Chapter 542: Toxic teardrops againOriginal and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
“Han Yunxi, Long Feiye, just you wait!” Ouyang Ningnuo shouted at the skies, but he was still feeling stifled inside. He had always been able to rein in his temper and win or lose with considerable ease, but this time he’d lost too miserably!
Once he became associated with the Hundred Poisons Sect, he’d never be able to do business with Cloud Realm Continent’s mainstream circles! The most profitable medicines would stop going through his hands while other troubles would come knocking on his door. It was very possible that the entire Cloud Realm Trade Consortium might come to ruin because of him. But he wasn’t the only owner of the consortium and couldn’t afford to shoulder that burden. While Ouyang Ningnuo was fretting over his few options, a few veiled women dressed in black flew towards him from the skies. These were none other than Cloud Realm Trade Consortium’s top level retainers, the Black Robe Maidens.
The leader of the Maidens respectfully intoned, “Young Master Nuo, master has already sent Miss Jing[1. Miss Jing (静小姐) - Jing xiaojie, in which jing means “quiet, peaceful, serenity.”] over. You should...return.”
Ouyang Ninguo creased his brows and started to speak before he stopped himself. In the end, he left together with the Black Robe Maidens.
It wasn’t long before Han Yunxi and the rest heard the news from Wang Gong that Cloud Realm Trade Consortium had dismissed Ouyang Ningnuo from his post as “proxy president” of the association. A girl named Ouyang Ning Jing[2. Ouyang Ning Jing - (欧阳宁静) - say hello to the first mention of our dramaverse character Ning Jing! To avoid confusion between her novel and dramaverse selves, I’ll be referring to her as Ning Jing instead of Ningjing here.] replaced him to apologize to the Council of Elders on his behalf. She also expressed that all profits in business dealings between the consortium and Medicine City would favor the latter with 20% for the next three years.
“They sure move fast, ah!” Gu Qishao smiled coldly. After all, they had just departed the jail cells for the inn. “Ouyang Ningnuo, a ‘proxy president?’ What a joke!”
As the name implied, a ‘proxy president’ was only an empty title for someone who wasn’t in charge of anything. The true power still laid in the formal president of an association. That position had always been held by Ouyang Ningnuo, but after his offense, they were now calling him a ‘proxy president’ instead? Why didn’t the Cloud Realm Trade Consortium just call him their ‘temporary worker’ instead?
Han Yunxi was dissatisfied as well, but she knew that it would be impossible for Medicine City to break off all relations with Cloud Realm Trade Consortium so soon. The two organizations had worked together for decades, so the threads of business and profitable dealings were liked a tangle, complex web. If they severed all ties immediately, Medicine City wouldn’t be able to afford the loss. The one-year deadline that Long Feiye had proposed to Wang Gong was already demanding enough.
Still, she was happy that they’d taught Ouyang Ningnuo a sound lesson this time.
“Ouyang Ning Jing? As to be expected, Cloud Realm Trade Consortium didn’t belong to Ouyang Ningnuo alone,” Long Feiye’s lips rose into a cold smile. Without a doubt, this was a breakthrough to Cloud Realm Trade Consortium’s inner workings. Gu Qishao had no interest in Ouyang Ningnuo at all. He was constantly thinking of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, because the faster they could solve its mystery, the sooner Long Feiye could help him take revenge against Medical City.
“Poison lass, hurry and take out that Ten-Thousand Year Blood Jade! Fool around with it a bit!” he urged impatiently.
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye hadn’t forgotten about the jade. Long Feiye had Chu Xifeng and Tang Li go out to stand guard before personally shutting the doors. Han Yunxi took out a collection of porcelain bottles containing Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, Beauty’s Blood, Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons, a few Beauty’s Tears made from combining Perplexing Butterfly Illusion with Beauty’s Blood, a mixture that was PBI and Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons, a mixture that was Beauty’s Tear and Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons, and a mixture that contained all three ingredients.
Long Feiye was a little dazzled by all of the different combinations. As a layperson to the art, he only found all this troublesome, but Gu Qishao could identify each item by eye. He took the bottles and poured each of them out one by one, allowing Han Yunxi to see the differences between them. The combination of Perplexing Butterfly Illusion and Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons had actually solidified to a pearl-like object reminiscent of Beauty’s Tears. She’d combined the duo during her last stay at the black markets but had only paid attention to its toxicity, not its physical shape. Now she looked carefully at the other combinations, but found nothing unusual there. Meanwhile, Gu Qishao was observing the same things.
The two of them finished their inspections at the same time and tacitly met gazes. Han Yunxi then placed the Ten-Thousand Year Blood Jade on a clean porcelain plate before dripping a drop of Perplexing Butterfly Illusion on top. A strange phenomenon began to happen. The firm and solid jade actually began to corrode away beneath the influence of PBI, releasing white mist in its wake. As the smoke dissipated, the former jade that was the size of a thumbnail had shrank into a small red orb the size of a teardrop.
When the Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons, Beauty’s Blood, and Ten-Thousand Year Old Blood Jade were all mixed with Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, they all maintained their toxicity levels. They were just less corrosive than PBI alone. Han Yunxi had quickly placed all three poison teardrops side by side, but there was no reaction. They neither repelled nor absorbed each other.
“Could it be that we need all nine types of poison teardrops before we’ll get an answer?” Han Yunxi asked doubtfully.
The water, blood, and jade had all shown similar results when mixed with PBI. By that assumption, the remaining six types of poison should also turn into toxic teardrops.
