Ye Hua missed Bai Qian already. Leaving her today was more difficult than he had expected.
He had agreed to meet Zhe Yan in the clouds above the peach tree forest and as he stood waiting for his friend to join him, his eyes constantly wandered back to the land beneath him. He stepped to the edge for a better view and looked in the direction of the cabin. Using his dragon’s eyes, Ye Hua could find the roof of the cabin through the tree branches and could catch glimpses of the clearing. He could see the small white form that was Bai Qian as she moved. He hoped she would feel comfortable enough to shift and talk to his mother.
He sensed Zhe Yan’s presence behind him but Ye Hua did not look away until a hand landed on his shoulder, giving it a strong painful squeeze. “Don’t worry so much. A day alone with your mother will be good for Bai Qian.”
Turning to face his friend, Ye Hua frowned at Zhe Yan’s amused grin.
Zhe Yan only laughed. “It’s true. Name one person out there who hasn’t felt better about their life after spending a few hours with your mother.” He waited and his grin widened when Ye Hua remained silent. “You can’t, can you. She has a positive effect on those around her and it will be the same for Bai Qian.”
“I hope so,” Ye Hua responded, glancing toward the cabin one last time before turning his full attention to his friend. “How did you know Bai Qian was no longer in hiding?”
Zhe Yan shrugged. “Neither Mo Yuan nor I have seen you in a week. I assumed that meant things were going better than they had been.” His face became serious. “Is she doing okay? I still worry about her.”
“Bai Qian doesn’t really talk to me yet,” Ye Hua responded, trying to decide how best to answer the question without betraying Bai Qian’s trust or mentioning the awkward time she had shifted to speak to him. “It’s difficult for me to say for sure but I sense she is happy and no longer as afraid as she used to be. And I think she trusts me now. I try not to push her even though it can be a challenge not to.” Ye Hua didn’t reveal that Hu Mei was doing a lot of the nudging for him with very positive results.
“That’s very good to hear.” A thin book appeared in Zhe Yan’s hand. “Take this. It’s for Bai Qian.” Ye Hua took it from his friend, studying the blank leather cover. “It’s something I bought in the Mortal Realm. It’s a crazy tale being shared by a group of traders who ventured into the west. The rumor is they learned of it from foreign merchants who heard the tale from explorers coming out of strange lands so there’s no telling how many times it’s been translated. I thought Bai Qian might enjoy reading something very different from the stories she heard as a girl. It’s… interesting. And a bit absurd. In fact, you should read it to her.”
Ye Hua eyed the book with suspicion. “What’s it about?”
“Just read it to her, Ye Hua,” Zhe Yan responded with another laugh. “You’ll either be amused or annoyed by it. Or maybe a little of both. But I think Bai Qian will like it.”
“Thank you.” Ye Hua tucked the book into the hidden pocket of his robe. “Are you ready?”
“Yes.” Zhe Yan’s face sobered as he checked the leather satchel hanging from his shoulder. “I have everything I need. Let’s go.”
With a nod, Ye Hua jumped to the dense clouds hanging over the Demon Realm, waiting for Zhe Yan to join him before descending down to the ice-covered ground. He and Zhe Yan had discussed bringing guards with them but, in the end, had decided against the idea. If he needed backup for any reason, Ye Hua had a missive to summon a contingent of soldiers ready. He could send it to the Heavens at a moment’s notice.
His expression stern and impassive, Ye Hua studied the granite mountain fortress before him with keen dragon eyes, counting the demon soldiers watching him and Zhe Yan from narrow windows. They were no doubt armed but he saw none that posed an immediate threat. Without moving, he assessed the mountains rising up on both sides, spotting more soldiers hidden behind large boulders or within the shadows of pine trees. He and Zhe Yan were surrounded but the demons remained motionless and made no move to reach for their bows.
The black dragon’s senses were focused on the demon cultivation pervading the frigid, turbulent atmosphere. He grumbled over the unpleasant darkness of it but found no reason to suspect an imminent attack of magic. Ye Hua still didn’t let down his guard, wrapping an invisible layer of magic around his body for warmth and to serve as a shield. He could feel Zhe Yan doing the same as they approached the steps leading to the entrance of the demon palace.
The imposing black doors remained closed for several long minutes and Ye Hua’s eyes narrowed at the rude slight. Nobody pushed the limits of his patience as effectively as Weisheng but he did not allow his annoyed displeasure to show on his face. He continued to stand there without saying a word until the harsh scraping of the doors swinging open finally joined the shrill howling of the wind gusting through the mountains.
