Tian Yu and Liu Xing shared a glance and noticed the confusion in each other’s eyes. As far as they knew, Miao Yi wasn’t aware of anything and seemed like he had yet to realize that the Hall Master was his sworn brother. Neither had Miao Yi ever troubled him in any way. They didn’t know why he wanted to send Miao Yi off to his death in the Sea of Constellations.
Huo Lingxiao knew what the other two were thinking. However, some things could not be mentioned even to those closest to him, especially when this extremely private affair of his concerned his reputation.
He never wanted to antagonize Miao Yi in the past. Simply put, the difference between them was too great. Miao Yi didn’t pose any threat to him at all and wasn’t worth keeping tabs on. Otherwise, Miao Yi would have died countless times by now.
It was only when he read through Yang Qing’s name list and saw Xiong Xiao’s name that Miao Yi came to mind. Then he remembered about the night in the capital city. Even though he believed that Miao Yi would never have another opportunity to meet Xiao Xiao and realize her true identity, he believed it was better to be safe than sorry and just eliminate this potential threat.
In the eyes of influential people, whether those of a lower-class lived or died was but the matter of a moment’s whim and was hardly significant. He was merely taking this opportunity because it had conveniently presented itself in front of him...
Mount Calming Sea — Yuan Fang and Luo Shuangfei escorted him as Miao Yi rushed over without rest.
Luo Shuangfei was still his listless self, not saying a single word throughout the entire journey. Whenever Miao Yi asked him something, he would only give short replies with two words or less. Miao Yi was quite unaccustomed to seeing Luo Shuangfei like this.
It was exactly because of this, that right when Miao Yi was ready to bring Yuan Fang and Lai Yuhan along, he decided to take Luo Shuangfei instead. He originally thought that Luo Shuangfei would be pleased to know he could go out, given that he enjoyed excitement. However, he was still the same as always, like a wilted petunia.
‘Don’t tell me I have to invite you back to stay with me in my residence before you will come back to life?’ Miao Yi turned to look at Luo Shuangfei as he walked up the steps. Then, he spun his head back to see Hong Mian by the gates, smiling as she examined him. He cupped his fists and said, "I respectfully greet Elder Auntie."
Hong Mian turned around and led him inside. Then, she asked him in a very familiar manner, "Nothing happened on the way here, I hope?"
"Thank you for your concern, Elder Auntie. Nothing out of the ordinary happened."
"Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The Mountain Chieftain is very furious..."
The two entered the courtyard and ascended the loft. Then, they saw Qin Weiwei; dressed in her usual white gown, and standing gracefully before the window as she gazed outside. Her back was facing Hong Mian and Lu Liu as she issued a command to the both of them, "The two of you. Leave us for a while."
Miao Yi turned his head about to see the two girls departing with faint smiles on their faces. Then, his gaze descended on Qin Weiwei’s alluring back. A man and a woman were left alone in the loft as a lady’s fragrance wafted throughout the building.
After receiving Hong Mian’s reminder earlier on, Miao Yi assumed that Qin Weiwei was furious because of the incident with Gongsun Yu. Yet, when Qin Weiwei turned to look at him, the usually cold, deadpan but equally beautiful face of hers actually revealed a rare winning smile. She asked, "Will you not come and see me unless I send out an official decree?"
"Uh…" Miao Yi was dumbfounded by her question. ‘This cold-face beauty is smiling at me? What is she playing at? I have already gone so far as to even make a move on your lover. Yet you’re still able to smile?’
As always, his guard was up against Qin Weiwei. Despite grumbling to himself, he still kept up appearances and politely greeted, "Your subordinate greets the Mountain Chieftain."
"If you act this way, it means you do not think of me as a friend. I told you to call me by my name when we’re speaking privately," said Qin Weiwei as she walked up to him.
The two of them faced each other, only inches apart. Miao Yi raised his head and their gazes met one another. Suddenly, the two were momentarily dazed as though they just realized that they were a tad too close to one another.
Miao Yi could clearly smell the fragrance from Qin Weiwei’s body and even vaguely feel the warmth coming from it. Then, he reflexively took a step back.
He could not find it within himself to call Qin Weiwei by her name so easily. It would be too awkward. Even though he still remembered how they slapped their palms together and suddenly became friends the last time, he still had qualms deep down. ‘How could a superior and a subordinate ever become friends?’
