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Edited by elliot!
[Chapter 38 - Cang Nan Province] The leader of Fei Luan
That Fen Xing left Tu Bu Jie's side, and its halo also gradually disappeared, returning to its original state not long after.
Duan Bai Yue held it in his palm, lying in the bed alone, lost in thought, staring at the bed canopy with sleep not coming. When it reached the later half of the night, he just left the inn directly instead, intending to go out to take a stroll to relieve his worry, but arrived at the entrance of the palace unknowingly.
There were the familiar doors and familiar roads as usual, and there were not many imperial guards keeping watch as usual.
Hearing footsteps, Chu Yuan opened his eyes, but didn't speak.
"Know that it's me?" Duan Bai Yue sat by the bed.
Chu Yuan looked at him: "What's the matter?"
"Nothing, I just couldn't sleep." Duan Bai Yue said.
Chu Yuan smiled: "So you came to disturb other people's sleep?"
Duan Bai Yue said: "I brought wine."
Chu Yuan sat up from the bed: "What wine is it?"
"Yun Guang(1)." Duan Bai Yue replied, "It's a bit strong."
"You brewed it yourself too?" Chu Yuan reached out his hand.
Duan Bai Yue twisted off the wine stopper then handed it over.
Chu Yuan tried a small mouthful, frowning: "This kind of wine, it harms the body if too much is drunk."
"That's why I bought only this." Duan Bai Yue said, "If one is tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep, it can drive away one's worries."
Chu Yuan shook his head: "Don't drink it, and you're not allowed to drink it in the future either."
"That's alright too." Duan Bai Yue didn't force the issue either, since he didn't come to only drink wine anyway.
"Say it, there must be something." Chu Yuan placed wine bottle to the side, "What happened?"
"Tonight, the Fen Xing glowed again." Duan Bai Yue said hesitantly.
Chu Yuan was surprised: "Why? It recognized you?"
".........." Duan Bai Yue was really unwilling to bring up Tu Bu Jie.
Chu Yuan frowned: "Not good?"
"It's not that it's not good, it's just uncomfortable to think about." Duan Bai Yue's head ached, and he went over the incident roughly.
Chu Yuan: "........."
Duan Bai Yue said: "I will find the cause for this."
"Could it be, because that relative of yours and I have interacted with people of Chao Ya before?" Chu Yuan thought about it.
Duan Bai Yue instantly refuted: "He isn't my relative."
Chu Yuan punched him on the chest: "Listen to the second half of the sentence!"
Duan Bai Yue nodded: "Possibly." Thinking about it like this, his heart became more carefree instead.
"So, now it made sense when Sai Pan An stated that the people who could make Fen Xing shine had already died in Chao Ya." Chu Yuan said, "Oh, and one more thing. I sent people to investigate before sleeping, the magistrate in Cang Nan Province is Yu Shu, he rose up, step by step from a county magistrate, and although his political achievements aren't outstanding, but there isn't any serious faults either, but nothing can be gleaned from just looking at records either."
"Yu Shu." Duan Bai Yue said, "Alright, I will go and investigate."
Chu Yuan leaned back on the bed: "I'm completely awake now, what do you still want to chat about?"
Duan Bai Yue asked: "Not angry about having your sleep disturbed?"
"I'm not a kid." Chu Yuan felt like laughing.
"So it's like this." Duan Bai Yue laid by his side, "Then let's do some adult things?"
Chu Yuan continued to lie on the bed and said lazily: "Si---"
Duan Bai Yue said: "Xi."
Chu Yuan covered his head with the blanket and laughed.
Duan Bai Yue patted him, and also laughed along; he just had to look at him for his heart to be free
"Si Xi had gone to rest. Next time I shall get someone different to watch the door." After Chu Yuan finished laughing, his face was a little red, "Specially just to banish you to the cold palace."
"I won't go to the cold palace instead, but stay here and accompany you instead." Duan Bai Yue looked at him, "If I were to return to Xi Nan, I don't know when we can meet again."
Chu Yuan's expression froze.
"Alright, alright, let's not talk about this." Duan Bai Yue laid by his side, "Sleep, I will be by your side."
