TOTLS Chapter 120

Arc 7: Dizi’s Remarriage Chapter 13

Lei Yuan ordered the soldiers to set up a special tent and arrange a feast to welcome Sang Yuan. Since Yan Hao had also come, they decided to host them together.

Lei Yuan and Tao Yuan finally entered the tent, and after taking their seats at the head of the table, the others followed suit.

Sang Yuan was aware that he had angered Lei Yuan earlier by spacing out because he looked at Tao Yuan  at lunchtime. Since he had come to form an alliance with Lei Yuan, he naturally didn’t want to offend him. So, he forced himself to resist the urge to look over at Tao Yuan and put on a facade of nonchalance.

Lei Yuan exchanged a few polite words, and then everyone started chatting while enjoying their meal.

Yan Hao didn’t expect to find Sang Yuan here, but he could easily guess the reason for Sang Yuan’s presence. Although he felt a bit frustrated, he understood that given the current situation, Sang Guo would certainly choose to ally with Lei Yuan. In addition to Sang Guo, the other smaller Northern countries were also likely to align with Lei Yuan. Even if he was upset, there was no use in it. This was the harsh reality. For now, he had to endure and come up with a new plan, finding other ways to gradually seize power and influence.

Tao Yuan glanced at Yan Hao and Qu Feng, both of them looked noticeably worn out. After several months they must have endured a great deal of anxiety and fear during that time.

Yan Hao appeared relatively fine, though his face showed signs of weariness. But by looking into his eyes, one could tell that his mental state hadn’t been severely affected. As for Qu Feng, it was a different story. Not only had he lost a lot of weight, but his gaunt face and vacant expression were clear indicators to Tao Yuan that his mental well state had taken a significant toll.

But what surprised Tao Yuan was the fact that he had heard Yan Hao narrowly escaping life-threatening situations several times, and Qu Feng had always been by his side. It was quite a miracle that they both managed to survive.

Qu Feng looked at the exquisite dishes on the table that he hadn’t seen in a long time and couldn’t control his appetite. He ate greedily, completely forgetting about maintaining his dignity as cejun.

Currently, most of the territories in Beiliang Guan were under Lei Yuan’s control. All the important routes were guarded by Lei Yuan’s soldiers. For Yan Hao’s supplies to pass through Lei Yuan’s territory, they had to offer incentives. Once delivered to Yan Hao’s camp, they would have to tighten their belts and make do with what they had.

Moreover, Yan Hao had employed numerous methods to maintain and stabilize the morale of his troops, such as sharing the same food with his soldiers to show solidarity in hardship. After several months, Qu Feng had almost forgotten the taste of the delicious meals he used to enjoy. Today, seeing so many kinds of meats and fresh vegetables, he didn’t care about anything else. He just wanted to eat his fill. Because he felt that the unpredictable life of constantly being on the brink of death might continue, he treated this meal as if it were his last.

Yan Hao felt that Qu Feng was making a fool of him and shot him a fierce glare. But Qu Feng buried his head in eating and didn’t even notice the look. Yan Hao thought to himself that if he had known Qu Feng would act so shamelessly, he shouldn’t have brought him along no matter how much he begged. He also realized that it was fortunate that Qu Feng was just a cajun. If he had been the zhengjun, the embarrassment would have been even worse.

Yan Hao couldn’t resist glancing at Tao Yuan. He was surprised to find that Tao Yuan looked even more handsome and ethereal than the last time he had seen him. He paused, wondering why every time he saw Tao Yuan, he seemed to become even more attractive. Then he turned to look at Qu Feng again and felt even more disheartened by Qu Feng’s presence.

Yan Hao thought back to their past lives and remembered that when Qu Yun had followed him, he hadn’t been in such good condition. Even though he didn’t want to admit it, he was well aware that it was because he had suffered less by following Lei Yuan rather than him.

Lei Yuan found this meal rather vexing. He could see that Sang Yuan was making a conscious effort not to glance at Tao Yuan, while Yan Hao appeared completely distracted, continuously stealing glances at Tao Yuan. Regardless of what was going on in Yan Hao’s mind as he looked at Tao Yuan, it made Lei Yuan incredibly uncomfortable.

Sang Yuan also noticed that Yan Hao was stealing occasional glances at Tao Yuan. He realized that he wasn’t the only one with feelings for Tao Yuan. But he didn’t find it surprising or strange at all. After all, someone as good-looking and with a good temperament as Tao Yuan could easily capture anyone’s heart.

