Han Yunxi knew the poison arts, though she usually used it to treat poisons. The number of times she’d poisoned other things could be counted on her fingers. Still, this time she had thoroughly lost her temper.
“Time is tight. I’ll take Gu Beiyue over first, you take care of yourself.” Long Feiye had full faith in her poison abilities. After all, she’d done such a clean job eliminating the poison mosquito swarm in the past. The abyss was quite wide and its wooden peg bridge very long. It was unclear what might happen during the crossing itself, so he wouldn’t risk Han Yunxi’s safety the first time over. Bringing Gu Beiyue with him could count as scoping out the field as well.
“You two be careful, too,” Han Yunxi said before giving a serious look to Lil Thing in Gu Beiyue’s hand. “Protect Doctor Gu well,” she warned it, “Or else it’ll be your responsibility.”
Lil Thing docilely nodded its head as it chuckled inwardly. Mama Yunxi doesn’t need to warn me. I’ll definitely protect the gentleman well. With adversity before them, even it was joining in the advance!
Long Feiye pushed ahead Gu Beiyue’s wheelchair and was about to use his lightness techniques to take them airborne when another whistle sounded in the air. In the next second, all of the man-eating vultures came to attack Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue, leaving Han Yunxi completely alone.
She turned towards the whistle and narrowed her eyes. “You’re seeking death!”
As expected the whistle came from that coquette. She really thought nothing of Han Yunxi by only targeting Long Feiye.
“Yes! As long as we delay the Duke of Qin’s progress, we’ll drag out enough time for all of his inner energy to lock up. Then none of them will be able to cross!” Pill King was usually a calm man, but now he was as excited as a child.
The charming woman stared at the dense black mass of vultures while waiting for Long Feiye’s counterattack. “Old Pill King, remember what we agreed on. After everything’s over, you have to leave the Duke of Qin at the Medicine Requesting Cave.”
“Naturally. And don’t you dare hurt that girl, either,” Pill King’s attention was still completely on Han Yunxi. He privately thought that he’d die content if he could have a granddaughter like her. Meanwhile, the man-eating vultures flapped their wings and looked about to bury Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue whole. Still, Long Feiye did nothing to attack them.
The women was astonished. “If this keeps on, it won’t do him any favors!”
As soon as she spoke, a mass of black feathers fell from the flock, numbering quite a bunch as they dropped to the ground.
Shedding feathers? All of the vultures were adults. Although they had bald heads like normal vultures, the rest of their bodies were covered in feathers than rarely fell. Both the woman and Pill King were surprised---what was going on?
Abruptly, there was a thump as a single vulture dropped from the flock to land on the ground. The duo was flabbergasted at the sight, because this vulture was completely naked. None of its feathers remained! Now it looked no more different from a plucked turkey. Its eyes had lost its usual sharp gaze to dart about in fear. Like a headless housefly, it scrambled back and forth with strange calls as it flapped its wings furiously. Unfortunately, it couldn’t fly at all without any feathers.
Soon enough, more vultures began to drop in twos and threes, filling the air with their falling feathers. The newly minted ‘turkeys’ ended up scurrying about the ledge, filling te cave with their piteous cries and stupefying anyone who saw the sight. Both the flirty woman and Pill King were rendered speechless. What just happened? Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue however, had expected as much. Gu Beiyue simply burst out into laughter, while Long Feiye couldn’t suppress his own smile. It was rare for Han Yunxi to use poisons offensively, but every time she did, it would be an unforgettable event!
It really had been Han Yunxi’s poison needles that had done the trick. Her poison skills were consummate, but her poisoning techniques were extremely poor. It was hard for her to target all those vultures at once, so she could only use the method of ‘killing a chicken to warn the monkey’ to spread fear amongst the flock. As expected, with the numbers of featherless vultures growing b the minute, the rest of the birds all scattered for fear of becoming the next victim. Gradually, Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue’s forms re-appeared amongst the throng as their path cleared up.
The woman had thought it was Long Feiye’s work all along, but saw that he was still holding the handlebars of Gu Beiyue’s wheelchair. Just who made a joke out of my prided vultures?
She angrily revealed herself to trio. “Who did it? Show yourself!”
“Me!” Han Yunxi admitted openly.
Stunned, the woman looked over and saw Han Yunxi raise a hand to shoot a needle from her face. She narrowly avoided being hit and held her breath in fear, her face turning white. It was only after the needle flew past her that she exhaled, a chill running down her back.
“Don’t worry. I know you’re the examiner of the third trial, so I’m not stupid enough to kill you,” Han Yunxi said coldly. No matter what rules they had to follow, they couldn’t move against the examiner directly, or vice versa.
“You actually know how to use hidden weapons?!” the woman couldn’t believe it.
Han Yunxi only looked towards the shadows behind her. “Poison skills are my forte. I’m an amateur when it comes to weaponry, actually.”
“What does that mean?” the woman didn’t understand.
