In the afternoon, the rain gradually lessened.
Ye Jingtang walked out of the dungeon. His hand was still on the hilt of his saber as he tried to figure out the essence of the Heaven Equaling Saber....
After interacting with Qiu Tianhe in the dungeon, he had learned the Heaven Equaling Saber.
But the Heaven Equaling Saber was a rare internal martial arts among saber techniques. It was completely different from his foster father's saber technique. He could only say that he had learned how to use it, but he didn't understand the deeper meaning of the technique at all, so he couldn't be considered proficient. It was too early and too ridiculous to teach the Prince of Jing now. He had to familiarize himself with it for two days.
While thinking, he walked out of the dungeon's entrance. He turned back to look at Jasper Pavilion. He wanted to take a glance and leave, but he didn't expect to hear a mature woman's words vaguely in the light rain.
“What are you thinking? Giving me such an item…”
“You're really lonely, so…”
“No, it's too shameful~”
The voice was shy and demure and had a hint of disgust in it, but it was soft and sweet and very pleasant to the ear.
Just by hearing her voice, one could imagine a beautiful noblewoman biting her lower lip shyly and refusing in annoyance.
Ye Jingtang was slightly puzzled and wanted to hear who she was talking to and what they were talking about.
But just as he pricked up his ears, he heard an ancient ghost-like whisper.
“Young Master, please.”
The voice came so suddenly that it shocked Ye Jingtang, who thought that his martial arts skills were not bad.
He turned around and found an old woman with long hair that reached the ground standing three steps away from him. She was hunched over with her left hand behind her back and her right hand gestured to the outside of the Black Office.
Although Ye Jingtang was seeing this white-haired old woman for the first time, he could guess from her appearance that she was most likely one of the Black Office's Double Flower Red Sticks—'White-Haired Diting' Meng Jiao.
The Eight-Armed Ksitigarbha and the White-Haired Diting were both top Grandmasters and coaches of the ‘national team'. Although they looked inconspicuous, one could imagine how important they were in Jianghu.
Ye Jingtang was caught eavesdropping on a conversation between women in the prince's estate. He was really embarrassed. After cupping his hands and bowing, he quickly walked out of the Black Office. After taking a few steps, he looked back. The entrance of the dungeon was empty, as if the old woman had just been an illusion.
Good lightness skills…
Like a ghost…
With lingering fear, Ye Jingtang quickly walked out of the Black Office and rode back on his horse. Along the way, he was thinking about the identity of the noblewoman who spoke just now.
To be able to stand at the top of Jasper Pavilion and chat without any scruples, she must have a noble status. But she didn't seem like the empress.
He had been wandering around the capital for the past few days and had privately inquired about the situation in the Imperial Court.
The current empress was the Prince of Jing's elder sister. There was not much difference in age between the two. No one dared to mention her appearance, and it was only known that she was decisive and tough.
The Prince of Jing had a supermodel-like figure and peerless looks, so the empress shouldn't be too bad either. Such an empress wouldn't be so shy with her words.
As for others…
Ye Jingtang didn't know many people, so he really couldn't figure out who she was. He just thought she was the Prince of Jing's relative.
He wanted to enter the palace to look for the Roaring Dragon Chart. Speaking of which, he had heard rumors about ‘gigolos' in the past few days.
Based on the information he had gathered over the past few days, the empress and her sister were very clean and honest. There were no rumors about them having gigolos…
The same was true for the widowed Empress Dowager Qin in the palace…
But no matter how he thought about it, it was a little shameful to sell his looks and deceive a woman's feelings to enter the palace to get something.
The only way left was to train hard in lightness skills and sneak into the palace.
The probability of success for this method was very high, but it was undoubtedly extremely risky. Even the Prince of Jing had a ruthless ghost-like White Haired Diting by her side. He didn't even dare to think about who the empress had by her side. If he were discovered, even the bird would probably be turned into squab soup…
Passing through the busy city streets, he unknowingly returned to the alley of Dye Workshop Street.
Although he didn't hear anything, he could smell the fragrance of stir-fried meat from afar.
Ye Jingtang hadn't eaten well since yesterday. When he smelled the fragrance, his appetite was greatly aroused. He quickly walked to the courtyard and looked over the wall. There was a stool under the eaves, and the little heroine was sitting outside the kitchen. She was using a hatchet to chop firewood. Her knife skills were not bad, but she was not very familiar with the work, so the length of the chopped wood varied.
