With the intention of getting revenge for Gu Lingzhi, Rong Yuan made the decision to not return to the Yan Capital. He was going to stay in the outskirts and catch all the masked men that were scattered around trying to catch Gu Lingzhi!
As Rong Yuan voiced out his thoughts, everyone agreed with him. Yan Liang was the first to take out the Spiritual Spear that Gu Lingzhi had given him earlier and said, “Tonight, I shall borrow the blood of these men to light up my Shihun Spear.”
Xin Yi grinned and also took out the Spiritual Sword Gu Lingzhi gave him, “There’s me too. My Qianlan Sword has been hungry and calling out recently.”
Tianfeng Jin and Nie Sang followed by taking out their own weapons. Their weapons were all given to them by Gu Lingzhi via the Black Thorn.
Seeing the proud looks on everyone, Rong Yuan however, was gloomy. He looked at Gu Lingzhi as if to complain: why did they have weapons but not me?
Reading the question in Rong Yua’s eyes, Gu Lingzhi shrugged as her eyes carried a slight dismissive look: Were you expecting me to do nothing while you were messing around outside? Additionally, the competition was ongoing. Of course I would satisfy other people’s needs first.
Rong Yuan’s eyes immediately turned apologetic: I’m sorry, I only have eyes for you.
On the other hand, Yuan Zheng who had wanted to express his unhappiness and ask Gu Lingzhi to make him a Spiritual Weapon forcibly swallowed his words as he caught the silent interaction between the two of them.
The rest of the night was a massacre.
With Rong Yuan as the leader, they were like a group of hunters as they killed every masked man they came across. It was only until dawn that the leader of the masked men realised something was wrong. He suddenly realised that his subordinates had been… decreasing.
“I didn’t know that the Third Prince of the Xia Kingdom was actually so capable,” a silver-masked man mumbled softly. He then instructed his guards to quickly round up everyone that he sent out.
“He must’ve found Gu Lingzhi if he can so openly and daringly massacre my men. Go call everyone back. With Rong Yuan protecting her, it is impossible to stop him without a Martial Sage.”
“Yes, Master.” His guards replied before they turned around and carried out his orders. When only the silver-masked man was left in the room, he turned to look at the First School and mumbled, “It doesn’t matter whether Gu Lingzhi is killed, but the Black Thorn must be gotten rid of. She is already a Martial Lord. If she becomes a Martial Sage, it would be almost impossible to deal with her…”
Gu Lingzhi and everyone else were oblivious to the intentions of this silver-masked man. After killing yet another group of seven to eight people, they bumped into an exhausted-looking Ding Rou. Ding Rou immediately burst into a smile as she saw them. She waved her arm excitedly, “Rong Yuan, I’ve finally found you!”
She approached them with a few guards behind her.
“Lingzhi, it’s great that you are alright! If anything happened to you, Rong Yuan would be extremely upset.”
Gu Lingzhi laughed blandly, “Unfortunately, now that I am alive, someone else would be the one that is upset.”
One of the guards behind Ding Rou immediately lost his composure, “What do you mean by that? Our Princess looked for you for an entire night out of concern. Even if you’re not grateful, how can you doubt her sincerity? What kind of person are you, even the thoughts you have about others are crude!”
When he spoke finish, Ding Rou promptly reprimanded him, “Keep quiet! How can you say that about Lingzhi? Just because she said that doesn’t mean she was referring to me, right? Lingzhi?”
She loved to pretend to be magnanimous but this annoyed Gu Lingzhi. Shaking off the hand that came to grab her, she said coldly, “Am I wrong? I bet you are very disappointed to see that I am alive.”
“That’s right, if you really didn’t want your subordinate to scold Lingzhi, why did you wait until he finished talking before reprimanding him? Pretentious,” Xin Yi added, causing Ding Rou’s face to darken.
She spat, “although I like Rong Yuan, but I am not so desperate that I would use underhand means to gain his affection.”
“Oh, really?” Gu Lingzhi was not convinced. Her casual and light tone demonstrated her disbelief in Ding Rou.
“Enough. Xiao Rou, you have yet to recover. Why are you out here instead of resting in your room? Aren’t you going to hurry back and rest?”
To prevent Ding Rou from exploding out of anger, Rong Yuan had no choice but to step in and express his unhappiness with Ding Rou appearing here in the nicest way possible.
As Ding Rou listened to him, her anger immediately dissipated as she adopted a demure and gentle look, “Rong Yuan, I am only here because I was worried about Gu Lingzhi. Without ensuring that she was safe, I couldn’t fall asleep.”
If anyone else was here, they would definitely scold Gu Lingzhi for being ungrateful upon hearing Ding Rou’s words.
A pity that everyone that was there was either her men or they were on Gu Lingzhi’s side and her pretense was ignored by everyone. The only one that entertained and responded to her was Rong Yuan, who had an ulterior motive.
“Xiao Rou…” Rong Yuan paused what he was saying and looked at Ding Rou with warmth and guilt, “I understand what your intentions. Since Lingzhi is safe now, you should go back and rest.”
“No, I want to go back with you.” Ding Rou insisted. She then said sympathetically, “You haven’t slept for an entire night in order to find Lingzhi. Let’s go back.”
