Chapter 155: Sharing a Room
Jun Huang looked up at Nan Xun and said seriously, "How about I go back to riding a horse? The coach moves too slowly. It'll take us ages to get to Yunzhou."
Nan Xun pulled a long face and said without hesitation, "No."
"I'm slowing you down."
"You're going to slow us down further if you get into an accident again." Nan Xun would not be coerced or persuaded. He refused to let Jun Huang get hurt again. He took a deep breath and turned to his second in command. "Watch my horse for me. I'll stay in the coach with him."
The second in command wasn't going to argue. He nodded and watched Nan Xun help Jun Huang back into the coach.
It wasn't long before Jun Huang's stomach acted up again, but there was nothing for her to throw up. She retched. Her condition made her feel even more dizzy.
Nan Xun frowned. He knew Jun Huang must not ride in this state. He took Jun Huang's hand and rubbed at the part between her thumb and index finger, hoping to make her feel better.
Jun Huang leaned against the coach with her eyes closed. After a while, she said, "I'm not as weak as you think I am. It's better to let me ride a horse than to put me under this torture."
"Staying in the coach may make you dizzy, but it's not going to harm you," Nan Xun said in a monotone. "If you ride a horse and it gets scared again, I can't ensure your safety."
This stubborn man! Jun Huang opened her eyes to look at Nan Xun. "I don't need you to protect me. It'll take ages for us to reach Yunzhou like this. When am I going to see my brother? I'm not – "
Stubborn woman! Nan Xun was getting frustrated. "Why can't you put yourself first for once? If you really want to find your brother, you shouldn't overtax your body! Don't you know how bad your health is getting? I didn't want to meddle, but you really are too obstinate for your own good!"
Jun Huang nodded after a moment of silence. Nan Xun let out a quiet sigh. "We're going straight to Yun Town."
Jun Huang widened her eyes and looked at Nan Xun without blinking.
The riot was in Yunzhou, which was not far from Yun Town. They had taken fifteen days to travel the distance that should take only ten days, which made Jun Huang feel guilty. She had been dragging the troop down. Nan Xun, though, didn't blame her at all.
They were near the intersection of the paths to Yunzhou and the path to Yun Town. Jun Huang originally planned to go to Yun Town on her own, while Nan Xun and his soldiers made their way to Yunzhou. She would rejoin them after finding Jun Hao and Yin Yun.
Nan Xun insisted on going to Yun Town with Jun Huang though. He was worried that she would run into danger.
Because of his concern for Jun Huang's health, Nan Xun had slowed down the troop further. It took them half a day to travel ten miles.
Nan Xun knew he must not cause further delay to the troop. The riot of Yunzhou had to be taken care of. If they did not reach Yunzhou in time, things might go awry.
Jun Huang thought Nan Xun was going to urge the troop to hurry, but instead, Nan Xun went straight to his second in command.
The second in command was surprised. Nan Xun had been… canoodling with Jun Huang the past couple of days. He was pleasantly surprised that Nan Xun asked for him.
"In this state, we will not reach Yunzhou in time, and the emperor will be unhappy," Nan Xun said without ceremony. "However, I have to go to Yun Town with gentleman Feng and won't be able to reach Yunzhou until a few days later. Take the men to Yunzhou with you. Do everything you can to suppress the unrest. Understand?"
The second in command widened his eyes. It took some time for him to find his voice. "What is the general going to Yun Town for?"
Nan Xun looked toward Jun Huang reflexively. She was standing next to the coach. The silk robe she wore was of premium quality, which accentuated her beauty. He felt his heart swell.
"There is some business I have to take care of," Nan Xun said. He had reverted back to his usual stoic self. "You don't have to know the reason. Just go to Yunzhou as soon as you can."
The second in command nodded. He would not say no to Nan Xun's order. After a pause, he said, "This officer will lead the army to Yunzhou shortly. Please be careful, general. I'll leave some reliable guards with you."
Nan Xun didn't want to bring guards with him, but he wasn't sure if they would run into troubles. It was safer to have a few men with him. That way, he would be able to focus on protecting Jun Huang when dangers struck. He therefore didn't argue with his second in command.
The second in command left with most of the soldiers, leaving four men for Nan Xun. Jun Huang's eyebrows furrowed. She didn't expect Nan Xun to follow her to Yun Town.