In truth, Yan Hao’s feelings were quite complicated. When he gazed at Tao Yuan, it wasn’t merely because he was drawn to Tao Yuan’s appearance but because memories from their past lives flooded his mind. He discovered that the memories resurfacing were all the positive aspects of the previous host’s past life, while the memories of his previous resentment toward the host were gradually fading away.

Although they continued to talk at the table, almost everyone had their own thoughts. Qu Cang also noticed that something was amiss with the atmosphere, and Yan Hao’s occasional glances toward Tao Yuan didn’t sit well with him either.

After the banquet, Yan Hao mentioned that he needed to discuss something important with Lei Yuan. Tao Yuan then took Qu Feng with him to Yan Hao and Lei Yuan’s tent for a conversation.

Qu Feng followed Tao Yuan inside, and as he entered the interior of the tent, he shivered briefly as he was suddenly enveloped by warmth. He glanced around, and his expression froze. It was his first time seeing such a tent, and only now did he realize that a tent could be like this. Even in their past lives, when Yan Hao held great power, he had stayed in tents a few times, but he had never known that a tent could be made to resemble a real bedroom, fully equipped with everything one might need. Just looking at it made him sure that it must be incredibly comfortable to stay in.

Jiang Shuang helped Tao Yuan remove his cloak and neatly stored it away. Jiang Yu assisted Tao Yuan as he took a seat on a cushioned bed, while a few attendants entered with trays, placing fruits and a variety of dried fruits and meats on the long table in front of Tao Yuan.

As Qu Feng watched Tao Yuan, who appeared to be basking in all the luxuries and comforts, a myriad of emotions surged within him—sadness, bitterness, jealousy, and a touch of sourness. He was aware that Tao Yuan’s ability to enjoy such privileges within this military camp wasn’t solely due to the distinction between their roles as the zhengjun and cejun. Even if Tao Yuan were now Yan Hao’s zhengjun, he knew that he couldn’t possibly provide Tao Yuan with the same level of comfort and indulgence.

Qu Feng wasn’t sure if Qu Yun had experienced similar hardships in their previous lives. Yan Hao frequently scolded him now, and then he would talk about how Qu Yun had been so wonderful in their past life. Seeing Tao Yuan’s current situation only made him feel even more desolate. He couldn’t understand why, despite being the one who had been reborn, he was having such a miserable life this time. Meanwhile, Tao Yuan who had married Lei Yuan in this life seemed to be living a much better life than Qu Yun did in their past life.

Tao Yuan allowed Qu Feng to drift into a moment of absent-mindedness. After taking a sip of tea, he raised his hand and said, “Take a seat, don’t just stand there.”

Qu Feng snapped out of it. His expression was awkward as he stiffly walked over to sit in the nearby chair.

An attendant served Qu Feng a cup of tea, and he gazed at the teacup. His hand trembled as he lifted it to take a sip. When was the last time he had enjoyed tea of such quality? Qu Feng struggled to recall, and it felt like a memory from a past lifetime.

Tao Yuan had been observing Qu Feng all along, and he thought to himself that he had been right earlier. It was evident that Qu Feng was experiencing some mental problem.

“I originally wanted to ask how you’ve been, but looking at you like this, I don’t even need to ask to know that it must have been quite miserable,” Tao Yuan said as he looked at him.

“Why? Why?” Qu Feng spoke while looking at Tao Yuan, but it seemed like he was murmuring to himself.

“What do you mean by ‘why’?” Tao Yuan asked.

“Why am I suffering so much while you’re living so well? Why?”

“Yes, you’ve suffered so much, and even within this military camp, I’m still enjoying the comforts,” Tao Yuan said as he looked at him. “Let me tell you why. In a person’s lifetime, the most important thing is making choices. Make the right choices, and you’ll reap benefits for a lifetime. Make the wrong choices, and you’ll suffer for a lifetime.”

“I… made the wrong choice?” Qu Feng asked with a vacant expression.

“You’re asking me?” Tao Yuan chuckled and said, “Just look at how you are now. Do you need me to answer that? Have you made the wrong choice?”

“But, but when I made those choices before, they obviously are right. I had made the right choices before,” Qu Feng protested.

Tao Yuan’s eyes flashed with a cold light, but he maintained a smile on his face as he spoke. “In different circumstances, making the same choice can lead to entirely different outcomes. And, you know, sowing the seeds of evil will naturally yield bitter fruits. When you do bad things, facing consequences is only normal. If it’s fate’s way of punishing you, it’s best to endure it. Otherwise, you might not finish paying for it in this lifetime and have to keep settling the score in the next.”

