Chapter 150: Ran Min’s Love (2)
A long time had passed within Ran Min’s embrace before Chen Rong shook her head.
She was shaking her head to herself.
“Then what about Chen Wei?” she quietly asked. She didn’t need to ask to know what his answer would be, but she still wanted to ask.
Ran Min undid her Daoist bun to let her hair tumble down. He stroked the silky locks and repeated, “Chen Wei?” Furrowing his brow, he patiently reassured her, “She’s only a concubine; she can’t give you any trouble. Besides, she is a feeble woman who relies on me, loves me and trusts me. If I abandon her for no reason she will not survive.” He took a pause before finally giving his concession: “If it really displeases you that much, I’ll only bring you along from now on.”
This was his biggest concession.
Chen Rong sneered and slowly pulled from his arms.
Two lifetimes had allowed her to understand this man. He would always give in to a woman’s tears. Even if he said he loves her, he would not leave Chen Wei as soon as she begged him through her tears.
Moreover, there would come a Li Wei or a Wu Wei in addition to Chen Wei… Some of those women were truly vulnerable while some were only pretending. They would come to him one after another like a revolving lantern. In Chen Rong’s past life, they had ridiculed and snared her because of her lowly status and loveless marriage. This time, she had lost her chastity to another man. They would use it against her until she couldn’t but retaliate.
Chen Rong would not lose to them, of course, but she was tired of that life. She’d rather those unloved days if she were to ever marry. But looking at him now, he most certainly would keep her by his side… More importantly, Ran Min was a proud man; proud men would rather wrong others than let others wrong them. Yet Chen Rong had first lost her heart and later her body to another man. This was to be a thorn in his heart. Over time, along with mounting whispers, he might one day remove the festering tumor that was she.
Perhaps a woman like her was only suited for loneliness… If she kept company with the moon and the clouds, maybe she’d be lucky enough to see herself grow old in time.
Ran Min could sense the indifference and rejection from the woman in his arms.
The muscles on his face twitched.
Almost suddenly, he pushed Chen Rong away and made her fall backward. He looked down at her, his thin lips curving to ask: “Ah Rong of the Chen House, if I leave Chen Wei, will you come with me?” It angered him that he was forced to compromise.
Chen Rong shook her head in the face of his anger. She smiled and looked down to avoid his eyes. “Nay, I won’t go with you no matter what happens.”
She turned around to shake her sleeves, smiling lightly. “I’m living just fine, general, I won’t go with you.”
She had barely taken a step when she was pulled back to Ran Min.
He darkly stared down at her. “In that case,” he suddenly said, “I will stay a few more days.”
This is not a confession of love. This is definitely not a confession of love!
Startled, Chen Rong widened her eyes and instinctively yelled out, “Don’t!”
Ran Min scoffed. He stared at her like a wolf and asked, “Why not?”
Chen Rong blanched. Her mouth curved but she could not speak.
She knew him well enough to know he wasn’t staying around to wait for her change of heart. He was waiting for Wang Hong; he wanted to kill Wang Hong!
Chen Rong forced herself to calm down as her heart raced.
This is Jiankang, she told herself. Everyone in the temple is Wang Hong’s to command. Even if Ran Min is powerful, he cannot touch Wang Hong.
And then she thought: Even though Ran Min terrifies the Hu, in the eyes of the Jins, he is only a brute with a humble background and a changed surname. He has not come here with enough soldiers to fear.
Thinking so only consoled her a little. She knew Ran Min was dauntless, and if he really wanted to kill someone, he could kill even His Majesty the emperor.
This translation belongs to ha mster428.
Chen Rong turned to look ahead.
Ran Min’s lips drew into a line as a complicated feeling crept to his heart. He looked at her delicate neck and momentarily wanted to choke the heartless woman to death.
But when that thought surfaced, another impulse took over. He wanted to hug her, beg her, and tell her he would kill Chen Wei if only she would come with him.
These battling thoughts made him clench and unclench his fists in turn.
At this time, Chen Rong had turned her back to him to look at the foggy valley below. She faintly smiled and suddenly said, “Did you ask me why I wanted to become a nun? I haven’t answered you.”
She gazed down at the shifting fog below them and unhurriedly said, “I decided to join the monastery because my thirst is too insatiable while my origin is too humble. I clearly have no status, no beauty, no family to depend upon, nothing. And yet I always want to monopolize a man’s love.”
She looked back at Ran Min with a smile. “Haven’t you discovered that you and I are exactly the same? We’re both the type to want all of that person to ourselves. Otherwise, our hearts would be pricked until the day we die and pain would consume us.”
“You know me so well, Ah Rong,” coldly replied Ran Min.
Chen Rong heard the chaff in his voice but only smiled.
She looked ahead and quietly said, “I did not lose my chastity to Wang Qilang because he forced himself onto me… But because I felt lost and bewildered on the day you accepted Chen Wei, so I impulsively offered myself to him.”
Ran Min’s countenance turned livid. He stared at Chen Rong, his face twitching. He reached out to clasp her neck, but when his hand neared her, it trembled and came to rest on her vest.
A soft strike was all he needed to send this shameless woman down the valley.
At this time, Chen Rong was still looking down below, seemingly oblivious to the murderous Ran Min behind her.
Looking at the fog gather then scatter, Chen Rong’s voice gently floated: “Afterwards, he promised that I would be his honored concubine. But I’m well aware that I am greedy and ruthless. My love for him would not allow me to tolerate his wife or having a mistress above me… In a large clan such as the Wang House of Lang’ya, the consequences of my intolerance will be my demise.”
She hoarsely continued with a smile: “Think about it, general, if I have to die sooner or later, then why should I kill his affection for me as well? I would rather leave while he still feels guilt, love, and loyalty towards me. That way, even when I die, he will remember me for the rest of his life.”
“Unfortunately, I did not die. If I couldn’t die, then I wanted to become a nun. So I kept praying and plotting… I spent every waking moment thinking of ways to see His Majesty, to make my request and to receive his permission.”
Ran Min had been motionless behind Chen Rong. He withdrew his hand and woodenly stared at her. When she finished, he gloomily asked, “Do you love him that much?”
With her back to him, Chen Rong tilted her head and laughed: “Love him? Nay, I love myself the most. I just want to make him remember me for the rest of his life just because he did not have me.”
At this point, she lazily said without turning around, “You’re not going to kill me, general? Then I have to go.”
When she finished, she waved her sleeves and took the small path on the left.
No footsteps followed her.
She didn’t know how long she had walked by the time she heard Nurse Ping’s voice: “Miss, why do you look so wan?”
The surprise in her voice made Chen Rong take a pause.
She looked up at her nurse. After a brief glance, she slowly turned back.
People came and went in her purview, but the tall man was not there anymore.
Chen Rong wiped the cold sweat on her forehead. She hoped what she had said would make Ran Min see that a woman like her wasn’t worth the risk of assassinating Wang Hong.
The truth was that she knew Ran Min was an ambitious man. And as an ambitious man, he may not necessarily kill Wang Hong after weighing his pros and cons. She, however, didn’t want to take any chances; she wanted to play it safe. As for herself, this was already her life. Whether she lived or died didn’t make much of a difference.
Ran Min, standing straight, watched Chen Rong leave. The red band on his forehead flew about in the night wind.
At length, he moved and slowly bowed over with a hand on his chest.
There, an unspeakable suffocation was devouring his heart and wrenching his stomach.
He tightly shut his eyes.
“I ought to kill her!” he murmured at length. He was talking to himself, for his voice was barely audible.
But he soon began to laugh just as his whisper flew into the night wind.
His rueful laughter grew louder and louder before it finally erupted.
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