Duanmu Yao was standing outside the doors of Long Feiye’s side estate in early that morning, surrounded by a veritable crowd of onlookers. Long Feiye’s estate here wasn’t located in the city, but instead in the back of a quiet and peaceful lane. Its location was exceptionally lowkey and hard to notice, so it was all Duanmu Yao’s fault that so many people were here today.
Not only had she exposed the location of his estate, but she brought many of her own people to mix into the crowd as well. Their purpose here was to act as human megaphones and spruce up any rumors in case Han Yunxi slipped up and said the wrong thing. If she made a mistake, the news would spread all over Cloud Realm Continent very quickly. Moreover, Duanmu Yao had appointed select members of the group to spread any news to itself as well.
She not only wanted to smear Han Yunxi’s name to undermine the sword sect master’s opinion of her but everyone else on too! She wanted to ensure that this woman would never visit the peak! Before she found out that Han Yunxi had murdered her mother, Duanmu Yao had already been looking for ways to ruin her reputation. Now she wasn’t going to hold back.
Currently, Han Yunxi and the rest were standing atop the tallest pavilion inside the courtyard. From their vantage point, they couldn’t see Duanmu Yao, but the crowds of people behind her were as clear as day. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi stood in the center of the group. One was dressed in black robes and had a pair of cold, lofty brows framing a handsome face. The other wore a pink-purple dress looking full of elegance and unmatched deportment. Gu Beiyue sat in his wheelchair on Long Feiye’s left, looking like the hue of rosy morning clouds, slim and graceful as jade. Gu Qi Sha stood on Han Yunxi’s right, covered in black robes that made him seem mysterious. Next to him was Mu Linger dressed in her bright red robes, looking lively and sharp. Chu Xifeng stood at attention behind his master at a respectful distance, his hand resting over his sword in an extremely deferential manner. As a whole, they made for a breathtaking sight on the terrace, more beautiful than any garden full of flowers. Unfortunately, all of them wore unpleasant expressions, especially Long Feiye himself. He was a lover of peace and silence and loathed the sight of such a disturbance.
Han Yunxi observed the surrounding roofs and buildings. They appeared unoccupied, but she knew plenty of hidden spectators would be in the area. After such a fuss was made about her, and the knowledge spread that her fighting skills paled in comparison to Duanmu Yao’s, she knew that most of the people here were waiting to see her make a laughingstock of herself.
Gu Qi Sha stood on the railings with dimmed eyes. “Poison lass, this old man shall go teach her a lesson first. I’ll break her hands and feet before you fight her one on one!”
Was he joking? Aside from Mu Linger, no one present laughed. There was still half a stick of incense’s worth of time left before the appointed time. He looked back at Han Yunxi and said, “Poison lass, if you don’t answer, this old man will assume that you agree.”
“Do you want me to admit my guilt?” Han Yunxi rolled her eyes at him.
“If you killed the woman, just admit it. As if His Highness Duke of Qin would be afraid of the Western Zhou imperial clan,” Gu Qi Sha retorted.
Is he only here to provoke people? Long Feiye was already giving him a cold glare. He didn’t speak or make any moves but shifted his glance towards Mu Linger. Immediately, Gu Qi Sha shut up. He dreaded the threat in Long Feiye’s eyes but had no idea that this matter wasn’t simply a case of Long Feiye and Han Yunxi antagonizing Western Zhou if they admitted their guilt. He knew nothing of Duanmu Yao’s support from , nor what that entailed for their group. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi hadn’t mentioned any of those details. It wasn’t just Gu Qi Sha who was still in the dark, but Gu Beiyue as well.
Soon enough, the appointed time arrived.
Long Feiye naturally accompanied Han Yunxi outside. Gu Qi Sha and Mu Linger hurried to follow, while Gu Beiyue said, “Esteemed wangfei, it’s inconvenient for this one to move about, so I won’t come with you this time. Please be careful.”
“Don’t worry, it’s only a trifling affair.” Han Yunxi smiled.
Before they left, Long Feiye tossed back, “Chu Xifeng, send Doctor Gu back to rest.”
Gu Qi Sha only felt doubtful. This doesn’t seem like Gu Beiyue’s usual style. And when did Long Feiye become so considerate of others? Just what happened between those two in the days I was gone? Still, he was in a rush to catch up and couldn’t afford to get distracted.
Yet how could Long Feiye be so considerate? The only thing he’d consider in this lifetime was probably his sweetheart…
He told Chu Xifeng to escort Gu Beiyue away so the man could help him contact Chu Tianyin. He hadn’t helped Han Yunxi outwardly with her matters but had done a great deal of damage control in the background. Meanwhile, the crowd outside was growing restless as the challenge time arrived. But Han Yunxi didn’t give them time to reproach her as she flung wide the doors!
The crowd immediately quieted down as if doused with a bucket of ice water. Duanmu Yao immediately pointed her sword at Han Yunxi in fury. “Han Yunxi, what grudge did you ever bear against my mufei to kill her personally? If I don’t kill you today, how is she supposed to rest in peace?”
She even ignored the man who’d come out with Han Yunxi and stabbed forwards with her weapon. “Slut, hand over your life!”
As the threat drew near, Han Yunxi remained calm. She didn’t budge or flinch but stood with arms crossed. The crowd watching forgot all about Duanmu Yao’s sword, sucked in by the regal air surrounding the elegant Han Yunxi. Her noble aura was elegant and impossible to overlook.
