Long Feiye’s group clearly witnessed Bai Yanqing walking down from the double layer walls of the stone room! Then did that mean his hostage was imprisoned inside?
“Where’s Ning Jing? Bai Yanqing, give Ning Jing back or less I’ll kill you!” Tang Li was already on the verge of losing control. Ning Jing’s screams had completely pushed him over the edge of rationality.
Wrath, agitation, anxiety, worry, and fear flooded through his heart along with a mix of negative emotions. If he couldn’t see Ning Jing, he had no idea when he’d go mad! Fortunately, Long Feiye held him tight, or else he’d be in Bai Yanqing’s hands by now.
“Give Ning Jing back to me, you hear?!”
“What’s a man doing kidnapping women? What else can you do? Speak!”
“You motherf****ing release them all if you have any guts! I’ll fight you one on one! Do you dare?”
“Bai Yanqing, you coward!”
Bai Yanqing allowed Tang Li to rant as he pleased while ignoring him utterly. His attention was wholly focused on Long Feiye. Despite having his lover kidnapped, Long Feiye’s reaction was exactly opposite of Tang Li’s. He looked at Bai Yanqing coldly without a single change in expression, leaving it hard to read his thoughts. This cold and steady calm was something worthy of admiration in Bai Yanqing’s eyes.
“Looks like the East Qin crown prince doesn’t mind if your beloved dies,” Bai Yanqing smiled frostily.
“She won’t die,” Long Feiye’s voice was like ice, but he was very certain.
Bai Yanqing detested Long Feiye’s attitude, as if he was lording over him. He snapped, “That’s too soon to say. Don’t regret your words later!”
“What a joke!” Long Feiye’s mocking intensified. “Bai Yanqing, you simply want us to fail our dual cultivation and kill each other so East and West Qin can keep up the fighting and chaos. You won’t kill her; rather, you’d raise her up and set her on an altar. Why else would you get her medicine after her failed miscarriage?”
Long Feiye was actually quite anxious inside, but since he’d been calm all this time, he could afford to wait a bit longer. There had to be a hostage in the stone room--at the very least, Ning Jing was there. Moreover, the room had a trap, so they wouldn’t go in unless absolutely necessary.
Even if there were no traps, a sealed area like the stone room was an easy place for Bai Yanqing to release his poisons. They needed to avoid that in the nick of time and the confined spaces would make it difficult. It was better to drag things on with the man until they found a breakthrough in their strategy.
He refused to believe Bai Yanqing could still escape when he was right in front of their eyes!
Bai Yanqing didn’t seem to care that they’d seen through his schemes. At this point, he had no patience to fool around with these young’uns anymore. Today, he was determined to imprison Long Feiye.
In the end, Bai Yanqing looked towards the irascible Tang Li first while pointing a hand at Long Feiye. “It’s fine to fight one on one, but he’s doing it. Whoever doesn’t dare is the coward.”
Before Long Feiye could answer, Gu Qishao suddenly broke into wild laughter. “Rotten old man, you don’t even have to guts to duel Tang Li, so why are you picking on Long Feiye?”
Bai Yanqing wouldn’t be instigated by such a small insult. He ignored Gu Qishao and simply cast Long Feiye a cold look, waiting for him to agree.
However, Gu Qishao’s mouth had seen his share of victims--besides Long Feiye, of course. Being ignored didn’t deter him, but simply stirred him up. “Oh, that’s right! I forgot you were a coward to start with! When Poison lass said she’d castrate you, you were too scared to show your face!”
At this, Bai Yanqing’s gaze fell on Gu Qishao. Besides Long Feiye and Han Yunxi, he’d never bothered with anyone else. He only knew Gu Qishao had been raised on medicine from the womb and was simply some experimental subject who had escaped death.
“Oh!” Gu Qishao slapped his thighs, the sudden action drawing the attention of the others as well. They had no idea what he was doing, but now even Bai Yanqing’s sights were set on him.
Gu Qishao said, “Long Feiye, this old man suddenly remembered something! Tsk tsk, why didn’t I recall it back then?”
“What is it?” Long Feiye asked icily. Although he wasn’t sure what Gu Qishao was driving at, he was certain this was an act. Thus, he was very willing to play along.
Gu Qishao narrowed his eyes as if in thought, then said, “Long Feiye, do you think this old thing’s actually a eunuch? Otherwise, why would he insist on hiding himself even after Han Yunxi vowed to castrate him?”
Even Tang Li stopped struggling at the words. Silence fell upon the wide corridor. How could any man bear such provocation? If Bai Yanqing could still sit still, he was no man at all.
In a rage, he roared, “You shut up!”
Gu Qishao had a firm backbone, so he simply ignored Bai Yanqing just like the latter did to him. He didn’t even bother looking in the man’s direction. With a chuckle, he continued to converse with Long Feiye. “Tsk tsk, no wonder. Poison lass always suspected this old thing wasn’t her father. She said she didn’t feel any blood ties, or something like that. Maybe he really is a fraud! He can’t do those kind of things, so it’s only natural...only natural that Lady Mu Xin would follow someone else.”
“Gu Qishao, you shut up!” Bai Yanqing was now thoroughly incensed.
Mu Xin would forever be his weak point. Anything related to her was a sensitive issue. But Gu Qishao just grinned scornfully. When he was investigating Han Yunxi’s past, he had even looked into the letters between Mu Xin and the Poison Sect descendant, as well as the various rumors floating around them. An underhanded madman like Bai Yanqing, Mu Xin’s departure from the Poison Sect, her changing her name to marry Han Congan, were all clues that pointed to some grievance between her and Bai Yanqing. Perhaps Ban Yanqing was only tormenting Poison lass like so to get revenge on Mu Xin.
