As Long Feiye’s group left the maze, Han Chen remained standing on the platform of bones, holding out his arm so a black-robed subordinate could apply salve to his burn. This was an injury incurred from saving Ning Jing.
“Master, you could have saved that person much earlier? Why wait until she fell off the cliff?” the person asking was one of his older underlings. He was one of the few people that Han Chen bothered speaking with. The rest of the subordinates only took orders and rarely exchanged more than a sentence with him in a year.
“That little girl is a good sapling. I was simply testing her,” Han Chen stared at the darkness before him. Even when speaking with his closest subordinate, he retained a chilly expression. It wasn’t stern or frigid, but a simple indifference, pure emotionless ice. He really had no desires or wants.
Even Han Xiang, the daughter he left in charge of the Wolf Sect in his absence, was simply adopted. Besides himself, this was a secret only the old subordinate knew. He had yet to take a wife, but the “common knowledge” both inside and out was that his daughter’s mother had died early. Currently, the Wolf Sect’s ancestral hall even had a memorial tablet dedicated to that woman created by the old subordinate.
The only reason was because he had zero interest in women. His only hobby was martial arts, so he didn’t want to keep some random female around the house. The reason he chose to foster a daughter instead of a son was for the purpose of his backup plan. If the girl ended up with no talent, he could still choose a strong son-in-law for her sake and gain a guarantee for the Wolf Sect’s standing. A foster son would lose him that chance.
In his eyes, men were the real powerhouses of martial arts while women were ill-fitted for the task. His foster daughter Han Xiang was currently 15 years old and blessed with extraordinary innate talent. She was also very diligent, making her a force to be reckoned with.
Still, when he saw Long Feiye’s Lustbite energy and astounding talents with the Qimen Dunjia arts, he knew this was the son-in-law he wanted. His Lustbite energy combined with Han Yunxi’s Phoenix power didn’t count for much in front of Han Chen, but it would definitely set them amongst the top-tier talents of the younger generation in the Mysterious Continent. That was a land that prized power above all else, though the true powerhouses were all from the older generations.
He estimated that in 10 years’ time, the 25-year-old Han Xiang would be able to enter their ranks--but only barely. She would at best be an average high-level expert. If she wanted to rise to the middle of the upper ranks, it would take another 10 to 20 years--perhaps her entire life. The possibility was still rather uncertain.
As for Han Chen, he was the Mysterious Continent’s only man to reach the middle ranks of the top-tier fights within his 30th birthday. This year he was 39 years old and ranked as the one of the top five experts in the continent.
It had to be said that Long Feiye was an intelligent man. He chose the right person to defend the northern borders! With the Wolf Sect here, no one in the Mysterious Continent would dare to invade Cloud Realm Continent!
Neither Long Feiye or Han Yunxi had yet to reach 30, yet they wielded the Lustbite energy and Phoenix power. Compared to himself at the same age, they weren’t inferior at all.
“Then, has sect leader gotten any results from your test?” the old subordinate asked helplessly. He had forgotten how many years had passed since he saw Han Chen injured. This time was all for the sake of a little girl. Is that girl supposed to be some genius talent?
“She doesn’t count as a genius, but her temper is suitable for learning martial arts,” Han Chen said cooly.
The subordinate had no words to retort. The sect master’s thoughts were eternally different from ordinary folk. Others chose disciples based on innate talent while his sect master had different requirements for men and women. Males needed talent, while females needed personality.
After all these years, not a single boy had caught the sect leader’s attention, but he’d finally found a girl to his liking. The subordinate was rather curious to see what kind of temper Su Xiaoyu possessed.
“Sect leader, you told Miss Yunxi and Miss Xiang to compete against each other ten years later. Isn’t that showing too much favortism towards Miss Yunxi?” the old subordinate was rather preoccupied with this question.
Miss Yunxi possessed the Phoenix power and the Moye sword, making her a middle-rank top-tier expert. Miss Xiang would only reach the level of ordinary top-tier expert in a decade! Naturally, Miss Yunxi would be stronger by the end of the decade. Unless she refused, the sect leader’s role was as good as hers.
It wasn’t clear whether Han Chen heard the question, but he didn’t respond.
The old subordinate couldn’t help but complain. “In the end, it’s still biased towards one’s kin! What a pity for Miss Xiang.”
Han Chen suddenly whirled his head to stare at the old subordinate, causing his hairs to stand on end. He quickly retreated and shut up. He really had no idea why such a cold and aloof man could...could use his body to help Mu Xin “cure” her poison in the past.
After sitting for a while, Han Chen rose to his feet and entered the darkness. After walking through a black tunnel, he entered the room where Bai Yanqing had been imprisoned. All of the black-robed guards left as soon as he appeared.
Bai Yanqing had been severely injured by Long Feiye and knew Han Yunxi’s father was even stronger. His body and spirits were both exhausted, so he simply remained kneeling listlessly on the ground. However, he still lifted his head upon Han Chen’s entrance and asked, “Why?! Why would Mu Xin choose you?”
“Your surname isn’t Bai. What’s your real name?” Han Chen had little interest in Mu Xin.
In ancient history, this patch of mountain forest in the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds was known as “Han City.” The Snow Wolf Clan’s ancestors were surnamed “Han” while the Poison Sect members were surnamed “Wei.” The character for “Han” (韩) contained the character for Wei (韦). When the Snow Wolf Clan and Poison Sect combined, the former gave up their clan name while the latter gave up their surname, creating the “Han” surnamed Poison Sect.
