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Chapter 30: The Flowers on the Slope Have Bloomed. You May Take Your Time Returning
“What did you do to our family’s young lady? Did you eat her!” As she said that, the little girl started breaking out in tears.
Cheng Dalei and the others were stunned. Cheng Dalei asked, “Who’s this little girl?”
“Xiaodie. She’s a servant girl of Miss Su’s family. She came here from Fallenleaf City.” Lin Shaoyu said.
Su Ying came out of the house and exclaimed in surprised, “Xiaodie!”
Xiaodie’s tears suddenly stopped as she hesitantly stammered, “Milady, you’re still alive. You weren’t eaten by them.”
Su Ying had no words. She just waved her hands, “Come over. We’ll talk inside.”
Xiaodie followed Su Ying into the house. Then, Xiaodie pulled at Su Ying’s clothes and pinched her arm. After that, she finally let out a long sigh of relief, “Milady, you’re still alive, thank goodness.”
Then, she suddenly stopped and spoke with a painful expression, “Then… He’s the one who despoiled you?”
Su Ying blushed, “What nonsense are you saying. I’m fine.”
Outside, Cheng Dalei asked Lin Shaoyu about what the situation is.
Orginally, Lin Shaoyu headed down the mountain for work, that is waylaying travelers and robbing them. After much time, he finally managed to find someone, but it was a 14-15 year old girl. According to her, she’s Xiaodie, Su Ying’s maid, and she purposefully came here to the Blackbull Mountains in search of Su Ying.
It seems that the news of Su Ying’s abduction had already spread. Similarly, the news that the Toad Bandits had defeated a thousand elite soldiers of Blackstone City had also spread. According to the rumors, the Great Toad King of the Toad Bandits was an enormous giant with a demonic visage and fangs, and that he need to drink a pound of human blood and ten pounds of human flesh with every meal. That’s why Xiaodie’s first question was what it was.
As Cheng Dalei was mulling this piece of news over, he asked, “Say, if we were to demand a ransom from the Su family, what should we ask for?”
“Boss, you’d seriously bear to let her go!” Xu Shenji exclaimed.
“What are you talking about, I’ve always put the wellbeing of the camp first. I’m not someone who can be enthralled by women.” Cheng Dalei spoke staunchly. This obviously isn’t his true feelings. However, the reality is that Cheng Dalei had already used every method he could think of, but he still wasn’t able to win Su Ying’s heart. Thus, there’s no point even if he kept her around.
“That… It will probably be very hard for us to get a ransom.” Huang Sanyuan spoke, “The matter with the Su family is rather complicated.”
“In what way?” Since Huang Sanyuan was originally the one who Han Huju sent to Fallenleaf city to negotiate the marriage in question, it’s only natural that he has a good understanding of the Su family’s situation.
Huang Sanyuan spoke, “The boss of the Four Seas Merchant Company is named Su Sihai. Su Sihai doesn’t have any sons, but he does have lots of daughters. I can’t even remember if it was seven or eight of them. Anyways, Su Sihai is already rather advanced in age, so his family can only be inherited by a daughter, and among his daughters, Su Ying has the best qualifications. The problem though is that Su Ying’s mother had died a long time ago. Right now, the one who really holds the authority in the Su family is Su Ying’s stepmother. Said stepmother obviously hopes for her own daughter to inherit the family business, not Su Ying. Thus, I think that she’d have been praying the whole time for Su Ying to have been eaten by the boss.”
Cheng Dalei had no words. Huang Sanyuan’s words were perfectly reasonable at the start, but what’s that last sentence supposed to mean?
“Let me leave. I’ll be able to get you the ransom that you want.”
Su Ying seems to have heard the discussion out in the yard, so she suddenly left the house and said those words from the doorway.
“You really want to leave?”
The moment Cheng Dalei said those words, he knew that it was a complete waste of breath. Huang Sanyuan had said it before that no one who still had a way to live on would chose to go into banditry. Never mind Su Ying, who’s the young lady of the Four Seas Merchant Company.
“Someone get me a quill and paper.”
Cheng Dalei called out loudly, but he felt rather empty inside. Despite all his efforts, Su Ying was still completely unmoved.
