When Su Huai Feng sees that Yun Qian Yu is excited instead of worrying, he feels like he really cannot win over her.
Her sentence in particular strucks a chord within him: there is nothing one cannot do, only things one doesn’t want to do.
Su Huai Feng remains solemn as he replies her, “You will know once you see it. I have also informed Mo Dai Kingdom’s Crown Prince Long Jin and Jiu Xiao Kingdom’s Prince Bei Tang Gu Qiu.
“The more the participants, the more exciting the game will be,” Yun Qian Yu is even more excited now.
Su Huai Feng looks at his Senior Uncle Gong, who is coincidentally a couple of years younger than him. To see such pure and unadulterated love flashing in his eyes as he looks at the princess is something that even celestials dared not think of.
And the princess, boldly living with him in his residence pretty much tells everyone what her take on their relationship is.
“Senior Uncle, why don’t you go and see it with her?”
Gong Sang Mo turns to Su Huai Feng. Although his countenance is still warm, the gentleness in his eyes that was there when he looked at Yun Qian Yu is now gone.
The corner of Su Huai Feng’s lips twitches. Turns out his Senior Uncle is still his Senior Uncle; he only treats one person differently.
Yun Qian Yu tugs Gong Sang Mo’s sleeves, “Come with us. I will show you how I recruit your junior!”
“That confident?” asks Gong Sang Mo with a warm smile.
Yun Qian Yu nods.
“It will not simple if even Huai Feng think it’s hard,” reminds Gong Sang Mo.
“Don’t worry,” Yun Qian Yu blinks. No matter how smart Su Huai Feng is, he will not exceed the experience of someone who has lived both in modern and ancient times.
She gets up while pulling Gong Sang Mo up with her, “Let’s see what it is that Young Master Su think is impossible to be done.”
Su Huai Feng smiles and makes way to let the two of them walk first.
Gong Sang Mo puts on the fur cloak on Yun Qian Yu before pulling up the hood to cover her head.
Ever since Yun Qian Yu mastered Zi Yu Xin Jing, she is no longer prone to feeling cold. However, Gong Sang Mo still worries and she simply lets him do whatever it is he wants to do, to put his heart at peace.
Once outside, Su Huai Feng begins leading the way.
All the servants, from Feng Ran and Yun Nian to San Qiu and Yi Ri, and even the girls, follow them out of curiosity.
The two eagles hover above Gong Sang Mo and Yun Qian Yu, trailing after them.
Su Huai Feng leads them all past the training ground and into the slopes. Around an incense stick time later, they reach the peak of the mountain.
This place is not as high as Jue Ming cliff. There are no stone steps. Instead, there are slopes leading downwards, enabling them to see the base of the mountain.
Because weather around the slopes are cold, it will be covered in snow all year long, even in summer when wild flowers fill the ground at the base of the mountain.
Many people are standing there, Long Jin and Bei Tang Gu Qiu amongst them. They are busy discussing something with their people.
Yun Qian Yu has no idea what Su Huai Feng’s challenge is, but to see the rare frown on Bei Tang Gu Qiu’s face tells her that even he is taken off guard.
Long Jin immediately cups his fist when he sees Gong Sang Mo, “I trust Xian Wang has been well.”
“This king is doing just fine. This king heard that Crown Prince Jin hasn’t been doing well, though,” replies Gong Sang Mo mildly.
The expression on Long Jin’s face turns rigid. When he remembers all the unpleasant things that have occurred ever since he returned to Mo Dai Kingdom, his face darkens, “They are all small things, not worthy to fret over.”
“Oh,” the corner of Gong Sang Mo’s lips curls.
“Are you here to solve the challenge, Princess Hu Guo?” Long Jin turns his attention to Yun Qian Yu.
“I have come to join the fun.”
Su Huai Feng raises an eyebrow. She clearly wasn’t so modest a while ago; just look at the way she dragged his Senior Uncle here, and how she tried to blatantly recruit him. She really changed her approach depending on the person she is dealing with.
Long Jin looks at Gong Sang Mo and Su Huai Feng, “Don’t tell me Princess Hu Guo already received some pointers ahead of us?”
He is hinting that Yun Qian Yu is benefiting from Gong Sang Mo’s acquaintance with Su Huai Feng.
“Turns out, in Crown Prince Jin’s eyes, the Celestial Mountain is like a little family sect,” Gong Sang Mo shot him a look full of disdain.
“This Crown Prince does not mean it that way,” Long Jin cannot afford to make an enemy out of the Celestial Mountain.
