Despite the sword sect master’s alarm, Long Feiye remained calm.
“Master, your disciple has never fought battles I couldn’t handle. You know this,” Long Feiye intoned.
“On what means do you know you can control the Lustbite’s force?” the sword sect master retorted.
“By the fact that this disciple only broke through the seventh level within a single year. As long as master is willing to undo the seal, this disciple will definitely control the energy released within a month.” Long Feiye had enough self confidence or else he wouldn’t have bothered coming at all.
“It’s too dangerous…” the sword sect master stared at his eyes and reminded, “You should know that a single moment of carelessness could cost you your life this month!”
“That’s why this disciple willingly accepted your punishment despite not committing any crimes. Being locked in the Abstinence Courtyard is safer than staying atop the mountain. At least it’ll avoid raising Cang Qiuzi’s suspicions,” Long Feiye had taken a step back in the Grand Concubine Yi kidnapping issue, not only because he trusted his master, but because he had his own plans in mind.
Realizing this, the sword sect master said, “It looks like you’ve come prepared.”
“Disciple is like master. I don’t wish for the sword sect to fall into internal strife, nor do I want chaos in the martial arts circles. All I want is to get rid of Cang Qiuzi,” Long Feiye paused, then added, “The power of the Lustbite Seal is the power of the East Qin imperial dynasty. This disciple needs that strength.”
The sword sect master didn’t monitor the political climate of Cloud Realm Continent, but he knew that Long Feiye’s words showed an interest in reviving his empire. The power of the martial arts circles might not constitute a main force, but they were a mighty source of support. At the very least, they couldn’t be given to the enemy. The last example of that happening was Duanmu Yao borrowing their forces to trouble Ning Cheng.
Claiming the City of Daughters wasn’t purely for vengeance or a gift for Han Yunxi, but also Long Feiye’s first step in aweing the martial arts circles. Once he earned the championship in the Celestial Mountain ranking matches, who amongst them would dare to raise their heads or block the way in his presence? After a long, long period of silence, the sword sect master finally relented.
“Feiye, this power comes from your East Qin imperial clan. If you want to unseal it, then master has no right to stop you. But I only ask that you remember this: if you cannot control the power of the Lustbite Seal, then it’s not just a matter of cultivation insanity. You might lose your very life.”
Long Feiye was the only member of the East Qin imperial clan to ever use the Lustbite Seal. Even the sword sect master couldn’t predict the effects of its backlash upon unsealing.
“This disciple has already considered the consequences carefully,” Long Feiye replied.
“We can delay another day until you go to the Abstinence Courtyard. Think it over again,” the sword sect master coaxed.
“No need,” Long Feiye’s icy eyes only held determination. The sword sect master dropped the issue then. He knew his disciple too well. Once he decided on something, he’d never change his mind or regret it.
“Fine, this master agrees to help!” the sword sect master said. “But no matter what, you mustn’t fail Celestial Mountain. Or your imperial mother!”
Celestial Mountain’s peace needed Long Feiye, just as the revival of the East Qin Empire did. Heavy burdens rested on his shoulders.
I won’t fail Han Yunxi either, Long Feiye said privately to himself. To his master he added, “Master, I ask that you please keep the Lustbite Seal a secret from Yunxi.”
Very soon, the sword sect master sensed something amiss. “She doesn’t know about your identity?”
“Mm,” Long Feiye admitted silently.
“Why hide it from her?'” The sword sect master was no fool. There was definitely something fishy about this. Han Yunxi wasn’t just a woman Long Feiye kept by his side, but a wangfei he cradled in the palm of his hands. But she doesn’t know about Long Feiye’s identity?
She’s his closest confidante, and she’s still ignorant? Why?
Long Feiye considered the question for a long time before he finally replied, “Private affairs.”