Suddenly realizing they were too close to each other, Qin Weiwei was a little nervous at first. However, when she saw the other person take a step back like he was somewhat fearful of her, she felt more confident in herself, and became a little more natural as she extended her hand and said, "Take a seat then!"
Miao Yi acknowledged the order and sat down. Suddenly, Qin Weiwei poured a cup of tea of her own accord, then pushed it towards him and said, "Please. Have some tea."
"...." Miao Yi felt somewhat overwhelmed by the kind treatment, a little terrified even, as he realized this woman’s methods were getting more unfathomable by the second. He anxiously stood up and thanked her.
Qin Weiwei sat down as well on the opposite side of the tea table. She ground her teeth secretly as she tried to give a reassuring smile. "Miao Yi. I had hoped that we could become friends who could share anything with each other, but it seems like you still have some prejudice against me."
"I wouldn’t dare." replied Miao Yi with a dry laugh. However, his nerves instantly tensed up. ‘Share anything with each other? Aren’t you just trying to pry information out of me?’
"For you to use the words ‘wouldn’t dare’ clearly means that you still don’t think of me as a friend." Being the more confident one in the conversation, Qin Weiwei was able to articulate herself more naturally.
"No, that’s not true. It is my honor to become friends with the Mountain Chieftain."
"Calling me Mountain Chieftain again?" teased Qin Weiwei, acting displeased.
Facing the feigned anger in her glare, Miao Yi made a dry laugh as he struggled to say the words, "Qin...Weiwei."
As soon as she heard the name, a peculiar expression flashed by Qin Weiwei’s face. Then, she extended her hand and urged Miao Yi to have some tea.
Deep down, Miao Yi was shouting—‘Damn it! I’m a fucking man, for crying out loud. How can I be scared of a woman? Since when have I ever been afraid of her? There is only two of us here. Even if we were to do battle, I wouldn’t be afraid to face her on my own. How did I get so nervous?’
Immediately, he eased up, mentally steeling himself against whatsoever he may encounter and convinced himself that there was always a solution to every problem. He acted relaxed and leaned back on the chair, lifting his cup to take a sip of tea. Then, he crossed his legs and asked, "Qin Weiwei. Why did you ask me to come here?"
Qin Weiwei was startled to see the other party suddenly behaving like this, and found it difficult to adjust herself. "Are we friends or not?"
‘You’re the one with the final say in this matter. Who asked you to be the direct superior? I have no choice but to follow what you say. If you say it’s true, then it’s true. If you say it isn’t, then it isn’t.’ thought Miao Yi.
He smiled at her, "We made a promise last time when we slapped our palms together that we would become friends. You’re not thinking of going back on it, are you?"
Qin Weiwei asked in response, "Since we’re friends, can’t I look for you even if I have nothing to talk about?"
‘This woman is too fake. You clearly called me here to talk about the matter with Gongsun Yu. Yet you still say you have nothing to talk about!’ Miao Yi cursed in his heart. However, he revealed a jubilant expression as he chuckled, "Since we’re friends, then you don’t always need to use the Mountain Chieftain’s status to send down an official decree and force me to come here, right? Why am I always the one coming over? Couldn’t you come to my place of your own accord instead?"
Qin Weiwei thought long and hard about the words he said, and realized that he did have a point. It seemed like she did place herself a little too high up. This was not the way to be a friend. How was she anything like a friend with the stance she displayed? Clearly, she was still relying on her position as a superior to pressure him. As such, she earnestly nodded, "Very well. I shall remember what you just said. From now on, I will go and look for you myself."
"Uhh…" Miao Yi was startled. He cursed to himself—‘Shit. This woman has become so terrifying now. I kept my guard up, but I still fell into her trap. Isn’t this like asking her to come over to East Arrival Cave myself and cause trouble?’
Miao Yi hated not being able to slap himself. He never felt like a bigger idiot before.
He changed the subject as he cautiously asked, "Mountain… Qin Weiwei. You really don’t have anything to talk about?"
Initially, she did not want to raise these other matters up so soon, but since he already asked, Qin Weiwei furrowed her brows and questioned, "How did you and Gongsun Yu come into conflict?"
