Chapter 140 – Commit
When General Yin Yanzhao saw how Sunli was glaring daggers at Huang Ming, he could not help but bark with laughter.
Sunli flushed, but Huang Ming easily accepted the remark with a grin.
General Yin nodded sagely. “Indeed, no marriage is completely smooth sailing,” he said with a chuckle. “Seeing you two today reminds me of my own departed wife.”
The general waved it off. “Do not worry, it was very long ago since I had came to terms with her passing.”
Huang Ming winced at her thoughtless question. The Amazon had asked the question without any ulterior motives, and did not notice a shadow flicker across the general’s face.
“Let us turn to other matters,” Huang Ming put in hurriedly. “I have never been to the north, what is it like?”
“It is cold and unforgiving. But the wide open steppes with the seas of grass are a sight to behold, and there is nothing like feeling the wind in your hair as you ride through it,” the general said and sighed.
“They are a warrior people. They have always eyed the central plains with avarice, but they do so out of necessity. The north can be quite inhospitable, and it is no surprise that they covet our plentiful lands,” the general answered.
“Danger can come from any where,” General Yin said enigmatically. “But I understand your concerns. In recent years they have remained relatively quiet, but I have heard rumours from traders about massive reconstruction and reformation efforts. Though I have seen nothing about gearing for war.”
“A remarkable woman,” General Yin said immediately. “The Prince of Jin is a great man in his own right, but there are many who say that much of his success is the work of the Princess of Jin as well.”
Huang Ming blinked. “You sound as if you admire them,” he said slowly.
“Well, your family is known for its many stories of hardships and struggles against the Jins…” Huang Ming trailed off.
Huang Ming kept his excitement down. The off-handed comment was the general’s strongest indication yet about the state of affairs in their own country.
Huang Ming nodded and filed the general’s information away to be shared with Qiong Ying later. Sunli on the other hand found Huang Ming’s questions to be bewildering. Why was he suddenly interested in the north and the Princess of Jin?
“Perhaps we should discuss more relevant matters,” she growled.
“General, you spoke of duty. I now have a charge for you…”
Several poignant minutes later, General Yin leaned back and exhaled heavily. Only a few moments had passed, yet the general’s face seemed to have aged.
“I see now why you were asking about the north, you were worried of an attack by Jin while we are dealing with… with this,” General Yin muttered.
“This is for our country, I will of course do my utmost,” the general agreed.
General Yin stared at the departing backs of Huang Ming and Sunli, unknown questions running through his mind. Already he could see Sunli was disgruntled at Huang Ming, and she was demanding one thing or another that was beyond the general’s hearing.
“Good, that is one thing done,” Huang Lang said with satisfaction. But he saw that Huang Ming was still uncertain.
“There is something about the general that is unsettling to me,” Huang Ming said.
Huang Ming pulled a face but said nothing. How was he going to explain that his doubts were just unjustified feelings? There was no evidence to support his suspicions.
Cao Shuang eyed his sister’s husband critically. “Are you accusing the general of something? He is a tried and true patriot whose fame is known to all.”
It was Cao Shuang’s turn to grimace. “I am working on it,” he said.
“Do you think it is wise to have her be part of this personally?” Cao Shuang grumbled.
Cao Shuang glared at him incredulously. “She is the princess! She should not be involved in such matters!”
“That is not what I meant,” Cao Shuang said hurriedly.
“That’s right,” Huang Ming agreed, enjoying the look on Cao Shuang’s face.
“Perhaps you should act as bait to lure Nangong Xie out,” he suggested.
“Right!” Cao Shuang interrupted. “The princess should tell Nangong Xie that Huang Ming is leaving the capital soon. Surely he could not bear to miss the chance to kill him. Then when he appears, we will nab him!”
“Don’t worry, we’ll keep you safe,” he said with grin.
Subdued emotions and premonition,
Wheels in motion, gaining traction.