“That means I’ll poison anyone who blocks my way to death!” Han Yunxi’s smile turned cold as killing intent rose behind her. The woman actually backed up a step in dread, while Pill King clutched at his whiskers in the dark. His other hand rested above his pounding heart in fight. Why didn’t I know this lass knew such formidable poison skills? If she loses her temper one day at the medical cottage, will she poison all my plants to death? What will I do then? For the first time since the trials, his determination was shaken.
The woman was still wary of Han Yunxi, but refused to give up. She laughed coldly and said, “If you have such skills, why not cross the abyss yourself?”
“I’m lazy. Besides, my man will carry me across,” Han Yunxi replied languidly.
At this moment, Long Feiye gave a massive push and sent Gu Beiyue’s wheelchair flying into the air. He simply tread on air after him, because it was much faster crossing directly between the two ledges than taking the winding path of pegs. The woman panicked and whistled again, her strange pitch gathering all the scattered vultures and adding new birds amongst their flanks. Their numbers increased the point that it made one grow goosebumps. Han Yunxi was bewildered. Do these vultures have a bad memory? Did they forget the fear they just felt, or were they forced to gather in spite of their fears?
The large flock assembled mid-air to form a literal wall of black that blocked Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue’s path. Long Feiye caught up to Gu Beiyue’s wheelchair and grabbed its handle with one hand while unsheathing his sword with the other. Although killing these vultures would consume more internal energy, it was better than wasting time. Each second lost here was more internal energy locked behind the incense. He still needed to go back for Han Yunxi after taking Gu Beiyue across, and each delay would only leave her in more danger. Gripping his sword, he swept across the flock with a wave of iridescent sword qi that completely broke apart the wall of birds! Many of the man-eating vultures died, while the rest charged at him as if frenzied with rage. Long Feiye faced them head-on, his sword slicing through their bodies and scattering fresh blood in its wake as his other hand firmly gripped Gu Beiyue’s wheelchair to keep it perfectly level in the air.
Gu Beiyue only looked gravely at the the hand holding onto the handle. The sight of veins bulging from its skin left him with a complicated feeling in his heart. Lil Thing saw the sight as too and felt a aching twinge in its chest. It always knew that Long Feiye might been a fierce and stern man, but he had always treated his own people well.
Although Long Feiye had killed a massive number of vultures, bringing Gu Beiyue with him made their advance much slower. The woman laughed smugly at the sight. “Do you think he can carry you across? Heheh, just you wait!” She might have been a single-minded woman, but she wasn’t completely brainless. Her man-eating vultures didn’t attack Han Yunxi or Gu Beiyue now, but completely focused their efforts on Long Feiye. He was the pillar of strength for the group, so as long as she could stop him, none of them would be able to pass. The birds might not be his match, but he couldn’t afford the time he wasted on killing them all.
Han Yunxi ignored the woman’s taunts and simply shot out her needles to take down multiple vultures in her wake. But this time, the warnings went unheeded by the rest of the flock, which seemed hellbent on attacking their target. Her eyes swept across the flock before shooting a few more needles into the crowd. The woman laughed at the sight and said, “Take your time now, no need to rush. I’ll help you count the bodies one by one.”
Han Yunxi turned to look at her. “You’re sure about that?”
The woman was unsure, but she still put on an aggressive front. “Of course!”
“Just wait!” Han Yunxi strode forward and went to kneel down by one of the dead vultures. She then took out her needles and stuck them in its corpse. The woman went closer for a look, but only saw that all of Han Yunxi’s needles had been dipped in poison, turning them black. Soon enough, the carcass of the vulture began to emit a strange odor.
Instead of targeting the live vultures, she’s doing something to a dead one instead. What’s she planning? The woman covered her nose as she tried to puzzle things out. Meanwhile, the vultures flanking Long Feiye seem to act as a being possessed as they recoiled in fear and suddenly went flying towards Han Yunxi. Seeing this, the woman whistled in alarm, but none of the vultures paid her any attention. All of them flew wildly towards the ledge. Han Yunxi backed out of the way while they dove towards the dead vulture and began to fight over pieces of it for food! But anyone who took a bite died instantly on the spot, turning into fodder for more of its kin.
Soon enough, there was nothing left but a pile of corpses on the ground.
Long Feiye only glanced at the pile before continuing on his crossing with Gu Beiyue in tow. Han Yunxi stood watching loftily from the side with her arms crossed, her lips curved into a smirk. If anything, she seemed like the master of the vulture swarm now.
The woman paled with fear at the sight. “No….no!”
“There’s no need for you to count one by one, because all of them will die!” After tossing back these words, Han Yunxi turned and headed for the edge of the abyss. Just then, she’d verified that the vultures had been given an ultimate command to obey the whistle. Those who were under complete control fell prey to her special poison designed to cause infighting amongst the flock. This was the same method she used on the giant bats outside of Carefree City in the past, though she’d applied the poison slightly differently this time. If the other woman was smart enough, she should have attacked her instead.
With the threat of the man-eating vultures eliminated, Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue should be safe now. Han Yunxi stood by the edge and watched their backs while waiting for her husband to pick her up. They should still have enough time at this rate.
However, Han Yunxi soon discovered that she was terribly wrong, because…