Ning Jing lied to him?
Ning Cheng looked at her intently before he guessed, “Tang Li?”
Uncle Cheng might have forgotten the events at Myriad Merchant Hall, but not Ning Cheng. When Ning Jing and Tang Li had first shown up there, she was wearing a face veil and hiding her identity. Just what had she been planning to do?
She had always told him that she hadn’t taken care of Tang Li yet. But now Tang Li was using the Tang Clan’s blueprints to exchange for her return. It was clear that the man liked her!
In truth, Ning Jing herself was clear. If Ning Cheng hadn’t been unexpectedly kidnapped outside of Blacktower, she and Tang Li might still be imprisoned in Myriad Merchant Hall today, or Ning Cheng could use Tang Li to directly threaten the Tang Clan. Her brother had already started suspecting her then.
“Brother, it’s not Tang Li,” Ning Jing lowered her head. “Brother, I...I…” Although her words wouldn’t hurt the Di Clan or Ning Cheng much now, she still found it hard to admit the truth.
“Speak,” Ning Cheng’s voice was very cold. He couldn’t afford for Ning Jing to tarry here.
“Brother, I--I lied to you about one thing. The Tang Clan is actually--” Ning Jing steeled her heart and finally blurted it out. “The Tang Clan is actually part of Long Feiye’s strength. Tang Li is not only Long Feiye’s cousin, but his subordinate.”
Ning Cheng stood stunned. After a while, he broke into a cold chuckle. “Long Feiye...Long Feiye…”
He had done his utmost and sacrificed his most competent and intimate little sister’s own happiness to pull the Tang Clan to their side, just for the sake of obtaining their assassination weapons. Who knew everything was one big joke! Long Feiye had been watching this big farce the entire time!
The Tang Clan was part of Long Feiye’s strength?
So...so from the start, the wedding wasn’t the Di Clan making up for their mistakes and marrying Ning Jing into the Tang Clan, but Long Feiye allowing the mistake and having Tang Li marry Ning Jing with motives in mind! If Ning Jing hadn’t taken care of Tang Li and got taken care of in turn, then what kind of losses would Cloud Realm Trade Consortium be facing now? He immediately recalled the dowry and realized: the arms trade routes!
At last, the truth was out!
“When did you find out?” Ning Cheng demanded furiously. Who could keep their temper after finding out they’d be thoroughly and utterly played?
“At Medical City, I discovered the truth,” Ning Jing admitted.
“Why didn’t you say anything? Just what were you thinking, bringing Tang Li to the casinos?” Ning Cheng asked.
Ning Jing fell silent a long time before she murmured, “Brother, I like Tang Li. I…” She didn’t even know how to explain. There were plenty of excuses in the world, but feelings remained unfathomable. Nothing about it could be defined by absolute logic. In the end, Ning Jing touched her round stomach hidden beneath the robes and said, “The child’s almost five months old. I was planning to leave by myself with the baby, but now…”
Ning Jing knew she shouldn’t be asking Ning Cheng her question at a time like this, but she needed the answer to release her heart from remorse.
“Brother,” she said, “If...if we can leave this place alive, can I still return to the Tang Clan?”
Since the grudge between East and West Qin was all a misunderstanding, then there was no barrier between her and Tang Li anymore! She dearly missed her days at the Tang Clan and desperately wished to see Tang Li before her baby was born.
Ning Cheng looked at her for a long time before he broke into a bitter laugh. Ning Jing had no idea why he was laughing, but the sound disturbed her heart. No matter what, she had betrayed the Di Clan in the end.
Unexpectedly, Ning Cheng only said, “It’s enough if we’re the only ones who know this. If...if we can leave this place alive, hehe, then don’t forget to send me an invitation for my nephew’s one-month anniversary!”
Ning Jing was so moved that she almost threw herself at Ning Cheng. In the end, she didn’t dare do to more than nod vigorously. “Brother, we’ll definitely make it out alive! Brother, Han Yunxi didn’t mean to hurt you on purpose, she was aiming for Bai Yanqing with her needle! She told me herself, that attack was by accident! Brother, after you went missing, Han Yunxi helped Myriad Merchant Hall with so many things…”
Ning Jing told Ning Cheng all about the happenings at Myriad Merchant Hall while he listened quietly. Somewhere along the line, his hand had rose to caress his phoenix wing mask.
“Brother, we not only have to stop Han Yunxi and Long Feiye from attacking the Di Clan first, but prevent Han Yunxi from cutting off the Di Clan’s source of revenue! Once Myriad Merchant Hall loses its money, you won’t be able to pay Jun Yixie his share!” Ning Jing grew tense. “Brother, we have to get in contact with Han Yunxi as fast as possible!”
Ning Cheng’s face was already ashen from all he’d learned. “East Origin Hall...Kangan Private Bank…”
His shock and despair was even more severe than Gu Qishao’s upon discovering the truth. After all, the various gold cards in his possession, including one limitless gold card, all came from Kangan Private Bank. Even with Han Yunxi stopping Myriad Merchant Hall, it was likely Long Feiye had already frozen his accounts. He had no money to offer Jun Yixie at all!
