Chapter 1041: Dare to love, hate, and act

“Aunt, this is something good I found by chance, they say it nourishes the skin. I kept some just for you,” Han Yunxi not only called her aunt, but offered up a gift. Lady Tang had liked her to begin with, so it didn’t even matter what kind of gift she gave. This was an expression of her feelings, so of course Lady Tang would dote on her even more.

Lady Tang was a woman who loved beauty and had ways to maintain her looks. She was infatuated with things like rouge and powders, so she was stunned as soon as she opened Han Yunxi’s present.

“Aiya, isn’t this white jade smoothing lotion? Tsk tsk tsk, this is a good thing!” Lady Tang crooned.

“As long as aunt likes it,” Han Yunxi smiled. She had no intentions to offer a second gift, so Aunt Ru was left standing awkwardly on the side. In all her years at the Tang Clan, everyone who gave a gift to Lady Tang gave her one too. Tang Li and Long Feiye used to do the same, buying portions for both her and Tang Li’s mother. 

Yet today, Han Yunxi had called Lady Tang “aunt” and given her a present right in front of her face. She was simply tossed to the side despite being a maternal aunt. In terms of bloodline, she was far closer related to Long Feiye than Lady Tang!

Baili Mingxiang was secretly laughing up her sleeve from the sidelines. That white jade smoothing lotion was something the princess had asked from her off the mountain. Princess preferred not to wear makeup, so she wasn’t interested in cosmetics. She had no idea what the princess was planning until she saw Aunt Ru’s expression, which was seven parts embarrassed and three parts disappointed. 

What kind of special gift was this? The princess was simply slapping Aunt Ru in the face while gifting Lady Tang something to make her happy. The princess is getting more and more evil, Baili Mingxiang mused. But she admired and esteemed her all the same. A person who dared to love, hate, and act was something she could never be. 

Aunt Ru turned aside and refused to look! But nobody was paying her any attention anyways. If this was any other day, Tang Zijin would be considerate of her feelings, but his thoughts were all with Lady Tang now. Seeing her so happy made him feel like he’d just eaten a honey-dipped sweet. 

After exchanging a few civilities, it was time to get down to business. Tang Zijin had prepared a table full of food as a welcome dinner for them to wash off the dust of the journey, but Long Feiye refused. They ate a simple meal before Long Feiye had Aunt Ru lead the way into the Tang Clan’s poison grounds. Neither Tang Zijin nor Lady Tang accompanied them, so Aunt Ru was the only guide. Everyone was rushing to see the Fire Spring before night fell, so she didn’t delay either. As she walked, she explained to Long Feiye’s group about everything they didn’t know.

“Your Highness, princess, Consort Wan suspected in the past that Fire Spring was poisonous, so she fed its flames to various beasts and prisoners. All of them died on the spot with their bodies turning black,” Aunt Ru said seriously.

“Did she identify the poison?” Han Yunxi asked quickly. She was afraid that was the case, because it’d mean that the Fire Spring wasn’t the Fire of Ten-Thousand Poisons.

Aunt Ru shook her head helplessly. “No. They invited a few poison doctors over as well, but none of them could figure it out. Consort Wan named the waters of Fire Spring ‘scorch poison’ but never found its antidote. Later on…” her voice grew hoarse. “Later on, she was delayed by the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion and then...aye, she lost the life to ever see the Fire Spring again.”

Long Feiye tightened his grip on Han Yunxi’s hand without a word. Gu Qishao and Tang Li walked behind them, the former chewing a piece of grass between his teeth as he gazed uninterested at their surroundings; the latter staring gloomily at Aunt Ru’s back. Although she had been acting normally and very civil during this whole walk, his instinct told him that she was a dog who couldn’t stop eating sh*t.[1] She definitely had bad intentions at heart!

Seeing no one reply, Aunt Ru remarked, “Your Highness, it’ll be Consort Wan’s birthday in a while. You should give more attention to that date.”

The matter of their dual cultivation and impending visit to Celestial Mountain was unknown to everyone at the Tang Clan besides Tang Li. Naturally, Aunt Ru was ignorant too. Long Feiye remained silent, while Tang Li grew incensed. Aunt Ru clearly knew that Consort Wan’s matters made big brother the saddest, but why was she bringing them up? Especially in front of others like Gu Qishao and Baili Mingxiang!

But before he could speak, Han Yunxi beat him to it. She changed the subject and said, “No one’s gone to see whether the flames at Fire Spring were real after all these years?”

In an earlier letter, Aunt Ru had said that no clear flames had ever emerged from the depths of Fire Spring, nor had anyone found any big furnaces in the area. But Aunt Ru didn’t answer Han Yunxi, wanted to continue the topic of Consort Wan. She simply wanted to remind Long Feiye of his parents’ sacrifices. Although the enmity between East and West Qin was a misunderstanding, Han Yunxi was still a West Qin princess. The West Qin faction would definitely vie for power against the East Qin faction! Long Feiye couldn’t forget about the good of East Qin just for the sake of a single woman.

But as soon as Aunt Ru turned, it was to meet Long Feiye’s icy eyes. Indignant yet helpless, she could only shut up. 

Long Feiye said icily, “She’s asking you a question.”