“We’ll know for sure once we get them all. There’s no use speculating,” Gu Qishao helped Han Yunxi clean up as he chuckled, his mood quite good. He was right---thinking about things like this were useless. Unless they had all the ingredients, they wouldn’t be able to solve the mystery. Once everything was put away, the three toxic teardrops took up a porcelain bottle of their own. Samples of PBI that were taken from the other combinations can stored together. Han Yunxi witnessed Gu Qishao’s cleaning speed first hand and suddenly felt that it’d be better to have Gu Qishao as an assistant than Baili Mingxiang and Su Xiaoyu combined.
Of course, she’d never let Long Feiye know what she was thinking. Nor had she noticed Long Feiye’s expression growing progressively darker from the side. As a layman, he had no idea what was going on with the poisons, but he didn’t like how she and Gu Qishao could come to tacit understandings so easily!
Han Yunxi placed her two organized bottles into her medical pouch and said lightly, “Thanks!”
“Tsk tsk, when have you gotten so formal with me?” Gu Qishao grinned.
Han Yunxi rolled her eyes at him. As expected, it’s impossible for this fellow to act too respectably.
“Poison lass, there’s nothing else to do in Medicine City anymore. Come, let’s go to Medical City now!” Gu Qishao was eager to search for the Earth of Ten Thousand Poisons in the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds.
But Han Yunxi didn’t get to reply before Long Feiye said coldly, “You go on your own. Your lordship still has matters to take care of in Medicine City.”
“I wasn’t asking you,” Gu Qishao shot back.
Long Feiye’s eyes glittered like ice as he glanced at Han Yunxi. She was planning to refuse Gu Qishao’s offer anyways, since she needed to stay for discussions about Medicine City and Pill Fiend Pharmacy working together in the future. Moreover, she also had to bring Mu Linger back to the pharmacy before she could set her cares at rest. But now that she was stuck between Long Feiye and Gu Qishao, she suddenly didn’t know what to say. If the two of them want to fight, they can do it themselves. Why must they drag me into it too?
“You guys can talk about the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion stuff yourselves. I’m going to eat, I’m so hungry…” she said before slipping out the door and completely ignoring Long Feiye.
Han Yunxi then ate some snacks and packed a few for the two men before coming back an hour later. She found Gu Qishao squatting by the door while Long Feiye was drinking tea inside. Actually, they had only spoke a single sentence in the hour she was gone, and it had come from Long Feiye.
He had said, “It’s fine if you don’t go, either. Your lordship isn’t in a rush.”
Gu Qishao simply spat and went to squat at the door.
“What...are you doing?” Han Yunxi asked him now.
Waiting for you to come back so I can say goodbye, stupid! Gu Qishao said nothing, but grabbed the food boxes from her arms and started eating with relish right at the entrance. He finished off Long Feiye’s portion as well as his own, feeling very satisfied.
Then he got up and declared, “Poison lass, wait for my good news!” With an easy wave, he headed off. Han Yunxi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as she chased after him.
“The dirt’s in the underground palace at the Poison Sect grounds. There’s a secret entrance there that leads to a cliff covered with poison orchids!”
Actually, Han Yunxi wanted him to wait until they were done with their Medicine City business so they could all go together. Still, she could guess that Long Feiye wouldn’t want to come alone since it wasn’t dangerous there anymore. At most, he’d send a bunch of men to go in his stead. In some ways, it was better that Gu Qishao went because he was familiar with poisons. He should be able to find the Earth of Ten-Thousand Poisons just fine.
“There’s another secret entrance, but Long Feiye’s blocked it up. It’s the one with a giant boulder so it’s not easy to open. Last time we went, we ran into two people from Western Zhou’s Chu Clan, so you have to take care,” Han Yunxi added.
“Silly, your Qi gege spent his entire childhood living in the mountain woods. Why wouldn’t I be familiar with any of those places?” Although Gu Qishao needed no reminders, he still felt warm hearted after Han Yunxi’s words. His sly and seductive smile began to shine like the noon time sun.
“I’m off!” he dashingly put on his massive black hooded cape and left in high spirits. Neither Long Feiye, Han Yunxi, nor Gu Qishao had any reservations regarding the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds, but it turned out that Gu Qishao would have a rough trip…
After Gu Qishao left, Han Yunxi turned back and saw Long Feiye had already shown up behind her, looking at her quietly. She hadn’t done anything, but she began to feel guilty beneath his gaze. It wasn’t because she was weak-willed, but because Long Feiye’s stare was simply too frightening! Han Yunxi did her best to ease the nervousness in her heart and strode over to him. “I’ll accompany you for a meal.”
“I’ve already told the waiter to bring it up,” Long Feiye said mildly.
Han Yunxi never thought such a petty fellow would let her off so easily, but he simply went into the rooms without a word. She went in after him and sat down at the table, where the two fell into silence. Perhaps she’d gotten used to his bullying, but Han Yunxi suddenly felt unused to Long Feiye’s unusual show of ‘forgiveness.’ Actually, Long Feiye was a taciturn man to begin with, so the two of them often shared long silences, but Han Yunxi couldn’t help but sense that something was off this time.
She was about to speak when the waiter arrived with their dishes. The sight of them stunned Han Yunxi. There were a total of ten dishes and one soup, but they were none other than: hot and sour seven-hued soup, hot and sour vermicelli noodles, Chinese cabbage in vinegar, vinegar spare ribs, sliced potato strips in vinegar, vinegar moo shu pork, vinegar seafood and meat trio, osmanthus scented fish in vinegar, lotus roots steeped in vinegar, vinegar shrimp, and vinegar-soaked old chicken!
Han Yunxi couldn’t even begin to think of eating before the table full of vinegar fumes made her choke. She couldn’t stomach any of this?! When she recalled her own vinegar pastries, they seem to pale in comparison!
Long Feiye simply looked at her before handing over the chopsticks...
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