Su Huai Feng is not angered by Long Jin’s suspicion. He calmly explains with a smile, “Don’t worry, Crown Prince Jin. The sect has a rule, no one can use internal force to climb up or down the mountain, including guests. And that rule also applies to the slope here. Ever since Huai Feng entered the sect, Huai Feng has been wondering how one can climb down the slope without using inner power. The snow is too thick that one simply cannot pass through. Even if one force their way through, they will not be able to reach the base even if they take an entire day and night. Besides, the snow will add up in the meantime, it will be dangerous. One can’t even use their inner power to get themselves out of danger. Huai Feng entered the sect when Huai Feng was only 10, and now, Huai Feng is already 24 years old. This question has plagued Huai Feng for 14 years now. Huai Feng hope to get an answer before Huai Feng leaves the mountain.”
Long Jin does not know what to say. He looks at Bei Tang Gu Qiu who seems to be deep in thoughts, before turning towards Yun Qian Yu, “This Crown Prince admit defeat. This Crown Prince does not know how to solve that challenge. Seems like it is up to only Bei Tang Wang and Princess Hu Guo now.”
Bei Tang Gu Qiu looks at Long Jin who is trying to drive a wedge between everyone. Then, he turns to Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo, “Does Xian Wang and Princess Hu Guo has a solution?”
“I am from here. If I have an answer, I would have told Huai Feng long ago,” replies Gong Sang Mo.
Yun Qian Yu does not directly answer his question, and instead asks, “Do you have a solution, 6th Wangye?”
Bei Tang Gu Qiu shakes his head, “No.”
Long Jin laughs, “Seems like the heavy responsibility will have to fall upon Princess Hu Guo.”
Yun Qian Yu is starting to like Long Jin less and less.
She turns to Su Huai Feng, “Do you have any rules?”
Su Huai Feng turns rigid. He did not expect Yun Qian Yu to continue asking questions. Don’t tell him she has a solution already?
“There are two: one, you cannot use inner power. Two, you must use the same amount of time one would take if you climb down the mountain using the stone staircase.”
“Those are the only rules?”
“That will be too easy. I can climb down the slopes even faster than climbing down the staircase. Perhaps, even faster than using inner power, even.”
Long Jin sneers, “Princess Hu Guo must be joking.”
Even Bei Tang Gu Qiu is looking at Yun Qian Yu incredulously.
Yun Qian Yu looks at Long Jin, “Crown Prince Jin is becoming more and more unlikeable.”
Long Jin chokes in his breath. He looks at Yun Qian Yu darkly, only to become the receiving end of Gong Sang Mo’s sharp glare.
He awkwardly looks away.
Yun Qian Yu ignores him and continues addressing Su Huai Feng, “I need to prepare some things. Will tomorrow do?”
Su Huai Feng does not mind staying a day longer. He has lived here for 14 years, he finds it hard in his heart to leave.
“We will begin tomorrow, after breakfast. After I bid Sheng Xue Tian Zun farewell,” says Yun Qian Yu, intending to leave right after the challenge.
Su Huai Feng nods in agreement.
She turns to him, “Get ready to return to Nan Lou with me.”
Then, she leaves while holding hands with Gong Sang Mo.
Her petite body pretty much radiates confidence, causing everyone to look at her in a daze.
“How confident are you in her words, 6th wangye?” asks Long Jin after Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo left.
“Completely confident,” replies Bei Tang Gu Qiu calmly.
Long Jin turns to him in surprise. If even Bei Tang Gu Qiu believes she can do it, it means that she can.
Bei Tang Gu Qiu looks at the slopes below them silently before walking away.
Long Jin murmurs to his servant, “Go and check what Yun Qian Yu is planning to do.”
The servant looks at him hesitantly, “Your Highness, this is the Celestial Mountain. Everything we do is observed by other people. Spying on her will be impossible.”
Hearing that, Long Jin flings his sleeves angrily before walking away.
Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo does not directly return to Gong Sang Mo’s residence. Instead, they stop by Sheng Xue Tian Zun’s residence first.
Yun Qian Yu is no longer cautious around Sheng Xue Tian Zun, unlike during their first meeting. This time, she is even more friendly to him than Gong Sang Mo.
Both the old and the young ones chat so happily with each other.
The Three Celestials are curious as to what Yun Qian Yu plans to do tomorrow. All of them gathered at Sheng Xue Tian Zun’s residence out of curiosity. However, despite chatting for half a day, Yun Qian Yu did not even mention a word about the challenge tomorrow.
By the time Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo left, the three Celestials collectively sigh, “That girl sure is quick-witted. She and Sang Mo are two peas in a pod.”
“Aren’t you three going to at least bother to sugarcoat your words?” asks Sheng Xue Tian Zun before laughing. Now, after so many years, he can finally see the young and precocious versions of his disciples again.
As for Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo, they are both on the way to his residence.
“Aren’t you going to prepare for tomorrow, Yu Er?” asks Sang Mo.