A group of demons stepped out to greet Ye Hua and Zhe Yan with a bow. Weisheng was not among them as he should be. One man dressed in armor bearing the demon military’s silver mountain insignia on the shoulder stepped forward.
“Welcome Crown Prince Ye Hua. Lord Zhe Yan. King Weisheng awaits you in the throne room. Please follow me.”
One glance at Zhe Yan’s bemused expression told Ye Hua his friend was thinking the same thing he was as they fell into step behind the military officer leading them down a dark passageway. The rough stone walls were illuminated only by the flickering light of flaming torches; the lack of fresh air was stifling. Ye Hua and his dragon kept careful track of the doorways and side corridors they passed in an attempt to learn more about the layout of the fortress. They looked for signs of trouble while doing so.
The large numbers of demon soldiers in place at the windows and along the mountain passes, the extended wait at the tightly closed doors, and Weisheng’s decision to meet them in the throne room as opposed to welcoming them at the entrance to his home all spoke of an obvious and excessive attempt to assert his power and authority over his visitors. It would be humorous if it weren’t so insulting. Instead of intimidating Ye Hua as it was most likely intended to do, it only irritated him.
Why the obvious show of force? What sort of game was Weisheng playing? And why?
The last time Ye Hua had visited the demon fortress with his father, there hadn’t been a full formation of soldiers stationed around the entrance and Weisheng had shown proper respect, albeit a little grudgingly, to Ye Hua and his father. Something must have changed since then to bring about this new boldness from the demon. It raised Ye Hua’s suspicions that Weisheng was up to something. Did it have to do with Zhe Yan’s desire to explore the secret caves of the Demon Realm today? Or was it about something else entirely?
None of these thoughts showed on his face as Ye Hua followed the soldier through a pair of ornate jade doors and into a spacious open room, Zhe Yan staying close behind him. Large chandeliers laden with burning candles lit the room and there were several large fireplaces crackling with demon fire. Ye Hua and the black dragon assessed their surroundings as they approached the front of the room.
Weisheng was sitting there upon the dais, dressed in leather armor, a smirk upon his face. The demon’s expression seemed to declare he knew something Ye Hua did not. It immediately put Ye Hua more on edge. His eyes locked on Weisheng’s cold green ones and he did not blink or look away, a subtle reminder he would gladly meet any challenge Weisheng dared to issue.
As he and the black dragon stared Weisheng down, Ye Hua’s thoughts were filled with Bai Qian and the loneliness and fear that had been her constant companions for the last fifty thousand years. Not once had Weisheng ever shown even a hint of contrition for the ruthless massacre of Bai Qian’s family and the people of Qing Qiu that had been carried out by his father. Weisheng could be a grave threat to Bai Qian if he learned she still lived but Bai Qian deserved so much more than a life spent in hiding.
Rage coursed through Ye Hua and the black dragon rumbled a menacing predatory growl at the smirking demon.
Ye Hua managed to dampen the threatening warning enough that it was likely only heard by Zhe Yan and Weisheng instead of echoing through the throne room like his dragon intended. Weisheng struggled to appear unaffected by the angry sound. But Ye Hua’s fury and that of the black dragon must have bled into Ye Hua’s eyes. Weisheng’s smug expression finally faltered completely to be replaced by unease and he looked away from Ye Hua, breaking eye contact first. Satisfied that Weisheng understood his threat and had conceded to him, the black dragon settled but he did not stop watching the demon through Ye Hua’s eyes. And Ye Hua did not relax his guard.
“Ye Hua. Zhe Yan. I hope you made it here without any problems.” Weisheng was attempting to regain his composure now through the use of polite niceties, acting as if his tense exchange with Ye Hua and subsequent acquiescence had never occurred. “My servants are preparing tea for you now. Or I can have them bring wine instead if you would prefer.”
“That is not necessary. This is not a social visit.” Unmoved by Weisheng’s friendly pretense, Ye Hua kept his tone aloof and impersonal as he responded. “Zhe Yan and I have very little time. We would like to see the caves as soon as possible.”
“Of course. That is why the two of you are here after all. One moment.” Weisheng gestured to one of his guards and the man hurried over to his king’s side.
