Chapter 417: Disappointment

“Brother Feng, I don’t want to hurt you, but what I’m saying is the truth,” Pi Batian continued coldly. “Your father likely sees you as his biggest stumbling block against his conquering the Mingyuan continent, so he’s trying to get rid of you using the Pi family. If we do so, the reputation of the Pi family will forever be tarnished.”

“No, that can’t be!” Feng Mian continued shaking his head. The fear of having been captured and the sudden appearance of Pi Batian at nighttime had dramatically affected Feng Mian’s thoughts, and he was far more susceptible to Pi Batian’s ploys under such a state.

“However, my father and I won’t do as he wishes. No, we won’t kill you!” Pi Batian turned to the outside of the cell and hollered, “Guards!”

Very quickly, a guard rushed to Pi Batian and bowed. “Yes, Young Master Pi?”

“Unlock the cell. Prepare the best guest room for Young Master Feng and furnish it with whatever amenities we have.”

“Yes, at once, Young Master!” The guard rushed out of the prison.

“Yueshan, help Young Master Feng out.” Pi Batian motioned at Rong Yueshan, who quickly walked into the cell and helped Feng Mian, still a little dazed, out of the cell.

“You’re really going to free me? Under what conditions?”

Although Feng Mian wasn’t particularly talented, he wasn’t an idiot. There was no reason the Pi family would free him so easily, when they could certainly secure concessions from the Fengs instead. “The Feng and Pi families have never been on good terms, and you and I have never been the best of friends, Young Master Pi.”

In truth, Feng Mian and Pi Batian had clashed with each other, both physically and verbally, more than once in their past previous encounters.

“Brother Feng.” Pi Batian only smiled coolly. “I’m surely not such a narrow-minded man that I can’t forgive our past interactions. We certainly have plans for you, but what the Pi family wants isn’t your life.”

Pi Batian didn’t reveal these plans of his, saying only that he would let Feng Mian know of them when the time was right. With wariness, Feng Mian allowed himself to be led out of the cell. As soon as he was out, he took a deep breath of the fresh night air. The rotting odors of the prison had nearly suffocated him with their stench, and the damp cell had left him intensely uncomfortable.

Feng Mian didn’t care what plans Pi Batian had in mind; he simply wanted a hot bath, a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed, and the best food and drinks to satiate his growling stomach.

Under Pi Batian’s commands, all this turned into a reality. Pi Batian even assigned Rong Yueshan to Feng Mian’s rooms to serve him; with her skilled massages, she quickly took care of Feng Mian’s aches and pains from his imprisonment.

Just like that, Feng Mian began staying in the Pi manor, wholly unaware that his father had been working day and night, even advancing his plans for the upcoming battle against the Pis, in order to rescue him.

When Feng Yanyang found Feng Mian’s guards and interrogated them as to Feng Mian’s capture, they hemmed and hawed before finally revealing the truth. After they had finished all the preparations for securing the town, one of Feng Mian’s personal guards entreated him to sponsor a night of partying at a nearby brothel. Initially, Feng Mian had rejected the man’s appeal, only to be persuaded into doing so when more and more guards joined in the appeal.

The group of six went to a brothel, one where Pi swordsmen lay in an ambush for Feng Mian. While Feng Mian was in a drunken haze, they rushed into his suite and kidnapped him.

“Ridiculous!” Feng Yanyang slammed a palm down on his table, causing several pieces of his tea set to crack from the impact.

“To have the young master of the Feng family bringing his guards to that sort of place—ridiculous to the extreme!”

“Please calm down, Lord Feng,” Feng Bo hurriedly stepped in, noting that Feng Yanyang was quaking with rage.

“Feng Bo.” Feng Yanyang turned to him. “I entrusted Mian’er to you so you could take care of him. Why did you allow him to partake in such ludicrous activities?!”

“Please, Lord Feng, calm down. Young Master Feng has been conscientious and meticulous with his work, and he would only visit such establishments infrequently to relax. Because I didn’t judge it to be a big problem, I allowed him to do so, leading to this mishap. Please punish me for my oversight, Lord Feng.”

Feng Yanyang let out a weary sigh. “I know Mian’er isn’t particularly talented, so I had him focus on what he could do, believing that he would still be a good lord with the support of trusted advisors, but… no, no, there’s no one else to blame but him.”

