After finishing their cultivation, Long Feiye went to open the door when Ye Xiao stopped him. He stepped back and gave him an extremely deep bow before declaring, “Your Highness Crown Prince, I, Ye Xiao, shall remember this kindness! If needed in the future, Ye Xiao shall come when called!”
“It’s only a trade. Just guard your secret well,” Long Feiye said icily.
“Your Highness Crown Princess, this one understands the princess’s goodwill! May the crown prince accept this bow on behalf of the princess!” Ye Xiao said before bowing again.
Actually, Han Yunxi had plenty of ways to ensure he kept his secret instead of doing so much on the side and making deals to protect his arm. Over the past three days, Long Feiye not only helped to heal his internal injuries, but used the Profound Frost Sword to help him pass through a large tribulation. By now, he had already cultivated to the eighth level of the Heretical Sword Heart Arts. Although it was impossible for him to progress any further without a treasure sword of his own, the eighth level was already enough to ensure his self defense. His skills far outpaced those high-level sword experts of the jianghu.
Without a master like Long Feiye to help him, he could only preserve his arm after gaining the Moye sword spirit. It would take another one to two years to break through to the eighth level! This show of grace went far beyond just keeping a secret for his benefactors. Han Yunxi used the excuse of an exchange on purpose to prevent him from feeling too overwhelmed, probably!
Actually, Han Yunxi had no such conventions at all. She just didn’t like others being flooded with gratitude towards them. Long Feiye understood that part of her well. He magnanimously accepted the bow before opening the door to let them out. Han Yunxi and Gu Qishao were already waiting outside. The former quickly rushed over to wipe away his sweat.
“Tired?” she asked.
Long Feiye had split his time over the past three days between training with Ye Xiao and dual cultivating with herself. It would be strange if he wasn’t exhausted.
“Not tired. Everything went very smoothly,” Long Feiye intoned. He bent down slightly so it’d be easier for Han Yunxi to wipe his sweat.
Gu Qishao watched from the sidelines before suddenly turning to look elsewhere. Still, it wasn’t long before his eyes drifted back to the couple again and lost themselves in a daze. Heaven knows what he was thinking now.
Ye Xiao didn’t hesitate to find the proprietress, only to see her still fast asleep. “Princess,” he asked anxiously, “Where’s the antidote?”
“Why are you so good to her? You can’t covet your friend’s wife, you know?” Han Yunxi said coldly.
Gu Qishao had just overheard these words when he reached the doorway and halted in his steps. Ye Xiao lowered his head and finally managed to say, “Right now, she needs someone to look after her.”
In other words, now that the proprietress’s husband was gone, he didn’t count as coveting his friend’s wife.
“She’s only accepting your care because she’s gone insane. Take this medicine, she’ll wake up in half a day once she eats it,” Han Yunxi said as she tossed him a bottle. As she turned to leave, Gu Qishao quickly fled out of sight and onto the roof before she caught him.
He sat there staring after Han Yunxi’s lean, unrestrained form walking off into the distance. For a long time, all he could do was gape. He didn’t want to recall her words just then, but they came unbidden to his head along with some obvious comparisons.
Inside the room, Ye Xiao privately disagreed with Han Yunxi’s words. He muttered to himself, “She needs to get better.”
That’s right. Accepting someone was one thing, but needing someone was something else entirely.
It wasn’t until Long Feiye and Han Yunxi prepared to bid Ye Xiao farewell that Gu Qishao came off the roof and silently stood behind her.
“Your Highness Crown Prince, my master is living in seclusion at Mt. Li. I’ll take Lin Ge there in a few days. And I’ll definitely keep the events at Yinyang Lake a secret,” Ye Xiao declared.
Long Feiye only nodded wordlessly. Ye Xiao hesitated, then looked at Han Yunxi. “Princess, there’s one thing this one doesn’t understand. I hope that you can instruct me.”
“What is it?” Han Yunxi asked.
“How did princess know that Cui Yun’s body was hidden in the lake?” Ye Xiao asked curiously. If not for that discovery, the duo might not have discovered the case of the missing bones at all.
“That’s a secret!” Han Yunxi would never expose the true secret of the Qi Sha dagger and its poison.
But Ye Xiao only said, “Since princess won’t say, then please be at ease. This one won’t be able to reveal any secrets!” So speaking, he bowed and retreated into compound before slowly shutting the gates.
Han Yunxi gave a start, then laughed! Ye Xiao was no fool and knew she was helping them on purpose. If that was the case, then did this count as them making friends? She decided it was better for them to go off in their own ways. Of course, she had no idea how much help her kindness today would bring them in the future.
Looking at the shut doors of the True Love store, Han Yunxi sighed. At last, this was all over. She told Long Feiye, “Let’s go, we still have business to take care of!”
Back at the inn, Han Yunxi immediately retrieved the Qi Sha dagger as well as Perplexing Butterfly Illusion. Just like the last few times with the other Ten-Thousand poisons, the Qi Sha dagger began gradually eroding away as soon as a drop of Perplexing Butterfly Illusion hit its surface. There was a series of sizzling, popping noises while white smoke rose from the metal. Once it dispersed, the long dagger was reduced to a tiny scarlet teardrop. If this was the past, Han Yunxi would try mixing it with other poison teardrops to see what would happen. But now she simply swept the newest teardrop into its own bottle and stored it away. After finding out the secrets of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, she didn’t need to experiment as much for the answers.
