It'd been ages since they’d seen her, but Cang Xiaoying had the same charming air as always. She didn’t seem affected by what happened to her father or the misfortunes that met Lockheart Courtyard. If Han Yunxi guessed right, this eldest young Miss Cang Xiaoying played a big part in preventing internal chaos in the Courtyard after Cang Qiuzi’s passing.
Women were indeed natural born leaders. Once they led men along, they could end up leading the world!
“Long Feiye, do we kill our way over? Or…” Gu Qishao trailed off.
The guards before were weak and sparse, so they sneak past without alerting the group. But here was different, because a single move would stir up the entire mountain.
However, before Long Feiye could answer, Han Yunxi took a big step forward. She still remembered bumping into Cang Qiuying during her first trip here. The girl had not only come to block their way, but tattled on the rule-abiding Granny You so she would undergo misfortune before ever meeting the sword sect master. They’d dealt with Cang Qiuzi last time, but not Cang Qiuying! Han Yunxi wasn’t here to avenge old grudges, but if it was on the way, she was willing to do the honors. Furthermore, they had no way to proceed besides killing their way through.
As soon as Han Yunxi stepped forward, Long Feiye followed behind with Gu Qishao bringing up the rear.
“Who’s there?!” Cang Qiuying and the rest looked over, only to freeze at the sight of the couple.
They...why are they at Celestial Mountain? How did they get this far without alerting any of the others?
Hadn’t the Heretical Sword Sect master guaranteed that Long Feiye and Han Yunxi wouldn’t come here for the first half of the year? That would give the poison plenty of time to force the three Honored Elders to subdue the Ganjiang treasure sword. Of course, Cang Qiuying didn’t know why the Heretical Sword Sect master was so certain of Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s movements, but since he dealt with the three Honored Elders, she was willing to believe him.
She was no fool and quickly ordered her subordinates, “Hurry and send a letter to the sect master. Tell him that Long Feiye and the rest are here! I’ll delay them as long as I can, but quickly, get to the peak and inform Gong Beichen!”
Gong Beichen was none other than the eldest disciple under the Heretical Sword Sect leader. He was endowed with innate talent and consummate sword skills. Compared to He Yilian, he was even better and universally acknowledged by Heretical Sword Sect to be qualified as its further successor within the next decade. Aside from sect leader Bai Shanqing, Gong Beicheng would be the youngest sect leader candidate in Heretical Sword Sect history.
Cang Qiuying stepped out of the pavilion as two subordinates left the scene behind her.
“Long Feiye, Han Yunxi, long time no see. What breeze blew you two to Celestial Mountain today?” Cang Qiuying managed a smile despite her internal panic. She was afraid to meet Long Feiye’s eyes and so settled on Han Yunxi instead.
With her father’s martial arts extinguished, he had succumbed to his heavy injuries in confinement and died. All of that was Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s fault--especially Han Yunxi! If this woman hadn’t shown up, father wouldn’t have failed so close to forcing Long Feiye to the extreme, or met with such a tragic end after the ranking matches. Although she was smiling at Han Yunxi now, she already treated her as her father’s murderer! The only reason she was working with Heretical Sword Sect now was because 1) she wanted to fulfill her father’s last wish and make Lockheart Courtyard independent and 2) use Heretical Sword Sect’s strength to avenge his death!
They hadn’t conquered the Ganjiang treasure sword yet, so she had to stop this couple to buy Gong Beichen more time. Even if the Heretical Sword Sect master was missing, Gong Beichen could do plenty by taking the Honored Elders and Li Jianxin hostage. As long as they made ample preparations, they had no need to fear Long Feiye!
Despite preparing her heart, Cang Qiuying still felt a stab of pain when she saw Long Feiye and Han Yunxi holding hands! If her father hadn’t harbored traitorous thoughts, if Duanmu Yao had been the only one to be thrown in the dungeons last time, if her father hadn’t suffer disaster with her, how wonderful it would be! She would have plenty of chances if Duanmu Yao was crippled indefinitely!
Although she could only settle for second best now and follow after Gong Beichen, her heart stirred simply at the sight of the godly Long Feiye. This man was no longer Tianning’s Duke of Qin, but East Qin’s crown prince!
“Xifeng!” Han Yunxi replied sharply.
Cang Qiuying didn’t know what she meant, but Long Feiye and Gu Qishao understood. Han Yunxi was referring to “Chu Xifeng,” because if they didn’t leave their enemies in a sorry state today, they’d be letting down Chu Xifeng who risked death to roll down the mountain.
“Xifeng?” Cang Qiuying laughed out loud. “I don’t feel anything. Han Yunxi, are you just here to gate crash?”
Han Yunxi only smiled coldly without a word. Cang Qiuying was wondering how to drag out the time, but Han Yunxi’s silence suited her perfectly. After a long time, Han Yunxi remained silent with Long Feiye and Gu Qishao following along. Gradually, Cang Qiuying herself grew uneasy.
What does Han Yunxi mean by this? Why is she dragging things out?
Have their forces already reached the top of the mountain?
Cang Qiuying couldn’t figure it out, which only increased her unease. Finally, she had to ask, “Han Yunxi, just what do you want?”
Han Yunxi grew haughty on par with Long Feiye. Beneath her scorn, Cang Qiuying only grew more stricken and even inferior.
No! Cang Qiuying was stunned by the sensation. Why am I feeling like this?
