Chapter 1137: Mu Qingwu’s choice

Mu Qingwu rushed angrily towards Bai Yanqing and shouted, “Enough, stop talking! I won’t believe you! Long Feiye’s definitely not that kind of man!”

He’d never shouted “Long Feiye” so loudly in his life.

Before Tianning fell to unrest, he would only respectfully refer to Long Feiye as “Your Highness Duke of Qin.” After Long Feiye’s true identity was revealed, he and Long Tianmo both switched to “East Qin crown prince.”

That man--that sovereign, His Highness Crown Prince--had always been a symbol of utmost reverence in his heart. Mu Qingwu would never believe that Long Feiye could do something so cruel. It was simple enough for the East Qin troops to take over Tianan Country. Moreover, if Long Feiye was personally leading the army, many of Tianan’s forces would willingly surrender on their own. There was no need for Long Feiye to resort to such harsh deeds--nor was he stupid enough to leave the world’s people and the historians something to smear his name!

Bai Yanqing allowed Mu Qingwu to approach him without panicking. He slowly rose to his feet and smiled. “Do you know why Long Feiye slaughtered the entire Mu Clan?”

Mu Qingwu immediately backed away. “I won’t believe any of this, so you can stop talking! Kill me if you want!”

Then he turned around and covered his ears.

He wasn’t an idiot!

Bai Yanqing had locked him up for so long without caring about him at all, but now he was suddenly rushing over to tell him all these things. It was clear he wanted Mu Qingwu to hate Long Feiye and Han Yunxi by sowing discord between them. Before this, he had heard two female voices, one of which he recognized as Han Yunxi’s servant girl Su Xiaoyu. He had no idea what Bai Yanqing had forced on that child, but he wasn’t afraid! 

He, Mu Qingwu, had lived his life open and upright, never doing anything that hurt his conscience. Nor would he start now! 

Bai Yanqing approached him step by step until he circled in front of the man and stuffed two bundles of dynamite into his hands. Mu Qingwu immediately grew alarmed. What’s he planning?

After all, even the best martial artists were hard pressed to escape from a sudden explosion! Just what were Bai Yanqing’s motives for instigating his hatred against Long Feiye? Dynamite sticks were hard to come by unless one was part of the military, but even their reserves were strictly limited. Ning Cheng had his red coat cannons, but he didn’t have much gunpowder to fire them, preventing him from taking over the world. Where did Bai Yanqing get these bundles of dynamite? How much more did he still have?

Multiple questions flitted past Mu Qingwu’s head. Does he want to use me against Long Feiye and the rest?

His gaze grew complex as he tossed the dynamite back at Bai Yanqing. “Just what are you planning?”

“Young general, if you don’t believe me, I’ll give you a chance to return to Tianan and see for yourself! As long as you help me with one thing,” Bai Yanqing’s eyes grew sinister.

“You’ll let me go?” Mu Qingwu asked.

“Heheh! Looks like the young general still wants to see those heads for yourself,” Bai Yanqing smiled coldly.

“You!” Mu Qingwu stared at Bai Yanqing for a long time, seemingly in doubt. But his heart was clear. In the past, he pretended to ally with the Eastern Palace in hopes of helping Han Yunxi investigate the case of the missing grain, but couldn’t help her much at all. Instead, Han Yunxi misunderstood his attentions and had a bad impression of him ever since. Although he never bothered to explain himself, his heart still felt miserable.

Perhaps he’d get his chance today.

After pretending to waver for a while, Mu Qingwu finally spoke up. “Just what do you want me to do?”

Bai Yanqing didn’t toss the dynamite back at Mu Qingwu, but simply broke into a mysterious smile. “Come with me,” he said.

He turned to walk out of the stone room, leaving Mu Qingwu standing in place. But the door began to close slowly behind his retreating form. Mu Qingwu knew that Bai Yanqing wasn’t giving him much time to deliberate, so he had to choose before the door shut for good.

In truth, Bai Yanqing had no other choice. Besides Mu Qingwu, he only had Duanmu Yao on hand. Although he trusted that woman more, she was incapable of fulfilling his mission. Thus, he could only take a gamble.

Just before the stone door slid shut, Mu Qingwu darted out. “Speak, what do you want me to do?” he asked coldly.

Bai Yanqing smiled wordlessly before he pulled open Mu Qingwu’s robes, tied the dynamite to his body, and turned to leave. Mu Qingwu’s eyes flickered uncertainly before he chased after him.

Bai Yanqing took him down a few paths before saying, “Later on I’ll lure Long Feiye’s group here. You just wait and tell them I went this way.”

Mu Qingwu grew alarmed. “Long Feiye’s group is here?”

If the East Qin crown prince is here, what about the princess? Did she come with them? Are they here to rescue Su Xiaoyu?

Bai Yanqing only chuckled. “This old man has brought your father and sister’s killer right to you.”

Mu Qingwu sniffed in disdain. “They’ll never believe me, especially the West Qin princess. We’ve long stopped being friends…”

“Don’t worry, they’ll definitely believe you as long as you do what I say,” Bai Yanqing replied before touching the dynamite strapped to Mu Qingwu’s stomach and back to make sure they were secured.