If that was the case, Jun Yixie wouldn’t be able to afford a war against the Northern Li emperor, which meant the north would be stuck in a stalemate on both sides. Thus, Long Feiye wouldn’t need to fear them unless the emperor and Jun Yixie decided to join hands and attack the south! However, the Di Clan’s current coffers were only enough to support their own armies for a year at most. If they had to take care of Jun Yixie’s armies as well, then they’d only last six more months. Even if the Di Clan and Jun Yixie joined up to guard against Northern Li, they still wouldn’t be a match for Long Feiye’s forces!
Ning Cheng finally realized one truth he’d never considered before: Long Feiye was the richest man in Cloud Realm Continent! Everything on the continent and all of its changes couldn’t escape the palm of that man’s hand. If Myriad Merchant Hall hadn’t undergone those two disasters, perhaps they could last a little longer until the Di Clan gained an advantage.
“What’s the relationship between Golden Wing Hall and Long Feiye?” Ning Cheng asked coldly. They were the primary culprits of Myriad Merchant Hall’s fall!
Ning Jing shook her head. She only knew Long Feiye was master of East Origin Hall, but when she asked Han Yunxi about Golden Wing, the woman had been puzzled and sent people to investigate. Ning Jing had lost a night of sleep when she first heard the revelations, much less someone like Ning Cheng, who was not only leader of the Di Clan but Cloud Realm Trade Consortium’s current president. The feeling was akin to someone stomping your source of pride underfoot. It was pure agony! Or perhaps discovering that your enemy was tens of times stronger than yourself, to the point where you have no chance of turning a new leaf. Despite being unresigned, you were helpless to do anything!
Whatever the case, Ning Jing knew that Ning Cheng was already miserable enough from the fact that enmity between East and West Qin was a misunderstanding.
“Heheh, Han Yunxi, that woman...made the right choice again,” Ning Cheng smiled before turning aside to look into the darkness of the tent. Ning Jing couldn’t see his expression beyond a dim shadow.
Ning Cheng never turned around again, but only said, “You should go back. I understand now, so just wait for my news.”
Time was tight. As soon as Han Yunxi and Long Feiye made their move--whether it was moving troops or cutting off Myriad Merchant Hall’s wealth--he would be in a lot of trouble and danger. Thus, he couldn’t put all his hopes on those silver drafts. He had to get a secret message out quickly, direct into Han Yunxi’s hands!
“Brother, Mu Linger’s taken my place for the pregnancy,” Ning Jing reminded him before she left.
Ning Cheng nodded before waving at her to go. Ning Jing watched his back and felt reluctant. She stood for a while, then tried, “Brother…”
“Get out!” Ning Cheng’s voice was like ice.
Without a choice, Ning Jing left the tent. Bai Yuqiao was standing right outside. Although she was curious over their conversation, she didn’t dare ask too many questions for fear that Ning Cheng would refuse to help her instead.
When Ning Jing returned to the tent, her mind recalled the image of Ning Cheng’s lonely back again, making her toss and turn all night. Mu Linger was sleeping rather soundly in comparison. She hadn’t even realized Ning Jing left the tent, much less when she returned.
It was much less comfortable to sleep in bed with a big stomach. Ning Jing ended up sitting in bed. In private, her movements were always more careful. She looked at Mu Linger’s clean and untarnished smile while feeling both admiration and envy. Who said Gu Qishao was both heartless and unconscionable? This girl was the real heartless one, sleeping so soundly in a place like this.
Unable to sleep, Ning Jing ended up waking Mu Linger. She sat straight up in bed and cried, “What is it, what is it? What happened?”
The gloomy Ning Jing suddenly laughed. “Nothing, I just couldn’t sleep. Can you talk a bit with me?”
Mu Linger patted her chest and sighed in relief. “You scared me to death. Can you not do that in the middle of the night, Ning Jing?”
“Just then, I went to see my big brother,” Ning Jing said before explaining all that had happened.
At the end, a dumbfounded Mu Linger could only asked, “That girl Su Xiaoyu has an older sister? Does she know?”
Ning Jing shook her head. “Would it do her any good? It’s better if she doesn’t know.”
Mu Linger nodded as she muttered to herself. “That’s true. With her personality, she’d never acknowledge her sister after being personally tortured at her hands!” Abruptly, she grabbed Ning Jing’s hands. “Wait, so does this mean we’re saved? Let Bai Yuqiao deliver a letter to my big sis! Have her and brother-in-law come rescue us! I’ll be able to see Qi gege then!”
“Mm, Ning Cheng will think of a way, don’t worry,” Ning Jing said, before recalling something else. “Want to hear some good news?”
“Hurry and tell me!” Mu Linger grew excited.
But when Ning Jing did, Mu Linger almost went wild with joy.
Ning Jing said, “On the way back, Bai Yuqiao said that Gu Qishao was looking all over for you while putting up his Pill Fiend Valley as the reward.”
“Ahh...ahhhhhh...ahhhhhh….!” Mu Linger shrieked before throwing aside the covers to jump around the ground barefoot. She almost ran straight out of the tent. Because she was screaming so much, Ning Jing had to muffle her ears.
“What’s going on? Madams, what’s wrong?”
The soldiers didn’t dare to charge inside, so they only shouted from outside the tent.
Ning Jing had to grab Mu Linger and muffle her mouth. “It’s fine, Mu Linger only had a nightmare. Nothing’s wrong now.”
She just finished speaking when Mu Linger pulled her hands aside and continued…