Chapter 722: Duanmu Yao reveals the truth Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
As Han Yunxi waited uneasily in the hall, Long Feiye and the rest were simply on the second floor above her. There were nine stories total in this building. Aside from the grandmaster’s personal quarters on the ninth floor, the rest were simply dark and empty rooms. Candlelight illuminated a small tea table where Long Feiye was steeping tea while the sword sect master treated Duanmu Yao’s wounds on one side.
He hadn’t said anything upon reaching the second floor. All he did was continuously channel true qi into Duanmu Yao’s body in an attempt to bring something back, but all of it dispersed as soon as it reached her dantian. It was incapable of containing any qi, meaning she had been effectively crippled as a fighter. It didn’t take long before the sword sect master had used up a full layer of power from his reserves, but he still insisted on continuing.
Instead of pressuring Long Feiye or comforting Duanmu Yao, he seemed lost in his own world, wasting his precious true qi again and again to try and save his final hope. Long Feiye silently drank his tea while looking at his master, his thoughts wholly on Han Yunxi. Actually, she had lied to his master just then. Back at Lost Void Lake, she’d told him that the stomach poison had no antidote. He didn’t understand what she was playing at, but he knew that she’d been wary of Duanmu Yao spilling the secret at one time.
There was no way that needle of hers held any antidote. But how could it still alleviate Cang Qiuzi’s pain? And why had she given the needle to him afterwards? What were her motives? If not for his misgivings, he wouldn’t have let her do that at all.
“Master...it’s not use. It’s no use, sobsob….master, don’t waste any more true qi.”
“Sobsob, Yao Yao is sorry to you and shimu.”[1. shimu (师母) - literally “master mother,” in this case used to refer to the master’s wife. Although the sword sect master never officially married, he did have his former disciple turned lover.]
“Master, Yao Yao feels so sad…”
Duanmu Yao broke into sobs before the sword sect master finally stopped. Unlike the killing intent from before, he only gave a long sigh and took all his grief into his heart. He had always been a cool and calm man, but when he was flooded with emotions it was still hard to hide his pain. There were times when he wished he could completely lose his mind.
Perhaps by going insane, I could finally forget everything.
Long Feiye raised his eyes and said coldly, “Duanmu Yao, you should thank Heaven and Earth that your lordship didn’t kill you.”
At this, the sword sect master viciously flicked his sleeve, sending a powerful current towards Long Feiye. It didn’t hurt him, but it did shatter the teacup in his hand to pieces.
“What else do you want after your junior sister’s left like this?” the sword sect master still had his temper.
Long Feiye immediately rose to his feet, voice frosty. “Does she have any justification left? Colluding with Lady Leng Yue and kidnapping my imperial mother? If Han Yunxi hadn’t known enough poisons to attract a poison mosquito swarm and lead us out of the matrix pathway, we would have died in that formation ages ago! If she has the guts to do it, she should owe up. If she has the nerve to provoke your lordship, then she needs the courage to face death! Someone who cravenly clings to life like this is worthy of being a Celestial Mountain disciple as well?”
“I’m not afraid of dying! I’m only afraid of disappointing master’s expectations and leaving shimu’s wishes unfulfilled by not completing the Xuan Nǚ Swordplay,” Duanmu Yao explained in a rush.
Master had always doted on her. He had taught her one of Celestial Mountain’s top tier sword styles, the Xuan Nǚ Swordplay. At first, she thought it was because master had regarded her innate talent highly. Later on, she discovered that it was because her talents were very similar to her late shimu. Shimu hadn’t been able to master the sword style before she died, so master placed his hopes on her instead. Duanmu Yao also knew that shimu was the cause of master’s bouts of insanity. At first, she used to practice the Xuan Nǚ Swordplay to comfort him in his fits of madness. Later on, it was fine as long as she remained by his side.
She was perfectly clear that her master didn’t really adore her, who couldn’t even count as a replacement for her late shimu. At most, she was a shadow. Master only wanted to borrow her talents to complete the Xuan Nǚ Swordplay and finish shimu’s dying wish.
Long Feiye gave a cold snort. “A woman like you isn’t worthy of fulfilling shimu’s wish!”
