Tang Li slapped himself on the forehead before taking the last red packet and clasping his hands towards Long Feiye with a bow. “Big bro, sister-in-law, I’m thank you on Ning Jing and the baby’s behalf.”
“Tang Clan Head, Mingxiang would like to pass on a present and gift you this. It’s for the child,” Baili Mingxiang said as she offered the red packet she’d just picked up. It was even her first-ever red envelope from His Highness!
Gu Beiyue rose to his feet, also offering his red packet with a grin. “Tang Clan Head, this one would like to pass on this present as well. Let it give the child good fortune in wealth.”
Gu Qishao opened the red envelope to take a peek at the numbers inside before shock flitted past his eyes. Soon enough, he too was handing it over. “Tang Li, here! Have Ning Jing birth you a whole brood later on. You’ll soon be even richer than your big brother!”
Tang Li finally burst into laughter. “That’s a good idea! A great idea!”
Thanks to the red packets, the reunion meal turned lively again. Tang Li stopped spacing out and carefully collected the red envelopes before raising his cup. “Big bro, I toast you!”
It was rare for Long Feiye to drink wine, but he broke custom tonight to polish off three big goblets with Tang Li. When Tang Li poured a fourth cup to toast everyone else, Gu Qishao stopped him. “You’re going to be a father and you’re still not showing me any good faither?”
Tang Li caved easily. “Alright, then I’ll start with you!”
Like that, he and Gu Qishao drank three goblets’ full, then moved on to Gu Beiyue. Han Yunxi and Baili Mingxiang toasted him back with soup instead of wine. Tang Li was soon in euphoria from the wine while Gu Qishao sat next to him and pulled him into a finger-guessing game. It was obvious he wanted to get him drunk. Compared to drinking alone to drown his sorrows, it was better to drink with company.
At first, the two of them stuck with guessing games, but it soon devolved into a drinking contest. Neither side refused to yield and had soon shattered a floor full of wine jugs. Everyone watched from the sidelines without interruptions. They allowed Tang Li to act wild and let it all out. In the end, he was left sprawling on the ground and completely unconscious.
Long Feiye intoned, “Xu Donglin, bring him to his rooms and have someone take good care of him.”
His drunkenness would allow him to temporarily forget everything and have a good night’s rest. Not all things in the world could go as one wished, so hiding from reality once in a while wasn’t weak. It allowed one to slowly accept reality before doing one’s best again.
As a silk pants since his youth, Tang Li had learned to drink from a young age. He had a great capacity for liquor but was far outstripped by Gu Qishao. Even after he was carried off, Gu Qishao looked nothing like a drunk. In fact, he didn’t even have any reaction to the alcohol. Han Yunxi was all doubts. She remembered he had drank with Long Feiye before, but the shadow guards had said he wasn’t great at holding his drink! Did he train himself to improve?
Once Tang Li was long gone, Gu Qishao stretched lazily before looking towards Long Feiye. “Shall we have a round?”
Even Han Yunxi thought Long Feiye would reject the offer, but he actually nodded to agree. Xu Donglin quickly went to fill their bowls to the brim. But Gu Qishao picked up a wine jug of his own. “Long Feiye, don’t you think these bowls are too small?”
“Aren’t you uncomfortable after drinking so much?” Long Feiye retorted coldly.
“Scared?” Gu Qishao laughed.
Men could measure their strength through martial arts and wine! He had been waiting for this chance for ages.
“Xu Donglin, go get a bottle of Jade Wine,” Long Feiye intoned.
That was the stuff of legends! Rumors had it it was the god of wine, but only two bottles of it existed in the world. As an extremely potent alcohol, it could render even the best drinkers half-drunk after a single cup. Two cups would intoxicate them and three rendered them unconscious. Those who had poor capacity for liquor would end up sleeping for three days and three nights after taking a single sip.
Using Jade Wine to compete meant they wouldn’t have to drink so much and hurt their stomachs. A few mouthfuls would be enough to determine a victor. Besides such fine wine, other specimens were nothing more than drinking “water” in Long Feiye’s eyes. Those drinking contests only ended up comparing who had the bigger stomach in the end.
Han Yunxi was taken aback, to say nothing of Gu Qishao. Long Feiye was such a tea fanatic that they never imagined he was hiding the world’s best wine by his side! Judging by his tone, he even had more than one bottle in stock.
Gu Qishao knew full well the potency of Jade Wine and gave a pout, feeling a little regretful. He never thought a tea addict like Long Feiye would possess such strong alcohol. No amount of regular wine would affect him much. He figured that losing to Long Feiye would cause no shame after drinking so much with Tang Li. And if he happened to win, then it’d be Long Feiye’s humiliation tonight instead. How was he supposed to know that Long Feiye had such fine wine! Unless they were starting out on even ground, he would lose for sure!
When Xu Donglin brought the bottle of Jade Wine and opened it up, its faint fragrance filled the air. Even Han Yunxi and Baili Mingxinag, who didn’t like alcohol, found the scent pleasing. Long Feiye was elegant when tasting tea, but a drinking contest was no exception to his rule. He wouldn’t waste such good wine and simply had Xu Donglin fill two jade goblets to the brim. Gu Qishao stared at the full cups and felt his mouth twitch. He thought of speaking up a few times, but held back in the end.
