Chapter 128: Chen Rong Severed Ties
Chapter 128: Chen Rong Severed Ties
Ran Min icily stared at Chen Rong.
“What did you say?”
Gradually, his narrowing eyes sparked a violent flame. He repeated in a low bark, “What did you say?”
His voice was somber and low, making the guards ready their hands on their scabbards.
Chen Rong smiled.
As she was quietly looking at him, the corner of her mouth slightly tugged to speak in a soft yet unusually indifferent tone: “General Ran, I neither like you nor do I want to marry you anymore.”
Her lips were upturned and her chin was slightly raised when she swung her waist to leave.
At this moment, an iron arm took hold of her wrist.
He dragged her back so that she staggered a few steps and knelt at his feet.
Ran Min looked down at her from above.
Slowly, he withdrew the blade from Wang Hong’s neck and pointed it at Chen Rong.
The blade’s coldness shot straight to her bones.
She slowly raised her head.
Not bothering to glance at the glaring blade, she looked straight at Ran Min with eyes that slowly squinted into laughter: “Are you angry, general? That won’t do. If a hero like you lost your temper because of a vulgar woman like me, you’d be a laughingstock.”
Her laughter was still charming and supple. She looked at him with a gaze that could lure his soul.
Ran Min’s blade slowly inched ahead.
Chen Rong had no choice but to raise her head, higher and higher…
But even so, her smile remained ever alluring.
As he watched such a Chen Rong, Wang Hong sighed for some reason.
He took a step forward.
Ran Min suddenly felt a chill at his vest while he was still staring at Chen Rong.
A sword was pointing straight at him.
Then a clear and gentle voice spoke: “General, let go.”
It turned out Wang Hong was the one pointing the sword at him.
Wang Hong’s action was apparently outside of Ran Min’s expectations.
He slowly turned around.
He narrowed his eyes observing Wang Hong who was still smiling nonchalantly despite the blood flowing down his neck. Ran Min scowled. “Good for you, a pair of tramps!”
He sheathed his blade in one quick stroke.
At the same time, Wang Hong also tossed his sword aside where a guard quickly caught it.
Ran Min’s eyes again turned from Wang Hong to Chen Rong.
As he watched her slowly stand up, with her hair hanging across her face, he suddenly asked, “Did you go in front of the armies because you wanted to seek death?”
Chen Rong didn’t think he would ask such a question. She slowly raised her head.
She looked at Ran Min, her long lashes blinking without an answer.
Ran Min waved his hand and shouted at the Wang guards around them, “Back away.”
They looked to Wang Hong.
Wang Hong waved his sleeve.
At once, they made a bow and stepped back. After retreating 10 paces, the Wang guards stopped and continued to surround the three of them, accurately blocking others’ sight from this side.
After the guards retreated, a maid came to Wang Hong with a wooden box that seemed to contain cloth and medicine. She likely wanted to help him bandage his wound.
When she approached, Wang Hong was looking toward Chen Rong. He saw that she was looking from time to time at his bleeding neck.
He withdrew his gaze to cast a glance at the maidservant. She immediately bowed and retreated.
Ran Min spoked again, his voice slightly hoarse, “Did you want to die because he had touched you?”
Chen Rong didn’t answer him.
Ran Min frowningly asked again, “He touched you so you wanted to die… If you are this faithful to me, then why are you trying to protect him at all costs?”
This time, Chen Rong laughed aloud.
She looked up at the man she had loved for years as she smilingly said, “General, I will never in this life be faithful to you!” After angering Ran Min with these words, she brushed her stray hair from her eyes and lazily continued, “I sought death because he would only give me a concubine’s status. Even you… had you not agreed to marry me, I wouldn’t have bothered to look at you.”
After using a lazy and arrogant tone to this juncture, Chen Rong glanced at Ran Min out of the corner of her eye and quietly asked the man who was simmering in anger, “Do you want to kill me or not, general? If not, then I’ll take my leave.”
Ran Min had not seen this Chen Rong before.
His handsome face was static, his right hand remained over the scabbard.
Chen Rong took another step toward him. She reached out and softly pressed onto the sheath. With a curious but also bored gesture, she stroked the decorative patterns on it, then she grabbed the hilt and slowly drew the blade.
The cold metal flashed. Chen Rong softly laughed. She lifted her seductive eyes and affectionately glanced at Ran Min. Then she slowly leaned into him and brought her red lips to his face.
Looking at him, she exhaled a fragrant breath and prettily asked, “Did you fall for me, General Ran?” She stepped back, lifted her wide sleeve over her smile as her eyes formed crescents. “But didn’t you know? From the very first time I met you, I had deliberately sought your attention to replace Ah Wei as your wife.”
