Chapter 217: Rage
Translated by Gumihou
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
The moment the candlelight extinguished, a figure melted into being, like smoke wafting from a kitchen fire. The shadow travelled down some twisting lanes, paused before Lu Feng Yu’s courtyard for a quiet moment before flickering away. The shadow flashed once on top of the wall before falling soundlessly into the yard. It slunk between the various flowering trees and bushes in the garden before entering the kitchen from the back, appearing very familiar with the geography of the location.
Within the bedroom, Su Nuan Nuan and two maids were already deeply asleep. Duan Tingxuan slowly opened his eyes, and sat up lightly. Before his eyes, the window was pushed open and a man dressed in all black leapt in. At the sight of Duan Tingxuan, the figure held up a hand in greeting.
Duan Tingxuan frowned. Then, he eyed Su Nuan Nuan for a moment before poking her sleep acupuncture point once and said softly to the figure. “Why are you here at this hour? I thought for a moment that you must have been someone sent by Lu Feng Yu to investigate us and was about to show my hand.”
As he spoke, he made his way to the table in the dark and sat down. Since there was no candlelight or moonlight, there was no need to worry about people catching sight of their shadows.
Su Dong Lou pointed a finger to the next room, still not saying anything. Duan Tingxuan poured two cups of lukewarm tea and muttered crossly, “No need to worry, every night, once those two fall asleep, I helped them sleep deeper via their acupuncture points. They won’t be waking up so soon.”
Su Dong Lou finally relaxed and sat down at the table. He picked up a cup and held out three fingers, “Three things. I have three things I need to inform you, and one other thing I need to consult with you, neither can wait.”
Duan Tingxuan immediately became alert. “Speak.”
“First, it’s possible that I have finally gained the trust of King Xiangyang and… Lu Feng Yu.”
Duan Tingxuan grumbled, “I should trash you up for this. What do you mean by ‘possible’? The matter of gaining their trust is something that our lives and mission depended on, how could you be so frivolous?”
Su Dong Lou pulled a bitter face, “Who can guarantee anything when it comes to that Venomous Snake Lu? However, after that last mission, it’s possible that he finally trusts me. Otherwise, he would never have brought up the Immortal’s Range. Tingxuan, he practically admitted that whoever is hidden within that mountain range has a great deal to do with King Xiangyang’s plans.”
Duan Tingxuan sighed, and nodded seriously. “Since he has personally spoken to you about it, he must really trust you.” At this, he slowly frowned and said, “Just what kind of mission was it? It had to be something crucial for this sudden change of heart.” For some reason, he had a bad premonition in his heart.
“It’s not a sudden change of heart, alright? Did you forget the whole year I put in to persuade him?” Su Dong Lou was not at all happy to hear his past efforts dismissed.
Duan Tingxuan’s eyebrow twitched, “Enough with your nonsense. Just out with it. What kind of mission did he put you up to? Surely it’s not the assassination of some imperial officials or spies we have planted within the King’s palace?”
“I think… it’s worse than that.” Su Dong Lou sighed again. “This comes to my second matter.” He held out two fingers in front of him and looked directly at Duan Tingxuan. “I killed Long Pingzhang. A Long Pingzhang who managed to escape death.”
“What?” even with his self-control, the little marquis’ voice went a little high pitched. Luckily, both had been speaking in whispers, and therefore though his voice rose, it was not very loud.”
“You… you said… you killed Pingzhang? A Pingzhang who had escaped death? Are you saying that Pingzhang did not actually die? But that you… you murdered him? You killed him for real?” After the initial shock, Duan Tingxuan finally recovered enough to grab Su Dong Lou by the front of his clothes and bombarded him with questions.
“Yes. I’ve killed him. If I hadn’t killed him, I would not have gained Lu Feng Yu and King Xiangyang’s trust. My whole year’s worth of undercover mission would have been wasted. You and your wife would have been in danger, and all of us would have been exposed.”