The moment Qu Feng heard the words”next lifetime,” his eyes widened, and he swiftly turned to look at Tao Yuan. A sudden fear welled up in him. Tao Yuan’s earlier words made him suspect that Tao Yuan might also be someone who had been reborn.

Tao Yuan observed his reaction and couldn’t help but sneer in his heart. It amused him that even in his current state, Qu Feng could still grasp the implications of his words.

“You thought you were about to become the zhengjun of Yanwu Wang, and you flaunted your power in front of me, even saying you’d make everyone kneel and beg you for mercy. But after just a few days as zhengjun, you’ve been demoted to a cejun. This is the consequence of your ill intentions. You must have been thinking that when you held the power of Yanwu Wang, you’d torture me relentlessly, sparing neither my father nor my stepfather, am I right? It’s these malicious thoughts that have led to your punishment from fate,” Tao Yuan declared.

“Even if I had such thoughts, I haven’t actually done anything. Why do I have to face punishment for something I haven’t done yet?” Qu Feng’s mental state once again became erratic.

“Didn’t I just say that?” Tao Yuan replied. “Because of making the wrong choice. Yanwu Wang’s decision to marry you as the zhengjun caused him to lose my father’s support, which has led to this outcome. And you chose Yanwu Wang, so you are destined to have this result. So, you should share in the process and consequences of failure with him. Isn’t that only fair?”

“Is it wrong? Was it wrong from the beginning?” Qu Feng asked in a dazed manner.

“In any case, seeing you suffer like this brings me peace of mind. Your wish for me to kneel before you and beg for mercy will never come true in this lifetime. Even if you bear Yanwu Wang’s child and regain your status as zhengjun, you can never be on equal footing with me. Because Yanwu Wang is already destined to lose,” Tao Yuan declared.

“No! He won’t lose! You’re talking nonsense!” Qu Feng shouted with emotionally.

“Go check if Da Wang has finished his discussion with Yanwu Wang. If they’re done, then escort Qu Cejun out,” Tao Yuan instructed, turning his head.

“Cousin! Cousin, please let me stay here! I beg you to let me stay!” Qu Feng suddenly knelt down, looking at Tao Yuan. “If you don’t let me stay, I’ll knock down until I die 1 here!”

“Knock down and die?” Tao Yuan’s eyes widened immediately, and he looked expectant. “Well, go ahead, make it quick. If you miss this chance, it won’t be so easy to die next time.”

“I… I…” Qu Feng stammered.

Jiang Shuang pulled back the curtain and entered, offering a respectful bow to Tao Yuan. “Wangjun, Da Wang and Yanwu Wang have finished their discussion. Yanwu Wang’s is waiting outside for Qu Cejun.”

“The chance is gone. You can leave now,” Tao Yuan said as he looked at Qu Feng.

“No, I’m not leaving!” Qu Feng gripped the chair’s legs firmly. “I’m not leaving even if I die!”

After much pleading, Qu Feng had finally obtained Yan Hao’s permission to accompany him here. Now, seeing the quality of the food, clothing, and accommodations that Tao Yuan had, he was even less willing to leave. He was determined to stay here no matter what.

“Yanwu Wang is about to withdraw his forces. If you don’t return with him to enjoy the benefits, why do you insist on staying with me?”

“Withdraw… withdraw the troops?” Qu Feng hesitated and said, “How do you know that Yanwu Wang is planning to withdraw? I didn’t even know about it.”

“Other than being afraid every day, do you know anything else?” Tao Yuan looked at him. “If you want to find out if your Dawang is withdrawing the troops, just go ask him.”

Qu Feng still harbored suspicions that Tao Yuan might be deceiving him, not wanting him to stay here. But he also felt that if what Tao Yuan said was true, then going back to the capital with Yan Hao when the troops were withdrawing was definitely better than staying here.

“Escort Qu Cejun out,” Tao Yuan ordered, his expression devoid of emotion.

Two attendants approached Qu Feng and ushered him out.

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  1. Little context  撞死 zhuàng sǐ to knock down and kill with a car / to run over / to run down; Most of the time they usually use this word with a car, in this context i think running over/ knocking over something e.g., pillar until he die. In short, he’ll do something to die prolly knock his head on the floor[]

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