Ye Hua’s eyes narrowed as he watched the two demons speak in hushed voices. Was Weisheng about to go back on his agreement? Ye Hua would not be surprised if he did. He had never trusted the demon king but he trusted him even less after seeing his smugness earlier. The black dragon grumbled, warning Ye Hua the demon was up to something, as they were kept waiting once again. If Weisheng had been about to reverse his decision to allow Zhe Yan to study the ice caves, something in Ye Hua’s expression changed his mind. He stood and stepped down from the dais.
“I will take you to the cave myself,” Weisheng said, walking toward a side passage leading off from his throne room. They were not going out the front entrance.
Following behind Weisheng in silence, Ye Hua and Zhe Yan studied the mountains rising up around them when they stepped out a nondescript door. A walkway leading to a narrow mountain pass had been cleared through the deep snow. Two guards fell into step behind them with Weisheng and a third guard leading the way up the steep slope. Only when they rounded a bend in the trail did Ye Hua finally spot the opening to the cave Weisheng was leading them to.
Dank frigid air carrying a faint musty scent greeted them as Ye Hua and Zhe Yan stepped through the entrance, the cave interior dim with deep shadows. Ye Hua could see a faint shimmer from the ice coating the walls of the cavern as his eyes adjusted to the faint light. This was indeed one of the demon ice caves.
Weisheng led them into a second smaller cavern. More ice coated the walls but it looked less thick and there were areas of bare rock. There a dull, sick light shone from a few sparse patches of cave moss. Ye Hua didn’t see any of the notoriously potent fungi or lichen at all.
“Is this all there is?” Zhe Yan asked, speaking for the first time, unable to keep the disappointment out of his voice. He glanced Ye Hua’s way, his expression indicating he was as suspicious of this turn of events as Ye Hua was.
“I’m afraid so,” Weisheng answered, gesturing around the cavern. “This is it.”
“I had read that many of the ice caves here are quite extensive and that the moss and lichen thrive in the cold, damp conditions. But that doesn’t seem to be the case based on what I’m seeing.”
“The largest caves have been lost to time.” Weisheng’s tone was solemn but Ye Hua didn’t believe his words for a second. “And most of the stories about the ice caves here have always been greatly exaggerated.”
“I see.” Zhe Yan looked around. There was skepticism in his tone.
“Take as much time as you want,” Weisheng said, seemingly in a sudden hurry to leave. “There will be guards posted outside the entrance if you need anything.”
Zhe Yan turned to Ye Hua as soon as Weisheng had left, a confused look on his face. “What was that all about?” He kept his voice low so as not to be overheard. “Is it just me or did Weisheng seem like he was gloating about something when he saw you earlier? He seemed more smug than normal.”
Creating an orb of light with his magic to better illuminate the cavern, Ye Hua erected a privacy barrier to muffle his and Zhe Yan’s conversation. “It’s not just you, Zhe Yan. I noticed it myself. He’s up to something and I think it’s about more than just the scarce amount of plants in this pitiful cave.”
“Lost to time?” Zhe Yan continued with a shake of his head, speaking at a normal volume as he looked around him with disgust. “Who lets an important asset become lost to time?”
“Nobody,” Ye Hua responded as he knelt to look at the moss growing on the damp rock more closely. What was there didn’t look healthy which Ye Hua suspected was the point.
“Weisheng didn’t really expect us to believe that, did he?”
“I don’t think he cares whether we believe him or not,” Ye Hua said, straightening up and glancing at the entrance to the cavern. If he could get out of the cave unseen, he might be able to find the real ice caves mentioned in the history books. “He’s brought us to an ice cave with demon moss growing in it. He can claim he’s fulfilled his treaty obligation and we have no way to prove otherwise, no evidence that he’s hiding something.”
He looked back to Zhe Yan. “And he knows it. He thinks he’s outwitted us but there still might be a way to find the other caves.”
“You have a plan, don’t you?” Zhe Yan questioned as Ye Hua created another sphere of light, moving it to the opposite side of the cavern from the original one. When he lowered the privacy barrier as he was planning to, the guards needed to feel his dragon magic still in the cave along with Zhe Yan’s phoenix magic to avoid arousing suspicion.
“I do.” Ye Hua nodded as he turned to face his friend once more. “But the guards will become suspicious if we leave the barrier in place for too much longer. Do you think you can hold up your side of a conversation in here by yourself? Sound as if you’re explaining things to me even if I’m not present?”
