As soon as Long Feiye finished, Gu Beiyue added, “It should be right by the cliff. Your Highness, I’ll accompany you tonight to scope it out.”
The excited Gu Qishao finally recalled how he, Han Yunxi, and Long Feiye had escaped to a cliff to flee the huge fire that had broken out underground. They’d narrowly avoiding tumbling down into the ravine. That had been the first time in his life that someone had refused to giveup on him, and the memory was enough to calm his nerves. Saving someone wasn’t just all hotblooded action, but cool and rational planning, too.
“Find all of the exits and block them up!” Gu Qishao said coldly. When he was clearheaded, he was no fool. His idea mirrored Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue’s exactly. Even sending all their men to surround Clearbreeze Peak was no guarantee when the mountain was so big. But if they could find all exits out of the underground palace and delegate troops to them, it’d save them half the trouble.
That night, Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue personally enered that dark patch of forest in the Poison Sect’s ravine and flew to the cliffs of Clearbreeze Peak. Only men of their skill could sustain themselves at such heights without handholds off the walls. They not only had to guard against being found out, but also search for hidden entrances on the cliff face. It took them an entire night to search through the thousand kilometer stretch of mountain from head to toe. In the end, they only found one exit from the cliff face.
Instead of returning to Medical City, Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue summoned Gu Qishao and Tang Li to them.
“Tang Li, you and Gu Beiyue will take one tunnel and enter this way. Gu Qishao and I will go in through the tree entrance atop the peak. Remember, we’ll start moving at daybreak!” Long Feiye instructed coldly.
Although Tang LI’s martial arts were only average compared to the others, he had plenty of hidden weapons in his arsenal. Moreover, he definitely had to come along to save Ning Jing personally! With him in Gu Beiyue’s hands, Long Feiye didn’t have to worry. Gu Beiyue’s evading skills were incomparable. Although he couldn’t take on Bai Yanqing solo, neither could the other harm or poison him without difficuty.
Long Feiye was no good with poisons, but he could face off against Bai Yanqing with the undying Gu Qishao by his side. If they ran into the man, Gu Qishao would be in charge of delaying him while he rescued the hostages. Moreover, by dividing up like this, they could act more cautiously. Both entrances might be guarded, so an alert in one would signal the inhabitants to flee out the other. Bai Yanqing could take care of enemies, but even he couldn’t split himself in two. As long as one of their groups ran into him, the other would be free to launch the rescue operation or even try a sneak attack.
Long Feiye then instructed Chu Xifeng to transfer all troops at the base to the mountain to these two entrances once daybreak came. Meanwhile, the forces stationed outside Medical City would remain lying in ambush. As he climbed the peak with Gu Qishao to look for the hidden tree entrance, dawn slowly approached. There were two more hours before daylight hit, but it seemed like an eternity to the four men. For Long Feiye, what awaited him was Han Yunxi’s confident, calm smile and the little fellow in her womb; for Gu Beiyue, what awaited him was the censure he bore on his shoulders and the protectiveness hidden in his heart; for Gu Qishao, it was a simple utterance of “Poison lass;” for Tang Li, it was the love confession he owed Ning Jing from a long, long time ago, perhaps the most honest words to pass between them since their marriage.
What was Han Yunxi doing in the meantime?
She had long woken up. Although Fourth Young Miss Ren said it was fine for her to get off the bed, she still leaned on the side of caution and spent her days lying in bed. During her three months in that small black room, she had no desire to cultivate her poison storage space nor the ability to sense Lil Thing’s existence nearby. Yet after sending out news of her imprisonment, her heart felt much more at ease. She didn’t have much to do these days, so she’d focused on cultivating while lying down. As soon as her heart calmed, she sensed Lil Thing and even felt its irritable emotions. Actually, there wasn’t much room for her cultivation to improve under these circumstances. She only did her best to practice a bit more so the breakthrough would draw closer.
Just what was the key needed for her to level up?
Fourth Young Miss Ren had started out nervous and afraid, but soon adjusted to life here after a few days. Currently she was sleeping by her side. Ning Jing had been locked up in a separate room. Thankfully, Su Xiaoyu had tricked Bai Yanqing into giving them adequate food, drink, and medicine in the past to give her body a break. Otherwise, who knew if she would have died back in the woods surrounding Tiger’s Prison?
Later on, Bai Yanqing found out that Su Xiaoyu knew nothing of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion’s whereabouts and nearly killed the two. Even with a blade against their necks, Su Xiaoyu was certain the man would spare their lives. Ning Jing hadn’t understood that then, but now it was clear that Bai Yanqing was already planning to kidnap Han Yunxi back then and left them alive as collateral to make her obedient. Although they kept their lives, she was still very weak and couldn’t even stand for long periods of time without feeling dizzy and sore in the legs. Now she leaned against a corner, licking the empty sockets where her front teeth used to be while feeling extremely dispirited.