Private affairs? So I have no right to probe? The sword sect master forced a smile. Even Yao Yao, the disciple he doted on, had never dared to reply to him like this, yet Long Feiye did. It was often Yao Yao who flattered and curried favor with him while acting spoiled, but Long Feiye was always going against him, contradicting him, or acting brusquely. Sometimes he couldn’t figure out who he showed bias to more, her or him.
In the end, the sword sect master stopped digging and said coldly, “You were the one who brought her up the mountain. Look after her yourself, this grandmaster won’t take responsibility if she’s lost.”
“Understood! Then this disciple will meet master again at Abstinence Courtyard.” Long Feiye prepared to leave, but the sword sect master lazily called him back.
“What’s the rush? There’s one more thing this grandmaster needs to tell you.”
“Master, this disciple has enough matters to deal with,” Long Feiye rejected directly.
“This one is indispensable,” the sword sect master grew unhappy. When Long Feiye didn’t speak, he patted the seat to indicate that he should sit down.
Long Feiye didn’t. “If master has words, please say them outright.”
“You and Yao Yao are still--”
“It’s better for her to treat her wounds. The rest can wait until after recovery,” Long Feiye interrupted. It was clear that he knew what his master had been trying to say. If this was the past, Long Feiye would have left long ago without another word. But since he had to stay on Celestial Mountain for a while and ask his master for a favor, he stopped. Moreover, Han Yunxi was here too, so his best strategy was to stall for time.
The sword sect master nodded. “That’s true.”
A shrewd look flashed in Long Feiye’s eyes. If master agrees, then this means he probably has the means to save Duanmu Yao. If he can heal a dantian that can’t even gather qi anymore, then Gu Beiyue might have hope, too. After all, Gu Beiyue still had the skills to deflect true qi injected into his body. His overall injuries were in a better state than Duanmu Yao’s.
Without asking much else, Long Feiye left. He didn’t look for Han Yunxi immediately, but went first to instruct a few of his subordinates to keep an eye on Duanmu Yao’s movements. It was impossible to spy on the sword sect master, but he could at least keep tabs on Duanmu Yao. With that, he’d be certain to see how his master would save her.
By the time Long Feiye returned to the main hall, Han Yunxi was leaning against the pillars outside with her hands crossed over her chest. She stared blankly at the skies, spacing out. There was no sense of self-preservation with this woman at all, so she didn’t even notice when he walked up behind her.
“What are you thinking about?” Long Feiye asked.
Han Yunxi jumped and prepared to turn, but Long Feiye had already hugged her from behind. “What are you thinking about? Will you tell me?”
“I was thinking of you,” Han Yunxi admitted honestly.
“Come on, let’s go to Abstinence Courtyard,” Long Feiye grasped her by the waist and flew off the mountain peak.
“Just what’s going on? Has Cang Qiuzi’s power grown to the extent that even your master dreads him?” Han Yunxi asked.
When Long Feiye summarized the situation, Han Yunxi broke into a disdainful laugh. “So it was because the sword sect master lost his disciples’ hearts. Serves him right! But Duanmu Yao didn’t accuse you of anything ridiculous, right?” She was still worried about that.
“Master knows exactly what’s going on in his heart. Don’t bring that up with him anymore,” Long Feiye warned.
“Alright. The big picture is more important,” Han Yunxi didn’t like arguing with Duanmu Yao anyways. In any case, she’s suffered plenty these days.
“I’m going to borrow the Abstinence Courtyard’s quarters to enter closed door cultivation for a month. How about you docilely wait on Granny You during that time?” Long Feiye asked. He didn’t mention anything about unsealing the Lustbite Seal.
Han Yunxi nodded without hesitation. “As long as you don’t chase me off the mountain, I’m willing to wait on anyone.”
Long Feiye gave her a helpless, doting look. “I can trust a person like Granny You. Before I finish my closed door cultivation, don’t leave the Abstinence Courtyard.”