Thinking up to here, Gu Qishao finally turned to Bai Yanqing and rubbed his chin. “Old thing, there’s no one else here but us fellows. Tell us the truth. Did Mu Xin abandon you because….your skills there were lacking? She would even rather choose trash like Han Congan instead?”
“Gu Qishao! I’ll slaughter you!” Bai Yanqing was furious.
“Slaughter this old man? You’re not a man or a woman and you can’t even die. Does a thing like you deserve to kill me?” Gu Qishao turned up his nose.
Bai Yanqing immediately drew his sword and hacked his way over. Gu Qishao gave a look at Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue before fleeing to a corner. Bai Yanqing had never been so insulted in his life, so he charged after Gu Qishao in rage. But Gu Qishao hadn’t ran far. As he and Bai Yanqing began fighting near a pathway leading left, Long Feiye kept hold of Tang Li and blocked the pathway itself, effectively sealing off Bai Yanqing’s escape route.
Gu Beiyue had long slipped into the stone room and searched its four corners, walls, roof, and floor for any secret switches. Ning Jing’s voice had come from here, so she had to be still inside.
“Big bro, let me go, I want to go inside!” Tang Li cried anxiously.
“Just try and keep making a racket!” Long Feiye schooled him. His eyes were straight ahead, focused on Gu Qishao’s fight despite not being able to see any details. The reason Gu Beiyue had done the inspection alone was because he was fast. If there were any traps, he could escape in time.
When Long Feiye released Tang Li, he really did stop making a racket. He always needed someone to scold him before he could calm down. He looked into the room and prepared his hidden weapons in case of any unexpected developments.
In front of them, the sounds of fighting intensified as Gu Qishao and Bai Yanqing grew vicious. Gu Qishao’s sword skills couldn’t compare to Bai Yanqing’s, but the Moye sword spirit augmented his strength in martial arts so they were more or less even. He showed his cards in the start by fighting with Bai Yanqing in close quarters. They’d already exchanged ten rounds without either side showing a victor.
Bai Yanqing wasn’t that patient. He had to vent his rage on Gu Qishao or else he’d never be able to swallow the insult. Abruptly, he withdrew his sword and faced Gu Qishao’s blade head on!
A complicated look flickered past Gu Qishao’s features as he quickly backed away until reaching Long Feiye’s side. At this moment, Gu Beiyue dashed out of the room. He hadn’t found any switches besides the one Bai Yanqing had hidden in the double layered wall. Gu Beiyue wanted to speak with Long Feiye, but seeing Gu Qishao retreat and Bai Yanqing in close pursuit, he grew guarded and didn’t talk.
Long Feiye only creased his brows. Why is Gu Qishao guiding the fight here? Doesn’t he know to buy more time? Although Gu Beiyue hadn’t found any other switches in the room, that didn’t mean the room was lacking in other layered walls or traps. For example, many assassination weapons of the Tang Clan were little switches of their own. Having stayed at the clan headquarters for long periods of time, Long Feiye knew a bit of about them despite not studying the lore. Many things like traps and secret rooms would even hide their switches outside to prevent discovery. Special guards were stationed to watch over such levers. Tang Li’s mind was too preoccupied by Ning Jing’s straits, or else he would have realized this much earlier. If he and Gu Beiyue could sweep all four sides of the room, they should be able to unearth any hidden switches outside very quickly.
But with Gu Qishao leading Bai Yanqing their way, this made it impossible for them to act. They could only be bystanders.
“Stinkin’ brat, try and escape if you dare!” Bai Yanqing snarled.
“Which eye of yours sees me escaping?” Gu Qishao shot back. He glanced at Long Feiye and the rest and said, “There’s the scent of poison behind you guys, it’s probably vipers. Be careful of the gas!”
So Gu Qishao had come back to warn them! Behind them was a swarm of snakes, but their ears hadn’t picked up on anything. It seemed the vipers could not only release poison gas, but move soundlessly. Bai Yanqing really was aiming to use poisons!
Gu Beiyue immediately took out his little gold dagger while Tang Li grew guarded and gripped his weapons. Faced with a snake swarm, they could only move to avoid fatal bites. As the swarm was still advancing and not here yet, Long Feiye felt at ease giving his back to Gu Beiyue and Tang Li. He looked coldly at Bai Yanqing and chuckled.
“Heheh, Gu Qishao, you’ve cursed right today. Bai Yanqing’s a gutless coward!”
After Gu Qishao had barreled Bai Yanqing with a round of “he can’t do it” insults, Long Feiye’s “gutless coward” increased his humiliation. It was obvious the man had done it on purpose.
Bai Yanqing was now thoroughly enraged. “Long Feiye, just you wait. Once I deal with Gu Qishao, you’re next!”
1. To clarify, the “gutless coward” directly translates from 没种 mei zhong. “Zhong” is a homonym for zhong 种, or “seed”, so this could also be read as “without seed,” or a man who can’t make babies. He’s basically calling him sterile.
Recently I've been getting caught up in Lord of the Mysteries. I really like action/adventure stories without romance when it comes to male protagonists. Other similar series would be Trash of the Count's Family, The Lazy King, and so on. But it seems hard to find a good one that doesn't go overboard with the Shiny Protagonist Halo and I'll Crush Everyone in My Way and Rich Young Masters in Every Story Arc.
Well, if you have any recommendations I'm all ears! For now, back to PGC we go~