Mu Qingwu might be righteous, but he wasn’t stupid. Even if he really lured the princess and His Highness onto a certain pathway, would Bai Yanqing actually let him go, feed him the antidote, or take away the dynamite packs?
Impossible. Bai Yanqing was the kind of person who threw people away once he was done using them. Anyways, even if Bai Yanqing was willing to save him, he would never hurt Han Yunxi and the rest for the sake of his own life!
“Your Highness, princess…” Mu Qingwu wanted to tell them to avoid the right-hand path because it was trapped, but the ceiling of the stone room suddenly opened up to reveal a flaming torch falling down! Only then did Mu Qingwu realize he’d fallen for Bai Yanqing’s trap! Bai Yanqing never truly trusted him at all. His aim wasn’t to lure the princess’s group down that pathway, but to use the explosives strapped on his body to kill them all in one blow!
Mu Qingwu was already out of strength from the effects of the poison, so there was no way for him to dodge. Even thought he was crouching on the ground, there were still dynamite sticks strapped to his back!
He could only raise his voice and shout, “I have dynamite on my body, get away! Hurry!”
Han Yunxi’s group was shocked!
Seconds before the flames hit, Gu Beiyue abruptly shifted Mu Qingwu out of the way and caught the torch by its handle. Meanwhile, Gu Qishao had already rushed into the ceiling’s secret passage to give chase. Their reactions were so fast that it exceeded Bai Yanqing’s expectations. Unless they knew about the secret passage beforehand.
But how is that possible?
There was no time to think. Without any hostages, he couldn’t gain any advantages from Han Yunxi so he chose to fled. It would be best to lead her group into a different trap instead.
After Gu Qishao started the chase, Gu Beiyue tossed the torch aside and flew up after him. Long Feiye prepared to follow with Han Yunxi, but she took time to tug out some antidote and toss it to Mu Qingwu.
“Here!” she cried. She had no idea whether Mu Qingwu was aware of the Li Clan’s destruction, but his honesty had earned him this much. If they hadn’t ran into the blueprint by chance, they would never have known about the secret passage above the stone room, much less of Bai Yanqing’s ambush. And if the torch had burned Mu Qingwu, an explosion in such close quarters might even cause all the rocks above to crush them to death.
Despicable Bai Yanqing, he’s even resorting to these kind of methods!
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi soon caught up with Gu Beiyue. Meanwhile, Mu Qingwu gaped at the antidote in his hands before realizing he should take it. He hadn’t expected to survive this encounter and was prepared to face death. It took him a while to recover from lying on the ground. As he sat up, he quickly got rid of the dynamite sticks tied to his body. He wanted to chase after the princess and the rest, but stopped after some hesitation.
With Bai Yanqing’s undying body, even his dynamite sticks wouldn’t help! He’d only be bringing them trouble. Without a choice, he could only stay put and wait.
At this moment, Han Yunxi’s group was in hot pursuit of Bai Yanqing in the secret passage! The tunnel did a turn midway before heading down again, with space getting narrower as they went. Gu Beiyue was fearful of Bai Yanqing’s poisons and kept a healthy distance. Moreover, Han Yunxi was still pregnant and being supported by Long Feiye, so the trio left Gu Qishao to cover the main chase.
In multiple instances, Gu Qishao’s vines managed to brush against Bai Yanqing, but couldn’t stop him from escaping. Going down was always faster than climbing up. At the very least, he wouldn’t lose track of Bai Yanqing here even if he didn’t nab the man.
Han Yunxi’s group was clear that this tunnel would lead to a stone room located on Level 3 of the maze, which only had one door and one pathway upon exit. If they could stop Bai Yanqing before he fled the room, it would be the best scenario. Unfortunately, Bai Yanqing activated a secret switch as soon as he landed in the room and shut the secret passage behind him. By the time Gu Qishao kicked his wall through, Bai Yanqing had already slipped out of the room.
Thank goodness there was only one possible pathway beyond the exit.
“Actually, I can bring you with me!” Gu Beiyue said seriously.
Gu Qishao arched a brow at him and silently refused, but the next second Gu Beiyue grabbed his hand and started running. His speed was as fast as the wind as they chased after Bai Yanqing. It was very easy for Gu Beiyu to catch up to the man this way, but Bai Yanqing suddenly released a cloud of poison powder behind him. It forced Gu Beiyue to make a hasty retreat while Gu Qishao met it head on and kept chasing.
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye quickly caught up, allowing her to deal with the powder before they continued the chase.
“Your Highness, princess, there’s a trap ahead. It’s the five element Metal Cliff of Level 3,” Gu Beiyue muttered.
“Understood,” Han Yunxi grew guarded.
By the time they saw Gu Qishao in the distance, it was to see him eached for Bai Yanqing with one of his vines. The latter had blocked it, and beyond both men stretched the deep cliff. Unlikely the brightly illuminated Fire Cliff of Level 1, this one was completely dark.
There was a switch located on the wall by the two men which, when activated, would send the victims on the cliff edge plummeting into the abyss. At the same time, a massive boulder would crash down after them to seal off their escape. Besides the Level 2 maze, all of the other five levels were filled with cliffs of the five elements. Some were lit, some were dark. The Fire Cliff had nothing but raging flames at the bottom, so what laid at the case of the Metal Cliff?