“The things I need are all very simple.” Yun Qian Yu turns to San Qiu. “San Qiu, you are more used to the mountain. I need you to cut down a tree for me. Cut it this thick,” she describes the thickness and length of the wood that she needs.
Although San Qiu cannot see how she can solve the challenge with that, he goes and does the bidding. He no longer ask for Gong Sang Mo’s permission when it comes to Yun Qian Yu, because he knows it will always be a nod from him.
Even Gong Sang Mo is curious, but he does not ask questions.
As soon as they reach Gong Sang Mo’s residence, Yun Qian Yu ask the servant girls to make a new set of clothes for her.
All the girls, with the exception of Man Er who cannot wield needles as well as she could a sword, are conscripted into the new task.
Yun Qian Yu draws the outfit that she wants.
Chen Xiang gasps, “This is something a hunter would wear.”
Yun Qian Yu nods, “Pretty much. The neater, the better.”
The girls nod. Once Gong Sang Mo’s people carry in all the sewing paraphernalia they need, they begin the work.
Yun Qian Yu, on the other hand, enters her chamber and begins checking if her newfound ability to see through things can help her tomorrow.
The wardrobe inside the chamber becomes her experimental object.
San Qiu returns not long later, with the sections of wood that Yun Qian Yu wanted.
Everyone inside the house cannot understand what Yun Qian Yu plans to do with the wood.
Yun Qian Yu nods in approval when she sees what San Qiu brought back home. San Qiu is indeed efficient in his work, he followed her instruction to the tee.
Feng Ran, Yi Ri and Yun Nian steps forward, trying to get a better look at what it is Yun Qian Yu wants to do.
Yun Qian Yu picks up a brush and a piece of paper and begins drawing something. She shows it to San Qiu once she is done, “Can you make it?”
San Qiu looks at the drawing before nodding, “I can!”
“Then, make two identical ones.” After leaving that work to San Qiu and the men, she returns to her chamber and resumes her experiment.
Not long later, Long Jin comes to visit. San Qiu sends him away, telling him that Yun Qian Yu has gone to rest.
Although Long Jin can see them working on new clothes and carving woods, he cannot see how that has anything to do with the challenge tomorrow.
After he left the residence, Long Jin heads for Bei Tang Gu Qiu’s accommodation. He told him everything he saw in Gong Sang Mo’s courtyard, but even Bei Tang Gu Qiu remains clueless. Despite so, he knows that Long Jin’s purpose here is not simply to share news with him.
Yun Qian Yu remains cooped up inside Gong Sang Mo’s residence for the rest of the day. She continues practicing her see-through ability, only stopping momentarily during meal-times.
As for Gong Sang Mo, since they will leave the mountain tomorrow, he keeps his shifu company for the entire day.
The entire mountain is currently buzzing with speculations, everyone wants to know how Yun Qian Yu is going to do the challenge tomorrow. How does she plan to go down the mountain through the snowy slopes? She even said that her method will be faster than using the steps or directly using inner power.
Many of them does not think she will make it. She is only bragging under the basis of their Senior Uncle’s love for her.
There are some others though, that believes in her. Since she said she can do it, she must truly have a way to do it. Otherwise, the Retired Emperor wouldn’t have trusted her for this important mission to begin with.
The three Celestials belong to the latter category. They have been trying to wheedle infos from Gong Sang Mo, but he keeps smiling at them while saying, “I didn’t ask her. We will all know tomorrow.”
The three Celestials are annoyed by Gong Sang Mo’s tight-lippedness. They thought, he has become his wife’s slave even before marrying.
All of the above happens without Yun Qian Yu even knowing.
When Gong Sang Mo returns to the chamber after having dinner with his shifu, Yun Qian Yu leaps off the bed and runs straight into his chest.
“Sang Mo, I finally managed to control my ability!”
Gong Sang Mo holds Yun Qian Yu tightly while smiling, planting a kiss on her forehead, “I knew you could do it, Yu Er!”
Yun Qian Yu smiles at him happily.
Gong Sang Mo looks at all the things that she has the servants prepared, “These are the things you need for tomorrow?”
“En,” Yun Qian Yu nods secretively.
“How do you plan to use them?”
“I’m not telling. You will see it tomorrow.”
“Did you have dinner yet?” Instead of pursuing the question, Gong Sang Mo smiles and changes the topic.
Yun Qian Yu suddenly pouts.
“What’s wrong?” asks Gong Sang Mo in confusion.
“Where is the plum wine that you promised me?” Yun Qian Yu narrows her eyes at him.
“You were pouting because of plum wine?” teases Gong Sang Mo, amused.
“I promised Ji Shu Liu I’d drink it with him!”
“When?” Gong Sang Mo suddenly frowns when Ji Shu Liu’s name comes up.
