Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue were curious about how Han Yunxi had dug up those 17 exact ingredients. Han Yunxi was curious about the extent of Gu Beiyue’s medical skills. Long Feiye was curious about how Gu Beiyue had expelled such potent true qi from his weak and fragile body. All of them harbored doubts of their own, but kept it inside in favor of paying attention to the third trial’s final stone door. Here was their last test, so one could well imagine its difficulty.
The first trial tested identifying medicine, the second treating disease and medical knowledge, so what would the third trial hold?
Han Yunxi was certain it had to be related to medicine, but as long as that was the case, they had nothing to fear! She carefully peeked behind her, only to see that Pill King had already disappeared.
“What is the third trial?” Long Feiye asked coldly.
“This old man is only in charge of bringing you this far,” the old examiner backed into the shadows. He was about to slip away entirely when he couldn’t help but add, “Young people, ah, you’ll suffer much if you don’t listen to your elders!”
“What does that mean?” Han Yunxi asked.
“Heheh, you won’t even have a chance to admit defeat once the third trial beings….none at all!” the old examiner finished before walking away.
Once his voice faded into the distance, another voice rose up from the darkness. This time, it belonged to a woman. “Aiya, how could there exist such a handsome man in this world?!”
The trio turned as one to see a young woman dressed coquettishly walking slowly out of the door. She was wearing a sleeveless top and a pair of loose, bell-shaped trousers, looking cool and refreshing. As she walked, she sashayed and swayed her hips. In her wake drifted a faint fragrance that slowly spread in the air. Han Yunxi didn’t sense any poison in the scent even after she had the detox system analyze its components.
“This isn’t any ordinary scent. It’s like medicinal incense,” Gu Beiyue murmured.
“Medicinal incense? What will happen if we inhale it for too long?” Han Yunxi asked quickly. Some paralytics weren’t classified as poisons, so her detox system wouldn’t be able to sense them. She knew most of those types by smell, but this woman’s fragrance was something she’d never experienced before. It was impossible to tell whether it was poison or medicine.
“It only resembles one. It’s possible that it’s poison too. This one has never smelled such a scent,” Gu Beiyue admitted.
Both of them sniffed carefully at the air in thought while Long Feiye had already reached to block his nose with his fist. He clearly disliked the smell and the way the woman kept casting amorous glances at him with her phoenix-like eyes. She seemed to have forgotten the existence of Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue entirely, and strode past them to stand in front of him.
Han Yunxi’s mouth twitched at the sight. The third trial wouldn’t be something like a beauty trap, right?
Gu Beiyue sat in his wheelchair while stroking Lil Thing while trying to avoid the woman. He was a very conservative type. Long Feiye only stared coldly as she drew closer.
“What would be this sir’s name?” the woman asked flirtatiously.
Long Feiye didn’t answer.
The woman hugged herself with delight. She loved cold, proud men like him. She kept advancing forward, but the next thing Long Feiye did was to kick her in the stomach and send her flying into the surrounding darkness. Gu Beiyue had turned back to knit his brows. No matter the situation, he would never have raised his hand against a woman. Han Yunxi was only amused and teased, “Your Highness, that woman has such a nice figure. Don’t you feel bad for not cherishing it?”
Long Feiye shot her a glare until she shut up. Very soon, the woman emerged from the shadows again, but blood was pouring from her orifices as she pointed at Long Feiye in rage. “You dared to lay a hand on this girl? I’ll make you regret it!”
“Your lordship used my foot. There’s no need for you to move against me whatsoever.”
“You!” the woman fumed, her features scrunching together as blood gushed from her wounds. It was a horrifying sight. Han Yunxi finally realized why Gu Beiyue had been knitting his brows. Long Feiye’s kick was harsh enough to send his victim bleeding. That was really too cruel!
“What’s the third trial? Speak!” Long Feiye all but ordered.
“Stop wasting words. If you have any skills, go right on in!” the girl huffed, before pressing a switch to automatically open the stone door. A wave of fragrance matching the one of her body poured forth from the room beyond. Without a doubt, there was something fishy about this scent!
Han Yunxi could laugh and watch other women try to seduce Long Feiye, but she’d never sit for them provoking him. If Long Feiye could be challenged by a woman, would he still be Long Feiye? Before he could move, she strode boldly past the door. “You sure took your sweet time letting us in,” she remarked.
No matter what was wrong with the perfume, they’ll keep walking until they reached the end, even if they were groping along the darkness the entire way. The woman finally noticed Han Yunxi and narrowed her eyes at her, killing intent filling the air. But she hadn’t spoken before Long Feiye barked behind her, “Get out of the way!”
His kick was enough to make her comply without complaint, and Long Feiye went on while pushing Gu Beiyue in front of him. She didn’t follow them in, but closed the door behind them. The trio didn’t even care when it shut, because the sight before them was too stunning! They never thought a place like this was hidden inside the cave, much less that it constituted the elements of the third trial.
Currently, they were standing on a cliff. About ten paces away was a wide and endless abyss. Even the best lightness technique masters would find it impossible to leap to the bottom in one jump. A bridge made of separate wooden pegs stretched over the space, twisting and turning like a dragon across its depths. The space between each peg was quite wide, making it impossible to cross without an agile jump. Even if one could jump, a single misstep would send them spiraling into the unknown depths below. Far in the distance, they could see a matching ledge with a stone door emblazoned with Yao (药), or the character for medicine.
