A single night’s dream had unlocked the secrets of the poison storage space for Han Yunxi. It was probably the greatest gain Han Yunxi had gotten from the forbidden fields of the Poison Sect. She didn’t wonder whether she had any surviving ties with the Poison Sect, or if they had uncovered the secret too. The first thing she thought of was Jun Yixie!
Once she cultivated to Level 2, she could assuredly beat him senseless!
Why did Han Yunxi target him first?
Because it was a personal grudge and also because Jun Yixie had a well-known reputation in the poison communities. Before it grew light, Han Yunxi seized the time to meditate some more. Meanwhile, Long Feiye sat on her roof while staring blankly at the skies. His eyes were deep, his thoughts possibly lingering on Witch Aunt’s warning about the respect deserved by the Chu Clan, or Gu Qishao’s parting words, or that inexplicable death of the fire back at the caves.
Perhaps he wasn’t thinking about those things at all, but instead on how to deal with the Chu Clan and stir things up in Western Zhou. His eyebrows were creased upon that cold, handsome visage, making him seem frosty and untouchable even as his thoughts remained a mystery. In the silence, another figure suddenly appeared on the roof---Tang Li.
He brought over two flasks of wine and tossed one to Long Feiye. “Big bro, drink a cup with me!”
No one knew the extent of Long Feiye’s alcohol tolerance, but he wasn’t a fan of wine. He simply set the flask aside without speaking a thing. Tang Li was already a little tipsy as he settled to sit by Long Feiye’s side. “Say, big bro, does that woman need to act like that? I don’t even like her, so why does she insist on marrying me?”
Ever since he fled from his arranged marriage, Tang Li had been feeling depressed. Besides relying on Long Feiye, he had nowhere else to go. Long Feiye ignored him as he lost himself in thought, so Tang Li scooted closer to murmur, “Big bro, I should just go find a random woman and have some kids with her. I’ll see what father can do then after bringing them back to the clan with me! Actually, they don’t need to be in such a rush. Maybe I’d end up wandering back on my own someday. But the harder they look for me, the less I want to return.”
Finally, Long Feiye sat up and looked over at Tang Li, who hiccuped drunkenly and laughed. “You’re going to call me childish and naive, aren’t you?”
Long Feiye didn’t say anything at all, but grabbed Tang Li by the hand and flew into the air before releasing him. He fell from the air with a thump, the pain jolting him out of his drunken stupor.
“Try and make a racket for Han Yunxi again!” Long Feiye warned coldly.
Tang Li was stunned. He only realized just then that Han Yunxi was still sleeping inside the rooms under them. So that means he’s on night watch for her sake? As Long Feiye approached him, Tang Li chased after him and grabbed onto his robes, his voice low. “Big bro, you...you’ve, no, that’s not right, the two of you are…”
Before Tang Li could finish, Long Feiye’s expression shifted. “Let go.”
“Big bro, just one last word. The two of you should hurry up and have a baby already. I promise my father and Aunt Ru won’t have any nasty designs against Han Yunxi then!” Tang Li said earnestly.
Long Feiye’s face fell before he simply kicked Tang Li into the nearby pond to clear his head. Whether or not the suggestion raised waves in Long Feiye’s heart was something only he himself knew. In any case, his furrowed eyebrows had finally relaxed. After taking care of the Chu Clan, he would wait for the snows to melt again before going to Celestial Mountain!
The next day, Han Yunxi was the first to discover that Gu Qishao had disappeared.
“Did he leave last night?” she asked doubtfully. The fact that he’d suddenly left without any sort of goodbye made her uneasy. We haven’t even interrogated Chu Tianyin yet, so what’s his rush? Did an emergency pop up? Where did he go?
Originally, she thought it’d be simple enough to get the Earth of Ten-Thousand Poisons, so she told Mu Linger that Gu Qishao would be back very soon. The girl was probably still awaiting his return back at the pharmacy. It would be cruel to wait so long in vain, especially when she had staked her everything on seeing him again. Han Yunxi didn’t know how much she understood Gu Qishao, but she was sure that he’d only leave if something had come up.
“Last night…what happened?” she asked.
Tang Li yawned and shook his head. “I don’t know. I drank too much and everything’s hazy…” He had even forgotten the words he said to Long Feiye, as well as how the other had kicked him into the water.
Long Feiye was silent in the face of Tang Li’s words. Instead he asked Han Yunxi, “Do you have something important to find him for?”
How could Han Yunxi tell him about her little details with Mu Linger? She simply shook her head. Long Feiye had his own knowledge of things, so he simply passed on the issue and brought Han Yunxi to Chu Tianyin. The man was currently locked up in a secret room with heavy injuries, still unconscious. But once Long Feiye poured a bucket of ice water on his head, his eyes flew open.
Chu Tianyin was truly a stalwart man. Even under these circumstances, his gaze was fearless as he arched a brow at Long Feiye and spat up a mouthful of water. Long Feiye’s lips curved into a cold arc. “Tang Li, send Witch Aunt to the military barracks to serve as a prostitute.”
“Long Feiye, come at me if you have any guts. What’s the use of molesting a woman?” Chu Tianyin raged. He had no idea that Witch Aunt had already been released.
“You know the Earth of Ten-Thousand Poisons so well. Is the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion in the Chu Clan’s hands?” Long Feiye asked with interest.
It wasn’t easy tracking down the underground palace of the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds, much less recognizing the special soil there and its weakness to fire. Whoever knew that must have done quite the research into the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion.
Chu Tianyin and Witch Aunt had searched for a long time before discovering the secret to cracking Perplexing Butterfly Illusion lay in the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds. Long Feiye “suspected” Chu Tianyin as much as the man suspected him. The fact that he had ran into Long Feiye and Han Yunxi in the forbidden grounds last time already made him suspect that the duo was aiming for the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion. Perhaps the poison was in their hands even now.