Han Yunxi had a cold smile in her heart. A person like Aunt Ru was simply seeking death. Although Long Feiye had noble status, he wasn’t disrespectful. Aunt Ru was nothing like a proper senior besides her age. 

“Princess, if there really is earthly fire, your skills would find it in just one or two days. No need to worry,” Aunt Ru replied.

It sounded like she was complimenting Han Yunxi, but this was actually putting her down. If Han Yunxi couldn’t find the fires within that timeframe, wouldn’t she lose face?

Too lazy to acknowledge the snide, Han Yunxi stopped asking questions. Aunt Ru didn’t know much about the earthly fire anyways, so she might as well look for herself and discuss with the others. They quickened their pace and soon climbed over the mountain to its sunny side. Fire Spring was hidden deep in a valley here. If not for this path, they would never be able to tell where it was. Soon after descending into the ravine, Gu Qishao yelled out, “It’s over there!”

The group looked in the direction he was pointing and only saw a swathe of red covering the valley like something on fire. 

“Yes yes, that’s the spot,” Aunt Ru smiled.

“It really does look like flames. It’s beautiful,” Han Yunxi had long activated her detox system, but it was too far for her to detect any poisons. 

“Princess, do you see? The Fire Spring’s right there. It’ll be dark by the time we climb down. How about we come back tomorrow?” Aunt Ru suddenly suggested retreat.

“No need, we’ll go take a look first,” Han Yunxi said simply.

“That’s true. Princess’s poison skills are the first in the world. Perhaps you’ll even find the earthly fire before night falls,” Aunt Ru immediately praised Han Yunxi to the high heavens. However, Han Yunxi had seen her share of silent kills like this. She only felt it boring and pointless!

Ignoring Aunt Ru’s remarks, she took Long Feiye’s hand, and he brought her down via flight. Gu Qishao, Tang Li, and the rest all followed suit. A smirk rose to Aunt Ru’s mouth as she brought up the rear. She had already searched this place up to ten times before their arrival and even probed into the spring itself, but didn’t find any sign of a giant furnace. She didn’t begrudge her praise for Han Yunxi, but wanted to see just how skilled the woman was.

Very soon, the group reached the edge of Fire Spring. Before they got close, Han Yunxi had already picked up signs of the poison within its waters, but she couldn’t identify any details. The Fire Spring was quite large and made a rough circle. The water was bright red and bubbling with a charming sort of beauty. Han Yunxi carefully observed her surroundings and saw signs of digging around the water from Aunt Ru’s previous efforts. She also noticed that the lifeless dirt around the spring carried traces of the same poison, hidden deep.

After some hesitation, she concluded, “The ground is warm, so the poison’s hidden underground. It affected the water and dirt as a result.”

“Then it has to be earthly poison! Could the Earthly Fire Kun Furnace be at the bottom of this spring?”

Han Yunxi was more prudent than that. “Not necessarily. It might be a different poison, I can’t tell.”

Although she could make inferences from her findings, there was only an 80 percent chance that this was what they were looking for. Discovering the furnace would raise the chances to 90 percent, but no one could confirm that Earthly Fire Kun Furnace would give them the Fire of Ten-Thousand Poisons. She had drawn her deductions from Pill Furnace Master’s words. 

They had to wait until they possessed the earthly fire and mixed it with a drop of Perplexing Butterfly Illusion to see if it formed a poison teardrop! Perplexing Butterfly Illusion was the weapon against Bai Yanqing’s undying body, so she didn’t dare act careless.

Without hesitation, Long Feiye said, “Xu Donglin, find men to channel water out of this spring!”

Aunt Ru drawled from the sidelines, “That’s difficult work that will take at least five to six days. I thought the princess would show us the fire as soon as she showed up.”

Han Yunxi continued to ignore her, but she did stop Xu Donglin. “No need to get them involved.” Then she jumped into the spring!

“Han Yunxi!” “Poison lass!” Long Feiye reached out for her just as Gu Qishao rushed over, but both of them missed. The rest only had time to give a start. After all, the Five Elemental Poisons had no antidote. If Han Yunxi poisoned herself, there’d be no saving her.

While the group collectively reeled, Aunt Ru included, Han Yunxi soon showed them a miracle. Before she touched the water, it vanished without a drop. The entire spring was about as deep as the height of two people, so she ended up standing at the bottom and grinning at them all. Long Feiye was so scared that he’d broken out into cold sweat, but couldn’t help laughing at the sight. How could he forget that she had the poison storage space? Besides the Ten-Thousand Poisons, she couldn’t freely take in other toxins into that dimension yet. But because this poison was a direct threat to her welfare, her poison storage space would activate to absorb it all. Jumping straight into the spring was akin to being attacked by its poisons.

Han Yunxi continued to smile as her gaze trailed towards Aunt Ru, only to see…

1. 狗改不了吃屎 gou gaibuliao chishi, a phrase that means “bad habits are hard to change.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Ruyi's Thoughts

I couldn't help but feel sorry for Aunt Ru here because it's a little pathetic that she's trying so hard to put Han Yunxi down in front of her husband and friends, all of whom know her strengths much better than her. It's like seeing a Lv 50 villain attempting to swagger over the hero while not knowing she's already trained to Lv 125. 

She's so hopelessly outclassed that I actually found her later efforts more hilarious than annoying, haha.