A moment later, he suddenly raised his head. “What happened to the guard who goaded Young Master Feng into going to the brothel?”

“He’s gone missing,” Feng Bo stated. That was the first thing he had checked after arriving at the scene; of Feng Mian’s five guards, four were killed on the spot. The missing guard was the ringleader of the entire affair.

“Lord Feng, Young Master Feng simply fell into a trap. It’s clear that the Pis planned for this ambush, and it’s only natural that Young Master Feng was caught by surprise.”

“Yicheng’s three years younger than Mian’er, but he’s far more mature and responsible,” Feng Yanyang. “I’d be satisfied if Mian’er had half the drive and talent!”

“Lord Feng, you honor me,” Feng Yicheng quickly bowed. “I still have many deficiencies as yet.”

“Lord Feng,” Feng Bo added, “what’s most important now is coming up with a plan to rescue Young Master Feng. To avoid besmirching their reputation, the Pis won’t dare kill him. We could try to infiltrate the Pi city in order to rescue him.”

“The Pi family will surely place Mian’er under heavy guard, so it won’t be easy to extricate him,” Feng Yanyang reasoned.

Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo glanced at each other. Then, Yun Ruoyan stepped forward. “Lord Feng, my consort and I would be happy to take on the responsibility for saving Young Master Feng.”

“Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo escaped from the Pi manor in the past, and they’re more familiar with the Pi manor and the Pi city than any of us here. It’ll be most appropriate to leave it to them,” Feng Bo added.

Feng Yanyang turned to Li Mo and Yun Ruoyan, the disappointment and helplessness in his gaze slowly being replaced by hope. “In that case, I’ll entrust this matter to the two of you. Please retrieve my son safely.”

Feng Yanyang remembered how Li Mo had headed into the Pi city alone in a foolhardy attempt to rescue Yun Ruoyan and Zhuo Yifeng. He knew how dangerous the endeavor had been, and he hadn’t expected that Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo would nevertheless be willing to brave such dangers for the Feng family, so he was quite touched by their proposal.

Their plan approved, Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo decided that they would leave the very next day. That evening, Lin Qingchen came to talk with Yun Ruoyan, volunteering to head to the battlefield. Meanwhile, Lin Qingxue would stay behind to take care of Lin Tianming. Because of Lin Qingchen’s excellent skill with medicine and pillmaking, Feng Bo had provisionally agreed to her request.

Actually, Lin Qingchen had volunteered not just to help out the Feng family, but also to recover her heirloom ring. When she found out that Yun Ruoyan and Li Mo were heading into the Pi city once more, she asked Yun Ruoyan to help her keep an eye out for the whereabouts of the ring, and whether it was indeed with Pi Batian. Understanding how important the ring was to Lin Qingchen, Yun Ruoyan agreed without any hesitation.

“Thank you, Sister Ruoyan,” Lin Qingchen replied, relieved.

“We’re sisters, aren’t we? There’s nothing to thank me about.” Yun Ruoyan patted her on the shoulder. “I still haven’t thanked you for helping with Qingxue. Ever since you talked to her, she’s not as reserved to me anymore. I think we’ll be able to go back to how we were before after this trip.”

Lin Qingchen glanced at Yun Ruoyan, seemingly wanting to say more. 

“Qingchen, what is it? Just tell me. I can’t stand this game of charades, of hints and indirect clues. You know how much I loathed being in the Yun family because of this.”

Lin Qingchen couldn’t help being a little surprised by her claim. In her impression, Yun Ruoyan had adroitly handled interacting with every member of the Yun family: its servants, her errant sisters and cousins, her father, Madam An, her grandmother… 

Even as a tender girl, she seemed like someone who had countless years of experience living in a noble family, and it was her surprising ability and aptitude at handling such affairs that had caused her to become Lin Qingchen’s idol.

However, ever since she married Li Mo, Yun Ruoyan had begun to change. It felt as though she were maturing in reverse: becoming more and more impulsive, headstrong, and coquettish.

Fortunately, no matter what kind of incident Yun Ruoyan caused, Li Mo had been able to smooth things over for her. Perhaps it was because of this that her sister had become so dangerously bold and daring.

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