Smoke was rising from the kitchen, and the windows were open. Heroine Luo was wearing an apron as she walked back and forth between the chopping board and the stove. Rice was warming on the small stove.
The bird was also very diligent. It stood on the stove and opened its beak, waiting to help taste.
Ye Jingtang opened the courtyard door and raised the two small wine jars in his hands. “Is the meal ready? I happened to buy two jars of wine on the way. It's the Warm Spring Flame from Parasol Street. I drank it at the Golden Screen Building before. The wine is especially fragrant…”
Luo Ning had heard the footsteps for a long time and glanced at Ye Jingtang. She hadn't calmed down from being bullied last night, so she didn't say anything.
Zhe Yunli, on the other hand, was much more enthusiastic. With a flick of her wrist, she threw the hatchet out and nailed it firmly to a piece of firewood. She got up and ran over to carry the wine jars. “Brother Jingtang, how was the Black Office?”
“It went smoothly. I went to Hero Qiu to learn his saber technique, and he agreed. After I learn it for a few days and teach it to the Prince of Jing, I should be able to get him out.”
“The Prince of Jing won't break her word after learning the saber technique, will she?”
“What the Prince of Jing is interested in me is my ability. How can she win me over if she breaks her word? Besides, she's not letting a tiger return to the mountains. Letting Hero Qiu retire in the capital is equivalent to moving him to another place to be imprisoned, so there's no point in deceiving me.”
While chatting, Ye Jingtang went to the kitchen and looked around. When he found no wine cups, he said, “Yunli, help me buy a wine set from the grocery store on the street. Thank you.”
“Sure thing.” Zhe Yunli immediately picked up her umbrella and moved to leave.
Luo Ning didn't care at first, but after stir-frying two dishes, she realized that something was wrong. How could he forget to buy a wine set when he could buy wine?
Luo Ning's ice-cold face stiffened slightly, and she hurriedly turned around. “Yunli…”
Zhe Yunli was quite agile. There was already no one else in the courtyard.
At the same time, Ye Jingtang had already walked over and rubbed the big bird. “Heroine Luo, you're really skilled at cooking.”
Luo Ning took a step to the side and didn't look at Ye Jingtang. “Ye Jingtang! If you dare to push your luck again, don't blame me for being ruthless.”
Ye Jingtang had realized in the morning that Luo Ning was indeed a little unhappy. He knew that he was a little impulsive yesterday and felt quite ashamed.
He took out a jade pendant from his sleeve, placed it on the chopping board, went behind the stove, and fiddled with the stove fire. “Don't think too much. The Black Office gave me the Dragon Pool Tourmaline. It's a jade pendant. If I give it to you in front of Yunli, it's easy for her to misunderstand.”
Luo Ning glanced at the Dragon Pool Tourmaline. “You know that she will misunderstand, yet you're still giving me the jade pendant? What do you mean?”
“How can I say that I'm giving it to you? Last night, we joined forces to capture the thief. I can't take all the spoils for myself. Could it be that you want to give me everything? This will make my imagination run wild.”
Luo Ning thought about it and agreed. She put the jade pendant away. “This is what I deserve. It's not a gift from you. When I leave the capital, I will take it to the Water Cloud Sword Pool to exchange for silver.”
No matter how one looked at it, she was deliberately trying to anger Ye Jingtang.
Ye Jingtang shook his head and smiled. “You can do whatever you want with your things.”
Mist in the pot rose and blocked their vision. They stopped talking.
Luo Ning skillfully stir-fried the dishes, but she was obviously a little distracted. From the corner of her eye, she paid attention to Ye Jingtang, who was fiddling with the stove fire. The seasonings were basically misused.
After a short silence, Luo Ning couldn't help saying, “Get out. Don't stay here.”
“Heroine Luo, you can't bear to see me?”
Luo Ning put down the spatula, stared at Ye Jingtang coldly with a look that said, ‘Our matter isn't over', and seemed ready to quit cooking.
Ye Jingtang shook his head and went outside to chop the firewood that Yunli hadn't finished chopping.
Only then did Luo Ning relax and continue to cook. In between, she picked up a small piece of fried meat, blew on it, and fed it to the bird, who was waiting to be fed.
The bird's eyes sparkled as it caught it. Then…
“Chirp?!” The bird twitched twice. It closed its beak and nodded like it was pounding garlic, as if it was praising Sister Little Watermelons' culinary skills.
Then the bird hopped out of the door over to Ye Jingtang and seriously watched him chop firewood…
As the fragrance of food filled the courtyard, the rain stopped.