Bai Yanqing’s real surname should be “Han” as well.
“Tell me why Mu Xin chose you. Why? How did you two meet?” Bai Yanqing was still clueless to the truth.
“Your true surname is ‘Han,’ so…that’s why Mu Xin married Han Congan? Or was it because my surname was Han that she chose that man?” Han Chen was curious about this question.
Bai Yanqing gave a start. “You...what do you mean by that?”
Bai Yanqing’s real last name was indeed Han. He originally went by Han Cong, but switched to Bai Yanqing after he joined Heretical Sword Sect while pretending to be one of its disciples.
Han Chen laughed coldly. “That woman must have still liked you. Heheh, you screwed yourself over. The Perplexing Butterfly Illusion is now in this Honorable One’s hands, so if you don’t want to suffer, behave yourself!”
Ignoring Bai Yanqing’s yells, he turned and walked away.
“What are you saying? What do you mean? What did Mu Xin tell you?”
“Han Chen, get back here! Come back to me! What did Mu Xin tell you in the past?”
“Han Chen, Mu Xin was poisoned with the Yin Yang pill! Neither of you were willing when you did it, right? Aren’t I right?” Bai Yanqing hollered.
A few words from Han Chen had sent his thoughts in total disarray. He had no idea what this man and Mu Xin had been up to in the past. Were they together as an old flame, or forced into it by the aphrodisiac?
Meanwhile, Han Chen froze mid-step!
When he first entered Cloud Realm Continent, he was clueless about aphrodisiac poisons, but over the years his interest had grown in the continent’s poison and medical fields. In his spare time, he did private research in his secret chambers. Of course he knew what the Yin Yang Pill was! It was a drug that affected both parties. As long as the medicine reacted in one person, anyone within proximity would succumb to their desires as well.
Han Chen narrowed his eyes. So that was what happened! All these years, he’d never had interest in Mu Xin despite sleeping with her. But that was the only time in his life he’d given in. Right now, he was as clueless as ever when it came to matters of the opposite sex.
When he recalled that incident, he always blamed it on his own youthful ignorance caught up in a fit of passion. Now he knew the drug was to blame.
Han Chen doubled back and personally gagged Bai Yanqing’s mouth. He didn’t answer any of the man’s question, but rewarded him with a kick right to the man’s sensitive nether regions. There was so much power behind the act that...it was enough to make Bai Yanqing lose all his future grandsons!
Bai Yanqing was immediately paralyzed with pain on the ground, his body breaking out into a cold sweat. Han Chen left emotionlessly, but he was internally relieved that a poison was to blame for his youthful lack of control. In the darkness, his face maintained its handsomely chilly visage, sculpting him as a true, aloof Dark Priest…
By now, Han Yunxi’s group had already left the maze. Xu Donglin, Chu Qingge, Chu Tianyin and Baili Mingxiang all ran to meet them, surprised and delighted at the sight of Ning Jing.
“Miss Jing...Miss Jing, you’re not dead!” Baiili Mingxiang exclaimed in shock.
“Where’s Tang Li?” Han Yunxi’s tone was much more anxious than hers.
By comparison, Ning Jing was rather quiet. She was itching to meet Tang Li the entire trip here, but now she suddenly felt nervous and unsure. She couldn’t begin to describe her emotions beyond matching it to her feelings in the bridal sedan chair on her wedding day. Back then, she’d simply pushed those feelings to the back of her mind.
“Princess, Tang Li and Su Xiaoyu are both at the medical academy. Tang Li is…” Xu Donglin was about to go on when Han Yunxi interrupted.
“Then let’s hurry back to Medical City! All of you can disband.”
“Princess, what about Bai Yanqing?” Chu Xifeng couldn’t help asking.
When Han Yunxi remembered how Long Feiye promised not to reveal anything about Han Chen or the Wolf Sect, she replied, “He died inside. The Perplexing Butterfly Illusion burned away his very bones! You can all go back. Leave a few men to guard the base of the mountain. In the future, no stragglers are allowed to get close!”
Everyone was so happy to hear that Bai Yanqing had died that they didn’t harbor many doubts about his death. Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue were more worried over Ning Jing’s reaction after she discovered Tang Li had gone insane.
Meanwhile, Long Feiye noticed something wrong about Gu Qishao. The man had been acting oddly ever since they left the maze.
After the shadow guards brought over multiple man-powered sedan chairs, Han Yunxi accompanied Ning Jing on the ride. Gu Beiyue remained with Chu Xifeng and Xu Donglin so he could discuss the deployment of guards as they walked. He also asked them about developments across the continent over the past few days, especially in regards to Northern Li.
Long Feiye had a rare chance of accompanying Gu Qishao. He coldly asked, “What’s wrong?”
Gu Qishao sprawled back in his sedan chair like a rich young master as he cocked his head at Long Feiye. “What do you mean, ‘what’s wrong?’”
Long Feiye examined him further before his voice froze over. “Just what’s the matter with you?”
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What do you guys think? Did Mu Xin marry Han Congan because his surname was "Han?"
If so, was it in memory of her ex-boyfriend Han/Bai Yanqing, or her hunky one-night-stand Han Chen?
Then again, if Han Chen didn't even know Mu Xin's name until now, would she have learned his some two decades ago? After all, aspiring leaders of sects don't usually go by personal names in front of their subordinates, hohoho~