Zhe Yan grinned with an excited gleam entering his eyes. “I can blather on and on about nothing with the best of them. You know that. They won’t know you’re gone.”
“Good,” Ye Hua chuckled, thinking of times in the past he, Mo Yuan, and Zhe Yan used to come up with elaborate schemes in order to do something they weren’t supposed to do. Who would have guessed those games from their youth would prove of benefit now? His face turned serious. “I’ll be back soon. I will get you the samples you need.”
“Be careful, Ye Hua,” Zhe Yan warned, handing over a small collection kit before giving Ye Hua’s shoulder a brotherly squeeze. He turned to the moss as Ye Hua lowered the privacy barrier and glanced around the rock blocking his view of the main entrance.
“Well, there’s not much here but the little there is could prove useful to us. I just need to be careful when removing it.” Zhe Yan took out a small tool to start scraping some of the moss off the rocks. “I couldn’t believe some of the impressive stuff this moss is reported to do…”
Tuning out the sound of Zhe Yan’s voice droning on about the medicinal uses for the moss and the other interesting ways he thought it could be utilized in excruciating detail, Ye Hua briefly outlined his plan to the black dragon so they would both be in step with one another. Then he cloaked his presence with his cultivation before shifting into his dragon, shrinking down into a small size as he did so. The black dragon cooperated with eager anticipation, remaining on guard while allowing Ye Hua to stay in control.
Manipulating small air currents within the cave, Ye Hua glided in between the two soldiers standing watch at the entrance and then flew up into the gusty mountain air. He used the strong wind to his advantage, soaring through the sky without having to use much magic. He circled, studying the rock faces of the mountains, looking for signs of more cave entrances. He spotted several but discarded them as options due to their lack of camouflage. He didn’t think the valuable caves would be left so open to view.
Ye Hua finally found a more promising spot to explore on a much higher mountain peak to the north. It was hidden behind many large boulders and he saw a couple of guards posted nearby. As he swooped towards the entrance, a barrier stopped him from moving through it. All it took was a slight swipe of his magic and he brushed the barrier aside and entered the dim interior.
Keeping his camouflage barrier in place, Ye Hua shifted back into human form and looked around him with curiosity. The cavern with its walls of dense ice was vast; it led deep into the interior of the mountain and he counted several smaller caves opening up off the main one. This was more like the descriptions of the giant ice caves in the history records.
A faint glow was lighting the passageway leading towards the back of the cavern. As Ye Hua moved closer, he saw a red glow originating from lichen growing like shelves on the granite walls. He could sense the strong magic emanating from them. There were large patches of the same moss he had seen earlier in the cave with Zhe Yan, only the moss in this cave was lush and healthy looking and was giving off an intense green light.
Collecting multiple samples of both, Ye Hua looked around to see if he could spot any of the fungi Zhe Yan had wanted. Nothing caught his notice at first but after walking deeper into the cave he finally found a small group of tiny white mushrooms growing in a dark, hidden alcove. At first glance they seemed very ordinary; they were nondescript and there was no light of any kind coming from them.
He almost dismissed the mushrooms out of hand but something made Ye Hua turn around and get closer to them. Powerful magic blasted him as he reached down to touch one. There were very few mushrooms in this patch and he spotted only one or two other patches in the remaining shadowed corners he saw. So Ye Hua gathered as many as he thought he could get away with, wrapped in a special cloth from Zhe Yan’s kit to contain their magic, and added them to the lichen and moss he had already collected.
Hurrying to the cavern entrance, Ye Hua shifted back into his small dragon form and moved the barrier aside once again to sneak out the opening. He flew quickly to the cave where he had left Zhe Yan waiting, swooping in between the guards with a feeling of victory running through him as he remained undetected. There he found Zhe Yan standing with his arms crossed as he explained to himself the steps of an experiment he planned to try with the moss.
Shifting back, Ye Hua lowered his camouflage barrier. He nodded at Zhe Yan without saying anything to let him know he had been successful.
“Well, I think I’ve collected all I can from this place,” Zhe Yan said, beaming happily at Ye Hua. “I think it’s time we got out of here.”
“Sounds good to me,” Ye Hua responded, trying not to laugh at Zhe Yan’s excited expression. He made his way toward the guards stationed at the cave entrance, Zhe Yan close on his heels, to tell the soldiers that he and Zhe Yan were ready to leave.
“King Weisheng had something he needed to take care of and will not be able to see you off,” one guard explained.