Cheng Dalei had someone bring him a quill and papers as he considered just what he should ask Su Ying for. Since he couldn’t keep her, he might as well ask for more stuff to comfort his fragile and hurt heart.
Finally, after taking in the suggestions of everyone at the Camp, Cheng Dalei decided on the numbers for the ransom. In total: 500 stones of food, so and so amounts of cloth, so and so amount of paper, salt, wine… And also some books.
After handing the bill over to Su Ying, Cheng Dalei put up a tough look, “You’re sure that you can get it to me! If you dare to trick me, then don’t forget that I eat people!”
Su Ying carefully went through the bill before finally raising her head, “Your demands are reasonable. When I get back, after dealing with the issues in the family, I’ll deliver it all to you. Several times the amount that you asked for at that.”
Cheng Dalei was quite wowed by her words. She really has some confidence.
Thus, on a calm and sunny afternoon, Cheng Dalei released Su Ying. Fallenleaf is around 70-80 km from the Blackbull Mountians, and there are numerous bandits on the road. It really is quite dangerous for Su Ying and Xiaodie to travel on their own, so Cheng Dalei also had to arrange someone to protect them.
Finally, Cheng Dalei had Lin Shaoyu and Huang Sanyuan accompany the two of them on the road. Lin Shaoyu can handle the issue of safety on the road, and the reason Cheng Dalei had Huang Sanyuan go as well is to have him purchase some piglets and other livestock in Fallenleaf City. For mountain bandits, not only do they need to farm, they also need to raise livestock as well.
After they properly hitched up the carriages, Cheng Dalei accompanied them all the way down Toad Peak before finally telling Huang Sanyuan and Lin Shaoyu, “You guys are the ones who brought her here, so this time, it might as well be you guys who take her back as well.”
As he said that, Cheng Dalei couldn’t stop the pain in his heart. He’s personally sending off his own bandit wife after all. He then handed Su Ying a pound of chili, “I heard that you guys have restaurants, try taking these and test them out. See if you can open up a market for these.”
Su Ying’s big, clear eyes widened as she lightly nodded.
The prettier she is, the harder it is to let go. With their parting this day, where is he supposed to find such a pretty bandit wife now. However, he had already used up all his ideas, and he still failed to win her heart. Could her heart really be made of stone…
Before their parting, Cheng Dalei wanted to give it a final try. He stared into Su Ying’s eyes and slowly intoned, “The flowers on the slope have blossomed, you may take your time returning.” (T/N: Reference to a historic love letter from the King of Wuyue to his wife conveying how much he misses her and wishes for her return)
Su Ying was about to get into the carriage then, but she actually turned back when she heard those words before moving to face Cheng Dalei.
“Can I talk to you alone for a bit?”
In response to that, Cheng Dalei hurriedly chased Huang Sanyuan and the others off. When the two of the were finally standing alone in front of the carriage, he finally asked nervously, “What do you want to talk about?”
“These past few days, you’ve said a lot of very pretty words to me and did a lot of things to try to make me happy. I don’t know why exactly, but it’s probably to try to make me like you. However, I can tell when someone is being truthful or fake.” Su Ying looked into Cheng Dalei’s eyes as she slowly spoke, “And everything that you’ve done for me the past few days have been fake.”
Cheng Dalei was stunned for a moment as he unconsciously avoided Su Ying’s gaze.
“If all that you gave was fake, then how can you possibly get something real in return.” Su Ying’s words were calm and placid, but the contents were filled with barbs, “Truth be told though, whether or not you really are being sincere is unimportant. Neither is it important if I really do give you my own heart.”
“Then, what do you want?” Cheng Dalei felt his face heat up.
“After our parting today, who knows when we might meet again Thus, I want to ask just one thing.” Su Ying spoke, “Before we part, can you tell me something that’s true?”
True? What’s true exactly?
Cheng Dalei looked at Su Ying before him. At that moment, her red dress, her white skin, her lively expression with the naivety of this age struck him.
Cheng Dalei leaned toward Su Ying’s ear and lightly whispered a sentence.
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