Duanmu Yao’s gaze grew sinister when she realized that Han Yunxi wasn’t planning to dodge. Her foot pushed off the ground in a burst of speed and rushed forward like a streak of light. It was almost too fast for human eyes to follow her movement, and even more difficult to avoid! Everyone knew she had consummate sword skills, being a disciple of the sword sect master, but they never expected her to be so formidable. In a flash, the tip of her sword was already at Han Yunxi’s heart.
The minds of the crowd grew blank. Everyone had expected Long Feiye to stop the attack, but even he wouldn’t have time to do that now! And yet, a marvel happened. Long Feiye didn’t attack, instead Duanmu Yao retreated! She could have killed Han Yunxi, but she was now backing away. In a flash, she’d backtracked ten steps and tottered in place before crumpling to the ground and spitting up a mouthful of black blood.
Now the crowd was flabbergasted. Even Gu Qi Sha and Mu Linger were left dumbstruck. Long Feiye hadn’t done anything, so what did Han Yunxi do? When did she become so powerful? Upon closer observation, everyone finally noticed the single needle resting in a corner of Han Yunxi’s mouth. It wasn’t one of her usual medical needles, but an assassination weapon dipped in poison and gleaming with a dark luster.
The martial arts experts in the crowd immediately understood what had occurred. Han Yunxi certainly was both sly and brave. She had allowed Duanmu Yao to get close so she could attack the girl with poison needles. Faced with this, Duanmu Yao could either choose to die with her together or retreat from the assault. If she hadn’t backed away just then, Han Yunxi’s remaining needle would have certainly taken her life. Meanwhile, the sudden withdrawal had caused her built-up sword qi to reverberate within her own body, effectively attacking herself.
Duanmu Yao didn’t have the nerve to risk mutual death, so she retreated purely out of self-preservation instincts. Her black blood proved that her internal injuries were quite serious. Actually, she was already injured, so today’s backlash only intensified her wounds! If this was a one-shot match, then Han Yunxi’s play had already won the challenge. With Duanmu Yao’s current condition, she would be no match for her Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain bracelet.
After processing the results, the crowd was dumbfounded. They didn’t expect such an outcome between the two women. Hadn’t the match barely started? Why was it already over? Han Yunxi was truly terrifying!
Han Yunxi looked scornfully down at Duanmu Yao with her needle in her mouth, her devil-may-care attitude matching that of even the most experienced man. Her looks were first-rate, but her aura and style were completely matchless. Gu Qi Sha and Mu Linger were still gaping. Neither of them expected Han Yunxi to be so...so...fierce!
Suddenly, someone shouted out from the crowd. “Han Yunxi is shameless! She used poison! That’s so low!”
Han Yunxi narrowed her eyes and looked towards the source of the voice. “Who said that? If you have the guts, show yourself to this wangfei!”
Her voice awed the speechless crowd into further silence. But someone had the nerve to stand up: A girl between fourteen and fifteen years old. Her clothes were unremarkable, but she was one of Duanmu Yao’s assigned speakers in the crowd.
“I did!” the girl declared proudly, with hints of Duanmu Yao’s speech in her tone.
“This is a private matter between myself and Duanmu Yao. Who are you?” Han Yunxi asked coldly.
Her words struck the girl dumb. It was a while before she stammered back. “I’m...I’m just speaking out on behalf of injustice towards Miss Duanmu! Is...isn’t that allowed? Do you have a guilty conscience?”
“What’s unfair about any of this?” Han Yunxi retorted. She hadn’t wanted to fight Duanmu Yao today on anything but words. If the woman was going to smear her, she’d stamp out any chances for her to seize an advantage.
“You used poison! Just then, you poisoned Miss Duanmu!” the girl insisted stubbornly.
What kind of reasoning is that?
Han Yunxi laughed. “Who said poison wasn’t allowed? Who--”
“The poison arts are heretical and crooked. They only hurt people and are held in contempt by people of righteous sects, as well as a taboo of ! You’re despicable and shameless for using such a wicked technique against Miss Duanmu!”
Han Yunxi finally lost her temper. “She clearly knew that this wangfei only knows poison arts, not martial arts, yet this personal disciple of the great Celestial Mountain Sword Sect’s master called me out by name to challenge me on my doorstep. If I’m not allowed to use poison after all this, isn’t that...base and shameless beyond belief?”
She almost wanted to laugh at the ridiculousness of the claim and gave a cold snort at the woman still sprawled on the ground. “Duanmu Yao, if you can’t afford to lose, then don’t come in the first place!”
Duanmu Yao had been counterattacked by her own sword qi and was now hurting from her very organs. All of her qi passages had been blocked, leaving her gasping for breath. Han Yunxi’s words only sent her internal qi spiraling madly again, driving her past the point of insanity. She used her sword to prop herself off the ground. “When did I lose?”
“So, it’s fine if I use poison and assassination weapons?” Han Yunxi asked.
Duanmu Yao knew the state of her internal injuries better than anyone else. In her present condition, she was no match for any of the Tang Clan’s hidden weapons. In fact, she was still trying to regain her senses. How could she...how could she have been injured so badly?
“Duanmu Yao, do you admit defeat? Or shall we continue?” Han Yunxi asked coldly. Although she hadn’t planned to accept the challenge or admit to any guilt, Duanmu Yao had started attacking her as soon as she showed up. Since her opponent insisted on violence, there would have to be a victor and a loser!
Does she think she’s beyond reproach just because she’s the disciple of Sword Sect’s grandmaster?Previous Chapter Next Chapter