Su Dong Lou was also extremely agitated. He already knew that Duan Tingxuan would be angry. What he had not expected was that when Duan Tingxuan flared up at him, his own temper began to fester too: For what reason did Tingxuan have to speak to me this way? As though I had committed some heinous crime. Is a single Long Pingzhang more important than taking down King Xiangyang’s conspiracy? More important than all the effort and hard work that everyone else had put into this mission?
Duan Tingxuan was certainly angry, his blood was up and he hated that he couldn’t just kick Su Dong Lou half dead. No, kicking the man half dead wouldn’t ease his rage. Poor Pingzhang must have gone through hell dragging himself back to the land of living after falling down that cliff. To think that he would actually die by this bastard’s sword. For his best friend to kill his most esteemed friend, the little marquis was so angry that it was a miracle that blood was not spurting out of the throbbing veins on his forehead.
Just before he had completely lost his mind, Duan Tingxuan did one sensible thing. He walked towards Su Nuan Nuan, removed the sleep acupuncture he had put on her, and shook her awake.
Su Nuan Nuan blinked and with an ‘Ah!’ came awake. Rubbing her sleepy eyes she asked blearily, “What’s going on?”
She shook her head, trying to shake the sleep off.
When she could finally open her eyes properly, she saw her husband standing right beside the bed in the dark, looking decidedly unhappy if the heaving chest and ragged breathing was any indication. Something serious must have happened.
“Nuan Nuan.” Duan Tingxuan finally spoke, his voice hoarse with suppressed rage. “Sorry for waking you, but I have no choice. I need someone to hold me back from slaughtering this stupid bastard.”
“Well, why don’t you go ahead and try, ah? For the sake of that one Long Pingzhang, come and slaughter me. After all, I am practically inhuman in your eyes, isn’t that right?” Su Dong Lou had been feeling ashamed and remorseful until the very moment Duan Tingxuan said those words. Feeling endlessly wronged, he immediately flared up against the little marquis.
“Both of you shut up. Are you both that afraid our neighbours can’t hear you?” Su Nuan Nuan had no idea what was going on, but she knew that for Su Dong Lou to risk appearing here, they had to keep it down or risk exposing everything. Unfortunately, these two man-children looked as though they were ready to go at each other’s throats Their mission would be finished the moment chairs and tables start flying.
Here, we see the benefit of being a Lioness of He Dong. The moment Su Nuan Nuan roared, both Duan Tingxuan and Su Dong Lou retracted their heads like frightened chickens about to be plucked for the wok. Both sat down, sulkily turning their faces away from the other.
“Just what situation are we in now? Have the two of you forgotten your status to the point of sulking like a pair of children? One is a so-called Leader of Six Martial Circles and the other is the Marquis of An Ping’s heir. Shame on the both of you.” Su Nuan Nuan ‘bitterly lamented’ as she slapped the table. Then she took control of the meeting by declaring, “Speak, just what is going on and why are you two brothers now at each other’s throat? As for Long Pingzhang, I expect that’s Lord Long? What happened to him? Isn’t he already dead?”
“He’s returned from the dead.” Su Dong Lou snapped crossly. He had never actually met this most valiant Long Pingzhang, and therefore had absolutely no friendly feelings towards him.
When Long Pingzhang had first arrived at Jiang Nan, Su Dong Lou had quietly sent a message to the man in order to assist him from the shadows. In the end his friendly gesture overture was rejected. Today he fell into a quarrel with Duan Tingxuan over the same idiot.
Therefore, though he might respect and admire a man who had died on duty, he nevertheless did not have a shred of good feeling for this man. All of this was very clear from the tone of his voice.
[Gumihou: … you know, if this is a BL novel, I’d be highly suspicious of Duan Tingxuan’s relationship with this deceased Long Pingzhang. Wait… this is already at least a 20% BL novel…and, oh my gosh, there’s a possible yuri as well…]
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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