“Time to eat~”
Zhe Yunli carried the dishes and walked through the tidy courtyard to the main room. She found the bird squatting in the birdhouse under the eaves and asked in confusion, “Why aren't you in a hurry today?”
“Chirp chirp~” The bird flapped its wings vigorously, indicating that it was full.
Ye Jingtang sat at the table, opened a wine jar, and poured wine for the two women.
Luo Ning sat down on the main seat and helped scoop the rice. Her eyes were still not looking at Ye Jingtang, but with Yunli here, her actions were much more natural.
After all the dishes were served, Ye Jingtang raised his wine cup. “Come, cheers. Let's wish Hero Qiu a quick escape from his misery.”
Zhe Yunli was very polite. She quickly raised her wine cup with both hands. “Hero Qiu's life is not in danger. Brother Jingtang, Martial Mistress and I owe you a huge favor. We will toast you first.”
Luo Ning was not in the mood to toast to Ye Jingtang, but since Yunli had already said it, she couldn't refuse. After thinking about it, she put down her chopsticks, raised her cup with both hands, and clinked it with Ye Jingtang's.
Luo Ning covered her mouth with her sleeve and drank the cup of wine all in one gulp. Her fair cheeks immediately flushed red. It looked like she didn't drink often. Her naturally misty eyes also became more misty.
Zhe Yunli's alcohol tolerance wasn't bad, and her face didn't even turn red after she took a big gulp. She even leaned close to Luo Ning and gently stroked her back to calm her down. She smiled and said, “Martial Mistress, this is the first time I've seen you drink. Brother Jingtang, you're so lucky. If the people of Jianghu knew—”
“Yunli!” Luo Ning knew that Zhe Yunli wanted to say: The Moon Goddess offered you a toast. Her eyes darkened, and she interrupted Zhe Yunli's words.
Zhe Yunli said resentfully, “I'm not stupid. I just said it casually. Why are you so angry?”
Luo Ning put down her wine cup and replied calmly, “I'm usually like this.”
Ye Jingtang didn't say anything. He picked up his chopsticks, picked up a piece of stir-fried meat that looked delicious and smelled fragrant, and put it in his mouth…
Oh my god!
No wonder the stupid bird is standing outside…
Ye Jingtang could be considered a real man. He chewed on the unpalatable stir-fried meat without changing his expression and took a sip of wine to cover the taste. At the same time, he glanced at Heroine Luo to see if she was deliberately tormenting him.
It doesn't look like it…
So, her absent-mindedness caused her to perform poorly…
Zhe Yunli smiled and poured a cup of wine. She also picked up a piece of stir-fried meat and put it in her mouth.
Then her face turned green!
But if she vomited the food that her master's wife had painstakingly cooked on the spot, how sad would she be?
Zhe Yunli gritted her teeth and swallowed it. She stared at Ye Jingtang with wide eyes: How did you eat it?!
Ye Jingtang picked up another piece of meat with his chopsticks for Zhe Yunli and said with concern, “You're growing. Eat more.”
Zhe Yunli gritted her teeth, but her expression didn't change. She also picked up a piece of meat with her chopstick for Ye Jingtang. “Brother Jingtang, you are a man and have to work. You should eat more. How is Martial Mistress's cooking?”
“Delicious.” Ye Jingtang's expression remained unchanged as he gritted his teeth and swallowed it.
The family of three ate like this, and the atmosphere was quite warm.
Luo Ning's eating style was similar to a fairy's. She had a light taste and didn't like oily food. She only ate the stir-fried side dishes.
Seeing Ye Jingtang and Zhe Yunli acting so intimate with each other, she was quite displeased.
But the two of them picked up food for each other and didn't speak while eating. They also drank wine in silence, finally causing Luo Ning to realize that something was wrong.
Luo Ning picked up a piece of stir-fried meat with her chopsticks. Her expression changed immediately, thinking that someone had poisoned the food. Then she said angrily, “It's so salty… Don't you know how to say that it tastes bad? And you're even eating so much!”
Ye Jingtang chuckled and raised his hand. “It's fine… Ahem… It's strangely good…”
Zhe Yunli finally couldn't hold it in anymore. She got up to get the teapot and poured it into her mouth.
Luo Ning stared at the two lunatics. She looked like she wanted to laugh, but she held it in. She slapped the table lightly, got up, and went out. She picked up the bird that was peeping at the door and scolded, “What's wrong with you?”
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