Chu Yuan asked quietly: "When are you returning to Xi Nan?"
Duan Bai Yue said: "The connection between Chao Ya and Feng Xin must be made clear at least, and there's also Jade Coffin mountain and Lan Yi Zhan, and since Sai Pan An displayed the Fen Xing deadlocked in order to lure him to appear, then it's clear that this person also connected with Fen Xing."
"How long is needed?" Chu Yuan continued asking.
"This can't be certain." Duan Bai Yue held his hand and brought it to his mouth, "If quick, then three, five months, if slow, then three, five years, if even slower, then thirty, fifty years. I won't even continue to be Xi Nan King anymore, and bring you around to ride horses and look at the flowers instead, and make up for the freedom and happiness of these past few decades."
Chu Yuan's eyes teared up; he covered it up with a laugh: "After another thirty, fifty years, you'll be an old man already."
"So what?" Duan Bai Yue said, "You will also be old, we won't mind each other."
Chu Yuan slapped him away, wanting to turn around but was stopped, and was gently brought into Duan Bai Yue's arms.
The room was very quiet, with no one speaking between the two of them.
Feeling some wetness in front of his chest, Duan Bai Yue hugged him even tighter.
A thunderstorm rained down outside; the candlelight was extinguished by the wind; in the darkness, they seem to be able to hear each other's heartbeats.
Duan Bai Yue knows, what he himself wants is not just these, but he also knows that if he does anymore, he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to bear to leave him in the future.
After all, with their status, even if their feelings are linked and they rely on each other, to speak of staying together forever, it was somewhat of an extravagance.
After how long, it is not known, but the breathing of the person in his arms finally slowed down.
Duan Bai Yue helped to put the blankets over him, and brought him into his arms again.
Lips lightly brushed across each other.
One pretended it was accidental.
One pretended that he didn't wake up.
Three days later, Duan Bai Yue set out together with Duan Yao towards Cang Nan province.
And Nan Mo ye also brought Tu Bu Jie with him to Jade Coffin mountain to find the truth of the matter once and for all.
Cang An Province was most famous for its colorful peonies amongst the city; Duan Yao became very happy once he entered the city, already thinking of where to stroll about at night.
Duan Bai Yue ordered a table of dishes at the restaurants, and a basket of sweetened bean paste buns, and specially forked out twice the money to make them into the shape of toads.
The cook stood in front of the kneading board, trying his best to knead while recalling the frogs from the fields, and felt profoundly that the customers these days are getting harder and harder to satisfy, never mind that sect leader of Dominion of Chasing Shadows who wanted rabbit-shaped buns before, there was even someone who wanted toad shaped buns.
Such a peculiar interest.
"Be good, you see, your favorite shape." Duan Bai Yue offered the steaming hot buns to him.
Duan Yao said cautiously: "What do I have to steal again?"
Duan Bai Yue replied: "A person."
Duan Yao said angrily: "You want me to steal a person?"
His voice was a bit loud, and attracted the attention of the nearby tables; all clicking their tongues and saying that morals are degrading with each pa.s.sing day, even the matter of taking a lover can also be said in the open.
"You see, you!" Duan Yao grumbled, and kicked angrily under the table.
"I'm serious." Duan Bai Yue said, "Jing Liu Tian of Fei Luan House, do you know him?"
"Why would I know him." Duan Yao bit a mouthful off the bun.
Xi Nan King was somewhat slightly vexed.
Because he didn’t know him either.
As for why he must say that he knew him previously....that depended on who was the one asking. A request from his beloved, nevermind Jing Liu Tian, even if it was Yan Luo w.a.n.g(2), he must also be acquainted with him.
"Just because you want to get to know the leader of that Fei Luan House, there's no need to steal the person right?" Duan Yao said, "Just send over an invitation stating your ident.i.ty, and you won’t have to be afraid of being sent away?“
"Fei Luan House opens its doors every three months, and takes on only ten tasks. The last time it opened its doors was last month." Duan Bai Yue said, "In so many years, there has been no one who has flouted the rule."
"So cryptic." Duan Yao frowned, and then grumbled, "Since you don't know him, why didn't you find someone to pull strings before coming." Now that they were travel-worn under this hot weather, wouldn't it be a loss for them to have gone on such an aimless journey,
Duan Bai Yue said: "Shut up."