She had almost forgotten her days before marriage, when she would travel around in men’s clothes as daring and vigorous as she liked. Still, she didn’t regret meeting Tang Li or birthing his daughter. More than him, she missed their child. She barely held the baby for a few times after her birth. A baby was different everyday, but months had already passed. What was her daughter like now? Would she still recognize her own mother? Or other people? Would she be able to recall her mother’s embrace or how she had fed her? Would she remember she had a mother at all?
Every night, Ning Jing’s head was filled with images of the little tender face that sent her into tears. She would cry and cry until her heart, lungs, and very bones shattered. Su Xiaoyu was locked up right next door. Thanks to the stone walls, she couldn’t hear Nng Jing crying or that they were even neighbors. Compared to Ning Jing’s depression, she was in far better spirits. She was certain her master had a way to get them out of here and was even debating how to torture Bai Yanqing and his undying body once they captured him. She wouldn’t stop until she finished a few hundred--nay, a few thousand--tortures on him! Of course, before that she would have Ning Jing take revenge first by pulling out his teeth!
With a temper like hers, it was questionable who would dare to marry Su Xiaoyu after she grew up.
Two more hostages were prisoners in this underground prison. One of them was Mu Qingwu, while the other was Duanmu Yao. Mu Qingwu had been switched locations thrice after his kidnapping before being brought to the undergruond palace. Even now, he had no idea who his captors were, or that Cloud Realm Continent had already undergone a war and resumed its peaceful days. Nor did he know that his Mu Clan, being descendants of the Li Clan, had become reviled figures of the people thanks to their previous faults and his father’s instigation, then gotten wiped out by Long Feiye. Even the Li Clan members who escaped the slaughter didn’t dare to reveal themselves for fear of public enemies.
Mu Qingwu had walked a broad and level path in his independent life, always open and righteous. If he ever found out the terrible truth and his clansmen’s unspeakable past, what would he feel? Besides the three meals he got a day, no one ever visited him in his cell. He had asked countless times for the identity of his captors and their motives, but the ones delivering his meals never spoke a word. After all this time, he was ready to believe the kidnappers had simply forgotten about him.
It was true, Bai Yanqing had forgotten about him after he turned worthless. But that was fortunate in itself, for he would have cut off the meals and had Mu Qingwu starve to death instead!
Similarly, Duanmu Yao had been forgotten as well. If she had even a bit of brains, she wouldn’t have handed Third Honored Elder to Bai Yanqing. However, she was simply witless! With the destruction of Heretical Sword Sect, Celestial Mountain resumed its law and order. To Bai Yanqing, she had no use at all. After she handed Third Honored Elder into his hands and had her hidden spies in Tianning kidnap Mu Qingwu, she became one of Bai Yanqing’s abandoned pieces. When Bai Yanqing had locked up Han Yunxi in the underground palace, she stupidly requested him to hand the woman over. Since then, she’d been locked up herself and Bai Yanqing refused to see her no matter how many tantrums she threw.
If Bai Yanqing hadn’t forgotten her entirely, she might have been starved to death too. It wasn’t clear whether she was lucky or unlucky to be alive now!
At this moment, Bai Yanqing was drinking with Hao San in the room next door to Han Yunxi’s.
“Master, how do you plan to pit Han Yunxi and Long Feiye against each other?” Hao San had been wondering this for a long time. His master had lived his life for the sake of love--but even more for the sake of his hatred. Still, he’d never thought of himself in the face of his goals.
Bai Yanqing didn’t speak as he downed the contents of a goblet. As he slammed the cup onto the table, his silence belied the waves that Hao San’s question had raised in his heart. After avenging himself on Mu Xin’s daughter and Mu Xin herself, what next? What else could he do? He couldn’t die or decay, so how was he to face the endless days in the future?
Hao San paused for a spell before he probed, “Master, after Han Yunxi and Long Feiye kill each other off, this world will have no master of its own!” He always hoped that his master could take the kingdom for himself. Then he too would be able to enjoy the benefits of a high rank, glory, and wealth, standing beneath one and above the rest for all his days!
Although Hao San’s hint was obvious, Bai Yanqing didn’t take it to heart! He laughed coldly and said, “A world without a master is the most interesting one!”
Flames of war would rage as the destitute and homeless wandered about; pestilence and plunder would run rampant as the people suffered without livelihoods! Hao San’s eyes flashed helplessly, but he kept silent.
Meanwhile, daybreak had arrived outside. Long Feiye and Gu Qishao, Gu Beiyue and Tang Li all entered the undergruond palace at the same time. Soon after that, they met with their first blockade--the same challenge for both sides.
This was none other than…Previous Chapter Next Chapter