Long Feiye rose to his feet. Gu Qishao assumed he’d hand over a cup, but Long Feiye only said, “I’ll use this cup to make up for the ones you drank before, alright?”
Gu Beiyue and Han Yunxi both laughed. Long Feiye’s attitude was deadset on beating Gu Qishao until he thoroughly acknowledged his loss. No excuses were made. The liquor at the table tonight had been 10 year old Nu’er Hong (女儿红). Although Gu Qishao had drank ten jugs, it was still incomparable to one goblet of Jade Wine! Long Feiye wasn’t taking advantage of him with his offer.
Regardless of Gu Qishao’s opinions, Long Feiye raised his cup and poured the liquid into his mouth without ever touching the rim. It was a handsome and vigorous motion as he drained the goblet. Everyone watched and waited, but Long Feiye had no reaction. If they hadn’t witnessed him drinking the wine firsthand, they wouldn’t be able to tell that he’d drank it at all.
Long Feiye set down the goblet and Xu Donglin refilled it to the brim. There was no difference between the two cups, but Long Feiye still remained impartial and told Gu Qishao, “Pick a cup.”
Gu Qishao’s eyes twirled in his sockets before he picked up a goblet and proclaimed, “Come! Drink!”
Before he even started, Long Feiye had down the contents of the other cup into his stomach. Even if Gu Qishao regretted things now, there would be no turning back. He too, went ahead to drain the cup dry! All the cups before only served to bloat him, but this one made him give out a drunken hiccup. Everyone looked at him, but he seemed alright and was even smiling.
Yet abruptly, his eyes widened before he face-planted onto the table, unconscious!
Expressionless, Long Feiye ordered, “Xu Donglin, drag him away!”
The reunion banquet this time would be an unforgettable memory for both Tang Li and Gu Qishao. The latter ended up sleeping for three days and three nights. When he woke up, he didn’t say a peep about his loss, but only told Gu Beiyue he desperately wanted to get Ning Cheng over here to have a drinking contest with Long Feiye instead!
Like so, the New Year’s passed. No one was in the mood to celebrate for long, nor did they have the time. It was equally dull over at Tiger’s Prison. Mu Linger spent New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day with Ning Jing inside her rooms. Bai Yuqiao ended up hiding outside of Su Xiaoyu’s courtyard to keep her company for a entire night. Before she left, she secretly left a red envelope under a stone on the wall.
Uncle Cheng was the same as always, hiding in his rooms all day. Manager Jin had gone to the back courtyard multiple times but never saw Mu Linger, much to his disappointment.
The New Year’s atmosphere faded after the third day or so. Han Yunxi and Long Feiye didn’t grow idle because of their change in plans. Both of them were busy with different things. Long Feiye had to keep an eye on developments in the Northern Li civil war while searching for Bai Yanqing’s whereabouts and the origins of that mysterious figure in the Poison Sect. Meanwhile, he had to review the end of year accounts from his banks.
It would be strange if Bai Yanqing wasn’t up to something after being missing for so long! Neither had the mysterious black-robed figure from Poison Sect ever turned up. These two issues made up the bulk of Long Feiye’s worries.
As for Han Yunxi, she cultivated the poison storage space and spent most of her other time with Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao. Together, they poured over the ancient poison texts, dan pellet books, and even records of strange and fantastic stories in hopes of finding the Earthly Fire Kun Furnace. Tang Li was extremely docile and followed Gu Beiyue around all day, helping him look through the books. Sometimes he’d ask a question or two about medicine.
On this day, Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were chatting in their rooms when they heard a shriek from outdoors.
“Tang Li!” Long Feiye sprang to his feet.
It really was Tang Li’s voice, but what had happened? Alarmed, Han Yunxi joined him to run outside. As they rushed to the source of the voice, Tang Li yelled a few more times.
He’s been fine the past few days, what’s happened now?
Both Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s hearts were in their throats, but when they found Tang Li, he was clutching a thick poison codex while whooping and jumping around. Both Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao were stunned by the sight when they arrived at the scene.
“Tang Li, what are you doing?” Long Feiye asked coldly. Although he doted on his brother, he rarely expressed it.
Tang Li turned back with a huge grin. “Big bro, the Earthly Fire Kun Furnace! The Earthly Fire Kun Furnace! I’ve found it!”
His bombshell shocked the group.
Gu Qishao was the first to rush over and snatch the codex from Tang Li’s hands. He poured over its contents before rejoicing. “So it was there!”
“Where?” Han Yunxi asked hastily.
“Guess!” Tang Li smiled.
Han Yunxi had no idea what to guess and pressed on, “Hurry and tell us. If I could guess where it was, would I be looking for it in the first place?”
“Big bro, you guess!” Tang Li crowed.
Long Feiye wasn’t as patient as Han Yunxi and simply made a grabbing motion at the air. In an instant, the poison codex flew into his hands. When he saw the record in its pages, both he and Han Yunxi were surprised!
The location was a little too…
Hi guys! Back and continuing with my slow but steady stream of chapters. We're actually going above and beyond the scheduled 22...but where will we actually stop?
Find out in 24 hours or less! Haha~