He couldn’t calm his heart to control the Lustbite Seal if Han Yunxi was by his side. But if he left her at Nine Xuan Hall, Duanmu Yao would definitely create a ruckus. Master’s condition wavered as well, so that’d only make Long Feiye worry. Only the Abstinence Courtyard and its Granny You had proper limits for speech and action. She wouldn’t seek trouble for Han Yunxi without reason, while Duanmu Yao and Cang Qiuzi had enough scruples about the place to leave it alone. Even if they did drop by, Granny You wouldn’t just sit by and watch.
“I won’t go anywhere. I’ll just sit by your doorstep everyday to stand guard!” Han Yunxi teased.
“Really?” Long Feiye asked.
“Really!” Han Yunxi was certain.
“Then your lordship will never come out. I want you to guard me for the rest of your life,” Long Feiye smiled.
Han Yunxi didn’t know when Long Feiye had gotten into joking so much, but she grinned back. “If you dare to stay in there after a month, I’ll leave Celestial Mountain and never come back!”
Long Feiye tightened his grip on her as they landed on the roof of Celestial Mountain’s audience hall. He locked eyes with Han Yunxi and said, “Han Yunxi, why did your lordship never realize before that you were so cruel?”
“If you’re not cruel, I won’t be either. But if you’re ruthless enough to toss me aside, I can be more ruthless and not want you at all,” Han Yunxi replied seriously. Her words were like a vaccination for Long Feiye. In the end, she was still worried that he’d end up sending her down the mountain when mid-autumn rolled around.
A satisfied Long Feiye felt equal parts helpless and doting. In the end, he pulled her head to rest against his chest and sighed softly, his voice very, very soft. “You’re the only one your lordship can’t treat cruelly…”
Once they arrived at the Abstinence Courtyard, Granny You emerged to personally welcome them both. She was going to take him to Abstinence Hall when Long Feiye stopped her, “A moment. How about waiting for my master so we go in together?”
“The sect head is coming personally?” Granny You was surprised.
“Master was in closed door cultivation and didn’t go down the mountain when your lordship was married. Now that Yunxi’s arrived, I should naturally invite master to a cup of tea,” Long Feiye replied. In other words, he was going to formally introduce Han Yunxi to the sword sect master!
Although they’d already met, it was a completely different story from Long Feiye’s formal proposal. If he hadn’t mentioned it, Han Yunxi would have forgotten that she was here to “meet the parents,” as it were. Granny You examined Han Yunxi and recalled the wild rumors still flying outside. Perhaps they have some logic to them after all. Han Yunxi might be a woman who doesn’t know martial arts, but she’s certainly not someone to cross.
“Then let’s go to the tea room. It’s been ages since I’ve drank Feiye’s tea, so I rather miss it,” Granny You smiled. On the way, she asked, “Yunxi, why don’t you practice martial arts?”
Years ago, Long Feiye had determined Han Yunxi to be hopeless at martial arts and unable to cultivate internal energy. Despite this, Han Yunxi was rather embarrassed to admit such a thing on Celestial Mountain grounds. Long Feiye simply pretended he didn’t hear the question and ignored it. But Granny You was persistent.
“Feiye will be serving his punishment for one month. Yunxi, since you have nothing to do then, why don’t this old woman arrange for a few disciples to teach you martial arts?”
“The Abstinence Courtyard’s already used up its quota for recruiting new disciples this year, correct?” Long Feiye asked.
Granny You laughed. “My Abstinence Courtyard doesn’t have the fortune of accepting Qin Wangfei as a disciple. I’m only afraid that she’ll be bored, so it’s something to relieve her idleness.”
“Many thanks to Granny You for the gracious intentions. Yunxi won’t be bored, there’s plenty for Yunxi to do!” Han Yunxi turned her down quickly. It was already shameful enough that she didn’t know martial arts. Suppose Granny You discovered that she was a natural good-for-nothing at the art? How could she handle the revelation?Previous Chapter Next Chapter