‘I knew you were still worried about Gongsun Yu. Why act innocent…?’ Miao Yi laughed, "That little white-faced prick is nothing…"
As soon as Miao Yi uttered the words, he suddenly remembered the relationship between Gongsun Yu and Qin Weiwei. A white-faced man was a mocking title to describe a man who liked to seduce women. Wouldn’t he be insulting Qin Weiwei as well by calling Gongsun Yu a white-faced prick to her face? He anxiously explained, "Mountain Chieftain. I did not mean anything by it. I just feel that Gongsun Yu’s face is rather pale and fair. It looks quite good."
Without the need for further explanation, Qin Weiwei knew what he was hinting at, and couldn’t resist clenching her teeth. How could she not be aware of how her relationship with Gongsun Yu was perceived among the two Manors? Even Yang Qing had asked her about it. However, she never thought to explain herself in regards to these matters, because she believed that the innocent need not explain themselves if they were truly innocent, whereas the sinful would still be of sin no matter how hard they tried to prove differently. Thus, she never saw the need to explain herself. Yet Gongsun Yu had to purposefully make things seem vague, as though admitting that they were in a relationship, and making others believe that they really did have something going on.
She felt like she absolutely must explain this matter clearly today and not leave so much as a shred of doubt.
The bountiful bosom under the white gown heaved as she sucked in a deep breath, and explained, "Miao Yi. I can tell you very responsibly that my relationship with Gongsun Yu is not in any way like what everyone else is saying. Those are all baseless rumors that are spread outside."
"Yes, I understand. They most definitely are rumors." Miao Yi immediately nodded in assurance.
He did not even take the time to think. It was too obvious. Qin Weiwei was not a fool, so how could she not see that he was just sucking up to her? She ground her teeth and said, "Gongsun Yu and I definitely do not have that kind of relationship between a man and a woman. We are innocent."
Again, Miao Yi did not even stop to think as he nodded repeatedly, "Yes, yes. I understand. Mountain Chieftain is not that kind of person. Those are just baseless rumors that are spread outside. I have never believed in this nonsense even once, and have always helped Mountain Chieftain to refute such claims."
That attitude of his as he went along with her every word without so much as a second thought almost infuriated Qin Weiwei to the point of slamming the table and standing up. Her bountiful chest heaved a couple more times in her impatience, as she ground her teeth and asked, "What will I have to do for you to believe that he and I are innocent?"
‘Is there a need to explain yourself to me?’ Miao Yi thought as he replied, "I believe you."
"You—" Qin Weiwei suddenly pointed at his nose as she ground her teeth in frustration and said, "You don’t believe me at all."
‘Why are you still asking if you already know the answer?’ Miao Yi put on a serious face and said, "I really believe you."
He felt that there was no need to continue discussing about this topic. He came here today on official business, and not to argue with her. ‘If we continue to dwell on this topic, this woman might just blow her top from the embarrassment. Don’t let this ruin what I came here to do.’ He quickly smiled and changed the subject, "Mountain Chieftain. It is not that I am biased against Gongsun Yu. However, he is truly too overbearing."
From calling her Mountain Chieftain in the beginning, to calling her Qin Weiwei, and now he naturally shifted back to calling her Mountain Chieftain. It was evident how deep the prejudice this fellow had against Qin Weiwei.
Yet Qin Weiwei didn’t want to change the subject. She felt like she must explain this matter clearly today. Her expression turned cold as she said, "What will I have to do for you to believe that he and I are innocent?"
‘This woman is even trying to be forceful now. She isn’t going to give it a rest. Fine! You forced me to do this!’ Miao Yi coughed as he put on a serious face and said, "It is not difficult to quell the voices of the public. Your subordinate is willing to do this for Mountain Chieftain. That bastard Gongsun Yu is not a decent fellow anyway. After this, I shall help you slaughter him. Then, this matter can be put to rest. Your subordinate assures that there won’t be any traces left behind."
"....." Qin Weiwei was stunned. She quickly waved her hand and said, "No, you can’t do that."
‘Your intention is clear with such a simple test. For you to try and protect him so anxiously, you still dare say that there is nothing going on between you two?’ Miao Yi replied with an amused, "Oh!" Clearly implying with his tone—‘Now you understand what I’m saying.’ Then, he just kept quiet.