Ye Hua nodded when the guards bowed an apology to him and Zhe Yan, grateful he would be able to leave without delay. He was ready to get home to Bai Qian. Without another word, he jumped into the clouds above the Demon Realm. As soon as Zhe Yan joined him, they both disappeared.
“What did you find?” Zhe Yan asked the second they arrived on the outskirts of the peach tree forest. “What did the cave look like? I wish I could’ve seen it myself.”
Handing over the bag filled with the samples he had collected, Ye Hua described the ice cavern he had found along with the feel of its atmosphere and detailed descriptions of the appearance and scents of the plants in their natural environment. Zhe Yan listened with rapt attention as he studied the plants Ye Hua gave him.
“You even found the mushrooms,” Zhe Yan said with awe and eagerness in his voice. “I read they are very rare and can’t always be found.” He opened up the cloth and looked at the tiny white objects laying in his palm. “They look so ordinary and yet the strongest demon poison is created from these mushrooms. The demons will often coat their blades with it when they have some available. I should be able to learn a great deal from them and the other specimens. Maybe I can even formulate an antidote. I need to get started on studying them right away. Thank you, Ye Hua.”
“No problem,” Ye Hua responded with a chuckle, talking to thin air as Zhe Yan was already gone. Ye Hua was used to that. His friend was always quick to disappear when he had a new idea to explore. He remembered a time Mo Yuan had brought up an idea he knew would intrigue Zhe Yan on purpose simply so he would leave them alone for a few hours so they would have time to finish setting up a surprise for Zhe Yan’s birthday. It had been weeks before they had seen him again, long after his birthday had come and gone.
Turning toward the path that would lead him back to the cabin, Ye Hua stepped into the peach tree forest. A feeling of peaceful contentment settled over him as he walked underneath the canopy of fragrant blossoms, his pace picking up as he looked forward to being back home with Bai Qian. The black dragon rumbled a soft growl of agreement; his lovely fox was waiting for him.
“Well, what is it? I just received your missive,” Weisheng said as soon as he located Jinjing, who had taken a few days leave for visiting family in order to search for the sword, and a group of demon soldiers in the middle of the border pine forest. Weisheng was lucky Ye Hua and Zhe Yan had been too focused on the cave to sense the slip of magic needed to bring it to him. “Have you found it?”
“It’s close. I can feel it,” Jinjing responded with a frown. “It has to be somewhere in this area of the forest but I can’t pinpoint where. There must be a deflection spell placed upon the sword to confuse anyone searching for its location.”
“Show me the boundaries of where you can still sense it,” Weisheng demanded.
Ordering the soldiers to aid him, Weisheng created a grid pattern to follow during the search for the dragon talon sword. He watched, desperately hoping Jinjing was correct, as his men scoured the forest, destroying obstacles in their path as they did so. He needed that sword more than anything. Not only was Ye Hua a master swordsman but the black dragon could destroy Weisheng if he wanted to.
Weisheng would never admit it out loud to anyone but he feared Ye Hua’s black dragon. He had seen the great beast glaring back at him with rage in its dark eyes earlier. And there had been the sound of death in its growl. It had been unnerving even though Weisheng had been the one sitting on the dais, a place that should have given him the advantage in the exchange with Ye Hua. If he couldn’t find a way around Ye Hua and the black dragon, he wouldn’t be able to get a hold of Bai Qian. Then his father’s wish would never be fulfilled and his quest for revenge would ultimately fail.
“I’ve found something, my lord,” a demon soldier yelled.
Weisheng was at the man’s side in an instant, Jinjing joining him as they studied a large slab of rock with interest. There was an opening in the ground hidden underneath it. Weisheng could just make it out right at the edge of the limestone; he could feel a draft of air coming from it when he waved his hand over it. Was it an underground tunnel?
“I can sense the sword much better here,” Jinjing spoke.
Excitement jolted through Weisheng. He had finally found it. It was going to be a great day. “Stay here.” Weisheng barked the order as he used his magic to lift the massive rock out of position, revealing a large hole leading deep underground. Lowering himself down, the rich earthy scent of soil enveloped him as he entered the tunnel. He could see tree roots growing within the dirt walls for as far as the light from above would allow but the tunnel extended beyond the reach of the natural light.