Metal formed the basis of many weapons, just like how Metal of Ten-Thousand Poisons had turned out to be a dagger.
Could countless weapons by lying at the bottom of Metal Cliff? Whatever the case, Han Yunxi was sure it was an awful place. She saw Gu Qishao stuck in a stalemate with Bai Yanqing and suddenly thought of a plan.
When Bai Yanqing saw Han Yunxi’s group approaching, he knew it’d be impossible to escape. His eyes settled on the hidden switch in the wall as he mentally prepared himself. This was the fastest switch in the maze and a single touch would cause the giant boulder to crash down at the same time the trap underfoot gave way. Even someone with Gu Beiyue’s speeds might find themselves hard-pressed to escape.
He’d like to see how many of his four pursuers could escape this trap!
Bai Yanqing gripped Gu Qishao’s vines and prepared to drag him over when two more vines flew out from Gu Qishao’s other arm to attack. Bai Yanqing sliced them away with his sword.
Gu Beiyue had already retreated to the rear of the party. He couldn’t help much now and might even end up burdening the group if he got poisoned. He took up his post on the sidelines, vigilant for any developments. Long Feiye was afraid to squeeze Han Yunxi by the waist, so his hand was resting on her shoulders. Their close quarters allowed her to block any poison coming for them with her poison storage space. Still, they didn’t go to help Gu Qishao, but stood back to watch.
If they guessed right, Bai Yanqing wanted to use the trap here against them. A crafty gleam shone in Han Yunxi’s eyes as she raised her hand to shoot needles at Bai Yanqing. Long Feiye raised his sword at the same time, aiming for Bai Yanqing’s hands. The attacks wouldn’t kill him, but it’d make him defenseless against Gu Qishao’s vines.
Bai Yanqing looked panickd, but he was quite cold and rational inside. He purposely evaded Long Feiye’s swod strikes and allowed the vines to wrap around his left hand.
“Heheh, I’d like to see you run rampant again!” Gu Qishao laughed as he gave a vicious tug, jerking Bai Yanqing over a few steps. Bai Yanqing clenched his jaw and held fast. Then he jerked at Gu Qishao’s vines with his right hand to tug the man towards him. Now both of them were near the location of the secret switch, but they’d ended up in a stalemate again.
Han Yunxi suddenly shouted, “Long Feiye, let’s go capture him!”
Although she hadn’t discussed her plans with him, Long Feiye could more or less guess her intentions. He used an aggressive, domineering air to say, “Gu Qishao, if you can’t do it, then get out of the way.”
It wasn’t clear whether Gu Qishao read their veiled lines, but he laughed and said, “Long Feiye, let’s make a bet. This old man will tie up that fellow like a zongzi in the time it takes to brew a pot of tea!”
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye both stopped worrying at Gu Qishao’s words. At crucial moments, this fellow was still reliable enough to understand what they meant. Gu Beiyue had seen through everything from the sidelines as well. He darted a quick look at the switch on the wall and smiled.
“Braggart!” Bai Yanqing fumed.
“Take this!” Gu Qishao sent out two more vines, one for each of Bai Yanqing’s legs. Actually, Bai Yanqing was perfectly capable of avoiding one, but he was soon caught completely. At this, Gu Qishao immediately retreated while pulling Bai Yanqing towards him. Bai Yanqing’s staggering steps soon left him standing on top of the trapdoor. His cold eyes grew amused at the sight, but he stopped struggling anyways to allow the vines to wrap around him. He was waiting for Han Yunxi and the rest to walk over.
There was a single needle hidden in his mouth. As soon as they approached, he would use to to activate the switch and send them all plummeting into the cliff below. He didn’t mind if he went with them!
Beneath was nothing but a sea of arrows, their sharp points raised to the skies! Between the arrows below and the boulder above, any victim would be stabbed through countless times.
Gu Qishao didn’t drag Bai Yanqing any farther but looked back at Long Feiye. “It was less than the time needed to brew tea! I won!”
“Heheh, so what if you’ve tied me up? You still can’t kill me!” Bai Yanqing goaded them on purpose.
“Don’t worry, this crown prince wasn’t planning on killing you. I’ll personally wait on you well,” Long Feiye said as he and Han Yunxi walked forward step by step. Soon enough, they would be in range of the trapdoor as well.
Bai Yanqing was waiting for this chance. He cackled coldly in his heart as he watched Long Feiye and Han Yunxi from the corner of his eye. Unexpectedly, Gu Beiyue suddenly threw a flying dagger at the secret switch at the same time Long Feiye and Han Yunxi halted. In a flash, cracks appeared in the ground beneath Bai Yanqing while a giant boulder came tumbling down from the air. Like a crack of thunder, it crushed Bai Yanqing beneath him while Long Feiye, Han Yunxi, Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao chased after his falling form.
The speed of the boulder was terrifyingly fast. They’d hardly reached the bottom and seen what it looked like before they heard a loud boom.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Speaking of zongzi...Happy Dragonboat Festival, guys! It was pretty recent, hehe.