Currently, they possessed the Water, Earth, Wood, and Metal of Ten-Thousand Poisons as well as Corpse Blood and Beauty’s Blood. All they needed was Fire of Ten-Thousand Poisons, Poison Gu blood, and poison beast blood. The latter two were both with Bai Yanqing, so their next step was to search for Fire of Ten-Thousand Poisons!
Their trip to Qingzhou Water City this time went smoother than expected. Although they feared things would be delayed until next year, it only took around 10 days to wrap things up. Seeing Han Yunxi store the poisons back in her storage space, Long Feiye and Gu Qishao finally felt at ease. It looked like everything was well and truly over.
Long Feiye arched his brow at Gu Qishao next and said, “Want to try slashing a sword a few times?”
“What?” Gu Qishao feigned ignorance, causing Long Feiye’s gaze to turn chilly.
Helpless, Gu Qishao did as request. Who told him to leave a secret in Long Feiye’s hands? Most likely the man had already guessed the truth behind his “fireproof” vines and why he could absorb the Moye sword spirit without harm. Han Yunxi was still clueless about it all, so she was curious to see how the spirit would affect Gu Qishao’s sword skills.
Gu Qishao headed into the courtyard and picked up a long sword, but he’d hardly wielded it when Long Feiye and Han Yunxi saw a faint white shadow glowing off the blade’s surface.
“What’s that?” Han Yunxi asked.
Without a word, Long Feiye punched at the air and broke Gu Qishao’s sword to pieces. Immediately, Han Yunxi saw the white shadow clearly--it was a sword of its own, formless and immaterial!
“Is that the sword spirit?” Han Yunxi asked.
“Mhm,” Long Feiye confirmed.
Gu Qishao simply cast away the broken sword and ended up wielding the white shadow to slash around the courtyard. Although it lacked its own body, it possessed a sword qi as tangible as the first sword. Moreover, it cut through iron as if it were mud and quickly disposed of a tree in the courtyard within two to three strikes. Han Yunxi only found it unfathomable. If they ever found a treasure sword capable of housing this sword spirit, how much more powerful the Moye sword be!
When Gu Qishao moved to withdraw his sword, the shadow instantly vanished from sight. He walked towards Han Yunxi and grinned. “Poison lass, wait until I find an actual sword. Then I’ll give Moye to you!”
Before Han Yunxi could answer, Long Feiye cut in coldly, “Moye can be entrusted with you instead.”
Gu Qishao had pretended to play hostage just so he could gain the Moye sword spirit and gift it to Han Yunxi as a present. How could Long Feiye not tell?
“No way, no way, that thing’s too strange. I don’t like it!” Han Yunxi refused as well. “Gu Qishao, if anything like this happens again, please don’t act independently, alright?”
“Alright!” Gu Qishao easily agreed. He knew Han Yunxi was worrying for his sake, so he didn’t defend himself.
After I get the right sword, I’ll find another excuse to give it to her. Maybe she’ll want it then. He had no idea that Long Feiye was already setting his sights on the Ganjiang treasure sword currently residing atop Celestial Mountain.
Ganjiang and Moye were traditionally a pair.
Truthfully speaking, Han Yunxi wasn’t much interested in swords at all. She suggested, “Let’s rest a day before heading back to Three-Way Black Market?”
It would almost be a month since they headed south, and it would take half a month more of travel to go back. Yesterday, Long Feiye had just received Gu Beiyue’s secret missive. Everything was going well between Myriad Merchant and East Origin Hall, while things were still peaceful at the Tiger’s Prison too. Bai Yuqiao was doing her best to take care of Ning Jing and the rest. Meanwhile, full war had broken out in Northern Li.
As Jun Yixie headed north, so did Northern Li’s forces scattered in the south. Moreover, Jun Yixie had already arranged with Wintercrow Country to send their third shipment of horses down to meet with the cavalrymen mid-way. By Gu Beiyue’s estimation, it would take another half month before the third round of battle horses joined the fray. The cavalrymen going to join them would travel west to east and combine with Jun Yixie’s southern forces to surround the Northern Li emperor.
Although things were progressing faster than expected, everything was still within Long Feiye’s control. Jun Yixie and the Northern Li emperor were currently evenly matched in strength. Naturally, the emperor wasn’t so easily bested and had divided his forces to defend certain points while concentrating his best troops on dealing with Jun Yixie.
Yesterday, Long Feiye had also received news from Consort Xiao, his agent in the Northern Li court, about many of the battle details. Ning Jing’s report via Bai Yuqiao, Gu Beiyue’s analysis, and Consort Xiao’s updates all more or less matched. Over the next two months, Jun Yixie and the Northern Li emperor would showcase all of their forces. According to Long Feiye’s calculations, the twelfth month of the lunar year would be the time when hostilities came to a head. Right now, the heated battles within the country could only be counted as small skirmishes at best.
It would take until next spring for both sides to be heavily affected by their losses. Thus, even if they headed back now, they had no way to rescue Ning Jing, Mu Linger, and the rest. As soon as they acted, the suspicious Jun Yixie would start doubting the situation--or at least, suspect Ning Cheng. That would place Ning Cheng in danger!
Long Feiye said, “There’s still two months left, so we won’t go back. Let’s go track down the Fire of Ten-Thousand Poisons!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hey guys! My fellow translator etvolare has just reached 400 chapters on her novel Return of the Swallow and she's holding a really cool event + gifts to celebrate! You can check out the details here.If you like strong and intelligent female leads battling court intrigue and politics, this is a great novel pick! ^-^