Chapter 158: Wang Hong’s Confession
The celestial Wang Qilang was holding a disheveled nun so intimately and unscrupulously in front of everyone.
Completely stunned, the ninth princess was the first to react. She stepped forward and grabbed hold of the carriage shaft. “Qilang –” she blurted, before forcing herself to calm down. There were tears in her eyes as she sadly looked at him. After her tears rolled down her elegant face, the ninth princess said with a sense of loss, “Qilang, this woman is a nun ordained by His Majesty… what you’re doing is not making any sense. Everyone will be disappointed in you.”
She was appeasing him.
Wang Hong turned to look at her.
He faintly smiled at her tearful eyes and sweet yet clearly distressed face.
Such a smile, from a man as lofty as him, made him look as if he was an eternally snow-capped mountain, or a celestial being descending on earth – aloof and carefree.
With coral lips slightly upturned, Wang Hong softly laughed, “Thank you, Your Highness.” He then looked back at Chen Rong.
His eyes on her were very ordinary – there was neither deliberate tenderness nor special affection. However, the princess couldn’t refuse to admit this time that those eyes would make all the girls who admired him feel hopeless. They were so focused. The kind of focus that neither that woman nor Wang Hong himself had ever recognized, the kind of focus belonging to a man who had unknowingly engraved another into his heart.
After Wang Hong thanked the princess, he said to the driver, “I reckon everyone has seen enough, we can go now.”
The driver responded with a cry. Just as he was about to crack his whip, the young aristocrats enclosed the carriage again.
After they surrounded the vehicle, a young girl with tears in her eyes looked at Wang Hong, saying: “I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it!”
“Qilang, what virtues does this woman have?” she asked.
She turned to stare at Chen Rong resentfully and shouted, “What virtues does a woman like you have?!”
She shouted twice before Chen Rong was roused from her thoughts.
Chen Rong blinked, shaking her chaotic head. She furrowed her brow at Wang Hong by the third time the girl asked her question.
What she saw was tenderness and indulgence in eyes that were otherwise too calm.
As he looked at her and her flustered face, he suddenly laughed.
The young girl was jumping up and down, gripping the carriage shaft and yelling: “You haven’t answered me. What virtues do you have?”
What virtues do I have?
This time Chen Rong heard the question.
She unhurriedly turned around.
To the angry girl who demanded an answer, to everyone behind her who was quickly closing in, to the weeping princess who couldn’t hide her spite, Chen Rong collected herself and quietly replied, “Me? I have none.”
When the girl was about to ridicule her, Chen Rong seemed to have gathered her thoughts. She smiled at everyone with a twinkle in her eyes as she said, “I simply, among thousands of people, happened to catch his attention, and I simply somehow became his trial.” Or rather, he was her trial. In both lifetimes she could not escape the trial of love.
At the girls’ confusion, Chen Rong elegantly smiled and unhurriedly continued: “Since it’s a trial, then it is a bond that precedes this lifetime… It has nothing to do with status or does it have anything to do with virtues.”
The female congregation was still staring at Chen Rong, but they momentarily didn’t know what to say or do.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Chen Rong withdrew her gaze from them to smile at Wang Hong. She reached over him for his zither placed by the carriage wall.
Her hands swept across the strings, exquisite yet lonely notes flowed from her fingertips like steady water.
Chen Rong bowed her head and let her hair hang from her forehead. In the midst of the music, she began to sing: “Willow flower, willow flower, whose house are you drifting to? Yours is an ill-fated life meant for the wind, why try to be plum blossoms in the spring? If he is snow encased in ice, why did I have to meet him?”
When the song ended, she lifted the thousand-year-old zither and dropped it without a care.
With a loud bang, the zither made an irreparable crack.
Chen Rong then hooked her hair behind her ear and smiled to the Ninth Princess. “Your Highness, if you see His Majesty, please be sure to explain to him that I was the one who seduced Qilang and made him lose his mind and propriety.”
Having said so, Chen Rong called to the stunned driver: “Let’s go.”
The driver cracked his whip at the horse and drove past the princess and the others, gradually pulling away.
Only until the breathing and voices behind them sounded as if they had been blocked by mountains and streams did Wang Hong’s hoarse and rueful voice gently spoke: “Ah Rong, why do this to yourself?”
Chen Rong didn’t turn around, she only looked down and remained motionless.
Wang Hong unconsciously felt wretched inside, but also a little happy. He slowly outstretched his arms and again enveloped her in his hug.
Chen Rong did not struggle.
She stiffly and motionlessly let him hug her.
Wang Hong lowered his head and looked at the beautiful girl in his arms. At length he quietly said, “Ah Rong, I just…” he sighed, “I just can’t let you go.”
When he finished, Chen Rong, who was lying in his arms, couldn’t help but burst into tears. It was a hiccup or two at first, but once she started she couldn’t stop.
She buried herself in his arms and wept, her shoulders shaking.