“If you weren’t so heartless--if you hadn’t gone against master’s orders to treat my injuries, would I have...would I have made such a big mistake?” Duanmu Yao couldn’t find any excuses, so she settled for pushing the blame. Tugging on the sword sect master, she said in a pitiful tone, “Master, this disciple wrote you two to three times so you should know exactly what happened. This disciple even brought your return letter to senior brother, but he...he just wouldn’t help me treat my wounds. Senior brother is too cruel!”
“Excuses! Cang Qiuzi’s martial arts is better than your lordship’s. If you could get him on your side, why not ask him to treat your wounds?” Long Feiye retorted.
Duanmu Yao’s greatest motive for kidnapping Grand Concubine Yi was to seize the chance to kill Han Yunxi. Treating her injuries were only secondary.
“I didn’t team up with Martial Uncle Cang, he was just helping me…” as she spoke, her sobs grew louder. “Wasn’t I just...I was just… You still don’t like me! I like you, I like you! Long Feiye, I only wanted you to treat my wounds! I just...sobsob…” Duanmu Yao knelt on the ground, her hands covering her wizened face as she wailed. Part of it was acting, but the rest of it was sincere.
If only there was no Han Yunxi. If only senior brother liked her. None of this would have happened today.
I should’ve been a lucky girl!
Long Feiye’s distaste was written all over his face. He was about to speak when the sword sect master glared at him next. “Are you done arguing yet? As a senior brother, can’t you yield to her a bit?”
Long Feiye was in no mood to argue with Duanmu Yao. He only wanted to use this chance to show master that a union between them was impossible. Master should long change any ideas of leaving the girl to him! Meanwhile, the old man had supported Duanmu Yao by the arm to help her sit by the tea table. He sighed lightly, then said, “Both of you were in the wrong. Yao Yao, actually, your senior brother was suffering from his own severe injuries then. That’s why he couldn’t help you treat your wounds. Master already knew this.”
Duanmu Yao refused to believe it. “It’s obvious he…”
Back then, Long Feiye had written his letter to talk about forcefully breaking open his seal. By then, the sword sect master had already knew the whole story. That secret, however, was Long Feiye’s own, so he wouldn’t tell Duanmu Yao the details.
“Yao Yao, you won’t even believe master’s words?” the sword sect master asked.
Duanmu Yao was left speechless, but Long Feiye went on to add, “Even if your lordship wasn’t injured, I wouldn’t help her treat her wounds.”
Duanmu Yao huffed. “Master, hear that? Just listen!”
The sword sect master’s expression turned ugly, but before he could scold, Long Feiye declared coldly, “Your lordship will never do anything to make Han Yunxi angry.”
Duanmu Yao burst into tears again as she buried her head on the table and cried. “Master, he’s just bullying me! Sobsob...he and Han Yunxi are both bullying me! My father doesn’t want me, my mother’s dead, and now everyone in the world’s picking on me! Sobsob...I don’t want to live anymore!”
The sword sect master knitted his brows. What was he to do between his two disciples? One was like a spoiled child, while the other was extremely stubborn. He’d always let Yao Yao’s personality act as she pleased, while he both admired and felt indignant at Long Feiye’s bullheaded ways.
“Enough, this matter ends here!” Who could the sword sect master punish? He couldn’t bear to penalize Duanmu Yao, but even less did he want to punish Long Feiye. After all, there was a heavy burden the man had to carry in the coming months. Now was not the time to talk about a maiden’s private vows. Duanmu Yao had her own guilty conscience. She knew that master would have handed her over to the Abstinence Courtyard ages ago if not for her similarities with shimu. This attitude made her relent before going too far. And yet, Long Feiye wasn’t willing to drop the matter here.
“My imperial mother is still stuck in a coma. Duanmu Yao, just what did you do to her?” he asked coldly. “If you don’t explain things today, this...won’t be over!”
Chu Xifeng had been cruelly torturing the Leng Clan captives for answers over the past few days, but gotten nothing in the process. There had to be something fishy with Grand Concubine Yi’s kidnapping. For example, who was the other poisons expert that had shown up in the maze? If Duanmu Yao wasn’t going to give him answers, how was Long Feiye supposed to present an account to Han Yunxi?