She glanced at him with so trivial a look and so bewitching a smile that all of a sudden Ran Min was caused to feel humiliated.
He believed everything she said with nary another thought. They had been perfect strangers to each other. And yet when they first met, this woman had shown strong resentment and hatred toward him, and would even say strange things and cry. He was indeed attracted to her because of these things.
Yes, she must have resorted to these tricks to seduce him. Besides seducing him, what other choices did an orphaned concubine’s daughter like her have?
Ran Min’s handsome face violently contorted. As he was staring at Chen Rong, his right hand suddenly reached out to strangle her tender neck. Her face quickly turned green, but she kept mockingly smiling at him.
“You tramp!” Ran Min gritted his teeth.
Amid her gasps and as Wang Hong was about to act, Ran Min gave Chen Rong a push, making her stagger backward.
He stared and hoarsely laughed as Chen Rong coughed and stroked her neck. “A tramp like you isn’t worth it!” He waved his sleeve and walked away.
The guards swiftly gave way to let him leave.
Before long, the hoof beats had gone into the far distance.
A series of gentle footfall approached, bringing a snow white figure into Chen Rong’s vision.
A warm hand gently caressed her bruised neck while he softly asked, “Does it hurt?”
Chen Rong pushed his hand away and turned to leave.
At this time, there was a tug on her sleeve, and then she was pulled into a warm embrace. He hugged her and rested his chin on her hair, murmuring, “Ah Rong, don’t say that about yourself… It pains me to hear.” His voice was like a stream of water that filled up her heart.
Once again, Chen Rong pushed his hand away.
With her silky hair covering her eyes, her voice floated to him, raspy from her throat injury: “Qilang.”
Hearing her take the initiative to call him, Wang Hong’s own voice turned tender: “Hmm.”
Chen Rong smiled and lightly said, “Qilang, I don’t want you to die…” She quietly looked up at him with cold and indifferent eyes. “Just now, Ran Min wanted me to kneel, so I did. He wanted to hit me, so I let him. But saving your life is worth whatever pain there is.”
Both she and Wang Hong knew Ran Min’s personality. Once he became violent, he was capable of reckless things. He had really wanted to kill Wang Hong just now.
Wang Hong froze as he worriedly looked at Chen Rong.
She was still wearing a cold and distant smile. “You had saved my life at the prince’s estate. That life was repaid to you in Mo’yang. Afterwards you had extended your helping hand to me many more times and I had also paid you back with my chastity.”
Her mouth slightly curved into an icy smile: “Qilang, I want to trade my saving you this time for a promise.”
She stared at him as she uttered each word: “I want you to promise me that we shall have nothing to do with each other from now on.”
Her eyes cold, her voice low and quiet.
Such a beautiful and exquisite face, such a beguiling woman, who not long ago was still making love in bed with him and tearfully calling him Qilang. It had been a call of longing from her core, from her dreams.
And yet her virginal blood had not dried up by the time she stood in front of him to tell him, in this distant and cold manner, that she hoped they would be severing their ties.
Wang Hong had always been the golden child ever since he was born. As a young man, even the royal princesses were besotted with him… but he and his servants were disdainful of these princesses. The heir of the Wang House in Lang’ya did not need them to embellish his existence.
It was the first time in his life that he met such a woman and heard such cold and heartless words.
Wang Hong grew still.
Hi, how’s everyone still doing? Sorry this update took longer than usual. I was away on several trips last month so I’m still playing catch up. I know the story can seem as if it’s not moving much, and my slowness isn’t helping, but the thing I really like about this book is precisely that chapters at a time are devoted to the various characters’ reactions and thoughts – whether on mundane everyday happenings or, in the case of the latest development, a larger event. It’s greatly satisfying to see what goes through their mind – the things they say or don’t say that reveal the motivations behind their behaviors and actions, and of course the angst that builds and builds. Haha, sorry if this was not what you signed up for but it is what we’ll continue to have.
Very soon, we will be in Jiankang. If I can simplistically divide this novel into two parts, then it’ll be the Nan’yang arc vs. the Jiankang arc. In Jiankang there will be new characters and new conflicts, but there is no other male lead. I say this so that we don’t go into the 2nd half with false hope. It is what it is. The male leads as presented are very flawed, but very realistic for the time period. I can’t say they’re good people but they’re fascinating characters in the safe confines of fictional writing. There’s not a lot of fluff if you haven’t figured that out by now, but I don’t do dark either, and I think this book injects the happy enough that we don’t all die from endless suffering.
Until next time!