Wang Hong held her and kissed her hair, murmuring: “Darling, don’t cry… It pains me to see you so.”
This time as soon as he finished, Chen Rong’s hand curled into a fist to beat his chest.
Again and again, she went at him. Her training of martial arts and her anger powered her fist against his flesh.
Wang Hong endured the pain and said into her hair, “Darling, sweetheart… Don’t cry, it’s not good for your health.”
His voice was as gentle as it could be – its silkiness the most effective persuasion.
But Chen Rong hated it the more she listened to it.
She was hitting him so much that his face started to contort in pain. “Just because you don’t want to let go,” she said through her tears, “you give me a Daoist name and force His Majesty to go along with it? It it weren’t for your pushing me into the spotlight, why can’t I have a moment of peace even as a nun? I had a plan, I had several of them… It’s all your fault, it’s all your fault. Qilang, how can you be so hateful? You push me into the spotlight so that all the aristocrats notice my existence and now I have to suffer their prying eyes.”
She hated herself for going to see him that time. In her subconsciousness, she was only following social etiquette. More importantly, she had felt optimistic, she had thought that it was a done deal, that after she went to see them, she might even be able to secure further protection… She had underestimated Wang Hong.
Now she knew that even if she had not looked for him then, he would still grant her a Daoist name, he would still use some other way to let people know that she was his, the woman who held a place in his heart.
Chen Rong could no longer control herself. She raised her sleeve over her mouth to cover the sobbing and tears that could not be suppressed.
Seeing this, Wang Hong hurried to hold her close. He gently pulled her sleeve from her face and pressed her to his chest.
Chen Rong wasn’t mollified. After handing him more punches, she sobbed, “Now look what happened. You must not like His Majesty paying attention to me. But you clearly have many ways to solve His Majesty’s contrivance so why did you have to choose this one? Now you’ve completely pushed me into the spotlight. Society might call you a fool, but what about your clansmen? And your worshipers? They will see me as the harlot who brings your ruination and they’ll try to get rid of me. Faced with these inescapable death threats, besides depending on you, besides currying your favors, what else will I be able to do? I have nowhere to go and no one to depend on, so what else can I possibly do? Again and again, you toss me out to sea and rope me back in, toss me out and rope me back in… I really hate you!”
Chen Rong wasn’t stupid. Her two lives instilled in her a strong desire to take control of her own life. This was precisely why she hated being cornered by the person she loved… And yet he was her Qilang and her love for him could not be abandoned.
Through her sobbing and talking, Chen Rong was still beating his chest.
At long last, Wang Hong gently seized her hand.
He lowered his head and blew at the reddened fist, saying: “Ah Rong, you’ve hurt this hand, switch to the other one.”
Chen Rong uncontrollably sobbed at his words.
All of a sudden, she reached for his neck.
She wanted to sink her teeth into it, she wanted to tear him apart, she wanted to take him to hell with her. But when their skin came into contact, when she felt his warmth, she slid from the vital pulse to his shoulder.
She bit down and didn’t stop even after tearing open a wound. Before they knew it, the wound had torn to an inch wide.
She was still biting and pulling at it.
Blood rapidly dyed the fabric of his robe.
When blood was drawn, Wang Hong made a groan from time to time.
Chen Rong stopped biting.
She slowly removed her mouth and looked up at Wang Hong.
His lucid eyes were grievously looking back at her. There were even teeth marks he had left on his lips from biting out of pain.
He feebly smiled, “Do you need a teether? Switch to this side.” He brought his right shoulder to Chen Rong’s lips, but seemed to have disturbed his wound so he made a suppressed groan and slowed down his movement.
Chen Rong glared at him and snapped, “Don’t act like that much pain is unbearable.” Hadn’t she experienced the same pain before? It was nothing compared to her heartaches.
She might have said what she said, but in the end she couldn’t bite him anymore.
Pushing him away, Chen Rong turned her back to Wang Hong and continued to cry.
When the tears eventually subsided, with her sleeves covering her face, she categorically announced, “I hate you!”
Wang Hong again embraced her. Rubbing his chin on her hair, he softly whispered, “I know.”
Chen Rong closed her eyes, her tears falling again. “I ought to kill you.”
Wang Hong bent down to plant a kiss between her brows. “I know,” he said, gently wiping her tears.
“There are so many women in this world… Even if I had used you, you had taken your revenge and gotten what you wanted. Qilang, you can easily let me live in peace. Why won’t you do it?”
Wang Hong slowly pulled her up. After drinking his blood from her lips, he gently said, “Because I like you, Ah Rong. How could you leave me after you’ve had your fun? How could you throw yourself into a battlefield without my permission? How could you be covered in blood like that, standing in the sunset to smile at me? You made me wake from nightmares night after night. How could you follow me to Jiankang only to become a nun and push me away from you?”
With a gaze so tender, he kissed her eyebrows and said, “Darling, how can you make me fall in love with you and then run away? That’s a little too convenient for you, isn’t it?”
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