“Grand Concubine Yi was simply scared witless. How could she be in a coma?” Duanmu Yao retorted.
“That’s why I have to ask! You were the one who kidnapped her,” Long Feiye harrumphed icily.
“I...I didn’t do a thing! I wasn’t the one who kidnapped her, but Lady Leng Yue! I didn’t even touch Grand Concubine Yi!” Duanmu Yao explained hastily. “By the time I reached Lost Void Lake, Lady Leng Yue had long brought Grand Concubine Yi with her.”
“You employed Leng Yue. Why wouldn’t you know what she did to Grand Concubine Yi?” Long Feiye asked next.
The sword sect master listened to them both in silence without interruptions. The customs of the mercenary line meant that assassins did exactly what their employers requested. Reversely speaking, they wouldn’t do anything that wasn’t specified by their employers. It was impossible for Duanmu Yao to not know about Grand Concubine Yi’s coma.
“I don’t know!” Duanmu Yao averted her gaze as she denied everything.
“Yao Yao, you still won’t tell the truth?” the sword sect master suddenly grew angry.
Scared by his reaction, Duanmu Yao had no choice but to confess. “Actually… Actually, it wasn’t I who hired Lady Leng Yue. She was the one who kidnapped Grand Concubine Yi first and then found me. Senior brother, you must have some vendetta with Lady Leng Yue for her to retaliate like that!”
Long Feiye immediately figured something out after her words.
“When you and Cang Qiuzi escaped from the matrix pathway, someone secretly dispelled to poisons to help you out. Did you know?” he asked.
“You mean that person who secretly ambushed us? It might be Lady Leng Yue’s helper, I’m not sure,” Duanmu Yao admitted honestly.
“Your lordship has no grudge nor enmity with Lady Leng Yue. But perhaps I do have a deep-seated hatred...with that high level poisons expert!” Long Feiye declared coldly.
Duanmu Yao didn’t understand, nor did she want to. She just wanted this whole thing to pass. The sword sect master rapped her upside the head with his knuckles.
“Look at you, lass. When will you ever grow some brains? Someone used you to hurt your senior brother, but you still didn’t realize a thing.”
“Master, Yao Yao knows her wrongs. Master, won’t you help Yao Yao? Yao Yao still didn’t complete the Xuan Nǚ Swordplay,” Duanmu Yao seized the chance to earn favor. She knew that master looked calm, but he was actually feeling even more sorrowful than her. No matter what, he’d find all methods possible to save hr.
The sword sect master only wished that iron could turn straight into steel when it came to Duanmu Yao. He wiped away her tears and said, “Go back and rest. Master will think of a solution for you.”
Thrilled, Duanmu Yao quickly rose to pay respectful thanks. Before leaving, she turned and added, “Senior brother, Yao Yao knows her wrongs. Yao Yao apologizes to you.”
Long Feiye ignored her as she expected, but she’d done that for their master to see. Aggrieved and sad, she left with her head hanging. As soon as she was gone, the sword sect master began to coax with an earnest tone, “Feiye, Yao Yao is still--”
“It’s extremely fortunate that master was able to control your emotional demons today,” Long Feiye changed the topic.
“It came very close,” the sword sect master was very clear about his condition. Just then, he’d almost exposed his weakness in front of Cang Qiuzi.
“Duanmu Yao’s martial arts is already destroyed. Master, why don’t you seize this chance to stop your reminiscing? With Duanmu Yao here, it’s even less likely that you’ll recover. Why torment yourself like this?” Long Feiye asked.
It was a long period of silence before his master finally spoke. “Feiye, you don’t understand.”
Long Feiye wanted to urge him further, but the sword sect master’s voice suddenly grew cold. “Since Yao Yao made a big mistake this time, master won’t haggle with you over the details. But if you hurt her again, don’t blame master for being merciless! Everything about this ends now!”
Long Feiye had expected his master to take this stance, but he was still stunned by the implications in his words. “Master can save her?”
If Duanmu Yao could be saved, what about Gu Beiyue?
Translator's Note: Long Feiye, since when have you been treating GBY as a bro? Even if it's for your own end goals, that's a nice call...
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