“That door...should be the entrance to the storehouse, right? What we want should be over there?” Han Yunxi murmured.
“Is the third trial just to cross the abyss?” Gu Beiyue guessed. “Those wooden pegs are suspended in mid-air. Will stepping on one cause it to sink down?”
Long Feiye didn’t reply, but flew onto the first one to test it out. Landing on the first caused to sink minutely, but when he applied more strength, it sank down even further!
Both Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue exchanged glances at the sight. As expected, these pegs weren’t secured at all. If they jumped across them one by one, a single misstep would cost them everything.
“It looks like we’ll have to trouble His Highness Duke of Qin,” Gu Beiyue smiled helplessly. If this was the past, he could easily cross this abyss himself. But now he would have to rely on someone to shoulder him across.
“Counting me, that’ll be two burdens for him to bear,” Han Yunxi said thoughtfully. “Is crossing the abyss all we have to do? It couldn’t be that simple, right?”
As soon as she spoke, there was a shrill whistle. In the next second, a mass of black creatures flew out from the darkness. Upon closer look, Han Yunxi realized that they were a flock of man-eating vultures!
Long Feiye immediately flew back to the ledge and stood in front of Han Yunxi. “Be careful,” he muttered, “Those black vultures eat humans.”
The flock split itself into two halves. One landed on the opposite ledge, while the other came to rest around Han Yunxi’s group. They didn’t stop them, but simply perched and stared. Without a doubt, it was the woman they just met who were controlling these birds. She was currently hiding in wait, but what exactly were the details of the third trial?
“We need to get across soon. This fragrance inhibits inner energy. The longer we stay here, the more severe its effects,” Long Feiye muttered. When he’d used his reserves just then, he had discovered the secret himself. No matter what the third trial entailed, their goal was still the other side. As long as they could cross this abyss, everything would be over. Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue were both incapable of crossing on their own, so he would have to bring them over. In such a short amount of time, his inner energy had already depleted by three to four portions. If this kept on, he wouldn’t be able to fly across at all.
“Your Highness, let this one try some acupuncture,” Gu Beiyue said seriously. Long Feiye generously offered his hand, while the woman and Pill King both watched on from the shadows. By now, she had already wiped away the blood from her face, leaving her ashen complexion in its wake.
With a cold snort, she said, “It’s wishful thinking for them to counter the effects of my Skill Sealing Incense. What dreamers!”
“Heheh, this old man’s chessboard isn’t bad, was it?” Pill King laughed. Long Feiye’s inner energy had already been suppressed to 60~70 percent of its original capacity. Even now, it was still being suppressed. If he tried to bring two people across the abyss at once, he’d have no way to protect both Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue from the incoming vultures. Thus, his only choice was to bring one of them across as quickly as he could.
If that was the case, one of them would be left behind on the ledge at all times. No matter whether he left Gu Beiyue or Han Yunxi, there would be a period of time when one of them was vulnerable to attack from the man-eating cultures. Without Long Feiye’s protection, neither of them would be able to fight off such a large flock. This was simply a way to force a checkmate!
“Skilled! It’s really skilled! Heheh, if you hadn’t mentioned it, I wouldn’t have known that this Qin Wangfei had no martial arts skills at all!” the woman crowed.
“She’s a genius talent, she doesn’t need to know martial arts,” Pill King’s eyes were still fixated on Han Yunxi. He had guarded the medical cottage since his youth, so he’d never traveled further that the Grand Medicine Testing Convention. Thus, his understanding of the outside world and Han Yunxi’s companions were quite limited. He knew that she didn’t know martial arts, but didn’t realize she knew poison arts, nor that she was hiding weapons on her body. He also knew that Gu Beiyue was a fifth rank Divine Doctor, but only because Han Yunxi had mentioned it in her letters.
Now both of them were simply standing by to watch a good show. By now, Gu Beiyue had already started his acupuncture treatment, which proved completely ineffective at fighting off the effects of the incense.
“Is it medicine or poison?” Han Yunxi was puzzled. She sighed over the fact that this place really did deserve its reputation. It had things neither her nor Gu Beiyue could crack, much less conquer.
“These vultures couldn’t be waiting for Long Feiye’s inner energy to run out before attacking us, right?” she asked doubtfully.
“That’s probably it,” Gu Beiyue agreed.
But Long Feiye rejected the idea. “No, they can attack you at any time, because your lordship’s current reserves are only enough to carry one of you across the abyss.”
Pill King and the woman’s guess were right. Long Feiye really had to worry about his passengers. Han Yunxi thought it over before coming to a realization. “The third trial was made up on the spot. This test was personally designed to deal with us!”
She looked towards the direction of the first whistle and gave a cold snort. “She’s really looking down on this wangfei and Doctor Gu!”
“Your Highness, in order to avoid any complications, it’s better to go across as quickly as possible. Esteemed wangfei has her hidden weapons, while this one has Lil Thing. We’re more than enough to stand up to these vultures,” Gu Beiyue said seriously.
Han Yunxi only huffed. “This wangfei will poison all these vultures to death first. See if that Pill King dares to leave me here then!”