With the arrangement made, a heavyweight finally lifted from Nan Xun's shoulders. He didn't have to worry about causing too much of a delay now. He was able to even appreciate the scenery.
Jun Huang wanted to hurry, but she didn't have a choice. She sighed and decided to not start an argument with Nan Xun again. She knew it wouldn't do her any good to be hasty.
After two days, they finally reached the gate of Yun Town. Yun Town sat far away from the imperial city. The pale grey wall was marked with spots and the color was uneven. At the open gate were a few soldiers checking over the passing crowds. The gate led to a wide street. Conversations and vendors' cries could be heard from a distance. It looked like a peaceful place.
Jun Huang had been stuck in the coach for days. The walls were starting to close in on her. Nan Xun had intended to stay in the coach as they entered the town, but Jun Huang refused. Nan Xun could only follow Jun Huang out of the coach. He led his men to the gate.
Yun Town had seen its fair share of knight-errants. The guards didn't even blink when they saw that Nan Xun and his men were armed. After a simple questioning process, they were let inside.
Jun Huang smiled a little. "I didn't expect you to be able to enter with all your weapons."
Nan Xun glanced at a knight-errant passing by them and nodded. "It seems like there's an event in Yun Town."
Jun Huang stopped to look at Nan Xun with inquisitive eyes. Nan Xun pointed at a tea stand on the side of the road. Almost every customer was dressed in peasants' clothes and armed with swords. Jun Huang blinked in surprise.
"There must be a lot of new faces coming to this great event of the martial arts world," said a burly man.
The man he was talking to have a more feminine face, and he was thin. He waved his fan and narrowed his eyes. After a while, he finally opened his mouth. "There are some new faces, but who knows if there will be anyone noteworthy this year?"
Jun Huang dragged Nan Xun away when the man turned to them. Was there a connection between Yin Yun and Jun Hao's presence and the martial arts event? She fell in deep thoughts with her brows furrowed. Perhaps it was only a coincidence.
Nan Xun didn't think too much of it, but he ordered the guards to keep their guard up to be on the safe side. There were a lot of people coming and going in Yun Town recently. The possibility of running into dangers was therefore higher than ever. He had to make sure that Jun Huang was safe.
They arrived at the biggest inn in the town. One of the clerks had a pair of keen eyes. He noticed their unusual presence and expensive clothing. He hurried to them with a wide smile. This was a great opportunity to make good money!
Nan Xun reflexively pulled Jun Huang behind him, who threw him a brief glance. She was amused by his reaction, but she didn't let it show.
"Are the esteemed guests going to have a meal or book some rooms?" The clerk asked in an earnest tone.
"We're staying. Prepare a few quality rooms for us." Nan Xun gestured for one of his men to pay the clerk.
The clerk's eyes lit up. He snuck a glance at Jun Huang, who was behind Nan Xun, and asked, "How many rooms do the gentlemen need? You must know that there are a lot more people in Yun Town these days. We only have three rooms left. If you don't mind, I'll go get these three rooms ready."
Nan Xun frowned and turned to Jun Huang. Before he could say anything, Jun Huang piped up, "If that's the case, we will have the rooms. Thank you."
The clerk walked away after making a sound of assent. Nan Xun turned to Jun Huang with surprise. Jun Huang shrugged and said to the guards, "Yun Town is full of people these days. All of us will have to share the room with one other person. Is it alright for you?"
The guards nodded. They went upstairs to scout the place first. Nan Xun couldn't suppress his smile hearing Jun Huang's words. He followed Jun Huang up the stairs without a word.
This was the most luxurious inn in Yun Town. If even this inn was left with only three suites, the other inns must have been fully booked. The inn did live up to its reputation, though. The suite was spacious enough to house more than ten people. It was far from uncomfortable for two people to share the space. Besides, there was an extra side room attached to the main room, and there was a divan in addition to the large bed.
Jun Huang and Nan Xun entered their suite. It was a good place. The window panes were etched with intricate patterns. The scent of sandalwood was relaxing and refreshing.
Nan Xun could tell that Jun Huang was in a good mood. He avoided bringing Jun Hao up. It was getting late after all. It wasn't a good time to search for them. Jun Huang knew as well. She planned to start looking for Yin Yun and Jun Hao after a good night sleep.
They couldn't go search for Yin Yun and Jun Hao as a group. She decided to sketch out their appearances and had the men split up to ask around tomorrow.