A Step into the Past Chapter 23

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Book 2 Chapter 10 – The Night is Painfully Short

He went back to Lady Ya’s place, Ting Fangshi, Chunying and the other 3 maids were waiting in the hall. With the looming parting, they all have endless sweet nothings to say. Xiang Shaolonh may be flirtatious but he’s never had this experience of being surrounded by beauties, gentleness and warmth. Although he was thoroughly enjoying himself, but all these attentions proved too much and he can only suffer in silence. After having a tired nap, it was already dark when he woke up. He moved a little and immediately Ting Fangshi and Wu Tingfang who were entwined around him woke up immediately. Wu Tingfang pouted, “Fang’er doesn’t care! I want to go with you to Wei.” Xiang Shaolong was startled and was thoroughly awakened, secretly thinking to himself that it’s already a huge headache looking after Lady Ya and Zhao Qian, so how can he add Wu Tingfang into this. If the King of Zhao thought that he plans to slip away with his beauty that’d be even worse, so he hurriedly consoled her and using all his tactics managed to convince Wu Tingfang to abandon the idea.

By now the 4 maids have entered to help them wash up and change. Xiang Shaolong speedily dressed himself and went out of the room. Before he reached the hall, he could hear Lady Ni and Lady Ya talking and was greatly surprised and went in. Lady Ni saw him coming and her head lowered. Xiang Shaolong felt a loving pity well up in his heart, knowing that she is throwing aside her reputation to grab a chance to spend time with him before he leaves for Wei. He sat down between the 2 ladies and boldly hugged their waists. Lady Ya was astonished and asked unbelievably, “You have already…” Lady Ni nodded her head shyly and said, “Sister Ya please do not laugh at Zhao Ni.” Lady Ya exclaimed, “And you were pretending to be proper in front of me earlier.” Xiang Shaolong pinched Xhao Ya’s waist and reproached her, “Ya’er!”

Lady Ya totally obeys him so on hearing that, she stopped talking but just smiled. Lady Ni whispered in his ear, “Will Xiang Lang blame Zhao Ni for being wanton?” Xiang Shaolong chortled, “Why would I? The more wanton you are the happier I am.” Lady Ni did not expect him to answer her so loudly and she was so embarra.s.sed she tried to hide herself in his arms, but her body was heating up. Lady Ya smiled, “It seems that Ya’er will have to give way tonight, but let me discuss some business with Xiang Lang first.” She blinked at Xiang Shaolong and added, “Where would you like Lady Ni to await your attentions?” Lady Ni was thoroughly embarra.s.sed and can only listen on shyly, not objecting at all. Xiang Shaolong might as well be thoroughly outrageous and he said with a laugh, “Lady Ni shall wait for me at the pool, I’ll come and frolic with you in the water later.” Lady Ni stood up weakly, and left obediently like a little lamb.

The 2 of them watched as her beautiful silhouette disappeared behind the door, exchanged a glance and smiled, their hands clasped tightly together. Lady Ya said seriously, “I went to see Imperial brother, but he’s unable to give us more men, how worrying.” She sighed and said, “The journey from here to Daliang will take at least 3 months, and we’ll need to cross a huge river and countless deserted mountains and trails. After we enter Wei, we still need to visit the 4 cities Dangying, Chaoge, Guiling and Huangchi, each step of the way could be a danger.” Xiang Shaolong was silent for a moment before he asked, “Did Lady and that Prince Shaoyuan ever had an affair?” Lady Ya nodded her head guiltily. Xiang Shaolong was extremely unhappy and did not say anything. Lady Ya exclaimed in fear, “Shaolong! Please don’t be like that, Ya’er has changed for the better now.” Xiang Shaolong is after all a magnanimous person, so he sighed, “I’m already on bad terms with Prince Shaoyuan, and now with your old relation with him, things will become even more complicated.” Lady Ya said apologetically, “Ya’er knows she’s wrong.” She tried to change the subject, “Prince Shaoyuan will bring with him his 2 most beloved concubines and 200 warriors with him, I’m afraid he’ll try to go against you at every opportunity.”