Mu Qingwu glanced at the path that Bai Yanqing picked out, but saw no abnormalities. He began to wonder if there were any traps laid in wait, such as more dynamite. He and the rest of Cloud Realm Continent all knew that Bai Yanqing possessed an undying body, but he couldn’t figure out why the man had to make such a big fuss just to deal with Long Feiye and the rest?

“Young general, we had an agreement. If you try to trick this old man, I’ll use fire to reduce you to ashes!” Bai Yanqing grinned.

Mu Qingwu knew Bai Yanqing would use this threat as soon as the old man tied dynamite to his body.

“We agreed. If you go back on your promise, I won’t spare you even when I’m a ghost!” Mu Qingwu replied.

“Don’t worry,” Bai Yanqing’s face was filled with confidence. He pressed a switch and brought Mu Qingwu to a stone room before feeding him a pill of poison. Then he muttered a few instructions by his ear. Mu Qingwu only nodded. He assumed that Bai Yanqing would leave, but the man simply stayed to sit next to him.

Now Mu Qingwu had no idea what he was doing. Doesn’t he want to lure the others here? Why isn’t he moving?

After a while, Mu Qingwu asked, “Aren’t you going to lure them here?”

“Don’t worry, the West Qin princess is the most talented member in our Poison Sect history. She’ll definitely find her way here. Moreover, she’ll know you’ve been poisoned,” Bai Yanqing replied.

Mu Qingwu only grew more puzzled, but he didn’t ask any more questions. 

--

Currently, Han Yunxi’s group were still searching around for Bai Yanqing. They had swept past the topmost layer and were now heading down. Han Yunxi had yet to reach the third level of her poison storage space, which meant her connection to Lil Thing was still weak. Lil Thing might be able to sense her better, but she had to be nearby to feel it. They circled around a bit and still found no signs of Bai Yanqing. But when the group reached Level 2, Han Yunxi stopped them after the first tunnel.

“Someone’s been poisoned!” Han Yunxi muttered.

“Who else could have been poisoned here?” Gu Qishao asked doubtfully.

“The Mu Clan’s Young General Mu Qingwu,” Gu Beiyue replied. “And the one who kidnapped Third Honored Elder, Duanmu Yao, should be by Bai Yanqing’s side too.”

“Bai Yanqing doesn’t even spare his own subordinates, so who knows who he’s poisoned this time? Let’s go take a look first!” Han Yunxi said.

“Could it be a trap?” Long Feiye held her back.

“Even better! We’ll meet his plot with a plot!” Han Yunxi narrowed her eyes. She’d rather have Bai Yanqing waiting for them somewhere.

“Poison lass, which way?” Gu Qishao urged.

“Right, but it’s some distance away,” Han Yunxi declared.

Gu Qishao immediately ran ahead to scout while Gu Beiyue muttered, “This is a long pathway, but halfway through it splits up. There’s a stone room located by the split and a secret passageway locatd in the roof of the room. We’ll probably run into a trap 20 steps ahead, so everyone should take care.”

Long Feiye praised, “Your memory’s not bad.”

Gu Beiyue smiled. “It’s nothing, Your Highness.”

Gu Beiyue followed after Gu Qishao, leaving Han Yunxi and Long Feiye in the rear. The four of them traveled slowly and soundlessly. As the distance narrowed, Han Yunxi could draw a final conclusion. “The posison victim is inside the stone room and the toxin’s about to react. I can cure it, but we’re still a bit far away. I can’t tell when he or she was poisoned.”

They were right in the middle of a tunnel with no hiding spots while the room was still far away. 

“There shouldn’t be any traps from here to the doorway, and there’s only one secret passage inside the room. The two paths that split up after it are safe too,” Long Feiye reported. In other words, besides the secret passage in the roof of the stone room, there were no nasty surprises that could sneak up on them here. If Bai Yanqing had planted a trap, it would only be in that one location.

Gu Qishao had remembered all of the switches in the maze as well. He said, “That secret passageway is activated with a double switch located both inside and outside. I’ll be in charge of keeping a lookout while you guys take care of anyone side.”

At this moment, there was a noise as someone collapsed onto the ground. At the same time, Han Yunxi murmured, “The poison’s taken effect, the victim’s in dire danger.”

Everyone picked up the pace and soon saw Mu Qingwu crawling out from the stone room before them, his face pale as black blood dripped from his lips.

“Mu Qingwu!” Han Yunxi was still a little taken aback. She never expected to see the young general here of all places. 

Bai Yanqing had only left recently, but Mu Qingwu had no idea where he went. Still, he knew the man had to be watching him from the shadows. He had already told Mu Qingwu what to say to trick Han Yunxi and the rest. If he didn’t do as he was told, the dynamite strapped around his waist would be ignited.

What would he choose?

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Remember when Bai Yanqing used to have the Northern Li emperor wrapped around his thumb? Man, his interpersonal skills here suck. What would Mu Qingwu pick? Even I can guess...