“When he gave me the dagger the other day,” replies Yun Qian Yu.
“Since you already promised him, we will have to stick to that promise. I already asked San Qiu to dig them all up. I thought we could drink it together in the capital,” explains Gong Sang Mo.
Yun Qian Yu is excited, “You have 3 jars, right? Let’s drink one tonight!”
“Alright,” Gong Sang Mo orders San Qiu to bring one in.
Gong Sang Mo carries the jar while Yun Qian Yu carries a tray which contains the dishes that Chen Xiang and the girls made tonight. Both of them made their way to Ji Shu Liu’s residence.
Ji Shu Liu smiles when he sees them, “I thought Princess already forgot.”
“Impossible,” Yun Qian Yu puts the tray on the table. She takes off her cloak and then begins taking the dishes out, one by one. Gong Sang Mo opens the seal of the jar while Ji Shu Liu takes out three tea cups for them to use.
The moment the seal of the jar is broken, the air is immediately filled with the scent of plum blossom wine.
When Gong Sang Mo begins pouring, the scent becomes even thicker.
“I think I came at just the right timing,” Su Huai Feng walks in while smiling as he sniffs the scent in the air.
Yun Qian Yu purses her lips, “Yet another one with keen nose.”
Su Huai Feng is momentarily taken aback, “Another one? Who else got the honour to be called as such by Your Highness? Is it Senior Uncle?”
Ji Shu Liu looks at Gong Sang Mo before laughing, “Huai Feng, you even dared to make fun of your Senior Uncle!”
“Only because Princess is here!” Su Huai Feng shamelessly picks up a cup before pouring himself a cup of wine.
Ji Shu Liu turns to the couple and finds that Su Huai Feng is right. Gong Sang Mo does not appear irritated at all. Instead, he looks at Yun Qian Yu dotingly.
Su Huai Feng sighs in appreciation as he takes in the scent of the wine, “Out of everyone in the mountain, only Honorable Grandmaster has had the fortune to drink Senior Uncle’s plum wine. Who would have thought I would get lucky right before I am about to leave the mountain?”
“We are all merely borrowing Princess’ fortune,” Ji Shu Liu laughs as he looks at the reluctant Gong Sang Mo.
Yun Qian Yu closes her eyes in appreciation after she eagerly tasted the wine, “It’s so good.”
“Are you a good drinker, Your Highness?” Su Huai Feng looks at Yun Qian Yu who looks a little intoxicated.
Ji Shu Liu looks at Gong Sang Mo before laughing, “This is only her second time drinking, ever.”
“This is only her second time? She looked like she’d be good at drinking, though,” observed Su Huai Feng.
“Her first time drinking was on the way here. Xian Wang and I only got to drink one cup. The rest of the jar was finished by her. Turns out, that wasn’t enough for her.”
“Don’t tell me she is the type that can drink a thousand jars without passing out?” asks Su Huai Feng in surprising.
Since they only have one jar tonight, they cannot test Yun Qian Yu’s alcohol limit. Instead, they can only resort to fighting for scraps with her. If she has her way, they wouldn’t get even a single sip.
Yun Qian Yu wonders how Gong Sang Mo made the wine when there is no plum blossom in the mountain.
When she asked that question, Su Huai Feng replies before Gong Sang Mo gets the chance to.
Turns out Lan County has this one place called ‘Plum Blossom Valley’. Gong Sang Mo will go there every year to pick the blossoms and brew wine. He will drink the wine the next year.
“Will you go again, this year?” asks Yun Qian Yu.
“If I have time,” replies Gong Sang Mo.
“If you do, take me with you,” says Yun Qian Yu longingly.
“Alright,” replies Gong Sang Mo willingly.
The four of them are very carefree. They put away all their worries and drink without any inhibition.
They only return to their respective residences when the night is already deep.
When they return to Gong Sang Mo’s residence, Yun Qian Yu takes off her cloak and outer robe before lying down on the bed. Then, she pats the space next to her, “Come and sleep. We will return to the capital with your junior tomorrow.”
Gong Sang Mo’s eyes soften. He takes off his outer robe before lying next to Yun Qian Yu.
Yun Qian Yu puts her head on his chest.
He can smell the wine coming from her cherry-like lips.
His eyes darken. He lowers his head and kisses her. Yun Qian Yu’s pretty face is a deadly temptation to him right now.
After kissing her for a while longer, Gong Sang Mo finally recovers his self-restrain.
“Sleep,” Gong Sang Mo suppresses the longing that he feels within him. He wraps her with a quilt before hugging her tight. Then, he drifts off into an uneasy sleep.
Yun Qian Yu smiles as she closes her eyes, she too entering the beautiful world of dreams.