Summoning a torch to his hand, Weisheng lit it with demon fire and walked down the tunnel with eager steps. He could see it leading far off into the distance but he did not have to follow it for very long before he encountered what he was looking for. There in a carved out niche off to the side was his prize; it would have been easy to overlook though it wasn’t necessarily hidden like Weisheng had expected.
The sword’s handle was constructed of gold plated steel which was all he could see of it because the blade was wrapped in a layer of thick leather. Grabbing it, Weisheng removed the sword to study it, marvelling at the black blade and its finely honed edge, still apparent after all this time. Deep nicks in the leather wrap spoke of its sharpness. He swung the sword a few times, getting a feel for how it was best handled. It cut through the air without a sound.
It was said there was nothing sharper than a blade forged from the talon of a dragon and that seemed to be confirmed.
A glow of fervid anticipation sparked in Weisheng’s eyes and a victorious grin spread across his face. All the work to find this legendary sword had been worth it.
Sword still in hand, Weisheng jumped from the tunnel, landing next to the limestone rock. The demon soldiers gathered around to admire the sword Weisheng held, stepping back when Jinjing drew his own steel sword.
“Let’s see what it can do,” he said to Weisheng who agreed immediately.
Circling each other, Weisheng waited for Jinjing to make the first move. When he did, Weisheng brought the dragon talon blade up to meet the swing of Jinjing’s steel blade, parrying the strike and following through with one of his own. Jinjing’s sword was in place to counter the swipe but the sharp edge of Weisheng’s black blade cut through the steel easily, slicing Jinjing’s sword into two pieces. Again, it made not even a whisper of sound as it moved through air and metal.
Everybody froze, watching the sight with shock. The cut piece of the steel blade fell to the ground, hitting a rock with a ringing sound that resonated through the sudden silence.
Only when the ringing had stopped did Weisheng move, admiring the invincible blade of the ancient sword in his hand before carefully wrapping it back in the leather so he didn’t slice it in two. Was there a scabbard strong enough to sheathe this sword?
“So the stories are true,” Jinjing spoke, picking up the piece of his broken sword.
“How could you doubt them?” Weisheng countered. “You’re a dragon yourself. You know the sharpness of a talon.”
“A talon and a blade crafted from a talon are not the same thing. Or that’s what I’ve always believed.”
“You were wrong,” Weisheng responded, the sword disappearing from sight when he sent it to a secure location in his private wing of the demon fortress. “Now my chances of capturing the troublesome little fox and hanging onto her have improved greatly.”
He grinned, a malicious joy evident in his expression. “In fact, when her usefulness is all gone, I think I will use the talon blade to carve out her heart and allow it to join her father’s. They will be in my possession for all eternity and so will their power. Yes…I like that idea very much. Don’t you?” He didn’t add that he planned to use the talons from a dead black dragon to craft more swords for his most trusted men; he knew Ye Hua and the black dragon would come after Bai Qian and he would be ready for them. Then he would have more silent swords and an advantage against the Heavens when he broke away from their rule.
“I don’t really care what you do with her,” Jinjing responded with a shrug before he frowned with worry, “as long as she never has a chance to talk about that night in the Fox Den. Which means we need to get her soon. Every day Ye Hua spends in the forest is another day she might talk to him about it.” He paused, a thoughtful look upon his face. “Soon you will have your chance to enter the peach tree forest unnoticed. Did you receive your invitation to the upcoming Celebration of the Sacred Rites?”
“Yes,” Weisheng answered, interest filling him. “I haven’t accepted yet.”
“You should be there,” Jinjing told him. “That will be your chance. The celebration is only held every one hundred years and both Ye Hua and Mo Yuan are required to be there.”
“Why should I be there then? It will be better to have Bai Qian captured and secure in my dungeon before Ye Hua even realizes she’s gone so I would like to avoid Ye Hua’s notice for as long as possible.”
“No,” Jinjing replied with a shake of his head. “You should go. Ye Hua will be less inclined to find a way out of attending if he knows you will be there too. But both he and Mo Yuan need to see you there. They won’t suspect anything that night if they believe they know where you are. And it must be both of them. Anything that is important or valuable to one twin is always protected by the other as well. It will be the same with Bai Qian.”
“You sound as if you have a plan. Do you?”
“Almost,” Jinjing answered with a smile. “I’ve almost got one in place. I’m still working out a few last details but Bai Qian could be yours very soon.”
⇛ Next part: Ch 29: Back Home
⇚ Previous part: Ch 27: Flowers of Wisdom