But Long Feiye’s question now dissipated many of Chu Tianyin’s suspicions. The Perplexing Butterfly Illusion was the most valuable treasure of the Poison Sect, after all. It had been missing for so many years that it seemed unlikely for Long Feiye to have it. Chu Tianyin was a shrewd and subtle man with many intelligent ideas, but in the end he still wasn’t a match for the old fox that was Long Feiye. Naturally, Long Feiye’s questions were designed to throw him off track.
“No. I expect the Duke of Qin is also interested in Perplexing Butterfly Illusion! Those who own it, own the world. If that is the Duke of Qin’s aspiration, why refuse the invitation to lead the central and southern regions as their commander-in-chief? Isn’t that hypocritical of you?” Chu Tianyin laughed coldly.
The various powers of Tianning’s southern and central regions had joined together to fervently support the Duke of Qin should he proclaim himself emperor of their lands. But Long Feiye had ignored them all, leaving everyone guessing even as they continued to keep tabs on the situation. Unfortunately, none of them could read his mind or true intentions---nor predict the true situation of Tianning Country at this moment.
The Chu Clan wanted to use Chu Qingge and her child to seize the throne by force and claim a piece of Tianning for themselves. Using that territory, they could fight for the rest of the country. Because of that, Chu Tianyin and the rest had all been observing Long Feiye’s movements over the years. But if he wanted to guess Long Feiye’s motives just by his line of questioning, he was too naive.
Long Feiye didn’t answer, but Han Yunxi just laughed. “Chu Tianyin, you overestimate the appeals of the southern and central regions. The Duke of Qin wasn’t rejecting the offer, just ignoring it entirely.”
Chu Tianyin’s bluster had withered away as if punching into cotton, leaving him gloomy.
“Those who own the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, own the world? Looks like your Chu Clan has aspirations to rule the world. Your lordship will need to have a good talk with Western Zhou’s emperor,” Long Feiye said carelessly.
“Long Feiye, you…!” Chu Tianyin grew alarmed.
Long Feiye arched a brow at him. “Besides the Earth of Ten-Thousand Poisons, what else were you looking for?”
Chu Tianyin fell silent.
Long Feiye wouldn’t let him stay mute. “Your lordship’s patience has its limits. Don’t regret this.”
His warning from behind was still clear in Chu Tianyin’s mind. Witch Aunt was his mother’s older sister and his own aunt. He would never allow any harm to befall her. Moreover, it was Witch Aunt who had discovered everything the Chu Clan knew about the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, so it was worth it to trade the intel for her safety.
“We didn’t find anything,” Chu Tianyin remarked. “But we found clues to three more poisons. If you left Witch Aunt go, I’ll tell you about them.”
“Speak,” Long Feiye said simply.
“I want to see Witch Aunt first,” Chu Tianyin said seriously.
Long Feiye got even more to the point. “Speak if you want, or else forget it!”
Chu Tianyin had plenty of counters to negotiate, but Long Feiye’s aggressive attitude crushed him utterly. This was the first time he’d ever been so downtrodden, oppressed, and forced to endure!
“This one believes that the Duke of Qin isn’t a man who goes back on his words!” he said first, before launching into a spiel. “There’s also the Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons, Wood of Ten-Thousand Poisons, and the blood of the poison beast. The Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons comes from the poison pond in Medicine City’s Medicine Forest, which has already gone missing. The Wood of Ten-Thousand Poisons is on a thousand-year ginkgo tree located in Western Zhou’s Thousand Buddha Cave. I don’t know which tree it is, but it’s there. The poison beast blood is the blood found in the teeth of the Poison Sect’s poison beast. Rumour has it that the poison beast’s been lost, but I can’t verify that.”
Han Yunxi sat on one side, gently stroking the sleeping Lil Thing hidden in her sleeve. Though Chu Tianyin had told them about three poisons, only one of them was useful intel. Still, one was enough.
“On a ginkgo tree? What do you mean by that?” Long Feiye asked next.
“I’m not sure. It’s not easy to catch sight of the ginkgo trees in Western Zhou’s Thousand Buddha Cave,” Chu Tianyin said honestly.
The Thousand Buddha Cave was land sacred to Western Zhou Country, only opened during grand ceremonies and its accompanying offerings. Even then, only members of the royal family and specific clans were allowed access inside. Meanwhile, the thousand year ginkgo trees were cultivation areas for Buddhist monks, making it even harder for laymen to approach them.
“Duke of Qin, I’ve already said all I know. Now can you let Witch Aunt go? You’re a noble, you shouldn’t go back on your words!” Chu Tianyin said anxiously.
Tang Li had been standing to the side this entire time, but now he burst out into laughter. “Young Master Chu, the Duke of Qin let her go last night already! That’s enough to be a man of his word, isn’t it?”
Chu Tianyin realized that he’d been tricked and was both ashamed and upset. But he still managed to hold onto his reason. The first question in his mind was why Long Feiye had let Witch Aunt go.
“Long Feiye, just what are you planning?” he asked.
Long Feiye avoided the question and asked back, “If it’s the Nether Clan’s Chu Clan that aspires to own the world, then who should your lordship speak to?”
Shock overwhelmed Chu Tianyin at those words, leaving him speechless. He didn’t want to talk either, because any words now would only reveal more information to the man. Long Feiye cast a glance at Han Yunxi, only to see her looking curious.
She’s always so curious when it comes to the Seven Noble Families. It’s quite fortunate...that she doesn’t know the truth.
Long Feiye had no extra time to waste on Chu Tianyin. He only asked coldly, “Besides your Nether Clan, which of the other Seven Noble Families are still active?"