first arrived. He added, “But later on the Wei soldiers lost in the battle of Maling under Wu Qi and Sun Bin. Later Qin, Qi and Zhao continuously attacked Wei, making them lose able generals and soldiers and a huge piece of land so now they’re not as powerful as before.
Wu Yingyuan was very impressed with his knowledge and nodded his head, “There’s not many in Handan who has your insight. Shaolong, tell me, who do you think is the strongest.”
Xiang Shaolong replied without a thought, “Of course it’s Qin, the world will ultimately be conquered by Qin.” He secretly laughed to himself, not only is there no one in Handan who has his insight, but no one in the entire warring states will be as confident of this as he is.
Wu Yingyuan was startled, “Although I thinking highly of Qin, but I’m not as sure as you are. Why would you have this thinking?”
Xiang Shaolong was almost speechless, luckily an idea flashed past and he replied, “The key point is whether the various states in the east can join forces to repel Qin, and looking at the war between Yan and Zhao now, we know the outcome of that.”
Wu Yingyuan replied, “What you meant is ‘Lian Heng’ and ‘He Zong’.”
The former means the weak joining forces to attack one strong force.
The latter means one strong force attacking all weak forces.
These are the two extreme policies during the warring states period.
Qin is in the west, the other 6 strong states, Qi, Wei, Zhao, Han, Chu and Yan are at the south. Any state that joins forces with Qin will be a unification between the south and west, and thus named ‘Lian Heng’. If the 6 states were to join forces, it’ll be unification of the north and south, and they’re referred to as ‘He Zong’.
The situation now is getting more and more obvious, the 6 states are gradually losing the ability to fight against Qin on their own. Although there were small victories, it’s not enough to change the whole situation. But if they were to join forces, their strength will far surpass Qin. Therefore what Qin fears most is the unification of the 6 states. As the saying goes, ‘the only fear is the unification of the world against oneself’.
Xiang Shaolong nodded his head like an expert and said, “At the moment which state in the southeast is willing to maintain status quo. All the rulers wants to take this opportunity to expand their land and fight for gains so that they can become ruler of the world, so it’s impossible for them to unite.”
Wu Yingyuan looked at him in shock and said, “Luckily you are not my enemy, but my future son-in-law.”
Of course Xiang Shaolong understood his underlying meaning, which is to say that if that is not the case, he’ll certainly get rid of him. He was about to speak when Wu Tingfang returned and said with a dainty smile, “Father has never enjoyed a conversation as much as this, Shaolong is really capable.”
Wu Yingyuan looked heavenward and laughed for a long time before saying, “Father has to take a look at the account books, Fang’er will accompany Shaolong around!” and he left on his horse.
Xiang Shaolong jumped down from his horse.
Wu Tingfang smiled coquettishly at him and rolled her eyes, “It seems that Father likes you a lot? When will Shaolong ask him for my hand, then Fang’er will be able to be with you everyday, so don’t you find me irritating then.”
After Xiang Shaolong swore to heaven that he will not change his heart, he walked slowly while holding the 2 majestic horses saying, “After I win Lian Jin and have fame and status, I’ll marry you immediately. My only fear is if I will pass your Grandfather’s barrier.”
Wu Tingfang’s eyes reddened and said, “If Grandfather does not agree, Fang’er will die in front of him.”
Xiang Shaolong exclaimed in surprise, “You mustn’t do that, I could always elope with you and they won’t be able to find us.”
Wu Tingfang tugged at his sleeve happily and said with joy, “A man must keep to his words, you must not regret in future because you can’t bear to give up fame and riches or because you’ve found a new love. I’ve even given myself to you, you must treasure me for the rest of your life!”
Xiang Shaolong hurriedly said some assuring words. This beauty’s happiness is totally in his control now, so how can he not make her happy. He did not expect that he would be able to have wives and concubines, but in order to support them, especially a rich young lady like Wu Tingfang who is used to luxury and being served, is not going to be easy. When he thought about how penniless he was while in Wu An, he still feels a little fear.
Wu Tingfang suddenly said, “You have to be careful of Lian Jin, he’s really formidable. And I think that even though he dare not kill you, but he will at least try to maim you before he gives up.”
Xiang Shaolong laughed and said, “Don’t worry! If I cannot defeat even him, then I'm not competent enough to marry a pretty girl like you.”