Xiang Shaolong said somberly, “I’m not afraid of him trying to be difficult with me, but I’m most afraid that he’ll gang up with outsiders to deal with us. If he’s intent on not returning from this trip, he’ll have the guts to do anything.” Lady Ya replied, “I have chosen 4 people from my own residence. These 4 people are not only brave and highly skilled, there’s no doubt about their loyalty as well. I’ve also arranged for Cheng Xu to be your a.s.sistant. This person is indebted to me because I helped him when he faced the punishment of clan extermination, so he’ll certainly work hard for us honestly.” Xiang Shaolong was a little a.s.sured and said, “I heard that the state of Qi is planning to spoil this marriage union, who are the formidable people that they have?” Lady Ya sucked in a deep breath and said slowly, “The state of Qi has a mysterious person, called Xiao Weimou. This person thinks that beasts are most favored by heaven and earth, so if men wants to return to nature and be one with heaven and earth, we must follow out desires, and the strong will devour the weak without any need for hesitation. And to become the strong, we must learn from tigers and lions and sharpen the claws and teeth. Therefore he and his disciples are all terrible warriors who rape, pillage and murder. They usually live deep in the mountains, forcing the men and women they kidnap to produce offspring for them and be part of their indecent play.”

Xiang Shaolong asked in surprise, “How can the King of Qi tolerate such fiends committing evil in Qi?” Lady Ya replied, “Among the 6 states, Qi’s neighbour Fuyuan was second to the state of Chu. After the battle of Maling, they replaced Wei and became leader of the various states in the east, and they were even put on the same standing as Qin and they were called Emperor of West and Emperor of East. They were expanding but in the end the united forces of Qin, Chu and us attacked their capital Linzi. In the end Yan’s Yueyi took over about 70 cities, but there was a Tian Dan from Qi and the newly crowned King of Yan fell into Tian Dan’s trap and changed the commander at the last minute. Therefore Tian Dan was able to sweep the Yans out of Qi but their resources were greatly depleted as well.” Xiang Shaolong nodded his head, “I understand, its because the King of Qi has limited resources, that’s why he has to rely on and tolerate such vicious men to work for him.” Lady Ya said, “The person relying on them is Tian Dan. We’ve always suspected that Tian Dan and Xiao Weimou are from the same clan although they have different family names. This Xiao Weimou is highly skilled and can fight a lion with his bare hands, kill tigers and leopards, and his s.e.xual appet.i.te is higher than normal. Each night he must have at least 10 women before he can have a good night’s sleep, and he only helps Dian Dan a.s.sa.s.sinate his political enemies or travel to other states to engage in secret missions. If this person is to come personally, we’ll be in even more danger. Ya’er would rather kill herself that end up in his hands.”

Xiang Shaolong was alarmed at hearing all these, and after consoling her for a while, Wu Tingfang and Ting Fangshi came in. Lady Ya knew his intentions so she helped him hide from the 2 ladies so that he can go to the pool. The maids were just adding hot water into the pool, Xiang Shaolong dismissed all the maids and went to Lady Ni and carried her up and into the warm pool fully clothed. Lady Ni has always been prim and proper all her life, and did not expect that she’d ever meet with such an unconventional and unrestrained flirt. As she gasped in surprise, she immediately became a wet lady, showing off the beautiful outline of her body. Once he thought of his journey tomorrow and the uncertain future, he immediately became uninhibited and launched an all out attack on this beauty. Lady Ni was thinking of the same thing and received his favors with all her heated feelings.

As they entangled with each other, Lady Ni begged with tears falling down her face, “Xiang Lang! You must take care of yourself and come back safe to see Zhao Ni and Xiao Pan.” Xiang Shaolong asked, “If I were to leave the state of Zhao, are you willing to follow me?” Lady Ni was startled, “Are you thinking of betraying Imperial bother?” Xiang Shaolong sighed, “I’m just planning for the worst! Zhao Mu will certainly not tolerate me, and I am not someone who will just stay and be slaughtered.” Lady Ni nodded her head, “Imperial brother is really useless to put so much trust on such a conniving man. Zhao Mu has designs on me as well, and tried many times to summon me to his place but I rejected him.” Xiang Shaolong thought that Zhao Mu may be one of the men that Master Pan fears will one day get his Mother and sighed secretly. Now that Lady Ni has given in to him, all the more Zhao Mu will not let him off.

Lady Ni said determinedly, “My heart now belongs to you, no matter where Xiang Lang goes, Zhao Ni is willing to stay by your side forever even if I have to work hard.” Xiang Shaolong felt intoxicated and kissed her hard. At the same time he made this promise in his heart, “No matter how difficult the future will be, I must strive to survive in this turbulent warring states for the ones that I love and carve out an outstanding career. Xiang Shaolong will never be blindly loyal to anyone, but only loyal to my own ideals.”

Before dawn the next day, Xiang Shaolong left, accompanied by the tears of Wu Ting Fang, Zhao Ni and the rest.