Humiliated and angry, she loudly demanded, “Han Yunxi, just what are you lot planning?”
“Eldest Young Miss Cang, what right do you have to question me and my husband on a trip to master’s home? What’s it to you if we want to stand around?”
Cang Qiuying always considered herself silvertongued, but she couldn’t win against Han Yunxi! She stared at Han Yunxi and began to imagine cutting the woman’s tongue off if she ever fell into her hands. With a cold snort, she said, “Then you can keep waiting!”
There’s only one way up the mountain, so they can dawdle all they want, Cang Qiuying reassured herself. But Han Yunxi grinned and said, “As for why Gu Qishao’s come to Celestial Mountain, you should ask him yourself.”
Cang Qiuying finally realized that the stunning beauty in red robes behind them was none other than the famed Little Qi of Medical City, Gu Qishao!
Gu Qishao didn’t find Cang Qiuying worth his notice and only looked over when Han Yunxi mentioned him. He studied the girl carefully before drawling, “You think shoddy quality goods like you deserve to talk to the likes of this young master?”
“You!” Cang Qiuying fumed.
Meanwhile, the two Lockheart disciples she sent away came running back with their faces covered in wrinkles. It seemed as if they had aged decades in a flash.
“Eldest young Miss, save us! Eldest young Miss!”
“Eldest young Miss, have we been poisoned? Please help us!”
The two fearful scouts ran in front of Cang Qiuying while clutching their faces pitifully to beg for help. Their tender-skinned hands were a sharp contrast to their wrinkled faces, making Cang Qiuying’s hair stand on end. She had seen the same wizened face on Duanmu Yao!
This was…”One Night Like One Year!”
Cang Qiuying gave Han Yunxi a disbelieving look. She finally understood what they were waiting for--the poison’s reaction time!
When did she poison them? And she was standing so far away too. How could she poison without a sign?
Cang Qiuying had already planned to prod Han Yunxi into a one-on-one duel if she couldn’t delay them. A useless waste like Han Yunxi, no matter how good her martial arts was, would never be able to get close to her. Thus, she wouldn’t be able to poison her!
But Han Yunxi was clearly using these two disciples to warn her! When did she master martial arts?!
Cang Qiuying began to grow afraid. She couldn’t help but clutch at her own cheeks. The faces of the two aged disciples were already disgusting enough to make her want to puke and she desperately wanted to avoid sharing the same fate. She wondered if that would drive her mad.
“No….” she inexplicably backed away, fear creeping up her face.
“Protect the eldest young Miss!” it was Cang Qiuying’s second senior brother who spoke, unsheathing his sword. But he’d hardly stepped out before his face began to pain. Brushing casually against his skin, he soon discovered multiple wrinkles.
“My face?!” he exclaimed as he looked around the crowd. All of them were scared by the sight as they watched his wrinkles increase in real time with his sagging skin.
He’s been poisoned too!
Heavens, how did Han Yunxi do it?!
Han Yunxi was holding Long Feiye’s specially ordered poison needles in her hands! She took step after step towards Cang Qiuying. All of the senior brothers who had started to protect her had frozen in place after seeing second senior brother’s fate. When Han Yunxi drew closer, they even began to retreat. Cang Qiuying turned tail and prepared to flee. She didn’t care about the mountaintop anymore. Her face was more important than anything!
Unfortunately, Gu Qishao soon landed in front of her to block the way. Cang Qiuying immediately fled right, only for him to stop her again. Going left yielded the same results. Meanwhile, Long Feiye stood on the side to watch out for any sneak attacks against Han Yunxi by the other disciples. He disdained to make moves against women.
Finally, Han Yunxi stopped in front of Cang Qiuying and played with a poison needle between her fingers. Cang Qiuying collapsed to the ground in terror, but Han Yunxi only remarked, “Boring!”
Was she too strong? Or was her opponent just too weak? Just as Han Yunxi prepared to crouch down and question Cang Qiuying about the mountaintop, the girl blurted out, “Han Yunxi, back then you didn’t know martial arts and it was Long Feiye who helped you up the mountain. Now you’ve learned some, so how about we have a match today? See who can cross this suspension bridge first. If you beat me, I’ll receive one of your needles; if you beat me, don’t ever come to Celestial Mountain again. Do you dare?”
Han Yunxi laughed out loud. “That’s so dull! How about we do it this way…”
5. This is super lame in retrospect when you consider HYX had no martial arts skills at that time and only her poisons + Lil Thing to have a fighting chance of surviving. It was obviously her father’s own greed that doomed him, but good luck convincing villainous female characters to believe that. No wonder “transmigrated into evil cannon fodder females to redo the story” stories are so popular and enjoyable. I’m reading a handful myself, haha~
6. Because no villainous female in this story is complete without getting jealous of HYX’s husband and wishing they were in her place, right, right~ At the rate they’re all dying out/being incapacitated in this story, I guess we’ll never get the cannon fodder VS. cannon fodder fight I’d rather see instead…
11. Here it comes again, villain!HYX emerges! Now that I think of it, it's pretty rare to see a female lead in Chinese novels be tough and kind to their enemies. I sort of want to read a book with a protag like that...but I'd guess the villains would have to be more sympathetic and less brain-dead first...
Hey guys, sorry for the delay! Was out shopping all Sunday and working all Monday. Here's a chapter in the wee hours of Tuesday "morning!"