Duan Yao: ".........."
Duan Bai Yue continued: "Let's go to Fei Luan House tonight, and see if he's around."
Duan Yao took the opportunity to strike: "I reckon he's not around."
Duan Bai Yue, with his palm, sent a slap over.
Auntie Jin wasn’t here to see it anyway, no one would scold him.
After finishing the whole table of food, Duan Yao leaned against the window contentedly and looked down, and said suspiciously: "Where are these people going?"
Duan Bai Yue glanced over, and saw commoners running towards one direction, and thus anyhow said: "There's a peony festival recently."
"Appreciation of flowers isn't like appreciating lanterns, who would choose the night time." Duan Yao said, "Moreover, looking at everyone's expression, it doesn't seem like a good thing."
Duan Bai Yue frowned slightly.
As the facts prove, it really wasn't a good thing.
Because the magistrate of Cang Nan province, Yu Shu, was found by people to have died under unusual circ.u.mstances two hours earlier, in the magistrate study.
Duan Yao sighed: "Looks like someone was a step ahead of us."
"Let's go." Duan Bai Yue picked up his sword, "Go and see just what's happening first."
The magistrate was long already surrounded by soldiers, with the commoners in a circle around them, all asking about the cause of the incident. Duan Bai Yue and Duan Yao leapt from the backyard into the magistrate; there were quite a number of people there, other than Yu Shu's wife and children, there were also the coroner and soldiers clamoring about; it doesn't seem like there's any clues.
"Better to come later at night." Duan Yao said.
Duan Bai Yue nodded, and left the magistrate with him. After walking past three streets, Duan Yao frowned: "Someone is following us?"
"You only realized now?" Duan Bai Yue smiled, "We were already noticed at the magistrate, but it's no matter anyway."
Duan Yao abruptly turned around.
A white robed man, a folded fan in his hand, and stood there, looking at them coldly, not hiding or concealing himself.
"White robes and a jade fan, this must be the leader of Fei Luan House." Duan Bai Yue said, "Apologies for my manners."
"And who is this sire?" Jing Liu Tian asked.
Duan Bai Yue: "Someone from Xi Nan manor."
"Xi Nan manor, King Duan?" Jing Liu Tian frowned, the bearing of this person in front of him sure seems like it, but that sword in his hand is too average and ordinary, a far cry from the Lie Yun sword of the rumors.
Duan Bai Yue said: "To tell the truth, the journey of this king this time is to pay a visit to Mister Jing, and yet I didn't think we would meet here."
Jing Liu Tian asked: "Yu Shu's death, is it related to this king?"
Duan Bai Yue shook his head.
Jing Liu Tian reminded him: "If you're truly uninvolved, then this lowly one is willing to accompany this king to Fei Luan House to drink a cup of wine. But if you're involved, Yu Shu is my customer; a customer is killed for no reason, I will definitely find the truth."
Duan Bai Yue said: "This king is even more unwilling to see Yu Shu pa.s.s away, because something has yet to be made clear."
Jing Liu Tian asked: "What matters?"
Duan Bai Yue answered: "Those people in black robes."
Jing Liu Tian shook his head: "Too much greed, and I'm afraid one will be led astray."
Duan Bai Yue said with a smile: "Looks like Mister Jin knows a few things, this king has found the right person this time."
Jing Liu Tian said: "This king is mistaken, this lowly one is only willing to accompany this king for a cup of wine, if you wish to do business, then please come two months later."
"Mister Jing had said before previously, the Yu Shu coming to harm must be investigated clearly." Duan Bai Yue raised an eyebrow, "It just so happens that half my journey here was also for Yu Shu, so why not work together?"
"How did Yu Shu managed to offend Xi Nan king?" Jing Liu Tian asked.
Duan Bai Yue was very frank: "He didn't offend me, but he offended the person I love instead."
Duan Yao thought in his heart, oh, General Shen.
(1) Yun Guang: 云光 - lit. cloud light.
(2) Yan Luo w.a.n.g: 阎罗王 - King of the underworld
Please let me know if there's any mistakes!