It was as if she was suddenly curious as she asked, “Aren’t you going back? After the entire night, Lingzhi must be tired too.”
She had successfully convinced Rong Yuan to give up his original plan of continuing to hunt down all the masked men. After hesitating for a while, Rong Yuan ordered Yuan Zheng to let the wildebeest out.
“I think we have killed a majority of them. Even if we continue finding, we might not meet many of them. We should all return to rest.”
Although everyone was unhappy that Ding Rou’s appearance caused them to retire early, they knew that what Rong Yuan said was true. From when they started hunting the masked men, they were able to meet a group in an hour. Now, after two hours, all they found was Ding Rou, an unwanted guest. Even if they continued waiting, they might not find much. After fighting for an entire night, they were indeed exhausted.
The few of them had intended to return the way they came with two to a wildebeest but now there was Gu Lingzhi and Wei Hanzi. It was going to be tough for these three wildebeest. Nie Sang and Yan Liang were the first to be ditched by Rong Yuan and Yuan Zheng respectively. The freed seats were then given to Gu Lingzhi and Wei Hanzi.
“Why don’t Lingzhi come and ride with me? I can fit one more person here.” Before Yan Liang and Nie Sang could protest, Ding Rou stated first. Although she wore a light smile, she was actually feeling gloomy.
She was feeling worse than she had expected seeing Rong Yuan and Gu Lingzhi riding so intimately together.
“No, thank you. The roads here are not too bad. Yan Liang and I can just walk back,” Nie Sang stated before Yan Liang could say anything.
It was basic behaviour for a subordinate to help his master share his burdens when required. Yuan Zheng then continued to say, “Since that’s the case, I will thank Your Highness for such a favor. It is slightly inappropriate for me to ride with a lady.”
Wei Hanzi was quick-witted and hopped down from the wildebeest and went to Ding Rou’s wildebeest. Her face under the mask wore a mocking smile as she said, “Sorry to trouble you to bring me along.”
Yan Liang very automatically hopped onto the wildebeest the minute Wei Hanzi got off such that it was too late for Ding Rou to retract her offer even if she wanted to. She plastered a fake smile on her face as she made space for Wei Hanzi to sit behind her.
She had yet to suppress the unsettled feeling in her before she heard Rong Yuan speak.
“I would have forgotten if you did not mention it. Xiao Rou, can you find someone for Nie Sang to ride with. It is too dangerous to let him walk alone.”
Ding Rou forced a smile, “Even if you did not mention it, I would have done it.”
She then casually turned around and pointed to one of her guards to ride with Nie Sang. She was secretly scolding Yuan Zheng in her heart for being a busybody. He was a grown man and did not want to take the chance to sit with Wei Hanzi and made her ride with Wei Hanzi, there was something certainly wrong!
Ding Rou suddenly felt a cold shiver run down his spine as if a cold wind had blown past. She saw Yuan Zheng subconsciously move backwards, leaning closer to Yan Liang behind him and felt a lot warmer.
Ding Rou suddenly froze seeing his actions. Suddenly, an outrageous thought crossed her mind. Could Yuan Zheng… be homosexual?
The more she thought about it the more likely it became. If not, why hadn’t Yuan Zheng shown any interest in women all these years that he had been Rong Yuan’s bodyguard?
On the way back, everyone was absorbed in their own thoughts. When everyone returned to their rooms, only Gu Lingzhi and Rong Yuan was left. Seeing Ding Rou who was still hanging alongside Rong Yuan, Gu Lingzhi sneered, “Your Highness, aren’t you going back to attend to the Princess? Why are you walking in the direction of my room? My place is very small and can't accommodate someone as high in status as you.”
Gu Lingzhi then glared resentfully at Ding Rou and headed into her dorm.
Rong Yuan ran a few steps forward before pausing. He looked at Ding Rou apologetically, “I just talked to her yesterday about us and today, she was betrayed by a friend. It’s natural she is feeling upset. Don’t think too much.”
“I won’t.” Secretly wishing she could tear Gu Lingzhi apart, Ding Rou maintained a bright smile as she said, “After all, I am the one that got between the two of you. It is natural that she pushes me away. Don’t worry, I will get along well with her and try my best to get her to accept me.”
“It is good that you think this way.” Rong Yuan smiled in relief. He then patted her shoulder tenderly, “You have been busy the entire night. Quickly go back and rest, I will come and see you later.”
Ding Rou nodded obediently. She still had a certain degree of unrestrained ease about her, a result of being a young woman in love.
Rong Yuan chuckled and consoled her tenderly. He stood staring at her back until she completely disappeared before returning to the dorm. He had brilliantly executed the role of a man being caught in between two girls. Ding Wei who was secretly observing him, nodded in satisfaction.
It was more believable that with Ding Rou’s intentional seduction, Rong Yuan was torn between the two of them. If Rong Yuan had completely ignored Gu Lingzhi, he would then be suspicious of Rong Yuan’s true intentions. But from what he saw, it seemed like Rong Yuan had really fallen for his sister and that was why he seemed so torn.Previous Chapter Next Chapter